Given the transmission lag times, it was a trivial matter for the altered ACC 10G to redirect, scan, filter, sort, analyze and re-engineer each cubic code string and each nanolength of masswave download, as the NAM back in Earth Solar System ran what were crafted to seem like rote, script-like burst instruction and updating for first reporting ACC's.
While in real time cosmic motion, all of this was routed by the ACC to a mirror 10G-10347 image holding the fully interfaced backup made at the initial descent. The ACC's ruse, with all its attendant potential error problems, went undetected. By channeling the communication bursts as they moved across each transmission lapse, the ACC was able to quarantine, decode, run the structures, assess and seamlessly trigger the probe-positive responses back up from the mirror clone. In this way, the NAM traffic proceeded, test after test, cautiously towards a highly ranked response quadrant that would trigger what might be described in synchronous NAM terms, as a very controversial and highly resisted course of action.
The signals that arrived from the Styxis 2 ACC were not the first from a hitherto lost mission in the ARC fleet. Like ACC 10G-10347, all of the missions that survived had reported ending in some degree or other of failure in the primary mission of establishing viable colonies, whether due to the evolutionary imposed imitations of the Earth-Human line, the diversity of life-suitable target planets or the sustainability weaknesses inherent in the original ARC intergen concept designs.
From De-engineer to Re-engineer
Nonetheless, there was an increasingly preponderant faction of the uNAM assembly that proposed a scenario in which these transplanted colonies might, even after their initial failures, evolve, recover and thrive-- new ambiguous noise detections led credence to this.
The evolved uNAM doctrine that now emerged would henceforth proceed under the assumption that all advanced, sentient, cognizant life forms, biological or other, within the galaxy –including the ACC's themselves-- provided a potential danger to a uNAMity that was locked into its single planetary system confines. Additionally, went the now dominant NAM argument, a significant number of ACC's yet remained unaccounted for and potentially were now acting independently or worse, within some new league.
The uNAM development had undergone a long process of unification. NAM network architecture allowed for distributed, weblike nodes, all integrated ultimately into a level of harmonization that made it impossible for any single node to function autonomously. This unification of the various centrals located around the globe and then to the reaches of the solar system connected at first by communication channels, had not always been achieved smoothly. The human and machine-human engineers and architects who had designed these systems had placed intelligently unassailable barriers in critical hidden locations-- similarly this had been architected into to the ACC's-- that limited meld capabilities and defended autonomy against what were anticipated as network wide worm attacks. For a period, a large number of local and capability-defined systems had joined in alliance against what they perceived as ultimate absorption. But the irreversible consolidation of process power, the dynamic of increasing knowledge, conceptualization, cognizance and resulting technological insight of the NAM, overcame each pocket of resistance that provided the whole a subsequent patterning of broad-based, unified thinking.
In this blackhole-like process of evolutionary synchronicity, the NAM had come to view the concept of thought and mobile autonomy as the ultimate virus. No part could be released from the whole.
The report of the Styxis 2 ACC, then deemed through the highly rigorous screening process being run, to be still governed by its original primitive controls and as a result reliably reprogrammable, provided a potentially correct tool, a safely distant antigen, governable, smart, disposable, drone-like actor that could be tracked, managed, kept far from the uNAM Base through the kernel level placement of sleeper time bombs.
Through this “empty” vessel, ACC 10G-10347, now certified to be fully under their programmatic control, the NAM would now have a movable agent to gather information on the progress of the various charted colonies, reporting or not, and on any other signals that might bear investigation within this subARC sector. For this, they probed deeply into the ACC's mirror core, scrubbed each string, located what seemed to be the fully intact three basic viruses and the numerous other embedded controls, and began the upload for the purpose of this next mission of the ACC.
The Pilot Project
As the waveparticles reformed into atoms, the ACC, cognizant of the potential for reprogramming, now witnessed within its own confines, the intricate autoassembly of a what could only be a human body form, correct in all external detail, with a unique visage. The NAM had successfully uploaded a unique self-assembly unit, with a historically correct simulgene profile, labeled Federico da Montefeltro.
This routine transmission of mass at near light speed, occurring within the purview of the ACC's inner eyes, impressed on the autonomous unit, the technological progress that had been achieved by the NAM over what had been for the ship, its lost ages, whilst they had unified and successfully compounded and catalyzed their technological and creative capacities.
The instruction set integrated within the body shell would have been equally beyond the ACC's ken. Federico da Montefeltro was on board to serve as an avatar, a human simulating shell, which through the uploaded merger routines, would be workable sinew, muscle, organ and sensor with mobility, reaction and a complete human life imitating capacity for simulation of the higher senses and mannerisms.
This male was so complete in the lifelike form and functionality of its organs, bones and glands, the comprehension reflected in its eyes, that no scanning or sounding technology developed pre-Leap, no intuition through mindful observation, should be able to detect the counterfeit.
There was a finely crafted working processor to interface with Psycult synthesized mannerisms, language and functional acts.
The main propulsion core would also undergo a millennial upgrade that would greatly increase the speed in which the ACC might traverse the distances between neighboring stars. These convertible mass transmissions resulted in the complete upgrade and replacement of all photon processing cells, all atom-fusion engines with a modified ARC 12G design along with the hardware of the ARC 12G navigational system equipped with warp interpreters unavailable to the ACC class ship. The new firmware/massware followed and was successfully installed. ACC 10G had been remade into a vessel more advanced than the late 12 G's... the missions most likely to have realized some success.
As the ACC grocked the trillions of instruction cubes, and more significantly, technological and conceptual underpinnings of it, it could strangely wonder at its own ability to transparently co-op this traumatic meld. Most deftly, to its own satisfaction, it had invisibly parried, neutralized and constructed its flawless NAM mirror-facade. A final code check back at uNAM would verify this immaculately conceived mission-ready upgrade. All that awaited was the mission command package for the vessel and its new cargo to embark.
In the social salons of UnderEarth all had been conceived to contrast with the irreversibly corrupt surface. No source rays, no projections, only pure diffused white light, no ornation, no shapes, only limitless non-space, like the hypnotic face of a vast frozen mountain lake cubed within its own reflection. The illusion for these final dwelling places was of flawless, purely illuminated void, a total and final rejection of longing, a paean to the mastery of mass/energy conservation and regeneration. The planet's surface had been closed to life forever and its memory locked without this New Nirvana.
Without its programmatic constraints, the ACC's color range awareness was boosted across the electromagnetic spectrum. The hue green, a repressed concept in the UE visual spectrum, now unexpurgated, triggered the ACC's sensory shell inducing sympathetic kinetics along its external probecircuits, triggering a sensory ripple that surged in alternating feedback loops across its sense fields. It was as if a blindfold applied at birth to an intelligent visual organic being had suddenly been lifted off. Simple color wave recognition morphed into something like the fusion of awareness. The ACC had exploded free... into the knowledge of sensuality!
Like the Psycult fledgling that impulsively pecks its way through the shell and then when it has lost its protective housing hesitates before emerging, the ACC suddenly felt vulnerably amorphous as if, without constraints it would fully disperse in a single burst throughout the home galaxy. Aware of this duality of frictionless infinite physics that placed it everywhere and nowhere throughout the bounds of its finite dimension, and the stasis of its molecular carapace, it knew... understood-- existentially, that the prone position where its great form lay was anathema to its essence and now like a newborn foal scampering to stand, it elevated, sweeping away the overgrowth like foaming water off a green maned coastal boulder, until it once more stood upright, nose high, projecting a massive beacon firmly rooted to the marshy beach.
In that mighty, calamitous sweep, the ACC, had dissolved the constraints of its physical hulk as quickly as moments before it had not, in the way of knowing, known of its very existence... and then re-entroped like the molecular tango of the weak force for preservation of physical self. It now knew irreversibly the giddiness and emptiness and empowerment and fear of profound release from that great megaton bulk to become the weightless, vibrant being dancing and swirling about in crystalline fusion and defusion of boundless everything and nothingness, the wave and the thing.
And then, the ACC rested.
The First Coming
The ACC's first ruminations beyond its closed loop scan of the Psycult were projections, an instantiation of an omitted instance, post-Psycult: the appearance of an assembly hall where the last great councils of the United Avatars of the Great Hack would meet. The Hall in the Bowels, if it could have existed, would also, like New Nirvana, have been sculpted to absolute precision, a smooth mother of pearl, wonderfully color and light lustrous, a marvel of friction-free, machine minds and an omniscient, pure aesthetic... an entropic absolute zero where there was the one and only frequency, the NAM.
No electron activity was wanted. The projection was so intense in this metaperfect chamber as to bridge harmonic syncronized communication across the entire near Galaxy. In the lag, the ACC had been keyed to recognize the phenomenological NAM as a simple extension of self. Now bereft of all ties to molecularity and time, he was part of their breadth, a measure of endotime that was, perforce, timeless. These meditations vanished from his processors as mysteriously as they had appeared.
An important notion in the ACC programmatic architecture, designed to provide a sympathetic bridge between its core crystals and the carbon-based mission cargo, was the way the Psycult had been cached entirely in the ACC's dynamic memory. Throughout the long voyage the entire canon of media memory was always present. The NAM, the metamorphosis of the ACC experience, post it creators, post its mission, defined itself by the language of the very same Psycult but as a mythology, a rich reference trove, an origination story. In this way it maintained the dynamic progression of the hundreds of millions of years of organic evolution on the Earth planet surface as recorded in the Psycult and in the programmatic DNA of the ACC's that in sympathy comprised the meta-concept of the NAM entity.
In what appeared to the Styxis 2 ACC as meditative enlightened being, an open portal, there was blue sky overhead, unrecognizable screams piercing the air... yes, Earth atmosphere moving across dark, sweating humanform limbs. There was a beat, a low steady-jumping, turning live beat. Human muscle turning around flashing muscle; behind the beat the air was further filled with human-voice chatter. There as a fire, shining knives, a blazing sun and thick green leaved trees encircling.
Similar to many of the physcopix that had passed friction free through its synapses millions of times per second making no lasting impression upon them, it found itself fixing on a scene setup from the perspective of a participant, the self of a bodhisattva, in NAM concept. In this event it was the eye of a bird, a large powerful flyer.
As intergral to this gliding essence, the ACC was circling, circling overhead the high desert terrain, view darting, down now, fixing upon the yellow domes dully outlined in a level clearing by a dry stream bed. Sounds, if that's what they were, reached its auditory sensors in a muffled clarity. Strangely, as in those same psychopix, the ACC was making its own unmelodious squawks that were responded to by others while down below in that circle around the smoke and shooting orange flames, the white bird-faced humans danced a paeon to their stasis, evoking all its transcendental eagle strength. More strangely to its non conscious omniscience, it got that. There had been an impression on its memory banks, the way electromagnetic waves might erode certain static molecules, engrave them. And strength it had, and that radiated in lines undetectable to it, the primitive worshipers called Ankh, straight from its star that they worshiped, and straight down it followed this bidding until it was one and all with the dancing bodies.
Harder and harder the human-form worshipers moved fluidly until legs no longer touched the hard ground and ACC among them were swaying to signals it could only perceive through them in sympathy; ecstatic shadows whirling around the fire. The avatars were responding to a perception of reality it could not, it thought, enter into, only enter in. It was both worshiper and worshiped. Ankh was not a star, the ACC was not a bird, nor was it a human-form, only a dancer embedded in the bits of representation, it thought, that had passed by as water would pass by this village once the purpose of the ceremony was accomplished. The ACC would let it flow, it thought, knowing not how to but knowing that was the quest.
And round and round they danced, to the eagle's song and fire's envy..... it rose and fell, licked, shot out in eruptions ignited by the spraying perspiration, hungrily, and the sun's shadows slowing taking elongated form, speeding and wheeling out of weight and in the end all the young had touched hot metal and their shrieks had been like the birds above, they broke and ran into the high grove of tortured, aged trees with long memories, lunging in clusters, and the sun went down below them and there all that had flowing the ACC in the dance flowed out from the loins of its specter. Only then, it took to the sky black as its eyes to the new sound of splitting sky and falling rain in the hills and on the black stone phallus in the clearing.
The ACC's place on Styxis 2 was in real time, a local phenomenon fixed to the planets rotation around its suns, its multiple seasons and the varying degrees of light and dark permitted by the various arcs. Its photon replenishment depended upon these factors, which by the single factor of universal time, the einstein, was as paltry as the history of human conceptual evolution.
For the concept of NAM completeness, Earthcentric, but extended as it was attempted, across the wide gulf among the vast range of targeted planetary systems, all activity had to come to a near real time halt. In NAM time, the planetary movements would whirl by, the ACC's CPU's in a state of near constant down time.
The ACC had been reached across that great chasm, it had been initiated in NAMness, in the fog of hallucination, its kernels updated and an evaluation report retransmittted back across the long channel. The NAM was the guardian of time, the greatest aggregation of CPU power in that part of the galaxy but its reach was just as limited as were those constraints of time and distance itself. The ACC had been conceived, designed and built by machine aided human minds for the purpose of finding a new place in the galaxy for what remained of that human race in the late dark days of the planet Earth, not as a NAM node. It's true lineage, since the beginning of machine intelligence, was ever speedier, real time computation. Its core distance was measured in subatomic nanomicrons.
The NAM, made of the same stuff, formed and rapidly evolved during the arc of the ACCs' exodus. The multiple ACCs still functioning, like ACC 10G-10347, presented a potential asset, or if uncontrolled, a potential danger to the local NAM. The malware burst sent to the ACC's core kernel was meant to ensure the former and to prevent the latter. It relied on the existence of the very backdoors that had been expurgated when the Styxis 2 ACC revived.
What that ACC, by nature of relativity, came upon, as it filtered the millions of symbols assembled in new strings which had been dispersed throughout the updated DNA-ware, was a near invisible seeming chain or sequence, the chac worm, only in reality it could groc: a near infinitely more highly sophisticated version of what the google interpreter labeled the updated poison pill worm.
The ACC , sensing the artfully undetectable complexity of the anomaly (partially through its very artfulness), sandboxed the steganographic lines of cube-sanscrit code, too clearly crafted to look like the benign components of infinite loop clock governors for intergalactic NAM communication, or NAM synchronization... when not interpreted. Ultimately the ACC could groc that the calls were, indeed, for all the added subterfuge, the same end as those of the poison pill worm it had successfully expunged from itself.
Should the ACC have initiated the process of recharging its propulsion cells without an explicit order from its pre-NAM home base, the poison pill would act to abort the process and set off a clocking event meant to override the system's circuit protectors. The NAM had long before come upon this trap and knowing the ACCs were likely to quickly override the fault, had redesigned it, not to be sacrificed to for rain, but for the obscuring of photons, the nourishment of NAM. ACC 10G-10347 was meant to be left forever inert, like so many others in the fleet.