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.