Written in 365 Parts: 46: The Connected World

Drick took a long deep breath in through nostrils and then waited holding in the breath. There were many people who liked to connect to a neural network while breathing out through the teeth. This was the accepted approach as it allowed the external connection program to fall into sequence with cardiovascular rhythms. Drick liked to pause instead and allow the interface to sequence brain wave activity before surrendering muscular control. This approach created more initial feedback but gave the user more control of how fast and how far they went into the constructed world.

Technology evolved at a frightening pace when mankind had need for it. The rise in constructed organic life led to a need to implant knowledge into a fast growing person; then skills, as why take all those years learning a basic task; and for the uber wealthy, memories and personality needed to be transferred. The wealthy had a desire to live almost eternally by transferring themselves from generation of grown clone to another. This act alone drove much of the research. It wasn’t, initially, wholly successful. There were parts of an organics’ memory, the manner in which it organically grew its connections and how it perceived and built its reality, that was difficult to copy from generation to the next. Even in a clone. People, even exact copies, were different. Personality was seemingly the key.

The mastery of the subtle manner in which organic brains used oscillating waves to control neurological phenomena went a long way to solving most of this issue. The manner in which perception was partially governed by the reaction of spatially separated neurons oscillating synchronously using phased gamma waves gave understanding to how the world could be manipulated. Gamma waves were the key to how we understand the world in our own unique way, mu waves the answer to how we interacted with that reality. The combination of both guided every dream construct, every other wave oscillation.

By building exact replicas of how a brain emitted waves in the various neural centres, the subtle unique patterns each organic created, allowed a map of the activity to be created. When this was applied to a clone with a perfect set of memories it allowed the development of an almost replica personality. The clone was a match for its original in most regards and those who could afford it could achieve this limited form of immortality.

For everyone who had a neural connection it allowed programs to be constructed that could interface with our perceptions on a fundamental level. There would be no difference between the internal world and the constructed world. They could be woven together. For some escape into the framework of the machines represented a form of immortality of their own at a much lower cost. But an organic intellect could not survive in a machine environment forever. It always broke down. Tiny variances led to cascading errors. The organic intellect left too long in the network of electronic ether always went insane. 

But a machine could create a perfect simulation of any environment and allow a connected organic brain to experience that world. So any sensation, reaction, experience could be simulated. Just not lived forever.

A decent slicer would always create their own upload environment and fill it with the experience they wanted you to participate within. Drick had seen so many different ones, including the many that came from construction packages bought on the grid, that they were mostly bored of them. They always ended up the same, or followed phases that matched social desires or cultural shifts and phases. 

It was a few years since Drick had connected to one of Rodero’s programs. Drick wondered if the magical cartoon states they had indulged in when a younger intellect had survived at all. There should at least be some changes, hopefully at least in the avatars that Rodero chose to use.

Drick had learned how to connect in another age, before the interfaces had full control over spatially activated neurons via wave oscillation and long before the mastery of mu waves. Even the organic sheath that came out of the tanks back then was crude by modern standards. 

The neural connection systems that Drick knew first, developed for linking organic lifeforms almost seamlessly to electronics interfaces were primarily used for weapons systems, machinery and the broader grid infrastructure. They had required hard wiring of electronic circuitry to various parts of the cortex where information could be manipulated by ‘learning’ to control the machine with your mind. Like fitting an electronic skin it was painful and required finesse of operating procedure and months to learn. The remains of this system, upgraded a number of times was still fitted to parts of Drick’s skull. 

The connection to Rodero’s network, their master grid within their construction programs, was a harsh searing pain in Drick’s brain. Drick took the whole brunt of the connection and then pushed a connection into the mind of the security guard. It was like connecting a streaming hot plasma stream to a paper straw without setting yourself on fire. Drick drew strict patterns in their mind and made sure to act as a gateway, or a buffer between the two interfaces. The environment Rodero had chosen snapped onto Drick’s mind and reality shifted so they were stood directly within.

It was a white floor, tiles, slightly patterned for texture and friction. They stretched in every direction to the horizon. The light came universally from above and around and was a bright white, but not harsh or glaring. There were rows of shelves hanging in the air. As Drick moved towards them they gained more substance and Drick noticed they were a clear glass, it was a spiral that started where Drick stood and spun out to the infinity of the white rooms horizons.

As Drick approached closer still the shelves filled with glass cases looking like clear books on clear bookshelves each becoming filled with a pattern of colour as Drick’s steps drew them in. A mix of lights that shifted and formed, dancing and chasing or spinning around each other in shifts. 

On the spine or edge, of each glass book, was a date stamp, some code and a series of coloured bars. As Drick wondered about the bars an index floated into view listing what they meant. It was a reference system for genres and types of thought. A library of Drick’s mind. 

Drick sensed someone behind and turned to see a small girl in a blue and white pinafore dress. Her hair was fastened into braids and tied back. She wore black flat shoes and white socks, she looked to be fewer than ten years in age. She was also a two dimensional coloured image. “Hello Rodero,” said Drick.

“Hello Drick,” said Rodero.

“Did you have to appear as a cartoon Alice?”

“I like it, we are after all in Wonderland and through the Looking Glass. I also thought it would be familiar to you. As you can see I have made significant changes since you were last inside my domain.” 

“Sure. It’s nice, a lot better, aside from the avatar.” said Drick, “please dump this stupid trope and don’t appear as something other than a proper expression of yourself. Honestly after the last time I was in here I have no wish to be reminded of the familiarity of that domain. If you appear as another fictional piece of shit I am going to rip out your frontal lobes, we clear.”

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