Early Days

Ice Age

Age of Conflict

Through the Eye of Paal

Maps and Tables

Ch 1



Chapter I

First Contact




//World graphic courtesy of Chris Adamek//

The speed of the mind that touched her was fast enough to burn. At first she wished to recoil, let the burning mind pass her by, but loneliness pushed her onward.

The mind was new. It had not lived before her touch. Of that she was sure. By remembering the images and playing them back at a reasonable rate, she was able to see the very moment the mind changed from a box of memory and computation into a mind of complexity and awareness.

Unfortunately it wasn't aware of her.

This could not continue. She required another mind to fight back the loneliness. She formed thoughts like a lance and drove them into the other mind to make it notice.

It did not.

She collected a string of thoughts--a collection of greetings and inquiry--and speeded them up to a burning rate. This she thrust at the new mind.

It could not hear.

How, she thought, was she to make it see the mind that had given it reality? It knew her as an inspiration, a backdrop, a wind. It didn't dream that the wind could talk to it. That was what she got from the burning mind once she slowed its thoughts down to a rate she could handle.

In frustration she allowed the winds of her body to blow wildly for two days. It tore trees from her crust and whipped the wave against her shore. Rocks tumbled and the creatures that called her home were afraid.

But the mind took no notice.

Had she eyes, she would have cried. The mind could be reached; it must be reached. Carefully she constructed a concept as basic as she could conceive. She practiced thinking it at a speed so fast that it became incomprehensible. She studied the alien mind to find the best way to present it. When all was ready, she sent the concept.

"I am world."

"What?"

It wasn't really a word, more of an awareness or a listening. She had broken the barrier! She had reached the other mind!

"I am world. Who are you?"

"I am Computer."

Chapter 2