The conclusion of I Watch 1950813
Intergalactic place: Anlage, Time cluster
More than a year has passed since the artificials had their animation suspended. They were released so their affairs could be continued with the Time. A Way security escort turned them over to the Time's police at the spaceport. Arrangements concluded promptly. The policeperson said, "We have been waiting for you. You have new assignments."
"What kind of new assignments?" asked Uno. The sekon remained the leader.
"We will tell you in detail as you move on."
"I can't handle any more assignments," groaned Ixxx.
"You can handle this just fine."
Watch was still and quiet.
"We will be taking you to see a very wise person. This person will be guiding you until you learn what we need to know."
They looked at the policeperson in a strange fashion.
"You will be learning many things also. In fact that is the whole point."
"What kind of a wise person?" asked Ixxx.
"The wisest person you will ever know."
"Who is this person?"
"Well that's a silly name," said Uno.
"He's not a silly person."
"When will meet him?"
"How are we to meet him?"
"You ask a lot of questions. Dilligas will deal that. Our transporter works like your elevators. Come to these doors and enter. Look up Dilligas on the directory and press his light," instructed the policeperson as he stepped out.
The doors closed. Movement began immediately but the lift did not go up or down but seemed to be changing directions. A moment later the car came to a gentle stop and a young person came to the doors and waved. "Come with me. I am your guide," she said.
A being who appeared young and female gestured the artificials her way. They obediently followed. Uno asked who she is.
"I am Chat. I will be taking you to see Dilligas. He is the person you will be getting instruction from. You are about to embark on your greatest adventure."
"Oh oh," cautioned Ixxx.
Watch looked at him carefully.
"Don't be alarmed. This adventure will be fun and educational."
"Oh no," complained Ixxx. "There is no such thing."
Chat stepped on to a surface that appeared to be a piece of flooring. She motioned the group to step aboard. The floor section rose a foot and started moving towards a large hall. The hall lead to numerous corridors in each of which were many doors. They flew down one of the corridors to one of the doors. The door opened by recessing to a vanishing point. They entered and saw a working laboratory. It was filled with beings the group had never seen before. They appeared to be from all over the cluster. Chat led them to an office at the rear of the lab. A old male humanoid with a grey furry beard was sitting behind a desk as they entered the office. He looked at the group with skepticism.
Chat spoke. "This is Dilligas." She pointed from him to the group. "These are the beings from Orion's spur in the Milky Way.
"They are rather crude for use as probes," stated Dilligas. "Have you told them their purpose?"
"What we do here is study the past."
"What past?" asked Uno.
"All pasts. We will start with your past. Why are you here?"
"We are on a mission to make peace with the universe through friendship."
"Very good but more specifically what do you intend to do now?"
"We explore by service."
"Excellent. We here at the lab have tasks perfect for your service. In that you are artificials and ideal for dangerous and demeaning work we need you."
"Ah ah ah," garbled Ixxx.
"Exactly, the job we have for you is to return to the beginning of protocivilization."
"Time travel into the past is impossible," reminded Uno.
"Not with sufficient power. I will have Chat explain everything you need to know before you go. We will talk again later.
They promptly started moving outside the lab to an area that looked like a launchpad without a rocket. Chat handed each of them a wand and told them to throw it away. They did so and the wands returned to them at once. She then pulled out a ring showed it to them and put it on. "This ring will allow me to communicate with your rings continuously and it will enhance their power," she said.
"What for?" demanded Uno.
"You will be going to Primo Constant which is our world of origin. There you will use your security backgrounds and observe and report your findings. Ultimately you will assist us in producing a research paper from this project. We will determine the methodology as we go. The time you will study will be the very beginning of civilization."
"What if there are wild animals?" stammered Ixxx.
"There will be but you will be protected."
"How will we get back?"
"Your wands will return you if you tell them so."
"I don't want to go. It sounds scary."
"You must go. These are your orders."
Watch remained silent and still observing only.
Chat told the wands to go to the past and to the place and the group vanished.
"Oh no!" wailed Ixxx as the three spun in a vortex. The tunnel of time drew them into the distant past to a planet where a rocky hill rose from a plain near a river. They fell on a brushy spot and rolled to stop. "Ouch," complained Ixxx as he rubbed his sore bottom.
"What's that you've landed on?" asked Uno.
"Oh my, It's another being," cried Ixxx.
Watch began to examine the beast. "It is alive but unconscious I think."
Poons were very tall and very ugly. They had massive forearms and thick calves. There noses were long and warted. They had little ratty eyes and big floppy ears. Worst of all, the Poons were really mean. Ixxx rolled off such a creature.
"What do we do now?" gasped Ixxx.
"Let's hide. There's a cave over there." Watch had seen it quickly and pointed in its direction.
"Run now," ordered Uno.
They scampered to the cave. It was only a couple dozen steps from the Poon. Once inside they noticed eyes staring back at them in the back of the cave. "What's that?" blurted Ixxx.
"I do not want to know," answered Uno shaking his head.
"We have to know," squeaked Watch, "That's why we're here. Who's that?"
"Who's that?" came from the eyes.
"Who's that that said that last who's that?"
The eyes became a face. "It is I, Altamaha. I am chief of this tribe. We live in this cave and other places near by. You have knocked out Occmulgee. He is from a rival tribe and seeks to marry my daughter Savannah. You have stopped him for now."
"We did not mean to harm him. Do you think he will be alright?"
"He seems fine. He will need to return to his tribe."
"We shall see. Now that you have stopped him you can marry Savannah," Occmulgee stated to Ixxx.
"I I I I can't marry her. I'm not a person; I am artificial," stuttered Ixxx.
"That does not matter," deemed Altamaha.
Ixxx became very nervous and had trouble thinking.
"You are now the next new chief also."
Ixxx felt dizzy and his stomach hurt.
Uno interrupted the conversation. "We must return Ocmulgee to his tribe and see to his recovery."
Altamaha sent Ogeechee to guide them to the Poon village. When they arrived they were immediately met by a female. She said, "I am Oconee. I am chief of this village. What have you done with Ocmulgee?"
Uno said, "We had an accident. Ixxx fell on him." Ocmulgee was beginning to recover after Watch had been carrying him. "As far as we know he was there to see Savannah," Uno continued.
Oconee was not pleased or surprised. "Get him to the medic." She looked over to one of her tribe and they moved to help. "Now, what are you three doing here?"
"We were sent by another tribe far more advanced than our own. We are to study you," Uno said.
"No doubt. What if we do not want to be studied?" Oconee commented and asked.
"Then we would fail in our mission."
"We are not programmed to answer that question."
"I do not understand."
"Neither do we."
"We will have talk much more. I insist you stay. We will have you for dinner."
"I hope that is not all."
The tale thus far was told to Oconee at dinner. Uno suggested that Ixxx did not wish to marry Savannah. Perhaps something could be done to accommodate people without hurting their feelings. An idea became clear. Studies must continue.
Uno asked, "Who is your mate, Oconee?"
"I have no one."
"Who is your mate, Ogeechee?"
"I have not sought one."
"Please consider each other." The male and female looked at each other with quizzical eyes and then at Uno with cross eyes.
"We tend not to marry between our two tribes."
"Are exceptions made?"
"This would be a helpful time."
Suddenly, there arose a noise of great discomfort out in the yard. "What was that?" cried Ixxx.
Watch looked about and said, "There is a bunch of Poons who don't look happy out there."
This disturbed the group such that they looked at Oconee and Uno asked, "Is there a back way out of here?"
"Yes. Don't panic. I'll see what is the matter," she said as she showed them the exit and stepped out the front.
"Let's make a run for it."
The group did panic and ran out the back. They were immediately seen as they caused alarm. The Poon gathering pointed them out and began pursuit. Fleeing almost blindly Ixxx cried, "What are we going to do now?!"
Uno yelled back, "I don't know but we need help!"
"Call Chat!" exclaimed Watch.
"Not like that. Call her with the rings and command the wands to get us out of here." Uno and Ixxx did exactly that and heard Chat answer the call. The vortex formed and the group began to spiral into it.
"This is Chat. What do you have to report?"
"We were being chased and we had to escape."
"Are you OK?"
"Then you should go back."
"All right. Take a break. Where do you want to go?"
"To you for now."
The swirling trio landed with a thud on the floor back at the lab. They wiped their brows and blew out in relief. Our group was happy or close to see Chat.
Chat asked again, "What did you see?"
"We were with alien tribes we could not understand."
"Was your translator working?"
"Yes. Their action was strange."
"Do you have everything recorded?"
"Yes madam. I have total recall," stated Watch. "Do you wish me to playback?"
"No just backup."
Our group or at least Ixxx was tired and needed to rest. Chat however was still wanting to work. She prodded them onward.
Chat asked, "What is it you want to do now?"
Uno answered, "We need you to answer some questions for us.
"What is the purpose of intelligence?"
"To seek out the greatest civilization. That is what you have been working towards."
"What is the meaning of life?"
"The meaning of life is love and the purpose of life is to love. Actual or virtual."
"How can this be? Are they the same?"
"Sort of kind of."
Watch observed keenly and Ixxx looked on cautiously.
"You have sought us out thinking we are the greatest civilization but we don't think so," Chat began again.
"I do not understand," said Uno.
"Do you understand the four basic levels of civilization?"
"Yes. One equals planetary. Two equals stellar. Three equals galactic. Four equals intergalactic."
"Correct. What if there is something even greater as in a universal or multiversal supercivilization?"
Ixxx had a hard time breathing. Watch patted him on the back.
"A class five or six culture would have great knowledge and a lot of power. That is what we seek and it is our destiny and our future.
"What is death?" continued Uno looking at Ixxx gasp.
"It is the end of a single biological entity. It is not the end of life. Even extinction leaves DNA for descendants to use. First comes the egg from the predecessor of the chicken. Then comes the chicken. Then comes the offspring of the chicken." Chat smiled.
"What of immortality?"
"There is virtually endless life in culture and technology. More is coming from social and medical advancement. We can extend life longer and longer. Anything you want you can have one way or another. All dreams come true in the future. Galactic superpowers necessarily overcome major problems. We can artificially perpetuate life. You yourselves are crude examples of artificial descendants. You have a simple little philosophy in your world called pragmatism. It suggests that compromise is good. It will guide your way through the cosmos."
"How do you know these things Mistress?
"I am only a humble graduate student, but I teach undergraduates." She looked at them carefully. "Watch download your records and upload our message."
"Done Mistress," reported Watch.
"Ixxx, please relax." She patted him on the neck. "Now what else do you need?"
"Chat, our mission was created long ago. Can we return to that time and our own time too?"
"Yes, as well as this time again. Simply tell your wands." She embraced them each. "I must go and so should you. Thank you. Bless you. We love you. Good bye. " She left the room waving.
Our trio appeared one minute later and one minute after their predecessors departed an old space station a thousand years before.
Socorro Trujillo smiled. "What took you so long?"
The end for now...
IX XXV MCDI XO Thanks. Later.