The Morrigan – Chapter 2

Mikes

In which we learn something about the Mikes and the Mike’s lives on board Vesta – the hollowed out asteroid spaceship

Progress was slow, but Bob, destroyer of humans had his hopes up. The other Mikes had called a meeting. Bob remember his life before the exodus. He hated meetings. It was very rare that he actually wanted to be at a meeting.

The meeting room was huge and not very adaptable. Giant tables were carved straight from the rock of the asteroid, Vesta. Hundreds of Mikes were present. Copies of copies. Copies of the original. Memories in some that extended thousands of years just as they did in Bob. Some that extended only 15 decades direct from the original.

Bob’s was the longest memory. One day they were hoping to merge the memories of all the Mikes in to one clone. Unfortunately, at present it was beyond the mental capacity of the blank clone to hold that much knowledge. Even Bob was forgetting things all the time.

At least, from what he remembered from the original, this wasn’t so different than it was when he was 40 years old and above.

Hundreds of Mikes flowed in to the conference chamber. He couldn’t see calling it a conference room because it was so large.

A large amount of the human brain is devoted to human facial recognition. It would be surprising to an outsider, perhaps, how in a vast group of clones all sharing at least 150 years of memory how individual clones could recognize each other.

Bob recognized the vast majority of clones. There were no regulations demanding that everyone maintain the same look. So, while 2/3rds of the Mikes looks relatively similar there were Mikes who deviated by large amounts with green hair, some stopped caring about their weight and were quite large, odd haircuts, shaved heads, and there was even a contingent that were deep into being tattooed. Some of the tattooed Mikes went completely tattooed. The low gravity really meant that being what was once considered morbidly obese caused no problems in mobility. Vesta was rotating and it was rotating at a faster speed than the Earth, but still it wasn’t enough to make up for full Earth gravity.

Bob settled in on a spot. Everything was regulated by the council. It was no democracy – but democracy hardly seemed necessary when everyone had relatively the same viewpoint. Unfortunately, the Mikes all had a rebellious streak and when you are the authority – well it doesn’t really matter you are going to rebel anyway. It was kinda like having kids that grew up so much like you and then suddenly the make choices that make no sense at all.

Bob noticed as everyone took seats that one of the Mikes was missing an eye. They called him Maddy from Harry Potter’s Mad eye Moody. It was a strange and rare incident where a Mike had turned in to a murderer.

No, more than a murderer. A serial killer. He killed 15 Mikes before anyone realized there even was a murderer on board. The possibility that one Mike would want to kill other Mikes seemed foreign. Yet, there it was. Maddy Mike was the one who stopped the serial killer – and was almost killed in the process.

There were many meetings after that incident. We hashed out that we were in fact the destroyer of humans and that equally, we had the capacity for killing other Mikes as well as other humans – at least under the right circumstances.

973 Mikes had finally filtered in to the meeting chamber and the noises settled down and a slight wait occurred for someone to take charge.

Oh, shit. I think that’s me. He was the highest member of the council present.

“Hello all Mikes. Thank you for coming to the meeting on the progress on attaining the next milestone in our mission – settling and retaining a presence on Earth. This is the mission that was declared by our founder after the exodus from Earth.” He paused.

“In the 141.59 years since the last meeting I have not attempted to go back to Earth. The Morrigan has killed me more times than I can remember easily. At the suggestion of Mike 100 two teams were formed to solve the problems involved in gaining a foothold on Earth. 100, please go ahead and tells us your report and what our current status.”

Bob sat down still impressed by the acoustics of the meeting chamber. He had no used any electronic device and was still heard easily by all the Mikes there. He was quite surprised that 100 was in fact quite far away from him. 100 stood up and began his portion of the meeting.

“Mikes, I’m going to be very brief. We were assigned two tasks. The first task was finding a way to disable the entity we are calling The Morrigan. In this we have failed.” There was a lot of noise and expressions of surprise and 100 had to stop speaking and just wait it out.

“This does not mean that we have failed our mission and that we cannot get to Earth! The Morrigan is a quantum computer – essentially – she is a program – who has mastery of certain aspects of quantum physics. Specifically, she can hear anything that happens on Earth. She knows when we are entering the Earth’s atmosphere by the radio communications that pass through the Earth’s atmosphere. She has blocks throughout the Earth that are similar on a quantum level – quantum entangled and what happens to one happens to them all. She then triangulates which ones are intersected by the radio waves and knows the precise location of our landing ships and attacks.”

“There must be a cube of space at her central computer entangled with all these other spaces – and that quantum entangled cube is where her calculations are performed. If we could locate and destroy this prime cube – then we would disrupt her ability to know – well basically everything that is happening on Earth. This; however, is something we have been unable to find.”

“Despite this, once we understood how she senses the world we have developed a technology of disrupting the connection between the quantum entangled spaces. This involves making them dissimilar and breaking the links between the blocks and of course not using radio communication.”

“We have landed many Mikes on Earth; however, two-way communication has proved to be impossible – at least in any normal manner. At a standstill in terms of countermeasures against The Morrigan. We then were able to proceed on our second mission – getting intel on the remaining humans of Earth. This mission was expanded after our failures to find additional countermeasures to The Morrigan to finding the history of The Morrigan to potentially learn where her computing center is and being able to disable it.”

“Earth is no longer – culturally, like anything we remember from our base memories from thousands of years ago. I’m going to summarize now, and follow up with detailed documents – both on the current humans of Earth and what we have been able to piece together of the history of The Morrigan.”

“The original Mike killed well over a billion humans. Still, it doesn’t account for the present human population of Earth of only about 400 million. Much of humanity now lives in a pretechnological state. There are no cars. All the cities are in ruins. And…”

100 looked at his audience of Mikes. He looked perplexed and unsure how to move forward.

“The humans of Earth live on a planet with a living god – The Morrigan is this god. They speak prayers to this god and she answers – well – some of those prayers.” He looked down. “Our original killed over a billion people; however, The Morrigan was made to kill.”

“She kills anyone that attempts to or successfully kills another person. She comes to the aid of any woman that calls out to her for aid – in particular if they are in danger of being raped or killed. She patrols the world for weapons and destroys those weapons and frequently the people holding those weapons.”

“We lost many iterations of Mikes on Earth until we figured out about the weapons. No weapon may ever be brought to Earth.”

“This has produced an agricultural, matrilineal, matrilocal society. Women are in charge of all aspects of life.”

“Women, in some societies have taken advantage of The Morrigan.”

“Outsiders are often executed by the locals.”

100 waited for a moment. The Mikes were an intelligent bunch in general, but sometimes when you don’t expect it you don’t use your brain. Out of the nearly 1000 Mikes in the meeting one raised his hand.

100 looked over.

“Maddy, you have a question?”

“Yes, sir. I have particular experience with … murder and I don’t see any difference between murder and execution – at least in the fact that there must be a weapon used to kill.”

“Thank you Maddy. I’m glad you are still around. You hit what I wanted you all to know – as viscerally as possible – that there are no weapons allowed on Earth, but there are executions.”

“The executions are carried out by using The Morrigan as a weapon. She is an advanced AI computer program. That much is clear. She has; unfortunately, limits in understanding humanity. We were executed many times by The Morrigan; although in total we have died fewer times than Bob. Strangers are not tolerated in the small human colonies. When captured a drug typically was administered that made Mikes very susceptible to suggestion. Then a woman would place herself in a vulnerable position with torn garments or no garments at all and she would call The Morrigan. Frequently, after quickly assessing the situation The Morrigan would execute the Mike in what I must say is an interesting mix of methodologies. The reason there are so many of us here is that we would recreate our Mikes that died on Earth and then we would make an additional clone of that line of Mike before going on the mission. In addition, even if Mikes were successful in their missions two-way communications were impossible. All Mikes have a brain recorder and radio transmitter implanted in their skulls. On death – regardless of the source – a burst communication would send the contents of the Mikes mind to us for recreation and debriefing. As we got better at surviving on Earth Mikes would have to make the decision as to when to – report back – or rather kill themselves – in order for additional information to be added about the Morrigan.”

“I’m sending individual case logs where important discoveries were made to all of you so that we can share and have the same information as each other.”

“We were able to find information about The Morrigan and – what we call her precursors. There were efforts to create The Morrigan before – which all ended in failure. The Morrigan may have been a last effort by a scientist who left during the exodus on the other asteroid spaceship. An unfinished project left with simple instructions and an ability to learn.”

“I am sending the logs of what we know of the precursors and their creator to everyone.”

“I warn you all now – that what little experiences we have in terms of the darkness in humanity – even as we are directly related to someone that killed over a billion people – and our recent experiences with a serial killer on Vesta – are nothing – compared to the experiences that were had by the precursors or even many women in general on different parts of Earth – than anything we have ever experienced. Men are subservient to women on Earth now – and that is probably a good thing.”

“Thank all you Mikes for hearing my report.”

“We thank you for your report.” Said all the Mikes at once.

Bob didn’t feel well. Soon he would have to try to return to Earth again. He didn’t look forward to being killed by The Morrigan again (and again, and again). The mission was more important than anything else – even if all the Mikes were terminated.

The Morrigan – Chapter 1

The Morrigan stands on the edge of the Grand Canyon. No humans lived within hundreds of miles of this region anymore.

There was one Morrigan. She watches the sky and far in the sky beyond where humans can see there is a bright object moving down toward the Earth.

She creates thousands of quantum copies of herself. They launch at the object entering the atmosphere and destroy it – again.

It was the 6,586th time she destroyed a ship under these circumstances. He was coming. The destroyer of humans. It was not permitted. The conditions of his sentence were that he needed to remain alone off Earth for the rest of time.

Not just a few thousand years. Not until he was done and wanted to come back down to Earth. For the rest of time.

The Morrigan was worried. Her copies destroyed the ship again. Each time the ship made it a little bit closer to Earth. Each time the defenses were just a little bit better. Sometimes years would pass between the next time a ship would descend towards the Earth.

_______________________________________________________________

The destroyer of humans woke up in a tube and sighed. He didn’t call himself the destroyer of humans. He actually liked to just be called Mike followed by a number.

He looks at the top of the tube. Ah, there it was. Mike 109587. He was the 109,587 iteration of Mike. He was mildly disturbed at the fresh memories of The Morrigan killing him and destroying his spaceship again. It was just a spaceship – not even that really – it was designed specifically to try to land on Earth. Mike 109,586 had taken pride in the design of this one. He had been so sure that he would get past the defenses of The Morrigan.

He was tired of being wrong. Somehow he had always been wrong. It was tiring. Dying so frequently was tiring. He idly watched other Mikes in the medical chamber. Perhaps he would choose to not go and challenge The Morrigan again. He had a job to do. A promise to keep.

There simply was no way to keep that promise without getting back to Earth. Ugh and to top it off this horrible number he was – 109,587 – can’t have everyone saying that mouthful instead of saying, “Hi, Bob.”

Each iteration, each clone, each birth had slight variations and the memories of the last iteration right up to the last millisecond etched in their minds.

Bob. Yes. I will be called Bob this time.

_______________________________________________________________

“Help me, Morrigan!” A woman prayed somewhere in what was once called the Middle East.

A quantum copy of The Morrigan appeared before the woman. The woman was in a cave with a man. Quantum cubes surrounded the Earth in the atmosphere giving The Morrigan information, triangulating the location of sounds, and little programs informing bigger programs of a requests for assistance.

She appeared before the woman as she had millions of times over thousands of years. The woman was about to be raped by a man. Effortlessly, the quantum copy of The Morrigan materialized a spear and sent it through the man. She vanished as quickly as she appeared.

The Morrigan never understood why after thousands of years with a penalty of death that men (for the most part) continued to harm women or to rape women. Understanding was something she worked hard to achieve. Until she could understand and prevent rapes – she was judge, jury, and executioner. She is god.

_______________________________________________________________

Bob’s sadness affected all the other Mikes in the room.

“I’m not going down there again!” He tried to not sound like a petulant child. It is a bit awkward to sound like a petulant child when you are thousands of years old.

Mike 1248 looked up and frowned. It wasn’t a good look for their face. Most looks weren’t a good look for their face; however, frowns took his resting bitch face and made it ugly.

“It is your job.” Mike 1248 stated and went back to his work in the bridge of Vesta – an asteroid in orbit around the Earth.

“48, can we switch jobs? I’ll take over hollowing out the rest of Vesta and you go down there and talk to The Morrigan.”

“No can do. I tell you what, though. Take a few years off. Ask the rest of the Mikes if they want your job. Do some research. Figure out how to get past her.”

“Look I know we are clones, but it is really getting tough to think in here with remember all the times she has killed me. Nearly 7000 times she has killed me. It is enough. The mission is a failure!” An aging 100 looked up from his console.

“Maybe we need to think differently about the problem. We know she is some kind of quantum construct. We have no idea what is going on down on Earth except that it seems to have devolved technologically from when we left. Why don’t we pursue a couple of different tracks on this? Create some new teams of us to focus solely on her quantum mechanic nature and a team to recon about what is happening on Earth. Maybe everything we need to know is known on Earth, and we just can’t get at it.” Mike 100 hoped this would help Bob.

“I wish we had someone else to talk to about this problem. We all – within limits – think the same.” Bob said.

“Mike 1 won’t allow that. We aren’t permitted to speak to anyone else”, 100 said.

“He has access to them”, said Bob.

“He won’t allow it”, 100 said.

“They aren’t people!”

“Are we people?” 100 asked.

“Yes.”

“Then how can you know they aren’t people?”

“Whatever! We need help. Number 1 is the one that made the promise! Work on him. You talk to him”, said Bob.

“I haven’t spoken to him in decades.” This floored Bob.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No. I don’t think he has come out of virtual reality in decades and he would have to make the choice to come out for us to talk to him.” 100 looked concerned as he said it. “You know he is still hurt by what happened thousands of years ago.” A pained expression went through all the Mikes on the bridge, including Bob. The core memories – they all had the same core memories. They all remembered the end of their time on Earth.

“Alright,” said Bob, “make two teams of 100 people each – 1 to explore disabling this quantum ability The Morrigan has and another to somehow get intel from the remaining humans on Earth.”