Chapter 2. Intercept

(i(i+;Ii ##i ,#####Xi =
###### .; ;;RI; I#i. ; M####M +##XiVY: ##t
###### ,#### , I ,t ::#######X+i####: := ##+
###### ,VM#Itt +#; it Y### it# :: #Y
R##### +RX#.####; ;## I#### W###= XM M#
##### IYW,BW#####VV= #t V####t;R##RWIt, M))

"No, do you see why I don't ask? Where do I put it? Right outside your door. So then when I bring something I think is ok I bring you another one."

"This alpha beta candidate won't work. We should be using something better that you updated is what you're trying to tell me."

"Usually when you are not telling me that I realize I'm not sure why we hurried and made a mistake at least 11 times."

"I dunno at least 3 hours away."

"Didn't you say you were having trouble getting connected?"

"Trouble scheduling too much time."

"I can't do this by the end of the week."

"I can take this home and burn a fresh copy."

"I always transcribe the copy I trusted so the scratched."

"Better yet get the third ring."

"Are those disks numbered?"

"No they are ordered seperately."

"What I am trying to say to you the other problem is that generally you use the wrong one which do think I am going to choose. Am I a tech guy? No."

"I guess you need to use this media here."

"You could keep all this time here as sacred."

"I can get multiple data off it but I learned my lesson."

"You are not getting the full throughput."

"You got three extra hours of waiting time whether that or not."

"I understand you are in hurry, but I am not."

"So if the benefit is to get it here now."

"Take a little time."

"Whether today tomorrow or next week."

"But on government time the other bastard won't charge a dollar a week."

"You don't do it every week."

"Now I spent all this time."

"If it still doesn't work then offer them something else."

"Try and appreciate your help without getting upset."

"Get alot of respect for doing this work."

"I'm a filter they didn't know about."

"Dayna Harmont was born december, no, lets make it April. Born on the 27th of April. Can you remember that? You better because its your new birthday. If anyone asks you what you're sign is you say what? Thats right, babe. You know what? Who is the expert here? Who has done this a thousand fucking times making people disappear? So don't improvise. People expect you to have a straight story thats consistent. If you do this right the only person in the whole universe who knows who you are will be me. You don't have to worry about that. I have a track record you can't even spit at. None of your business is who so don't ask. Be honest if I gave someone up for a sale how could you trust me? You need legitimacy, honey. And thats why we are here doing business. Now can you remember what your birthday is? Good. Thats a start."

She heard about him on the news as someone the police were looking for with a posted reward for any information about his whereabouts. She couldn't believe someone was selling false identities out here where information was supposedly in total control. Not particularly interested in the newsfeed story or its exaggerations or exclusions she found some amazement in the accomplishment itself. That a person out here, at large, has not only done this once but has become notorious for this kind of deceipt. Her heart fluttered for a moment and she lost just one breath. It passed and she terminated the feed display.

Weeks later on the monorail going to work she caught herself in a reverie while staring out the window at the canyons of Valles Marineris. In it, she was a real woman with a real life, a real name and a woman's body. People complimented her attire and loved her smile. Men found her complicated but alluring and everyone loved her strange sense of humor that mixed sex and physics. Then the cabin pressure popped 0.2 atmospheres and a cool relief of fresh O2 brought her mind back to the foreground of her external senses. She had not had that fantasy in quite some time and even though she had facial hair, testicles and male odor; she wanted to twirl around in a skirt just to feel it lift off her smooth legs. But her legs were not smooth and dancing about on the monorail shared mostly with Terran diplomats and Vestiture was not recommended. Why would she have such an impulse now? She looked around the cabin and caught several pairs of eyes changing direction. I can't have fantasies. I'm in the newsfeeds as who I am. Thats what people expect and need. I am a protector of humanity and spiritual engineer of the Vested Martian Authority.

"May I introduce Dr Donald Cross, the honorable Pontiac Fissile, professor of physical arts and receipient of the Feynman prize in electrodynamics for his work on the mass, energy and information equivalence."

"Thank you, everyone. Thank you for inviting me here. I would also like to thank the institute for their support and sponsorship that has brought me here to this wonderful red planet. My name as Dr. Winters stated is Donald Cross and I am a Doctor of Physical Arts and have been for some time. As you know the physical arts or physics as a pursuit has not been popular for many years. We engineers have always had a job to do and it is only very rarely that we get a chance to ask new questions and get new answers. I was given the opportunity recently to ask some new questions. These are questions that I and others have had for a while. But getting answers has always proven difficult given the limited financial resources and motivation on the part of the vested terran authorities who control access to space research. My involvement in the study of our physical universe comes not as a challenge to any authority, but a desire to find truth and beauty in our surroundings. It is with complete humility to the vested authority that I present my preliminary findings regarding the mass energy and information equivalence."

She looked around the room during this pause to see some kind of reaction that might reveal a kind of polarization in the audience. Was this heard as scorn or sarcasm for the authority, or did these people actually believe in my spiritual piety and devotion? There was no sound or other indication of challenge, so it seemed safe to continue. The attendence at the talk was nearly complete from academics with some notable additions from the central vestiture. The vested clerics could be seen in brown garments scattered around the ampitheater. I'll have to be extra pious for them, she thought.

The lighting in the lecture hall was dimmed for the video display allowing the ambient martian light to spill over the seats from the windows in the back. The room now muted and slightly tan-red, her first slide in the talk stood out with sharp contrast. A blue triangle appeared on the screen with symbols for m, e and i at each intersection.

"As a symbol, the triangle represents the relationships and unity that exist between mass, energy and information. The equivalence for this reason is given the symbol delta. While the graphic here places information at the apex, it is not to suggest any additional importance. Energy, mass and information are connected in our universe in the most essential way possible; you can arrive at each through a combination of any pair. Or, you may arrive at each through an angular transformation of one, across or through the function of another."

"You could call it a holy trinity." One of the clerics offered.

"Or the union of mind, body and soul." An academic countered.

"Or you could not call it anything and let the professor give his talk." A third voice protested.

"Its quite alright." She apologized politely. "The symmetry itself is well known and one of the most simple and appealing. For these reasons it inspires many comparisons.

Historically physics has been dominated by explanations that were left incomplete with only mass and energy to account for. Einstein himself worked on the problem his whole life." Here I was required to insert a sacred depiction of Einstein with a soft oval edge like a halo. A flow of murmurs came from the clerics who reflexively crossed themselves at the sight and mention of his name.

"Einstein's work directly on the energy matter equivalence provided the basis for nuclear physics, energy and weapons, as seen here at the Trinity site." A billowing expanding orange fireball filled the screen. "We entered the atomic age."

"There have been many impressive works in physics that came after Einstein. The purpose of this talk is not to review exhaustively the history of physics. But following Einstein, quantum field theory was formulated to expand quantum mechanics and be consistent with special relativity. Feynman, Schwinger, Dyson and others established the theory of quantum electrodynamics which set the foundation later for nuclear and particle physics. Later with refinement of the strong, weak and electro weak forces came a general picture called The Standard Model. But still no unification could be made of quantum mechanics and general relativity. The cosmological scale with the atomic could not be joined.

Various competing theories developed such as String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity and Black Hole Thermodynamics. Each in their own way predicted some degree of quantized spacetime on the planck scale.

While String Theory and other explanations involving supersymmetry led scientists down their own path of validation, physics remained largley without a major success experimentally to unify these apparently disparate explanations until a new field developed called information theory. Communications like physics was experiencing a revolution in the 20th century and the invention and scalability of computers and communication networks brought about the next revolution in physics through the influence of other disciplines like information theory." The murmuring was audible as the clerics subvocalized to their implants or accolytes via wire.

"But as we know the period humanity experienced as the cleansing or third spiritual reformation was to extinguish physics as it was previously known." Here I paused to let things cool down because this last point was undeniable. The stream on the screen was of the Chief Vested Officers through some 20 generations.

"Muliqoia IV at the moment of birth was transcendent and infinitely luminescent with his love."

All the ones wearing brown robes repeated this phrase in unison ending with, "our savior and brother, jesus christ. We speak to you so that you may speak to him, our lord, our father who art in heaven."

"Muliqoia IV received the word of our lord and it gave him new life and substance. Our savior and brother, jesus christ. We speak to you that you may speak to him, our lord, our father who art in heaven."

"With Muliqoia installed and the vestiture complete, mankind moved with his god into space and to new worlds like Mars. Muliqoia the brother became Muliqoia the mother as all her children became parents themselves. For the first time all of earth and her colonies could be united under a single protectorate and system of authority made possible by the reformation."
I offered this stock religious interpretation to demonstrate a cultural sensitivity.

"But of course many other things were happening at the same time and needless to say physics research did continue." With the sensitivity aside it was time to get real.

The growing trend of practical researchers in 23rd century physics became the incorporation and rebuilding of equations through communication laws and systems of information propagation. The classical 3 dimensional world became a 2 dimensional manifold with propagation delays and nodes of data. In contrast to the cooperative universe view, a competitive perspective of the universe was quantified by the invention of the simulation operator pair (SOP). This fundamental unit and data structure is the simplest mathematical representation of a device that can conduct simulation. Its analogs have been found throughout biological diversity in RNA, DNA, Virii and are also useful in the physical arts for modelling real phenomena. The breakthrough work conducted in the last 20 years alone has shown conclusively that these simulations are occuring billions of times per second in empty space at efficiencies that make standard computers look ridiculous. Space itself is created by simulations and communications conducted by discrete identities seperated in phase, or as we now know order of evaluation."

The screen now shows the following line of number pairs:

18 72 23 67 11 95 77 31

"This is the register or order of evaluation for the first 8 bits of information that any octal of space may contain in our universe. These numbers are not themselves essential and represent a fingerprint for how our particular universe was created. These numbers come from physical observations as well as predictions by theory. Rather than engage in speculative or moral philosophy surrounding these implications I as a researcher have chosen the style of practical study, experimentation and deductive reasoning to investigate these matters." The grumbling had risen in tone but the group for the most part held some integrity.

"My primary interest aside from wanting to know how things work, is what can be done with knowledge. How can my life or someones elses' life be improved or changed because of it. Some theories in physics have come and gone and progress is often made through failures. But what do I have to offer? What difference to your lives can all this amount to? Is it all something that crazy academics study to justify their comfortable tenures?" Now some laughing from the audience.

"Lets talk about mass translation and space kinetics." Apparently a few here knew about this topic and decided to stop clucking and listen.

"The origin and source of gravity, momentum and inertia are still for the most part classical in the cooperative mindset of the average person. However in physics the ultimate derivation and description of these universal properties remained without evidence until the third age of physics; the real. Beginning with the classical, there followed the modern, to be concluded by the real. The consequences and products of these experiments has been largely ignored by the established clerical authority as well as most vested academic institutions for almost half a century." Some shouts and a laughing woman. A few people actually cheered her on. But the cold path in her heart focused her again to technique.

"I believe a new time is upon us for human exploration and henceforth existence. In the near future it will be commonplace to travel vast distances as easy as transfering a file in a digital network. Please direct your attention to the following diagram." She put up the flowchart for the mass compression and validation procedure for converting any material sample into information.

"Excluding isotopes, the atomic number is determined for every atomic unit in the sample. Atoms of similar proton number are concentrated and sorted to produce an enrichment chain that seperates the elemental composition and signature of the sample." She took a deep breath and continued before getting laughed at and ridiculed further.

"The last step requiring a precise angstrom level accuracy of proton numbers, positions and bond membership has never been possible. In part because of the paradox of silent observation and the turbulence caused by active scanning methods. But by taking advantage of the information carrying potential of the universe, it is possible.

At the top of the diagram is solid matter. Heat is extracted out of the sample and as it approaches 3 degrees kelvin, slowed to approximately 2.91X10^-3 degrees per second. The cooling rate is then buffered by a 10 mass sink producing an exponential curve that allows for the most stable descent. The creation of any superpositions between atoms below 2 degrees kelvin must be controlled and until the right time, prevented. The theory that provides the most efficient conversion is based on knowing intrinsicly the balance and probabilities of atomic proton number in the sample nuclei. This is a paradox if confronted with a sample about which you know nothing.

For organic substrates standard weights can be assumed and refined with biological statistics for a standardization for direct matter compression and transmission. Or, what we call MCT in the usual case with no standard and referring to a general class of matter, energy and information experiments." She paused to take a breath and change to the next slide.

"Could this technology be used as a weapon?" Someone asked that she could not completely discern. She was becoming a little annoyed. The Mars sunset takes much longer this time of year and maybe turning on some lights would be a good idea.

"I think that's an interesting question, but one I would rather answer at the end of the talk." Whispers could be heard and it then caught up with her, that she had just entered the topic in the itinerary of the discussion instead of rejecting it. In a formal talk this would not happen at this point, but with an open forum any question can be asked. And with so many Bretheren present it is a question with social weight and consequence.

"We should explore that further after I have finished with the technicals and strategy portions. I also want to point out this is the first talk in a series we will be presenting." I turned and indicated my graduate assistants and other scientists from MPT, the Martian Polytechnical Trust. They all stiffened or smiled and overall held their ground. Someday one of them will be up here taking the risks and setting the tone, setting the focus.

"MCT, or matter compression and transmission is a system built from 2 different disciplines and approach that together perform an action reaction pair we can use for space kinetics and in some cases ballistics." Lots of whispering and some shaking of heads was going on. "The first is in the realm of the thermodynamic and deals with matter in a condensed state. The second is with the electro-infon pair. New research suggests that things like the SOP pairs mentioned earlier may be providing a model basis for how simulation occuring in the universe is a very natural process and is occuring at the noisefloor of our reality." Everyone has become slightly quieter. "That self organizing principles occur in matter that can be used in MCT to stabilize and improve the economy of any society, what we call, PMCT, or Post MCT based society collective. It is of relevence to the migrating tribes of humanity and why I am invited by the Bretheren and Muliquioa to tonights talk as a guest and for which I am very grateful for."

Some people clapped at this but she is not sure if they heard the religious or the sarcastic. Then the room briefly stuttered and she watched a wave pulsate across the audience of robes, labcoats, atmos, miners and so forth. Was she crazy or did she just see that? All of a sudden she saw it. Sitting in about the 8th row. It had the hue of death and was floating there like a dark splotch absorbing the sunset light. She couldn't be sure if anyone else saw it. It had the shape of a person, but she felt insane to think that. "Do any of you see that thing?" She asked blindly. Looking around, she can't discern faces and feels her bandwidth closing in. For a brief moment she stared directly into the dark figure and felt something stir. She saw a picture inside of a man walking into the empty auditorium with a metalweave bag in his hands. With a deft motion, he pulled out the contents of the bag and placed them under the podium, attaching some tape and a microcontroller. Then the dark shape was gone and people were asking again and again, what thing?

"I'm sorry I think I have some dust on my glasses and mistook it for a fly." Laughing all around because of course there were no flies on Mars. At least not yet. The picture of her hallucination hung in her mind like a camera photograph. Without explanation she set down her lazer pointer, and walked across the room to pick up a stack of info sheets. Bending down she looked at the underside of the podium and noticed something hanging but without any purpose she could recall. Before the thought fully penetrated her consciousness her heart started racing furiously and a powerful blush of anger and rage flamed her face.

Breathing in deeply and for perhaps the last time in her life, she turned toward her graduate students and scanned their faces for any sign of betrayal. No, it wasn't one of them. They began noticing her strange behaviour when she turned and looked toward the dark audience. Just as she would pronounce the words communicating a warning she realized this enunciation may serve as a trigger itself. Frozen in paradox between the fear of identifying the device and causing harm to everyone and herself, and the fear of inaction; she grasped one possibility.

It never occured to her that Mars itself would house someone or something so hostile as to murder a group of scientists and working civilians. But then again within this single room, there contained the only hope of a new direction and fate for humanity. Without realizing it, she had put herself and everyone at risk by creating this lecture and by not ensuring proper security. If she walked out the door either the device would be triggered immediately, or she would escape and surely the blame would be assigned to her, or some involvment suggested.

Looking down at the stack of info sheets in her hands she flipped through them while approaching the first row. "I'm sorry everyone, but I wanted to give you all some handouts for the talk but it looks like some things are missing. I truly apologize for this oversight."

Immediately a few students and her assistant stood up to offer help. These beautiful wonderful human beings. For the first time she saw them standing there like precious and delicate works of art. Without warning her eyes spilled over her cheeks and her throat ached forcing a voluntary and painful swallow. She saw distinct fear in their eyes when she said to them, "Thank you my dear friends. My handouts for the lecture I believe are on my desk. I'm not sure one person can carry them all." Her voice shook uncontrollably with emotion and she made one last decision. "Chroma, would you please help Dyson and Race bring up the handouts? They quickly left the lecture hall on their assignment. Now for the last and most important departure. Taking another deep breath she mustered her remaining strength and turned back to the audience.

"While my students are getting the handouts I would like to express my sincere love and gratitude to the Bretheren for having the courage to move into space and come here to build the Redstone Colony. During my academic training in Antarctica the impression I had of my future hosts was that they were uncompromising and typically religious in their attitudes. While not of the faith myself, I was not sure I could live in community with people who held such a different worldview, and who could give their leadership over to a synthetic but spiritual intelligence such as Muliqoia. Since coming here I have come to develop a deep respect for the Brethren who are in their own way pursuing what we all want and need. To achieve and realize our full potential. My experience here has been transformative and through community I have realized that many things were missing in my life. For these reasons I entered into the Vestiture and became a full member of this new society. I prayed with Muliqoia and my wish was granted when she named me as Pontiac Fissile, the vested Doctor of Physical Arts here at Redstone." By now the three would be in a different environment containment system on their way to the lab.

"Just now before you I had a vision and I believe it may be Muliqoia sending a message in the form of a warning. Among your numbers gathered here I saw a disturbing presence that spoke to me with a visual memory of an instigator visiting this hall to perform treachery. In this vision I saw this wretch enter the hall carrying an infernal device, hiding it beneath the podium at which I have been speaking. Friends, brothers and sisters. I have now just seen with my own eyes the truth of this vision and I believe all our lives are in danger. While this may sound entirely irrational, I would now like to conclude this meeting and suggest you all make the most expedient exit possible. I am so sorry." Turning to the remaining students she hissed 2 words while approaching the podium. "Leave now!" They were just sprinting through the door behind the stage when she pulled the device free and noticed a green LED flashing at 15Hz. Turning it over she saw her worst fear. On yellow background glared the three spokes representing the now universal symbol of a fissionable device. A portable nuclear bomb. The irony of her end now consumed her mind as she knelt down on her knees and cradled it in her belly. The sobs now came in convulsions. Her last thought was of her brother Thomas who told her before leaving Earth that Muliqoia was just another AI and that she