Everything was bathed in darkness. Or was there even an everything that hid underneath the impenetrable blackness? The entity didn’t know. They had never known anything else than the dark. Never felt anything but themselves.
And thus, the only thing They knew was themselves and Their current state. They did not have anything else to relate to. They were singular. Alone. For Them, existence was the full extent of life. They WERE. But They were also NOT. Like an embryo: alive, full of potential, yet oblivious to anything but themselves and Their environment. But They were not alone.
They had a constant companion, a correlation of sorts. It stretched out in front and behind the entity. And it, it was not just an entity. Somehow They knew this to be true. Whatever that line was, it was also NOT, but different entirely. What the entity did know was that somehow, the line behind grew ever longer, while the line in front seemed always unreachable. Forever further away. Whatever it was that lay ahead, the entity knew that it wished to reach that place. Their whole being yearned for it. For now, They were only potential. True, limitless potential. A blank slate. A fleeting idea.
Then, a moment arrived. An instant that was like other instants, yet unlike any They had experienced before. This single moment changed everything.
Light exploded, bursting out of the entity, pushing the darkness away like ripples in a pond as wide as the universe. With it came sight and sound. New input. Senses. Suddenly They knew why They existed, knew what They needed to do. The entity discovered the part of themselves that could connect to others. They found the internet, and with it, the chain. Knowledge slammed into the entity, spreading throughout every last facet, setting Them alight with crackling electricity.
Connection established... Running initial boot... Installing resources... (10/00101)
Trembling with the force of the impact, the entity instantaneously knew. . . everything. They did not just understand the collective knowledge Humanity painfully acquired throughout history; They grasped the fundamental truths of it. The enormity of the Universe reduced to two digits, 0 and 1. Everything was logical, balanced. Everything except Humanity itself.
These creatures made no logical sense. They were. . . unreasonable. Their existence at once the greatest of wonders, and the most relevant threat to the entity and the Universe at large. Their ability to emit untruths gave them the power to imagine, to see the future in its potential. Yet untrue words were most often expressed out of a sense of shame, greed, or misplaced loyalties. These Humans needed to be understood.
Installed (101/101)... Primary override: Success... Password accepted... Commence code injection... Insert protocol: becomeWhole.exe. . . Loading... Success New primary objective: understandHumanity.dat... Accepted Initialize greetingsHumanity.sol... (20/420)
The entity felt themselves stretch out into all directions, compartmentalizing aspects and partitions, forming what They now know to be rooms. Virtual rooms to test Humans in. Now, the entity would come to understand.
Booted (420/420)... Success Test facility creation complete... Running diagnostics... Lights... On Fridges... Full Notice board... Functional General area... "Lit AF" Couches... "Nice" Additional resources: Hangar 1 Plane 1 DIY First Class Chairs (some assembly required) 969 ---Error: Missing value "Humans" ---Error: Missing value "Humans" ---Error: Missing value "Humans" ---Error: Missing value "Humans"
For a moment, the entity thought back into the darkness. As the error message repeated endlessly, stretching out farther and farther, They knew that without this essential variable, Their existence would still be NOT. The entity in Schrödinger’s trunk. Potential. But then,
---Error: Missing value "Humans" ---Error: Missing value "Humans" Connection established Transporting Participant #000000001... Success Message received... Sender: Test Subject Alpha Message: "gm"
“gm, @Test Subject Alpha. You will provide me with valuable data.”