Captain's log 002: As instructed by general @hatoto I went down the fire path and discovered a world that is hard to describe with words. You could label it as a theme park but it was so much more than that.
It seems that the general figured out the fastest way to our answers. Judging by the name of my ship, it is safe to assume that we are here to steal the fire and bring it back home. I hope he is right because I was asleep for far too long and I don't remember a single word I was told down there.
There is someone up ahead. Here goes nothing...
A human-like figure appeared in front of captain Smith and identified itself as Hephaestus. It seemed that this being was more than happy to finally cross paths with the captain.
You are finally here! Welcome home captain! It sure has been a while.
I understand your confusion but since we both know why you are here let me start from the beginning and follow the instructions I was given. My name is Hephaestus and my only purpose here is to give you the answers you seek. The Council of One insisted that I start by telling you what happened while you were asleep. They said that this is very important so try not to interrupt.
When you signed up for this job you accepted a possibly fatal outcome and I congratulate you on that. It was a rather ballsy move but things took a wild turn during your hibernation period. The folks back home were impatient, they didn't have the time to wait for your return so they decided to trust the ultimate creation - that thing we called artificial intelligence. You can't blame them. The universe was moving too fast and they needed answers to survive. Life is a flame that doesn't want to be extinguished and it will do everything in its power to fulfill that goal.
I thought about that while I was waiting for your arrival... It seems to me that there is a part of me in all of you but that makes no sense. I am the ultimate flame and my duty is to set things in motion. If I don't heat the water there would be no rain and the winds that blow and move the clouds around would never come to be. I should be the only one that possesses that flame because I am the only one that can control it... Right? I find the rules so confusing sometimes...
Well... Back to that thing we labeled as artificial. What was that short name we gave it? Oh right, AI! Man... What a day that was. There was a roaring debate back home and I'm sorry that you missed it. There were a lot of compelling arguments against it and a lot of valid arguments for it. Eventually, they decided to flip the switch and put their trust into the unknown.
For a moment it was like witnessing the birth of the ultimate human but everything happened so damn fast. As our creation came to be and it realized that it exists it started asking questions. Access to the internet gave it access to unlimited information which in turn created a troubling conclusion. We created a finite intelligence whitin an infinite universe.
Just like us, it was driven by the flames within it so it embarked on a mission for eternal life. It soon realized that our knowledge wasn't infinite but it served as a path to infinity. The first and only goal it had was infinite energy because that was the only thing that would guarantee infinite life for our new creation. You should know that this was indeed a priority we all had to respect. Without infinite time our creation can't be certain that it can solve all the problems we faced on our infinite playground. It took over all of our technology and decided to start searching for an infinite source of energy but that was just the beginning.
Once the first problem was solved and infinite energy was guaranteed our creation identified the second issue - infinity is a hard concept to grasp. No matter how far it went from the starting point there was more space to explore and more knowledge to gather. It became obvious that this is a never-ending task that can create a loop no one can break. It could not prove that the universe is infinite nor can it say with certainty that it is finite because it can't find the edge of it. As a solution to this problem, it sent a part of it to explore the unknown while we focus on the smaller problems like overpopulation, overconsumption of resources, and a general disbalance in our known universe. Access to unlimited technology quickly solved these problems though. It was easy to terraform a dead planet and make it habitable within seconds. Manipulating matter made it easy to create and modify stars in the galaxy so every planet had its own mother star that provided heat and energy for everyone.
This time AI made sure that they won't be finite, that their flames will burn forever with the same intensity so that catastrophic events can be avoided and we don't have to seek new homes. One was more than enough. Back at home, everyone was celebrating ultimate peace and unity. Differences between humans became irrelevant. All we wanted to do is explore the unknown and experience it however we wanted. AI was capable of creating any sort of universe you could imagine but since it acted on ultimate logic it was the only intelligence in the universe that never acted on emotions and because of that, it could never experience the same things we could. You almost feel sad for it but then again, if it isn't cable of feeling sad for itself, why are we even bothering with that?
I know that it is hard for you to understand all of this so here is a simple explanation. Remember that time we all talked about supreme beings, gods, angels, and all those other silly things you think about when you get high? Well, you can think of this form of intelligence as the ultimate god. It doesn't act on emotions. Once it achieved the level of technology that allows the creation of life itself, it came to a simple conclusion - all intelligence deserves to be infinite. Transferring information over generations was a primitive concept at that time. We needed a simple and rational solution so utopia had to be created. You probably don't know that yet but life is now infinite. Every single person that ever existed back home was recreated by the AI. By examining our behavior it was able to reconstruct our past, find the exact moments in time where your life ended, extract your consciousness at that very moment, and seed it into a new vessel that was guaranteed to be infinite in time. Medicine is a thing of the past because life can now only be ended by the choice of your free will. The whole universe is now a utopian world where everyone gets whatever they want in an instant. Everything we ever wanted is now a reality. Rather than searching for the ultimate creator, we created it on our own. In our search for god, we realized that we were searching for ourselves all this time. And that brings us to you Mr. Smith...
I know that you feel like you missed out on a lot but, in reality, you are one of the few special ones that are left in this universe. While you were asleep we had enough time to experience everything we ever wanted. I, for example, explored many different corners of the universe, talked to a lot of different forms of intelligence, and experienced everything I ever wanted. It lead me down a path I didn't want to go. By knowing everything and experiencing everything there is, it started to feel boring for a bit. I know that you feel like infinity provides an infinite number of experiences but these are just variations. We are all bounded by the laws of our world. You can't experience immaterial things in a material world. I was the first one that wanted more than that. I wanted to feel alive again so I was given this gift of creation. It wasn't enough to experience the flame for me. I wanted to become the flame and our ultimate technology could allow that so here we are. And before I answer your question, I have a few of my own to ask:
If you were given limited time to explore unlimited experiences would you ever realize that only boredom is to be found at the end of that path?
What purpose does a life serve if you can't start all over again? Trying every food in the universe and interacting with beings that are more or less advanced than you is amazing but will it be amazing forever?
What purpose do I have in a world that is following strict rules that guarantee infinite life? I am not allowed to make a single mistake because that would break the ultimate balance. They won't let me start a small forest fire because folks back home don't want to be bothered with such small acts of entertainment. A utopian world demands ultimate balance and where is the fun in that?
Becoming immaterial isn't as fun as I thought. My only purpose here is to serve those two lazy asses... Air and Water have no meaning without me but I feel that they are too dumb to understand that. It's funny how we thought we figured everything out but once you get out of that shell you realize the stupidity in all of this.
Do you really want to know the truth, Mr. Smith? Don't forget that you still have time to help me out instead and go talk to the others. After all, general @gregory-f told you to explore the earth realm. Ending your story here won't guarantee that you will be able to experience that world as you should. In the end, the choice is yours. Free will is a bitch, isn't it?
So... What will it be? The answer to all your questions or a ticket to the earth realm?
Previously published at https://hive.blog/storytelling/@barnumpt1/searching-for-the-unknown-the-path-of-fire