The Pulse: B.C.

In the New Beginning

The Common Good

When Berry regained consciousness he was connected to everything — the Baulian next door, the Baulian on the far side of Earth, even the Baulian 283 sextillion gigaparsecs away on Baulis Prime. Previously, he had only been connected to BP by fractaled memories fed into his central core during his regenerative cycle. But now he was connected through real-time pulses of orange matter. Berry felt exhilarated because the cosmos was literally at his finger tips.

Berry remembered that he had once been a human, sort of. He remembered a time when he was limited by the dendrites that were cut at short distances from his central core. That was a time of dis-integration, when the divided selves of the planet multiplied the fractures in time and space until an endemic Chaos settled over the face of the earth.

El Tres de Mayo , 1814, by Francisco de Goya, from the Prado Museum (Wikimedia Commons)

El Tres de Mayo, 1814, by Francisco de Goya, from the Prado Museum (Wikimedia Commons)

Earth. What a planet! Now that the grey buildings and the wastelands of industry were gone, it resembled a paradise. Instead of millions of miles of dangerous cement roads, cedar paths ran from one environmentally-integrated hub to the next. Along these paths inverted gravitational vehicles (IGVs) took Baulians to and from their places of physical communion. Instead of grey iron towers that hummed with damaging voltage, turquoise and purple strings gently pulsed from hub to hub. Above these, orange and red jets of energy streaked from city to city, from continent to continent, from world to world.

Predatory animals were extinguished and deer nibbled at the flowers that dotted the cedar paths. No longer were bushy-tailed squirrels chased by crazy dogs. No longer did humans hunt, kill, eat, and torture the animals on the land, the fish in the sea, and the birds in the air. Gone were the dark places of the earth — places where humans were objects, where everything was counted in dollars, and where objects were cheap. Now, Baulis Directives were everywhere, and every being on the planet was directed to see the Common Good.

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Still, Berry wondered about the morality of exterminating the human race. He wondered in particular about a girl with pink hair, now hidden inside a fractal beneath his central core. She was where the Connector couldn’t look, since the lower core was strictly personal, protected by the strictest of identity laws. The lower core processed pulses that had nothing to do with the lattices linking him to everything from his fellow workers to the central processing units of Baulis Prime. The lower core was a treasure-trove of fractals the Connector considered redundant or of little interest to the greater designs of the Empire.

Yet all Berry needed to do was inverse the polarity for a fraction of a second, on the pretext of retrieving a fractal of the buildings and gardens of UBC — now The University of Baulis, Campus S 2,756,301. One quick inversion and the memory of Juniper flowed upward, almost imperceptibly, into the byways of his upper memory. He could spot her by her pink hair, at which point he felt a pulse that was almost imperceptible. He quite naturally associated this pulse with the colour pink.

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The 7% Solution

According to BP Directive E 265, 100% of the Baulomorph population was to continue living, although they were to be increasingly integrated: the Baulian-to-human ratio was to go from 5:3 to 10:3 over a course of three months. One third of the Baulomorphs were to remain on earth, while the other two thirds were repatriated to Baulis Prime and to other universes on the Via Terrana (the orange streak that lead from BP to Earth). On Earth, the population of 7.7 billion humans was to be largely replaced by a population of 70 billion Baulians. In this way, the target of making Earth ten times better would be met according to schedule.

According to BP Directive Earth S 2.7, 99.4% of the human population were to be recycled, while 3.5% were to undergo a very gradual infraction over the next three years. Another 3.5% were to remain as they were, in order for the Empire to benefit from an understanding of alien life forms, and in order that they not go against Ethical Directive B2, which forbade genocide except in cases where the alien population was impossible to subjugate.

While Ethical Directive B2 only required the Baulians to spare 1% of any subjugated population, Prime Directorate considered the human race one of the promising alien species. At least they didn’t eat their young or exterminate other species for sport. Unlike the phantoms of the Yellow Surge, they didn’t wage senseless and violent warfare in ways that were so convoluted and treacherous that no one in that universe slept with the lights out. In their document The Assimilation of S 2,756,301, Baulian directors wrote the following:

1. While not required to do so, we feel it would be a magnanimous gesture to pay homage to the primitive yet promising species that once inhabited the planet.

2. While humans are of minimal cultural value (even to their own galaxy), it nevertheless remains prudent to add what little they have to offer into the greater richness and glory of the Baulian Empire.

3. With points 1 and 2 in mind, we declare that 7% of the human population be granted continued existence, and that 700 locations on the planet be designated as historical reserves.

Proving by statistics that their cause was just, the directors explained that while 93% of humans were only capable of thinking about themselves, their families, and their species, 7% were capable of thinking of something else. Among that 7%, about half were vegetarians and environmentalists, and about half were people whose brains were flexible enough to allow them to become something else.

Berry felt that if anyone was in that 7%, it would be Juniper. She was, after all, a pacifist vegan environmentalist whose emotions and points of view changed by the hour.

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Next: Les Mouches

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