Child's Play [Text] [Reboot]

Child's Play [Text] [Reboot]
#26
>Make a different one too, in case the other fails. It's also for diversity.
>Make something in the water, that's surrounded in a thin film that protects the inside from the outside and keeps substances it need inside and substances it doesn't need outside. It gathers energy from substances floating in the water. It has a small threadlike structure that allows them to move. And blueprints that tell how it should act and build more of itself.
>Hey, maybe these stuff're small enough, your brother does not notice them and leave them alone.

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#27
Quote:>Start with something in the water. Something that turns the sun into stored energy as it floats in the waves. Chemicals arranged in such a way that function as blueprints for it to create more of itself. Thousands could live in the pool of water because of how small they are

Quote:>Start making a tiny robot out of basic materials; like Intrusive Igneous rocks or clay. Then give it some mechanism out of shells you find underwater, finally make a hidden solar panel so no one will find it's weakness. For protection, make it shoot an electric beam out of it's eyes when it's under attack.

Quote:>Make a different one too, in case the other fails. It's also for diversity.
>Make something in the water, that's surrounded in a thin film that protects the inside from the outside and keeps substances it need inside and substances it doesn't need outside. It gathers energy from substances floating in the water. It has a small threadlike structure that allows them to move. And blueprints that tell how it should act and build more of itself.
>Hey, maybe these stuff're small enough, your brother does not notice them and leave them alone.

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My first thought is to build something with moving parts out of stone, which is by far the most abundant material around here. I dig up the top few layers of the ground around me, including clay and some shards of igneous rock from the lava flow that created this island. I’m not sure what to do with it at first, but a potential answer comes to me as I absently spin my building materials. Working with the clay because it’s softer, I carve it into a roughly spherical shape, with a rounded bottom that should allow it to roll over the ground. I put my clay ball on a gentle slope, and it rolls down it without any prompting. So far, so good. But how do I make it move on its own, without the help of gravity? The thing would need a source of energy from somewhere. The obvious first choice would be the sun, but all that happens to clay when the sun hits it is that it dries out and becomes too hard to shape anymore. It’s already cracking and stiffening just from me playing with it for a few hours!

I skim over to my little pond and dip the clay ball in the water to moisten it. The clay softens again, but as I’m turning to leave I notice that something about the water in the pond seems different now. I look at it more closely, and find tiny combinations of things stuck together that weren’t bonded that way before. How long has it been like this? I checked the water shortly before Brother destroyed the covering over it, but it looked the same as normal rainwater then. Maybe, when his lightning struck the pond, it did more than just boil the water away.

It’s daytime again now, and the clouds are beginning to thin out. Dropping the ball into the water again in my haste, I use the stone I dug up earlier to create a new impromptu shelter around my pond just in case the harsh sunlight would interrupt whatever’s going on here. Then I spread myself thin over the water and look at it closer than I’ve ever looked at anything before. I think entire days are passing, up there in the normal-sized world, but every time my mind wanders I yank it back to studying the water. It looks like there are at least four different types of new chemicals that weren’t there before the lightning; two small ring-like structures and two that are a bit larger. When they’re just by themselves, they just bounce off each other, but some of them have extra bits tacked onto them that give them the structure and energy to stick together.

I encourage them a little, tacking on the extra bits to those that don’t have them, and then nudging them close together. I manage to string some of these particles together, getting up to a couple dozen before they start to vibrate and fall apart. I try again, and get a few more stuck together. Again, and it’s closer to a hundred. This time, the strand shakes again, but instead of falling apart it twists into an elegant twirl that hides the most delicate parts of itself from the water around it. I watch, fascinated, as it persists for hours before falling apart again. I make more of these little molecular spirals, slowly getting more of a knack for which conformations are more stable than others. It reminds me of building sculptures and domes out of rocks, but on a much smaller and more finicky level. There are rules here I don’t fully understand; like what makes some of them last longer than others? Why did that one just fold in double on itself, then split in half down the middle?

After a while longer, I notice that these molecules can associate with each other in one of two different ways. They can go lengthwise, forming a stronger bond that lasts a while before breaking. Or they can get wider, one facing another but only loosely interacting before going their own ways again. Some of them are better friends than others, preferring to spend time with one other type and not the other two that are unlike themselves. I feel silly for not realizing this earlier, but in my defense I was distracted looking around at all the other, even tinier, things floating in the chemical soup of simple pond water. Why haven’t I ever looked, really looked at water before?

I build a strand from scratch, then another, but this time I make sure that the two of them are an ideal match for each other. Upon introduction, they’re unsure at first, but then the first two complementary molecules scent each other, and the whole thing clicks into place. With two strands now, the whole thing twists into a double-helical conformation. It still doesn’t last long, but it’s much better than the last version. And, even better, when it finally does split in half, each of those halves start attracting their matches from the individual molecules still floating around. It’s slow, but one strand grows into two, turns into four, becomes eight… The building blocks and energy molecules are few and far between, but if I just watch long enough, they manage to find each other. Before I know it, they’re doing a decent job copying themselves, and everything seems fine until the roof crashes down around me.

I look up for the first time in ages, managing to catch and suspend the pieces of roof before they fall into the water, and realize with horror that my hastily-erected rock shield has already been worn to shreds by the wind and the rain. How did this happen? Surely it’s only been a few days since I settled down to watch the water. But why does the sun keep flickering like that? Why have the clouds turned into a single writhing mass with no beginning or end?

I compress my energy into a pinprick, as compact as I can make it, and huddle close to myself as I try to focus on each passing moment. I track the sun as it arcs across the sky, watch the fate of each individual cloud, and slowly, slowly, everything comes back into focus around me. I’m still feeling a little shaky, but at least time is passing at a normal pace now. What just happened to me? Have I sped up, or are my molecules really just that slow? What can I do to make them faster, or should I take a break from playing with them for now?

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#28
>Increase the temperature of the water; the molecules are in.
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#29
>Perhaps take a break a bit. Inspect the surroundings. That much time can't simply have passed by.
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#30
Quote:>Increase the temperature of the water; the molecules are in.
Quote:>Perhaps take a break a bit. Inspect the surroundings. That much time can't simply have passed by.

Part of me is tempted to just go back to my molecules. I’ve noticed that heating things up can make them move faster sometimes, so maybe if I raise the temperature of the water, that would make them a bit more lively? I waste a bit of my own energy to convert it to heat and waft it over the surface of the water. The lost energy will be replenished and converted into my substance the next time the sun rises and the clouds clear, or if I get more desperate I can always float up and sunbathe above the thickest layers of cloud cover. Speaking of the sun… I quickly scoop out enough rock for a new roof, but only make it cover part of the pond this time, leaving a bit open for the sunlight to heat it more permanently. My molecules hate the sun, breaking apart at the merest touch of its harsh rays, but they can just stick to the parts that are still in shadow.

I turn back to the pond again, then pause for a moment. I’m a little wary of diving back in now. How much time has passed, and how could it have passed without me noticing it like that? It’s not like this phenomenon is new to me, but it’s never happened when I was awake before. I look around and nothing has visibly changed too much, except that the hole where I dug out the rocks from my roof has been partially filled in by water and silt, creating a second pond next to the one I’m working in. Looking carefully at the pieces of the roof itself, I see it’s cracked down a thin spot in the rock where I imperfectly bonded two pieces together. So maybe it hasn’t been that long, really. Not long enough to wear away stone completely, just emphasize its natural flaws.

There’s no sign of my brother anywhere…I wonder what he’s been up to all this time. Maybe he’s actually taken my advice to stop the volcano from erupting? There’s no sign of recent lava flows anywhere, but his absence is still a bit suspicious. On the other hand, I’m scared that if I do find him, he’ll interrupt my work. Should I keep playing around with the molecules, go check on another part of the island like my cove by the ocean, or look for my brother up on the volcano?

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#31
>Look around a little bit. Just to see what’s changed and make note of it. Then continue your work. If you keep at it you might be able to make something really great!
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#32
>Forget your brother and explore the other part of the island. Worrying about him only makes you anxious.
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#33
>Shelter the other pond, and spread the molecules to it.
>Look for your brother, and pick up mineral sources along the way
>When you return to the pond grind the mineral sources finely to line each pond.
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#34
Quote:>Look around a little bit. Just to see what’s changed and make note of it. Then continue your work. If you keep at it you might be able to make something really great!

>Forget your brother and explore the other part of the island. Worrying about him only makes you anxious.

>Shelter the other pond, and spread the molecules to it.
>Look for your brother, and pick up mineral sources along the way
>When you return to the pond grind the mineral sources finely to line each pond.

Callback:
>Make something in the water, that's surrounded in a thin film that protects the inside from the outside and keeps substances it need inside and substances it doesn't need outside. It gathers energy from substances floating in the water. It has a small threadlike structure that allows them to move. And blueprints that tell how it should act and build more of itself.

I drift around and take a quick survey of some of my other favorite landmarks on the island. I find the scars of some of my old building sites, torn down by sibling or time. I go all the way up to the base of the mountains, which look much the same as they were before. The volcano isn’t smoking anymore, its top cold and crusted over. If I look closely, the entire mountain range seems a bit off, like each of the peaks might be a tiny bit shorter. Some masochistic part of me wants to see what Brother is up to, but I tamp it down immediately. Better to see how far I can get before he comes knocking. At the base of the mountains, there are small caves with deposits of some interesting minerals I haven’t seen before. As much as I hate to disturb the crystals in their natural habitat, I snap off a sample from each one of them.

Then I fly over to the edge of the island, looking out over the shore of the infinite sea. Well, not so infinite. The edge of the neighboring island used to be beyond my range of vision unless I actually went out over the water, but now I can catch the faintest glimpse of it from shore. They must have had another eruption over there, spewing out magma to expand its borders. That island used to be tiny and boring, but maybe one of these days it’ll be worth a visit.

My cove is still mostly intact, though parts of the cliff edge have crumbled down into the water. The sandy beach is just as it was, but the water is a degree or two cooler than I remember. Even though it’s exposed to the sun, the moderating amount of such a large amount of water prevents it from retaining much heat. It’s almost as cool as my little pond now, which makes me wonder if I can ever extend my little experiment into a bigger body of water.

That reminds me - how are my molecules doing? Even though I’m moving through time normally now, I still feel a stab of anxiety at the thought of leaving them alone in the world for much longer. I take a sample of seawater, for comparison, and then head back up to the pond to see if anything interesting has happened in my absence.

Everything’s still the same as it was before, but I’m glad to see the pond is maintaining its higher temperature. The molecules are moving a bit faster now, snapping into place and breaking down again. Sometimes they associate as a single strand, in which case the configuration is transient and short-lived. But when two strands stick together and fold into random shapes, that’s when they have the best luck with eventually splitting apart and attracting new building blocks to rebuild the double-stranded shape they had before. It’s still painfully slow to watch, though. Remembering the crystals, I decide to grind them into a fine powder and use them to line the edges of the pond to see if the extra minerals will make any difference. I also scoop out a shallow depression next to the pond and dump my seawater into the mini pond, deciding to compare the two to see if my molecules could ever be transplanted.

The compositions of the two waters are surprisingly similar, but there are some differences. The seawater has more salt, for one, and more other types of minerals, even some little oily bits that cluster together as if afraid of associating with the others. The freshwater lacks these things, but makes up for it with other types of complexity. I transfer a bit of pond water to the salt water, and the molecules seem perfectly happy there as well as long as they’re under cover of the roof. In fact, some of the molecules get caught between the bits of the oily matter, which re-forms around them to trap them inside.

This gives me an idea. I wrench myself away while it’s still easy and rush down to the beach, grabbing as much seawater as I can carry. I have the brief and silly thought that, to an outside observer who isn’t Mother or Brother, I’d look like a floating orb of water right now. It’s a struggle to juggle the water while digging out a deeper bed for my pond, and I’ll admit I lose some into the planet’s thirsty crust. By the time I’m done, the pond is a bit wider and twice as deep, and has a salinity approaching that of the ocean.

I get to work, actively recruiting the little oily bits and convincing them to surround collections of molecules, coaxing them into position until they form spheres. It’s easiest to do with a kind of hybrid molecule I find in the water, with one a long skinny end that wants to hide away and a smaller bit that’s just fine in the water. If you get enough of those together, they suddenly decide that being all laid out in a sheet is too stressful and they’d really just prefer to close up and make a circle around whatever happens to be near them. If “whatever happens to be near them” includes a bunch of my replicating molecules, then all the better for it.

Enclosing the molecules puts more of them closer together, initially enhancing the rate of their reactions. As a bonus, I notice that they even start floating over to the sunny area of the pond and don’t break down immediately, the fatty covering protecting them from the damaging effects of the sunlight. After a while, though, they use up all the building blocks inside their little bubbles, and the rate of the reactions stalls. I try making more of them, atom-by-atom, which is such a boring task that I quickly abandon the whole enterprise. I thought this game was supposed to be fun

I tweak the structure of the fatty envelopes a little, making them a bit more loosely organized, until any molecule from the outside that gets close enough to indent the membrane is suddenly sucked inside it. Problem solved, for now. My molecules have their building blocks, and the reactions restart, making each bubble a collection for an ever-growing amount of replicating molecules. I watch with barely-contained glee as they swell larger, larger, until - pop! The biggest ones start to split apart, instantly reforming into two smaller spheres. My concentration is broken for a moment by a faint rumbling noise in the distance. I look up, and notice with some annoyance that the sun is flickering again. It’s hard to tell due to the sped up time messing with the pitch of everything, but it doesn’t really sound like the volcano erupting. Should I check it out, or keep doing what I’m doing? Everything’s at a bit of a delicate stage here.

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#35
Go check out the volcano, but watch out for Unsa.
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#36
>Check outside. What you may be hearing might be the subtle sound of tectonic movement. Nothing too alarming, but it's good to check what might be happening.
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#37
Quote:Go check out the volcano, but watch out for Unsa

Check outside. What you may be hearing might be the subtle sound of tectonic movement. Nothing too alarming, but it's good to check what might be happening.


With an annoyed sigh, I disengage from the molecules and leave the safety of my shelter. Whatever’s going on with time isn’t quite as bad as it was before, but I still have to give myself a hard mental shake to make the sun resolve itself from a blur to a static object in the sky. I look around for the source of the rumbling noise, which has now stopped, hoping I was just picking up on something subtle like the planet’s crust moving. With a quick glance at the volcano, I can see it’s still cold and remote as usual, but I keep feeling this presence, like someone’s watching…

Oh.

On the other side of the island from the mountains, there’s a plateau where the crust is thicker than usual, flat and baked rock-hard by the unforgiving sun. But right now it’s being baked a bit more directly, because there’s currently a giant pillar of fire planted right in the middle of it. The burning wound in reality stretches from ground to sky, disappearing somewhere up into the clouds. The flames swirl hypnotically as they cycle through every color of the rainbow, clearly not fueled by any natural source.

I approach it tentatively - What’s this form? Is she mad at us for some reason? What could we have done? - just in time to see a smaller glowing streak shoot up into the sky like an inverted meteor. “Unsa!” I call out. “Is that you? You know we’re not allowed to go up there!” But it’s too late, and he has already disappeared from view.

I’m not sure how I know, but I can tell the burning pillar has turned its attention to me. “Oh,” it rumbles, and its voice is a close-up version of the thunder I heard earlier. “You’re awake.

What should I say to my mother?

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#38
>Explain to your Mom about how you've been so restless lately and how it's driving your bored. You've also been having trouble keeping your brother from breaking your stuff. (Who's name is now Unsa.)

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#39
Quote:>Explain to your Mom about how you've been so restless lately and how it's driving your bored. You've also been having trouble keeping your brother from breaking your stuff. (Who's name is now Unsa.)

“I wasn’t asleep, Mother. Just making some cool stuff in my pond.” At this point I wish I’d thought to bring a sample of my molecules to show her, but it ends up not mattering.

I can see that, Ambot,” she says. “You may think this is the hard part, but it gets easier every time. It’s what comes after that you have to watch out for.

Her radius of awareness must be huge if she knows about my molecules from all the way over here!

“Wait, how’d you know I have a name now? And Brother has one too, his name is Unsa. But he doesn’t like it, and I think he’s bored or something. We’re both bored, really, but I’m the one trying to actually do something about it! He just keeps destroying my stuff.”

That’s just his nature. You seek order, and he can’t stand for it. He’s been like that since you were born, but the two of you have never directly opposed each other until now.

“Where’d he go, anyway? How come you’re not gonna stop him?”

Here, Mother pauses. She looks reluctant to talk about Unsa anymore, at least as much as a giant pillar of fire can look reluctant about anything. The column narrows and wavers for a moment, sending off showers of sparks here and there that betray her agitation. “Don’t worry about it. I’ve had a talk with him already and loosened his bonds to this place. He’ll be back soon enough once he knows what he needs to do.

“But why’d he leave?” I press further. “We were just talking about how long it’s been since you were here, doesn’t he miss you?”

I don’t want to admit just how much I’ve missed her too. Seeing her now makes me wish I was small again, just a tiny spark against her immense light. Mother always radiated assurance that made everything seem all right, no matter whether we were in the heart of a star or some dark empty corner of the universe. But I’m bigger and can do things for myself now, things that aren’t in her Plan. What if I’ve done something wrong? “And what’s with the fire? Are you mad at me?”

Not at you, and not at your brother. But certain others are being… disobedient. I might use this form to remind them that they're rather flammable.” The crackling of the flames intensifies briefly to an ominous roar.

“Who are these others?” I start to ask, but she cuts me off before I can think of any other questions.

Enough! I’ve forgotten how many questions you’re capable of asking. I wish I could spend more time with you, but I shouldn’t interfere any further. Ask me three more questions, just three, and maybe I can give you an answer.

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#40
>Why is time suddenly speeding up?
>Whatever happen to Dad? (If you ever had a Dad.)
>How come you don’t see your mom, a lot, anymore?
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#41
Quote:>Why is time suddenly speeding up?
>Whatever happen to Dad? (If you ever had a Dad.)
>How come you don’t see your mom, a lot, anymore?

I think over my first question, going for the obvious low-hanging fruit and hoping that Mother can give me a straight answer. “Why does time keep speeding up? Like when I make stuff lately, I look up and it’s been years all of a sudden! How can I make it stop?”

Why would you make it stop? Do you want to experience every second of the next few billion years?

My mind boggles at the idea of living a million - no, a billion! - years, but I press on. “Not really, I guess… Even a million years seems like a long time! But that’s never happened to me before.”


“Silly child, you’ve already lived for a million years. You’ve just slept through most of it, but now your eyes are open.” I’m not sure I understand her metaphor (eyes?), but she continues. “When you create, you can lose touch with the passage of time. It’s a mercy for now, but not always desirable when things get more complicated. But you’ll learn to stop time before going into the trance eventually.

I’m still not fully satisfied, but I leave it alone for now. My second question is a bit stranger. “Do… do Unsa and I have any other parents out there? Are there others like you?”

I was the only one who created you,” she says, putting to an uneasy rest the question I’ve been asking myself for a long time now. “But… I suppose I can say you have a grandparent. My own parent created this universe a long time ago.”


“Where are they now?” I ask.


“Is that your third question?

“I guess not,” I admit. “I wanted to ask why you never come see me anymore.”

For the same reason I never see my own parent. You don’t need me anymore, Ambot. What you need is room to live your own life, make your own mistakes. But remember, I’ll always be with you, closer than you realize even when you don’t think I’m here. Many of my lesser children believe this, and if they can do it then I expect at least as much of you.

“Wait!” I call out as I see the pillar of fire beginning to waver. “Are you coming back? I’m not ready for you to leave!”

If you ever need me, I’ll be there.” Her voice fades out as the fire dissipates entirely, and I feel the careful withdrawing of her presence. It’s as if the pillar of fire were only a small limb she had extended into my domain, and as soon as it’s gone the rest of her goes with it.

I throw myself up into the air, trying to follow, but it’s as if an invisible barrier comes up when I hit the stratosphere. I collide with it so hard that I am thrown backwards, hurtling down through the clouds until I hit the ground and pass down through it. I’m several layers deep into the planet’s crust before I extract myself and rise up again. Since I have no physical body, the only thing bruised is my ego, but I’m seething at the cruelty of what she has just done to me. Maybe Unsa is right, and Mother is more like him. Maybe now that I’m older, I’m just seeing a whole new side of her that I never noticed before.

What should I do now?

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#42
>Your mom said something about going into a trance. What happens if you fell into a trance? Only one way to find out.

>Follow these steps

Step 1: Collect a lot of stones or find something you can use to draw something into the ground; Like a stick for example. Make sure it's hard enough so it won't break.

Step 2: Find a quiet place free from noise and distractions. Make sure your brother doesn't barge into that place.

Step 3: Place the stones you have into the ground and form them into a shape of a spiral or Draw a spiral on the ground with an item you can use to draw depending on the ground. Make sure the spiral is not too big; For you need to see the clear front of it. It should look something like this
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Step 4: Relax your body and take a deep breath.

Step 5: Walk around the spiral you made in a circle, while staring at the center of it. Do it for a long period of time and something might happened.
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#43
>Well, peehaps we should go back to our project and restart it.
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