Jun. 15th, 2017

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So I was rewatching the scene at the end of The Matrix where Neo achieves apotheosis. Mostly, I admit, for the moment of near slapstick where the other two agents look at each other and, by unspoken agreement, NOPE right outta there.
And I found myself paying attention to the moment right before that, when Neo leaps into Smith - yet another thing that is never, ever supposed to happen - and he turns to them, already visibly straining and distorting, and they both take a step back.
There's a change of expression there. Subtle, as you might expect... but while I don't have Neo's codesight, I can imagine what's going through their main processing loops at that moment:

< error - anomaly - abomination >

This... thing that they thought was a person - exceptional, yes, awakened, but still "only human" - has just taken multiple kill shots and gotten back up, outright nullified part of the simulation's physics, casually bested one of their own at hand-to-hand combat, and now hijacked his avatar, something that only they're supposed to be able to do... and even there, the way it's done that is wrong.
They're suddenly facing, not another redpill, but an eldritch horror, an outside-context problem, something immune to their standard attacks, that can rewrite reality and potentially do anything.
As much as security programs who haven't been corrupted by too much time among the animals can "feel"? I think they're both scared enough to dump core. In their pants.
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Wild Star Trek plot bunny, based on the currently fashionable notion in SF that the only way we're likely to have "manned" interstellar travel is to store the humans as data and rebuild them at the destination - Trek gives us warp drive, but some places are still very far away:

Expedition to Andromeda. Using captured and reverse-engineered Kelvan tech (TOS "By Any Other Name"). Including the part where most of the crew spends the (still very long) journey in compressed form. Racks and racks of cuboid solids, with android or photonic caretakers. (More shelf-stable and space-efficient than cryo, and without the constant power requirements.)

You'd sensibly want to take lots of precautions against things going wrong. They probably will anyway, particularly for the sake of drama.

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Kelly St. Clair

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