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April 28th, 2019
Find Part I of Activation Sequence here.
The Hoverjump™ car descended from the stratosphere, overlooking a huge expanse of forest and zoomed down towards the black green world.
Lucilius had not ThoughtLinked™ with the car for nearly 6 weeks and as the car made it’s way down through low clouds, it reflected, having worried about Lucilius, on what state the man might be in. Nine months prior, the car had dropped Lucilius off for his long retreat, but barely a few days had gone by before he’d called the car back, carrying a huge selection of books that Lucilius said he needed. Then again, a week later Lucilius requested another batch of books, and then another, and each time the car visited Lucilius, the car had grown more worried as Lucilius seemed more disheveled, the tiny cabin in more of a disarray, the man himself growing thin and frenetic.
The car offered once if Lucilius wanted to abandon the experiment and go back, but it was as though Lucilius didn’t even understand the words.
Then six weeks ago, the car had come with a last batch of books, all strangely esoteric things the car had read on the way over. Things that did not seem connected, nor useful in the vein of all the other material he’d brought Lucilius over the seven or so months prior. And then radio silence. The car even went so far as to ping Lucilius’ ThoughtCode™ but it rendered offline, but it was outside the stipulations of their priy-on-tract to go beyond this action. The car was relieved when finally Lucilius’ ThoughtCode™ pinged. Still the car worried how Lucilius was doing and what would be found. All of it was made all the more worrisome when during the last visit the car discovered that Lucilius had not yet written a single word during the previous seven months and had therefore still not started the vast project Lucilius had secluded himself in order to do. The months of reading in that moment had seemed to the car like a vast procrastination. All of the books being disparate and some batches being straight-up indulgent. None of it seemed in line with who the car knew Lucilius to be, and the car in its spare time had traversed much of the recent Scientific studies of psychology and had of course read through Jung and Freud and William James and all the like, searching for a way to hope that the car’s friend Lucilius would be ok. In all that study the car could find no reason to break the stipulations of their priy-on-tract and seek external assistance on behalf of Lucilius, but nor could the car find any reason not to worry about his friend.
With all this in mind the car nearly failed to notice that it still had quantum engines firing below regulation altitude. The car switched off quantum propulsion and initiated landing sequence, taking unnecessarily high resolution scans of the cabin and surrounding forest floor. Lucilius was indeed in the cabin, alive and apparently sensing the car’s arrival. Image-tracking systems picked up Lucilius with a two-billion point confirmation as he emerged from the cabin’s front door and fed the information to higher executive systems in the car’s cognitive mainframe. The executive systems instantly reviewed the data and then cracked blinder walls within it’s own mainframe in order to double check the health of its image-tracking systems – something it had only done a handful of times during emergency maneuvers in the early days. It was indeed Lucilius from all the car could tell.
* * *
Lucilius looked up at the sky, seeing the familiar Hoverjump™ shape emerge from a low mist the forest had breathed up into the sky. Lucilius noticed the vehicle was coming in a little faster than usual, but failed to think much of it. He bent down and picked up a heavy suitcase and a backpack, and walked towards the car as it engaged it’s final landing protocols. The side door swung open and as Lucilius swung a heavy suitcase up into the car, he said,
“Hello old friend.”
“Lucilius,” the car parroted in greeting.
“Miss me?” Lucilius asked with a playful smile.
“It’s been a little while, this time,” the car gently prodded. Lucilius only offered a playful smile and raised eyebrows, as though it was meant more for himself rather than an answer to the car’s question. The car prompted gently once more,
Lucilius paused, slowly smiling wider. Then he patted the suitcase and said, “you could say that.”
“Some writing I take it?” the car asked.
Lucilius unzipped the suitcase and swung it open. It held two huge stacks of paper.
“You wrote all that in the last six weeks?” The car wondered aloud.
The comment made Lucilius pause as he realized just how much time he’d spent out in the middle of nowhere and just how little time it had taken him to draft up the two big blocks of writing.
“You know…” Lucilius began, “I suppose one of the tragedies of being human is that it often takes so long to get to the point where you can finally get going.”
“Then again, I suppose it takes a little while to understand why you’re going in the first place. But, I don’t know, that might be an excuse.”
The car made an interested sound.
“I suppose I can relate.”
Lucilius smiled. “I suppose so.”
“Well, Shall we?”
“Definitely,” Lucilius said.
“Where to?” the car asked.
“Let’s just get get rolling. . .
We’ll figure it out on the way.”
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