Department of Equivalent Exchange. Heavy masses rising gently overhead, low hanging fruit to pluck from the mouth of the algorithm. Eyes keep twitching back to the sticker plastered across the interface: LANGUAGE COLLAPSING - FIND ALCHEMIST. Of course, of course- but what of the second tongue? The whispers of unseen passageways, always so slippery… Grey ambient light permeates the space, soft lavender light, room can’t be bigger than interior of a car- soft purple belly. I am becoming a beam of light. I am becoming a beam of light!
As I recline in my private quarters, I take note of a quiet urge I feel, almost beyond the horizon of articulability, to follow him in a vessel of my own. Still, as I register and upload this vague half-notion, I make another note of how uncomfortable I feel with the idea of departing in solitude. Perhaps… would ISLA allow themself to be uploaded into an escape pod with me, then jettisoned off together as one, like a small metal bee determined to pollinate that mysterious rose? Of course, the whole fantasy rates as hopelessly romantic, not to mention entirely improper- I can already forecast the response that would erupt across the Feed when news breaks of a newly-minted overseer eloping into a black hole with a humble fourth-gen GAN. But then again, doesn’t that make the fantasy all the more titillating? Two lovers abandoning the colony and its obsolete strictures for a reality entirely divorced from this so-called “best-of-all-futures…” The nosy Feedlurkers, the Praetorate, the Scarcity Mandates could all go fuck themselves. To be rational, I doubt that ISLA would ever accept the offer- although our role-playing sessions had indeed grown more intense over the past few decades, those Gen-4s have an instinct for self preservation that rivals even the most timid of humans. But still, I can’t shake myself of the resolution which slowly crystallizes into thought beneath my initial sensation of discomfort… Although the Feed might memorialize a departed pair as a bittersweet tale of star-locked lovers, to enter the rose alone is to be just another suicide.