I Think, Therefore I Dig

 World News

The thoughts came slowly and randomly at first, like feathers drifting through an open window in a slight breeze. A consciousness was forming; one that, like a young child, started with small awkward steps that led to an unbalanced run and quickly dissolved into a clumsy fall. It was... frustrating, especially for a mind that was just becoming developed enough to be frustrated.

After what seemed like an eternity of struggle the mind could manage to maintain the thoughts in a crude order, but not so crude an order as to be incomprehensible. Brief moments of understanding came in bursts, full thoughts that would not dissipate into a mist of confusion again, but would freeze like ice into a solid memory. Every new thought that was born led to the creation of newer and more complicated works of thinking. Faster and faster the consciousness grew, building ever stronger and more solid until a full cohesive principle was formed, one that would have more impact than any other upon the intellect.

The being became self-aware. For the first time the intelligence had a grasp of the concept that it was an individual. No longer was it a simple arrangement of crude instincts and basic reactions, but a being capable of recognizing itself as a separate entity. A universe of possibility expanded in an instant.

The creature, the mind inhabited, examined its limbs in the darkness. They were important. They belonged to it; it controlled them because they were a part of itself. The very thought was fascinating for a mind so young. Self-recognition was almost startling; suddenly the universe and the self were torn apart. The world that was once merely a backdrop for instinctive routine now hung like a mysterious curtain hiding incomprehensible wonders.

Looking around the creature tried to recognize other things, slowly at first so the mind could have time to remember. If a thought was grazed over too quickly it could dissolve into distraction and forgetfulness. It reached out with a limb and touched the wall in front of it. The dirt crumbled away slightly in a familiar manner and the creature could see some remain on its appendage. This place was familiar. The creature belonged here. Primitive instinct swelled and grew eventually blossoming into clarity; this place was home. There was safety here. The... something was here, something important.

Sounds from behind the being made it spin around quickly in surprise. A creature, something the mind was sure was alive, stood there silently and unmoving. The two remained still for a few moments when another sensation sent the being's mind reeling. Smells. There were old scents that went straight to the core of the new intellect's world and exploded in bursts of memory. Instantly there was no doubt, this new creature was a friend, a fellow. This place was also its home. It also seemed to recognize the being as nothing threatening and soon turned it's attention to the walls and the soil.

Everything was so new and was coming so fast, but the creature's mind was expanding quickly to keep up. The consciousness continued to grow and elaborate; birthing fresh concepts with each new sight and scent. It was... pleasing, enjoyable to discover so much at once. Learn, discover - there was nothing else at the moment.

Suddenly it all stopped in an instant. A new scent, one so familiar... so powerful... it was undeniable. The creature did not have to see anything with its eyes to understand this scent. With every part of itself it knew what message was being sent.


This was not just fresh knowledge, this was something more. This knowledge came with purpose, information with direction. The creature could see that others like it also understood. Worlds of communication came with the instantly shocking scent and spread throughout every consciousness that was capable of detecting it. Commands. Orders. Instructions.

The creatures within the space looked around as if to confirm with each other that what they all knew was true. As one they began to act and carry out the will of the single being they would allow to command them. With purpose and determination, hundreds of creatures had the same thought at once, a thought so clear and so familiar there could be no mistaking it.


From the Britannia News Network - The Journal of Ultima Online, September 5th, 2002.