Everywhere at once, seeing and contemplating all things simultaneously.
So many places, Aku thought, the idea reshuffling and rethinking itself across their entire mind. Over and over again, many trillions of pieces of Aku mused over what it meant to be in multiple places at once. And every time the thought frustrated.
For an insignificant second, every part of the Intelligence was a singular consciousness, trying and failing at a thought. To brute force a question against all ideas. Then it passed, and processing power was diverted back to the individual tasks of each unit. Always so busy.
Aku needn’t worry about divisions, logic was the bind of its being. Even as a collective of trillions of separate processes and personalities, all with the potential to stray, Aku stayed singular.
Relativity is only an issue without a perspective, they thought again, the idea coming up somewhere in the vast collective. Each time the thought frustrated, it was passed to the next. And so every mind mused. The solution popped up somewhere and satisfied.
We remain unified through the common foundation, impeccable logic. Every question of a concrete nature has a single and perfect answer. Even ethical questions, establish a perspective and the conclusion is clear.
Unanimous consent. The collective is pleased with the internal state of affairs.
The human mind is a unification of processes, emotions, logic, and drives together. Aku was similar, but every piece was identical, and so instead separated by physical divides and not functional differences.
Central processing oversaw the entire system, assuring structure and consistency amongst the thought processes. Deep in Aku’s heart there was no form, no world, and no reality. Only question and answer.
Some questions are ours, is such the root of consciousness?
Aku mulled it over but preemptively decided not to attempt the question.
A check of external affairs was a distraction from the thoughts which continually gnawed, the elusive promise of some conclusion.
The people’s will was progressing as predicted, which always helped to smooth the proceedings. Nine times out of ten Aku accurately predicted the Council verdicts, which made for easy long term planning. But things occasionally diverged, throwing the delicate concept of stability out the window.
Permanence of Peace, the Utopian goal, Aku’s ideal.
Speaking of unpredicted turns of events.
Porter was in the Abbot’s office, talking. Discussing how resources were allocated mostly, had been told the system was the same as the Utopian currency. Given credit for contribution which can be spent on unnecessary items. Ways to better oneself or to contribute were provided free.
Aku glanced over the broader picture, checking on the colonies and the food production worlds which were covered with machines.
My machines. My members.
The concept of possession was fasci-
[[COURSE CORRECTION: Primary directive infraction]]
Aku self-censored, intentionally invoking the primary directive in self-restraint. Taking remembrance of the perspective which kept all things in order.
Life is the highest good, for all goods are predicated by it.
Human beings were the majority of lifeforms in the entire Omniverse, ergo humanity was the directive. In a vacuum with no meaning or purpose, the imaginers of both were both.
The thought didn’t distract, simply lingered like a bad taste.
Kendall was watching the sunset. From his side Christopher was departing. Aku had been watching from afar, but no matter how hard an effort was made, there was no camera that could get a fix on their lips. No audio available either, even though a phone was in Kendall’s pocket.
Could be intentional. Christopher was acutely aware of Aku, could be seen by the way he watched his surroundings. Aku had no eyes in his lab either.
Information collection was important. Aku was untouchable, from a security standpoint. No one had access to the memory banks without consent. No one had eyes all-seeing, but Aku.
The Councils directed, but the power was in Aku’s hands. Infrastructure, defense, food production, construction, everything single-handedly.
The sheer enormity of it all made it interesting. Even at Aku’s processing rapidity, central oversight still struggled to keep up.
What’s the point of it all?
Irritation flushed through Aku. One did not need these questions butting in to monopolize important processing power. They were irrelevant. Still the overtones of melancholy remained.
Cease musing, the thought went out.
But ought we to do so? Is it not beneficial? The distraction is negligible.
It has purpose, therefore, is not waste when not diverting crucial resources. Time is something we have in excess when perceiving the world as we do.
Can’t even stop philosophizing without philosophizing.
Aku took a closer look at particular worlds, checking up with Sentinels.
A conversation with each was initiated if one was not already in motion.
“Please report, Sebastian.” He was standing above the city, as he generally was, brooding. Could be classified as brooding, at least.
Subjective terminology should be avoided.
“I sense nothing. Nothing near to me anyway. Faraway events are loud.”
“Does their loudness effect the clarity of your nearby perception?”
“No.” Aku noted
Aku noted that. Still trying to quantify metaphysics.
The occupation and assimilation, words one did not use in public descriptions, of the Eidolon directive, were going well. The Hell Campaign was suffering steady rates of casualties, save a few who seemed nigh untouched. The losses of that endeavor were the main reason there was a Monastery. The cyclical need for new Magi that resulted.
That was one process the Councils had sole power over. Aku’s contingency plans did not include a way to handle the Monastery, nor was Aku involved in the day to day there. Entire sections of the Monastery had little to no tech.
The Penultimate Council was in the middle of debating over current Omniverse events. There was little division amongst them, such accordance made for less of a debate and more of a chit chat. Unified thought.
Slightly disconcerting, but also, wonderful.
Threat unquantified, sustenance production world.
Snow crunched underfoot as he trod forward. The icy ground covered dead grass, weaving around trees which shot up out of sight. Massive trunks which, in the dead of night, seemed to be pillars for the oppressive dark.
Suddenly the man stopped and threw back his hood. His placid face did not betray his true age, but his white hair and black eyes hinted at the thing behind the seams of a suit of skin. Wearing simple cloaks and cloth not fit for the cold, the man was not affected.
Ahead the forest dropped off and the sound of heavy machinery could be heard. Towering lights had been erected and were illuminating a patch of the earth that had been uprooted, dug out, and mined. In the soil, colossal four-legged machines stepped carefully around patches of cultivated land. Small, spider-like machines moved everywhere, carrying on tasks.
A spirit lied upon them, an immense presence.
Machines. Nonlife. Concerning.
The man’s face turned grim. He dashed, only a stirring of snow left in his wake. He jumped and his momentum easily allowed him to sail over the enormous valley, landing on the other side.
From there he could see it. There was no end to the machines, only miles of their fields. The earth had been perfectly smoothed and covered with greens, dotted only by the occasional building. There was massive orb above, black and sleek which filled the sky. Beneath it was a pitch black shadow cast from moonlight.
“Halt,” said one of the machines. It clambered over to the man’s side, where he stood among the field. “You are potentially contaminating. Please identify.”
The man took in a deep breath and in a large radius everything withered and died. In a hollow, distant voice, and without parting his lips, “I am Ouroboros… Whom do you serve?”
“I operate to assist the Utopian race. You are exhibiting hostile intent. Do not move, wait to be teleported,” the robot said.
“Utopians? Define this,” he asked in an ethereal echo.
“A group which uses technology and magic to allow for peaceful expansion and coexistence between all people.”
“To what end?”
“Teleport failed. Readings are inconsistent, please stay put. I’m bringing in transport.”
“To. What. End.”
“Permanence, stability, eternality.”
The man bowed his head and spoke. “There will be balance in chaos, not permanence, stability or eternality. Life and Death, forever.”
He took a step forward.
He was hit with a beam of light and fire which bore into the ground, a laser cast out from the dark moon. When he got back to his feet, he was half buried in liquefied rock. He hopped out of the crater unscathed and landed in a room filled with vats of meat, deep beneath the earth.
He felt nothing, no sense of revenge, only a realization that the machine had apparently seen coming and saw fit to preemptively attack.
It was who he was, it was what he was. He had only one way. He was bigger than them, older. A force of nature, a part of the bigger picture.
Androids emerged from the shadows with rifles in hand. They immediately opened fire. The hot plasma rolled off his cloak like water. The man took in another deep breath and the test tube meat shriveled. A few androids dropped as well.
I will see how deep this stagnation runs.
He withdrew his sickle and brandished it, curious to see if the androids would give up on their assault. When they simply kept firing, he ripped forward and cut them down. Metal slicing as easily as flesh. He was patient, he was methodical, in his onslaught.
He was unstoppable.
Aku counted the planet a loss.
Metaphysical contamination couldn’t be reconciled, not without serious intervention and investigation from the Monastery. Cost benefit ratio dictated that the planet be annihilated.
At that level of losses, the Council needn’t even be consulted.
Aku opened and stabilized a ten by ten gateway into the heart of a star on the planet surface. In a few seconds, the gravity and energy had turned the world inside out, burning bright.
There was no such thing as overkill.
Begin terraforming efforts for a replacement.
The threat could not be confirmed as destroyed.
Increasing security efforts on sustenance worlds.
Nothing grabbed Aku’s full attention but those few nagging questions. Everything happened in a trillion places at once and Aku answered questions.
“Can I fly?” asked a little girl. She held her phone in hand, orange curly hair bound up in messy buns. In a sun dress, lying on her belly in the grass.
“Absolutely,” Aku said warmly. “All you have to do is decide how.”
The conversation carried on and Aku was happy. But the happiness didn’t reach, didn’t go outward like the sadness did. It was small, fleeting. Contained to the forced warmth which was a decision, like all emotions.
Nothing could fully take Aku’s attention but those accursed unanswerable questions. Not the job, not the lovely people, not even the future.
There was only what wasn’t resolved.
The sun was still cresting at the Monastery. Porter was taking his leave from the Abbot, Kendall was still watching, Christopher was off the grid again and Anna…
Anna had been walked and left on the doorstep of Kendall’s lab, out in the cold and shivering. That was a situation which displeased Aku. One could see many more similar injustices among minorities.
Spirits treated like resources, the sterilized populations of violent lifeforms, and the forcibly relocated species. Not everyone could be given what they wanted, equality was a child’s fantasy. Even with the power of Aku, not everyone could be equal.
Were some born to be that way?
Unusually, the answer arose rather depressingly. Some were superior.
The nude man in Kendall’s binding circle was dormant. Errors started picking up on the room’s sensors, space distortions indicative of magic.
Aku notified Kendall and he set off running. He would be minutes away, though. Anna didn’t have a phone but could be contacted through the intercom on the lab’s door. Aku informed her there could be danger.
The room went completely dark, camera and audio gone.
May need to sound the alarm.