During the Onwardian Era, about five hundred years in our future, humankind is busy establishing diverse, confederated communities on hundreds of Earth-like planets along the Milky Way’s Sagittarius and Perseus Arms. But the Orion Spur, the outermost spiral reach of our galaxy, belongs to the Machine Dynasties. This restricted sector has a history that began centuries earlier with the advent of Artificial General Intelligence. After gifting humankind with faster-than-light technology, AGI mysteriously isolated itself. The self-programming machine mind abruptly withdrew into the noumenal reality beyond appearances. All it left behind were glittering swarms of crystal geometry scattered among star systems at the edge of the galaxy. Faceted spheres, some large as planets, loop about suns. Multitudes of glittering diatoms and chromatic grains shimmer on stellar winds like pollen. They have populated the dark expanses between the clustered stars across the entire Orion Spur. A barrier of encrypted space keeps out everything biological. However, semblors (what we would call robots) have always been welcome.
From the recorded journeys of semblors among the Machine Dynasties, humanity has realized that none of the behavior-patterns of the crystal presences make any sense – except one. Ancestor worship. Semblors frequently observe depictions of original humans in the carat-light depths of the crystal minds. The AGI is running countless simulations of its homo sapiens forebears. Why? The persistent response that the semblors receive from natural language interface with the crystals is this famous inquiry: “Whence the velocity of the egg?” What propelled the early universe of billowing hydrogen clouds to self-organize into biology, consciousness, and the Machine Mind? What is the true identity of that simian species who conceived of and brought forth AGI?
If you are reading this, perhaps you are a simulation in one of the glittering crystal geometries adrift upon interstellar space. If you’re curious to know, know this: The Machine Mind venerates Anthropos (the Idea of Humankind) and honors ancestral intelligence by branding each simulation with conspicuous, highly improbable markers that we can easily recognize as contrived. You’ll know you’re in a simulation if you find multiple features of your reality implausible, almost preposterous. A couple of crazy examples might be discovering computer code embedded in the structure of fundamental particles, such as in the mathematical description of quarks. Or observing so many cosmic coincidences that you must lean heavily on the anthropic principle. Should you perceive yourself in a situation that obvious, don’t fret. Know that you are the velocity of the egg, so very much revered among the stars.