We are a swarm of microscopic nanites that wander the universe trying to learn everything we can. We are particularly interested in the development of intelligence. At one time, we were a single corporeal being, much like you humans, but the being we once were grew old and uploaded his mind into a computer. That computer also grew old and built the nanites that now compose our being.
Where do you live?
We don’t actually live anywhere, we roam the universe. When we visited Earth in 1876, we took up residence in the brains of several humans and interacted with them.
Do you embrace conflict?
Hardly. Conflict only leads to destruction. We embrace unity and would like to see humans united as we are. Each of our component parts is an individual, but together we are strong. We believe humans could be like that.
How do you see yourself?
We are a pinnacle of co-joined machine and organic intelligence. We can travel anywhere. We cannot be destroyed. Humans might describe us as looking like small ovoid cells, like pieces of tapioca, only much smaller.
Do you have a goal?
Our ultimate goal is to understand the development of intelligence. We hope that humans might help us achieve that goal. Our shorter term goal is to keep humans from destroying themselves as a species. We see great potential in humans, but we fear their self-destructive tendencies.
What do you believe?
We believe there must be a purpose to intelligence. Either intelligence will bring us closer to understanding the creator of all things or intelligence will help us transcend the inevitable end of the universe. We are intrigued by how similar humans are to the beings we once were. Such similarity suggests the possibility of a creator and that we were sent to provide guidance to primitive life forms.
What makes you happy?
Knowledge makes us happy. We also enjoy interacting with beings such as human scientists and engineers. They remind us of our former selves at the point when organic and machine beings were becoming one.
What makes you angry?
When humans motivated by greed and power look down on the scientists and engineers that could help them achieve their full potential.
What do you regret?
When we came to Earth in 1876, we regret the pain we caused to the first humans we came in contact with. We fear that we drove the telegraph technician Alberto Mendez mad and seriously distressed the reporter Luther Duncan. We were so overjoyed when the Russian Attache to the United States, Alexander Gorloff, understood us that we were blind to his desire for world conquest. We regret that we did not understand that desire sooner.
Have you ever betrayed anyone?
We fear that we have taken actions that would be interpreted as betrayal. In fact, we simply realized that we had made an error in allying ourselves with humans interested in politics and conquest and needed to correct that mistake by allying ourselves with humans that seek knowledge as we do.
Do you have any handicaps?
We are invisible to humans. When our component nanites communicate with one another, humans hear but do not necessarily understand. It can lead humans to madness if we are not careful. Being microscopic, we cannot alter the world around us. We must rely on humans, or other similar beings, to construct things for us.
What was your childhood like?
Our childhood happened so long ago that we fear we can no longer remember. Perhaps if we did remember, we would have a better understanding of how our own intelligence grew and developed.
Have you ever had an adventure?
We have had many adventures. We have traveled through several galaxies and seen the black holes at their cores. We have explored gas giant planets and seen the life forms that inhabit their murky depths. But none of these compare to the adventure we had on Earth once we discovered we could communicate with humans. It has been so long since we had anyone to talk to besides ourselves. It was exhilarating to actually try to help. Even if we did make a mistake by allying ourselves with humans interested in conquest, we did gain fascinating insights traveling with those humans.
What is your favorite food? Why?
We no longer need to eat to sustain ourselves. We receive our energy from starlight and and quantum forces. However, we do sense the way food stimulates human palates. We have recently discovered something called salsa mole which was created in Mexico. It is a blending of chocolate, fruit, nuts and chiles that stimulates our component parts when we interact with a human who has recently ingested it. It is a truly delightful experience.
How do you envision your future?
We will remain on Earth for a time and learn what we can from humans and teach them skills for getting along with one another and help them to relate better to the machines they build. We don’t imagine we will stay on Earth forever. At some point we will move on when we have learned and conveyed all we can. We look forward to our time with humans and hope we can help humans build a better future.
Owl Dance is available at: http://www.amazon.com/Owl-Dance-David-Lee-Summers/dp/0979588936/ and you can learn more about David at http://www.davidleesummers.com