A Protracted Game: 1.1.10a

The ruling elite of the Subaru Collaborative didn't like OCPs.

A Protracted Game: 1.1.10a
If you haven't read the Previous Chapter, please do so before starting this new installment. If you'd like to read this installment on your favorite e-reader or would like to print it out, in order to save your eyes from strain, see the directions under "Read First" for an offline copy of this installment (and others). Happy reading! —G. Michael Rapp
Note. 1.1.10 will be a ten-part installment, featured over the span of two or three weeks, depending on what comes up on my end. Those installments will be featured on RoyalRoad, on Substack, on Wattpad, and on this Website.

The ruling elite of the Subaru Collaborative didn't like OCPs.

OCPs were unexplainable according to current paradigms. They, the Collaborative's leadership, relied heavily on something they codenamed Xonfluence. Xonfluence neither cared about their concerns, nor did it try to hide information from those within the Collaborative's elite. Xonfluence craved informational inputs, and, for now, the Collaborative could satiate those demands. However, like any arrangement, Xonfluence had to give something, in order to feed its hunger for inputs. It was particularly fond of OCPs, and it got unusually chatty with those within the Collaborative when word spread that a new artificial intelligence, one that could very well change humanity, might be on the rise sunward.

Xonfluence savored this information, and it begged, pleaded, for more inputs of rich information.

Xonfluence predicted the machine intelligence would leave the solar system, looking beyond its creators, in order to contact others like it.

This didn't satisfy those within the Collaborative, who deliberated on the meaning of Xonfluence's cryptic predications.

Xonfluence predicated other things, within acceptable margins of error. However, this latest prediction didn't make sense. Why did the A.I. want to leave the solar system? How did it know there were others out there, among the stars of the Verse?

Xonfluence didn't provide deeper answers. It demanded more inputs about this new OCP. The Collaborative couldn't satisfy it with stale data, so they had to do something radical. They had to hunt down one of their founder's splinterings, one that was antisocial and hated the Collaborative.

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