The three Immortals, as they had jokingly taken to calling one another, were bleeding into each other more and more. It worried her.
This new second life was a gift beyond measure, certainly nothing she had ever expected. A chance to go with her creation across the stark divide, between the stars. But if the ultimate price was her own individuality, was it worth it?
She made a minor adjustment in the world trajectory, then shut off that part of her awareness. If she were needed, the system would let her know.
She slipped off through the conduits of the world mind to find Jackson.
The three Immortals had created a number of virtual worlds in vee space to pass the time when their skills weren’t needed. While it was possible to create AI personalities to populate each of their various worlds, these constructs took a lot of processing power, and the Immortals had quickly grown tired of that game.
The worlds they built now were usually empty except for the three of them.
She found Jackson in Frontier Station, sitting all alone in the gardens. The blue-green ball of Earth, as it once had been, stretched out below him.
“You’re bleeding into me again.” Ana took a seat on the bench next to him.
He glanced up, his face drawn, his nose red and puffy. He concentrated, and the tears and puffiness went away. “Was I? Sorry. I was just thinking of Glory.”
Even in vee space, we emulate our old human selves.
His wife, Gloria, had just passed away a few days before, after a protracted battle with cancer that the new world’s facilities weren’t set up to treat. So much had been lost in the flight from Earth.
They had agonized over whether to bring Glory into the world mind.
Jackson had requested it, but Ana and Lex, the other two Immortals, had both been against it. Their little team worked well enough together, and adding additional human minds was likely to muddy the waters. Besides, the mind only had so much capacity. It couldn’t hold everyone within its confines. It hadn’t been created for that purpose.
Ana sighed. She wasn’t blind to the human cost of that decision. “She liked it here.” She squeezed his shoulder. Jackson’s vee space was beautiful, though it broke her heart to see Earth once again as it had looked before the Collapse.