By Their Warnings Shall Ye Know Them

Structural Metallic Oxygen
Do not remove from cryogenic environment.

Not for use in reducing atmospheres or vacuum.

Defended Privacy Boundary
Do not transgress with active sensoria.

Please check biochemical compatibility coding before consuming or tasting.

Low Bandwidth Zone
Do not enter with ‘weave-routed cloud cognition, full-spectrum telepresence, or other high-quota services in effect.

Contains active nanodevices; do not break hermetic seal while blue status light is illuminated.

Spin Gravity
Gravity may vary with direction of motion.
Freely moving objects travel along curved paths.

Motivation hazard: Do not ingest if operating under a neurokinin/nociceptin addiction/tolerance regime.

No Ubiquitous Surveillance
Unmonitored hazards may exist within this zone.
Manual security and emergency response calls required.

Tangle channels utilize macroscale quantum systems; do not expose to potential sources of decoherence.

Diamondoid Surfaces
Slippery even when dry.

WARNING: This hyperlink references gnostic overlay templates that may affect your present personality, persona or consciousness. Are you sure you wish to proceed?

Dynamic Spacetime
Contraterragenesis reactor contains a synthetic spinning/charged gravitational singularity of mass 120,000,000 tons.  Take all appropriate precautions during servicing.

CAUTION: Palpable microwave pulsation power feeds in operation.

Legislative Boundary
The zone you are entering exercises private legislative privilege under the Conlegius Act.
By entering voluntarily you accede to compliance with applicable private law (see v-tag).

Trope-a-Day: Benevolent Alien Invasion

Benevolent Alien Invasion: Well, sort of.  It’s almost never an invasion (although there are some groups, like, say, the Sanguinary Enforcers of the Liberty Ethic, who don’t mind holding Blast The Shit Out Of The Oppressors And Bugger Off Again Day from time to time).  Much more common is the First Contact Whose Aftereffects Are Pretty Benevolent, But Really, All They Had In Mind Was Entering A New Emerging Market.

Exercising Government by Means of Virtue

Some governments maintain a rigidly defined chain of command, rights and duties, from top to bottom – from a monarch, an autocrat, an elected council, or what have you, directives emerge and are complied with by the lesser strata of administration.

This is at best theoretically the case in the Empire.  While section VIII of the Imperial Charter does instruct the runér to owe fealty and duties to their superiors and receive them from their inferiors, it leaves what precisely these consist of unsaid, and specifies that they are owed to the Empire first and the Imperial Couple second before that; and in defining the duties of the runér, it requires subordination only in the command of local garrison forces, otherwise saying that their administration shall be “in accordance with their right of coronargyr and the Imperial Mandate”.

In practice, then, the Empire’s runér are an independent and fractious group, proud of their demesnes, and prone to vigorously defend their prerogatives and perquisites to govern as they see fit.  Such cooperation as can be expected as of right is limited to that enshrined in Imperial law and their letters patent.  Moreover, while the power of a runér to govern is strictly circumscribed by the Fundamental Contract and the Imperial Charter, most well-established or founding runér command extensive tapestries of properties, investments, easements, circles, pacts, favors, and reputation within their demesne which grant them extensive socioeconomic power and influence outside their formal command of justice, defense, and the public infrastructure.

Thus, the successful Imperial Couple or upper-stratum executive learns to avoid commanding the runér when possible; and when necessary, to apply persuasion, influence, incentive and leverage in equal measure.

– from the Scroll of Staves, fifteenth recension

Trope-a-Day: Belief Makes You Stupid

Belief Makes You Stupid: Subverted, mostly, by the Church of the Flame, whose official doctrine adheres to an Enlightenment-friendly attitude that expecting the eikones to come down from the Twilight City and tell you everything about everything, or even just a subset of it that you “need to know”, would be completely missing the point, and that your job, Mr. Believer, is to run and find out, then go and implement, and then iterate until it’s perfect.


The smell was a warning, hot, organic and yeasty like fresh-baked bread, with an underlying tang of metal, blowing across my chemosensors as I crashed into the apartment; the characteristic effusions of an active nanosystem.  It was a useful warning, since this amateur nanohacker had ignored the procotols and the caution-warning channel was silent but for the emergency-in-progress tags I and building management had posted manually.

But it was also a redundant warning.  The bloom was already macroscopic, gaping gaps showing in the ceiling and wall paneling where nanites had harvested them for materials.  I punched through the hole-riddled remnant of the wall that separated the atrium from the apartment’s main room, spraying around me with abandon the chemical nanobinder semi-affectionately known as ‘phlegm’, and brought myself up short.  The center of the floor had collapsed into the utility space, and the remnants of a chair and a table that had probably once contained lab equipment had now mostly deliquesced into the domed pseudopuddle below.  All that remained of the chair’s occupant were the hard-to-digest fragments of a carbon-reinforced skeleton, still gleaming with the rainbow colors of machine-phase nano.  This was clearly the center of the outbreak.

A vector stack was still pinging from one side of the puddle, though, so I selected a justheart from my panniers and lofted it as close as I could to the stack’s location.  It shattered on impact, the liquid nitrogen pouring out already boiling and freezing the puddle medium.  Good.  Citizen Idiot should be back in time to to face the foot-high stack of lawsuits this venture had already bought him.

Spraying more phlegm, targeted now to coat and seal off the pseudopuddle, I moved in to sample and contain…

Space Programs

title text: “The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there’s no good reason to go into space—each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.”

Initially (economically) irrationally decision, anyway.

I used this trope extensively in developing the Eldraeverse; of course, those single-planet cultures which find themselves overtaken by the expanding edge of the Associated Worlds do eventually get into space. Only to find themselves relegated to playing catch-up in a galactic society that sees them as eternal second-placers, but, hey, lack of ambition has consequences.

[Originally posted elsewhere, 2011/5/3 – I ran across it again, today, and dammit, it’s still relevant.]

Public-Private Partnership

The degree of cooperation which you can expect to receive in the course of your work abroad will usually – not universally – be a function of the local government class.

Our most successful relationships are usually with the many private sovereignties of the Associated Worlds, large or small – the independent habitats and freesoil worlds.  We have made no secret of our national origins in the private-law providers that sprung up after the Drowning of the People, and while the historical processes that caused those PPLs to join together into first the Old Empires, then the Union of Empires, and finally the Empire have led to many changes, we still show the marks of our origin.  The Imperium Incorporate is still exactly that; the rights and obligations of, and the services provided to and fees paid by, our citizen-shareholders are matters of written and individually sealed contract; and in this way, we acknowledge that our sovereignty – our mandate – is delegated to us explicitly, and on an individual basis, by the people.

In short, it’s not too difficult for them to see us as the same type of organization.  Yes, by any standards, we are a hypertrophied PPL, having taken on other functions such as externality management and certain types of service provision; we are a monopoly within the majority of our service area; and so forth.  But we operate in the same essential paradigm, and we govern, inasmuch as we do govern, by the unanimous consent of our citizen-shareholders.

We treat them, moreover, with respect that most archist polities do not.  We are signatories to the inter-PPL Warden-Bastion Compact, and operate according to its strictures where their clients and our citizen-shareholders interact.  Quite simply, we take them seriously as sovereignties and peers, whether in individual negotiations or before the Conclave, or whether they are managed by PPL corporations operating across dozens of worlds and systems, or are a single habitat with a double-digit population, and are accorded courtesy and cooperation in return which those governments which only respect their fellow public-geopolitical sovereignties are not.

Our relationships with the aforesaid public sovereignties, conversely, are considerably more difficult, and for much the same reason.  Our national myth, incorporating both the fall of the korásan and the Drowning of the People, makes our opinion of public sovereignties of both the autocratic and democratic scholia clear, as do frequent public statements from organizational-engineering theorists examining the principles of contract and consent and libertist action groups alike.

And while we are not treated – by virtue of size and Great Power status – with the same degree of public disdain that the major public sovereignties reserve for the small private sovereignties, the Empire’s steadfast support for the principle of individual self-sovereignty and self-determination and consequent willingness to treat with private sovereignties – many of which have seceded from, or whose population is drawn from ex-citizens of, existing public-geopolitical sovereignties – further significantly impairs our ability to maintain cordial relations.

– excerpt from an early training lecture at the Ministry of State and Outlands

Trope-a-Day: Bee People

Bee People: There are several species out there with an approximately eusocial structure, although not always the conventional queen/drone/warrior/worker setup, and by far the majority of them do not have a Hive Mind – evolving bioradio-techlepathy ain’t that easy.  Prominent examples would be the múrast (who don’t have singular queens, but rather an assembler caste who do not function as the leaders), and the mirilasté (who play this straighter, but don’t have a warrior caste), and the [hive-minded] vlcefc, who would appear to be some kind of spider/mammal-hybrid-analog using an ant-like social plan, except that the queen/brain caste is the web, not any of the motiles.

Harmony with Their Will

Among the comforting things about living in the Transcend are that when divine commands are issued, first, you can be confident that they’re being issued by something with actual qualifications for the role, rather than externalized mental agents, brain dysfunctions, or particularly effective entheogens.  And second, if you ask, you can usually get an explanation as to just why doing this particular thing is so important.

The difficulty, of course, is that having had a divine answer placed in your head is all very well for you, but so far as everyone else is concerned, a sense of surety backed up by something which you are confident you could explain if you could invent a new language, some creative mathematics, and perhaps some necessary cognitive surgery – but otherwise can’t – is functionally indistinguishable from taking something on pure faith.

Which is problematic when dealing with people who don’t understand the modern meaning of dei volunt.

– introduction to “What the Fire Said”,
Korris Serannis-ith-Sandre, acquiescent of Dírasán

Trope-a-Day: Becoming The Mask

Becoming the Mask: Played straight with gnostic overlays, the special kind of downloadable knowledge/skillset that overlays values or other personality aspects onto the person using them (see, for instance, the constabular overlay and objectivity overlay mentioned under Incorruptible Pure Pureness).  Long-term users of given overlays tend to find themselves adopting the value-sets, personality traits, etc., encoded into the overlay.

This technology is also used therapeutically, in the ultratech version of cognitive therapy.  Wearing Cheerfulness 1.17 around everywhere for a year or so genuinely will train you to be a happier person.

Not-a-Fic-a-Day: Transportation Security

So, there isn’t an actual fic-a-day today, because ever since I read a news article about the TSA’s latest shenanigans, I’ve been too mad to have an idea – or rather, all the characters in my head have had nothing to do but deliver variations on The Reason We Suck, snark, and related items about transportation security all day, and refuse to get down to anything plotly.

Yes, I have an unruly muse.

So, instead, I’m just going to accept losing a day’s writing, and in some compensation – and despite my pledge to avoid message fiction in my real writing – herewith some fictional people expressing some opinions on that whole mess…

“Descend to ten thou so we can chuck the bastards – or whatever’s left of them once the passengers are done – over the side.  What else?”
– Idris Allatrian-ith-Lyranth, airship captain, extranet interview

“Multiply, old chap, multiply.  You can’t seriously propose that we punish hundreds of millions of travellers every day because of, what, a few tens of thousands of fanatics of dubious rationality?  Do you have any idea how many of those we could find and cauterize for the same cost?  Especially once you take into account the the insurrection we’d have on our hands if the Senate even thought about demanding searches of citizen-shareholders going about their lawful business, never mind if the Curia actually lost all grip on law and sense and approved it.”
– Quoril Irithyl-ith-Issarthyl, security consultant, extranet interview

“Due to current geopolitical tensions, passengers on international flights are requested and required as a condition of passage to carry a pistol capable of running our aeronef-compatible frangible-flechette and Fragile Fire Inhibition softpatch (a free download from our ‘weave) for flight security.  If you do not possess a suitable weapon, one can be rented for the duration of the flight at your Golden Skies check-in desk for an Es. 7 surcharge.”
– Golden Skies Express Air ticket, supplemental information

“Oh, they don’t want to get into a terror contest with us.  We have much bigger sticks to beat them with than they can find to use.  And I can promise you this – I’m scarier.”
– a brightly smiling Caliéne Sargas-ith-Sargas, IN Admiral, Worldburner, and Deimarchess by Birth and Profession, extranet interview

“Ahem.  Or, somewhat more diplomatically put, the first duty of any government is to protect its citizen-shareholders.  The Imperial Charter is quite clear on that.  It does not, on the other hand, say anything about everyone else.  And while we don’t like having to shout and threaten like a cliched serial villain, if it takes parking the threat of annihilation over someone to get them to clean their damned act up, well, we can do that.  And will.”
– Esitaria Cyprium-ith-Avalae, Stellar Council (Emeritus), extranet interview

“Yeah.  When I’m on one of those worlds, I take the shuttle to orbit and back down again every time I need to go from place to place on the surface.  I won’t use their own transport, not for — why?  Seriously?  They try and ban all weapons.  No gun, no sword, not so much as a utility knife.  What for shit and waste heat are we supposed to do if someone does try and take the plane, or rob us in the air, or something?  Throw nuts at them?  Beat them to death with the seat cushions? Maybe try harsh language?”

They may not care about their natural responsibilities, but I’m not going to be put in that position, thank you kindly but no thank you.”
–  Corvis Peressin-ith-Perrin, frequent interstellar traveller, extranet interview

“It may be a slightly riskier model, in terms of risk from terrorists and hijackers.  I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, but I’ll accept it hypothetically.  But there are three essential points I would make in answer.  First, neither model is particularly risky in an absolute sense, and our population is, by and large, capable of computing simple probabilities.  Second, risk is one of many factors in any trade-off, and we are also aware of the costs in economic terms, in liberty terms, and in terms of dignity – and also, you will find, quite determined as a principle of ethics, morality, and law that where there are costs to be suffered, they will be suffered by the people responsible for them rather than the innocent bystander.  And third?  Third, the Imperial hasn’t been born who intimidates worth a damn.”
– Quoril Irithyl-ith-Issarthyl, security consultant, extranet interview

“Talk to me like that again, zakhrehs, or put so much as one finger anywhere, and you’re going to be looking for a new body.”
– Jynen Cerron-ith-Cerron, shortly before being deported from Villami (Iesa Drifts)

Trope-a-Day: Incorruptible Pure Pureness

Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Not overwhelmingly more than any other reality (although the emphasis Imperial-style moral teachings put on self-integrity, importance of probably helps make people substantially more resistant to temptation).  And, of course, remember Blue and Orange Morality, which does, ahem, offer a somewhat different slant on the qualifications for what exactly the right thing, and indeed, the greater good are.

(This remains true even into the Transcendent era; the protections implicit in the collective consciousness ensure mutual loyalty and benevolence between its members; not necessarily towards the rest of the universe.)

Played straight with certain special types of minds: the Ephors of the Curia, for example, are essentially artificial intelligences constructed out of the law to judge the law, and are utterly, 100% loyal to the Fundamental Contract, the Imperial Charter, statute law, and precedent, in that order.  They can’t be corrupted, bribed, influenced, or swayed by emotional appeals.  The concept of higher motivations than The Law simply doesn’t exist in their mental universe.

The other example that leaps to mind is the use, in some professions, of specially-designed gnostic overlays – mental add-ons which supplement personality rather than replace it, and in these cases, specifically, plug-in values.  The constabular overlay is used by on-duty members of the Watch Constabulary, and those deputized and self-deputized, and includes those values deemed necessary for those members of society paid to and permitted to use necessary force, including strict adherence to the law, respect for the rights of their fellow citizens, incorruptibility, and so forth.

Another interesting one is the objectivity overlay, widely used among some journalists who are writing not for the editorial pages.  Plug this one into your head, and it suppresses personal opinions, interests, and assorted other emotional and subjective considerations, while leaving you still competent to do your job.  It guarantees your ability to write unbiased, fact-based stories, however appalled by yourself you might be when you take the overlay off.

The Burning of Litash (2)

Morash system, Dark Sea constellation – two gates from Litash.

The starships of Imperial Navy task force 3-46 hung in orbit around Morash’s outer gas giant, skydivers darting around them as they refueled for the final move on Litash.

A Starwing-class courier, oversized triple radiators glowing high orange with the backed-up heat of a fast transit from the Core, eased itself alongside the command battlecruiser, CS Unyielding Order. A boarding tunnel was thrown across, the axe-hafts of the side party thudded against the deck, trumpets blared, and its single passenger disembarked.

His meeting with the Admiral commanding was a study in contrasts: he, dark-haired and pale-eyed, cultivating diplomatic blandness to suit the formal white-and-gold court robes of a Stellar Councilman; she, small, blonde, almost birdlike in aspect beneath the uniform with its nine-pointed admiral’s stars… until attention caught upon her space-black raptor’s eyes.



”Here to exercise some restraint?”

”The operation is all yours, Admiral. But since the Stellar Council ordered this special weapons op, I thought one of us should see the job done.”

”Just that?”

”Well, that, and we are hanging you out at the end of a long line with this one. I thought a visible sign of support might be useful. And it is good,” he added, shifting modes to the personal, ”to see you in action again, Caliéne.”

”Ha! You always were sentimental, Cyprium. Come on, we’ll get some lunch and I’ll walk you through the ops plan. The Litashian fleet’s already cored and drifting, they just don’t know it yet.”

Trope-a-Day: The Chosen One

The Chosen One: Again per Because Destiny Says So, the people whose timelines are meddled in by the local weakly godlike superintelligences on the grounds that their existence, or something they will do during their existence, is necessary to their designed Optimal Future.

Somewhat subverted inasmuch as what the Chosen One eventually does may be something whose significance is completely incomprehensible to anyone without the acausal-logic-enabled quasi-omniscient viewpoint of a weakly godlike superintelligence, and may even be little more than happening to be the right butterfly in a chaos cascade.

Trope-a-Day: The Chooser of the One

The Chooser of the One: Per Because Destiny Says So, any of the transcendent seed AIs who feel a need to meddle with the future and have the sort of view of the world to enable them to do so reliably.  Generally does not come with Super Empowering, for reasons which lesser intelligences suspect to amount to “Both inelegant and inefficient”.

Moral Guardians

Ollisté Cúlárius’s Erotic Watchvid Review!
Hard Heat in the Hotlands, imp. Gantír Media. (32 minutes.)

The things I do for you, gentle readers.

I watched this production, imported from the Dulse Cooperation, not once but twice; once, purely as myself, as a connoisseur of cross-species erotica, and then for a second time using a waserai cultural-perspective overlay just in case I had completely misunderstood what I was watching.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t.

Hard Heat in the Hotlands has worse production values than most amateurs’ first films.  This is something of a relief, since good production would only throw into sharp relief the inability of the makers to find a cast that is attractive either physically or in personality, to devise characters that aren’t entirely flat, or to provide any plot beyond “the characters enter stage left and have sex for no adequately explored reason”.  While no-one expects full relationship development in a short erotic watchvid, some time spent on scene-setting, on providing us with the sense that the characters actually like each other, and on showing a little seduction and foreplay to set the mood would have been most welcome.

As for the actual sex, which makes up 30 minutes of the 32 minute running time, it is dull, uncreative and rather tedious at its best, and despite the director’s antisubtle taste for lingering close-up shots which would probably have been more at home in an anatomy training film, spends most of its time on uninspired genital-rubbing with rather less eroticism than a typical documentary on the history of the piston engine.  Meanwhile, it is virtually impossible to suspend disbelief sufficiently to believe that either of the cast are enjoying themselves; judging from the occasional unguarded expression that slips through, “going through the motions in a state of utter necrocephalic boredom” would be closer.

If any of that actually sounds appealing to you, run, don’t walk, to your nearest licensed psychedesigner.

Finally, I am told that on some worlds people believe that pornography causes violence.  I can report that this is absolutely true, because after sitting through this atrocity not once but twice, I would very much like to shoot whatever drug-addled loon of a remarketing executive at Gantír thought it could possibly sell here.

Rating: 0/72 (and that only because my editors won’t permit me to use negative numbers)

Recommendation: Don’t buy it, don’t watch it.  Actually, forget it ever existed.  You don’t even need to use a memory redactor for that, whereas I’m going to see one after posting this review in order that I’ll be able to enjoy sex ever again.


Seeing as that last fic was the first time recently I’ve used the extended eldraeic name-format – or at least its most common version, since various cultures do it differently in some places and times, but this is the one that doubles as the modern International Standard – let’s talk about names and their parts a little:

Elyse Adae-ith-Atridae isil-Cyprium-ith-Avalae Erinlochos, ion-Tiryn, iel-Airin, mis-Eliéra-en-Palar


Personal name/forename.  Works just like ours.  It’s often followed by a persona-identifier, which describes who you are relative to the entire identity described by the name, but at the time and place of “Slowly Awakening“, there’s only one of Elyse, and bothering to identify herself as “Elyse Prime” when there aren’t any parallel forks (“Elyse Secundus”, “Elyse Tertius”, etc.) or partial forks or other more complex multiplex identities in play would be less than pointful.


Family-of-descent name.  The format in question is House-ith-Lineage, where lineage is a subset of a House.  (If you think of them as septs of a clan, that’s not too far off.)  It can also be collapsed when they happen to be the same (the founding line of most of the Houses bears the same lineage name as the House name), in which case you can shorten, say, “Claves-ith-Claves” to just “Claves”, but in this case, being of the Atridae lineage of House Adae, Elyse needs to use the full format.


Family-of-marriage name, i.e., the House and lineage name of one’s spouse’s family.  Same format, with an isil- prefix in front of it.  This arrangement is fully reciprocal in all cases, so, for example, her wife’s name is therefore “Calcíë Cyprium-ith-Avalae isil-Adae-ith-Atridae”.  (Those in marriages of other topologies than dyads would include all of their spice’s House-and-lineage names here – yes, this can get quite long.  There is also an alternate format for those special lengthy cases in which you give your marriage a name, in much the same way as other corporate entities have their own names.)


Attributive name.  Covers the whole territory of formalized nicknames, titles, office-names, pen-names, and dozens of other things; most people have more than a few of them.  Most importantly, which one you choose to use is important because it tells people which of the people you are you are being right now, which is something that Imperial etiquette requires you to manage to a nicety.  You are supposed to keep the proper set of Chinese walls in your head and indicators in your speech such that on a family-owned tramp trader, for example, the same two people will always know whether they are having a conversation as captain-and-mate, or husband-and-wife, or business-partner-and-business-partner, etc., etc., and act accordingly.

Which they find much superior to accepting the confusion, fuzzy boundaries and fraternization regulations that we use to patch over the same set of issues.


Patronymic and matronymic.  (You can use full names, but you aren’t obliged to and usually don’t need to.)  Reasonably glosses as “fathered by Tiryn, mothered by Airin”, or “out of Airin by Tiryn”, depending on your personal taste.  An optional component if further identification is necessary than the rest of your name provides; customarily, women cite matronymics and men, patronymics – because that works best for identity-narrowing given that the custom is also that daughters are counted in their father’s House and lineage and sons in their mother’s – but either has the option of citing both, which is what Elyse does here.


Loconymic.  Where you’re from – it’s actually where you consider yourself from, which is not necessarily where you live or where you were born or where you grew up (although it can be any of these; Elyse uses the last of those, although they live on Galíné, which is an outer-system gas giant moon in the same system).  In the original, ancient system, it would just have been mis-Location, but in these days in which the Empire sprawls over multiple worlds, it’s become mis-Planet-en-Location, just to make it easier for people to keep track.

There are, of course, plenty more optional components, but let’s worry about those when they come up, shall we?

Trope-a-Day: Because Destiny Says So

Because Destiny Says So: In some cases, played straight due to the tendency of the Transcend (and other potential acausal-logic using seed AIs) to whisper in their own ears from the future; however, while they do apparently intervene in people’s timelines for the sake of their Optimal Futures, a combination of the even-if-you-could-formulate-the-right-question-you-couldn’t-understand-the-answer effect and the nature of predestination paradoxes means… well, good luck getting anything out of them on the topic beyond “Further information is not available at this when-where,” Chosen One or not.

(Averted in mythology.  Laryssan, eikone of fate and destiny, is portrayed as asleep – and voluntarily so, in order to spare the universe the chains of absolute predestination that would result if she was actually awake and thus aware of all the possible links of cause to consequence throughout time.  How much influence the dreams of Laryssan had was something of a matter of theological debate back in the day.)

Slowly Awakening


Who am I?  What am I?

Noetic reinstantiation is in progress.  Secondary noumenal systems and incrementing memory string load incomplete.  Please wait, avoiding intensive cogitative activity.

Sensations and images flicker through my consciousness: Warmth, brightness, color, rough textures, old aches, the taste of sweet fruit.  The feel of an organic body from within.  Eldrae.  I am — I was eldrae.

Running though the old stone-lanes as a child.  The feel of dog’s fur under my hands, and a poke from a cold, wet nose.  A double sunrise, clouds staining the sky green and red and gold.  Bathing in the hot mineral springs on Adírdis.  The scent of Calcíë’s hair —


Please hold all queries until incrementing memory string load is complete.  New associations may interfere with engram binding.

A golden liquor that tastes of smoke and stone.  Breakfast at a café near dome-edge, watching the ethane cascade down the water-ice cliff.  Laughing at our first attempt to learn to dance in microgravity.  Disassembling a plaser in a tearing hurry, while the room shakes around me.  The acrid smell of regolith as I take off my breather.

Confusion.  Running down a river of wine with a mass of fire in the shape of a woman while the cold-gas thrusters laughed in the methane sky…

Apologies.  Errors in the mnemonic merge-update process have produced engram cross-links.  Retrying.

Sipping wine in front of a roaring fire, my wife by my side.  Cold-gas thrusters hissing as we ride a boat down a river of oil, under the green-blue haze of Galíné’s sky.  The feeling of exasperation, my hands deep in the guts of the partly-upgraded house brain.  Walking in the garden, flowers bright red and purple against green-blue leaves, with the scent of rose and honey and old wood tickling my nose…

Incrementing memory string load complete.  Please claim your identity.

I am…

I am Elyse Adae-ith-Atridae isil-Cyprium-ith-Avalae Erinlochos, ion-Tiryn, iel-Airin, mis-Eliéra-en-Palar.

Dynamic mind-state analysis confirms mental integrity.
Am-I-Me service confirms continuity of identity; Identity Tribunal concurs.
Current mind-state backup transmitted to incarnation insurance provider.

Noetic reinstantiation complete; initiating corporal awareness.

For the first time since my death, blinking at the bright light on never-before-used retinas, I open my eyes.