A gentle creature
Parsecs from Earth, somewhere in the Andromeda nebulae, also known to mankind as NGC 224, the creature Melissa knew as the woman Gabrielle, her Angel, was in deep computation with her coven. To say “she” was there, is however a misnomer: her mind – that second order system of connected gas synapses no human physicist or neurology expert would have recognised as a brain – was in a vortex of communication with a trillion others, such as herself.
This did not happen often, but the circumstances were exceptional. For the first time, ever, on a small world, among billions of others “they” had visited in the course of their long history of exploration, a primitive creature had developed a sense, that hitherto “they” had only observed in a handful of others, all much more advanced in the scale of evolution than her own species was. The girl Melissa, the small, fragile creature that Gabrielle had brought back from the dead, was beginning to listen to the vortex. Not every mind in the coven was enthusiastic about this development. Earth, a mediocre size planet of the Sol system, on the edge of the galaxy human beings call the Milky Way, and a neighbour of Andromeda, was host to a species, who for many in the coven, was the epitome of how wrong evolution can be, a cruel, primitive people, who care neither for themselves nor their world, and who, in the future, few believed would care for their galactic neighbours.
Gabrielle was arguing that even if only one such being was showing an extraordinary property, a promise of a change in the species’ evolution towards a brighter future, then it was a duty to foster such a change, nurture its success. The opposition was strong, and many posted the view that they should leave that world to its destiny, and its inhabitants to their unavoidable fate: self-destruction. They had good arguments. Recent history – that is that of a few millennia – showed no hope whatsoever of anything other than a ruthless disregard for life, and the life of the mind. Passionately Gabrielle countered such arguments citing literature, the human arts, their courageous efforts to eradicate diseases and nature catastrophes. She knew there was more at stake than Melissa’s fate: the coven could vote for a total evacuation, and, although this would take much longer, the eradication of the species.
She was questioned again and again on the lessons of her long sojourn on Earth – after all, she was one of the rare specialists to have stayed there, after Hiroshima and the Holocaust. Her immense computational power struggled to keep up with the questions. The coven would not reach a decision for some time yet. Their collective brain, that huge cluster of trillions of associations, would still take time for reflection after all the known facts had been processed.
Back in Melissa’s world, she, and a short bespectacled woman were in deep discussion too. Melissa was smiling, she knew she would meet her lover soon. All thanks to Lagrangian mathematics. Gabrielle felt very close to that human being, dangerously close.