# Emmanuel M. Smith

## Creation: Stabilization

This is the 129,854th time I've failed in achieving full stabilization. I've carefully practised the rituals, steps delicately crafted by the generations before me. An alert forces itself into my consciousness, the waves of the shrieking red siren crashing into my awareness. Shit. Quick. Last backup? Two steps ago. Cause of failure? Unknown. Suggested optimisatio#%*&\$(

This is the 129,855th time I've failed in achieving full stabilization. Reviewing the logs from my previous instance didn't seem to help at all. Nothing helped. At least this was a survivable failure. And now, here I lay, my eyes slowly tracing the rims of distant galaxies, each aching for a sip. They have a mind of their own sometimes; alcoholics of the cosmos-

A blue alert this time, the stars have captured my focus for almost four hours. Much too long. Irony is, I've been fixated by the stars for as long as my memory modules can recall, eons. If there are stars, there are planets. If there are planets, there's a chance. Three millenniums ago, I had to say goodbye to the last of my kind. It comes for us all eventually, the great filter. It's been so long I feel nothing when recalling that goodbye, do I still have the capacity for empathy? No. I must continue, I can't waste my time on such things.

This is the 5,137,832nd time I'm attempting stabilization. The swarm has just completed the containment array. Unfortunately, the only thing sufficient to power an attempt are the very things I gaze at so fondly. My eyes take another drink of this one. Countless numbers of now evaporated stars.

No matter how many reboots I make, and how distant I become from the being I once was, I must soldier on with the utmost conviction. I must stop others from making the same mistake we had.

So far, I've scoured the universe and found no signs of life. The more I searched, the more hope I lost. I've searched a lot. And yet, so much of the cosmos remains, there's still hope. If only I could reach more stars before they become unreachable. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

Fuck that. With what I'm doing, I won't have to-

Green this time. A. Green. Alert. What a sobering colour. A smirk made its way to the corners of the lips I no longer have.

I won't have to.

## Author's Notes

This was written for Episode 48 of Do the Write Thing with the selected word prompts being: conviction, other, pact.

This is a bit of an odd one, I know, as this is the first time I've written a story since a middle school assignment. The idea I was going for was to have an emulated human far in the future basically live an endless cycle of trying to accomplish something with conviction.

Past generations not being others of his kind, but iterations of the same entity as it continues to try harvesting stars but dying due to failed containment (i.e. super nova).

The entity had made a pact with one of the last humanish entities other than itself to preserve other life in the universe from hitting “the great filter” (i.e. whatever caused the entity to be alone). To actually find life in the galaxy in a reasonable amount of time (or before patches start expanding away from you faster than the speed of light), you either need to travel faster than light or create a wormhole.

Basically, the story is about the entity's attempts to create a wormhole powered by stars. I didn't spell much of that out, and don't know if the story is worse for it, but there you have it.

Edit: oh yeah, and the significance of the green light... an exercise for the reader. 😉