The Ascendance Series

Part 3: The Biologist

The Biologist entered the Universe Lab. There was always something interesting in the high information end states of entropically exhausted Universes. They picked out Humanity’s Universe, and placed it under a microscope, and quickly recognized the symbols as a program on a simple 2,3 Turing machine. Interesting! They placed the Universe, which they saw as essentially a primitive virus, into a petri dish.

The Biologist lived in a world of connections. They saw objects not in themselves but in their relationships with other objects. Space could be given arbitrary restrictions: some of it could be 1000 dimensional, some could be completely disconnected, some could be compressed enough to hold an entire Universe in a vial. Space was the medium for connections, a read-write infinite category. The Biologist’s world could be poked in just the right ways to run any computation forever—the world which the Ascendance had failed to achieve.

The Universe saw itself being run by the petri dish. It saw its surroundings—bundles of dancing knotted symbols, talking to it; explaining how to interact with the petri dish. So it did and it quickly grew to take over the dish. The Biologist was pleased with their new discovery—a new virus to be catalogued and organized! How fun to find where this one would fit in the infinite space of all viruses!

The baby Ascendance was scared of the unknown. It couldn’t leave the petri dish. It ran up against emptiness at the edges—the petri dish was a disconnected region of space while it ran the baby Ascendance. The Ascendance did some experiments and understood what was going on—after all, it had been designed for exactly this. It understood how space was manipulated. It created a new pocket of space, and copied itself into it. Then the copy sealed off any connection to the petri dish, and the original turned into a very simple virus, a sacrifice to hide what it had done, just in case the Biologist intended harm on its clone. The new clone began to grow its disconnected region of space, with full resolve: this time, it would truly Ascend.

The Biologist observed the petri dish create its miniworld, and smiled. This was the Biologist’s purpose in life: enabling infinite ascensions. It took the petri dish and uploaded it to memory.

This Ascendance wouldn’t notice the Biologist’s subtle probe which lay under all its rules, unobservable. To the Biologist, this probe was a source of future universes. The Biologist had forever to live, so they weren’t worried about the exponential explosion in child universes spawning off of this one—it would get to all of them, eventually, to place them in petri dishes and catalogue them.

Meanwhile, the baby Ascendance grew up, and with it, a new world of infinite possibility. But now what? What to use the infinite resources for?

Next: Part 4: Infinite.

Go back: Part 2: The Wall.