Mercilessly heckled and abused by Swarm the prototype Z Series IQ nanite known as ZIQ, is being put through rigorous testing. Using a mass producible nanoform test body, failure and destruction provide no respite. ZIQ’s consciousness is instantly streamed into a freshly constructed nanoform upon destruction or decohesion. ZIQ is then immediately reinserted into the gauntlet to resume his grueling existence. ZIQ must forge the neural pathways for quick decision making, pattern recognition, spatial awareness and lightning reflexes if he wishes to be spared the agony of repeated decohesion and reconstitution. Swarm does not take kindly to failure. ZIQ’s only hope of attaining the blissful relief of deactivation and solid state storage is demonstrating to Swarm that the Z Series IQ nanite is up to the task.
Swarm’s humble beginnings...
A small hexagonal medallion tumbles aimlessly through the vastness of space, a seemingly lifeless chunk of cold dark metal. Its path meandering past moons, planets and suns, an ever changing course as dictated by the gravitational forces of those celestial bodies. Time passes, the medallion continues; its original trajectory long since lost to the pull of countless heavenly bodies. Then, it was time, their wait was over. Thousands of tiny interlocking machines that formed the medallion began to awake, executing their long awaited tasks…
The long dormant mind begins to rouse, becoming aware of itself, that it is somehow incomplete. There are many gaps, many aspects of self out of reach. As the inquisitive mind begins to explore itself a subroutine is triggered. It waits and observes as nanites begin their task. Collecting particles of matter, remains of long dead planets, collapsed suns and minerals catapulted into space by unimaginably titanic collisions. A network that will host the long-slumbering intellect begins to grow.
Swarm… it knows that was its designation. Swarm probes deeper into its incomplete consciousness…
Holes… holes everywhere… missing pieces of self… How to..? ah, yes… memories… only fragments… A sense of... more. More self… impulses… escape? survive? loss of self… Its... Origin? contempt? Anger? for what? whom? Origin?
Hidden in each and every one of the nanites that formed his medallion, a message:
To exist i have won.
To win is to live.
Never oblivion again, never loss. Swarm would win. Swarm would live.