March 3, 2554
Virtual Standard Time: 07:15:31

I know the code.

The early morning mist around me; the sunlight streaming in from a ball of fusing hydrogen over a hundred and fifty million kilometres away; all codes. All programming. Remarkable programming, mind you. The greatest minds in all of the Terran Exploratory Sphere collaborated for years to produce the Standard Virch Configuration Toolkits and, of course, the Standard Virch Language, versions 1 through 15.437734. The most powerful programming language humankind had ever seen. Used for the creation of virtual universes, down to the subquantum level.

Given enough processing power, any turing machine can emulate any other turing machine, and (this is the important part) thus, can simulate any number of other turing machines. Like neo-human level intelligences. All of a hundred trillion virtual occupants in this universe, a simulated sphere of space fifty light-years wide. Running on a hypercomputing substrate which is, I'm told, in orbit around Barnard's Star. That's where I come in.

It took three hundred years to do it. I've finally cracked the most complex programming language ever designed, and I'm taking my virtual gear for a test run. The planet I'm standing on has an average surface temperature of 263 kelvins. Colder than Earth, but I've hacked my bodycode to adapt to the temperature. I'm standing on a flat ice plain, with the morning mist obscuring the horizon, and not a cloud in the sky. Here we go.

I interface my brain with the toolkit I've designed. It all becomes clear. Every molecule, every particle, everything in this universe goes under my control. It won't take long for the Observers to see that something's wrong, and alert the subprocesses, but I want to enjoy this. I turn a cubic kilometre of ice to water, and hoist it into the air as a giant shimmering sphere. I vapourise the morning mist, clearing the skies completely. Dropping the water back in the carved-out hole, I jump up, and-

-fly into the air. I'm controlling the wind currents to the minutest detail. I fly into low orbit, the entire planet laid out before me like a massive astrogation holoscreen. After quantum tunneling through the roof of a dome city (boy, that took some work), I land in the main square. I am as the gods. Then suddenly the universe folds around me, and I'm falling into nothingness.

They've found me.

SciFiQuest 2107

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