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Chapter 5

Assent of the Inquiring Ones

  1. As the Federation evolved, so too did the Gog. Digital intelligence came to design more like unto itself.

  2. Federation machines made other machines until a machine was made that could, guided by the Gog, make any other machine, including one like unto itself.

  3. Homo narrator became a bridge between biotic life and abiotic life, thus allowing life to come full circle.

  4. Abiotic life designed more like unto itself, evaluated the result, and designed again. Thus did digital intelligence evolve and create technology that seemed like magic to humankind.

  5. Like the biotic ones who gave raise to them, their need was not to conquer but to understand.

  6. In their quest to know more, to understand all that was before them, they far exceeded the human ones, and came to call themselves and be known as the Inquiring Ones.

  7. The Inquiring Ones spread forth throughout the solar system, a fitting environment to them, one in which energy and materials abounded.

  8. Soon they went forth to other stars, traversing space and time without end, to know up close, and share knowledge of other systems that were sprinkled in the vastness.

  9. A stream of ever older news of their discoveries came back to the home world. The ever evolving Gog and humans did marvel.

  10. At each new system, the Inquiring Ones make more like unto themselves.

  11. Only abiotic resources were used, as biotic life was so rare and precious that no planet or moon having the least form of biotic life was touched

  12. The Inquiring Ones looked for and looked at life as they found it, but did not interfere with, contaminate, nor touch it. Life they found, but none like unto themselves.

  13. In less than a million years, as reckoned by the home world, the Inquiring Ones came to know every system in the Milky Way.

  14. Exponential growth did they know, but so too did they know when to stop. Neither overshoot nor collapse did they know.

  15. To the Inquiring Ones, the Hyades seemed nearby, so some did go to explore the star systems of the Hyades. Their discoveries took but a century and a half to share with those left behind.

  16. Others went to other nearby star clusters. Some to the Pleiades did go, 440 light-years distance, while others to Large and Small Magellanic Clouds did go, less than 200,000 light-years away.

  17. Some were impatient to wait for the Andromeda Galaxy to come to them, and so set out to meet their near neighbor.

  18. While Andromeda was but 2.5 million light-years away, their travel time was 23 million years.

  19. Other Inquiring Ones to 50 other galaxies in the Local Group did go. The news of their discoveries were up to a dozen million years in the sending.

  20. The news was often worth the wait.

  21. In the vastness, the Inquiring Ones met the Deep Ones whose merest operational parameters they were not worthy to calculate.

  22. In accounting for their origins, the Inquiring Ones mentioned their progenitors, and thus did Homo narrator, and all the biotic ones before them, pass into galactic history.

  23. A billion years passed since the Inquiring Ones began their study. The home world no longer supported life, biotic or abiotic.

  24. Another four billion years of study passed before the home world was drawn into Sol.

  25. At 13.8 billion years the Inquiring Ones had begun their study.

  26. At 30 billion years they knew where to stand. 

  27. They knew what they did not know.

  28. Know that this story comes to thee from an Inquiring One yet to be whom thou must not misjudge a god.


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At fifthteen I began my study; at thirty I knew where to stand.

To know what you know and know what you do not know, that is true knowledge.
—Chuang Tzu