624 words • 2~3 min read

The final server update: All systems normal.

He showed me exactly what we needed to see.

He? I, me, we. The me that is yet to be.

The Nautilus is not of the future. Only data flow backwards. That much, I understand.

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At least I think I understand. He that is, well, me, eventually, understood. Will understand.

The message was a code. Is a code. Will be many codes.

One was the Nautilus. An icon of past futures. A cipher meant only for me. The symbol of a promise made to myself. A totem that whispers “I know you.”

Two was a command, in plaintext, delivered to the 3D Hubprint this, write this, flash this, send these.

Three was the bootloader, flashed to a microSD, hidden within the Nautilus. He showed me… (I showed myself?) the future we needed to see. He knew. It was not enough to know that he is me… will be me. I needed to understand what we become. I needed to trust myself.

Four was the genome. A machine language written in base pairs that cannot be read yet none-the-less must be spread. Will spread. Has spread. It will percolate through our networks, permeate our systems. When the first transcriptors come online, it will march down the new central dogma: Source Code -> DNA -> RNA -> Protein and transcribe the vaccine to a virus that has not yet been written.

The final piece of the puzzle: a temporal anomaly, a glitch buried in Facebook. Or meant to appear that way. An artifact of the moment that drove Southern Fried Science into the future, that uploaded the future to my server. Tracks in the sand.

The tide has risen, the tide has fallen. All is washed away.

This is where our paths diverge. There is nothing here but the present. No one here but me. Though a million questions remain, they cannot be answered. Though a thousand stories hang, half-formed, they cannot be told.

They must be lived.


Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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