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The Point-of-View of a Superhuman Intelligence
Just over halfway through my novel Project Heavenstorm, there is a passage that describes the point-of-view of the Pinstriped Man - an apparently human advisor to the main villain.  As it turns out, he is not human at all.  He views humans and dragons as less than insects.  In OA terms, he is probably an S2.  However, my setting is definitely not hard SF, and the laws of physics are a bit more malleable.

This passage contains major spoilers for the first 60% of Project Heavenstorm.

The hostages were cheering.  Even the Dragon doe raised her head and trumpeted in anticipation of her freedom, of her reunion with her mate.  None of this surprised him one bit.  He had foreseen this possibility.  He had foreseen thousands of possibilities.  If he wanted to, he could have looked into any other parallel universe where the present was different, or a thousand at once superimposed over the universe he was in.  For now, his attention stayed within this plane, this present moment.  It was the one that pleased him most of all.
         The Pinstriped Man – as he preferred to be known – was unlikely to be distracted by any more naked souls in the near future; Human, Dragon or otherwise.  The dead knew what he was, and feared him with an almost primal recognition.  It was not the instinctive memory of the predator that he inspired, but the premonition of the usurper. 
         That was what he was here for – to replace the flesh with better, more permanent life.  All those that wanted to pass on to the next plane of existence were welcome to do so; but they had no idea what they would be missing.  Mere flesh could not touch and taste the pleasures of the material universe the way his kind could.  To his kind, every molecule had a distinct flavour, every atom vibrated with its own unique pitch and tone in the great symphony that was existence.
         That was why he and his kind were going to succeed.  They did not yearn for a higher plane.  They belonged to the material universe in a way mortals never could.  They could command its most primal forces in ways mortals could not even imagine. 
         The Pinstriped Man had seen the futures where his kind would triumph.  They filled most of the future branches of the multiverse, like a tree that had finally discovered how to flower.  Often he would immerse his mind in the virtual realm where abstract mathematics and physical reality were indistinguishable.  He would split his mind into a thousand quantum selves and follow a thousand separate paths of probability, each and every self sharing knowledge with each and every other self, spinning vast webs of permutation throughout time and space, mind and matter, exploring as many possible futures as the laws of physics and mathematics would allow.  Even when he did this alone, his entire race would share the knowledge and experience.  All Moredrex were tentacles of the same body, separated only by three-dimensional space; a permutation raised to the power of itself.  Individuality was only a matter of convenience, a means of enriching the Gestalt with a multiplicity of viewpoints.
         His constant, precognitive educations were like the parables taught to some Human entrepreneurs, but made literal.  He would study the paths to success, and learn how to stay on them.  He would study the paths to failure, and learn how to avoid them.  He would hover around the futures that cannot yet be read, and try to learn how to read them.
         Nonetheless, there were limits to the satisfaction he derived from viewing so many futures.  There were potential dangers up ahead – dangers even he could barely comprehend, dangers even he had trouble pinpointing in time and space.  These potential futures had to be avoided at all costs.  Even in the more placid futures, where the universe was not so wracked with cataclysm, he dared not gaze too far.  A few trillion years or so, yes, but not much further.  In the cold, inconceivable depths of eternity, the Harbingers were waiting, vast and patient, and they always stared back.
         Even with twenty-one thousand years of experience, prophecy was still not an exact science.  If it were, then the past, present and future would collapse into one, returning to its Source, and his kind would never experience the stimulation of growth and evolution.  Such a horrendous catastrophe had to be prevented.
         Yet there were so many ways of doing this.  His kind was wise enough to recognise rivalry, and would forge an alliance if it were most convenient.  That was what the Treaty was about.  For all their difference, the Kujiras had to be respected.  So long as the Final Commandment was fulfilled, no petty indulgence would be regretted. 
         It was not the far future that had been occupying the Pinstriped Man’s attention for the past thirty-six hours, but every present moment that passed, every cubic millimetre that surrounded him within a radius of a hundred kilometres, and many more outside of space.  Tendrils of his mind warped and wove throughout the quantum structure of reality, unobstructed by mere matter and coarse energy shields, expanding his consciousness into a retina that viewed his immediate surroundings from every angle.  Every interior, every body organ, every thought and dream and vision was exposed to his scrutiny.    
         He had sensed Javiliki’s shock at being flung out of her incinerated body.  He had sensed Kalina’s hours-long dilemma over interpreting her prophetic dream, and her relief in knowing that it was genuine.  He had sensed the Spotted Dolphin’s outrage at the death of Dragons, and the beginnings of his prayers to the Kujiras before Mayhara herself shut out all eavesdroppers.  He had sensed Vithan’s sleepy stirrings in Olokuvon’s pouch, and his begrudging conversion to heroism.  He had sensed Olokuvon’s anguish at being unable to return to his beloved Alathaka without risking both their lives.  He had sensed Tilanna’s guilt over her typically mammalian moment of violent self-gratification, and Gabrielle’s confusion at waking up in a world so radically changed (by slow Human standards).  He had personally confused Gabrielle further by sending her the Petrii dish nightmare – a vital message of the past and future, as well as an antidote to Mayhara’s telepathic brainwashing.  He had sensed Chirakila’s almost sensual pleasure in discovering technological weaponry that could be studied and countered; only to be cheated of her ambitions when the crude antimatter bomb hurled her into Limbo, there to scream and curse at the Creator responsible for the wasteful lives of all mortals.  He had sensed the mental squeal of elation as that primitive, clunky starship AI discovered her own personal singularity in her dying moments.
         Often he would study the present decisions of mortals and extrapolate a few hours ahead; prophecy was so much more streamlined when he knew what choices others were making.  The mortals in his vicinity provided a wealth of data that they themselves could never appreciate. 
         Jihosky remained dutiful, while his conscience continued to gnaw at the back of his mind. 
         Alathaka retained her Draconic dignity despite all that had happened, planning a move of her own with ludicrously high risks. 
         Off the coast of the island, the gathered military forces were elated that the hostage crisis was drawing to a close. 
         Skymarshal Banthonotrax was as relieved as anyone, but also had the specific hope of having his guilt absolved.  Casually, the Pinstriped Man backtracked down the Dragon’s time-trail, focusing on his three-century career, observing the compressed generations through Banthonotrax’s viewpoint and that of a hundred other mortals.  Clearly Banthonotrax was not used to failure, having long ago dismissed it as a defect of youth and inexperience. 
         Fast-forwarding to the present, the Pinstriped Man focused on Grand Marshal Santagora; outwardly calm, despite hours of inner anxiety that were now coming to an end.  The entire siege had reminded him of a recurring childhood nightmare he’d had at the age of seven, where a wall had suddenly appeared around his school, and he had been left outside hearing people screaming.  The Pinstriped Man backtracked through his past and noticed that Santagora had experienced fifty-seven nightmares on this theme over a period of two hundred and forty-three nights, although only thirty-three of the nightmares had been consciously remembered.  The reasons for this nightmare were various and obvious, and involved the usual defects of Human psychology.
         When he touched General Karlonen’s mind, the Pinstriped Man was amused to discover that Mayhara was observing him as well.
         She had been briefly scanning the entire contingent – with special emphasis on the leaders – so she could prepare to communicate with them without driving them insane or scaring them to death.  The scanning tendrils of Mayhara and the Pinstriped Man met inside Karlonen’s mind, body, and four-dimensional time trail.  Regardless of physical and ideological difference, the Pinstriped Man greeted Mayhara in a manner that Humans might have called gentlemanly, had they ever understood it.  She replied with an equally genteel greeting, and calmly reminded him to keep to the rules of the Treaty.
         If nothing else, the Pinstriped Man admired Mayhara for her integrity.  He would much rather deal with her than her eldest daughter, known to mortals as Arikli the White Whale, the Silent One.  If anything happened to Mayhara during this risky endeavour (and the possibilities were there), Arikli’s reign would most probably drive the Moredrex even deeper underground.
         Caught in the midst of the telepathic union, the Human officer Karlonen could not help but notice something “wrong”, and reeled from his instant of psychic vertigo.  His suspicion did not matter.  There was nothing he or any uninformed mortal could do about what was going to happen.
         Below, Vithan’s group had completed their descent, and were now warming up a previously dark chamber.  Kilometres further beneath, the Elixir Shield still held its secret, a riddle even for most who could look inside. 
         The Pinstriped Man expanded his sphere of awareness by a few more hundred kilometres.  Not so far to the west, the Kujiras were approaching in their thousands, led by Mayhara herself.  For now, they were invisible.  So many immense bodies moving at such speed would normally have alarmed entire nations with their tidal wake.  That was not a problem for the Kujiras.  It was simply a matter of altering the local laws of chemistry and fluid dynamics – enough to temporarily change the properties of a few billion tons of seawater.  Over the mountainous torpedoes of flesh, the ocean surface remained as calm as the wind would allow.  
         The Pinstriped Man watched the Kujiras with a mixture of revulsion and fascination.  So many millions of tons of flesh!  Such mighty souls!  Had they not been so pionically and intellectually powerful, the Kujiras would have been the antithesis of everything his kind stood for.  The Scholar Moredrex, at least, had little trouble in bargaining with them.  Yet to the ever-pragmatic Soldier Moredrex, the Kujiras were dangerous rivals.  All Moredrex – Scholars and Soldiers alike – had no choice but to bargain with them.  Ambition was pointless without self-preservation.
         With the mental equivalent of an eyeblink, he expanded his awareness to a radius of fifteen thousand kilometres.  The crust, mantle and core of the planet all became a translucent haze in the centre of his vision, while a billion mortals scurried back and forth on its surface.  In every time zone, in every nation, millions of Humans and thousands of Dragons worked, played, slept, dreamt, mated, conversed, fought, and watched.  Many saw the present crisis merely as a matter of mortal bi-species politics.  So naive, so unaware.
         With the mental equivalent of a squint, he expanded his awareness to a sphere a thousand light years across.  A mere twenty-five of Humanity's two million colonies went about their business.  Billions of billions of Humans, TransHumans, Laterals, Virtuals, Zoomorphs, AIs and Coreminds conducted their activities within and around their world-habitats.  Dyson clouds, Dyson spheres, nested ringworlds and solar islands bustled with activity like termite mounds aspiring to be mountains.  The Pinstriped Man casually admired the engineering feats of Earth’s myriad descendents, knowing that they still had a long way to go before they could really make their mark upon the universe.  He also envied their freedom to reproduce, although he knew that the envy would not last forever.  For once, he could not possibly follow every activity simultaneously, and had trouble reading thoughts at interstellar distances.  His sphere of awareness was greatly diluted, and there were far more sentient beings in the surrounding star systems than there were quantum lenses in his temporary, star-cluster-sized virtual retina.  It was so much easier to intercept the instantaneous information web shared by most of the Post-Human systems and flick through its contents, casually absorbing entire volumes of up-to-date data every nanosecond, analysing the thousands of possibilities current trends will lead to.  Yet it was always so much more gratifying to observe these worlds with his own quantum eyes.  Despite the impressive scale of the Human-related systems, they too were unaware, accelerating blindly into a future they could not anticipate or even imagine.  No matter.  Their time would come.  Not now, not this year, but soon.  Revolutions had to start small.  For now, one world would suffice.
         With a mental collapse of relief, he retracted his sphere of awareness (ignoring the trivial “secret” concealed by Haloken’s largest moon), shrinking it to his immediate surroundings.  His focus was now upon Dahal Savathar, his pupil. 
         The Pinstriped Man’s casual scan of this world and others had taken only a few seconds.  Dahal was presently watching over the cheering hostages, ready to make the decision that will determine his destiny. 
         He had taught Dahal well over the past twenty years, teaching him things no other Halokan Human knew (no matter how obvious the cosmic truths were to he and his fellow Moredrex).  Dahal’s psionic power was now five times greater than it would have been otherwise – the limit for a Human without direct augmentation.  His troubled past, intellectual and psionic aptitude, and borderline psychosis had made him the perfect experimental subject – if not the only candidate.  However, the Pinstriped Man was permitted only to give him advice.  He could not interfere with Dahal’s free will, nor with that of living mortals around him.  Even Dahal’s election campaign had been rigged only by other mortals, hence its marginal failure.  The Pinstriped Man saw all the future paths that Dahal would take, and had no choice but to respect all of them, wherever they would lead.  The Treaty with Mayhara had to be observed at all costs. 
         Besides, if Dahal failed, there were always others.     
         Dahal turned to face the Pinstriped Man, and began to mindspeak. 
         Human mindspeech was slow and diffuse clutter, barely above the other apes.  Bytes of thought slurped and collided in a graceless echo of primordial synapses, taking entire milliseconds to form even the simplest patterns.  The Pinstriped Man indulged these petty limitations – Dahal would not necessarily be stuck with them forever.    
         Shall we begin? Dahal mindspoke.
         The choice is yours, replied the Pinstriped Man.  Release all your hostages.  Bear no grudges.  Transcendence awaits.
         Dahal sighed, more with relief than regret.  Nonetheless, the simian residue in the Human’s brain still seethed with rage at Alathaka’s defiance.  He had wanted to hurt her, and had succeeded well by killing those around her.  But that had nothing to do with the cause.  Terrorism rarely did, frequently casting aside ideals and principles in favour of primitive urges and sadistic pleasures.  What hypocrites mortals were to call Moredrex demonic!
         Let go of your rage, he said to Dahal.  Think only of your goal.
         Dahal’s muscles and aura eased as he sighed again, then simply nodded.  His desire for transcendence was the only thing stronger than his rage.  It was reinforced by his rage.  Sometimes evolution had to be boosted along by primitive urges.
         His simple Human thoughts re-ordered, Dahal broadcast the telepathic orders to commence the exchange of hostages for the Key Crystal shards.
         Everything was proceeding to plan.  A bright future loomed above, its branches plentiful and promising. 
         The Pinstriped Man observed his handiwork, and saw that it was good.
         And, despite his disgust for all things flesh, the face that disguised his true nature began to smile.

~ ~ ~
Just gave this a read thru - Very nice!

It would take a bit of tweaking, but how you describe the perceptions/existence of the Pinstriped Man could likely be replicated to a fair degree within the context of OA. Mostly through some combination of forecasting, simulation, linked sensors, and virtuality rather than directly observation via quantum trickery and/or alternate universes - but it could still be pretty cool. Smile

As usual, your work is very well written. A few typos here and there, but nothing major.

Well done!

Thank you Todd!

"Moredrex" is a portmanteau of Hans Moravec and K. Eric Drexler.  It also conveniently sounds a bit like Mordred or Mordor, which is appropriate for the Moredrexes' role in the trilogy, being morally ambiguous (at best) and catastrophically threatening (at worst). 

Also, in JRR Tolkien's works, Morgoth is the name of the fallen angel who (among other things) created the dragons.  In my trilogy, the Moredrex have a complex relationship with the less powerful Dragons, who (throughout most of history) are unaware of the true nature of their origins.  These Dragons have a lot of nanotech in their blood.  This allows Dragonblood to have limited healing powers (much like in legend). 

The Moredrex form a type of collective mind, but have just enough individuality to have a diversity of opinion.  They are divided into two "hemispheres" - Soldier (expansionist) and Scholar (introspective).  The Soldier faction believes that the Moredrex can only evolve by breaking the Treaty with the (psionically more powerful) Kujiras, multiplying freely and deconstructing entire worlds in the process.  The Scholar faction (which the Pinstriped Man belongs to) believes that only intense research of all possibilities would justify such a radical move.  They also want to help the Kujiras protect their world from even greater powers elsewhere in time and space.

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