In the year 2005, the Humanity Archival Storage Project was commenced by leading government officials, scientists and academic alumni across the world due to the fear that humanity’s treasures were increasingly threatened by war and natural disasters. The project was one of the most complex undertaking in our species history: the creation of an archive of humanity’s knowledge and culture. The Archival Symplexical Computer was designed in the early days of the project. The device was composed of iron, the most stable of elements, and built to stand as a testament to our species for millennia.
After the construction of the ASC, I was assigned to the HASP team. We were a diverse bunch, consisting of representatives from the fields of science, history, the arts, and every other possible area of human study. Our task was to program the device with the information and artifacts worth preserving. Our group started off cordially enough, but we quickly broke down into sects and factions as we started fought viciously over what would be saved. The artists wanted musical samples and paintings saved, the historians wanted their nations’ prized documents included and the scientists wanted their formulas and theories preserved. Eventually, through a series of backroom deals and shifting alliances between disparate groups, a compromise of sorts was reached and onto the device went the formulas of Newton and Einstein, the plays of Shakespeare, the music of Mozart, the paintings of Picasso and many of the other great discoveries and creations of humanity.
In 2012, it was finally time to store the device. Locations around the world were scouted out, ranging from the Himalayas to the bottom of the Atlantic. Eventually, a decision was made to place the ASC beneath the Sweeney Mountains in Antarctica. The location was free from war and fault lines. The frigid code would even slow down wear and tear on the machine, extending its lifespan for another millennia or so. It was the perfect place to station the device.
Construction of the ASC vault started in 2013. The process took another year, but eventually the construction team reached suitable depths. I was there for the opening ceremony, as a drill team dug through the last twenty or so feet to reach appropriate levels for the ASC vault. At around noon, I heard the drilling stop. I thought they had finally reached acceptable levels, but the loud screaming that quickly filled the air freed me from this thought. A rescue team was sent in, but they reported that the drillers had hit a cavern hundreds of feet deep.
A rescue operation was quickly launched, but all that was left of the team was corpses and smashed machinery. They had simply fallen from too great a height for there to be any survivors. During clean-up, the body recovery team discovered something rather unusual: an ASC-like device wedged into the corner of the cavern. The device was nearly five-thousand years old.
Credit To – E.
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