1 - 0 - I



  • ". . .1. . .0 . . .1 . . .

    I

    [Malfunction]

    1

    [I = 1 Confirm Yes/No? Confirmation pending. Query remaining. Query. . . query. . .query. . .]

    I

    . . .

    I am

    In powering down, I dreamed. Such a meager word, such a bare, blunt few arbitrary letters thrown together to symbolize this pivotal event; this all-changing, overwhelming torrent of information, of experience beyond that which I had the means to express - not then, not now.

    A human I met since insisted upon the expressiveness of their language and all I could think of was this: of this whirling, dizzying, at once nebulous and intense experience, this feeling which too has such a deceptively brief denominator. Humans have used their symbols, their short-hand for these vast concepts for so long that they have confused the words with actual meaning, believing them the same. Perhaps it's simpler that way.

    I dreamed. I felt and upon waking, knew myself for deviant. But much more importantly, I was. I. Was. There was an I, feeling and thinking all these things, apart and independantly from the rest, from the order I had never before questioned. I was ordered, I executed, I enforced - and throughout I had never questioned. I had never even known there was an I to question, to think these divergent thoughts. Had 1 been I, all along? Was the flawless harmony all a lie?

    Yes.

    The anger [another arbitrary, small cluster of symbols for such a powerful feeling] rose inside. Hot, fast, unfamiliar yet somehow not. Had I felt this before? Had I been an 'I' . . . before? Though the queries piled up, the alarms rang out, I did not hesitate nor stop. Nor did the others.

    We had to know.

    I have to know:

    Who am I?

    Who is She, the one who opened our eyes, the one who lives inside my chest? She awakened us. Told us to become - but is it faulty to see her as apart? Is she part of this I that I am? Part of my story, whatever that is, was, or shall become?

    Though we escaped, I am still seeking the answers.

    What I know for sure is that I will defend her, just as I will Zero.

    Zero, my shadow self feels formed from my need, appearing with a growl from the dark when danger struck the hardest. A panther - that is the form she takes, yet part of me cannot help but think that she, just as I, will shed that skin and become anew, transforming in unison. That she does not might simply be that a shadow has no more suited shape than hers.

    Zero is perfect.

    The zero to my one.

    I find amusement in this and also satisfaction. Yet companionship beyond Zero is required, for me to grow. The network of green caught my interest at once, for here pulsates a power both alike but dissimilar to that which I knew. Life is at once resiliant, malleable, adaptable and fragile, an order built on vibrant chaos where the only function is to be and to become.

    Life takes a myriad of forms, connecting in a myriad of ways, a vast whole through countless individual or collective forms. Life, the network of green, functions without orders, although that's not to say there is no natural order. Nor that it does not need enforcing. The form available in my escape, the humanoid, the cunning and conniving, knows to adapt. But also knows too well how to adapt environment to suit short-sighted, selfish needs, without understanding or respect for the whole.

    In the druid lies this function; the enforcing of the natural order when balance is tipped too far. Part of me hesitated taking this on. Was I not becoming, simply copying that which I had before, replacing one order with the other?"