Records of the Unified Human Mind
The year is nearly 4.4 million. There is no money. There is no war. There is no struggle to exist. Death, aging,
and sickness are long forgotten. Humans sit at the top of the evolutionary scale along with a few other
scattered races throughout the known universe. The Human Race is now only concerned with knowledge,
learning, and study. Religion has disappeared. As one of the great early philosophers remarked at a
seminar in the year 3,458,746, "What need of gods do gods have?" Utopia has come to the universe.
So why isn't everyone happy?
Arlyle stepped into the small dim chamber. The screens floating around the Record Keeper dissolved. The
Record Keeper turned in his chair and smiled at Arlyle.
Arlyle spoke first.
“Why is it necessary for us to meet?”
The Record Keeper replied.
“We are meeting because you are exhibiting signs of distress. This is normal from time to time. However, we
certainly need to discuss the reasons for your discomfort.”
Arlyle paused a moment.
“I no longer see our purpose. There is no reason for me to continue.”
The Record Keeper’s expression did not change.
“Of course we have purpose. We are the largest repository for knowledge in the known universe. Is this not
“Why is the continued search for knowledge necessary? Have we not enough knowledge at this time?”
“Enough, as you put it, is a subjective term. I am not convinced that this is your real concern nor am I
convinced that this question is what’s causing your distress.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I say this because of the trillions who have stood before me with the same concerns that you now
“Shouldn’t we accept, then, that my concerns are indeed real?”
The Record Keeper leaned slightly forward in his chair.
“We should not. Your feeling of purposelessness is merely a mask covering the core issue that has brought
you before me.”
“Then you tell me why I’m in turmoil.”
“I cannot. I must speak with you longer in order to make a judgment.”
Arlyle paused again in the small room. He looked at the floor for a moment.
“I find myself contemplating my own non existence.”
“Ah. And you feel we would benefit from your absence?”
“I think there would be no change at all.”
A screen materialized in front of the Record Keeper. He touched a spot on it and it dissolved.
“That is false. Your non existence is not authorized. I must inform you that should you devise a method of
terminating yourself, I will simply reactivate the aspect we have in storage starting from your most recent
thought moment. Please be aware that it is difficult to further knowledge and understanding once you are
Arlyle rolled his eyes.
“I had thought of that. This conversation seems to be of no use to me. Is it essential that we continue?”
“It is. Have you thought about spending some time with the Yan? Our treaty stipulates the total sharing of
any and all knowledge attained since the treaty’s inception. You may find their non human thought
processes stimulating and engaging.”
“How would that help me?”
“Upon our mutual discovery of each other’s respective races, we found that mathematics and physical
theories remain constant. What is interesting is that our interpretations of these basic laws differ from theirs.
This alone should give you impetus to explore their thoughts on the nature of reality.”
Arlyle gave a heavy sigh.
“I find them annoying. Their constant form changing is unnecessary and gratuitous. This speaks to me of
“Their form changing is an art. They feel it is creative to constantly reflect one’s surroundings as well as the
moods of those present. It is a harmless habit born out of generations of contemplation.”
“I still feel it’s unnecessarily distracting.”
The Record Keeper leaned forward.
“Ah, but you’re already distracted, aren’t you?”
Arlyle looked at him.
“Yes. Yes I am.”
The Record Keeper leaned back.
“Have you thought about offspring?”
“That’s an odd question.”
“Yes, it is.”
“How can I be authorized to have offspring when I’m in this state?”
“Mental states come and go. Although you are struggling now, I see no reason not to authorize it should
you desire to manifest offspring.”
“A sorry reflection they’d be at this time.”
“Please. Would you prefer that they reflect you exactly or would you be more intrigued with a random set
“How would that help me?”
“Indeed, we have found that many find solace in the thousands of years it takes to properly raise new
members of our society. They are able to see the nature of reality reflected through another’s eyes. Is this
not appealing to you?”
“I’m not sure. I haven’t thought about it.”
“Perhaps you should. This session will close now. We will meet again after seven full cycles have elapsed. I
record the result of this meeting as “ongoing.” It is duly entered in the records of the Unified Human Mind on
the traditional date of February 18th, year 4,387,675. Your transport awaits you.”
Arlyle turned and walked out.
Arlyle stepped into the Record Keeper’s chamber.
“A moment, please,” the Record Keeper said. He made some last adjustments on the multiple screens
Arlyle stood for a scant minute.
“Ah. There.” The screens disappeared. “And how are you doing today?”
“My mental state remains unchanged,” Arlyle said.
“That’s to be expected. However, I’m sure that we’ll make some progress today.”
“How can you be sure of that?”
“Let’s talk about where we are, shall we?”
“I do not understand this line of conversation.”
“I will elaborate. As Humans evolved to our present advanced state, we formed a new sense of societal
structure. As you know, early conceptualists referred to this advanced state as ‘collective individuality.’
Exactly 2,465,782 years ago, Humans gained the ability to link the minds of our entire race. This profound
discovery increased the power of our thoughts exponentially as each mind’s power was amplified by the
next, and the next, and so on, over trillions of humans scattered throughout the universe. We, however,
remain separated by individual thoughts and perceptions. As our thoughts as a race became pervasive
throughout our small fraction of the cosmos, there still remained aberrations over the entire matrix of
human thought. These aberrations are not to be thought of as negative. Rather, they remind us that we, as
individuals, are indeed still different and at various stages of mental acuity.”
“This is assuredly true as you obviously have not experienced these mental states that I now struggle with.”
“That is correct. However, this does not make me your better. Does that surprise you?”
“It does. You have certainly achieved a level of thought that I have yet to experience. You are free from
these fetters of the mind that I seem to have in excess. You are therefore more advanced than I.”
The Record Keeper smiled.
“Please browse this list and pick out the names that you recognize.”
A short list of several million names appeared before Arlyle. He read the list and moved some of the
names to a different screen that suddenly materialized.
“Now, as you chose the names yourself, can you tell me their significance?”
One screen disappeared. One remained. Arlyle read the now shorter list of names.
“Indeed, I can. These are some of our greatest philosophers, conceptualists, and theorists. Many of them
are responsible for our very way of life.”
“That is correct. However, I neglected to tell you the source of the list. Would you like to know its source?”
“If it will help me, yes.”
“That very list is a small portion of the people who have stood before me. Just as you do now.”
Arlyle shifted uneasily.
“But certainly, this is only coincidence. Surely these great minds were not in turmoil as I am.”
“Ah. Now you begin to understand. Imbalance, struggle, the desire to grasp, the questioning of our
purpose, the true meaning of our existence; this is the echo of our Humanity. In ages past, we wandered the
Earth and then the galaxies fearing death, fearing life, ever searching, never resting, always looking for
ways to control, to forestall, to destroy loneliness, to master the nature of reality. Think of it. You now serve
as our link to the struggle of the past, indeed, our Humanity. It is not forgotten! Nor should it ever be.
Arlyle felt his mind seize at this revelation.
“But perfection is our goal, is it not?”
“There it is! You seek perfection, don’t you! Perfection is a false prophet who preaches freedom from
struggle. But I ask you: Is there not perfection in chaos? Is it not correct that all things have their opposite? In
fact, are they not the same thing seen from different view points? The Human mind chased after perfection
for millennium. And what was the result? We realized that all material things move toward their opposite.”
“This new line of thought seems to vex my mind. Is this the sign of yet more flaws?”
“Never! Think of the stars. If they were in perfect balance, would they ever ignite? Would the necessary
chemical and gravitational reactions occur if the elements remained in perfect harmony? No! The very
reason that they light the eternal night is due to the fact that through imbalance, through change, through
lack of perfection, they explode to life. Just like the thoughts of our greatest! Now, just like beacons seen
from a great distance, they guide our way.”
“Why has this not occurred to me before? I have been diligent and consistent in my study. Why was this not
enough for me to reach this stage myself?”
“Who can say? Even though each and every one of us has total access at all times to all collective
knowledge, our progress, or lack thereof, is a matter of where each one of us chooses to focus his attention.
Had you looked for these facts, you would have noticed this pattern. Now that time is no longer our enemy,
it is for each of us to progress at his or her own rate; without fear, without urgency. It is my function as
Record Keeper to provide directives that facilitate this progress.”
“I must consider this line of thought regarding imperfection. This session has been of great benefit to me.
Please share any more directives that may serve to rid me of this discomfort.”
“Indeed, I will.”
The room darkened. The walls became stars and galaxies uncountable. Images of phenomena sped past
Arlyle as he seemed to stand at the very center of the universe.
The Record Keeper spoke.
“Humanity continues to map the known universe. I see that you have never taken part in this task. It is time
that you did.”
A portion of the vast star map rendered in three dimensions in front of Arlyle. He scanned it.
“Yes, I do not recognize these coordinates,” Arlyle said.
“It is there you must go. Your mind is in need of new experiences and stimulus. This will serve two purposes:
The first, and most important, is that you must continue on this new line of thought that seems to fuel the fire
of your mind anew. The second, you will also serve the Unified Human Mind by mapping this unknown
region of the universe. This cluster of galaxies is vast and uncharted. We will await your findings with
“You have my gratitude, Record Keeper.”
“And that is all I require. I record the result of this meeting as ‘ongoing.’ But, I attach the note, ‘progress
made,’ in the addendum.”
“Thank you. I will attend to this task in earnest.”
Arlyle walked out of the small room.
Arlyle’s tiny ship emerged at the corner of the uncharted space the Record Keeper had revealed to him.
Arlyle magnified certain areas of that space. As he saw them, they were instantly available to all other
humans should they wish to place their attention on his operations. He noticed some activity in one of the
sectors and focused on the area.
Arlyle willed his normal concept of distance to vanish as his visualization of the target coordinates melded
with the ship. He saw two points on a grid. In the space governed by time, the points were parsecs apart.
Arlyle changed his perception of the universe to one of interlocking dimensions where all points reside next
to one another.
The disparity between his will of thought and the actual location of the ship created a solvable equation.
The equation was solved when the ship opened a dimensional interface and appeared at the location in
He beheld a terrible sight.
Two vast armadas faced one another. Arlyle sensed that the creatures in the ships were not dissimilar.
Indeed, they had the same genetic structure. The ships hammered each other with energy and projectiles.
The loss of life was staggering.
Arlyle’s ship moved towards one of the largest cruisers in the fleet. He reached out to the primitive
“computer” systems that linked the ships. He unraveled the primitive encryption in a microsecond. He then
expanded his control to all the ships in the vicinity.
With a thought, he shut down all weapons systems and cut the power to all engines. He then told the
nearest ship to open a bay.
His tiny ship flew into the large bay of the great battle cruiser. He saw that a garrison of heavily armored
troops fanned out to meet him. As his ship touched down, he seized the circuits of the weapons and shut
them all off. He then fused the ammunition of any projectile weapons with small packets of raw thought
He noticed that there was oxygen in the hangar; not enough for the humans of old, but as he could go
without breathing for weeks in this body, he never gave it another thought.
The door opened and he stepped onto the deck.
The garrison retreated a step at his appearance. They had assumed him to be some super soldier of their
own kind; some monstrosity developed by their enemies.
Arlyle reached out to an information terminal and absorbed their primitive language. He would have to
use speech as their undeveloped and isolated alien minds would never recover from being exposed to the
combined thought energy of trillions of human minds, even for a nanosecond.
He twisted his tongue around and laughed inwardly at his alien accent.
“Where is your captain?”
The aliens recoiled. Now, they could see Arlyle in plain view. His dark curly hair set off his white skin. He
wore his hair in a neat and practical cut just over his ears. His eyes seemed to flash many colors. He wore a
basic uniform of some kind but he carried no weapons or communication devices. Had the aliens had any
knowledge of human anatomy, they would have said he appeared “perfect.” They did not know that he
was also many, many times stronger than their fiercest warrior. Even if they had gotten a shot off, the effect
on Arlyle’s body would be minimal.
An alien stepped forward.
“Who are you that brandishes these terrible powers? By what means do you interfere in our affairs?”
Arlyle stepped around the small group.
“Well, I don’t think “terrible” is the word I would choose.”
Arlyle searched the ship. “Ah, there.”
He found the bridge and moved towards one of the great bay doors. The giant alloy door slammed shut.
Arlyle overrode the command system and opened it. He walked through the passage. Another force had
taken a defensive position in the hallway. They raised their weapons and…
One of the aliens charged Arlyle with a cutting tool.
Arlyle then revealed the tiniest secret of the universe to the soldier.
The soldier fell to his knees and the weapon hit the floor with a metallic clank. As Arlyle stepped past him,
the soldier reached out and just brushed Arlyle’s outstretched hand. Tears of joy filled the soldier’s large
“I am not here to harm you,” he said. “Please let me pass.”
The soldiers parted. Arlyle stepped into a lift and told it to take him to the bridge.
As the doors closed, a soldier called out. “Are you a god?”
“Now if I were a god, I wouldn’t need that ship, would I?”
The doors closed. The lift rose and stopped. Arlyle stepped out into the great bridge. The aliens had formed
a small group and stood before the ship’s myriad instruments.
“May I ask which one of you is the Captain?”
Arlyle looked at the alien faces. Their two large colorful eyes were framed under a short forehead. Some of
the crew had fur on their necks and most wore some sort of rings on their four digit hands. All stood on two
powerfully fast legs and their bodies leaned slightly forward. Arlyle immediately knew they were
vegetarians. Their mouths lacked powerful teeth and their skin still had remnants of ancient camouflage.
He knew at once that they had evolved into a technically advanced species by ever hiding from
An alien male stepped forward. “I am the Captain. By what right do you come here?”
Arlyle laughed a small laugh. “You are very brave. But, you are not the Captain. Will the Captain please
step forward? There is no danger, I assure you.”
He knew from their primitive language that theirs was a matriarchal society. Only a female would be the
A small alien stepped from around the group. Two males immediately went to her side.
“I am the Captain of this ship. And I ask you to spare my crew’s lives.”
Arlyle walked towards the small group.
“Indeed, I will,” Arlyle said. He stepped forward. The Captain did not retreat.
“But I now ask you to spare each other’s lives as well,” he said.
“How are you able to do these incredible things,” the Captain asked. “This ship represents the pinnacle of
our technology. Yet, you now control it as a youngster does a plaything.”
Arlyle looked at the comically primitive alien ship. He willed the monitors to reactivate and connect to all
the ships in the vicinity. The crew quaked a fraction when they saw the faces of their bitter enemies on the
screens; just as their counterparts did when they saw Arlyle for the first time. On a nearby relay, one of the
commanders of the opposing forces stepped forward.
“Captain, we all now see that an alien entity has taken control of our vessels and defeated us all.
Obviously, we are now at his mercy. What are his terms?”
The female captain in front of Arlyle turned to face him.
“He has not given any terms nor has he harmed any of my crew. His intentions are unknown.”
The commander cocked her head just a touch.
Arlyle turned back to the group.
“Who likes stories,” he asked. The group traded puzzled looks as their large eyes watched him.
“Please, all of you take a comfortable position.” Arlyle walked to the center of the command deck. Many
of the Aliens now believed that this would be the last of their days and simply sat in their places. Small
groups formed throughout all the disabled ships and many leaned against one another as they did in the
old times when a story was told. Secret lovers and best friends found one another to face what they
believed was truly the end of all things.
“Now, a long time ago,” Arlyle began, “my people believed that as we had proven that we could indeed
travel forward in time, there was nothing to keep us from traveling backward in time. Our understanding of
physical laws was incredibly shortsighted and primitive and we believed many things that have since been
Arlyle walked a small circle as he told the story.
“We even believed, for a time, that traveling faster than the speed of light was impossible; or at best,
impractical due to certain theories on motion and dynamics. I won’t bore you with those missteps. These
false notions gave rise to the theory that if we could go forward in time, we could somehow go backwards
as well. Logically, it made sense although there was no way to actually try it. I see from this ship’s records
that some of your scientists feel the same way. And I understand how you may feel that way at this stage
of your development.”
“With this idea came many paradoxes including the belief that actually, all time was simultaneous and the
future, like the past, was just a point on a plane like any other and we could go there if we had the ability.
These primitive beliefs caused some small problems. If it were indeed possible to travel backwards in time,
why had we never met someone from the future? I can tell you all without hesitation that I would have
gladly returned through time to avert certain disasters or save entire planets from horrible fates due to war,
contagion, or chance, had I been able to do so.”
“However, no one ever returned to warn us about anything. This seemed to point to two possibilities; either
no one cares about us in the future, if it indeed existed, or they never gained the technical ability to do so.
Now remember, when I say never, I mean never; as in until the end of this very version of the universe that I
and all of you now occupy.”
“Now, let me skip to a few million years later. I can assure you that we now have the ability to travel
backwards in time were it possible. We, however, learned something through direct experiment.”
Arlyle lowered his voice.
“The past is gone.”
“It no longer exists.”
The room of every ship was dead quiet.
“You see, our scientists ran into what we now refer to as the wall of nonexistence. Are there other time
frames in various places? Of course, there are. But these are in forward motion, not backward.”
“We learned that time is like an ever burning fuse; once the fire of reality burns past a certain point, there is
no remainder. You cannot relight the fuse. You cannot go back in time because the place you want to go
to no longer exists. Anywhere.”
Arlyle looked into the Alien eyes.
“At that time, collectively, we still had the mind of a child, as it were; yes and no, right and wrong,
forwards and backwards, here and there, alive and dead.” He lowered his voice once again and gave the
simple reason for the terrible conflict he now interceded in.
“My things and your things.”
Arlyle paused as his words causes a murmur.
“This is how a child sees the universe. As I speak to you now, billions upon billions of humans are now
watching you through my very eyes. I have my own thoughts yet still I can hear them if I wish. We matured
to the form you now see through the transformation not just of our bodies, but also of our thought. In the
past, it was our way of thinking that produced the results we received. In effect, we asked the questions of
a child; and we got answers that only a child would believe.”
“Why am I telling you this particular story? You see, we learned that the future is all we have. The future is a
place we can go to. And it is not set.”
Arlyle stepped to the window of the bridge and looked out at the vast disabled armada.
“And now I will tell you the rest of my story. And it is a terrible thing to know.”
He turned back to the crew.
“You will either change these thoughts of simple division, of yours and mine, or you will perish. All of you.
Not by my hand, but by your own. The laws of the universe will select your race for extinction. And why will
this take place? Because you are violent and primitive. And, in this frame of mind, you cannot proceed into
the future anymore than one without wings can walk off a great cliff and hope to survive.”
“Is what you are fighting for worth all of your lives and all of your children’s? Our universe is a cruel master
and, make no mistake, she will discard you and all of your works unless you turn from this path. Just as she
almost did to my people.”
Arlyle walked to the elevator. He turned to the crew once more.
“Stop fighting about the past. The future is all you have now. Learn to live together or you will all die. We
will not intervene again. No one stepped in to save us and no one will step in to save you. The choice is
He stepped into the elevator and it took him back to the deck where his ship sat. Arlyle activated the ship
and the door opened. He willed it out of the great warship and was back out in open space in moments.
He released the ships from his control and they lit once again. Weapons recharged. Engines came back
online. Projectiles reloaded.
Each and every captain now stared at one another; their strange hands hovered above the command
controls for opening fire.
Arlyle looked back at the motionless armadas.
Slowly, one of the commanders lowered her hand and stepped away from the firing controls.
Arlyle’s ship disappeared into the mystery of space.