Episode Three

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Brave New World

              An entire country. Unity decided to take control of an entire country.

              It is a fascinating situation. After all, why limit the scope of one’s interventions to individual skirmishes? Superheroes in the popular comic books of the time spent their time fighting muggers and thieves, gangs and mobsters, supervillains and aliens. The question is actually an obvious one.

              Why didn’t they try to fix humanity’s real problems? Why didn’t they engage with the real issues?

              Of course, the reason that they did not is because there is no easy answer to genuine social problems, no matter how simplistically one frames the question. Unity’s intervention in the Congo will have set off any number of diplomatic problems, whilst simultaneously upsetting the international community no doubt. It will be fascinating to learn what he hoped to achieve and how he attempted to go about it. My Record continues to grow.

              Here in the present-day, my meeting with Legion went far better than I had dared to hope. I now have access to the Spire network, the sum totality of human history and scientific knowledge. I am sure that – with access to the files, the recordings, the wider data – I will be able to understand the nature of the superhuman era far better than I otherwise would…

              But I have not as yet accessed a Spire.

              I am…

              I am wary.

              My contact with Legion has - in many ways - left me with more questions than ever before. I saw something, during the briefest instant that he reached out with his…his mind? His power? Whatever it was, it seemed to resonate with something in my memory. An impossible memory, a memory of me in pain, me with injuries, me with a physical body.

              I have no body. I am the Recorder. My name and my purpose are the same. I was created by the Maker to chronicle the oral history of those that lived through the dawn of the age of the superhuman. I exist as a slightly flattened oval spheroid just over fifty centimetres in diameter, with a single ocular lens in my front and an array of sensors and recording equipment. I am powered by a tiny Infinity battery. I am not alive.

              So how did I hallucinate? How do I remember the taste of blood in my mouth? And what was that second vision, nested within the first as if hidden, even from myself?

              It has occurred to me – and even the thought of this is terrifying – that there is the possibility that this memory does not belong to me. That I experienced something that belonged to Legion, the result of some kind of unwitting mental connection. It seems unlikely, impossible even…but then is telepathic communication really so implausible for a posthuman like Legion?

              I could dismiss all these points. The memory that I believe I experienced could have been a glitch, caused by a temporary overload that itself was due to the power surge caused by Legion’s touch. The sensory data could be flawed or simple input error. The things I thought I saw and heard could just be a series of corrupted data sets.

              I tell myself all this, but none of these hollow assurances answer what is really bothering me.

              Why did I instinctively lie about it?