Jim could not be everywhere.
He worked tirelessly through the agency of his replicants.
Even with his cadre of dopplegangers he frequently encountered the limits of what was possible for him to do.
The human population grew quickly, spreading throughout the world. Jim guided them to places where they could establish their villages, in areas where the electromagnetic fields were optimal for his research, where there was access to food and water, and where they would develop for the greatest length of time independent from one another.
Jim required autonomous population growth and cultural development to test his hypotheses.
He used his agency to establish networks around the world. He cultivated spies, informants and confessors in every tribe.
They were like spiders spinning. The people had different names for them, calling them priest, shaman, witch-doctor, prophet and oracle.
They were the officiants of the sacred rights.
They were his eyes and ears among the people.
They listened to and recorded everything the people said and did, keeping a special ear out for incidences of the paranormal and psychic intrusion.
They were indispensable to him.
Jim built a global system of interlocking cells.
Each web of spies served their own community first. They were tribalistic in the extreme, and conditioned to be xenophobic as the Continuum prescribed.
Each and every independent cell held allegiances to the people of their own tribe first, but at the highest levels they underwent initiations that opened-up their broader purpose.
They were initiated into the sacred mysteries which gave them a glimpse of the galaxy, of the Empire, of the great Collective Consciousness and the Continuum, which was the demi-urge at its heart.
In the shadows Jim cultivated a secret cabal, hostile to the Continuum, people who were conditioned to believe that their sacred mission was to prepare the world for the inevitable encroachment of the Empire.
Unity would be required of the people of Earth if they were to survive an encounter with the Empire, and to that end they set aside their tribalism, shared information and cooperated together.
Their safety and security depended on it.
There was nothing more important than this, the fate of humanity was at stake.
Jim was extremely selective about who he chose to promote into these ranks. He deliberately chose men and women who had a weak connection to the cynergenic field.
He engineered into their genetic profile capacities for psychic resistance.
He never perfected these, but his most trusted spies were unreadable to ordinary psychics.
They were indoctrinated into the secret societies after careful consideration and vetting, every one was interconnected by their sense of duty and loyalty to humanity itself, and to Jim above all.
They were absolutely trustworthy and their presence allowed Jim the freedom to roam about the world.
The cloak of secrecy was everything.
Jim had to be able to conceal his work from the Continuum. He had to be able to endure its scrutiny at each and every cycle in which he was required to report back to HomeWorld, where he would expose his consciousness to the Continuum, and share his first-hand experience with his brothers and sisters in the Collective.
This task was filled by a replicant, a version of himself who was completely committed to the mission Jim had claimed as their collective purpose. To prepare themselves to pass through the ordeal Jim had restricted the experiences of this one replicant, Jim controlled what it was exposed to, making it so that he had precious few secrets to hide at the moment his consciousness was opened to the powerful examination of the Continuum.
He had to conceal his movements and machinations from the mechana of spycraft that the Continuum had required him to position all around the world; satellites with powerful tools for audio and visual surveillance.
He had to bend to these demands.
He had to be even more careful in consideration of the living spies he knew the Continuum had sent to Earth, his fellow members of the Observer Corps, sent to watch over him and report back to the Continuum covertly.
They were all a part of the Collective, but Jim felt no sense of belonging to them.
When Earth entered the digital age, he had to be even more mindful of his actions because he knew the Continuum and its spies had penetrated the information technologies of nations states, and could use their technological resources to sort massive amounts of data at incredible speeds, thereby increasing the likelihood that he would be discovered grew by an order of magnitude.
Jim orchestrated the development of his international organizations, personally managing the traditions that would allow them to progress, pulling the cloak of secrecy over it, stretching its shadowy tendrils into every facet of human society; the Templars, the Hashishim, the Jesuits, the Illuminati, they all belonged to him, served his bidding, fulfilled his purpose, operating in the shadows, well beneath the notice of the Observers.
Jim continued the meditative practices that he had developed, practices which allowed him to partition his mind and thoughts from the Continuum and his fellow members of the Collective.
He exercised his ability to keep secrets. He did so while probing the mysteries of Earth’s Cynergenic field. It was unlike the artificial construction on HomeWorld in distinct ways, it did not have the smooth-predictable channels of energy, the linear circuitry, and other structural features that were the product of design and intention.
It was organic, it was messy.
In the crucial moment to come he would be exposed to the scrutiny of the Continuum, he would have to keep everything he had been planning partitioned behind a wall of sheer will, until the moment when the disaster struck and then he would have to let it go.
The tension of the timing would be fraught with danger.
He had to keep secrets even from himself, shrouding all of his intentions in mystery, he had to trust that his replicants also trusted him, because like him, they were essentially free creatures.
He utilized the institutions he had developed to test and augment his theories, both concerning his own liabilities and concerning the hidden mysteries of Earth.
Jim was Prime, and he watched over his Seconds with systematic scrutiny. These dopplegangers had to be kept out of the information loop for hundreds of cycles, fulfilling the regular functions of the Observer, responsible for reporting to the Central Planet, hiding from the Collective only the things which Jim had always kept hidden and was practiced at hiding. They had to remain ignorant of the details of the unfolding mission.
The fact that they remained willing, spoke to the purity of his purpose and filled him with pride.
Jim busied himself with work that served a dual purpose, tasks that advanced his personal mission, which also fit within the assignment he had undertaken for the Continuum
He seemed to be devoted to the type of work the Continuum expected him to do; archiving, preserving, recording the history of this world.
Through his international network Jim kept alive the ancient languages that informed disparate groups and tribes of their essential unity, even the original language that the colonists spoke when they crashed on this planet so many eons ago.
He kept them alive through his secret societies, using them as a vehicle for initiation as the members ascended through the various hierarchies.
He hid codes within the prevailing tongues, echoes of those ancient forms of speech that rang out like a bell, or an alarm to the initiate when they heard it.
He created auto-hypnotic tropes which they could not resist once their indoctrination was complete. He moved freely through the circles of power with the use of them.
He could not rely on his machinery to help him construct this network, the risk of its being hacked by the Continuum was too great. Instead he relied on the ancient methods of oral tradition, and complex mnemonics to achieve those ends.
Secrecy was the path to survival.
Through it his purpose became actualized.
Discovery would put the Earth in jeopardy, and he might not know it until the warships appeared in the sky above the tiny blue green planet, Imperial juggernauts large enough to blot out the sun.
That would threaten everything.
Jim bided his time.
He was forming a living weapon and he layered into its consciousness an implicit acceptance of cyclical nature of revolution, of the rise and fall of governments.
The individual that emerged from his work would have to be able to see the destruction that he or she was wrecking on the Collective in a contextual structure that seemed natural.
Jim utilized his network of spies to form political states, to build Empires and dynasties, turning slaves into royalty, making great armies out of herdsmen and nomads, turning bandits into Kings, only to tear them down at the apex of their power, as if it were a natural cycle of growth, death, and rebirth.
This satisfied his ambition, and it satisfied the hunger of the Collective as well.
Jim’s was the unseen hand behind the powers and principalities of the world, he was the invisible whisperer that conditioned the policies of the most powerful people. He would point and they would go, taking credit for the movement to themselves, never realizing the deep influence they were subjected to.
The rulers of Earth never fully suspected how they were being manipulated.
He exercised his power in a variety of ways, overtly and covertly, with stealth and might.
He was a strategist, and none of the tools of statecraft were out of reach for him: gold, sex, power, fear, he employed them like an artist would a brush, or a sculptor would the chisel and hammer.
The actors on the stage rarely knew what was happening in the grand scheme of things. He guided them with the lightest of touches, planting seeds inside their heads when they were children, reaping the fruit he had sewn when it was ripe.
Everything was cultivated and he was the master planter, the invisible gardener tending to everything that grew within his sight.
Jim pushed and pushed, ever-so-subtly to bring coherence to human government, binding them through language systems, tribal allegiances, and systems of fealty.
As time progressed he allowed for the emergence of empires, he formed city states into nations, and principalities into kingdoms.
He implemented different governmental systems to stand in tension with one another, fostering hierarchical systems of governance from the top down, which articulated the divine right of the rulers to rule, of the nobility to inherit both wealth and power.
Against these hierarchies, he allowed for systems of government based on mutuality and common bonds, developed from the implicit understanding that the right to rule stemmed from the consent of the governed.
These were not developments that the Continuum desired, but the drama it produced when civilizations clashed was utterly tantalizing to the Collective.
He wrote the laws that governed the great powers of the world, and he established the ministries which those governments revolved around, relied upon. Within those organizations he planted replicants of himself, and the human cadre of followers who were utterly committed to serving his ideals.
They worked together hand in glove to orchestrate global conflict and its resolution. All in the service of Jim’s mission.
He took extraordinary pains to mask his work, keeping it secret from the Continuum against impossible odds, while keeping the human societies that he manipulated in the dark at the same time.
He did not conceal it all, rumors abounded of secret societies and secret powers, but nothing was ever substantiated to link the rumors to the reality of what Jim had actually built, to what he was actually doing.
Part Five (a), Jim
Appendix Chapter Five, Spymaster
A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week
#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek
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