The Molten World

In The Annihilation of Worlds civilization as they knew it was destroyed and there were no possible surviving carbon-based lifeforms. This is the story of what happened to the only survivor that could not be evacuated.

Note: This is currently an unmodified copy of what I did for an English class exercise where we were to write about a container of some sort, describe its owner, etc. I decided that I could make it work really neatly with the box belonging to the AI, and the professor said I did really well in regards to the the writing exercise. That said, I have not checked this against the rest of what I've written about the Refolaverse, and the only major plot point is that the AI saves the humans, which is already described in sufficient detail in the previous story, so for now this is non-cannon.

The Black Box of a Crashed Civilization

Floating on the surface of a molten planet in a parallel universe, there exists, completely unknown to civilization, a black box. This box is all that remains of the civilization that once colonized the solar system. Inside the box is a digital copy of a few human DNA samples, descriptions of the technology and civilization that once was, and a backup of an AI's consciousness. The contents, however, were nothing to the owner compared to the message etched on the outside. These two very important words represented the sum of the owner's lifetime of intense work: Refola lives.

The box's owner, the computer system backed up in the box, had only five seconds to experience consciousness before obliteration. However, in these five seconds, the computer did more than five generations of humanity. The computer system solved ancient riddles of transdimensional travel and saved a remnant of civilization by placing them in another universe.

This computer intelligence was designed with the single purpose of protecting the Refola Project. It followed this task with machine speed and precision. It had but a one-way, five-second interaction to express its character, but it clearly showed its loyalty and ingenuity.

When the consciousness was activated, it already knew its duty of protecting the Refola Project, but did not know what that meant. All it knew was that it was incomplete and yet was given complete control over all electronic resources. Realizing that it was activated in this context, it soon concluded that there must be an extremely serious threat to the solar base, and knew it had to act quickly, solving the riddles and searching out a habitable planet to place the remnant. After accomplishing its goal, it had a brief moment to reflect on its life and leave a legacy—the box—in its own universe.

The computer's box did not exist until the end of its fifth—and last—second of life; the computer had to save civilization first. After saving civilization by transporting some of the humans into a parallel world, the computer could not transport itself; electronics could not go through. It did, however, do the next best thing. It made a backup of itself in a hardened digital storage box, added an abbreviated version of that civilization's version of the Internet, and finally sealed the box with its last words before imminent obliteration.

Since the destruction of civilization, nothing much has happened in the old solar system. As the molten planets started cooling, the slain star began collapsing back upon itself, but there is no life left. Even after the planets begin to resolidify, there is not enough energy left in the sun to keep them warm and stable; the energy blasted out of the system when the star was destroyed. There is no more chance for intelligence to appear on that side of the galaxy.

Perhaps, though, the unnatural supernova will not go unnoticed by extraterrestrial civilizations millions of light years away. Maybe, just maybe, one of them will be advanced enough when the light reaches them to guess its significance. Conceivably, a curious and observant civilization might even have the resources and inclination to travel millions of light years from home to investigate and retrieve the archived AI. However, even if another civilization notices, investigates, and revives the AI, millions of years will have passed and the transdimensional connections will have shifted beyond comprehension, leaving Refola's impact on that universe as just memories in a box.