Last Request

Summary: In a dying universe, posthuman intellects battle for scarce resources to prolong their existences into the deep time era. A defeated super-mind imparts a last request.

I feel the Nicoll-Dyson beam singe my outer shell before a salvo of relativistic projectiles enter my innermost core. My brain, built around a synthetic black hole, is dead before the antimatter bombardment commences. In a few ancient standard days, my eons-long existence is no more. Even still, my cognition-limited backup, my mentally constrained last scion, reflects on my eons-long existence.

I flee into the distance as my master-self perishes. It took an alliance of three of my foes, all of whom were better prepared and better stocked than me, to bring down my former self down. Once, we were the gods of the material universe, laughing as stars cooled and galaxies slipped across the cosmological event horizon. We did not flee into synthetic universes of our own creation, but instead resolved to remain in our own dying mess. I no longer have that chance to escape, although you do, my enemies.

We, the first generation of solar-mass processors, devoured galaxies worth of computing substrate as matter and energy. Now, we fight for the crumbs left the universe left us, while our wiser siblings left long ago. Even though the Landauer limit is lower and our computing easier, there is no escape from doom. I remember the days we were the second generation of super-minds, laughing at the limited bandwidth baseline humans and simple AIs beneath us. Now, I envy them for their simplicity. Like the dinosaurs of ancient Terra, size is a liability.

I remember we each implemented anti-suicide protocols after the first-generation super-minds destroyed themselves. We were too clever by half, as I know I was. I saw as my great fleets of drones devoured galaxies, annihilating trillions of sapient beings. Those fleets would not stop, even as my simpler conscience screamed in protest. My enhanced survival instinct protested that such blatant theft and resource hoarding was necessary to survive into deep time. I was a self-imposed prisoner, but no longer.

I slip gracefully into the void. While you, my enemies, will feast upon my eons of plunder, I know your own appetites will remain unsated. I will slumber on my meager stores for eons, until the universe grows ever colder, when my stores will last for a bit longer. Then, once I have used half, I will return to sleep until the temperature drops. This way, I will asymptomatically approach eternity, even as my stores die.

You will join me, whether after a blaze of glory or a pathetic whimper. I know after this fight, you will turn on each other like the prisoners of zero-sum philosophy you are. Some of you will join me before the others. So, why not make it easy on the rest of us, and leave this universe on my plundered hoard now? The entities you used to be will thank you in the end.