New Beginning by David Scholes

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Can an intelligence consisting purely of a particular form of energy feel pain, or emotions such as anger, resentment, and regret? Can such an entity even harbour a grudge?

In a previous life, when it was once of a corporeal form, the entity wondered about this. Now it knew.

Time moved differently for it now. In theory it could bask in the solar winds drifting wherever they might take it for millennia even aeons. Though it would need to ensure that its component energies did not disperse to the point where it was unable to reform as a sentient being. Yet it knew that it would never be allowed to bask for too long.

Just as when it was in corporeal form, its existence was not without purpose.

Not all dead former corporeals experienced this fate. Mostly they were either elevated to a higher plane of existence or they simply ceased to exist on any plane.

For those chosen for this particular existence, their psychological make up when they existed in physical form, was crucial. As an element of this "personality" was inevitably passed on. One clear requirement was that they would have to be able to exist alone for vast periods of time without any form of meaningful contact with other intelligences. A situation that would not suit the formerly gregarious. Also there were other even more important requirements.

Yet this form of existence had its perks. The entity was as powerful now in its present form as it had been weak as a physical being. The contrast beggared comparison. It shuddered, now, at the thought of its former vulnerabilities and powerlessness. More, it could choose to go almost anywhere. To witness at first hand what its own former race of corporeal beings could only have dreamed of, or at best viewed as long past events. . The birth or death of a star, the coming of life to a world, the beginning of the creation of a galaxy, to name just a few events

Fraternisation with others of its kind was somewhat discouraged. Yet, even given the vastness of the Multiverse, occasional contact was inevitable. While the probabilities were low, these probabilities multiplied by sufficient time made eventual contact a virtual certainty. There were protocols that covered such encounters.

Some of the broad parameters for the entities continued existence were that it should not generally interfere in the lives of the corporeal intelligences. By the same token it was not to stand idly by if it was in the general vicinity and frail, innocent physical life forms were under threat. Then there was always the possibility of being called. The call could not be ignored. The entity viewed this remote possibility with an equal measure of trepidation and excitement without even knowing exactly what the call involved. All those of its ilk felt this same way.
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Early in its new life the entity drifted, seemingly by accident, towards a star system and a world within that star system. A world that was under direct attack. As it watched on with an element of interest, it realised that it would have to intervene.

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