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A note from haikuotiankong

This took me a little while. Some technical research and some imagination were made and mixed together well. Computer science, chemistry and physics. If you find any errors, I'll always go back and edit them. Enjoy and feedback is welcome!

As God had pointed out, there were other gods on this world and some of them might not be friendly. After her initial shock, Ada decided jumping the gun and contacting any of the gods would not be the smartest move. She needed to find out more to at least have an idea of what she would be facing sooner or later. Just in case, she tested to see if she had root access and it turned out that she did not. That level of privilege would be uniquely God's. She called up <ps> again and read up on the processes that were running. The worldsystem had the most processes running and used most of the CPU. Some of these processes seemed to be blatantly obvious in purpose such as "nuclearforce" or "DNAcode". She was not going to mess around with the fundamental nature of reality here and she doubted that she even had the power to do so. She also uncovered that the STIME (start time) of the worldsystem processes was approximately seventy million years ago. This led her brain on a slight digression in cosmology where she wondered how the heck could this universe be just approximately 70 million years old when in Earth's universe, the first protostars didn't form until the universe was 200 million years. This could mean the physical laws were slightly different or the initial distribution of density was somehow not nearly as uniform as what occurred in Earth's universe. If God ever returned and offered her an infinite number of questions to ask, the origin of Urth's universe would be one of them.

For the gods including herself, the PIDs had obscure process names such as "rjxfjw". She could read its CPU usage and running time but unfortunately, she knew very little else. She couldn't <man> most of them since there were no documentation for those names. Considering the number of processes that were running, she couldn't afford the time to go through every single one of them and check whether some did have documentation.

She was able to glean some important info from just the high level though. Based on the start time of the PIDs, the oldest gods were the Goddess of Life and the God of Death both with an age of approximately thirty million years. The God of Urth, God of Ocean and Goddess of Sky started executing processes approximately twelve million years ago. The other ten gods and goddesses who have been only around since about a million years ago. In the grand scope of the universe, that was a drop in the bucket. As far the Goddess of Computation goes, she was she has only been around for only five hours thirty three minutes and twenty seven seconds.

From the number of processes, the amount of CPU and the memory usage of each process of each god, she hypothesized that the older gods were the most powerful. Ada didn't know what these processes actually did so she couldn't say that the Goddess of Life with 100,730 processes using 3.7% of the CPU was superior to the God of Death with 99,780 processes using 3.5% of the CPU. However, she presumed that either one could demolish the God of Fools who has 970 processes using 0.0002% of the CPU. Ada was running 137 processes using up 0.00005% of the CPU which meant either she was highly efficient in capabilities or that she was severely limited in what she's capable of doing compared to other gods. She suspected it was more of the latter.

Initial snooping done, Ada paused the overly helpful systemhelper so that she could think some more in peace. She realized she had been standing still for a good half hour now while she was going through all this data. As a goddess, she could stand indefinitely without feeling tired but the human psych part of her felt that was strange. She sat down on the patch of the cloud she was standing on. Touching the cloud with her hand, she felt it give away much like a comfortable feather pillow. This was much more comfortable than any couch or sofa she had ever sat on. After adjusting herself to a comfortable sitting position, she gazed in the distance and her thoughts floated back.

Knowing just the present state of the gods and goddesses were not enough. Anything could change. She was sure the System was already keeping a log of every user's activities but since she does not have root privileges, she wondered if she should or could write a script to track the activities of the other gods. This would be something good to do in the future, she thought.

"But that data would only go so far. What about the motivations of the gods? No matter how much I dissect the data here through the System, there's no chance in hell that I'll actually understand who these gods and goddesses are until I see them in action," she thought aloud.

Ada realized she was talking to herself out loud again but since there was no annoying echo or a robot voice and since there was no one else around, she didn't care. Verbalizing thoughts helped her process them better.

"Just because you run more processes and seems more powerful doesn't mean you're a bigger threat. And maybe you have specific limitations on your capabilities as a particular god. If you're the Goddess of Life, will you be able to take life? If you're the God of Death, can you create life or help life grow? Also, Why these particular gods and not others? Maybe there are gods which are not currently 'logged in'. Where's the goddess of marriage, god of the sun and god of fire?"

"I mean, there's just so many unknowns and I won't know anything until I actually interact with the world. I can't just stay here in my ivory tower and speculate endlessly without any real knowledge of the world. I have to get down this cloud and see what's down there."

With that thought, Ada stood up and walked towards the edge of the cloud. She has never been scared of heights but she did feel a little apprehensive stepping too close to the edge. At least a mile up was quite high. Commercial airplanes frequently fly above six miles but she wasn't in a plane that could actually go anywhere. She was on a cloud.

"Wait a minute! I'm on a cloud that has my palace. Technically this should mean that this entire cloud belongs to me. In other words, if it's part of my domain, I should be able to manipulate it just like I did by creating that door!"

"There have been studies on floating cities in Venus which is entirely feasible since on Venus, its atmosphere is much denser than that of Earth. Here, this cloud and the palace seems to be much lighter than that of the air around it. I have no idea why the palace is floating and how I can stand on the cloud since this defies any kind of physics I know but if the other laws of physics still apply, then if I can make this cloud denser, this whole thing should sink. I can treat this as just a large hot air balloon."

"Unpause systemhelper!" Ada shouted in excitement. "Create heavy object."
...
...
<ada program initiating...>
<error! heavyobject not found in standard library>
...
Ada thought for a moment. Lead is dense at 11.34 g/cm3 but osmium is the densest natural element known at 22.5 g/cm3. She thought:
<create osmium>
...
<set public attributes. default required include isotope number, quantity in kilograms or volume in cubic meters.>
...
<int isotope equals 192>
<int quantity equals 1000>
...
<10500 cubic meters of the volume attribute of the object called cloud will be converted to 22.5 cubic meters of the volume attribute of the new object of class osmium. would you like to proceed?>
...
Whether physics was her friend here or not was debatable. The conservation of mass-energy would force her to convert clouds to osmium. In other words, the total amount of mass would remain the same which was not what she originally anticiapted. But there is a silver lining since the density of her floating cloud would be higher because the osmium would occupy less volume than the cloud material. This would reduce the volume by 467 times. She sincerely hoped the portion of the cloud below her or her giant empty palace wouldn't be the ones that disappeared so she crossed her fingers and thought:
<yes>
...
<define additional attributes or additional methods. otherwise default constructor utilized>
...
<use default attributes>
...
<osmium object generated. thank you and goodbye.>
...
Suddenly, a large top portion of the part of the cloud furthest away from her turned into a blue-gray shiny metal. 22.5 cubic meters might not seem like a lot but when it's full of shiny metal glistening in the sun, to Ada it was quite the sight. At the same time, she felt a jolt as the entire cloud platform shook. Then, ever so slowly, she felt a rush of air as her cloud platform started to descend. It descended slowly at first but then picked up speed until it hit its terminal velocity. Ada was very glad that its maximum speed was only moderately terrifying.

Crawling to look over the edge of the cloud, she could see the ground approaching with every second. Thankfully, she noted that the land here was quite flat. This part of Urth seemed to be just endless grassland. Though she could handle moderately terrifying while gliding, landing at such a speed was not something she wanted to experience. In the last minute of the descent, she quickly called up systemhelper again and directed it to convert 700 kilograms of the osmium back to that of the cloud. The descent speed slowed dramatically and like an unwieldy odd-shaped parachute, the entire cloud palace slid gently onto the ground.

"Now that I'm out of the ivory tower, the adventure truly begins," she said as she stood up.

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About the author

haikuotiankong

Bio: On the productive side, I mostly write poetry, science articles and code. On the consumption side, aside from paper books of the scifi and fantasy variety, one of my "guilty pleasures" is reading massive amounts of online web novels. The dream is to write an appropriately decent one of my own which people would enjoy reading.

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