these are our final words
The story omits what, IMO, would have been more interesting than metaphysical musing: how were the nine chosen?
One possibility, perhaps the most feasible, would be a conspiracy among nine to assassinate the other 134 in their sleep, but it would be more satisfying to posit that the 143 agreed, either unanimously or by majority vote, that the lives of all but nine should be promptly terminated and that the nine should be selected by a certain specified means and to ascribe an ethically colorable rationale for their mutual agreement on this agenda and plausible motivation for the majority's willingness to submit to it.
hooked from start to finish
Congratulations on your marriage!
I do hope there are things we missed, and I'm almost certain of it. Heat death has nothing on us, yet.
" it will go on for so long that the age of light and warmth and stars and trees and people will seem like a brief flash around the time of the Big Bang."
The e/acc people will be disappointed, unless they learn to live backwards. The doomers will be fine.
Meanwhile: this is some inspired stuff, great connections made. I do think the numbers should have been primes, though. And I am not convinced that our essences or limits are so fundamental as to last until the eeend.. But it is an interesting question