MacGoughin Sequester

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The MacGoughin Sequester is the volume of space defined by the probability boundaries of the source of human consciousness. Occupying a region approximately 7,000 light-years from Galactic centre, it is less than a billion Km thick and has a tapering isosceles trapezoid shape which extends for approximately 0.42 light-years further towards the core. As far has been ascertained to date, it is comprised almost entirely of interstellar gas and dust, however it is assumed that somewhere in this volume of space is a planet, or possibly even a sun, which is the origin of the quantum level conscious energy collective which infests humanity and several other higher order life-forms to varying degrees of sub-conscious integration.

It is this origin that is colloquially referred to as Home and is Slab’s destination.

The search for human consciousness

Although the existence of consciousness energy had been empirically proven since the early part of the 21st century, the compelling question about where it came from went unanswered for almost fifty years. It had been impossible to track the origin of incoming consciousness energy, due to its unpredictable time of arrival [1] but it was assumed that the energy returned to its point of origin upon the death of the host so attention was therefore focussed on collecting accurate consciousness-energy vector information at the exact moment of death.

There were many difficulties in obtaining reliable tracking data. One problem was the need to have a room full of highly sensitive direction-finding equipment installed and fine-tuned for the exact moment of death of a volunteer host. Another complication was that no other viable consciousnesses could be in the immediate vicinity of the pre-deceased because of the interference they created. Additionally, all ambient heat and light had to be reduced to an absolute minimum.

Another persistent problem related to the fact that consciousness energies, after leaving the body, don’t always go straight back to the origin. Some will hang around trying to tidy up some unfinished business, while others simply don't realise they have been freed at all and wander about causing all sorts of problems and scaring the children.

Although several researchers volunteered to be euthanized, their fanatical enthusiasm automatically disqualified them. The fact that they had an overwhelming ‘unresolved issue’ on Earth (ie. trying to find Home), meant their consciousnesses would inevitably stay post-mortem to see what the answer was, instead of actually going home and revealing the truth. This is a fine example of the irresolvable SISOSIG[2] paradox.

To get the best tracking data, it was necessary to have happy, willing hosts who had fulfilled every Earth-bound desire and who were prepared to die alone, in the cold and dark. It took a while.

If it wasn’t for the MacGoughin twins we might still be aimlessly wandering around the galaxy[3].

Dermot and Declan

Dermot and Declan MacGoughin were identical monozygotic twins who hated each other with a life-long venomous passion[4] and for all their lives had wanted only one thing; to get as far away from each other as was physically possible.

They had been born (21st Jan 2050, Dublin, Ireland) with an incurable and extremely rare condition which made them hyper-allergic to an ever-increasing variety of substances. Most especially, they were allergic to each other. Unfortunately, because no doctor would believe this was possible, they spent their formative years being forced into close proximity in child-psychiatrists' consulting rooms. By the time the twins were ten years old the long line of psychs had all admitted failure and Declan was sent to live with the Australian side of the family. Despite the best efforts of medical science, their allergies grew to the level where they couldn't even tolerate their own genetic material and in February of 2072, at the age of 22, they had both been informed that they had less than twelve months to live. It was suggested that they might like to make a lasting contribution to the history of humanity by being sent off at opposite ends of Earth’s orbit to die in the cold, dark vastness of space, alone.

Neither Declan nor Dermot felt they had been dealt a particularly good hand in life and consequently could not have cared less about helping humanity. However, when it was pointed out that by the time of their deaths they would, in all probability, be more than two hundred million miles apart, the greatest distance to separate two living humans in the history of mankind, they both readily, and separately, agreed.

In one of history’s more bizarre coincidences, they both died of anaphylactic shock at precisely the same moment, on January 1st 2073 at 00:12 UTC. Their last messages revealed they had never, in their whole lives, felt as deliriously happy as they did at that moment[5] and they were about to celebrate the happiest New Year's of their lives by opening their special party packs which, apparently, contained traces of peanuts.

The vector data obtained was several orders of magnitude better than anything previous recorded and accordingly the region of space it defined was named in their honour.[6]

Construction of the ship that became known as Slab started in Earth orbit six weeks later.

Recent Controversy

New research using MT projection technology has failed to reveal any evidence of a Home planet, fuelling speculation that what may be waiting for us is a gaseous nebula marking the vaporised remains of where Home used to be.

Footnotes and references

  1. it has been demonstrated that while some foetuses exhibit unmistakeable signs of consciousness, many individuals seem to be completely unconscious for most of their teens.
  2. Should I Stay Or Should I go? -- became commonly associated with the typical indecision surrounding the inability to leave a dull party in the sure knowledge that it would only start to get interesting after you left, leaving you once again in a situation where your friends call you up for days afterwards to ask you where the hell you went to during that fantastic party the other night.
  3. many say we still are.
  4. they were even born with bruises and scratches from the in-utero combat which had been driving their mother half-mad.
  5. this might have been the drugs.
  6. where they were, presumably, reunited.