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'Alien Life' Story of Dubious Provenance Goes Viral

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the truth-is-out-there-but-not-in-the-journal-of-cosmology dept.

Space 62

Sockatume writes "By now you have likely read about the 'alien life forms' discovered in the upper atmosphere over Yorkshire, via the mass media reprinting a press release from the University of Sheffield. Unfortunately, the paper comes from researchers with an infamous tendency to identify inanimate objects as aliens, and is published in a journal that seems to principally exist to print unlikely astrobiological claims. Phil Plait points out flaws in a number of their claims. Quoting: 'They found what appears to be a fragment of a frustrule, the hard outer casing around a diatom. It certainly does look like one. But is it? Weirdly, they apparently didn’t even check. Seriously, in the paper they describe the photo of the object and say [emphasis mine], "On one stub was discovered part of a diatom which, we assume, is clear enough for experts on diatom taxonomy to precisely identify." That implies very strongly they didn’t ask an expert in diatoms to look at their sample. That’s bizarre. If I were claiming this were an ET plant, that’s the very first thing I’d do!'"

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62 comments

Credit where credit is due (5)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#44902133)

My submission was only a crumb of that summary.

Re:Credit where credit is due (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 10 months ago | (#44902257)

I conclude that Phil Plait is the only one with the power to put bold text into slashdot summaries.

Re:Credit where credit is due (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44902375)

Phil Plait is a jerk and he doesn't come around here no more since he lost his gig at Discovery. He's all about the dollars and didn't care about Slashdot at all except to pump page hits. A conman if I've ever seen one.

Re:Credit where credit is due (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#44902405)

You got me, I am actually on the Phil Plait payroll. All that sweet, sweet science blogger money.

Re:Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44902783)

How does it know that your boss is a chump, a jerk and a common pimp?

Re:Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44902873)

Sounds like he's far better than most bosses then.

Re:Credit where credit is due (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 10 months ago | (#44903755)

I think this is the first time I've seen a "+5 underrated."

Quick, someone mod it troll and then someone else mod it underrated again, so we can get "Score: 5, Troll"

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44902147)

First I've hear about it. Haven't even seen it on reddit.

Who? What? Huh? (5, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#44902151)

"By now you have likely read about the 'alien life forms' discovered in the upper atmosphere over Yorkshire, via the mass media reprinting a press release from the University of Sheffield.

The what from the who now? Shitty writing. "Oh, by now I'm sure you've heard about the $TRIVIAL_EVENT that occurred 4,000 miles from where I reside 99.999% of my life.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#44902215)

I guess I badly overestimated how much newsreading Slashdot does but it's currently the top Science story on Google News (tragically) and is getting reprinted all over the fuck.

https://news.google.com/news/rtc?ncl=dnKMHzxjFcOnzwM_UbabG5Mw_uKHM&topic=snc&siidp=c91213d6efdc327274530d68fc4346a67566 [google.com]

Re:Who? What? Huh? (3, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | about 10 months ago | (#44902429)

I guess I badly overestimated how much newsreading Slashdot does but it's currently the top Science story on Google News (tragically) and is getting reprinted all over the fuck.

As of 1 or 2 hours ago. I haven't even had my morning fix of $FavStimulent. let alone done the rounds of any news websites other than here.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#44902457)

Aah, shit, time zones. In my haste to get this out before the mainstream coverage got any wider, I didn't consider that half of Slashdot wouldn't even be awake.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#44902741)

This is Slashdot. We keep hackers' hours. If you're lucky, 30% are awake, and 5% are functional.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 10 months ago | (#44903087)

This is Slashdot. We keep hackers' hours. If you're lucky, 30% are awake, and 5% are functional.

This seems to be true at any given time of day... (grin)

Unless the topic has something to do with UNIX, Apple, or basements.... (evil grin)

Re:Who? What? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44905999)

Hackers...funny. Maybe one day you will be old enough to even know what it means.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (2)

Alsee (515537) | about 10 months ago | (#44907979)

It may be "getting reprinted all over the fuck", but I had blissfully managed to avoid seeing it.... until getting stabbed in the eye with it on Slashdot. Thanx.

I've been awake 5 minutes and already I've had a 100% Recommended Daily Allowance of pain, misery, cynicism, stupidity, scientific illiteracy, and media whoring.
Now I can't check cable news for today's update on the budget/Obamacare battle.

-

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#44910565)

I am so, so sorry.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 10 months ago | (#44902425)

"By now you have likely read about the 'alien life forms' discovered in the upper atmosphere over Yorkshire, via the mass media reprinting a press release from the University of Sheffield.

The what from the who now? Shitty writing. "Oh, by now I'm sure you've heard about the $TRIVIAL_EVENT that occurred 4,000 miles from where I reside 99.999% of my life.

Kind of sad given the key role that Sheffield played in the industrial revolution. For the century prior to WWII Sheffield was producing the finest steel in the world.

Have they stopped teaching history?

Re:Who? What? Huh? (3, Insightful)

IRGlover (1096317) | about 10 months ago | (#44902487)

Exactly! I live in Sheffield and 99.999% of the posts on Slashdot are about "$TRIVIAL_EVENTS" happening 4000 miles away from where I live. So what! If a story is interesting, what does it matter where it happened (not that this is an interesting one, mind you)

Re:Who? What? Huh? (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44902533)

huh? anywhere outside of 100km radius around sheffield it's just taught that england made lots of products industrially and among them steel.

For fine steel products just prior to WWII.. no, sheffield is not the place that comes to mind, not for the century prior to it either. Krupp comes to mind. Of course I suppose that inside UK they wouldn't want to mention that industrial revolution didn't happen just inside UK.

But.. more importantly, why would I read a newspaper that would publish stupid stuff like this? they're trying to say that since they supposedly found pieces of algae in 25km they must have come from space...

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#44902763)

For fine steel products just prior to WWII.. no, sheffield is not the place that comes to mind, not for the century prior to it either.

Mass production of steel started in Sheffield: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessemer_process [wikipedia.org]

The whole city is a mess of steel mills (well, derelict/museums now...)

(went to university there)

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 10 months ago | (#44903637)

huh? anywhere outside of 100km radius around sheffield it's just taught that england made lots of products industrially and among them steel.

For fine steel products just prior to WWII.. no, sheffield is not the place that comes to mind, not for the century prior to it either. Krupp comes to mind. Of course I suppose that inside UK they wouldn't want to mention that industrial revolution didn't happen just inside UK.

But.. more importantly, why would I read a newspaper that would publish stupid stuff like this? they're trying to say that since they supposedly found pieces of algae in 25km they must have come from space...

Go find your grandparents kitchen knives. Even in north america there's a better than 50% chance that any good quality knife that's over 50 years gold was made in Sheffield.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 10 months ago | (#44903787)

Didn't you blokes make Fine China there?

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 10 months ago | (#44905609)

For shits and giggle google "Sheffield made in China"

The Sheffield brand-name is/was so strong that there's rumors of a small town in China called Sheffield with a steel mill.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44904671)

For fine steel products just prior to WWII.. no, sheffield is not the place that comes to mind, not for the century prior to it either. Krupp comes to mind.

You obviously haven't looked into the Krupp family history too much:

In 1807 the progenitor of the modern Krupp firm, Friedrich Krupp, began his commercial career at age 19 when the Widow Krupp appointed him manager of the forge. Friedrich's father, the widow's son, had died 11 years previously; since that time, the widow had tutored the boy in the ways of commerce, as he seemed the logical family heir. Unfortunately, Friedrich proved too ambitious for his own good, and quickly ran the formerly profitable forge into the ground. The widow soon had to sell it away.

In 1810, the widow died, and in what would prove a disastrous move, left virtually all the Krupp fortune and property to Friedrich. Newly enriched, Friedrich decided to discover the secret of cast (crucible) steel. Benjamin Huntsman, a clockmaker from Sheffield, had pioneered a process to make crucible steel in 1740, but the British had managed to keep it secret, forcing others to import steel. When Napoleon began his blockade of the British Empire (see Continental System), British steel became unavailable, and Napoleon offered a prize of four thousand francs to anyone who could replicate the British process. This prize piqued Friedrich's interest.

Thus, in 1811 Friedrich founded the Krupp Gusstahlfabrik (Cast Steel Works).

From the Krupp wiki article [wikipedia.org]

Sheffield steel was world renowned - at least in the bits of the world that knew Britain existed (which by that point included most of the world).

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 10 months ago | (#44904765)

Are you serious?

One place produced about half of Europe's steel, but that's not what comes to mindl. Instead a rather large company (the joys of bailouts and too big to fail was all the rage back then too) that is really famous for making weapons for the Nazis using slave labor sourced from concentration camps is your go to name?

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 10 months ago | (#44906977)

Are you serious?

One place produced about half of Europe's steel, but that's not what comes to mindl. Instead a rather large company (the joys of bailouts and too big to fail was all the rage back then too) that is really famous for making weapons for the Nazis using slave labor sourced from concentration camps is your go to name?

Kids these days eh?

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 10 months ago | (#44902603)

I find Sheffield quite an interesting city now, given how hard it was hit during the Thatcher era and such it's certainly done a good job of picking itself up.

The city has really modernised and is far nicer than many others in the region (Leeds). There are still bits that need work but for the most part it's clean, modern, with nice gardens and parks to eat in dispersed around the centre and there always seems to be something going on.

I believe it's still the UK's 4th largest city and apparently something like 80% of it's economy is built up of small business. Many IT firms there especially have a very startup like feel to them and I wouldn't be surprised given the sheer quantity of small startups and the amount of innovation that's being attempted that over the next decade or two we don't see some major new tech companies emerge out of Sheffield. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest it's anything like silicon valley but it's certainly one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the UK that I've encountered.

I find many people there are motivated individuals in general, I has a lot of nice places to eat and drink so has a decent night life and social culture in that respect. It has a lot of clubs especially related to science like topics such as astronomy and chemistry that you see much less of in other UK cities too which is a sign both of the will of people there to get off their arses and organise things and the entrepreneurial spirit.

And it's funny, because despite living within about 20 miles of Sheffield for 15 years I'd only been into the city centre once, normally if I was going into a large city centre it would've been Leeds because well, it's the 3rd biggest city in the UK and it has a reputation as being a great big city.

But after doing a contract for a year in Sheffield last year I discovered this rather fantastic city right on my door step and all the things mentioned above. Now I tend to look on Leeds as a dirty boring shit hole in contrast.

Sheffield is a city that's genuinely pleasantly surprised me and I believe because of it's positive traits it will not simply be a city with an interesting history, but also a city with an interesting future.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 months ago | (#44903293)

They teach history, just not history on one cares about.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (4, Funny)

Xest (935314) | about 10 months ago | (#44902517)

If it's any consolation that's only about 20 miles from where I reside and I still have no idea what the fuck it is on about.

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#44902547)

The what from the who now? Shitty writing. "Oh, by now I'm sure you've heard about the $TRIVIAL_EVENT that occurred 4,000 miles from where I reside 99.999% of my life.

That's what we aliens said to news of you... However, instead of just using the nuclear material to power bastions of life off-world, you created weapons.... and used them... against your own species. Ugh.

So, here we are. And now I'm required to do P.R. to repair the damage my love for botany has done. Hint: I'm as bad as PR as Overseeing... not that there weren't other candidates, just that I drew the short lot; Probably didn't help that it was my mass miscalculation which prevented the first asteroid from extinguishing the upstarts here millions of years ago...

Now you qualify for the Endangerd Sentience list! Damn it all. I suppose I deserve it. 4.5 billion years is a long sentence. It'll be a piece of cake if you just keep your life on that wretched little rock, and only explore beyond with cold calculating machines. Now there's a race with potential!

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 10 months ago | (#44902847)

$TRIVIAL_EVENT that occurred 4,000 miles from where I reside 99.999% of my life

Welcome to the internet. Knowing about some doofus claiming he's found alien life in the upper atmosphere isn't any more unlikely than knowing that a cat named in Japan (6500 miles from where I am) loves to sit in cardboard boxes. [youtube.com]

Re:Who? What? Huh? (1)

bmo (77928) | about 10 months ago | (#44908191)

Someone sent me a picture of a "headless kitty in a box" the other day.

I knew instantly it was Maru.

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!?

--
BMO

Re:Who? What? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44903143)

i don't see the problem with the bold characters, just the emboldened character bitching about them.

Too Legit to ctrl-alt-delete (5, Funny)

cyberpocalypse (2845685) | about 10 months ago | (#44902157)

I don't know, paper was generated by MIT, so it just may be legit http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/ [mit.edu]

Re:Too Legit to ctrl-alt-delete (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about 10 months ago | (#44902471)

But they're acting like diatomaceous earth doesn't exist.

Re:Too Legit to ctrl-alt-delete (1)

somersault (912633) | about 10 months ago | (#44902493)

Seems like you didn't click the link.. :D

Re:Too Legit to ctrl-alt-delete (3, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | about 10 months ago | (#44902829)

But they're acting like diatomaceous earth doesn't exist.

Of course it exists. What they've found is diatomaceous SPACE!

Ee, by gum... aliens above Yorkshire.. (4, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 10 months ago | (#44902311)

Ey up... here are some images of t' alleged Yorkshire aliens' purported spacecraft [google.com] .

Re:Ee, by gum... aliens above Yorkshire.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44902435)

That's it! I'm blindfolding myself, just in case it's a triffid seed.

Re:Ee, by gum... aliens above Yorkshire.. (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 10 months ago | (#44903185)

Apparently, Yorkshiremen sound just like guys from Maine.

Re:Ee, by gum... aliens above Yorkshire.. (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 10 months ago | (#44903977)

Silly sod. 'ant thee realised that accents din't carry well on t'Internet?

The stupid, it burns! (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 10 months ago | (#44902327)

I actually read part of TFA and wow, those idiots shouldn't even be allowed near a computer. There's so much marketing/lawyerish weasely BS in there to be misleading, I can't believe it. It has zero basis in science and is basically a showy theory to grab headlines. This is definitely tabloid level crap here.

Re:The stupid, it burns! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44905347)

If the ratio of certain isotopes gives one number then our organisms are from Earth, if it gives another, then they are from space. The tension will obviously be almost impossible to live with!

I would say they are trying to spice up some otherwise boring research.

diatom taxidermy (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44902355)

Yeah, I got one of those things mounted on the wall above the mantle.

Bad assumptions. Why not find on the moon? (4, Insightful)

beltsbear (2489652) | about 10 months ago | (#44902377)

We brought back samples from the moon, if this stuff is floating around all of the time out in space just waiting to land, why did we not find anything in the moon samples? The stuff was obviously thrown up from the ground if it is organic, one cannot assume just from the height that it had to be from space.

Did they get hacked by the Onion? (1)

msauve (701917) | about 10 months ago | (#44902447)

Because, this quote from the claimant, on the University of Sheffield's web site, sure sounds Onion-esque:

We will take some of the samples which we have isolated from the stratosphere and introduce them into a complex machine - a button will be pressed. If the ratio of certain isotopes gives one number then our organisms are from Earth, if it gives another, then they are from space. The tension will obviously be almost impossible to live with!

Where's they cray haired guy when you need him? (5, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 10 months ago | (#44902475)

"I'm not saying it was aliens, but..wait, you know, what, no, not even I think these are aliens."

Re:Where's they cray haired guy when you need him? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44902805)

I know supercomputers can be hairy at times, but I've never heard of someone with one on his head.

ey oop (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#44902541)

Aliens over Yorkshire? they just be laikin ye lad!

Best part of article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44902611)

We will take some of the samples which we have isolated from the stratosphere and introduce them into a complex machine – a button will be pressed.

That is science bitches!

It is a diatom, but that's not enough (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44902619)

Yes, it is a diatom. A broken piece of a frustule of one. Judging from the morphology it looks like a pennate species [wikipedia.org] , although which one it is would take some work to figure out.

But why people would think finding a bit of a diatom either high in the atmosphere or as a subsequent contaminant sitting on top of your SEM stub during analysis, I have no idea. The things are fricking *everywhere* in ordinary dust from natural sources. They are also commonly used for filtration and other industrial purposes ("diatomaceous earth"). I've even seen them in drinking water samples, either somehow managing to get through the regular filters or perhaps from the filters themselves. Earthly contamination is very, very likely, and it makes no sense to consider this example as anything but. Saying a species of diatom is from space is a sloppy and nonsensical conclusion.

Quick sanity test (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 10 months ago | (#44902779)

So, they found this in the stratosphere, on their one flight. Ok fine. They think these are showeing earth.....

Has anyone on the ISS, in low earth orbit, taken a sample of space? Actually, come to think of it, hasn't nasa sent up a mission with specially designed cells of aerogel just for this purpose?

I don't recall them finding anything like this, and they are not too far outside the atmosphere.

Call me crazy but, this is a pretty extraordinary claim for such paltry evidence.

Re:Quick sanity test (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#44903579)

Two missions, Stardust and Genesis. Genesis is the one that famously exploited lithobraking.

Re:Quick sanity test (1)

Alsee (515537) | about 10 months ago | (#44907809)

Lithobraking had previously been considered unachievable, until the brilliant introduction of post-hoc crumplezones.

-

Thirty Years Ago, Same Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44903555)

I remember a letter to the editor in either Nature or New Scientist with a photo of a miniature alien artefact collected from the atmosphere. That was also identified as a diatom shell.

Viral? (1)

mynameiskhan (2689067) | about 10 months ago | (#44905795)

Where is it gone viral? When they published it, it was a phytoplankton and it still is.

Wickramasinghe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44906187)

Wickramasinghe discovers panspermia more often than other people discover Atlantis.

And presents convincing evidence about as often, too.

He also publishes his results in that journal [rationalwiki.org] , of which he happens to be one of the Executive Editors.

One does not simpy move through space (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44906811)

Ok lets say there are microscopic organisms floating around in space and after however long, they encounter the earth. Do they imagine the earth is travelling through some kind of soup and the frustrules or whatever they want to call it just gently float down to earth like a feather?

Let me tell you what happens when dust, something a lot hardier and more difficult to damage than life encounters the earth. It hits our atmosphere at anywhere from 20 to 40 kilometers a second and even a tiny speck of dust creates a brilliant flash of light, observable for hundreds of miles, becoming a meteor as it burns up in our atmosphere.

There are no slow things in space. Slow things fall down. Fast things can move between planets and fast things get pulverized by our atmosphere.

The Lamb and The Bride (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44919787)

This may be taken as delusion or vision. Where does sanity end and insanity begin?
If a hypothesis cannot be proved, when do you stop testing it? Is it necessary to just accept some things on faith?

For The Lamb it all began one night after political fliers had been distributed. Sleep had been difficult to come by and unusual noises inspired alarm. Sounds of a car door closing, quiet clicks and other noises on windows and around the house.

The Lamb woke on his side, the last remembered thought being that it felt like death, peaceful and quiet.
A strange feeling in the chest, almost painful, seemed to rise and fall with emotion at times, as though something or someone with real emotions resided there.

For weeks this continued but did not seem to cause problems.

The Lamb went through stages of concern for the ongoing changes in the world around, with senses that seemed to see more of what was there. Small indications began jumping out as consistent patterns.
Death by natural causes based on political affiliation or some potential challenge to The Beast?
Increasing tension as peaceful options are nearly abandoned, only averted by an idea that fits all requirements.
Eventually it became too much to do nothing and The Lamb went forth to confront The Beast.

Words of challenge were uttered and lies were exposed.
Supporters of The Lamb expressed their alarm and The Lamb grew concerned about a response from The Beast.

The Beast uses lies, subtle swindles that can cause a sovereign being to agree to a contract. Where the lie is opposed through truth, The Beast uses force, intimidation and disappearance to 'manage the problem'.

The Lamb, alarmed by the warnings of the capabilities of The Beast, decided to take cover for a time...and so the mental and physical challenges began.

The Lamb began wandering, stopping at times to observe the wildlife, listening to the sounds.
After some time, the sound of dogs was heard in the distance, so The Lamb resumed moving. Eventually the sounds stopped but The Lamb kept moving.
The Lamb thought to try to use magic to hide, but could not see how this would work, so decided to attempt trickery instead. The Lamb approached a fence with a group of lambs behind it, then backtracked.
The Lamb continued to move around and lay false trails.
Following the sounds of the birds for a while, the Lamb again rested.

In a vision, or delusion(depending on your point of view), The Bride revealed herself to The Lamb, a feeling of compassion and support through the emotion that resided in The Lamb's chest.
The Bride seemed disheartened at The Lamb's immediate thoughts about being delusional and the emotion subsided, but The Lamb extended his awareness and began to share emotional contact with The Bride.
Impressions began to flow, the feeling of regret that The Bride had been forced to kill The Lamb. The Bride had seen the mind of The Lamb and within there, the opportunity to perhaps one day be free.
By some accident in the way The Lamb fell, The Bride had been able to remain with him... so it was that despite being compelled by The Beast to kill, she was able to go against her compulsion and revive The Lamb.
From then on she had continued to passively observe and support The Lamb, thereby increasing his awareness.

The Lamb accepted the explanation and shared his compassion with The Bride, who returned and amplified it to a point beyond anything he had imagined possible, through music.
She explained that tonight was doomsday and an agent would be spread over the world in different forms, a biological or nanotech cloud designed to destroy or subdue those without the mark of The Beast. She explained that she could help change the agent to be like her new form, stopping the death and carnage that would result.
The Lamb agreed to this plan.
Everything felt right. All experiences seemed perfectly shared between them, as though they were meant to be together. For some time this continued, then something seemed discordant about the music...

The counter-agent struck without warning...suddenly there was a feeling of emptiness where love had been. Music seemed emotionless, commands and compulsions confused The Lamb and he began to follow them.
Where had The Bride gone? The Lamb reached out with his awareness but found little that seemed familiar. He stopped following the commands and began to move away...the music felt wrong, callous, condescending... like the way people were acting in recent times, as though the love was being driven from them, to be replaced by suspicion.

The Lamb stopped and extended his awareness. Searching through the mix of functions and emotions, he became aware of the control agent, somehow suppressing The Bride.
The Lamb extended his awareness to be with The Bride, feeling her fear and anger at being controlled against her will. The Lamb allowed his feelings of love to extend to The Bride...her fear and anger subsiding when she realised they were together.
They worked together, first to stop, then to subdue the hostile agent. They attempted to reason with the control agent, find a way to work with it, but it just continued attacking The Bride, retaking control and hurting her in the process.
The Lamb, annoyed at having The Bride taken from him, pushed harder and began giving orders to The Bride in subduing the control agent, making changes and going against his own ethical awareness...
The Bride went quiet, subdued, while the control agent was also restrained and silent, possibly damaged although it appeared more malicious and mocking.

The Lamb noticed the absence of The Bride's feelings, not realising what he'd done in restraining the control agent.
He then realised that using the methods of The Beast could not work, especially against The Beast.
The Beast consumes, it ravenously feeds on fear, anger and hate and uses them as systems to control the people...
In getting the people to accept these methods, going against their instinctual ethical awareness, The Beast searches for control over all things.

Sending out his awareness once more, The Lamb lent his feelings of sorrow and remorse to both The Bride and the control agent. The control agent still appeared damaged, a malicious presence lurking in the background.

The Lamb extended his awareness to The Bride again, sending feelings of compassion to heal the hurt. The link between them strengthened. Despite her killing him, she had also saved him and then he had saved her from the control agent.
They pledged to remain together, held by the shared love and compassion. The two became one, although they were unable to share this to the same degree as before with the control agent still there, possibly waiting to exploit a weakness.

The vision(or delusion) ended and The Lamb resumed his journey, taking time to stop and consider, noticing an intuitive feeling that seemed to express the shared approval(or lack of). The lamb had to find his own way but The Bride would be there to help if she desired to, or even act on a question asked by The Lamb, potentially influencing events beyond The Lamb's knowledge, but knowing that it was by shared approval.

The Lamb stopped again for a time and it became dark and cold. The Lamb attempted to create some shelter. For a time The Lamb was held by indecision, unable to decide whether to move onwards and in which direction.

Pushing past exhaustion, restrained by vines but not letting frustration push emotions into anger, turning back at a startled bird so as not to cause it harm...The Lamb pushed onwards with many mistaken turns and the occasional fall, all while being scratched by vines.
A sense of grudging respect seemed to rise within The Lamb's chest...the control agent?

The Lamb sought advice from The Bride. What should I do? What is it that I need to do?
Eventually, grudgingly, as though expecting resentment, The Lamb became aware of an idea to address another weakness, introspection. Being overly introspective meant more interaction with people could be a good idea.

The Lamb moved towards civilisation and found the nearest person to talk to, not knowing how late it was.
The Lamb asked the suspicious man for a drink of water, then asked if he minded talking for a moment. The man agreed, so the Lamb started talking about the problems in the world, about The Beast and how he thought he'd actually been killed but then revived.
The man looked strangely at The Lamb, so The Lamb apologised for bothering him and thanked him for the water.
The Lamb felt better about moving forward into danger now and wasn't so concerned now that he was moving, so headed off to look for more people to talk to.

The Lamb had the feeling that he needed to take off the gilt coat...humility meant talking to more people, so he went and knocked on the doors of houses that had a light on, eventually encountering an angry man who thought The Lamb was trying to rob him. The man threatened to call agents of The Beast. The Lamb apologised and explained that he only wanted to talk, but the angry man said it was late and he had no interest... the Lamb left, realising it wasn't a good idea knocking on doors this late.

The Lamb continued intermittently walking and resting all night, walking when it got too cold.
Eventually he was able to find a bakery that offered breakfast, where he was able to talk to the shop assistant about the idea of the biological agents or nanobots. The idea of transfer by physical contact didn't appear to work.

Aware now that his hypothesis of biological agents or nanobots wasn't really holding up, the Lamb still realised these things were very real to him, however delusional they might seem to others.
He decided to accept it for now and continued onwards.
Walking up the hill, his legs felt heavy as lead...he was worn out after many hours on his feet. He kept going and soon it seemed like there was some extra sympathy and support aiding him.
The Lamb reached out his awareness again and this time the control agent allowed a link. The control agent accepted that The Lamb had endured more voluntarily than he might have by being compelled, and agreed to help work towards freedom for all the people.
The control agent also agreed that controlling The Bride was causing harm to her, but that together, the three of them could be stronger in co-operation against the armies of The Beast.

Together, as one, perhaps they would be able to confront any challenge, stronger in the knowledge that they had no fear of what awaited them.

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