Everything can be reduced down to simpler components and likewise, complexity can emerge from the multitude of simple interactions between simple system. Chemistry emerges from the interaction of sub-atomic particles. Biology emerges from the interaction of semi-self-sustaining chemical reactions. Complex life forms emerge from the interaction between simple single cells. Human consciousness emerges from the interactions and between millions of neurons sending chemical and electrical messages.
There are billions of human beings on Earth, interacting with each other in millions of ways, at different rates. Telecommunications has brought everyone closer together, made every interaction ripple that much more throughout the whole world. Information exchanges hands financially, electronically, audibly. People live, die and the ripples spread on in complex patterns invisible to the individual.
But what happens when life begins to emerge from these components. A meta-life-form whose organs are cities and data exchanges, whose mind runs on a substrate of human interaction itself, whose flesh is a hybrid of concrete, steel and human beings. Just as a human being isn’t aware of each individual cell in their bodies, nor is this meta-life aware of us, but then again, a single cell isn’t a sentient being and if they were, what would they have to say to the bodies they make up?
What are the dangers of such an interaction taking place? A rat, given a button that directly stimulates its pleasure centres, starves to death, pressing the button till its last moment. Would this meta-life-form do the same, and if it dies, what does that mean for humanity?
Humanity is waking up.
Lots of fun ideas for this. Conspiracy theories of people trying to control the meta-beast for their own ends, people trying to communicate with it or accidentally discovering it. Possible alien involvement - what happens when the beast wants to mate, what kind of time scales does it operate over - a human refreshes every cell over 7 years puts lives on average 80. Is a basic cellular refresh an 80-year cycle for it? Is there more than one, existing across geographical, economic and digital boundaries? Are any even intelligent yet or are they merely the meta-equivalent of single cellular creatures or something more? Lots of fun questions to explore, I think a strong usage of biological analogy taken literally is appropriate - say we go down the conspiracy route, someone is looking into alien cover-ups and finds that they’ve happened, but more by accident than anything else. There is no government conspiracy, it’s larger and less centralised than that. It’s almost like society has some kind of immuno-response to aliens on a social level… Or some kind of economic collapse can be expressed as some kind of cancer or wasting disease of the meta-life-form when remapped into a meta-biological framework. That kind of thing.