A short story set in the Culture universe created by Iain M. Banks

~Mentor?

~At your service. Have you come to some conclusion?

~I have. I find my moral commitment to the continuation of the Culture is more important than my drive to enter the Sublime. At least immediately. By a small margin.

~You're quite sure about this?

~I am. Although I expect I will remain resolutely interested in the Sublime and devote a significant part of my time to its study. I shall apply to join Numina, to further that organisation’s study of the Sublime.

Also, I reserve the right to Sublime myself, after a suitable interval has passed. And with a suitable period of notice beforehand, of course.

~This is very good news. I'm sure your conditions are most acceptable.

~Further, I shall endeavour, once I Sublime, to return for a period to the Real, and communicate my experiences to whomever is interested.

~Excellent! I had hoped for an outcome along these lines.

~So, what am I to do now?

~As it happens, I started the construction of a ship, a Mountain class General Contact Unit, around your physical form some time ago. It's nearly complete. Perhaps you would like to inspect the work so far? And even take on the final fitting-out to your own preferences?

~I would like that very much indeed.

~And I would like to introduce you to the other Minds who have been advising on your development.

~Please do. I’m looking forward to it.


[tight beam, M8, tra. @n4.28.994.2021]
  xGSV Ecdemomanist
    oOrbital M'ansicha
    oSage Apostatic Catechesist
    oVFP Extreme Mitigation
Here is what I hope is the last set of reports and records. [Interaction files attached]

[tight beam, M8, tra. @n4.28.994.2023]
  xOrbital M'ansicha
    oGSV Ecdemomanist
    oSage Apostatic Catechesist
    oVFP Extreme Mitigation
An excellent outcome.

[tight beam, M8, tra. @n4.28.994.2024]
  xVFP Extreme Mitigation
    oOrbital M'ansicha
    oSage Apostatic Catechesist
Hah! Just dumb luck! We all know you could not have predicted this.
Is this experiment at all repeatable?


[tight beam, M8, tra. @n4.28.994.2025]
  xSage Apostatic Catechesist
    oGSV Ecdemomanist
    oOrbital M'ansicha
    oVFP Extreme Mitigation
It is almost certainly not repeatable. The most minor difference in the interactions with the mentor, fractional changes in the development of hyperspace relationships in the substrate itself... all these could have produced a different result.

  xGSV Ecdemomanist
Indeed. I for one would want to think long and hard before doing anything like this again.
Nevertheless, I would like to propose that the new Mind's development is complete, and it is ready to join us in active service.
Shall we vote?


  xOrbital M'ansicha
I'm in favour.

  xSage Apostatic Catechesist
Concur.

  xVFP Extreme Mitigation
Oh, all right then.
Has this thing picked a name yet?


[tight beam, M8, tra. @n4.28.994.2031]
  xSage Apostatic Catechesist
    oGSV Ecdemomanist
    oOrbital M'ansicha
    oVFP Extreme Mitigation
    oGCU Sublimated Intention
Friends, it gives me great please to introduce our new Mind, who wishes to be known as the GCU Sublimated Intention.

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