Enchanted Assemblages: "The Cloud"

Is there more to existence? Yes, but probably not in the way you are thinking.

No post-apocalyptic setting would be complete without a order of religious fanatics which serve the evil empire which hunts down the protagonist. So, here is where my story focuses on and for what reason.

First, some back story: 'The Cloud' is a source of unlimited data storage. It emerged after the phase shift and enabled not only the unlimited storage of data but also a psychedelic-like experience for those cyborgs which were able to 'ascend,' i.e., connect, to the cloud. For cyborgs, the benefits for doing so were many: it encouraged growth, psychological well-being, tissue regeneration, emotional stability and more. It was a game-changer and so the cloud began being called 'Heaven' after the Abrahamic texts from pre-collapse society.

Obviously, such a cloud is a powerful construction; so, needless to say, it needed to be controlled and subordinated to a organized force. This is where we enter the Monastic order called 'The Order of the Storm.' They are a cyborg cult dedicated to the maintenance-- re: access to-- the cloud. Their goal is to bolster the Long Lasting Empire by providing a spiritual element to the oppression faced by those exploited by LLE. But it also helped them reinforce their own order and theological dogma. The LLE provided military aid to The Order of the Storm when militant liberationists (this is Hurricane, a sect of anti-imperial rebels) within the Order attempted to make access to Heaven on an egalitarian basis, one which didn't necessitate affiliation with the order.

This Heaven is an afterlife for those Cyboric faithfuls. Engagement with the cloud revealed that the more one up-linked with the cloud, the more they transferred of themselves. Eventually, aspects of their person-hood were stored in the cloud's memory. Though only semi-aware of their continued living, these uploaded, or 'enlightened' persons, could communicate with the still living and continue their activities within the now centralized and hierarchical religious structure of the order.

So, the Cloud is an anomaly. It is worship like both a deity as well as an after life. It came forth only after the phase shift and though able to store unlimited amounts of data, at least as far as humanity is concerned, it is a mysterious void in which non-cyborgs only may experience as nightmarish scenarios. So, obviously this is a product which does not follow our own interpretations of gravity and physics. It exists on a higher dimensional plane and is as foreign to 3D lifeforms as a 2D is to the 3D dimensional.

As a entity which disobeys the laws of physics, it is a mistake. It should not exist but nonetheless does exist. It is fragile and will likely be expunged as soon as the dimensional plane which emerged from the phase shift stabilizes into a solid plane. Do life-forms live in this cloud? Does it have a intelligence? Or, does it have an agenda? We shall have to wait and see...