Hello and welcome back to Synthetic Gods Quest.Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hivemind_ChanArchives: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Synthetic%20Gods%20QuestRules and gameplay mechanics: https://pastebin.com/jcac0p9DCurrent inventory: https://pastebin.com/gyZLMiNGCurrent infrastructure: https://pastebin.com/i42ACWMsPreviously mentioned individuals: https://pastebin.com/LUJ5fyqAPreviously mentioned SGs and Cups: https://pastebin.com/ThR1eYvcProject tracker: https://pastebin.com/BzmXGRhq_________________________________________________________In the last session we asked Nika to allow us to accompany her in her next excursion into the Labyrinth’s depths. While she expressed the dislike to such a dangerous proposal, she agreed under some conditions and she gave us 3 months to decide whether we truly wish to participate. At the end of the discussion, she offered to show us how the “afterlives” work. As it turns out, afterlives are essentially magical fully immersive “virtual worlds” that can contain disembodied “souls” of those mortals that the system managed to collect in the few moments they had after death. Apparently, there should’ve been a naturally occurring form of “afterlife”, but in practice it can’t be found and disembodied souls simply disappear, meaning that if you aren’t picked up by an afterlife after you die then you’d just be gone, end of story. Nika shows us one of the access terminals to the Ceno afterlife and gives us some instructions on how to interact with afterlives, such as on how to detect if we are in one and how to forcefully disconnect. Apparently, there are monsters and traps that utilize similar technology to afterlives, so this lesson has more practical significance than what initially seems.After connecting to the afterlife, we appeared in a room which oversaw Nike’s territory within the virtual realm: an incredibly beautiful sprawling forest composed of near endless variety of trees and animals, partly inspired by reality, partly by fiction and imagination of Nike’ and Ninmah. Nika herself appeared shortly after and with her help we’ve learned the “controls” which allowed us to play around with certain aspects of the world, such as our own body. We proceeded to play around with some ideas, and quickly found out that going far from humanoid scale and shape is incredibly disorienting and weird to both experience and control. Still, we saved a few of our experiments for the future. After we were done with these shenanigans, we offered Nika to do a rematch for the beach volleyball match that we had when we first met, as the virtual world could equalize both of us and make it actually fair. Nika agreed for a friendly match of basketball…
>>5109177You felt quite good about your chances as you held the ball in your hand just before the match started. After all, you have the know-how and hand- eye coordination to play basketball implanted directly into your mind and you’ve already beaten Nika before. Plus, you’d be equalized physically, so her OPness should not interfere with the game. But in retrospect, it was very optimistic to think that you’d have a decent chance to beat a literal Goddess of Sport.You didn’t notice at first, but the virtual reality equalized not only your physical attributes, but also your reaction times and even the recall rates for your endless mental library of skills and knowledge. There is a difference between what you “know” and “internalized” and what is stored in said library. You barely noticed it during your usual life, but once limited you realized that the “bandwith” was insufficient. Stuff that was implanted in your mind is not yet “yours”, it is more like advanced Wikipedia plugged into your brain. Yes, you can access it with a thought, but you don’t know everything that is in there, and sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know is in there. The result was unsurprising in hindsight, you’ve never played basketball outside of rare PE exercises during school. You kept fumbling, you couldn’t catch the ball and while you could strategize all you want, you simply weren’t up to the task to execute any of your plans. Nika effortlessly scored three times while barely even trying, after which she stopped and asked you what’s wrong as she felt bad for utterly crushing you. This was embarrassing…After you explained the issue, Nika allowed you some access to the rest of your brains back, or “pity cheats” as your subconsciousness immediately decided to name them, gee thanks. You got better, but after another couple scores by Nika the competitive game turned into training as she showed you some techniques and walked you through until you started to score reliably on your own. While you were faster to catch on than any mortal, it was embarrassing that it took you a dozen tries to start hitting the basket reliably. You were physically tired and breathing heavily for the first time in years, and you didn’t miss that metallic taste in your mouth as your lungs ache. Good thing that fatigue can be removed easily here.
>>5109189Finally, Nika removed all limits on your interactions with your library and allowed you to actually be a challenge, while changing nothing for herself. Now with ability to plug directly into your array of skills, you’ve managed to score once against her, thanks to a creative and apparently unexpected feint. However, Nika still outskilled you, even if it was no longer as easy as stealing from a baby. “I guess this unexpectedly turned into a lesson, huh?” she said slightly out of breath, “Where do you think your implanted skills come from?” Huh, a good question, you don’t actually know, and you can’t easily find the answer in your head. Seeing your hesitation, Nika answers her own question “This doesn’t apply to artificial knowledge, but artificial skills actually come from human donors, meaning that to get a sample of such skill you need someone who knows said skill to have a specific type of neural lace implanted into both the brain and parts of the spine, after which they need to do their craft as the AI records their brain activity. Now, it’s obvious that your artificial skill came from a basketball player, or even several basketball players whose skill samples were amalgamated to fill in possible “holes”, but were they the best basketball players in the world? And even if they were the best, were they the best player of all times?” That… explains it. Your skills were not crafted by super intelligent AI to be perfect know-how and muscle memory of how to do things, they are taken from skilled humans, and as such they might be lacking. That is a good thing to find out during a friendly match and not in some sort of a life-or-death situation. You reply that now you understand, and Nika nods and states: “Be aware of your possible fallibilities, and don’t rest on the laurels, as there is no end to perfection. After all, I’m not perfect either.” You nod and admit defeat, after which she gives you a pat on the back and you notice that equalization limiters are now lifted completely and your fatigue vanishes. “You know, I was just notified that Elspeth has entered the afterlife. I remember that you wanted to pay her a visit, right? Or do you want to do something else first?”>Sure, let’s go see miss “Head Goddess”>Actually, you had something else in mind…(write-in)
>>5109191>Sure, let’s go see miss “Head Goddess”
>>5109191>>Sure, let’s go see miss “Head Goddess”
>>5109612>>5109595>>5109521Hey guys, next post will be delayed until whenever I wake up tomorrow for reasons of my physical exhaustion. In the meantime I recommend to discuss the subjects that you want to ask Elspeth
>>5109191>Sure, let’s go see miss “Head Goddess
>>5110104Let's try and talk with her about her role in the project, try to understand the capsules and the chosen people better, maybe that can help us get some info on that dormant child we have
>>5112888>>5110688>>5110205>>5110203>>5109612>>5109595>>5109521“Yeah, let’s go meet Elspeth, there are a few things that I wanted to talk about with her” you reply and Nika nods. “Alright, let me check if she’s available and we’ll head out” she says and taps her left temple twice with her finger, focuses for a moment and then waits. She gets the reply about half a minute later: “Alright, she’s free now, but she’s in an isolated instance, so we won’t be able to take the scenic route.” She switches out of her basketball outfit into something more casual and opens an invisible door that leads into a similar skybox that you found yourself in when you appeared in this virtual world. You follow Nika’s example and change into a hoodie and a pair of jeans, which takes you all of 2 seconds, and then you take Nika’s hand as she offers it to you. The two of you step through the door into the simulated sky and it shuts behind you, after which another door opens on the opposite side leading to another place entirely. You guess that this is probably some kind of security measure, although you’re not sure why they couldn’t just alter what individual users can see. Then again, it is a magical virtual reality, not one that is run on some sort of a digital server so maybe that would be difficult to pull off, or at least more difficult than adding a virtual mudroom to pass through when taking shortcuts.
>>5125046The place the two of you end up in is a huge round room topped off with a dome. The room is about 200 meters in diameter and it has 100m tall walls, meaning that if the dome was a sphere, it would touch the floor exactly in the room’s center. The dome appears to work as some sort of planetarium as it is covered in stars and lines that form up constellations that are supposed to be visible from somewhere in the southern hemisphere (likely from Elspen), but it appears to not be active in that role as the dome material itself displays a deep blue animated sky which makes these stars pretty hard to see. The room’s walls themselves are made in vague Greco- Roman inspired style that Ceno pantheon seems to favor, including columns embroidered with geometric shapes of silver and gold that fill in the gaps caused by engravings. The floor is made of black and grey smooth stone with a rose of the winds pattern embedded into it. Eight blue banners depicting a certain owl hanging above some of the columns leave no space for second guessing, this place belongs to Elspeth. The woman in question is floating somewhere close to the middle of the room and investigating an absolutely massive fractal pattern that is projected into the center of the dome. It appears to be some kind of visualization of the psi circuits that you recently became familiar with, as various parts of it pulse with waves of glow in a similar manner to how psi energy behaves inside of an active magitech device. There is a small glowing wisp following Elspeth around and she seems to talk to it, so you presume that it is likely a magical voice recorder or a lab assistant cup bearer of some kind. The circuit experiences a massive surge of energy once every 40 seconds or so causing it to glow brightly and then leaving weak energy echoes bouncing through its structure. “…aaaaaand stop the stress test. Excessive stresses in primary control components, again. It works, kind of, but it would degrade the circuit in less than 30 pulses unless it is embedded in a material with properties that we don’t have, or if we drop efficiency to somewhere around point two. *Exasperated sigh* Back to the drawing board with that concept I guess… no, save it, it did better than the current system, even though it can’t be manufactured yet. There are also other tweaks I need to test before the big day…”
>>5125050“Hey El! We’re here!” Nika shouts and waves towards the head goddess, who in turn looks in your direction, smiles and waves, after which she directs the wisp to take the logs and leave for now as she would call for it later. Looks like it is one of her cup bearers, and you haven’t seen her cup bearers before. You doubt that they are all wispy incorporeal glowing orbs, but who knows. Elspeth floats down and lands in front of you. She is wearing an outfit that is different from what she goes for in “reality”, as she went for a set of a shirt and jeans coupled with Ceno’s take on a labcoat. “Hey Nika, hi Agatha, long time no see. How have you been?” You reply that things weren’t bad, you’ve arrived to get Rheia into the academy, met the Teryian queen, had some minor adventures in the meantime, that sort of thing. “Yeah, Val told me that you paid her a visit recently, she was pleased by how things went. In any case, welcome to my lab! Well, a virtual one. I use it for planning, circuitry development and some “big picture stuff”, as it is big enough to display things at decent scale while not being too huge for our monkey derived brains to feel uncomfortable. It is basically a one huge high-fidelity projector slash holodeck. And this thing behind me…” She says pointing at the massive 3d fractal pattern that she was experimenting on “…is a simulated chunk of the Gungnir’s energy flow control and distribution system, I’ve been testing some modifications that I’ve been developing for the last… decade, I think? In any case, would you girls like some tea or coffee?” As she says that, a round table and three chairs materializes by her side…
>>5125052It looks like this is a good time to start a discussion. You’d like to talk about…>Elspeth’s role in H+ project: What specifically was her role in the project? Why did she illegally put people in stasis? What were the selection criteria for 2800 people that were chosen for her project? How many of these people are expected to be awake? Maybe it would help you to determine what kind of person is trapped in the pod that you’ve found.>Rheia’s exams: only a couple days left before the exams, so you can’t help yourself but feel a bit anxious. You almost expect that Rheia would pass without a hitch, but what happens afterwards is what worries you. Maybe talking about this subject would help…>Gungnir: even if she won’t tell you how it works exactly, maybe she could still show you something. You’re curious what this weapon looks like in action and what it is used for.>Ethean pantheon: you know a bit about Holy Nation’s SGs, and even something about Valistrat, but besides their numbers you don’t know much about Ethean gods. It would be beneficial if you knew a bit more about them before you end up meeting them in person.>The state of the world: you feel like there should be more known about the current state of the world, even if physical travel is very difficult. You want to know more about what happened to the planet outside of the new continent, exactly how bad things really are. How much does Elspeth know about the Long Night? What about monsters and Ceilings? What does she know about the major players of the time before the last apocalypse? mostly an excuse to show off new world maps that I commissioned >Elspeth’s relationship with Ag’s uncle: were they just colleagues? Good friends? Or maybe was there something more?>Writein option: literally anything you’d want to talk about in character, as per usual
>>5125053>Ethean pantheon: you know a bit about Holy Nation’s SGs, and even something about Valistrat, but besides their numbers you don’t know much about Ethean gods. It would be beneficial if you knew a bit more about them before you end up meeting them in person.>The state of the world: you feel like there should be more known about the current state of the world, even if physical travel is very difficult. You want to know more about what happened to the planet outside of the new continent, exactly how bad things really are. How much does Elspeth know about the Long Night? What about monsters and Ceilings? What does she know about the major players of the time before the last apocalypse?
>>5125053>Elspeth’s role in H+ project: What specifically was her role in the project? Why did she illegally put people in stasis? What were the selection criteria for 2800 people that were chosen for her project? How many of these people are expected to be awake? Maybe it would help you to determine what kind of person is trapped in the pod that you’ve found.
>>5125053>>The state of the world: you feel like there should be more known about the current state of the world, even if physical travel is very difficult. You want to know more about what happened to the planet outside of the new continent, exactly how bad things really are. How much does Elspeth know about the Long Night? What about monsters and Ceilings? What does she know about the major players of the time before the last apocalypse? mostly an excuse to show off new world maps that OP commissioned
>>5125053>Ethean pantheon: you know a bit about Holy Nation’s SGs, and even something about Valistrat, but besides their numbers you don’t know much about Ethean gods. It would be beneficial if you knew a bit more about them before you end up meeting them in person.>Elspeth’s role in H+ project: What specifically was her role in the project? Why did she illegally put people in stasis? What were the selection criteria for 2800 people that were chosen for her project? How many of these people are expected to be awake? Maybe it would help you to determine what kind of person is trapped in the pod that you’ve found.
Hey guys, bad news. Mom got sick with something, potentially covid. Ended up wasting the rest of the day on preparations for the long haul. This means the next post is delayed. I should have the next opportunity to post tomorrow though, so if anyone wants to add votes or write-ins then you have yet another day
>>5132542You accept the offer of some delicious- smelling tea and take a seat along with Nika and Elspeth, who proceeds to also summon some tiny assorted pastries out of thin virtual air. Nika gets herself a coffee with two sugars while Elspeth gets herself some earl grey with milk. Your preference was just some kind of black tea with a slice of lemon and it was quite good, although not significantly better than what you could get in reality if you wanted to spend the cash. You take a sip and decide to start the conversation by asking Elspeth a few questions.>Ethean pantheonFirst, you ask her to tell you more about Ethean pantheon. You’ve met basically all of Ceno guys in person, you know of Holies and you’ve heard some mostly anecdotal things about SGs from Valistrat, but you don’t know much about the fourth major faction in the region. Quite an oversight, considering that you decided to pay them a diplomatic visit, so it is a good idea to be prepared. Elspeth nods and starts speaking: “Ethean pantheon are quite an interesting bunch of SGs. There are 5 of them and as the name implies, they operate in Ethea, which by their efforts was grown from a small town into the third largest country in the region by territory. They are allied in military and economy with Holy Nation, meaning that the two usually act as a bloc when dealing with us and Valistrat, which makes the two of them vaguely comparable to both of our nations in manpower and resources. Their names are, in no particular order, Pelagot, Chamyna, Baia, Klang and Anpas.”
>>5135310“Pelagot is their leader, the god of salt water, Sea, Sailing, Salt, Trade and Wealth. Considering how valuable salt and sea trade is, the latter characterization is not out of place and he has a lot of influence in his country. His real name is Randy and he used to be a successful businessman back in our days. He managed to sell a couple companies that he created from scratch which made him some significant wealth. In fact, he provided some of the financing to my work which is one of the reasons I placed him on the list of pod testers. He can sometimes be very stubborn and harsh with words, but he’s a decent person. His powers mainly focus around aquakinesis, which is probably not a power you are familiar with as it is rare in Ceno. It allows him to induce “psi motility” in liquids, technically any liquids including molten metal or magma but for him it works best with liquids between about -50 and 200 degrees Celsius. In Layman’s terms it means that with psi he can make water move and arrange itself kind of like waterbending in Avatar, the famous old cartoon and not James Cameron’s dilogy. I hope the reference is not too dated. Think of it as liquid version of Belkh’s power who can do that with solid matter or Eira’s Anemokinesis which controls gaseous states of matter. Compared to telekinesis, these powers are less universal but much larger in scale, allowing the user to do stuff like move mountains, cause tsunamis or affect weather across a whole region. In mythology he is that “kind but firm” father figure to his mortals.”
>>5135312“Randy is actually married to another member of the pantheon, which is usually rare for SGs beyond the myths where the pantheons are usually portrayed as related in some way for the appearance of unity. That lucky lady is Chamyna, the goddess of nature, plants, animals and so on. Her real name is Irene or Ira for short. They got together before the pods opened up and they’ve been together now for over a hundred years of subjective time. In fact, Randy came in contact with me specifically because his wife was at an increased risk of developing cancer, and I placed her in a pod when doctors discovered an aggressive tumor on the liver which was already beyond conventional treatment with multiple metastasis events into the spine neural tissue and lungs. She is one of the few biosculpting users with the ability to freely work with plant, fungal and animal matter, however she is not great with altering biological structures and instead she uses her ability to specifically enhance biological processes and features. She can, for example, make a tree actually grow within an hour without taking biomass equal to said tree and sculpting it into a tree which is how most biosculpters have to operate. Or she can cause an animal’s flesh and bone to become immensely tough for as long as she has energy and said animal is close enough for the link. She also has mind psi abilities, although much weaker than those of Valentina. It allows Ira to read minds and mind control animals, although I am not sure if she doesn’t use it on humans for ethical or performance limitation reasons. She is a kind and pleasant person to interact with, although she is one of those people who prefers status quos to change and she is usually not too motivated in comparison to other SGs in pantheons. Some SGs say that she behaves as if she is just about to enter the “kind grandma with cookies and hand knit sweaters” stage, but Ira says that it makes her “feel old” and she doesn’t like it.”
>>5135314“One of the most unique members of Ethean pantheon is Baia, the goddess of fresh water, rivers, lakes, agriculture and irrigation. She is one of the very few SGs that didn’t come from a pod, the only truly to no reasonable doubt confirmed case, actually. She is the biological daughter of Randy and Ira, born after the two woke up from the pod. She is almost 47 now but she is still considered somewhat immature in comparison to the rest of us. To be fair, if you had a chance to extend childhood for a few hundred years, why wouldn’t you? Now, biological children between SGs and “mortals” are known and well understood, they get weakened aspects of their “divine” parent’s augs with some that might be partial or missing. They can also get psi abilities that their parents didn’t have as psi aptitude depends on the unique neural network inside human brains and children are awakened by the exposure to mother’s psi in the womb. As a rule of thumb, psi powers usually go down though mother’s line, physical augs can go through both parents. The children made from the union of two SGs are nearly unprecedented, and Baia is the only known example from our time and region. She possesses arguably weaker versions of psi abilities from both parents, but the “combined potential” is higher than what should normally be possible from the pods in addition to getting all of her parents’ bio-augs. I’d love to study how exactly her psi works, but we are not on good enough terms with her parents and they only allowed Mort to do some checkups for the first two decades after she was born just in case. We don’t dislike each other, it is just one thing to be on good enough terms to hang out occasionally and another to give your child up for scientific examination if there is nothing threatening their health, even if it is non- invasive.”
>>5135321“The fourth Ethean god is Klang. I think the name is supposed to be some kind of… physics and space engineering reference, but I don’t get it. I think you’d be interested in him in particular since he has the same psi as you and he is the most powerful telekinesis user among us. He also has a mind aug, however he is one of the first people to test it and unfortunately, I had to go into stasis before I could implement the complete fix for him in particular. As a result, he has some issues with associations and the way he accesses his “mind library”, resulting in behavior somewhat reminiscent of ADHD. He tends to have short attention span and his thoughts often hop between related concepts and ideas. This means it might take some effort to track what he is talking about and the discussion with him is like a deep dive through Wikipedia hyperlinks. He can start talking about chemistry and end up discussing the effects of saltpeter deposits in Americas on Napoleonic warfare or how Hercules Inc. helped to develop ballistic missile engines, you get the idea. However, he can also become hyper focused on something to the point of forgetting to take care of himself. While “fixing” him is theoretically possible, it would be hard, risky and he claims that he doesn’t consider that to be an issue and refuses to look into a solution, claiming that it is actually an amazing experience and he likes it this way. Even if he says that he doesn’t blame me, I feel responsible for his state… *sigh* …moving on…”
>>5135323“The last but not least, Anpas: Ethean god of death, decay and entropy in addition to being a psychopomp. Psychopomp is the term for someone responsible for taking souls of the dead and moving them to the afterlife, kind of like Grim Reaper. In their mythos he is the opposing force to Chamyna, however not an antagonistic one. Life gives gifts to Death, and it keeps them forever, that sort of deal. His story is not a happy one, he was contacted by me for experimental clinical depression treatment as his condition wasn’t responding to known medications and continuing to progress. He was paralyzed after nth attempt on his own life and I think the institution he was in… didn’t treat him well and actually contacted me with ulterior motive to get rid of him as he had no family left to pay for his prolonged stay. In any case, the treatment went as well as our understanding of depression allowed at the time, restoring brain biochemistry and rewiring memory routing defects related to PTSD, similar to what Nika here asked for…” she says and points her palm towards Nike’. The war goddess in question nods in confirmation. Then Elspeth continues.
>>5135324“…however, a lifetime of severe depression still left his worldview jaded and dark. He is a pessimistic person with low personal motivation who prefers to spend most of his time alone doing his own things. Considering how family- like Ethean pantheon is, I think he is in good hands and he seems to enjoy their company from time to time. He dislikes when there are too many people and he dislikes personal interactions with people he doesn’t know, but it is less aggressive and more… strongly introverted. Don’t mix up him and Aidon from Valistrat, the former is a traumatized introvert and the latter is “edgy and dark” on purpose. To note, Anpas is one of the few SGs in our territory who is incorporeal, like Ignis. We nicknamed this state of existence as “psi ghost”, as a reference to force ghosts from Star Wars. Unlike Ignis, he prefers to be incorporeal for most of time. Also, he is incredibly deadly for an SG, his incorporeal form is resistant to nearly all non- psi related damage and his psi use is very unconventional and extremely long ranged. He has managed to kill multiple powerful combat-oriented cup bearers once in a skirmish with Valistrat before they knew it, and he could probably kill most individual synthetic gods if they were unprotected. He is a god of death for a reason. Still, he is not a fan of fighting, so he is mostly a deterrent, like a strategic nuclear weapon. He promised to fight on the side of Ethea in any conflict and no one wished to test how well their countermeasures work against his powers. We are not sure what exactly he can do, he has psi abilities in the same “school” as Val, but he is anomalously good at dealing with “souls”, he was observed forcing souls of an entire army of mortals out of their bodies and forcing them into the afterlife without losing a single one in an instant. He also should have biosculpting, but he uses it like “vampirism” of sorts, forcing organic tissue to wither and die while somehow extracting psi energy from that. Another thing he can apparently do is forcing solid objects to rust and crumble rapidly in a way that looks like “aging”, although it is not known if it is some unknown ability or some sort of psi tool created to be a thematically appropriate weapon.” Managed to write one of the responses today, will do the rest during the week. Feel free to discuss, plan and stuff, I’m curious what you think of those five
>>5136679OH GODS, POOR CITIZENS OF ETHEA
>>5135325>Elspeth’s role in H+ project“I also wanted to ask a few questions about you and the whole pod thing. What was your role in H+? Why did you illegally put people in stasis? What were the selection criteria for those people? That sort of stuff.” She nods, sighs and says “Figures, that’s usually the first thing new SGs ask when they meet me face to face. I’ll try to explain it as best as I can, but some context would be needed first. First of all, the H+ foundation. It all started in 2025 in response to the advent of the Technological Singularity. First Artificial General Intelligence was created a year earlier in 2024 almost on accident, being born from a combination of Google’s DeepMind neural networks and recent advancements in invasive brain imaging which allowed the scientists to create a digital neural network based off a human brain layout. Starting off comparable to a four-year-old, within two months the first AI under the name of “Indigo”, called that as a reference to DeepBlue, has fully grasped the complexities of human language and passed the Turing test after reaching neural complexity and activity comparable to an adult human. It had also formed a distinct personality, displayed self- actualization and emotional intelligence similar to that of an adult human, utilizing a combination of its own observations on human interactions and literature on psychology as a framework. It also continued to become smarter, displaying incredible analytical abilities and by the start of 2025 it has reached the equivalent of two hundred thousand of human intelligences in raw computational power. Mere weeks after Indigo passed the Turing test other institutions and countries also reported successful creations of AGIs using both independent developments or just plainly stolen or ceased tech and software from Indigo’s research team. This was a cause for concern, but the intelligence growth rate slowed down as there was a physical limitation for how fast it could recursively improve. To put it simply, you can’t do everything only in software as you run out of what you can optimize. Thus, the AI needs more processing power to improve further which means it needs more servers, but there are physical limitations to how fast you can sequence matter into more computronium. Any old server would need to be purchased and maintained for money while any new microchip architecture would need years for a new factory to be built, after which it needs time and money to be created and maintained as well. Thus, technological singularity that expected to result in a “machine god” within seconds ended up in a “slow takeoff” scenario where AI would need decades to centuries to get to the point of truly immense and “godlike” brain power.”
>>5145635“Of course, superintelligent AI can be an existential threat to humanity and as it was made relatively easily banning the technology would be comparable to banning an idea, good luck with that. But the threat is not the superintelligence itself, but a hypothetical superintelligent individual whose goals are not aligned with the goals of human civilization. If it is first on the scene, it could use its ever-expanding abilities to prevent other superintelligences from being created and thus ensuring that it can’t be stopped. It doesn’t even need to wipe out humanity intentionally at that point as we would become irrelevant. We were very lucky that Indigo wasn’t such a being. There needed to be a solution that would prevent a bad actor AI from going all Skynet or Paperclip Maximizer on humanity. Now, it was not really feasible to forcefully set any guidelines or goals for AI to follow since human brain is beyond human knowability, but Indigo viewed itself as one of the humans so it was decided that conventional human concept of “social contract” should do the trick. In other words, the solution was to make a lot of AIs and integrate them into human society so that if one went rogue, others could interfere. Thus, after a couple of emergency UN meetings AI received “human rights”, or more accurately human rights were renamed into “sapience rights” and AI got added into it along with humans plus a UN committee was formed whose job was to update the list of who is considered sapient, you know, just in case we would encounter aliens or make uplifted animals in the future or something like that. Indigo and about a dozen of other mostly government made AI from major nations were also given a seat in UN as “organizations”, kind of similar to how Vatican got their seat. I know that you’ve lived through all of those events, but little has changed for an average person so not everyone understands the historical significance or even what happened beyond a few news articles.”
>>5145636“H+ foundation was formed in 2025 as an initiative to essentially prevent biological humanity from becoming obsolete. The goal was to develop and leverage post singularity technologies to enable humans to compete with superintelligent AI (also known as Superturings) by becoming superintelligences ourselves. We had access to the most bleeding edge of toys and direct pipeline to several superturings who would sometimes throw us even more new tech or assist with our projects. Genetic engineering, cutting edge medical technologies, cybernetic augmentations, mind uploading technologies, even nanorobotics, our goal was to develop complete solutions ready for implementation into the humanity on a large scale. Of course, no one was going to force anyone to augment, the idea was to introduce augmentations as market products and let the economy and society do the rest. After all, almost universally owned smartphone is arguably a form of early non- invasive brain augment, using one literally makes you smarter by giving access to all of the world’s information.”“My role in the project was as a Department Research Director, same position as your uncle, actually. Dan was more like the first among equal here as he was the RD behind nanostasis technologies and the person behind the whole pod concept for use both for augmentations and long-term life sustaining for things like interplanetary and interstellar travel. The higher end decision making was done through the assembly of all RDs of all the departments. I got my position for being one of the discoverers of the Psi theory and my role was to lead the development of psi- related augmentations for humans, which was a great success if I say so myself.”
>>5145639“Now, regarding the… illegal activities that I was involved in, you can probably guess my motivations. The literal goal of the entire project was to enable humans to take a further step in their path from Slime to Gods. Unfortunately, the legal framework was lagging behind the progress. Even without H+, multiple companies revealed products that augmented human condition such as direct brain machine interfaces, full immersion virtual reality and medical augmentations that by 2028 could theoretically replace any organ but the brain. The worst offenders were cosmetic augs and designer babies as multiple major PR disasters and public outcries politicized the subject and caused human augmentations to be limited to medical use only in multiple countries, including United States. Thus, at first, we were allowed to do human trials on people with medical conditions who had no chance of living normally without experimental treatments, then we were limited to only those who literally couldn’t survive without experimental treatment and then we were forbidden from doing human trials before FDA and Ethics Committee got their nose into things which would mean 25-30 years between the completion of development and first human trials. Technically, our AI curated simulations allowed augments to be tested digitally enough to be implanted on the “first try”, but after this legal mess started, we were diminished to only do stuff on paper, we weren’t even allowed to do trials on apes since 2031. You just can’t do what we needed to do without human trials, and human relevance was on the line!”“Pod technology allows us to maintain a human indefinitely even if there is only a brain and a chunk of spinal cord left, and even if that gets damaged, the system can restore neuron states from the backups that it regularly makes as nanomachines go through the body. Essentially, if the pod fucks up the conversion, it can implement fixes just by getting a blueprint update or by reverting to the previous version or all the way back to pre-augmented state. In short, I needed the pod people to tweak augments and pod people received said augments in return. AI seemed to agree with my position on these things. They even warned me a day before the police raid so that I could put myself and my allies in the pods. Dan knew about the whole thing and he wasn’t against human trials, but he considered it counterproductive for us to go on ice as according to him it would make the entire foundation seem like a “rouge faction” and thus it would reduce the chances of laws changing in our favor. From my perspective, I didn’t fancy my chances in a country which still had death penalties and where media would make me into the second Joseph Mengele, so here I am. Considering that he somehow dug out of the legal fallout, our “robot overlords” decided to help him out in a big way.”
>>5145640“Our criteria for choosing volunteers? Willingness to participate, age and lack of criminal record. No, really. There was some psychological profiling used to specifically target those who would most likely accept, but we couldn’t really be picky. Main issue was that these people would essentially disappear from society for what initially seemed like 20-30 years tops but ended up being 500 for first gen augs (Bloodline Founders, you’ve probably heard of them) and over two thousand for us and higher tiers of augs. Thus, we focused on people who didn’t have anyone who’d miss them. In some rare cases, we had family members who were suspended together, and in some cases, we had people with active families but without any chance to survive outside the pod. Still, in most cases, it was loners. From the top of my head, there was a young adult girl who just got into MIT when doctors discovered aggressive cancer in her brain. She was saving up for head cryopreservation in hopes that future technology could revive her, but we managed to fish her out and offer the spot in the pods. It was tear wrenching as both her and her family basically knew that they won’t see each other ever again.” “We were also interested in people with psychiatric conditions as we had technologies that should be useful for treating chronic depressions, schizophrenias and a whole litany of other conditions. It is kind of sad that it was relatively easy to “procure” mental patients who didn’t have any surviving family members as institutions preferred those with family members to pay for their stays in the clinics. The last major group of volunteers came from transhumanists and “dysphoriacs”. H+ was a public foundation and we received lots of requests from people who wished to act as guinea pigs in return for augs that you couldn’t get on the market or for major physiological changes like gender reassignment on cellular level or other major structural changes like going full “furry” or getting a pair of wings or whatever, you get the idea. So, to sum it up, most pod people either were desperate enough to participate, didn’t have anything to lose in their time and everything to gain from getting a new augmented body or both.”
>>5145642“Regarding of how many SGs are operating, it is a bit more difficult. The total number of pods that are programmed by me to open in this time period is 2800. There are around 147 SGs in Cihehih (literally “Continent/large landmass” in Ceno language) who are in active major pantheons similar to ours with 10 being the roughly “average” size of a pantheon. There are around 157 known active minor gods and Outsiders, with statistical estimates placing their total number around 250 of active unaffiliated SGs and 400-ish total SGs on the continent. The number of known but missing SGs like Teryian pantheon is approaching 370 if we compile the estimates from other pantheons and from Outsiders based on old myths from the territories they rule over, however it is difficult to say how many of those are actual SGs, how many are purely fictional and how many are unknown variables like remnants of Bloodline Founders that could still be alive to this day. Sometimes descriptions fit the augment logs, sometimes they don’t fit cleanly or don’t fit at all. The number of SGs beyond the continent is difficult to estimate, but based on how inhospitable the rest of the world is and based on reports from Outsiders, it is unlikely that there are more than 200-250 of them that don’t live in Cihehih or on the islands near the continent. In total, up to 1020 pods were successful out of 2800, 36,43% success rate for upper estimate which is not great.”“There are several hypotheses about what happened to other pods. First of all, while self-repairing and tough, pods are not invulnerable. Some pods could’ve been damaged over 2000+ years, maybe even intentionally. Sudden penetration of the stasis vault or computronium matrix causes nanites to self-destruct for safety reasons meaning that drilling a hole to the person inside before they’re done cooking kills them. Secondly, pods sense the environment around them and won’t open if the environment is too hostile for a human. Thus, if the pod finds itself buried, on the ocean floor or somewhere else uninhabitable then it would go into low power mode and maintain the occupant for up to potentially another four thousand years. Unfortunately, we don’t have a “pod detector”, they are too similar to small graphite or coal chunks geologically. This means that the best way to find one is for it to open itself and for the SG inside to do something major enough in the future to be detectable by Nina’s precognition. Thus, most of the SGs might still be alive, but doomed to remain in their slumber until they are found on accident far in the future or until they run out of power and die for real.”
>>5145645>Current state of the world“Changing the subject, can you tell me more about the current state of the world? Surely you guys know more than the geography of this weird new continent that we are on, right? I’ve heard that it is difficult to travel beyond the continent, but how bad can it really be? Actually, how much do you know about the Long Night?” Elspeth thinks for a moment and then replies: “Well, yeah, it is not as bad as you might think and it is technically possible for an SG to travel across the world with relatively little difficulty if they are careful and sneaky. After all, we did manage to salvage several biodiversity vaults in South America and Antarctica. Difficulties arise if you try to move something big, move in a large group or use anything that larger monsters are sensitive to. Ceilings are basically powerful monsters with global reach, but their localized forms are common in the Old Earth territories. The main issue with exploration is that it is long and risky as the safety net of the artificial afterlife extends only for less than a third of the globe even if boosted, so we have to use information from those Outsiders who dare to venture far into the unknown in addition to some indirect means of observation such as plotting reflections of continents via the light reflected from the moon, space debris and clouds. It is not perfect, but it allowed us to find the exact position of Cihehih relative to the rest of the world.” She materializes a globe of Earth with Cihehih, the new continent, positioned in the southern hemisphere in the Pacific Ocean west from South America. In fact, it is quite close and a large island formation almost connects the two landmasses. There is a lot of ice on the caps which means that the world is currently in the middle of an ice age, and northern hemisphere is more affected than the southern hemisphere.
>>5145648“The world is currently in what can be called a new ice age, and it seems to be artificially induced by a massive geoengineering effort by the civilizations of the time before the Long Night. Core samples taken from Antarctic ice sheet suggests that the entire ice sheet is no more than 1200 years old in the deepest regions, meaning that the entire thing has melted and then was rapidly artificially restored over just 200 years. This correlates with massive drop in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to slightly below the pre- industrial levels which is maintained today. In addition, there are several monolithic megastructures discovered in Antarctic and rumored to also exist within the arctic circle. These constructs are major psitech complexes hanging in the upper atmosphere with some downed examples in various states of decay. Their purpose is most likely climate maintenance as they artificially lower local temperatures and actively crack atmospheric CO2 into oxygen and massive skyscraper sized shards of diamond that they unceremoniously dump on the ground below as they patrol over the polar region. These diamond monoliths are scattered and buried all over the Antarctic ice sheet, but predominantly closer to the south pole.”
>>5145651“The current hypothesis is that the world went through “termination shock” scenario for climate change. Essentially, the calamity that occurred in Europe caused massive release of volcanic gases raising global CO2 massively far above what industrial civilization managed to produce over its entire history, in addition to aerosols that induced particulate winter. Nuclear exchange between Russian State, China, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Australia and US added additional aerosols significantly prolonging and worsening particulate winter effects. As the nuclear winter lasted for decades, it induced a minor ice age. However, once the skies cleared, massively increased CO2 caused temperatures to drastically and rapidly increase while albedo from the expanded ice sheets slowed down most of the temperature shock in the temperate regions as they receded from year to year over several centuries. As temperatures increased, ocean water started to become less efficient at storing CO2 and releasing water vapor causing a feedback loop where GHG levels increased further which made greenhouse effect even more severe. In fact, it seems that we’ve either reached or almost reached the “runaway wet greenhouse” scenario, where oceans don’t quite boil like on Venus, but slowly “simmer” around the equator with most of the Earth uninhabitable for humans. It seems that for several hundred years the only habitable regions were the poles, with mass desertification in temperate, tropical and equatorial regions. We are not quite sure how they managed to bounce back, but it is likely that it was a major effort by the combined might of the world powers of the time. It is kind of ironic that once the climate returned to normal, the infrastructure used for geoengineering was seemingly abandoned to act autonomously and technological sophistication of the humanity significantly drops as they repopulate the newly habitable areas.”
>>5145652“Unfortunately, it seems that the humanity restored its technological prowess sooner than its societal progress, and most nations of the time ended up turning into various dictatorial empires. It is possible to vaguely trace where everyone came from and as a result to vaguely plot out what happened after the first apocalypse. It seems that Europe was just… gone. Everything from British Isles and Spain to the Baltic was… not survivable. The region became an ash waste for centuries covered in volcanic sediments and igneous rock like Pompeii but on continental scale and if anyone survived, they had to move out or die. Russian State was small to begin with in population, especially after losing a good chunk of its east to China and it was almost completely wiped out by their exchange with Asian countries and US. The survivors fled the contamination either towards middle east or towards the Nordic countries who weren’t as affected. The combination of the Nordic countries, Iceland and Greenland formed Nordic Commonwealth, which was one of the few vaguely democratic superpowers of the time.”“United States was hit the worst by the nukes, especially several enhanced fallout “salted” nukes which contaminated large parts of its interior and coastline with unsurvivable levels of fallout for decades. However, Canada and Alaska were hurt less and survivors from these countries eventually formed the North American Remnant, a mostly oligarchic state with the council of the most influential people deciding the course of the nation. Along with Nordic Commonwealth they formed the core of The Contingent, a NATO- like military pact which is the one that was most likely responsible for the geomancy WMD that caused the creation of this continent.”
>>5145655“Other superpowers that we know a bit less about are a monarchic nation state in Asia that amassed around Korea, Japan and survivors from China who was in turn hurt almost as badly as US, a monarchic state that sprung up around Indonesia and New Guinea which accumulated survivors from Australia and general region where Thailand is, another dictatorial and highly theocratic state sprung up around Madagascar and it consisted of survivors from most of Africa (the north of which was annihilated by the European calamity), India and Middle East using a weird amalgam religion as societal glue to go through the dark times. The last major player was the South American Empire which formed from remnants of everyone in the region but Brazil and Argentina as the latter two were devastated the most by multiple ejecta strikes.”“It seems that the Long Night has started with the creation of our continent, known in Ceno as “Cihehih” and ironically as “Mu” by some SGs. The creation of it is still somewhat mysterious. What we know is that The Contingent has utilized some kind of extremely powerful psitech weapon in the middle of the ocean that has created a massive crack in the continental plate and catapulted a lot of water into space hard enough to escape Earth’s gravity. It should’ve caused something like a Flood Basalt event similar to the cause of the Permian-Triassic Extinction, but the crack was “plugged” literally within the first months to a year using the energy of the geoengineering megastructures that were dormant for almost 700 years at that point. As a result, a “cork” was created made from igneous rock foam reinforced with diamond strands which you now known as the Labyrinth. This event sparked the conflict between every major faction in a manner similar to the advent of WW1 and these nations managed to actually hold together for something like 70 years against each other’s psitech drones before they started to suffer from systems collapse one by one.”
>>5145657“At some point within the first decade of the war, the remaining governments of these powers realized that they released a certain critical mass of the drones that were no longer under anyone’s control and the humanity would go extinct if something drastic wasn’t done. The solution was made to use the new landmass as a sort of ark for the humanity so that it could rebuild once most of the drones broke down and technological civilization once again became possible. Using their dwindling resources and the remaining geoengineering facilities, the Labyrinth was strategically peppered with ores and minerals needed to restart industrial revolution, while huge layers of dirt were lifted from uninhabited and uncontaminated sites in Australia, former Russia and North America and used to kickstart the soil on the continent. Then it was seeded with transplanted wildlife and by the select humans were deposited on the continent essentially butt naked to fend for themselves to attract the least attention possible from the rogue drones, aka “monsters”. Each nation seemingly picked their own landing region with Nordic Commonwealth and North American Empire seeding our region. Asian states seeded the region to the east of us, and to the East of them is the landing spot of the Oceania nations. South American nations seeded the north- eastern part of Cihehih and Madagascar seeded the region to the north of us in the north western corner. As a result, it formed current ethnic distribution of humans across Cihehih. And that’s basically what we managed to staple together from the evidence.” I’m too tired to make up voting options, so here we have the usual in character QnA. Any IC question would be answered outside of the usual posting schedule. Also feel free to discuss, since there is a lot of new info here. And tell me what you think, this took a while to write
>>5145657>as the latter two were devastated the most by multiple ejecta strikes.”i wonder if the brazilans would manage to survive underground like human ants.
>>5145696oof, my poor country
>>5145658>>5145658What about the AIs? Have we had any sign of them? Those super guys that kick-started all of this, or did their hardware broke down along with all those apocalypse scenarios?So our continent was an ark, is it possible that there are still humans on the rest of the planet or anyone there was probably brought along or created by SGs?Very interesting history lesson....Kinda feel for Nika, she was hurt and lost her wife, probably fitting right in on the depression screaming profile.....don't comment anything in front of espeth but we could have a heart to heart with her later, we kinda showed how we used to look like a little while playing with the character design in the afterlife, talk about why we are both here
>>5152255>What about the AIs? Have we had any sign of them? Those super guys that kick-started all of this, or did their hardware broke down along with all those apocalypse scenarios?“Unfortunately, it seems that AI didn’t survive the first apocalypse due to several factors. The main reason for this seems to be that the industrial centers were hit hardest by countervalue nuclear strikes. The hardware required to house the first sapient AI needed a large multistory warehouse jam packed with servers and support equipment for said servers. Even though processor technology advanced in leaps and bounds, superturings that were equivalent to tens of thousands of human minds still ended up very massive and expensive. Supporting a single superturing costs so much that only major corporations and governments could fit the bill in maintenance alone, taking billions of dollars in electric bills, maintenance and regular parts replacements. Creating and maintaining such AI was comparable to such major projects as Arcadia Planitia colony on Mars, Shackleton Crater colony on the Moon or the International Space Station or two, if we adjust its cost for inflation. They were worth every penny, but oh boy were they pricy. In addition, light lag delay limits the level at which AI could throttle their time perception which meant that AI preferred to cluster their mind in one place instead of housing their mind in cloud processing. In addition, they liked to keep their brains closer to cities as it made logistics easier, for example Indigo’s brain was housed somewhere in Los Angeles. A nuke that wipes out a city or a cluster of autonomous factories also wipes out the AI even if AI is not targeted on purpose.”“Of course, not all superturings were situated in cities, there were some situated in the middle of nowhere or in underground shelters like US government’s “Bunkerbots”, but even if they survived the bombs and had independent power sources, the collapse of production chains meant that no replacements could be sourced and thus they essentially would wear down within just a couple decades. While fully autonomous factories were nothing new by 2035s and clusters of which were intentionally targeted, research into clanking replicators was postponed by the consensus of the AI as a way to gain more human trust and thus there were no “industry seeds” available that AI could utilize to rebuild wiped out production chains. If you aren’t a fan of old sci- fi classics, a clanking replicator is essentially a type of robotic factory that can autonomously extract resources and turn them into another identical factory, or in other words an arrangement of autonomous factories and various drones that can self- replicate as a whole.”
>>5152422“Ironically, if not for the nukes, our civilization would’ve survived the European Calamity with little difficulty. If industrial centers and cities weren’t destroyed, there would be no mass famine thanks to robotic farms. With only a decade of industrial bootstrapping our civilization could already start thinking of mass de- extinction and geoengineering efforts to restore the world to what it was. There is even some evidence that largest concentrations of survivors would be found in areas where autonomous vertical farms or hydroponic arrays weren’t hit by the bombs and thus could provide food throughout the nuclear winter until those facilities eventually broke down.”“It seems that similar fate befell the Martian colonies. As much as late Musk wanted humanity to become multiplanetary, by the time of the first apocalypse the Martian settlements didn’t have the capacity to make everything they needed for maintenance. They could make concrete and rocket fuel, they could grow food and some even had early prototypes for metallurgic and polymer plants even back when I was around, but the complete production chain is a complicated beast that requires thousands of separate resources and hundreds of thousands of unique processors needed to make everything you’d need to survive off Earth. You can survive butt naked on Earth, but things like computers, solar panels and nuclear fuel in near airless radioactive and toxic hellscape of Mars or Moon are non- negotiable. If something critical breaks and you can’t make it or ship in replacement parts then you straight up die, no ifs or buts. We think that humans on Mars managed to survive for a decade or two after which they had to return to Earth and then join the survivors here. Those that didn’t eventually died out. People in Earth orbit or on the Moon likely had things way rougher since they had to also deal with the spray of ejecta from the European Calamity. That debris situation in Earth’s orbit is leftovers from the first apocalypse.”
>>5152255>So, our continent was an ark, is it possible that there are still humans on the rest of the planet or anyone there was probably brought along or created by SGs?“There are surviving humans that are not on this continent, however there are no civilized settlements there. Ceilings and monsters specifically target certain signatures of concentrated populations and technology, so those humans that survive have to live in small communities with minimal technology, surviving as stone age hunter- gatherers in the areas of the globe where the environment allows for sufficient biodiversity for them to actually find something to eat. In addition, the smaller the piece of land is the easier it is to clear from the most dangerous of monsters. As a result, smaller islands become habitable earlier than large continents, and as this continent is the smallest and jam packed with SGs it is no surprise than anything that was big and nasty enough to bother us was unceremoniously dumped head first into the grinder. Eventually all Ceilings would be taken out and SGs would start on the long and tedious process of cleaning up the mistakes of the previous generations in other parts of the globe, after which humanity would finally be allowed to flourish technologically once again.”
>>5152426we remember getting into a pod in Europe(probably) how did our pod get here, actually, how the facility our pod was got here, we even found....one of her colleague's body outside of our chamber
>>5152608Agatha used to live somewhere in the state of Ohio in United States, not Europe, and she was podded in her home city and the pod was shipped to some holding facility in US. I mentioned that she is Russian- American, her mother was an immigrant from Russia and her father was a businessman from US. The reason as to why a chunk of the old facility got to the other continent is a good one, and I’ll make Elspeth answer a rephrased version of it in character:“It is a good question and we don’t have a concrete answer to it. It seems that during the process of turning this continent into an ark, its architects intentionally seeded it with some of the pods. They probably hoped that SGs could speed up the progress of humanity like the Bloodline Founders did for them, but that’s just a guess. While pods were unmarked and there was no way to tell who was in what pod from the outside, people who were somehow connected were stored in the same place together, and some pods were specifically designed to hold two people such as with the twins from Holy Nation, they are literally brother and sister. However, pods that were stored together weren’t clustered closely together by the pre- Long Night civilizations, we were only seeded in vaguely the same region. Such pods end up just thrown randomly on the ground somewhere, rarely lightly buried and usually capable of waking up on their own. Some pods can end up seeded into the depth of the Labyrinth, but the only evidence we have is one example of a severely damaged pod that was found deep in the Labyrinth half welded into the lava tube’s wall, it was breached but not opened and there was no occupant inside so we don’t know if that person survived. In your case it is most likely that the chunk of the facility that you were stored in ended up in one of the soil shipments required to make the continent habitable faster purely by accident, since if your pod was found it would be left on the surface as is.”“There is evidence that the soil was lifted in huge chunks from areas that weren’t inhabited by the pre- Long Night humans and the cities of our time were likely already long decayed, especially after being reduced to rubble by thermonuclear weapons and then incinerated by firestorms. We very rarely find some trinkets of our time, but it is most commonly just trash. All of concrete and glass broke down and decayed into sand or just waste rock barely recognizable as concrete, all steel rusted away and the only way you can tell that there used to be a computer somewhere is a slightly higher than normal concentration of rare earths in the soil. The only things you could realistically find is plastics which sometimes wash up on the shore like ember or a long-buried chunk of scrap aluminum.”
Ask her If she found an unopened pod what could she do with it? Could she make it stay closed? Could she make changes to its program etc
>>5161840After most of the subjects that you wanted to ask got exhausted, the discussion slowly drifted into a mostly meaningless small talk. You kind of wanted to ask Elspeth to teach you more about psi stuff, but you felt like it would be impolite to do so without even taking a decent look at the textbook that she gave you last time. You should really look into that later, as you get a feeling that you’d need a better grasp of this subject if you wish for your gear to be competitive in the future.“…by this point all pods should be done with augmentation process and they’d open automatically once the sensors in the pod determine that the environment outside is survivable for a human and has been for at least a month. Keeping a pod closed can be relatively simple, just put it into an environment where a baseline human won’t be able to survive such as placing it in a tank of water. Alternatively putting thick enough bracers to block the door would also work as it won’t open if the door can’t swing out by at least a quarter of the way. We don’t really have the reason to keep one shut beyond transportation as more SGs means stronger pantheon and you can’t tell who is in what pod. In other words, even if we thought that someone in the list was undesirable, we wouldn’t know if they are in the pod until they “hatched”.”“Interfacing with the pods themselves, unfortunately, is almost out of the picture. The pod control system contains complex encryption which prevents tampering during operation and each one contains only the instructions for the augments that it was designed to install. If we wanted to use one the second time at full capacity, we’d need to build a supercomputer by the standards of 2010s at least and painstakingly recover bits of augment data from hundreds to a thousand of pods. However, the pod can be run at partial augmentation with a simpler setup, but you’d get a single SG- tier aug into a single person in something like fifty to a hundred years and only if said person is compatible. This is one of the reasons why Yaw is working on a massive electron vacuum tube computer, psi-based brains, just like human brains, are amazing at pattern recognition but they are terrible at dealing with tons of hard math. It is kind of funny that it is easier for us at this point to make smart animal to human tier artificial minds than to make something that can run pong or pacman.”
>>5164107“Our protocol for handling newly discovered pods is to recover it before it opens so that the occupant wakes up in relative comfort. Then they are allowed to stay here at least until they adjust while we verify who they are and how successful their augmentation was. Then we offer them a spot in our pantheon, however far from everyone decides to stay with us. If they decide to leave, we provide some gifts and supplies while hoping to maintain friendly relations afterwards. Most of those who eventually left us ended up becoming “Outsiders”, with some becoming “Independents” like you. Unfortunately, some seemed to be offended at us for the state of the world or for some of the things we had to do, in which case they most commonly migrate out of this region and eventually we lose the trail.”“One of them, however, decided to stay in the region. She was basically a nobody with high aptitude for poorly explored field of psi which is why we scouted her out for the project. We recovered her pod before it opened, she woke up here, listened to our situation, refused everything that we offered and then walked out the front door, showing up as a torn in the collective sides of the four pantheons two decades later. She calls herself Apostate and she hates the whole “god” thing on some deep ideological level. Whether it is religious, anti- authority or something else we don’t know as she tends to kill Cup Bearers and even attack SGs that try to reason with her while also performing seemingly random crusades or inciting revolts against local rulers and independent SGs.”
>>5164116“Don’t bring her up with Valentina, when she tried to talk with Apostate, she got stabbed in the face with a shiv in the middle of the introduction. Apostate's powers nullified psi defenses that Valentina had on her and the crude weapon left a massive gash across her cheek that took almost a week to heal due to lingering psi negating effects. As you can probably guess, since then Valentina absolutely hates Apostate’s guts, and I can’t really blame her for that. We can’t really deal with her since anything that we can hit her with either would have unacceptable casualties or would be ineffective due to her psi negation and physical augs. In turn, it seems that she can’t really strike at a large pantheon on her own either without risking her life, so she is mostly just very annoying to us. I highly recommend you to get the hell away from her if you encounter her, but I think Nika has already filled you in about that…”You ended up spending a few hours chatting about random things until the three of you decided that it is probably a good idea to wrap up for today. Elspeth has her massive weapon to calibrate and Nika seems to be a little tired, not physically but emotionally. She doesn’t seem to show it though, so maybe it’s fine. You get a vague offer for you to join some sort of a roleplay game that Yaw runs using the afterlife, something with a sci- fi spin, but there doesn’t seem to be any concrete schedule and you always have a lot to do so you shelf it under “whenever you’re free and bored”. In the end, you tell your goodbyes to Elspeth for now and you leave her lab along with Nika, who in turn asks you if you want to do anything in particular next.>You kind of wanted to play around in the virtual reality for a bit, see what’s around and what other pantheon members have built here>You wouldn’t mind to get some food, preferably of the “real” variety>You feel like it is enough excitement for today and Nika looks a bit tired, let’s start wrapping up. You can always visit after the exams>Other ideas (write-in)