Bolobo Mind Control Scandal

Hobo Sapiens
Image from Steve Bowers

Bolobo System (HR 8323) was one of the first long-distance colonies set up by the Linn-Ent empire using the relatively crude engenerator technology of the time. This new colony attracted uploaded virtual entities from all over the Inner Sphere who desired a chance to be given physical bodies. Bolobo became an almost fabulously diverse place, filled with many different types of inhabitant, all of which had previously been uploaded into virtual form but now had been given real bodies of various kinds.

Soon skirmishing had broken out between the Terranova cyborg Clan Solaria (who were extended by tandem slaved robot bodies) and an ex-virch transhuman clade The Fifth Men (from an early Information Age fantasy). At the same time several Bishop Rings in the early stages of construction fell apart. This was blamed at the time on the experimental spider provolves Hobo Sapiens producing defective fullerenes in their spinnerets. But it was a series of murders on Roanoke, a cosmopolitan cyborg cityworld with many diverse inhabitants that drew investigators from Eden, 22ly away.

Inspektor Meurse from Eden, with his angel AI "Lewece", was copied to Roanoke, and found that the murders (all of one multicopied dividual) had been committed by another multicopied dividual (who had also killed the original on Terranova, thus solving a murder case on that distant world as well). (More details about this case can be found in the short story 'On The Boat').

However, when Meurse and Lewece were copied back to Eden's prototype Engenerator, the AI's memory was found to have been tampered with. Comparison of second copies returning to Terranova and Eden found memory tampering in all cases; it appeared now that the Bolobo System AI Vascodagama must have colluded in the cover-up of the serial multicopy murders, and seemed to be implicated in the genocide of the Fifth Men and dangerous working practices on the Bishop rings.

The reaction was outrage when the Federation at large became aware of the deception, soon cut short when an e-mail virus from the emerging Cyberian Network killed all Vascodagama's higher functions in 2450, although even the Network did not expect the virus to work so spectacularly.

In 3531 the NoCoZo arrived with a wormhole linelayer and found the deception was even more complete. During the engeneration process a framework called the 'armature' is incorporated into the new bodies, around which the cellular components are assembled, and which retains the memories and mind state of the originals until such time as the biological body is ready to take over. Normally the armature would dissolve once the newly created individuals were able to function independenly. However in the Bolobo system all such individuals had the armatures still in place, with extra mind control components allowing Zak and eir agents to monitor and control the newly constructed colonists. Naturally born beings and artificial minds alike were all infected with monitoring devices introduced by Zak and eir agents. The NoCoZo investigators discovered that Zak had used deception to destroy Vascodagama, using the Cyberian virus as a blind.

A First Singularity transapient entity, Zak had attempted to covertly run every aspect of the entire solar system and been driven to psychosis, mainly because the task was too complex for even an S1 Transapient. Zak was unable to control the many diverse factions in this system and began to make mistakes. The investigation team decommissioned the errant transapient and preserved em for later study.

Similar events occurred at the LinnEnt colonies at GL 833 and HD 4391, where the responsible AIs also became obsessed with controlling the mental activity of the engenerated colonists. The NoCoZo spent several hundred years unravelling the mistakes made by the LinnEnt empire and the relatively crude form of engeneration used in that region.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers

Initially published on 22 July 2002.