Ecos Ascending
ecos Ascending
Image from Steve Bowers

Semi-religious school of philosophical thought that claimed some descendant kinship with the Transhumanist schools of the early Information Age. However, where the majority of Transhumanists sought to enhance themselves and ascend through the application of and merger with technology, Ecos Ascending sought to explore and develop to the very limits of baseline intelligence.

Convinced, like the other founding members of the Refugium Federation, that the rest of humanity would destroy itself with its technology, the Ecos left with them and settled the Arean world of Demeter near the edge of the Refugium sphere. During the centuries between settlement of Demeter and the reestablishment of contact with the rest of humanity, the Ecos developed their various mental disciplines, memetic sciences and biocontrol techniques to a high art unmatched anywhere else in the history of baseline and near baseline mindkind. Brev was just one of these accomplishments. Other examples of Ecos 'mentology' include: the ability to consciously control heart rate, respiration and body temperature at will allowing survival in the extreme cold, low oxygen environment of Demeter with minimal mechanical equipment; an autohypnotic conditioning series that triggers in the presence of low pressure or vacuum and allows survival in such conditions for brief periods of time, the ability to control pain, the ability to go for extended periods without sleep and the ability to concentrate and remember huge amounts of information with virtually perfect clarity.

It is said that when an Ecos gets cold, they don't turn up the heat, they just think themselves warmer.

When contact was reestablished with the rest of mindkind, the Ecos decided to break away from the rest of the Refugium Federation and rejoin the mainstream of civilization, although in a limited way. They had been reclusive even by the standards of the Federation and so this decision was not as radical as it might at first seem.

Upon seeing that the major part of civilization was actually run by the Archai, the hyperturings, the superbrights and the various tweaks and provolves, the Ecos (although not hostile to the status quo per se) determined to take action to rebuild what they saw as the wounded pride and marginalized state of the baseline population. As such they began sending out "cultural missions" to contact the baseline populations and teach them their philosophy and techniques. It was in this process that Brev was introduced to civilization.

In the modern era, the Ecos continue to play a pervasive, if quiet role in baseline society. Demeter is still their only world, yet despite millennia of contact with civilization it continues to refuse a transport capable wormhole link. Only communications travel through its one, 1mm wormhole.

Despite this limitation, the Ecos are able to exert considerable influence when they wish, employing memetic weaponry of surprising sophistication and effectiveness. Their cultural missions can be found across known space and their bio/mental techniques continue to be employed by a significant fraction of the baseline population of the Wormhole Nexus and beyond and are rumored to be employed to some degree even by the Haloists and Backgrounders.
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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner

Initially published on 07 December 2001.