The Yas om were originally inspired in the wake of the Technocalypse by a great many books, 20th and 21st century fiction and non-fiction alike, as well as thinkers and personages such as Ernesto che Guevara. However, the main inspiration for their cause was Jeremy Watkins; anarchist, revolutionary, cybernetics proponent, and ultimately, martyr.
Watkins wrote several books; The Cyborg Lifestyle, Refuting Biochauvinism, and Destroying Corporations: An Illustrated Guide for Making and Deploying Anti-corporate Memes and Weapons. These works were published on the 22nd century internet and given into the public domain. Although there are references to other works by Watkins in the surviving texts, none have been found. His martyrdom occurred sometime in the 22nd century when he was (according to legend) murdered by corporate assassins.
The Yas Om came into being nearly 7 and a half centuries after Watkins, when a group of Technocalypse survivors came upon several of Watkins' works in the archive of an abandoned hab. This group was already leaning towards socialism and Watkins' ideas further instilled in them a strong anti-authoritarian bent. So much so that even to this day, many Yas om communes have no apparent leadership, official or unofficial.
All through the Dark Age and into the First Federation Age they struggled to escape the Sol system. Eventually they obtained passage aboard a colony ship headed toward Psi Capricorni III, where they settled on Eden in 1290. There they lived at odds with the tweaks for less than a decade before moving into orbit and avoiding the Eden gate wars.
During the next 1310 years the group slowly migrated to the outer system where they eventually built a Banks orbital, Hepitene, named after one of Watkins' wives.
It was during this time that their culture began to flower. They established a profitable spacecraft construction industry which soon became responsible for a respectable percentage of the total number of spacecraft produced in the Psi Capricorni III system.
By the 4000's a.t., when large wormholes were being built, they were wealthy enough to participate in Second Federation colonization efforts and reached a total population of approximately 50 billion. These numbers were spread thin in Terragen space, however, and they constituted a small minority in most places except for their few relativistic colonies. It was this wide distribution of population in the Inner Sphere that helped them survive relatively unharmed as a whole during the upcoming carnage of the Version War.
In the first 1500 years after the Version War, the Yas om proliferated in the Sephirotic empires and many of their colonies outside of the Inner Sphere had grown into populous and wealthy worlds. By 6500 a.t. their exact numbers were unknown but were estimated to be between 100 and 150 billion. The next 1200 years would bring about a great diversification as many began to adopt or convert to other memes and memeplexes as well as branch out into new clades. Still, whole communities of near pure Yas om geno-/phenotype as well as imitation Yas om can be found throughout Terragen space and beyond.
In the current era, Yas om culture, population, and geno-/phenotype remain strong and few Yas om groups suffer from stagnation. Most of the Second Federation colonies are now fully developed and linked to the Nexus.
Political and Social Demeanor Yas om are fervent anarchists with a very egalitarian and altruistic demeanor. They are pacifist's and have kept aesthetics that would have died out in the Technocalypse had they not escaped alive. They are known to welcome strangers with very little suspicion or prejudice, even those with radically different morphologies. AI worship has been commonplace since the Late Federation period.
Yas om habs are almost always run by an egalitarian commune. When there is a wide difference in opinion the two groups usually go their separate ways. Many new clades are founded this way.
The reason they have an urge to work together is to show others what they perceive to be the virtues of their meme set.
Morphological Aesthetics and Traits The Yas om brain has been structured into five lobes that have been further augmented with computer implants to make even more efficient use of their 1500 cc skull. They are able to focus on up to 5 individual tasks at once as each lobe is a full nearbaseline brain. Each lobe is also redundant; this gives them limited parallel thinking, conscious monitoring of each lobe's thought processes by the other four and even cross-lobe editing. Their minds cannot examine their own thought patterns in too much detail, lest they run the risk of developing extreme schizophrenia, multiple personality disorders and similar conditions. If the lobes are separated, the minds will act separately. This makes it easy for Yas om to integrate a copy's separate experiences.
This transapient-style mind makes them very good candidates for ascension; they think of ascension as their reason for being. Most die or become transapients, so the purpose for having a mind structured like a transapients is so there is as little re- formatting required as possible to ascend. Intelligence ranges from presuperbright to near-transapient levels. This is among the many reasons there are a high number of Yas om transapients.
The core of the Yas om body is artificial, it is covered by an artificial layer that forms the shape of the body and acts as their equivalent of hu organs and functions as a musculature. The brain is encased within the head and is mostly organic with some cybernetic augmentation. This layer also host various computronium structures that process local stimulus and serve to augment the already powerful processing abilities of the brain. On top of that is an organic layer that forms the skin, hair and nails, and serves only a cosmetic purpose. They have another, flexible layer of computronium under the skin that further augment processing abilities. They are actually very different from baseline hu, as without the skin layer they would be more or less humanoid vecs. They have quite a bit of skin covering them and losing it would be as traumatic as it is for any baseline hu. They can, however, survive indefinitely in this state.
Augmentations usually don't reach the point where they necessitate a change from a baseline hu appearance, which is the norm. Rarely, an individual will deviate from this norm to incorporate tweak, heteromorph, or rianth traits into their geno-/phenotype. There is no strong prejudice against this. This is one of the many reasons many form new clades and join others.
Sexuality The entire range of baseline hu sexual characteristics are represented, but the normal tendency is towards herm, neut, or female forms. The general appearance is youthful with long, rounded frames preferred, and strong secondary sexual characteristics in adults (excluding neut).
Clothing Conventions and Other Bodily Aesthetics Clothing styles tend towards long and draping forms. Robes tied by a simple belt are common. These robes are wide in style and usually very grandiose. They are very open to individual's deviation. Hair styles are quite varied, though very long and luxurious styles are most common.
Text by A. C. Maté
Initially published on 12 June 2006.