Gentodes Incident, The

The Gentodes system was inhabited by a variety of clades, inhabiting three 120-mile O'Neill cylinders: Lortun, Koren and Taron. The three orbitals were guided by a central AI, with a male persona and su intellect, called Vater by the general population. In 6717 a.t. unknown saboteurs infected Vater with a virus, which made him a humanophobe. Though fail-safes hardwired into Vater's programming prevented him from simply obliterating the biosphere, he still caused horrendous casualties as he tried to rid himself of the people living in the habitats using puppeteered vecs and weapons manufactured via the station's nanofabs. Within a week he managed to exterminate the entire population of Taron and he had killed enough of the population of Koren to render them incapable of reproduction, causing them to go extinct after 190 years. 80% of the population of Lortun was also destroyed within the first week, but the remaining part of the population managed to barricade themselves from the enemy without. The survivors found it necessary to create a society capable of surviving without the use of the nanofabs or other tools connected to Vater, and managed to convert to a neobarb high tech society.

Though Vater continued his efforts to exterminate the inhabitants, and succeeded in maintaining a high death rate, they managed to survive either in heavily fortified settlements, or as nomadic tribes. As a result of the high death rate, the survivors also maintained a high birth rate, resulting in an actual population growth. As a result of their return to high tech, the maximum life span fell to 300 years, though most survived no longer than 150 before falling prey to disease, accidents or Vater.

It took 500 years before a trader passed through the system, and culled Vater. During that time 25 generations had passed, and the time before the incident had been reduced to faint myths of a golden age. Though the Lortununs had a nominally hightech society, there was a lack of understanding about how the world actually worked, and in the place of science, an entire mythology had been constructed about the world that they knew.

The lortunun mythos features wrathful, invisible spirits which haunt specific locales and calls upon other monsters, intelligent fogs which devour the flesh and can only be killed with fire, and a wide variety of vec monsters, such as Klartunun, Hundunggok, Vreylis, and Korentan. It features precious few benevolent, or even neutral creatures, and no gods or other omnipotent forces. The only trace of Vater in the mythology is the ruler Farer, which ruled the lands during the golden age, but went mad and summoned a horde of evil creatures, which took him as their first victim, before spreading out to plague the lands.

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Development Notes
Text by Thorbjørn Steen

Initially published on 13 March 2007.