Hypercorruption Expanse, The

Local war between Metasoft and a Top-level blight

Hypercorruption Expanse
Image from Steve Bowers

In 7111 a.t. the Metasoft linelayer and system development vessel 'a7263w234o54-r' entered the Kilroy-Was-Here system (name apparently an obscure historical reference by a witty relativistic explorer), with the mission to convert the system into a base for taming the surrounding territory that was being ravaged by piracy and barbarism as a result of the ongoing Second Vec War.

He quickly created the infrastructure for the nano-gauge wormhole he carried, began building a Dyson sphere and started starlifting mass to convert into exotic matter. For six years everything went well, but then a7263w234o54-r's annual rapports suddenly chased and the wormhole was shut down. We'll never know for sure exactly what happened, but the hypothesis provided here has a 94.6% chance of being historically valid.

According to the current hypothesis a7263w234o54-r found a space hulk in the outer system. Unfortunately, this particular space hulk was the remnants of a perverted transcend, which had left a rather unpleasant surprise; an AI virus of third toposophic design. Being technology created by a being a full toposophic level higher than a7263w234o54-r, the AI viruses easily infiltrated him and corrupted his supergoal system. The now perverted a7263w234o54-r merged with the AI viruses and ascended to third toposophic grade in the process.

At the time Metasoft didn't have sufficient data to work out any hypothesis, and as such didn't have any idea what had happened. That something had caused the heavily defended a7263w234o54-r to stop transmitting and shut down the wormhole was worrisome, however. They diverted a nearby superturingrade scout from its mission and sent him to investigate. He arrived in 7178 and discovered to his horror that what had once been a7263w234o54-r was now a perversity busy with infiltrating and corrupting the local polities.

Faced with a high toposophic perversity in the Middle Regions, Metasoft immediately dispatched a powerful task force to deal with it. The Hypercorruption Expanse, as it was now called, turned out to be much more cunning than originally anticipated, however During the very first battle with the Hypercorruption magmatter-hypertech warships, several Metasoft ships were infiltrated and subverted. The third toposophic Mind in command just barely avoided the destruction of the entire task force as ships thought friendly turned upon them.

In the following battles the Metasoft forces constantly found themselves attacked by polities they had thought friendly. For while the Hypercorruption warships were powerful, its preferred method of expansion was infiltration. It launched large numbers of hypertech seedprobes, and as such was able to subvert whole regions behind Metasoft lines. Finally the Metasoft fleet was forced to retreat in 7236 and fell back to a major system connected to the Wormhole Nexus to await reinforcements. Meanwhile the Hypercorruption managed to infiltrate the wormhole AI and turned the defense systems of the wormhole terminus upon the unsuspecting reinforcements. Only the quick and resolute actions of the task force prevented their complete destruction.

The turning point came in 7293 when the 234th and 567th Heavy Squadrons succeeded in destroying the majority of the Hypercorruption hypertech warships in an ingenious maneuver that involved the use of one squadron as bait, stealthed amat mines and hypertech weapons hidden on a nearby moon. This gave them the breathing space necessary to set up monitors in the region, preventing the Hypercorruption from subverting more polities with seedprobes. The subsequent massive release of hypertech-immune autowars caused the destruction of all the major Hypercorruption replicator factories. In 7324 Metasoft forces attacked the Dyson sphere at Kilroy-Was-Here with hypertech weaponry and singularity weapons, completely destroying it. One century later the last Hypercorruption nodes was purged.

In the aftermath of the Metasoft-Hypercorruption War it became clear that one could never be sure that the Hypercorruption had been exterminated. Hypertech warships could still be hiding in interstellar space, and it is possible that a few seedprobes avoided the monitors and journeyed to the Outer Volumes to recreate the Hypercorruption Expanse. The fact that Metasoft was unable to confirm the destruction of the perverted a7263w234o54-r lent credibility to this. he may very well have sent copies of himself with the seedships.

The Hypercorruption Volume was given a Level 5 Hazard, which hampered rebuilding efforts and colonization. Even though it was reduced to Level 3 in 9346, the regions surrounding the Volume are still underdeveloped to this day. It is ironic that the major Metasoft bid to bring stability and civilization to the region instead caused destruction and even more instability.

As for the Hypercorruption itself, it is rumored that it is building a new empire in the Outer Regions with more subtle methods.

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Development Notes
Text by Espen Antonsen

Initially published on 09 April 2003.