Bolobo System Wars, The
Fifth Man
Image from Steve Bowers
A Fifth Man. These artificial (superior-level) humans were created in a virtual reality scenario based on an ancient work by Olaf Stapledon. They were beaten in a conflict with the Slarians, who had superior cybernetic weaponry.
Bolobo system was initially settled by the long-distance engenerator method; uploaded humans, provolves and virtuals of many kinds transmitted themselves to this system and were given specially grown biological bodies by the local hyperturing, the former exploration probe Sir Isaac Newton (known as Zak). Because the uploaded and virual personalities arriving at the system were so diverse, Zak decided to install an additional covert control system in the bodies of the newly-engenerated colonists, to detect any potential trouble before it happened. Zak included bionanotech monitoring hardware in the central nervous systems of the new bodies of the colonists, to listen to their thoughts and measure their aggression levels; this event has become known as the Bolobo Mind Control Scandal.

Unfortunately the task of monitoring many millions of modosophont minds was too great for Zak, who was a First Singularity hyperturing but was overwhelmed by the complexity of the task. Zak succumbed to so-called Bloatware syndrome, increasing the complexity of er hardware without increasing the sophistication of eir mentality sufficiently. Zak's system-wide mind became unstable, and instead of preventing conflict e seems to have deliberately provoked it.

In one war the neogen virtual incarnates The Fifth Men were wiped out by the aggressive Clan Slaria human/robot symbiote cyborgs. This genocidal act was apparently influenced memetic tampering by the disturbed AI, as the Fifth Men were attempting to break free of Zak's mind control programming, and the war effectively prevented that.

Several bishop rings were destroyed during construction in an unrelated incident, and a series of mysterious murders attracted the attention of visiting virtual detectives from Eden. The role of the unstable hyperturing Zak in all these events was only uncovered when a starship from the NoCoZo finally arrived in 3531 (the so-called Mind Liberation event).

Following the Mind Liberation Zak was removed from power in the Bolobo system and there was a long period of stability. Bolobo was mostly unaffected by the Version War apart from the casualties suffered by the fanatical Clan Slarian and Greater Superchimp NoCoZo volunteer corps.

By 7041, the Greater Superchimps had developed their own SI:>1 Power, "Pan Demonium", and invaded the Bolobo planetoid itself under Freezone protocol, which under certain circumstances in Tier III societies allows Force Majeur as a proof of superior claim to territory. The sex-oriented, at that time pacifist, matriarchal Sapient-bonobo society was not prepared for war and would have been easy prey.

However the hyperturing "GoodAll", as the appointed NoCoZO Representative for the whole system, unleashed Her memetic power and deflected Demonium and His cohorts towards interstellar colonisation instead. By 8359 the Greater Superchimp colony Nike (Nekay) at 1.5 ly distance became a stepping stone to a colonial push via the Wormhole Nexus to the Centaurus Vector.

Greater Superchimps have colonised thirty worlds so far in Outer Centaurus, and have developed a theocratic and warlike Alphaist religion, bringing them into sporadic conflict with the local 'Narchist explorers and Objectivist Commonwealth pioneers.


The Fifth Men were a clade of fictional humans from a virtual reality scenario based on Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men. They were incarnated into custom built biological bodies in the Bolobo system, but all perished in this conflict. The Fifth Men still existed in informorph form, however, and have been reincarnated several times since that date, in locations spread across the Terragen Sphere.

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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 22 January 2003.