Gift of Ginoie, The

Hammurabi Habitat
Image from Steve Bowers

The Gift of Ginoie is an incident that illustrates the impact of technotelepathy on an isolated culture.

While engaged in the paraterraforming of three small worlds in the remote system YTS 2974 74001448 in Norma the Negentropist colonists were accommodated in Hammurabi, a 20 kilometre cylindrical habitat. In 7987 AT, fifty years after the colony was established, the population consisted of eighty thousand nearbaseline humans and a similar number of vecs. With no link to the Nexus the system was isolated, and was even seven light years from the closest Beamrider station. However the F-class star was stable and luminous, and worth development for the future.

At that time there were no entities in the system above superbright level, so the modosophont leaders of the community took it upon themselves to uphold the Axioms of Negentropy. They developed a regime ordered around the Committee of Sustenance, also known as the Silver Pentagram: five high-level Superior individuals who supervised the planetary engineering projects, maintained order and discouraged dissent and inefficiency.

In 7988 an inactive probe of human origin was discovered in peristellar orbit, apparently several hundred years old, and was recovered by a singleship pilot Luci Ginoie. The probe itself was taken back to Hammurabi, and found to be from Soldidos system, fifty light years distant, but wiped free of any coherent data by exposure to the stellar radiation. Luci meanwhile returned to her apartment in the habitat, and began to develop unusual psychological symptoms, similar to déjà vu and out-of-body phenomena, accompanied by unexplained voices. Over the course of a nightmarish few days, with the help of her assigned Therapi-vec, RogR ParKR, Ginoie established that she had developed a form of unexplained mind reading ability that she was not able to suppress or control. ParKR acted as her faithful recorder as she related the unbidden messages that came to her, detailing the innermost thoughts of the citizens, whether human or vec or and ai, who were around her.

ParKR attempted to tell the Silver Pentagram individuals about Luci Ginoie's visions, but the evidence was dismissed at first, as it mostly consisted of inconsequential anecdotes. Later, many uncomfortable truths about the colonists and their various hypocritical and un-Negentropic attitudes caused scandals and unrest among Luci's friends and colleagues, but this did not result in any official reaction or attention either. Only when she started to receive detailed information about the Sustenance Committee did the Silvers finally begin to take notice. At least seven secret and often mutually exclusive plots and intrigues amongst the Pentagram were revealed, together with opportunistic plans by their assistants to gain territory and power when the terraforming process was complete. The fabric of society in Hammurabi collapsed and the Silvers retreated into solipsism, as a new cyberdemocracy (organised along Narchic principles) developed, led by the few people with relatively little to hide.

Luci Ginoie's gift disappeared soon after the new regime was established, and the newly elected Narchs secretly breathed sighs of relief. Analysis of the so-called probe has since found traces of a technotelepathy device last employed by the Black Cat faction of Cyberian trickster/activists.

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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 09 December 2002.