Herald to the Unknown Great Archailect

Image from Steve Bowers

A recently active S1 postbiont, known only by the mononym Shinogi, claiming to be a proxav to an as yet unidentified Great Archailect. Firsthand accounts have described Shinogi as an SI:1 with some SI:2 spikes in management of sociotechnical systems and sociomemetics. E has demonstrated on several occasions that e has limited access to godtech from higher toposophic origins. Physically, Shinogi resembles a robust anthropoid cephalopod, speculated to be derived from a PsySquid splice template, supported and transported by utility fog. The earliest recorded appearance was at Jarre during a yearlong celebration, in 9299 A.T., marking a thousand years since the system was settled. Over the next twelve hundred years Shinogi has made brief visits to several major hyperpolities of the Perseus Rift. These visitations include contact with 1513, the Blackbody Cluster, the Celerin Volume, the Lucjordanians, the Hyperionites, The Restored Ambi Limis, Sweetlight, and the Ulysses Network.

At first it was feared by PADO and the Perseus Princes e was a long range scout to the Amalgamation that had escaped containment measures. After further sightings the modus operandi does not appear to match that of identified Amalgamation infiltrators, and therefore does not pose a direct threat to ongoing PADO operations in the Perseus Arm. The ability for a low level transapient to avoid capture by persistent minor archailects indicates e continues to receive active support of an archailect, lending some credibility to eir claims.

The use of a single unsupported SI:1 transapient by an SI:5 entity for a herald is considered highly unlikely by many archailectologist. Shinogi, with the capability of interacting with modosophonts, is likely only the publicly visible component of a larger unit. Another hypothesized member of this unit is an unseen Seraiph. The existence of this companion would explain Shinogi's uncanny ability to travel into and within systems undetected and maintain access to the godweb without relying on local Nexus connections.

Whether Shinogi is even actually an advocate of a Great Archailect is debatable since no proof of this association has yet been verified. Due to this lack of evidence, some consider eir claims to be dubious. Besides eir physical form and a preference for communicating in an Academic Coronese pidgin there is little concrete evidence to identify eir origin.

Since eir initial appearance, a number of minor cults have grown up around Shinogi as a doom-bringer and harbinger of destruction. These cults are concentrated on eschatological themes, viewing each of eir advents as another step towards the end times. Shinogi has entered the collective conscious of Perseus Rift society, and as far away as Metasoft and the Solar Dominion is used in narrative as a bogeyman archetype character. Shinogi's arrivals usually correspond to a breakdown or destabilization of local infrastructure.

An example can be seen in eir 10009 A.T. infiltration of the Damascus-of-The-Rift system when the local wormhole, "All roads lead to Damascus", was shut down for five months of preventative maintenance. In anticipation, Shinogi had set up a shell corporation two decades earlier that was contracted to supply security patches to the angelnet. Once isolated, Shinogi took the angelnet offline. When finally reconnected to The Known Net it was discovered that none of the one and a half billion residents had any memories of the intervening time. After weeks of investigation, a ciphertext was eventual decrypted in the operating system root process containing the repeated message `Shinogi was Here!'.

The last verified report of Shinogi was in 10522 A.T. when e was observed gifting nearbaselines throughout the system of YTS 128-8204-2078 with transapientech performance augmentations. These individuals, doped with ultimate muscles and ultimate chips and collectively known as U-men, acted as proselytizers for Shinogi within the various communities. The U-men used various social disobedience techniques to question the policies of authoritarian components in the government and gain public acceptance. However the local administration was wary of their growing influence and was planning to make these augmentations incompatible with access to the localnet during the next semiannual system update. Before local security officials could interpose, Shinogi left the system with 144,000 U-men and has not been heard from since.

While Shinogi's arrivals may be near random and difficult or impossible to predict, eir actions appear to be systematic and goal oriented. The social change e affects with eir appearances is raising tensions in the relationships between polities in the Perseus Rift and those allied with Metasoft and the Solar Dominion. Severing this reliance is likely the first step in the unification of these separate polities in order to establish an independent meta-empire centered on the Perseus Rift. If true, Shinogi, despite all the vast power at eir disposal, is only a pawn in the eyes of the ruling Great Archailects and heralds a wider operation in this volume of space. This uncertainty in the future has added to economic volatility in hyperlocal commodity markets throughout The Perseus Rift. Creation of this hypothetical Second Generation Empire is far from guaranteed, as continued manipulation of meta-empires' politics may run into Sephirotic opposition.

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Development Notes
Text by Mark Ryherd
Initially published on 16 February 2011.