Merged Entity, The

Mysterious merged being associated with a large number of unexplained disapperances

Hominid Merge1
Image from Steve Bowers

Disappearances in the Inner Sphere

This entity and incident have deep roots in history. Starting in the First Federation Era, unknown parties advertised heavily on many worlds seeking skilled human baselines and nearbaselines who were willing to emigrate to a new system. The memetics of the advertising were well designed and targeted, and the originator of the campaign was never identified through the several layers of secrecy and the uncertainties produced by time-dilation on what was then a much more primitive Known Net. As a result, a large number of humans responded and vanished without a trace, even where they had been part of societies that were under the supervision of higher level transapients, and they were apparently spirited away to points unknown. Recruitment campaigns of this kind were quite common in that era, and many colonisation missions vanished without trace for various reasons; this was assumed to be just one more example of that phenomenon. Eventually the disappearances ceased and the mystery was filed and forgotten.

The Arrival of the Entity

Two and a half millennia later, in 4012 AT, a mysterious form approached the Keterist system Ascension in Aquila. When first detected the visitor was somehow already inside the system's oort cloud; it was discovered just as it unfurled large-scale solar sails and placed itself on an intercept orbit with the system's major ISO. After approximately 15 seconds of trial-and-error, the local Keterist archailect was able to establish basic communication with the intruder, and was shocked to learn that this was a novel type of godtech 'life form'. With carefully sub-weaponsgrade laser emissions directed at the solar sail, the Keterists slowed the being to a standstill in a co-orbit with one of their research ISOs and began to try to determine their new visitor's purpose. Eventually, after enough communication had passed to determine a reasonable level of safety, it was allowed onboard for a closer dialogue. At this point it shed its solar wings and assumed a humanoid form.

The visitor was polymorphic, switching its facial structure and general superficial appearance at apparently random times, though it never deviated from the basic hominid form. It refused to give a personal identifier, and in conversation it switched between male, female and indiscriminate-gender terms. However by close observation the interviewers were able to retrieve some 2.5% matches to facial structure and 5.6% matches to digital-ridge patterns (so-called 'fingerprints'). These were all from beings deemed 'missing' in the 1300's through 1500's AT. When questioned about this, the being stated that it was an amalgam of some 5,000 sophonts, each extremely skilled in certain areas of endeavour, hosted in internal virch space.

Some of the interviewers were deeply intrigued at first; the hominid seemed to show a novel approach to the development of a metagroup. However, on closer examination they found that whatever had organized the creation of this being had taken only the sub-portions of each intellect directly associated with its greatest skill suite. That is, each sub-being was not in and of itself sophont, but rather functioned as an expert system in one small set of its previous excellence. Further, there were signs that the original personalities had been involuntarily erased in the process.

Restoration of the Victims

The theft of so many thinking beings horrified the Keterists, especially given the Keterist belief in unrestricted individual progress. With the aid of Negentropist data-recovery experts they commenced a recovery program, with the goal of separating out each remaining submind and restoring it, using all available historical data, into a respectably authentic reproduction of the original person. The merged entity was (and remains) blandly compliant in the process. This effort continues through the present day, with around 5% of the restored minds being counted as completely authentic, and so far 56% of the minds have been recovered in a form sufficiently functional to live independent lives.

Possible Origins

Amazingly, there is still no knowledge of who or what created this Visitor, much less what its motivations might have been. However research by 75Lws, a historical detective and proxav from Aleph Absolute, noted that the first recorded events of this kind occurred in Penglai space in 1389, and the pattern of disappearances now revealed shows a gradual expansion of the activity over time, and that it was more extensive than first thought, reaching Dionysos in 3596. The epicentre and possible origin of this phenomenon may be traced to a ten light year sphere centred on Hip 103039 near Altair, although various unknown variables if large enough would allow the possible point of origin to include Altair itself.

Both stars at this time supported Diamond Belt activity, although the entities concerned have since migrated elsewhere. The most likely scenario is that an ahuman AI of some decryption decided to create a database of human skillsets, possibly with the objective of creating a new colony in an unknown location; but for whatever reason this goal seems to have been abandoned.

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Development Notes
Text by John B
Initially published on 16 September 2002.

Revised by Stephen Inniss 22/9/14 and by Steve Bowers 19/3/17