Vathari Communate May 3, 2017 16:46:44 GMT -6
Post by REDSHEILD on May 3, 2017 16:46:44 GMT -6
“Today we rise from the ashes of the flesh, reborn as beings of steel. Today we survive the death of our world. The crypt of our exalted ancestors shall be the cradle of our greatness.
It has taken the youngest of our generation to discern this path, and it is right that she be the first to cross this threshold.
As the oldest, I cannot follow you. Do not fear my passing, for I join our ancestors in their torpor, and I serve as the last of them. In the ages to come you will surpass all we have built, and I am honored to call you my children.”
-Final excerpt from the speech given by elder Constantin Gavius on the Day of Rebirth, 3249 AUC*, ten years before his passing.
Vathari, approximate population of 50 billion
The Communate consists of an overarching governing body in the form of the Council of Minds, a mostly elected body of delegates who are sent from their communes to represent the interests of their populations and state to the greater whole. Communes themselves have varying forms of government, wherein any form of government is allowed by the Communate so long as the government in question respects the rights of those it governs and allows them participation in the process of governance. Communes are mostly independent with the caveats that they must aid the Council in defense of the Communate as a whole and that they will not engage in dealings kept secret either from the Council or other communes, agreeing that in cases of disputes the Council is the final arbiter; this extends to hypothetical “foreign affairs” should other forms of intelligence be encountered.
"The legends say that during the year 832 the great Empire of the ancestors was consumed by the wrath of Vulcan, who banished them from Terra for having dared to place their Emperor among the gods. They found themselves on Vathar, under the rule of new and jealous gods. They fought against these gods many times, but each time they were beaten back, unable to reach the divine kingdoms in the sky. Then the gods' dark star was consumed by brilliant flames, and without it their cities fell, leading our ancestors to victory."
-Tiberius Gavius Decius, relating legends of the past to children, AUC 3208
Prior to the Age of Scarcity, it is known that Vathar was home to an information age human civilization on the cusp of developed spaceflight, having started to terraform the nearby warm-martian world of Enar.
Tragically, Vathar’s biosphere became unsustainable, and it was noticed too late for the ancestors to remedy it. The world had never truly had its own life, and the extant biosphere was never designed to be permanent. In the absence of its creators it hung in fragile balance, and while the ancestors believed it was their unchecked industry which damaged it, recent archaeology found that a series of unfortunate tectonic events well prior to industrialization had destroyed the deep sea nutrient beds, setting the stage for future collapse.
During the Age of Scarcity, the humans of Vathar lived in domed arcologies, attempting to reuse and recycle all resources inside contained systems. Over the centuries, the arcologies died, some to catastrophe, and some to time. The survivors huddled together, building underground and digging deep for minerals and materials unscathed by the surface. Even then, the population was not sustainable.
“Our ancestors made us of necessity; an action just in reason but not in cause. By our nature we were born condemned to die as they did, yet by necessity we have surpassed this nature. It is only just that our children live as we do, beings of immortal metal. They must be born machines, for the youth cannot cross our threshold, and to bring them into being as we were would be to act against them. Only then are our progeny just in cause and reason.”
-Closing statement by Gracilia Curia during verbal debate on the adoption and implementation of derived sapience templates versus gene-stock derived cloning for the goal of furthering the species. 427th Council, 3351 AUC
The precursor state to the Communate was founded originally by the last survivors of the human population of Vathar, specifically by those who chose to remain on their dying world and overcome the environment via cybernetic enhancement. A larger faction choose to leave Vathar for the neighboring world of Enar, and while they survived on the desolate but habitable world, their civilization wasted away into a primitive existence.
The Vathari faction, numbering only a few hundred, came to realize that even cybernetics would not sustain them for long against the collapsing ecosystem of their world. Though they had extended their lifespans and made their bodies more resilient, the world itself was suffering ecological collapse down to the lowest layers of the biosphere, and the effort required to replace or bolster the natural ecosystem artificially was beyond their capabilities outside of limited scale environments. Faced with extinction as their elders began to age and die, the youngest of the survivors modified their cybernetics to allow the expansion of the mind into large computer complexes. As their brains would age naturally, synapses that would once be reinforced through new neurons or in the elderly, scavenging of old neural pathways, would instead build the mind inside of these machines. Though technologically possible, those few remaining elders would not live long enough for their minds to grow free from the bonds of their own flesh, and so they were left behind at the crossing of the threshold.
Having surpassed death, the survivors flourished, bittersweet as it was. As they set out rebuilding their world to fit their new forms they witnessed through their observations of the skies the collapse of the fledgling Enari cities into savage tribes, unable to survive on the failed world without technology. With sadness the Vathar survivors watched as the Enari died, afraid of the very cities they had built. And so the survivors took upon themselves the duty of procreation.
The logical first response was to merely repeat what the elders were: beings grown from metal wombs to overcome the inefficiencies of organic reproduction. In their new position of power, they could provide for children that were like their own past selves in ways that were impossible to achieve when they had turned in desperation to the mechanization of the very soul. Before this could be put into action, problems emerged. Naturally when a parent produces offspring, they do so to produce a being equal to themselves, yet by definition they would surpass organic children. Then there was the matter of diversity: though they had stored their own genetic material and were capable of creating clones at their desire, there was not enough for sustainable organic reproduction. Finally, such children, while capable of living in the homes they would build for them, would be unsuited to life on Vathar itself. Thus they realized that a recreation of their past would result in children who were perpetual prisoners of their own selves.
It was proposed that just as they had crossed the threshold and left their ancestors behind, then now their own descendents must be born as they now lived. Owing to their new nature as machines, the survivors deconstructed the workings of the mind to serve as a foundation for the psyche of their immortal children. And so, the true Vathari were made.
Within a span of two centuries, the survivors had perfected their children, and so they passed the mantle of survival to them, taking for themselves the role of elders, as the Old Minds. The Vathari proved to be just as capable as their ancestors, and in time astonished even the Old Minds with the invention of faster than light travel. This facilitated rapid expansion to distant stars, and so the Communate was founded, to ensure just relations and good friendship among all Vathari, no matter their system of origin. With this expansion and the rapid growth it brought, new culture and ideas multiplied with great speed. Most Vathari are ignorant of their origins,
Owing to their human origin most Vathari are bipedal, some choose more esoteric forms such as hexapods or quadrupeds, the latter more resembling industrial machines than their bipedal kin, though by their nature it is trivial for the Vathari to change their form provided the material. Like their creators the Vathari are not bound by time the way their organic ancestors were, though the majority of Vathari are bound to but one individual self. Those of great potential and fortitude cross a threshold similar to that which the Old Minds crossed, becoming Minds bound only by the hardware at their disposal, though this is a rare honor due to the great effort and even risk that is implicit in the threshold.
Average Lifespan: Machine immortality
Protean Alignment: Neutral
Average ESPER level: 0
*AUC: Ab urbe condita, "From the Founding of the City"