The evolution of Ahkti is great, showing the changes over the eras. I agree with Val re: religious practice. The basic theology of Ahkti is here, but I wonder what rites and rituals were carried through the ages, or how they were changed over time as well. Still, it's a very fine base. Go to Comment
Physical Description: A number of shiny metallic spheres, one centimeter in wideth and varying in color from whitish silver to colbalt blue, arranged in various geometric figures.
Borel was an industrial colony that experienced a nightmarish robotic mishap: the patented MagSpheres that were used to attach to and recycle metals had their AI corrupted, their self-replicating subroutine taking top programming priority. As a result, Borel collapsed under a swarm of little metal balls. A recovery operation successfully shut down the AI with a virus, leaving the MagSpheres able only to repair themselves when damaged rather than reproduce in endless number. Researchers also found the AI had learned to modify itself, essentially becoming a self-aware organism.
Borellian MagSpheres gradually found their way off world by collectors, and PetDex made a significant investment in a collection of several billion. They are essentially a colony organism, the MagSpheres attaching to one another to form geometric figures, typically cubes but they can relign their magnetic poles to create any closed geometric figure. MagSpheres are intelligent and can respond to commands, and can sense the world around them with internal sensors and recording devices. They are mostly enjoyed by collectors as decorative curios, a reminder of AI gone awry, but they can be useful in spacecraft as diagnostic tools, able to clink down narrow passageways with their tiny bodies and rearrangeable formats. MagSpheres self-soothe when bored or frightened by slowly arranging themselves and rearranging into favored arrangements. Go to Comment
Sort of feels like the setup of one of those cerebral Twilight Zone episodes that stay in a single shot until the final scene when something crazy happens. I'm curious as to how they all ended up in jail, particularly the clergy (harboring criminals in sanctuary? religion persecuted?). Go to Comment
43. Kidnapped by rivals
44. Converted to a different faith
45. Became patron of scientific works
46. Married a political rival's relative
47. Banished significant ethnic group from territory
48. Scandalized by false accusations
49. Foiled assassination attempted
50. Divorced from spouse
51. Produced illegitimate children
52. Crushed popular rebellion
53. Seized control of rival territory Go to Comment
I like pairing these various elements of fascism, alien invasion, and post-human cognition. It reminds me of a number of various books I've read before, but none putting together quite this combination of ideas. It's delightfully complex. Go to Comment
I think I disagree with you. As the article suggests, the number of intelligences who are aware of the alien threat are limited to tiny handful. That group, while having a hand in some of the events of the Era, doesn't appear to have direct or total control. And given that they're superintelligent AIs, most of the events in the Cosmic Era happened before their existence. Thus the chaotic and existential portions of the Cosmic Era existed without the interference of the intelligences that were aware of the extraterrestrials. All they do is nudge things a bit. I think to suggest they're the entire architects of global affairs in the Cosmic Era is equating them to the Machines of the Matrix, when they're more akin to a super CIA/KGB in the Cold War: moving things behind the scenes while humanity takes its course. Go to Comment
The forests, the swamps, the lands lost to wilderness, fang, and willow. These lands are home to the creatures of wiing, tooth and claw. Some far more capable of fending off the hominids, others still, are less fortunate, falling prey to spears, arrows, and dogs. As the hominids encroach upon the sacred woodlands and miry bogs there are times that the thorns and vines are animated by the spirit of the land in order to fight. In this way the mysterious guardians are formed. In the shapes of wolves, bears, and many other greater and more terrible beasts, each with eyes of glowing emerald. Fiercely defending creatures of burrow and glade.