The first Genome Computers were created during a particularly vile Dimensional Fatigue Event in Antarctica. The Atlantic Federation's Applied Computational Sciences Center (APCOM) was heavily invested in researching the the potential of super cooled AISC mainframes and pioneering technology for producing computronium, celestial computers (Jupiter Brain, Matrioska Brain) and faster than light data transmission (ansible). The event caused a Shaddack Transfiguration, meshing human inhabitants of the research center with their lab and computer equipment. Shaddack Transfigurations are a far cry from cybernetics, it is a more vile and invasive instance where flesh and inorganic materials are blended together, often to the detriment of both. A number of victims 'survived' the incident. Were the event not classified, one Tom Shaddack, would be infamous.
Shaddack Transfigurations are a disturbingly common form of mutation experienced during dimensional fatigue events. This most commonly is fatal, as the merger of machine components and living flesh isn't beneficial to the living. SCP organizations and reflex units keep preserved transfigurations for study and inoculation purposes. Being told about humans being swirled together with mechanical components is one thing, seeing the deformed bodies of a group of children sucked into a vending machine, and knowing that they survived for fifteen minutes, screaming and driven insane before death.
It was his head, eyes glassed open, mouth still pulled back in a deathly snarl. Tom died fighting the machine, but the machine won. There were all sorts of wires, and conduits running out of his neck, out of his nose, his ear, they were everywhere. His head looked like some sort of ghastly junction box. I thought that was the worst of it, until the computer started screaming and yelling at me. His eyes barely moved, but he was looking at me, his head was still somehow horribly alive.
Welcome, they keep me here. I am something of a museum exhibit now.
Feel free to ask me any questions you feel like, but let me cover the bases. No, I do not have a body. I tried surrogating an android body, but I hated it. It's like being given a lethal dose of Novocaine and then stumbling around numb, shaking. Don't take your physical body for granted.
I am connected to the cognet, and I have what is considered to be a full and healthy virtual life.
I was Thomas Tom Shaddack, formerly a resident of the Nuevo Lunaluz in North America.
I was involved with ATFED APCOM, I do apologize I was not a scientist or researcher there. I was janitorial staff. I am not allowed to speak about 'the event' other than my personal experience. I was working on my standard assigned rotation, when 'the event' happened. I attempted to reach a security zone, a bunker. I did not make it to the shelter. I cannot explain what happened in entirety.
There was a great deal of pain, and I was unable to become unconscious or even die.
I awoke fifteen hours thirty seven minutes later when a reflex team found my mortal remains. I was debriefed by the team psyche-ops and the information I was able to give them about APCOM and the layout of the research station allowed them to save many lives.
Technically including my own.
The Genome Computer retains memories and skills of the brain contained within. This isn't immortality or even life, as the computer barely passes the standard sentience tests, and has only the imprint of emotions associated with the former intelligence contained within it. The advantage of genome computers is it allows for the use of the skills and abilities of a deceased person without dealing with things like ego or emotions like ambition, anxiety, fear, and such.
Genome Computer Usage
Genome Computers remain rare, outside of hacker circles. The few legal genomes are owned and operated by either national governments or megacorps. These genomes are often held in think tanks, advisory roles, or form central command components of automated systems.
Drone Ship Captain: It isn't uncommon for large unmanned Federation spacecraft to have a Genome computer control system. This gives most of the advantages of a human mind controlling a system, while retaining the advantages of a computer, most notably unquestioning loyalty and high degree efficiency. These are seldom military vessels, but rather long range freighters, making runs from the deep solar system and back to Earth. A computer, even a good one, can get lost in logic loops, while a human crew would be prohibitively expensive.
Supplementary Avatar: Large structures like military bases, arcoplexes, multi-hub space stations, and megastructures are equipped with AISCs and L/AISCs to control the infrastructures. These high density residential structures can tax even the massive computing power of these machines, and some second generation control systems integrated experimental genome computers to assist in human relations.
The Dummy System: One of the biggest goals of ATFED military planners is removing humans from piloting mecha. The Tycho convention prohibits self propelled autonomous combat machines. The Dummy System was designed as a fail-safe to 'protect' the pilots of mecha who have been incapacitated. The official parameters have dummy systems controlling the mecha, including weapons and mobility, to ensure the safe return of an incapacitated pilot, even if that means fighting it's way through hostile lines to reach friendly forces. In practice, dummy systems typically engage in high power close combat with enemy forces, slaughtering their way through enemies until winning, or being destroyed.
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? Responses (6)-6
I read this at first as 'Gnome Computer' and imagined gnomes with modern tech.
I love the concept of a brain-in-a-jar and think that there is a lot that can be done with it. Not really sold on calling it a genome computer (it's neither a computer crunching genomes nor a compute made of genomes, not really), but the concept is great and it is widely useful.
Shaddack Transfigurations are a great touch. Note that they are not really necessary for a brain-in-a-jar, but they do make for a great backstory.
If brain-in-jars lose their emotions but retain human pattern recognition abilities they would make for excellent computers. Recommender systems, online help-desks, vehicle drivers, Jarvis, etc. Warhammer 40k has some fallen space marines cased in metal dreadnoughts and continue to fight. Futurama keeps Nixon around. Gurren Lagann has a bio-computer made from a fallen big-baddy. Neuromancer had some sort of scripted persona-on-a-stick.
Mechanics-wise one can do some neat things as well. Perhaps someone the players know has been jar'd. Maybe being jar'd allows one to drop the burden of emotion and ascend to a higher plane of thought and existence. Maybe one can cleverly interact with brain-in-jars to trigger responses based on their has-been-selves to get special reactions.
Withholding vote. This has AMAZING potential. Don't 'fire and forget' PLEASE come back to this and give us MORE!!!!!!!!!!
'Don't fire and Forget' That is a good line.
I like this little write up. The interview log was fun to read, and while brief I thought that worked as is. I thought the descriptions given in the first person thought bubbles italics were quality. This is an idea seed with some little artistic flourishes. By why the term Genome computer? These types of computers have very little to do with the Genome and Cheka wouldn't be disappointed.
Also what do vending machines look like in the cosmic era? And children, is there a post about families and childrearing in the cosmic era?
Overall I am not sure the idea is developed enough. This is more like a foot note in some larger story Brain's in jar and machine man hybrid. That could have been a 100 word post. I feel like you were going for something larger here, maybe some world building or an atmospheric piece. We get a little mood stuff (which is good) and some world building references to the Tyco convention, a proper noun and the reveal in the CE there is something rotten in Antartica.
recommendations along these lines of brain/machine hybrids and/or brains in jars
There was an adventure story in Galaxy's Edge Magazine Issue 7 (amazon 3.99) called Pallbearers. It was about armored suits and their pilots. The crux of the story was one suit's 'Dummy System' and the injured pilot in a suit trying to over come the dummy system.
For real old school dudes (Max) The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffery is about a brain in a jar in a ship, and her struggles with grief, art, love, loyalty and all that stuff.
For old school Horror there was Whispers in the Darkness, by H.P. Lovecraft. (A whole shelf full of brains in jar).
Finally in comedy, Steve Martin's movie 'The Man with Two Brains'
The visual that gave the idea for the device was Lord Genome's head grafted into the control system of the Cathedral Terra/Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann ship from the Gurren Lagann anime. I've never really gotten the best vibe off of the head in the jar riff, even though it's an old one (Lovecraft, Futurama, etc) but the visuals of the various members of the crew interacting with and talking to the reanimated but still technically dead head of their former rival was just too cool to ignore.
Kiosk droids have replaced stationary vending machines. (Sub pending)
There is currently not a thread about families and child rearing in the CE, but sufficed to say, it would look horrific and bleak. You plug your kids into the CogNet for their indoctrination/education/entertainment, and only interact with them when you aren't plugged in yourself. That's assuming you went with the biological option to have organic children and not iKid droids, or cloned offspring, avoiding that whole pregnancy thing that used to plague mankind. Woman is truly free, now that the glass womb bears the burden of reproduction.
The Tycho Conventions have been mentioned regularly in the setting (ref: MiB) and is the CE version of the Geneva Convention, just upgraded for the setting. No nukes, no bioweapons, no genetic caste cloning (re: alphas, epsilons, double epsilons) no genetic super soldiers, no autonomous weapon systems, No uplifting animal species to sentience, etc. Basically a bunch of stuff that most major powers ignore, or use as accusations to hurl at each other.
Antarctica has something rotten and foul under it, why else would their be an entire continent crushed under ice, with sub-zero deserts, massive ice sheets and auroras flickering over it. It is the creepy, evil basement of Planet Earth.
As per the Dummy System, Neon Genesis Evangelion had the Dummy Plug system, which was later revealed to be (spoilers!) clones of two eva pilots who were programmed to act as auto-pilots for the eldritch horrors should their pilots become incapacitated or refuse to follow orders. Empty, soulless, these artificial pilots demonstrated barbarism and violence that was sickening even to hardened operatives, including ripping pilots out of their mecha and devouring them.
As per the 100 Word Submissions, I appreciate the suggestion, but no.