Ex Post Human

Ontovorosis

EA's fork-team to Moravecia gets in over its head.

After a week of familiarizing themselves with the Moravecian infomorph, EA’s simulspace exploration team, consisting of Alexei Lazaris, Edward Novotny, Mary Watkins, Sarena Sakura and Steven Williamson, gallantly entered into the network via Deon Mikkelson’s interface. The world they encountered was bizarre, to put it nicely. Non-linear time dominated an alien landscape, with a day lasting anywhere from 400 seconds to mere milliseconds, and always responding to the activities of the egos contained within.

Sarena advanced first, only to find an unexpected resistance to her actions. Time flowed in reverse as she walked forwards, making any progress seem altogether impossible, so she walked backwards instead. Her intuition triggered one of the many odd laws of the simulspace, and teleported her to a hilltop with a scenic overview of a city’s life accelerated thousands of times. She got to watch it wax and wane with thousands of years compressed into a few minutes.

Alexei attempted to follow, and instead ended up on a vista overlooking a huge mining site. Unimpressed, he made to leave. Before he took more than a step, his presence was obliterated in a blinding flash of light and heat, and he reappeared with the rest of the team. Edward and he were quick to conclude that he had just experienced a nuclear detonation.

The others continued to explore the strange laws of the landscape to varying degrees of success, while Sarena proceeded further into the city. Eventually, its growth slowed into a state of war-torn decay, and amid the wreckage she found a luminescent icosahedron. Shortly thereafter, Mary and Steven joined her, and she entered the icosahedron.

Instantly, similar objects appeared before all members of the team, and upon traversal, they were deposited in orbit around Moravecia’s sun. After a brief bout of panic, they manage to adjust their motion via a swimming action, and encounter a stranded humanoid Astronaut. The Applicants, sleeved in their reconstructed Moravene infomorphs, are incapable of communicating with it. The astronaut forms a pistol with his fingers and attempts to shoot everyone. Edward is struck by the possibility of will-based control of the simulation, and attempts to form a slate and marker with which to write messages to the Astronaut. The Astronaut continues rambling, and they begin to respond so that their rescued companion knows they understand. Edward’s attempt has unexpected results, and his self-image is enlarged astronomically—he can view the entire solar system as if it were a model, and notices several odd features orbiting Moravec I, one of which is radiating visible light. He attempts to interact with the system, but finds it immaterial. Meanwhile, the communication with the astronaut progresses, and he is seated on Sarena’s back to accompany the team.

After describing his discovery to his comrades, Sarena attempts the same, and attempting to grab Moravec I causes the entire party to teleport to the radiating object, a massive alien spacecraft hauntingly reminiscent of transhumanity’s own light-hugging vessels. Before going any further, Sarena takes the astronaut to the portal through which they entered, and sends him back. He never makes it to the other side. Enduring the tragic loss of their comic relief, Edward explored the exterior of the vessel, while Alexei and the others entered into an open hangar bay. Inside they found a retrofitted fighter with a vastly different technological capability than seen inside the arcology-like ship.

Concluding that the ship may have a reactionless drive on board, Alexei, Edward and Steven attempt to progress further into the ship, while Sarena and Mary explore the alien fighter. Both groups enter into icosahedrons contained within and are immediately teleported to new locations. Those who progressed into the ship find themselves in a server bunker. Adjacent, behind a blast door, is what appears to be a medical or resleeving facility. Sarena and Mary find themselves in a much more odd location—a room with four icosahedral nodes filled with rainbow bubbles, chaotically moving to and fro. They wove through them with grace and transited another node, reappearing inside of a control center before a Moravene Queen-General.

With incredible difficulties, Sarena and the Queen-General converse, and only a basic impression of what is meant manages to pass translation. Edward, having finished his investigation of the resleeving center, joined them. Sarena does her best to convince the Queen that they are not hostile, but two arthropod combat morphs appear, nevertheless. The Queen poses a question: “Consent Rippping Join Approximation?” Sarena cautiously responds, “Yes, I will join your group.” Having recieved consent, the Queen immediately advances, seeming to lash out and bite Sarena at the neck, before both vanish suddenly. The remaining Applicants complain about alien hanky-panky and withdraw through the node, soon joined by Alexei. Afraid for their lives, yet steadfastly determined to complete their mission, they proceeded to a new portal. Alexei collided with one of the bubbles, and suffered temporary mental distortion.

On the far side, they find themselves inside what appears to be an O’Neill cylinder of infinite length. They begin exploring, and are soon rejoined by Sarena. Sarena behaves… oddly. She refers to the Moravenes as ‘we,’ and explains that they are locked in an infowar that has raged for several hundreds of thousands of years against a singularity AI much like our own TITANs. They suggest possible assistance and alliance with Gatekeeper, for help with infowar materiel. Then, seemingly right on cue, the O’Neill cylinder is corrupted by a fractal infection of black cubes, constantly expanding and enveloping the space within. Sarena and her Moravene allies spring into action, while Mary, Alexei and Edward flee as fast as they can. The infection proves too much for them to handle, and they are forced to retreat to the bubble chamber with the singularity close behind.

Mary retreats the way they came, but before Alexei and Edward can follow the path is overrun by cubes, forcing them to detour through a yet unexplored node that deposits them underwater. Edward quickly comes to terms with the parameters of the new environment, but the sudden shock of crushing pressure causes Alexei to panic and attempt to surface in a space where the surface is non-existent. The cubes follow through, and latch on to Alexei. Edward, displaying great sangfroid and resolve, bravely fled to preserve himself from a terrible fate. A bizarre stream of sensory data overran Alexei’s mind, fracturing his sense of reality and distorting his self identity. The overload is so great he was unable to pull himself free, forcing Sarena to slice him in half. Sarena dragged what was left of him from the Simulspace before returning to fight alongside her new allies. Surprisingly, Alexei is holding together, to some extent.

Steven never returned, and has been listed MIA.

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