Trope-a-Day: Split Personality Merge

Split Personality Merge: Averted.  You don’t try and merge two minds (an operation routinely carried out to remerge forks) while they’re running, seriously.  This is a very complex operation carried out on static mind-states, and while there may be some conflicts in the resultant merged personality, there’s still only one person in there afterwards.

Trope-a-Day: Do Androids Dream

Do Androids Dream: Souls Are Software Objects.  Period.  And are usually referred to as “mind-states”, unless we’re being poetic.

(There are civilizations that do not agree with this.  They are all, in subcreational terms, objectively wrong.  (And at least some of them suspect this, but it’s so much easier to be a bunch of slaving bastards when the slaves have no souls, isn’t it?)

Until it goes horribly wrong, anyway.)

Destructive Scan

“This didn’t come off a noetic bridge.”

“Of course it — this is perfectly legiti –”

“Rule number one: don’t fib to your reincarnator. You’re handing me this soph’s mind-state. If you can trust me with that, you can tell me what I need to know to bring him back right.”

“No, it’s –”

And it’s right there in the file header – Mark III Aruaz & Qal Industrial Nanocrucible. And looking at the rest of this file with the eye of experience, I’d call this a partially trimmed dump of a chopped head you shoved in there when it was about, hm, three hours old and warm, or rather longer if you chilled it.  Am I close?”

“You don’t need to –”

“This is what happens when you need someone who knows what they’re talking about. This ain’t Honest Harí’s House of Headwrangling & Budget Resurrection, and those amateurs couldn’t turn this back into anything you’d see outside a petting zoo. So, shall we stop dancing and get down to business?”

Just Another Day In Inplacement

“Got a good one for you!”

“Why is it, Annis, that when you say ‘good one’, I hear ‘utter wire-and-tape job’?”

“Couldn’t say, boss.  Anyway, today’s case here-and-now one-thirteen.  An infugee from the Republic – one of their scientists who wanted to defect, looks like.  He managed to piece together some good-enough brain-scanning equipment out of repurposed lab equipment, then programmed it to rip him and mail him to us in a few thousand steganographically-concealed parts, scrubbing as it went.  ExSec picked him out of the stream and shuffled him over here.”

“That’s routine.  Don’t make me wait for the good part.”

“Well, it looks like their firewalls are a little bit better than he thought they were.  They detected the transmission and cut it off in midstream.  We have about half of his mind-state.  The other half’s still at the sending point.”

“Okay.  Well, call –”

“And the Vonnie ambassador is pounding the table demanding that we send back our half.”

“Hah.  If you ever find one to beat this, remind me to go on leave and stick you with the coordinator’s job.”  He rubbed his temples. “Right.  Get me whoever found this over at ExSec, State and Outlands, the Curia, whoever’s senior on-shift at Instantiations, and a stiff drink.”

Trope-a-Day: Brainwashed

Brainwashed: The jargon term is “edited into compliance”.  With perverted sophotechnology – or its equivalent for pure-biologics – and the large pile of quantum supercomputers you need to defeat the many safety features which exist to stop people doing things like this, it’s really not all that hard to do some personality editing to make people do whatever you need them to do.

Of course, it’s personality editing that shows up fairly obviously to a comparison of mind-state backups, am-I-me service, or the equivalent, so whatever you’re going to brainwash people to do, make sure that they can do it quickly and without entering the kind of super-high-security facility that considers it worth delaying everyone who tried to get in to check their mindprint.  But it’s still a useful technique for the resource-rich and ethically challenged.

Trope-a-Day: Brain Uploading

Brain Uploading: Pervasive and universal, just about.  The Eldrae, after all, being naturally unaging, find the notion of accidental death rather unpleasant, and so took to this technological advancement with enthusiasm; and, as rabid technophiles, even more so once the other technologies it enables – reinstantiation, mindcasting, forking, gnostic overlays, etc. (unlike a lot of universes, there are no convenient laws preventing you from screwing around with mind-states in all the ways you might expect to be able to) – came along; and now are enthusiastically selling immortality to the entire rest of the Galaxy, or at least everyone they can reach.  (And, incidentally, considering governments that ban this sort of thing as, essentially, being morally, if not legally, guilty of the mass murder of everyone who dies in their jurisdiction and would have preferred not to; immortalists vs. ephemeralists is a major galactopolitical issue.)

To the point, in fact, that modern – and thus highly engineered – brains come with the technology (“noetic architecture”) for minds to hop in and out designed right in.

Also, this is how you reach the afterlife (see Deus Est Machina).