Merged Humanoid Entity, The (old version)
A mysterious entity that absorbed large numbers of missing humans
Early in the First Expansion period, unknown parties advertised heavily along the fringes of that which came to be called the 'first empire' for skilled baselines for upload into a new habitat. These beings were run through what appears to have been a very sophisticated memetic screen for the time (the uncertainty is due to the secrecy of the process and the long time-dilation) looking for and subtly removing those under the thumb of other higher-S powers.
These beings were spirited away to points unknown for some 2,500 years, until 4012. At this time, a space-borne humanoid form approached the Keterist system Ascension, having arrived undetected inside the oort cloud of its system. This being was spotted when it unfurled large-scale solar sails and was calculated to be approaching an intercept orbit with Keter. With some difficulty the local Keterist archai was able to establish communication with the intruder, and was shocked to learn that this was a high toposophic entity of a hitherto unknown type.
With carefully sub-weaponsgrade laser emissions, the Keterists slowed the being to a standstill in a concentric orbit with one of their research ISO's and began to try to determine their new visitor's purpose(s). Eventually, after enough communication had passed and enough memetic alteration was apparent in the visitor's comm streams, it was allowed to board one of the local ISO's.
The being was polymorphic, seeming to switch facial structure at a whim, as well as the visible structure of other extremities at pseudo-random times whilst retaining the basic hominid form. The recording intellect was able to retrieve some 2.5% matches to facial structure and 5.6% matches to digital-ridge patterns - so-called 'fingerprints'. These were all from beings deemed 'missing' in the 1300's through 1500's.
When questioned, the being (which refused to give an identifier and seemed to switch between male, female, and indiscriminate gender-terms) revealed that it was an amalgam of some 5,000 sophonts hosted in internal virch space, each extremely skilled in certain areas of endeavour.
Some of the ISOs were deeply intrigued. They had thought that they were aware of the development of their kinds of metagroups, yet here was an unknown example of what appeared to be a novel approach to the problem!
It was soon realized, however, that whatever intellect had organized the creation of this being had taken only the sub-portions of each intellect directly associated with its greatest skill suite. That is, each being was not in and of themselves sophont, but rather functioned as an expert system in one small set of its previous excellence.
This horrified the Keterists. The moral implications to this clade of beings deeply respectful of each beings' ability to provolve itself were immediately obvious.
Immediate efforts were made to try and separate out each memetic capability and to try and generate from historical records a respectably diverse sophonce. This effort continues through the present day with an approximate 5% complete success rate and an additional 56% at various states of reintegration.
The origin of the Merged Humanoid Entity, as it became known, is still a mystery. However, Research by third toposophic historical detective 75Lws of Aleph Absolute noted that the unknown parties first appeared in Penglai space in 1389, and the pattern of disappearances now revealed show a gradual expansion of the activity over time, reaching Dionysos in 3596.
The epicentre and possible origin of this phenomenon may be traced to a ten light year sphere centred on Hip 103039 near Altair, although various unknown variables if large enough would allow the possible point of origin to include Altair itself.
Both stars at this time supported Diamond Belt activity. although the entities concerned have since migrated elsewhere.
Text by John BInitially published on 16 September 2002.