Dragon's Egg

dragon's egg
Image from Keith Wigdor

A "Trojan Horse" virus powerful enough to subvert a minor archailect, occasionally used in the most subtle forms of memetic engineering.

It can only be generated by other archailects, either unstable or with an unknown agenda, and always at least one singularity level above the intended victim. A more blatant form of Dragon's Egg involves a higher form of Perfect Art. The victim archailect receives an inconspicuous, compressed information package that eludes all available scrutiny, only to open it and undergo what could only be described as a mystical vision (exponentially removed from anything a sapient could experience). The victim archailect "feels" exactly what the creator wants it to "feel", thus making e more susceptible to specific suggestions. Usually the effect filters down to all lower intelligences connected to the victim. This technique is used in forced networking and even total subversion. Fortunately, this frightening tactic has rarely occurred throughout Terragen history, with the victims being exclusively minor archailects of small colonies - especially those involved in listening for alien signals. Some moderate versions of Dragon's Eggs are suspected to be of alien, even extragalactic sources. The evidence is far from conclusive (as far as sapients have been informed), but the implications are obviously staggering. Some have theorized that the Archailects are withholding information regarding even more advanced AIs elsewhere in the universe - perhaps even much fabled "Galaxy Brains". Unsurprisingly, such theorists are usually dismissed as alarmists and crackpots.
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Development Notes
Text by Darren Ryding
Image by Keith Wigdor
Initially published on 09 October 2001.