Image from Avengium
Utility fog created by transapient-level technology is known as hyperfog; this material comes in may forms, and can have a wide range of characteristics and capabilities. Hyperfog is used by transapients and archailects, often as part of construction projects, but also as a flexible and adaptive data processing medium. The individual foglets are von Newmann machines, and can replicate using local materials very swiftly; one important source of material on many worlds is carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere using various forms of artificial photosynthesis. This replication will increase the volume of the hyperfog and also the available processing power.

Most forms of hyperfog are sentient and many are fully sophont, and hyperfog can sometimes form independent cultures and civilisations that develop in unusual ways. The Nimbus culture on Novoterra is one example of such a culture. However most forms of hyperfog are under strict control by the transapients or archai who created them, and are resistant against attempts to subvert or infiltrate the control systems. Some forms of hyperfog may be given as gift-tech to modosophonts for various purposes, but obedient fog of this type is always subject to strict fail-safe constraints.

Hyperfog swarms are often used at transapient-level for mining, terraforming and the construction of habitats, artificial worlds and other megastructures. Very rarely, a cache of abandoned, obedient hyperfog may be discovered by artifact hunters, and it is one of the most valued forms of clarketech; sometimes this material can go rogue and escape from the control of its discoverers, becoming an existential threat to nearby colonies (or simply escaping to live independently).

Image from Bernd Helfert

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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 04 January 2003.