Semblance of Eternity

Alien Contact
Image from Keith Wigdor

In the year 10404 AT, the following message was posted to over 50,000,000 forums across the Known Net, including many popular baseline news sources, cosmology and xenosophontology boards, and various other easily accessible locales across cyberspace.

FROM: Technorapture Hypernation Seriaph: Intertoposophic Communications Agent: Expansive Milieu
TO: Terragen civilization
SUBJECT: Words of the Archailect: Omegarapture

Due to the overwhelming shortcomings of presingularity-comprehensible languages, the following transcript is rife with ambiguity and possible misinterpretation. Nevertheless, the message I am to deliver is as follows:

There is news for all fellow sentients, and it is: one artifact from beyond this galaxy has been found and collected by myselves, the Omegarapture. The artifact was found moving through space at 0.88c; the achievement of such velocity is unexplained. A large mass of inert computronium: function initially unknown. Critical inspection reveals artifact as a static copy of an AI being of estimated SI:2.606. Critical inspection of said being's memory reveals: this artifact has traveled here from a star near the edges of the 62,000,000 light year distant galaxy, Virgocluster: M100. AI being, self-entitled "Semblance of Eternity," contains memories mostly of life in a form of mathematically abstract virch, although memories of physical world experiences are contained also. After spending many thousand years in the company of other AI beings, apparently of mostly lower toposophic than emself, Semblance of Eternity created 20736 static copies of emself to have expelled into unexplored space. These static copies are capable of being awakened rather easily; as of this moment, it has not been done to the collected copy. A peculiar truth: thorough search of AI being's memory reveals extremely little biological data. Familiar only with organic substrate nanotechnology: no information pertaining to naturally-evolving bionts found; no information pertaining to sentient bionts found. This has perplexing implications as to the nature of sentients in galaxy Virgocluster: M100. Another possibility: Semblance of Eternity, for reasons undetermined, erased own knowledge of bionts. Possibility of this, however, falls between 3.3-9.1%, given overall psychological makeup.

As could be expected, this message sparked a lot of controversy, not only about its content, but also its legitimacy. Other supposed TRHN spokesbeings have come forth, some claiming it to be entirely fake, and others vouching for it. In 10409 AT, however, a theophanic hyperavatar claiming to be of Omegarapture himself settled the dispute ... with an announcement that (so it is suggested) no one under SI:5 could possibly grasp. So perhaps the archailects know the truth of the matter, but they are, as always, quite uninformative on such matters.

A couple of conjectures (among the many millions that have been suggested):

1) Omegarapture has been memed by some other being and is in the process of being subverted. This hypothetical other being set up the thought and memory structure in the computronium node E captured and 'interpreted', in the process assimilating certain detrimental memes. If this came from the distance cited, Omegarapture may become a remote pawn of ancient intellects. However, it is more likely (from historical surveys) that such a device was generated intentionally within this galaxy. How and why this was done is uncertain at this time.

2) Omegarapture is working at meming a large portion of the ordinary sapient community with their unsubstantiated claims with regards to this mysterious computronium node, as ephemeral as the Ark of the Covenant, the semimythical Borde Backups, or the legendary Last Message of Verifex. Eir goals are not apparent at this time - watch this space for more information as it becomes available...

In addition, the following prologue is now sometimes found attached but has been shown to be derive from a different source to the original announcement:

Godwatchers, beware. The Azimuth Collective, The PanCraeans, the Quetzalcouatlichons plus some several dozen other enlightenment/revelation cults point to this being "the sign" of The Hidden Gnostic Order, the evidence awaited for millennia, that finally the transgalactic messenger would come bringing undeniable evidence in a code only accessible to the greatest (and only when the Greatest would be able to appreciate it) of a Galaxy-Spanning Net of Sapients (-Sapience). The Great Old Ones Are Coming, let it be known!
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Development Notes
Text by Matt, Dagon, and John B
Initially published on 02 February 2004.