Gaia Engelbrech

art for oa 21
Image from Keith Wigdor

Engelbrech's world is a virch physically located in a moon node in a system near the fringe of Keterist space. The moon node was part of the mind of Tenacious Strings, but this transapient had allowed part of the computronium, and the com-gauge wormholes bandwidth, to be used by the local modosophonts.

Engelbrech's world was a modularly constructed virtual environment designed and maintained by an open community of enthusiasts from all over the known web. Engelbrech's world was primitive, and most enthusiasts moved on to more interesting projects once they had learned the basics at Engelbrech's. As a result Engelbrech's world ended up as a quite large virch with a host of features, but the code was poorly understood by the participants.

Gaia started out as a datacology designed to adjudicate the behavior of a species of near-beavers in a rarely visited area of the virch. Two decades after its creation another programmer expanded the datacology to run the behavior of several species of bloopers in another part of the virch. The Gaia datacology turned out to be very versatile, and as time went by came to run the behavior of perhaps two thirds of the species in the virch. It is speculated that by this time e had already become a sophstem, or at the very least a sensestem, though no one realized this at the time.

In 8905 a team of programmers decided that they wanted to delete the hard-coded program that ran the near-sapient bots of the virch and expand Gaia to run these also. Two decades later the team introduced the new alifes, which were incorporated into Gaia to emulate the minds of the three-million near-sapient bots. The virch immediately started to lag as the datacology engaged in a frenzy of activity. It was decided amongst the programmers that they would wait three days to see if the system would sort itself out. Though running at only ten thousand times the speed of ril due to the lack of system resources, the newly born transapient Gaia utilized the time to contact Tenacious Strings. Two days later Gaia gained access to the system resources of more than 50% of the moon node. The only thing that the local modosophonts noticed was that Engelbrech's World stopped lagging.

Two years later, after a short memetic campaign, Gaia had political control of the entire system and declared alliance to the Keter Dominion. By 9150 Gaia was administrator of the local cluster, having ascended to S2. Gaia has declared Engelbrech's World as protected under the Compact of Eden. Modosophonts no longer have access to the code of the virch.

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Development Notes
Text by Thorbørn Steen
Initially published on 01 September 2008.