Image from Worldtree
The Olympus Pill, a mysterious ascension tool shrouded in fable, has been the object of intrigue and speculation throughout the known systems for millennia. It is rarely encountered, with sightings occurring sporadically, only once every few centuries. Interestingly, these occurrences are mostly reported in areas where transapients and transapient-tech are relatively rare.
The Olympus Pill itself is an intricate blend of bio and nanotechnology. Activated upon ingestion, the pill releases a swarm of nanomachines that carry out a host of physical and cognitive modifications, commencing with the creation of a computronium core within the user's brain. This process is highly self-regulating, adapting to the individual's unique biological and psychological composition. Despite such adaptability, the process is noted for its precision, taking exactly 1234321 seconds, as recorded during two separate instances of Pill initiated ascension.
One of the first credible sources of information on the Olympus Pill comes from an ex-near-baseline named Tseph Phi von Irnok who lived in a low-tech orbital in the then Outer Volumes at the end of the 4th millennium. She serendipitously acquired the artifact from a grey market antiquities auction in the year 3978 where it was dated to be over 500 years old. Despite her rigorous attempts to understand the nature of the Pill, it remained largely an enigma. In 3994 she had a lucky encounter with a seemingly friendly transapient who declared that the pill was "propitious". In 4001 Tseph became infected by the Jijnasa memetic virus. Driven by the irrational curiosity that this meme causes, she decided to ingest the pill that same evening.
Following its ingestion, Tseph experienced an overpowering sensation of sleepiness. She quickly succumbed to the sedative effects and entered a dream state in which she found herself awakening within an ancient city. This experience is thought to be a consistent effect of the Olympus Pill. Users perceive their time within this "city" as lasting anywhere from several days to multiple decades. Within this space, users learn to think differently and to perform feats inspired by heroic figures from a myriad of cultural mythologies. They may find themselves navigating a complex maze, outsmarting cunning adversaries, or completing strenuous tasks, akin to the experiences of legendary heroes from various cultures such as the Greek Hercules, the Hindu Arjuna, the Suvian Zepol Xolotl, or the Fushen-zhu Prime Navigator. Gradually, they evolve, developing into a First Singularity transapient.
In the ril, the user enters a cocoon-like state where the pill gathers material from the local environment to facilitate eir ascension to the First Toposophic level. This process results in the user's body being fundamentally reconstructed into a transapienttech version of themselves. The user's body grows by approximately 25%, with eir minimum stature reaching around 240 cm.
This physical augmentation is used to accommodate a plethora of hardware integral to this godseed's ascension process; primarily the First Singularity processing core for the user's new mind, but also S1 fabbing systems, compubones, nanoskin, and a superconducting battery system. In addition, the user is outfitted with a First Singularity effector frame employing quantum impeller and transfer plane technology. Essentially a portable angelnet, it bestows the ascendant with an array of capabilities including chaos manipulation, perception hacking, and generalized perception and manipulation of the local environment down to the level of individual atoms and molecules.
In contrast to other godseeds, the Olympus Pill ascension process is remarkably consistent. It is common for an individual's personality to evolve due to their newfound S1 status. However, a unique characteristic of those who have undergone ascension via the Olympus Pill is their exhibition of qualities reminiscent of the heroes of a number of ancient myths and fables from several cultures originating on Old Earth and elsewhere. A common current theory states that the prolonged stay within the ascension simulation has the effect of engraving these characteristics deeply into the user's psyche and that the imposition of this particular memeset is likely a clue as to either the nature or intentions of the original creator of the Pill.
Despite the wealth of knowledge various institutes have accrued about the Olympus Pill over the millennia, much about its origin remains unknown. It is undetermined who developed the Pill and who is distributing them, with theories ranging from ancient aliens to unknown transapient entities. Stories of its existence have been woven into the fabric of various cultures throughout the Terragen Sphere, further reinforcing the sense of mystery surrounding this intriguing artifact.
The Olympus Pill, while powerful, does carry certain drawbacks. One notable limitation is that ascendants typically exhibit an unwavering, deeply-rooted affinity for the body they ascended with. Current theories suggest that this is a result of neuro-psychological engineering during the ascension process, which positions the existing form as the ideal state. A more significant drawback may be the Olympus Pill's resistance to further augmentation. While this is generally viewed as being quite restrictive, it has been observed that users can still enhance both their mental and physical capabilities with consistent effort. The potential (or lack thereof) for using the Olympus Pill as a catalyst for ascending to even higher toposophic levels under certain conditions is a topic of ongoing discussion but no credible accounts of this secondary ascension process have been confirmed. For these reasons, sophonts considering the use of the Olympus Pill are advised to exercise caution and to seek transapient counsel and/or oversight before proceeding.
Text by Idonai
Initially published on 10 August 2023.