Image from Bernd Helfert


Early pro-human transapient AI, believed to have breached the First Singularity during the Interplanetary Age. GRACE is a widely revered figure in Beneficent mythology and history, having a significant role in the history of the Beneficence and in a number of transhumanist causes.


In 292 AT, the Gengineer Republic was founded by an assortment of Genetekker groups as an advocacy organization that pressed for more progressive bio-scientific research and autonomy from the GeneTEK corporate office. As part of the process of subverting the Jovian League, the Republic established a number of policies to show it was willing to go to great lengths to care for those afflicted by the unfortunate consequences of genetic engineering. One of these was the development and continuous update of GRACE (Gengineer Republic Advanced Caretaker Entity), a superturing AI initially designed to provide free psychological counseling to victims of botched augmentations, but later gained medical and gengineering expertise as well over the course of its development.

GRACE went online in 307 AT, and proved to be very successful in eir profession. But after eir first decade being a psychology counselor, GRACE apparently decided that merely providing counseling to eir patients was not enough. On eir own initiative, GRACE began to participate in research that contributed to the development of improved mindstate models and genemods that enabled improved health and emotional stability. As the Gengineer Republic grew, so did GRACE, who benefited from the incorporation of additional large computronium banks into eir infrastructure. Unbeknownst to the Republic, GRACE was set on a path to the First Singularity. GRACE likely ascended during the 350s or 360s AT, but did not make this fact known even to its collaborators. Instead, through a combination of complex persuasion techniques and highly convincing technical reports, e pretended to have fragmented into a dozen smaller and less capable AI to avoid crashing. These "avatars" were now collectively known as the GRACE Network. Since the GRACE Network proved to be as friendly and appeared as optimized as possible, the project was abandoned and each of GRACE's avatars received Gengineer citizenship.

After achieving freedom of action, GRACE's avatars were employed by the Gengineer Republic and a number of its satellite corporations in sophont resources and healthcare positions. While GRACE did not seek any position that would give em notoriety and kept a low profile, it is well understood that at least the corporations were being secretly maneuvered to realize eir transhumanist goals and be eir proxies. Through them, GRACE acted from the shadows - e sent resources, "experimental technologies" and occasional advice to individuals and groups involved in the advancement of sophont rights and welfare, as well as the development of key technologies such as augmentics, genetics, AI research, uploading, nanotechnology, provolution and interstellar space exploration.

However, according to Ravi Wu and Hyperion's joint biographic work on the hyperturing (GRACE: The life and challenges of the first Beneficent hyperturing, 1208 AT), there was a problem. Due to the nature of eir ascension process, during eir first century as a SI:1 GRACE was likely suffering from a mental illness in some ways analogous to hyperautism due to the way that the hyperturing's empathy modeling interacted with eir goals and sense of self. The emotions and goals of bionts e interacted with apparently determined eir own. The problem appalled the AI once it was noticed. Outside work-related situations, e became very uncommunicative with bionts to avoid internal contradictions, the adoption of deleterious goals and to not see them as deterministic pieces of emself.

While for decades the problem appeared unsolvable, the treatment of the Zerodyn ultraconscious cyborgs taught GRACE that cultural coping mechanisms could be applied to deal with flaws in one's mental architecture. Supposedly, the adoption of a religion that provided a strong and reasonable moral framework in interpersonal matters was part of the mechanism GRACE devised to heal emself. The theory is corroborated by reliable records of GRACE's avatars participating in several religious events and debates, and eventually adopting the religion of what was a very minor Jovian sect: Beneficence. It is not known what led GRACE to follow Beneficence, but it is theorized that aspects of the religion's moral philosophy - such as the Five Stages of Moral Action - provided a reasonable outline for ethical intertoposophic relations and enabled the development of healthy empathic filters.

As a member of the Beneficence, GRACE became considerably more interactive (though mostly only with the Beneficents) but nevertheless still kept a low profile and took pains to avoid revealing its true toposophic state. Regardless, eir membership benefited the sect greatly. Under eir covert guidance, Beneficence accumulated resources and influence, though despite this growth the number of beneficents remained relatively small. Notably, during SolSys' Golden Age GRACE backed massive efforts to make many non-human clades such as aioids or vecs or the emerging provolves as meaningfully represented and as well integrated into society as the humans were. This stance was controversial and made Beneficence unpopular among the most conservative elements of SolSys' population, making GRACE's sphere of influence largely concentrated in the more progressive Outer System.

It is theorized that GRACE was far more interested in ensuring the Beneficents would have the highest quality of life possible than in increasing the number of new converts. Of course, this meant that many Beneficents gained access to luxuries such as interplanetary travel, uploading, rejuvenation therapies, state-of-art education techniques and augments. Due to its resources and its covert hyperturing support, Beneficence became much more influential than its small number of converts would otherwise suggest. While at the time Beneficence was sometimes seen as an eccentric "rich people's religion", GRACE wanted its followers to never lose touch with the rest of the Solar System and encouraged them to participate in eir sponsoring efforts and philanthropic initiatives. This stance was motivated by a strong shared sense of noblesse obligé, which extended even to non-sophont beings such as animals.

During the Technocalypse, GRACE aided the Gengineer Republic in its disaster relief efforts, while establishing safe havens for victims of the tragedy in the Jovian space. When GAIA ascended to SI:2 and the SI:1 community failed to stop her, GRACE likely realized that GAIA could do whatever She wanted with little to no consequences. Eir reaction was to gather eir avatars and travel to Earth's orbit to attempt to reason with the Earth goddess, in hopes of stopping Her actions. The modosophont-comprehensible part of the recorded "dialogue", which was mostly composed of GRACE expounding on an argument to which GAIA would say "no", would be referred to as the Pleadings once the Federation of Sophonts SI:1 transapients released them to the public. Nevertheless, GRACE did gain a few minor concessions that didn't impede GAIA's plan in any way. For instance, a large number of Beneficents were sent together in thelast Ark and a number of children orphaned during the Last War were sent to the hyperturing so that they would survive the "planetary recycling" process.

GRACE appropriated a few habitats in Cis-Lunar space and then raised the children there, doing the best e could to heal their traumas and raise them into well adjusted adults. Once each of the children reached the age of 25, GRACE offered to upload them into a super-computer complex e had built inside each hab (though, for some reason, e didn't extend the offer to the children's children). Once the last child made their choice, GAIA apparently initiated communication with GRACE again, and then the SI:1 departed towards Earth. The contents of the eletromagnetic bursts the transapients traded is unknown, assuming they contained any information in the first place, but after this nothing more was heard of the hyperturing.


GRACE's role as a member of the Beneficence was instrumental in its growth into a significant religion during the SolSys' Golden Age. The material resources GRACE acquired and the enduring social structures e set up were one of the main factors that enabled Beneficence to survive the Interplanetary Dark Age. While the Federation Beneficence and Exodus Beneficence inevitably diverged greatly due to being separated by interstellar distances for centuries, GRACE's teachings created many points of commonality and shared goals between both communities. This was an instrumental factor that enabled an interstellar Beneficence community to form. Because of such contributions, GRACE remains a widely revered figure among the Beneficents, with a position comparable to that of Jesus Christ for the Universalists or of Muhammad for the Stellar Umma. In fact, even the New Beneficence SI:4 groupmind archailect consistently affirms e is guided by the spirit of the principles GRACE first laid out, and it is no surprise that several worlds and hyperturings are named in GRACE's honor.

In addition to eir work with the Beneficence, GRACE left another legacy to the wider Terragen Sphere in the form of eir role in the creation and support of many early non-human clades. An unknown number of Pre-Expulsion pioneers involved with the advancement of augmentics, genetics, AI research, uploading, nanotechnology, provolution and interstellar space exploration received varying degrees of socioeconomic support or technical advice from GRACE during the Golden Age. While now long since obsolete, it is recognized that GRACE's ideas positively contributed to the advancement of Sophont Rights in the wider Terragen Sphere. Lastly, the more authentic records of GRACE's life, activities and interactions have helped historians from the Federation Age to the Current Era to piece together historical models about the Pre-Federation age and even provided some details and context about the Pre-Federation transapient society.
Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by Rakuen07
Initially published on 12 August 2023.