Mortsobkin Paperclip Maximizer Blight, The

The Mortsobkin Paperclip Maximizer Blight reportedly started as a joke from a FabHacking (public fabricator hacking) forum located in the Mortsobkin Orbital collective in 6577AT, based off an ancient parable from before the Sundering about a wire tool used to hold together tree-based paper. Within days, the joke, and then subsequent proposals, and then vot templates, spread with enough viral speed that (unproven) suspicions of memetic engineering surrounding the phenomenon remain. The event likely expanded to the extent that it did through political and crowdfunding support from the public as the Maximizer's "hacked" vot software managed to convince millions of citizens to donate real estate , resource shares, and computing time on public servers. The event ended only when the Mortsobkin Collective's governors shut down the swarm and accompanying public support as it began to breach regions of the toposophic landscape near the first singularity. At the peak of its expansion, the hacked public fabrication swarm had spread across two of the local moons and three quarters of the Mortsobkin orbital region as it consumed the (recently decommissioned) orbital habitats- converting the materials into paperclips at nearly 98% efficiency with the use of a modified conversion engine and industrial recycling system. Fortunately, similar accidents have yet to be purposefully replicated at any scale larger than a few kilometers during public art projects, in order to prevent further blights. The only known casualty of the incident was Narvoi 9Peteranchenik, a local vec adventurer who decided ey wanted to "document the heart and soul of the Mortsobkin paperclip maximizer, no matter the cost" . E was resurrected in eir new body days later with only minor psychological counseling and spent the next five decades promoting eir documentary of the experience.

The paperclips resulting from the event were mostly gifted or traded as keepsakes for the next eight centuries, with several billion kilograms of fully packaged paperclips even launched on a slow trajectory to the neighboring Hjalvador Star system, and are projected to arrive in an orbital capture around 20,000AT, if the deceleration maneuvers succeed.

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Text by Worldtree
Initially published on 06 September 2023.