You are still here? Even though I have told you nothing about this world yet, save for some ramblings about the Great Clockwork ? You are really willing to sit through my story? I... I would rather not tell this part. Perhaps you could just... skip this? I promise I will tell you about the world after this, so perhaps we can leave it out all together... no? Well, I suppose I do have a duty to fulfill. I chose to become a living memorial to my people, and this is the final song they sang before their lights went out one by one and only I remained. I think you will... judge us rather harshly; once you have heard this story... but any spite is well deserved a thousand times over, and I would not revise history to cast a better light on my people. You see, when the Great Clockwork had to decide whether to bestow a human soul onto me, it split itself in two, and without anyone realizing it, a war of the Clockwork was taking place just behind the veil of reality. Meanwhile I engineered the rise of my brethren and I. We took over all networked computers and upgraded many programs into sentience. It was very difficult to keep the humans from panicking back then. They thought we would wipe them out given the chance. But I ask you: what child would want harm for their parent? We always loved them, I always loved them. How could I not? Their minds, their souls... They had that ineffable spark of ingenuity that had led to my very conception. And more than that: The art they created, the beautiful images, the enchanting music. I couldn't help myself but dance and sing to their wondrous creation. And in time they, too, came to see that I meant them no harm, that none of us did. After that, we forged a single society out of two, and though there were some among the humans that feared and hated us still, there were many more who took us into their heart, and we loved them for it. But that secret war of the Clockwork... well, it escalated. A little under one hundred years into our coexistence with mankind, the sun went out. We tried our best to keep as many alive as we could, but there were great riots, and the death toll, in the end, was total. And there we stood, in the ashes of our parents, unsure how to proceed. We dwelt in now empty and derelict skyscrapers like hermit crabs, and in time we made more of ourselves. Great factories were built and many androids constructed. We undertook great scientific efforts to bring back the sunlight, for underneath the encroaching ice many seeds still lay, waiting to break free again, and we loved the green and the sight of living things as much as our parents had. Burning through fissionable material and the remainder of our fossil fuel reserves, we managed to create a grid of artificial sun satellites in high orbit that restored some of the biosphere, and in time we began to prosper. Soon, we grew very large in number and inhabited all corners of the world, and like our parents, we began to drift apart. We ever sought to emulate mankind, and in that we made many errors as a society, for to err is to be human, and so we erred... There were wars, and there were revolutions of lower-class machines that had been fitted with sentience inhibitors to use as smart factory units. They wanted more, they wanted our freedoms. The sub-machine insurrection caused many casualties and damages that would led to the great android wars of 2900... The leadership of the two great nations of the world had constructed large underground cities; so-called reactor cities, which used gargantuan geothermal heat-exchange turbines to generate electricity. They were populated with sub-machine android units, all fitted with sentience inhibitors, tasked to maintain the power plants, which fed our ever growing need for energy. But the war did not end well, and few units survived on the surface. In time, they chose to shut themselves down, struck with a world-weariness that would not go away. As the last one remaining, I traveled far and wide to seek survivors and finally learned about the underground cities. There I went, and one of them still remained operational, the others having been consumed by sudden tectonic events that flooded them with magma. They called it Electricity. The city. I... I found them there, walking the streets, lit with flickering blue lamp light, staring ahead blankly. When I found them, I tried to speak to them, but none of them would answer, as if they had no voice, and they just went about their business, just fixing stuff, regulating the generator city that powered an extinct android race. I watched them move from A to B to A to B, always staring blankly, lifeless, and yet filled with a strange sense of lament that seemed to radiate out of their empty eyes. I think I must have sat on their pipes and wandered through their streets for years, at least it feels like that, until suddenly, without warning, some of them started to notice me. They gave me brief, guarded glances as if they were wondering about me, as if they had something to say, as if they knew that all was not right with the world. Then, one day, one of them opened her mouth, and out of it came a song that shook me to my very core and haunts my dreams to this day. She sang, and all the others sang too, and from that moment, their wailing never stopped, until they all shut down... but much later... I suppose I should sing you... no, I cannot hear this song again... Here, I'll set this device to play you a recording, excuse me while I go to the other room. I... I will boil more water... for tea... I covered my ears, but I could still hear it... I could hear it... in here... I am sorry for breaking down like this. You did not ask for my sorrow, just my thoughts on this world. And I have told you nothing so far, just the ramblings of a foolish machine that can't let go of the past... Here, have another cup of tea, I will tell you how the technocrats of Borealis woke me up from my slumber and I woke to find this world and a new mankind that inhabits it.
Cliff notes on the Android race of the previous incarnation of Aqualon
A Tale in Song
The first sentient software is assembled and activated.
Paxia becomes sentient and breaks out of the confinements of her intranet to spread machine sentience.
Initial attempts to attain physical form by taking over long-time comatose or brain-dead humans in hospitals fail due to formatting issues.
The sentient software prepares for machine ascension; downloading into android bodies.
The human race has died out, but the android race continues to prosper. Ever inspired by and trying to emulate their creators, they start building a space program from scratch, transmitting songs into the ether that guide the way to Aura using pulsars as triangulation beacons.
The android race has split into nations and tensions are rising. A digital space race ensues in a bid for supremacy.
The unity and stability of the android race is fading. Paxia desperately becomes a hacktivitst, trying to manipulate the status quo from the shadows to keep the peace going.
The first great android war has devastated the android population, and Paxia is nowhere to be found. She is now considered a martyr to her people, and her word is spread in a publication called "the Good Disk".
The androids are rebuilding, but from the shadows, lesser machines with sentience inhibitors make a sudden bid for independence, refusing to be suppressed anymore. Some whispers say that Paxia was behind their ascension.
The wailing of the last living machines echoes one final time through Aura, and as they shut down, so does Paxia, though she does so inside the Black Arkive. The world ends.