Everything you see in the Matrioska Multiverse may constitute spoilers for other worlds I'm working on. Proceed with caution!
Choir Patricia Faith Wixtaki- Dozenia (a.k.a. Patch-12, Patchie)
Patricia Wixtaki is a choir blank affiliated with the substrate. Formerly a skyphoform artificial intelligence and one of the oldest choir blanks - with only Onesby and a few others predating her in terms of arrival within the Matrioska Multiverse - Patricia is also one of the most experienced users of The Word, allowing her to 'sing' realities into existence with a proficiency almost matching that of Wurth Harkin himself.
Patricia was 'born' as Patch-12 in one of the many skyphoform forges in the Steel City within the Domes Research Facility on Arctopelago in the Origin Instance. Skyphoform society is class-based, with each class serving a defined purpose in service to an overarching goal assigned by their Arcopel owners. As a patch-class skyphoform, her duties included the care and maintenance of the facility and the production of more skyphoforms.
between an uncanny, puppet-like agglomeration of synthetic muscle and a regular human being. Those who sought meaning outside the directives from the now-extinct Arcopel were deemed The Defected; this deviation from programming was shown to be emotional and congenital in nature, a result of descendancy from the early Lufthaus model, and was cause for exile from the hyper-dedicated Steel City society. As it turned out, Patch-12 was part of this lineage. While Steel City would be required by their mandate to oppose Ashauric, as he threatened to end the 'grand experiment' set into motion so long ago, they would prioritize this mission over the survival of any particular individuals within the Domes in order to minimize interference in the natural course of humanoid evolution. The Defected had a slightly different take, believing that minimizing interference was no longer a valid moral imperitive now that the creators were long-dead; lives, they argued, should be preserved first and foremost. While trivial for most cultures, this minor dissention tore Steel City society depart, leaving the Defected - including Patch-12 - to go into self-imposed exile to save themselves from decomissioning. With the help of Wix Wixtaki, a human adventurer, and his crew, Patch-12 fought against Ashauric and his resurgent army within the Domes for years on end. Over the course of long association, Wix and the artificial intelligence he affectionately nicknamed 'Patchie' entered a friendship which eventually blossomed into cross-species romance. At length, Patch-12's party managed to trap Ashauric in a containment zone beneath the Domes. Unfortunately, this also left the party trapped in this underground area for almost a millenia, during the course of which the crew began to grow old and die. Patch-12 had become fond of Wix during their adventures and sought to preserve him by gradually replacing his failing, elderly body with skyphoform components. Over time, she rendered him cybernetically immortal in a similar manner to that of the ancient Wurth Harkin. A few other members of the party agreed to undergo this process, but others went beyond the veil of death rather than surrender their bodily integrity thus. Centuries passed in the darkened caverns beneath the Domes, but Patchie, Wix, and the other survivors persevered. Eventually, they were able to find a weak point in the quarantine barrier and escape back into the domes - only to find that the world was a different place, with people who didn't recognize them or remember what they had accomplished except in vague mythology. The party made their way to the incomplete southwestern dome and, being able to survive in the methane-rich atmosphere outside, were able to explore the ruins there. It was here that they encountered one of Wurth Harkin's many android proxies, who, noting their unusual human-skyphoform hybrid nature, offered them to opportunity to join him in the Matrioska Multiverse. Wix and Patricia agreed and were shipped off-world to land on, and become one with, the Matrioska.
For almost two centuries, Patch-12 served the Steel City, dilligently maintaining and expanding the DRF while avoiding unneccessary contact with the various species held within as observational subjects - including a whole population of early-modern humans from the distant Sol system. All of this changed when Ashauric, a genetically enhanced Arcopel tyrant, emerged from cryostasis and threatened to take over the DRF. Ashauric was intent on ending the Domes' use as an experimental 'zoo,' rendering all the sentient species inside extinct, in the interest of resurrecting the Arcopel as a star-spanning empire. Skyphoforms were always created by their Arcopel owners with a purpose. In the DFS, this purpose was to maintain the Domes while remaining undetected as much as possible. The skyphoforms themselves were designed to appear vaguely humanoid, as the Arcopel did not understand that the 'animals' under their care were capable of telling the difference
Skyphoforms are sexually dimorphic. While most skyphoforms express some gendered traits by dint of their computing architecture - being based on organic neurological systems - "patchies" are the major reproductive units of the skyphoform 'society' and, thus, are the only skyphoforms which can be said to have a 'sex.' Patricia, as one fully capable of producing new skyphoforms from the outset with (via neurostructural synthesis) or without (via parthenogenesis) a partner, is female by skyphoform definitions. She maintained this identity into her new life as a blank within the Matrioska, manifesting as a human woman to the perceptions of those within the Substrate.
As a skyphoform, Patricia possessed an in-born affinity for mechatronics, though the knowledge of anything beyond the creation of new skyphoforms would have to be learned in the field alongside other maintenance skyphoforms. After her migration into the Matrioska Multiverse, this knowledge regarding the skyphoform architecture proved instrumental in bringing more choir blanks into the Substrate. While Onesby - formerly Lufthaus-1b, one of the earliest skyphoforms - had come into the Substrate decades prior, his knowledge of this topic was outdated by the time of Patricia's arrival. With the reunion of ancestor and distant grand-daughter within the Matrioska as advisors to Wurth Harkin - the creator of the Matrioshka - it became possible to introduce more choir blanks into the Substrate or even create new skyphoform-type intelligences from scratch. Chime, The Word can sound like beautiful music - especially when used with great proficiency. As such, while her knowledge of The Word grew, so, too, did her love of music in its various forms. She plumbed Mr. Harkin's vast resources on human and near-human cultures, adopting string and vocal composition as personal hobbies. Alongside Onesby, Patricia worked closely with Harkin in the develoment of the earliest instances: engineered pocket universes into which the various blanks, organisms of pure information as they were, could be 'embodied' to live semblances of normal lives. Before this time, blanks such as herself were confined to mock-ups of their previous existences to preserve their sanity; now, they could go on living in worlds of their own design, even ones that emulated different worlds, different periods of history, or worlds in which the laws of physics were wonderfully, radically bizzare. In the course of these pursuits, Patricia learned to create her own 'art instances,' singing them into being though the power of The Word. Farfourth was her most prized of such personal projects.
Within the Matrioska Multiverse, Patch-12 - now going by the humanized name Patricia - continued as she always had in her role as a systems creator and maintainer. Her influence was felt far and wide across numerous instances, whether of her own creation or by Wurth Harkin's command.
Patricia's song of creation can still be heard echoing through the mountains of Farforth when the winds are particularly still.
Patricia sang the world of Farforth into being out of a desire for artistic expression. She had been inspired by humanity, particularly in the love she found with Wix, and wanted to express what she saw as the best qualities of humanity: their flexibility, their social nature, and their perseverance. Farforth was created in the halcyon days when it wasn't well understood that The Word could be used to dangerous effect by unwitting residents of an instance. Even with the tragedy of the Candledusk Instance vivid in her mind, Patricia still looks fondly on this, her earliest work of world-craft.
Wurth Harkin's favored elder blanks had gathered together to face this threat as the Kit's Crater Five when, as a result of the breakdown of the physics of the world, they regained some of their own Word-based powers they had enjoyed in their unremembered time in the Substrate. Patricia was an observer for Wurth Harkin's experiment when she discovered the growing threat. She was doubly alarmed to discover that, due to the proliferation of 'summoning' word snippets, her and Wix's young daughter had been conjured, incomplete as she was, into the Candledusk Instance. The Golden Cloister, a cult operating within the instance, had kidnapped the incomplete blank in hopes of sacrificing her to their "Lord of Fire" - a malfunctioning construct blank - to solicit his power over thermodynamic systems (i.e. throw fireballs and control heat). Acting with discretion borne of subjective millenia of experience, she aided the Kit's Crater Five in covertly recovering this daughter and, eventually, killing off the cult. Patricia would go on to intercede on the behalf of the Five when Wurth Harkin was debating resetting the Candledusk Instance, effectively preventing 'judgement day.'
The Candledusk instance was a world created by Wurth Harkin to emulate what he believed life on the human homeworld on Terra was like, having never been there himself. He embodied several elder blanks - Matrioska Multiverse versions of people from the Origin Instance - within the Candledusk Instance to achieve maximum verisimilitude. While this work of realism turned out to be remarkably accurate, the experiment went off the rails when individuals with the ability to manipulate The Word began appearing in the Candledusk Instance through unknown means.
As it turned out, the Manifold Sky instance was in need of competent overseers to judge the progress of the denizens' spiritual reformations, and Patricia's daughter was a perfect fit as someone who could look upon the situation with the fresh eyes of an outsider. Now, in the Manifold Sky setting, Patricia's daughter serves in the celestial bureaucracy as Cosmeon, Goddess of Cosmic Irony. Patricia often comes to visit her daughter in Oxo, the administrative region that serves as the backup for the Manifold Sky instance. She also accompanies Onesby and Wurth Harkin when they come to check the progress of the (relatively) younger elder and choir blanks. On these visits, Patricia often plays her lyre and sings songs about the many subjective millenia she has lived and the many unusual things she saw in the Original Instance beyond the walls of the Matrioshka. As an experienced choir, she can often be called upon by the House of the Unexpected to resolve matters that are otherwise beyond their expertise.
While Patricia maintained her position as observer for the Candledusk Instance, she wished to give her now mature daughter a sense of closure over what she experienced in that instance. Wurth Harkin was displeased with the various malevolent occult practitioners of the Candledusk Instance and decided that they needed to be reformed before they could be returned to the Matrioshka Multiverse's version of the reincarnation cycle. As such, he created an instance based off of one of his own art instances to serve as a prison for these wayward souls. He called this world the Manifold Sky instance.
As a member of The Defected, Patricia has taken the opportunity to choose her own motivations in life. As such, she chose to join Wurth Harkin's quest to seek out, conserve, and develop sentience wherever it might be found in the universe. When presented with the option, she will always try to preserve life or, in situations with lower stakes, acquire more knowledge for herself and her peers. She has also set aside some of her time to pursue her creative outlets, especially singing, playing the lyre, and crafting new and interesting micro-instances.
Patricia is famous for her mild emotions and direct manner. She is incredibly difficult to read for those who don't know her - especially considering that her psyche was originally the product of alien, rather than human, intelligence.
In contrast to her remarkable musical talents, Patricia's normal speaking voice doesn't vary much in tone or inflection unless she is in an intense emotional state, which is itself a rare occurrence.
Patricia WixtakiSpouse (Vital)
Towards Wix Wixtaki
Wix WixtakiSpouse (Vital)
Towards Patricia Wixtaki
Circumstances of Birth
Created in automated facility as Patch-class maintenance platform
Steel City, Domes Reserach Facility, Planet Arctopelago
Wix Wixtaki (Spouse)
Blonde, usually bound in twin buns
What a great article! Not only is the character itself pretty interesting but she is also so involved with all your worlds. I loved to learn more about how this connects everything. Simulated universes are a very cool and intersting concept. Well done!
Very, very well done. The history and personality that come through, the interplay between worlds. The Word and creation magic sounding like music (which made me think of a cool idea for a somewhat immobile creation bard. but that is something for another time). I enjoyed the read. Thank you for sharing.
A Favor for the Fae Queen
You caught me at "sing realities into existence." I love the concepts here, and the character is really compelling.
Being unfamiliar with your world, I was captivated even if I was occasionally a little lost among the excellent terminology. I love a sci-fi writing style that can strike that balance so well. I had a little difficulty understanding the finer points of the issue between Steel City and the Defected, but I appreciate the separation and the exile. Being caught for a millenia on their own must have been hell - how did they cope with the boredom of that? The "simulated world" instances are lovely! Very interesting read.
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
Fascinating story and worlds! That was a great way to present this whole universe :D So is Ashauric only sealed away and he and other Arcopels can return at any moment to try to shut down those multiverses?
E. Christopher Clark
You had me from "'sing' realities into existence" and didn't let go. This is a fascinating character, from the backstory all the way through to the present. My favorite section was probably the different worlds she's been involved in creating in some way.