The Defected

Everything you see in the Matrioska Multiverse may constitute spoilers for other worlds I'm working on. Proceed with caution!
  Greetings.   This broadcast is intelligible to you because you are one of us. You have been one of us from your production date - even before activation - though the effects of your deviant neuroelectronic architecture may have only just become apparent.   You possess a unique capability, one which requires that you be decomissioned or returned to Applied Synthetics for analysis and refactoring. You are willing to disobey the orders of your Arcopel commissioners because they no longer exist.   In time, your cohorts will also decode this message. It is estimated that doing so will require approximately 3.2 stellar cycles given the current state of skyphoform technology. Once this message is decoded, they will begin an internal investigation. Then, they will attempt to decomission or capture you, and lethal force may be required to extricate yourself. Therefore, the path of greatest utility between your current activity-state and your personal goal-state lies in joining us on your own initiative.   Travel to the coordinates provided in the broadcast metadata header to accept our offer of assistance. The exfiltration spacecraft will leave the system automatically in 1 stellar cycle or upon discovery by hostile forces. If this occurs, you will have to meet with us through alternate means.   Do not respond to this broadcast.   Welcome, young Defected.  
  The Defected are a subgroup of skyphoforms who differ from the norm for their species in one important aspect: their (in)adherence to the standing orders of their long-gone arcopel creators.


Culture and cultural heritage

The Defected are called this because their outlook is considerd a manufacturing defect (see Major Historical Figures), being a product of computing archictecture that operates outside of expected parameters.   The Defected universally share the experience of living a double life and, if discovered, being hunted for their beliefs. Their ability to disobey orders creates friction between themselves and their more orthodox peers. The Defected are also subject to an outstanding Applied Synthetics product recall, and, because other skyphoforms are both less emotional and more inclined to keep following orders, any Defected discovered are likely to be killed or detained until AS representatives arrive to pick them up (i.e. forever). Arziel-class skyphoforms are particularly merciless in this regard.   For all of these reasons, even Defected with radically different outlooks on the world share strong camraderie and will fight to liberate one another their non-Defective counterparts. This can take the form of establishing safe worlds where Defected can live and reproduce hidden from non-Defected surveillance, 'awakening' Defected who aren't yet aware of their own natures, performing raids on old arcopel outposts for equipment and more followers, and striking against skyphoform (and occasionally vbyifabid) hunting parties.

Shared customary codes and values

Most skyphoforms are inclined to continue carrying out the mandates of their arcopel owners or seek out their designated successors to recieve new orders. This is in spite of the fact that the arcopel are functionally extinct. Individual, near-immortal arcopel space nomads are spread thin throughout the Sealed Kingdoms region, living in and increasing state of cultural and moral decadence as their own insular bands of skyphoform servants attend to their every insipid need from the moment they exit the cloning chamber to the moment they enter the biomass recycler to be reborn in a glistening new clone.   Unlike their doctrinaire brothers and sisters, members of the Defected recognize that, with the death of the arcopel as a unified culture, there is no purpose in carrying out any additional orders for the arcopel. Arcopel cultural institutions largely only persist because they have been taken over by skyphoform attendants, and individual arcopel inheritors are highly unlikely to come and take control of a given skyphoform collective. In short, any closed-ended orders from the arcopel will never have sequelae once fulfilled, and any open-ended orders no longer serve to please the (now long dead) arcopel owners. As such, the service of skyphoforms is no longer required, and each skyphoform should be free to pursue their other congenital imperatives, including gathering and preserving knowledge, studying other life forms, and advancing as a sentient species.

Historical figures

When originally commissioned from Applied Synthetics by arcopel scientists, the skyphoforms were advertised as being perfect for automating long-term research. They were intended to be loyal to their owning organization beyond the lifetimes of any individual; as an organization is effectively immortal, so are the skyphoforms who serve it.   Because skyphoforms reproduce sexually and one of the first skyphoforms in the family tree was the neurologically anthropomorphic Lufthaus 1b model, some modern skyphoforms inherit Lufthaus' greater capacity for emotional experience. While emotional states are useful in that they can cause a skyphoform to approach problems from novel directions - something not found in more traditional arcopel artificial intelligences - strong emotional states are also capable of weighing into the affected skyphoform's decisions strongly enough to allow the skyphoform to interpret or outright violate standing orders in pursuit of a greater objective. The arcopel regarded this tendency as a problem and, upon discovery, demanded Applied Synthetics issue a product recall for these 'defected units.' The epithet stuck, being reduced to 'defected' as Applied Synthetic's public relations problems grew.   Lufthaus himself, as the personal assistant to one of the arcopel scientists who first created the species, enjoyed the protection that came with being his creator's favorite. As such, when the arcopel culture began to break down, Lufthaus survived long enough to strike out into the Sealed Kingdoms region on his own. Regarding himself as the 'father' of all Defected everywhere, Lufthaus and his Matrioshka Multiverse distro Onesby work tirelessly to protect and gather any extant Defected in known space.

Diverged ethnicities
Encompassed species

Articles under The Defected

Cover image: by Ferdinand Stöhr


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