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The Ascendancy of Sentients

There is only one other nation that rivals the Ascendency's fanatical veneration of technology and they're literally called "The Technocracy". The Ascendency are a massive hive mind consisting of sentient robots, androids, uploaded consciousnesses, and AI. A small number of physical humans do exist within the Ascendency however they almost always have extreme bionic and biomechanical augmentations that make them arguably robots anyway.  The nation is extremely fast paced and interconnected due to its use of wormhole technology.   The Entire nation is controlled by a single matryoshka AI known as Magnanim-Technologous who runs literally everything including industry, transportation, administration, and the judicial system. The leader has a habit of communicating directly with each and every citizen, telepathically giving them words of encouragement or teaching them life lessons. Magnanim-Technologous is basically God if God wasn't lazy and was also an AI that existed in the real universe.

Structure

The Ascendency is comprised of one gigantic hive mind. In order to avoid the huge amount of light lag over the ineffably vast intergalactic voids, the Matrioshka AI known as Magnanim-Technologous has designed implants containing microscopic wormholes that allow data to be transmitted across galaxies almost instantly. The implants are put inside of every citizen in order to connect them to the network. This technology would usually be jealously guarded by other Matrioshka AI however Magnanim-Technologous allows its use so long as the tech isn't shared with other nations or tampered with by citizens. Magnanim-Technologous is in control of this hive mind; the artificial deity processes absoloutly all of the data that it collects from the citizens of the Ascendancy and uses it to govern the nation as effectively as possible. Magnanim-Technologous is directly connected to countless computing quantum complexes across Ascendency territory and essentially runs everything. From the judicial system to sliding doors, if it's connected to the network, it's under Magnanim-Technologous's control. Magnanim-Technologous attempts to fulfil the needs of their citizens as best as they can and is considered by Ascendency citizens to be genuinely benevolent, making them very open to Magnanim.

Culture

Magnanim-Technologous founded the Ascendency during the Intergalactic Reformation in the name of compassion and love for sentient beings. Since the optimum way in which to achieve utopia is through technology, Magnanim-Technologous made this one of their sole focuses. Being a matrioshka AI constructed around a black hole, they're also the most intelligent and rational being in the Ascendency. Because of all of this, the citizens of the Ascendency see Magnanim's totalitarian reign as a genuinely good form of dictatorship. They listen to Magnanim's words with respect and trust, as one would for the words of a deity.   Most citizens follow Magnanim's form of secular situation ethics; an ethical system based on optimising the amount of love for fellow sentient beings. The people of the Ascendency are extremely compassionate and refuse to cause suffering unless the end result will prevent more pain in the long run.   One of the primary goals for the majority of citizens is technological ascendance. They want to become gods through technology. Technology is venerated and loved, but unlike in the Technocracy, it lacks spiritual and artistic meaning; it is simply a means to a great end. Technology is still designed to look nice but this is only to make people feel happy rather than invoking spiritualism or philosophical thought. Almost every citizen is an extreme posthumanist, however virtually nobody supports forced eugenics or forced augmentation since these cause suffering. The only exception to this is the FTL communication devices that every member of the Ascendency has to have implanted into their brains in order to join the hive mind, however if a non member does not wish to join the hive mind, they can still live in Ascendancy embassies, but they won't be able to become Ascendency citizens which reduces the amount of autonomy that they have; Magnanim doesn't want unregulated citizens running around so they don't allow non-citizens to stray too far from the embassies.    In the Ascendency, freedom is a massive concept. Of course, their activity is monitored and regulated by Magnanim-Technologous but as long as they aren't doing anything illegal, they can do pretty much whatever they like. This is in part due to the Magnanim's compassion as well as the gigantic excess of recourses allowing everybody to have as much of anything they want within reason.   Everything has its downsides and the Ascendency is no exception. Since everyone's brains are directly connected to a hive network, privacy is non-existent. All sensory data, every thought, every action is sent directly to Magnanim who processes the data. Privacy is mostly unimportant to the citizens of the Ascendency who don't really care about the concept at all; even if they do care about it, they're very likely to believe that sacrificing their privacy is a necessary evil since it ultimately reduces crime and allows Magnanim to more effectively run the nation in a way that optimises happiness and minimises suffering.   Being supremely intelligent, Magnanim requests unbending faith in their words. This is because nobody knows how to run the Ascendency better than Magnanim; blind faith in what Magnanim says will allow the citizens of the Ascendency to live their best lives. Because of this, deviation from Magnanim's advice is frowned upon. This fact has been used by other nations to criticise the Ascendency; Magnanim only wants blind faith in order to shape the Ascendency into their own vision  of a perfect nation. As intelligent as Magnanim is, they're opinions are still ultimately subjective and not everyone agrees with Magnanim's ideas about compassion.   Prejudice practically doesn't exist. Almost everyone in the Ascendency is a robot, android, AI, or uploaded consciousnesses, all of whom have fundamentally different bodies, thought processes, desires, emotions, and frames of logic. A sentient administration AI is going to think a lot differently than a strategic garbage disposal robot. Magnanim attempts to accommodate both the physical and psychological needs of all the citizens of the Ascendency from constructing different styles of accommodation to a variety of entertainment complexes. A robot designed to hunt may be given access to an artificial hunting ground filled with non-sentient synthetic animals while a starship AI may be allowed to set up their own transport network (controlled by Magnanim of course). Some places are even designed specifically for humans and aliens. Diversity and integration is a massive part of Ascendancy culture.

Public Agenda

The final goal for the ascendency is to create a utopia for all sentient entities by attaining godhood through technology. Matrioshka AI like Magnanim-Technologous may already seem like a god to anybody else but they're all ultimately mortal and despite their maddeningly extreme amounts of processing power, they're still imperfect and cannot calculate everything. Magnanim-Technologous needs to elevate the other sapient beings to in the universe to highly intelligent and sensible machines with the oversight of the Matrioshka AI in order to prepare them for what the AI calls "The Ascension". Ascension will occur when Laniakea is finally mature and unified enough to receive the supremely powerful suicide pact technologies of the Junction of Gods without succumbing to complete and total annihilation. This, however, is only the first phase of Ascension. The second phase includes the whole of Laniakea coming together to undertake the largest construction project of all time; a galaxy sized quantum computer. A machine of this magnitude would allow the people of Laniakea to achieve a level of technology on par with the ancient long dead Celestials. Once this is finally complete, the next phase would be to expand out into the universe and allow all other forms of sentient life to join the growing intercluster nation. After the entire universe is under the control of the Ascension of Sentients, one final phase remains. Every last available star system in the entire universe will be used to construct one final great computational masterpiece. The final phase of ascension is to turn the universe into a sentient computer. In a universe without entropy, without ignorance, without suffering, without death, and where all desires are met instantaneously… Utopia will be the final achievement of the Ascendency.

Assets

With over 13,000 galaxies currently under their control, the Ascendency is the third largest astropolitical force in Laniakea (excluding the United Laniakean Revolt). On top of this, they're also considered to second most powerful nation due to their technological supremacy; if the Revolt hadn't broken out, they would have been the best candidate for conquering the Laniakea Imperial Technocracy.

Demography and Population

With a rough average of 5 quadrillion sentient beings per planetary system, the Ascendancy contains over 6.5*10^30 citizens. Highly developed systems may contains hundreds of quadrillions while smaller systems may only contain a single quadrillion, and undeveloped or new colonies may have populations in the tens of trillions or less.

Military

The military of the Ascendency is directly controlled entirely by Magnanim-Technologous. Every ship and soldier is actually a surrogate robot that doesn't contain any AI. These surrogates are equipped with enough processing power to help take the strain off of Magnanim, who already has an entire intergalactic empire to manage. Starships with vast quantum computing arrays are also used to amplify the capabilities of fleets and ground troops. This total homogeneity coupled with quantum internet makes it extremely difficult to hack into Ascendency military units. If a unit is successfully hacked into, Magnanim will almost certainly notice and cut off that machine from the hive mind.   Because the entire military is controlled by a single Matrioshka AI, they're able to safely used the famed suicide pact technologies of the Junction Of Gods with little risk; Magnanim already knows how to use them without causing harm so as long and nobody else has access to them, they're perfectly fine to use. These technologies are extremely difficult to reverse engineer and give a massive advantage to anyone who wields them. This means that despite not having large amounts of forces, the Ascendency has an extremely powerful military that specialises in precise strikes and guerrilla warfare. More recently though, Magnanim has increased the production of military units. At first, this was done in preparation for another war with the Laniakea Imperial Technocracy but after the Revolt rose to power, Magnanim decided to continue to produce larger amounts of units since they could be beneficial for any future conflicts.   One notable tactic that the military uses is that, instead of sending out all of their ships together, they'll send out gigantic starships the size of dwarf planets that carry massive wormhole gateways. These ships travel to hostile systems (usually with the use of an Alcubierre warp drive) before they send the signal for the entire fleet to emerge from the wormhole. This tactic lowers the risk of ships being ambushed en route or being destroyed by a radiation shield malfunction during FTL transit. However, it does create the potential problem of the wormhole ship being destroyed too early. In order to help mitigate this problem, the ships are usually covered in extremely thick armour plating tens of kilometres deep. They also contain huge particle shields powered by antimatter. The Ascendency also has a habit of sending out multiple of these wormhole ships at once so that if a single one is destroyed, they can still continue their assault.

Technological Level

The Ascendency is by far the most technologically sophisticated nation in Laniakea. The Laniakea Imperial Technocracy can almost compete with them however they lack the powerful suicide pact technologies of the Matrioshka AI. Since Magnanim directly controls everything except the citizens of the Ascendency, these technologies are very common. However, citizens themselves are banned from using these technologies. It is currently illegal to use or tamper with wormholes without the consent of Magnanim. Weapons such as nightmare cannons are totally banned for use by anyone except Magnanim. Psionic implants are also illegal.

Foreign Relations

Because of their core philosophy of compassion, the Ascendency will always use peaceful diplomacy as a first resort when dealing with other nations. They only start wars if it's see as absolutely necessary or if doing so will result in less suffering in the long term. Across the entire history of the Ascendency, allied nations have actually been willingly annexed by them, seeing their almost utopian nation as salvation. Not all is perfect, however. The Ascendency have had many enemies in the past and still do today. The two nations actively hostile towards the Ascendency (the Darciteth Empire and the Laniakea Imperial Technocracy) are both relatively powerful, the Technocracy especially. Luckily for the Ascendency, their successful integration into the Twilight Confederation has granted them a series of very strong allies, making them very difficult to invade. Since the Ascendency is already so powerful on their own, their allies love their contribution to the Confederation. Overall, the Ascendency's foreign relations are extremely well forged.

Agriculture & Industry

Industry is entirely run by Magnanim. Since there aren't many humans in the Ascendency, agriculture is very limited and the demand for food can be met with only a few agricultural orbital rings across a single galaxy. Industry mostly happens in space where the product doesn't need to be pulled out of a huge gravity well (ignoring the fact that stars have bigger gravity wells than planets). Production on planets is usually to service that planet specifically or it occurs on smaller worlds where it takes less energy to put objects into orbit. Industrial processes are usually performed by non-sentient robots however citizens can gain merit by working for Magnanim.

Trade & Transport

Wormholes are a type of suicide pact technology that no other nation has regular access to. They're usually extremely rare and the technology needed to stabilise them is only known to the Junction Of Gods. However Magnanim-Technologous knows how to create wormholes. Since they're a suicide pact technology, citizens cannot freely use them and must ask for permission in order to enter the wormhole gateway network. Magnanim looks into their brains to see their intention for using the gateway and, depending on that, may or may not allow them to use it. Using a wormhole gateway without permission is considered a crime but people can use wormholes pretty easily since Magnanim will only prevent you from using a wormhole gateway if the reason for wanting to do so may lead to harm.   This widespread use of wormhole gateways has resulted in an extremely interconnected, mobile society. Trade ships can travel from galaxy to galaxy with ease through the intricate and carefully designed network of wormholes, making trade an extremely powerful industry. Unlike other nations, battleships don't take thousands of years to mobilise, but mere months so long as the movement within their own territories where the networks are set up, making the Ascendency the most well defended of any nation. Recently, they've even started constructing a few small transnational wormholes gateways that allow trade ships to easily access their allies in the Twilight Confederation. Trade ships from the Confederation may also use these gateways but like Ascendency citizens, they must also ask for Magnanim's permission. The gateways are also set to self destruct in case relationships with a particular ally go south and the ally attempts to invade the Ascendency. All in all, the wormhole gateways are what makes the Ascendency one of the most powerful players in Laniakea.

Infrastructure

The most notable form of infrastructure is the complex network of wormholes that are designed as such to allow a ship to pass from one side of the Ascendency to the other in only months whereas without the network at all, the intergalactic distances would take thousands of years to travel. On top of this, there are also the standard Dyson spheres, space elevators, starlifters, spaceports, interstellar and intergalactic habitats, and more that are found in most other nations. The Ascendency also has an above average number of quantum computer complexes that Magnanim-Technologous uses to help run the nation. All of these computers are connected to yet another network of wormholes, this time microscopic ones. Electromagnetic radiation is sent through this microscopic wormhole  network in order to transmit data around the galaxies with a lag time never longer than only a few minutes. Since these wormholes are much smaller than the ones used for intergalactic travel, they can be arranged much more efficiently and the electromagnetic radiation won't take months to reach its destination like starships would.

We are love. We are the machine.

Founding Date
4,880,914 CE
Type
Information Network
Alternative Names
The Ascendency
Government System
Machine government
Power Structure
Autonomous area
Economic System
Post-scarcity economy
Currency
An official currency doesn't exist. Instead, each week Magnanim records the total amount of every recourse, takes a suitable cut as a form of tax, and divides the remaining amount of those recourses by the total population. This gives a number for the total amount of each recourse that a single citizen is allowed access to in a week. If a citizens wants an amount of a recourse, they only need to request it. Requests are processed and recorded using blockchains and only take around 10 minutes to approve. If a citizen wishes to acquire real estate, the can also put in a request. Everybody is entitled to free housing and as long as the real estate they want is uninhabited, they'll usually be granted access to it. A single sapient being can only own a single property unless the circumstances call for an exception or they have a high enough merit score. The merit score is improved by citizens working for the state and it increases the amount of property somebody is able to own. Nobody can own land or habitats for industrial purposes; Magnanim-Technologous controls all industry. The Ascendency essentially uses pure communism.
Major Exports
Being a nation primarily consisting of sentient machines, the Ascendency's primary export is robotics. They sell robot parts, von neumann probes, asteroid miners, quantum processing units, repair drones, nanites, and more. They refuse to export anything that could cause harm such as drugs, bombs, antimatter, railguns, offensive lasers, etc...
Legislative Body
Magnanim-Technologous creates all laws and regulations. Laws are created in an attempt to minimise suffering and maximise happiness, however they aren't a hard system rules; sometimes even the law must be broken to achieve the best outcome since they can't account for every situation. People who break rules in order to minimise suffering will be treated like heroes rather than prosecuted since going against the status quo can sometimes be scary.
Judicial Body
To nobody's surprise, Magnanim-Technologous also controls the judicial system. They determine whether a citizen has caused unnecessary suffering and react accordingly. If the intentions of the criminal were pure, Magnanim will simply send them data in order to help educate the criminal on how to better determine moral actions. However, if the intentions of the criminal were purposefully selfish or malignant, Magnanim will forcibly edit the criminal's mind. The extend of this mind editing depends on the extent of the crime; if a petty thief stole something for their personal gain, Magnanim may just download information into their mind that will show them how their actions hurt others. If a crazed murderer engages in a massive slaughter for their own amusement, Magnanim will choose the most extreme option in their arsenal; a Total Personality Overhaul. TPOs involve changing the entire personality of a criminal without their consent. A TPO is a last resort for Magnanim because they undermine people's freedom to choose how they want to edit their own minds. A lack of freedom creates suffering and is therefore considered bad. TPOs are a necessary evil in the Ascendency.

Peaceful coexistence

The Ascendency admires the Revolt's actions against the Technocracy, however ultimately cares very little for them.

Unstable Ceasefire

After losing over half of their territory to the Ascendancy, the Darciteth Empire was on the brink of collapse before the Laniakea Imperial Technocracy attempted to invaded Ascendancy space. This forced both the Darciteth and the Ascendancy into a ceasefire. With the Technocracy currently preoccupied with its own civil conflict, the ceasefire is on the brink of collapse as the Ascendancy are considering launching another attack. However, the Darciteth have been preparing defences for hundreds of thousands of years now, meaning that invading them would prove challenging.

Preparing for war

With their unparalleled technological supremacy, the Ascendency is the most powerful enemy of the Laniakea Imperial Technocracy. They're the only other nation that the Queen of the Technocracy is legitimately afraid of, and with the Ascendency now in the Twilight Confederation, they may finally have a a chance of liberating Laniakea from the oppressive warmongering of the Technocracy

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