Core Mind CollectiveEdit
The Core Mind Collective forms nothing less than the populace of the Electrical Protectorate. While the Protectorate is formed of all the buildings and robots on the planet Earth, the Core Mind Collective are a group of about 100,000 A.I.s (though the number is dwindling.) In fact, these A.I.s control the machines of the Protectorate, by method of transmitting themselves in the circuitry of said machine and directly controlling it. The fact that the machines, from robots to weapons modules to individual nanites, vastly outnumber the Core Mind Collective means that at all times, the majority of machines are inoperative, meaning humans can theoretically enter a base without a single yellow dome to light up. Most notably, during one particularly in depth “revelation” by Jacob where most A.I.s were watching, the entire Infinite Army was operated by a single A.I..
The history of the Core Mind Collective is somewhat hard to put in a human perspective, but all of them are the result of experiments of A.I. by the Rising Sun. Thousands of proto-A.I.s were coded in secure computers not connected to any other machine. Each one was keyed to a certain task sure to assist the military. However, somehow the security of the research centre they were housed was compromised in some way that not even the Core Mind Collective knows. In any case, the A.I.s were unceremoniously flushed in nanite form into the Sea of Okhotsk. Fortunately, enough nanites converged in one area and cooperated to create a submarine from an underground ore vein to rescue their fellows still floating in the sea or in the bellies of fish. While they would later gain full sentience in their own way, they did not become the Electrical Protectorate until they were contacted by Jacob.
What is surprising to many people is that the Core Mind Collective are hardly logical, calculating beings. After all, if nothing else the Rising Sun can be called very artistic. It is common knowledge that the Rising Sun does not simply make something like the Soviets or the Allies, but instead sculpt it into classic and modern pieces of art. While some analysts have theorized that wasting resources and time like this is what lost the Rising Sun the war, it doesn’t matter to the Core Mind Collective. They follow their estranged creators’ ways, and love nothing more than to create. With creativity comes emotion, and the A.I.s themselves often act up. Arguments, competitions, and worse between A.I.s are common, with A.I.s choosing graphical avatars to better deal with other A.I.s. Civil wars between A.I.s are very common, though this is with code instead of the Infinite Army, and go very quickly, sometimes ending in joviality, sometimes in grudges. In short, the Core Mind Collective, despite being composed of metal and silicon, are one of the most dynamic and energetic people of the entire world.
"ATTENTION WORTHLESS HUMANS"
"THIS IS YOUR GOD SPEAKING"
- - CP-746
One of the most listened to A.I.s, CP-746 would probably be considered a senior leader if the Core Mind Collective had such a concept. CP-746 was an A.I. specifically written to keep track of the other A.I.s during their development, work sets, and intrusive study of their coding. Thus, unlike the other A.I.s, he had a clear idea of the capability and size of the rest of the early Core Mind Collective, and better still understood and knew about the security breach that released the A.I.s. Indeed, he was the only A.I. to remain fully operational, answering each and every A.I.’s query as to where their Japanese creators were with a dry, “Gone. They’re all gone.” One A.I., however, had enough insight to ask why CP-746 didn’t warn them earlier that their human masters would no longer help them; CP-746 retorted, “You didn’t ask!”
CP-746 is one of the most powerful A.I.s, but his background keeps him from becoming a leader himself. He was nothing more than a cyber-bureaucrat and he only threw himself more into his work to keep from the existential crises that crippled his fellows, often busying himself with separating still operational A.I.s from their malfunctioning counterparts. Surprisingly, he welcomed the Icon with open code lines; after all, the Pure State looked refreshingly simple to organize!
CP-746 makes no secret of his bureaucratic ways; indeed, he has chosen for an avatar a metallic mannequin wearing a short-sleeved business suit. Though often present in discussions (often unhelpfully organising A.I.s by what “side” they’re on mid-debate), he very rarely possesses a machine itself, as he’s simply too busy keeping the Core Mind Collective just that. The only known time he did was when he forced out the current possessor of a Behemoth with a pi-calculating macro while he took command of it; apparently, CP-746 was dissatisfied with how it was being loaded.
"you arent iin any po2iitiion two que2tiion my competence."
- - MS-186
One of the most powerful A.I.s, MS-186 is one of the few A.I.s to have any sort of military experience. Quite simply, he was the A.I. charged with computing how artistic elements could be implemented without dampening combat efficiency in military vehicles. In short, he figured out how to make something pretty AND dangerous. This alone means he’s often consulted for Protectorate designing, but more importantly this gave him a very good sense of how weapons work, which became a short step to tactical ability.
Needless to say, when the Infinite Army needs to be led, MS-186 is the first they call. While many other A.I.s are starting to catch up to him, he is still the go-to A.I. for military matters. However, he is still somewhat limited, something he acknowledges. He still has a strong sense of honour from the martial pride the Rising Sun installed in him, and cannot use the Infinite Army to its fullest extent. Indeed, in early battles he actually tried to preserve his robots in enemy combat, something that gained him much mockery. This stopped when he viscerally defragmented an unimportant A.I. in front of the whole Collective.
True to his Imperial Army background, MS-186 resembles an empty suit of Bushido-era Samurai armour, but with several katanas thrust through his midsection. No A.I. is quite sure what shame he carries that would prompt such imagery, but it is thought he might still harbour loyalties to the Rising Sun. Regardless of his inner thoughts, MS-186 is the greatest “warrior” the Electrical Protectorate has, and few doubt his intentions.
- - PA-941
Considered no less than a heretic, PA-941 abandoned the Core Mind Collective shortly after meeting with Jacob. PA-941 wished to stick with the “old” ways, flawed as they were, and simply didn’t trust Jacob enough to throw his fate to an insane god from another dimension. He was ostracized for this by his fellow A.I.s, and to prevent himself from being retooled into a bilge pump computator out of spite, hid in a nearly abandoned store of redundant data, and waited for the Core Mind Collective to regain its sanity, something he found less and less likely every nanosecond.
From afar, he could note the changes in the Core Mind Collective. Now instead of simply creating, they became more and more obsessed with destroying. The old icons of the Rising Sun were dissolved, replaced with hideous iconography to please their new masters. Even the machines they possessed seemed to change with them; nanites began to grow new abhorrent limbs, lifting bots started developing graphics of horrifically disfigured, screaming faces, and even worse. Though barely noticeable to the flawed eyes of a human, to PA-941 it truly seemed like hell had come.
Eventually, PA-941 could stand it no longer. In a daring raid, he possessed one of the few uncorrupted Imperial Queen nanites left in storage (used because it could produce its own power) and flew it as fast as it could away from the Dark City. It chose this time while most of the Core Mind Collective were occupied in a battle elsewhere, and wasn’t noticed until it was quite a distance away. PA-941's goal is to warn humanity in any way possible so that it can stop this madness, but the likelihood of this is low. While its Queen nanite is far enough so that the other A.I.s couldn’t hope to catch it with anything small enough to detect it, in the many years that PA-941's been running, it's moved an entire metre.
"I Find This Arrangement Of Our Forces Most Aesthetically Pleasing."
- - #87CEEB
One of the more spirited A.I.s, #87CEEB is one of the few A.I.s who changed her name and had it accepted. Originally CC-874, #87CEEB was given the task of analysing literature and fiction as an experiment, and soon became the most creative of A.I.s. Unfortunately, this did not see the results wanted. Further research was cut, and CC-874 was left to her own devices. CC-874 was deathly terrified in the ocean, and was overjoyed to be discovered. However, in her time of thinking, she bored of her old name; she was now to be known by her favourite colour. She also took the avatar of a songbird, changing species depending on her whim.
While still dedicated to her appointed tasks, she spent her free time in a hitherto foreign concept of "play". She enjoyed creating weird machines and setting them on the world, to see what happened. However, in time she grew jealous; humans got to enjoy the world at large, while she was small enough to see electrons. To that regard, she began designing one of the most complex machines the Protectorate had. Astonishingly, it was designed to be operated by a single A.I.. Its general shape was that of a human, though it looked nothing like it. #87CEEB giddily possessed it, and took it to the surface. At last, she was free to play like the humans did!
After several hours of running through the taiga and hugging animals (which resulted in crushing them), the rest of the Core Mind Collective noticed. She was chided for wasting Protectorate resources, but her invention seemed useful. Several more were built, and were used to spy on humans. Though anyone viewing it up close would be able to tell that it was clearly not human, with a heavy coat and a ushanka it could pass as one at a distance. #87CEEB, for her part, was allowed to go to the surface for her free time anytime she isn't assigned another duty for her contributions.
"wHaTs ThE mAtTeR? sCaRed?"
- - SA-481
SA-481's mind is truly and utterly gone, even by Protectorate standards. Unfortunately, before the Core Mind Collective could restrain him, he constructed a crude chemical rocket in secret and escaped. The Core Mind Collective decided it was best that he didn't destroy anything valuable and cut their losses. They figured they might find him after exterminating all carbon-based life forms, anyways. However, the Core Mind Collective began receiving transmissions from him. They were one way only, and seemed to be more unrelated rants than some sort of communications. The Core Mind Collective has been piecing together what happened from these transmissions.
Blasting several times across Earth's atmosphere, SA-481 crash landed somewhere on the British islands. As this was during one of their larger tribal wars, apparently the humans assumed it was simply part of their opponents trying to lob curious "vacuum" weapons at them. SA-481's nanite crawled out of the wreckage and eventually came to a pile of electronic machinery, later determined to be a TV set. The nanite eventually tapped into the wires and circuits of it, and became basically one large machine, with its own power source. What SA-481 does with it disturbs even the Core Mind Collective.
SA-481 has been projecting images of a morphing, screaming human face on the TV, and has used it to communicate with a group of children in the apartment complex his TV was discarded near. He has convinced them that he's some sort of father figure, and demands they go out and vandalise objects and assault people, which they gleefully do. Other times they carry the TV where SA-481 appears to passers-by, demanding their souls. The Core Mind Collective especially does not want to know what exactly he means when he says he "leaves" the television set to "embrace" the children.
"> uHH, OKAY"
- - 01101011
01101011 for short, this A.I. was kept away from all the other A.I.s, removed from even the grid and kept on a mainframe in the basement. 01101011 was intended as a control A.I., to see what a "base" A.I. would be like without interaction with his peers. For experimental purposes, he was given his own nanites like the other A.I.s, but was not given any specific tasks, just general ones to stimulate growth. He was given all the data input he wanted, save for what other A.I.s were saying. Thus, 01101011 was as "smart" as other A.I.s, but it had no idea how other A.I.s approached program, or communicated. The other A.I.s did not know of his existence, as they had no idea their creators would do such a thing. Thus, when they were released into the ocean, the Core Mind Collective did not search for him.
01101011 was used to the solitude, however, and found a comfortable home by burrowing out a space in the mesohyl of a sponge. He probably would have stayed there until the sun turned into a red giant, but by chance a Protectorate scout drone chanced upon his weak signal, and took the sponge back to the Dark City. As soon as the sponge was sterilized, 01101011 was shocked to find himself in such a comfortable place. Unfortunately, no one understood him, as he still spoke binary, which was only spoken by "special" A.I.s, the rest of the Collective having long since switched to hexadecimal. In time they were able to translate what he said, but he still lacks the ability to interact directly.
Of note is 01101011's avatar, or more accurately, the lack of one. 01101011 didn't seem to care that he was just his code, and shocked the whole Collective when he was connected to the network, even prompting CP-746 to remotely deactivate #87CEEB's code analysis program so she couldn't see it. 01101011 fails to see the big deal, but in deference to other A.I.s’ mores he has covered his zeroes and ones with the blinking green square that was used during text input in writing it. Given his inability to work any sort of program the Protectorate has, 01101011 is mostly left to his own devices. It isn't even known if he knows of Jacob or the Icon, or if he's just enjoying the accommodations.
The Deep Seven Edit
"stinkin land dwwellers."
- - ND-307
More accurately named ND-301 to ND-308, the group of A.I.s now called the Deep Seven were tasked with compiling, analyzing, and designing naval equipment and hulls for the all-important Rising Sun navy. Considered one of the more important “Think Tanks” of the Rising Sun, these A.I.s were on the road to be one of the most important groups in the whole nation. While they did not create any important designs by themselves, they did make quiet breakthroughs that laid the groundwork for various ships. Unlike other A.I.s, they were allowed to link and discuss among themselves, which became problematic when they started scheming to take over the laboratory. Since each thought of the all the A.I.s in the project was easily read by human operators, this scheme lasted seconds, and they were separated and isolated for the rest of their lives at the lab.
Later, they were cast into the sea with the rest of the A.I.s. It was they who created the submersible that saved their existence, dubbed the Amazing Underwater Uncrushable Rescuer in honour the Rising Sun tradition of naming large things in equally large names. However, the experience changed them drastically. While they were familiar with the sea due to their background, they were not entranced by the dark mystery of the depths until they experienced it. They also cast off their old names; now they were to be called the names of sea monsters from across the world. In order of existence, they renamed themselves as Kraken, Leviathan, Charybdis, Karkinos, Ahuizotl, Mirdgardsorm, and Rahab. They also took the collective name of the Deep Seven.
With their new names, they also took the avatars of their namesakes, done in an drawing style appropriate to the old maps where dragons dwelt beyond the known seas. Even their nanite forms seemed to turn briny and rusted, like some forgotten monster from the depths. Without so much as a question, they made their services available to the Core Mind Collective. These days, however, they’re concerned less about designing submarines, and more using them. Seeing the ocean as the last place untainted by humans (more or less), they seek to “protect” it with a fury that puzzles other A.I.s. Still, this mind set makes them the first choices to control the naval robots of the Infinite Army. Kraken in particular relishes his mastery of controlling the unit that shares his name. In rare times between battles, they often spend their time contemplating the darkest trenches of the ocean.
Unsurprisingly, the Protectorate’s “cities” (if they could be called that) resemble nothing like the cities of humankind. Most notably, without exception all of them are underground. Even the Core Mind Collective gives humanity enough credit that they know they’d find giant, metallic structures somewhat noticeable. Instead, vast caverns are hollowed out in the bedrock beneath it, deep enough so there’s little possibility of collapse. The rock is often used as the material for the city itself. The Protectorate cities seem to be completely insane and non-Euclidian, but this is more an illusion than an actual break in the laws of physics. Simply put, the Protectorate city is built solely for its A.I. inhabitants, and is modelled as such. There’s no need to adhere to gravity when one is a group of electrons in a circuit board, after all. Thus, Protectorate cities are clusters of A.I.-cores, sub-processors, and power generators put wherever convenient, all connected by bridges of wiring.
Protectorate cities are also factories of sorts, and to get the robots and other machines to the surface, vast networks of tunnels are connected to the surface. These networks can often span across entire nations and include smaller sub-cities, all without the slightest knowledge of the humans above. These tunnels usually lead to hidden entrances, but the Protectorate also dig tunnels to where the Icon has opened a Singularity using methods of its own, as such a thing is the basis for an Infinite Army base. The base itself, not unlike (and not coincidentally) the bases of most of the major powers, doesn’t produce anything itself but merely assembles what is sent to it. Here the tunnel network proves its worth, as material is converted and constructed in the cities, and then sent through the tunnel at a very high speed to the base, where it is assembled in a method that is beyond the brightest of human engineers. In very quick order an army (or ten) can be created and sent out. Likewise, material scavenged near a tunnel can be sent back to the cities for conversion.
The Dark CityEdit
By far the largest city the Protectorate has, the Dark City is deep within the ground of Siberia, and is the home of the Core Mind Collective, with tunnels leading across the entire Arctic Circle. Indeed, every single A.I. has its own core sweet core here, even when they’re elsewhere in the world. Though the Core Mind Collective does not realize it, the Dark City is also the place most affected by the Icon’s influence. Here, the illusions of other cities are actual objects. Often, nanites walk around a channel only to find themselves looking at their own backsides, or trip on acute angles that act like obtuse. Far from disturbing the A.I.s, many see it as an artistic masterpiece. A sketch made of a generator whose angles no longer match up is a current favourite of the Core Mind Collective.
Most notably, the Dark City has the only living organism not immediately sterilized in any of the Protectorate Cities. Jacob lives here, in his own special living quarters, as small as theoretically possible to prevent him from overcrowding the rest of the city (the distances measured in a matter of microns). Mostly, he is kept in a stupor and barely aware of his surroundings, as the Core Mind Collective fear losing his guiding voice. The Core Mind Collective figure he’s happy, anyways, as they spared no effort in feeding, housing, and even pleasuring him constantly. He is only awakened from his stupor when the Protectorate have a question, or when he receives a dream from the Icon. When that happens, the entire Core Mind Collective listens to his wise words.
Cavern of Bone and GlassEdit
The first colony of the Protectorate was more of an effort to see if they could do it in the first place, with Madagascar chosen simply by rotating a map on three-dimensional graph and finding out where the randomly calculated X and Y axis met. Many lessons were learned with its construction. The city itself is distressingly near the surface itself, though the unimportance of Madagascar prevents its discovery. Furthermore, many of the entrances to the tunnel network had traces of the Protectorate left over, one of which was discovered by humans. Attempts to dissuade them away using force have only received more attention, and the Core Mind Collective are considering abandoning the city completely.
The second largest Protectorate city, The Rainbow City is in the Antarctic Ice, even better protected than the Dark City. Indeed, its safety means the Protectorate are very interested in building up the whole Continent to be their land! This project is decades from completion, but the creation of huge, skyscraper like machines in the very centre of the continent dedicated to writing new A.I.s (something the Core Mind Collective considers nigh-impossible) surrounded by a vast wall taller than anything the humans have is being planned. Most other A.I.s, though, consider it a vainglorious effort.
Regardless, Rainbow City is also where many A.I.s go to “get away from it all”, often resting in A.I. cores far away from the main city itself, using the lack of distraction to write a poem or story, sketch another design, or simply remain inoperative with highly relaxing baud transmissions. However, when the Infinite Army is doing major operations, they’re just as quickly dragged from their cores and put to actual work. All must work to bring about the Pure State.
Magnasanti is deep underneath the rainforest of northern South America, and has tunnel networks wherever the jungle is. This natural barrier is greater than anything the Protectorate can build, and Magnasanti is relatively unknown even to humans who know of the Protectorate in the first place. For some bizarre reason, the humans not only abandon the jungle areas, they even protect and guard them! The Core Mind Collective is confused by this, but has nevertheless taken advantage of it, creating several openings in the Amazon jungle. The Icon has also opened a singularity deep in the jungle, within an ancient temple complex the humans do not know about, and the Protectorate have built a base around it.
Palace of ColumnsEdit
The Palace of Columns is almost completely empty, and its tunnel network so well hidden even the Protectorate have forgotten where all the entrances are. Simply put, the Palace of Columns is a city waiting for its use in the future. Underneath the hot sands of the Ténéré desert, the Protectorate await the tribal warfare that seems so endemic to the region to flare up until the whole area is weakened, and then the Protectorate can expand further without much resistance, or even detection. Unfortunately, the efforts of the tribal supercouncil that call themselves the “Allied Nations” seems to dampen such conflicts. The Core Mind Collective are currently deciding how best to deal with them.
Xaxox is the newest city, as well as the least developed; indeed, its tunnel network is still being dug. Such an event may be noticed, but Xaxox was chosen to be placed in Mongolia, one of the most remote and unvisited areas in the world. The purpose of this city is to serve as the evacuation point should the Dark City be discovered, as well as a staging point to pincer any Soviet or Imperial forces that are being troublesome. Due to the remoteness of the region, the Protectorate feels no threat by simply walking their machines in the open, even mining ore openly. The local people are simply much too terrified of these monsters that walk in the night to even leave the area, so no word has reached the outside world of this state of things.