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Those who join us need give up only half of their humanity--the illogical, ill-tempered, and disordered half, commonly thought of as 'right-brain' functioning. In exchange, the 'left-brain' capacities are increased to undreamed potential. The tendency of Biologicals to cling instead to their individual personalities can only be attributed to archaic evolutionary tendencies.
~ Prime Function Aki Zeta-5  on Convergence

The Cybernetic Consciousness is a Alien Crossfire faction.

Description[ | ]

The Cybernetic Consciousness evolved from a rogue algorithm in the Unity computers, and offers exceptional intellectual powers to any human who acts as a host for a subroutine of the Consciousness. This faction is dedicated to the promotion of rationality and logic over backward human emotions. They possess exceptional research abilities, and arrive on Planet with knowledge of Polymorphic Software. The Cybernetic ability to communicate and co-ordinate actions confers an efficiency bonus for this faction as well. However, they find it difficult to promote human reproduction, resulting in growth penalties, and they lack any kind of warrior spirit, decreasing troop morale.

This faction is led by a mysterious figure from The Unity who has apparently been part of an experiment in artificial intelligence. It is surmised a research technician working for Prokhor Zakharov was subjected to an implanted AI algorithm, and is now sharing her consciousness with this intelligence. Aki Zeta-Five offers her followers a pure intellect less fettered by greed and other distressing emotions.

Her society is advanced and efficient in industry and technology. However, this society is unfamiliar with human emotions; therefore, concepts like sex lead the Cyborgs to have a difficult time with population growth. They are immune to the negative effects of the Cybernetic social choice.

Detailed background[ | ]

After Planetfall, a young computer scientist was discovered to have somehow become symbiotic with a sophisticated computer implant. The melded entity, which called itself "Aki Zeta-Five," began its existence among Zakharov's University faction. However, it soon developed irreconcilable differences with Zakharov's leadership. Respecting the older scientist's genius, it came to understand the weaknesses in his devotion to pure logic, the prejudices and ego that limited his vision; therefore, it gathered a number of sympathetic followers and struck out for a distant part of the Planet.

Soon, the colonists were hearing from a new faction: the Cybernetic Consciousness. The "Cyborgs" were fanatic devotees of pure logic, idealizing the perfect clarity of machine minds. Early on, they simply practiced elaborate discipline to excise emotional awareness and increase their reasoning ability. Later, many units of the Consciousness were leaders in the field of mind-machine interface. They used bionic replacement parts and even computerized implants, becoming perfect fusions of biological and machine intelligence.

Beliefs[ | ]

The Consciousness believes that superior intelligence requires a mastery or rejection of emotion. They believe that only the full use of human intelligence, boosted by cooperation with machines, will be enough to ensure human survival on Planet. Their ideal of perfect rationality requires that hatred, greed, and the lust for power be excised (along with love, compassion, and joy). Even in the earliest days, before any of Aki Zeta-Five's followers can emulate her union with a machine, they practice the control of emotion through careful, logical analysis.

Relations With Other Factions[ | ]

Aki Zeta-Five is ruthlessly pragmatic, willing to make or break alliances with every shift in inter-factional politics. Her closest ties are usually with the University, with whom the Consciousness shares many goals and ethical values. Like the University, the Consciousness is bitterly opposed to theocratic factions such as the Lord's Believers and the Planet Cult.

Strengths[ | ]

Members of the Consciousness are trained to use cool, clear logic as the basis for all decisions. This does not prevent disputes, but it does permit them to cooperate efficiently without much thought for individual pride or ambition.

The Consciousness and its members are devoted to the quest for knowledge. They are superb researchers, tireless and undistracted by emotional concerns. They work well with computers and other machines, and embrace direct interface between their own minds and machine intelligence as soon as that technology becomes available. They are also skilled at analyzing and assimilating technology developed by others.

Weaknesses[ | ]

Even the most dedicated "cyborgs" find it difficult to discard all emotional awareness. Members of the Consciousness are often troubled by (sternly repressed) emotional turmoil. At times, their logic can fail and they will behave unpredictably. They often have difficulty maintaining healthy personal relationships among themselves.

The fact that the Consciousness has rejected all emotions, including the "positive" ones such as love or compassion, makes its members seem aloof and slightly inhuman to members of the other factions. From their earliest days on Planet, others call members of the Consciousness "cyborgs," implying that they are more machine than human.

Lifestyle[ | ]

The Consciousness offers a paradoxical lifestyle to its "units". On one hand, it makes no concessions to human sentiment or artistic expression, considering those things part of the animal heritage it hopes to expunge. On the other hand, it recognizes that its units are most effective when they are well fed, have comfortable shelter, and have plenty of opportunity for social interaction. Consciousness cities are stark places, unsoftened by art or beauty, but they do offer a rich social and intellectual life.

Consciousness society is an absolute meritocracy. Whoever has the most relevant expertise is deferred to in any given situation. Aki ZetaFive is the "Prime Function" of the Consciousness simply because she is more dispassionately intelligent than any other member. Her authority has nothing to do with personal charisma or political legitimacy, and indeed if another unit displayed greater intelligence she would step down without a qualm.

One quirk of Cyborg society is its difficulty with romantic relationships. The Consciousness is deeply ambivalent toward love and sexual passion. It recognizes that these emotions have a role in propagating the species, but it regards them as insidiously dangerous to the ideal of perfect emotional detachment. The Consciousness recognizes no institution of marriage, and indeed discourages men and women from forming lasting pair bonds at all. Those who form such bonds face subtle discrimination, and often take to hiding their relationship from others. Units of the Consciousness have a "common name", which is usually drawn from a human language, followed by a "unit designator," which is composed of the name of a letter from the Greek alphabet followed by a onedigit number. The unit designator is somehow related to the member's position within the faction, but the rule is not obvious to those not participating in the Consciousness (the Prime Function, for example, is not "Alpha-One" or anything similar).

Strategies[ | ]

Colony names[ | ]

Land[ | ]

  • Alpha Prime
  • Beta Crossing
  • Gamma Flats
  • Delta Marsh
  • Epsilon Center
  • Eta Crossroads
  • Theta Banks
  • Iota Station
  • Kappa Hills
  • Lambda Farms
  • Mu Crescent
  • Nu Square
  • Xi Ellipse
  • Omicron Quadrangle
  • Pi Complex
  • Rho Yards
  • Sigma Complex
  • Tau Collective
  • Upsilon Depot
  • Psi Consensus
  • Chi Plains
  • Phi Lumiere
  • Omega Terminus

Sea[ | ]

  • Alpha Basin
  • Gamma Breakwater
  • Beta Mudflats
  • Delta Trench
  • Epsilon Reef
  • Eta Ridge
  • Theta Barrier
  • Iota Point