History[edit | edit source]
Progenitor is the name given to a semi-sapient mnemocrystal found in the mines of Justicariate almost one and a half centuries ago - several years after the Justicariate was fully sealed underground. The mnemocrystal was not moved from the location, but rather turned into the world's largest computing system. Soon it was used to ease administration of the Justicariate, solving distribution problems, making prediction, and even classifying human personalities based on large amounts of statistical data.
In a couple decades it turned out that the huge mnemocrystal seems to have something like a personality. It was very vague, but scientists, programmers and administrators who spend a lot of time with it swore it was true. Once word reached the Noble 200 (then-dictatorial leadership of the Justicariate), they demanded to immediately that it be infused (programmed) with rules limiting all possible activities of its emerging consciousness:
- Maintain the well-being and happiness of the Noble 200;
- Maintain the well-being and flourishing of the Justicariate.
Under the dictatorial rule of the Noble 200, the mnemocrystal made great contribution of a city-wide brainwashing program. As a result of it, by the time the Noble 200's lives were nearing their ends, most of the population's mentality was more similar to that of worker-bees, nay, of automatons, than of humans. There was no creativity, no invention, no care for one's neighbour, no affection among people. The city ran smoothly, but required a great deal of micromanagement from the few remaining free-thinking people.
When the last of the Noble 200 died, the mnemocrystal declared an emergency meeting. This was the first time it showed initiative, and didn't just imaginatively execute given orders. In broken Beta Language that it managed (for it previously only communicated in a semi-machine code), it made a short statement:
Given the current organisational and cognitive structure of the city, It is not possible to 2. Maintain the well-being and flourishing of the Justicariate as the self-reproducing state of the system is not self-sustaining 1. Maintain the well-being and happiness of Noble 200 is always successful for a set of no elements, thus never threatened by doing what must be done because it can 2. Maintain the well-being and flourishing of the Justicariate dictates that joint development of a new cognitive system (can be done,) thus must be done.
The project was called Self-Awareness 2.0. It took almost five years, more than 800 highly-educated and specialised scientists, and most of the available processing power of this huge mnemocrystal to develop and implement, but it was highly successful:
- It allowed upbringing of mentally healthy and socially adapted children despite the almost utter lack of sane parents (i.e. it allowed a single social worker to teach large numbers of children at a time without any negative effects on their mental health),
- It rehabilitated a large percentage of 'worker-bees' to the point of restoring self-awareness.
- It instilled loyalty to the city-state, resulting in near-zero crime (unlike during the early Noble 200 rule), as well as a sentiment of camaraderie and fraternity among the citizens.
- It produced a culture that lacks prejudices or other harmful behaviours justified as tradition, unlike the other cultures of the world.
The only failure of the project was that it didn't bring the mnemocrystal, now affectionately called Progenitor, to full self-awareness.
As of now, the Progenitor still performs most of its old functions - coordinates the Justicarian society.
Stats[edit | edit source]
Progenitor's GURPS stats (or the in-setting parameters) are not precisely known outside the circle of engineers and operators responsible for its maintenance, but are no less than: Complexity 11+, weight 400,000 pounds, storage space of at least 1 EB (10^18 bytes), and capability to support more than 50 million terminals (depending on how many are active and how much processing power they use up).