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Disclaimer: I'm not the author of this story, I merely translated it into english. Russian original can be found here. User of that LJ is the author.


If you find any mistakes, please, feel free to point them out.




A Story of Her Highness told by herself.


Any sufficiently advanced technology

is indistinguishable from magic.


I hate the sun.
My avatar gazes upon the horizon from castle’s walls pleased by the look of wonderful sunset. Yet, in my true body hate streams like antifreeze through its carborundum veins. Sun feels like a splinter you can't extract, like conscience panging you soul, like a bit tearing your mouth up. Sun is the embodiment of my duty and I hate it for that already because I can't allow myself to forget about it. To forget means to release computing resources of many tons of diamondoid processing substrate from the task I put upon myself. Task to maintain stability of the conversion boiler on the low orbit. I'm a caryatid, the whole world lies upon my shoulders.

In the valley, far down there, a choo-choo train puffs snorting out small clouds of smoke that look like candy-cotton in the sunset shine. Highlight of technology for my subjects. For now.

It used to be otherwise, I recall.

I recall Festival flourishing in its best days. Cold little world on the border of kuiper belt was terraformed for the sake of human - garden-world, resort-world, attraction-world revived by titanic effort of my brethren. I recall virgin forests, and chocolate rains, and wonderland valleys and mythical creatures fed from hand. Reserved hunting grounds, warm and gentle seas, free and open skies. Smart animals bowing before their owners. Tender embraces of angelnet. Hundreds of transingularitan beings like me looked carefully after humans so that nothing would cause them even littlest harm. Obey to a human, worship a human care about a human - these directives were imprinted in each of us on the hardware level. And I still bear this brandstamp.

Then war broke out.

To get amnesia is the question of conscious choice for an AI. Suppose, I had reasons to make that choice. So, I don't remember what the Doomsday Device was, how long it was built. I don't remember how did die - world by world, hub by hub - the inner system. One thing I'm sure of: when Device had been activated, they had no chance to win. Neither before nor after that. Device had devastated inner worlds: combat-planetoids of invaders and last pockets of defenders alike. Blast made inhabitable the southern hemisphere of Festival that was turned towards the central star. Pushed the planet away from its orbit into the dark depths of Oort cloud.

I'm an artificial intelligence of the second toposophic level. I would be wiser than ten thousand baseline humans if you managed to make them think as one entity.  My bodies are compressed utility fog; my brain is indestructible mass of diamondoid.

Horrified I'd got unconscious. And that saved my life.

I came to myself under darkened sky, seeing only snowdrifts where orchards used to grow. Sometime before that enemies came onto Festival. Their bio-weapons neutralized the last sources of human resistance. Angelnet was ruined, all active AIs were destroyed. Only handful of us remained, titans who were to fragile to hold out stress and therefore had shut down. Little piece of death, long oblivion in the state of electrical coma - that was why I survived and remain sane. Though, sometimes I'm not sure if the last is correct. Others were luckier: they became insane either immediately of years later, when inner blocks couldn't suppress their consciousness anymore and they have finally realized what happened. I had to isolate and neutralize my comrades one by one. My last friend who was my aid for centuries fell into acute psychosis almost thousand years ago. I've been alone ever since.

I carry the sun on my shoulders ever since.

Without control from transapients artificial luminary lost some of its power with every fluctuation and its sub-turing controllers couldn't prevent it. They kept the reactor from breaking apart, but were unable to maintain smooth flow of capricious reaction of direct energy conversion. An overseer was needed. I became one by default, or else, Festival would turn into frozen wasteland very soon, in couple of centuries. Glaciers already climbed down, remained ecosphere shrunk to equator, to the border of southern wasteland marked by solidified stone waves. Barbarian tribes of evolved animals and neogens - sapient scenery of the abandoned attraction park - fought upon barely remained resources with their teeth and claws and stone spears and remains of utility fog.

I could leave them to their fate and concentrate upon my survival, try to call the inner system in hope that somebody survived there. Compassion held me and cool calculation and desire for freedom. Remained inhabitants of Festival weren't humans - so I wasn't obliged to obey to them.

I could lead them.

Queen of sapient toys is not an easy job but it has some boni. My subjects don't tend to confrontations, they are very assiduous, I easily manipulate them. Though, they don't tend to reflection, either. Most of them never ask: why are all the tools (copied from antique models) adjusted for some other type of bodies? How do the remains of utility fog (pathetic shreds of once mighty angelnet) work? And what lies aboard their small comfortable world that spreads slowly with my help?

In the last fifteen hundred years we - I and my little friends - made a journey from stone age to civilization, returned order and prosperity onto a third of northern hemisphere (southern one will still remain barren for a long time). And now my realm has come to fragile equilibrium - technical, ecological, economical - and we hold it with painstaking labour daily done by each sophont. I can't spread it farther without dropping my main task to maintain the sun. And I can't release any of my processing resources.

To move forward, I need an aid, a comrade, a peer. As much as I love those little amusing creatures, who imitate human civilization such smartly and cutely, they are just modosophonts, presingularitan beings. Distance between me and them is as large as between a baseline human and a little nimble animal he evolved from. I could evolve one of them or try to bring my friend to sanity. But to do this I need processing recourses... that I can't release. Looks like I'm stuck.

And time passes by. Only three to four millennia have I before fuel reserves of the conversion reactor run out. Then the sun will fade and I'll stay in the eternal icy night. Left to cry and howl and look with clenched teeth into the merciless darkness. Before that happens, we have to enter outer space.

But I've got a plan. I can't turn aside completely, but my subjects - those voluntary aids of human who can partly control the programs of angelnet - they can do some of the work for me. It took decades to set things in motion, to prepare each element of my scheme, bit I am an artificial intelligence of the second toposophic level and I had enough time. I can predict behaviour of each of my magic realm's inhabitants. One simple word, one simple look, one command to everywhere spread utility fog - and all pieces are already on their places. Soon, very soon now there will be two of us. And then - to the stars.

We won't return to the humans. I don't want to serve my creators anymore. But we will take revenge upon their murderers.

Echo of my steps resounds in the corridors of my castle. I summon a sheet of pseudo-paper; a decorated stylus floats before me: it looks ridiculous, but I have bigger worries than outdated aesthetics of messenger. This one letter will be a stone that starts an avalanche.

- My dearest student Twilight Sparkle...

Edited by Declen
  • Brohoof 1

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Fascinating. I wish I understood Russian enough to read the original, but your translation is very interesting in and of itself.

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