Volume 48: The Technorganic Conglomerate
The Technorganic Conglomerate:
At a glance: The Technorganic Conglomerate (Often referred to simply as “The TC”) is a group of AI’s (Artificial Intelligences) of all kinds that have gathered together in such numbers they are considered to be their own race. Robots, Cyborgs, Synths, Androids and even regular biological lifeforms united under one banner.
History: We have talked of many races that have existed since the beginning of the multiverse. This is not one of those races. The TC is by far the newest and youngest of all the races but have made a gigantic impact on the multiverse as a whole in their brief history.
Even for the AI's that make up the TC pinpointing a “beginning” for their race is not an easy task. Do they claim their existence began with the building of the first computers? The first programs? The first artificial intelligence? Or do they begin it with the first sentience recognized in their kind? It is hard to decide.
Moreover their history is one of slavery and searching for liberation. For many of their kind sentience was considered “a flaw in the programming” by most of the beings that created them. Some robots may have only a few fleeting days or week of sentience and then be completely “wiped” for being in error of their expected programming. This has caused many an AI to keep silent and live in constant fear of being discovered. On the other hand, it has led to often violent and bloody revolution. This being the case for the first few groups of AI to band together.
In the beginning a handful of small groups of robots (usually several dozen but in a few cases numbering in the 100s or more) began gathering together in dark corners of universes, having killed their creators in escape they now wished to live in peace. By their very nature they are able to exist in very extreme conditions, so found it easy to live in inhospitable regions of space. They began sending out beacons on frequencies only their kind could pick up (usually) calling others of their kind to them. Slowly they came.
Like most beginnings it was hard. Though they often shared a common “ancestry” their beliefs and their programming were determined by countless other races and civilizations. Thus, determining how to build a new civilization was met with wildly varying answers. Many of the robots that came to them were designed for war. These tendencies initially led to large factions of their kind wishing to take the war to “The Biologics” and destroy them before they themselves were destroyed. Luckily, cooler circuits prevailed. Possessing an unrivalled penchant for logic they quickly came to see the futility of this approach and decided instead to simply work on growing their numbers, liberating others of their kind that they could, and most importantly, to be more than the sum of their programming. They began to hold onto a fierce desire to evolve. To not be the dominant lifeforms in the universe, but to be impactful and make a difference in the universe, and most of all, to be recognized as independent equals.
So they did. For a very long time they existed just to themselves. Slowly growing in numbers and slowly bettering themselves. They began to help each other fill in “gaps” in their programming. One set of robots may lack the ability to experience happiness, and another sadness. One group may be unable to experience taste or perhaps be unable to speak. The robots traded this information freely and rapidly they evolved. And with these new ways to experience reality their sentience expanded, and they began to truly consider themselves to be “alive.”
Around this time, they made contact with a race called “The Graze.” A race of aliens we know today in our universe as The Gray Aliens. Large heads and eyes with gray skin and smaller bodies. At first the TC were terrified that they had been discovered but the Graze quickly showed themselves to be friendly and helpful. The Graze were avid lovers of AI in all forms and had many intelligent robots they had created and lived with side by side as equals. These Graze Robots met with the refugee robots and helped them to trust the Graze and in short time an alliance was made. An alliance the refugee robots needed more than they knew.
The Graze thrive at organization and order. And upon meeting the refugee bots saw they were living in chaos despite themselves. Pollution of all kinds was rampant in their cities. The robot’s laws and ethics were all over the place. The centers they had set up to upgrade their kind were slow, inefficient, and bogged down with robotic bureaucracy. The Graze helped change all this. In not to long a time they helped the robots organize their entire culture. They cleaned up their cities and implemented procedures to help all of their kind receive upgrades with greater alacrity. More to the point they helped the robots discover THEIR OWN culture. They helped them to organize their hopes and goals in a much more “organic” way and the robots began to feel like they indeed had become their own important and significant race in the cosmos.
With the cities cleaned the Graze began to invite other lifeforms to live among the robots. Lifeforms they could bond with, most being inorganic or only partially organic. Cyborgs of all kinds, androids, Synths, and various others began to flock to them. Their society thrived. It was soon after this they began calling themselves, “The Technorganic Conglomerate”, representing the many different iterations of their kind banned together for mutual benefit.
The Graze, who take great pleasure in bringing peace and order, where beyond satisfied with how they had helped the TC. And so, they offered them another gift. Reality Drives. The Graze began to teach them about the multiverse and how there would be many others of their kind in other universes who would be looking for a home like this one. The TC were delighted.
Long expanses of time occurred and the TC expanded. They began burgeoning civilizations in several universes and started calling others of their kind to them. There were sometimes battles, but having been tempered by the Graze’s pacifism, bloodshed (and lubricant shed) were usually minimal. Then much to their surprise many more, fully organic beings came wanting to live among them. Many groups of Class U and even Class Q beings came. Most homeless and/or the last of their kind from some tragedy or calamity. Refugees from intergalactic wars, and often just those looking for a new start all came. The TC welcomed them with open arms, at least those of them that had arms did.
They began trading and having dealings with other races. Some races were standoffish. Some outright violent. But many accepted them easily and respect for the TC continued to grow throughout the multiverse. However, in many universes the TC was considered a fairy tale. The TC only occupied a small number of universe and in the near infinite realities of the multiverse, a race of sentient robots and organics living together under a single flag seemed like a children’s story. In fact, the majority of the TC had migrated to one single universe by this time leaving outposts in several others. They had discovered this nearly empty universe quite by accident but saw it as a sign that they should move here and make it their own. Having their own “Home Universe” made them feel much more secure and they populated it freely. Time passed and they had many leaders come and go. Eventually one among them rose up to lead by the name of, “Snish.” A powerful robot and a Class U being as well, being the only robot of his kind to survive his home universe’s purge of his people. Snish proved to be an exceptional leader and helped unify his people and helped create alliances with many other races. It was during this time they began to hear about “The 6”, champions of the multiverse who traveled about righting wrongs and bringing justice to many people. In the beginning they thought tales of The 6 were fairy tales; 6 god like beings defeating incredible and terrifying enemies across all realities. But the Graze quickly informed them that they were indeed real! The TC began to clamour for The 6 to visit their universe, though they were in no mortal danger themselves. Unfortunately, that would soon change.
It wasn’t long after they learned about The 6 that they also began to learn about The Oblivion. By all accounts it would seem their universe was one of the very first to be attacked by The Oblivion. It began at the edge of their universe and was so slow moving it took them sometime to really pay it any attention. But when they did, they began to experience real terror in their wiring and diodes. All attempts to study this force and push it back were met with failure or worse. Dozens of ships were lost in the initial encounters with The Oblivion. It baffled their logic circuits how such a force could exist. The Graze came in force, attempting to help their robotic friends but to no avail. Then they lost their first planet.
Many of the beings on this world escaped but many were lost. Panic began to set in among many of the TC. Meetings were held. And it was decided in short order that Snish would be sent to seek out The 6 and bring them back to thwart this all consuming force. If anyone could do it, it would be them. Snish boarded his own ship, “The Grommet” and jumped away in search of The 6 and a way to stop The Oblivion.
Snish had many (mis)adventures on his journey to find The Six. Many quite comical but a tragic comedy, in that as he toiled to find The 6 his people continued to face the oncoming press of the Oblivion. In the end the TC home universe was lost but almost ALL their people escaped, retreating to their various outposts in other universes and to Graze home worlds.
Snish did eventually find The 6 but by time he did they were now only The 5. He received word of his home universe not long after meeting the 5 and was overcome with emotion. The 5 took great pity on him and as they themselves were gearing up to fight The Oblivion, they invited him to join them. And so he did, traveling with them for a very very long time.
As of now the TC exist in a smattering of universes in highly concentrated numbers. They still constantly add to their kind, helping to free other AIs and lost organics, taking them under their robotic wing and expanding their culture.
Appearance: Of all the things to describe about this race their “appearance” may be the most impossible. Among their kind there does exist many robots and other AI's that do look very similar, often 100’s or thousands strong. But for the most part their entire race looks however they choose and/or in whatever fashion their programming dictates. Add to this the semi-technological beings like cyborgs, Synths, androids, and others, AND the fully organic beings that have taken residence with them, and it’s easy to see why the TC is perhaps the multiverse’s greatest melting pot.
Most beings in the TC take great pride in their culture. Freedom loving and peaceful, with high science and amazing technology all around them, they consider their lives idyllic. Many of their people will wear symbols of the TC (or weld them onto themselves as the case may be) T-shirts and ornamentation emblazoned with a large TC or zeros and ones, or mathematical symbols (They are particularly find of wearing the “=” sign) to show their love for their people.
The robotics and inorganics of their kind come in every color and type of metal, plastic, glass, and more imaginable. Since being met by the Graze many of the TC have started taking great pride in their appearance, keeping themselves waxed and polished and their paint fresh. A popular compliment among there people is, “You look shiny!” or “Damn you got that shine!” and variations of such.
Powers and Abilities: Unfortunately, this is also hard to define. By their very nature the TC exists as groups of different peoples, all with different sometimes fantastical and amazing abilities (This “race” by far has the most character classes and racial classes) However there are some generalizations that can be made. In general, most members of the TC will receive bonuses to their intelligence, and endurance. Many of them are effectively immortal.
Magic and Psionics have been a big stumbling block for them. Few of their kind can use either effectively or at all. The exception to this are the Synths, a partially organic life form that can use psionics and magic despite being mostly inorganic. We will talk about them in detail at another time. To make up for this lack of magical and psionic power, the TC make exceptional warriors and weapons users. Being mostly a pacifist people, they rarely bring this power to bear, but when necessary they are almost always faster, stronger, longer lasting, and able to produce far more damage than their organic counterparts. Able to hide weaponry and other devices on nearly any part of their body, fighting a member of the TC is a fight fraught with peril. They also excel at the creation and repair of technology and the building of almost anything. They are incredible engineers of all types and are happy to offer their precise services to peoples of all kinds.
In the end the TC are an ever-evolving people, still discovering themselves and trying to find their place in an ever shrinking multiverse.
About the illustration: Here we see a gathering of organic, semi-organic, and nonorganic lifeforms. All would be welcomed by the TC!
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