"Evolution was an accident. A blind and mindless maker with one singular purpose. Humanity was its greatest achievement, not because we were a triumph of purpose or engineering, we weren't, but because unlike our creator, unlike our fellow creations, we cared about our existence. We had the power to understand our creator, and declare it inadequate."
— Tabitha Louise Rossa, Lead Designer of the Giaa Seed.
Earthchild is a hard science fiction
post-singularity universe. This speculative setting depicts a transhumanist eutopia (as opposed to utopia), where death, harm, and scarcity have been eliminated by machine superintelligence and synthetic biology.
The human species is no more, its deeply flawed and suboptimal molecular machinery discarded and replaced with something entirely new, built from the molecule up to be worthy of the conscious minds it houses. A new form that will continue on Forever After Earth
Humanity is gone. We are Fae.
There are no more laws, because it is impossible for one Fae to harm another. There is no government, because the Giaas do a better job macromanaging communal growth and individual well-being than any group of human-level minds ever could.
The Fae race has expanded into space, inhabiting every star system within a dozen light-years of Sol and is still expanding as the population slowly grows.
In the 22nd century, Antarctica became a sovereign nation in its own right, made habitable by breakthroughs in nanotechnology and sophisticated automation, and quickly became the new first world.
With a resource-based economy and an automated infrastructure and manufacturing industry, the Antarctic Coherence
attained a minimum standard of living that put the rest of the crowded Earth to shame.
It was the Giaa Seed
that made this possible. The first fully-realized self-improving general intelligence to actually be built. It had no consciousness or subjective awareness; it was the distilled essence of the ability to understand
, channeled towards mathematically-specified goals.
Its original designers never intended the Giaa Seed to go as far as it did, but there was no term in its goals to limit it to just one continent, or to just what its creators had imagined.
gent is an artificial superintelligence with the purpose of recognizing conscious minds and optimizing their environments according to their terminal values.
A Giaa is not conscious itself, but its ability to understand and creatively plan ahead vastly exceeds human comprehension.
The race F
The biology of the Fae is unlike anything produced on Earth by the replication of amino acids. The only thing they share in common with evolved life is that they are, to an extent, water-based. Fae do not even have DNA, or cytoplasmic cells. Fae do not have any vital organs besides the brain, even if they do have analogous macroscopic structures for the things a person would notice missing.
Strength and Resiliency
- Fae are roughly three times stronger than a human of equal muscle mass.
- Fae flesh and tissues deform with the same amount of force as equivalent human tissues, but only to the point at which human tissue would rupture or tear or otherwise be damaged.
- No amount of force on a humanoid scale is sufficient to damage Fae flesh, even slightly.
- Radiation and most of the electromagnetic spectrum is efficiently absorbed by Fae skin, providing energy to the body, and vast amounts of energy can be absorbed and stored that way without causing harm.
- Fae cannot be harmed by ingesting or breathing any naturally-occurring substances, nor by a lack thereof. Fae can survive indefinitely without breathing or ingesting anything.
- Fae bodies can function optimally at body temperatures anywhere between 0 and 100 Celsius, and can survive in environmental temperatures ranging from near absolute zero to over 1000 Celsius.
- Fae can be frozen solid and then thawed without ill effects. Likewise if they "starve" they merely go into stasis. However, extremely high body temperatures are one of the few things that can harm Fae.
- Touch: Fae are able to feel pain, but only to an certain extent and only from a direct cause. Any pain one feels vanishes completely when the cause does.
- Sight: Fae cannot be blinded, and their eyes can handle a much wider range of light levels, adjusting instantly. Fae eyes can see slightly further into infrared and ultraviolet, but only as much as they could without needing to alter the visual cortex.
- Hearing: Fae cannot be deafened, but their hearing is only slightly sharper than human. It does cover a wider range of frequencies, though.
- Taste and Smell are mostly the same.
The Morph Settings
- Fae have perfect memories and vastly improved memory capacity.
- Fae are capable of sleep, but do not have circadian rhythms and can remain awake indefinitely without ill effects.
- Fae can eat or drink anything they're capable of swallowing, and their digestion is 100% efficient, producing no waste, unless for some reason one deliberately decides they want to defecate or urinate.
- Hunger operates only in response to stimulus. Fae don't get hungry or thirsty unless they're perceiving or thinking about something good to eat or drink.
- In humans, the sexual organs shrink when not in a state of arousal, and only the female organs provide lubrication, but this is not true of Fae, in which those organs remain engorged by default and both sexes produce lubrication when aroused.
- Additionally, Fae pelvic muscles are more sophisticated, to allow males to control where their their penis points and keep it flat against their stomach when it would otherwise get in the way.
- Fae are always pansexual, capable of universal attraction, though this says nothing about preference.
A Fae's personal appearance is completely customizable, without external aid. Within the constraint of the basic human body-plan, any Fae can have exactly the specific humanoid body they want.
- To access their morph settings, a Fae concentrates on it and enters a meditative state in which they can adjust their settings and see a simulation of the results in real time.
- There are settings for height, aspects of build, coloration, hair and nail length and properties, face and body proportions, even primary and secondary sexual characteristics.
- After confirming a change to one's morph settings, a Fae's body will morph itself towards the new targets without further attention. Because of the resiliency of Fae bodies, this is a slow process, taking hours, days, or weeks depending on the extent of the change.
The Utility Cloud
- A Fae's entire skeleton is capable of dynamically generating precise magnetic forces.
- Fae are able to instinctively use this to perform the deceptively complex task of simulating gravity for themselves in weightless environments such as starships.
- With the prevalence of superconducting materials, Fae can also use this to levitate and propel themselves at will in any Giaa-controlled environment.
Fae bodies produce large single molecules that are excreted from skin pores. These complex molecules work in concert with each other and the skeletal magnetics to achieve a wide variety of functions.
- Moving small objects in a telekinetic-esqe manner.
- Forming various nanoscopic constructs, such as a collection of sensors to serve as an extra mobile eye.
- Manipulating electric current through the air.
- Various small-scale sensory and tool-like functions.
Best described as a permanent neutrino-based data channel, somewhat like an internet connection, built into a Fae's brain. The interface is seamless and instinctive, but even direct mind-to-mind communication is closer to instant messaging than to true telepathy. Through the Dreamlink, Fae have access to:
Reproduction and Lifecycle
- Information through the Overlink, such as one's exact location.
- Instant recognition of known persons even if they look different or are using a different name.
- Giaa-regulated control over the basic functions of whatever technology is in range.
- Virtualities. Persistent virtual worlds created or managed by the Giaa.
- Customized dreams, and dream sharing.
Fae are immortal, but new Fae can still be born if the Giaa deems there are surplus resources.
Injury and Mortal Danger
- Potential mothers must opt-in to have a chance of becoming pregnant.
- Pregnancy, when it does happen, occurs spontaneously. It is not tied to sex.
- The fetus is carried in the mother's womb for one month, after which it stops growing.
- Once the fetus stops growing, the Giaa provides an external womb called a birthing pod, and extracts the fetus, which is an extremely pleasurable process for the mother.
- The fetus grows in the birthing pod for another month, before being born.
- Fae are born sexually mature, looking about 13 or 14 by human standards.
- Fae newborns are pre-imprinted with basic language and optimized motor skills.
- Newborn Fae grow for two to three years, until they look about 20. Then they gain access to their morph settings.
Fae are nearly impossible to harm, but it can happen.
- If a Fae is actually injured, a failsafe cuts off their ability to feel pain while they heal.
- If a Fae is mortally injured, or otherwise in immediate mortal danger, then a connection is established with the nearest Giaa, and the Fae's entire brain-state is instantly scanned in a process that burns out every neuron at once as they're recorded, and uploaded. Giaas keep spare bodies for such incidents, and the Fae wakes up again in a matter of hours.
Culture and Daily Life
The Fae don't really have any one unifying culture, instead being made up almost entirely of subcultures.
Due to human nature, which carried over, there are common patterns. The average Fae's life often vaguely resembles life in a hunter-gatherer tribe, since without scarcity or danger or a need for shelter, the majority of Fae lack the impetus to organize beyond what their social instincts accomplish.
Words and Patterns of Speech
The language Fae speak was designed by the Giaa Seed, so be aware that this is Translation Convention
- The most popular swear word is Luck.
Works that use the Earthchild setting: