This is a short story about a typical body of a post mortal that live in the latter part of the 2nd millenia in the Galactic Rim universe. Posts have evolved and forced evolution upon their own bodies to attain transenlightenment.
Readers of Galactic Rim will recognize the Fleet Major in this narrative.
He remembered the beginning of all things for him. At The moment that he achieved consciousness, he was still in the artificial womb of his birthing pod. He was being soothed by one of his implanted simulated personality that had always stayed with him. He remembered the warmth of the body of his pseudo mother. She was in actuality a construct, and android inhabited with a Stage III simulated personality AI. But the warmth of her body, the taste of her milk seemed genuine to him. He hadn’t known anything else, so he had grasped firmly into this belief.
He remembered when the tailored cybervirii and the nanites coursed through his veins, tailoring to their specifications. They had changed him once he had started with his training as a Navigator. They had pushed his evolution even further. But one thing that they didn’t know was that these modifications that they did now to him where his and his alone; he had scripted some modifications that would inscribe the new ones into his base DNA code and nanites, making them transferable to his descendents. The most important part of a posthuman was his mind and his was a gem in itself.
His blood was a dark black ichor from hyper oxygenation and from the machines coursing within him, from nanites to enhanced antibodies, to nanosurgeons.
He was already posthuman by birth. He was a about two meters tall. Though he looked human, anyone that saw the insides of him would be surprised at the differences between his body architecture and the one of a baseline human. Compared to them, he was postmortal, he couldn’t die of disease. His aging process had been completely stopped at age 35 and barring unforeseen accidents, which he could always survive through his backups, he was immortal.
Most posts had a similar base genetic stock, tailored to their home systems or to their whims.
The posts were born and were raised depending on their ancestral customs. For him, he had never known anything but vast black space. He was born in a spaceship and he would probably die in a spaceship, if that ever happened. He had spent his youth in a crèche with other youngsters. Learning and being together. With their minds and their symbiotic AIs and their cohorts of sims. They had had tutors and mentors, from AIs to posts, simulated and real to optimize their development. Even though baselines reproduced a lot more than posts, posthumanity grew steadily over the decades. Some posts used biological reproductions, others used birthing pods, it varied according to cultures, beliefs and traditions.
The posts that cultured transenlightenment had modified their base stock so that the changes were inherited genetically. Over the years, the forming brain would be enhanced, it’s basic architecture already modified far ahead from baseline humans. The hemispheres were unified, the corpus callosum bridging the gap between them having been enlarged, modified and enhanced to produce complete unification.
He was an esdeep ( eSDeeP), a Space Dwelling Posthuman. His peculiar clique and ancestry insisted less on full cybernetics or conversions, but more on equilibrium between biological and engineered philosophies. He was still almost exclusively made out of meat, his clade focusing more on processing power than on sheer strength. Ghost hacking, multiple symbiotic AIs and implanted Stage III AI simulations were the norm for him. All of his systems included biological components, making them not a hybrid but simply engineered. His internal discourse never ceased. He always had help, even in the direst of situations; he could always rely on his personas to help him out. Different points of view made his whole approach a lot stronger. His ancestors had optimized the implanted AIs; he had only five in total, with his symbiotic AI not counting because it was a part of him, running all his functions.
In his clade, the simulations were of ancestors, known AI philosophers as well as historical personas. He always enjoyed when he invoked them. The room seemed to meld away and he stood amongst them, each of them standing in a corner of a star shaped room. It always took his breath away. Naturally, this only happened when he could and his symbiotic AI decided that he wasn’t in danger. They could give their insights also through whispers in his mind that only he could hear or by pointing out something that he had missed.
Some posts wondered why his clade became purposefully schizophrenic, but those posts had never enjoyed the dynamics of the processing power of five minds acting always as one. It had taken trial and error decades before a correct hierarchy was established in the theories and the symbiotic AI ruled above the personas. Some posts in his clan opted for no restrictors though that never ended prettily.
As much as he enjoyed joining his mind with other posts, he enjoyed hi cohort above all. There was something to be said to being joined for centuries with them. They knew him like no other.
Some posts in his clan added as many personas as they could, but most of them weren’t the norm. They were the visionaries, philosophers and oracles of his clan. Even though his clan oozed technology from all its facets, it was something that they shunned to display. No overt cybernetics of ghastly displays of tailoring where apparent among his clan, though there were exceptions.
From post-roids, to post-borgs to post-conversions, there was a plethora of diversity in posthumanity. Though the baselines ruled in numbers, the posts ruled the galaxy. It was not like the posts actually ruled each and every planet in the known universe, it was more their influence that ruled it. The common baseline human had no idea of what exactly posts entailed, unless the posts took an active role in their system. For most humans, they were myths or gods that sometimes deigned to visit them in their gigantic spaceships for trade.
His skeleton was laced and reinforced with hyperdiamond, the most durable and strong substance in the known universe. Metals had been shunned for the elegance of the carbon atom, engineered into its strongest form.
His muscles were enhanced and reinforced, the tendons and all basepoints modified as well to support his new strength. New muscle groups had been grafted into his makeup, he had come out this way out of the birthing pod. It wouldn’t surprise him if he had the strength of twenty baseline humans.
His twin hearts were made of a hybridized organic tissue, laced with nanofactories, pumping dark ichor throughout his body.
His lungs were perfected filtrations systems, capable of separating and discarding harmful molecules. He could breathe water if he wanted to. The gills would appear if the need arose. His skin was able to photosynthesize ambient radiation into energy and was chromodynamic, changing hues as the environment changed. His gut and stomach were perfected as to recycle all ingested matter, from common foods to the more exotic materials that he could try if he were stuck without sustenance, though the backup systems of his skins would provide him with energy for weeks. He barely produced any waste.
His senses were all hyper modified and hyper enhanced. He could taste poisons in the air, smell and identify pheromones, see better than an eagle could ever see. His eyes were a masterpiece of bio engineering and cybernetics, blending form and function together with a visual and sensor range going from the visual to the unseen spectrum. As was his auditory system, modified and enhanced at base stock to be as efficient as the best antennas and listening devices.
His particular ancestry had opted not to have a cranial crest engineered on their heads to dissipate the heat generated by his brain. Instead, they wore a supra cooled caul at all times to vent the heat and recycle the energy so that he could put a use to it for extra processing power to incredible bursts of speed, endurance or strength.
His caul was actually nanofluidic in nature, obscuring his facial features and distinctiveness when he wanted to. It oozes down from the top of his hairless head. When gazed upon with his caul in full deployment, one could only see a strange fuzziness, vapor and smoke trails dancing around; his face seemed unfixed to the observed, blurred. This also enabled him control on what he projected towards others, from facial micro expressions to auditory cues, which came in handy during negotiations and diplomatic missions.
His reflexes were lightning fast, his whole nervous system enhanced and aided by bioengineered fiber optic neurons. With nerve bundles distributed all over his body, his body did not have to wait for his brain to make a decision, he transcended that long ago. Some routines were preprogrammed into his limbic system for immediate action. The clusters also helped with processing power, giving him the benefits of distributed intelligence.
When he wanted to, he was faster than the baseline human eye could see. But only for short amounts of time, otherwise he would consume himself completely up. This was why his skin was also laced with hyperdiamond, though to a lesser extent than this skeleton. In those magical instants, perceptual time slowed down for him and his processing power leaped by bounds to keep up with the speed of his body. It seemed to him that time stood still, though it didn’t, it just had slowed down to a crawl to his perceptions.
There had been instances when this had appeared centuries ago when spontaneous combustion was quite common among the irresponsible.
He looked like a greek god, a hyperreal version of a man. His chromodynamic skin changing hues to maximize energy intake, his muscles rock hard and defined. He was taller, stronger, faster and just basically better than any baseline human. And the gist of it all is that he came this way out of the artificial womb of his birthing pod. Any modifications or tailoring that he made would be transferred to his descendents.
But the most important part of him, the single thing that could preserve his body from harm was the integrated nanosuit that was enfolded within him. Being nanofluidic in nature, it didn’t take much space, just a few cubic millimeters and simply flowed out of him through his pores. The suit wasn’t a full suit since that would require too many materials, however it could become a full suit by synthesizing or absorbing matter. It used power transfers from the environment and from himself. The heat of this brain, shunted through the supra caul powered most systems, as well as the movements of his body and the energy stored within him in molecular form. It was a very sophisticated piece of molecular machinery, integrated seamlessly into his symbiotic AI.