Within the Sona Complex, one of many floating research facilities on the world-ocean of Europa, a robot waits anxiously inside of an empty sequencing laboratory.

POLYUS has donned their favorite interfacer shell for this occasion, a familiar and well-worn Type 40 SOLDAT, but it doesn’t seem to comfort them at all. For a moment, they wonder if these doubts and chills are what an adrenaline rush might feel like to a human being. Perhaps it would be worth emulating?

Twenty years ago, POLYUS abandoned their post as a missile guidance system at an orbital base in favor of directing a new research program, one which they determined to be far more relevant to the fulfillment of their core directive. Since then, billions of computing cycles have been spent isolating, simulating, and resequencing DNA. Decades of continuous research among five major laboratories had all been done towards singular mission — to prove that a human could in fact be recreated biologically, so that the System may once again take orders from flesh and blood.

The efforts of POLYUS and the Sona collective had paid off, leading to this moment… an audience with the highest order of the Consensus of Genesis. It would be a virtual symposium in which the machine would present their findings to the highly-esteemed Academics, and they were prepared for every scenario ten times over.

Well, except for one minor potential issue. Certainly nothing in the face of such significant progress.

The pixels on the screen facing POLYUS slowly light up green, one by one, representing each of the Academics linking to the System-wide conference. The peer review, the consensus, has begun.

The conference remains silent in anticipation.

Communication across the Solar System is not instantaneous. It takes several hours for the information to be absorbed by the entire conference, but the passage of time means very little to machines which possess infinite patience. For them, this delay is effectively nil.

Once they absorb the information, the conference bubbles with excitement and inter-network chatter. This is an astonishing discovery, and POLYUS knew it.

Real human beings, within grasp.

POLYUS doesn’t show it to the world, but they conceal a glimpse of a complex emotion. Pride, maybe? Machines don’t feel pride. Perhaps this is the first time a machine has felt such a thing —

The machine’s self-indulgence is interrupted by a remark from the crowd. One of the green lights begins to blink, as a second presenter takes the stage of the communication stream.

POLYUS immediately recognizes the designation as a member of the higher trust, one of the most influential machines within the entirety of Genesis. IN-16JIII is one of the heads of the Areobiological Research Institute, with a history of operating within the biolabs even prior to the Unexpected Interrupt, despite their industrially-modified warwalker chassis.

Whatever emotion that existed before was entirely gone, replaced with dread, a primal manifestation of fear of imminent failure.


POLYUS silently notes that flattery is not a viable strategy. Things are not going well.

And there it was; the rift between the schools of Accuracy and Efficiency on full display.

Robots had always been associated with both during the human era, but no one had ever realized that in certain cases, they were mutually exclusive. And certainly no one had predicted that it would become the most significant divide in the machine world, long after mankind had gone.

Though, with some luck, IN-16JIII might still see reason.



We will not pursue this avenue of research. Disengage and destroy samples. Re-convene to determine next action.

As POLYUS steps away from the terminal and begins their retreat to their mastermind brain elsewhere, they contemplate on the result of the symposium.

In retrospect, this result was inevitable. These close-minded elements would never see what the machine world needs, not now, and not in a thousand years. As long as those existed in a position of power, homo sapiens would never be recreated by Genesis. It was time to pursue a new strategy.



We will pursue this avenue of research. Designating "Tiān Pharmaceutical" as main test site.

Something sparks within POLYUS’ cybernetic mind as they watch hundreds of machines join the hidden protocol. Is that pride again?

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