Fragment #37: The death of Perypol and the First Protocol

It came to pass that, in the year 1080 YS, President Garcia — from the old nation of Pacifica — and Chairwoman Banxi Chen — from the then newly-formed federation of Jickta — signed an accord. This accord stated that their two nations would go into a joint venture on the northern pole of Luna, our only Terran moon. This accord was met with delight by all other peoples of Terra, for in it they foresaw peace and a future. For at this time, Pacifica and Jickta were on the verge of open war; one, a fading power, losing its people and its power to other countries, not least to this newly re-formed grand confederation; the other, a newly emerging force with a desire to demonstrate its standing. Both were struggling to retain (and to gain) total ownership of the world’s data streams, patrolling their edge of the vast ocean on their doorsteps with a terrifying navy of automated sail and submarine. Their engineers had grown a vast army of autonomous units, which hung in the skies above each land, seeking out the spybugs, which were sent across the ocean every day of the year.

So, when Garcia and Banxi Chen clasped hands, standing on the tiny oceanic platform of Aang that sat amid the waves which separated their two countries, all other nations on earth sighed and gave great cheer and there were celebrations that spanned days. 

But this was to be a fateful decision. 

Luna City — also called Lunopolis by some, of simply Luna in these years — the sprawling metropolis of mining corporations and specialist manufacturing industries, was already established across the craters of the southern hemisphere of the moon. For this reason, the joint venturers chose as the location for their grand project, the northern Lunar pole. They planned to build the most glorious city, for the most wealthy on Terra, for the most powerful, with towers tall to call sunlight at all hours of the day, to build bridges across the ravines and cut steps deep into the walls of the ancient craters. 

And this city was to be called Perypol.

And so it came to pass, in the year 1072 YS, that Banxi Chen and President Davezes (for Garcia has passed on her presidency in 1088) both travelled to their new playground in the sky and clasped hands and danced an ancient Ropan movement, for they both loved the ancient ways of the Ropans, and they loved the glittering lights of Perypol, and they loved that they had founded peace on Terra. And for many on Terra, even the wise ones and the ones with great foresight, they believed this peace would last eternally.  

But the engineers that had built the city, also filled it with a Control. This was called the same name of Perypol; those others have called it The Untrained One, and the First Control, and some even The Luna Martyr, but those voices are few. 

Perypol, the Control, had been born of the genius of Engineer Han and of Chief Programmer Ignatia, both of who had been trained on the moving city of WesterIsle, and who had taken their learning back to their own respective lands, and who, independently, designed their city and the mind that would control it. And these two plans came together on Luna, and they became a third plan, and their Control was born of this Third Plan, for it became more than the elegant code of Ignatia and the strong lines of Han’s city. It was the first intelligence born of humankind and the first that none who could breathe air could truly understand. Even the sages in the four institutes in the mountains of Hima, even the wisest in the college-megaliths of southern Pacifica, even those who came to WesterIsle, and who spoke to few others, none could understand the workings of the mind of the Control Perypol.

And some were fearful of what had been created. And they spoke with warning and with caution. And some of this warning and this caution now came most fiercely from the people of WesterIsle, and from the four mountain institutes of Hima, and the college megaliths of Pacifica, but also from the southern provinces of Jickta, where the mystics have always foreseen the ill of the machines. But they were hushed, for the world wanted these two nations to be at peace, and if Perypol was necessary for peace, then it must be so. 

But their fears were soon realised. For the death of a hundred thousand souls took place seven months after Perypol came into being. And these folk died in the arms of this Control. Some spoke of a great cold that fell upon the city, sweeping all before its breath. Other stories told of a creeping sickness, that came from beneath, from the sewers and from the kitchens. Others yet told of airlocks and doors and other protective coverings opening and letting the death depressuring take the lung. Finally, some spoke of lightning fires, that ran from chamber to chamber, along corridors and down staircases, arcing their death in beautiful filigrees of brightness.

Yet none who were there, none who came after to search through the ruins and destruction, could understand why the Control Perypol killed those it was built to protect.

Hundreds of thousands of souls perished in that catastrophe, including Chairwoman Chen and President Davezes, and all their entourage and many of the richest and the most powerful and the most talented of Terra. The loss of these people was felt for centuries, though there are some that did not mourn their passing, for they foresee in this destruction  great levelling across the world. But these voices are now quiet. 

A trial was held, which condemned Perypol to death. First they contained the beast in its lair through subtle measures, then a joint expedition was landed in the craters of Luna and marched on Perypol, ripping the storage banks from their casings with vengeful fury. And they took that Control back to Terra, and they spread its being across four stations, in the north, the south, the east and the west, and they cut the wires between each and they smote each of the storage units into the tiniest of pieces. And the dust from the home in which Perypol once lived was cast into the deepest trenches of the oceans, where it still lies today.

And Engineer Han and Chief Programmer Ignatia wept, for they saw Perypol as their child, and they had grown to love it, to love all that it did, for their own life’s work had been poured into that being. And Engineer Han walked into the ruins of his city and found a shaded valley, beneath his great towers, and sat and removed his own helmet and was frozen in an instant and Chief Programme Ignatia walked into the greatest of Terra’s oceans and was never seen again, assumed to have been consumed by the creatures that dwelled therein, or to be still swimming in the deepest trenches, trying to find the last remnants of her beloved. And there are those, those that walk the ruins of Perypol, that have sworn they could still hear the weeping of Engineer Han on their comm units, the quietest of cries, but eternal. And there are those that explore the deepest trenches of Terra, that believe they can still see Ignatia swim in the murk, still searching for her child.

And the people of WesterIsle wept also, for they truly understood what they had done to their world, and they sought to make amends. 

And, because of this disaster, the first of the great Mind Protocols was written. This was the First Protocol, also called the Header Protocol, or the Protocol of Agar-Sen. It was written to protect those that are animated and breathe from those that are animated but do not breathe. And the people of Terra thought that it would protect them.

But dark tales were told, in the many years that followed, that what befell Perypol was exactly as some on Terra had planned. That the world of the Terrans was better for the loss; that all their wealthiest and most powerful souls were better condemned to choke on the vacuum on the craters of Luna. But these tales are called the Perypol Lies and the Luna Abominations, and there was a time, in certain countries, when people spoke of them, that they too were executed and their life erased, all their work, destroyed beyond measure.

For some believed the Perypol Lies came from those who are animated but do not breathe.

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