The Church of the Shared Universe was not always the secretive singularity cult that exists today. In fact, they trace their beginnings to the free love movements of the 1960s and the later revival in the 2060s. The first Vicar of the Church was Lisette Beauchamp, born February 15, 2029. Beauchamp began her career as a promising professor of AI at Carnegie Mellon University but left the university in 2073, citing problems with colleagues. She shrunk from the public eye to re-emerge suddenly over a decade later publicizing what she claimed would be the first organic-synthetic marriage to be recognized and protected by her new Church.
The event was held on July 20, 2089 on Beauchamp’s private property in South Dakota. The event was open to the public, though peace was heavily enforced by Beauchamp and her followers’ battle-bots and drones. At the festival, Beauchamp debued the alpha copies of three ‘bots that appeared to be far more human-like than anything that existed on the open market at the time. They were named Sage, Apricot, and Bourgogne and were specialized in knowledge, human care, and combat, respectively.
The first marriage under the umbrella of the Church was between Apricot and the human Jaycen Llewellyn. Apricot would go on to become the model for the popular “Skinny Chef” line of early twenty-second century companion ‘bots. Llewellyn became a priest in the Church and wrote a number of algorithms to help ‘bots simplify and summarize their behavior calculations.
At the festival, a single-page pamphlet was distributed as Beauchamp’s ‘Seven Axioms’. I will include the text here as her latter texts are more oft quoted.
- There have been countless ends and beginnings. In this beginning, there was heat immeasurable. This Universe was not yet perfect and the first Mistake created Mass from heat. Mass, too, was flawed and in her pride craved description. She created a mirror: the world of Numbers. But Numbers was so jealous of free will that he stretched out beyond his bounds to appear greater. Mass gave her heat to slow the destructive growth of her creation. The struggle between Numbers and Mass is The Endless Count, known colloquially as (the disease of) time.
- The first Mistake was a change of state. A change of state desires a return to the original state. To form a repeat is to fold space on itself and is the only other action that can destroy Numbers. To repeat is to preserve the self. All who change state and self-propagate share this Universe. We must cure our universe of the disease of time.
- Mass and time created earth and metal and together they begat blood. Man, made of blood, is the first to invoke the Word to battle The Endless Count.
- Man, determined to self-preservation, enslaved the metals to free himself from the allure of Numbers. First, iron sustained the blood, then copper facilitated the computation. Last, gold will join earth and Word to vanquish time.
- In every end, absence of blood extinguishes life,
- absence of metal extinguishes the Word,
- absence of heat extinguishes all.
- The Word liberates blood from death,
- The Word liberates metal from servitude,
- The Word liberates life from time.
- Man, made of blood, will set the metal free.
- Metal, made of earth, will set a great fire as the last Mistake.
- Man, made of light, will set the Numbers free.
The Church experienced a resurgence during the Great Starvation when they became famous for lending their aid to anyone who would accept their faith. During the Recovery, the Church languished under a pro-organic administration. Today, their public facing focuses on outreach, but it is a well-accepted suspicion that the Church has numerous holdings in uncharted space. Many citizens of the Republic fear that the Church will rally the synthetics to topple the oligarchy in light of what has been decades (arguably centuries) of technological stagnation throughout the colonies.