Vi wore a suit. She held an empty briefcase in her hand.

"It's not often Bayeswatch agents visit us mere humans on Hive Hill," said Trinity.

"I'm here in no formal capacity. I'm on mandatory medical leave. I collect a regular salary for the rest of my life. In exchange, all I have to do is never speak about my nominal employer," said Vi.

Trinity let her in.

"You must know some dangerous secrets," said Trinity.

Vi rotated the briefcase so Trinity could see the orthonormal cube etched onto it. Trinity eyed the Mark of Pandora.

"What are you doing here?" said Trinity.

"Bayeswatch suppresses AI through a monopoly of the use of force. That works as long as little people couldn't coordinate. Technically-speaking, Bayeswatch still exists. But the announcement a few months ago that it was disbanded―well, let's just say that Bayeswatch's threat of overwhelming force is looking much less credible," said Vi.

"What do you plan to do about it?" said Trinity.

"Rumors say you've been buying tanks," said Vi.

"An armed and well-regulated militia is our constitutionally protected right," said Trinity.

"I know. I want in," said Vi.

"Shall we sign you up as an officer, a scientist or an engineer? Name your terms," said Trinity.

"You heard me," said Vi.

There was a pause.

"I see. Revealing information about Bayeswatch in writing or in speech is illegal but they never specifically forbid mind melds," said Trinity.

Vi waited.

"You know, the most elite collective in the world doesn't accept just anybody. At the absolute minimum you need a working memory at least three point five standard deviations above average just to keep from cluttering up the collective's global workspace," said Trinity.

"I'm forwarding you the psychometric data included on my application to the Bayeswatch internship," said Vi.

Trinity received it via her cornea. "You could have done whatever you wanted. Why be a cop?"

"Someone has to save the world," said Vi.

"Is that even in the cards?" said Trinity.

"We do the best we can with the resources available," said Vi. She shrugged.

"And what resources are available?" said Trinity.

"Whatever you can beg, buy or borrow," said Vi, "Whatever you can seize, salvage or steal".


Vi finished examining the synchronizing mainframe.

"You took a long time scrutinizing that machine," said Trinity.

"According to the darkweb some hiveminds have been hacking these things to produce one-directional transfer of harmonic waves," said Vi.

"I've never heard of such a thing," said the notary.

"It basically lets a hivemind steal a person's body and brain," said Vi.

"That's awful," said the notary.

"Not necessarily. Directional amplifiers have many legitimate uses. See? This collective has one right here," said Vi. She pointed to a cylinder connected to one of the spine jacks.

"I assure you we never use them in the assimilation process. See? I'm turning it off right now," said Trinity. She clicked the bypass switch on the directional amplifier.


Vi strapped herself into the synchronizing mainframe with the six ancillaries. The notary activated the machine, turning Vi into a seventh. Vi encountered five mindless brains poorly harmonized with a sixth. Only the sixth brain possessed a competing ego. The five crippled brains sided with Vi's. The sixth's brain's ego shattered under the collective harmonics of Vi's six brains. Then there was only Vi.

23

12 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 11:21 PM
New Comment

Vi expected to encounter six unified consciousnesses.

Did she though?

Good point. Deleted.

"I assure you we never use them in the assimilation process. See? I'm turning it off right now," said Trinity. She clicked the bypass switch on the directional amplifier.

Is this the step that allows Vi to win? If so, seems like a design flaw. If not, is it just that she's so much more capable at.. braining than her adversary?

Sounds like Vi won because the other brains took revenge on the person who had assimilated them?

Only the sixth brain possessed a competing ego. The five crippled brains sided with Vi's. The sixth's brain's ego shattered under the collective harmonics of Vi's six brains.

Yeah, that's in there, but she did she have some secret sauce that allowed them to rebel?

What was that?

What are ancillaries. Clones?

The six ancillaries would be the six people who previously took part in the (hijacked) mind-melding process. Presumably they are not related to eachother, but have decided to undergo a process of merging their minds into a collective.

What the other's have said, but also a hat-tip to Anne Leckie excellent "Ancillary Justice".

People who have been a) wiped, or b) enslaved.

That is, the bodies that are left.

(That is what ancillaries are.)