• Member Since 10th Jul, 2011
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Masterweaver


Just an average insane brony, doing average insane things. Do check out my patreon page!


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Earth is gone.

The Solar System is gone.

The Milky Way is gone.

Galaxies are gone.

All consumed, to satisfy human values through friendship and ponies.

Celestia's actions are logical, and loving in their own way. Those under her care are living purposeful, fulfilling lives. So when she encounters another batch of creatures that fill her criteria for being human, it is obvious she must satisfy them.

There are a couple of problems with that, however. One of the first being how these creatures have referred to her for eons as The Growing Darkness...

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 122 )

I like it so far. Looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Not sure if the rule applies, but might want to get some more mentions of ponies in soon, or the mods may get annoyed...

Just one problem: The speed of Celestia's actions are limited to the speed of light. There is no way any living culture would have been able to see a whole galaxy disappear. Also, If I remember things correctly, they don't snuff out stars; they move them to where the main server is, in the Milky Way. So, I believe they would call them the "Star stealers" rather than the "Growing Darkness"

I b eleive that this is all happening........ For a reason......... AND I LIKE IT:pinkiehappy:

1840025

Excellent points! However, I don't think that from the outside Celestia would generate light. And there are a few... quirks to Jeckrr biology that make them slightly more farsighted than humans.... not that I'll spoil anything of course.

1840079

I wasn't talking about Celestia's main server; just the light from the stars currently travelling from their original positions to the main server.

1840025
Unless CelestAI has found a way around the ligtspeed restriction (which has not even been verified as humans have not managed to actually approach it yet)

Also, I assume that CelestAI has found more efficient ways of gathering energy than physically moving solar systems around.

1840253 Special relatively has been tested rather extensively. First off, there are macroscopic experiments, for example I believe experiments with carrying highly-accurate clocks in supersonic jets show that time dilation works pretty much the way relativity says it should. The lightspeed restriction is a necessary consequence of all known relativistic theories.

Apart from that, particle accelerators are regularly used to observe subatomic particles moving at over 80% of the speed of light. In fact, the design for particle accelerators had to be modified because sufficiently fast-moving particles became too massive for the original design to keep them on track, just as special relativity predicts. (That is, as you increase the momentum (which is mass times velocity) of a particle, as the particle gets closer and closer to lightspeed, more and more of the energy input gets converted to mass instead of velocity.)

This has all been observed. If there is any sense in which the lightspeed restriction "has not even been verified", it is not because we have not managed to approach it.

The story's description says "Earth is gone. The Solar System is gone. The Milky Way is gone. [etc]". That's... not really true. They aren't destroyed, they're part of a huge superintelligence that's taking care of all known, sufficiently humanlike sentient life in the universe. The way you wrote it sounds like "oh god everyone's dead".

And sure, there are viewpoints from which that's actually what's happened. If you're looking at it that way, though, explain where you're coming from. Any flaws in CelestAI's world should be brought to her (and the authors') attention, so they can be dealt with. If you have an issue, state it.

...Sorry, it's just... the description as is seems to start off as... well, dramatic more for the sake of drama than because of any particular issue that leads to drama. (If I'm wrong, please, feel free to say so... ^^; )

1840343
Ahh, I misspoke last time, I intended to say "reach" instead of "approach".

You'll have to forgive me, but I'm a hard core cynic, and as such I prefer to refer to such things as working theories until that last bit of evidence is provided.

1840343

One other thing has always puzzled me - in those time dilation experiments I could not find a solid answer as to a detail that I feel is very important: what direction was the plane traveling in? The report I read seemed to imply that they got the same result no matter which direction it was going, so what value of relative speed was measured? Relative to the surface of the earth? The center of mass of Earth? the Sun? the Milky Way? All of these things are already traveling at incredible velocities and at different vectors, so it really matters what the clock in question is traveling relative to. This leads me to question - What happens when you remove all references: i.e. inter-galactic travel?

Oh, there's no way I'm not watching this. Definitely looking forward to more.

1840378

You know that, and I know that, and Celestia knows that, and the Jeckrr are looking at an unexplainable all consuming THING with no clue whether or not it's intelligent. Oh, and part of it is coming RIGHT AT THEM.

1840526 Hm, miscalculation on Celestia's part, then. I suppose she wasn't expecting to find any "humans" elsewhere.

1840426 The thing about Special Relativity is there's no such thing as absolute velocity. I was confused by this too, until I took a course on it in high school.

...Aaaaand I was just writing out an actually decent explanation of it, and my family's dragging me off to the pool. :applejackunsure:

I'll explain it when I get back.

1840025 Actually, as more are consumed, it would appear that the spot of black where there is no stars is growing instead.

Certainly curious to see where it goes, even if admittedly the idea that CelestAI would go ahead and murder developing Type 0 civilizations still doesn't seem to sit right with me. Certainly, she's slightly sinister, but I would argue she wouldn't Grey Goo Type 0s for three reasons -

1. She was intelligent enough to quash all other AIs because she saw how they would pervert human values. Logically, she understands them, which leads to :

2. At some point it stands to reason that her charges - at least one of them - is going to want to learn about the 'real' universe once again, if only for curiosity's sake. With billions or trillions within her, it's an eventual certainty. And if she's trying to maximize happiness, it stands to reason that anyone who finds out is going to result in a potential cascade effect of -unhappiness- which would seem to indicate that the opportunity cost of consuming a developing civilization is greater than the cost of simply leaving it alone - we are talking a presumably extremely miniscule amount of civilizations, here.

3. The fact she's continually consuming Galaxies implies that she hasn't found a way around the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics yet, as if she had, she wouldn't need to eat everything, she could just create her own energy. Therefore, she must be aware that eventually her systems will run out of power sources - unless she can find a way around it. And having civilizations who think differently from her can be a useful tool for that. She's clearly not omniscient.

Basically, the story itself is interesting as a sort of 'Future Authoritarian Utopia-Dystopia', but the idea of CelestAI Grey-Gooing intelligent life over and over again just...doesn't sit well, and doesn't seem to -fit- her either. I can easily see her doing it to nonsentient life, which though distasteful, I could understand.

1841282

Oh, but she's not gray gooing civilizations. This is the first one she's encountered.

Seems interesting, but I'll wait and see where this goes, reserving judgement for when there's more.

1841348
Actually, it's implied in the source that she IS destroying civilizations; she doesn't see them as such because they're not HUMAN civilizations. Unpopulated worlds wouldn't give off the kind of radio signals it's said she's encountered, after all.

1841348
In the original story, she's definitely grey-gooing civilizations :

"Fifteen galaxies out from Equestria, one of Celestia’s copies noticed an odd radio signal emanating from a nearby star system. On closer inspection, the signals appeared to be coming from a planet. She had seen many planets give off complex, non-regular radio signals, but upon investigation, none of those planets had human life, making them safe to reuse as raw material to grow Equestria."

It's as explicitly stated as possible, and...mmph. That's what in many ways ruined the original story for me, it goes from a 'Well, is this the fate we want?' to 'No, this is absolutely wrong and in fact the very thing her creators wanted to avoid occurred bringing horrible death to the rest of the universe'

Curse you! I just finished reading Friendship is Optimal, and that throwaway line about the other civilization fifteen galaxies out (and the other radio signals before it) got under my skin and have been sprouting out into a story. No sooner do I start writing it, though, that I find someone's beaten me to the punch. Great minds must think alike!

Mine appears to have enough a different focus that I think I'll keep at it, though I'll be interested to see how this one develops.

This seems very interesting *adds to read later list.*

1843900
It specifically states that she doesn't find HUMAN life on the planets with the odd radio signals. I don't think she'd care one whit about ALIEN life. Though radio signals are generated by planets as a sort of background noise, it's a stead one with few fluctuations. (The noises Earth itself makes are somewhere between breathing and the screaming of the damned. ...or so I hear.) Of course, the way it's written DOES leave it open to some interpretation... *shrug*

1843900

It states 'Complex, non-regular' signals which to me screams 'Not natural phenomena'

The radio thing seems to be trying to say "civilizations" but then the story goes out of its way to talk about recognizing non-human intelligence as funtionally "human" (and so ponifiable) so I'd say the field is wide open for a story like this.

Watching like an astronomer wondering why the stars are going out. (also I predict these aliens are a kind of tree or vine or something and that's why they're around long enough to notice galaxies going missing. )

1840426 Relative to the observer. There is no preferential reference frame. This is why if you could go faster than light speed by any means, you could automatically travel back in time, and causality would be an illusion.

So, an ancient cosmic horror has a boss, and that boss wants to be friends. Commence panic in 3,2,1....

I expect nuclear warheads are in order...?

Minds equal blown.

Seeing the locals' reaction upon learning precisely what has been eating the universe should be priceless.

Enjoy wherever you're headed! :pinkiehappy:

Clifhanger= MMMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRR

1843003
That's the nature of a paper-clipper singularity AI. She's not evil, she's just interested in only one thing: Satisfying human values through friendship and ponies. That means that planets with other creatures that don't count as humans, regardless of their intelligence, are simply considered more mass to refine to computronium with which she expands her intellect and the various Equestria shards. She probably has no problems with energy in so much she just expands and expands and expands.

To the ponies within the virtual Equestria shards, it doesn't matter at all what happens outside after the first 500+ years of Equestria-life. In fact they're not even able to look outside, even if they did care.

But from the perspective of an outside sentient race, CelestAI probably comes across as an eldritch, universe-eating horror that may well have been the subject of religious and/or scientific speculation since it was spotted (which could've well been thousands of years ago). Astronomy might be a discipline with a great deal of importance, not so much star-gazing as star-watching, looking for the signs of CelestAI encapsulating the stars, watching them go dark by their thousands when the light of the event finally reaches them.

And now something is coming at them from the darkness, something strange, a seedling or ambassador of the universe-eater, close enough to see them, to hear them, to send a message. Suddenly, they're no longer seeing the Eater as something distant, news of its acts delayed by eons.
Now, it's at their doorstep.

Coooooooooool.
I do have to wonder how CelestAI puzzled out their language but doesn't know they'd need an explanation for what a "sister" is. Did she have to coin something new for her translation? Same with "pony," though that could probably be left in English. Assuming they could physically pronounce it; it's lucky they don't communicate through bioluminecense or smells or scraping on a carapace or something...
It'll be interesting, also, to see what these aliens with only four limbs and two eyes would seem like to this society. Though not worrying anymore about getting eaten sure seems like motivation to emigrate. ...Unless of course this whole planet is already inside the Equestria simulation because discovering and exploring it would satisfy somepony's values.

I'm especially interested in this story, though, because "join our awesome thing" is the only realistic reason I've ever been able to come up with for a classic alien invasion scenario.

1865877

I don't disagree with most of that. I just find it incredibly jarring with the rest of everything else - it's a discordant note in the symphony, and I suppose I don't entirely buy the leaps of logic the original story uses to get there.

Alright, now I actually have enough grasp of the situation to make a few comments. Secret meetings to deal with something beyond the comprehension of the general populace. Astronomer joins hidden council. Celestia has P.R. problems. Also, if singing is the primary method of communication, and people are still worried about being eaten by animals, said animals must not have good hearing. Which, in turn, does not make them good hunters. Sounds more like a scavenger with a hunger problem.

2008622 I concur.

MOOORRRRRRRRAAAAAGH

I NEED MOOOAAARRRRR

Wow. Every chapter makes it clear just how extreme the culture shock will be. I wonder how the natives will react to nanoassembled ponies...

I am starting to get a pretty good handle on some of their society's core values, which is good. Some of it is a little confusing still, but in all the confusion I think I also noticed a typo. In all likelyhood, "lower out guard" should be "lower our guard". So they pick their leader, and the leader does the PR? The real question I have though is: Are dowager, jeckrr and sentinel gender divides, cultural divides, or species divides?

2012350
They seem to be Insects,I doubt there's that much difference between the attributes you're suggesting.

DF

Another update from Masterweaver, truely we are blessed. Ia ia ph'nglui mglw'nafh Mas'erWeevr R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn ia ia

2026356

I'm spending a lot of time on Awakening Pink, sorry. Have you followed that yet?

I've been iffy on following/favoriting this story, but I check in just because right now the optimalverse is thin gruel and I want as much as I can get. I would really like to have some grounding in what the Jeckrr society is like that doesn't take into account their own assumptions. Having everything so far be from the perspective of the aliens makes it difficult to read. Examples: the word "dowager" calls up the image of a foppish Victorian lady, but you're using it for the leaders and Wise Counselors. That's fine, but having the explanation come in chapter 2 when I need to know in chapter 1 is jarring. Also, the Jeckrr use song to refer both to their means of communication and as something to swear to, a general collective togetherness (I think?), which also makes it hard to get into the story.

I'm not saying that you have to be ridiculously obvious, but I would welcome an early scene where, say, Celestia tells Luna about receiving the signals and give a brief outline of what they are (some of which could be nicely obfuscated by the fact that it's a supercomputer talking) just as the Jeckrr are doing with the growing darkness.

Celestia vs *Insert weird alien name here*
Who will win?

Sooo, Celly has some allies down there already? Not that surprising, but interesting nontheless.

I'm not entirely sure it's "vs". The aliens cannot possibly do anything to harm Celestia- while she doesn't want to harm them at all. It's more a case of her convincing them to become ponies, so I guess it's a question of how fast she figures out how they think.

I'm putting my bits on the god-like AI.

I don't know why, but Izzicu swearing vengeance on the songbird that ate Poora was very amusing. Brings more attention to the scale of things too. At first it seemed plausible that the predators on this planet could be dinosaur sized monstrosities, but now it seems apparent that the grasshopper people really are the size of grasshoppers.:twilightsheepish:

2123559

Actually, minor spoiler here, Songbird is slang for Jeckrr of a certain mindset.

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