Wednesday, February 13, 2013

044: Hive Bob

ENTRY 044: Hive Bob

The legal and social distinctions of forks to their originating ego, and from each other, are as complicated as transhumanity can make them. For the forks themselves, it is a different matter. All the legal definitions and restrictions in the ‘verse cannot define how two forks of the same ego feel about one another, much less how they feel about the ego they forked from, or their own forks…and so on and so forth. One permutation of human social adaptation to forking is the hive collective—a community, typically infomorphs due to the lack of sleeves, whose egos are all based on or derived from a single ego.

Hive Bob is such a collective, named after the founding member, who was forked off a flat named Payushi (his nickname was Bob). The Bobs in the collective operate on a communal property model and track relationships through fork lineages based on absolute distance, most common antecedent, and total shared memory. The group is generally anarchistic, as the Bobs have no formalized any rules regarding their own behavior, since they all know each other so well; forks that become highly divergent in their social attitudes may be stigmatized, and in the case of gross violations forcibly pruned or subject to psychotherapy to return them to something closer to the baseline. A few Bobs have wandered away or left the hive of their own free will rather than face such judgment.

Typical Bob


Skills: Academic: Psychology 50, Academic: Sociology 50, Interfacing 45, Interests: Genealogy 60, Kinesics 45, Language Native Hindi 85, Language English 80, Perception 50, Persuasion 35, Profession: Appraisal 65
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (AGI)

Individual fork-chains tend to specialize in certain areas, sharing skills and inherited knowledge; populous lineages often focus on programming, media editing and development, and linguistics.


  • A ship containing dead humans in cryogenic storage from before the Fall has been brought to Venus for study. Hive Bob believes that one of the occupants may be the biological original from which the founder egos were forked. They ask the player characters to infiltrate the ship and retrieve the frozen head for sentimental reasons—and a big favor from a hive of infomorphs could come in handy.
  • Payushi Bill (they’re not all literally named Bob) has been disconnected from the hive for a little while, and has grown in different ways as a person than the other Bobs, which makes him perfect for dealing with outsiders (at least according to hive-logic). However, one of Bill’s deals with the Carnival of the Goat has gone sour and the informorph has gone into hiding in a cheap sleeve on a busy habitat. The hive is worried about him, and hires the PCs to find Payushi Bill and bring him home.
  • An ideological dispute on the morality of censorship has caused a handful of Bobs to splinter off and found a new hive—Hive Payushi—as well as a small data haven in the habitat the PCs are currently inhabiting. Unfortunately, Hive Payushi has come under attack by hypercorps that have accused them of pirating copyrighted works. The action could go any way as each group works to their own interests, with the PCs potentially in the middle playing yojimbo—or maybe just observing the action as the backdrop to their own adventures.


  1. Typo in the first sentence: "and from each other" is the correct wording (IMO)

    1. Another in the final seed: "inhabitating" aught to be "inhabiting" I believe.

  2. The book "house of suns" deals with a similar concept (among others).