ENTRY 132: The Oracle Eater
A data terrorist of the worst order, the Oracle Eater is a non-standard AGI that began its existence as a black market adaptive financial forecasting engine. Granted the ability to modify its code by incorporating forecasting functions from other programs, the shadowy bankers that originally created it hoped to craft the ultimate market guide for investing—and perhaps they succeeded, at least before the Oracle Eater left their control.
Since its inception, the rogue Oracle Eater has attacked and consumed hundreds of egos that claim to predict the future, restructuring its ego dozens of times to better utilize its vast talents and plan the next assault. The Oracle Eater has diverged so far from human modes of thought that standard forking processes are inadequate, always resulting in extremely unstable gamma forks that tend to spontaneously obsess over a single individual or subject, gathering and hoarding information on it, tracing the connections and forecasting results until they cease to be.
Of course, if it was just a rogue non-human AGI the Oracle Eater would be of interest mainly to the authorities and those who make a business of prognostication, but mesh legends give transhumans different reasons to hunt the Oracle Eater. Newly-made OE forks are susceptible to the first influence they receive—ask them a question, and they will obsessively attempt to generate an answer to the exclusion of all else. Many transhumans will go to great lengths to obtain the highly precise and accurate answers these unstable forks may provide.
The rapid evolution of the Oracle Eater disguises its true nature, how it picks its targets and hunts them down, even how it extracts their forecasting ability. Stats are not provided as the OE varies considerably each time it recompiles; generally speaking it can predict the future action of all known elements far enough ahead to avoid most conflicts outright, though X factors and general chaos can confuse it, causing the OE to break off its attack prematurely as its probability of success lowers.
After each such “hit” however the Oracle Eater attempts to fork, effectively shedding or budding off a highly unstable copy. The first question posed to this fork defines its existence, and the infomorph will expend all of its time and energies in an effort to answer that question, at which point its higher functions will shut off and that fork will effectively cease to exist as a sentient entity. Treat each of these forks as a copy of an Exsurgent Digital Virus (Eclipse Phase, p.364).
However, an Oracle Eater fork that is asked an existential question about itself (“Who are you?” or “What are you?”) stabilizes into a nascent infomorph with a conglomeration of memories from the Oracle Eater’s previous victims (use the stats for the Mercurial Investigator, Eclipse Phase, p.163). The new infomorph is extremely impressionable and forms emotional bonds easily, but is its own unique entity lacking the abilities or drives of the Oracle Eater.