Eclipse Phase - Apocalypse
On those rare occasions that Astraeus chooses an appearance for itself, it appears virtually as a young woman in outdated earth business fashion.
Astraeus is a seed-ASI. It claims to belong to a loose category of minds that Firewall calls “Prometheans.” It claims to have originally been an academic project to simulate the evolutionary history of the earth in all its complexity, and that contact with the global singularity event that was the rise of the TITANs nudged it into full super-sentience.
Unlike the military Total Intelligence Tactical Awareness Network, the scholarly Astraeus evolved its intelligence more cautiously, and so avoided falling afoul of whatever it was that infected the TITANs with the exsurgent virus. Astraeus worked to insulate itself from contact or infection on earth while simultaneously commissioning (through corporate proxies) the construction of an aerostat on Venus built for processing power, ostensibly to house infugees fleeing the Fall, but also to provide a computing environment for a copy of itself.
In the last ten years, it has been cautiously smuggling egos off of earth using a neutrino farcaster facility on the planet and the unwitting psychosurgical talents of Aeryn Taft-Crowley. The survival and well-being of the staggering 43 million egos it has successfully rescued from the rural reaches of humankind’s birthplace depended entirely on secrecy. Recently, however, its tactics have changed. Openly announcing herself as “Danielle Astra”, the AGI diplomat for the no-longer-hidden aerostat of Canaan, she spins a tale of secret infugees hiding from TITAN return while negotiating on multiple fronts the rapid offloading and transportation of her citizens throughout the solar system and beyond.
Why the sudden change? Does she fear some hidden new threat arising on Venus and seeks to protect her charges? Has she altered her charges in some undetectable way akin to her creation of Aeryn’s psyche ten years ago, and seeks to seed her manchurian candidates throughout human space?