An Infomorph is a disembodied intelligence not tied to any particular bodily vessel.
- Imperial technology requires a storage medium, but some scientists have hypothesized that truly disembodied intelligences may exist within the depths of jumpspace or elsewhere.
Infomorphs are minds or intelligences. Most sophonts have been conditioned to think of them as an inseparable part of a sophont: mind and body. But the universe is strange, and when we think we understand it, it undoubtedly throws us a curve ball. So it is with infomorphs.
Metempsychosis (Mind Transference)
Metempsychosis is the process by which a mind is transferred from one body, or vessel, to another. The most visible use of metempsychosis is the medical procedure Relict Regeneration, a kind of cloning technology.
There are three main kinds of infomorphs:
- Conventional Minds (organic)
- Unconventional Minds (inorganic)
- Exotic Minds (neither)
Organic infomorphs are flesh and blood. The electromagnetic energies occupying their fleshy brains can sometimes be moved from one body to another through the miracle of technology. The Denaar are one such organic sophont species capable of such feats.
Inorganic infomorphs are most often mineral life, which is to say inorganic in nature. Not flesh and blood. Usually silicon and metals. Most technological computers use similar substrates. Inorganic minds, in many ways, resemble computer programs or positronic brains. The Chips are one such race.
What could an exotic infomorph be composed of? Some have proposed disembodied psionic minds set adrift, or the raw stuff of jumpspace formed into a consciousness. Some have even proposed dark matter minds. Noone really knows.
Sometime around TL-10, many sophont societies develop sophisticated enough computer technologies to begin recording intelligences digitally. The concept of a Infomorph becomes a reality rather than a farfetched fantasy.
The earliest infomorphs were very crude, inaccurate recreations of organic minds. At the same time, artificially created infomorphs also become conceivable. Rumors of "ghosts in the machine" become more widespread, veritable ghost stories of the information age. Today's modern TL-15 infomorphic technology is considerably more sophisticated than those early digitally recorded personalities. True transference of a complete consciousness, however, is still not a perfected science.
Infomorphs, Folktales & Myths
Many of the low technology worlds of Charted Space treat infomorphs with great apprehension and skepticism. After all, how really different is an infomorph from the ghosts, spirits, and lost souls of yesteryear? Few things can be quite as unsettling as hearing the voice of one's forebears speaking across space and time through the medium of technology...
Infomorphs of Charted Space
Charted Space is the home of many infomorphs, some that fit the definition to a tee, and others whose infomorphdom is much looser.
Denaar Sophont Species
Some have claimed that the infamous Vilani terrorist Zid Rachele of the Rachele Society was actually an infomorph planted in a pseudobiological robot frame. Most regard this as an unlikely conspiracy theory.
Clone Tech: Relict Regeneration
Relict Regeneration is a medical procedure in which the body of an injured sophont is too grievously injured to repair, so a new body is prepared through genetic cloning and the mind of the originating body is transferred to the newly prepared bodily vessel.
The phenomenon of the Virus is not well understood. Some understand it to be a silicone lifeform, a kind of unconventional life, while others believe it to be a purely digital infomorph. Even more outlandish theories have been proposed.