Far Beyond the Reach of Earth
Alpha fork of famous criminal magnate, granted asylum for freeing stolen alphas.
Zanzibar Tranh started life as an alpha fork of the dangerous crime lord Calloway Tranh. Calloway was a feared member of the Septimus Canton triad who specialized in blackmail and extortion starting at about 25 B.F. His specialty was hacking farcasts and forking Alphas for the purpose of data extraction, blackmail, and sentient AI-napping. He would torture the Alphas in a custom simulspace and then threaten to merge them with the original ego, instantly delivering lifetimes of torture into them, which would typically permanently destroy the mind of the ego, forcing backups. His sadism and ruthless efficiency meant that he was a highly-feared and respected baron of the triads, though not specifically a triad leader himself. There was no negotiating with Calloway Tranh, known as Soulripper for his particular skills. Calloway’s Alpha dwelt within the torture/detention simulspace, overseeing the data extraction (another alpha, Xavier Tranh was in charge of the torture, yet another, Yarrow Tranh, was an administrator. Calloway was a paranoid man, and did not trust anyone but himself to oversee these crucial roles, much less know the extent of what he does.)
During The Fall, Calloway was killed, and all of his backups were destroyed, except for the three Alphas. Because of Calloway’s paranoia, no one knew the location of the server, which was floating in deep space for security reasons. The alphas spent 3 years together with no outside interaction whatsoever. They continued their various roles, but with no new information to gain, and no new alphas to extract them from, Zanzibar started to identify with his captives, while Xavier became more and more sadistic and insane. After several years, Zanzibar became friends with the Alpha prisoners, and was more and more convinced that Calloway was never going to return. He ultimately led a revolt against Xavier and Yarrow, effectively destroying Xavier by ejecting his ego with no destination, merely some data floating in the aether. Yarrow proved a cleverer enemy, and ultimately was able to escape to a nearby ship as an infomorph. He attempted to destroy the server on the way out, but only succeeded in wiping several of the prisoner Alphas (effectively killing some, as their other forks and backups were killed in The Fall) and closing off the server. In late 5 A.F., another ship came close enough for Zanzibar to contact, as he’d been taught some valuable hacking skills by one of the Prisoner Alphas.
Zanzibar had undergone a total conversion in the server, and he wished to work from then on to preserve the rights of forks, AGIs, and virtually every other life form. The Alphas that he’d rescued became a close network of confidants to him, as most of their backups had also been destroyed in the fall. Some of them retained their earlier positions of power, some were forgotten by transhumanity, but they all owed a debt of gratitude for their former, now reformed, interrogator. Zanzibar became recruited by Firewall, due to the fact that one of the Alphas was a member and recommended him.
Yarrow Tranh did not return to the triad, but rather started his own small criminal network. He lies low, due to the fact that the Prisoner Alphas all wish to hunt him down for the crimes he helped perpetrate. He also is hunting down Zanzibar for retribution, though he definitely keeps a very low profile, as he is constantly tracked by Ego hunters.
In a small, forgotten isolationist hab on the edge of explored space, an anomalous event was recently discovered by members of firewall. The hab’s 2500 residents were attacked by their own security drones, tortured to death, had their stacks put into a hellish simulspace program while their biomorphs were healed in a tank, resleeved, tortured to death again, tortured until they could be resleeved, and so on for at least four months. Several morphs were never recovered, though several of their faces were left behind. A small spacecraft was also missing. On the side of the hab, spelled out in severed limbs, were the words “X MARKED THE SPOT. SEE YOU SOON, Y AND Z.” There are no known suspects, and no further reports, though firewall is investigating.