sing. Ikoska, adj. Ikoskan
The first machines to Know, and the last to Be Known
- Origin: Simulated Evolution
- Environment(s): Hard Vacuum, Human, Benthic
- Body Plan: Hard-shelled Hexapod with Bipedal/Quadrapedal/Rolling locomotion
The Ikoska are the first known human-level intelligence to result from Simulated Evolution. Their ancestral Subreal environment was administered by Pre-TTMA Humans.
Pseudo Group Mind (PGM)
Ikoska do not have a 1:1 self-identity with their body. Instead, they manifest as a mind distributed across a group of bodies called frames. Individually, an Ikoskan frame is feral. When several frames gather, their multi-spectrum high-frequency communication facilitates a spontaneous conscious awareness. This awareness is called a Pseudo Group Mind, or PGM. As far as species with monolithic person-bodies such as Humans are concerned, a PGM is an individual Ikoskan person.
PGMs, although spontaneously formed, have some level of continuity since individual frames will retain memories from various PGMs they have comprised. Those Ikoska who frequent the company of monolithic species, and whose frames travel in groups often enough to maintain a long-term identity, may even take on names or other individual markers.
Even when direct communication is broken, frames will carry their PGM identities via quantum-probabilistic simulation for a short period before reverting to their feral state.
Individual Ikoska frames vary in size from about 1-3 meters. Due to the Ikoska's adaptive geno-metabolic pathways frames can be born using a variety of materials, so their carapace surface varies wildly.
Regardless of size, Ikoska frames share the same basic body plan. Their main body is formed from two hard-shelled sections connected by a waist joint that allows the sections to flex and rotate more than 180 degrees. Their head and neck is a tube structure that emerges from their forward body section and splits into three flexible, independently-adjustable eyestalks. Each stalk is tipped by a compound eye. Frames can adjust the flatness of segments of their eyes to adjust their visual acuity in a way that looks reminiscent of a pupil moving around an eyeball.
Their six limbs are distributed across their twin body sections and head. Two pairs are mounted to each body section, while the third (typically slimmer and longer) pair is mounted to a hard section comprising the top half of their neck's initial segment. Ikoska limbs are highly flexible, with frames of most materials able to dynamically adjust the stiffness of two or more sections of limb simultaneously. This capability was the primary goal when the Kichalteron used a copy of Ikoska Subreality to facilitate the evolution of the Tethyans, whose ability to dynamically reconfigure their bodies far exceeds that of Ikoska.
Ikoska can walk, gallop, run, etc. in bipedal or quadrupedal modes. Although hexapod modes are possible, frames will typically reserve their neck-mounted limbs for use as hands.
Ikoskan feet and hands are sets of long and sharp ribbon-like fingers, with the middle digit bearing a prominent and flexible hook. They can lock their fingers together to form a sharp point or slip some fingers back to expose the flat hook of their middle finger for grappling, climbing, etc. Frames can also lock their hooks closed, enabling them to use the extremely low friction, regenerating hook pad to travel quickly down guide wires.
Frames made of sturdy enough materials can flex their body sections until touching, lock two of their pairs of limbs together, and use their third pair to propel themselves in a rolling motion in a similar manner to the Moroccan flic-flac spider.