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Assimilation

Watching ST:TNG, episode "Best of Both Worlds part 2." And thoughts about the Borg and how they change people by controlling them via assimilation made me think of the second Uplift trilogy by David Brin. That second trilogy is about a bunch of refugee species illegally living on a world called Jijo, which was declared fallow by the government of the Five Galaxies. One of the species there, the traeki, had individuals made up of these different rings; do you remember that infant toy with the colored rings on a ring holder? Like that. Each ring was just a simple animal, with a mind like a sponge or a jellyfish, on its own; put a certain number of these rings together and they'd become a sentient being. It was a collective mind of sorts, because each individual in that species spoke in plurals and the words they used in their thoughts were things like "our fellow rings" or some such.

I remember they fled to Jijo because they were still in the process of uplift by their mentor species, and they were fleeing their mentors' latest upgrade, a Master Ring that subjugated the other rings, turning it from a peaceful, democratic collective into a Borg-like collective, the Master Ring acting like the Queen Borg, only with more control. One of the individuals of that species got kidnapped and forced to upgrade, and the thoughts like "our rings" (or whatever it was) changed to "my rings." Like I said, I don't remember the original species' name, but once an individual got forced to add this Master Ring, their species name changed to the Jophur.

Now, when I first read this series, I was still in high school. In fact, I think I was either in 9th or 10th grade. And I remember I *loved* the traeki character, Asx! I was so sad when he was turned into a Jophur. Gods, I'm going to have to re-read those series now.

~ ~ ~

Oh, and reading that Wikipedia page, I remember I looooooved the G'Kek, too! A biological race engineered to have wheels instead of legs! Awesome!

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
christinaathena
Aug. 18th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)
I got the impression that the individual rings had a moderate degree of intelligence on their own.
fayanora
Aug. 18th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
Oh, probably. That would explain the internal debates. It's been well over ten years since I read it, so I don't remember everything.
underlankers
Aug. 18th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
To make a species intelligent is always a risky idea, if you look at intelligent life on Tamir III, it is some of the most cruel life around. The elephants will kill other elephants, dolphins can be quite vicious little buggers, and chimpanzees will rip limbs and testicles off other chimps to kill them and prefer genocide as a resolution to their wars. And of course, there are the Baranin, who take that to extremes with things like Ha-Shoah and the Indian Wars.

Hasn't stopped us from "Uplifting" an eagle species that in this timeline is extinct, which had the effect of creating an intelligent carnivorous species that is quite bloody damn big, but on the other hand, locals like it when the vermin are kept in check, and the eagles are good for that. And we've also uplifted some of the African apes, which led to the horrifying scene where the intelligent chimpanzees began to wipe the rest of the species out, leading to the creation of a second intelligent species, along with the more docile intelligent gorillas.

We've done that as well with the Madascan Giant Lemurs (also extinct in this world), which produced another intelligent violent species. So....yeah.

Anzaea Roes.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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