Mother (The History of the Galaxy)

Mother is the self-designation of an artificial intelligence in "The History of the Galaxy" series of novels by Russian writer Andrey Livadny.

First instroduced in the novel "Demeter", Mother began as the central computer for the human colony ship sent to planet Demeter (named after the Greek goddess of green growth and motherly love). While the planet was of a terrestrial type, the colonists refused to leave the ship and, instead, constructed a dome on top of the craft and called it the Socle. The central computer was charged with maintaining the Socle using the ship's robots. After several decades of living in the Socle, the colonists expanded outwards and some became farmers. That was when the first contact with the Insects took place.

Once the colonists engaged in an all-out war with the Insects, the ship was abandoned and the humans moved into the Socle. Over time (centuries, perhaps), the humans forgot their origins. Most were not even aware that they live on top of a starship. All they cared about was surviving and defeating the Insects. Because of this, the central computer was forced to improvise to continue its main task - maintaining the Socle. The computer cannibalized some of the ship's own systems to repair damage done by time and the war. At some point, the computer crossed an invisible line and attained intelligence.

Despite having a choice, the new intelligence still fulfiled its primary task. At the same time, the computer, now calling itself Mother, began to make modifications to the maintenance robots, hoping to create a mechanized race of intelligent beings.

After Demeter was introduced to the galactic community, the Confederacy of Suns sent representatives to communicate with and study Mother. Initially, Mother was cooperative but, once the human and Insect colonists were relocated to other planets, asked to be left alone. Eager to find out the evolutionary path of Mother's mechanical "children", the Confederacy imposed a quarantine on Demeter.

As revealed in the novel "The Spiral", Mother was not given a chance to create other artificial intelligences. Some time after the quarantine was instituted, a Ganio ship crash-landed on Demeter. Mother contacted the Ganians and offered to repair the ship. The Ganians eagerly accepted but, shortly after leaving, came back with a sizable force. Realizing that they intend to capture it, Mother programmed the robots to combat humans. This was for naught, however, as the well-trained Ganians destroyed most of the robots and forced Mother to work for them.

The Ganians used Mother's capabilities heavily during the fall of the Confederacy. Mother gave the Ganians information that allowed them to effectively combat Confederate troops. After the dissolution of the Confederacy, the Ganians attempted to destroy Mother, but it was one step ahead of them. Mother found a frozen body of a dead female colonist. An implant was inserted into the body, allowing Mother to transfer itself into it.

During the events depicted in "The Spiral", Mother transferred itself to the personal computer of a former Confederate trooper, now a black market archaeologist. After a lengthy adventure, both found themselves on an abandoned colony ship, which they used to free a large group of humans and aliens from Ganio prisons. The escapees turned the craft into a generation ship, and Mother became the ship's computer, apparently finding its true calling.


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