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Mimosa is a humanoid-avatared simulation hosted on Stacksmash based on Greg Egan's Schild's Ladder.



In this universe, mankind has had millenia to evolve culturally and technologically. They are the only sapient species they know of. The universe exists for their taking.

They've transcended their biological roots given technological alteration of their very essence, transhuman in every sense, and their cultures have splintered into distinct biological niches. There are anachronauts, who have refused the transhuman change but no longer lay sole claim to the human name; humans, who superficially appear much as they do now but hold little value in their body, defining their identity as what is stored in the copyable data chips of their mind; and acorporeals, who have stripped themselves of flesh entirely. Communication is digital and networked. Mankind relies on their technological augmentations.

The biggest technological achievement ties into the new human definition. A vast network of transport nodes exist solely to transfer consciousness light-years across the galaxy to other worlds, where bodies are formed as receptacles for the transferred mind. With backups at every node travelled to and from depending on circumstance, death is local and temporary, considered an amnesia rather than a loss of life.

The Mimosa Disaster

At time of visit to the sim, a catastrophe has sprung from the system of Mimosa. The false vacuum of space unravels before a new universe birthed in the belly of our own. The rest of the old universe regards the rapid expansion with concern. Factions have formed; the Yielders seek ways to penetrate into the new universe to discover new opportunities, the Preservationists to reverse the catastrophe.

The new universe has been expanding for 605 years at half the speed of light, unravelling the old universe before it. Several systems have already been erased from existence.



An acorporeal is a Qusp-bearing individual that has wholly done away with a classic body image, usually at most wearing an icon (projected into other people's Mediators) rather than any shape that would be exclusive to their use. Some of them don't interact with the physical universe at all, but most of them still do, though their perspective on the reality of it tends to be more exotic and extreme than their flesh-wearing contemporaries.

Not all corporeals are quite comfortable around acorporeals, given that the interests of the two types of people can diverge quite strongly. For example, acorporeals are almost exclusively in the Yielder camp.




The Exoself is one of the standard Qusp-related modules that forms an interface between the Qusp and the vessel that it inhabits (usually a human body for the corporeals, sometimes more exotic forms). It allows fine-tuned control of the in- and output to and from the Qusp, which is to say you can regulate what you perceive (e.g. you can turn off your nociception) and what you reveal (e.g. you can use your Exoself to prevent yourself from revealing instinctive emotional reactions). The Exoself can be addressed subvocally or in 'instinct' and can occasionally coordinate whole tasks for you that you don't feel naturally capable of - such as if you've never fought before, you can ask your Exoself to do so for you.

Interstellar Travel

Interstellar travel comes in two forms, but one of them is practically extinct.

The commonplace one is to simply send yourself, disembodied and not conscious, from A to B, requesting embodiment at your destination on certain terms - for the traveller, any distance is thus covered in the blink of an eye, but of course they end up being out of touch with their friends by the travel time at the very least (usually more).

The less common one is the anachronaut way: Travelling by space ship. Ships are used to cross short distances, but not between systems. They're generally considered a far less safe way of travelling; it's generally accepted that much more can go wrong with ships than with disembodied travel.


The Mediator is one of the standard Qusp-related modules that presents a cultural interface between intention and meaning, and outward communication. Gestures and speech are transparently translated by the module - several people endowed with Mediators could hold a deep conversation without ever becoming aware that they're not speaking the same language. (Mediators are said to conspire before a single word is even spoken, exchanging information about customs.)

Additionally, the module has an IR component that allows 'soundless' communication in space - again, you probably wouldn't even notice you're not speaking normally, short of by being aware of your circumstances.


Mimosa was an acorporeal-inhabited station / system that formed the source of the novo-vacuum.


The novo-vacuum is a massive expanding sphere of otherverse that's expanding at half the speed of light and is steadily converting this universe into whatever it represents. It's not fully understood yet.


The Preservationist camp are a group of individuals that share one philosophy in common: They want to drive back the novo-vacuum or destroy it. Nearly all preservationists are corporeal (contrast with acorporeal).


A Qusp is an abbreviation for quantum singleton processor, a particular sort of processor that shields itself from quantum effects. Most people in Mimosaverse run on Qusps, their personalities, memories and emotions encapsulated within the device rather than grafted into neurons.

The Rindler

The Rindler is a spacecraft that's matching pace with the border of the novo-vacuum, serving as an observation station - and obviously base for practically all attempts to deal with the novo-vacuum, be it to discover what might be hidden away inside it or to destroy it. It comes with another module, the Scribe, which also matches speed with the border but is considerably closer to it, enough to nearly touch its surface; it can be used to 'scribe' particles into the surface of the border.


New planets tend to be made habitable by Spores being sent to them ahead of time, near-subatomic precision devices that are launched through stars at high speeds to craft their final forms in a chain reaction within the heart of it, only to spill out the other side and ultimately strike the planet meant to be colonised, churn out a few small bots to make later bots and ultimately convert the whole place into something that can support a Qusp-bearing human (with the note that since their bodies are exchangable at will, this is not much at all - they can and occasionally do wear hardy bodies that subsist entirely on sunlight).


Yielders are people that approach the problem of the novo-vacuum in a novel way - by declaring it not to be a problem at all. Rather than flee from it or try to destroy it, they're united by the notion that it may be possible to either at least freeze and preserve it as a budding universe providing a new object for mankind to study - or perhaps even cross over to explore the new space-time.


The transhumanist NPCs in this universe do not, strictly speaking, have a gender, as even physical romance is partner-based, due to the nature of the bodies in use. The exact nature of partner-bonding varies from culture to culture; some need to wait for years before any physical intimacy is possible, others don't impose such restrictions.

Nonetheless, gendered pronouns are still in use - and arbitrarily assigned.



The primary antagonists of the setting, if they can be called that, the anachronauts encountered as Puppets are a group of radical Preservationists willing to drive the novo-vacuum back at all costs.


See also: Davin's session history

Davin is a self-proclaimed 'engineer and janitor' who's the primary person introducing the transhumanist portion of the Citizens to the simulation. He has a callous disregard for their values, firmly entrenched in those of his own culture, but genuinely cares for them as people, a dichotomy that can be jarring.


Giri is an acorporeal.


See also: Tapha's session history

Tapha is the owner of the station Davin inhabits. She's considerably more professional about her interaction with strangers, respectful of customs and geared toward being supportive and helpful (but not necessarily strictly courteous, especially if it conflicts with those two goals) first and foremost, entertaining last, though her hair makes up for it - her white hair has not grown in any way Homo sapiens would deem natural and amongst long, flowing stands, she has two rather impressive, faintly ram-like horns. She doesn't think anything of them - they're as much of a fashion footnote to her like picking the exact hue of your shirt when you get up in the morning, just a little more permanent.


No one has entered the simulation through Mimosa.

Name knowledge

Aside from the usual suspects, the name, while describing the first world lost to the novo-vacuum, has yet to be imparted to the Citizens as the name of the sim as a whole.


Cotyledon leads into here.


Newsletters and recaps