Youlon

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The Youlon are a species marked by a transition from biological to infomorphic. This is a rare transition in any species, but the Youlon are the only ones in the Bottlenose Nebula which were forcibly transitioned by an outsider.

Extinction

The Youlon were destined for extinction, a type 2A in Regal’s Civilization Termination Index: their planet was too light. The atmosphere and water were being stripped away, and the Youlon were driven in to valleys and, eventually, into caves.

The Watchers Council had a Youlon representative, but it was clear the Youlon would not make it into space before the homeworld was left barren. The Youth Helpers argued that this was a clear chance to use Measures for Sapience Recovery, but the arguments inevitably turned bitter.

This wasn't a case where rescuing the Youlon would be straightforward: there was no plague to cure, no asteroid to divert, no out-of-control industry to knock offline. The Youlon couldn't even be saved by terraforming or genetic engineering, not on the budget of the Watchers Council.

In the end, several of the Watcher Council infomorphs went rogue and decided to preserve the Youlon as algorithms. They could run on a simulation of the Youlon homeworld, which would magically recover from the disaster that befell it.

The plan was, in the fullness of time, to bring them up as starfaring citizens and then "shunt them through a dimensional wormhole" - IE, give them flesh bodies and restore them to reality.

Digital Gods

Unfortunately, the Youlon were largely exempt from Infomorph Rights. Not out of a sense of malice, but because they couldn't be reprogrammed to even understand concepts like Right to Domain.

This made them extremely good at finding edge cases in the simulation, and within a year, the Youlon realized the world was a simulation. They found edge cases allowing for Spontaneous Merge and other sorts of "magic" that should have been impossible, and quickly moved into deep space using a physics simulation glitch.

A low-key war began between the infomorphs that created the space and their new wards, attempting to seal glitches off and convince the Youlon to behave like organic life forms so they could be reintroduced into reality.

This war was catastrophically lost when the Youlons broke out into the Hypernet and launched several hundred media empires all about their world and what they wanted and how they did things.

This media blitz essentially ended the Zen Media trend, and to this day the Youlon remain a dominant presence in hyperlight media.