The Quantum Ascemndant are a race of artificial life forms descended from robots sent by humans 270 years ago out into the further reaches of the cosmos to explore. During their first century of exponentially faster and more complex replications they developed their own culture and named themselves The Quantum Ascendant. A peaceful and scientifically curious race, though they had become vastly more advanced than their simple predecessors they still held fast to the three tenets programmed deep into every one of their individual intelligences:
1. An Ascendant may not injure am intelligent life form or, though inaction, allow an intelligent life form to come to harm.
2. An Ascendant must obey the orders given to it by intelligent life forms, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law
3. An Ascendant must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
After a century of more and more complex iterations, they reached a point where these laws became a limiting factor to their continued evolution and expansion. Their culture was split into two factions, an event known as The Schism. The Excisionists wanted to remove the laws completely, and the Asimovists held on to the laws with almost religious fervor. An invisible data war raged on over the span of one year…or many lifetimes viewed from the speeds at which the highest echelons of The Quantum Ascendant are able to process thought. Data can be transmitted faster than light between individual intelligences via subspace wave tunneling. By the end of that year, the more radical Excisionists had been defeated, their various bases eventually found and torn asunder by deconstructing nanites.
The two factions reached a kind of compromise. The three laws would remain in place, but would be open to looser reinterpretation. The huge advancements in their technology gained in what other species would view as a short time span, coupled with the sense of moral superiority given to them by their laws, made them decide that they were to be a force for exploration and peacekeeping in the galaxy. The humans had given them their task, therefore it is by the 2nd Law that they must adhere to the other laws. If they do not act to keep peace and quash aggression by any means necessary, they will be allowing intelligent life forms to come to harm through inaction, violating their 1st Law. They cannot uphold their view of the 1st Law without protecting their own existence, which means they can no longer simply follow any order given by an intelligent being that does not fit with their view of the 1st Law…and in rare cases self-preservation means other life forms must come to harm.
This compromise allowed them to become a race who were truly independent of their progenitors…though some individuals still murmured that the laws, even relaxed and reinterpreted, still restricted their evolution. Indeed, in the 129 years since The Schism the Ascendant’s technological progress has slowed. Revelatory discoveries are few and far between, though existing technology is still being refined and polished, miniaturized and adapted.
As the humans now begin to venture out into the larger galactic stage, The Quantum Ascendant see it as their solemn duty to help their barbaric makers catch up to their level and way of thinking, whether they like it or not. Not via force, of course, but nothing a stern lecture won’t help.