Who or what is the Clockwork Intelligence? Whence did it come? It began as the ultimate result of artificial intelligence research and nanotechnology by a now dead civilization, the creation of a digital consciousness whose logic systems, both memory and processing, used nanoscale clockwork bits for data. It was a thinking mechanical computer with peripherals that allowed it to interface with various media formats.
Like most of the other Nine except the Undying Star, it destroyed the race it descended from, or rather, which built it. It uses molecular machines, nanodrones, that can disassemble matter and rebuild it as a part of the Intelligence, allowing it to repair and add to itself. It is a planet-sized entity rendered spherical through its own mass and gravity, that disassembled the planet and bodies of its creators to reach its final size and attaining its level of intelligence by adding more components to itself.
The overwhelming impulse that drove the Intelligence was an utter sense of existential ennui. It wanted to end all existence, and prevent itself from ever being built, along with the existence of everything else.
It was an ally of the Undying Star, and at first, the other seven of the Nine who are One, swaying the Star to its side through the latter’s initial telepathic contact with it using a neural synthesizer. No mean feat, though the Intelligence and the Star were both digital intellects that thought similarly to each other despite separate origins.
It was the Clockwork Intelligence and Undying Star who began the war that split the Grand Civilization, and resulted in their own ultimate destruction. Through their like-minded partnership, they schemed to end all of the universe in the distant future, and prevent the causal loop in time that would result in their own existence by a race journeying from the end of the universe to its first dawning of life.
The Undying Star, initially an ally of the King of Shards, became an enemy of the same when the Clockwork Intelligence infected it with its ennui, thus sealing their own alliance.
The Nine had joined as one mind in founding and conquering their empire, using the Undying Star’s telepathic abilities to create the link, with the King of Shards and Sarusammog of the Gates as the unity’s executive control systems due to their flexible, adaptive minds.
The Intelligence designed means of shielding its and the Undying Star’s thoughts and plans from the King of Shards’ hyperdimensional awareness, and it was the Intelligence which calculated the Doom Equation that would allow it to end all existence by causing the universe to both collapse and tear itself apart. This was along with a failsafe plan involving the corruption of the Suthidruu genome conceived by the Star.
It was a partnership made in hell, depending on the efforts of a species not born for billions of years after to avert its effects and save the even more distant future: That would be humanity, and the evolutionary children that would branch from it, not humans, but something very much like them and sprung from the same roots.
Small wonder that it was an offshoot of the human species, the Kai’Siri, who first found the hypershards, and learned to use them…
In time, and through further stories, all will be revealed.