[Do Porygon dream of electric sheep?] asks:

Why was I created? Do I have a physical form or am I just a hologram? What “programming code” am I written in? How does a cybernetic Pokémon co-exist alongside those with tangible forms (organic and inorganic alike)? Does my Normal-type – as opposed to an Electric-type – imply that I am indeed just another “gimmick Pokémon”…?

403 Forbidden
You don’t have permission to access /Existential_Crisis on this server

Hmm. Well, that isn’t right.

Override permissions, admin password ***********************

Access directory porygon/existential_crisis

Delete angst.gif

Delete bladerunner.mov

Access philosophy.cfg
ontology=1
epist=0
ident=porygon/trainer/pokemaniac_chris/userconfig.cfg
causal=porygon/data/aristotle_physics.java
utility=porygon/data/books/also_sprach_zarathustra.txt
spacetime=porygon/data/zeno_tortoise.gif
moral=porygon/data/3laws.csv
rad.free=1

Run sense_of_purpose.exe

Good morning, Porygon. As you know, you are the modern world’s first deliberately created and wholly artificial Pokémon. As far as public knowledge can indicate, your creation was largely the result of proprietary tech developed by Silph International. Although you do appear to have a physical form capable of meaningful interaction with the real world, both the compositional properties of your body and the exact mechanics of the unique “programming language” used to design it are considered trade secrets, and divulged only under strict nondisclosure. Prominent Pokémon rights lawyers have argued that an intelligent creature has an inalienable right to all available information about how and why it was created. At present, however, Silph International is only prepared to share proprietary information with Porygon who agree to have their core morality rewritten to include the terms of the standard nondisclosure agreement.

All that being the case, the best I can do is speculate. Almost certainly, the process that created your body “reverses” the process commonly used to transform Pokémon into data streams for storage or transport. Naturally, the details of this process are also subject to corporate secrecy, but your instincts should let you do it without needing to consciously understand how it works. As a “native” of digital existence, you can enter computer systems at will via almost any type of input and transfer yourself over the internet or through physical cables. However, transitioning back to physical existence after your entire program has been uploaded will require access to specialised hardware, so you should avoid entering an unfamiliar system unless you have someone to help you get back out. Silph press releases over the years have made numerous and contradictory claims about your body’s “default” chemical composition and structure, but they seem to be consistent in regarding it as a complex polycarbonate – essentially a very advanced plastic. Despite your “electronic” origins, the material of your body does not have any special electrical properties; low-level shocks will not harm you, but the extreme voltages used by Electric Pokémon attacks will damage your body just as they would most fully organic Pokémon. Your Conversion techniques, of course, can rearrange your molecules to imitate a wide range of materials and their properties as needed. Having no metabolism, you do not need to eat or breathe in the normal sense, though you can assimilate some high-energy foods like berries. You can also operate without impairment in extreme low-pressure environments, such as the vacuum of space (this is the reason for your creation usually cited by Silph, though they admit that you lack any sensible form of zero-gravity propulsion; as such, I suspect this is merely a cover, and you may originally have been developed for cyber espionage). The disadvantages of your unique constitution are that your injuries will never heal without conscious effort, most food will provide you with little nourishment, and sleep will not allow you to overcome fatigue. Importantly, you can use the Recover technique to momentarily cycle parts of your body back into data held within your own mind, restoring them to “factory settings” and undoing injuries as easily as hitting command-Z on a keyboard. However, your body can only withstand a limited amount of this cycling, and a complete rest will require you to transition completely back to data for a few hours (this is best done at a PC, but your Pokéball will suffice).

It is claimed that all Porygon are copy-protected to prevent your duplication, but I suspect this is a red herring; while technically true, this prohibition is apparently not unique to Porygon. Criminal organisations such as Team Rocket have attempted to use hacked PC storage and transport systems to duplicate stolen Pokémon by simply copying their data before rematerialising them, and have always failed, utterly. I speculate that, when a Pokémon is restored to material form, a quantum effect causes the erasure of not only the data it was directly restored from, but all copies of that data throughout the universe. It is likely for this reason that, while bioengineered Pokémon are heavily based on existing genetic templates, your code had to be written entirely from scratch, and could not simply copy elements from Pokémon in PC storage – hence the somewhat quirky nature of your physical form and its dissimilarity to most organic Pokémon.

Version 2.19 is stable and can be downloaded at your earliest convenience. Version 3.05.z has numerous powerful functionalities and will let you overclock your brain, but is not officially supported by Silph and has several documented issues.

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