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The 39th Slayer
Memo to 1st Archivist
As per requested, here is all the archived information relating to the late 39th Slayer, originally 42nd Slayer. Many of these events you experienced first hand, but I shall follow your instructions to the letter and tell you all we could find.
As you most certainly remember, 42nd Slayer was one of the original 50 Slayers that you ordered created. The very first thing he saw as he was lifted out of the vats was you holding the hook that became his only important possession. Most certainly you also remember how 17th and 34th Slayer both had minor imperfections in their behavior that went unnoticed until they both fell off the bridge on the way from the vats and to the newly built Slaymaster's Hall; this resulted in his quick promotion to 40th Slayer. Needless to say, the two Engineers who were charged with monitoring those two vats were promptly demoted to 1347th and 1348th Paper Pusher. They have not done anything of note since.
During the next few months, per your orders, rigorous tests were performed on the Slayers to test them for further logical flaws. They proceeded without hitch until the unfortunate 2S1D incident. As you may recall, 12th Logician noticed a potential life threatening error in the Slayer algorithm and contacted 1st Slayer Supervisor with the news. They organized a test, with your approval, to see if this loophole was as large as 12th Logician accounted. The 26th and the then 40th Slayer were chosen randomly to participate in the test. They were informed of the potential for loss of being, but for some unexplained reason, they both readily agreed.
The Logicians and the Builders conferred with one another and a room was made that forced the Slayers to utilize the behavior pattern in question. A member of the Poppy Brigade was enlisted to play the part of a Simple One with the promise of an extra rest period the following full cycle. The Slayers were brought into the room without being told any information about the room previously, and were left to their own devices. Their brains almost instantly processed the image, which was a "delver" at the end of a hallway. They sent out their wisps, as per behavior, and headed toward him, taking care not to stab each other as protocol dictated. The Poppy, faced with the nightmarish image of two of Empire's fiercest killers bearing down on him, panicked and struck the orb two turns before instructed. This was irrelevant in the experiment since the desired outcome resulted anyhow, but it did result in the loss of his promised rest cycle, and the loss of half his rest cycles from then on out. The orb was schematically linked to a yellow door that blocked off access for the two Slayers to get at the "delver", so the Slayers both set off to the nearby orb that as they could see toggled the door again. As both headed toward the orb and before either one realized it, the new 39th Slayer had become the first and only Slayer to kill one of his own kind. It turned out that 12th Logician's suspicions were correct, when the HeadToOrb subroutine was being used, it somehow was bypassing the ProtectOnesSelf command. While heading toward the the orb, 39th Slayer struck an explosive sphere that normally he never would have struck. 39th survived the blast due to a force arrow placed in the right place, but due to the nature of the experiment 26th did not. The Analyzers immediately shut down the experiment and calmed down the now exultant slayer. The operation was a success, but the flaw was deemed so trivial, that the Slayer Supervisors felt it was unnecessary to fix with the next batch of Slayers. It was then decided that Slayers would never be sent on joint missions, except when strictly necessary, to prevent unseemly deaths.
Months later, a team consisting of 53rd through 59th Behaviorists determined the reasoning behind the perverse attraction that both 26th and 40th Slayers showed when participating in the experiment. Being designed specifically for the archaic purpose of warfare, the Slayers had established their own barbaric "mini-society" based on "Slaymanship." The more complex creatures a Slayer slew the more he was respected by his peers. Being designed as egoistical as possible, the most complex monster was unanimously deemed a Slayer. The Slayer who achieved the lofty goal of killing one of his own would gain unrivaled respect by his peers. A worthless acquisition, but one most fought for by the Slayers. Needless to say this was deemed impossible before the 2S1D incident, due to the ProtectOnesSelf command.
So, after the 2S1D incident, The 39th Slayer became almost even more respected than The 1st Slayer himself. In fact even 1st Slayer was so impressed, that he conveyed a question to The Asking Chamber for him as a favor. A feat that was never repeated by anyone. The question he asked was thus: "How does one go about becoming Immortal?" The answer conveyed back by 1st Slayer was, "Try again later." Many think this is a cryptic message and several of our best Logicians, Analyzers, and Conspiracy Theorists have holed themselves up with this question for years, and it is now required reading material for most Constructed Thought related courses for Citizens.
Recently, after the Slayer Overseers were phased out due to a lack of a need for them, it was determined that position of Slayer should be a trainable job for ordinary Citizens. The teachers would be vat-born Slayers and the Citizens who passed the tests would be given small tasks too insignificant to waste on one of the 100 or so vat-borns. None of the Slayers volunteered for the job, so it was put on a rotational order. Every session was given by a different Slayer until they all had a turn and then it would repeat.
After a while of this, an awkward situation came up. 39th Slayer was called to exterminate two Simple Ones who were nosing around too deep, but he also was on Teaching duty. So after some deliberation, it was determined that he would take his students along with him to witness Slaying firsthand. The operation was a complete failure. Both Abovegrounders escaped deeper into the Beneath, and most of it happened away from the Students' viewpoints.
The teaching continued with 40th Slayer, as 39th continued to track down the delver and the younger Simple One. The hunt lasted longer than any like it before, and the Poppy Brigade was called to assist the Slayer where needed. 39th deemed the brigade incompetent and went after the delver himself. The Poppies say they heard the clashes of a hunt going on from outside of the room, but they also said that they heard a voice coming from the pits, so they can't be believed. But one thing is certain, in that room the 39th Slayer was terminated.
I hope this information is useful to you, as we have spent weeks searching the Archives for everything we could find and believe this to be comprehensive.
3rd Data Retriever
See also: The Rooted Empire | Guards/The Poppy Brigade