Hybrid, Prologue: The Last Battle
The Last Battle
In a room filled with glowing blood crystals, a tyrian purple reptilian man sat in his high throne engraved with gargoyles. His hands waved over a hovering holographic map of the Milky Way Galaxy. He laughed as shades of purple covered nearly all the map.
Only Okma was highlighted in blue at this star system. He touched that star and an image of a planet flickered above the map. The planet had ships flying around like bees warning each other of danger.
“Oh Spacers,” the man chuckled. “All your worlds are destroyed by my touch. Your corpses are disintegrated by my footsteps. You don’t stand a chance in the universe. Now, my Titan Empire has become my galaxy against your world. You will all perish.”
A spiky armored-Titan entered the room. “Lord Seiton, my men are ready.”
His throne creaked as Seiton turned to the soldier and smiled. “Excellent, activate the relay and set our cours
The Culinary Tastes of Aliens"What have you done?"
"The juices on your planet are delectable," he said, as though he hadn't heard her. She looked around her kitchen. There was blood and fur everywhere, and were those bits of bone?
"You ruined my juicer!"
He gave the appliance a dirty look. "Yes. You should probably go and purchase one of higher quality."
She was afraid to ask, but morbid curiosity took over. "What did you use?"
"I believe you call them 'squirrels'. Tomorrow I shall catch the avian you call a 'bluejay'. If it tastes half as good as the squirrel I believe I shall stay here for a long time."
The SirenThere was a dead body on Sandie's back porch, and it was trying to get in.
She wrung the coffee out of the front of her shirt, made damn sure that all of her doors and windows were locked, and called Mike.
"Yeah? Sandie? That you?"
"You don't know anything about this, do you?"
"Mike, there's a zombie on my back porch. It's leaving smears on the glass door. Is it yours?"
"I... Could you repeat that?"
"Zombie, Mike. It's a dead body in a puddle of nasty, and it's leaving more nasty on my door. God, I can even smell it. This is one thorough job, man."
She edged away from the door, keeping an eye on the intruder beyond the glass. It was bloated and purple with decay, green and black fungus speckling its face. There was fluid coming out of its mouth and dripping from its nose. It had no eyes, and all indication of sex or age had rotted away.
"Robotic, maybe? One of its legs is about to fall off. You didn't sic one of your Cyber Derby friends
McKennas boots struck the floor hard as she paced back and forth in her frigates underbelly. The holo-image showed a young woman bonded. She wasnt going anywhere. At least she was given a mat to provide some comfort. There was hatred in her eyes and not fear. That was good. Hate kept captives alive. She stomped past her image again. It felt wrong to walk through the image of her prisoner. So, she avoided her each time. Space was so cramped down here. Ades over in the corner striking his punching bag and smoking at the same time. It did not help that he had turned this into his own personal gym.
The young womans fate was in her hands. Possessing that power over another was intoxicating. However that wasnt the reason she chose her new profession. She got no pleasure in doing to other women what was done to her.
Dont even breathe in my direction, got it? She refused to ask what he would do in this situation.
He let loose a series of h
“There is nothing new under the sun.”
“Never talk about politics and religion.”
A while ago I had a chance to play the free version of Magic 2014 on my iPad. People who grew up playing the game may find this version to be somewhat tedious and linear, but if you are like me and you never got a chance to experience the game, I would definitely recommend checking it out. One thing that really intrigued me about Magic the Gathering (MTG) is the fact that a math professor created it and the game has very interesting mechanics as well as the incorporation of multiple forms of morality. One motivation behind playing the game was to get a better understanding of the mechanics in order to gain a better abstract understanding of plot devices. After all, each Magic game is set up in way that allows for a concise, unique story to play out, and as an aspiring writer I saw this as an attractive model. Anyway, my quest to understand MTG as well as integrate the mechanics and moralities in a way that goes beyond the MTG universe ultimately led to the model that you now see diagramed here. Needless to say, there were also a number of other inspirations including a cursory interest in philosophy and world history, Platonian Solids as tools for dialectical reasoning, Asimov’s “Psychohistory” as described in Foundation, and the brilliant social engineering paradigm of Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri (SMAC).
One thing that the Octahedral model helped me to realize was that my previous understanding of the SMAC social engineering paradigm was somewhat flawed. That is, originally I thought that all societies existed as combinations of the three main choices for each category (if you are lost by what I am saying, then Google a SMAC wiki) as opposed to one of the four choices. In other words, I saw the choice between Democracy/Police State/Fundamentalism as an equilateral triangle with Frontier in the middle, as opposed to a perfect square consisting of all four on each corner. The Octahedral model incorporates each facet of the SMAC social engineering paradigm perfectly:
-The government choices make a square along the xy plane with Democracy correlating with Reason, Fundamentalism correlating with Faith, Police State correlating with Causality, and Frontier correlating with Deontology.
-Economy: ‘Free Market’ correlates with Individuality, Green correlates with Reason, Planned correlates with Collectivism, and ‘Simple’ correlates with Faith.
-Values: Knowledge correlating with Reason, Wealth correlating with Individuality, Power correlating with Faith, and Survival correlating with Collectivism.
-Future Society: ‘None’ correlates with Faith, Eudamonia correlates with Reason, Cybernetics correlates with Individuality, and Thought Control correlates with Collectivism.
-Leadership Styles: ‘Explore’ corresponds with Collectivism; Build corresponds with Individualism; Discover corresponds with Reason; and Conquer corresponds with Faith.
Likewise, the Octahedral model also revealed to me that my previous Religious Engineering Paradigm was insufficient. Instead of three components for each category, it appears that religions are driven by four components, each of which corresponds to Octahedral geometry:
-Emphasis: Ritual/Mysticism corresponds with Faith; Philosophy/Humanism corresponds with Reason; Meditation corresponds with Deontology; and Sensation corresponds with Causality.
-Agenda: Promised Land corresponds with Faith; Inner Peace corresponds with Collectivism; Immortality corresponds with Individuality; and Social Justice corresponds with Reason.
-Organization: Hierarchical corresponds with Faith; Consensus corresponds with Reason; Subordinate corresponds with Causality; and Independent corresponds with Deontology.
-Propogation: Holy War corresponds with Faith; Infrastructure corresponds with Reason; Pacifism corresponds with Deontology; and Syncretism corresponds with Causality.
-Metaphysics: Predestination corresponds with Collectivism; Free Will corresponds with Individualism; Pantheism corresponds with Causality; and Theism corresponds with Deontology.
For a more in depth explanation of each of these components, here is a link to my Sci-fi Religious Engineering document fav.me/d7p51oy
Each color corresponds to strategies similar to the mechanics of MTG:
-White: this strategy makes use of rag-tag militias and partisans similar to what was seen in the American Revolution as well as the Confederate forces of the American Civil War. Inferior forces fight using hit and run tactics in order to wear the enemy down long enough to gain the upper hand. White atrocity is usually limited to biological warfare.
-Red: this strategy places emphasis on striking first and falls short on defensive strategy. Unlike White strategy, Red non-conventional warfare involves ruthless acts of terrorism. Red economic policy is highly protectionist and places low emphasis on infrastructure. Unlike Black repression, Red genocide usually focuses on external populations.
-Black: this strategy makes use of scorched earth tactics, attrition-based swarm tactics, and enormous amounts of political repression. Black economic policy is usually highly corrupt and unsustainable. Unlike Red genocides, Black repression often involves man-made famines that affect internal populations.
-Green: this is the strategy of self-preservation. Green strategy mainly focuses on building up conventional forces in order to overwhelm opponents. Green civilizations are usually either economically isolated, or they invest heavily in state capitalism in order to ensure economic stability. Green atrocity usually gravitates toward nerve gas and a “take no prisoners” approach.
-Blue: this is the strategy of diplomacy, espionage, superior technology, and Special Forces. Blue civilizations prefer economic globalization and their main weakness is their reluctance to use conventional forces in order to deal with problems early on. Blue atrocity usually gravitates toward high tech weapons such as atomic bombs, continental EMPs, and satellite-based shockwave bombardment.
It is possible to classify various forms of morality based on coordinates such as (1,0,0) in the case of Purity or (0,1/2, 1/2) in the case of Liberatarian Technocracy; however, for the sake of simplicity I have given examples based on grid labels:
A5Z3: The univeralist’s utopia - economically diversified democratic confederation made possible by a commitment to freedom, justice, and separation of powers, at the expense of Shock and Awe style military expenditures. Because A5Z3 is essentially a marriage of Democracy and Frontier governments, power is likely to be highly decentralized. Examples: the Old Republic of prior to the Clone Wars (Star Wars), the Parable of the Lost Sheep (as presented by the New Testament), Susan B Anthony, and 2014 New Zealand.
“There hasn’t been a full-scale war since the beginning of the Republic.”
B4Z3: Balanced Liberalism: an economically diversified liberal democracy in which moderate gaps in rich and poor persist due to a large military budget. Examples: the Justice League, Marvel’s Avengers, the Xmen, Daenerys Targaryen (ASOIAF), Paul (as presented by the New Testament), British Colonialism, post-WWII USA, and 2014 USA.
“Truth, justice, and the American Way.”
B4Z4: Liberal Technocracy: a libertarian technocracy in which human rights play an important role in society. Examples: Ayn Rand’s vision of utopia (Atlas Shrugged), Morgan Industries (SMAC), Cloud City (Star Wars), the Praxis transnat (Mars Trilogy), the Union during the American Civil War and subsequent Reconstruction Period, and 2014 Ireland.
“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”
B4Z2: Liberal Socialism: a planned economy administered with an emphasis on human rights. One geometry-based conclusion that surprised me was to find that the Cathar belong at B4Z2. This is because they place a greater emphasis on Reciprocity than Hierarchy while also embracing a strong emphasis on asceticism, which correlates with Collectivism. Further investigation revealed that the Cathar power structure was actually quite similar to later consensus-based congregational organizations that emerged during Protestantism. Another finding that surprised me even more was to learn that Calvinism belongs at B4Z2 as well because of its correlation with Democracy, as opposed to Lutheranism’s affinity for the ethic of Hierarchy. Further investigation revealed that Calvinism was instrumental in the development of Democracy in England and the Netherlands as well as New England. Examples: the Jedi (Episodes IV-VI), House Atreides (Dune), AI-based Mondragon (Mars Trilogy), the Peacekeepers (SMAC), the Night’s Watch (ASOIAF), the Church of the Pentacost (as presented by the New Testament), Jesus’s three-year ministry (as presented by the New Testament), Catharism, Calvinism, FDR Era USA, the Republic of India during the later quarter of the twentieth century, and 2014 Scotland.
“The New Deal is plainly an attempt to achieve a working socialism and avert a social collapse in America; it is extraordinarily parallel to the successive ‘policies’ and ‘Plans’ of the Russian experiment. Americans shirk the word ‘socialism,’ but what else can one call it?”
E1Z3: The warrior’s utopia – an honor obsessed culture in which vicious brutality is partially redeemed by combat-based social mobility and tolerance of multiculturalism. E1Z3 is a marriage of Police State and Fundamentalism, which basically means Police State without a strong bureaucracy and a Fundamentalism in which military leaders hold all the power. Examples: the Sardaukar (Dune), the Klingons (Star Trek), the Mandalorians (Star Wars), the Krogan (Mass Effect), the Easterlings (LOTR), the Dothraki (ASOIAF), House Greyjoy (ASOIAF), the Spartan Federation (SMAC), the Nautilus Pirates (SMAX), the Philistines (as presented by the Old Testament), the actual Spartans, the Vikings, the Mongols (inspiration for Easterlings), the Samurai, and 2014 Somalia.
“We do not sow.”
D2Z3: Balanced Nationalism: People who do not like nationalism refer to it as fascism. Examples: Terran Federation (Starship Troopers, movie version), King David (as presented by the Old Testament), Henry VIII, Franco’s Spain, and 2014 China.
“All right, let’s sum up. This year in history, we talked about the failure of democracy. How the social scientists of the 21st century brought our world to the brink of chaos. We talked about the veterans, how they took control and imposed the stability that has lasted for generations since. We talked about the rights and privileges between those who served in the armed forces and those who haven’t, therefore called citizens and civilians.”
D2Z4: National Technocracy: corporations are bailed out by the government but not directly controlled and there is no welfare state. Examples: Cerberus (Mass Effect), Umbrella Corporation (Resident Evil), the Corporate Congress (Continuum), the Caldari State (EVE), Qarath (ASOIAF), Agent Smith (Matrix), King Jeroboam (as presented by the Old Testament), Mussolini’s Italy, 1994 Rwanda, and 2014 Burma.
“20 years ago when the corporations bailed out our failed governments, they sold it to us as salvation. Now, we see, we have paid for this rescue with our freedom. We have awakened to the truth. We have become slaves to the corporate congress.”
D2Z2: National Socialism: state directly intervenes with corporations and provides a welfare state for loyal citizens. Examples: Oceana (1984), the Usurpers (SMAX), the Empire (Star Wars), Agents Jones and Brown (Matrix), Ramses II (as presented by the Old Testament), Nazi Germany, WW2 Japan, and 2014 North Korea.
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
C3Z5: Transhuman Narcissism – the elitist’s utopia: a speculative situation characterized by extreme individualism. Examples: the Q (Star Trek), the Merovingian (Matrix), Krell (Forbidden Planet), the Talosians (Star Trek), the Greek Pantheon, and Satan (as presented by the book of Job).
“But I do know everything!”
C3Z4: Tribal Technocracy: strong family values combined with a strong sense of individualism. Examples: Hutt Space (Star Wars), the Tion Hegemony (Star Wars), the Kel-Morian Combine (StarCraft), Slaver’s Bay (ASOIAF), Neo (Matrix), Church of Laodicea (as presented by the New Testament), the Papal States during the Renaissance, and 2014 Indonesia.
“Jee no hagwa bonta goo!”
-Jabba the Hutt
C3Z3: Balance Tribalism: the family’s utopia. Examples: Kharak (Homeworld), the Minmatar Republic (EVE), House Tully (ASOIAF), the elves (LOTR), Abraham (as presented by the Old Testament), Thomas Aquinas, Catholic “Third Way” Corporatism, and 2014 Italy.
“Family, duty, honor.”
C3Z2: Tribal Socialism: a socialist state characterized by strong family ties and a planned economy. Examples: Caretakers Rama-Kandra (Matrix), Caretakers (SMAX), the Clans (Battletech), the Formics (Ender’s Game), the Bugs (Starship Troopers), Exodus (prior to the Ten Commandments), the Iroquois Confederacy, and 2014 Zimbabwe.
“Karma’s a word. Like ‘love.’ A way of saying ‘what I am here to do.’ I do not resent my karma – I’m grateful for it. Grateful for my wonderful wife, for my beautiful daughter. They are gifts. And so I do what I must do to honor them.”
C3Z1: Transhuman Abnegation – the ascetic’s utopia: a speculative situation characterized by a society that is completely collectivized and also determined to spread this form of collectivization. Examples: the Borg (Star Trek), the Machines (Matrix), the Zerg (Star Craft), Skynet (Terminator), Zombies (Resident Evil, etc), and the Crucifixion (as presented by the New Testament).
“We are the Borg. Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”
A1Z3: the hedonist’s utopia: culturally vibrant welfare state made possible by an emphasis on utilitarian social programs at the expense of Shock and Awe military expenditures. Examples: the Federation (Star Trek), the Old Republic after Palpatine’s ascent to power and before the Clone Wars (Star Wars), the Culture Series, the five Ones prior to Neo (Matrix), House Dorne (ASOIAF), the Babylon Enigma (Left Behind), the Parable of the Vineyard (New Testament), and 2014 Norway.
“The Prime Directive is not just a set of rules. It is a philosophy, and a very correct one. History has proven again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous.”
B2Z3: Balanced Egalitarianism: a “carrot and stick” style approach that culminates in broad prosperity. Examples: the Old Republic during the Clone Wars, Vulcans (Star Trek), Varys (ASOIAF), Rome, Stoic philosophy, the Centurion (New Testament), and 2014 France.
“What you do not yet understand is that Vulcans do not lack emotion. This is an all too common misconception. It is merely that our emotions are controlled, kept in check. This adherence to principles of logic offers a serenity that humans rarely experience in full. We have emotion. But we deal firmly with them and do not let them control us.”
-Elder Spock to young Spock (TOS-animated)
B2Z2: Egalitarian Technocracy: a technocracy in which there is an emphasis on Utilitarianism. Examples: the University faction (SMAC), Cybernetic Consciousness (SMAX), Saruman (LOTR), Metropolis, the society of Blade Runner, Mega-City One (Judge Dredd), New Vega (Dominion), King Solomon (as presented by the Old Testament), Confucian philosophy, and 2014 Singapore.
“The Academician’s private residences shall remain off-limits to the Genetic Inspectors. We possess no retroviral capability, we are not researching retroviral engineering, and we shall not allow this Council to violate faction privileges in the name of this ridiculous witch hunt!”
-Fedor Petrov, Vice Provost for University Affairs
B2Z4: Egalitarian Socialism: a planned economy rooted in utilitarian ideals, and often a “carrot and stick” style execution of said ideals (mostly stick). Examples: the Jedi (Episodes I-III), the Oracle (Matrix), Human Hive (SMAC), Cult of Planet (SMAX), the Free Drones (SMAX), New Vega (Dominion), Melisandre (ASOIAF), early Greek Gnosticism (as presented by the New Testament), Manichaeism, Plato’s Republic, Neo-Platonism, the French Reign of Terror, Marxism, the Soviet Union, and 2014 Cuba.
“Learn to overcome the crass demands of flesh and bone, for they warp the matrix through which we perceive the world. Extend your awareness outward, beyond the self of body, to embrace the self of group and the self of humanity. The goals of the group and the greater race are transcendent, and to embrace them is to achieve enlightenment.”
-Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, “Essays on Mind and Matter”
E5Z3: the fundamentalist’s utopia – an insular society characterized by strict adherence to tradition, as well as annihilation, forced assimilation, or exclusion (mainly exclusion) of anyone who does not conform to the standards of the dominant culture. Examples: the Lord’s Believers (SMAC), the Ba’ku (Star Trek), the Judges (as presented by the Old Testament), the Pharisees (as presented by the New Testament), and 2014 Amish communities.
“We came here from a solar system on the verge of self-annihilation… where technology had created weapons that threatened to destroy all life. A small group of us set off to find a new home… a home that would be isolated from the threats of other worlds. That was three hundred and nine years ago.”
D4Z2: Theocratic Socialism: a society with a planned economy in which a purity-based religion plays a major role. Examples: the Minbari (Babylon 5), the Protoss (Star Craft), Saint Augustine, Feudal France and 2014 Iran.
“Doom to all who threaten the homeworld!”
D4Z3: Balanced Theocracy: a purity-oriented divine right autocracy characterized by a balanced economy as well as varying degrees of tolerance and persecution towards minority religions. Examples: the Dominion (Star Trek), Gondor (LOTR), ancient Persia, the Byzantine Empire (inspiration for Gondor), the Ottoman Empire, and 2014 Saudi Arabia.
“The Dominion has endured for over two thousand years, and will continue to endure long after the Federation has crumbled into dust.”
D4Z4: Theocratic Technocracy: Is it a socially stratified market-driven technocracy? Yes. Is policy based on egalitarian principles (utilitarianism)? No. Is policy driven in large part by human rights (universalism)? No. Is policy based on nationalism? No. Is policy driven by nepotism? No. Therefore, the society in question must be a purity-oriented technocracy. Examples: The Ferengi (Star Trek), the Shinari (Imperium Galactica II), the Dwarves (LOTR), the rich young man (New Testament), and 2014 UAE.
“A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all.”
-18th Rule of Acquisition
A3Z3: Philosophical Anarchism: a mindset that embraces Reason while simultaneously rejecting the authoritarian components of Paternalism and Perspectivism.
Examples: Guians (SMAC), Data Angels (SMAX), Tyrion Lannister (ASOIAF), the Gallente Federation (EVE), Boston bishop prior to the Babylon Enigma (Left Behind), the Blue Pills (Matrix), the Parable of the Good Samaritan (New Testament), Thomas Jefferson, and 2014 Germany.
“Books like the Bible are mostly allegorical: there is Truth with a capital T and truth with a lower case t.”
C1Z3: Perspectivism: a mindset that embraces context-specific decision making while simultaneously rejecting the deontological components of Philosophical Anarchism and Medievalism. Individuals who embrace Perspectivism, also referred to as Postmodernism, are frequently described as ruthless and/or amoral; however, they often redeem themselves by intervening for people that they care about and/or performing “cynic with a heart of gold” style acts of kindness. Examples: Han Solo, the Romulans (Star Trek), the Smugglers (Dune), Zion (Matrix), Brave New World, Robin Hood, Rhett Butler, the Hound (ASOIAF), the Cult of the Damned (Warcraft), the Global Community (Left Behind), the Darkfriends (Wheel of Time series), Rahab the prostitute (as presented by the Old Testament), Machiavelli, Fight Club, and 2014 Russia.
“I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”
C5Z3: Paternalism: a mindset that embraces concepts such as altruism and the conflict of Good versus Evil while simultaneously rejecting the open brutality of Medievalism and the utilitarian component of Philosophical Anarchism. Examples: the Bajorans (Star Trek), the Asari (Mass Effect), the Space Trilogy (c.s. Lewis), Rohan (LOTR), the Shire (LOTR), Ned Stark (ASOIAF), Tribulation Force (Left Behind), Chronicles of Narnia, pre-Norman Anglo-Saxons (inspiration for Rohan), the Confederation during the American Civil War, the prophets (as presented by the Old Testament), and 2014 Conservative “Fundamentalist” Christianity.
-Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon”
E3Z3: Medievalism: a mindset that embraces both the brutality of honor-obsessed cultures and the tradition of purity-obsessed cultures, while simultaneously rejecting the utilitarian aspect of Perspectivism and the univeralistic aspect of Paternalism. Examples: the Arakeen Jihad (Dune), the Red Pills (Matrix), Necromongers (Chronicles of Riddick), the Brotherhood of Nod (Command & Conquer), the Haradrim (LOTR), Brienne the Beauty (ASOIAF), King Saul (as presented by the Old Testament), Chivalry, the Crusades, and the 2014 insurgency in Iraq.
“Uh, so why are we pillaging Constantanople again?”
-a paraphrase of the Fourth Crusade
As always, comments, suggestions, and dispassionate criticism are welcome.
I'm in my late twenties and like many aspiring writers, I have opted for anonymity. When I was younger I was a huge fan of the Sim and Sid Meir games, but as I got older I gradually grew tired of them and started looking for a more creative outlet. One day I noticed dA-Muro, started doodling, and the rest is history. |
My main activity on dA revolves around a massive group world building project called One-Planet-at-a-Time one-planet-at-a-time.deviantar…. It's basically a science fiction universe that is designed to remain as open-ended as possible instead of collapsing in on itself like a lot of the mainstream universes seem to be doing. Submissions to this group are officially accepted on Sundays. I do not thank people for faves but I do reply to most comments and notes within a reasonable amount of time.
If anyone would like a critique for a short story (preferably sci-fi) just send me a note and I'll put it on my to-do list. My policy is one critique per writer unless the writing is for the OPaaT Project in which case I am willing to write multiple critiques. Even if you are not a Premium member I am still happy to provide detailed feedback.