Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

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What is your opinion of this scenario?

Yay! We won't be enslaved by asshole centauroids and get to colonize planets in my life time!
7
39%
Oh no! Mankind is under the digigrade boot of a race of expoititive assimilating space cats!
2
11%
It's a mixed bag
6
33%
Other
3
17%
 
Total votes: 18

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Lone Browncoat » 2017-02-14 10:08pm

@Tribble
I may have misunderstood the O.P. myself, for a moment "Mostly said forces would be used in occupation of captured planets and supporting Nirtalm Marines as auxiliaries. As a general rule they'll figure that having one in 216 people in a protectorate country serving as auxiliaries is an acceptable quantity, and they'll show favouritism to those which can provide more troops. There is also the fact that while having Nirtalm machinery will be a boon to human industries, said equipment does not last forever and requires space parts from Nirtalm space. Finally"

That led me to believe I could stay a primate, since humans would be, in all appearances, like reservists in the USA and Canada and one could stay human, with the combat tech being made in human facilities, that such would be adapted by home-grown engineers to fit the human body. Conversions, as stated, would be voluntary. What does Zor have to say on this?
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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Zor » 2017-02-14 11:00pm

Lone Browncoat wrote:@Tribble
I may have misunderstood the O.P. myself, for a moment "Mostly said forces would be used in occupation of captured planets and supporting Nirtalm Marines as auxiliaries. As a general rule they'll figure that having one in 216 people in a protectorate country serving as auxiliaries is an acceptable quantity, and they'll show favouritism to those which can provide more troops. There is also the fact that while having Nirtalm machinery will be a boon to human industries, said equipment does not last forever and requires space parts from Nirtalm space. Finally"

That led me to believe I could stay a primate, since humans would be, in all appearances, like reservists in the USA and Canada and one could stay human, with the combat tech being made in human facilities, that such would be adapted by home-grown engineers to fit the human body. Conversions, as stated, would be voluntary. What does Zor have to say on this?

Correct.

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Tribble » 2017-02-14 11:31pm

Zor wrote:
Lone Browncoat wrote:@Tribble
I may have misunderstood the O.P. myself, for a moment "Mostly said forces would be used in occupation of captured planets and supporting Nirtalm Marines as auxiliaries. As a general rule they'll figure that having one in 216 people in a protectorate country serving as auxiliaries is an acceptable quantity, and they'll show favouritism to those which can provide more troops. There is also the fact that while having Nirtalm machinery will be a boon to human industries, said equipment does not last forever and requires space parts from Nirtalm space. Finally"

That led me to believe I could stay a primate, since humans would be, in all appearances, like reservists in the USA and Canada and one could stay human, with the combat tech being made in human facilities, that such would be adapted by home-grown engineers to fit the human body. Conversions, as stated, would be voluntary. What does Zor have to say on this?

Correct.

Zor


I must continue to disagree on this point based on what we know so far:

The Space Cats demand that they setup "voluntary" clinics on Earth from which to recruit from, yet

A. The Space Cats refuse to give the technology to reverse the process / allow people who have undergone the process to go back to being human if they wish. Don't know from Zor yet if this is a non-negotiable item.
B. It's implied that the Space-Cats refuse to give medical tech to human beings so that they can live simairly long and healthy lives to the Space-Cats. Again, not know yet from Zor if this is non-negotiable.
C. Only Space-Cats are allowed to be full citizens. Not known from Zor if this is non-negotiable.
D. While the Space Cats claim that they will relay messages to the Space Deer, there is no evidence to suggest that this will take place. Not known yet from Zor whether the Space-Cats will allow humans to communicate with the Space Deer directly and without their interference.
E. Several other species have gone extinct and been completely converted into Space Cats, implying that total assimilation and extinction is a part of their official policy, and most importantly
F. The Space Cats have flat out told us that they will not protect us if we do not conform to their plans for our extinction (barring negotiations based on Zor's views), and that they will level Earth if it looks like the Space Deer will attempt another takeover.

F. is probably the biggest issue here as telling the human species "join us or die" is not remotely voluntary, even if on an individual level the conversion process itself technically is. Barring Zor's statements on the ability to negotiate this is nothing more than a genocide campaign on the part of the Space Cats. They are just polite enough about it that if you agree to their demands your species' extinction gets to be stretched out over a few hundred years rather than your species being killed on the spot.

The Space Deer look a hell of a lot better in comparison IMO.
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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Ralin » 2017-02-15 01:41am

People are pretty overly concerned about the hypothetical 'extinction' of the human race that would be accomplished voluntarily and without anyone actually dying or being compelled to give up their language, culture or lifestyle. As someone who doesn't plan to have kids and doesn't care if his genes are passed on I view this exactly the same way. I'd want to know exactly what benefits and obligations come with full citizenship, but otherwise I'd want my country to throw itself behind the Commonwealth 100 percent and sign up for conversion as soon as it was demonstrated to be safe. Assuming the cats aren't lying there is no downside here.

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Tribble » 2017-02-15 02:49am

Please allow me to indulge myself by reworking this scenario to a more contemporary setting, as it might make my objections to the premise of this scenario more clear:

Your nation is an area with roughly Stone Age level of technology.

One day, your nation see flashes of light and hear loud noises (which you later find out is cannonfire) in the distance. Pretty soon a fleet of large warships appear under the banner of England. They say that they have just saved you from being invaded by the French. They want you to join their cause, and here are their conditions:

They get to set up posts where members of you population can volunteer to fight for England.
All members who volunteer must permanently abandon their language, culture and lifestyle and become Englishmen as much as possible.* They will not permit the volunteers to retain any of their old indigenous identity.
The only supplies given to the indigenous population are things related to the war effort.
Only people who convert to being Englishmen may receive modern medicines, education, conveniences etc.
Only people who convert to being Englishmen may be citizens of the Commonwealth.
The English make promises to relay messages to the French if you wish, but they will not give you any means to do so yourself.
When asked, the English will openly acknowledge that other groups of indigenous populations have been entirely converted to English, and that their culture, language, lifestyle etc effectively no longer exist. The English refuse to give specific details as to how this happened and why.
The English state that if your nation refuses to agree to their demands and a French fleet appears, they will destroy your nation so that the French cannot conquer and use it as a base.
Oh, and btw, there is no actual evidence to suggest that the English plan on keeping their word on any of this, and that they won't alter the deal if and when it becomes convenient for them to do so.

Ya sure, no downsides to that at all :roll:

And even if the English are being completely honest and sincere about their motives, [/I]it's still genocide[/i]. And if you actually agree to "voluntarily" allow yourself to be one of the victims and turning yourself into an Englishmen... well, that's sad IMO.

*Note that Zor's scenario takes this one step further by literally converting the volunteers' bodies, including their brain (which others have noted would completely alter their personality, feelings, memories, culture etc.)
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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Tribble » 2017-02-15 03:02am

Ran out of time edit: I should add what's even sadder is that things like this happen in real life all the time, and usually under even worse conditions.
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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-15 03:43am

Yeah.

What is it about the Nirtalm physical form that makes them some kind of 'master race,' such that other beings have a 'right' to mutate into that form, but that no Nirtalm would ever want to mutate away from it? And that the Nirtalm don't even consider it a relevant priority to preserve any physical form of any species... EXCEPT the physical form of the Nirtalm?

I for one would like a straight answer to that question before agreeing to anything.

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Ralin » 2017-02-15 07:55am

Tribble wrote:
And even if the English are being completely honest and sincere about their motives, [/I]it's still genocide[/i]. And if you actually agree to "voluntarily" allow yourself to be one of the victims and turning yourself into an Englishmen... well, that's sad IMO.


A 'genocide' where none of us actually die and the people who volunteer get a longer, healthier and probably more comfortable life. The horror.

Arguments like this make me glad as hell that I grew up speaking English and being told I was American instead of growing up on some sort of Cajun reservation or enclave. Yeah I wish I'd learned French and growing up, but that's fucking trivial compared to what I get in exchange for forefathers' precious, precious culture.

Simon_Jester wrote:Yeah.

What is it about the Nirtalm physical form that makes them some kind of 'master race,' such that other beings have a 'right' to mutate into that form, but that no Nirtalm would ever want to mutate away from it? And that the Nirtalm don't even consider it a relevant priority to preserve any physical form of any species... EXCEPT the physical form of the Nirtalm?

I for one would like a straight answer to that question before agreeing to anything.


They're really advanced, powerful and wealthy. Being one of them gets you all sorts of great benefits. They aren't good hearted enough to give more than a fraction of those benefits to others because they figure it's better for them if there are fewer beings not like them. Pretty straightforward.

It's...not as if they owe us any of their amazing knowledge and technology. They're offering us a whole lot more than we're in a position to demand.

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-15 02:19pm

See, that's the answer I suspect, but if so then there are good arguments for Earth not cooperating. Especially since we have literally nothing except the Nirtalm's assurances of their own good intentions, and they're the ones making threats and declaring that we will be assimilated.

Again, the fact that entire species have 'agreed to this' with no holdouts, multiple times, suggests the Nirtalm have some skeletons in their closet, or that something strange is going on.

And that, to use your phrase a bit differently, this is not a magnanimous offer, it is a calculated long range plan by the Nirtalm to achieve the goal of making sure... "it's better for them if there are fewer beings not like them." Because something about having other intelligent beings that aren't shaped the same as them, or don't think the same as them, just really bothers the Nirtalm.

And if that's an accurate reflection of their attitude, then they are extremely untrustworthy. They're a lot more likely to try to sell us metaphorical smallpox-infected blankets if they really think "the only good human is a human that's been mutated into a Nirtalm."

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Ralin » 2017-02-15 06:45pm

Simon_Jester wrote:And if that's an accurate reflection of their attitude, then they are extremely untrustworthy. They're a lot more likely to try to sell us metaphorical smallpox-infected blankets if they really think "the only good human is a human that's been mutated into a Nirtalm."


See, I think they are extremely trustworthy. By which I mean I trust that they really will bomb the fuck out of us to keep us from helping their enemies if we don't play ball. As long as they're in this sort of position they're going to be the ones setting the terms of our relationship, and the stuff in the OP sounds a whole lot better than what they could do.

So no, I'm totally okay with the death-free extinction of humanity in exchange for a vastly improved life. Anyone who genuinely wants to keep speaking English and celebrating Christmas or whatever several hundred years from now is free to do so, probably.

I dunno if the Nirtalm are really racist or just think it's safer for them if they have less competition from other species that can potentially threaten them. But It's their science and technology and protection we want, and the prospect of everyone on Earth eventually deciding that the benefits of being one of them are just that damned awesome is a pretty low price to pay for that all things considered. Imagine how many people would be overjoyed if American or Canadian citizenship was that easy to get in real life.

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-15 06:51pm

The argument "we're in no position to bargain, question the aliens, or investigate the circumstances and fate of other species that accepted the bargain and got assimilated" is at least refreshingly honest.

It sidesteps a lot of ethical questions that I would like to press Zor for an answer on, of course. But then, sidestepping ethical questions in favor of "they have brute force you have no choice" is easy fun!

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Ralin » 2017-02-15 08:11pm

Simon_Jester wrote:The argument "we're in no position to bargain, question the aliens, or investigate the circumstances and fate of other species that accepted the bargain and got assimilated" is at least refreshingly honest.

It sidesteps a lot of ethical questions that I would like to press Zor for an answer on, of course. But then, sidestepping ethical questions in favor of "they have brute force you have no choice" is easy fun!


I think that the ethical side of it comes from the fact that the Cats are offering us considerably more than they have to when it would likely be simpler and safer from their perspective to just blast us into the Stone Age. They may not be an especially moral or charitable polity, but the fact that they're giving us any sort of say in the matter puts them well above many or most other conceivable options.

I mean, they say 'several' species have gone extinct this way (extinct in a way that means they still have living descendants who are presumably living happy and comfortably lives, mind), not that all of their client species have. Even if this plan is engineered to push us toward that outcome strong social and economic pressure isn't the same as coercion. We'd have a choice, and several generations from now there's a good chance we'll have the science and technology to push back if they ever decide to take the choice away from us. This is a whole lot better than the alternatives for me personally and humanity generally, and it's way better than what we Americans offered the people we colonized.

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-15 08:31pm

I'd argue that even so, the situation is questionable enough to merit some serious attempts to investigate and probe the Nirtalm's philosophy, rationale for behaving as they do, and the truthfulness of what they're saying.

Could the deal be worse? Definitely. Is the deal clearly good? No. Are the Nirtalm behaving in a way that makes them worthy of trust? No.

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Tribble » 2017-02-15 08:51pm

Ralin wrote: I think that the ethical side of it comes from the fact that the Cats are offering us considerably more than they have to when it would likely be simpler and safer from their perspective to just blast us into the Stone Age.


IMO their offer is solely due to the fact that like the Space Deer, they see us a potential resources to use in their war. The difference is that the Space Deer were never intending nor threatening genocide.

And speaking of the war, what are their long term goals against the Space Deer and their vassals states? Are they planning on eventually having some kind of peace agreement, or is their plan to never stop until all the Space Deer / vassals are either dead or converted into Space Cats?

Ralin]They may not be an especially moral or charitable polity, but the fact that they're giving us any sort of say in the matter puts them well above many or most other conceivable options.[/quote]

Their choice is "join us or die." Perhaps that's better than American standards, but not by much.

[quote="Ralin wrote:
I mean, they say 'several' species have gone extinct this way (extinct in a way that means they still have living descendants who are presumably living happy and comfortably lives, mind), not that all of their client species have.


We don't know how many client states they have, so this is unknown. Perhaps Zor should elaborate.


Ralin wrote: Even if this plan is engineered to push us toward that outcome strong social and economic pressure isn't the same as coercion.


The coercion existed from the start with their "join us or die" demands, and it would still be hanging over humanity until every human went extinct. Simon Jester came up with a pretty plausible way on how they would plan out our eventual extinction.

Ralin wrote: We'd have a choice, and several generations from now there's a good chance we'll have the science and technology to push back if they ever decide to take the choice away from us. This is a whole lot better than the alternatives for me personally and humanity generally, and it's way better than what we Americans offered the people we colonized.


Ya, our choice remains "stay with the Space Cats or die." If they were willing to kill us all to keep the Space Deer from possibly taking over they are more than willing to kill us if we one day decide to leave. And given their civilization's total size we would never be a match for them, barring massive technological advances that we somehow prevent the Space Cats from getting. Or perhaps at some point joining with the Space Deer should the war carry on that long.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also Zor, I'm still waiting for a response to my earlier questions, and I have a few more:


Are the Space Cat's demands for permanent conversion negotiable?

Are the Space Cat's demands that only Space Cats get to be citizens (no matter how much humanity helps out) negotiable?

Are the Space willing to let s directly communicate with the Space Deer without their interference?

Are there client species within their Commonwealth that do not eventually go extinct, or is it the Space Cat's plans to completely assimilate them all?

What are the Space Cats intentions towards other species in general? Is "join us or die" their standard policy towards all species, or is that something specific to Earth due to their current war with the Space Deer?

What are the Space Cat's goals towards the Space Deer long term? Are they willing to for a permanent peace agreement if the terms are favourable, or is their intention to kill / convert all the Space Deer and their vassal states and there will be no peace until then?

What happens when the war ends? Would the Space Cats be willing to reconsider their positions, or would they remain in the "join us or die" mode towards humanity until we all go extinct?

Is the dislike the Space Cats seem to have towards other species universal? Is it an aspect of their culture? Are there any divisions over issues like this? Is it just current government policy and subject to change? Or is this some kind of biological component of their species? If it's the ladder, was this natural or did they genetically modify themselves to behave that way?

If a human being gets converted into a Space Cat, does that the former human being is now bothered by the presence of other humans and wants them to become Space Cats as well?

Are there any Space Cats that would want to become human (or other species)? If so, how do the rest of the Space Cats treat them?

What happens to Earth's human population as the proportion of Space Cat's increase? Does their plan remain strictly as it was, or is their the chance that they start introducing measures similar to those Simon Jester described on the first page to help "accelerate" the assimilation process?

What happens if one day after the war humans demand that the Space Cats give humans the ability to convert back if they wish? Will the Space Cats oblige, or will they say no? If they say no and the humans decide to leave, what will the Space cats do in response? Will they allow us to, or will they level the planet to make sure we will never be a potential threat and/or join the Space Deer down the road (assuming the Space Deer have survived until then of course).



Obviously we have no choice in the matter if we want to avoid being immediately killed, but I'd like to know how much wiggle room we have.
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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-15 09:55pm

That last part. Very much so.

Basically, there is NO scenario under which it makes sense for us to agree to this unthinkingly or uncritically, or without actually planning ahead to know what our options are and what we're being asked to do. Depending on how the space cats answer these questions, we might honestly be better off saying "no thanks, we'd prefer to be bombed into the Stone Age."

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Lone Browncoat » 2017-02-16 12:03am

Simon_Jester wrote:Basically, there is NO scenario under which it makes sense for us to agree to this unthinkingly or uncritically, "


I myself wasn't saying to do so either, for if we accept the role they want us in, as aux/reserve soldiers, humans, converted or not, should expect to be dealing with hostile populations. To quote JTK, conquest is easy, control is not. Perhaps that is why they would value us, we have centuries of experience being on both sides of the fence as occupiers, insurgents and resistance movements. Not that hard to review history and adapt/stay flexible and wary when dealing with occupied worlds.
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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-16 12:41am

That case ALSO should make us think carefully. Among other things, are the cat people going to insist on the "right" of conquered/occupied alien populations to mutate into cat people, and offer them a deal like the one they're offering us? Because that might well cause a lot of resistance that is otherwise entirely unnecessary.

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Tribble » 2017-02-16 01:29am

Well I have two potential "worst case scenario" ideas which may help stave off human extinction, though I must admit both of them are ethically wrong and ruthless and I wouldn't actually support them in real life. I would hope that standard negotiations would work without humanity having to resort to either.

Plan A:

If the Space Cats simply will not budge on their demands, and will never change their minds, we will abide by their demands... but make it a law that everyone who volunteers to become a Space Cat shall be immediately stripped of their citizenship and permanently barred from landing on Earth and on any of the human planets within humanity's zone of influence. Forever. And all of their descendants will also be permanently barred. So they can go ahead and volunteer, but they must accept that by turning on humanity and collaborating with the Space Cats out of their own self interests there will be consequences and they and their descendants will never be allowed on Earth again.

A law like that should cut down on the number of volunteers rather sharply, I would think. And due to the permanent ban Earth probably won't reach the point where Space Cats would form a significant portion of the population (barring massive immigration on the "normal" Space Cat's part, which seems very unlikely based on the OP). It might even be possible to state that the only Space Cats allowed on the planet are the ones running the clinics since Earth wouldn't be a part of the Commonwealth and thus the Space Cats wouldn't qualify as Earth citizens.

It's unknown whether the Space Cats will actually care since we are still legally fulfilling their treaty obligations and they did setup a 24ly "Terran Interest Zone".

Plan B:

Possibly in conjunction with Plan A (though Plan A may hurt more than help) or the Space Cat's say "if you try to implement Plan A we will kill you all now". We agree to all of their demands... and immediately start planning and preparing long term for a guerilla war campaign / rebellion. Gather as much equipment / technological knowledge as possible, try to recruit allies as much as possible, try to secretly get in contact with the Space Deer and see if there is anyway possible way to one day join forces. Try to keep the "volunteers" to remain loyal to humanity* (which is why Plan A may hurt more than help) and have them infiltrate as much as the Space Cat's society as possible. Then when the critical moment arrives... stab those bastards in the back and join forces with the Space Deer while our infiltrators cause as much damage and chaos as possible. While odds of success are low, they are still better than the 100% odds of extinction under the Space Cats if that is what they are planning.

*though this heavily depends on what the conversion process does to their memories and personality.
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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Tribble » 2017-02-16 01:55am

A softer version of Plan A might be that volunteers are not allowed to return to Earth or any of its colonies so long as they remain Space Cat (ditto for their descendants). This could put some pressure on the Space Cats to allow them to return to human form, even if they won't give humans the tech directly. If not... well, the volunteers made their choice.

(Again I wouldn't support this in real life).
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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Ralin » 2017-02-16 07:22am

I'd still like a summary of what rights and responsibilities come with full citizenship for newly converted former humans. What opportunities does an earth Cat with no real education in galactic science and society have available to them other than the military?

Also is there less-than-full citizenship available to non-converts?

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Zor » 2017-02-16 11:46pm

Tribble wrote:And speaking of the war, what are their long term goals against the Space Deer and their vassals states? Are they planning on eventually having some kind of peace agreement, or is their plan to never stop until all the Space Deer / vassals are either dead or converted into Space Cats?

...

What are the Space Cat's goals towards the Space Deer long term? Are they willing to for a permanent peace agreement if the terms are favourable, or is their intention to kill / convert all the Space Deer and their vassal states and there will be no peace until then?

The Nirtalm's objectives in this war is to break the Hierarchy in a similar way to how the allies broke the nazis. It's ability to wage war is to be destroyed, it's existing government is to be dissolved, it's vassals made independent or (if they choose) become client states of the Commonwealth. Genocide is not an end goal. If the Hierarchy's government gave an unconditional surrender, they'd accept it. The problem is that the Ksel basically program themselves to be devout followers of their religion which does not approve of the Nirtalm for a variety of reasons, prime among them is that the Commonwealth is a threat to their expansionist ambitions but the fact that they absorb species into themselves before they can be put under their 'custodianship' and be 'purified of the taint of the six anti-gods' does play it's role in their negative view on the Nirtalm.

Are the Space Cat's demands for permanent conversion negotiable?

In so far as the cats specifically won't design methods to reverse the process or assist in any human led initiative to such plan, no they won't. If humans develop those methods on their own that will be allowed.
Are the Space Cat's demands that only Space Cats get to be citizens (no matter how much humanity helps out) negotiable?

Pretty much, it's been standing law for several centuries.
Are the Space willing to let us directly communicate with the Space Deer without their interference?

They would allow humans to attempt to make contact and they might allow the Heirarchy to send a courier ship to earth under escort if three quarters or more of humanity (per capita) has not decided to side the with the Commonwealth. Assuming that the Ksel comply.

Are there client species within their Commonwealth that do not eventually go extinct, or is it the Space Cat's plans to completely assimilate them all?

There are several client states of the Nirtalm which have been as such for several centuries and have seen a net increase in their population despite the fact that some of their people elect to become Nirtalm. There are also a couple of species which are steadily being absorbed.
What are the Space Cats intentions towards other species in general? Is "join us or die" their standard policy towards all species, or is that something specific to Earth due to their current war with the Space Deer?

The Commonwealth's population has the belief that eventually all truly self aware species when given the choice will see the logic in becoming Nirtalm. They also generally insist that this process should be left in the hands of the individual. They are not above using soft power or incentives to encourage individuals to do so however.
What happens when the war ends? Would the Space Cats be willing to reconsider their positions, or would they remain in the "join us or die" mode towards humanity until we all go extinct?

If the war ends, they'd still require that conversion clinics be operated in human space as part of the client state arrangement. This would come with some favorable trade deals and connections. Breaking ties with the Commonwealth would still be possible, but the set up would probably lead to economic crash.

Is the dislike the Space Cats seem to have towards other species universal? Is it an aspect of their culture? Are there any divisions over issues like this? Is it just current government policy and subject to change? Or is this some kind of biological component of their species? If it's the ladder, was this natural or did they genetically modify themselves to behave that way?

The Nirtalm's do have a culture which is rather bigoted against other species. Even so they feel that allowing non Nirtalm to become Nirtalm is the optimal solution for both parties. They generally prefer species that are more like them physically, but that's not universal.

If a human being gets converted into a Space Cat, does that the former human being is now bothered by the presence of other humans and wants them to become Space Cats as well?

Depends if said former human have those views beforehand as a human.

Are there any Space Cats that would want to become human (or other species)? If so, how do the rest of the Space Cats treat them?

There are some, but its fairly rare. They're generally seen as being unorthodox, but are not actively supressed. Some individuals alternate between the Aquatic strain and the original Terrestrial strain.

What happens to Earth's human population as the proportion of Space Cat's increase? Does their plan remain strictly as it was, or is their the chance that they start introducing measures similar to those Simon Jester described on the first page to help "accelerate" the assimilation process?

Eventually if a decent chunk of the population of a client states converts Commonwealth offer integration. If a Terran nation accepts rule by the Nirtalm, then citizenship and all the benefits there-to come to all converted Nirtalm (as well as a voice in their government) and all non Nirtalm are residents who have some legal rights but can only gain citizenship if they naturalize.

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Zor » 2017-02-17 04:49am

Also here's an image of a Ksel.
Image

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-17 06:53am

Zor wrote:...Genocide is not an end goal [of space cat war aims].
Uh... it kind of seems to be since the space cats believe that there should be this one-way ratchet towards 'everyone is a space cat,' even if they aren't always aggressive about promoting that idea.

Are the Space Cat's demands for permanent conversion negotiable?
In so far as the cats specifically won't design methods to reverse the process or assist in any human led initiative to such plan, no they won't. If humans develop those methods on their own that will be allowed.
WHY are the space cats adamant on this point? You never satisfactorily explained this part, and it's kind of at the center of a lot of the concerns about the space cats. They seem untrustworthy in large part because they have a pretty clearcut issue with racial supremacy, with the biological form of "being a space cat" as the mark of supremacy.

Are the Space Cat's demands that only Space Cats get to be citizens (no matter how much humanity helps out) negotiable?
Pretty much, it's been standing law for several centuries.
Why do they have this law? Are all other beings just automatically so inferior in their eyes that they can never be worthy of legal equality? If they are so hung up on physical form that taking a human brain and splicing it into a space cat body turns you from a total inferior into a superior being worthy of galactic citizenship... Why do they expect everyone else in the galaxy to not be equally hung up on the physical form of their own species?

Or does the process erase the human mind and in effect create a space cat newborn as a 'blank slate?' In which case all claims about it NOT KILLING PEOPLE are pretty much a lie.

Are the Space willing to let us directly communicate with the Space Deer without their interference?

They would allow humans to attempt to make contact and they might allow the Heirarchy to send a courier ship to earth under escort if three quarters or more of humanity (per capita) has not decided to side the with the Commonwealth. Assuming that the Ksel comply.
"Three quarters" sounds like the kind of precondition that gets set specifically so as to make it impossible to actually get the request granted. Why such stringent requirements? What are they afraid of, if what they're telling us is true? Why would they worry about the possibility of us talking directly to the Ksel? And for that matter, why would they seem to worry LESS about us talking to the Ksel if MORE human nations seem uninterested in their offer?

Are there client species within their Commonwealth that do not eventually go extinct, or is it the Space Cat's plans to completely assimilate them all?
There are several client states of the Nirtalm which have been as such for several centuries and have seen a net increase in their population despite the fact that some of their people elect to become Nirtalm. There are also a couple of species which are steadily being absorbed.
What's the difference between those species? Why do some species 'voluntarily' wipe out their own phenotype and cultures while others don't?

What are the Space Cats intentions towards other species in general? Is "join us or die" their standard policy towards all species, or is that something specific to Earth due to their current war with the Space Deer?
The Commonwealth's population has the belief that eventually all truly self aware species when given the choice will see the logic in becoming Nirtalm. They also generally insist that this process should be left in the hands of the individual. They are not above using soft power or incentives to encourage individuals to do so however.
Right. Somehow I'm seeing this unfolding as I outlined- with the 'mostly technocratic' space cat inspired planetary government, with all power in the hands of the full-citizen space cats (both those who were formerly natives of the planet, and those from other planets) declaring that it's time to start sterilizing or otherwise withering away the native population that didn't mutate into space cats.

Is the dislike the Space Cats seem to have towards other species universal? Is it an aspect of their culture? Are there any divisions over issues like this? Is it just current government policy and subject to change? Or is this some kind of biological component of their species? If it's the ladder, was this natural or did they genetically modify themselves to behave that way?
The Nirtalm's do have a culture which is rather bigoted against other species. Even so they feel that allowing non Nirtalm to become Nirtalm is the optimal solution for both parties. They generally prefer species that are more like them physically, but that's not universal.
Okay, so spce cat racial supremacism is confirmed.

If a human being gets converted into a Space Cat, does that the former human being is now bothered by the presence of other humans and wants them to become Space Cats as well?
Depends if said former human have those views beforehand as a human.
Exactly how do humans retain all their views and attitudes when their brain is being physically restructured to use new and alien neurochemistry? This sounds like the perfect opportunity for the space cats to slip in subtle reprogramming.

Are there any Space Cats that would want to become human (or other species)? If so, how do the rest of the Space Cats treat them?
There are some, but its fairly rare. They're generally seen as being unorthodox, but are not actively supressed. Some individuals alternate between the Aquatic strain and the original Terrestrial strain.
Exactly how does that work if the space cats are adamant about not developing technology to mutate space cats into non-space-cats?

What happens to Earth's human population as the proportion of Space Cat's increase? Does their plan remain strictly as it was, or is their the chance that they start introducing measures similar to those Simon Jester described on the first page to help "accelerate" the assimilation process?
Eventually if a decent chunk of the population of a client states converts Commonwealth offer integration. If a Terran nation accepts rule by the Nirtalm, then citizenship and all the benefits there-to come to all converted Nirtalm (as well as a voice in their government) and all non Nirtalm are residents who have some legal rights but can only gain citizenship if they naturalize.

Zor
This sounds like it IS intended to lead to the kind of measures I described (e.g. legal limits on reproduction by native species with the space cat population of the planet having no such limits) intended to bring about eventual extinction of the subject species.

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Re: Earth gets drawn into an alien conflict (RAR!)

Postby Tribble » 2017-02-17 10:37pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Right. Somehow I'm seeing this unfolding as I outlined- with the 'mostly technocratic' space cat inspired planetary government, with all power in the hands of the full-citizen space cats (both those who were formerly natives of the planet, and those from other planets) declaring that it's time to start sterilizing or otherwise withering away the native population that didn't mutate into space cats.


Space Cat racial/species supremacism: confirmed.
Space Cat's unwillingness and/or inability to change their ideology long term: confirmed.
Space Cat's plans for eventual assimilation of all species they encounter: confirmed.
Space Cat's willingness to use both hard and soft power to achieve assimilation of all species they encounter: confirmed.
One of the primary causes for the war being the Space Cat's insistence on eventually assimilating everyone they come across including the Space Deer: confirmed.

The Space Cats are in essence a version of the Borg, though unlike the Borg they are sometimes willing to play the long game rather than attempt the assimilation of everyone all at once via brute force.

That being said, we cannot resist them... directly. At least not for awhile. But assuming that they are being honest and sincere regarding their treaty negotiations, then there is enough wiggle room based on the OP for us to largely avoid their assimilation plans provided we are somewhat ruthless towards the humans who volunteer to join them.

Technically speaking, we would be a Common-wealth "protectorate" but not an actual member of the Commonwealth itself. Also the Space Cats have agreed to setup a 24 light year "Terran Interest Zone." I take this as meaning something similar to NATO, with the Space Cats as the USA and us as a small nation like Canada. While our treaty obligations would require us to send resources and troops to the Space Cats, our territory still forms a separate nation. Just like how in NATO being a US citizen doesn't automatically grant you Canadian Citizenship, being a member of the Commonwealth does not give you automatic citizenship to Earth or any other planet within the 24ly "Terran Interest" Zone.

So presuming we want our species to survive IMO the solution would be:

The only non-human "Commonwealth" members are those directly involved in the "volunteer clinics" military defences, setting up industries etc. They are only permitted to remain so long as they are working in those areas, and they must depart once their work term is finished. In other words they have a temporary work visa. No non-human families / children are permitted to accompany them, and any non-human children born on Terran worlds are not given citizenship and are required to leave the moment they are able to do so. However, any Commonwealth member who decides to become human may be considered for permanent Terran residency status and eventual citizenship provided they remain human. If they change their minds later on and become non-human again, they will lose their status and be required to leave unless they are working in the volunteer clinics / space defence.

Similar thing for the volunteers. So long as they are non-human they are not permitted to be on any territory within the Terran Zone. Nor will their descendants. If they become human again they may be permitted to regain their citizenship.

Under this scheme the Space Cat population should remain low enough not to cause problems for the foreseeable future.

I suspect that the other species did something along these lines in order to preserve themselves, and assuming that the Space Cats are being sincere they shouldn't have any problems with this as they will be getting the troops / resources they want.
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