Sector G3 (on the border of H4)Diplomatic Station Dis
Representative Lilith ran through the halls of the station, the pitter-patter of her footsteps echoing across the empty corridors, the train of her dress sweeping the floor behind her. The train, and indeed the dress itself were parts of the succubus’s body, but the floors of the station were spotless-clean, sanitized and even sterilized, so Lilith was not concerned. She had far more important things to worry about.
A human, or even a Bragulan would have been winded by the mad dash across the station, but Lilith appeared to have been unaffected when she had arrived to her private sanctum inside the inner core of the station. Out of some strange compulsion, she had taken a form similar to those of the original inhabitants of the world below, but as strong and agile as they were, even their bodies could not match daemonic flesh, melded and sculpted by the power of the immortal mind dwelling inside it. Lilith was a succubus, a Greater Daemon, and her body was a testament to the power infusing her. Representative Lilith
Quickly, she grabbed a squeaking Living Brick and focused, her mind becoming one with the station’s intelligence, then reaching across space in a stream of submesonic particles as she called out to her target, her Master….”
“Yes?” she felt the presence of The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature and immediately prostrated herself before the gaze of the Greater Daemon.
“Master, this unworthy creature has news,” she said. “We have received more messages from the aliens.”
“I see…” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature considered the situation. “Tell me, where is Shroom?”
“She is readying herself in preparation for her departure. She is…changing. I thought it best not to disturb her.”
“You thought correctly,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature agreed. “But she is to report here immediately as soon as she is available.”
“Of course, Master,” it was a trivial thing for Lilith to send the command across the neural link, alerting Dis of their Master’s desire. “Do you wish to examine the messages?”
“I already have,” Lilith could swear she could sense The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature smirking, although she knew such an emotion was alien to it. “I have commanded Dis to forward all transmissions. I have been timing your response and it has been satisfactorily efficient.” So, the mad dash was not in vain
Lilith quickly quashed the thought. Her master should not be able to read her mind from fifty lightyears away without using her Name, not with the wards constricting both their powers, but caution was the first thing a daemon learnt. Caution and fear.
“This unworthy thing is glad to have pleased the Master,” she said instead.
“The messages,” her Master interrupted. As much as The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature enjoyed the obeisance and groveling of its subjects, they took up time and any delay was a dereliction of Duty.
“The first message is from an entity called the Technocracy of Umeria,” Lilith began. “They are more humans, and located on the other side of the galaxy. But they are…interesting.”
We, the ruling council of the Technocracy of Umeria, send cordial greetings to the civilization known as the Lost.
We find your first contact message to be an interesting variant on the norms typical of interstellar civilizations greeting each other for the first time. Few beings we know of devote much time or energy to the discussion of their basic motives, and so it surprised us to find a culture that would consider the basic motives of others to be more important than all other considerations. Indeed, the nature of your message has already attracted interest from a number of prominent Umerian sociologists, and we would like to contact you with an eye to dispatching a xenosociological research mission to your state in the next several megaseconds, should you consent to such a thing.
Addressing your questions required an extensive conversation among the Council, and some of us feel we owe your first contact section a modest measure of gratitude for asking the questions in the first place; they proved quite invigorating. While we did manage to settle on a broadly consistent ordering of priorities quickly, disagreement over the details took quite some time to resolve.
We settled on the following answers, in the interests of free and open discussion of national motives and interests and for the sake of greater understanding among the stars. While not every statement here represents the opinion of every Technarch, let alone of every citizen of the Technocracy, all have received the approval of the Council of Technarchs in formal conclave.
With respect to the first portion of your questions, the most compatible statements are listed first, least compatible are listed last, and all statements are listed with associated commentary.
“Indeed,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature agreed. “Worm!” it called and suddenly Lilith felt the presence of another, familiar mind beside her. “What do you think?”
The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos, for it was the newcomer, pondered the question for scant seconds.
“They admit that our message had taken up time from their decision-making structure, yet somehow they thank
us for it. This time could have surely been spent on internal matters. I…am surprised by their response.”
“Can you tell us why they have responded thusly? Do they value first contact messages from random civilization more than they do the efficient running of their own civilization?” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature asked.
“No, Master,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos said. “I am not sure, but I think our message had made them examine their own civilization critically to find out the answers, and it is this that they are grateful to us for.”
“There is also the matter of learning,” Lilith added. “They have prioritized it even above their own creature comforts.”
“So it would appear that they are curious
animals.” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature muttered.
“It is more than that, Master,” Lilith disagreed. “Look at these statements.”
6) Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge. Fortunately for us, there are many mysteries in the universe yet unexplained.
This is highly compatible with the Technocracy's values and culture. Indeed, "compatible" is not a suitably strong word in Galstandard English; "resonant" might be a better choice. Ignoring persons of no account, it would be difficult to find any citizen of the Technocracy who disagreed with this proposition.
We would encourage all citizens to participate in scientific endeavors if their abilities lay along those lines. Since the majority of the population will likely not be suited for this, the state would encourage mass participation in culture and the arts, along whatever lines of cultural development seemed consistent with maintaining the galaxy in the existing utopian condition
The most alarming prospect we could readily imagine in this situation would be reaching the "end of science," a notion often thrown about in the past by those who believed all relevant knowledge about the universe to already have been discovered. If we were to run out of viable avenues of scientific discovery, our civilization might well stagnate entirely unless we could find new paths to pursue, paths we cannot predict from our present condition.
“These are pretty strong indicators of a purpose, yes.” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos agreed. “I would say that they are actually the first human civilization which certainly has something resembling a genuine Purpose, as vague and ill-defined as it is.”
“I believe we will need to investigate this further. In addition, they might have useful information available for trade,” Lilith said.
There was a short pause as The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature considered this.
“Agreed,” it said at last. “They are to be assigned medium priority, and to be contacted when the opportunity arises.”
“It shall be done, Master,” Lilith bowed. “The second message, it comes from a non-human civilization. This “Bragule””
“It is unfortunate that Shroom is not present,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature. “She had done extensive research in preparation for her visit there.”
“Do not worry, Master, I have full access to her materials and I am analyzing them right now with the aid of the station’s computers,” Lilith said. “It is…very strange.”
“I can see that myself,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature nodded. “Very strange indeed.”
Shroom Man 777 wrote:
[This message comes after
transmission of the lost.]BRAGULAN RESPONSE TO THE LOST
From the People's Department of Limited Foreign Interaction and Human Affairs
The Bragulan Star Empire cordially welcomes your nation to the intragalactic cosmopolitical stage and as such, in the comradely spirit of glasnot and bragstroika, shall answer your questions with full honesty to enhance your cultural learnings of Bragulan Byzonism for make benefit your mysterious nation of the Lost.
Da. To truly show the glouries of Bragulanity and Byzonism, it is most regrettable but we will not be arranging your provided statements according to their compatibility with your civilization’s objectives, principles, and values and so forth.
Instead, we shall arrange statements of our own making that are ideologically correct and thus completely compatible and in keeping with the doctrines of Byzonism, for the motherland and the proud proletarian peoples of Bragulanity.
1.) The power of Byzon is everything; defeat is absurd!
2.) The unquestionable might of Bragulanity is its own reward, to both Bragule and all peoples of the universe.
3.) The Bragulan way is the only
way. Therefore, it is only fitting that we force it to the galaxy.
4.) To forever stomp on the faces of humanity and other Byzonically-challenged species.
5.) "Few things are nobler than the quest for knowledge." This statement is agreeable to Byzonist ideology for the Imperator Byzon is the Coryphaeus of Science
and Brilliant Genius of Bragulanity
6.) With this knowledge, all others shall be insects to our
grand scheme of things, and they must be careful not to be stomped on by us
7.) The universe is a dangerous place for we
are dangerous in turn. We shall threaten all without suffering the consequences.
8.) The primary purpose of any civilization is to ensure the Bragulanity and Byzonism of its citizens.
In supreme Byzonic consideration, we have worded the above statements as closely as possible to the original ones you have provided.
II. Hypothetical Scenario: It is the year 4400 according to Standard Human Calendar. Your civilization has achieved complete dominance in the Galaxy. Every one of your rivals is either destroyed or has been converted into an ally. Your citizens are free from want and need. Your civilization is free to undertake any project it chooses at its leisure, with the resources of the entire galaxy at its disposal. Please indicate the primary focus of your civilization’s energies and attention in this hypothetical situation.
In your hypothetical scenario, in the year 4400 all standard and non-standard human calendars will be burned in the ash heap of history along with those who have refused to accept the greatness of Byzonism and Bragulanity - as stated by your scenario. In this idyllic state of Byzonist supremacy, mayhap the Bragulan Star Empire will finally find rest as its dominion over the galaxy has been assured.
But the struggles of internationalist inter-speciesist Bragulan Byzonism never cease, and thus the Bragulan Star Empire will never find rest. With recent discoveries of intergalactic travel and even confirmation of the existence of other universes, it is thus necessary that Bragule uses its assured dominion over the galaxy to bring about its assured domination over this universe, and all others.
"Byzonism seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The Byzantine Imperium, Humanist Union and the Centralite Fascists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where all beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
" - Quotations from Imperator Byzon
chapter 489, verse 1
“They have refused to answer our question, and yet also answered them despite themselves,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos was surprised. “Could this be intentional?”
“I would say yes and no,” Lilith said. “They have tried to answer our question, but their Purpose makes it impossible. It is their belief that their way is superior and so they must
assert their dominance, even in a diplomatic communiqué. It is their Purpose, the reason for their existence. Look at their statement concerning the nature of power….”
The three daemons examined it in silence. It was true, and they knew it. It was not merely truth, but the TRUTH, self-evident to anyone who had ever experienced the pleasure that only comes from complete domination of another, the feeling of complete power, the ability to re-shape its very being at a whim. Somehow, this backwards, barely-sapient beast Byzon had stumbled on one of the great truths, and this alone had made them worthy of investigation.
Suddenly, Lilith head footsteps behind her, the soft sound of bare flesh walking on metal floor. She did not turn, but merely willed her hair to part, revealing the blood-red eye on her back.Emissary Shroom
“Shroom,” she greeted her counterpart.
“Summoned, the unworthy thing appears,” the succubus responded, but not to Lilith. She held a Living Brick in her hands, but aside from the arrow-shaped wards placed on her body upon her transition, she had nothing else. It was obvious she heeded the instructions and came immediately, not stopping even to collect her clothes. She closed her eyes, and seconds later, Lilith could feel her mind besides hers in the virtual space of the conference.
“Ah, Shroom, your transition went well,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature nodded. “You must compose a response to these Bragulans immediately, and you will depart as soon as you are ready. “
“Of course, Master,” the succubus bowed.
“At last, we come to the matter of this Humanist Union,” the Greater Daemon continued. “They have responded once more. That is good.”
(Attached to the Humanist Union's message are a myriad of documents pertaining to the establishment of formal trade agreements, the exchange of diplomatic envoys, and non-aggression proposal. Included among the myriad of uninteresting dross one might expect to find in such typical exchanges is a brief section detailing, of all things, an absurdly popular (some would say absurdly stupid) sitcom.)
"The cultural entity called 'Animal House' is what is referred to as 'entertainment.' Entertainment is media developed for the purpose of providing satisfaction and distraction to sapient organic life forms, and takes a myriad of forms. 'Animal House' is what is referred to as 'comedy,' which can be understood as entertainment media designed to stimulate the mind though methods that produce an intelectually pleasurable sensation. The situations depicted in 'Animal House' - though not true of all entertainment media - are fictional. Entertainment media are also used by corporate and government entities to encourage a particular way of thinking, or to distract consumers from other events."
“They seek to establish some sort of non-aggression pact,” Lilith observed.
“And they have attached an explanation of Animal House,” Shroom said. “But I do not think it is correct. They say its purpose is to “stimulate the mind” and “produce an intelectually pleasurable sensation,” yet all our test subjects have displayed the exactly opposite reaction.”
“If this is a secret Bragulan or Solarian plot to brainwash the galaxy, they may already be affected,” The Eternal Search For Order In Chaos pointed out. “The show is probably popular amongst their populace due to their anti-alien views.”
“Indeed,” The Enormous Struggle Of Fighting Against One’s Own Nature said. “This will require more investigation. We will establish contact with them at the first opportunity. You will now return to your duties.”
The three daemons bowed as one and severed the connection.
Have a very nice day.