Darth Wong wrote:
One thing that's been bothering me: isn't it a bit odd for a demon who wants to imprison and torture every last human being to be shocked at the ruthlessness of humans who run down fleeing enemies? Or is his shock merely a reflection of his sense of entitlement at being a "superior" being to whom such savagery should not rightfully be applied?
It's not uncommon at all, Mike. It's rather something that uncivilized and even outright savage peoples around the world commented on (like the Mahdi in the Sudan in the 1880s) when confronted with modern technological warfare--it was so mechanistic
, so disconnected from the normal rituals of fighting and killing. They would be shocked at how disciplined modern, western troops were ("They all died in place, falling like stones, firing their rifles to the last", as the Zulus said of the British they defeated in a pyrrhic victory), and they were shocked at how they kept on pursuing defeated enemies until their utter destruction. That was actually something which only really Caesar did before Napoleon, who refined the killing of defeated armies into a science which allowed him to conquer all of Europe, and spread the practice generally. It's quite likely that no Hellish army has ever pursued another that has been defeated; winning means it is time to negotiate to them. To the post-18th century western General, winning the battle means it is time to ruthlessly pursue and systematically butcher the fleeing enemy until they surrender or are utterly annihilated. THAT is what is horrifying demons--it is something they simply have never seen in thousands of years, nor can they imagine in their style of warfare.
The other horrifying thing is how IMPERSONAL it is. In demon warfare, they fight each other, they wound each other, they eat each other--and it's up close and personal. You see your enemy's blood run, you see them bleed out, you tear out their guts. It's the same thing for when they torture humans--they rape them, they gut them, they flay them.
Systematic, mechanized, impersonal butchery is TERRIFYING to a bronze-age mind. Demons are no different there. It's no longer like they're fighting creatures, it's like they're fighting a force of nature
. They can't stand their ground and slash at their opponent with their claws; instead, there's simply shrapnel from massed barrages exploding their comrades seemingly at random, the demon next to you has his head suddenly explode out of nowhere, you step on something you think is stable ground and it blows up and you lose a leg, etc, etc, and you never see the people or things killing you
. That is what is terrifying them, and making them start to think the humans are utterly horrible. For them, torture and warfare are personal affairs. For modern humans, they're no different than assembling cars at a factory.
Winston Spencer Churchill put it best when it termed it (again in reference to the wars with the Mahdi in the 1880s and 1890s in the Sudan) as "Scientific War". The demons fight primitive, tribal wars. They're horrified, shocked, and scared, because for the first time, they've encountered, and been ground up by, the machinery of Scientific War
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, a nBSG continuation story. Updated to Chapter 4.0 -- 14 January 2013.