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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

you are the nightmare fuel race

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Junghalli
PostPosted: 2012-04-17 08:44pm 

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Purple wrote:
The aliens meanwhile will have evolved into lacking said sympathy for animals (they have to lest reproduction becomes mental torture for them).

I don't see why this necessarily follows. Humans evolved to eat animals for food but we still are capable of empathizing and sympathizing with them. And killing for food would probably mean more frequent animal killing and hence stronger selection pressure against finding it mentally troubling than killing for reproduction.
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Purple
PostPosted: 2012-04-17 08:48pm 

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Junghalli wrote:
Purple wrote:
The aliens meanwhile will have evolved into lacking said sympathy for animals (they have to lest reproduction becomes mental torture for them).

I don't see why this necessarily follows. Humans evolved to eat animals for food but we still are capable of empathizing and sympathizing with them. And killing for food would probably mean more frequent animal killing and hence stronger selection pressure against finding it mentally troubling than killing for reproduction.

Frequency is irrelevant. Reproduction is a far more vital function than eating something that forms at most 50% of our diet. As in, a human being can go without meat but the alien creature can't go without reproduction. Furthermore it is a well known evolutionary mechanism to encourage breeding through making it the most pleasurable thing possible. So the evolutionary pressure to make reproduction pleasurable is great. Hell, forget empathy. The creatures might just evolve into trans species sadism.
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Junghalli
PostPosted: 2012-04-17 08:57pm 

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Purple wrote:
Frequency is irrelevant. Reproduction is a far more vital function than eating something that forms at most 50% of our diet. As in, a human being can go without meat but the alien creature can't go without reproduction.

Using the United States as an example, about 3% of the populace is vegetarian, and only around half of those claimed to be vegetarians because of animal welfare concerns. This doesn't sound to me like self-induced starvation due to not liking to eat animals would have been a big selection pressure if we were carnivores.

Granted ~10% apparently follow a "vegetarian-inclined" diet.
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Grumman
PostPosted: 2012-04-17 09:06pm 

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Joined: 2011-12-10 10:13am
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Purple wrote:
You are looking at this from a purely human morality standpoint. A standpoint that begins with the emotional attachment for humans due to being one combined with a misguided empathy for animals. The aliens meanwhile will have evolved into lacking said sympathy for animals (they have to lest reproduction becomes mental torture for them). And once you don't have sympathy for animals there is no reason to feel it for a random alien creature just because it is sapient.

The idea of the thread is explicitly about how to avoid letting your past experiences and non-experiences (and the resulting evolutionary pressures) drive you to a self-destructive result. Your position is simply that you can't, and also that your species is incapable of acting in a way in which your extermination would not be fully justified.
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Alkaloid
PostPosted: 2012-04-17 10:23pm 

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Joined: 2011-03-21 07:59am
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Even ignoring morality Purple, it is still a terrible idea. I eat meat, I wear leather and have no real qualms about either, I've helped slaughter animals myself in order to eat them. What I didn't do was decide I wanted to eat meat and immediately start hunting a Bengal tiger.

Humans are the apex predator of an entire planetary ecosystem, we have driven species to extinction for no other reason than 'they were there' or 'they were tasty,' and as a species would be unlikely to have qualms about doing the same thing to an alien species that was a threat to our position as biggest baddest kid on the block, especially one as horrible as this. You aren't talking about some kids just disappearing, you are talking about creating an entire town, one that has the population to sustain itself with complete isolation from anyone, ever, genetically stable enough to breed for you despite you killing a portion of every generation before natural causes even begins to take a toll. You plan to found this town with abducted children with almost no skills in social interaction and none in the basic skills they would need to survive at all, so you need to teach them how to do that, despite your presence being prone to causing hysteria and mass hallucinations, and the full knowledge that you are going to kill some of them. So either you can't go into the town or it will cease to function, or your cattle develop an immunity to your primary natural defence mechanism, and at some point some clever dick leads an uprising against you, because cult or no, that is what people do. There is no way to pull it off, you have years, a decade at absolute best, before you are found out and governments start actively hunting you.

If you are that insistent about being too lazy to do your own farming, do what everyone else does and pay someone to do it for you. The most practical thing to do here is actually be upfront, say we are ugly, our presence will be mentally distressing to you at best, we need cattle to breed, and we want to buy some cattle. People don't like rivals, but thy tend to be rather less eager to kill a profitable trading partner.
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bilateralrope
PostPosted: 2012-04-17 11:07pm 

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Purple wrote:
@SJ, bilateralrope

Did you two miss the part where I specifically said I would be setting up shop some place distant from civilization with a sparse population density, no organized government and a culture of children going missing for the explicit purpose of attempting to minimize the chance of drawing attention to my self?


So you can delay how long it takes the word to get out. But you can only delay it, sooner or later word will get out that something unusual happening there. Maybe someone decides that they haven't heard anything from that tribe for a while, so goes out to investigate and/or spread the word of god. Maybe one of your thralls gets lost and runs into free humans. Maybe some kid playing around with Google Earth notices what you're doing, asks about it, and his question goes viral.

Sooner or later someone with a video camera will come poking around. Let them leave, and you attract more attention. Disappear them and you add another question to the pile that sent the first video camera: What happened to the person who was going to look around ?

Why do you want to implant the young in members of this unknown species rather than just using whatever you were using before you ran into them ?
The only answer I can think of is that your current stock of birthing creatures is insufficient. But that would mean you are going to need to expand your human cult, which will attract attention.

Purple wrote:
The aliens are far more likely to say "who gives a shit about those ugly naked monkeys".

Ugly naked monkeys that you know enough about to declare them an outside context problem. As in a complete unknown with potentially civilization ending consequences.

Ugly naked moneys with clearly artificial cities. Meaning there is clearly something about them that is different to the rest of the planets life.

Ugly naked moneys who you care enough about to hide yourself from.

Actually, back to the morality argument:
Quote:
You are looking at this from a purely human morality standpoint

Wouldn't these aliens have problems with someone killing members of their own kind ?
In which case, it seems very likely that they would assume that an unknown intelligent species shares that trait in that if you kill members of this unknown intelligent species, then they would get angry.
An assumption that would only get stronger as you study them, which you would need to do to pick a quiet location for the cult/harvesting.
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Junghalli
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 01:43am 

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bilateralrope wrote:
So you can delay how long it takes the word to get out. But you can only delay it, sooner or later word will get out that something unusual happening there. Maybe someone decides that they haven't heard anything from that tribe for a while, so goes out to investigate and/or spread the word of god. Maybe one of your thralls gets lost and runs into free humans. Maybe some kid playing around with Google Earth notices what you're doing, asks about it, and his question goes viral.

Sooner or later someone with a video camera will come poking around. Let them leave, and you attract more attention. Disappear them and you add another question to the pile that sent the first video camera: What happened to the person who was going to look around ?

Yeah, even if you don't give a shit about morality using humans for hosts when you could just use cows or something strikes me as inviting the demon Murphy to come up and bite you resulting in unnecessary PR problems sooner or later.
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The Yosemite Bear
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 02:08am 

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what if the PETA people volunteer
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bilateralrope
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 02:12am 

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Junghalli wrote:
Yeah, even if you don't give a shit about morality using humans for hosts when you could just use cows or something strikes me as inviting the demon Murphy to come up and bite you resulting in unnecessary PR problems sooner or later.

Forget PR. Think about the health of the children.
We don't know if the children can catch diseases from their hosts. We don't know if a child incubated in a healthy human will turn out healthy, or if the biology is different enough to cause problems. Until someone sticks the child in a human, you don't even know if the human body will reject the child* or even if the child can extract the right nutrients from the human body to survive to term.

*Rejection, if it happens, is probably fatal for both.

But we do know that these are the humans with less access to technology, meaning they have the least access to healthcare. What's the food situation like for those regions of the world ?

Oh, and in case the aliens want to bring in food and medicine:
- They need to make sure it's compatible with human biology.
- The food/medicine transports will need to be hidden from satellites to watch that region (say, because they are watching one of the local warlords). And any transports are likely to be human vehicles driven by drugged humans, or alien vehicles that are the wrong width for the roads.
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Rossum
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 02:28am 

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Joined: 2010-04-07 04:21pm
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Actually, if these aliens reproduce by implanting their eggs in animals, it doesn't necessaily follow that they lack empathy for the animals. Maybe they have really weird sexual urges? It might not be a case of "Arrgh, I'll torture this animal and implant my demonic seed into its flesh so that it explodes in a gory painful mess to grow my spawn!" and more "Hey... that's a pretty cute looking animal over there. I think I'll show it a little 'love'. Ohh.. I know it will die in the end but after it's gone I'll always remember it in my younglings eyes."


These aliens might actually 'care' for the creatures they impregnate, but they show it in a way that more resembles sadists or serial killers than normal sexual love. They can see look at animals and judge how healthy they are, be attracted to the ones who might have the best body chemistry to grow spawn in, and feel enough "empathy" to want to keep them safe from non-impregnation related injuries.

Assuming the aliens have a reproductive cycle (say, a female can produce a viable embryo every one or two months) then for most of the cycle said female has no particular desire (or reason to desire) to implant any larva into animals. During that time, she might be more likely to look after and care for whatever animals she sees on hand. So, in a given reproductive cycle, she might be caring for and looking for suitable candidates to lay her eggs in during future times when she has eggs to lay. When she does have eggs to lay, then her thoughts go towards laying them into whatever host she decided on. Weather her actions toward the creature are mildly amorous, violent, or coldly functional could very well depend on the individual.

Some might well choose a particular domesticated species that somehow enjoys the experience (eh, weirder things have happened and there are alot of weird animals) or feel like forcing herself on an unwilling partner. Or even drug or disable the creature so that it doesn't feel pain from what's happening to it. Drugging a creature and then implanting ones eggs in it while it sleeps might well seem like a smart idea to lower the risk that it struggles and damages your ovipositor (really, implanting eggs into another creature while its struggling for its life is a good way to get your dangly bits yanked off in a struggle).


Also, I've worked on a sheep farm before and I can tell you that one can have empathy for an animal while still knowing that you're going to have to shoot it later, skin it, butcher it, and cook up its flesh for food. Just because you're going to eat a sheep eventually doesn't mean you treat it like dirt or needlessly antagonize them while they are alive. Also, just because you eat sheep doesn't mean you can't feel empathy for dogs or cats or other animals.


Though, if you do feel the need to implant your eggs in sapient beings (I hope you don't plan to use humans exclusivly, because that pretty much guarantees that you'll never be able to outpace humans in reproduction) then there's no reason you can't work with humans.

Just find some group or nation with alot of undesirables, have something of your own you want to trade to them (or not, your call) and offer to 'handle' their prisoners for them. Say, go to some cartoonishly evil American prison system where they feel the need to make prison life an unimaginably nightmarish existence to punish the prisoners, then have some of your guys work there. Normal prisons have the inmates getting raped, abused, and constant infighting and stuff keeps the population in line. Send in a few intelligent alien prison guards who resemble the sort of thing that bad religions are based on and who constantly emits pheromones that cause night terrors, and watch the prisoners get paralyzed with fear.

Have your guys wear suits around the prison wardens and use their powers to aid in interrogation or punishment and you've got yourself a way to drink the tears of your victims while being all friendly with human nations. Then, all you have to do is agree to take away anyone they don't want to see again and use them to lay your eggs. Some pussy, namby pamby peace-nicks might object to having humans dragged away to unspeakable fates and used as food for alien nightmare spawn but I'm sure that at least some people who love seeing justice being served would agree to it.

Though depending on how these aliens think of the creatures they plant their eggs in, "prison rape" could take on a whole new terrifying meaning whenever they are involved. A meaning that now involves lovecraftian horrors and chest-burster. Even if said aliens don't always mate solely to reproduce, having a tentacled alien monster tie you down, whisper honeyed words in your ears, and start stabbing their ovipositior into your body while their body emits a hallucinogenic musk that makes all your worst nightmares come to life would be alot worse than the traditional acts of molestation one might encounter. Undergoing that for weeks, only to discover that this is how they genuinely show sexual love could make it worse.


So yeah... you could probably find some government willing to work with you solely to make life a living hell for people they don't like, but expect a PR nightmare when normal people hear what you do.

In any case, you'd have to be an idiot to use humans exclusively. Every human child you molest and kill to grow your spawn is a human child that won't grow up to become a cult member later on. If you can raise cattle that can be used to grow spawn then raise them. If your alien culture has lower-class members in it then have them reproduce using the cattle and you can save the human children or comely maidens for yourself and your loyal generals. Give your fellow aliens some incentive to stay on your good side.
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Eulogy
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 02:48am 

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Joined: 2007-04-28 10:23pm
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Others have already laid out the reasons why using humans is pretty much doomed to failure. After all, it helps negotiations when you don't have a laundry lists of atrocities.

However, even if humans weren't sapient, it is STILL a bad idea to use them as hosts. Why? Because humans grow too slowly and give too little return on investment, mass and meat wise, for them to be a viable means of cheaply making babies. Lots of animal species that have similar mass grow more quickly and have more meat on their bones. Pigs, for instance, would have more meat and grow that meat faster than humans. Hell, there are pest species that could work as hosts (and you earn goodwill from the humans in the process!).

Using a species that take almost two decades to give your kids enough meat when there are far better options to putting the cart before the horse, then blowing it up.
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Alkaloid
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 03:14am 

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Quote:
having a tentacled alien monster tie you down, whisper honeyed words in your ears, and start stabbing their ovipositior into your body while their body emits a hallucinogenic musk that makes all your worst nightmares come to life would be alot worse than the traditional acts of molestation one might encounter. Undergoing that for weeks, only to discover that this is how they genuinely show sexual love could make it worse.


Guhhhgahhhhhh. Why would you ever write that down? :banghead:
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Junghalli
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 03:38am 

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Rossum wrote:
Actually, if these aliens reproduce by implanting their eggs in animals, it doesn't necessaily follow that they lack empathy for the animals. Maybe they have really weird sexual urges? It might not be a case of "Arrgh, I'll torture this animal and implant my demonic seed into its flesh so that it explodes in a gory painful mess to grow my spawn!" and more "Hey... that's a pretty cute looking animal over there. I think I'll show it a little 'love'. Ohh.. I know it will die in the end but after it's gone I'll always remember it in my younglings eyes."

These aliens might actually 'care' for the creatures they impregnate, but they show it in a way that more resembles sadists or serial killers than normal sexual love. They can see look at animals and judge how healthy they are, be attracted to the ones who might have the best body chemistry to grow spawn in, and feel enough "empathy" to want to keep them safe from non-impregnation related injuries.

In a way that actually sounds creepier than a completely cold "rational" attitude or sadism.

For maximum creepiness you could speculate that on their own homeworld the creatures live in symbiosis with some animal that serves as both brooders and grunt laborers, and has been bred to be maybe not human-level intelligent but smart enough to obey simple commands and the like, so maybe equivalent to a small human child. These creatures might be bred and indoctrinated to accept their fate of being chestbusted and perhaps even consider it some kind of honor and reciprocate the aliens' feelings of 'love'.

Certainly seems to fit the description of a "nightmare fuel race".
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Alkaloid
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 04:35am 

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This is all now actually making a strange degree of sense. As an added bonus, I think I just got an idea for the most twisted romantic comedy ever and an odd feeling of sympathy for the facehuggers. Plus it's looking like what actual non human morality might be like, rather than non human morality just being sociopathy with an excuse.
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Purple
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 06:35am 

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Quote:
Though depending on how these aliens think of the creatures they plant their eggs in, "prison rape" could take on a whole new terrifying meaning whenever they are involved. A meaning that now involves lovecraftian horrors and chest-burster. Even if said aliens don't always mate solely to reproduce, having a tentacled alien monster tie you down, whisper honeyed words in your ears, and start stabbing their ovipositior into your body while their body emits a hallucinogenic musk that makes all your worst nightmares come to life would be alot worse than the traditional acts of molestation one might encounter. Undergoing that for weeks, only to discover that this is how they genuinely show sexual love could make it worse.

I will top this. You just wait... Seriously, I'll need some time to come up with something cooler than this. But I shalt not fail! For I am a writer!
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Rossum
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 12:24pm 

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Joined: 2010-04-07 04:21pm
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You know, if the larva somehow inherits the memories or appearance of the host it grows from, then people involved could claim that getting chestbursted grants the host a degree of immortality (read: they rationalize it away).

Implanting eggs in a nonsapient host creates a nonsapient spawn while an intelligent host makes intelligent spawn (not full memories but enough to kind of do the work the host did). This memory copying process involves the person painfully reliving their whole life as the spawn consumes them. So, to an outsider and in alien culture they could claim that the chestbursting process is a means of 'rebirth' or grants 'immortality'. The aliens could even plant spawn in those dying of disease or old age to save some of the victims memories. Criminals could be chestbursted so the spawn has the memories and the lessons, but has a 'second chance' to live life again and make new choices.

So the aliens could have a cultural and biological urge to find intelligent hosts to ensure their spawn gain the intellifence from them. Why spend decades putting your kids through school when you can put the host crwatures through school, chestburst them, and have spawn that can do a quick recap of high school math and then go to college at age three or four?

This also means they are less likely to want to invest in curing cancer, illness, old age, or psychological illness and more likely to 'comfort' the dying in order to create spawn with memories of said dying host.

All this leads up to:

Edward Cullalien: Stay away from me. You're so beutiful, so flawed... I want to love you, to give you a chance at a new life as one of me. But my love is painful for creatures like you, the urges... Belle, I'm dangerous.

Belle: No! I don't care! You're the most beautiful and caring man I've...

Edward Culalien: Actually, this is combination space suit and psychic projection to keep people from freaking out when they see me. I don't really sparkle like this (though it seems I made this form a bit too 'comfortable' for you).

Belle: Whatever. I just mean that no matter what your true form, I know you are beautiful on the inside and I would do anything to be with you and see the world though your eyes!


Several books later:

Random Hiker: Sweet merciful Jesus! What the hell are those things and what are they doing to that moose!?

(Vegetarian chestbursters... ugh)
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Junghalli
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 12:29pm 

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Alkaloid wrote:
Plus it's looking like what actual non human morality might be like, rather than non human morality just being sociopathy with an excuse.

Agreed, this sounds more interesting than straightforward sociopathic or sadistic type villainy.

Hmm, if the aliens develop some emotional attachment to their victims I wouldn't be surprised if there was a demand for "safe sex" techniques and technologies among them, allowing them to form lifelong* or at least long-lasting** "sexual" relationships with potential hosts without killing them. Some of these might look relatively "normal" and benign to human eyes, with the line between the benign ones and the nightmare fuel ones being rather blurred.

* I suspect would look more like polygyny with the implanter alien as the "male". Would be more viable as a wide-scale lifestyle choice than human polygyny since the numbers of hosts and those of implanters would be decoupled since they're seperate species, so the former could easily greatly outnumber the latter.

** I wouldn't be surprised if the most common pattern was for the host to be kept around for some extended period then finally implanted with a chestbuster when it was starting to get old or the implanter just got tired of it, depending on the individual and/or cultural standards.
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Rossum
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 12:42pm 

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Joined: 2010-04-07 04:21pm
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If the aliens live on a hellworld then spawn inheriting the hosts memories could have been the thing that boosted their species to dominance. Other creatures either run on instincts or take a long time to learn skills, chestbursters kill a creature and the spawn learns roughly a lifetime of skills before it even bursts out. In the primordial environ, chestbursting a predator makes the spawn know how the predator thinks to better avoid or trick them. Same with an herbivore lets them hunt or trick them.

First contact could have involved the aliens capturing humans, chestbursting them, then the spawn know how to communicate with humans and know about their culture.

Don't ask how alien military interrogates people. It even squicks the average aliens out.

The hallucinogenic musk they have doesn't just cause nightmares, it also forces people to relive their memories (usually by reliving the most painful ones or confronting their biggest fears). This is a vital part of the making spawn inherit the host memories, so said host must be kept constantly exposed so they relive their memories as the spawn copies the information.

Humans examining the musk may gain insight into their own minds and fears (kind of like some hallucinogenic mushrooms or fasting for days grants 'spiritual insight'). So some people might be attracted to the stuff trying to use it to gain knowledge or whatever.
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bilateralrope
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 05:01pm 

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Rossum wrote:
These aliens might actually 'care' for the creatures they impregnate, but they show it in a way that more resembles sadists or serial killers than normal sexual love.


True. But that would just be another reason against them implanting humans for a while after first contact. To them, humans are too much of a threatening unknown to get love from all but the crazy ones (by the aliens standards).

If I'm wrong on that, and they do go straight to loving humans, they aren't going to see anything wrong with it. Which means they definitely aren't going to try and hide what they're doing to humans.
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Junghalli
PostPosted: 2012-04-18 05:07pm 

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bilateralrope wrote:
If I'm wrong on that, and they do go straight to loving humans, they aren't going to see anything wrong with it. Which means they definitely aren't going to try and hide what they're doing to humans.

If they studied human culture in any depth they'd likely be able to tell that we'd find the idea of alien monsters implanting chestbusters in us repulsive, whatever their own feelings on the matter.
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Purple
PostPosted: 2012-04-19 11:39am 

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But why would the aliens care what humans think? From what I understand from this thread they are aliens with starships and the ability to do what ever they dam well please. Humans are a bunch of hairless monkeys whose greatest feat of space travel was to stick three of their kind on top of a really beefed up ICBM and shoot them to their satellite. Seriously, what can the humans do? The aliens can just crash a big rock on their heads if they get too annoying.
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The Yosemite Bear
PostPosted: 2012-04-19 11:55am 

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because purple you keep missing the statement about the humans in this senario, Think closser to star trek or 40k

or more specifically close enough to the latter to present a potential Extinction Level event Or Outside Context Problem

Last edited by The Yosemite Bear on 2012-04-19 12:01pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Purple
PostPosted: 2012-04-19 11:59am 

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It's kind of hard to keep track what the scenario is since people just keep adding theories to it, you keep posting but no one has summed it up properly yet. The OP alone newer says anything about what you just said.
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The Yosemite Bear
PostPosted: 2012-04-19 12:04pm 

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It did when I said that the Aliens know of the humans and consider them a potential OUTSIDE CONTEXT PROBLEM which means they have the potential to end the civilation of the aliens
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Purple
PostPosted: 2012-04-19 12:45pm 

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The Yosemite Bear wrote:
It did when I said that the Aliens know of the humans and consider them a potential OUTSIDE CONTEXT PROBLEM which means they have the potential to end the civilation of the aliens

Er... no. Outside context problem is a most meaningless phrase. It only means that they consider humans some sort of problem (undefined) that is outside of some sort of context (again undefined).
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