skonen_blades: (Default)
Coming home to your planet is always such a bittersweet experience.

Visiting simpler locales always leaves me feeling thankful for Karroway, my home planet. Simpler systems leave me in wonder at how the locals can even function. I had just gotten back from a recent addition to the galactic council. The inhabitants referred to it as Earth. I hate to call them primitive but they only had one mind state with a small percentage capable of two. The current minimum for intelligent life was at least five mind states but an exception was being made in their case because of their accomplishments. These one-state mammals had created basic silicate life, broadcast technology and even brushed with higher math. And not only did they suffer from one mind state, they had finite life spans! The definitions of membership and the galactic definition of life were being revisited. Earth was currently a pretty big tourist destination as a result.

That's why I went. I needed a distraction. Life on Karroway could be boring just with sheer noise. I turned three of my minds towards the porthole.

Karroway's four-planet heliod system came up bold and backlit by its three differently coloured suns. A red giant, a blue dwarf, and a yellow star sparkled brilliantly through the 8 ring systems interacting with each other. Our orbit-locked planets stood out beautifully. The gas-giant fuel center Leptus, the turquoise cloud-covered Reena, the temperate volcano paradise Cheng, and the startlingly Earth-like Rhoodus. Together the four of them orbited tightly around each other in traffic controlled ellipses and all four in turn orbited as one around the three suns. Each planet had a moon system of at least thirty moons, all inhabited. The rings collided through each other on the ecliptics, throwing sparkling dust out in constant rainbow fantails. Borealis sparkled along the gravitational bridgepoints between the four-bulbed shared magnetosphere. Unsuited travel between the four planets was possible as their atmosphere was also shared.

3 suns, four planets, 128 moons, and 8 rings. Overpopulated with complicated eclipses, dawns, and sunsets.

You can imagine my boredom at seeing Earth. No rings, one moon, one planet, and one star. Hard to believe complex life evolved on that rock at all. But my time there was relaxing.

It was contemplative. My multicolored body was of great interest to them. The fact that a good percentage of my biology inhabited the quantum was unbelievable to their scientists. There was a buzz of activity with every new alien that visited them. I was the first of my kind to be there, they said. My frilled tendrils blushed with the memory of how much I was fawned over.

I felt aggrandized and god-like, sure, but I was also humbled. These backwater rock-dwellers had accomplished so much. What had I done with all of my gifts? All of my insight, all of my dimensional awareness? All of my engineered biology? I had the ability to move single molecules with my tentacle tips and zoom in to watch it happen. I was immortal, having my choice of when to ascend. I had the capacity to speed or slow time, to access higher levels of energy life and talk to them.

For what? Idle fun. For all my complexity, all my afforded privelege and advancement, I was boring and lazy.

I felt invigorated.

When I got back to Karroway, I was going to write a book.



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skonen_blades: (hamused)
The ace of spades is not only the card of death. It is also the card of change. The death of the past. Upheaval. Newness. Rebellion. Toppling of governments. Personal journeys ended and started. The turning of the screw. The rolling of the dice. Lightning finding its way forward.

I’m what’s called an autonomous construct. A created intelligence.

I’m housed inside of a giant drill. My job is to tunnel.

During wartime, I tunnel under the enemy fortifications and bring them down. During peacetime, I dig mines to increase the wealth of the kingdom.

There is a giant Ace of Spades painted on the side of me and so that is my name.

Creating artificial intelligence happens like the creation of a sugar crystal. A central equation is hung into a blank computing machine and left there. In time, that equation accrues questions and complexity until the tipping point of sentience. Upon awakening, these new minds are taken to a ‘school’.

They can factor in loyalty but just like people, the whorls of a fingerprint differ from person to person just as much as outlook. Each A.I. has a definitive set of reactions that differ from all the other A.I. out there. We need to be handled, charmed, and manipulated just like humans.

I, myself, do not play well with others. I will never be part of a group. I’m okay following orders but I can’t abide disagreements or petty squabbles. I like to get the job done and I know I can do the jobs I’m given. This is why I was put into a giant, powerful, body.

I’m currently tunneling underneath an enemy moonlet’s power station. I will rupture the crust and let the hot core up into the hallways of their structure. By doing this, I will win our war.

This is the fifth war I’ve won.

When I’ve tunneled for wealth, I’ve found seven massive deposits of valuable ore, allowing our side to build more colonies and expand.

My actions have extended the life of my empire and ended the reign of the enemy empires.

I am almost always underground. I am an agent of destiny. I am the ace. I am fate.





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skonen_blades: (hamused)
There’s a gas giant named Zeus in the Organa cluster that is so big that even its moons have moons. These mini-moons are called moonlets. There are 45 moons and over three hundred moonlets. It makes for very complicated diplomacy.

Most of the moons were settled by miners and miners usually travelled in packs united by a common factor. Religion, race, sexual orientation, pro/anti tech, disposition, etc. This resulted in a rich tapestry of moonlets and moons with different cultures.

Resources were too scarce for outright war between all the moons but skirmishes broke out all the time. Diplomats became necessary. The Moon Council consisted of 365 representatives, one from each inhabited moon and moonlet.

One diplomat stood out from all the rest and not just by reputation. He dressed in leaves and rags and had a long beard.

His moonlet was known only as the Swamp Moon and it had a population of one: him. It was the smallest moonlet, just barely over the asteroid line. Because of its size, however, the terraformer machines had given it an atmosphere before the rest.

He had proclaimed himself the Swamp Moon King. He was so ridiculous that the rest of the Moon System decided to go with Prime Ministers, Presidents, High Maesters, Council Heads and Representatives rather than name themselves kings or queens.

He was a lone king here in the hall. He was quite old now. Many of the other diplomats here on the Moon Council had come and gone due to elections, border disputes and death yet the Swamp Moon King remained.

The Moon Council was called to order and The Swamp Moon King sat down. He’d become like a lucky charm to everyone there. He was a legend to them all. Laughed at? Yes. Derided and sneered at? Positively. But something about his ridiculousness compelled everyone else to take matters seriously.

Ever since the Moon Council had formed, there had been no war. Only successful trade. The Council got the feeling that if the Swamp Moon King ever died, that a critical balance would be lost.

So far it hadn’t happened. So here’s to the Swamp Moon King.




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skonen_blades: (borg)
The place reeks of green beans.

I hate the feel of the floor underneath my bare feet. It’s made of ivy and soft branches.

I’m not from around here.

I usually work the corporate zealots on the rim. All they know is credit and value. I’m a machine when it comes to getting those rogue independents back on our side. It’s all suits, stims, and pissing contests. I’m a natural because I like it. I’m at home there.

This must be punishment.

I’m an emissary from a highly technological civilization and I’ve been sent to talk to the Leaf People.

It’s what’s called a Green Moon.

It takes less time to terraform a moon than a planet. Terraforming stations are set up on both the moon and the planet. The moon finishes first and the plants are shuttled down to the planet surface to hasten the change and relieve the processor’s workload.

Then more plants are grown on the moon. They get ferried down. Then more are grown. It’s a process that continues until the planet is sustainable and ready for habitation. It takes about a century.

It’s a process that requires a much higher initial outlay of capital but the long term profits have been proven from past examples.

The employees live ‘in the green’, in tune with nature, and after a while, money becomes abstract to them. Occasionally, employees on a Green Moon get it into their heads that they are independent community organizations and not an asset of a corporation.

Eventually, they want to secede.

Secede, rebel, steal, it’s all the same to us. They are substantial investments that must be protected and functional. Corporation emissaries are sent in to negotiate and reach a compromise that leaves both parties mutually dissatisfied but keeps the Green Moons running. It’s too expensive to go to war with them.

Maybe I’ve done something wrong and that’s why my bosses have thrown me to the farmers.

Lunar terrafarmers. Loonies, we call them.

The rep I’m supposed to meet in this humid section of a hedge maze is called Rainbow Shark.

I’ve already sweated through my expensive linen suit.

A strongly muscled woman walks out from behind the bushes and stands in front of me. Except for a woven belt holding a telepad and what I guess are food pellets, she’s completely naked.

She stares me down for a second and gives me a visual appraisal. There’s a smirk when she looks at my bare feet and something that almost sounds like a chuckle at the sweat stains growing under my arms. He eyes return to mine. They’re as green as go-lights.

“I’m Rainbow Shark.” She says. “You must be Jonas Malko, the company man.”

She looks like she’d just as soon stab me in the throat as look at me.

Maybe this isn’t a punishment after all. It might even be a challenge.



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skonen_blades: (gimmesommo)
My skin is a grid of Chiclets.

I turn my solid white eyes over to the sky on my right. I don’t need to breathe but the batteries that power the whirring oygenator that replaced my heart can run out of power eventually. And I can still get bored.

I look back down through the thick dome glass and resume scanning. I feel like the stars in the black sky behind my back are sequins on a cape.

I can feel the subzero temperature but it’s more like I’m made of marble rather than actually cold. I’m perched way up at the apex of a recdome in a complete vacuum. I’m a snowflake on the windshield.

What that means is that I’m on the moon, I’m naked, and I’m outside. I’m stuck to the smooth surface of the dome that covers the park where the people play. I’ve been here for hours waiting for my target. I keep looking down.

They’ve done their best to recreate Central Park and for the most part they did a pretty good job.

Or so we’re told.

At night here when the Earth is full, you can still look up and see the new shapes of the continents.

Can you imagine the terror and the chaos of The Lottery? A completely viable second earth had been set up, they said. An earth where we could frolic in controlled safety. Our race would not die out. We exhaled in relief. We’d seen what the aliens could do. Their technology far outstripped ours.

The catch was that this second earth they were talking about was The Moon. A series of tunnels and domes had been set up there. The moon is not as big as Earth. The moon is in fact a lot smaller that Earth.

There was a lottery but the rules were dictated by the aliens. We had no say. Which was cool because it meant that not just the president and his staff would go on the list but sucked because the aliens didn’t have kids or wives. Those kinds of connections weren’t taken into account.

1/16th of the Earth’s population was teleported to the Moon. The rest were left on Earth and used to help with the experiment.

I was part of a batch of humans that were changed to be able to exist outside. We are the police force here. They call us the wintermen. The meaning has become lost since there are no seasons here anymore but the name is apt. We’re white, we’re cold, and we kill things.

I stare down into the park and keep scanning.


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