Entirely the Wrong Level

“Look, if your reaction to a sophont doing psychotically bad things is focused on the instrumentality they used, rather than why on you have a culture prone to psychopathogeny, you are wrong on a level that… well, starshit, you don’t need me to explain it; you need a metaphysicist.”

Sen. Olynthé Amanyr, 1,688th century,
demonstrating the problem with Imperials
appearing on Meridianite chat shows

(Loosely inspired by this and that, et. al.)

Immortality Blues

“Every year, since I was old enough to read them, more books have been published than I can read in a year. My reading speed has increased many orders of magnitude in the millennia since then – I have a submind which does nothing but read, continuously – and yet the authors continue to not only outmatch my ability to read, but also my ability to keep the gap from opening still wider.

And yet there are people in the universe who claim that they would find immortality boring.

I do not think the problem lies where they think it lies.”

– Esitariel Cyprium-ith-Avalae, unpublished interview

Year Terminated: Core Dumped

(Which is to say, a bunch of miscellaneous snippety stuff that didn’t find a home anywhere else.)

“Just once, it would be nice to meet someone who used their wine cellar for storing wine .”

Agent-Expediter Fors Raikav, Second Directorate

“Further information on the Spirinal Anomaly is classified REDSHIFT ABYSS YAK. If you do not have REDSHIFT ABYSS YAK clearance, stop reading now.”


“In theory, you can carefully program high-grade nanophages to respect in vivo thermal emissions limits, respect the surface markers of legitimate nanoproducts they might encounter, and use them as a vaccination against possible infection. In actual practice, you shoot people with them from a safe distance, then shout ‘sorry’ if or when their blood begins to boil out of their ears. Remember, you’re likely to discover a need for these when there’s a friggin’ bloom in progress. They probably have a backup anyway, and saving their life comes in third, behind removing them as a transmission vector and not becomin’ part of the problem.”


Return to Hunger, Return to Labor

A minority political movement originating in the League of Meridian and spreading elsewhere among the wealthier regions of the Worlds, advocating the creation of artificial scarcities of goods and artificial demand for labor in order to preserve society from decadence and idleness. It has proven difficult to create memetic countermeasures against, due to the sheer blithering wrongheadedness of the ideas from which it arose.


Ice Age: The period in ciseflish prehistory lasting around 2.5 million years, ending circa 1,000, during which raw water ice (considered a mineral on Ólish) was widely used to make implements with an edge, a point, or a percussive surface. Following this period, ciseflish technological ascension began with the development of more advanced iceworking and iceturgical techniques, ushering in the Clathrate Age.

Snippet: Legality != Approval

“One of the chief problems with some cultures’ attitude towards professionalism is that it prevents their courts from issuing opinions such as – to quote Mandatory Benevolence Association vs. Suld – ‘This court must affirm that the defendant possesses an unalienable derived right to be, if he so wishes, a bigoted sack of contaminated crap.'”

– Presiding Justice Madrasi Koiric, Court of the Beyond

 

Lose the Loosers

“There was a pond below the window! We’re not monsters, after all.”

– First Quill Seïn Ejava, Scrupulous Company of Learned Scriveners,
at the Defenestration of the Descriptivists

“If we’re being scrupulous, it was a settling pond. For night soil.”

– Sorel Haranye, former Learned Scrivener, two hours later,
at the “Deodorizing of the Descriptivists”

At Least It’s Not Corpse Flower

The defining feature of Lintis (Banners), to most visitors, is that the entire planet smells strongly of peppermint. (A characteristic attributable to the local grass-analog – there’s always a grass-analog – which is heavily loaded with menthols.) Natives and long-term residents, of course, have all long stopped smelling anything, but the casual visitor always ends up leaving before their nose burns in. Or burns out.

– Leyness’s Worlds: Guide to the Core Worlds

…And Your Enemies Closer

“Among the torang, when crisis strikes, it is safer to be among your enemies than among your friends. A friendly torangta may expect you to sacrifice yourself in the name of the friend-group; an enemy will keep you alive as an assertion of superiority.”

– To See The Outer Worlds And Live!, Peregrine Press, 7930

The Autocrator Likes His Quiet

“The Venerable and Veritable Autocrator of Chengál Rock, may his reign last forever, will be accepting petitions from all within the Rock during the first shift for the megapulse following the Rock’s apoapsis, as custom dictates. Please note that immediately following shift-end, all vacuum-qualified citizens of the Rock are required to report to Docks and Locks for mandatory civil labor. All non-vacuum-qualified citizens are required to report to Central Recycling, likewise.”

– system announcement on Chengál Rock public notifications channel

“For new citizens and visitors to the Rock, the ‘mandatory civil labor’ is required because the V. and V. Autocrator has a policy of throwing anyone who demands that he have a policy out of his personal airlock, and traffic control start complaining if no-one cleans up after Petition Fortnight. Be advised.

“And may his reign last forever.”

– anonymous classified advertisement immediately following the above

 

…And Other Clichés

“…and the vacuum is hard out today.”

A joke so old it’s evolved sophoncy independently from the primordial slime, but interface vehicle pilots evidently have to say something about ambient conditions at the highport. It seems that talking about the weather comes pre-hardwired into every sophont species’ cognome – whether or not there is any.

– A Star Traveler’s Dictionary

Snippet: Non-Identical Values

“The greatest and most misleading heresy of my field is the conflation of value with exchange-value.”

– Academician Teidal Ellestrion,
Economist Excellence,
Imperius Professor of Fiscal Econometrics (Commercial University of Seranth),
Director of the High Guild of Coin and Credit,
Aurarch Emeritus of Éävalle

 

Non-Canon Parody: Travel Advisory

So, I was chasing links this morning and ended up at a State Department travel advisory, and then this just wrote itself, really…

“The Ministry of State and Outlands alerts Imperial citizen-shareholders that the quadrennial elections are scheduled to take place in Blatantly Obvious Expy near the end of this year. The opening engagements have already begun, and related activities are expected to only intensify in the coming months.

“As such, the Ministry of State and Outlands recommends that citizen-shareholders avoid travel to Blatantly Obvious Expy until the second quarter of the coming year, due to the high risk of nausea, rage excursions, and self-inflicted head injuries.

“The Ministry regrets that there’s really nothing it can do to help you if you insist on visiting during this period of crisis and localized brou-ha-ha.

“For further information, see publication SO-2961 – Seriously, What The Fucking Fuck?: Coping With Barbarism Through Alcohol Consumption.”

 

Non-Canon Snippet: Myrmidonic Carbonizer

From today’s utterly-non-canon-but-it-got-stuck-in-my-head department of advertising snippets:

The myrmidonic carbonizer. It’s the top of our range.

The myrmidonic carbonizer. Erodes muon metals in seconds.

The myrmidonic carbonizer. For when you absolutely, positively need to split quarkonium.

Our critics have accused our research department of being questionably sane. Well, we showed them. We showed them all.

Our critics have also claimed the myrmidonic carbonizer is spectacularly dangerous overkill for any ordinary circumstances.

We agree. But we didn’t build the myrmidonic carbonizer for ordinary circumstances. We built it for “What has that psychotic asshole done now?” circumstances.

The myrmidonic carbonizer. Built by Mad Science ™, for use on Mad Science (not tm).

Also considered as a slogan:

If God’s Not Dead, You Weren’t Using A Myrmidonic Carbonizer.

 

Snippet: Embracing Inevitability

“This… is a much honored tradition back in the Crescent. When required by our qalasír to do something truly inadvisable, we always sit down with a bottle of whisky and make a long, comprehensive list of all the reasons why we really shouldn’t do whatever we have to do.”

“So you can argue yourself out of it?”

“Hells, no. If we could argue ourselves out of it, it wouldn’t be a matter of qalasír. It’s just nice to have the extent of our imminent stupidity all properly enumerated.”

 

Succession

(Have a free snippet from a work in progress.)

“Are you really in line for the throne?”

“Oh, yes. House Vintar is neither most ancient nor particularly high, and we Vidutars are a collateral line, so I’m something like… three and a quarter billionth in line for the throne, if you want to get into the fine details. Which he really should have.”


The chain of command, you see, extends right to the bottom. Inasmuch as Valentia I really disliked the possibility of succession crises, and wanted to make a point with her characteristic subtlety, heh, that you literally couldn’t kill off the Empire’s center with assassinations because there was always someone new to be chosen to step into the role.

Which did rather dilute “Unchosen Heir to the Dragon Throne, Successor of the Imperium” as a meaningful courtesy title, inasmuch as it means little more than the intersection of “alive” and “citizen-shareholder”.

But, hey, if you need something to beat officious airport security flunkies over the head with at the ass end of the galaxy, it sounds mighty impressive.

Administering Advice

(Still working on actual posts, but here, have a snippet…)

“One perpetual confusion among external Empire-watchers is the confusion between the Ministries of Throne and State and the Shadow Ministries – for example, between the Ministry of Harmonious Serenity, which is a duly empowered governance instrumentality and enforcer of rights and obligations both fundamental and civil, and the Ministry of Exquisition, which is a private Empire-wide circle of branches self-tasked with the promotion of fabulosity, and whose closest approach to governmental power is its chief executive’s entreé to the Court of Courts.

“It is this latter that gives rise to this designation: the leading figure of a Shadow Ministry is afforded the title of Minister as a praetorian courtesy rank along with their entreé; from this, the designation of such courtier-led associations individually as Ministries and collectively as the Shadow Ministries is a simple matter of back-formation and custom.

“Since everyone moving in such circles as are likely to bring them into contact with the Shadow Ministries or the Court of Courts are comfortably aware of this distinction, it is unlikely that any clarifying changes will be made; one should consult the latest edition of the Registry of the Imperial Service (available for reference at any Imperial Services office or directly from the Ministry of Civic Information1) to determine which type of Ministry you are dealing with.”

– Ten Thousand Parts in Approximate Formation: The Empire from Outside

1. A Ministry of State, underneath the Ministry of the Empire, a Ministry of the Throne.