Trope-a-Day: What Do You Mean, It’s Not Political?

What Do You Mean, It’s Not Political?: It is, I suppose, only in the generic sense of fiction featuring utopias or near-utopias, which is to say, only insofar as it’s therefore automatically a Take That to all those other, lesser, civilizations.

As for more strictly political issues: well, if you’re willing to draw moderately inexact analogies, the Isliar Primarchy is a Take That to traditionalist conservatives, the Magen Corporate to corporatist conservatives, the Annik Sodality to liberals, the Voniensa Republic is one to moderates/statists, the People’s State of Bantral and the Equality Concord to communists (more anarchic and more static, respectively), the Iltine Union to fascists, the Theomachy of Galia to half the Middle East and arbitrarily-selected other religiously-dominated states, Valturak and Nal Kalak to warlordism, the Rim Free Zone to anarcho-capitalists and especially dogmatic Rothbardians, and every single-system backwater polity ever to humanists and Luddites. (Feel free to select whichever combination of acknowledgement and/or ignorance will produce the spin you want on my personal opinions.)

Imperial political scientists clionomists have a The Reason You Suck speech ready for all of these, and by extension, for just about everybody on Earth with a political opinion at all.  Which is appropriate, since by and large, that everybody has a loud and profoundly ignorant reality-immune political opinion is one of the major reasons why, to steal a perfectly quote, it would be their considered opinion that “All you of Earth are idiots!

Aftershocks (4)

Four-Thoughts Free Militia
Unnamed Bunker
Ruins of Intyev Township
Turbis (Cordai Gap)
(formerly People’s State of Bantral)

The fabber hummed quietly to itself, steam rising from its cooling vents and only a few sparks coming from the lashed-up power lines leading down from the solar foil on the roof. Kilden bustled around refilling the feedstock hoppers, aligning the feed drives for the dozenth time, and engaging in other such busy-work. The others indulged him, which he knew. This was, after all, his miracle.

“All’s clear outside; how is it in here?”

“Good, good! Those replacements you found are working. We’ll be eating well tonight.”

“I found this, too.” The new arrival tossed a wallet of flat plastic chips over to Kilden. “New recipes for your gadget, looks like. Any of these let it make us some bullets?”

“Maybe. If we can find it some metal. How badly do we need them?”

“We’ve got enough for now, maybe, if no-one pushes us, but they say the Kontyev Brigade is leaning towards the Concord. That’ll put them right up against us. And if that emissary of theirs lets word get out about” – he jerked his head towards the fabber – “that, everyone in the region’ll be coming at us. So badly, yeah. If you all are still determined not to join the Concord?”

“Aaah, I’ve heard their song before. Equality and cooperation and collective effort and so long as we’re talking about that, soph, we’re going to need your fabber for the common good, so hand it over and we might give you a fair share back. Since we took it from the lizards we’ve got full bellies – for the first time since before the war. You so keen to be hungry again?”

“No, but – even if we can keep the others back, what if the raiders come back? Or invaders confiscating it – the lizards again, or the deshniki, or the linobir mercs, or – or even the Impies?”

“The Impies? We should be so lucky.” The mechanic gave his comrade a disgusted look. “Don’t be an idiot, Bistot. Did you never listen to the People’s Propaganda? If they told us one true thing about the Impies, it’s that they respect private property!”

Aftershocks (1)

GORBIS (CORDAI GAP) – The Syndic of Tribunals has indicted all former officials of the People’s Bureau of Safe and Sustainable Technologies, nearly six hundred thousand in total, on a range of charges of which the most significant are 17 billion counts of cognicide by willful deprivation. Executions are expected shortly.

A list of several thousand other former Bureau officials, said to have been off-world at the time of the Fall of Bantral, are sought by the Syndic, which has published these names to the various public bounty registries active in the spinward Worlds.

– from the Objective Eye newswire

Trope-a-Day: People’s Republic of Tyranny

People’s Republic of Tyranny: Mostly averted, if only because the Associated Worlds, unlike Earth, has no consensus that democracy is the awesomest, shiniest form of government ever, and so there’s no particular urge to genuflect in its direction by way of obfuscating your actual government type.

(There is the People’s State of Bantral, but you’ll note that it doesn’t claim any kind of democratic/republican credentials.  It is a brutal oligarchic tyranny, but the only justification it feels the need to make is that it’s acting in the name of the People – not that the people get a say, necessarily.  Others – say, the Equality Concord and Hope Hegemony – go similarly, but more honest and less self-conscious brutal tyrannies like, say, the Gazkas Autocracy don’t bother with even that fig leaf.)

Epistolary Experiment 10/30

From: Surana Irithyl-ith-Issarthyl, Office of Military Procurement
To: Isvieve Dalael, Terrible Aspect Station, Resplendent Exponential Vector
Subject: Re: Boson “laser”

Thank you most kindly for your offer, but considering the thus-far limited nature of the conflict, the Imperial Navy is not in the market for experimental superweapons at this time. Nonetheless, we wish you good fortune and progress in your ongoing researches, and would be very interested to hear of any further progress you make in this direction, as well as in any experimental field-testing you see fit to perform.

Surana Irithyl-ith-Issarthyl

for and on behalf of

Office of Military Procurement


<nym1>: I had tea with my cousin today.
<nym2>: Oh?
<nym1>: We had a most interesting discussion. He pointed out that while on the Republican fleet’s direct path coreward once they pass through the Qiraf Assembly is merely a collection of small ecumenical colonies and single-system polities, immediately spinward of that are our old friends, the People’s State of Bantral.
<nym3>: Thank you for the primer in galactography.
<nym1>: I have a point. And that point is that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain if the Vonnies, should, say, happen to take a more spinward route.
<nym2>: It’s not like I’d miss the Bants, but what exactly do we have to gain?
<nym1>: They’re one of the few polities that offends us as much as it offends them. If anyone in the galaxy deserves a turn or two of social rectification at the hands of our favorite backward-facing hierarchists, it’s the Bants. And –
<nym3>: And then we have another bunch of backward-facing hierarchists to deal with. No sale.
<nym2>: Well, we can’t let them keep it!
<nym1>: We won’t, and we don’t have to. What do you think’s going to happen when they’re driven off? They’re not going to have time to pick up after themselves. So the Republic will have righteously decimated the People’s State’s government for us, and leaving a pile of cornucopias – restricted crippleware cornucopias, true – and other hardware in the hands of the poor starving bastards underneath. You think maybe they can do something with that? You think maybe we can?
<nym4>: You devious sod.
<nym1>: And there’s a bloody pustule on the Worlds at least lanced, if not cleaned up. Something we can’t do for ourselves without breaking the Conclave consensus in ways we can’t get away with yet.
<nym2> Now this I like. Affirm.
<nym4> How do you suggest we divert them?
<nym2> We could deploy Field Fleet Coreward task forces out of Criath System to cover the rest of the Qiraf coreward border. We only need enough to make it a hard crust. Bantral’s got barely any fleet to speak of, and it’ll be easy to make sure they won’t invite us in, even if there was much chance of that anyway. They’ll take the bait.
<nym4> That would work. Although the Assembly will be very unhappy if they ever find out we’re not defending them.
<nym3> Damn all we can do to defend them anyway. The spinward forces aren’t going to catch up with anything but the trailing elements at best speed, once they wait for reinforcements. Keeping them from crossing back through Qiraf’s the best we can do.
<nym4>: Still. They mustn’t find out.
<nym1>: No-one should find out about this any time soon.
<nym2>: Agreed. Do we have consensus on the notion?
<nym1>: Affirm.
<nym2>: Affirm.
<nym3>: We’re all bloody mad… Affirm.
<nym4>: Affirm. Well, then. I’ll bring it up at the next meeting of the Privy Council. I shall trust you gentlesophs to bring your branch-support to the table.

– from a Shadow Ministries blacknet


“Ironblood, Ironblood, this is Shiny Hat. Sitrep. Over.”

“Shiny Hat, this is Iron –“

HIT THE DECK, BOYS! BREAKFAST’S COMING!

“kzzzzzztx Hat. Say again, Shiny Hat, that was loud. Over.”

“Sitrep, Ironblood. Did you find our lost boys? Over.”

“That’s affirmative, Shiny Hat. Egg was cracked, two yolks scrambled. Third one -“

Get me someone to kill! Get me everyone to kill!

“– we’ve got Hammer Six, Shiny Hat, but he’s been hitting the brain-juice pretty hard. Over.”

“Combat-ready, Ironblood? Over.”

“Hell, yes, Shiny Hat, almost as enthusiastic as me! Over.”

“Then take him along, proceed to hill 41, and clean out the opposition on the way. Shiny Hat, clear.”

– from the combat logs of coordinator SHINY HAT, at the assault on Vontok II