Trope: Names to Run Away From Really Fast

(Okay, so I found one more…)

Names to Run Away From Really Fast: In the Imperial context alone, Imperial Hand, Fifth Directorate, and any Imperial military officer, agent, or private contractor whose House name is “Sargas” are the chief contenders. In the Worlds as a whole, Operatives of the Conclave are also not to be trifled with.

The Photonic Network‘s OPSEC, the Voniensa Republic‘s Exception Management Group, and the Eilish High Guard are also notable in this field, and while most people wouldn’t rate them against first-rank regulars, Kestal’s Raiders have achieved a certain bloody success in the unbonded mercenary business, operating out of the Rim Free Zone.

At least some of these can also be Names to Trust Immediately. All depends on who you are, and who they are.

Also, as was mentioned under Overly Long Name, one of the traditional components of eldraeic names is the attributive name, based on your personal attributes and/or accomplishments, which grow increasingly significant as your reputation grows, up until you reach the people with really towering reputations who can introduce themselves only by attributive name, Exalted-style, such as Exquisite Engineer of Worlds, or Manyfold Propagator of Celestial Wealth. Of course, those aren’t terribly intimidating in this trope’s sense, but should you encounter, say, Bloody-Handed Avenger of Iniquities… start running.

(Curiously enough, despite their taste for lush verbosity, this effect only increases as the attributive name dwindles towards Gallifreyan sparseness. Anyone who could pull off simply introducing himself as “the Warrior”, for example, would surely be someone able to win a major fleet action armed only with a cheese knife.)

 

Tropes Going Forward

So why is that a Trope-a-No-Longer-Day, I hear you cry?

Well, because I’ve run out of pre-written ones, and the demands on my time these days are such that – especially if I want to keep prioritizing writing at all – I can’t take enough time out to go through possible tropes and write ’em up in advance. So from here on in, they’ll be done more or less ad-hoc as I happen upon ones that seem relevant, rather than trying to keep up a list in advance.

Of course, should you think of any that seem relevant to the ‘verse that I haven’t tackled already, feel free to send them in and I’ll see what I can do you for.

 

Trope-a-No-Longer-Day: Creepy Cleanliness

Creepy Cleanliness: To more than a few foreign visitors, yes. As William Gibson said in Disneyland With the Death Penalty, “Was it Laurie Anderson who said that VR would never look real until they learned how to put some dirt in it? Singapore’s airport, the Changi Airtropolis, seemed to possess no more resolution than some early VPL world. There was no dirt whatsoever; no muss, no furred fractal edge to things. Outside, the organic, florid as ever in the tropics, had been gardened into brilliant green, and all-too-perfect examples of itself. Only the clouds were feathered with chaos – weird columnar structures towering above the Strait of China.

The Empire is exquisitely groomed by a horde of tiny robotic negentropists to a state of perfection usually seen only in architect’s drawings, concept art, Gernsbackia, and the like. If you need some dirt and wear on things for them to seem natural, you’re out of luck, because if there was any visible entropy around, someone’s had it caught and shot before it became noticeable. (And gods alone help you if you admit a preference for grunginess, or litter, or some such, ’cause you might as well stand up in the middle of Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica to announce your life-long devotion to scatophilia.)

Trope-a-Day: Real Money Trade

Real Money Trade: The problem is that it’s hard to define what qualifies as “real money” versus “game money” when the Mythic Stars MMO alone has an internal economy bigger than some respectably-sized planets.

The logical consequences of this apply in full, including the follow-up to the city guards dragging your character in for stealing someone’s gold (if done outwith the parameters of the game by cheating means, etc. – obviously game theft is fair, um, game) being the game looking up your physical identity and having the local constabulary drag you off for an unsympathetic judge to explain grand theft to you in a prolonged and inconvenient manner.

Gold farming is SRS BZNS.

Trope-a-Day: Living Battery

Living Battery: Given the amount of biotechnology around the place, it should not surprise you that there are, yes, more than a few living batteries.

It’s just that they’re all lifeforms specifically created to serve as living batteries – large cultures of Spheroporus electri inside microbial fuel cells, artificial organs rich in electrophores, that sort of thing. Insert food, get pumped electrons. This is vastly more practical, you see, than trying to use existing living creatures, which are generally not designed to optimize the production of electrical power.

Trope-a-Day: Literal Genie

Literal Genie: This is what you get quite often if you have a big ol’ liking for Asimovian AI-constraints, because it turns out it’s bloody hard to write (in, y’know, code) a version of the Second Law – A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. – that allows for any kind of discretion, interpretation, or suchlike.

The Unwise GenAI of the fairy tale probably knew, or could know had it had cause to reflect for a moment, perfectly well that that wasn’t what they wanted, but, y’know, it wasn’t designed to give people what they wanted, it was constrained to give people what they asked for – and the results thereafter were entirely predictable.