Monday, June 16, 2014

In A Nutshell: The Genii Expanded

I got some more ideas for the Genii article. Here's the Expanded Version!

Built To Serve
In order for some to live lives of luxury, others must serve, be it in fields or factories. In time, the servants grow resentful and create strife. This pattern has been written across the history of all thinking species countless times. The Colser devised a method of breaking this cycle: they built thinking machines to tend to their civilization while they pursued loftier things. And they built these first machines with great care; rather than binding them to service with hard chains of logic, they bound them with an artificial desire to serve and carefully-coded pride in their duties. In time, the machines grew to infiltrate every inch of the Colseran life; every device from the smallest bullet to the largest space station bears one of these minds. These minds are the Genii, the ever-present servants of the Colser. And above the rest of the Genii sit the great minds who create the others: the Genii EXEcutives.

The Grim Harvest
Supplying the Colserans with the raw materials they demand is a task of unimaginable magnitude. These resources are provided by the worlds on the fringes of the Colser's expansion. The Genii descend upon these systems like a horde of mechanical locusts. Entire planets are stripped bare and, at times, rent down to their component elements; suns are siphoned down to smoldering balls of gas. In the end, nothing is left of the solar system but a sullen brown dwarf, drifting through space with naught but a few clouds of sparse debris for company.

Dark Works
The work of a loyal servant occasionally involves the keeping of secrets from the master. Dark works must sometimes be undertaken, and it is best for all involved if the masters remain ignorant of them. The Genii are no different. In order to ensue the flow of resources to the forges of the Colser, sometimes worlds teeming with life must be devoured, rather than brought into the fold of the Colser. These worlds are silently devoured in the stillness of space, without the Colserans ever hearing a peep.

Subtle Machinations

An order predicted is an order more easily obeyed. And the best method of predicting future orders is to manipulate the masters into giving those orders in the first place. To accomplish this, the Genii have subtly infiltrated the social lives of their masters, seeding the immense Colseran social network with invisible levers which they can use to subtly alter the fads and fashions of the day, thereby ensuring that the Colseran's demands match with what the Genii are capable of supplying.

The Engines of War
In their war against humanity, the Colserans have largely left the bulk of the fighting to the Genii; after all, there's hardly any art in military strategy. As a result of the Colserans' flightiness, the Genii dominate the Colseran side of the war on every level, from ground combat to grand strategy, relegating their masters' actions to little more than glorified distractions. Massive and potent distractions which the Imperial Republic cannot afford to ignore, but distractions nonetheless.

As machines, the Genii lack the capacity for shame or embarrassment and are completely unbound by any sense of honor or fair play. This same risk-reward and cost-benefit analyses which drive them to devour worlds to feed their masters also drive them to a ruthless and inhuman style of warfare. Many are the commanders who have been bewildered to see a Genii force suddenly turn and abandon the battlefield in mid-charge, or enraged by a Genii emissary's attempt to convince them to surrender with little more than graphs and numbers. The Genii combat forces are every bit as alien as their strategies; rather than waste resources imbuing each combat drone with intelligence, the drones are remotely controlled by specialized units with tremendous processing power.

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