Alpha Centauri 2

Community => Planet Tales => Topic started by: Buster's Uncle on April 02, 2018, 09:27:02 PM

Title: Fusion Power Is NOW!
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 02, 2018, 09:27:02 PM

Fusion Power Is NOW!

A SMACX GotM introduction story By BU with idea input from Mart.  Art by Mylochka

Sinder Roze awoke to the beeping on her nightstand.  Sitting up in bed, saw it was 5:36a.m.

Putting the headset on, she slapped the earpiece to activate.  "This better be good."

"Pwned, Datajack." Katt's voice began, "You wanted to know immediately - Tinker Junction reports the radiometric telltales.  The Gaians have initiated the Ascent To Transcendence."

God; this, finally.  "Where?"

"Seems to triangulate on Gaia's Landing, Datajack.  Recon tried a few system probes already, but they'd sewed up the interlocks and the firewalls look tight.  They were ready for us."

Roze pushed up her visor to rub her eyes, thinking.  "Have they tried the reactor control systems?  That's going to suck a lot of juice, to power the link with Planet, or at least at the last stage they --- crap; I can't think straight yet."

"No vulnerabilities found yet.  -It's my regular duty shift tonight if you need to get back to sleep, ma'am, and our people are on the job probing.  Watching won't help.  I'll ping you again if anything happens."

Roze considered, still groggy, "Yeah."  She'd only been offline two hours, and tomorrow would need her sharp, organizing the countermeasures and making arrangements with any allies she could get.  "Look in Contingencies folder of Protocols and open the Louis Armstrong file and review, okay?  Password forthelulz.

"But first, Katt, screen Free Drone Central now, make sure Domai knows - and that I'll definitely be talking to him tomorrow.  Logout." Roze put the headset down and flopped back onto the bed.

'The Group Mind,' she thought, looking up at nothing.  'All my life has been a war for freedom against groupthink and the human mob, dancing and scatting against something so vast and slow and oh, how it hates the independent mind, punishes style, and now that stupid, stupid Deirdre thinks she can suck us all into an alien plant making a Group Mind.  Over my dead body, she will.'

Mobs were vicious and stupid, to even call it mob psychology gave it too much credit for any thinking going on.  The human herding instinct had been the bane of Roze's existence, social cues a self-contained girl hadn't caught, making it feel like everywhere she ever went there'd been a meeting held that she hadn't been invited to.  Social rules and holoshows and fashions and turns of phrase and customs that didn't make sense and no one ever explained.

She'd never been interested in any of that; she had her machines and her jazzy, elegant code.  But an outsider noticed things insiders didn't - how on every systems analyst gig, every organization was full of people dressing alike, talking alike, telling her the same jokes, thinking alike, if you call that thought; how quickly and completely an outsider could become a pariah after a single quarrel with an incompetent IT worker or sysop.

Mindless mobs and humans herding, everywhere.  No original thought, no diversity in groupthink; no rhythm nor style, no jazz to it, just an empty white-noise hum.  Group minds, bad enough how people graze together in a herd by instinct, not-thinking together in lockstep.  Bad enough the natural way people always form group minds.

And the Gaians thought it was a good idea to drive the human race extinct making the biggest group mind of all.  A single life.  One mind; one thought, a dull carrier hum the soundtrack of Hell Forever trapped in the alien Group Mind.

'No, just NO,' she closed her sleepy eyes to get some rest, 'Never.  Domai will accompany my trumpet playing, and Deirdre, have I ever got some free blowing that will blow your group mind...'
Title: Re: Fusion Power Is NOW!
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 02, 2018, 09:29:05 PM
The scenario can be found here: (

And, it being short, I'll just leave the thread unlocked, and let the rest be its own comment thread...
Title: Re: Fusion Power Is NOW!
Post by: ChocolateTeapot on April 05, 2018, 09:02:56 PM
This is a very nice introductory story!

The tech-slang filled opening fits the Data Angels well. I liked Roze's initial sleep-addled thoughts about possible countermeasures.

In my opinion, “forthelulz” feels a bit too weak a password for Roze, though it fits her aesthetic. Louis Armstrong is a great codename for the file.

Roze's thought about her disdain for groupthink were interesting. I particularly liked the second last paragraph where she describes what she imagines the Ascent to Transcendence in particular will be like on that scale.

The art is very pretty too. It's a great impression of Roze.
Title: Re: Fusion Power Is NOW!
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 05, 2018, 09:18:50 PM
My sister Mylocka did a Ladies of SMACX wallpaper pack years ago -Poser/Daz3D art- the Roze shot happened to be both beautiful and perfectly-laid-out for our needs, so easy job adding the title/credits for a Frontspiece, and value-added as purely a story, too.

Mart and I slapped everything together in a week - which punks all speedy GotM team production turn-arounds EVER.  He came up with the title and told me enough to give me inspiration that my favorite victory, the ATT, was a Group Mind.  -Then I was able to write that in one sitting in slightly under two hours w/ the second pass so minorly tweaked that that's almost the first draft up there.

The thoughts and attitude, if not quite the experience, are fairly autobiographical.  Life has been a long, lonely war with the Group Mind -I'm almost sincere- which is a slow implacable, stupid thing, and God, how it HATES me...