Author Topic: A story about the Hive/the game from an Alien's perspective  (Read 942 times)

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Offline lifehole

Hive

 SHI-YUANG-YE, YEAR !!##$%&&^^




Hello, whatever dear listener has stumbled upon this archive. I do hope you’re having a good day. I’m Shi-Yuang, and the following is a comprehensive, year by year history of The Hive.

Now, I’m going to assume only two things regarding those reading: One, you’re human or at least have a basic understanding of things human, as you’re reading this and understanding exactly what I’m saying. I’m also going to assume you have a basic understanding of the seven factions and the situation of Planet CYXB.

However, you may be wondering who I am, or why I’m writing this. I’m going to be calling myself Shi-Yuang-Ye, a fitting, average name for the culture and peoples I will be discussing. Today, I will be detailing a full history of the Hive. As to my true nature, all I will reveal is that I’m a sort of.. Interested party, yet not involved in the events that transpire. The following history will be presented in an efficient, minimalist manner, typical of the writing of the Hive during this period. But not without detail.

First, a (very) brief history of the expedition and the planet that The Hive came from.

The Hive was a human faction that was introduced to the Planet CYXB  through a primitive but not uncommon device in this universe; a slower-than-light cryostasis ship built as the last gasp of a dying civilization, entitled Ark.  The fate of their civilization is long and grueling, but not without hope. In terms of overall level of achievement, they were strikingly middlesome. Advanced not fast enough to reach the higher stages, yet not slow enough as to wander through the dumps of total self-destruction. However, they came close, very close. Their original planet is now a Class 4, exactly the sort of fate they hoped to avoid.

In any case, they sent out their little Ark. It suffered from the same schisms the home planet did, merely amplified. Sabotage, mutiny, and murder ensued. They split into 7 different factions and crashed into the planet. A typical, textbook case for this kind of civilization, overall.

Also, a sidenote: With certain timely interventions from certain third parties, it's very easy to make a human being live for a very, very long time. That was the case with the leaders of these seven factions.

Specifically, The Hive’s culture compared to the human baseline was that of ‘collectivism’ and ‘totalitarianism’. These mind viruses humans called ‘ideologies’ allowed a society that suppressed the ‘individuality’ and ‘freedom’ of it’s subjects with the ends of a better whole justifying the means. These behaviors are within the standard sociological baseline one usually sees for civilizations such as these, but the Hive was still a very radical case for humans.

With the background information out of the way; let us begin.

                                                                                                                                                                  Log

Year 1: The Hive is established. Almost immediately, they are met with the brutal reality of the planet. Barren landscape stretches out in all directions, with the occasional patch of green scrub etching out a meager existence among a plethora of lifeless rocks and reefs. Worker Yang creates bio-domes typical of the other factions, guiding his populace carefully into the shelter after the landing pod lands in the a small, wet, and rocky coastline crouched in an as of yet unknown corner of Planet CYXB. The survivors begin a major breeding campaign and set up preliminary laboratories. These laboratories are ordered by Worker Yang to ensure that the sort of social catastrophe on the Ark never happens again.

Afterward, the people begin to explore the nearby land. It’s an area ripe for crops, but the human settlers will not develop the large, agroforming tools necessary to tame this harsh planet for years yet.

Scouting parties are sent out in multiple directions, discovering the crashed ruins of their cryostasis Ark. Within a single year, they discover an odd monolith that seems to impart experience and knowledge onto the scouting party through unknown means.

Year 4: Scouting parties continue to be built and continue to explore the nearby surroundings, encountering the odd red fungi that dominates the planet, forming vast swathes of uninhabitable land.

Consolidation is occurring at home, and the monolith that was found very close to The Hive earlier is now being tapped for energy, providing a small source of power to the burgeoning settlement.

One of the scouting parties initially spots what is thought to be just another pod of debris from the Ark; but instead turns out to be a massive, hulking machine of immense power. A structure that towers over all humans nearby, the Battle Ogre MK1 was placed on the Ark in the case of hostile alien entities, and possesses formidable power, in these early years. Worker Yang is overjoyed with the news.

Year 8: Further, exploration reveals a large multikilometer mountain to the north, covered in very large amounts of the harvestable green scrub, with the occasional patch of fungi. Sensing an opportunity to exploit, Worker Yang orders a colony pod sent over immediately, claiming the land for his own. He names this place ‘Fecundity Tower’, creating the first new settlement of the Hive.

Year 9: Another pod of debris is spotted on a small land bridge just north of Fecundity Tower. Inside, salvageable communications equipment reveals the commlink code for one ‘Lal’. Worker Yang astutely realizes that this is a nickname for one of the leaders of the other Seven Factions. Typically called the Peacekeepers, but more appropriately called the ‘Classicists’. The Peacekeepers, of course, most closely represent the dominant ideologies of the planet the humans came from when they left. Worker Yang decides not to contact Lal, not yet. Because this is the society he’s trying to run. If Yang were to reveal the existence of the other factions, and the one of them that is so completely and utterly opposed to his ideology, he could risk destabilization of the tenuous group he’s managed to lead so far.

So, the equipment is mostly destroyed, with the comm-code sent directly to Worker Yang’s office.

Year 10: The labs have completed their comprehensive analysis of the catastrophe on the Ark. The new paper, titled ‘Social Psyche: A unified human social theory’ is ordered to be dispersed into every household in the Hive. Soon afterward the labs begin work on creating a new, more centralized method of database keeping.

Year 13: Scouting parties find a unity pod to the north which reveals a brand new Scout Rover, a four-wheeled vehicle that can travel faster and scout out new territory. It is put to use immediately. In addition, the first new colonizer pod is built at The Hive, signaling the start of the rapid expansion of Hive population across Planet CYXB.

Year 14: Exploration of the north continues. The continent The Hive is on is somewhat small compared to the size of the planet, but above-average in mineral resources, and provides ample opportunity for them to create many sea resources, fast. The new scout rover is sent directly north, to the tip of the continent, discovering an extremely mineral rich, hilly area. As it neared the large hill that defined this area, it found a unity pod. As the rover approached, the pod detected the presence of human life and immediately exploded into thousands of seeds, foresting the area. This was the first forest that the Hive had known on this planet, and it thrived very well. However, Yang was not keen on producing many forests, instead, he preferred to focus on the strategy of mass producing mines and farms across the land.


                                                                                                                                                             Interlude One

At this point, The Hive had accumulated a large amount of energy. Now, this in and of itself is not unexpected. However, what is unexpected is the change from currency, into energy, and the presence of technology to accommodate that. This is very rare in civilizations and biologies as ideologically inclined as humans and marks a point of divergence.

Divergence from their previous world, and divergence from almost any known cases in the universe. When I realized this, this observation log became of critical importance to me.

One of the primary reasons their previous world collapsed was because of; one, the inability to store significant energy, and therefore two, the non-usage of it as typical interchangeable value. As such, their civilization had to constantly grow to sustain itself, constantly gain energy, because if it lost any it would suffer a crash. That translated into a ‘financial’ crash and ripped the civilization apart. However, with new technology, they managed to acquire extremely efficient batteries, and disperse these among citizens. (Or in the Hive’s case, build centralized batteries which are allocated at the government’s behest.) This technology in and of itself is not rare for our models, but the transition from the idea of ‘currency’, a false mind virus, into actually using pure energy as value has never before been seen. This marks an almost orthogonal change in direction for Human Civilization and sets a precedent for the future of the factions on Planet.

                                                                                                                                                                        Log

In the year 14, the social structure of the Hive was having its precedent for the future set. Police were now truly on every corner, around every hallway, and the entire energy bank was pumped into maintaining public order. This was done as a necessary precaution, but also because Yang was one of the more intelligent humans who knew how to manage such things without glaring inefficiencies. The primary reason, in this case, however, was because it was time for a very disruptive phone call.

Yang calls Lal, 14 years into the mission, making the first contact on planet CYXB. Technological proliferation begins, and Yang has the advantage. The factions still being weak and fragile, hostilities are low between them; despite differing ideologies. Lal is having trouble establishing order in his new society, because of the classicist flaws of the past. He and Yang broker a deal in which Yang trades his loyalty doctrines and social enforcement techniques, in exchange for military technology, particularly that of adapting the old lasers from the Ark to use in the military.

Lal agrees and puts forth yet another proposal related to the lack of social order he has: If Yang gives him the Social Psyche paper, he will reveal the intricate secrets of biogenetics, telling Yang how to copy over whole traits of organisms and breed detailed hybrids of living beings unlike any ever seen before. Yang, with his rampant nihilism and distinct interest in genetics, has to accept.

Having figured out a good trade, and the meeting being generally profitable, a treaty of friendship is signed. However, this is mostly just because all factions are extremely fragile, and in the interest of mutual survival it is, right now, a good idea to remain cordial.

Year 15:

The mountainous, mineral-rich area the Scout Rover explored to the far north bears fruit yet again. Another Unity Pod is discovered, revealing even more abundant mineral resources than previously thought. Yang now realizes that this area is of critical strategic importance, and diverts one of his colony pods to the area. However, his plans will encounter an issue.

The second contact is established. A scouting party heading to the northeast sees something large on the horizon. A fleet of grand, towering, green vehicles scattering hundreds of thousands of seeds, spraying them into the air. The vehicles are gigantic, the size of 5 previous-world cars stacked on top of each other. They roll on giant, tank-like tracks that dig deep into the ground, crushing all in their path. Soon after spotting them, the scouts receive a radio transmission that is diverted to central command.

Deirdre. Planting forests. This faction’s ideology revolves around a sort of post-collapse stress disorder. The inefficiencies the previous civilization’s growth pattern had were disastrous on the developed biosphere of their planet, which in turn simply accelerated the collapse. The ‘Reductionists’, or the Gaians, are compelled by the ideology that not only should such inefficiencies be eliminated, the focus should no longer be placed on high levels of growth, and the biosphere should reign supreme. As such, they are ‘Reductionists’.

It’s not known exactly how the mind virus enforced this effect on the biologicals considering their previous planet has a biosphere very different from this one. On this planet, the inefficiencies have an inverse effect on the biosphere. Very inefficient projects tend to increase the size of the biosphere, one would assume to the glee of the reductionists. That is not the case, however paradoxically.

In any case, contact is made. The first thing Deirdre asks for is the commlink to Lal, asking if Yang has it. Whether to hurt Lal for the mistakes of the past world or for a wish for mutual cooperation, is unknown. In either case, Yang lies to her and says he does not possess it.

After a brief conversation, she understands that Yang’s society is much more efficient, and a deal is brokered along the same lines as Lal, except this time Yang receives the technology critical to her Formers: a concrete understanding of the resources in Centauri Ecology, and how to exploit them. He begins building one immediately. A treaty of friendship, again along the same lines as the meeting with Lal, is formed.

Year 17:

Only two years into the relationship, geographical boundaries of their small continent create rising tensions in the Hive-Reductionist relationship. Exploration is difficult.

Yang contacts Lal, and then Deirdre. Lal desires the newly acquired insights Yang has gotten on Centauri ecological exploitation, and in return, offers to give information regarding the best way to basically structure the military on Planet, and how to build Scout Rovers. Yang accepts and immediately opens a new line to Deirdre, attempting to broker the newly acquired technology.

Deirdre has an interesting invention she’s willing to give; building on the principles of social psyche she received from Yang earlier. Ethical Calculus. Again, this is an additional divergence from what is at all expected.


                                                                                                                                                                   Interlude Two

The principles of Ethical Calculus are less an invention, but more a form of self-corrective meta-self-awareness for this kind of biology. It means that the warping of the perception of reality due to the typical mind viruses is noticeably lessened. Raising children through these new mathematical ethical laws means that they have a much lower chance of retaining things that fundamentally skew perception of reality towards a wrong.

Of course, this cannot and does not eliminate differences among human factions or bring forth a final, concrete set of moral guidelines. The equations described in ethical calculus can either be lied about from a centralized source as the Hive does, maintaining its mind virus, or the equations can be opened up so far to interpretation on what state they should be in that they’re essentially useless. This happens in some of the other factions such as Morgan and Zakharov.

However, overall they do ensure more rational, educated populaces. It also marks a move towards total acceptance of genetic modification.

More importantly was the discovery Yang’s researchers were able to make come Year 22 of the mission. Arguably the most important discovery in this entire log. Divergence of the highest level, something most species, even those on a much higher level than the simple individual, atomized minds of humanity, rarely ever accomplish.

To explain why this is so significant: Most civilizations simply go working on, acquiring greater and greater technology that allows them better and better exploitation of the outside world, the inner working of their society, and the energy of the universe. Such was the nature of human progress, up until this point. Fire, tools, machines, starships. All ways of exploiting the outside world, never a technology that exploits the very world that creates such things. It is said that a system cannot ever truly know itself, not without fundamental oversimplification. The ideas of accomplishing more of looking inward and changing that of course occur, transhumanism, but are almost never be exploited. It is the fundamental limiting factor for almost all sentient life in the universe.

However, Yang and eventually the others passed this barrier. Somehow. They learned to know themselves, and it isn’t known exactly what special characteristic enabled these divergences. That’s not my job to find out. My job is just to explain what happened, and why it’s remarkable. I’ll leave it to whoever’s reading to understand the why, here.

He discovered the Secrets of the Human Brain. The precise, genetic nature of the biological consciousness itself, and the beginnings of how to modify it.  Yang managed to collate all the technological data he had brokered for, combining the insights of biogenetics and the issues presented in the Ark’s journey to come to an ultimate epiphany about the intrinsic biological nature of humanity itself.

Ethical Calculus and Secrets of the Human Brain provide the groundwork for a new world, and eventually, a new species.


                                                                                                                                                                            Log

Year 23: Despite large amounts of technological advancements, especially in basic research, applied research has been lacking, so Yang begins to research a basic industrial base that will determine the production of mass amounts of goods on Planet CYXB.

More worryingly for Yang, tensions with the Gaians continue to rise. They request extradition of exploratory forces from their territory, and Yang decides to give in. But he immediately regrets his decision when he realizes that the Gaian’s intent in that message is to pursue colonization of the forested, highly mineral rich area previously outlined.

Year 24: Yang’s forces attempt to push through the colony pod into the far north area, and are nearly there; however, Deirdre decides enough is enough. She requests another withdrawal. Yang refuses, and war breaks out.

Year 25: War on Planet CYXB is special, in a few ways. It is nothing similar to conventional wars of civilizations such as humanity, simply because the scales are too small to have harbored a large enough population. However, the technologies expand exponentially over time. Therefore, the wars are generally fought with small squads and overpowering weapons. Overpowering technology versus small populations means the size of a base is very insignificant, and that it better have a dedicated defender with equally large defenses or it is essentially done for. This means an arms race of offense vs defense, both attempting to fight against the other.

This war is more similar to a small border dispute, as of now. The Scout Rover roaming around the far north is destroyed by a patrol of Reductionist scouts guarding an incoming reductionist colony pod. Yang immediately diverts all his forces in an attempt to stop it, except for one unit in particular.

Year 26: The first farm is built near Fecundity tower, and food begins to pour in, allowing a higher maximum population in the base. Because space is sacred in this new world that requires environment suits to move around in, populations are strictly regulated to the amount of food available to avoid starvation. As of right now, it is nowhere near its capping point in most Hive Bases. But the population begins to grow faster as the food arrives.

The Battle Ogre MK 1. A massive, towering machine that stands twice as tall as a former, made of the hardest materials currency in the previous world could buy, and equipped with Missile Launchers. It stands on four, curved metal legs supporting a spherical weapons platform, and hulks around the landscape, crushing all in its path. Yang is extremely satisfied, Missile Launchers are far and above any other weapons the other factions currently possess. He moves it to the northeast, preparing for an assault on Gaia’s Landing.

Year 27: Additional formers are built, and the beginnings of a road network begin to form.

Year 28-31: The Battle Ogre reaches Gaia’s Landing. Deirdre diverts all her available forces to defend. However, her available forces consist merely of Scout Patrol and Scout Rovers armed with small arms, and occasionally a laser. No defensive capability whatsoever, merely offensive. As such, they get crushed by the attacking ogre, easily. Hundreds of high-powered, supersonic missiles pound into the defenses around Gaia’s landing, ripping the defending forces to shreds. After the defenders are all dead, the Towering Ogre enters the habitat and assumes control.

Deirdre, -having lost her capital and all her forces with only one other small outpost as a base- is forced to capitulate. Yang takes her on as a loyal vassal, and the continent is split between them 35/65. Yang forms two new colonies, one just north of Fecundity Tower, The Great Collective, and another, in the far-north area the war was fought over, deemed The Seat of Proper Thought. These gains, along with Gaia’s Landing, secure Yang as by far the most populous and powerful faction, for now.

Year 31-47:

A relatively quiet period of terraforming, infrastructure revamp and continued trading of technology with Lal.

Lal gives Yang information on how to acquire and build ‘foils’, or ships that can navigate the harsh oceans of Planet CYXB, and research on information networks that allow basic networked infrastructure to be developed, helping technological advance. In exchange, Yang decides to give Lal his information on Ethical Calculus and Secrets of the Human Brain, spreading the divergence.

Other noteworthy events include:

The first sighting of a hostile fungoid entity, a dangerous ‘mushroom’ artillery that is quickly destroyed by Yang’s forces.

The first real unrest in the Hive, due to high population causing overcrowding. It is dealt with by building policing military units.

A Children’s Creche is finally built, using the models of Ethical Calculus to raise more efficient, smarter children.

Year 48: The Third contact is made. In the commlink, a signal coming from the west coast to the sea, Yang has a signature ID for a ‘Sister Miriam’, however that is not the person who answers at all. The man who answers is a burly, hulking man in a wetsuit. He calls himself Sveensgaard, leader of the Nautilus Pirates, and he has a lot of information for Yang. Sveensgaard actually offers a deal to Yang to attack Morgan. But, knowing nothing about him yet, Yang is forced to decline.

A bit of background on the pirates: The Nautilus Pirates are slightly out of place on planet CYXB. While all the other factions follow strict, obvious ideologies that separate them in distinct ways, the pirates only obvious purpose is to grow and disrupt intercontinental trade. Therefore, they are known as the ‘Rebels’.

Continuing, what happens next is a series of shrewd deals that ultimately ends in the contact with nearly all the other factions on the planet.

First, Yang brokers a deal that trades his technology on information networks, and his societal control schemes that he has given Lal and Deirdre, for a series of industrial technologies from Svensgaard. First, he acquires the basic industrial necessities he was already researching; focused on small-scale manufacturing based on assembly lines. Then, he acquires the industrial economic system necessary to run an economy on that. It’s very basic and doesn’t yet have any advanced social engineering implemented, but it helps acquire the necessary energy he has been severely lacking in compared to other factions, due to his centralized economics.

After this, Svensgaard mentions he acquired these technologies from Morgan. Yang decides to give Sveensgaard what Lal already has; Ethical Calculus and Secrets of the Human Brain. In return, he is given the world map of Rebel exploration, a commlink to Morgan, and a treaty of friendship.

Now, Morgan is an interesting case in the overall scheme of Planet CYXB, but suffers from the same imbalance as the Reductionists, just in the opposite direction. While the Reductionists want to minimize growth, Morgan seeks to maximize it. Knowing such, they will, therefore, be referred to as ‘Expansionists’. Intuitively, one would think this was a good idea, but it suffers from some of the same flaws as the previous world was susceptible to. While the society now has energy reserves and isn’t susceptible to outright collapse, it is also paralyzed by its own desire for growth. The inefficiencies remain, and the desire for energy is the only thing it can pursue. Policing, organizing, and controlling such a society of atomized, self-interested individuals is nearly impossible.

Yang contacts Morgan, who reflects his society as such and says he is in contact with Zakharov and wants energy if he is to give away the commlink. Yang accepts. Morgan again reflects the state of his society and says he knows virtually nothing about the planet he is living on but has valuable information on how to manage economies through planetary data networks. Yang again accepts the information trade and establishes friendship.

Using the newly acquired planetary data networks, he manages to assume direct control of all information flow in his economy. The economy of the Hive is now truly planned, and Yang exploits this to its maximum effect. Population skyrockets, and so does production.

Then, he contacts Zakharov. Now, Zakharov and Yang are similar in some ways, and both are very suited to their planet. Zakharov, however, has some very obvious flaws that go along with his strengths.

Both Yang and Zakharov have highly efficient, goal-orientated societies that fully exploit the situation of the low population, high technology that has arisen on Planet CYXB. Zakharov dedicates this to the pursuit of knowledge, and Yang dedicates it to the functioning and efficiency of society. Such a situation is both conducive to academic enclaves and small amounts of rigid, efficient workers. However, what Zakharov fails to account for is just how fragile the order of human society is, and fails to fully maintain it. Thus, he suffers from constant ‘drone riots’, as his regime consistently performs unethical actions against a populace that is not sufficiently controlled and accounted for. Therefore, they are known as the ‘Unethicists’.

Unfortunately, the relationship gets off to a rocky start, possibly because of Yang’s obvious intuition that the Unethicists are rampant and uncontrolled. No technologies are traded, and no friendship is made.

All in all, Yang’s hegemony is growing, as he binds the world together. However, there were 7 escape pods, and only six factions have been discovered so far. The obvious question is: Where is Santiago?

Year 50: The political geography of the world is as follows: The world is mostly land, with large patches of various islands and 4 primary continents. Continent One, ‘Japan’, is where Yang and Deirdre are centered, with Deirdre to the East and Yang to the West. It is the smallest of all continents, but has the most food content, and has the mineral rich area to the far north where the Seat of Proper Thought lies. This will be the central reference point to refer to the other continents.

Continent Two, ‘England’, is directly West, closest to Yang. The inland is as of yet unexplored, but its entire southern coast is colonized by Rebels, exploiting a dense, rich forest that covers it. It’s the third largest continent, slightly bigger than Japan.

Continent Three, ‘Europe’, is the most significant Continent. It’s the second largest continent, and it houses the factions of Morgan, Zakharov, and Lal. It is located to the nearer southwest of Japan, and further Southeast. It has three distinct geographical zones, one with each faction. Lal occupies the mineral rich ‘Mount Planet’ area, closer to Deirdre and the Southeast of Japan, farthest from Yang. Morgan occupies a strange, energy-heavy area called ‘The Ruins’, directly in the middle of the continent, sandwiched between Lal, Zakharov and Sveensgaard, just southwest of England. Finally, Zakharov occupies a somewhat desolate, rocky area closest to Yang, just southwest of Japan.

Continent Four, ‘Africa’, is the largest and most desolate of them all. It’s not known who occupies it yet, but there is only one possibility. It directly borders Japan to the Northeast, next to Deirdre.
As of right now, Yang is faced with the strategic challenge of not having that much available land to exploit. Whichever faction conquers Europe will most likely reign supreme.

The world has developed well. Most factions have 4-5 colonies and have begun to claim the majority of the planet in their distinct territories, even if they have not begun fully exploiting them. Infrastructure is beginning to be developed, and populations reaching high levels, habitation complexes will soon need to be developed. Yang is ahead of the curve, and as such he decides to exploit his advantage to the fullest while he still can. A project is started, one that will allow Yang to fully exploit the small amount of land he has, and fast. The Weather Paradigm is the first project started, of many to come all around the planet, and marks the first truly massive technological project ever started on planet CYXB.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 03:47:10 AM by lifehole »

Offline bvanevery

Re: A story about the Hive/the game from an Alien's perspective
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2017, 04:17:08 AM »
  • Publish
  • I have found this interesting so far.

    Offline lifehole

    Re: A story about the Hive/the game from an Alien's perspective
    « Reply #2 on: January 27, 2017, 02:08:34 AM »
  • Publish
  • Thanks! I plan on doing another write-up soon. It's one of my first couple times playing through SMAC(X), playing on a high-food, low-native life large map with ;deidre; ;yang; ;zak; ;morgan; ;santi; ;lal; ;ulrik; . Only on librarian difficulty, which I thought I wouldn't do as well as I am doing at, but my little hive seems to be excelling. Wonder if I could purposely mess things up to make it interesting.

    Offline bvanevery

    Re: A story about the Hive/the game from an Alien's perspective
    « Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 08:40:23 PM »
  • Publish
  • Give someone a base.  You know you want to.  HONEYCOMB your empire with OTHER PEOPLE'S BASES.

     

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