Friday, 4 March 2016
Future History part 3
sorry to leave it so long, real life got in the way.
Several hundred years pass, in which a number of minor races are encountered, usually on their own planets or own star system, but a few which have ventured further afield in space.
And then the big shock, when a Exclacol ship encounters…. Humans.
Real, genuine, actual humans.
The Egasuur Empire is old, and decadent, and advanced in some things, but sufficiently insular as to be opposed to anything new or experimental.
The next two hundred or so years sees intermittent warfare until a Republic hospital ship is captured by the Egasuuri, who parade their captives in their public plazas, and then begin dying in droves of a mysterious fungal plague which does not affect the Earthmen. Nor, of course, any other race with them, but it was the ‘primitive and inferior geneseed’ who excited the interest of the Egasuuri.
As it happens, some of the scientists, notably chief surgeon Andrew Palling and senior surgeon, Fweblebl Twelbw [Duwab], managed to run some DNA tests on the fauna and flora of the Egasuur homeworld, and confirmed that, in the words of Ms Twelbw, Humans from earth share more DNA in common with their pond weed than the Egasuuri do with their most advanced animals.
The Egasuuri swallow their pride and ask for help from their prisoners, and declare that if this is a biowarfare weapon they have no choice but to surrender.
Dr. Palling calls for aid, and doctors from the Republic rush to discover what is wrong before the Egasuuri lose most of their population, since it has been taken by naval troops and sight seers to other planets too. It turns out to be athlete’s foot which is causing the hideous fungal disease, as the Egasuuri have no fungi. Athlete’s foot had never been eliminated as had the common cold and influenza had been; it was never something anyone got around to.
The Emperor and all his immediate heirs and successors having succumbed to ‘athlete’s everywhere’, as the human doctors privately called the expression of the parasite, the Egasuur placed themselves under the dominion of the Republic, being too shocked to do anything else. As the Empress and her loud and raucous daughters had insisted on poking at the prisoners and generally tormenting them in any way they could, when displayed like pets in the throne room, it was generally held by the Earth humans to be Karma.
Treaties are duly signed and the Egasuuri become one with the Republic, giving a place for those who are more adventurous than the norm. It may be said that Earth humans, viewing extreme insularity with some scorn, refer to those who want to carry on as far as possible in the same way as ‘Sackvilles’ and to the adventurous ones as ‘Bagginses’. [The terms remain long after the original literature has been forgotten, corrupted over time to Sickvels and Bagens]
It transpires that a couple of thousand years ago, the Egasuuri had something of a civil war, and most of those who were forward looking left for pastures new, Coreward of the Empire. They took with them the still little understood skill of what Earthmen recognised from science-fiction as psionics. The conservative Egasuuri wanted to suppress this skill, close the new institutes investigating it, and kill anyone with the ability to use any aspect of it as ‘abnormal’. The Empire doesn’t have a very good human rights record for those born with disabilities, either. As those who were investigating, and trying to increase their own talents did not want to be killed, they felt they had no choice but to leave, and instead of letting them, the Imperial government issued an edict that they were to present themselves for internment. This did not go down well, but the exodus was by no means bloodless. The Talented managed to get away by utilising those people in whose presence computers stop working, normally a handicap in a technological society, but a military asset at the time.
The Egasuur call the renegades the Zarhazh, the warlocks.
They called themselves the Drozhim, the talented.
The Earth Humans promptly went back to the same book and dubbed them the Sarumans.
With the signing of treaties with the Egasuur, the Duwab bureaucrats insisted that as both had their own dating system this became obsolete, and that a new dating system was required, based on the circadian rhythms of the average of the peoples in the Republic and on the average year of a planet in the habitable zone. The new day was 25 hours long, and the year was 350 days. Local time continued to be observed as well on various planets, as it always had. Earth was required to lose a local day or so each year, and two every four years, which became interyear holidays. In future years, those leaving Earth for careers in space were to feel cheated by a lack of interyear holiday…
The Duwab had been happy to abandon the Hawraa system when they joined the Republic since the human circadian rhythms were closer to their own, and now were delighted to rationalise things. Being the superb administrators they are, the changeover went smoothly, and year one of the Republic of Minds was declared.
At some point in the future the Drozhim are encountered, and they refuse to be absorbed or to make treaties whilst the Egasuur are honoured members. They just want to be left alone, but have a bad habit of trying to get in their retaliation first, convinced that all outsiders either want to kill them, or use their psionic skills for their own purposes. There are a number of border incidents and clashes. The Drozhim remain uneasy neighbours with unknown talents, which might, or might not be more advanced than a little bit of empathy and dowsing. Suffice it to say that whatever could not be determined was readily guessed at, and lurid fiction involving Drozhim warlocks became popular, from mind-reading spies, to bodice rippers involving Drozhim pashas whose mental powers held their female victims in thrall. Thus, as always, the lowest common denominator prevails in human literature, and Babie Wagonland became a well known name in ‘romance’ barely short of soft porn.
This is the point at which Mr. Becher enters history, towards the Drozhim borders, Republic year 1066.