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Beyond War Summarized in 30 Seconds

The author, a military kid in a very high technology family who grew up in a Computer store for Apple business PCs in the 1980s, was told that raw numbers would always win in future conflicts. The old WARSAW PACT theory, that you can just overwhelm your enemy with inferior weapons and force their surrender, regardless of combined arms.

Raised on science fiction from the 1950s and a lot of one-on-one time with grandparents and great grandparents who fought in World War I and II, these ideas did not sit well with him. So the author prepared a science fiction story to explore if a single soldier could take and hold an entire planet. Think "outnumbered seven billion to one".

This concept of a high technology super-soldier, capable of engaging in biological warfare with a degree of precision and information not available to the combined civil and military authority of a populated planet, including fabricating weapons while in combat and moving across Interstellar distances without a vehicle - carrying out one man boarding actions against ships and operating on a level that rivals the most frightening supernatural creatures, to inspire the kind of fear that becomes legends thousands of years after the conflict is over. Primordial fear. The kind of creature that wiped out the dinosours. A soldier who never dies, never stops, and goes on about his business for hundreds of thousands of years silently watching entire civilizations rise and fall.

Superman was never this patient. This is evil and war in the realm of gods and monsters.

And let us say a civilization became aware of such a creature and even a small degree of the technology and resulting impact that its application (eternal life, the ability to come back from the dead, the power to transfer billions of minds of information in a pin drop of blood.

What would they do then?

The Spin on Old (Public Domain) Ideas
Vampiers are cool, right? If a bit over powered.

So how can a game about them be playable?

Our Sanguine are not at their full potential. Most don't have a clue what their bodies can do. They are, to put it simply, as much children as the lower (natural?) species. It is hard to say natural, since one could argue all intelligent life came from some cast-off of Sanguine DNA blown halfway across the Galaxy. Or at least that is one theory.

The Sanguine can, however, look like anyone and anything. They can change their mass (see: extra dimensional transisiton drive) and density, bridging dimensions with their bodies, sometimes to the point they are like a tiny cork on the bottom of an ocean. Pierce their heart (if you can find it), and ... literally ... oceans of blood. Fortunately they consider that evacuation a bit like we do taking a number two, or peeing your pants, so it isn't a tactic you see very often unless you injure or kill one.

They can look like grandma moses or that old cowboy on the porch, the retarded kid in the corner, or the girl with downs syndrome. And the like to do that, because you underestimate those people. Ugly, old, weird, cute, sexy, gay or straight - these monsters know people. They have adapted from looking exactly like the dinosaurs to pushing a shopping cart under a bridge or posing in a bikini. The Sanguine are the 'every monster'.

The Loch Ness Monster... Sanguine. The Jersey Devil... Sanguine. Your sister's cat... Sanguine.

Yeah, buddy. It should creep you out.

But fortunately the Sanguine that you find are usually newborns - less than 10,000 years old - and they still retain the form they were when they were created by their master. Created is one option. Converted, ...another. Because with enough knowledge about the Sanguine Engine, an older Sanguine can literally touch you or release a virus in the air and everyone it comes in contact with will become.... (guess).

For this (and about a trillion other good reasons), civilizations that become aware of the very existance and nature of the Sanguine will destroy your planet, your entire solar system, and anyone you had contact with in order to purge the threat of Sanguine from the Universe. Too serious? You have no idea.

The War
A more imporant question is, "Who made these monsters?"

Really, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this was a bad idea. So who do we have to blame for letting an angry God loose in our Universe?

Probably human beings. They fear pretty much everything the Sanguine represent. It is only natural, since they are such a pathetic threat, that they made the Sanguine in order to fight... (drum roll) ...other human beings. This is the equivalent of the a-bomb on a Universal scale. A gift that just keeps on giving. Self-replicating contagious with a very powerful attitude. Sentient and uncontrollable.

Why do we know this? Because they made a lot of other shit too.

While the same rocket scientists were screwing around with building the ultimate human-like soldier, they had a few prototypes. Self-replicating planetary colonies of killer war machines for one, that can mirror (duplicate) their individual intelligence and character on millions of fighters in a few seconds and 'scale up' for war as fast as resources are available. If you want to know what guards the walls of entire galaxies from this crap, it is the Tyec.

Machines can be hacked, captured, reverse engineered, and objectified. So they kept going, with the organic component using the most common life form in the galaxy - insects. Building insect DNA into micro organic complex technology including faster-than-light drive and the mirroring of consciousness, with overrides and safety systems that made the billions of war machines seem like tinker toys. They also scaled up a bit, to bugs the size of planets. Yeah, deuce and run.

Regional governance and control over territories of occupied people (think planets, not islands) also made them bring back oldies but goodies - dragons. Giant lizards with wings and warp drive, able to fly and breath fire, do complex math in their heads, store and retrieve files and spreadsheets like a computer, and really surly with a load of attitude as big as their bellies. The bigger their food supply, the bigger they get - from a chiuaua to a creature that noms on planets. Yup, Dracos. The little ones they make that stop maturing as humanoid lizards, to put hands on the people and collec taxes - those are the creepy ones. Fortunately they only tolerate one of their kind in a domain, so they didn't spread like a prarie grassfire despite their ambitions.

Werewolves uploaded with infantry and field tactics bred with a nearly insane sense of bond to the pack and to family, suited up in armor and carrying modern battle rifles and conventional military arms capped off the Island of Dr Moreau mentality of the pre-war DNA labs. Mass produced in organism yards and recombination labs, these armies were ready to spin up at a moment's need to suppress any human insurrection. Orphaned, they tend to settle down and really take to farming. Probably because they come in all shapes and sizes (a wide animal DNA template), and are rational enough to get along (unlike their creators).

Side effects of these experiments (or nights of drinking by Sanguine) also left the human race in the image of very tiny versions of themselves, known as the minat. A people who seem to retain a very close understanding of quantum mechanics and advanced physics, due to their relative size or other genetic stockpile of information, the Minat live in pocket worlds and are rarely seen outside of the portals to these magical places. Usually where there is a lot of good whiskey.

And then you have the little buggery pirates of space, eager to hold on to places where humans just would not be happy. These little half pints, not exactly beardy nor stout, but very inclined to not dying in hard vaccuum, are the Dawv. Call one a dwarf, and he'll space you. Their entire economy and society is based on a bizarre offshoot of property rights and laws from early mining and deep space exploration, which is designed to support even the poor and injured by building a society around continued survival in very harsh conditions. Family first, profit second, everybody else after that. Good friends - terrible enemies - but not out of spite or fear. Mostly because they are tricky devils who have to think before they act.

You cannot look at all this and say "God had a plan." It is more like the Sanguine sneezed, and there was life. And even they didn't mean for that to come out.

But It Gets Worse
There are a few of these mysterious characters still around, walking in and out of shadows like doors, waving their arms about, shouting hoo-doo and talking to the sky. They want you to think it is all magic and religious fervor, because the trick of hiding a lost civilization is never telling anyone its tools are still around and turned on. The Kaygie (Kay Guy), are not what you can call human anymore, because they don't obey the laws of physics much - but on close examination they do seem absolutely identical to human beings - if they don't explode, or implode, or turn into doves, or disapear.

Before you have time to be creeped out by that, you will realize the Kaygie and Dracos are always on about something worse out there - far more sinister - even compared to the Sanguine. The 'Lost Ones', or Ethran (Eth Ran). Ghosts, poltergeists, lost souls, entire planetary populations extinguished in a millisecond and obliterated from space and time - that are trying to come back from whereever they were blown into. A side effect of one of the most dangerous weapons in the Universe, and directly related to its use in areas of space where it was discharged even once. For this reason, you don't see those two species whipping out "the big guns" very frequently, because destroying the very fabric of time has consequences.

Quantum Singularity Reactors (QSR)
There are weapons that can, in a single hit, kill a Sanguine. A harboon that can be fired through several dimensions and implode the matter in all of those realities down a pin-prick black hole before closing again like the ass end of the Universe. And just like the backside of space-time, the hole never really closes, and sometimes - something slips out. Use it too many times, and the very fabric of reality cracks and collides. Causality (what was, what could have been, what is, and what is not) make direct contact. Hell. That's one (mild) word for it. It's worse. Much much worse. The kind of experience that can destroy even a God.

Don't think the creators were mad yet? Well, they mounted these things on star ships and went to war with each other. They got very good at building them, too, and left the pieces of their war machine scattered all across the Universe. Some of them are small enough to be made into personal sidearms (pistols). Others were built-in or absorbed by Sanguine who saw action in the war, to power themselves and to use against other fleets of ships equipped with causality destroying weapons and engines.

Is it bad?

Oh hell yes. Worse than you can imagine.

Because a QSR is not simply a 'black hole gun', or a 'singularity' (black hole) in a paper-thin dime, like some pulp fiction of human children. The name 'quantum' is attched to this device because it is not a hyper-dense matter gravitational reactor. It is a machine capable of reaching back into time and space itself and 'slicing' off a branch to burn into pure energy before channeling that output (destroying the Universe in a place, in a moment) into a single event (branch and temporal span) in a controlled fashion. It destroys time and space, not only in the location of its directed energy (a material target) but also in a completely separate space and time.

Ever had Deja Vu?

That's the moment a QSR sampled and destroyed a segment of your life. Bridging the two pieces over in a splice, like putting a film strip back together where it was cut, causing a few frames to meet - is how humans perceive these events. They can become frequent and more than disruptive, weakening the barriers of causality and damaging the effect of physics in an area to permit other entities to enter time and space at those points where edits or damage has occurred, and leaves permanent scars in the fabric of space and time where discharged, sometimes destroying the entire region of space in a sudden collapse that bends and tears dimensional travel. As a result, traversing the battlefields of the War can be extremely dangerous, as these weapons were used extensively and without regard to their full effect.

The Cataclysm
Clearly things were not going well during The War, with all these monsters in play and reality falling apart. Solar systems were being destroyed and entire Galaxies were overrun with the offspring of self-replicating armies of bloodthirsty vampires. And then someone got the bright idea to make a 13th Species... and the whole of civilization disappeared in the blink of an eye. Not the dinner plates. Not the warships. Not the incredibly dangerous weapons. Just the people, the memories in the machines related to the event, and a lot of people who obviously knew what was going on - because when it was over, no one left knew The War was even happening.

Somebody woke up a GOD.

The Sanguine who knew what strange looked like, if they had a clue, went to ground, and things got pretty quiet pretty fast. A few rogue planets warring between themselves, the stray werewolf in a rural backward world, or a lost Sanguine in the mountains, were all that was left of The War for about 30,000 years. Things calmed down. And then, people began to rediscover each other, and the stories about the monsters and the legends and the end of the world, started to make more sense as they came into contact with the leavings of their origins. The world seemed pretty small. The problems of a people who thought they were alone in the Universe and their differences - miniature compared to the scope of what had happened. And somewhere, the 13th Species watched, anxiously.


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