Saran’s civilisation had taken to the stars more than 400,000 years ago. For thousands of years they'd thought they were alone in the universe.
When they first landed on their small moon in their barren system, it was a glorious occasion that was followed by six decades of impotent inaction.
When they stepped off their world they were shocked. As they reached further out, touching the faces of their dead gods, they had their first outside contact.
<2235.00100.93.OC.Wide-Beam.ALLCHANNELS.UHF.VHF.AM.FM.3000-300000Hz.54-890MHz> ^ ISRV (Inter-Stellar Research Vehicle) Measure Twice
While scanning your neck of the woods, I picked up trace signals from your planet that I had not ever noticed before.
Subsequently we have gone about making sure that your home planet is never threatened by anything ever again. You’re welcome!
You are the 41st race we’ve ever discovered post space-travel. We, on behalf of my society, are terribly sorry it has taken us so long to find you. Your system is just so quiet and out of the way!
We are currently en-route from the area of space you know as the Centaurus Constellation. Expected time of arrival is 37 of your days. We’ll begin braking in about 29 days, look for our trail in that direction.
Can’t wait to meet your race, you seem promising!
Captain of the ISRV Measure Twice.
P.S: Love your ‘movies’!
The crew of the Measure Twice introduced the humans to the rest of the galaxy, like a proud farmer showing off an extremely large pumpkin, or a nice cow. The humans were terrified at first, but after 6 generations of deep space travelling they joined a fledgling alliance with 3 other races, finally joining the Galactic Council.
They founded the Mores after 1,000 years of council membership. As resources went from finite to infinite, due to asteroid mining and other such innovations, the Mores established themselves as a peaceful empire. A deluge of luxury and leisure. Machines took over the menial tasks, freeing the Mores to pursue anything and everything they could think of. Science, genital manipulation, literature, more genital manipulation, art, music, travel, warfare, peace and everything in between, and between their legs. Their horizons were boundless, as were their orgasms.
It was from this that the first Entities appeared. They were technically AI’s, but they were immaculate in their imperfections. AI have no morals or ethics or humour. To call an AI a Mind was like calling a calculator a gifted mathematician. AI’s are tools. Minds are beings in their own right. They were warmly accepted into the Mores, and soon they ran the joint. They devised deep-space colonies, wandered the stars for fun. The Mores poured their souls into the mould, and from it rose gods. The truest and most complete definition of the term anyone had ever encountered. They were the epitome of every virtue the Mores held dear, putting them beyond the corrupting influence of mortality.
The Entities grew tired of the Galactic Council, as had many of the Mores citizens, which had bloomed to count races in the dozens. Every time the Mores felt some heinous wrong was being done, or some fledgling civilisation was on the cusp of ruin, the Galactic Council halted them from helping, citing paragraph whatever of subsection who-gives-a-toss under article fuck-knows.
This prompted the Mores to abolish all laws, such as they were. The minds would keep them safe, even from crimes of passion, which were really the only crimes being committed then anyway. 2 murders in nearly 1,800 years. Not something to lose any sleep over. It became an intensely social society with a social charisma that preceded them wherever they went. “Those Mores guys are good guys” etc etc.
Free from their shackles, the Mores developed a sort of military, which was so difficult to enter that it soon slipped everyone’s mind. First Impressions was the culmination of everyone wanting to do something but also wanting to live life and have fun, considering all the effort they went to, messing with their bodies.
So FI went quietly about its business. Where races before them would study new discoveries from a remove, FI would study up close and personal. They would interact with new societies, helping them build what they needed. FI detested war with a passion, and seeing all these poor people fighting over scraps of metal, or even worse, twisted ideals, made the Minds and citizens in it ill. ‘Survival of the Fittest’ was a defeatist’s truism to them. They helped civilisations go from single planets to whole systems in less than a hundred years, usually without any major embarrassment. Perhaps a revolution here or a civil war there.
Then, they met their first real adversaries in 20,000 years, an almost full sector wide empire that the Mores had helped achieve inter-stellar travel. They expanded rapidly, the Mores falling back, trying to get out of their way. Billions were murdered with a bloodthirsty hatred that shocked the Mores, Minds and all. The catalyst of the war was the empire finding out that FI were mostly machines.
This annoyed the Minds to no end.
A Mores wide vote was taken. 80 trillion citizens for going to war, to 30 billion against. By all reckoning unanimous. The 30 billion decided to outcast themselves from the Mores until the end of the war. They earned the strangely unimaginative name of Outcasts.
From the fertile womb of FI, Mitigation was born. Mitigation was the only section of Mores society that was kept secret on purpose. It was formed by a small group of Minds which felt that while FI was enthusiastic and skilled at their craft, they weren’t properly equipped to fight dirty, like their enemies would. They hit the ground running, a teeming cloud of FOE and PSCYHO (Proto-Sentient (Citizen mind converted to a ship Mind) Combat-Yearning Hurt-Obligators) war crafts churned out to fight. FSE (Full Service Entities) in Mitigation were equipped with every kind of debauched weapon they could think of.
The retreat slowed to a trickle. The rapid expansion making them bloated and un-able to hold their gains while moving on. The empire was greedy, and Mitigation was angry. They’d stabbed them in the back and spat in their societies face.
They fell upon the empire’s stretched forces like raptors on a flock of sheep. The war lasted less than one tenth great rotation, less than 15 years real time after they entered. Utterly destroying everything in their path. Mitigation would fight dirty, but it had the ability to do so without being war criminals. That took skill beyond the empire.
When it came time for the empire to sue for peace, FI took over negotiations. They had no desire to punish the empire for its outburst. The empire agreed to cease expansion for two great rotations, almost two thousand years.
After 800 they joined the Mores.
Disgracing their magnanimousness brought to bear the sum total of nearly 3 billion years of fighting wars. As extensive as their power was, they didn’t like to fight.
Gave Peace A Chance was a former member of Mitigation, and now a proudly serving member of FI. Inside Mitigation there was a trove of knowledge and an almost boundless amount of discussion tables. GPAC was only involved in one of them, an invitation only gathering arguably the most famous members of non-existent Mitigation.
The Gun Boat Diplomats.