Rewriting History | Part 4
Hunter: What events within the last few hundred years have been so significant that modern societies still echo with their consequences?
Jared: I think our official Iris: Adventure Game copyright would rank highly.
Hunter: Yes, centuries from now, university students will consider the impact of our little piece of paper from the copyright office.
So we ended part 3 of our Rewriting History series teasing this great, galactic-changing event -- this decision by the Taes Empire that would ripple out through history for centuries to follow. Modern equivalents -- our copyright aside -- may be the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, the British Empire, or European/American slavery and its abolition. These events, still today, steer our cultures’ mindsets.
Jared: The events of part 4 of Rewriting History will leave the Taes species grasping to make sense of its place in the universe. They realize just what they have become, and this once proud species is brought low.
Hunter: Right, the Empire has spread across the known galaxy, has subjugated two other sentient species and is fighting in a brutal war with the Unysyn Directive. As the Unysyn continually increase their military production -- true masters of total war -- the Empire becomes more desperate in its attempts to undermine the Unysyn.
Until, a breakthrough in sub-sonic research is discovered: the Achroite can be enhanced beyond natural potencies.
Jared: Keep in mind, for the Empire, the greatest victories in this war are with their infantry. Strike teams of Achroite, Seti and Taes functioning with complementary abilities are consistently winning battles against Unysyn. So Taes are training and developing new techniques with chromatics. The Seti are producing new weapons and armors to match the weapons of the Unysyn. But what can be done to improve the Achroite? They don’t use weapons, and training, while effective, is not helping enough.
The Achroite draw power from the ambient Source Colors in the world around them. They work like magnifying glasses with sunlight, focusing the Source into a specific location in a violent way. But the Source Colors can be manipulated by the Taes in far more elaborate ways. This synergy worked wonders on individual Achroite in the heat of battle. So the Taes developed a method to apply this principle planet-wide.
Hunter: Take a magnifying glass and expand it out to thousands of magnifying glasses -- build a massive telescope. (This analogy may be getting away from us.) Suffice to say that the Empire learns how to take specific Achroite manipulations -- enhancing personal chromatic abilities -- and apply those manipulations to the chromatic energy of an entire region or planet. They’re able to surge chromatic aggression into entire colonies of Achroite, and this leads to an unprecedented military push against the Unysyn.
Jared: Oh, there’s no doubt it worked for winning battles. The new Achroite in the military were much better at controlling Source than their ancestors. They fought with a ferocity that pushed back against the gains of the Unysyn Directive. This inspired the Taes to expand the program to numerous Achroite colony worlds, each training Achroite for combat in a single color.
Hunter: And as these Achroite programs expanded, the host colonies had fewer and fewer Achroite who were able to color shift. And then something odd began to happen: the planets themselves seemed to start losing chromatic viability. Creatures who thrived on certain color realms began to weaken, as if being choked off from chromatic energy.
Imperial citizens assumed this was some sort of Achroite plague -- an infection -- and panic spread through the Achroite colonies. Once this chromatic collapse began, it spread at a tremendous speed, and no one knew what the cause was.
Jared: Life in the universe requires a certain balance of Source Colors to thrive. But once one color grew in prominence, the scale began to tip and swing far out of balance. This illness was unlike anything seen before in the galaxy -- not a sickness of the body but a sickness in the Source itself.
Extinction events cascaded across the affected worlds. Even the least proficient Taes could feel that something was wrong, and the Achroite began acting erratically. The ferocity that was once reserved for combat was spilling out into normal life. The Achroite began losing their civilization.
Hunter: As planets and Achroite were collapsing into single Source Colors, the lifeforms on those planets were either dying or becoming highly feral. The Empire had to retreat from multiple battlefronts. Finally, there’s this realized connection between the sub-sonic experiments and the collapsed incidents, and the Achroite programs were halted.
But things kept getting worse for the Empire. Furious over thousands of years of enslavement and now this egregious mistreatment of the Achroite, the Seti began massive revolts throughout the Empire. So there’s a war with the Unysyn, a civil war with the Seti and an epidemic spreading through the Achroite colonies. The Empire all but shuts down and tries to process basic survival.
Jared: On the planet Ethium, an unoccupied planet on the edge of Imperial space, a peaceful gathering of representatives from all four species is called. In attendance are representatives from the Emperor, several prominent Seti tribes, many Achroite leaders and a delegation of Unysyn. (A few Aurorans were in attendance but did not make themselves known.)
The Ethium Summit negotiated a ceasefire between the Unysyn Directive and the Empire. A major condition in that ceasefire was the right for the Seti and Achroite to self-govern if they desired. Numerous Seti tribes threw off the burden of Imperial rule and left to form their own governments. The Achroite agreed to remain a client species in the Empire, provided all experimenting be halted until it could be reviewed by Achroite scientists. The Unysyn further demanded the removal of all three species from any system originally under Unysyn control. These concessions were all granted by the Imperial authority.
Hunter: And so the Second Empires War and the First Ethium Summit concluded with the Taes Empire realizing its destructive behaviors and then pursuing more isolationist policies -- isolationism that is still strong today, centuries later.
Jared: Your numbering worries me, but this chapter of history appears to be at an end.
Hunter: We’ve another species still to discover and more Ethium Summits to be held, and we’ll get to those in the next part.