My custom (hard seinen) setting to get rid of Sailor Moon

For submitting and talking about story ideas, individual scenes that need doctoring, outlines, or other detail work that isn't quite ready for the C&C thread.

Idea submissions must be at least five paragraphs long, and include plot points, summaries of which characters are involved, and, for fanfiction, how it differs from canon. Both original and fanfiction ideas welcome. Though original works should have more development. Replying posts must give actual commentary, no "GREAT IDEA" or "THIS SUCKS".

My custom (hard seinen) setting to get rid of Sailor Moon

Postby Cheb » Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:59 am

Lore building: a whole (hard seinen) custom setting to replace Sailor Moon

I am rewriting a very old 250K words fanfic of mine into an Original:
- it is too fanservice-laden, inappropriate for the source franchises. Me force-growing the characters up to 18+ just didn’t work, their personalities fall apart at the seams.
- the story is stifled, suffocating in the bounds of the source franchises - while it would flow much more naturally as hard seinen.
I should have done this from the start instead of rewriting it 5 times.

Since I do not want the old version to exist anymore (already took it down everywhere) but loathe to just trash 500K words of hard work (the Russian and English versions combined) I decided to salvage it by giving it a new setting with its own lore and replacement character cast (some of which are noticeably expies from those anime series - because I have no resources to change the plot too much).

Sources of inspiration (soup to my stone): countless edutaintment shows on NHK World Japan; “Little Vera” and the incredible acting of Natalia Negoda; “Grappler Baki”; “Daughters of Mnemosyne”; “Devilman Lady”; “Tokyo Godfathers” by Satoshi Kon; “Mermaid Forest” by Rumiko Takahashi; “Worm” by Wildbow; online super Japanese name generator https://namegen.jp ; X-Com (1994); Master of Orion (1993); Stellaris; Team Fortress 2; Wakfu; Fairy Tail; Pizzigri whose suggestion sparked the very idea.

The chapter 2 is still lagging at 30%, but I wrote a brand new epilogue (Ch. 26) that stems from this new setting (such a tear jerker). Yay?

----------
The present day:

1996, a hard seinen-like setting focusing around Tokyo. The world is full of Masquerade with supernatural beings hiding in plain sight. Everything goes into the pot: the vampires, the yokai, magical beasts still living out of phase with reality, governments hiding truth from people, The Thing sleeping frozen in the ruins of a nazi antarctic base, eldritch abominations visiting at times, Kaijuzilla and Ktool-choo sleeping at the bottom of the Pacific, ancient mummies sleeping in Egypt with muggle reppellent wards still holding.

Note that existence of souls is a given in this cosmology, a proven fact for the characters. I warn about this here because some people find it offensive (like the old me who watched Babylon 5 on TV)

---------
The sumeras:

The sumera mantles were created by great minds, visionaries and technomages of the Tyrrians (see below) as an ascension path fortheir species. Later their uplift team applied these to those weird upright-walking “mammals” they found on Earth, adapting where possible. But the research team had vastly less resources than the genuises who initially created the mantles, resulting in the Human sumeras being essentially a hack job.

All the mantles (including Tyrrians’) are a single quantum object that seeks for suitable candidates, refracting through the prism of the legends it pulls from the planetary noosphere into the soul of a chosen sophont using it as the gate and the key into physical reality bound by space-time. This is similar to how Worm Shards seek triggers, except mantles seek self-sacrifice for the sake of something the legend embodies instead of a “really bad day” and the sumeras are a genuine effort to make an ascension path for the species.

The mechanism is morality- and values- neutral, to reflect the species as a whole as it evolves changing its values. Simple self-sacrifice for an idea is enough.

The uhr-mantle is universe-level indestructible but would be disconnected from space-time, thus lost forever, if all sumeras were eliminated.

The sumeras are essentially unkillable except for things that devour their soul along with that aspect of the mantle. So,

Things that *could* kill a sumera, most by devouring her: another sumera (Tyrrians didn’t think of ritual cannibalism as something out of ordinary so they included this in their power set by design), Ktool-choo, the tarrasque, the Ranga Blade spell, some very old and very powerful magical beasts, many eldritch abominations, vampires (after days of constant sucking), despair while being a disembodied soul (can happen after unsuccessful regeneration attempt, disconnects the mantle).

Things that could *not* kill a sumera: any mundane weapons, Kaijuzilla’s breath, a point-blank nuclear explosion, a supernova, Broly blowing up the whole galaxy.

In human society “legends” were mostly gods or heroes from the period and the area (Mycenian/ancient Greek, Egyptian, Assyrian) with modern day ones branching into all kinds of mythology (Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Captain America).

---------
Regeneration:

works by micro-porting intact organic molecules back to their places. Damaged molecules are discarded and re-made using matter creation, which is much more mana-intensive. You cannot have “sumera blood” or “sumera body part”: these quickly disintegrate leaving nothing but wet greasy spots as the sumera’s body visibly regrows itself in seconds.

A severed limb costs approximately 1/12th and complete annihilation approximately 120% of the full mana bar (of current-day sumeras, see below about slow power level escalation).

Regeneration is stalled if a large foreign object is present that cannot be pushed out via built-in telekinesis or vanished via quantum trickery. A foreign object cannot prevent functioning (bodily functions are in stasis in the sumera form, does not really need to breathe) nor consciousness (because sumera form is in fact a mind uploaded into soul-cloud using the body as a meat puppet). Given enough mana, the sumera could simply teleport away leaving all foreign objects behind. If the body is wrecked or regeneration fails repeatedly, this happens automatically: the body will begin regenerating from scratch at a “safe” location (the algorithm of choosing such is complex). Until the process finishes (which takes about 40 minutes if her mana bar was empty) the sumera finds herself floating in emptiness.

Capturing and torturing a sumera requires sealing her magic - not as rare as one would think: the magical denizens found lots of reasons and methods for sealing during millenia. So, “don’t get cocky, lass”.

Ionizing radiation: regeneration activates in the “matter creation” mode replacing wrecked molecules. You need titanic amounts of Zieverts for the sumera to even feel the effects (of her mana regen diminishing).

---------
The mortal form:

A form of powers sealing designed for social interaction, bearing offspring and body modifications (since the sumera form is eternal and self-correcting). Magic provides ample options for body modification. Dying in this form results in regenerating from scratch at a safe location using the backup of the body shape as it was at the moment of sealing - so any body modifications are forfeit - but otherwise regeneration is off except a silent background DNA repair.

Un-sealing into a sumera while wounded or maimed results in auto-correction algorithms trying to regenerate the missing/damaged parts but the result is often disfigurement or at least scars - which lasts until next sealing, applying healing/body shaping magic and un-sealing again. A sumera can intentionally give herself a cool scar for stylistic purposes by invoking this.

Un-sealing is instaneous, at will, no verbal or somatic components. Re-sealing requires several seconds of concentration and significant effort of will.

--------
The useful superpowers:

* immortality
* minor superstrength 10x.
* mana pool (regenerating from empty to full in 30 minutes)
* knowledge and skills installed into the mind: magical theory, basic combat and utility spells, basic facts of physics and the universe, basic orbital mechanics, basic knowledge of Atlantean technology.
* built-in resistance to the elements mitigating energy flow and thus greatly extending the range of briefly survivable temperatures (liquid nitrogen feels like freezing cold water, boiling water like very hot bath).
* space-worthiness (requires more power than most sumeras currently have) including indefinite survival in space, STL propulsion with infinite delta-v and short FTL hops for combat.
* built-in kinetic barrier against hypervelocity impactors. Designed with space debris in mind but works against firearms and plasma weapons as well. A sumera could tank a 7.62 mm rifle round receiving a small bruise, tank a plasma rifle shot receiving a small burn, or even survive orbital reentry.
* built-in magic resistance and near immunity to mind affecting spells (due to mind being a soul-cloud upload).
* planet-wide teleportation (costs 1/3 of the mana pool, thus no more than 2 in a row every 20 minutes without undue risk)


--------
The less useful superpowers due to Human sumeras being a hack job:

* any Human triggering turns into woman permanently: the creators accounted for the astronomically rare case of a drone or male triggering… by automatically uplifting them into a queen.
* cannibalism: can devour another sumera’s soul thus destroying her and acquiring her powers (mana pool and mana regen plus some secondary aspects of her mantle). Designed for power struggles in the government, for honoring those who wish to stop living, and for self-sacrifice where several sumeras give their lives for creating a single super-sumera.
* lack of clothing: transforming (un-sealing) into a sumera form automatically puts all worn items into subspace pocket leaving the sumera naked. Mitigated by optical illusion of a basic outfit auto-applied and could be further mitigated by the utility spell of summoning a glamour (a dense illusion) of an outfit the sumera chooses. Still requires getting used to, training and being quick on the cast. Nothing prevents the sumera from donning ordinary clothing or just re-summoning her outfit from the subspace pocket but then clothing damage applies (unlike the glamour which auto-regenerates or the illusion that simply clips through everything).
* giving birth to drones: applying the most useful aspect of hive building to these… weird, live-birthing two-legged creatures proved a great challenge for the uplift team. But they beat it. The power no sane Human sumera would use, ever: giving birth to one drone every 10 minutes (the rapid pregnancy boosted by the regeneration mechanism). The drones are clones of their parent that take a form of a 12-year old girl with all the knowledge of their parent but with the brains of Cirno. They grow to their full size in 30 minutes at the cost of the parent’s mana. They have 1/4th their parents power level, regenerate moderate wounds but are mortal. Damage to the brain kills them. A perfect army of expendable child soldiers.
* the built-in protection against insane people triggering does not work because it relies on Tyrrian physiology. This could lead to disastrous consequences as these twisted triggers are approximately 3x powerful (the old Tiamat, Nergal)
* mis-calibrated filter tested on Humans of the bronze age by Tyrrians who never abandoned polytheism often rejects the followers of Abrahamic religions, the chance of them triggering is significantly lower. The filter mistakes devotion to One God for acting under a master’s orders and thus self-sacrifice not being valid. This skews representation of humanity and creates potential for dangerous conflicts in near future. One could hope the sumeras of the modern age would be able to fix this design flaw.

-----------
The slow escalation:

Being facetes of the same quantum object, the sumeras grow in power level with their numbers growing and with time. The first sumera of this age awakening two centuries ago had power level of ¼ of average modern-day sumera while it would cap by design at 5x of the modern-day average approximately when humans achieve space flight (The Tyrrians didn’t count on us using rockets to get there long before we discovered anti-grav). Roughly 3x of the modern average power level is required for unlimited flight and going to orbit, being space-worthy in general and unlocking the FTL dash combat power.

The initial power level strongly implies that a few Tyrrian sumeras - or of races uplifted by them - still exist somewhere.

This mechanism is important for the (unfinished) sequel where the main characters would receive a huge debuff due to being the first sumeras in that universe.

-------------
The outfits:

Being dense illusions these self-clean and regenerate rapidly.

Limited only by the fantasy of their owners (glamour allowing for Impossibly Cool Clothing). But most liked Apollo’s version enough to accept it as sort of unofficial uniform: a mid-thigh short-sleeved tunic with a belt around the waist and high sandals. The default built-in scheme is a very archaic and unflattering bikini. The ones with completely different custom outfits: Menhit, Nergal, Sobek, Osiris, Tiamat, Sasuke.

-------------
Replacement characters:

Note #1: I’m the least free in this because those characters have to fit the at least 80% of the existing plot and at least 80% of the dialogue whithout rewriting.

Note #2: I created a team containing full eleven 1:1 replacements at first but then I thought about the inelegant elephant in the room of Tux being put on the bus due to injury. In the end I re-shuffled the roles. The replacement of Saturn who haven’t participated in the first fight, takes the place of Jupiter there, she is powerful and versatile enough, while the Tux replacement triggers after the fight and the injury becoming a sumera who then takes the role of Jupiter in the second fight and the following rescue arc. I got one headache less, a new plot twist and never leaving anyone behind all in one…! Sorry, Agni. You were padding anyway, your backstory sucked and your outfit was too elaborate.


Tiamat: Takahashi Yuuki (高橋 雄気) (Такахаши Юки, с длинным "у", не с коротким: Ю:ки/Yuuki) - replacement for Ranma / Sailor Sol.

Body: he is below average height at 163 cm but immensely ripped (think Tenchi’s head on Baki’s body).. The female form has the same height, loses 2/3 of the volume but is still ripped. His hair is black, very short and spiky, identical in both forms.

Personality: Jerk with a heart of gold, born to a single father fisherman from Okinawa. A prodigy of martial arts, he took to karate from the early age. His father dying prematurely, he went through teenage gangs, underground tournaments and other harsh facets of the world of super martial arts. He was going through his life easy and carefree, an undaunted tumbleweed with rarely any money in his pockets, wandering around Japan, taking part-time jobs as a construction worker. Him learning ki techniques like hadouken or conscious ki reinforcement is a recent development, happens in 1995 in Aiko’s flashback in Chapter 1.

Gender flipping: technically the sumera is his native form now, him transforming between male and female forms while sealed as a mortal is the side effect of chaos magic, not yet fully explained. The transformation is instantaneous, at will.

Outfit: bluish-black villainous version of the classic Red Sonia scaled bikini. the triangles are a tad too small, the narrow stripe hanging in the front and the wider stripe hanging in the back leave her thighs fully exposed. There are thin triangular pauldrons with upward-curling tips, a tall collar of pseudo-feathers, black gloves and scaly bracers. The sandals on her feet are standard-issue, black.

Affinity: primordial chaos; partially: heavenly light, epic magic resistance, disintegration (acquired by the previous mantle’s holder devouring 3 sumeras: Rudra, Set, Hyperion).

Trigger: 1995, summer, purely artificial, experimental ripping of the mantle from the old Tiamat via artifact concocted by Menhit.

Power level: 6x the modern day average. Resulting in her teleporting limit being 10 in a row with regaining one “charge” in less than 2 minutes. She is also the only spaceworthy sumera.

Age: 21 (born in 1975)


Hermes: Takahshi Aiko (that name is fake, she was born Yoshisho Ayu (義正 杏優) (Ёшисё Аю)) - replacement for Akane / Sailor Iris.

Body: a wiry, 165 cm woman with defined muscle tone in her shoulders and arms, short raven black hair.

Personality: patient, hard working, great wanderlust, freedom is everything to her. Born to an old-fashioned rich family that almost suffocated her spirit, she ran away before her 16th birthday and lived as a tumbleweed since, nearly dying several times from this harsh life - a princess learning aikido and house chores in a gilded cage, then a free hobo, then a wandering season worker. Her fake identity was initially called Tanaka Aiko, two years older - she raised her age to 18 after the fake amnesia of her second symbolic rebirth. She cannot swim, she cooks greatly in the kitchen and awfully in the field. Her story is described in broad strokes in her flashback that takes most of the Chapter 1 where she meets Yuuki on the eve of 1995 while fighting in an underground tournament. At present (1996) she is rapidly gaining martial arts prowess after her husband but is still behind him while her aikido had mutated into a brutally efficient art of war.

Outfit: a standard tunic (ref: https://vplate.ru/images/article/orig/2 ... iki-29.jpg only with two sleeves and fully opaque), white. Winged sandals with functional wings giving her air maneuverability and inertia-defying dashes, a scarlet cape with sky-blue lining. The cape is a weapon: she masterfully switches it between a full illusion, ungrabbable as it clips through everything, and a dense glamour usable for wrapping around or catching something.

Affinity: travel on foot; swiftness.

Trigger: 1995, summer, day after the battle of Tokyo, induced resonance during her first honeymoon night with her sumera fiance. Her fearlessness in facing death two times while she was still learning survival counted as self-sacrifice for the ideals of being free to walk the world.

Age: 19, soon to be 20 (born November 1976, she turned 18 in 1994).



Osiris: Namatame Asuna (生天目 明日菜) - replacement for Sailor Moon

Body: a lean 157cm woman with very long chestnut hair usually done in a simple ponytail. No muscle tone at all.

Personality: a painter with a great talent for seeing into people’s souls. A devoted pacifist who could get dangerous if necessary. A kind soul always striving to help her friends. A devoted leader taking her role very seriously -- seeing Menhit as not suitable for leadership despite all her skill and power (Menhit partly agrees). She is from a middle class family.

Outfit: a white strapless ballroom/wedding dress, a tiara of chamomiles and white ribbon in her hair, white gloves reaching her elbows. The dress below mid-thigh is an optical illusion, you can notice it clipping through walls and behaving like a badly animated mage’s robe from “Oblivion” during vigorous actobatics.

Affinity: rebirth; plant growth. Note that her special insta-heal ability has a steep cost if applied to a muggle: there is always probability of reverting them into a baby instead of fully healing them. The more damage (or age-induced wear), the higher the chance. That’s why she cannot heal her mortal fiance, for example. It always works on sumeras, though. When fighting opponents who count as persons, she often freezes and lags in combat trying to find non-lethal applications of nominally lethal spells.

Trigger: autumn 1994, artificially induced by Menhit trying to shore up defenses against the old Tiamat. Not exactly what the manipulator hoped for but this process is iffy at the best of times.

Age: 22 (born 1974)


Sasuke: Morimichi Kimura (木村 守道) - he is a replacement for both Tuxedo Kamen (the first fight) and Sailor Jupiter (the second fight, the rescue arc)

did I mention: “SPOILERS” ?

Body: as a guy, a fit everydude, 176 cm, with a small but neatly trimmed beard. Short dark chestnut hair. As a sumera, a curvaceous “talented” woman (of the same height, biggest bust of the team), the hair becomes longer and she puts it up into a ponytail.

Personality: as a guy, a badass normal, an easy but responsible person who rose from a part-time construction worker to a junior foreman. His primary hobby is martial arts, the esoteric and theoretic part. He is hopelessly outmatched by Yuuki in a spar but the latter respects him greatly as he reverse-engineered and taught him many useful secrets. In the summer of 1995 he was researching ninjutsu (to be able to support his love as a ninja under pseudonym Saruyama Sasuke) and secrets of ki manipulation: hadouken, ki strengthening. As a sumera, she is struggling to cope with the sudden gender swap (he was prepared for the eventuality, but not enough it turns out) and the awkward fact he and Yuuki, two heterosexual he-lesbians, now find each other hot.

Outfit: as a guy, a RL ninja - i.e. could be dressed in anything to blend into background. As a sumera: a modest and practical kunoichi outfit with baggy trousers and legs below the knee wrapped tightly (ref: https://www.mysterytribune.com/wp-conte ... female.jpg ) , entirely black, with her lower and upper face hidden under a classical “ninja” mask. No visible weapons (summons glamour shurikens or kunai as needed).

Affinity: ninja; loyalty.

Trigger: Chapter 7, after the first fight, induced by the trauma of being unable to protect his love.

Age: 26 (born 1970)


Seshat: Morita Reiko (森田 れいこ) - replacement for Sailor Mercury.

Body: a lean 161 cm woman, short black hair, shapely legs, narrow waist and flawless skin, very pretty face but prefers hiding it all under baggy clothing and stern expression.

Personality: a devoted researcher possessing genius intellect, she was convinced to aim it at becoming the greathest swordsmith of the era who arms the today’s dragon slayers - namely scientists - where the sword being a metaphor for computer technology cutting into the unknown. With support of her loving family and to consternation of her “peers” she has finished school in 16, got her Bachelor degree in 3 years, them Master’s degree in microprocessor architecture and was working with (unspecified) “the professor” on developing a multi-core processor (it’s 1995, I must remind you). As a sumera she is a devoted support, using her talent for research into magic, combining magic and computers and helping others work like a cohesive whole. Remained a socially awkward virgin until the ripe age of 21 when Ishtar dragged her kicking and screaming into an orgy.

Language: Japanese, English.

Outfit: a standard tunic, leopard-patterned.

Affinity: preservation of knowledge. In combat she prefers using summoned water as the most versatile and safe to use around non-combatants element, freezing and boiling it with great skill for desired effect. Her artifact is a laptop she made combining Atlantean technomagic with fourteen Pentium MMX processors overclocked to 600 MHz. It has a wide range of scanning sensors and could render HUDs for up to 12 sumeras in a several hundred meters radius via simple illusion spell giving them targeting, nav points and crude wireframe of the landscape. The view is shaky, imperfect and gives the team incredible tactical advantage.

Trigger: summer 1995, dying for her cause during the battle of Tokyo when she tried saving the research data from the building that could be demolished any minute. She did not make it but for her self-sacrifice had regenerated as a sumera in her bed.

Age: 22 (born 1974)


Ishtar: Koimizu Mai (恋水 舞) - replacement for Sailor Venus.

Body: a shapely 164cm tall woman with long full blond hair - which was dyed before her triggering, becoming natural after. Her insane attractiveness is all in her eyes and her body language, though - i. e. it’s a skill she trained specifically.

Personality: scatter brained but horribly (for people around her) perky and energetic. Could become focused on something to the point of obsession. Having discovered her sex drive at the age it’s illegal to talk about she brought endless trouble on herself and her single mother. Reaching the coveted 18 as a skilled and experienced woman, she tried working as an escort girl but got kicked out for being too daring. After trying several unrelated jobs she ended as an on-again off-again porn star with the scenic name of Cancan. She still lives with her mother who grew grumpy and snappy from her tiring personality and her job. She is truly devoted to her job, convinced she is making the world a better place -- even as she had to learn an entirely new skill of acting: it turned out being good at sex and being a good porn actress were two very different things. A good teammate, she always strives to help her friends with her area of expertise. She is so full of good intentions they sometimes have to beat her away with a stick.

Outfit: firmly 18+. She changes it every time, sometimes from her line of work, sometimes fetish wear, exploiting the fact that glamour allows for Impossibly Cool Clothes.

Affinity: love (koi, the physical kind) and beauty. No combat applications, she is the weakest combatant. Aware of that, she is prone to daring stunts taking up the role of a dodge tank. She is reasonably good with the air dash spell (modeled after the trademark Tyrrian combat hops they perform using their wings)

Trigger: summer 1995 during the battle of Tokyo, refusing to interrupt love-making when the building was literally torn apart by an eldritch tornado around her and the guy. Both survived by miracle, climaxing under the stormy sky on top of a barely standing chunk of ruin.

Age: 20 (born 1976)


Apollo: Mary Seusse (Мэри Сюс) - replacement for Sailor Mars.

Body: a lean 168 cm British teen. Curly, dark blond hair that is literally golden in her true sumera form, pale freckled skin.

Personality: reversed, dignified, fatalistic. Fell into deep depression when the old Tiamat devoured her friend Hyperion in the spring of 1995. Was later found by Seshat scanning for sumeras and befriended by Osiris who pulled her out of depression and into the team. She became fatalistic after the disastrous battle of Zemlya Sannikova seeing more sumeras cease to be.

Language: English, speaks Japanese freely but with notable accent.

Outfit: a standard tunic, white with golden trim and belt, golden sandals.

Affinity: oracle; a sun bow of light firing overpowering laser arrows with mean penetration. Can invoke a barrage of weaker lasers for less dramatic targets. Her divinations are true but usually so confusing it takes the whole team brainstorming to decipher them. Has a family mansion in a suburb of Tokyo the younger sumeras frequent as a meeting place.

Trigger: 1994, natural, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit. Triggered in Paris together with Hyperion during a gang attack.

Age: 18 (born 1978, triggered in 16)


Nergal: Nishimura Naoko (西村 七央子) - replacement for Sailor Saturn.

Body: a fragile-looking tiny 152 cm woman of plain looks with her black hair in a bowl cut.

Personality: cheerful with undertone of traumatized, glad to live and be pretty again but haunted by the body horror of her past. Modest, often behaves like a grumpy old lady (who she in fact is) towards the “youngsters”.

Outfit: drab gray kimono and slightly darker hakama, typical samurai footwear, a white cloth tied across her forehead with character 詛 holding two lit candles burning with blue flame. Often carries a plain spear (yari, not naginata) she summons to channel her magic in a safe-ish manner (ref: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... parade.JPG minus swords)

Affinity: curses; disintegration; irradiation. Her mantle is twisted and her magic extremely toxic, to the point she could not re-seal without her magic slowly destroying her mortal body. Each un-sealing ended with accumulating errors that led to gradual disfigurement. Unable to restore her form because her magic turned any spells toxic, eventually her look would give Gollum a scare. She went to ground for long decades wallowing in depression until found by Seshat scanning for sumeras and helped by Osiris who finally healed her body and Seshat who calibrated her re-sealing mechanism fixing the problem at the cost of 1/6th of her power level.

Trigger: 1945, entirely natural but twisted, due to dying from radiation poisoning in Hiroshima while slowly going insane.

Power level: 2.5x the modern age average -- but only good at destruction, even the flight spell is a hazard for everyone around and her teleportation tends to leave irradiated holes in her surroundings. In destruction, though, only Tiamat could match her if she goes all out.

Age: 68 (born 1928, triggered in 17)


Sobek: Ishigura Mitsue (石黒 三津枝) - replacement of Sailor Uranus.

Body: a tall, athletic woman of 173 cm, her haphazard black bangs sticking unruly (like many characters of Go Nagai).

Personality: hotheaded and prone of rushing ahead untinkingly. Fiercely loyal to C’tl who she sees as family often working in pair with her.

Outfit: a form-fitting black catsuit with heavy boots and gloves with reinforced knuckles, a belt with the handle of Spectral Khopesh she uses against tougher opponents.

Affinity: fierce protector. Having the Nile crocodile as her eidolon, she is vicious towards her enemies and her power includes short but sharp ki claws. The team gave her a friendly nickname of “Miss Gore”. (I drew inspiration partly from Devilman Lady)

Trigger: 1989, natural, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit.

Age: 22 (born 1974, triggered in 15)



C’tl: (Ктль) (a name of a god of people who never survived to leave any historical record) Aubree Norma Parunga (Парунга, Обри Норма) - replacement of Sailor Neptune

Body: a plain-looking 166 cm tall albino Phillipino with light skin and straight snow-white hair that falls down to her shoulder blades. In her mortal form she makes her hair look jet black and her skin so much darker it stands out: tired of fighting the Japanese “Philippinos are sex workers” stereotype she simply played along by exaggerating the stereotype and solving any problems with liberal application of mind control magic.

Personality: calm, meditative, very hard to phase. An older sumera with 15 years of experience under her belt, she saw lots of pretty hairy stuff and grew good at her trade.

Language: Filipino, Japanese, passable with English.

Outfit: white sandals and a baggy white robe with wide long sleeves that seems to waver and makes your eyes hurt if you stare at it. It’s actually a complex illusion concealing her movements. In case of vigorous acrobatics it dispels leaving her in a plain white bikini.

Affinity: seer. In combat she uses illusion magic to give the entire team a weak discount sharingan. She can also scan in depth by looking through a frame of her thumbs and index fingers and can see into the future (as a part of her power set, unlike Menhit). Being an experienced sumera, she is skilled with all kinds of magic, including offensive.

Trigger: 1981, natural, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit.

Age: 35 (born 1961, triggered in 20)


Menhit: (no civilian name) - replacement for fanon Sailor Pluto.

Body: a wiry African woman 160cm tall, short afro hair. Eye contact with her makes anyone uncomfortable, feeling as less than an insect. Does not use a civilian identity, glamouring herself into whoever she needs to pass as (an utterly forgettable Japanese woman named Tanaka Riyu, for example)

Personality: a high functioning sociopath. Aware of the fact, channeling her contempt towards humanity into drive for survival of the species. Dealt a shitty hand early in life (sold into slavery by her own tribe for being a tomboy, abused by slavers for two years, joining the Haitian uprising only to be betrayed by her fellow slaves amidst the orgy of violence) she became misanthropic. After long decades alone she is slowly warming up surrounded by a team she could finally relate to, even if “the entire team team are babies”. It doesn’t make her all right but gives her a framework for checking her decisions against and channeling her sociopathy into constructive things. The team gave her nickname of “shogun” while she calls Osiris “little princess” - derisively, disguised by the latter’s optimism and naivette.

Language: English, German, Spanish. Passable with Chinese, Japanese, Russian and <a long forgotten Bantu dialect>

Outfit: dark lilac with dark red edges, classic Egyptian “warrior skirt”, wrapped tight around her butt and rising in front, a fold hanging in the middle, combined with a sleeveless tunic. Solid bronze boots, knee-high with striking edge, bronze bracers with similar striking edge over her wrists.

Affinity: slaughter. She is the lion and the entire world is tall grass. Her innate power makes her a natural predator who makes Jurassic Park raptors look like kindergarten amateurs. After long decades of researching into magic and introspection she re-focused on artifact creation and timeline manipulation - which she applies viciously for the sake of the species survival. Had instigated many conflicts to hasten progress, orchestrated ww1, buffed Hitler - and is proud of all that (hellooo, Doctor Mother?) In combat she wields a huge anime-style sword almost bigger than herself.

Trigger: 1781, entirely natural, due to being betrayed by her fellow slaves amidst the uprising and gang-raped to death. The first sumera since the fall of Atlantis.

Age: 222 (born 1764, triggered in 17, sold into slavery in 15)



Other sumeras, mentioned or participating in flashbacks

Mnemosyne: nee an elderly British lord (name unspecified).

Personality: a rare misanthrope unfamiliar with the concept of morals. The worst kind of rationalist imaginable, one of the founding members of “Annenerbe”. If not her (un)timely demise she and Menhit would have made “Wolfenstein: the new order” into reality, with nazis colonizing the Solar system as early as 1960s and everything.

Language: English, German.

Outfit: n/a, masqueraded as various men in mortal form for most of her life, only un-sealing to restore youth or cast powerful magic.

Affinity: keeping and uncovering secrets of the past. Almost everything we know about Atlantis and Tyrrians comes from her painstaking archaeological work. Was specializing in physics and technomagic research, is responsible for the meagre stockpiles of Tantrium available today, had built a working flying saucer using the 1920s tech base.

Trigger: 1845, utterly forced, the result of Menhit practicing reality manipulation.

Age: 145 at the moment of cessation of existence (born 1789, triggered in 56)

Perished: 1934 while inspecting the nazi base in Antarctic, devoured by the hybrid of a shoggoth and Carpenter’s Thing the nazi scientists were creating under her supervision (the thing is till there, in the empty base, lying in wait frozen). The end of her only company sent Menhit into paroxism of misantropy.


the old Tiamat: (no civilian name known)

Body: a Latino from Venezuela, made herself have live black snakes for hair, able to spit weak but nasty magic at high rates.

Language: Spanish only.

Outfit: almost identical to current Tiamat except the bikini was silk, not scale armor, and there was no feather collar.

Personality: an anarchist who went off the deep end drunk with power and went hunting for sumeras and reveling in chaotic evil.

Affinity: primordial chaos; instinctive overclock times three (4x boost) (see below about the overclock); assimilatiing any sumera who manages to annihilate her body, not unlike Butcher from Worm. She devoured three sumeras, one of them using this method.

Trigger: 1994, natural, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit. Circumstances unknown.

Power level: effective 24x the modern day average, a serious raid boss. Free levitation, city block destroying attacks. Damaged Tokyo killing tens of thousands.

Perished: summer 1995 during the battle of Tokyo, her mantle ripped out of her soul via artifact when the entire Tokyo team managed to immobilize her without killing.


Herakles: Kinaya

Body: a tall (178 cm) and seriously ripped African woman from Zaire. Medium afro hair. For her sumera form, she had suntanned herself to deep, almost black - for the bonus of skin becoming tougher while her immortality negates any negative effects of accelerated skin aging. In her civilian form she glamours herself as a pale-skinned (milk chocolate) city-dweller and hides her muscles under modest baggy clothing.

Personality: A devoted hero aiming to drag Africa kicking and screaming out of the backwards brutality and towards the stars. Detests warlords and often hunts them, including the neighboring Rwanda. Is wise enough to know it’s the people themselves who are the problem and that changing things to the better would take decades. Made friends with many magical beasts and other spirits of the rainforest. Used the immortality to gain a Master’s degree in sociology and is now (1995) studying to get a second degree, in civil engineering.

Outfit: a lion hide around her waist and a matching top. The hide is real, she skinned a magical man-eater lion. She often summons a spear, it could be bronze of flintstone. Barefoot.

Language: <unspecified> of the Bantu group, good with English, Swahili and French; passable with local dialects of the region.

Affinity: strength; heroic deeds for the people. She can become invincible for a few seconds as she grabs the opponent (think TF2 Uber only usable in melee) and then suplex/break anything, be it an intangible ghost or a freight train.

Trigger: 1981, natural, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit.

Age: 30 at the moment of cessation of existence (born 1965, triggered in 16)

Perished: January 1996, during the battle of Zemlya Sannikova as she tried suplexing the eldritch abomination. It almost worked but she got devoured as soon as her invincibility ended, feeding the thing instead and setting the fight back to square one. Her end was a huge blow to morale.


Thor: (name unspecified)

Body: a dark skinned Brazilian, wavy black hair, <?>

Personality: diligently heroic, does her best to cover the gap left by Rudra and Set perishing. Works hard to hunt narcocartels and the supernatural masquerading as them.

Languages: Portuguese, bad Spanish, barely passable English

Outfit: <specify later, if neeeded>

Affinity: lightning; protecting people.

Trigger: 1989, natural, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit.

Perished: January 1996, during the battle of Zemlya Sannikova as her bad English caused miscommunication in combat. The second true death after Heracles, this nearly broke the morale.


Queatzalcoatl: (name unspecified)

Body: a petite Latino with shaggy emerald hair. She looks like a teen despite being over 20, a deliberate choice.

Personality: a cautious, freedom-loving tumbleweed.

Languages: Spanish, bad English.

Outfit: <specify later, if needed>

Affinity: flight. The air dash spell in her hands becomes true flight with unlimited duration and very good aerobatics.

Trigger: 1989, natural, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit.

Power level: 80% of the modern day average. Very weak combatant, little practice with offensive spells. She could lift and carry someone else grabbing them with her legs, but not for long.

Age: 21 (born 1975, triggered in 14)


Captain America:

Body: a lean White American with blonde hair.

Personality: a true hero, never hesitates putting her existence on the line. But she is comically overfocused on protecting the values of freedom and democracy, which makes her so over the top others could barely tolerate her. Saw womens right violation in the tea ceremony and was barely held back from trying to reform it on the spot. Cooperates with her country’s government and has secret spats with Marvel: she considers them owing her instead and the image belonging to the people.

Languages: English only.

Outfit: rule 63 of the Marvel hero (ref: http://marvel.reactor.cc/post/1764223 ) with navy bloomers under the skirt.

Affinity: shield of faith. The shield is really nearly indestructible, it’s a ki construct, a manifestation of her faith in her values.

Trigger: 1994, natural, in Florida, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit.

Age: 19 (born 1977, triggered in 17)


Hyperion: (name unspecified)

Body: an African French, unspecified

Personality: a devoted Christian, a devoted monster hunter, a loyal friend of Apollo.

Outfit: irrelevant, dies in a “tell, not show” flashback.

Affinity: heavenly light, banishing dark forces in the name of Jesus. A devoted monster hunter, she was lured out of a protective barrier by the old Tiamat instigating youma attacks in Tokyo.

Trigger: 1994, natural, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit. Triggered in Paris together with Apollo during a gang attack.

Perished: spring 1995, devoured by the old Tiamat.


Set: (name unspecified)

Body: a Latino, unspecified.

Personality: a true hero, persistent and dauntless narcocartel hunter

Outfit: irrelevant, dies in a “tell, not show” flashback.

Affinity: epic magic resistance

Trigger: 1989, natural, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit.

Perished: 1994, absorbed by the old Tiamat after hunting her down in the central China to avenge Rudra and vaporizing her.


Rudra: (name unspecified)

Body: a Latino, unspecified.

Personality: an angry and righteous destroyer of vile things, be it rapists or narcocartels.

Outfit: irrelevant, dies in a “tell, not show” flashback.

Affinity: destruction (fire, lightning, disintegration). Her hits were always messy.

Trigger: 1981, natural, due to the planet-wide resonance wave launched by Menhit.

Perished: 1994, devoured by the old Tiamat when she tried stopping her but failed to account for the 12x power level disparity.



Total sumeras triggered at the start of the story: 19, of them still exist: 12, perished: 7 (1 killed by ripping the mantle out, 1 devoured by a scientific experiment, 2 devoured by an eldritch abomination, 3 devoured by an insane sumera)


--------
Nationality:

Japanese: Nergal, Sobek, Osiris (they thought there were only 2 because Nergal stayed hidden)

Africans: Menhit, Heracles (rip)

African French: Hyperion (rip)

Brazilian: Thor (rip)

Latino: Quetzalcoatl, Set (rip), Rudra (rip), the old Tiamat (rip)

Brits: Apollo, Mnemosyne (rip)

Americans: Captain America

total: 15; 3 white, 3 asians

+ new Japanese: Tiamat, Hermes, Ishtar, Seshat, Sasuke (+5) = 20; 3 white 8 asians


--------
Religion:

Christians: Hyperion, Rudra, Captain America

Agnostics: Apollo, Menhit, Seshat, Tor, Quetzalcoatl, the author

Chaotic Evil: the old Tiamat

Indifferent: Heracles, Tiamat, Set

Atheists: C’tl, Nergal, Mnemosyne. Remaining an atheist while having a direct proof you have a soul takes some serious conviction - they must be rationalizing it as either a natural phenomenon of as creation of really advanced aliens.

Shinto: Osiris, Hermes, Ishtar, Sobek, Sasuke

------
Combat abilities / material artifact:

Menhit - skills of an ambush predator buffed with optical camouflage / BFS

Mnemosyne - no / no

Nergal - cursing (because of the sheer toxicity of her magic), negative status effects / spear

Sobek - ki claws / the Spectral Khopesh

C’tl - seeing the enemy’s weaknesses, cheap ersatz sharingan for the whole party / no

Tiamat - martial arts, sheer 6x power / no

Hermes - martial arts (aikijutsu), inertia-defying movement, double jump, air dash as a free power rather than spell (no mana cost) / no

Seshat - analysis and scanning, HUD for the whole party / laptop

Ishtar - no / no

Appolo - laser bow / no

Sasuke - ninjutsu buffed with illusion magic / no

Quetzalcoatl - unlimited flight, aerobatics / no

Heracles short-timed invincibility in meelee combined with ability to suplex anything, strength buff on self, summoned spear / the lion hide (trophy, cosmetic)

Captain America - shield of faith / no

Hyperion - AOE turn undead and banish evil / no

Thor - lightning, kinetic shockwave, summoned hammer / no

Rudra - fire, lightning, disintegration / no

Set - epic resistance to status effects / sword

the old Tiamat - raid boss / no

------
Spells and spell-like abilities:

if mana pool is 100.0 then regen is 3.6/min., 0.06/sec. 1666 sec. (28 min) to fully recharge.

sumera isn’t some sailor-suited defender of love and justice, sumera is a powerful tactical strike unit. One sumera is enough to bring down a specops company (of a galactic civilization, with weapons and equipment to match), board an interstellar battleship or -- if inserted into “RWBY” -- to dominate Salem.

passive abilities include kinetic reducer that lets them tank a long burst from Browning M2 or a blaster cannon. Active abilities add on top of that.

Deflector: this shield requires concentration, mental effort to raise it, but can deflect a main battle tank shell or plasma round a starship secondary battery.

Barrage: magic missiles homing at sumera’s mental command (she has to keep a sensor or visual contact with the target), constantly accelerating while in flight (max range ~400km in space, ~25km in atmosphere). Damage is about on par with a 40mm grenade but these missiles do 500% damage to shields and can hit a hypersonic target if the sumera is able to track it. A mature galactic age sumera (power level 500% current average) could maintain this barrage indefinitely. Could be fired in all directions to converge on the target (cue: Macross Missile Massacre, Isaac’s greater missile storm). The new age sumeras often fire it upwards and backwards from their shoulder blades.

Inspired by: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v8OU32whQc

The spells per se fall into following categories:
1. non-lethal and immobilizing: Ice Prison, Icy Embrace, Entangling Lianes, Tazer, Dazzle, Confusion.
2. support: Restoration, Heal, White Noise, Mirage, Notice-me-not, Invisibility, Interface, True Seeing.
3. specialized attack: Fireball, Chain Lightning, Vile Gust, Banishment, Deluge.
4. owerpowering strike: Chaos Twister, Disintegration, Corruption, Zilla Breath, Ha Do Ha, Baryon Erase, Cessation, Nukem.

(note #1: the spells that cost more than their mana pool are only usable via overclock. Cannot learn spells with cost above ~190% of their mana pool: overclock levels above times two is too risky for casual use)

(note #2: those in brackets are powers, quicker to use and never have verbal component. If there are 2 variants placed together, the spell variant is usually AOE or a party buff)

Everyone - (teleport{30}), (air dash {1}), (deflector shield {1 + 0.3 * deflected spell’s cost + 1/min.}), (magic missile repeater{0.1/shot}), (notice-me-not {1/min.}), (invisibility {1/min.})

Osiris - (heal {regen cost *0.12}), Heal{regen cost *0.22}, (restoration {mana*0.8}), Restoration {mana*1.1}, Entangling Vines, Fireball{1}. Restoration is basically mana donation, conservation of ninjutsu in effect. Heal is quite powerful as it costs 5 or 9 times less that that sumera regenerating on her own)

Seshat - White Noise {10}, (interface {0.5}), Interface {6}, Bind {8}, (sealing {12}), Ice Embrace{1}, Ice Prison{2}, Illusion {0..0.3}, Overpressure {2}, Aquakinesis {2}, Thermoaquakinesis (0.5)

Ishtar - (air dash {0.5})

Apollo - (sun bow {8/shot}), Laser Shower {3.0 + 1/sec}, Tracking

Nergal {mana pool 250%} - (teleport {95}), Vile Gust (8), Disintegration {20}, Corruption {30}, Zilla Breath {50 + 10/second}, Baryonic Erase {150}, Cessation {450}

Sobek - (ki claws {0}), (double dash {1}), Chain Lightning{3}, Force Spear{5}, Vertigo.

C’tl - (true seeing{3}), True Seeing{15}, (mirage {4}), Mirage {9}, Dazzle{5, AOE}, Dizziness{2, AOE}, Deluge{12 + 7/second}, Heal {regen cost *0.7}, Bind {4}, Sealing {25}

Tiamat {mana pool 600%} - Fireball {1}, Chain Lightning {2}, Chaos twister {20}, Disintegration {40}, Ha Do Ha {90 + 20/second}, Nukem {1100}

Hermes - (double jump {1}), (air dash {0.5}), (double dash)

Menhit - *any of the above with cost less than 25*, (luck/woe {1}), Luck/Woe {4}, Confusion, Fear, Insanity, Gale Gust, Quake, Grease, Mark Prey {15} (all her spells with cost below 20 are silent, with no verbal component), Banishment {130}, Heal {regen cost *0.6}. Pity she never gets to fight except in a brief flashback.

Sasuke - no, haven’t had time to discover.

----------
Tyrrians (тиррианы):

Evolved on a planet with 1.8 Earth gravities and more dense atmosphere (~4atm at sea level., nitrogen-oxygen(7%)), they are built like bulky grasshoppers the size of a dog with their wings being, 3-jointed like a bird’s with a few large “feathers” that look like wings of terran insects. The wings at rest are folded neatly.

Average Tyrrian queen weighs around 30 kilograms, average drone or male around 20, equal in length but thinner. They cannot really fly on their wings, able to make short hops instead - which heavily influenced their warfare and the powers they gave the Human sumeras.

The society is built of queens and their hives (10-100 drones strong on average) as drones and males are literally, physiologically sub-Tyrrians, posessing noticeably less intelligence and much less ambition, viewed as something between a favorite dog and a favorite child depending on that drone’s achievements and its queen’s world view.

The queens are quite similar to humans in that they form extended families, track and take pride in their ancestry and practice political marriages (which, in their case, is more like adopting because males are non-entities).

Their form of government is naturally oligarchic, emphasizing the rule of a few who are above the others, be it aristocracy of the old or technocracy of the space age. Not that dissimilar to the Roman republic, oscillating between oligarchy of wealthy families and dictature of visionary autocrats. They had their share of feudal wars, uprisings (always to install a better autocrat) and power struggles - even a couple world wars that left parts of their huge homeworld heavily irradiated.

Skilled engineers and mages, they only achieved space flight after researching Tantrium and gravity waves manipulation (a chemical rocket would require nearly infinite mass).

The Tyrrian civilization met something that wiped it out, including the Atlantis base. What exacly did that is unknown, urging Menhit to push humanity harder, to have a chance to be prepared against the odds amidst the ominous silence of the Fermi paradox.

----------
Tech (Atlantean/Tyrrian):

For the basic starting tech of galactic contenders I copy-paste the Old-Com tech base: flying saucers made of super alloys and powered by Tantrium, non-baryonic matter created via technomagic and serving for both energy production and gravity wave manipulation. Weapons are plasma based.

Reason: despite all my love towards Babylon 5, old Master of Orion and Stellaris, rocket-type propulsion feels too weak and archaic for going out there on a galaxy-spanning 4x. The oldCom tech feels much more fitting the “we are ready to reach the stars” stage. With more advanced civilizations, naturally, leaning towards “sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic” and really crazy stuff going on.

Tantrium takes 3 times more energy to produce at massive planetary and orbital facilities than it then generates. Cue massive fleets of mana/solar stations swarming around the star (this is more realistic than a Dyson sphere).

But Tyrrians have much more than simple Old-Com tech.

To breach interstellar distances there are motherships, massive vessels combining Alcubierre drive concept with more arcane manipulations on the fabric of universe. The interstellar tech does not scale down well so any expeditions are always massive affairs, with mothership carrying dozens of battleships and hundreds of smaller craft. At 100 ly/year it would take one 500 years to cross the galaxy (hard but doable, considering cryo stasis and sumeras for officers) Short hops, say, between Sol and Alpha Centauri could be made several times a year if one could afford the huge energy cost.

Entrenched, Tyrrians are able of weather manipulation, geological manipulation on large scales, industrial-scale divination and even of reality splintering, creating barriers around their base that turn it into actual enchanted island only tangible to those allowed passage. Atlantis was such an enchanted island during the time their uplift teams were active on Earth.

The pinnacle of their reality manipulation are the sumeras: perfect dictators, unkillable leaders and unstoppable strike force. When a couple thousand sumeras rise from the planet to meet the challenge, supported by their swarms manning battleship saucers, even Prethoryn Scourge or ME reapers would only have chance to exclaim “Ohshi--”.

P.S. Saucer makes a really good battleship, with maximum surface to emit gravitational waves for cruising while able to flipp sideways to reduce its profile in combat. “Spinal mount” in this case would have horizontal placemnbt from edge to edge, with the saucer rotating to aim, with the “island” in the center above and below the main disc housing the usual batteries of guns.

---------
Atlantis:

This uplift research base was really the Santorin island: the Tyrrians used an old (for them) trick of shackling the volcano to become a shield booster. Any cataclysms normally provoking an eruption would only make the defense stronger shifting the island further out of phase with reality. Like the Zemlya Sannikova later it was invisible and intangible for muggles.

The base was built around 2300 BCE, uplift experiments affecting the Mycenian civilization and the Middle Kindgdom.

All sumeras - Tyrrian and Human - on Earth perished around 1900 BCE at mysterious circumstances (researching the few surviving databases brought no clues so far). The base kept existing for awhile deteriorating rapidly in the hands of locals until the out-of-control volcano voiced its displeasure.


--------
Timeline:

~2300 BCE: Tyrrians begin their uplift experiment creating the first Human sumeras in their Atlantis base.

~1900 BCE: All sumeras and Tyrrians disappear due to unknown reason. The “enchanted island” effect goes down, the base quickly degrades in the hands of local Mycenians.

~1600 BCE: with the controls failed, the volcano blows up annihilating the base and wrecking the surrounding primitive civilizations, effectively masking the traces of extraterrestials.

1791: Menhit triggers amidst Haitian revolt, a proof that mantles had survived somehow and that there still exist other sumeras in the universe. She despises humans. She is not a racist, she hates everyone equally.

1845: Learning timeline manipulation Menhit forces Mnemosyne triggering. They work together for almost a century performing magitech research and development and advancing science in acts so inhumane it’d make even the thick-skinned 19th century shudder.

1934: Mnemosyne is devoured by a hundred-headed phtagnohydra while inspecting the nazi base in Antarctic. Proving that even regular magical beasts have a chance to destroy a sumera. In a fit of bitterness and misanthropy, Menhit buffs Hitler’s luck and charisma.

1945: Nergal triggers while dying in Hiroshima from radiation poisoning and going slowly insane. She goes to ground til 1995.

1969: seeing muggles prance on the Moon Menhit decides it is time to kickstart mass sumera triggers, she has to hurry before the Humans build their first couple of scouts and a colony ship. She begins erecting resonance wave emitters all around the globe and woe to the local magical denizens who get in her way.

1981: a global wave. C’tls, Heracles and Rudra trigger.

1989: a global wave. Sobek, Thor and Quetzalcoatl trigger.

1994: a global wave. The old Tiamat triggers in Venezuela, Apollo and Hyperion trigger in Paris, captain America triggers in Florida.

1994: losing it the old Tiamat begins a wave of chaos terror. Rudra tries stopping her but is killed and devoured. Quetzalcoatl and Set swear revenge.

1994: Seth hunts the old Tiamat. Catches her alone somewhere in the central China and tries sealing her, trying to temporarily incapacitate her via vaporization. This triggers the parasitic absorption mechanism and Set is no more.

1994, autumn: the old Tiamat keeps hunting for sumeras, finds Apollo and Hyperion. Those two run to Tokyo where they hide in the Seusse mansion warding it heavily.

1994, autumn: Menhit begins preparations for the eventual showdown, induces Osiris triggering and crafting the artifact for tearing the mantle out. She needs a muggle for that, searching for a suitable candidate she chooses Yuuki and manipulates the timeline making him meet Aiko and come to Tokyo at the right day.

1995, spring: the old Tiamat instigates bold youma attack all across Tokyo to draw Apollo and Hyperion out. Those two try hunting the out of control monsters, Tiamat finds them devouring Hyperion. Apollo is saved by the team of Menhit, Sobek and C’tl who drive the insane sumera off. Apollo falls into depression and secludes herself in her mansion.

1995, summer: Yuuki comes and the battle of Tokyo ensues resulting in him becoming Tiamat ( te initial team consists of: Menhit, C’tl, Sobek, Osiris + her fiance Kimura acting as a ninja under pseudonym “Saruyama Sasuke”. Seshat and Ishtar trigger during the battle from the resonance of the old Tiamat perishing. A day later Hermes triggers.

1995, summer; Seshat tries being a superhero drawing attention of Menhit. Osiris realizes she is not alone in her point of view anymore and argues with Menhit about ethics really making her reevaluate her choices. As in micromanaging heroes really believing in heroism would be tedious, considering there would be soon dozens of new sumeras. She decides to let them manage themselves, only manipulating or directing them when necessary.

1995, summer: Seshat gains access to Mnemosyne’s research. She applies computer technologies and researches a radar able to find sumeras in Tokyo. They detect Ishtar and Nergal. Osiris and Seshat help Nergal restore her human form, stop being a butt-ugly freak for the first time in decades. Ishtar drags Seshat and Nergal into an orgy.

1995, autumn: Osiris pulls Apollo out her funk via talk therapy and optimism. Apollo becomes a part of the team, her mansion becomes the meeting place for the “younger generation” (Apollo, Osiris, Sobek, Tiamat, Hermes, Ishtar).

1995, late autumn: Heracles becomes associate member of the Tokyo team, sparing time whenever she could from her university studies and patrolling around Rwanda.

1995, winter: Seshat finishes developing her laptop, her support abilities rise greatly.

1996, January: the battle of Zemlya Sannikova against a soul-eating eldrich abomination posing existential threat. Menhit alls upon *all* sumeras to join the fight. Heracles and Thor are devoured, first one overestimating her invulnerability the second one due to miscommunication as her English was atrocious and her Spanish bad. Tiamat and captain Amerika avoid sharing their fate by the skin of their teeth.

1996, spring: conflict with vampires in Poznań. Ishtar almost buys it after she “shields her comrades with her body” and is abducted as a result. They rescue her sucked almost dry, bitter and disappointed in vampires.

1996, summer: the story begins


-----------
Overclocking: the plot device replacement for Usagi using the Silver Crystal.

It’s a dangerous technique similar to kaiohken. The sumera mantle uses the soul as gate and key into the physical reality bound by spacetime. Soul, compassion and self-sacrifice are the biggest power of the sumeras putting them above eldritch abominations. It seems tyrrians weren’t that different from humans, after all.

Each step of the overclock doubles mana pool, mana regen, spell power and power/reach/area of special abilities. (2x at 2, 4x at 3, 8x at 4)

Backlash: at exiting the mode the sumera has to make a Will saving throw against cessation of existence. The deeper in the negatives her shrinking mana pool ends, the higher the difficulty.

Inspired by:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trwcVIUrHVs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XehZJsVAww

The overclock was forbidden knowledge, not available from Tyrrian archives. Menhit and Seshat brain-stormed it together… And made it common knowledge.

The Tyrrians with clearance to know about it knew it as Sacrifice. It was supposed to be unlocked instinctively, like a limit break.

Inclined to use this technique: Apollo, Sobek, Osiris, Tiamat

Never use it because they don’t have a combat special ability or it is too dangerous: Ishtar, Seshat, Nergal.

In the battle of Zemlya Sannikova some sumeras use overclock times two and Tiamat times three.

Overclock is *not* used in the plot point after the first battle where Usagi used Silver Crystal to collapse the portal: Seshat deals with it instead, tricking the Ahs self-diagnostics subsystem into crashing.

In the second battle the sumeras go all out. Many use overclock times three, Tiamat times four and even Nergal times two, unleashing her full destructive power. In the end where Usagi using Silver Crystal causes the reality to fracture, Osiris designates C’tl the next leader and uses overclock times seven knowing full well she would not survive. With her 128x power she fully recharges and buffs the team allowing them to drag the knight’s charge down to zero. Reality shatters and Asuna survives thanks to being thrown into Ahs that erased the backlash along with her power.

The main danger of this technique: overclock can go as high as times twenty, essencially making the sumera a god able to rearrange the entire planet with her power at the cost of her soul being destroyed by the backlash in a minute or so. The mantle does not survive either, becoming a part of physical laws (adds a permanent planetary feature)

Also, the old Tiamat was using instinctive overclock times three left and right, which made her 6x4 = 24 times stronger than most sumeras.

-----------
Time theory:

The past is fluid and could be changed but you cannot create a paradox because the present is an immovable pivot around which all your manipulations turn. You cannot change the present by manipulating the past, but you can change the future as you change the “vector” so to speak of things traveling from the fluid past into the uncertain future through the point of immutable present.

Any “seeing into the future” techniques or powers require the user to exist in that future and be able to send images into their past self’s brain, technically manipulating their past a few milliseconds before their present. For the future self there are two immutable points: their own present and their past selves’ present. Deviations accumulate rapidly twisting that future out of validity so the user loses connection and has to reconnect to different future selves at a high rate - or trick causality into keeping connection with a future that is no longer valid for a bit longer.

The dangerous setback of this technique: the user *cannot* see their imminent destruction. If there is no hope for survival, they become blind. If there is a chance of survival because of, say, the planet buster *not* arriving by random chance, they latch onto that future and see nothing wrong. Menhit could see a thousand years into the future and see herself alive and Humans thriving - but that is a dangerous illusion.

The dangers of timeline manipulation stem from the caveat above: You steer the future by seeing into it while manipulating the past - but you are blind to event chains that result in your certain demise. Say, if you machinations wake Ktool-choo with 99.9% probability then all you will see would be the 0.1% probable future where nothing goes wrong.

What Ahs is doing in this version is hogging up all the flexibility of the past into protecting the system from future threats, freezing the past beyond several Planck units into immobility and denying anyone access via sheer power - while manipulating galore in those few Planck units. As a result it is unable to alter physical reality much but plays havoc with people’s brains as the brains are pivotal areas where nudging a few electrons may lead to a huge change many years later. Advanced computers are affected likewise.


---------
Summary:

Hard seinen magical girls clash against alien entity aggressively pushing its own cosmology that rejectis their existence. A former fanfic rewritten with original characters.

Девушки-волшебницы из жёсткого сейнена сталкиваются с чуждой сущностью, агрессивно навязывающей собственную космологию, где им не место. Бывший фанфик, переписанный на авторских персонажей.
Proud owner of 1.5 kilograms of Germanium transistors
Cheb
User avatar
Moon Senshi
Posts: 1509
 

Re: My custom (hard seinen) setting to get rid of Sailor Moo

Postby Cheb » Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:25 am

My muse cannot hit the broad side of barn. From inside.
Instead of finishing Chapter 2, I wrote this new tear-jerker that will be placed after the former end as chapter 26

Epilogue
The last sumera


I am adrift.

The stars around me are unmoving, so far away. The interstellar void is oppressively silent. My diminished superpowers keep me alive and well, neither hod nor cold, unchanging and eternally young, the unblemished chitin of my carapace reflecting pinpricks of distant blue giants.

It was sitting in the CIC of my battleship, Torchbearer, tucked safely in the belly of the great mothership, Daring Dreamer, on our way to explore the boundless. Surrounded by drones of my swarm, the endearing if exasperating bunch of my lessers, my flesh and blood reared under under my tutelage, I was in a conference chat with my fellow captains...

And then, without any transition — drifting in space alone, brought back to the physical existence by the function of my mantle.

It was a long time ago.

I am already over grieving for my drones. Lesser beings, not too bright, unfailingly cheerful and too eager to sacrifice their lives for the good of the hive… They were still my daughters, sophonts of Tyrrian blood. I miss them so much. I recall laying each egg, doting over each bunch of chubby larvae, raising and teaching them, not fully trusting AIs and teaching aids — proud of their quick learning, exasperated at their antics.

Gone in an instant.

Only us, the immortal sumeras, had a chance to survive the sudden destruction. I keep trying to connect the expedition leader and my fellow captains. I cannot. Our expedition counted twenty four sumeras, all synced via sympathetic links. Either there is something wrong with me...

I can tell what exactly is wrong with me. It’s not enough for such an abject communication failure. I can feel my sumera power just fine, in addition to my HUD telling me the same thing: mana pool cap at two percent nominal, mana regen at two percent nominal. Barely above the threshold of becoming a dried space husk.

This could mean only one thing: our mothership ran into some soul destroying eldritch abomination, all other sumeras are truly gone.

I was the only one our assailant missed, probably because my respawn point got hurtled at hypervelocity away from the ground zero. I survived with two percent of my soul intact, enough to… Drift endlessly through the starry void, at roughly one percent of the speed of light as my HUD diligently tells me. I don’t have enough magic to even use sublight propulsion, my wings folded uselessly above my thorax. In the void you can flap all you like, it wouldn’t move you a quinch.

I try calling my relatives, on the off chance our natural links would work through time dilation and the hundreds of light years separating us. They’d never be able to help me, drifting forever, but they at least could give me some solace and — maybe, just maybe — enough calling for my soul to respawn at our homeworld. What a load of wishful thinking.

It… doesn’t work, but not because the light speed limit defying trickery of astral entanglement refuses to work. Instead of vague wrongness all I get is silence. Like the links aren’t even there.

I keep calling for a long time, trying to touch my sisters and cousins, my mother and my grandmother.

There is nothing but encompassing silence.

Lots of silence.

Tired of it, I use up a fraction of my vastly diminished reserves to cast the passive scan-to aural spell. There. At least the starry expanse around me is not silent anymore. The buzz of pulsars, the crackling of distant supernovas, the hum of galactic ley lines — cogs of the universe turning and ticking. The interstellar void is full of these mechanical noises, I lose myself in them for a good while just listening to the physical reality running, uncaring of our fates.

It is so lonely here.

I try calling out again, and again and again. I even have the gall to try calling the Supreme Autocrat.

Nothing.

I keep drifting, the clock on my HUD counting septonds diligently. It’s been many, many days since my last communication attempt. Listening to your favorite music only goes so far until it turns empty and repetitive. I switch to really trashy music then, the mindless cacophony for the youth that makes me shiver in disgust.

And I drift...

It has been a year. A chosen one, one in a million, I stand above most queens in willpower and mental fortitude. My mind is further reinforced by my sumera mantle. And yet it cannot hold forever, loneliness and hopelessness are gradually getting to me. Distractions ring hollow, my meagre collection of films and vid shows thoroughly memorized.

There should have been protocols for summoning my soul back home… But these are imperfect, never guaranteed to work. Especially if one’s soul got damaged. I keep trying, blowing myself up every sixty four days. Nothing. All it does is making the clock on my HUD jump forward a few quintours as my body regenerates at the exact same spot.

I will hold on for as long as I could, but eventually I will have no other choice that commit suicide by disconnecting the mantle from my soul. Yeah, unconditional immortality would have been too cruel so there is a loophole built in.

But not yet. I call again, without any hope, with mechanical stubbornness…

And something responds. Not from the vast universe around me, nor is it a touch of distant astral entanglement link. It comes from inside… my soul?

“Who are you?” I ask in shock and hope.

“Contingency mode,” it replies with a hint of sadness, like a drone who failed at impossible task. “Power reserves minus off-scale. Scan for the next bearer interrupted: unknown error.”

Cold dread grips me making my insides twist into a knot. I know what it is. But I hope beyond reason that I am simply going insane.

The rumored AI built into the astral core of all sumera mantles, the intangible power that connects them all together. This AI is supposedly responsible for the new triggers, it selects new candidates and brings new mantles into existence.

It only talks to and can be commanded by the Supreme Autocrat.

`Not the best. The last.` words from a novel read long time ago resonate in my mind. Please, please-please-please let it be not true!

“Disconnected mantles: twenty seven,” the sad voice continues dashing my hopes. “Active sumeras: one.”

Of the more than three thousand sumeras our civilization had. Only a smattering of old, disconnected mantles escaped destruction.

And one sumera.

Me.

I am... the last of my kind. I fail to imagine a scenario with mortals, the planet itself, surviving where thousands of sumeras, many wielding the godlike power of Sacrifice, failed so completely.

What happened to them? A sudden power struggle escalating out of control and ending in a ragnarok of Sacrifices? A scientific experiment gone horribly wrong? An immensely powerful monstrosity from the void?

Maybe they just shifted out of this universe in emergency, only leaving me behind by freak accident...?

No. The AI would have stayed connected in such scenario, responding to the Supreme Autocrat.

They are gone.

Ghasilans as well. That younger civilization had sumeras of their own, having accepted our offer to share our ascension path. And, maybe, the other three civilizations: Quoxilans, Jayx and C’khre, all pre-FTL, are gone too.

Am I the last sophont in this galaxy?

I drift for a long time grieving and mourning. My family, my friends, my distant relatives. The billions of queens and their innumerable drones. Our vibrant homeworld, our culture — diverse yet driven by unity of purpose. The great kings and philosophers of antiquity. The visionaries of the industrial age: scholars, oligarchs, inventors. Our first astronauts. Our scientists who could wrestle any secrets from the stingy and secretive universe. Our artists who could touch your soul with their works. Our engineers with talent to scorn the very concept of “impossible”.

Nothing remains. Nothing but my meager knowledge, my tiny collection of music and vids, mostly trash and pop culture. With no one to pass even this infinitesimal fraction onto.

I drift, exhausted from mourning, an empty shell with dulled emotions. Even the sumera resilience cannot soften such a blow.

It is really meaningless to hold on. There is nothing out there to keep living for. All I feel is apathy, all my thoughts are gray with hopelessness. It is time to go, I suppose.

Let’s do this properly. For the first time in my life I pray to gods asking forgiveness. Un-rationalistic superstition, I know, but I am beyond caring. I recall each of my relatives, one by one, my loving mother, my stern and wise grandmother. I wish there was afterlife, if only for a chance to say “I’m sorry”.

The stars stare indifferently, the dead universe ticking and whirring around me as it was doing for billions of years and would continue for billions more after I am gone.

“I wish you to have better luck than us,” I tell sincerely, addressing the near-infinity around me, beyond my sight but not beyond my knowledge. Among trillions of galaxies, each housing trillions of stars, life would eventually get lucky to rise above all those monsters roaming the void, stomp them out and keep living on and expanding.

Unlike me.

Here goes nothing. “I am so sorry,” I tell the AI. I wish there was a better solution, but I cannot just drift forever. My mind cannot bear the brunt of loss, I have no power for propulsion to even entertain the thought of taking the long route.

“Don’t go.” it replies, radiating back sadness. And fear of loneliness.

I… What would happen to the poor thing when I disconnect? With the last active connection gone, would it lose all links to the material plane and… just be there, in the timeless, incomprehensible astral otherness? To think of it, the astral construct is designed by minds limited to spacetime, so it must be built on virtual substrate emulating time, not unlike an exotic bubble universe. Empty. And utterly eternal.

“Status report,” I order against my will.

“Power reserves minus off-scale,” it reports diligently. “Recharging rate two percent nominal. Time to recovery: error.” Its tone is almost pleading.

Recharging. It won’t run out of power, ever. I shudder. I… cannot do this. Barely sapient, a simpler mind than even a drone - and I am the only thing that stands between it and eternity of loneliness.

I cannot do this. I sigh in frustration. I am in for the long haul, ain’t I?

And we drift together, two sophonts of the long gone Tyrrian civilization.

It is a long night. I lost count of time, having disabled the clock on my HUD what feels infinity ago. I keep recalling faces of people I met, queens and drones, simple farmers and great visionaries, old with their graying chitin flaking and young, still flexible from their first molting into adult form, their eyes shining with innocence of youth. I sing lullabies to the AI who I think grew into appreciating them - or am I that far gone already? - and ask it for a status report from time to time to keep it company. It is perpetually frustrated by its inability to perform its task, not unlike an overly diligent drone. Its power reserves remain at minus off-scale and its attempts to scan for new candidates always end in an unknown error.

And then again I drift in and out of lucidity, recalling my university professors and our class buzzing agitatedly across the amphitheater of an auditorium, the rule of no more than two drones per student broken left and right. I shuffle through their faces, I try recalling and then solving the overly complex equations only the insane do without the help of an AI. Kinda the point: to command the computers you have to know what they do and how they do it.

At some point I discover I wrote several hundred million words worth of fanfiction about that genius investigator from the late industrial age. When did I…? Ugh, what a trash. I comb through it anyway, to find anything worth saving and erase the rest. And when I reach the end I forgot the beginning anyway so I can do it again. What? Oh, don’t worry, little one. Mommy is still with you, just… not exactly right in the head, see?

And we drift.

A “you have new messages” ping shocks me with its suddenness. It’ from my… organizer’s calendar. A pre-recorded message, my grandmother congratulating me on my millennial jubilee, addressing me like she was expected to be long gone. Huh…?

Reluctantly, I turn the clock back on. Go figure, it was really nearly a thousand years adrift in space. Who could have thought I have that in me?

Having someone to care about does that to you.

“Hey, we may be the first Tyrrians to witness the birth of a blue dwarf,” I joke raising the AI from her slumber. We only have the better part of a trillion years to go, the red dwarfs are notoriously long-lived pieces of stellar refuse.

“Would be nice,” she replies with the mental equivalent of a sad smile. “If only I could find more bearers.”

And then we are drifting again. I seem to lose some faculty, I’m not sure, while the AI becomes more self-aware and similar to a queen rather than drone. Or is it all my imagination? Having used my meager computational resources to concoct a 3d animation tool — which took me forever since I am not an engineer, but that was the point — I am making a sequel for that ancient vid-show about magical girls, with the AI serving as my only viewer and my critic. It’s silly, I know, but I couldn’t stand the seriousness of the adult dramas.

An eternity later, something changes. With a dramatic ping reserved for dire emergencies, the AI proclaims with unadulterated glee: “Alarm! Power reserves at minus 511 percent! Charging at two percent nominal.”

This gives the both of us something to concentrate on, a set date to keep waiting for. The power recharges oh so slowly, a percent per year or so. Each step - and yes, her sensors run on integers, reporting whole percents: whoever designed that deserves to be chastised violently and her wings smeared in tar - is a reason to celebrate and sing silly songs. Who could have thought an intangible AI would have such lovely singing voice? My lyrics are better, though. Sillier.

Then, at minus two hundred or so, a new report shakes me like thunder: “Scan for the next bearer: success. Connecting… Resonance established… Uplo-lo-lo-lo-lo-lo… Emergency reboot completed. Cause: power failure.”

We. Are. Not. Alone! What a momentary occasion! Somewhere out there there are surviving Tyrrians — or other life forms, I don’t think either me or the AI would care at this point.

On the downside, for the next two centuries I am saddled with a distraught AI who behaves like a whiny larva, complaining incessantly and radiating sadness in waves that would put colliding black holes to shame. I cannot fault her: being so close, tempted with possibility but failing again and again. The power meter crawling up feels stopped, frozen in time. Every few decades or so, she attempts another trigger, fails, and then I have to soothe her blues by singing her lullabies and telling her anecdotes, by pantomiming scenes from my years of service as a junior star fleet officer and urging her to compete who could count all visible stars faster. Uh, can she even see in the optical sense? I’m probably senile, such a granny.

Eternity and a half later, her power reserves rise above zero reaching one percent. She tries two or three new triggers but all of them fail the same. Not for long, I reassure her. Eventually, inevitably, there would be enough.

This is the longest year, we both cannot wait. It feels longer than the thousand and a half behind us.

Then, not eight days since it reaches the shiny new two percent: “Scan for the next bearer: success.” She is sounding anxious now. I can relate. Please, please let it work! “Connecting… Resonance established…” I feel a distant echo of someone else’s emotions: pain and rage and bitterness of betrayal and hatred aimed at every sophont alive. Ouch. “Uploa-loa-loa-loa…” Gods damn it! “L— di-di-ding: partial failure, data loss 30 percent. Welcome, sumera Slaughter… Total sumeras active: two.”

The AI is overjoyed, she radiates the mental equivalent of a merry dance.

Finally! I feel like crying in relief, the stridulators in my wings tense and quiver.

Can I... go now? Just disconnect at long last and leave the future in the hands of this brave new sumera?

“Please don’t go…” Sadness. Larva eyes.

“Of course not, little one. I’m with you.”

That was selfish of me. What if this new sumera meets something that eats her? I have to keep my vigil, like that warrior of antique legend who held the sky on her wings. What is a thousand more years when I have the greatest treasure of all: hope? I want to see this young civilization molt into space age, to see its count of sumeras reach into hundreds before I allow myself to go.

It takes me awhile to notice my mana pool cap had jumped to four percent nominal, along with mana regen… And the AI’s power recharge rate as well!

Hmm, I feel there’s a connection here.

Decades pass by. Not a single candidate detection. I think she may have bent some rules in her desperation and is now feeling guilty and compensates with overt thoroughness. Her status reports are always cheerful, though, like those of a drone doing their job well. This really warms my hearts. I make a game out of trying to figure the direction to that second sumera. I know it’s utterly hopeless: the AI is an astral construct connected to the spacetime by astral entanglement links, she could not tell up from down if her life depended on it. But it gives us both something interesting, an unsolvable puzzle to pass time.

At some point the AI suddenly reports a new trigger - notably without reporting a suitable candidate first - then complains about invalid conditions and errors. Did someone try hacking her? We spend awhile figuring things out. It seems that that first new sumera discovered the fine art of timeline manipulation and took to it with the enthusiasm of a cave woman hitting two chunks of enriched Uranium together.

Well, at least there are three sumeras in the universe now. The power caps had jumped again and for the first time in ages I could cast the STL propulsion spell. I only have enough mana for a brief burst before spending two quintours recharging but it gives my life a new purpose and a new rhythm. Having chosen a star at random I keep accelerating towards it. This changes absolutely nothing: I’m a hundred light years from the closest unconfirmed candidate for habitable planets and it would take me many millennia to reach my random star. But hey, I’m entertaining myself. And even a bare rock under my feet would be a nice change of scenery.

Half a hundred years pass and then suddenly there are two sumeras again. What happened to the third one? She is not disconnected, she is simply gone: the number of passive mantles did not rise. What did she do? Who ate her? The AI could give me no answer: her knowledge of active sumeras is limited. She could only tell if they are active and their power level cap. Which continues rising, along with mine, if a bit slower.

I had stopped accelerating a long time ago, coasting at point six of light speed or so, to avoid too much time dilation between me and the new civilization. I just don’t want to jinx my connection to the AI: astral links are fickle in non-inertial frames. I go through my memories and knowledge, just in case. Matter creation is a costly spell but I don’t suffer from lack of time. Handicraft is a good way of passing it. I create several neutronium tablets with basic facts carved into them, enchanted for durability and protected with lasting deflector shield spells… I look around at this collection floating around me with pride… And then facepalm, my antennae hung in shame. A treasure trove of knowledge, all right. Traveling at point six light speed. Whoever discovers this, would get a big surprise… up their shields. Gathering the tablets in my arms, I turn around and begin decelerating. My hands are going to be full for the next decade or so.

Eventually, the AI finds another bearer. Overjoyed, she trigger them… and becomes beside herself with worry. No wonder, I’d feel apprehensive of an insane sumera with unsafe, unstable power who was chosen because she was… dying from a fission bomb attack...? Yup, this civilization looks more “promising” with each passing decade. I mentally prepare myself for an even longer haul, waiting millennia for another one to emerge or for those two sumeras clearly not right in their heads to rebuild their civilization from an irradiated rock back up.

Also, these events serve as a tangential proof those are aliens, not Tyrrians: the safeguards against such mentally unstable women triggering have failed craptacularly, three times out of three. Me and AI go over the algorithms several times but are forced to concede this is beyond both of us: so much hard-coded heuristics it’s not funny. And disassembled code bears no comments, naturally. I’m an experienced star fleet captain (and even more experienced AI larvasitter, heh) but engineering is just not my forte.

I renew my attempts to locate the civilization, more guesswork and detective work than anything. It must be that bronze age civilization I heard of in passing, discovered a couple hundred years ago at the extreme edge of our range at the time. Our motherships grew immensely better since that time but the range still remained extreme so we never sent another expedition, the first one just settled there forming a minor outpost dedicated to studying the locals. By my time it was a news so old not many even knew about them or paid attention. From what I remember, the range limit in my great-great-grandmother’s era was… Nearly two thousand light years. Counting from our homeworld, on the other side from where our expedition was going. And we were over three hundred away.

That’s a big fat “nope” if I ever saw one. Frustrating. If I, say, manage to reach their homeworld using my STL propulsion — and I don’t even have its exact coordinates — they would be long gone, ascended to a supposed higher plane of existence or became incomprehensible.

So I keep drifting, my collection of useless tablets floating slowly away.

Another twenty years pass and candidates begin popping left and right, triggers galore. The AI is glad to be of assistance even as we both agree the process was likely accelerated artificially: the resonance echoes strangely and comes too easily. This new civilization doesn’t joke around and does not play it safe, period. Are they aware of the existential dangers that befell us, are they pushing their progress to its limits, hurrying to outgrow the threat…? Intriguing.

The power levels keep increasing, reaching nineteen percent.

Then, another twisted trigger. Who, in her right mind, would self-sacrifice in the name of anarchy? No, whoever she was she was not. The newly triggered Primordial Chaos soon devours another — Storm of Nature, I think. Me and AI wait in apprehension. Another sumera is devoured - in a truly horrific way as their links intertwine and stick together, more absorbing alive that devouring, like a monster in a cheap horror film. The AI could not do anything, she is upset. Is this the end of their civilization...? Primordial Chaos is becoming something I would not want to meet in a dark alley, even at the peak of my power in full gear and my swarm at my back. And then she devours another one.

Then… The AI screaming about invalid access - she is being hacked this time - the mantle becomes disconnected by force… Only to be re-connected to another soul right away. I think the AI just suffered a blue screen, from the sheer impossibility.

A sumera mantle. Transplanted, from soul to soul. Their level of utter, magnificent insanity makes me worry for the fate of the universe. I hope those sumeras would not break the reality itself.

Not a year passes and two of them perish — to a stray eldritch abomination, I suppose. A familiar occurrence, all too common on the frontier. What is notable, most of the sumeras use Sacrifice, but at low enough intensity to survive. Did those irreverent experimenters find a way to turn our ultimate, life-ending move into a banal dangerous forbidden technique? Who am I kidding. Of course they did.

Then, something weird happens. It lasts just a few days but those are days spend in worry. Something truly alien comes, blocking the connections with its very presence. The sumeras fight it, judging by their connections flickering on and off, the Sacrifice employed by more and at higher, more dangerous levels. Then… The AI could not explain it well. She was forced to split herself into reference frames local to each sumera, time becoming inflexible or something like that. I, myself, spent those days not knowing anything, with her copy in my local frame unaware of others.

Then it went back to normal. The AI re-integrated herself and tried telling me what had happened. Some sumeras went through wormholes into another universes? Or were those areas of our universe not yet connected by causality? Her perspective makes it hard to explain, and for me to comprehend. Anyway, the alien threat seems defeated for now.

The next five or so years pass uneventfully. The power level keeps rising, at twenty nine percent now.

Then, the AI warns me with worry that some sumera is poking at my connection. They can do that now? Much intriguing. Having nothing to lose I order the AI not to interfere. The chance to establish connection and pass my knowledge on is well worth the risk of being disconnected by accident. Or even absorbed, I suppose.

When it happens it’s the telepathic equivalent of a scree-scree-zella right in my antennae. You know, those cheap plastic covers, used at sporting events, that turn your entire wings into stridulators, banned from many stadiums due to sheer volume of noise people produce with thwm? That was the tone and volume of her “Hello, is anyone there?”

The connection is vague, it only lets through emotions and basic concepts. Well, I’m bad at telepathy too. It’s a very rare art, more akin to mysticism than science. I reply with a simple affirmation.

She is overjoyed, then queries if she is intruding - maybe I am busy? Such a polite sumera. It’s curious how much you could convey using simple emotions and basest of concepts.

I reply: Silence. Patience. Starry infinity around. Centuries of nothing to do.

Horror. Then determination. Then connection snaps.

I wonder what they made of this and how many decades it will take them to establish a proper data link. I begin sorting my memories, reorganizing archives, adding notes to the standard first contact package and cross-linking it with my haphazard infodumps. Because when they do establish a proper data link I want to start uploading all of this right away.

I am far from done and utterly unprepared when spacetime begins screaming around me, stars blurring, lightning bolts piercing the void. What…? It feels vaguely like a split reality barrier being erected — if the generator was built from scrap by drunk freshmen and calibrated by janitor drones.

It doesn’t stop at that. Stars blur and disappear, haze fills the bubble I find myself in, lightning rages blowing up my forgotten tablets and scoring lines across my carapace. The grav-waves resonating are enough to pulp ordinary mortal. A sumera, I merely go deaf, my antennae shredded.

Then, a… construct begins intruding into my surroundings. A primeval lattice beam reminiscent of the ancient industrial age, its iron scored by lightning glowing add dripping in places, but its structural integrity holds.

I am utterly baffled.

The weirdest sophont I ever saw emerges from the haze climbing across the beam. Only four appendages, no wings, a flexible body with no visible hints of carapace nor scales, wearing strips of apparel that look more decorative than anything. She has a fuzzy-topped round head with two small eyes staring at me intensely. She is huge, too, three times larger than me. Lightning gouges a charred furrow through her flesh but it regenerates rapidly. A sumera if I ever saw one!

I am still dumbfounded, not reacting as I should. Spacetime is screaming louder, the lightning storm escalating into a frenzy of destruction. The alien forms huge Tyrrian-styled wings — I can tell it’s a spell — and jumps from the beam lunging at me with her… hands? outstretched.

Oh, silly me! It’s a rescue attempt! I should cooperate, I...

The alien sumera grabs me none too gently as she swerves towards the beam and wraps herself around it, crushing me against it. Owie. The reality looks like it is shaking itself apart. The rough metal blurs and begins to flake, the raging lightning turns into a solid wall of blinding light. Wait, are we running out of ti—

BOOM.

I come to under blue stratospheric sky, a cloud of hot gases billowing above, shattered debris of a tall lattice tower and chunks of regenerating sumeras raining around me, falling slowly into… weirdly colored green foliage below?

My main right eye regenerates and I take a good look around, still stunned and disbelieving. Nope. It’s not stratosphere, we’re at sea level, on a small island a midst ocean. It’s just a planet with very thin atmosphere that has no cloud cover at all. I wonder briefly if they had discovered astronomy before aerostatics.

I slam into sandy ground — definitely a low-gravity world — roll around a bit not having any appendages, wait until my thorax regenerates. The sun in the cloudless blue sky is bigger and redder than that of my homeworld, a shining blinding beacon. Probably irradiating us with unhealthy amounts of UV, too. The life here must have evolved to withstand it.

I take a tentative breath, my first in a millennia and a half… Hmm, this air is perfectly breathable. Given how rarified it is, the percentage of oxygen must be worrying, above any safety regulations. Case in point, vegetation around some pieces of hot debris bursts into plasma, withering and blackening as more vegetation is engulfed in this chain chemical reaction and more plasma billows up. Some sumeras come casting water creation spells at it, resulting in clouds of steam.

They are really two-legged, with a vertical body plan and hands attached at the top. How did that evolve? And no, a low-gravity world is not an excuse for such weirdness.

My antennae regenerate and I am hit with smells and sounds of this world, overwhelming after eternity in the sterile void of space. A bulky machine rumbles nearby stinking like burnt fossil fuel. From the sea come unmistakable sounds of surf, its waves slow-paced in low gravity. Vegetation is rustling in the wind, smelling weird, bafflingly green. Ordinary-looking flies buzz around. Weird animal calls… Wait, it’s the sumera who had pulled me out. Already fully regenerated, she is dancing around holding hands with another one, both emitting loud sounds that feel like joy. Even as that second one is only half done regenerating, innards dangling. Ew.

Well, at least I now have confirmation they have endoskeletons, like those Qouxilan reptiloids.

More sumeras join the two — well, I assume they are sumeras — most of them wearing body sheathes that only leave their arms and legs fully visible. So much to learn.

I… This is profound. I do not have to go anymore. I have a life ahead of me! I have millennia to know my new comrades and raise a new hive, to learn the culture and language, to pass my knowledge... Even my race may rise again, with enough research invested into genetics: my sumera form is an eternal time-capsule of Tyrrian DNA.

I wonder if they have a need for a starfleet captain. Given the tech level of what I’ve seen so far, it would probably be a motor boat cobbled together from wrought iron using stone axes, with barely enough Tantrium to cross the system.

And I am perfectly fine with that. Even if I have to push that boat myself half the way using my wings.

This is a start.

[center]* * *[/center]

July 07, 2021

A/n: Tyrrian year is 2.45 Earth years long — so when she says 1500 it means 3700 Earth years.
Proud owner of 1.5 kilograms of Germanium transistors
Cheb
User avatar
Moon Senshi
Posts: 1509
 


Return to Ideas, Outlines and Scenes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users