Bewildering Stories

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The War of the Triple Maries and Its Aftermath

by Thomas R.

In the second century after its founding, the Sarbnitovian Organized League, more usually called SOL, faced the most destructive war any human society ever faced. When it began they had been a thriving Meritocratic Confederation representing fifty planets and over a hundred moons. Their population numbered in the trillions. Afterward their population declined to less than 50,000 living in squalor in a hollowed-out asteroid. The war also affected their enemies, the three Maries. The story is as follows.

It has been traditional to start by blaming Esgard Monk. However the expansionist element of the SOL began before his birth, although this expansionism had not been overly aggressive or manipulative until his predecessor, U Tuxiva. She began the policy of interfering in the civil wars of other societies to benefit the League. In her twelve years in office this had been somewhat justified in order to prevent the creation of a hostile post-human society on her borders, the preservation of traditional humanity being a duty for most human societies. Under Monk, the policy changed into a more manipulative method to gain new worlds for the League.

In his fifth year, this led to involvement in a civil war on a minor planet called Elera. It had been an all-female planet that, therefore, placed strong value on genetics. As such its wars often involved the ethical issues concerning genetics. At this point, the ruling government of Marie Ng believed the state should automatically abort defective embryos in the incubator. The rebels under Jelva Pan believed the coven assigned to raise the child should be allowed to choose the embryos’ fate. President Monk sided with the rebels.

The quarrel might have ended there, but the Eleran government asked for aid from the Holy Olivianist Republic. By an odd coincidence, their leader at the time was Holy Mother Premier Marie Escobar. The Olivianist creed strongly emphasized culling those they deemed weak. Therefore aiding Madame Ng seemed to them like aiding someone who agreed with them. However, an opposing view in the government felt the Olivianists were fanatics and turned for the rebels as a lesser evil. As realization of the Olivianist way dawned on the loyalist camp, many more turned against Madame Ng. This ultimately proved irrelevant. Madame Ng dissolved the Legislature and declared herself Shogun. Further, the Olivianist forces made it easy to crush the rebellion and its SOL support. The few members of the government to survive therefore meekly returned as the Shogun’s aides or committed suicide.

At that point, things took a turn. The Shogun wanted the war to end there so she could rebuild her tattered world. The Olivianists felt otherwise. They stated that a male had aided groups opposed to the will of the Archangel Olivia. The Elerans could therefore either provide aid in the Crusade against Monk or share his fate. The Shogun had little alternative but to agree. To her surprise, the Olivianists distrusted troops not trained by them. The Eleran contribution to war consisted of weapons and fuel, although a few Eleran ships joined the Olivianists in the fight.

Facing the might of the Olivianists shocked and horrified the SOL. At first, several worlds seceded in the misguided belief they would be spared. However, Mother Escobar made it clear that cowardice and treason made them enemies as well. She ordered her followers to destroy all life on such worlds, as they had proved themselves weak and hateful. Their Olivianist training gave them great pleasure in doing so.

After this, the remaining worlds became vigilantly on Monk’s side and gave him emergency executive power. Although radically outnumbered, the SOL now showed themselves more intent on defending their survival. As the remaining worlds included some of great technological sophistication, their situation had not been hopeless.

Indeed, until Monk’s death they had an arsenal of tactics and super weapons which kept the war fairly even. Among these were devices which interfered with their enemies’ communication and psychological programming. These proved effective enough that, by the time Monk died, their enemies had lost forty planets to the SOL’s twenty-five and a hundred lunar colonies to their sixty. However, as the Olivianists had over two hundred worlds and three hundred moons at this time, SOL’s losses had been comparatively worse. Events toward the end of Monk’s life would make this much worse.

In his last year, Monk had become desperate for a grand gesture that would horrify the Olivianists into agreeing to discuss peace terms. After debate they came upon the idea of destroying the Earth. They designed a Nano-tech plague which would make all mammalian life on Earth sterile. This Plague succeeded in ways beyond their expectations or desires. It had the curious side affect of making those who caught it, for all intents and purposes, immortal as well as sterile. It also spread to most of the worlds of Earth’s system as well as several neighboring star systems.

This led to the final Marie entering the war. This “Marie” had been the ruler of a rather vast Technocratic Empire called Eniad. In reality Marie had in fact only been one of her names. Her full name at the time being: Athena Dauphin Marie Indra Portia Amaterasu Regina Frank Alexandra Helen Chang Ximagwu Lu Truc Brigid Bell Xerxes Martin Henna Veronica Corambe James Marshall. She had been a gestalt mind of over twenty simulated people, but for the war she allowed the persona of Marie to be her voice. As she found the idea of SOL facing three Maries amusing. Little else about this war amused her though.

First off, Eniad disliked the Olivianists intensely. Secondly they’d maintained more or less good relations with SOL before the war. They even ran under similar systems of government. However the Nano-tech Plague enraged them as an abuse of science. Further, they felt a surprising attachment to Mars, which had also been affected. Their founder, the Artificial Intelligence ENIAD, had been built on Mars. Although AI’s had been unaffected, most of their citizens were in fact humans. Their AI or simulated rulers also loved humanity like a favorite dog. SOL therefore had to be punished for this action. Later it would become clear they also had other reasons.

Eniad essentially ended the war. They represented well over a thousand worlds and had been the most advanced society known. The decade of Pyrrhic victories for SOL ended. Less then a year after Monk died it had been believed none of their people survived. Later, the surviving asteroid colony of “Monkists”, as they’re now called, was found. This extermination led to a new war.

It became clear later that Eniad had entered the war in part to end it before Olivianist aggression turned into a genocide. The Olivianists felt more than connection to Earth, they felt reverence. They also had made it clear after the incident that conquest or conversion were no longer options to them. They wished the total extermination of the peoples of the SOL. Eniad, somewhat naively, believed they could neutralize and annex SOL before that happened. However neutralizing an SOL world simply made it a target for the Olivianist weapons. In a few instances the Olivianists even attacked the Eniad to complete their “sacred” duty.

This is getting us beyond the war itself. In conclusion then:

Elera is now part of Eniad. In the Olivianist-Technocrat War, Madame Ng sided with Eniad. The Olivianists then killed almost every surviving Eleran. However, by the end of the war, Elerans joined Eniad, who rebuilt them. They are now a prosperous society, with a growing ethnic minority they call Androsians. (Most worlds just call them males.) Madame Ng herself contracted the Nano-tech Plague and refused treatment. She retired from office after the war and turned power over to a constitutional direct democracy. She will soon celebrate her 1000th year as speaker to the machines on Eniad.

The surviving Monkists now number around ten million. As they are descended from the half-mad remnants of SOL, they are a somewhat repellent society. They reject interstellar travel and “thinking machines.” They also blame women for the war. Amongst them, women are mute and unable to hold political office, although in recent years ethnographers report they have gained some measure of respect in literature and the visual arts. They even allow retired female authors to vote. However the society has retreated from technology to the extent they no longer know how to reverse their muteness. The society has also retreated from respectability enough they still seem unwilling to allow women to have any political or economic power. Their meritocratic tendencies have survived though in their emphasis that men pass a series of exams to run for office.

Eniad occupies most of the former SOL worlds. Few of them are inhabitable to humans to this day, but their vast AI populations enjoy them. They also cured the Nano-tech Plague, for those who wished to be cured. Their society has become more AI-dominant in recent years, but remains majority human.

The crusade against SOL proved to be the Olivianists last significant one. The war with Eniad ended as something of a draw. That had been a much better result then anyone predicted for them, but they found it disappointing. They state, however, that their crusading age ended after that because SOL had been the only society left truly opposed to their values. There might in fact be some truth to this, but as of now their fate seems unclear. Their thoroughly programmed populace has become increasingly unable to deal with change, and there are reasons to think that they might allow a more relaxed program of instruction in the faith. However rumors that they will allow freedom of conscience as yet lack any substantiation.


Copyright © 2003 by Thomas R.

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