For those with me in Write to Publish, here’s the story if you’re unable to find it amidst the deluge of messages since the writing-piece system isn’t working for me:
For all those interested – a bit of the background behind Hero is a Four Letter Word.
It’s a little fiction universe a friend and I named ‘Galaxia,’ having nothing better to call it. Wanting something less generic, I’ve been looking at “Children of Adam,” as a relevant alternative. If you’re inclined, I wouldn’t mind thoughts or suggestions. Otherwise – here goes my best campfire impression:
The 22nd century is one of disunity and reconstruction. Between nuclear exchange and insidious bio-weapons deployed by a eugenicist infiltrators behind U.N. governments, the human population was decimated in the mid 21st century, with many of the survivors of ‘impure’ races rendered infertile. With great swathes of the Earth rendered uninhabitable and genetic disorders mounting under cataclysmic fallout storms, the nations of humanity rallied behind energy and aerospace conglomerates to develop technologies to leave the solar system for greener pastures – or at least, somewhere other than here.
However, unity did not last; old grudges from the Third World War divided humanity once again into competing super states and mega-corporations, aligning themselves into several ideological blocs while engaging in under-handed trade wars, corporate sabotage, and proxy conflicts between front companies and unaligned ‘free systems.’ Some of the major polities of the future are:
The American Combine – a union of the countries of the former Western Hemisphere, born of paradoxical influences of 21st century cosmopolitan mores and Jeffersonian liberalism, an alliance of military-industrial shell-planets and agrarian garden worlds.
The Comintern – A quasi-communist state descended from the old nations of western Europe, its hedonistic utopian society supported by a vast population of cloned labor and soldiers and ruled by an aging, shrinking technocratic oligarchy.
The United States of Christian Europe (USCE) – a resurrection of the former Soviet bloc led by a nationalist Poland and imperialistic Russia as a theocratic corporatist confederation led by an ecumenical council of Orthodox and Catholic clerics and the chairmen of resurrected Russian state-owned corporations, including Gazprom, Izhmash, Mikoyan-Gurevich, and Rosneft. Notorious for its replacement of traditional imprisonment with corporal punishment and penal labor, and draconian punishments for moral and electoral crimes.
Pan-Asian Coalition – a China-centric corporatist trade empire ruled by an assembly of several dozen major corporations descended from the constituent nations, with China, Japan, and Korean corporations having the most representation (with Indochina and Oceania being marginalized by both population and corporate votes). It is an anarchic pseudo-state where the law is worth as much as your name or your bribe, where materialism, nepotism, and corruption rule the roost.
The Commonwealth – The British Navy. At one point, the Commonwealth held a not inconsiderable number of systems and belt-colonies around the northern fringe, but after the disastrous Anglo-Khoveydan War of 2112, were forced to surrender their planets to the newly formed Khoveydan Khanate as part of the terms of the peace treaty, and since then have existed only as a fleet without a port, a hair’s breadth away from piracy as it drifts between ports, trading in hydrogen and mercenaries to maintain its aging ships.
The Tesveshi – a race of horned, metal-scaled aliens, refugees from an empire which fell just as mankind was leaving their home system. The galaxy wears the scars of the civil war which nearly drove them into extinction, and which exterminated countless other ‘vassal races.’ Possessed of extremely advanced technology, including gravity-manipulation, energy shields, true artificial intelligence, and FTL capabilities seven factors faster than human equivalents, the Tesveshi nations are the targets of both greed and terror – humans covet their technology, and are wary of the proud, aggressive, intensely xenophobic race. The Tesveshi are mainly divided on political lines, with the the Tav’Osst (The Old Guard) and Vyrhys’hlo (The Separatists) constituting the Tesveshi Directorate, and the wild, piratical Vorhyseh (Brigands) making up the non-aligned majority of the Tesveshi.
Hero is a Four Letter Word begins with the aforementioned Anglo-Khoveydan War, a result of excessive ambition on the part of the military-industrial backers of the Labor party, who exploited incidental frontier raiding to incite a patriotic war against the ‘dirty foreign aliens.’ This was all in an attempt to obtain coveted Tesveshi technology from what seemed like an indolent piratical backwater belt colony. This backfired spectacularly when the otherwise outnumbered Khoveydan Host called together clan allies from across Free Space and exploited their superior FTL capabilities to consistently outmaneuver Commonwealth fleets and raid remote colonies and shipyards, taking apart the Commonwealth piecemeal without having to launch a single significant terrestrial operation before Parliament surrendered.
I see already that I am running well over my limit for this post, so I’ll cut it off here. For those of you not in the in-group, you’ll have to wait a little bit for me to polish this story into a shine, but I hope that posts like these will amuse you in the interim.