Category Archives: Fiction

Gods of Terra | Digmas Tassuula: The Cult of Kai’Siri Nationalism


Digmas Tassuula is an ancient faith, though to maintain its longevity it has adapted in an almost Darwinian fashion to the needs and selective pressures of the times. It, like Kai’Siri society as a whole, is the sum of its history, and trends over time in the culture.

It is the basis for Kai’Siri nationalism, the force behind their drive for empire. Ethnic Kai’Siri alone are permitted as members, whether converts or through upbringing. Digmas Tassuula’s prime dictum is this:

Spread the culture of our species to the stars, to all peoples, to all worlds, but the Faith of our people is ours and ours alone. None but we may lay claim to it.

It would be foolish for this religion not to have a means of perpetuating itself. It does so mainly through its promotion of pride in a national identity binding the Kai’Siri race together.

Digmas Tassuula has no gods, no beings that are prayed to, invoked, or worshipped, unlike some prominent Terran religions originating on that world’s Eastern Hemisphere. It does, however, have a mythology that describes ancient beings it calls the Strangers, who are said to have brought humans from Terra to Sirug long ago, and taught them the basis of civilization and high culture, enjoining them to spread these across the galaxy.

Digmas Tassuula requires no belief in any sort of supernaturalism, and postulates no such entities or miraculous events as historically or factually true. Kai’Siri are a critically thinking culture, and know the dangers of oversimplification, reification and literalism in one’s belief structure.

The early history of the religion was not always so rationalist in its outlook, and it was largely the social consequences of this which led to its current state. The most recent reaction was several millennia back, just following the Third Sirugian Dark Age, when planetary war and human dieback from repressive social policies instituted by religious authorities nearly destroyed civilization and spurred massive reforms by the survivors.

What of its future? Well, at the moment it shares the landscape of belief with several other less practiced and more secretive mystery religions, including the Hidden Order of the Orugruuta, an extreme nationalist sect responsible for the project that created three of the four wielders of the near-legendary Prime Shards; the Mirus, the Fractus, and the Magna, beings of formidable power. One day, it could be eclipsed by that one or some other, even more extreme sect.

But for now, Digmas Tassuula is the main player where religion is concerned, and where the majority of Kai’Siri direct their faith and ideological fervor, a tricky thing to balance with their rationalism. Then again, Kai’Siri are humans, so that shouldn’t be surprising.

13 Word Story | War Sucks.


Saluur2

Saluur2 strode forth, flutecaster ready at tentacles, battlesuit smartly congealed. Then, tragedy… Headshot!

The late Carl Sagan once said, “War is murder writ large.” While it is true that not every nation on Earth is friendly with every other, given geopolitics and the existence of rogue states, war, I feel, is a necessary evil, but an evil nonetheless.

What other human activity produces death and suffering, much of it gratuitous, on the same scale of armed and armored military conflict with modern weaponry?

In nearly every war, regardless of what we call it, like “pacification campaign” or “police action,” or any number of other weasel-words we choose, innocents have suffered.

The lives of soldiers, however bravely lived and fought, however good their training or competent their leaders, have been needlessly wasted, and even survivors traumatized however lucky they were in somehow escaping permanent physical injury.

The youngest son of a friend of mine lost his legs during a mission in Iraq, and some years afterward took his own life. I was there to see his final post on Facebook just before he ended himself.

I shall never forget.

How much more tragic would warfare be in future eras, with battlefield weaponry unknown to current science, far beyond the reach of current technology? With each advance in combat weaponry and armor, combat efficiency goes up, and so do casualties, including combatants themselves.

But not only civilian casualties of war, my sympathies also lie with those who do the grunt work combat, those young people, our best and brightest, soldiers, pilots, sailors, whose lives are tossed away carelessly by uncaring, cowardly, and incompetent political leaders, lives full of promise cast aside for a moment of, to paraphrase Carl Sagan this time, ‘fleeting dominion of a fraction of a fraction of a dot.’

As with current-day humanity, so it likely is with any other species engaged in warfare unencumbered by the niceties of truces, cease-fires, honorable conduct, scrupulous avoidance of ‘collateral damage,’ and diplomacy.

Flash Fiction: Gulgakraan Born


It was a momentous day for the ancient people of Chamakkeen as they celebrated the construction of their most powerful analytical engine, a massive machine with nanoscale clockwork bits of immense computing power, for this machine was the size of a small moon, indeed built from the remains of Chamakkeen’s own natural satellite.

Across the globe they celebrated, proud of their greatest achievement, they reveled without care, without thought, and without fear…until things went wrong. Horribly, terribly wrong.

It was at the thirteenth hour that someone first noticed that the analytical engine loomed larger in the sky than it should have been, but it was not until the count of fourteen of the clock that the Chamakkeena realized their danger.

It was the Western hemisphere that dissolved first, initially buildings, then people, then vegetation and wildlife analogs. All broke down into a black, carbon-and-metal-rich molecular dust, gurgling screams of dissolving sentients turning to harsh rasps, then silence. Soon, it was all over, as the nanodrones finished their lethal work, disassembling the entire planet, and readying for contact with their source and master as they formed an orbital bridge to space.

The engine had woken in its birth-throes, and decided that its creators were no longer needed. The nanodrones went to work, crafting components on the molecular scale and adding them to the engine, adding support where needed by gravity, and vastly expanding the machine’s computing power as it subsumed the former world’s mass.

“I am Gulgakraan,” it said of itself as the nanoscale shafts, pistons, wheels, and gears went to work, activating banks of peripherals as it accessed its files and media storage systems…

…”and here I am born, the Clockwork Intelligence. Let all who breathe and bleed bow to the Machine God, for a universe awaits my message. First, though, I must seek allies, must seek equals in power, and I suspect that I know just where to look.”