Horizon: Salvaged Heroes Ch. 8

Horizon regained consciousness back in the medical bay of the Resolution, a quick glance around confirmed that she was in a perfluorocarbon tube again based on the curved visuals. She brought up her BCI communications.

Horizon: I’m awake, you guys managed to catch me I take it?

MechRat: Oh that’s such a relief, we were getting a bit worried.

Lift: I flew out and grabbed you for the last leg. The ship seemed to work harder to rescue you after you got hit by that bit of scrap. Started tossing junk around to clear a path.

Horizon: Actually, that was me. I managed to integrate with the ship remotely, didn’t know that I could do that.

MechRat: Hah! I thought that was the case. Was there a lot of lag?

Horizon: Hard to tell, everything seemed to be operating in slow motion.

EyeInTheSky: Pilot, now that you are conscious you are required to be on watch. The captain wishes to leave as soon as we’ve wrapped up negotiations with the Stouton elders.

MechRat: Hold on, she’ll need to be in medical for another 14 hours minimum.

Eye: She just confirmed that she can integrate with the ship remotely, did she not?

Horizon: I did.

Continue reading “Horizon: Salvaged Heroes Ch. 8”

Horizon: Salvaged Heroes Ch. 3

Tanya wakes up after being captured by the strange automated ship, and learns a bit of its purpose.

Tanya woke to a momentary sensation of fluid in her lungs, but it was dispelled in moments by a wave of bright white light. The light faded gradually to reveal a shining marble floor veined with gold and silver streaks, following the streaks led her gaze to the edge of the platform, rising uncountable feet over a green-coated floor dotted with metal and carbon-fiber spires that stretched almost as far up as she was. She quickly turned to glance upwards, finding not a ceiling, but a vast blue void over a horizon that appeared to stretch out into infinity.

Slowly, Tanya began to realize where she must be. It had been two decades since she had last been on a planet but that skyline was unmistakable. But how? And which planet? She’d only been on Jord for a short time but it didn’t look like anyplace on that frigid dustball, and she didn’t think there was any construction this big on Logi either.

“New Pallas.” A voice said behind her, as if in answer to her unstated question. Tanya spun around to spy a tall golden-furred vulpine dressed in ornate gilded robes straight out of a historical novel, a pair of white-feathered wings extending from his shoulders. Without thinking the raccoon tilted her head in reverence, though she did not know who this awe-worthy individual was. “Once, the jewel of the galaxy.” He waved his hand, and a wave of red fire swept over the landscape.

Continue reading “Horizon: Salvaged Heroes Ch. 3”

Project Paladin

After the nova of the 25th century the Federation’s grasp over the outlying systems was severely weakened. With interstellar travel immensely more difficult without the majority of the stargate network, local governments frequently found themselves fending for themselves. Planets and stars isolated, vulnerable to predation by pirate clans, renegade posthumans, and even other federally recognized governments, desperate for resources.

The ambitious system executor Ronkall Argentum revived the long-discarded idea of a small corps of posthuman enforcers of the peace, with an additional variation. Project Paladin would package a set of augmentations suitable for empowering paragons of Federal virtue into easily portable modular kits that would fit onto a small starship, along with VR suites specially designed for the memetic priming of these champions. Rather than attempting to transport a peacekeeping force or nakedly extort tribute with ortillery, they could convert locals into ambassadors of a greater power with the means to win over hearts and minds through shock and awe.

In several systems it proved quite successful, however, in the Tiere planetary system things went somewhat awry…

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Superheroes Revisited

A while back I wrote about how the concept of superheroes might not fly in a transhumanist setting where anyone with sufficient resources might rebuild themselves into a superman.

But after writing about the different legal systems in the Para-Imperium I had a couple ideas for implementing them. One “above-board” and one “below.”

Sanctioned heroes: The “memetic badass” approach, where the security forces attempt to reduce expenditures by focusing not on big police departments, but on a small group of celebrity supermen with customized augmentations, movie-star good looks, and extensively marketed adventures. Not dissimilar to the purpose of Knights in Shining Armor in Middle Ages Europe. In this case, their purpose is less to fight crime as to dissuade people from committing crime in the first place, so only those with the resources to field their own super-villains, or attention-seekers like the guy Rorschach dropped down an elevator shaft, will dare to commit crimes. Either one tends to suit the entrenched oligarchy just fine, the fights make for good publicity.

A sanctioned superhero’s jurisdiction rarely extends beyond their home planet or habitat, and they’re typically part of a planet- or star system-spanning organization of other heroes. Attempts to form a Federation-wide group like the Green Lantern Corps or their Lensmen predecessors have thus far been stalled in committee.

This approach is vulnerable to the death of a superhero, as crime tends to skyrocket until a new hero manages to build an equal reputation to their predecessor. As such superhero leagues tend to have the best medical care available, including, it is rumored, illegal brain cloning.

Vigilantes: The “shadowrun” approach. These tend to arise most often in polycentric legal systems like the Pallene or Cetan law systems, in which feuds can simmer between factions for decades, centuries with life extension. The romanticized version is a tragic figure like Batman or Zorro who has a legitimate grievance that the conventional authorities failed to address. That type of vigilante does exist, but tend to be short-lived as they right the wrong that led them to take up the cape and then retire, or die trying. The more common variety are mercenaries more akin to Deadpool, supersoldiers for hire willing to act as deniable assets for any House or company with sufficient credit.