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ReincarNation - A Game Story

Written by Jim

Who am I?
This is not an idle question, for you see, I existed before in another form. In fact, that shell of a body still exists elsewhere, but I am getting a-stalk of myself. Or am I?

Once I breathed hydrogen, but now it would kill me. Now, it is carbon-dioxide that flows in and out of my, er, abdominal cavity. The species that I led in my previous existence was superbly "shaped" to expand and control the galaxy. Research came easy, as did the mining of minerals and the maintaining of machines. And we needed machines greatly for strength, having so little biological power as compared to those we soon met. But I am getting a-stalk of myself again.

I guess it began when we discovered the art of worm hole transits, and realized that there were two such ways out into the rest of the galaxy from our home system. In fact, that very month, a strange ship appeared at one of the points and headed for the homeworld. I had been recently elected as Defender General and ordered planetary defense platforms to be built on a round-the-clock, 33-hour per day basis. Great was the criticism at the expense of the structures. They ended when the stranger attacked our world without warning. Only my decision to order that planetary defenses be immediately constructed saved us all. After the attacker was destroyed, however, I was declared "Leader for Life." My first proclamation was that we needed to seize the galaxy for our own safety, and that of our seed.

First, though, we colonized the single hydrogen gas giant within our system and the other, smaller oxygen gas giant for which we fashioned a dome colony. Our colony ships first out through the worm holes were promptly destroyed by vicious and unprovoked attacks. The Piundon and the Toltayen flanked us and barred us from our destiny. Research, however, soon yielded superior ranged weapons for colony defense, and we established colonies where we chose in the home systems of our enemies - for months they repulsed attack after attack. Soon, I lost patience with these foul beings, ordered warships of our own constructed, and carried the war to the enemy. One eventually surrendered but the other required complete extinction to bring peace.

What followed was a dizzying surge of expansion. It was an iridium age which some claimed would never end. But it did, at least for me it did.

It was soon after we confronted the also-expanding Earth Alliance, as I recall it now. We had just encountered a truly strange --- they seemed such then! --- species who seemed quite content to remain within their own, well-developed system. However, the poor wights occupied a single pocket of space between our Empire and the aggressive Earth Alliance. They and the Earth Alliance expressed horror at the size of our peaceful nation, calling us a "Mega Evil Empire," and their reaction seemed to presage a hopeless declaration of war.

Obviously, they were doomed.

I was moved to pity for these would-be-neutral folk, huddled on their handful of worlds, each making little gasping noises as wisps of CO2 went in and out of their odd abdominal gills. War was imminent, which could only end in their destruction.

And, so, I did an unwise thing.

I went to the great shrine of Omnipitron and, there, I laid the bejeweled sacrificial flask of my essence in the floral crystal faience upon the dais and declared my remorse for actions that soon I would be compelled to order.

"Oh, Great One," I declared before all. "Help me find a way not to kill these innocent, befuddled beings."

And so it was done. Fervent pleadings to Omnipotron are sometimes granted, but one must be careful what one wishes for. That day, I was not and, oh, Omnipitron must have bubbled merriment out of all His 12 Sacred Orifices for several cycles!

You see, I found myself instantly the ruler of that doomed species!

Oh, the Great One was not without some mercy. He either concealed my disappearance, or else my former species went comatose after my absence for perhaps 20 months. It gave me just enough time to create a buffer between me and the Empire I so well knew, and now feared better still. But, these folk, my new folk, were primitive! Gone were the fast drives, the fifth-generation uranium canons, and all the many scientific advances I had come to depend upon. My new form was only average at so many things that I once excelled at.

Oddly enough, though, I enjoyed being able to talk again with a new species that would not immediately declare me "evil." The aggressive Earth Alliance still pressed hard, but I knew they were two nebulas away. On my new border, though, was a friendly race, the Cue Cappa, with whom my predecessor had entered into a trade and research treaty.

But, Omnipitron was not done with me yet. I eventually learned that my transfer was incomplete! The original owner of this body was still not completely gone! Ships I ordered upon critical missions showed up elsewhere, with no explanation! Strange and unsuitable devices and ships emerged from yards and factories! Flawed and inadequate designs appeared on schedules as though ghosts were at the drawing boards. At first, I thought it might be a conspiracy, or that I had gone mad. I adapted and worked around it, figuring out orders that I could watch to completion and what ones I could not be sure of. After many months, the spirit of the other was finally expelled [figured out how to "turn off" the crazy being "within me"] and things began to improve.

My CO2 folk, who were 15 out of 17 in the galaxy when I made my ill-considered plea have advanced to #3 in the galaxy. The Earth Alliance exists still, but rues the day they finally pushed me past my limits. My neutral folk have finally heeded some of my entreaties to the warrior spirit within them. Yes, the oxygen-breathing scum have vast vessels they call "Battleships" and "Dreadnoughts," but our agile light cruisers and cruisers have their measure and rend them into gobbets. With mines and long range, 11th generation anti-proton fire, we have advanced steadily into their systems, and new colonies spring up in our backwash. With more worlds joining our consensus every month, new factories and laboratories push us closer and closer to the safety of a quiet peace. Even my previous race has come to regret their haughty refusal to make treaty with me. I hope the three systems I have captured so far will soon change their attitude. If not, I will take more.

Now, giant fleets of the Earther beasts, my hydrogen formers, and our own CO2 beauties all jockey for primacy in this war-rent galaxy. But, what about the poor species who are defenseless in the face of all this might?

No! Oh, Great Omnipitron, no! I didn't mean ....

Written by Jim

Copyright © by the author, posted with permission.

Published on: 2004-05-12 (5849 reads)

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