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Re: [FH] Breaking News - Alien voices

From: Alan and Carmel Brain <aebrain@w...>
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2005 22:03:41 +1100
Subject: Re: [FH] Breaking News - Alien voices wrote:

> Authors note: I have my own ideas about what the Kra'Vak culture is
> and what their motivations are. These ideas probably don't match
> else's ideas (though I'm grateful to the listers who've discussed them
> with me and added to them over the last few years). I didn't include
> these ideas in so many words in the fiction because future history can
> be a bone of contention (as we see from the latest very good
> take on the timeline). Understanding what drives the Kra'Vak isn't
> critical as far as the campaign goes; it is just a side thing of mine
> because it makes it easier for me to write if both sides are fully
> formed and because I like dabbling in how we could mess up and how we
> can slant things. If anyone is interested in my version of Kra'Vak
> culture and that angle of all this, the actual direct translation is
> given below.

I was interested, and thanks for the translation.

I've always been more interested in the Phalons and (to a lesser extent)


The latter (in my view) are not so much benevolent and decadent as 
Extremely Scary. The Phalons may kill you. The Kra'Vak may eat you. But 
only the SaVasku will *change* you. For your own good, of course. I'd 
like to keep them as enigmatic as possible.

Phalons - let's just say that my take on the Phalons is that they're 
even more sociologically fractured than Humans. Factions in the 
Conglomerate differ rather more radically from each other than the NSL 
or ESU, or even Ayn Rand Objectivists and Maoist Collectivists. They're 
  more like Freudians vs Jungians, or Creationists vs Evolutionists. 
They have different world-views, and will interpret the same event 
totally differently.

Common features:
They're usually in it for the money.
They're almost incapable of using symbols for wealth rather than wealth 
itself. The more conservative of them never did adopt the concept of 
"money". The paelo-conservatives never did adopt the concept of "trade" 
or "barter", all transfers of wealth happened through what Humans would 
call theft.

They have the same attitude towards military force. They are incapable 
of understanding "bluff", but are firm believers in "revenge".

Any barter with them is fraught with peril: have too small an escort, 
and they'll get insulted, as you obviously value the goods you're 
sending too cheaply, and are trying to stiff them, so they'll attack. 
Not to get the goods, they'll be out for Blood.

Have too large an excort, they'll think that you must have something 
REALLY worth taking, so on the principle of "Never give a sucker an even

break", will send in a huge task force to confiscate it. When they find 
that it's just the usual rubbish, they'll get really mad, as you've 
duped them into spending lots of resources for nothing.

The concepts of "tripwire" or even "mutual deterrence" isn't in their 
psychology. Trading with them is like juggling three bottles: one 
containing water, one containing whisky, and one containing

On the other hand, trade with them can be extremely rewarding: 
Human-made cuckoo-clocks and Bonsai in particular have become very 
fashionable amongst the Phalon cognoscenti, as "primitive art". Their 
metallurgy is crap, but their protein manipulation is beyond our 
technology, though not our understanding. Things like "trees" that can 
withstand a small contact nuclear blast, and when ripe, turn into parts 
for a grav-detector.

Alan & Carmel Brain

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