Hey Fediverse, I’d like to start a slow-paced micro fiction experiment with input from the community. I’d play Stellaris (a grand strategy space empire sim) and post regular updates about how everything goes horribly wrong in my galaxy, with polls to help me take important decisions.
What kind of civilization would you like to see boldly go where no man has gone before? (suggestions welcome.)
So far, the general civilization poll shows two strong preferences... This will make an interesting blend! In the meantime, could you help me define our species appearance?
Thank you all for your input! The Zotialith Aggregate is now ready to spread rock-solid communism through the galaxy. And bad puns.
I'm planning an update every couple of days or so. If the idea of following the space odyssey of sentient minerals united by strong egalitarian values is your idea of fun, feel free to share, participate to the upcoming polls, and send your suggestions! This is, after all, a fully-fledged democratic communal parity... at least for now.
2200.01.01 - Zotialith Agglomerate, Mazov Central
Thanks to the recent discovery of the hyperlane network, we, the People of Mazov, are ready to sail the infinite sea of darkness surrounding our home system.
While our best scientists are researching quantum theory, nanomechanics, and ways to strengthen our planetary unification even further, our charismatic Presiding Speaker, Ockten Komplinart, is about to lead us into uncharted space.
Where shall we go?
2200.01.01 - Star charts
This is how the Zotialith known space currently looks like. So far, our most advanced sensors have detected no sign of other sentient life in the galaxy.
2200.08.03 - Zotialith Agglomerate, Mazov Central
Presiding Speaker Ockten Komplinart, who was elected on the controversial promise of an aggressive agricultural policy, has laid the first stone of a farming district on Mazov Central.
The Speaker's detractors are crying foul, denouncing a massive waste of public resources: of course, as silicon-based lifeforms, Zotialiths consume only minerals. However, Komplinart's partisans argue vegetables will lead to wondrous scientific discoveries.
2202.04.20 - Unsurveyed system, Kannam III
The Solid Silicate Flood, commanded by renowed explorer Rinnid Petron, has discovered alien life on Kannam III, in a neighboring system. They are not sapient creatures, at least not in a way we can understand, but they are definitely alive.
Furthermore, they are not of vegetal origin, yet clearly carbon-based, which baffles our scientists, to say the least. The Zoltialith Agglomerate is abuzz with these news.
2202.05.01 - Zotialith Agglomerate, Mazov Central
The People of Maz have decided that space exploration should be aimed at the center of galaxy. It will be challenging, since the central sector looks isolated. No known hyperlane leads there yet.
This is why common efforts towards science and new discoveries will be made. We need technologies that are yet to be invented in order to reach whatever lies at the center, and to be ready for whoever we may meet along the way.
2203.05.05 - Unsurveyed system, Yump Ild
We have proof of alien sapient life! 6 billion years old vestiges of an extinct xenocivilization have been excavated, only two jumps away from Maz. The Yuht, as they called themselves, were not only gigantic arthropod analogues, but also carbon-based creatures.
We still have to find fellow silicon-based lifeforms, assuming they exist. Some of the People believe we should work on more pressing matters.
What should we focus on?
2203.08.04 - Zotialith Agglomerate, Mazov Central
In order to start the colonization of neighboring systems, we have decided to promote an expansion policy in parallel with our scientific agenda. This should allow us to increase colony development speed up to 25% compared to our initial estimate.
Our first colony starship will be geared towards the Kannam system. We will also deploy an outpost in the Yump system to intensify our archeological research.
2203.12.01 - Zotialith Agglomerate, Mazov Central
Partisans of vegetable farming were right. With the recent addition of a sophisticated bio-reactor in Mazov Central, we have finally found a use for these controversial organic objects.
Our engineers have managed to convert vegetables into energy at a highly efficient rate. This will allow us to power many installations in the Maz system and beyond.
2204.02.07 - Unsurveyed system, Mobion
While researching anomalies in the Mobion system, the Solid Static Flow, led by Balsheer Noshek, stumbled upon a large voidborne creature that immediately started to follow the starship. Our commander took a risky bet and decided to let it approach.
Dubbed as a Space Amoeba by the crew, it might be a lost juvenile belonging to a much bigger species. For now, it is friendly and behaves as if the Solid Static Flow was a member of its herd.
2205.03.11 - Unsurveyed system, Mobion
The Space Amoeba has reached full maturity. She’s still as friendly as she was when we found her stranded on Molbion IX, even if communication is very limited.
The People of Maz have slowly grown fond of her. Despite her carbon-based nature, or maybe because of it, she’s become something of a mascot for the Zotialith spirit.
After dozens of unsatisfactory proposals, it has been decided to call her "Fluffy" to settle the increasingly more heated debate.
2206.09.24 - Unsurveyed system, Hesstamur
Our scientists are in awe. We have detected a primitive alien civilization on Hesstamur II. The Qlorvinserians, as they call themselves, have reached the later stages of Bronze Age. Their society is mostly rural, and organized around several large city-states.
We are planning to install an observation outpost to monitor them closely. Whether we should interact with them, and how, or avoid any contact, will soon become a major ethical question.
2206.10.07 - Zotialith Agglomerate, Kannam Prime
The first Zotialith colony has been founded on Kannam Prime, an Alpine planet that bears many similarities with our homeworld. The colonists will need time to become self-sufficient, but this is already, by far, our greatest accomplishment as a civilization.
Due to the ever-increasing popularity of Fluffy, we have also launched a Space Amoeba research program.
2209.02.05 - Unsurveyed system, Hoshfir
Our attempt to reach the center of the galaxy is more meaningful than ever. We've encountered alien spaceships! Until we manage to learn more, we'll call them "Delta Aliens". Our scientists are doing their best to decode their transmissions and understand their language.
Some of our more vocal comrades are also pressing the Agglomerate to expand faster, and to secure the borders. What if these aliens were hostile?
2209.05.03 - Zotialith Agglomerate, Hesstamur II
The observation post is operational. We're now studying the primitive Qlorvinserians from a safe distance. They appear to be authoritarian militarists with a fondness for "religion", a cultural concept we have yet to understand.
The Zothialith scientific community is torn. Should we stay passive, collect live specimens to learn as much as we can, subtly influence them with our egalitarian values, or elevate their puny technology to Space Age?
2209.12.04 - Prime Animus, Hoshfir
The "Delta Aliens" weren't another primitive carbon-based species after all... To our astonishment, the Prime Animus is a highly evolved machine intelligence, a gestalt consciousness shared by sapient automata.
Our first contact was peaceful, yet their borders are closed, and our science ship is missing. We hope they will be pleased by the quality consumer goods we've sent them. If not, we've also doubled the size of our military fleet, just in case.
2210.01.01 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
In order to save bandwith with our distant colonies, limit administrative errors and facilitate translations for communicating with hypothetical new species, the Zotialith Agglomerate has decided to shorten its name to Zot.
This also settles an ancient debate, since the People of Maz have been arguing over being part of an “Aggregate” or an “Agglomerate” for almost two centuries.
2210.04.20 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
The People of Maz are mostly satisfied with their government. Ockten Komplinart has been reelected as our Presiding Speaker for another decade, this time with the promise of developing new housing districts.
2210.02.19 - Surveyed system, Kathea
We have encountered alien explorers in Kathea, a system we were planning to claim, on the opposite side of the Prime Animus territory. We will call them "Zeta Aliens" until we learn more about them.
2210.04.27 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
The Prime Animus has officially declared rivalry upon us, boasting they are "superior constructs." They are aggressively building an outpost in Sigma Draconis, a key system we were about to colonize, and keep blocking hyperlanes that would grant us access to the rest of the galaxy.
Despite our best diplomatic efforts, the situation might escalate quickly. Recent estimates show that our military power is a bit superior. What should we do?
2211.02.04 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
Two factions have emerged in the Zot political landscape: the Free Thought Foundation, to defend our traditional egalitarian values, and the Academy of United Scientists, to push our technological prowess further and faster.
Both are mostly satisfied with our current policies, but the AUS wants to develop research agreements with alien civilizations, which seems a bit premature since we’re on the brink of war with the Prime Animus.
2211.10.02 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
We decrypted the "Zeta Aliens" language. The Xanyr Interplanetary Administration is an irenic dictatorship who takes pride in their xenophobic isolationism. Though pacifists, they refuse immigration and apparently don't mind purging or enslaving other species.
Massive efforts will be needed to get along, especially since the new Xeno Aid Lobby faction that just formed, thanks to recent archeological discoveries, wants to befriend them.
2214.08.10 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
The Prime Animus being totally indifferent to our democratic and egalitarian values, and carrying on their mindless expansion into systems that are vital to our survival, we were forced to declare war.
We're now caught in a vice between these sociopathic automata and the xenophobic slavers of the Xanyr Interplanetary Administration. We hope to secure a path towards a hypothetical wormhole that would lead us elsewhere in the galaxy.
2214.10.05 - Zot Cluster, Yump I
The mystery of the Yump I alien ruins has finally been revealed.
Apparently, the planet's former inhabitants pulled their moon closer with a huge magnetic device. They wanted to mine its metal-rich core more easily... It worked a bit too well. The moon crashed on the main continent and killed everyone.
Our scientists are now joking about giving posthumous Yump Awards to people who contributed to Evolution by exiting the gene pool thanks to their own stupidity.
2221.07.25 - Zot Cluster, Hoshfir
The Prime Animus admitted defeat. After seven years of ruthless battles in Sigma Draconis and Hoshfir, we secured both systems. Fluffy, our adopted Space Amoeba, has been a formidable ally on the battlefield.
Zotialith politics are getting intricate. While Ockten Komplinart has been barely reelected for a third mandate, the future is unclear. A new faction, the Whetstone Initiative, is now pushing hard for us to assert our military dominance over the galaxy.
2224.10.12 - Unclaimed system, Eye of Bal
The wormhole we hoped to find at the edge of our territory is in fact a massive black hole. We cannot use it for fast travel across the galaxy, so we're stuck between our two obnoxious neighbors.
However, an ancient space station inhabited by strange aliens orbits around the Eye of Bal. They call themselves the Curators, and were eager to share their knowledge of the universe -- for a price. This will enhance our technological progress substantially.
2226.05.04 - Eruxo Enterprises, Celaneo
We have talked to the "Theta aliens", hopefully at a great distance. They are the most despicable people we have ever met. Fanatic xenophobes with a kink for conquest and genocide, governed by a plutocracy they call "Megacorporation".
Maybe after all, being alone in the galaxy would have been better... We expect a galactic bloodshed in the near future, especially since the Prime Animus and Eruxo Enterprises have declared mutual rivalry.
2227.05.08 - Zot Cluster, Strategic command
The Zotialith People need your help to decide their future.
At the gates of our homeworld, isolationist slavers spit on our egalitarian dream. If we don’t free the oppressed and welcome them, who will?
Our next neighbor, a delusional machine intelligence who sees other species as mere sustenance, must also be stopped.
And beyond, out of reach, a ruthless xenophobic megacorporation with a militaristic agenda is growing. Fast.
What should we do?
2227.05.08 - Star charts
Here is an overview of the current galactic situation.
2229.09.18 - Zot Cluster, Molbion starbase
The People of Maz have spoken unanimously: slavery is unacceptable. The Xanir Planetary Administration must stop their unethical business or be dismantled.
In an attempt to free the oppressed, the Admiral has devised a bold pincer attack. Our main fleet is entering Kathea while Fluffy is handling the distant Courus system.
So far, the Xanir outposts look sloppily guarded. Is it a ruse?
2230.10.20, Uncharted space, Rotanev
Hundreds of light-years away, our most daring explorers have met the Ars Artem, a community of vibrant aliens living aboard a space station. Much to our surprise, and to our relief, they have dedicated their lives to arts and culture.
Meanwhile, after thirty years leading the Zot Cluster, Ockten Komplinart has stepped down. Our new Presiding Speaker is Rinnid Petron, a reformer and a caring scientist, dedicated to building the society of tomorrow.
2231.02.04 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
Eruxo Enterprises are now officially our rivals. They sent us a message saying that "if you are not a client, you are competition." We knew these despicable ultracapitalists would become our mortal enemies the second we met them. Not to mention they are also slavers, and slavers of the most cowardly kind, since we don't even share a border... yet.
With a bit of luck, they'll start a war with the Prime Animus. We'll finish the winner.
2232.06.27 - Xanyr Planetary Administration, Mardom
After we invaded one third of their territory, the Xanyr defense force finally showed up in the Schinik system. We were damaged from previous battles and outnumbered, yet we beat them to a pulp.
More slavers ships were later sent in Mardom, our last and main objective. They fled as soon as they saw us, only to come back with a much bigger fleet...
We smashed them again. And they capitulated. As expected, slavers truly are a pathetic bunch.
2232.07.30 - Djomar United Colonies, Seb
We have met two far-off empires. The Djomar United Colonies, while being a democracy with a bit of egalitarian values, is also strongly xenophobic. They are hegemonic imperialists... and very powerful.
The Prikkiki-Ti are utter sociopathic reptiles who told us to quake in fear because our doom is approaching. They are fanatical purifiers... and ironically, very close to their own doom, since Djomar is apparently about to conquer their two last planets.
2232.12.30 - Unsurveyed system, Seinided
We were wondering why one of the slavers systems was uncharted and unclaimed. Turns out it is the home of a gigantic ether drake, rivaling moons in size and mass. A majestic and highly aggressive creature, with seemingly huge destructive capabilities.
It appears to be guarding a planetoid that initial scans indicates is exceptionally resource-rich. We will leave it alone... for now.
2234.04.21 - Zot Cluster, Hoshfir starbase
We launched a surprise attack on the Prime Animus in order to liberate the Curator enclave. It has been inaccessible for years due to the single Olbers hyperlane being under the automata’s control. Fluffy will take care of it.
So far, a small Prime Animus fleet attempted to take down our heavily guarded Hoshfir starbase and got wiped out. For a so-called machine intelligence, the Prime Animus is quite bad at maths.
2234.12.01 - Zot Cluster, Sigma Draconis Prime
Our new colonies are full of surprises.
A while ago, we discovered ancient terraforming installations on Hoshfir Prime, mostly dormant, but causing atmospheric instabilities. We’re trying to restart the terraforming process, hoping it won’t make the planet unlivable.
And now, on Sigma Draconis Prime, we've stumbled upon some kind of dimensional portal. We have no idea where it may lead, nor what may come through, but we're investigating...
2236.07.13 - Zot Cluster, Sigma Draconis Prime
Our scientists have managed to open communications through the dimensional portal. To our amazement, it leads to a mirrored version of the Zot Cluster. Our Presiding Speaker spoke with their Presiding Speaker.
They don't travel through hyperlanes, but use "warp drives". And they are fighting "warp beasts", which seem to assail every known civilization in their universe. We've established an inter-dimensional trade to help our mirror-selves.
2236.09.02 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
We're facing a crisis. Our citizens don't breed fast enough to manage our expanding territory.
We could easily enlighten the primitive Fungoids on Hesstamur II and invite them to join our Communal Parity.
We could free the remaining Xanyr systems and welcome their Arthropoid slaves as Zot citizens, but it would mean expanding even more.
Or we could build our own robotic citizens, but the tech isn't ready, and our experience with robots is awful so far.
2236.12.34 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
Eruxo Enterprises have declared war on the Prime Animus. It's a sound strategy, since we are currently conquering the other side of the Animus territory. This means we just have to move faster...
Another problem we have to deal with is a shortage of consumer goods. The war effort against slavers and robots is successful, but it's taking its toll on our economy. Our empire sprawl weights heavily on our bureaucratic structure.
2237.06.30 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
The Djomar United Colonies tried to insult us, though their babble is so unimaginative that we're quite amused. They called us "rocks", which is indeed very true.
Regarding the Prime Animus, we freed the Cebelrai system and ended the war. The Maxima planet is inhabited by pre-sapient ape-like creatures that were apparently used as some kind of livestock. Maybe we'll attempt to genetically uplift them when we'll get the technology.
2240.01.01 - Zot Cluster, Sigma Draconis Prime
Great news! The Mirror-Zot Cluster reports that their economy is booming, thanks to our inter-dimensional trade and their recent victories against the warp beasts.
And our hazardous terraforming project on Hoshfir Prime is successful, with incredible results! Thanks to a combination of nanites and new alien biota, the planet's ecosystem has changed into an actual paradise, even more suitable for Zotialith life than Mazov Central.
2247.03.27 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
We have started to enlighten the Fungoids on Hesstamur II. It will take a while, since we also need to teach them communism. In the meantime, we also freed Xana, the former capital planet of the Xanyr slavers.
However, we underestimated the Prikkiki-Ti. The crazed little lizards may look harmless, but they've spread like locusts and conquered 22 systems, including half of the Djomar Colonies. They're now at the gates of the Prime Animus!
2248.01.05 - Zot Cluster, Xana
The former capital of the Xanyr slavers is an overpopulated hellhole mainly controlled by criminal organizations. Despite martial law and crime reduction programs, violence and corruption are so deeply ingrained in the Xanyr mindset that the situation seems almost hopeless.
Freeing the planet had a huge impact on our economy, causing major productivity loss in all sectors. All Zotialiths are now struggling to stay afloat and absorb the population surge.
2253.07.07 - Zot Cluster, Xana
The situation on Xana is abysmal. Narcotics abuse has spread planetwide, causing major socioeconomic distress. However, our new Governor is ruthlessly crushing the local crime syndicates, so we may have a chance to stabilize this nightmare of a planet.
Our economy is slowly getting better, thanks to massive efforts to integrate the freed Xanyr slaves. Cohabitation with our new Arthropoids citizens is still complicated, but we can't leave anyone behind.
2254.03.29 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central
Having mutual rivals, especially the genocidal Prikkiki-Ti, makes diplomacy with our neighbors easier. As a token of good faith, we've sent large quantities of alloys to both the Djomar United Colonies and the Prime Animus.
Djomar opened their borders, which is appreciated but useless, since the crazed lizards are between us. The Animus offered energy and minerals in return. Maybe we'll manage to unite against Eruxo Enterprises and the Prikkiki-Ti...
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