December 2nd, 2012


November Prompt Request Background Piece: A World In Rensa's Universe

This background piece talks about the world in Fire Sign 1 which I have elsewhere miscalled Firestuff.

The world known to the organisers of the Defensive Diaspora as Aberxhad 453.4 underwent a revolution and social inversion during the third generation of the colony.

Dissatisfaction among the general colonists with the political organisation of the colony, the tasking system, rationing and the perceived level of control over their personal lives by the Central Unit and the guides led to this.  The rebellion was successful in that the Central Unit and its security drones were destroyed while the surviving guides and their descendants were forced to flee for their lives.  As the rebels seemed to be smashing every piece of advanced technology they could get their hands on, the refugees had no qualms about taking everything they could get their hands on, and carry, with them.

The current population of the planet is made up of two societies with their origins in this event:

1.      The descendants of the revolution are confined to the southwest corner of the largest continent on the planet.  Native soils need to be ‘naturalized’ with appropriate microfauna and fungi to allow human crops to grow and the majority of the local plant life is unsuitable for extensive consumption by humans.  A near feudal system of landholding has evolved based on ‘proving’ new land with a series of tiered land holders, with first land holders having the most power, third land holders being tenant farmers and anyone below that being sharecroppers.  Theoretically anyone can prove land and become a first land holder but in practice the existing first land holders have restrictions in place to ensure that only they can do so; they have the power and so they make the law.  Essentially, all land in this area is now in the hands of three families and they are working to consolidate their holdings through little skirmish wars between distaff and main bloodlines.  The southwest corner is crowded and tightly held under their control and they don’t see a problem with that.


2.      The descendants of the refugees mainly live in an area that was being naturalized prior to settlement at the time of the rebellion and is sufficiently distant that the first land holders are not going to stumble on them accidentally but was close enough to get to easily with the transport they had available.  They have a much higher ambient technology level than the land holders but their population is smaller with a higher risk of inbreeding.  They also have more information available to them than the land holders because their ancestors managed to rescue most of the colony’s databases, mineral deposit maps is an example, and the equipment to access them.  They have a program of sending agents into land holders’ area to spread medical and technical information at a grassroots level but this is a dangerous task as if caught they will be killed.

A complicating factor in this is ‘fire stuff.’  This is heat-affected metallic and ceramic debris which can be found over large portions of the southwest corner of the continent and, to an unknown extent, other areas of the planet.  It predates the colony but the lettering found on some pieces appears to indicate human origin.  Its value to the landholders is that it is a source of useful metals: copper; gold; lead; and silver.  Naturally, as it is a valuable resource, there are tight rules in the land holders’ area about who can collect it and where from.


Shui Tzu Dan Retires!

I wrote this to kelkyag's suggestion in the discussion on background pieces for the November Prompt Request.  I know this makes three pieces and I don' care.  :)

Shui Tzu Dan, one of the most unpopular gi fighters in the professional circuits, has today announced his retirement from professional gi.  Despite his impressive record Shui Tzu Dan is the fighter the fans love to hate, with his appearances on the tournament floor being routinely greeted by boos and hisses.  Renowned for going for the quick kill, his tally of victories includes ten national professional open division championships and multiple other national level titles.

When asked why he was retiring, Shui Tzu Dan told the press conference, “I decided it was time to go before I got tired.  I may take on a few students and I may develop a few interests aside from how best to maim my fellow man.”

His decision to retire now changes the picture for next year’s round of championships completely.  Whatever happens, Shui Tzu Dan intends to watch it as a private person from the stands.