Kedric Incident, The

Image from Steve Bowers

The Kedric incident was a pivotal event in the history of Clade Tavi. Atrocities of this type are commonly cited by those who aspire to the Hider lifestyle, or alternatively by those who believe that modosophonts ought to remain in civilized areas where they can be watched and protected.

In 8095 AT, a large number of Faber reprogroups and Tavi mobs formed a combine to settle the Hoolan system, which was then on the periphery of Terragen expansion. They had entered into one of their standard lease/development contracts with Kedric, an SI:3 entity who had recently claimed the area. The colonists hoped to use the Hoolan system as a springboard for future exploration and development during the 300 year term of their lease.

For over 100 years, settlement and development were peaceful and successful, and the Tavi and Faber populations grew tremendously. Then, in 8197, Kedric abruptly changed policy, and cut off all communication with other lower toposophic beings. Questions, declarations, and, later, pleas for mercy, were met with silence. Je forcibly rounded up the entire Tavi/Faber populace and destroyed their arcologies and orbital habitats. Kedric then began surgical procedures. The shocked and terrified colonists were taken and spliced into a huge biological/mechanical complex that je had created on the second planet of the system. They remained alive and conscious both during and after this procedure. Kedric's structure may have been a computational device, or a work of transapient "art"; explanations to ordinary sophont entities by transapient commentators are contradictory on this point. Whatever its purpose, the agony and despair of the unwilling participants was painfully evident to all.

A few of the most alert Tavi scouts managed to evade the first roundup. They broadcast horrific images of the suffering Tavi and Faber victims and a brief but heart-rending plea for help before they too were captured and incorporated. This final message evoked a rare Tavi "crusade" to rescue the inhabitants of Kedric's device. Though it is well known that ordinary sapient beings cannot usually oppose a transapient of any kind, the Tavi acted on what they thought was strong evidence that Kedric was not sound and sane and that Kedric's mental confusion would allow some chance of success. Four waves of brave but rash Tavi from nearby colonies broke on the Hoolan system over the next several decades, each with the same sad result. They were destroyed outright, or captured and added to Kedric's project. Another desperate series of initiatives was then launched with the simpler goal of euthanasia. In this the Tavi and Fabers had the aid of nearly all the regional nearbaseline-equivalent polities and advice and technical assistance from several SI:1 entities who were likewise of the opinion that Kedric might be unstable enough to be successfully opposed. To this day, their effort is regarded as one of the most brilliant examples of Tavi innovation and Faber planning. They failed.

The debacle of the Kedric Crusades came to an end when an SI:2 known as Amida23 manifested in the region. Je forbade any new attempts to interfere in the Hoolan system as a waste of sapient lives. Amida23 then turned jer attention to repairing the trauma to local societies and individuals. After 235 years, during which time je worked intensively with each affected polity and individual, je departed, though a single-purpose SI:1 avatar remains to advise and counsel both individuals and governments. Though no longer a central fact of daily life and culture, Kedric's atrocities and the failed attempts to correct them remain a painful memory to many billions of beings.

In all, over two billion Tavi and Faber colonists from the Hoolan system and neighboring stars went into Kedric's machine. So did the entire defensive force of the Human nearbaseline polity of Farway, which participated in the second rescue attempt. None escaped. None were freed.

Word of these events, and of the apparent indifference or impotence of the higher S-level beings in the face of them, soon spread through the rest of the Terragen sphere. There was widespread fear and despair in Clade Tavi. Over the following four centuries, nearly half of the known Tavi mobs departed at high velocity for regions beyond the Terragen frontier, in apparently random directions. In many cases, their Faber partners accompanied them. They have not been heard from since. Those few still within range of detection are still under acceleration. Most of the remaining Tavi keep a very low profile, and have scrupulously avoided contact with higher-level transapients.

In 8963, a cautious investigation of the Hoolan system by scouts of the Deeper Covenant showed no evidence of Kedric, of Kedric's instrument of torture, or of the unfortunate captives. Some speculate that this represents a belated enforcement of some aspect of the Tragadi Accords. Others assert that Kedric destroyed or moved the project and is still at large somewhere else along the Periphery. The ultimate fate of Kedric's victims remains unknown.

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Text by Stephen Inniss

Initially published on 01 August 2004.