by Hakan Anderson (2008)
The chants were heard through-out the system nets that day.
"Strength through unity!"
"Unity through strength"
And so on...
In the government offices, the members of the former government were already detained, awating charges of abusing the public trust. As the new leaders entered, crowds of supporters cheered on. Humans, Daharrans and artificial sophonts alike cried out their support of the new regime.
In the weeks that followed, the nets were safely partitioned. Groups of dissidents were isolated and destroyed. The former Advance Party Head Committee, now serving as cabinet and supreme court, reigned supreme.
At 6:49 on the 7th day of eightmonth, the people of Daharran severed all extra-system communication. The clusters main netservices commented upon this as a regrettable regression, but quickly lost intrest. The matter of the Daharran regression was relegated to history reviews, as a sad but inevitable example.
A few generations passed, and the clusters nets were in the middle of their second paradigm-shift since the Daharran regression, when Daharran prime went out. No signs of nova, nothing. The clusters main economical interest, the Qasar dynamic guild, decided to investigate. The investigating comitté, having gotten quite a windfall as far as budgets were concerned, decided to be prudent. Prudent meant in this case, four separate fleets of eighty vessels each, carrying state-of the art propulsion and sensors. As for instruments of warfare, the supply was ample, to quote the abstract of the mission manifest.
The fleets did return, some three hundred generations later, from the general direction of Andromeda. Meanwhile however, the cluster had other concerns. Several small trade wars began to erupt, finally culminating in the bankruptcy/dissolution of the QDG. With QDG out of the way, the cluster net quickly deteriorated into a myriad of incompatible standards. Then, the Daharrans struck. In a massive strike, they decimated the entire Chronos cluster. Some few managed to escape, bringing stories of atrocities that alarmed even some of the more amoral species. The motto of the Daharrans, always transmitted in the Daharran traditional form before attack, was simple. Strength. Unity. Mass.
There was method to the madness. The Daharran regime, quickly descending into ever more self-destructive forms, had found an out. The elite, numbering maybe 10,000 embarked on a project, to harness the sun, literally. Inducing an artificial black hole, the elite managed to completely contain and control it. But the monster needed food (or mass) to grow bigger. Thus, the Daharrans fed it their entire system, including all superfluous personal matter (that is to say, some 80 billion individuals, biological and otherwise).
The elite, having abandoned its traditional policies of advancement, degenerated into conservatism, inflexibility and a bigoted outlook on existence. And those were its positive qualities.
Now, roaming space in a never-ending search of the mythical "infinite mass", the Daharran Advance, as they like to call themselves, are a nasty, divide and conquer lot.
They are followed by the Quasar dynamic fleet, that actually came close to transcendence a few times on their long journey back. The need for vengeance proved an effective deterrent for these though.
Committe Chairman Dylee Korth (age-wise immortal Homo Sapiens
, IQ 125) QDG-fleet
: Command Program Bob 8 (AI-program)
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