An excerpt from a popular Eot military manual
By Horgen, The First of His Fame
So, how good is your swimming? This, my warmongering friend, is one enemy you will not be able to engage on its home turf, because it has no turf. More of a fish tank, really. The last major species in the known space is a rare sight, an aquatic race. Don’t get me wrong, there are lifeforms that inhabit the oceans of this galaxy beyond count, but only a rare few are traversing space.
That is, traversing space in ships of their own making. It boggles the mind, even a mind way smarter than yours, how any underwater creature can begin to master technology without the ability to use fire. Some eggbrains of this galaxy speculate it may start with electricity instead of fire. But no need to worry, Sceans, as this race is known, are not born electrified like the Querians.
Of course that now they possess both the knowledge and mastery of fire and lightning necessary to colonize the stars, but how they got any of it, I don’t actually think they know themselves. You should get used to mysteries when dealing with these squids. They like to embellish everything with myths and legends, which is amusing, but gets in the way of telling dreams from truth.
Speaking of mysteries, the secret to fighting such a mysterious race does not lie in increasing one’s sheer strength, or any direct application of force at all.
Let me tell you about their ultimate weapon, the “magic bomb”.
At least that’s what other races call it, nobody knows what they call it for themselves. Do you believe in magic? Making things happen by wanting to? It’s nonsense, right? The stuff of fairytales! Well, if you want to fight these squids, you better hold onto that thought for your dear life. You’ll need it.
Magic bomb is not very different at first glance, not even upon a detailed inspection, from a normal missile with a dummy warhead. Oh there’s some very made up looking excuse for a device inside of it, but even the best war machine makers in the galaxy would tell you that it does exactly nothing. As some Rean doctors would call it in the Archaic Galactic, a “placebo” torpedo.
Do you know who believes that these things do something? The Sceans, naturally, they believe in that very, very much. And I have to admit, for I have seen it with my own eyes, when there are Sceans around who believe in the effectiveness of the magic bombs, you can be sure that they do… Something.
If you’re facing a single Scean fighter in a teeny tiny little ship, maybe you’ll find that after being hit with a magic bomb, you suddenly become jynxed, making several unlucky moves in a row. If you’re facing a Scean cruiser with several souls in their crew, you’ll find that maybe, the magic bomb will incapacitate your ship for a while, making all your equipment go haywire. In ways that can be explained as accidents, but in a very suspicious coincidence.
All larger encounters are unfortunately little more than rumours, myths, and legends, since the last great war of the very peaceful Sceans happened some thousands of years ago, but I’ll tell you what allegedly happened anyway. Don’t even try to guess, imagination is not among the innate gifts of our species, certainly not in comparison to that of the squids. In the stories, a whole flotilla of Scean ships could use magic bombs as the strongest of nukes, but often would go for a more creative way to defeat the adversary’s ships.
As the legend goes, a magic bomb throws the laws of the universe temporarily out the airlock, and that allows for things like massive transmutation of one object into another, or even a summoning of an incomprehensible cosmic entity. Sorry, for a moment there I forgot who I am writing this for — if you saw that entity, you would understand it about as well as the meaning of the words “transmutation” or “incomprehensible”. My favorite tale speaks of a battle that ended up with a flagship being transformed into a giant teapot, still orbiting a gas giant somewhere, allegedly.
In principle, the Sceans believe there are no limits to what magic bombs can do, which is fitting, because their effects are apparently fueled by the strength of the belief of those who use them, as compared to the strength of the disbelief of the enemy. That’s why it would serve you well to doubt magic when facing the Sceans, or, if you’re feeling lucky, try to out-faith them.
One thing that even a dummy like you can try is to believe in victory. It’s simple enough, and it is likely that a simpleton may fare better at that than someone much more intelligent. I wouldn’t want to discourage you too much, since that effectively decreases your chances of success here, but be cautious.
Better to avoid picking a fight with someone who believes that they will be rewarded in the afterlife, or whatever it is that the squids believe in, because the squids are known to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of a larger group without much hesitation. Even without their fancy magic bombs, they are armed with a conviction more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction. Imagine you manage to piss off a planet’s worth of them. Soldier or civilian, every single one of them will have to be counted as an enemy combatant, to the death.
Our heavily armored ships may be more resistant to ramming than most, but such a desperate, last resort attack must never be underestimated. Whole tactics of ship to ship combat change dramatically when one party no longer cares about their own survival. I’m not sure you’re aware, so I will make it clear — spaceships capable of starflight work by controlling huge energies, energies that make for a pretty big boom when they stop being controlled.
As for the ground combat, you should find it very easy to defeat any Sceans that you would find on ground. It would be about as easy for you as it would be for them to defeat you on the bottom of the sea. Seriously, why would you even want to fight them? To steal some of their magic bombs to temporarily create a universe bubble inside of which you may no longer be a dummy? If you manage to get your claws on some, I would suggest trying to summon the Golden Serpent. You never know, right?
Still, imagine their whole race praying on a single magic bomb for salvation.
Fighting a god made manifest, now that would be something!
I began developing Masters of the Future few years ago as an open universe for any media, with special focus on computer games — a compelling story engine built in a playable way. Since the original idea of developing a game in this universe has been put on hold, I have decided to move it in a direction of literature for the moment. If you find it interesting, feel free to give me any feedback. We could even discuss some potential cooperation on the universe development, especially if you are a writer or a graphic artist. More lore is coming.
The wonderful background animation was made by Amitai Angor AA VFX — check out more of his work at https://www.youtube.com/dvdangor2011.