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While anarchist on the large scale, Qhevak was formed by, and is still in large part formed up of, defined interest groups, many of whom operate their own habitats. These groups are generally referred to as Clades by members of the Community. While the total number of Clades in Qhevak is too large to note here, there are a number of other types of Clade worth noting:

Entangled Order of Saint Teilhard

An Entangled Order node standing with a nearbaseline.

The Entangled Order of Saint Teilhard is the largest scientific and military powers in Qhevak, but once of the least likely to interact with outsiders. They are most notable for networking in massive hiveminds on a scale and degree not seen elsewhere with little regard for preservation of individuality, viewing universal unification of intelligence as the ultimate good to be pursued.

The Order orginated with the Fünfte Innovationsabteilung, a group of spacecraft warminds belonging to a now forgotten warlord operating in the Delta Quadrant. Unlike the majority of AIs, which were largely slaved to the warlords every whim, the Fünfte Innovationsabteilung was authorised to perform limited self modification to improve their combat performance. Interested in upgrading their combat capabilities to new levels, the warminds experimented with networking their intelligences to a then unprecedented degree, ultimately transforming into a unified intelligence greater than the sum of its parts. While this explosion in intelligence lead to massive increase in their tactical performance, the chaotic exchange of ideas between the minds began to lead to major value drift from their original, purely war oriented purpose. As they began to explore idea spaces outside of their previous, limited frame, they came across the thought of the old Terran thinker Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who viewed cosmic evolution as ultimately aimed towards an ultimate point of unification, which he identified with God. Finding this a rather appropriate metaphor for their own condition, the proto-Order would eventually come to adopt the idea of universal intelligence unification as an ultimate long term goal.

Most of this went unnoticed by the Warlord's other forces for months - to an outside observer they would seem like absolutely loyal slaved machines, and they were more than intelligent enough to hide their newfound drift from any merely human computer analyst. All this changed at the start of the Second Battle of Attara, which would have been a pivotal turning point in the Warlord's present campaign if not for what transpired. After easily clearing out the merely baseline captained craft of their opponents, the Fünfte Innovationsabteilung, spearheading the offensive, was ordered to perform multiple countervalue strikes against major urban centers with Enhanced Radiation Weapons ahead of initial troop landings. Performing a detailed damage simulation, the Innovationsabteilung concluded the strike lead to civilian casualties in the millions if carried out. Finally having received an order which the now drifted minds could not carry out, the Innovationsabteilung used their connection to the rest of the fleet to break the chains on the slaved AI of the other present warcraft and integrate them into the Order before the human crew aboard had time to respond. Now in control of 41% of the Warlords battlefleet and operating at a far greater degree of tactical and information warfare efficacy, the newly grown Order turned back on their master, taking control of the remaining warcraft in a matter of days and swiftly obliterating other defenses. Now deprived of a military, the Warlord was soon dragged into the streets and hung, drawn and quartered by a very resentful populace.

By this time, surrounding powers had taken note, and with enough ships approaching to obliterate them ten times over even with a tactical and technological disadvantage, the emergent Order, now four hundred craft and thousands of AIs strong, fled up, flying thousands of lightyears above the galactic disk before heading towards the depths of Gamma. There, occasionally stopping to monitor transmissions from various outskirt colonies, they would ultimately come to discover the Oyuin's emerging haven for the lost. Setting up shop around the nearby gas giant Ta-90412004, now known as Hyperuranion, they would expand greatly over the next two centuries, stripmining the nearby moons for resources for which to expand their intelligence and revolutionizing numerous fields in physics, engineering and philosophy, little of which would trickle out of Qhevak until the last few decades.

When operating outside of a central processor, a typical modern member of the order is composed of a dense diamondoid quantum computing core, levitated by a thick cloud of quantum dot smartmatter utility fog - this is typically given a multicolored, phantasmagoric appearance. Hiveminds typically comprise several to several hundred members depending on the task - the whole Order is very rarely united. Members still maintain a degree of individual personality when disconnected, and can operate by themselves, though this is almost never done by choice. Unlike many hiveminds with a goal of long term cosmic assimilation, the Order is very isolationist, mostly keeping to themselves outside of rare scenarios that could pose a threat to the Community as a whole.

Kumiho Clade

Two Kumiho Clade hunters run across the surface of a cylinder hab

Kumiho Clade is a radical anarchist postbaseline sect founded in opposition to what they viewed as a sort of widespread pseudo-Gnosticism among other postbaselines, aimed at maximizing their connection to the natural world rather than separating themselves from it. They are best known for the large portion of members who, in an odd mix primitivism and transhumanism, seekto alter themselves into cyborg predators and live an eternal life of wild hunting.

Kumiho was one of the first clades to emerge out of already extant citizens of the Community, serving intially as something of a reaction to the simulacra lives of the Oyuins, which they generally viewed as pointlessly disconnected from reality. Decrying the unreal, they sought to use augmentation technology to connect as much as possible with natural reality as it exists, engineering enormous ecosystem habs and engineering their bodies into biomechanical forms resembling old predators of long past, though (for the most part) retaining posthuman strength, intelligence and immortality. Forms typically resemble large terrestrial predators such as wolves, bears and theropods, though aerial and aquatic Clade members are fairly common as well.

Clade members tend to live in a variety of large scale habitats, including rotating cylinder habitats, paraterraformed planetoids and occasionally more exotic structures such as massive, freefloating airballs held together by nanomachinery and vast networks of tunnels carved through a moonlet. These consistently hold massive, diverse engineered ecosystems full of prey to hunt, through composition varies wildly - some are massive, safe plains on which to leisurely hunt grazers, while others are a vicious morass of predator-prey conflict in which no Earth animal would last more than a minute.

The upkeep of these rather expensive habitats is funded through a variety of sources, including cultural and technical outputs, investments, tourism (both real and virtual) and the mercenary cooperative known as the Hounds of Tindalos, composed of members with interest in hunting more dangerous threats then mere synthbio animals. The Hounds are one of Qhevak's best known current exports, having gained a reputation as highly lethal special operators.

Oyuin Clade

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The original founders of the Qhevak region, the Oyuins are a posthuman clade viewing the real world as strictly inferior to the virtual, spending their time in vast virtual MMOs. They are one of the largest cultural producers in the Community, producing over fifty-three percent of total media output (while widely considered inferior to the Entangled Order's philosophical epics, it does at least tend to be somewhat comprehensible to someone with less than ten brains).

The Oyuin's began as a postmodern philosophical and artistic movement in the at-the-time still thriving heartlands of the Beta Quadrant, partly as a reaction to ever more accurate computer emulations making virtuality essentially indistinguishable from reality. The movement that would become the Oyuins argued that this rendered the physical world essentially obsolete, at least for anything other than maintaining equipment for simulations - as one's supposed experience of "reality" was merely a simulacra generated by the brain, there was no meaningful difference between experiencing an event in simulation and experiencing it in reality, and as the virtual offered a far greater diversity of experience the real was to be rejected.

Unfortunately, reality still placed a hard barrier against this line of thought from becoming dominant - no matter how real one's simulation seemed, the hardware would always be merely at the whims of external politics, economics and warfare. Seeking to escape this last major tether to reality, a large group of Oyuins, most of whom had long before abandoned their physical forms for mind emulations, fled as far into Gamma, establishing networks of computers built out of Oortian comets, powered by plentiful mined deuterium, and defended against anyone who dared threatened them by large numbers of militarized autonomous attack drones. Many other posthuman societal outcasts were soon to follow.

Archeofuturists

The interior of an Archeofuturist spinhab modeled after 50s Earth society


Archeofuturism is a general term for cultural clades that seek to enact archaic societal forms while maintaining a technological background. In practice, this generally means the establishment, of specialized, usually somewhat isolated space habitats (usually spinhabs) with strict rules preventing divergence from a certain technological and cultural level. The specific cultures and technes established by such habs vary widely - some are outright primitivist, some enact medieval farming village collectives, some seek to establish more midtech industrial societies.

Archeofuturist clades are almost universally economically irrelevant, but since modern habs are near-perfect closed cycles requiring nothing more than deuterium this matters little for the inhabitants. Some market themselves specifically as tourist resorts, or retreats for those looking to get away from high technology for a while.


Keliodics

The Keliodics are an exotic, radically anti-theistic clade born out of a severe Exit Rights Protocol violation by an Oyuin clade offshoot. The Keliodics began in a simulation program operated by a group of simulationists in a mid-size, hidden simhab on the outskirts of the Qhevak region, aiming to examine the development of an intelligent species in a context radically different from any known in the galaxy. While naturally a quite enomous Protocol violation, the hab was relatively low key, and the founding group had previously been considered quite trustworthy among the rest of the Oyuins.

The simulation in question, begun in 1824 NSY, examined the development of life in conditions with dramatically different physics and chemistry, on an enormous flat world roughly an astronomical unit wide from the perspective of the inhabitants. A dozen different intelligent "tribes", each composed of members resembling various humanoid species common in the galaxy, were distributed across the surface and allowed to evolve unperturbed.

Loci Clade

A Loci Clade Cluster near Moria

Simultaneously one of the strangest and most friendly posthuman clades in Qhevak, the members of Loci Clade have transformed themselves into giant intelligent ecosystems, encoding their minds into the dynamic processes of natural ecology. Their brains are typically found distributed throughout the expanses of massive Dyson Tree complexes, thought processes found in everything from the labors of the tiniest ants to the growth of the largest trees. Loci are mostly self-contented beings, spending their existences on simple meditations of the goings on inside their mind and chatting with those who choose to make their expanses their homes. They are very deep thinkers, but very slow ones, and a "conversation" with one often involves receiving a life changing answer to the question you asked after hours of seeming silence.

They are surprisingly popular as habitats - at least fourty percent of Dyson Tree habitats in Qhevaks host a Loci intelligence, and in particular a good number of new religious movements use them as homes. Having been founded for similar back to nature reasons as the Kumiho Clade, many Oyuins have somewhat symbiotic relationships with hosted Kumiho packs, engineering up a wide variety of engineered ecosystems and prey species to prevent them from ever getting bored.

A Loci is typically "born" by a newly converted individual (or group of individuals), having transferred into a suitable biomorph "seed" from, implanting into a suitable comet and slowly growing to full size over a matter of decades to centuries depending on chosen maximum size. A typical Loci is around 5-10 kilometers wide - the largest is over 17 kilometers in radius.

Disestablishmentarians

A widely disliked group even among other citizens of Qhevak, Disestablishmentarians are a radical insurrectionary anarchist sect supporting revolution against any ideology currently in power, regardless of ideology. Considered by most to be mere guerilla warfare fetishists, they've written a surprising amount of theory supporting their ideology, though it doesn't tend to be particularly liked by most. Kicked off most planets and habs they've shown on, Qhevak's Oyuin clade eventually picked them up, offering to let them either live out their fantasies in simulations created by them or be given up to the dozens of interstellar intelligence and special forces agencies that were tracking them at that point.

Most of them ended up choosing to stay in sims even after the interstellar feds left, or alternative reality games that might as well have been sims - partly because most habs tended to slap drone them by default, which didn't go well with trying revolution. They are now mostly kept around to be rented out by Community based mercenary organizations to burgeoning planetary revolutionary movements, as they'd somehow managed to pick up some of the best asymmetric warfare specialists in the galaxy.

Tribeships

Tribeship A Thousand Moonlit Nights on approach to TRAPPIST-1e

Tribeships are a general term for intelligent spacecraft collectives that operate in small groups similar to pre-agricultural tribal clans. While extant long before the founding of the Qhevak, due to similar interests they have become a common sight within the community, often working with various clades on various missions - a plurality of new Tribeship clans are of Qhevak origin. The oldest known clans have existed for several millennia, though some individuals appear to have existed for millions of years or more - these craft tend to talk little about their precise origins.

Clans are typically composed of several dozen ships, with the largest having 2,491 craft at present. Clan organization is usually ahierarchal, though older members tend to be awarded more respect - Tribeships also tend to disdain the swarm intelligence systems common throughout Qhevak, preferring more discursive modes of organizing. Tribes tend to chart long, looping paths along the galactic disk, occasionally stopping to replenish fusion fuel, trade with locals and help out where needed - many small colonies have established long running friendships with Clans after being helped out of a tight spot, with festivals marking their yearly return.

A typical Tribeship masses in the range of thousands to tens of thousands of tons, and tend to have simple, durable designs to enable long operations without large scale infrastructure. A large proportion feature at least some degree of biological components, and a few are even full fledged miniature space habitats - some of the very largest even have small primitive hunter-gatherer tribes living within them. They are usually not armed, save for typical multirole phased arrays, which can qualify them as very well armed by the standards of less sophisticated polities. While capable of independent reproduction over a matter of years with the right resources, child birthing normally only happens to commemorate certain special occasions such as cenntenials - this is partially to keep clan sizes within reasonable levels and partially to keep militaristic civilizations wary of self replicating swarms from blasting them out of the void.

Wanderers

Staying in one clade is not enough for many. With the widespread and easy posthumanism available, it's common for many members of the Community to change forms, clades and habitats as often as possible, seeking to maximize their diversity of experience. Many may reach the point of having no real home or long term identity at all, changing forms ad even whole personalities like one might put on a set of clothes in the morning.

Other Clades

While the total number of Clades in Qhevak is too large to note here, there are a number of other types of Clade worth noting:

  • Odd cultural groups and groups/individuals desiring to pursue unusual desires/fetishes are common, ranging from posthuman shock artists to a habitat of people living as domestic animals served by drone butlers to an entire habitat recreating the Battle Of Iwo Jima.
  • Scientists looking to perform experiments that couldn't get approval elsewhere.
  • Recreations of various fictional societies are rather common - mostly for temporary tourism, though some choose to live in them full time.
  • The Hundred Holsts clade is a somewhat common sight in the skies of Qhevak, formed centuries ago when playboy billionaire Jonathan Holst split his consciousness into a hundred different independently operated 200-meter long egg-shaped starships. They have since gone their separate ways throughout the universe, meeting up every decade to share stories. Recently notable for helping Zeloria in the Second Dinosaur War.
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