[Vfw-times] Nacelites

Betaalpha betaalpha at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 28 09:36:52 CST 2000

Oren Otter wrote:
> Here's a subject I'd like to get your opinions on:
> The Nacelites from the Human Extinction Agency series.  My intention when I
> wrote the the first HEA story wasn't to focus on the aliens at all.
> Rather, it was to make species dysphorics take a good, hard look at what we
> stand to lose if we should be transformed all the way.

This is intriguing, as it's the species dysphorics that would be the
least affected by these transformations. The ordinary people would
largely be far worse off, having not transformation at all, and not
wanting anything like this to happen to them.

I'm glad people concentrated on the aliens. I hate transformation
stories where transformations just happen, caused by some shadowy evil
guy in the background. In comparison to him, the poor schmuck getting
changed is uninteresting.

>  However, as i
> wrote, I was compelled to begin focussing on the Nacelites as people.  As
> the species developed, I began to see them a great deal like we see
> ourselves.  People.  Some good, like Dr. May, Jon, Chris and Cerulean, and
> some bad, like Smiley, Amazon and Slash.  Many, like Dr. Up-brace who seem
> to be rather neutral.  As a whole, however, they seem to be a basically
> decent people who collectively, made a big mistake.
> I'd like to know, how do you all see the Nacelites?

Largely, I see them as an evil race, particularly in the setting I used,
where people are affected by transformation in a way I see as realistic;
absolute horror, a feeling of encroaching doom and abrupt death, knowing
things will never get better, that everything they did and will ever do
amounts to nothing, and so on. That an empathic species can inflict this
upon billions, and feel the misery the humans feel every day, without
most of them feeling regret or lifting a finger, points them out as
pretty evil.

(Am I starting to sound like I think about these things too seriously?
Sorry. The rest of my mailing will be the same. You've been warned :-)

There are only a few reasons why large numbers of good people would do
evil things. Well, the Nacelites don't seem to be ruled by a tyrannical
government that forces them to do all this. Nor by religion. They don't
seem to be under the influence of propoganda. If they've been overseeing
the planet for millenia, they are not naive, and know very well what
it's like to live in the wild. That leaves their duty to the
environment. Well, this doesn't stop them from working out a more
peaceful or co-operative alternative, which of course they didn't do. So
they are largely inflicting global genocide (by proxy, out in the woods
where no-one sees it happening) off their own backs. They have no-one
else to blame.

It's just that they sound regretful and apologetic, or like they have no
alternative, while they do it. This gives them the false impression that
they are well-meaning. I don't think they are. They consider humans to
be below them; inconvenient animals. The thousands of years old culture
has hardened them to any creature more primitive than them. They only
seem to stop the killing when their own species is placed in danger by
the ensuing war. Not by any attack of morals.

I also see them as insufferably superior :-) They are a species that
doesn't need to cause pollution in order to feel comfortable and
protected from nature. They are of course far advanced. They don't go to
the toilet, or smell after a long jog. They seem to grow and develop as
a species without experiencing crimes, war and so on. They are what we
wished we were.
> Oh yes... and what would you like to see happen to the company's nacelite
> clients, 7 at - and ^}, in The Changing Workplace?

They could be turned temporarily into other species by a superior alien
for environmental destruction, caused by attempted genocide of an animal
species. Yeah, okay, this spiel won't fit into a cartoon strip. Have
magic Star Trek fans turn 'em into stuff for breaking the Prime
Directive :-)


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