16 - The Alovians

(5 years ago, 1000 S.E)

Esa could trace her shame-name, Ta’ric all the way back, a thousand years to the debacle at Chronus station, the Schism, and the Banishment.

Her ancestor Hubrinthian, an Alovian and a Jard both, bore little resemblance to her now, or to any of the Alovians. His passion for research had survived through the ages though, a drive that became the Alovian way.

Hubrinthian had been a lead engineer on the research team at Chronus Extent, when the encroachment of the Great Expanse began. Over a short time the outskirts of the Early Empire, the sea and the islands in the south, were slowly swallowed up & chased away by the heat, resulting in the dryness and omnipresent saltiness.

She carried the shame with her always, they all did. But she could look in the mirror now, and see a creature, capable of much, much more than her conceited ancestor. She saw someone that could finally atone for the damages to the People of greater Jard. She could not imagine failure, it was impossible.

From Huberinthian, she bore basically no resemblance. She knew this from the historical teachings that each young Alovian was subjected to. They detailed the story of the first generation to have been hidden away at the top of the falls. Of course, differing appearances aside, she did not disappoint her Alovian ancestry. She was an incredibly talented engineer.

To start, her head much larger, to house a brain with auxiliary tissue, that could be put to work on micro-problems or calculations with relative ease. To a people with a burning passion for research, a big head was considered quite attractive.

Which meant a ripe candidate for a deep and impactful conversation, mostly as far as it went for a late generation, mostly asexual sect.

You still needed two to make another Alovian, but these things were handled much more delicately a thousand years on. Ie. no primal stuff. Mates were chosen for aptitudes and genetic compatibility.

The artificial incubators allowed for nearly unlimited brain development, though too large and it became hard to keep all one’s thoughts together. Spines became be re-enforced to compensate. Feet became longer to balance, while bodies narrowed and shortened to circulate better.

After the Schism, as researchers at heart, the Alovians seeked to improve themselves, so that they would never lose their way again. They learned to tinker with the basic building blocks of their biology, though the results fluctuated in usefulness, and the process to today’s Alovian was something resembling, maybe not survival of the fittest, but procreation of the fittest where an aptitude for research, design or engineering created a false survival condition. They were not necessarily editing at a gene level, more selecting from a curated list of thousands of possible embryos with desirable traits.

They developed many technologies, to make life more comfortable, and empower themselves as they journeyed along the path of the Great Endeavor.

Acropolis brand chips had in fact been credited with the first hundred years of survival after the schism. Ever since, they’d developed quite an affinity for them. Alovians did not harbour any anger towards the descendents of those who drove them out. They wanted to atone for the failure, and so subsequent generations began the great directive to succeed where their ancestors had not. Almost everything they developed alongside the great endeavor, they also gave to the Old Jardinians, small atonements to repay kindnesses of the ancestors of the regular Jards who had helped them to survive after the banishment. The many technology developments from the growing research colony flowed through the generous Old Jardinian liaisons, who had kept the supplies running since the schism.

Not interested in telling the Old Jardinians how to use these gifts, seeking to avoid the attitude that had blinded them at Chronus, they instead completely entrusted the benefactory technology to the wise liaisons, their only remaining connection with Old Jardinian. This was a core tenant as they sought to avoid the elitism and hubris among the educated that had them overlook the consequences of the project at Chronus Extent and began this unfortunate, permanent partitioning of a people.

The Alovians were certain the liaisons would be as generous with the gifted tech to the Old Jardinian people as the liasons had been with the Alovians over the years. The gifts had first been bestowed upon the first liaison between the groups, the first director of Acropolis - who’d so generously fed the exiles with the excruciatingly salty, goodness that was Acropolis chips. Surely someone so generous, and their chosen successors, would have the same benevolence toward fellow Old Jardinians. Surely that liaison would know how to use the gifts of technology best for the Old Jardinian people, something that the Alovians had recognized their own failure to do.

The great endeavour, and a great portion of Esa’s opus indeed, was to succeed where her ancestors had failed, to repay the debt of what was promised at Chronus.

She was getting ready for the day now, the soft ambient glow outside her coring matching the sunlight, rousing her without trouble, gentle on her large, but sensitive eyes.

Minimal, yet complex melodies surrounded her as she greeted the day, though they would travel no farther than the entrance to her coring. These served a double purpose, they warmed up her mind for the heavily cognitive tasks ahead and also sounded quite nice. Of course, an hour’s sleep was all she needed; she was already refreshed from the moonshift. Her sleeping habiliments and apperati made sure of that, she had arranged for it to regulate her restorative functions and prime her mind for whatever it was she wanted to accomplish that day.

A quick breakfast, and she would summon a danglecar to the opening, and make the short trip downward to the research floor.

Another day, gladly spent toiling over the great endeavour, or if progress was blocked, no problem; there would be some other little project on the go.

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