Why did the GTA keep so much of the intel they had on the Shivan’s hushed up? Some modern-day conspiracy theorists claim it was so they could maintain control. They posit that if the general populous knew of the GTA’s many military failings - in both the T-V war and the Great War that followed - that the people would demand the Top-Brass be replaced.
What these conspiracy theorists forget is that the old GTA was not as militaristic at the GTVA is now. The military wasn’t calling the shots back then. Back then the civilian government wasn’t a puppet for the military, so the forced retirement of a few admirals wouldn’t have meant a regime change.
No, the real reason why the GTA kept so much info classified wasn’t because they were afraid of what the civilian population would do if they found out how badly the military and the GTI had screwed up. It was because they were afraid of what the population wouldn’t do if they learned how hopeless attempting to resist the Shivans was.
They were afraid the populous wouldn’t do anything. Have you ever met someone who has completely given up? Someone so consumed by hopelessness and ennui that they become incapable of doing anything? Someone so thoroughly depressed that they stop caring about themselves or anyone else?
I have. Lots of them.
I remember a senior GTI officer - a close friend of mine in fact – who after reading the sum total of the GTI’s intel on the Shivans got up, walked to the nearest air-lock and went for a little space walk - sans space suit. He may have been the first, but he wasn’t the last. Several other officers who had either read the report or had worked on the project ended up taking their own lives or lost themselves in drink, drugs or endless VR. Pretty soon people started calling the report ‘The Suicide Script’.
Now imagine this knowledge going public. How many mass suicides would there have been? How many people would have simply given up and found solace at the bottom of a bottle or at the tip of a needle? Think you can keep an economy and the military-industrial complex running with a work force so afflicted? Of course not. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
The Vasudans are lucky, they don’t succumb to depression like we do. They can mentally bounce back from anything. Their homeworld got glassed whereas ours was just cut off, yet they have recovered far more quickly and far more thoroughly than we have. The Emperor agreed to keep the truth about the Shivans hushed up for our benefit, not theirs.
They call those who grew up after the Great War ‘The Lost Generation’. Bull****. The people who fought in The Great Shivan Extermination are those who became truly ‘lost’. Yes, you heard that right, ‘The Great Shivan Extermination’. I refuse to call it ‘The Great War’, since a ‘War’ implies something approaching parity between the two sides. The T-V War was a war, the Zods and us were pretty evenly matched - the war wouldn’t have gone on for fourteen years otherwise. The ‘war’ with the Shivans was nothing like that. It was so hopelessly one sided that even the combined forces of the then PVN and GTA didn’t stand a chance against them.
“But we won, we destroyed the Lucifer” I hear you saying as you read this. Do you know what allowed us to destroy the Lucifer? A fluke.
Think about the chain of events that had to happen for us to be able to destroy that ship. First, the Shivans had to attack the Vasuda system. Then at least some refugees had to escape the system. Then at least one group of said refugees had to get it into their heads that the best system to flee to was Altair, despite having to pass through Alpha Centauri and Aldebaran to get there. They then had to decide to land on Altair IV, and it just so happens that the spot they landed at was within walking distance of the then undiscovered Ancient ruins.
Specifically, the Ancient ruins that contained the technology we reversed engineered to allow us to track the Lucifer into subspace and the intel that confirmed that the Lucifer’s shields wouldn’t work in there. This is what allowed us to destroy the Lucifer not just at the eleventh hour, but at the eleventh hour and fifty something minutes - you know the Lucifer had actually started emerging from the jump node in Sol when it exploded, right?
Imagine if anything in that chain of events had happened differently. We wouldn’t have been able to stop the Lucifer in normal space with the weapons we had back then, so Earth would have been glassed just like Vasuda prime. Humanity and the Zods would have tried to survive of course, some would have continued fighting, others would have ran like in that 20th century sci-fi show that keeps getting reimagined every thirty years or so. But they would have failed in the end. Just ask The Ancients.
The thing is, the Shivans could have wiped us out even without the Lucifer. It would have taken them longer, and they would have sustained more casualties, but neither of these are of any concern for the Shivans.
Their ships appear to grow their own crew - in real time no less - so ‘manpower’ is a non-issue for them. It takes us humans eighteen years to grow and train a human from birth to combat-ready adult hood. It takes the Zods about fifteen years. A Shivan ship does it in fifteen minutes.
Think what this means in practice – functionally infinite ‘man power’. And Shivans are ‘born’ combat ready – they need no training. They need no food, water, beds or even a ****ing atmosphere either, since they do not eat, drink, sleep or breathe.
What are they exactly? It would be inaccurate to call them machines, but they are nothing like any life form we have ever encountered. ‘Synthetic cybernetic lifeform’ is probably the closest description we have, but even that is thoroughly inadequate.
We are not entirely sure how they create their ships, but even if their mass production techniques are no better than ours the simple fact that their manpower is functionally infinite means they will always win by attrition, especially when you consider how many of them there must be to start with.
You see, we have managed to detect some of their subspace communications. These appear to consist of quantum pulses, which is why we never detected them before - we simply lacked the technology back then to even be aware of them. We have no idea what they are saying, but we have estimated their origin. Want to know where that is?
Everywhere! Everywhere we point our sensors we detect Shivan subspace comms. They may very well occupy most of the Milky Way. It seams the systems around GTVA space are a Shivan-free ‘bubble’ in an entire galaxy of Shivans. This is why running would be no use - there is nowhere to run too.
What about other galaxies, could we escape to them? Assuming we were able to discover a means of intergalactic travel this would be useless, because the Shivans are there as well.
So, we can’t run, it's useless to fight and they know we are here, so it’s too late to hide. You can see now why our prospects for survival appear hopeless.
I have heard rumours that there was a GTI project which aimed to make communication with the Shivans possible, and that some of its technology and research survived the GTI rebellion. I have also heard rumours that at least one former GTI officer is picking up where the GTI left off. If the rumours are true, and if the work is successful, perhaps we can survive by allying ourselves with the Shivans?
However, some think they will have more luck contacting the Shivan’s ‘handlers’.
What do I mean by this? Remember what I said about destroying the Lucifer being a fluke? The chain of events needed for that to happen was so specific, and so precisely timed, that the odds against it happening by chance were astronomical. So perhaps it wasn’t a fluke after all, perhaps it had been planned that way?
But planned by who, or what? If there was some guiding force behind the scenes controlling things then this ‘something’ would need to be able to predict the future with near perfect accuracy, and be able to covertly influence the thought process of Vasudans (and probably humans too) from a distance without being detected. Presumably they have little fear of Shivan reprisals either, since I doubt the Shivans would react too well if they discovered they had been ‘played’.
Or perhaps it is simpler than that. One question that has been asked many times is “Why haven’t the Shivans attacked us again since?” Perhaps this ‘Something’ has the Shivans on a leash, which would make the Shivans their lowly attack dogs.
I have heard a few whispers that some senior members of military intelligence are coming to this conclusion too, and are pinning their hopes of our survival as a species on this ‘entity’.
I’m less optimistic. If such an entity exists then I doubt it is truly benevolent. Presumably it could have intervened earlier to save Vasuda Prime too, but it was either unable or unwilling to do so. Presumably this holds true for the Ancients as well, likewise the countless other civilisations it has been theorised that the Shivans have erased over the eons.
I have no idea what this ‘entity’ might be, but I know the thought of ever encountering it scares me more than the Shivans do. Which is why I am now ensuring I never will.
I know I’m rambling, and I’m sorry. I have taken a cocktail of drink and drugs so my mind is wandering. Turns out I’m not as brave as my old GTI friend was. Seems I haven’t the guts to go on my own 'little spacewalk' sober, but I think I’m ready now…
Suicide note voice recording of a senior GTVA Military Intelligence officer dated October 12th 2362. Name and rank withheld.