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Feb. 7th, 2004

"I'm given to understand that your genetic material has become the foundation for an
entire race of warrior priests? I'm intrigued. And, perhaps, a bit jealous."

(Tyr to Rev in 'The Devil Take the Hindmost')

The existence of the Magog must be incredibly disconcerting for any Nietzschean, because in some ways they're their mirror image; an ugly distorted one, but a mirror image nevertheless. They're better and more efficient at everything the Nietzscheans value most: survival, procreation.

Western culture has always used concepts central to its self-definition -- thought, language, consciousness, feeling -- to draw (rightly or wrongly) a line between humans and animals, but if you toss all these aside, and chose to define yourself as the best and most efficient animal first and foremost? It works as long as you're on the top of the food chain (literally speaking in this instance), but must raise major issues of self-definition when this position is threatened, beyond the average human reaction in similar cases. Defeating the Magog (or not being defeated by them) isn't only a matter of survival for the Nietzscheans, I think it'd be a more viscerally felt matter of ego and self-worth, in the ‘oops, the sun is not rotating around the earth, after all’ way.

There’s another thing that struck me about the Magog in the Amdromeda-verse: whoever or whatever the 'Spirit of the Abyss' who apparently created them is, the concept is very, very human, in its equal monstrosity and pettiness. (Now of course the Andromeda writers themselves are only human, but let’s look at this from inside the story for a moment.)

Not that I'm ever going to make anything of it, because it would need a novel length fic to work out, but what the hell. Would involve a tesseract generator [ :: rolls eyes at self:: ], time travel and most likely way too much moralising.

It would all start with Paul Museveni. The way I see him, he could hardly be anything but be a scientist in the best Nazi tradition, embracing all of their ideas, their interpretation of Nietzsche and Darwin. Survival of the fittest and all that. Dedicated, extremely single-minded, ruthlessly fanatic in the religious way, though of course religion would be something he despises. Obsessed with purity, with a possible shift from aryan supremacy to human supremacy. (imagine the B5 Earth supremacists.) Not someone to ever question the validity of his aims. And at one point of his life, an old man already, maybe after seeing the first child of two genetically modified parents born, through some accident or coincidence a tesseract generator comes into his possession: maybe it's sold to him third or fourth-hand by someone who has no real understanding of what it is, maybe tells him it's a time machine of sorts, something he could use to travel into the future. And having dedicated his whole life to this one goal he wants to see. And what he sees is a glimpse of the pre-fall Commonwealth, his creations, his children working alongside humans and other aliens, under their command, even.

And this of course isn't what he had in mind at all when he created a 'master-race'; and because there are no grey spaces, no subtleties in his mind, in his disappointment, he snaps. A life's work lost, spoilt. Betrayed. The irony is of course that in his egocentric world-view he doesn't grasp or even consider the concept of a million possible futures, but sees this as the future and it destroys him.

He's a man of extremes and unbending principles; if the race he'd created wouldn't rule the universe as they were meant to, if they were content to serve under other races, it proves them unworthy; he intended them to be masters, not servants. And somehow he uses the tesseract generator to travel into the future to some obscure place on the outer rim of the galaxy - and begins to create the worldship and the Magog to let loose upon the universe, and his unworthy children, who would either prove themselves worthy and survive, or fail and die. No mercy, no place for the weak. And the Magog would rule: a darker, bitter, bloodier and more brutal version of his dream, but born of the same desire for purity, simplicity, animal wildness.

(And then there would be this really long story with a Dylan/Tyr sub-plot where all this is discovered, and there’d be a lot of self-realisation, but of course it would be too late and there’d be no happy end, at least not directly, because those two are too firmly rooted in their past, too flawed. Kill them? I guess, but I’d really want to avoid any too overt self-sacrifice, because I’d like to keep them in character mostly. Just a the realisation of how much they're both defined by their pasts, how much they're *not* free. Vague ideas of a Beka/Trance ending with Tyr’s son and the possibility for a different future. Because at this point I’d be annoyed with the testosterone level and maybe it’d be time for a change, because if anything ‘Andromeda’ has shown us so far it's that all these attempts at resurrecting the past, Dylan's past, Tyr's past – they fail.)

(Since I’m not going to write it, I haven’t even started to figure out if this could even be fit into the canon time line or whether the tesseract generator could be used for this at all...)

(Edit: Hypothetical Nietzschean history, though of course it's wildly derived from just about everywhere and not exactly original: Drago Museveni would have been very close to his father, a firm, unquestioning believer in his ideas and just as radical, maybe more; after his father’s mysterious disappearance even more dedicated to realising his dream. A hard man, who’d see his children as nothing but a mission he’d have to accomplish, which would lead to conflict with his own son, who then would chose a different path, maybe based on his own less literal and more insightful interpretation of Nietzsche's work; he would re-invent the founder legend, set up the ideal of the Nietzscheans as 'warrior-poets' and make it possible for them to interact with the rest of the universe and the Commonwealth. However, the earlier tradition and more extremist path would also remain alive and later be embraced by some of the Prides, or maybe kept alive in some elite warrior group. They finally gained the upper hand when the Commonwealth made a treaty with the Magog and during the rebellion against the Commonwealth; in the aftermath of the fall they'd turn against the other Prides, whom they regarded as traitors...)



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