The Origin Exiles

The one's behind the fall...

A woman's voice spoke from behind him, “Lorne Smith,”
The Archivist turned slowly. He recognized the voice distorted by the radio in her helmet. “Invicta.”
The woman wore a suit made of metal cloth and grafted tissue. A small tendril flailed in the air, sprouting from her right shoulder. He couldn't see through the visor. Her face hid behind a thick green fog within.
“It’s been a long while,” she said. “How have you-”
“Leave.” The Archivist said.
“Why? Lorne It’s me.”
“Leave.”
The woman stood silently for a time, as if she didn’t expect rejection. “So that’s it? I disgust you, now?”
“You disgusted me then. Now, your true colors are just easier to see. Leave. I won't ask again.”
Invicta let out a chuckle. "Oh? Good. It's getting irritating. I have news you may want to hear."
"News?"
"I wish to add my story to the archive. You asked me once. Is the offer still open?"
       
I hoped I'd never have to speak of them again. That was kind of the point in getting rid of them, you see. Like all skeletons placed in a closet, they came back to remind us of the horrors we left behind. They are our greatest enemy. There are some good deeds in their ledger, but don't forget it. Don't believe their lies.   The exiles are comprised of humans who chose a different path. They were faced with the wonders of our new home, and it left them feeling hollow. Perhaps it was their history, or maybe their humanity died long before it became apparent. Perhaps they couldn't appreciate it because they had forgotten how. It wouldn't have mattered. We forced them to leave, whether they wanted to go or not.   The Exiles are mercenaries. They drift from system to system, collecting bounties, claiming salvage, and engaging in the occasional act of piracy. Despite this, They won't touch human vessels, no matter what they stand to gain. It's easy to call them honorable criminals, but don't let it fool you. We gave them the boot for a reason. They are the ones who killed the earth.

History

The exiles began on earth with a woman named Invicta and her crew. The founders are directly responsible for humanity's current condition. Their actions, whatever it is they did, directly led to the earth's destruction and the decimation of our species.   They love to talk about it. When asked about what happened, each member gives a different answer. It would seem the truth of Earth's fall will remain a secret. One thing remained constant: they weren't all that torn up about it. This changed. Most of them regret their actions, at least the ones still alive. When Earth fell, they didn't mourn, but they did know of humanity's dire situation.   I suppose we shouldn't hate them too much. They are the ones who first started using The Safe Harbor protocols. They were the ones who pointed us home to Safeharbor. They still do, galivanting through the galactic core. They send refugees our way and sometimes go so far as to escort them. It's the only reason we let them step foot on the surface.
     

Our greatest enemy

The exiles don't come to Safeharbor if they can help it. We know their history. Most people on Safeharbor open fire without a second thought. I try to be as unbiased as I can, but I count myself among them. Invicta is our enemy. She and her exiles are a disgrace to our species.   It's not their alteration or fascination with biotech that concerns me. What bothers me is their mind. They believe themselves to be the good guys. Some even believe the earth needed to be destroyed. Their intentions are unknown, their minds are utterly foreign to ours.   The Wayfarers try to learn what they can, but it's a slow crawl. My suggestion is to ignore them. Pretend they don't exist, as I have for so many years. It works better than you might think.

Barely Human

Life as an exile is not as bad as it seems. They don't live lives of pain or hardship. The changes to their bodies are well done and rarely cause too much inconvenience. They live like anyone else. The major difference between us and them comes from their culture.   The Exiles care very little about reclaiming the earth. If it's even still out there. They care little about helping humanity thrive, despite their own attempts to assist. They care about one thing, survival. Whatever they saw when the earth died scarred them to a point where survival became their only motivation.   They offer a place aboard their vessels for those who see the world as they do, but only humans can join. The process is said to be rather pleasant. You go through the various procedures and train with their gear. Sadly. There isn't a way to leave. Most of these changes made to the body are permanent.

Tools of the trade

The exiles are known for their biotech. Their proximity to other species necessitates some radical alterations of the body. Some are so disfigured, they refuse to remove their helmets.   Between cybernetic implants, strange pacts and symbiotic contracts with alien lifeforms, and biological engineering, it's a wonder they even identify as human. To look upon them is to experience the horror of what we could be.   Their weapons utilize caustic slugs of radioactive plasma. Their suits are old, held together with biomass, scrap, and whatever else could be found. They're ships often serve as a breeding ground for the biotech they've managed to buy, salvage, or steal. Most of these vessels are part organic themselves.
       
  • Gene therapy: Due to constantly being assailed by biological horrors brought on by their exposure to other species, The Exiles have "acquired" gene editing technology. They program bacteria to edit their DNA and target foreign cells, adding to the long list of contagions routinely.
  • Steller Zoos: Every vessel crewed by The Exiles features an ecosystem. Creatures live alongside the crew. Some are kept to harvest venom and other substances. Some, however, are completely mindless. Tucked away in cryogenic chambers are the amalgams. These creatures have been altered, their genetic code twisted to grow human organs and tissue. The exiles harvest them when a crew member needs it.
  • Bio-labs: These are not small-time pirates. They are well-educated, and capable of producing their own technology. They produce medicines, biological weapons, and more. Some of these include biologically modified pets to be used in combat, their signature acidic spray meant to dissuade melee combat, and some ships fill their interior with chlorine gas, altering their lungs to breathe the gas as a means of neutralizing the threat of stowaways and spies.
   
 
Cried the mothers of sons, “They were barely men!
Sent them off with our daughters to meet their end.”
Load up, soldier, For tonight we die.
Our flag looks best when flown in alien skies.
Hush little hero don’t say a word.
Your lover will be loyal, or so I’ve heard.
Cry out when they come, while you’re covered in mud,
“A few stops more, and well make our way home.
On the last of seven ports, I’ll be in your arms, my love”
— Exile Boarding Shanty Broadcasting On All Frequencies


Cover image: by Adobe Stock

Comments

Author's Notes

In my research, i've found there are some of these things we can actually do with our current technology, though not to this horrifying degree. Below are some articles I dug up for inspiration and reference.        

  • https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/understanding/genomicresearch/genomeediting/

  • https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/01/human-pig-hybrid-embryo-chimera-organs-health-science/


Archivist Trigger Commands
The Archivist is capable of responding to "queries." Using the following commands, one can request information, and The Archivist will respond.

  • Pose Query: [insert topic here]
    Express desire for information
  • Focused Query: [insert topic here]
    Ask for more information on a subject related to a posed query.
  • Forced Query: [insert topic here]
    Demand an answer if refused and the Archivist is capable of answering.


Please Login in order to comment!
11 Dec, 2020 06:56

Oooh. This is really awesome. I love the whole connection back and the overwhelming sense of bias place upon the article. I am also thrilled to see you've begun to include references -- which is amazing!   One thing that kind of threw me off was the line "disgrace to our species" as that suggests that the Archivist considers himself(itself?) human despite -- if I recall -- the Archivist being an AI.   Another thing that I'm not sure about is the lifespan of these people as, though I don't know anything about the timeline of your world, it seems strange for the Archivist's opening passage to reference Invicta.   I just reread the archivist section on Lorne since I felt like I was missing something and that clear some of this up. However, there's still the question of timing and whether or not a living AI would still consider itself human -- even with the origins you outline.   Pretty awesome, I really love this setting and can't wait to see what comes of it in the future.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Dec, 2020 07:05

I probably should highlight the nature of human longevity. The earthborn are starting to die out. They are OLD. How old is kind of one of the mysteries. No one really knows how long its been, BUT they do know its been at least 6 generations. The human lifespan has significantly increased due to genetic tampering. The archivist is a bit of a sassy character. He still refers to himself as human both to mess with others and maintain his own identity. He kind of does it to spite those who don't really know how he got the way he is and insist he isn't human.   YES the references! all of them! im glad you enjoyed it. I'll expand on it more in the future, namely the prominent members of the group and their ships.

11 Dec, 2020 10:00

The more I read about this world, the more I fall in love with it. I had to return to the Archivist article out of curiosity and discovered the transcript for the audio, and my mind was kinda blown away!   I really love the way the articles connect, the recurrence of these characters we slowly get to learn about with every new update. This Invicta person intrigues me, I wonder what her view on the whole situation is, if we ever get to find out.   Anyway another great piece of work, I'm (as always) amazed and enjoy reading every new article <3

Author of Interarcanum.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Dec, 2020 18:10

Thank you so much! I find myself loving it even more with every article too. I just love this setting. Its so fun to play with. Invicta has been mentioned one time thus far, and it's on the homepage with a little quote, in case you havnt read it yet and want to. It was the first thing I wrote for the setting. Thanks again!

11 Dec, 2020 22:08

I hadn't noticed, thank you so much for pointing it out! God this really will teach me not to read things too fast, I skip over all the juicy details like that :')

Author of Interarcanum.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Dec, 2020 22:32

Well granted that was months ago. I wouldn't expect many to remember without the context. Now that it's there it should be easier XD I do it too. I get so many notifications I generally have to skim. The comments i leave are on the articles that made me slow down. It's understandable for sure. Again man, thanks so much!

11 Dec, 2020 11:02

Yes yes yes. I lovE this!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Dec, 2020 18:11

Thank you so much!

12 Dec, 2020 12:39

Are the exiles the ones who made the Archivist?   I really like that, although they are obviously not good guys, they are kind of morally grey in that they won't attack humans and they will help refugees reach Safeharbour.   I find this setting so fascinating! <3

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
12 Dec, 2020 12:44

Oooo I mean yes and no. Earthborn made the archivist the way that he is and some did end up as exiles. the two do have some history. .   Im really liking these guys. They are growing me somthing fierce. Ik glad you liked them too! Thanks so much!

12 Dec, 2020 12:57

Intriiiiiiguing. :D

13 Dec, 2020 00:39

I'm getting a very 'Warlock' flavor from these guys, along with StarCraft Zerg. The quote from the beginning is rather dramatic.   I find it interesting that they're characterized as the villains of the story despite the fact that they are humanity's 'allies'. I'm wondering what the worst that could happen would be if a wayfarer ship encountered them out in the void. the only two potential problems I see are if they wanted you to join them, an attitude that I'm thinking might not be very popular even among the exiles, or if you had some alien friends nearby that they were firing on.   So my current prevailing theory is that they sold earth to C'thulu in exchange for their newfound technology.   Overall, seems like a faction that could 'almost' be considered good, like an assassin who donates his proceeds to charity.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
13 Dec, 2020 00:51

WOAH, that;s an awesome analogy. They do kind of have a warlock feel to them, but their...enhancements were made long after the fall of the earth. it was a response to what caused the fall, and an obsession with survival that led them down this dark road. Wayfarers avoid them like the plague, tis true. They generally try not to mess with them. Thanks again! I enjoy these guys. Not saying you were wrong though. I mean, they still could have summoned some eldritch abomination back on earth but, who knows?   They know...

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
18 Dec, 2020 07:05

Oooh, I really like how everything ties together. The origin exiles are intriguing. They hold the truth about what they did and why. I love the mystery of their secret. Are they the ones who created the Archivist?

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
18 Dec, 2020 08:42

Actually, no. The ones responsible for the archivist were regular humans on Safeharbor. He does have history and some among them were actually there when the archivist was made. Thanks so much!

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
18 Dec, 2020 09:22

Oh okay, I got a little confused it seems. :)

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
28 Feb, 2021 21:12

This is so cool! I really like the Exiles. I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to, but they're just so fascinating! Their mindset is so different from your average human, which may be why I find them so intriguing.

~TimeBender~
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