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Old 09-17-2016, 11:31 AM   #1
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Default Catalog of the Weird Parallels

I considered adding these to the venerable History Seeds thread, but they aren't really historic. Nor are they luciferian nor just general hells.

No. These are the weird ones. They're similar to the Lizardia simply because they don't make any damned sense at all. I'm putting a lot of narrative load onto reality quakes, Q-entities, assortive quantas, and waving my hands. That said, once the weird situation is established, things should remain fairly explicable; people will act like people unless otherwise established.

OK, here we go:

Chandler:
Current year 1998. Best guess is that a psionic shock wave from the collapse of a nearby worldline changed human culture in 1996; people barely even acknowledge the change. In this worldline, cannibalistic dominance challenges are accepted and respected. I.e., one may eat the heart of your superior to obtain his or her social status. Only a formal challenge and duel with short knives is acceptable, however; there is a range of responses to a formal, public challenge, and the duel itself may be delayed by up to a month by the superior, etc., etc.

In all other ways, the societal and geopolitical situation is identical to that of the late 1990s. Many bosses were decent enough that their underlings are quite happy working for them, and no two world leaders have dueled eachother in this way. The sitcoms, however, are surprising.


Duplicate:
Starting in 2001, every human being became sterile. However, people occasionally duplicate asexually during sleep. The effect is unpredictable, but works out to be a 2% chance of duplication per year, resulting in about the same growth rate as before. The resultant clones are totally indistinguishable. The present year of 2021 is mostly adapted, but is still struggling with the long-term consequences.


Invisible:
Human beings are completely invisible, including their attire and equipment. Would make a superb recruitment ground for spies and soldiers, if either side could operate there with any subtlety at all. It seems that the transition occurred in 987 CE, following an unusually intense aurora. Current year is a substantially changed 1450.


Scramble:
The earth's surface is broken into 2km x 2km squares (based on a quadrilateralized spherical cube map) and randomly shuffled in 2016. Most alarming is that this happened the exact same instant the first scouting party arrived! There's no way this could have been caused by our visit, right?

The atmosphere stayed in the same place, and the shuffling seems to have 1: surrounded anyplace on land that was below sea-level with a safe border wall of higher-elevation blocks, and 2: ensured that no two adjacent blocks were more than 200 meters different in altitude. Other than that, the mixing seems totally random.

All networking cables are, naturally, cut, as are all power supplies, etc., etc. Falling tree branches are a somewhat-serious hazard along the borders.

One last thing, no animals were directly harmed; they just ended up on the side of the line they were either mostly on. Vehicles, however, were, hmm... occasionally cut.

Last edited by PTTG; 09-17-2016 at 11:43 AM. Reason: IW, weird, adventure seeds
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

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Duplicate:
The present year of 2021 is mostly adapted, but is still struggling with the long-term consequences.
No they aren't. They are in the process of total economic collapse with looming extinction. Indistinguishable duplicates of existing people with no new births means your population is getting older.
Edit: If you are willing to have the duplicates appear as infants, you can pretty much completely adapt with some sort of universal adoption service, but then you lose most of the features of "duplicates" - your much younger twins aren't really that much like you.

Quote:
Scramble:
I like this one, but it *is* a Hell world. The immediate effects include stuff like mass death from starvation (or thirst, the pipes are cut, and if there are any adjacent blocks that are lower, your water table is draining out, so even if you have wells....) on most blocks, and lakes pouring over edges cut through the middle of them, unless they also get mysteriously indestructible walls. Long term effects include mass starvation even on the lucky blocks, because the crops don't grow in the new climate and rainfall patterns, and those lower level blocks getting flooded anyway even if nothing comes over or through the edges (by rainfall, for lack of drainage outflow). It'd be a pretty interesting adventure setting a century after the Apocalyspe though.
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

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No they aren't. They are in the process of total economic collapse with looming extinction. Indistinguishable duplicates of existing people with no new births means your population is getting older.
Edit: If you are willing to have the duplicates appear as infants, you can pretty much completely adapt with some sort of universal adoption service, but then you lose most of the features of "duplicates" - your much younger twins aren't really that much like you.
I guess that's what I meant by "adapted, but still dealing with the long-term consequences." My point was that people aren't surprised anymore when they wake up next to themselves, and some kind of approach has been made to deal with the legal implications, even though the long-term problem with aging has yet to be dealt with.

To avoid the extinction problem, perhaps fertility has decreased by 50% and duplicates make up the remainder. Or, perhaps, aging has stopped, which would be its own major change. In fact....


Ageless:
In 1804, aging and reproduction both stopped working. Later surveys would peg the population at very close to, if not exactly, one thousand million. It seems that whenever someone is slain (people are mortal as ever, just unaging after the age of about 25), a child may be concieved to replace them, but never more than one billion people are allowed on the planet.

Last edited by PTTG; 09-17-2016 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:28 PM   #4
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...
Ageless:
In 1804, aging and reproduction both stopped working. Later surveys would peg the population at very close to, if not exactly, one thousand million. It seems that whenever someone is slain (people are mortal as ever, just unaging after the age of about 25), a child may be concieved to replace them, but never more than one billion people are allowed on the planet.
Childless couples hope for disease, war, and disaster. Imagine if proximity to death increases odds of fertility. Loving potential parents take scheduled tours of danger zones.
Hotel Rwanda/California.

That's a comical horror if ever I heard one.
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:19 PM   #5
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No they aren't. They are in the process of total economic collapse with looming extinction. Indistinguishable duplicates of existing people with no new births means your population is getting older.
Edit: If you are willing to have the duplicates appear as infants, you can pretty much completely adapt with some sort of universal adoption service, but then you lose most of the features of "duplicates" - your much younger twins aren't really that much like you.
...
Epigenetics can adapt and change only so much. There would be noticeable effects eventually. But how much is literally not knowable to us and our level of biological understanding.
It changes humanity into a parthenogenic species and those rarely last long. Of course that's over geological times. But what obliterates over that time period must have some kind of effect over short terms, right?
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:21 PM   #6
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...
I like this one, but it *is* a Hell world. The immediate effects include stuff like mass death from starvation (or thirst, the pipes are cut, and if there are any adjacent blocks that are lower, your water table is draining out, so even if you have wells....) on most blocks, and lakes pouring over edges cut through the middle of them, unless they also get mysteriously indestructible walls. Long term effects include mass starvation even on the lucky blocks, because the crops don't grow in the new climate and rainfall patterns, and those lower level blocks getting flooded anyway even if nothing comes over or through the edges (by rainfall, for lack of drainage outflow). It'd be a pretty interesting adventure setting a century after the Apocalyspe though.
Shuffling two square kilometer sized units sounds FAR to tiny to do anything but kill nearly everything on earth. Far worse than the KT extinction, nearing the Permian, but certainly not nearly as bad as the great oxygen disaster.
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:33 PM   #7
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...
OK, here we go:

Chandler:
Current year 1998. Best guess is that a psionic shock wave from the collapse of a nearby worldline changed human culture in 1996; people barely even acknowledge the change. In this worldline, cannibalistic dominance challenges are accepted and respected. I.e., one may eat the heart of your superior to obtain his or her social status. Only a formal challenge and duel with short knives is acceptable, however; there is a range of responses to a formal, public challenge, and the duel itself may be delayed by up to a month by the superior, etc., etc.

In all other ways, the societal and geopolitical situation is identical to that of the late 1990s. Many bosses were decent enough that their underlings are quite happy working for them, and no two world leaders have dueled eachother in this way. The sitcoms, however, are surprising....
Sorry, but having loved ones work customer service the least plausible part of that reality is the, "Many bosses were decent enough that their underlings are quite happy working for them." part. That alone would result in a very different America than the one we've had for the past few decades if not longer.
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:31 PM   #8
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Sorry, but having loved ones work customer service the least plausible part of that reality is the, "Many bosses were decent enough that their underlings are quite happy working for them." part. That alone would result in a very different America than the one we've had for the past few decades if not longer.
Fair point. I nonetheless imagine that inertia (chronotemporal and simply social) would allow us to retain such concepts as corporations, cities, oligarchic democracies, etc. At least for a little while. For instance, the President of the United States is Alaska citizen Joe "Hamhock," no last name known, who defeated Bill Clinton in 1997 and all comers since. Despite his unconventional executive style, only a few of his more overt proposals have been enacted, and he faces an uncooperative congress.

As for businesses, sure you might hate your boss, but are you willing to fight him to the death for the pleasure of a small promotion? I think only ten percent of bosses are only alive because it's socially unpopular to kill them.
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:49 PM   #9
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As for businesses, sure you might hate your boss, but are you willing to fight him to the death for the pleasure of a small promotion? I think only ten percent of bosses are only alive because it's socially unpopular to kill them.
The big overturn here is age. Is there a mechanism to give people a chance at retiring rather than being killed when they are too old to fight, jungle-book style?

Can you challenge any superior, or do you have to fight your way up the chain?

I can see this leading to a lot of unemployment and nepotism. Over time of course. right now its just the aftermath of a reality quake.

--------------------------------------------------------

With the invisible world I'd expect recruiting would be mostly done through robots, cameras (I mean microphones), and quick snatch and grab operations. Throwing a team of PC's at it will get results. But tricky tricky. good one.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:01 PM   #10
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...

I can see this leading to a lot of unemployment and nepotism. Over time of course. right now its just the aftermath of a reality quake.
...
Imagine the poor few that realize that something is royally messed up. They may glom onto visitors as somehow seeming more "normal."
They may have the warrior skills endemic to this reality, but want something different. Recruit potential?
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