Amaaliane (Ninty-Eight of One Hundred)

A Science-Fiction Short Story by Chris Spackman

Published 2021-02-27

How the oppressed react to their oppressors' deaths can tell you a lot. Especially when the oppressed have every reason to expect that they are going to die in the same way, at pretty much the same time.

The Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi is the plural of Paheleloh'kaehai'ahi. were accidentally (in the beginning) and then maliciously (in the end) amaalianed amaaliane: (verb) to kill off 98% < x < 100%, of a species, usually from a single event. by the al'Gre-Hepo al'Gre-Hepo is the plural of ul'Mga-Hepo. Within 250 years—a single, very unlucky, Paheleloh'kaehai'ahi lifetime—the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi population was reduced by 98%.

Imagine what happens to a culture when they lose 98 out of every 100 people, within a few generations. Not just people, but leaders, farmers, butchers, scientists, electricians, librarians, carpenters, doctors, lawyers, judges, politicians, construction workers, plumbers, teachers, students, specialists from every field.

What happens? Civilization collapses, of course. Cities starve; technology fails; fields return to nature; science and technology, law and justice, history and the arts, teaching and learning, all are forgotten, lost. The higher the pre- accomplishments, the more is gone post- fall.

But, what kills off 98% of a civilization's people? Armies? No. Rarely. Too much work. And for what goal? Species with dual or more sexes will often kill whichever sex(es) is (are) considered threats and use the remaining sex(es) for procreation and labor. Barbaric, even more so than just having an army certainly, but usually at least one-fourth of the population survives. Species that think like this also tend to think that the young, of any sex, are useful, and don't kill them. So, sometimes as much as one-third to one-half of the population survives. No, armies rarely amaaliane a population. Decimate? Sure, armies do that all the time. You don't even need an army to do it. Decimation is only 1-in-10 dying. Civilizations and cultures survive that every day. On the galactic scale, decimate is a blip, a rounding error; soon gone and easily missed. At larger scales, decimation doesn't even register. It's literally nothing.

Disease? Yes. Disease can amaaliane a civilization more often than you would expect. More often than you know. Disease, intentionally or not, can easily amaaliane a population. Usually, it is more random than armies, attacking most groups equally, or at least mostly equally. Sometimes, a random mutation may raise one group's survivability index a bit, resulting in more children or more old men or more blueheaded, left-handed, handed — an example, no appendageism is intended green-eyed, 53-year-old survivors. But, those are the exceptions. Usually, disease kills more or less at random, and you get a post bell curve that mostly resembles the pre bell curve. Bell curves: with the obvious exception of the "old and infirm" group, which is universally (99.9974% of the time) the first to approach extinction.

The disease that the al'Gre-Hepo (unintentionally) caused to amaaliane the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi was al'Tge-Mebu. As is usually the case, the al'Gre-Hepo were already, as a population, pretty used to al'Tge-Mebu. Every year a small number of al'Gre-Hepo died from it, but most of them were mostly immune to it, and rarely noticed it. Of course, that was not the case for the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi. They had been geographically isolated for hundreds of generations and hadn't encountered al'Tge-Mebu before. When a ul'Mga-Hepo trade ship suffered a technical problem and stopped at Kelakelie'ahi Kelakelie'ahi is the name of the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi's planet. for repairs, both sides were surprised to discover the other. Unfortunately for the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi, only the al'Gre-Hepo had a disease that the other group didn't. Within a generation, al'Tge-Mebu had killed off 87% of the Paheleloh'kaehai'ahi population, and was closing on a true amaaliane. Amaaliane often follows a reverse exponential curve. Initially, people die off in huge numbers, and as time goes on, fewer people die simply because there are fewer people left to die and they are farther apart, in general.

Lots of cultures have accidentally, non-maliciously, amaalianed other cultures. Disease immunity is just one of those things that you can't understand until you understand that there are lots of little living things that you can't see, but that can hurt you. Even with the germ theory of disease, accidents happen. Accidents happen: there have been 623,097,119 cultures wiped out because someone didn't do a good enough job disinfecting a spacecraft. This only counts the civilizations who understood germ theory at the time the spacecraft involved was launched. They happen pre-space-flight, and they happen post-space-flight.

When the ul'Mga-Hepo arrived, everything seemed perfect — the Paheleloh'kaehai'ahi and the ul'Mga-Hepo were both peaceful; they were both open to trade. The Paheleloh'kaehai'ahi rejoiced — an uncommon reaction, actually — at learning they were not alone. They also rejoiced at the idea of getting their hands on some sweet ul'Mga-Hepo military technology — a very common reaction. Before long,Before long: the first cases began to appear three weeks and 9 days after the ul'Mga-Hepo arrived. however, people around the ul'Mga-Hepo enclave began to get sick. Soon after that, a lot of people were sick. Eventually, almost everyone was sick. A few avoided it somehow. A few, through the magic of astronomically unlikely lucky DNA mutations, were immune. Still, the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi were most of the way to being amaalianed, and even with the best will in the world Best will: when discussing sentient creatures, "not best will" is statistically the safest assumption. the al'Gre-Hepo could not save the Paheleloh'kaehai'ahi people or their culture.

PredictablyIt happens 79.4% of the time. after realizing their advantageous, as they saw it, position, the ul'Mga-Hepo began to dream of having all the land and resources. After all, you can't trade with a civilization that just fell apart literally in front of you. The Paheleloh'kaehai'ahi no longer had factories or research centers or consumers or even government procurement officers. They didn't really even have an economyno economy: they also lost 10 out of every 10 economists in their culture, along with so many other specialists. — certainly not one of any interest to the al'Gre-Hepo. This was when the intentional amaaliane started.

So far, this could be the story of any of trillions of civilizations, cultures, peoples, throughout time, both intra-species and inter-species. Usually what happensIt happens 93.86% of the time. is that the amaalianed civilization collapses and the people eventually are gone. Eventually being within three thousand years, give or take a few hundred. However, the interaction between, and eventual amaaliane of, the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi and al'Gre-Hepo cultures played out in a Ryichae Aiph'Qph scenario named for Xdaezuoaieheea because the ChxGuuGysIxnuXoe appeared 552 years later.

As was said, you can tell a lot about a people by how they react to their oppressors' deaths, especially when the oppressed have every reason to expect that they are going to die in the same way, at pretty much the same time. In this case, the few remaining Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi initially rejoiced at the arrival of the ChxGuuGysIxnuXoe, ChxGuuGysIxnuXoe is the plural. The singular is ChxMuuMysIxnuXoe. as did the now-quite-numerous al'Gre-Hepo. Again, people began to fall ill soon after, and this time, unsurprisingly, both the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi and the al'Gre-Hepo fell ill and died. Initially, some Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi were happy to see the al'Gre-Hepo, and their civilization, suffer the same fate that had befallen the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi. Others, unsurprisingly, urged caution, pointing out that the Paheleloh'kaehai'ahi were also once again dying, and they had much smaller numbers already. Even these people, though, were not unhappy to see their oppressors die in large numbers. As it became clear that both groups would like go from amaalianed to possibly as far as extinct, many Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi clung to a hope that at least they might outlive the al'Gre-Hepo. The interesting part, because so uncommon was that so few Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi helped the end of the al'Gre-Hepo come sooner.

Not that they had to, exactly. Surprisingly, suicide rates among the al'Gre-Hepo went up much, much more than rates among the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi. suicide rates during this time were roughly 0.065% for the al'Gre-Hepo and 0.017% for the Ipahheleloh'kaehai'ahiThis was not just cultural — it wasn't that Paheleloh'kaehai'ahi culture had stronger norms against suicide. Instead, it was that the al'Gre-Hepo had played this game before, on the winning side, and many had no desire to experience it from the losing side.

The ChxGuuGysIxnuXoe, for their part, did not have the best will. They did not have malice in their hearts as much as just emptiness. They didn't care what happened to either of the other groups. They neither encouraged nor discouraged the spread of the disease that was destroying the cultures on this planet. If they seemed to watch more of the al'Gre-Hepo die, it was because there were more of them to watch die.

The ChxGuuGysIxnuXoe were more interested in some uncommon elements in the mantle of Kelakelie'ahi, and some of their scientists scientists — primarily LuxXuuGoeGxe, who did groundbreaking work while on Kelakelie'ahi. HoGuuRxaXah was also on Kelakelie'ahi at this time, but of course they are much better known for work they did later, in collaboration with UbX!ydd-K!tt, of the Ax!gc-Rsucc'tt. were fascinated by an unusual species of amoeba around vents at the bottom of the largest ocean on Kelakelie'ahi. They didn't take much notice of either of the other sentient species on the planet.

When the ChxGuuGysIxnuXoe left, around 2,700 years later, the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi and the al'Gre-Hepo were both hovering between amaaliane and extinction. Within another few decades, the al'Gre-Hepo were gone, too. This time, many Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi helped the al'Gre-Hepo toward extinction (on Kelakelie'ahi). this time — unsurprising. This is the much more common outcome.

The story of the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi continues after that for many tens of thousands of years. The lone sentient creature on Kelakelie'ahi once again, the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi flourished. They learned much from the technology left behind by the ChxGuuGysIxnuXoe. and a little from what the al'Gre-Hepo left behind They were so successful, in fact, that the Ipaheleloh'kaehai'ahi became one of the very few sentient species There are only 14. to survive long enough to undergo Qgdjsfdjb'R'L. Qgdjsfdjb'R'L: (verb) to evolve a significantly different physical form.