Culture War in The Occupied Territory, A Science Fiction Story

October 9, 2009

Culture War in The Occupied Territory, by Adrian Perez

Allen walked along the promenade that ensconced the workings of the space station. In the windows to his right he saw a star background with the occasional flash of light that meant a field was popping out of existence. Long invisible rays poked out of the ships and touched each other. It was a deadly dance.

A fortnight ago, Allen was walking along this same deck wondering what he was going to do with his life. He had just gotten out of his training unit, and he was at an impasse. There were no jobs, everything was tied up in stagnation. He had to do something good for the world.

Every time he took something from the world, he didn’t really get anything. He was wondering how he might give. He looked into his culture file as he sat at a bar, sipping fruit juices. It ranked him along several metrics and he worried about the accuracy of his test answers. Was he not understanding himself because he wasn’t being honest?

It was a conundrum that circumstance would answer for him. There was a war on, but it occupied only a small number of people. The armies of the two sides were composed of only point zero one percent of his faction’s population. But the war spanned the entire population, whether through arguments over the comm-layer, or personal disputes between bi-factional marriages, and co-companies.

There was really no threat of annihilation from the war except for a cultural one. The main dispute was over whether creativity was going to be the ultimately supported strength. One side, was offering the advancement of caution. And the other side favored creativity.

The fight had started in a historian enclave and spread over the rest of the Occupied Territory. It had only blossomed into a physical war in the last month, and that’s because the non-violent part of the population finally chose to excise the violent part, giving up on therapeutics.

Allen focused on his top five characteristics. His computer was showing the dynamic virtue inclinations he commonly exhibited, adjusting their standings on his chart as it responded to his bio-feedback. His top five strengths were Social Intelligence, Gratitude, Leadership, the Capacity for Love, and Humor and Playfulness.

The leadership is what was frustrating him the most. There was simply too much faction right now in each of the two opposing sides for someone who lacked fame to steer the cultural boat. He had thought of joining the Violents, but it was really too much for him just to grab some fame-traction. And yet he felt like ultimately he understood why each side was being so dramatically defensive. But instead of his social intelligence developing a map to navigate the world through this storm, he was just getting a general sense that this was the way things should be, and that he should let things play out.

But he was not satisfied with his conclusions. There was no threat to the population at large, but this culture clash and the inability for people to understand was causing a huge decline in development. He quickly widdled away a counter that showed the repercussions of the conflict and threw it into the net. It started to climb some of his local groups, but it wasn’t enough to permeate the mass consciousness. Damn.

Ever since the live system for computing personality tendencies had permeated, a renaissance of cooperation had occurred. The effects that cooperative/insular cultures had benefited from in the past, now affected the entire Occupied Territory. The result was a boom in technology and a near end to war.

This current conflict was seen as a hiccup by most people. Allen’s ideas fought both against their opposition, and the worst enemy, Apathy.

Allen sat in contemplation, now watching the war through the window of the station closest to the violent part of the conflict. He sat in quiet meditation and then it came to him. He talked to his Like-Mind group before sending it out. They quickly hammered out a recommendation to turn off the Personality Overlays that offered hyper cooperation.

It was a solution that was oblique to the conflict. It started to pick up traction, surprisingly in the Indifferents. Allen watched as it slowly climbed. Would it breach into the Violents, he wondered. It kept climbing, and as Allen stared out the window, he saw the ships turn off their resonator lasers, and the shields drop away.

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