FLANK AND DESTROY

In the past numeric superiority was once the guideline of human conflict.

As technology advanced, human warfighters became enabled by the weapons of their time, and by the ability to move with speed and stealth to attack the enemy in a non-linear battlefield. Attacks can come from anywhere, when vessels can move outside of the ground and atmosphere, at speeds faster than light can travel, and cover distances greater than light itself can convey to observers.

Battled at relativistic speeds and with weapons capable of physical speed or the energy to move matter at this approach to the constant of potential energy in our 'modulus', the range of energy a particle can possess while operating in our relative space, make combat against such an enemy a test of signal processing and seemingly supernatural intuition. To act without observation through ordinary light, to observe and process signal information exceeding 'modulus' energy, and to intercept attacks directed through adjacent (higher and lower) 'modulus' energy implies the ability to both traverse and communicate across 'modulus' ranges of matter - technology beyond even the 21st Century of Earth.

Wars on such battlefields are a combination - a hybrid - of conventional force and movement, paired with extremely powerful weapons and signal detection systems whose use alone rival the power output of weapons that can destroy a terrestrial battlefield or planet.


In Beyond War, the ability of the Sanguine to see things moving in the "high" energy, or observe and attack targets like the body and forces of their peers in "low" energy, acting outside of ordinary space - make fighting such monsters virtually impossible for conventional forces. The ability to direct, create, deploy, and coordinate billions of such weapons from the mind of a single Sanguine soldier, would make such force unstoppable if it were easily obtained and deployed.

Fortunately the Sanguine system is slow to develop - locked 'for safety' in initial installation, and because of this the vast majority of known Sanguine do not employ the abilities described in "The Prayer of Blood" and witnessed with surviving reports perhaps only once or twice in a few million years. They do sense incoming attacks with seeming distance further out than a solar system - often without regard for ordinary space time or conventional distance - allowing them to jink away from nuclear strikes and attacks on stars that - by human consideration - are impossible to even perceive in real-time.

This ability is directly linked to remnants of Sanguine material that are latently accessible to new unrelated Sanguine, like a sea of dust throughout the space. Millions of tethers leading back to links of information which Sanguine and other beings can access to observe events regardless of distance.

While the Kai'Gi also have these abilities, they abuse them more to gather information and suppress discovery which could disclose the technology - keenly aware that the key to military superiority is the ability to literally outmaneuver an enemy even at planetary scale, and utterly eliminate the source of the threat. To 'flank and destroy' the head, heart, and soul of a civilization unable to protect itself from this degree of surveillance and sudden reach.

In warship confrontations, a single Sanguine battleship will often present against a vast fleet - and then strike from all directions with speed that betrays its ability to move or pass ordinary forces. This attack from all directions, as if the very darkness has come alive against the enemy, is a favored tactic of the Sanguine - because it projects the force of their will while presenting the least physical threat, affirming their rightful reputation as the most lethal enemy that any military force will ever face.

Yet when the Tyec and Genosect engage this, they have information and lack all ordinary fear of death in their actions - striking at the enemy without regard to this irrational breach of the laws of physics; and so they were made to do by the Kai'Gi, so that the weapon system which succeeded the Sanguine would never pass on the knowledge of this superior power to any enemy or civilization which might use it against the Kai'Gi or their order.

To be a human pilot in a ship in Beyond War is to know that the enemy is far superior, and to operate in that environment of enemy vessel superiority regardless of the risk. To be Ogrey is to know this power has destroyed your world, and whether you fight back or cower in fear - it will still destroy you if you do not fight.

To be Minat is to know this is the reason you walk the secret path behind the eye of the infernal and avoid its gaze.

To be Dawv is to know these things are possible and such science is not to be feared, but to be understood and torn from the darkness as you would tear the rock away that makes shelter against its envy and taking of everything you have made.

The Leupos do not ask why, only how to fight - for science is of no use to them and any life more than thirty years an eternity they will not see or waste good days upon worrying about.

And to the Dracos - immortal and ever hungry, these tools are to be feared - like the yoke and the shackle which bind, and to be broken and made again upon any who would dare to chain them to serve - even if by nature they remain as far above their own nature as the birds are to the human beings below.

War - in space or on the ground - against this 'high mobility internal transmaterial armor', is sudden and without honor or glory. To see the enemy is to be given pause, and once such weapons drawn then death a blink of an eye or less - and never eye to eye. Death comes from the side, riding a smile, silent and with purpose too fast for the eye to see.

In BEYOND WAR, ships do not burn like 'rice paper', their engines exploding when they reach their limit. Instead, warships are torn in half and cast spinning one into another, their crews screaming for help and pinned to the hull as gravity fails and air leaves the ship. Then comes the dark - the liquid night that pours into the corridors and cells, and the footsteps of the intruders silent as the void. The ship echos with the bodies as they hit the floor, only meters away - but not a sound in the air. And the smell of blood as men and women are torn in half all around you just inches away, while you stand alone - in the dark - waiting for death to find you.

This is how the Sanguine board a crippled ship, or portion of one left after a strike, to impress on the survivors to never again stand against them.

They leave some alive to give account, and as they leave, the darkness does as well like a wave, revealing like the radio switched on the screaming and dying of the wounded and not-yet-dead.

It is a brutal kind of war made possible by the Sanguine armor, and the force which makes many ships prefer to self-destruct while the Sanguine are aboard rather than wait for rescue.

A tactical mistake, and your vessel will be burning and spinning out of control into the dark. Cut your engines. Fire a burn. Throw off your course and go dark if you can. And listen to the radio report the other ships that did not get away. That is your best hope.

This is not a stand-up-war, or a naval circle of tin cans and trimaran rams. It is a bloody trench in the dark, filled with hungry monsters, and no hope of escape unless another vessel finds you. A ship that can support your weight on its life support, and travel far enough to get to a safe port. The prospect of dying alone, still less terrifying than dying in the dark against the Sanguine or their sub-human troops.

Of course the Sanguine don't always personally board every ship. They have millions of Leupos and Dracos to do this for them, at their command. But in some ways, the Sanguine are merciful because at least they are quick.

Civilized war, and the 'disagreements' that happen between ship captains, are a bar fight compared to that.

The scope of Beyond War is to live in that moment, and enjoy the bar fight, for real contact is unforgiving and unforgettable.

The technologies of Beyond War are built to raise awareness of the cultural and individual injury of genocide and policies themed complicity with genocide under color of law, for audience ages 24 and up.

As a work of fiction, Beyond War uses several terms to explain to modern culture how their use of defensive claims to normalize genocide are accessory to the actual crime and aggravate such injury. "Beyond War" and "Sanguine" are trademarks of SHADOWDANCERS L.L.C., so registered.

© 2013 SHADOWDANCERS L.C.C.