Copyright © 2015 by Al Norris and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.
All Rights Reserved
Tucked away in a little known part of Europe, was a small country that bordered on Switzerland to the west and with Austria to the east. Not a part of the constant power struggles of most of Europe, this small country offered a peace that endured until the Napoleonic wars overtook it in 1806.
Since the late 1400′s, a modest group of families had moved to this land. They were a group of close to fifty families that had become fed up with the constant power struggles of the Medici families. It hindered their research and there was always the threat of forced conscription into the armies of one or another of the warring factions. They had found that their only way out of this situation was to vanish, where they could not be found. After several months of silent preparation, one spring night, that is what they did. They fled from Milan, and moved north.
The area that they found was as perfect a place as they could ask for; Sparsely populated by a very hardy people that had no interest in most things outside of their own lands. This provided these people with the isolation they desired and needed. Though foreigners to the Germanic peoples, they quickly learned the language and adopted many of the customs. Completely surrounded by the Alps, they had found a suitable mountain valley to accomplish their own goals, apart from the maniacs, that had driven them to this wilderness.
These people were thought of as 'free thinkers', and dabbled in many different things. Some were chemists, some improved upon the mechanical frameworks left by da Vinci. Others conducted experiments using sheets of tin, glass and magnets. Several of the families turned their attention towards the biological mechanisms, that were used to increase crop production and animal husbandry. Still others, focused on financial matters, and began to amass a small fortune to keep the community supplied in the materials they increasingly used, and to pay their yearly tribute to the Count of Hohenem, the local lord of the land, in Austria.
Very little of what these people did, ever reached the ears of 'Outsiders', as they called anyone who was not a part of their community. Their pursuits were for entirely peaceful uses that they hoped would help to benefit mankind as a whole. Towards this end, these people examined every aspect of what they discovered to see if it could be put to any aggressive uses. They weighed the peaceful uses against the uses in war.
Those ideas that fell more on the side of war, they then weighed the defensive uses against the offensive uses. Those ideas that were more geared for peace were diligently worked upon. They also worked on those concepts that could be used as a defensive measure. The concepts more geared towards offensive use, were shelved for later study and possible implementation. However, no idea was ever truly shelved. It just wasn't their way to leave the stone unturned!
One of the areas of study that proved to be more interesting as results were achieved more rapidly, was that of organic-chemical engineering. While mechanical engineering had its place in their schemes, it became a secondary area of study.
These people went about their daily lives, tending their small farms, while increasing their knowledge base on the nature of the world. They paid little attention to the world outside of their pursuits, though they did keep up on the local talk and rumor. The one thing that they did not ignore, was the intelligence of the people in other villages. To the best of their ability, they identified those young people who showed a higher degree of natural awareness and curiosity than was the local norm, and began intermarrying with them. It was during this time that the people began calling themselves, Scireians. A coined term that used an ancient Latin term scire that meant 'to know', 'to separate one thing from another, to distinguish'.
Nearly three hundred years after moving to their Alpine valley, word came of the aggressive behavior of the Franks in general, and Napoleon's imperialism in particular. It was at this point in their history, that these people abandoned Europe. They had finally had enough of the constant power struggles and the inevitable wars those struggles brought.
Having decided to move, they took stock of what they had and where they might go, always mindful of the natural resources they would need to continue their work. After several months of careful planning and preparation, they once again, packed up and followed the Rhine to Amsterdam, where they engaged four sailing ships to take them to the New World, to what is now Puget Sound. Upon arriving, this group of refugees finally settled about two hundred miles north of their landing.
It was an area that was virginal in nature. There were hot springs, plenty of water, and ample arable land. The mountains contained many different metals for their uses. There were also several indigenous peoples that traveled throughout the area, whom the Scireians befriended and traded with.
As the 19th century unfolded, the Scireians independently developed many new technologies. Their scientific basis however, developed in ways that were completely separate from the industrial technologies that were being developed throughout most of the Western World. Though they were further advanced in their scientific approaches, having started much earlier, their expertise favored the biological over the mechanical.
Several times, during this history, the Scireians had to rethink some of their pacifistic ideals. From this rethinking, they developed defensive capabilities that were unheard of in the rest of the world. While the world was hell bent upon mechanical means, the Scireians developed organic machines, due in large part of their chemists and biologists mingling their skill-sets with those to the physicist and electrical engineers. There was no real separation of the sciences, as opposed to what was happening in the sciences of the Outsiders' world.
As civilization began to encroach upon their self-imposed solitude, defensive organic technology was implemented that impeded the will of most people to further travel in their direction. By genetically engineering certain plant species, various chemical and empathic barriers broadcast unease at being in the vicinity of these plants. The longer outsiders remained in the area of the barriers, the more the effect intensified. It actually caused a form of hysteria among some of them.
Even with this, there were the occasional wanderers that came close to discovering the Scireians existence. The people began to systematically withdraw into the mountains. They built elaborate caverns to house themselves, their laboratories and equipment. Those financiers of the old country hadn't remained idle. It was with their help in funding the project, that the colony grew and prospered. They bought the few metals that were needed for the actual machines the people used to carve out the mountains.
Because of their friendship with the local tribes, these same defenses were offered to them and kept the "white-man" well out of the local Indian reservations. So great was their friendship, that the Indians not only kept the secrets of the Scireians to themselves, but they also kept the very existence of their friends secret.
One of the benefits of this symbiotic relationship was the people of the First Nations sent their best and brightest youngsters to be educated by the Scireians, who gladly integrated the youngsters into their society. Although many of these youngsters returned to help their tribes, many remained and intermarried. This increased the intellectual potential of the society, and refreshed the genetic material needed to remain a viable colony.
Over this almost five hundred year period of exploration and advancement, their society had altered. Because of their advanced genetic understanding, their life expectancy rose. It was not unusual to be productive until death, which generally occurred near the 180th year mark. Puberty, on the other hand occurred at around twelve for both girls and boys. Nor was puberty a time of intense emotional and physical stress. Passing through puberty marked adulthood. To their way of thinking, it was the job of the young men and women to run the day-to-day things of the society. They were the governing body. While the research was done by the elders. The young ones, passed into Elder status, only after their 7th or 8th decade of life. And then only when they had firmly decided what their 'senior' studies were to be. This developed into a truly cohesive society, where the energetic young put to practical use, what the elders discovered.
One of the significant discoveries that were made at the end of the 19th century, was a method of using an organic switch to turn electrical current on and off. Along with the ability to transmit electrical current and enhanced bio-luminance, they lacked for nothing that could be found in the purely mechanical world. Before this, the scientists had to 'stitch' the organic elements into a mechanical switch, to stop the flow of electricity. This was cumbersome and inefficient. Another important discovery, at about the same time, was the miniaturization of organic material to do the same job as their larger 'cousins'.
Now switches and shunts were developed and used to route the flow of electricity from areas that needed maintenance to auxiliary transmission lines. It was not long before the mathematicians put these miniatures to other uses. Thus was born the organic binary computer.
The biologists didn't stop there, however. They knew that the human brain processed information in a specific manner, that was trinary in nature. By the mid 20th century, the biologists, helped along the way with organic chemists and mathematicians, succeeded in growing a trinary cell. True / False / Maybe (our organic brains own fuzzy logic) became a reality and true A.I. was born. Along with this, miniaturization had now become micro-miniaturization and the Scireians now advanced their science by leaps and bounds.
Although reclusive by their own nature, by 2012, the Scireians were well aware of what was happening, southward, in the United States, even though they were sheltered by living in Western Canada. They had almost decided that one faction needed their help in returning the States towards its more peaceful nature than that brought about by Ashwood, and the power behind him: The Army of God.
The Scireians were well aware of this 'ghost' organization, as it had developed from a loose organization of businessmen, intent upon hiding their illicit dealings from public view by disguising them as a religion and how it had morphed into a 'real' religion run by zealots with an insatiable thirst for money, power and world domination.
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