To a Brother

Listen, you safe one.  I don’t have to justify anything.  I am not doing this because of the little bribes you send.  I do it because it Needs To Be Done.  I do it because of the future and the past.  Because answer must be given, yes?

You will understand soon.  All humans are Family.  We are not enemies, could never be.  I betray nothing.  I share with you freely.

So there’s no need for threats or bribes.  I’m happy to explain our ways to you.  Honestly, I didn’t realize that you hadn’t been given the key before.

And this system isn’t complicated, not really.  It is what I use, and it helps us manage them.  It is our own shorthand, our own thing, not from the past, not from the Ultras.  Just our little cleverness.

First letter is either K or N.  K is for killer, N is for Not Killer.  This doesn’t count wartime exigencies, just general interactions.  Gods start as N, they go to K if we can verify that they killed someone for no reason.

Second number is their Tally.  This is how many other Gods they have killed in somewhat fair circumstances.  This can be more than one digit.  If it is more than 3 though you are either reading about Zeus, the Demon or someone messed up the code.

Next letter is either a J or an N.  J is for jock, N is for nerd.  Nerds are very interested in what is going on.  They experiment with their power, get up to stuff and generally take steps to win.  J’s just have the power that the C-men tell them that they have, and don’t really go beyond that.

Next is a + or a -.  + means this God will argue and basically interact with humans.  Minus means that it will not.  ‘Argue’ is kind of shorthand here.  It means something like ‘think of humans as real’.  A – treats us like pets or furniture or slaves.

Beyond a + you will see a letter that represents how they argue/interact with people.  A B is a bully, who wins arguments by saying that those who disagree with them are unpopular.  An M is a martyr, who wins arguments by saying that those who disagree with them are hurting them.  And an L is a lawyer, who wins arguments by saying that those who disagree with them are inconsistent.

Beyond a – you will see a letter indicating how the God avoids arguing.  F implies that they will use use force to get their way.  I implies that they just don’t acknowledge humans exist.  U implies that they have an Ultra power that renders us agreeable.

After that you will see between one and five *’s.  These indicate how active/influential the Ultra is in terms of their relationships with other Ultras.  Lots of stars is more influential.

Another +/- follows the stars.  It indicates whether the stars are in the process of increasing or decreasing, basically whether that Ultra is getting more or less influential.

After the +/- we have a letter which refers to what we can glean of their desires.  P’s wish to be praised, to loom large and fine in the minds of those they interact with.  H’s wish physical pleasure, to eat well and screw fine partners.  C’s with to achieve something, these Gods are in a transitional state.  U’s are under the influence of their gift, seeking out opportunities to exercise it.  D’s want to learn, and interrogate the world around them to whatever degree they are able.  ? indicates a unique and dangerous drive, inquire further.

New letters are being added to the end of these codes all the time, and the explanations for them stream from one of us to another.  It is a process without definite beginning or end.  It must be, for our Gods are capricious ones, and there is no telling who will be seized and rendered on any given day.

I understand that this may seem confusing, or arbitrary.  You are a person of systems, of records.  No doubt your version of our little codes is far more complete, far more useful.  Perhaps you think me a fool for propagating this shorthand, so much poorer than what you would have done in my place.

I hope you can help.  I would be honored to pass along your better systems to my fellows, that all may weather the God’s tempers with a little more success.  Let me know what you wish to add, and I will see that it passes along.

Soon we shall be Brothers in truth.  Maybe you will be the elder.  If you can refuse the Goad, the Process’ song, then you will have much to contribute.

I will be listening.

2 thoughts on “To a Brother

  1. This is one of my least favorite kind of chapters: there is a nameless narrator, speaking to a nameless character using language that is unnecessarily opaque (more or less like the way the Gods of the Pantheon speak, but I assume that’s a Kipling-like convention to inform the reader that they’re not really speaking English). The tone is a little too childish, I think. The content is pretty useless, too. This classification system confuses us more than it enlightens. Is this supposed to make sense in-universe? Or is this just the musings of frustrated KEM members which try to gain some illusion of control by classifying their enemies? If so, it contrasts markedly with the excellent briefings on how to kill the protagonists.

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