In the event of a total secession of Company activities, what follows would be the worst loss of life in human history.
I understand why that might be counter intuitive. After all, of the classic ‘four horsemen’, the Process is by far the worst. But the scythe he wields was taken from Famine, and in the Company’s absence, its owner would take it up once more.
The Pantheon, broadly speaking, has no real agriculture. They are reliant on the Company Facilities in a way that our nation never could be. If it ceased operation a majority of the world’s population would find themselves substantially without any foodstuffs, all at once.
Several trends combine to cause this state of affairs. It is difficult to say which is the most important. The Company’s freedom from any quota has enabled them to expand far more rapidly and cover Pantheon territory far more comprehensively than it does here. The civil strife devastates territory randomly and without warning, which has conditioned the populace to regard fixed structures and saving for the future as imprudent. The cultural mores regard scientific procedure as inherent to our culture, and thus foreign and suspicious. Take your pick.
My own guess, as far as the single biggest contributing factor goes, is simply that the people with power don’t have any skin in the game. The ‘Gods’ will never starve, come what may. Some are protected by their gifts, and the rest will be given first pick on whatever can be gathered. Starvation is an intellectual problem to them, one of many scenarios, but far less important to think about than intriguing against their opposition.
As far as consequences, the long and short of it is that whatever control the Ruling Council exerts over the local warlords would fall completely apart in a no-Company scenario. They already have enough trouble getting their tributaries to toe the line. Warlords fight one another for what amounts to no reason as it is. If they actually had something to compete over, be it scavenged supplies, fertile land or Gods with power that produced food sources, it would be complete anarchy.
The Grand Host, in particular, is a mass of Gods concentrated in a barren land with no real human population to speak of. I’ve seen projections as high as thirty percent casualties in the first two months, though I think that might be optimistic.
You’ve read the file on Gaia and similar Gods. Their gifts would be the Pantheon’s only real means of mitigating their losses, and they would be entirely insufficient. We believe that each such God would be able to supply a small area around them, which would in turn become a target for those Gods who rule other areas.
In the event of a disaster of this magnitude it is very likely that Zeus would attempt to resolve matters with an all or nothing attack. We would very likely be the target of such a strike, though there is an outside chance that he makes his move on the Regime, seeking to seize control of the Company directly.
Estimations of that event, how it would go and what could be done about it, are outside of the scope of this document, but I imagine that they’d be grim reading.
I’d be remiss in my duties, however, if I didn’t conclude this report by reiterating the unlikelihood of the Company ever failing in the manner described. It has operated without interruption since its foundation. It operates within every nation in the world, tolerated or encouraged by our own Government and by the tyrants who would enslave us. I believe that we can rely upon it to continue operations into the foreseeable future.
2 thoughts on “Enemy Readiness”
Well, at least the reporter did their job, however academic they mistakenly believed it was. The world needs such people.
From the chapter “The Leadership Council of the Pantheon”:
I understand the point in this article that Gaia’s bubble of food production will become a target, but presumably Zeus would have her providing for the Sunset Army, which can probably fight off all comers.
… or well, he would if the Sunset Army hadn’t already set out. Although depending on how stationary Zeus’ contingent of the army is (remember he split off the rebellious goddesses and sent them ahead in “Dearest Isis 2”), this plan might still work.
The other possibility is Isis keeps Gaia at the capital and organizes a really good defense around the terraformed area — basically hunker down and leave Zeus to fend for himself.
Also I wonder how soon word of Indulger’s move at Zilla’s fort will spread? That fort will also be a target (although ironically it will become useless as soon as someone else takes it).