|Origin||Human Sub-species (Homo sapiens invictus)|
|Structure of society||Social Darwinism and Dawkinite Genetic competitiveness|
Nietzscheans are a subspecies of Homo sapiens that has been modified at the genetic level. In addition to being 5 times stronger and two times faster than an average human of their size and gender, Nietzscheans are immune to some poisons (aconite, ammonia, antipyrine, arsenic, atropine, camphor, hydrocyanic acid, iodine, lead, picrotoxin, and strychnine) and diseases (diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, lyme disease, measles, meningococcal disease, mumps, pertussis, pneumococcal disease, polio, rabies, rubella, tetanus, and varicella).
Due to their physiology they have a more varied diet, as they can consume items that are inedible to normal humans, as long as it's organic.
Nietzscheans pride themselves of being able to survive in harsh environments where normal humans would easily die. However, Nietzscheans are not indestructible, and most environments that are inhospitable to Homo sapiens sapiens are also inhospitable to Homo sapiens invictus. However, they are able to breathe chlorine gas for short periods of time, although long-term exposure (longer than 30 minutes) will cause permanent harm, just as if they were a "normal" human.
Their bone blades are a natural outgrowth, and are fully developed by mid-puberty. The bone blades can be either perpendicular to a forearm or can lay on a forearm with blade tips pointed toward the arm elbow and are controlled by a voluntary muscle on each forearm that attaches to the bone blades. The bone blades are made of a bone-like substance, and can be used as a natural weapon in personal combat when blades are perpendicular to forearm to stab an opponent. The removal of the bone blades without anesthetic can cause a Nietzschean great physical pain, but the blades will grow back.
Finally, their lifespan is a maximum 150 years of age, but it is unlikely any but a few reach this age since they often die in battle instead.
To Nietzscheans, reproduction is the single most important event in their lives. They choose their mates with care, only reproducing with those who have genes that will strengthen the pride and the Nietzschean species as a whole.
To become married and reproduce, a Nietzschean must present their potential mate to their clan's (or pride's) Matriarch, who will do a genetic scan and determine if the genes of the potential mate are strong. If approved, the couple becomes married in a private ceremony, involving only the two of them. The male and female exchange bracers that signify that they are one. In Nietzschean society, women have full control of their reproductive options in that they choose the men, not the other way around.
It is normal for a high-status Nietzschean male to have many wives, and to have children with each, with some families as large as one male with ten or more wives and thirty or more children.
The human philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed that strife and conflict would inevitably reshape men into something better and stronger than what they once were. As a human subspecies, Nietzscheans took his words to heart and used genetic engineering and nanotechnology to reshape themselves into the ultimate survivors.
Nietzscheans have built their culture on the twin pillars of social Darwinism and Dawkinite genetic competitiveness. Their single-minded devotion to self-improvement and the propagation of their own genes can strike other species (even their non-Nietzschean human cousins) as selfish and arrogant, yet in practice the Nietzscheans' boundless energy and willpower made them valued contributors to the Systems Commonwealth. For all their genetic engineering and superhuman strength, Nietzscheans are still human, with human emotions.
A Nietzschean is born into a clan (family). Numerous clans form a pride. Prides consist of various clans who are somewhat genetically related to each other. They are usually named after powerful mythological or historical figures or creatures from ancient Earth.
Nietzscheans have long full names, which include a short genealogy. Their names include their given name, their clan name/surname, mother's name, father's name, and the Pride Affiliation. (i.e. Tyr Anasazi out of Victoria by Barbarossa of the Kodiak Pride) If questioned about who their father's father is (in the case that there is more than one Nietzchean with that name) they will respond with their father's name followed by their grandfather's name. (i.e. Barbarossa son of Temujin) Nietzscheans may also use normal, human names for their children if they so choose.
Similar to a wolf pack, though the "pride" terminology is distinctly leonine, the organization of prides is dominated by an Alpha Male. The Alpha Male will usually listen to the advice of the other males in his pride, along with the stronger females. He will also listen to the advice of the pride's Matriarch.
Alpha Male: Leader of a pride/clan. The strongest, smartest, quickest Nietzschean of a pride/clan, or one who has learned to survive while all of his comrades have been removed.
Pride/Clan Matriarch: Strongest Female of the pride/clan. Not necessarily the wife of the pride/clan's Alpha Male (can be mother, sister, cousin, or even daughter.) One of the primary duties of the Matriarch is to assure that the genes of a prospective mate (either male or female) are good ones, and that those genes will benefit the pride by reproduction. Another duty is to make sure that weak genes are removed, so that they do not contribute to the pride/clan. This is accomplished by preventing weak genes from entering the pride/clan in the first place, but it also means that the Matriarch may need to remove weak members of her own pride/clan in order to assure the survival of the rest of the pride/clan.
A Nietzschean becomes an adult when they reach reproductive age, which can be anywhere from 10-14 years, with an average of 11.8 years of age. When they become adults, they are expected to maintain their pride/clan's superiority, and to fight for the pride/clan when necessary. All Nietzscheans, male and female, are brought up with these teachings. In addition, females have the additional responsibility to produce strong alpha-personality males to lead the pride/clan and keep it strong.
New Prides can be formed if a male and at least one female break off from their pride. The stronger a Pride is, the better a chance it has of becoming more powerful and defeating its enemy prides.
Nietzscheans pride themselves on their attractiveness, strength, cunning, and treachery. When asked what he wanted, Charlemagne Bolivar replied, "The usual; hundreds of grandchildren, utter domination of known space, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in terrible, highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me." However, Gaheris Rhade had an idealistic view and was thoroughly disgusted with the reality: "Our people were meant to be living gods, warrior-poets who roamed the stars bringing civilization, not cowards and bullies who prey on the weak and kill each other for sport. I never imagined they'd prove themselves so inferior. I didn't betray our people — they betrayed themselves." - Gaheris Rhade
While not as advanced as the former Commonwealth technology they are a force to be reckoned with. Powerful prides have fleets of slipstream capable fighters, cruisers, and warships.
Their armies don't possess handheld energy based weapons, but instead use gauss guns
Origin: The Nietzschean subspecies originated at Ayn Rand Station. In 3474, Dr. Paul Museveni, a human geneticist, left Earth and headed out to deep space with about 3,000 followers. Dr. Museveni's views were not considered proper, and he was shut out of proper scientific society. Four months later, the Museveni Fleet arrived in the Omari Globular cluster just outside the Milky Way Galaxy. A habitable world was found orbiting the Beta Sirrius Omega star. Museveni and his followers named the world Fountainhead, and declared it the home world of the new Nietzschean sub-race. Ayn Rand Station was built in orbit around Fountainhead. The station was completed in 3476. It was built by converting one of their ships into the station. The Political Capital was located at Ayn Rand Station. The settlements on Fountainhead continued to grow. The people willingly embraced the philosophy of Dr. Museveni, which was based on elements of Nietzsche, Rand, Darwin, and Dawkins.
Drago Museveni, the clone/son of Dr. Paul Museveni, was born in 3477 (It is revealed later in the series that Paul Museveni had actually time travelled to the future to obtain the DNA of Beka Valentine in order to help create Drago's genetic code). Drago was the first true Nietzschean born, the result of genetic modifications. Because of his birth, the first Pride was formed: Pride Museveni. Drago had a physiology all future Nietzscheans would have. Due to the modifications of his genetic codes, Drago developed three bony spikes called "bone blades" on each forearm.
Within four years, nearly 4,000 more Nietzschean children were born. These children were the first members of Homo sapiens invictus, and they were the first generation of Dr. Paul Museveni's genetic manipulations.
In 3496, Paul Museveni died under mysterious circumstances, by a rare type of arsenic poisoning. His son Drago, at age 19, took the mantle of leadership of the Nietzschean people. It was suspected by some that Drago had removed his father, but it was never proven. In 3497, the second pride in Nietzschean society, the Drago-Kazov Pride, was formed after Drago broke ties with Pride Museveni and formed an alliance with the Kazov clan. A year later, the Kodiak, Jaguar, and finally, the Three Rivers prides were formed.
Drago Museveni died of natural causes in 3530. Rheged Mossadim of the Three Rivers Pride was chosen as the new leader. Thirty-one years later in 3561, the Nietzscheans decided to spread out. The Nietzscheans established Zarathustra, their first colony, in 3576. Enga's Redoubt followed near the end of the year. Midden was established in 3579 and then Dawkinstown and Victoria in 3585. Barbarossa was established a year later and Hawking the year after that. Kagame's World was established in 3594 and Cestus Mortialis in 3599. The Nietzscheans established the colony of Enkindu in the year 3608. Four years later, the newly formed Nietzschean Alliance established the Bedford Forest Colony. The last of the Nietzschean Colonies was established at Hephaistos IV in 3616.
The Nietzschean Alliance continued to govern themselves. The strongest and most able of their men were the leaders, with the Alphas of the major prides competing against each other in combat to determine who the next Alliance Leader would be.
Nietzschean Alliance & Systems Commonwealth: Formal first contact with the Systems Commonwealth was made in 3618. A quick, but cautious, alliance formed; the Nietzscheans were happy to find their long-lost human cousins returned to them. They did not join the Commonwealth though, preferring to keep their independence. They became loose allies instead, sharing culture, technology, and other interests. Eventually, in 3627, the Nietzscheans formally joined the Systems Commonwealth.
With their gospel of gene-based survivalism and self-improvement, the Nietzscheans quickly spread throughout known space, reproducing rapidly until by the 52nd century, they constituted 8 percent of the overall human population.
Rebellion: For centuries Nietzscheans lived as loyal Commonwealth citizens, obeying its institutions, serving in its military and energetically contributing to its welfare — until they decided to destroy it.
Nietzschean discontent with the Commonwealth had been growing for decades, with many viewing it as a decadent and insufficiently challenging environment for a people as energetic as Homo sapiens invictus. But this simmering unhappiness rose to a boil after the Magog invasion of 4840 and what many Nietzscheans regarded as an insufficiently aggressive Commonwealth response. Long a frontier-dwelling people, many Nietzschean worlds found themselves along the front lines of Magog/Commonwealth confrontation, and suffered greatly from Magog attacks. Dawkinstown, Hawking, and Kagame's World — were only a few of the Nietzschean planets and settlements despoiled and terrorized by the Magog.
Talk of Nietzschean secession from the Commonwealth began in earnest during this period, with the leading Drago-Kazov Pride beating the drum for a full-scale insurrection. But many Nietzscheans opposed such a radical course of action — until the Treaty of Antares. This peace treaty signed with the Magog in 4855 was viewed by the vast majority of Nietzscheans as the ultimate betrayal of the losses they had suffered and the burdens they had borne in the fight against this implacable foe. The negotiators who made peace with the Magog may not have realized it at the time, but in the course of taming one enemy, they created a far more dangerous one in its place.
With the majority of Nietzscheans now backing a full-scale assault against the Commonwealth, preparation for the attack began in earnest. Nietzschean-owned shipping firms went on a ship buying and building spree, always choosing vessels which could easily be converted from harmless civilian uses into lethal military ones. Passenger liners became troop ships, cargo vessels became cruisers and destroyers, and couriers were converted into stealthy attack fighters.
Similarly, the Home Guard units on Nietzschean worlds were beefed up with new personnel and equipment, and even in the elite High Guard Argosy and Lancer Corps, Nietzschean officers and crew made plans to betray their ships and units and turn them over to the enemy. In secret, a vast armada of 10,000 vessels was assembled in the Hephaistos system, with smaller strike groups positioned throughout Commonwealth space, ready to pounce on unsuspecting High Guard bases and Commonwealth seats of power when the signal to strike was given.
At Hephaistos System, a rogue black hole allowed the insurrectionists to send distress signals to a large number of High Guard starships, summoning them into a trap where they could be picked off one by one. In 4858, over 200 top-of-the-line vessels were destroyed in this fashion, until the captain and crew of the heavy cruiser Andromeda Ascendant managed to draw off the fleet's fire long enough for much of the crew to escape and reach Slipstream. Their veil of secrecy about to be rended, the Nietzscheans struck, and struck hard. Their intent was to overthrow the Systems Commonwealth and replace it with a Nietzschean-dominated empire.
In the opening days of the war, the attackers inflicted devastating losses on the High Guard fleet and ground forces. Despite the Commonwealth's overwhelming superiority in ships and personnel (Nietzscheans comprised less than 2 percent of the population of the Systems Commonwealth), defeat appeared swift and certain, with the Nietzscheans already planning to establish a post-Commonwealth Nietzschean Empire.
But rather than roll over and accept defeat after these initial losses, the Commonwealth regrouped and fought back fiercely. Interestingly enough, some of the High Guard's few victories were actually achieved by Nietzschean commanders, for a sizeable minority of Nietzscheans remained loyal to the Commonwealth and fought bravely to preserve its ideals.
Mutual Destruction: A war that was supposed to end in weeks lasted over two years, and rather than resulting in a Nietzschean triumph, ended in the two sides' mutual annihilation. The last battle of the Commonwealth Civil War was fought in 4860 at the Witchhead Nebula when High Guard ships were ambushed by a larger Nietzschean fleet. The two fleets destroyed each other almost completely. Shortly afterward, the Magog crossed the Quarantine Zone in strength and numbers never imagined. Swarm fleets roamed all of known space, indiscriminately attacking Nietzschean and former Commonwealth worlds alike. With no central political authority remaining and reliable interstellar communications only a memory, individual worlds were left to fend for themselves.
Weakened by the war to overthrow the Commonwealth, the ruling Nietzschean Drago-Kazov Pride was betrayed and attacked by Pride Jaguar in 4861. The Nietzschean alliance was shattered, and instead of replacing the Commonwealth with a Nietzschean empire, chaos reigned instead. Fountainhead was rendered uninhabitable by orbital bombardment from either a Pride Jaguar attack or a final act of vengeance from a remaining High Guard starship.
The remains of Nietzschean Progentior Drago Museveni were recovered and entrusted to Kodiak Pride, one of Drago-Kazov Pride's allies. More than two hundred years later, in 5095, the still-powerful Drago-Kazov Pride betrayed its Kodiak Pride allies and seized the remains of the Progenitor from them. Kodiak Pride was exterminated, and the Progenitor's remains were relocated to Enga's Redoubt, the Drago-Kazov homeworld.
Post-Fall: s instigators of the civil war that ultimately destroyed the Commonwealth, Nietzscheans aren't the most popular denizens of the current post-Fall landscape. The war itself proved devastating to the Nietzschean people, with untold billions killed in battle fighting on both sides. Many Nietzschean Alliance planets were on the front line of hostilities and suffered greatly in the war, while Nietzschean populations on many Commonwealth worlds were subjected to internment and mob attacks. The inter-clan wars and general strife that began with Pride Jaguar's betrayal of the Drago-Kazov and continue to this day have proved even more pernicious to the long-term health and survival of the Nietzschean people. Dozens of once-powerful prides, such as Atreus, Kodiak, Al-Sharif, Three Rivers, and Banyamulenge, have been all but exterminated by other Nietzscheans, while still others have fallen prey to Magog, Than, or other hostile powers. Meanwhile, those prides which remain powerful, such as Drago-Kazov, Sabra, and Jaguar, spend much of their time defending territory from each other or putting down revolts by restless subjects. Despite this they remain a dominant power in the post commonwealth era.
- Pride Museveni (First Pride, Status: Presumed Extinct)
- Drago-Kazov Pride (Alliance between Drago Museveni and clan Kazov, 2nd Pride, Status: Most powerful Pride, rules Andromeda Galaxy and large amount of the Milky Way Galaxy, Homeworld: Enga's Redoubt)
- Kodiak Pride (3rd Pride, Status: Endangered (only 1 1/2 members left, Homeworld: Asteroid orbiting Enga's Redoubt)
- Sabra-Jaguar Pride (4th Pride, Status: 2nd Most powerful Pride, Homeworld: Tempest Down)
- Three Rivers Pride (5th Pride, Status: Endangered)
- Atreus Pride (Status: Endangered)
- Al-Sharif Pride (Status: Endangered)
- Banyamulenge Pride (Status: Endangered)
- Orca Pride (Status: Endangered (only 1 1/2 members left)
- Volsung Pride (Status: Extinct)
- Mandau Pride (Status: ?)
- Condor Pride (Status: ?)
- Lynx Pride (Status: Extinct)
- Kenja Pride (Status: Unknown)
- Majorum Pride (Bloodline of Gaheris Rhade, Status: Not extinct)