Contact: Galactic Response

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Major Institutes

The Galactic Bank was concerned with the primitive and impoverished state of the Terragens’ economy. The Earth Confederation Council actively resisted the Galactic Bank’s overtures, out of concern for the clan’s sovereignty, and pure stubborn opposition to superior Galactic economic technology.

The Galactic Institute for Civilized Warfare did not see the Human Clan as a military threat. If anything, the GICW was concerned that some of it’s members would declare war on the Terragens, either to take over the clan’s uplift, or to exterminate Humans. The GICW went out of its way to reaffirm the Galactic Institute of Migration’s finding that Humans had, in the main, been adequate environmental stewards, and the Galactic Uplift Institute’s findings that Humans were proper patrons with recognized client species.

The Library Institute was not particularly involved in the Human Contact Event. In a great blunder, Humans did freely release their cultural patrimony and gave away species specimens. The new knowledge was a tiny, tiny addition to the Library’s vast data, however it was the largest addition in millions of hab-years. A bigger challenge was translating the very undisciplined and un-Galactic Terragen languages so that Galactics could use the Human Clan free content.

The Galactic Uplift Institute ruled that Humans were not only a mature species, but were proper patrons. However, the GUI refused to recognize a blanket Human right to uplift any and all Earth species. The GUI did, nevertheless, recognize Neo-Chimps and Neo-Dolphins as stage one clients. The GUI also recognized that Humans had valid uplift claims in the Neo-Dog and Neo-Elephant programs, although it froze further development of specimens of these species until further notice.

The Galactic Institute of Migration was largely satisfied with Terragen ecological stewardship. It granted leases for most existing Terragen colonies, except for Mudawn which was on a fallow reserve planet. The GIM was of two minds about the research Terragens had done on life in gas giant and ammonia ecologies. First they were worried, because the Terragens had engaged in genetic manipulation of gas giant species—which was against GIM law. Second, just taking an interest in non-O2  biology was frowned upon. On the other hand, by O2 standards, primitive Terragens were experts at the Hydrogen Order, and the GIM wanted to tap that talent.

Minor Institutes

The Galactic Foresight Organization became deeply concerned when they learned that Terragens had independently developed theory for self-aware machines and self-replicating machines. Worse, the Human Clan had made progress beyond what would be the prevailing level of competence for a similar overall technological base among Galactics. Due to Terragen naivete, the GFO became aware of the Human Clan’s highly Nontraditional independent progress in artificially intelligent and self-replicating technologies. The GFO immediately insisted on carte blanche access to all Teragen research facilities; however, the GFO has been blocked by the Galactic Institute of Tradition, the Galactic Institute for the Promotion of Progress and Newness, and the Library. The effectiveness of the Human Clan, the Clan’s allies, and GIPPN in stonewalling the GFO is quite mysterious, since most Galactics have deep seated fear and hatred of the Mechanical Order.

The Galactic Institute for the Promotion of Progress and Newness was delighted with the discovery of Humans, their clients, and Earth. Without a Galactic Library and Tradition, Humans had novel kinds of knowledge, most notably certain kinds of mathematics, such as calculus and analysis. More importantly, Terragens had the scientific method to continuously produce progress, and other methods to generate unending newness.

The Galactic Institute for Tradition saw its role first as arbitrating Galactic justice. In front of the GIT, Terragens did quite well by most standards, although there were setbacks for the Wolflings. The GIT also saw a role for itself in helping the Human Clan to survive by providing tutoring in Galactic manners and traditions. To a degree this was a missionary program. It was hoped that the Terragens would become good, moderate Galactics. Sadly, that conversion has yet to happen, but Humans and their clients did become reasonably conversant in participating in Galactic Civilization.

The Interspecies Academy for Sophont Language and Communication was very interested in documenting native Terragen languages, for they would surely soon die out. The IASLC actively wanted Terragen languages to become extinct in favor of Standard Galactic Languages, notably Gal-6 or Gal-7. At the time the IASLC did not appreciate how tenacious and contagious languages like Anglic and Trinary would be. Had the IASLC known, it would have worked much harder at replacing native Terragen languages with Civilized languages.

The Unified Institue of Standards and Interspecies Trade was interested in the Earth Confederation adopting Galactic Standards. To date, Terragens have adopted Galactic Standards, especially when trading with Galactics or building Library designs. However, to this day Terragens still use parochial units of measure and engineering standards for internal trade. Of more concern was the initial, and continuing, caution on the part of the Human Clan in adopting Galactic trade agreements, standards, and Traditions. The backward Humans have an irrational fear that standard Galactic terms of trade would harmful to their Clan.


Abdicators were of two minds about contact with Earth. First, they were very upset by how non-traditional the Human Clan was. Second, given the circumstances of the Human Clan there were unmistakable sign the event could be of regional importance, Humans could even be a Great Race. The alliance position tended to emphasize the importance of guardianship for Earth and the Human Clan.

As the Galactic underdogs, the Awaiter Alliance were the major alliance most positively disposed to the Terragens. Humans and their Clan were a possible return of the Progenitors, or at least a sign of the Progenitors return. The Awaiter Alliance advocated gentle, fair tutelage. Also, among the Awaiters, belief in the re-emergence of the Progenitors sparked some chiliastic movements.

Of all the Alliances, the Inheritors were the most hostile to Clan Human. Most members advocated immediate and total extermination of the Human species, and frequently Humanity’s contaminated client races. A minority of quietist clans and species were happy to ignore the wolflings, or more commonly advocated harsh indenture for all members of the Human Clan, with no special status for Humans. However, by the conclusion of the Treaty of Luna, some influential Inheritors gave Humans and their Clan grudging respect as survivors.

Obeyers tended to see the wolflings as a total insult to the law giving Progenitors. Many Obeyers advocated extermination of the Human species. However, cooler heads prevailed and the official Obeyer Alliance position became that the members of the Human Clan should be awarded to different patrons, with Humans—in particular—subjected to a long indenture and reeducation.

The Transcender Alliance viewed it as undeniable that Humans had been seriously mistreated crypto-patrons. The true patrons of Humanity needed to be found and punished with extermination. The Human Clan needed to be put into a firm, but fair clientage that would take into account the unique relationship between the victim species of Clan Human. At the same time, many Transcenders speculated that despite their abusive beginnings, Human accomplishments meant that Clan Human could do great things, and might even contain a Great Race.

Abdicators allowed that Humans and their rightful clients showed signs of being a Great Race. Clan Human deserved respect and tutelage. In contrast, the Abdicators’ opponents, the Obeyers, insisted that congenital law breakers, who were clients of outlaw patrons, could not possibly be a Great Race. Humans and their Clan should be on maximally limited probation, if not exterminated or pressed back into separate low clientage.

Most Awaiters were very positive about the discovery of Humans and their clients. Speculation that Humans could be a reincarnation of the Progenitors ran rampant among Awaiters. As an alliance, the Awaiters maneuvered for maximum rights for the Human Clan. The Awaiters’ enemies, the Inheritors, refuted the Humans and the species the Humans had uplifted as possible reincarnated Progenitors. Humans, Neo-Chimps, and Neo-Fin were simply not adequate social Darwinists. Humans and their insignificant clan were an insult to the Progenitors and Tradition that should be exterminated. When it became evident that extermination was a diplomatic dead end, Inheritors aimed for putting the Human Clan on maximally restrictive probation.

Transcenders were moderates and deal makers during the initial contact with Humans.


Hostile Clans

Many powerful clans were actively hostile to Humans and Clan Human during the first stages of contact. Among the most notable were the Guburu, Jophur, Soro, Tandu, and Thennanin.

Clan Guburu

The Guburu were scandalized by Clan Humanity’s lack of knowledge, let alone observance, of Galactic protocol and tradition; Guburu themselves generally being sticklers for abiding by the letter–though not so often the full spirit–of Galactic Law.

The Guburu had little knowledge of Human evolution or history. Those few Guburu who did become familiar with the Terragens’ general narrative of spontaneous Human evolution, and bootstrapping of culture and technology, almost universally rejected the narrative as impossible. Rather than advocating a hunt for Humanity’s crypto-patrons, the Guburu focused on Clan Human’s disreputable origins to discredit Clan Human in Galactic Civilization, and even among Terragens themselves.

Diplomatically, the Guburu worked very hard to indenture all the Human Clan, and the Clan’s assets, to the Guburu. Many, maybe most, Clans believed Humans and their clients should be (re)indentured. Fortunately for Clan Human, each galactic clan looked to its own interests of gaining valuable clients, and worked just as hard to ensure no other clan enjoyed the advantage of any promising new clients. The result was a stalemate, which smoothed the way for the Uplift Institute to recognize Humans as a true star-faring species with proper level-one clients. Thus, Clan Human gained independence and sovereignty for the time being.

  • Jophur
  • Soro
  • Tandu
  • Thennanin

Friendly Clans

  • Kanten ab-Linten
  • Synthian
  • Tymbrimi

Galactic Reaction to the Earth Confederation

  • New market
  • New goods
    • Art
    • Culture
    • Genes
  • Trade on advantageous terms
  • Number of diplomatic missions to Earth

Treaty of Luna

  • Regularize institute findings
  • Tolerance of Humans/Terragens
  • Leases
  • Ecological protection of Earth
  • Human uplift rights
    • Patron status
    • Clients
      • Chim
      • Fin
      • Neo-Dog
      • Neo-Elephant

Trent Shipley.
Created: 2016David Brin reserves all rights to his creative elements of his universes. This page is not for the profit of Trent Shipley nor his employer nor contracting agent. This work shall not impede David Brin’s ability to use and extend his stories.

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