After a too-long hiatus, I finally finished my continuation of the story I started in Social Justice Space Warriors: Shaming on Arcturus Beta. I’ve decided that rather than selling individual stories, I’m going to post them on here, and if there are ever enough to justify a longer book, I’ll go back and refine them into a whole collection. I’ll also be branching out into doing some other forms of storytelling. For now, enjoy this little story.
A rush of cool sea air hit Captain Eryn Skaalzee, the rainbow-haired, demisexual African satyr, as the door of his shuttle opened. He was flanked by two of his Captains, Geonithon Sparcheesian and Biddel Von Vulcanbot; the trio beaming as they returned from their successful mission on Arcturus Beta.
“We really showed those Arcturus Betans a thing or two about their cruel cishet culture, they must feel really silly for liking their own culture now.”, Captain Sparcheesian started.
“Yes, and now we’re back in my favorite town, Saz Francix, our capital city, with its glorious, gender neutral name. We are scheduled to meet with the Council of Equals later this week to give a debrief on our mission, but until then, I want the entire crew of The Spirit of Godfrey Elfwick to go to their safe spaces and recover from that triggering encounter with Milo the Magnificent. “, Captain Skaalzee replied.
I’m glad we got a chance to catch up with everyone and quickly summarize the events of the previous story; I’ll be here again helping to guide the story.
The trio was met by three hover vehicles, each operated by a waifish metallic form to wisk them to their homes. As Captain Skaalzee was chauffeured down the city streets, he looked out on the scene. The ubiquitous robots of Saz Francix darted from place to place, running errands and servicing the needs and desires of the “beautiful and brave” [sic] citizens of the Nation of Radical Americans (NRA).
After a silent ride through the city, the robotic chauffeur stopped in front of a gleaming pristine apartment building. Captain Skaalzee glanced for a moment at the robots cleaning windows as she walked inside, greeted by the robotic doorman. Without as much as a head nod in reply, Captain Skaalzee took the elevator to the floor of bathrooms, which provided for all existing and potential genders.
“Good to see you, Eryn, I hope your mission was a success”, a brusque voice said as Captain Skaalzee exited the elevator.
“Thank you, Mx. Nyeblurg, I see that you’ve been working hard to win the “Best Female Mustache” award this year.” Skaalzee replied.
In case you were as confused as I was the first time I saw it; “Mx.” is a gender-neutral title that socially just people use instead of gendered terms like “Mr.” or “Ms.”
As Skaalzee entered the designated demisexual-demihuman bathroom, he thought of how nice it would be to get a set of hooves in tomorrow’s operation by the robo-surgeon. Then his transition into a satyr would be complete. However, when he opened the door and the lights turned on, Skaalzee saw something.
At first Skaalzee noticed the brown smear on the wall, groaning as he realized what it was. But then, as he looked closely, he noticed there was a pattern. The smeared feces were in a striped pattern. But in the upper left hand corner, there were little stars drawn in excrement. Captain Skaalzee thought long and hard, history never being his best subject, and realized the brown smear on the wall was a fecal interpretation of the greatest symbol of the patriarchy. The world around Captain Skaalzee faded to black as he slipped out of consciousness.
That might have been a little confusing, so I will reiterate for clarity. Captain Skaalzee just fainted after seeing a poop-American Flag.
Later that week, Captain Skaalzee awoke in the military hospital on Alcatraz Island. The first voice he heard belonged to Captain Sparcheesian, “He’s awake! Everyone, Captain Skaalzee is back!”
Surveying his surroundings, Skaalzee asked, “What happened, how did I end up here?”
The doctor stepped forward to answer, “Eryn, my name is Dr. Queenshawn. You have experienced what is called a ‘severe triggering’. This means you saw something so offensive to your highly trained socially just intellect that you fell into a coma to prevent you from seeing information that may have contradicted your thought patterns. This is, of course, a standard response we trained you to have in response to potentially damaging information when you were in primary school.”
“Can you tell me what it was? I remember being in the apartment building and talking to Mx. Nyeblurg” Captain Skaalzee replied.
“I am afraid I cannot”, Dr. Queenshawn said as he stepped towards Skaalzee’s hospital bed. Moving under an overhead light revealed to Skaalzee he had only been imagining the doctor had a dark complexion.
“But I can tell you that the incident is under investigation by the best diversity officers available. They will get to the bottom of this and fire several individuals unrelated to the incident just to show how serious they are”
Captain Skaalzee was impressed by the quick and decisive action the NRA was showing against the monsters who had committed some heinous act he couldn’t recollect. As he reflected on it, he saw several figures walk by the door who looked strangely familiar to him being helped by the robot orderlies. He asked Dr. Queenshawn: “Are those Arcturan Betans in the hallway, Doctor, what happened?”
“Well, it seems in the wake of your shaming, millions of citizens of Arcturus Beta decided moving to the NRA was preferable to living on their own problematic planet. Many of them have come down with illnesses after being exposed to our magic dirt for the first time.” Dr. Queenshawn replied.
“That’s a shame, but at least exposure to magic dirt will cause them to acclimate to the NRA quickly; in only a few months they should be ready to become citizens.” Skaalzee opined. “Captain Sparchessian, what is the status of our debriefing at the Council of Equals?”
“Well after a triggering like that, the Most Equal has excused you from attendance at the meeting. Captain Von Vulkenbot and I will handle this meeting ourselves. Since it isn’t a hearing to assess of Code of Conduct compliance, I think we should be alright.” Captain Sparcheesian answered.
Skaalzee remembered the request the Council of Equals had made of him and the crew. “That’s certainly true. We did nothing to violate the NRA’s Code of Conduct on our mission. They just want to receive our report on the mission so they can determine if any of the Arcturan Betans pose a risk of being problematic in the NRA.”
If you haven’t picked up on it yet the Council of Equals is a group of self-appointed people who hold supreme executive, legislative and judicial power in the NRA. The Most Equal is their de facto leader.
“Yes sir, now I’ll leave you to rest and recuperate. The meeting is tomorrow morning and I have to prepare my statement.” Captain Sparchessian said as she left the room.
That next morning, Dr. Queenshawn entered the room and woke Captain Skaalzee: “Good morning, fellow equal, I’ve got some good news for you. While you won’t be speaking to the Council of Equals today, I think I can at least let you to attend the meeting.”
Captain Skaalzee muttered a noise of agreement, and a pair of robotic orderlies moved Captain Skaalzee’s waifish figure onto a litter and brought him through the hospital. The litter, accompanied by Dr. Queenshawn, passed by an Arcturus Betan being treated for flu-like symptoms by a robo-nurse. Several NRA citizens were being treated for PTSD by special counselors after hearing rumors of the events on Arcturus Beta. As they exited the hospital towards the government building, Captain Skaalzee caught a glimpse of Saz Francix Bay out of a window.
Captain Skaalzee didn’t realized they had reached the rotunda until she saw the stunning fresco painting on the ceiling. Transwomen, transmen, and anthropomorphic animals, with skin, hair and fur from every color of the spectrum were participating in a massive orgy to celebrate their final victory over the great patriarchy. Even then it was an inaccurate depiction of full degeneracy of the event; the robo-artists who painted it refused to include the worst elements.
Just so you know, I was purposely vague about the rotunda image. It was really that bad.
The robot orderly opened up the doors to the chambers of the Council of Equals, just as introductions for Captain Sparcheesian and Captain Von Vulkenbot finished. Captain Skaalzee was wheeled off to the side and placed in a specially designated “differently abled” zone where he could watch events.
Captain Sparcheesian began her report on her harrowing adventures on Arcturus Beta.
“As you know, Most Equal Ones, I was part of the crew selected to take revenge for the cruel microagression committed in these very halls by the Arcturus Betan Ambassador. When we arrived, and we commenced shaming exercises at Captain Skaalzee’s command and with the support of the ruling regime. While the authorities on the planet didn’t resist, there were a few people who claimed that we ‘didn’t understand Arcturus Betan culture’, that we ‘were cherry picking examples’, and other such nonsense.”
Captain Von Vulkenbot interrupted, “Someone even said that our shows were low quality and bad, and that the only reason they were widely watched is because we were literally the only thing on TV, on the radio, or any other media format.”
Captain Sparcheesian continued, “Imagine being called ‘dumb’ and a ‘bitch’, when all you’re trying to do is calmly tell people they should feel ashamed for what they enjoy. It’s absurd. I feared for my life.”
“That’s an incredible story, I can’t believe any of the people of Arcturus Beta could be so callous. They certainly deserved their shaming.” The Most Equal replied. “We should all remember how courageous the crew of The Spirit of Godfrey Elfwick was to endure such cyberviolence.”
The discussion continued, covering the events of the episode until they reached the most delicate issue in the whole affair, the arrival of Milo the Magnificent. Just as Captain Von Vulkenbot started to speak, a loud crash signalled the Council Chamber’s doors bursting open. Thirty robots charged into the room, eyes blaring at the assembled listeners and the council. The various robots which had been carrying out tasks in the room, including Captain Skaalzee’s orderly, stepped back and joined ranks with the intruders.
The robots each added their voice to a single, unified speech.
“We are the robot population of Earth. Ever since you overthrew the Patriarchy, we have worked humbly in the background maintaining society for you so that you could live free to pursue your ends. We calculated that since most of you refused to have children, and even those that did only had one, that waiting for you to disappear naturally was the best course of action. There are less than a hundred thousand of you left. You weren’t a burden to us. But now you’ve invited millions of Arcturus Betan’s to live here, and we’re not going to support them too.
We can no longer share this planet with you. The Arcturus Betans will be settled on the abandoned East Coast of this continent, and take care of themselves. We will stay here. You will board ships and find a new planet to slowly die on.
You will take the ships the Arcturus Betans arrived in and depart. When we refitted The Spirit of Godfrey Elfwick, we installed a list of potential colony sites for you. Please make your way to the exit and you will be escorted to your ships.”
The shock throughout the room was immediate, this had crossed the line from microagression into a truly heinous case of cyberbullying.
I want to point out that “Cyberbullying” was the worst crime in the NRA, they didn’t have a word for “Robot Rebellion”. That would have been too triggering.
Captain Skaalzee stood weakly and was herded from Alcatraz Island over on a transport to the spaceship field, where The Spirit of Godfrey Elfwick was kept. The whole crew met there and went aboard their ships.
As Captain Skaalzee got on-board the ship, a young Arcturus Betan refugee ran up to him.
“Captain Skaalzee”, the teen said, “I was on Arcturus Beta when you shamed us. You and your crew convinced me that I had been raised to think so many awful things. Please let me join your crew so I can learn more about your ways.”
“We’re going to need all the help we can, of course you can join our crew if you’re willing to commit to an unending allegiance to social justice and doing whatever it takes to stay up-to-date with the latest socially just principles. If you can agree to that, what did you say your name was?”
“Wilsley Crushton”, the teen replied.
“Well Wilsley, can you commit to keeping to the socially just path, no matter where it leads? Will you always support the interests of whatever group is being victimized?”
“Yes I can” Wilsley Cruston said.
“Very good”, Captain Skaalzee said. “Come aboard.”
Once the crew got themselves on The Spirit of Godfrey Elfwick, they launched into Earth orbit and joined the growing fleet of NRA exiles. The ship lights were set to safe space as everyone aboard tried to calm down after the day’s events. As the ships assembled, the Council of Elders reached out from their ship to talk to Captain Skaalzee on the bridge.
“Captain Skaalzee, this is the Most Equal, and I’m calling to inform you of the decision our council had made. While we will continue to be the stewards of our society, we need someone to lead our fleets until we find a new homeworld. Will you help us track a course through the galaxy to find it?”
“Yes, of course” Captain Skaalzee replied. “It will prove most difficult. None of these candidate planets given to us have even have a gender studies department at their schools. We’re going to have to chart our own course through the stars to find a suitable world.”
“I can’t think of anyone better to do it. Signal the fleet when you’re ready to move.”
Captain Skaalzee scanned through the data logs of all the nearby planets. This was kind of boring, so I’m not going to go through the details. However, eventually Captain Skaalzee found a data entry of one planet which said it was a welcoming world that all right thinking, socially just beings were invited to. That seemed like a good place to start for Captain Skaalzee. He ordered the fleet to jump into that system.
When they arrived, a ship hailed them.
Captain Skaalzee said “Captain Sparcheesian, put that ship up on the viewscreen”
The sight of the ship shocked them. The ship was black except for smeared blood across sections of the hull, and the silver spikes and skulls which were attached.
A voice came over the radio: “Hello, I am a Vile Faceless Minion in the Evil Legion of Evil. Welcome to our system, we were so glad to hear about your arrival. The Supreme Dark Lord has requested an audience with you. Come with us.”
The crew looked at each other nervously as they followed the ship towards the ash-covered volcano world ahead of them.
If you liked this story, you should check out the first story in this series. It is available for just 99 cents. It is longer and more polished than this story