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Musings of a former GTI Great War Veteran.

FreeSpace 2, GTI, Mod
GTI Logo from the FreeSpace universe

Hi everyone! I wanted to share some of the writing I have created for Series Resurrecta, but at the same time I wanted to avoid spoilers. So, for now, I am sharing something that is similar enough to give you a 'flavour' but without spoiling your taste buds.

The piece below is something I wrote recently on the Hard Light Productions forums because of lockdown boredom. It is not officially part of any campaign or continuity, although it was created with the Blue Planet continuity in mind.

I should stress that Series Resurrecta is forging a different path, and will thus diverge significantly from the below.

See, spoilers averted :-)


"Why have both the military and civilian leaderships of the GTA kept so much of the intel they have on the Shivans hushed up? If they want to galvanise the people into supporting the ever-increasing militarisation of the GTA, then surely making the intel public would help to convince the people of how dire the threat truly was.

The establishment have blamed the GTI’s failed coup de tar for this, stating they simply have no information to share, since most of the GTI’s research went up in flames along with Jotunheim and the Hades.

But this is a lie.

I was there at the ‘Puzzle Palace’, and I know for a fact that at least some of the results were leaked to the top brass and the General Assembly before the coup started - after all, I’m the one who leaked them.

So, they have the intel, but they refuse to acknowledge this and make its findings public. Why?

Is it because they are afraid of what the people would do if they learnt the terrible truth about the Shivans? Is the establishment afraid of protests, accusations, looting, vandalism, hedonic excesses that would put the fall of Rome to shame?

No. The establishment’s simulations predicted all of these in the short term, and yet none of these concerns the establishment. They are prepared for these. They can deal with these. Leaders have been dealing with restless citizenries since the days of Babylon.

What terrified the establishment was what their simulations had predicted would come after. Something they were not prepared for. Something they could not deal with. What no leadership had faced before. They were not afraid of what the civilian population would do if the truth got out, they were afraid of what it wouldn’t.

They were afraid the populous wouldn’t do anything.

Have you ever met someone who has completely given up? Someone so consumed by ennui that they become incapable of doing anything at all? So utterly devoid of hope that they stop caring about themselves or anyone else?

I have. In my pre-coup days at the Puzzle Palace, I met too many to count. I remember the time when a senior GTI officer - after reading the sum total of the GTI’s intel on the Shivans - got up, walked to the nearest air-lock, and went for a little space walk - sans spacesuit.

That officer was my friend, and one of the sanest and most ‘put together’ people you ever could meet. He may have been the first, but he certainly wasn’t the last. Several other officers and researchers who had either read the report or had worked on the project ended up taking their own lives or lost themselves in drink, drugs or VR.

Pretty soon we started calling the report ‘The Suicide Script’. And this was happening to dispassionate intelligence officers and battle-hardened military personnel.

Now imagine this knowledge being shared with the soft-headed and emotionally incontinent public. How many mass suicides would there have been? How many people would have simply given up and found solace at the bottom of a bottle or at the tip of a needle? Think you can keep an economy and the military-industrial complex running with a workforce so afflicted? Of course not.

Sometimes ignorance truly is bliss.

The Vasudans are lucky, they don’t succumb to depression the way we do. They can mentally bounce back from anything. Their homeworld got glassed whereas ours was merely estranged, yet they have recovered far more quickly and far more comprehensively than we have. Their Emperor agreed to keep the truth about the Shivans hushed up for our benefit, not theirs.

Some people refer to those who grew up after the Great War as ‘The Lost Generation’. These people are wrong. Those who lived through The Great Shivan Extermination are those who became truly ‘lost’.

Yes, you heard that right, The Great Shivan Extermination. I refuse to call it ‘The Great War’, since a ‘war’ implies something approaching parity between the two sides. The T-V War was a war, since we and the Vasudans were pretty evenly matched - the war wouldn’t have gone on for fourteen years otherwise.

The ‘war’ with the Shivans was nothing like that. It was so hopelessly one-sided that even the combined forces of the then PVN and GTA didn’t stand a chance against them.

“But we won, we destroyed the Lucifer I hear you saying as you read this. You can keep on telling yourself that if it helps you sleep at night, but it ain’t the truth.

Do you know what allowed us to destroy the Lucifer? A fluke. A god-damn one-chance-in-a-million fluke.

Think about the chain of events that had to happen for us to be able to destroy that planet killer;

First, the Shivans had to attack the Vasuda system.

Then at least some refugees had to escape the system.

Then at least one group of said refugees had to get it into their heads that the best system to flee to was Altair, despite having to pass through both Alpha Centauri and Aldebaran to get there.

They then had to decide to land on the then unexplored Altair IV, and it just so happened that the spot they landed at was within walking distance of the then undiscovered Ancient ruins.

With this chance discovery we obtained conclusive evidence that the Ancients had in fact existed, that the Shivans extincted them 8000 years ago, and that in their eleventh hour the Ancients had discovered the Lucifer’s Achilles’ heel - that its shields did not work in subspace - but they no longer had the means to deliver the killing blow.

It also just so happened that the ruins the Vasudan refugees chanced upon were the ruins that contained examples of subspace tracking technology, the reverse engineering of which allowed us to track the Lucifer into subspace.

This allowed us to destroy the Lucifer not just at the eleventh hour, but at the eleventh hour and 59th minute - you know the Lucifer had actually started emerging from the jump node in Sol when it exploded, right, and that it was this that sealed the node?

Imagine if anything in that chain of events had happened differently. None of us would be alive now to have this 'conversation'.

We wouldn’t have been able to stop the Lucifer in normal space with the weapons we had back then, so Earth would have been glassed just like Vasuda Prime. Humanity and the Vasudans would have tried to survive, of course. Some would have continued fighting, others would have run like in that 20th and 21st-century sci-fi show that keeps getting reimagined every fifty years or so.

But all those efforts would have failed in the end. Just ask the Ancients.

The thing is, the Shivans could have wiped us out even without the Lucifer. It would have taken them longer, and they would have sustained more casualties, but neither of these is of any concern to the Shivans.

Their ships appear to grow their own crew - in real-time no less - so ‘manpower’ is a non-issue for them. It takes us humans eighteen years to grow and train a human from birth to combat-ready adulthood. It takes the Vasudans about fifteen years. A Shivan ship does it in thirty-five minutes. Think what this means in practice – functionally infinite ‘manpower’.

Worse yet, Shivans are ‘born’ combat-ready - they need no training. They need no food, water, beds or even a god-damn atmosphere either since they do not eat, drink, sleep or breathe.

Just what the hell are they exactly? It would be inaccurate to call them machines, but they are nothing like any life form we have ever encountered either. ‘Synthetic cybernetic lifeform’ is probably the closest description we have, but even that is thoroughly inadequate.

We are not entirely sure how they create their ships, but even if their mass production techniques are no better than ours their functionally infinite manpower means they will always win by attrition, especially when you consider how many of them there must be to start with.

You see, we have recently managed to detect some of their subspace communications. These appear to consist of quantum pulses, which is why we never detected them before - we simply lacked the technology back then to perceive them. Previously, we had been as unable to detect their coms as a caveman would have been unable to detect radio. We have no idea what they are saying, but we have estimated their origin. Want to know where that is?

Everywhere! Everywhere we point our sensors we detect Shivan subspace comms.

They may very well occupy most of the Milky Way. It seems the systems around GTA and PVN space are a Shivan-free ‘bubble’ in an entire galaxy of Shivans. This is why running would be no use - there is nowhere to run too.

What about other galaxies, could we escape to them? you may ask. Assuming we were able to discover a means of intergalactic travel this too would be useless - because the Shivans are there already too.

So, we can’t run, it's useless to fight and they know we are here, so it’s too late to hide. You can see now why our prospects for survival appear hopeless.

I have heard rumours that there was a GTI project which aimed to make communication with the Shivans possible, and that some of its technology and research survived the GTI rebellion. I have also heard rumours that at least one former GTI officer is picking up where the GTI left off. If the rumours are true, and if the work is successful, perhaps we can survive by allying ourselves with the Shivans? If the former GTI officer is who I suspect he is, then he is just-plain crazy enough to try.

However, I think he would have more luck contacting the Shivan’s ‘handlers’.

What do I mean by this? Remember what I said about destroying the Lucifer being a fluke? The chain of events needed for that to happen was so specific, and so well-timed, that the odds against it happening by chance were astronomical. So perhaps it wasn’t a fluke after all, perhaps it had been planned that way.

But planned by who, or what, and how?

If there was some guiding force behind the scenes pulling the strings, then this ‘something’ would need to be able to predict the future with near-perfect accuracy, and be able to covertly influence the thought process of Vasudans - and probably humans too - from a distance without being detected.

Presumably, they have little fear of Shivan reprisals either, since I doubt the Shivans would react too well if they discovered they had been ‘played’. Perhaps this 'entity' has the Shivans on a leash, and perhaps this is why the Shivans have not returned - yet.

I have heard a few whispers that some senior members of military intelligence are coming to this conclusion too, and are pinning their hopes of our survival as a species on this ‘entity’.

I’m less optimistic. If such an entity exists then I doubt it is truly benevolent. Presumably, 'It' could have intervened earlier to save Vasuda Prime too, but 'It' was either unable - or more likely, and more worryingly - unwilling to do so. Presumably, this holds true for the Ancients as well, likewise the countless other civilisations it has been theorised that the Shivans have erased over the aeons. If such an entity exists then its power must be as immense as its capriciousness.

I have no idea what this ‘entity’ might be, but I know the thought of ever encountering it scares me more than the Shivans do. Which is why I am now ensuring I never will…

I know… I have been rambling, and I’m sorry. I’m… riding high on a cocktail of prescription drugs and booze… so my mind is wandering. Turns out… I’m… not as brave as my old GTI friend was. Seems I haven’t the guts to go on my own little spacewalk stone-cold-sober, but I think I’m ready now…"

‘Suicide note’ recording of a senior ranking GTVA Military Intelligence officer – exact date, name and rank redacted. Approximate date circa 2336-2338


I hope you enjoyed reading this. Apologies if you found it a little too dark, and for the twist ending. Don't worry, my work with Series Resurrecta is far more optimistic.

Image Attribution

Iain is a 40+ author and gamer from England, who started his gaming journey on the Atari 2600 36 years ago. His specialities include obscure cult classics, retro games, mods and fan remakes. He hates all sports games and is allergic to online multiplayer. Since he is British, his body is about 60% tea. He can be reached via Twitter at, and contacted via email at

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