Background, Premises, Setting, and Characters of Rats and Saps

The background and the setting serve as the backdrop of the storyline. The premises provide the logic of the story which should not be violated; otherwise, the nitpickers get a point for every inconsistency they find. The characters interact with each other while traversing the storyline. They can never get off it.

Background

An obscure reference to this story is made in Chapter 64 of Why Is Unit 142857 Sad? (or the Tin Man’s Heart). It is as follows:

The local robot colony had received reports over the QEB (Quantum Entanglement Box, a device that provides instantaneous communications over multi-lightyear distances) that another human species had appeared near the colony in Draco, of all places. Both human species lived on Draco.763.3b, but in different sectors of the planet. The robots reported that there did not appear to be any kind of sexual commingling between the two groups. Wherever there was competition between them for scarce resources on that impoverished world the new species seemed to beat out the old. The robots called the new species rationals since that seemed to be their dominant characteristic. Robots everywhere were amazed that rationality could have evolved spontaneously as a genetic mutation among biological entities. This tended to lend credence to theories of quantum evolution over theories of biological evolution. Originals differentiated the new species on the basis of skin color. The skin pigment of the new human species was indigo blue. The rationals pretty much stayed to themselves. Neither the originals nor their possessions seemed to hold any attraction for the rationals. The opposite was hardly the case. The originals proved to be intensely jealous of the rationals, their possessions, their successes, and their imperturbability. At first the originals tried to attack and ambush the rationals, but every time the rationals seemed to side-step them easily. Eventually the originals gave up their futile attempts and resigned themselves to second place. Nobody had the heart to tell the originals that they were not even close to being in second place.

Premises

  1. Competition between the Saps (Homo Sapiens) and the Rats (Rationals) will be similar to the competition between Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens.
    • colonialism
    • First contact between unequal civilizations almost always results in genocide.
    • technological progress causes environmental degradation
    • Neanderthals failed to adapt their hunting methods when climate changes occurred in Europe during the last Ice Age. They hunted only plant-eating animals.
    • Greater susceptibility to pathogens: greater mobility of populations also permits greater resistance to disease, which is why contact among geographically separated cultures often leads to extinction.
    • Neanderthals had no division of labor between sexes.  Both males and females participated in the hunt.
    • Because the limbs of Neanderthals were shorter and stockier, they couldn’t run as fast as HS (Homo Sapien) and expended 30% more energy than HS in running and walking. That would give HS a big advantage in battle.
    • Neanderthal pelvises couldn’t absorb shock as well as HS.
    • Because of a large bulge at the back of the skull, a more prominent projection around the elbow joint, and a narrow socket at the shoulder joint, Neanderthal could not throw spears as well as HS.
    • competitive advantage
  2. The attribute of rationality confers some evolutionary advantage to those who possess it over those who do not possess it.
  3. The reason why we are not inherently rational is hard-wired in our brains. That implies there must be some difference in the hard-wiring of a Rational brain.
  4. Characteristics of a Rational:
    • Diminished Reptilian Complex (cerebellum and brain stem) and Limbic System (amygdala and hippocampus) of the brain
    •      cerebellum: movement
    •      brain stem: Digestion, reproduction, circulation, breathing, and the execution of the “fight or flight” response in stress
    •      amygdala: association of events with emotion
    •      hippocampus: converting information into long-term memory and in memory recall
    •      Zic genes on chromosome 3 and other genes on chromosomes 6 and 7 affect the cerebellum.
    • 99.5% of HS genome (23,000 protein-coding genes but +3 billion nucleotide pairs, adenine-thymine and guanine-cytosine for DNA and adenine-uracil and guanine-cytosine for RNA)
    • Tall (7 feet) and slender; long necks. Looks like he was drawn by the left hand of God, starting with the large feet and ending with a slightly smaller head.
    • Behavior is motivated by rational conclusions (biologically committed to rationality), as opposed to HS who is capable of being rational but motivated by his emotions.
    • Verbal and Quantitative reasoning abilities; naturally able to quickly calculate or program any algorithm without having to resort to an artificial device.
    • Photographic recall.
    • Dimensional visualization (as opposed to merely spatial visualization); the ability to imagine, see, and remember in 11 dimensions.
    • Quicker Response Times:
    •      HS Vision: 150 ms; Rats: 100 ms
    •      HS Comparison: 190 ms; Rats: 150 ms
    •      HS Movement: 330 ms; Rats: 220 ms
    •      HS Error Correction: 470 ms; Rats: 400 ms
    • Indigo blue skins, eyes, and hair
    • Longer embryonic development: 12 months; easier birthing; longer childhood: 32 years; longer average life spans: 160 years
    • Non-deterministic behavior

Setting

  • Draco.763.3b: actually the larger of two moons revolving around a giant uninhabitable planet, Draco.763.3, which orbits around the distant blue giant star, Draco.763, in the dwarf galaxy Draco. Draco.763.3b was genesised (made inhabitable as in Genesis) by robots prior to human colonization. 
    • Size: earth1
    • Year: 4125 months
      • Winter: 1031.25 months
      • Spring: 1031.25 months
      • Summer: 1031.25 months
      • Fall: 1031.25 months
    • Month: 35 days
    • Day: 27 hours
  • Sector 84
    • weather: harsh winters, mostly snow and ice
    • geography: mountainous, caverns, craters
  • Sector 87
    • weather: milder winters, dry summers, mostly dust
    • geography: underground rivers and lakes
  • The Uncharted Areas?

Characters

  • Lem: Rat son of Evanor and Thort
  • Evanor: Sap mother of Lem
  • Yani: Rat wife of Lem
  • Raf: Rat son of Lem and Yani
  • Kera: Rat daughter of Lem and Yani
  • Thort: Sap father of Lem
  • Javid: Sap neighbor
  • Dorka: Javid’s Sap wife
  • Sangor: Javid’s and Dorka’s Sap son
  • Sirka: Sangor’s wife
  • Kivo: Sap father of Yani
  • Thana: Sap mother of Yani

The next post will show the storyline. After that, Chapter 1. Stay tuned!

Mike Stone, Ra’anana Israel

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Filed under about writing, Prose, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Stories and Novels

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