This really isn’t so much of a complete story idea as a mishmash of ideas I’ve been inspired by lately that has enough visual stability to stay in my mind and has enough differentiation to not be totally fanfiction, so pie-in-the-sky hope is I could make something publishable out of it. Not sure yet though, and I’ve got plenty to work on as it is.
So let’s get this all down on digital paper.
Inspirations: Playing through Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise on PS4 lately and going a little deeper into the franchise. Ideas for a game I once had about psychic alien diplomacy. The current national discourse on climate change. Thoughts on digital assistants. Discussions with family and friends about writing and its intersections with psychology.
Setting: Earth, at least 70 years into the future. Semi-apocalyptic because climate chaos has turned the equator into unfarmable desert, raised the sea level around the world, and battered the remaining land with storms. Lots of refugees, diminishing farmland, mass civilization breaks down and creates a gap between remaining civilized centers and vast swaths of swampy ruins inhabited by refugees, nomads, and bandits. Technology advances have survived but are severely reduced outside of the northern city centers due to lost manufacturing centers. Tech found mostly in the form of cybernetic implants that people can quickly and easily embed into their craniums or limbs, also carrying limited AI (by sci-fi standards) that they give pet names (“Alexa”, “Jeeves”, etc.) that can enhance human abilities through exosuits or any number of weird augmentations.
Protagonist: A telepathic alien that has been exiled to a life sentence on this ruined planet that has all but lost its chance at becoming space-faring. Species is variation on classic “Gray” alien style (big eyes, bald head, no visible lips, three-fingered hands) but not emaciated and in a variety of pleasing skin tones, protagonist perhaps a nice green. (Think “Chaos” from Sonic Adventure 1 but as a physical being with green skin and big blue eyes.) Wears heavy rain-resistant gear to cover up and hide his identity from humans. Arrested, tried, and convicted for the crime of learning martial arts and domination techniques when the species is supposed to be a group of diplomatic pacifists with galactic responsibility. Honorable and accepted his sentence without protest. Speaks telepathically but can project his thoughts like a voice to hide his identity.
Plot: At the moment, little more than a series of encounters where our protagonist comes across groups of irredeemable bandits and raiders and uses his skills to pacify them in one strike, dominating them to become better, nicer people. (Perhaps with silly technique names as well, describing the way he alters their psychology.) This is treated as a severe mind/personality-death, and the protagonist only uses it if he would have no other option than a killing blow in any other situation. Basically only using mind-control like one would use a gun. Perhaps the main plot kicks off because he senses the presence of another telepathic being like himself, and that leads him to a big city that a bunch of refugees are trying to get into. Encountering bad guys along the way with implants and exosuits that make it more difficult for him to pacify. (Hey, I said a lot of these ideas came from video games, right?)
That’s about it. A PG-13-rated Fist of the North Star but with psychology instead of gore. It’s a mishmash of ideas that have been floating around for a while and might later end up used in other things, but I thought I might indulge myself just this once and actually show it to other people.
Probably not gonna make a habit of this.