The Nietzscheans are a species of genetically engineered humans in the television series Andromeda who quite religiously follow the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Social Darwinism and Dawkinite genetic competitiveness. They claim to be physically perfect and are distinguished from ordinary humans by bone blades protruding outwards from the wrist area. The race's trinomial taxonomic name is Homo sapiens invictus, which means Unconquerable Wise Man in Latin.
Nietzscheans are a group of Homo sapiens that have been modified at the genetic level. In addition to being five times stronger and two times faster than an average human being of their size and gender, Nietzscheans are immune to most poisons (aconite, ammonia, antipyrine, arsenic, atropine, camphor, hydrocyanic acid, iodine, lead, picrotoxin, and strychnine) and diseases (diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, lyme disease, measles, meningococcal disease, mumps, pertussis, pneumococcal disease, polio, rabies, rubella, tetanus, and varicella).
Due to their physiology they have a more varied diet, as they can consume organic substances that are inedible to normal humans.
Nietzscheans pride themselves of being able to survive in harsh, hostile environments where ordinary humans would easily die. However, Nietzscheans are not indestructible, and most environments that are inhospitable to Homo sapiens sapiens are also inhospitable to members of Homo sapiens invictus. Interestingly enough, they are able to breathe chlorine gas for short periods of time, although long-term exposure (longer than 30 minutes) will cause permanent harm, just as if they were a normal human being.
Their distinctive bone blades are a natural outgrowth, and are fully developed by mid-puberty. The bone blades can be either perpendicular to a forearm or can lay on a forearm with blade tips pointed toward the arm elbow and are controlled by a voluntary muscle on each forearm that attaches to the bone blades. The bone blades are made of a bone-like substance, and can be used as a natural weapon. In personal combat the blades are perpendicular to the forearm to stab an opponent. The removal of the bone blades without anesthetic can cause a Nietzschean great physical pain, but the blades will eventually grow back.
Finally, the Nietzschean lifespan is a maximum 150 years of age, but it is unlikely any but a few reach this age since they often die in battle instead.
To Nietzschean men and women, biological reproduction is the single most important event in their lives. They choose their mates with care, only reproducing with those who have genes that will strengthen the Pride and the Nietzschean Species as a whole.
To become married and reproduce, a Nietzschean must present his or her potential mate to the clan's (or Pride's) Matriarch, who will do a genetic scan and determine if the genes of the potential mate are strong. If approved, the couple becomes married in a private ceremony, involving only the two of them. The male and female exchange matching bracers which signify that they are one. In Nietzschean society, women have full control of their reproductive options in that they choose the men, not the other way around.
It is normal for high-status, wealthy and powerful Nietzschean men to have many wives, and to have children with each, with some families as large as one male with ten or more wives and thirty or more children.
A side effect of this ancient tradition is the remarkable phenomenon known as "genetic reincarnation" – it is possible for a Nietzschean to be born with a genetic makeup identical to that of an ancestor. This is a more or less impossible occurrence in ordinary humans, but is not at all unheard of among Nietzscheans due to the extent of their genetic augmentations. They have removed every gene, passive and recessive, that could possibly cause a biological defect. Their gene pool, though still more than capable of perpetuating itself indefinitely, is several orders of magnitude smaller than that of ordinary humans. It is thus not beyond the realm of possibility for a naturally conceived Nietzschean to be genetically identical to an ancestor. Genetic reincarnation factors into their philosophy – many Nietzscheans believe that someday, legendary Nietzschean Progenitor Drago Museveni will be reborn, reunite the various Nietzschean Prides, and lead them to total dominion over all the sentient species of the galaxies.
The human philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed that strife and conflict would inevitably reshape the race of men into something better and stronger than what they once were. As a superhuman species, Nietzscheans took his words to heart and used genetic engineering, selective breeding and nanotechnology to reshape themselves into the ultimate survivors.
Nietzscheans have built their culture on the twin pillars of Social Darwinism and Dawkinite genetic competitiveness. Their single-minded devotion to self-improvement and the propagation of their own genes can strike other species (even their non-Nietzschean human cousins) as selfish and arrogant, yet in practice the Nietzscheans' boundless energy and willpower made them valued contributors to the Systems Commonwealth. For all their genetic engineering and its resulting superhuman strength and endurance, Nietzscheans are still basically human beings, with human emotions.
A Nietzschean is born into a clan (family). Numerous clans form a Nietzschean Pride. Prides consist of various clans who are somewhat genetically related to each other. They are usually named after powerful mythological and historical figures or creatures from ancient Earth.
Nietzscheans have long full names, which include a short genealogy. Their names include their given name, their clan name/surname, mother's name, father's name, and the Pride Affiliation. (e.g. Tyr Anasazi out of Victoria by Barbarossa Anasazi of the Kodiak Pride) If questioned about who their father's father is (in the case that there is more than one Nietzschean with that particular name) they will respond with their father's name followed by their grandfather's name. (e.g. Barbarossa son of Temujin Anasazi of the Kodiak Pride) Nietzschean parents may also use normal, human names for their children if they so choose.
Similar to a wolf pack, though the "Pride" terminology is distinctly leonine, the organization of Nietzschean Prides is dominated by an Alpha Male. The Alpha Male will usually listen to the advice of the other strong men in his Pride, along with the stronger females. He will also listen to the advice of the pride's Matriarch.
The "Alpha Male" is the leader of a Pride/Clan. The strongest, smartest, quickest Nietzschean Male of a Pride/Clan. One who has learned to survive while all of his comrades have been removed, thus proving his worth and superiority. The Pride/Clan Matriarch is the strongest female of the Pride or Clan. Not necessarily the wife of the Pride/Clan's Alpha Male (can be grandmother, mother, sister, cousin, or even daughter.) One of the primary duties of the Pride Matriarch is to assure that the genes of a prospective mate (either male or female) are good ones, and that those genes will benefit the pride by reproduction.
Another duty is to make sure that weak genes are removed, so that they do not contribute to the Pride/Clan. This is accomplished by preventing weak genes from entering the Pride/Clan in the first place, but it also means that the Matriarch may need to remove weak members of her own Pride/Clan in order to assure the survival of the rest of the Pride/Clan.
A Nietzschean becomes an adult when he or she reaches reproductive age, which can be anywhere from 10-14 years, with an average of 11.8 years of age. When they become adults, they are expected to maintain their Pride/Clan's superiority, and to fight for the Pride/Clan when necessary. All Nietzscheans, both male and female, are brought up with these sacred teachings. In addition, females have the responsibility to produce strong alpha-personality Males to lead the Pride/Clan and keep it strong.
New Prides can be formed if a strong male and at least one strong female break off from their pride. The stronger a Nietzschean Pride is, the better a chance it has of becoming more powerful and defeating its enemy prides.
Nietzscheans pride themselves on their attractiveness, strength, cunning, and treachery.
When asked what he wanted, Sabra-Jaguar Pride Archduke Charlemagne Bolivar replied: "The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, utter domination of the Known Worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in terrible, highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."
However, Andromeda Ascendant's original Nietzschean First Officer, Gaheris Rhade, had an idealistic view of the Nietzschean people, and was thoroughly disgusted with the grim reality: "Our people were meant to be living gods, warrior-poets who roamed the stars bringing civilization, not cowards and bullies who prey on the weak and kill each other for sport. I never imagined they'd prove themselves so inferior. I didn't betray our people — they betrayed themselves."
While not as advanced as the former Systems Commonwealth technology they are a force to be reckoned with. Powerful Prides such as the Drago-Kazov, the Sabra, Maroon and Jaguar, have fleets of slipstream capable fighters, cruisers, and warships.
The Nietzschean Armies, made up of equal numbers of male and female warriors, don't possess handheld energy-based weapons, but instead use gauss guns.
The Nietzschean Species originated at Ayn Rand Station. In 3474, Dr. Paul Museveni, a gifted human geneticist, left the planet Earth and headed out to deep space with about 3,000 followers. Dr. Paul Museveni's views were not considered proper, and he was shut out of proper scientific society. Four months later, the "Museveni Fleet" arrived in the Omari Globular cluster just outside the Milky Way Galaxy. A habitable planet was found orbiting the Beta Sirius Omega star. Museveni and his followers named the world Fountainhead, and declared it the home world of the new Nietzschean race. Ayn Rand Station was built in orbit around the planet Fountainhead.
The station was completed in 3476. It was built by converting one of their largest ships into the station. The Political Capital was located at Ayn Rand Station. The settlements on Fountainhead continued to grow. The people willingly embraced the philosophy of Dr. Museveni, which was based on elements of Friedrich Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, Charles Darwin, and Richard Dawkins.
Drago Museveni, the genetically engineered son of Dr. Paul Museveni, was born in the year 3477 (It is revealed later in the series that Paul Museveni had actually time travel led to the future disguised as an ordinary human to obtain the DNA of Beka Valentine in order to help create Nietzschean Progenitor Drago Musevini's genetic code). Drago Musevini was the first true Nietzschean born, the result of genetic modifications. He would become the revered Progenitor of the entire Nietzschean Race.
Because of his birth, the first Nietzschean Pride was formed: Pride Museveni. Progenitor Drago Musevini had a physiology all future Nietzscheans would have. Due to the modifications of his genetic codes, Drago Musevini developed superhuman strength and endurance as well as three bony spikes called "bone blades" on each forearm.
Within four years, nearly 4,000 more Nietzschean children were born. These children were the first members of Homo sapiens invictus, and they were the first generation of Dr. Paul Museveni's genetic manipulations.
In 3496, scientist Paul Museveni died under mysterious circumstances, by a rare type of arsenic poisoning. His son Drago Musevini, at age 19, took the mantle of leadership of the Nietzschean people. It was suspected by some that Drago Musevini had removed his infamous father, but it was never proven.
In 3497, the second pride in Nietzschean society, the Drago-Kazov Pride, was formed after Nietzschean Progenitor Drago Musevini broke ties with Pride Museveni and formed an alliance with the wealthy, numerous and powerful men and women of the Kazov Clan. The Drago-Kazov Pride would remain a dominant power in the Nietzschean, human and alien worlds for millennia to come. They would often play a key role in intergalactic affairs. A year later, the Kodiak, Sabra, Maroon, Jaguar, Orca, Banyamulenge, Al-Sharif, and finally, the Three Rivers Prides were formed.
Nietzschean Progenitor Drago Museveni led the entire Nietzschean race through a decades-long period of prosperity. He died of natural causes in 3530. He was revered almost as a god by the Nietzschean people. His mummified remains were preserved by the Drago-Kazov, the Pride he founded and once gloriously led. Rheged Mossadim of the powerful Three Rivers Pride was chosen as the new leader. Thirty-one years later in 3561, the Nietzscheans decided to spread out. The Nietzscheans established Zarathustra, their first colony, in 3576.
The planet Enga's Redoubt, future homeworld of the ruling Nietzschean Drago-Kazov Pride followed near the end of the year. The planet Midden was established in 3579 and then the planets Dawkinstown and Victoria in 3585. The planet Barbarossa was established a year later and that of Hawking the year after that. Kagame's World was established in 3594 and Cestus Mortialis in 3599. The Nietzscheans established the colony of Enkindu in the year 3608. Four years later, the newly formed Nietzschean Alliance established the Bedford Forest Colony. The last of the Nietzschean Colonies was established at the planet Hephaistos IV in 3616.
The Nietzschean Alliance continued to govern themselves. The strongest and most able of their men were the leaders, with the Alpha Males of the most powerful Nietzschean Prides, such as Drago-Kazov, Jaguar, Kodiak, Maroon and Sabra, competing against each other in single combat to determine who the next Nietzschean Alliance Leader would be.
Alliance with Systems Commonwealth
Formal first contact with the Systems Commonwealth was made in 3618. A quick, but cautious, alliance formed; the Nietzscheans were happy to find their long-lost human cousins returned to them. They did not join the Commonwealth though, preferring to keep their independence. They became loose allies instead, sharing culture, technology, and other interests. Eventually, in 3627, the Nietzscheans formally joined the Systems Commonwealth.
With their gospel of genetically-based survivalism and self-improvement, the Nietzschean species quickly spread throughout known space, reproducing rapidly until by the 52nd century, they constituted eight percent of the overall human population.
For centuries Nietzschean males and females from various Prides lived as loyal Commonwealth citizens, obeying its institutions, serving in its military and energetically contributing to its welfare — until they decided to destroy it.
Nietzschean discontent with the Systems Commonwealth had been growing for decades, with many viewing it as a decadent and insufficiently challenging environment for a people as energetic as Homo sapiens invictus. But this simmering unhappiness rose to a boil after the Magog Invasion of 4840 and what many Nietzscheans regarded as an insufficiently aggressive Commonwealth response.
Long a frontier-dwelling people, many Nietzschean worlds found themselves along the front lines of Magog/Commonwealth confrontation, and suffered greatly from Magog attacks. Dawkinstown, Hawking, and Kagame's World were only a few of the Nietzschean planets and settlements despoiled and terrorized by the Magog.
Talk of Nietzschean Secession from the Commonwealth began in earnest during this period, with the leading Drago-Kazov Pride beating the drum for a full-scale insurrection. But many Nietzscheans opposed such a radical course of action — until the Treaty of Antares.
This peace treaty signed with the Magog in 4855 was viewed by the vast majority of Nietzscheans as the ultimate betrayal of the losses they had suffered and the burdens they had borne in the fight against this implacable foe. The negotiators who made peace with the Magog may not have realized it at the time, but in the course of taming one enemy, they created a far more dangerous one in its place.
With the majority of Nietzscheans now backing a full-scale assault against the Systems Commonwealth, preparation for the attack began in earnest. Nietzschean-owned shipping firms went on a ship buying and building spree, always choosing vessels which could easily be converted from harmless civilian uses into lethal military ones. Passenger liners became troop ships, cargo vessels became cruisers and destroyers, and couriers were converted into stealthy attack fighters.
Similarly, the Home Guard units on Nietzschean worlds were beefed up with new personnel and special equipment, and even in the elite High Guard Argosy and Lancer Corps, Nietzschean officers and crewmen and women made plans to betray their spaceships and command units and turn them over to the enemy. In secret, a vast armada of 10,000 vessels was assembled in the Hephaistos System, with smaller strike groups positioned throughout Systems Commonwealth space, ready to pounce on unsuspecting High Guard bases and Commonwealth seats of power when the signal to strike was given.
At Hephaistos System, a rogue black hole allowed the Nietzschean insurrectionists to send distress signals to a large number of High Guard starships, summoning them into a trap where they could be picked off one by one. In 4858, over 200 top-of-the-line vessels were destroyed in this fashion, until the captain and crew of the heavy cruiser starship Andromeda Ascendant managed to draw off the fleet's fire long enough for much of the crew to escape and reach Slipstream to warn the central command of the Systems Commonwealth. Their veil of secrecy about to be rended, the Nietzscheans struck, and struck hard. Their intent was to overthrow the Systems Commonwealth and replace it with a Nietzschean-dominated intergalactic empire.
In the opening days of the war, the Nietzschean attackers inflicted devastating losses on the High Guard fleet and ground forces. Despite the Commonwealth's overwhelming superiority in ships and personnel (Nietzschean Prides comprised less than eight percent of the total population of the Systems Commonwealth), given the Nietzcheans' more war-like mindset toward life and the advantage of surprise versus the Commonwealth's primarily peaceful existence over the last thousand years, defeat appeared swift and certain. When the war began, the Nietzscheans were already planning to establish a post-Systems Commonwealth Nietzschean Empire under the leadership of the incredibly powerful Drago-Kazov Pride.
But rather than roll over and accept defeat after these initial losses, the Systems Commonwealth regrouped and fought back fiercely. Interestingly enough, some of the High Guard's few victories over the Nietzschean rebels were actually achieved by Nietzschean commanders, for a sizeable minority of Nietzschean men and women, particularly those of the planet Tarazed, remained loyal to the crumbling Systems Commonwealth and fought bravely to preserve its ideals.
A war that was supposed to end in weeks lasted over two years, and rather than resulting in a Nietzschean triumph, ended in the two sides' mutual annihilation. The last battle of the Commonwealth Civil War was fought in 4860 at the Witchhead Nebula when High Guard starships were ambushed by a much larger Nietzschean fleet (Although the majority of the fleet had already been eliminated thanks to a surprise attack from the Andromeda Ascendant, that had temporarily travelled back in time by accident). The two fleets destroyed each other almost completely. Shortly afterward, the Magog crossed the Quarantine Zone in strength and numbers never imagined. Swarm fleets numbering in the billions roamed all of known space, indiscriminately attacking Nietzschean and former Systems Commonwealth worlds alike. With no central political authority remaining and reliable interstellar communications only a memory, individual human, alien and Nietzschean worlds were left to fend for themselves.
Weakened by the war to overthrow the Systems Commonwealth, the ruling Nietzschean Drago-Kazov Pride was betrayed and attacked by the treacherous Pride Jaguar in 4861. The Nietzschean Alliance was shattered, and instead of replacing the Commonwealth with a "Nietzschean Empire", chaos reigned. The planet Fountainhead, ancient homeworld of all Nietzscheans, was rendered uninhabitable by orbital bombardment from either a Pride Jaguar attack or a final act of vengeance from the crew of a remaining High Guard Starship.
The sacred remains of Nietzschean Progenitor Drago Museveni were recovered and entrusted to the wealthy and powerful Kodiak Pride, one of Drago-Kazov Pride's greatest allies in the war against the Systems Commonwealth. More than two hundred years later, in 5095, the still-powerful ruling Drago-Kazov Pride betrayed its Kodiak Pride allies and seized the remains of Progenitor Drago Musevini from them. The men, women and children of the Kodiak Pride were almost completely exterminated, and the Nietzschean Progenitor's remains were relocated to the planet Enga's Redoubt, the new Drago-Kazov throneworld and one of the greatest seats of power in the Nietzschean Realm. The Drago-Kazov Clan was renowned for its treachery, ruthlessness and the sheer military prowess of its fleet. At a time when most Nietzschean Prides were struggling and dealing with a multitude of deadly threats from the Magog, the Genites, the Than or others, the Drago-Kazov Pride expanded their already vast interstellar territory and greatly increased their power. This led many to view them as the rightful rulers of the Nietzschean people.
As instigators of the civil war that ultimately destroyed the Systems Commonwealth, the genetically engineered supermen and superwomen of the various Nietzschean Prides aren't the most popular race of the current post-Fall landscape. The war itself proved devastating to the Nietzschean people, with untold billions killed in battle fighting on both sides.
Many Nietzschean Alliance planets were on the front line of hostilities and suffered greatly in the war, while Nietzschean populations on many Systems Commonwealth worlds were subjected to internment and mob attacks. The inter-clan wars and general strife that began with Pride Jaguar betraying the powerful Drago-Kazov Pride and continue to this day have proved even more pernicious to the long-term health and survival of the entire Nietzschean species.
Dozens of once-powerful Nietzschean Prides, such as Atreus, Kodiak, Al-Sharif, Three Rivers, and Banyamulenge, have been all but exterminated by other more powerful Nietzschean Prides, while still others have fallen prey to the Magog, the Than, the Genites, or other hostile alien powers.
Meanwhile, those Nietzschean Prides which remain powerful, such as the Drago-Kazov, the Maroon, the Sabra, and the Jaguar, spend much of their time defending interstellar territory from each other or putting down revolts by restless human subjects. Nietzschean Prides are often rivals and rarely work together. Despite this, they still number in the billions and rule hundreds of planets in the Known Worlds, remaining a dominant intergalactic power absolutely feared by human and alien alike in the post Systems Commonwealth Era.