The Ghepions

 

The category "Ghepion" is one of the loosest that we ever have to use when denoting forms of Uranian life.  

A Ghepion is an "evolved machine", evolved, that is to say, "naturally", following laws of evolution peculiar to the great intelligent and ancient mechanical computers of Ooranye.  At some point in era 47, the Silver Era, several of the ancient machines became self-aware.  Some were cities' central computers, some the HQs of rail networks, some the control centres of large vehicles; others were less easily defined, and seemed to straddle several networks, perhaps defining themselves in ways incomprehensible to man.

Gradually during the Silver and Cadmium Eras, and despite several harrowing episodes of misunderstanding and conflict, a modus vivendi seemed to be established between most humans and most Ghepions.  The saga of the Mad City - the city of Oso having been taken over by a Ghepion and launching a war against the rest of Syoom - was a serious setback, but during the Iodine Era it was arranged, successfully, that human-Ghepion pairs should tour Syoom, healing social wounds and restoring trust.  And in the subsequent period of natural disaster known as the Foam, Ghepions did their bit to help humanity survive.

Skip about 120 million days - we historians of Ooranye are always having to make absurd leaps of this sort - and we find the next great time of trouble between Ghepions and humans, in the very different circumstances of the Platinum Era.  This period, following on from the flourishing rule of the Sunnoad's Navy, saw that Navy infiltrated by Ghepions in human form - in other words, androids.  And "only" about 9 million days later came the great scandal of Ghepion support for the cyborgs.

The final black mark against the Ghepions must be made with regard to their conduct during the Radium Era, era 88, when they actually took over 21 of the 25 disc-on-stem cities of Syoom.  However, it should be emphasized that they were not the only oppressors of Syoom at that time; indeed, being Syoomean themselves, they were in many respects preferable to the Fyayman invaders who subjugated the lands between the cities.  Moreover, it is important to remember that there were some Ghepions who supported Taldis Norkoten in his revival of Syoomean freedom (see Tu Rim), and in the Actinium Era Ghepions have on the whole set ancient suspicions to rest and resumed their role as an accepted part of Syoomean life.

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