Out of Death Was I Born...

The Blake's 7 crew in a Sime~Gen universe

It all began with a typo.

  On Sun, 4 Jan 1998 13:47:08 +1100 Kathryn A wrote:
  On Sat, Jan 03, 1998 at 07:32:31PM +0000, Patrick Bean wrote:
  > On Sat  3 Jan 98 (19:34:36 +0100), blakes7-d-request@lysator.liu.se
  > wrote:
  > > Has anyone considered that Tarrant may not have known about all
  > > the  wealth on board the Liberator?
  > No, Avon told him about them in 'power play'. After Tarrant killed
  > 'Harman', Avon took a bag of gens off of him.
  A whole bag of Gens?  Maybe they were Liliputian Gens.
  And to think, Avon and Tarrant were secretly Simes all this time!
  Hmmm, puts another slant on that "kiss of death" don't it?

This provoked a bunch of speculation about whether each of the characters would be Sime or Gen, and how things would all fit in if the Federation was a Sime~Gen universe. The main participants were Meredith Dixon (MD) and Kathryn A (KA). This is what came out of it.

would be a gen, a Companion, probably of the Distect style.

When Blake gets worked up about something he influences the ambient nager on the Liberator. This is why Avon keeps feeling that Blake is manipulating them...he is. Whether he's doing so consciously or unconsciously can be decided by your interpretation of Blake. (MD)

Avon would be Sime.

Avon, of course, is attracted to Blake as a transfer partner; they're probably closely matched. Which accounts for their whole interdependence and Avon's ambivalence towards Blake; he doesn't want to be dependent on Blake, but he is. (KA)

Unclear whether she is a Sime or Gen. Her attraction to Blake could be due to sexual desire or desire for Blake as a transfer partner, thus setting her up as a rival for Avon. Or she could be Gen, contributing to the stability of the first-season crew.
Is a sime who was born of Gen parents, hence his low self-esteem and dislike of violence. It only makes sense for him to be a Sime otherwise he couldn't be as good a thief as he is.
With her quick and graceful ways, not to mention her uncanny abilities, Cally must be a strong Channel, trained in the "gypsy" (Auron) ways.
Is a gen - he has the build, the emotional stability, and the caring nature needed in a good Donor.
Is a sime.
Is probably a sime.
Is a Sime, who prefers choice kills over channel-given Selyn.
Travis I definitely feels like a Sime, but I'm not so sure about Travis II. Of course, if Travis was Sime, then losing his arm would probably have killed him, since he wouldn't be able to take transfer very easily with only one arm. (KA)
Crew dynamics:
If Avon, Cally, and Vila are Simes and Blake, Jenna and Gan are Gens, we have a stable first and second-season interaction. Orac doesn't affect the equation, but Gan's death certainly does.

At the start of the third season, we still have Avon, Cally and Vila, and they're joined by Tarrant and Dayna. Tarrant's a Sime, and I'd assume that weapons-specialist Dayna is also. And naturally Soolin is, too. This in itself goes a long way toward explaining the difference between the first two seasons and the second two...first and second season, they're a balanced set of transfer partners; third and fourth seasons they're a hunting pack of Sime raiders. (MD)

When Cally died, the situation became less stable, because they'd lost their one strong Channel, so they did have to raid. (KA)

The Federation:
I don't think a Sime~Gen Federation would be like the Tecton; perhaps one reason why the Federation is into conquering is the neverending search for more Gens... (Yes, assumption that planets had been settled by Simes and Gens, not by Ancients) Some planets could well be Gen enclaves, but the Federation would be Sime-dominated.

There would obviously have to be a Channel distribution system in place, or the Federation would have succumbed to Zelerod's Doom long ago, but I expect that killing isn't illegal either. It's just really really expensive. Choice kills. Ohnj Verlis probably didn't (just) deal in slaves, but in Gens. Gen relatives of deserters would not be sent to the slave pits, they would be sent to the Gen pits; not for death, but to be milked by the government Channels until they died. Gens would be second-class citizens, but I don't think they would be classed as non-persons. All channels would be forced to work for the government - but Cally, not being a Federation citizen, would have received different Channel training - Auron-style training, whatever that was. (KA)

Huh? What is this Sime~Gen stuff?

For those of you completely confused, a small explanation must be given. The Sime~Gen universe is a fictional creation of Jacqueline Lichtenberg in which humanity has mutated into two forms - the selyn-producing Gens, and the tentacled (on their arms) Simes which feed on selyn. Selyn is a kind of life-energy which Simes can detect. Unfortunately, for most Simes, taking the selyn from a Gen kills the Gen. A Channel is a Sime who can take selyn from a Gen without killing them, and channel it to other Simes. Some Gens also, with proper talent and training, are able to donate selyn to any sime (not just Channels) without being killed.

The sting in the tail is that nobody is born Sime or Gen - a child will either establish as a Gen or change over into a Sime during adolecence. In changeover, the Sime's tentacles burst out of their sheaths, and they are hit by their First Need for selyn, in which the Sime will either kill a Gen or be given selyn from a Channel. There is a one-in-three chance that the child of two parents of one kind, will turn into one of the other kind. Thus the oft-repeated tragedy of a child changing over into a Sime, and killing their Gen parents -- or of the child of Simes turning Gen and being killed.

Zelerod's Doom is the mathematical prediction that, if Simes keep on killing Gens instead of using Channels to take their selyn, since a Sime needs the selyn from one Gen every month, there will come a time when there are no more Gens, and then all the Simes will die out very soon after.

If you want to know more, check out the Sime~Gen pages.