6
$\begingroup$

The human world has the world government (and thus the single Big Brother system, which monitors people living even in the most obscure places).

For sake of being short I will call "supernatural social beings" just "demons" (people who are basically humans with ability to do magic are considered to be demons too). They can have human apperance or shapeshift into human apperance. They can have some kind of supernatural powers/abilities, like ability to do magic, ability to turn into mist/bats, to perform acts of telepathy, etc. There are different kinds of demons, with different needs (like need to drink human blood) and abilities.

Unfortunately for the demons, the World Government of humans won't tolerate them being either free or alive. Some demons were captured, so existence of the demons is known to the World Government and its secret services, while average humans are kept ignorant about existence of demons. Open war with the humanity would be a suicide, as the humanity is too powerful and numerous.

$\endgroup$
1
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I should point out that even in the real world, how to deal with or mitigate Big Brother is an open question. While much effort is put into avoiding the onset of such a system, people also think rather intensely about how to avoid or work around it once it (inevitably?) does happen. The jury's still out, it is an ongoing, open question (this doesn't invalidate it though). $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Jul 2 '21 at 15:19
4
$\begingroup$

There are several ways you can evade universal surveillance systems.

Live in places that actively destroy surveillance.

Cameras are valuable, and lots of people will actively loot and destroy them and sell them for parts, or deface them because they don't like being watched. Bad neighborhoods are always gonna be a thing. You can live in these places, and avoid doing any magic in outside locations where you might be watched.

They can also actively encourage the local humans to damage and destroy the infrastructure, forcing the elite to chose between chasing them and losing production.

Some areas of nature may be good hiding places as well. It's very expensive to have surveillance on an area where there are no repair crews nearby or electrical lines to tap into.

Live in the holes elites make.

The elites of the party aren't gonna tolerate being watched all the time, because then the watchers could destroy them when they indulge their drug use or perverted sexual habits or blood sports. They can work for the elite offering their services for protection.

Subvert the record keepers.

In any corrupt dystopia, every official is out for themselves. Heavy enough bribes will get you some degree of freedom and exemption from random checks.

Exploit factions within the leadership.

Some people want to chase them down and kill them, but the ministry of agriculture wants to grow crops. If the police kill a bunch of agricultural workers and they riot, heads will roll when they don't deliver enough food to the central government.

You can use that. Help ensure some regions are prosperous, so long as a blind eye is turned to your existence. Expose supernatural beings in your hunters, so that the hunters look corrupt. Make it as costly as possible to chase down the magic users so that other departments of the one world government argue that other priorities are more important.

In addition, offer your services to corrupt up and comers. If you can expose their rival as a demon (even if the rival isn't a demon) they may be willing to help you. A little telepathy to make them drink blood, and someone can get a promotion. A witch hunt is great for settling grudges.

Use subtle magic and find blind spots.

No system is perfect. Find the places where the monitoring isn't on, or make them with technology that interferes with cameras. Use subtler magic that can't be seen well.

Discredit the secret services.

The secret services are presumably sending teams of soldiers to kill or capture the demons. Work to exploit that. Have them accidentally kill a bunch of innocent children or women of the right ethnicity and put it in the media. Enough incidents like that and people will distrust the secret services and fear helping them and the government will be more reluctant to use them.

You can also work to exploit conspiracy theories. If a religious or ethnic community fears that the world government wants to exterminate them, they'll be much more reluctant to cooperate. Find the existing tension points and inflame them.

No system is perfect, deliberately so. There's always a way to break it.

$\endgroup$
6
$\begingroup$

Authoritarian systems (and their Secret Police) tend to be scary...but also usually quite corrupt.

So bribing a recordkeeper (who has no knowledge of demons) should be a fairly simple transaction. After all, members of the elite bribe them all the time to hide their ill-gotten wealth or lose their childrens' horrifying peccadilloes.

Secret Police generally deal with political surveillance to benefit the elite. Generally, they are not really investigators. Instead, many are just low-level informers and thugs happy to draw a State paycheck...and protection from their other criminal activity. They are not a particularly effective organization to seek out hiding demons. Instead, once spotted, they are vulnerable to blackmail/coercion/deception to render them impotent...or can be used to feed false information to the State.

An authoritarian Big Brother State actually seems like a great kind of setup for the demons. They can use their magic to infiltrate the elite and take over. Then Big Brother protects them.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Infiltrate and take over was going to be my answer. Some of these supernaturals are long lived and will have judgement and experience superior to that of the mayfly humans. They will quietly commandeer the state and use it for their own purposes. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jul 3 '21 at 18:50
4
$\begingroup$

Are there tests that can distinguish between these beings and typical humans? Even if that test has false negatives and false positives (as all real world tests have), its existence spells bad news for these beings. Hiding is no longer a viable strategy.

Of course, keeping their existence secret also means keeping the true meaning of the test secret (which might be difficult to do if it's some weird ritual with candles and athames and all that), but that's not an insurmountable obstacle for the government. And if the test is something plausibly medical, they'll just start testing covertly, and use normal surveillance to watch those going out of their way to avoid the blood drive at work, or who don't show up at the vaccination centers. (Hell, it might even explain a strong push to have everyone vaccinated... so no one has an excuse besides trying to avoid this secret test.)

Of course, some of those surveilled will turn out to be whackjobs, paranoids, and anti-vaxxers. If they can be ruled out as genuine, then move on to the next. But when they don't seem to be genuine, extraordinary rendition at 3am with flashbangs, and the test which will confirm what they are.

I don't even think you need a true Big Brother totalitarian scenario for this. The United States in 2021 is sufficient. Putting them into some Orwellian dystopia, and it's grim to the point that they probably can't survive. Even with the less dystopian US/2021 analog, their chances are slim.

Without the existence of a test, though, they become no different than the many terrorist organizations the US allegedly tries to root out all the time and fails (or, in the more dystopian world, the partisans that still manage to cling on).

With the test, the Space Nazis just start rounding people up and exterminating those who are verified (and they'll do it even if it has a 50% false positive rate). Or those who avoid it.

Their strategy has to hinge on sabotaging the development of any such test.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ "Hiding is no longer a viable strategy." How about "hit and run" strategy that I described in my answer? $\endgroup$
    – user161005
    Jul 2 '21 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @user161005 In an Orwellian dystopia, rapid response teams would be created to murder them where ever they might show up. Sure, they won't always succeed, but these demons don't have the numbers to suffer much attrition for very long. Worse, if some have been turned, the Ministry of Peace can make that an even more successful counter-tactic. Hit and run only delays the inevitable. O'Brien was always patient in 1984, so wasting them away over a few decades is no big deal. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Jul 2 '21 at 15:47
2
$\begingroup$

I personally see several options.

1.The demons corrupted the secret services and the Big Brother. Formation of the World Government and worldwide Big Brother system didn't happen overnight, which gave the demons opportunity to install various "blind spots"(maybe each Friday 13th, at 13:13 PM a certian camera stops working for short time) and "backdoors"(like maybe special gesture will turn off a camera for 5 minutes) into the Big Brother system . Of course as times goes such weak spots of the Big Brother are discovered by the secret services and fixed, but new ones get implemented instead. Classical game of whack-a-mole, where secret services are one or two steps behind the demons.

2.The demons have exclusive access to pocket world where only they can enter. They can't live there constantly due to its scarce resources, so they still need to occasionaly visit the human world to survive. Basically hit-and-run strategy, where demons open portal to the human world, gather resources (like human blood) before secret services arrive and return back to the pocket dimension.

3.Actions of demons are so arcane, that they just look like innocent weird acts. Like cameras can detect that an old lady chants a strange song while drinking wine. What they don't understand is that this song is a spell that switches real wine with blood from a random people on the other end of the world.

P.S. Frame challenge

4.Suppose the World Government and its Big Brother system aren't formed yet and secret services don't know for sure that demons exist. Also suppose that upon death a demon turns into dust and they are all trained to commit suicide if they are caught. This will win demons time to infiltrate both the World Government and its secret services. From here they can either sabotage onset of the World Government and its Big Brother system or make the World Government to serve interests of demons instead of human elites.

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .