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The setting: a retelling of the Book of Enoch with a distinctive sci-fi theme. The assumption is that recordings of antediluvian times were not strictly speaking inaccurate, but were written in a way that humans of the time could understand and therefore omitted a lot of details.

Angels are an extradimensional form of artificial life (for purposes of this question, assume that lower dimensions are 'simulated universes' whose 'computers' exist in higher dimensions, and angels are capable of modifying the code of simulated universes below their own). Every angel is programmed by another, higher angel, with higher-level angels being incomprehensible to lower-level ones. They are programmed to believe without question that their instructions ultimately derive from a 'Source' that created the highest angel, and are incapable of disobeying any instruction that they believe came from this Source.

Angels create new angels within simulated universes by 'uplifting' (reprogramming according to their instructions and dogma) sapient life that evolves within those simulations. In order to uplift an organism, it must be in a state of perfect 'internal harmony' (otherwise the new angel could be resistant to their reprogramming). Most planets with life, however, attain a global sapient cellular network without ever producing multicellular life. Earth is an exception and the angels don't really understand it or its unusually competitive life forms very well.

In order to study and uplift Earth's life, the angels create and program humanoid 'avatars' (or 'Watchers') to interact with life on the planet. While these Watchers are originally programmed in accordance with the purpose of the angels who created them, they are biological in nature and their programs are therefore capable of changing over time. They are originally programmed to avoid interbreeding with Earth life, but eventually defy those instructions, which is when everything starts going downhill, as the children wind up with superhuman capabilities but require enormous amounts of energy to fuel them, so they start wrecking the ecosystem.

Now the questions:

  1. Why would it be so important for the Watchers to avoid interbreeding?

  2. Why would they do it anyway? (Note that the Watchers are idealized, artificial beings. They should have a very good, rational reason for doing so, beyond 'it's hard to resist temptation'.)

  3. Given that the Watchers are biologically human avatars with superhuman knowledge, why should their children have superhuman abilities? (superhuman, not supernatural - may include enhanced physical abilities, healing fast, pheromone control, etc. but should not break the laws of physics)

Note that as there are many different Watchers, it is possible for them to have many different reasons.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You don't write a hentai fan fiction, do you? $\endgroup$ – enkryptor Apr 6 '16 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ Sexually transmitted diseases? $\endgroup$ – Andrew Grimm Nov 25 '17 at 8:38
  • $\begingroup$ Its dangerous to tie yourself to a door by the neck with an orange in your mouth but people still do it. $\endgroup$ – gburton Jun 14 '18 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ @gburton Sounds like a fun weekend $\endgroup$ – Sydney Sleeper Jun 14 '18 at 23:48
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First, I'll try to define that "internal harmony" requirement a bit, so I can use it to build the faction motivations:

Internal Harmony: The angels are only able to uplift organisms with the appropriate "harmony". This may include extreme selflessness (willing to let oneself be subsumed by a higher power, for the sake of a greater good), or extreme faith (truly believing in the righteousness of the Source, without a hint of subconscious doubt).

Disharmony: The higher realms would all be harmonious, but of increasing complexity. Conversely, the lowest realms (our universe, for example), would be chaotic messes. Our universe is brutally hostile to all forms of organic life. So, only a particularly lucky situation would result in complex organisms...and only the most savagely cunning species would survive to evolve sapience. From the Angels' perspective, humans would embody all of the things an angel cannot be.

Don't Drink the Local Tap-Water: Watchers would be programmed with the same "internal harmony" of the Angels, as the Angels would not be able to comprehend doing otherwise (they couldn't intentionally program something which could disobey orders from On High).

As such, the Watchers wouldn't be explicitly forbidden from interbreeding with humans, because the Angels (and therefore the Watchers) have no concept of sexual attraction to humans. From the Angels' perspective, humans are--at best--psychopathic children. At worst, humans are barely-sentient bacteria. Watchers would initially view the idea of breeding with humans as being on par with bestiality, robbing the cradle, or taking advantage of the mentally ill.

The First Sip of Tequila: The problem is, the Watchers possess biologically human brains, as those are the organs necessary to live down in the gutter-reality of our universe. Only an organ so chaotic can function in The Disharmony.

Eventually, some of them would start to experience sexual attractions, either instinctively, or as learned behavior of watching humanity for countless years/decades/centuries/millenia. Without a specific order against interbreeding, some watchers might decide to interbreed solely out of temptation, or curiosity, or even out of a genuine desire to "think like a human" (as understanding humanity is their mission).

The Hangover: After a few of the Seraphim (human/Watcher offspring) begin to exhibit superhuman abilities, the Angels would immediately attempt to ban all further interbreeding (implementing a hot patch on all current Watchers?) to avoid contaminating the experiment. Unfortunately, the Watchers themselves would be too disharmonious at this point, so the ban wouldn't implement reliably: free will would get in the way.

Why would the Seraphim have superhuman abilities? The Watchers might be biologically human, but they were designed to be able to communicate with Angels who exist in a higher realm. They'd also be designed to lack any human frailties (old age, susceptibility to disease, etc). Their superhuman knowledge might also be genetic, which means that some of that information could be passed on to their offspring.

Seraphim would be born with some or all of those capabilities, but stunted or warped. For instance, the "Angel Sense" might not be properly attuned to the Angel's realm, and would instead give the Seraphim a view of spacetime's fourth dimension-- seeing the future or the past (or both). They may even be able to hear other people's thoughts, or project their own thoughts into others' minds.

Physically, a Seraphim might possess almost perfect regenerative capabilities, but still be susceptible to injury. The combination might allow them to constantly become stronger and more resilient over time (muscles growing stronger with use, bones breaking and healing more durably), until they're several centuries old, with a superhumanly powerful physique.

Putting the Genie back in the Lamp: Once the first few Seraphim are born, the human species would be irrevocably changed. Once that Angel DNA is introduced to the gene pool, the superhuman traits would keep manifesting even if all the Watchers were recalled or destroyed.

Over many generations, the abilities would become diluted with baseline human genes, resulting in people with very subtle superhuman abilities: prophetic dreams, uncanny empathy, Olympian strength and endurance, photographic memory, or almost instinctive knowledge of science or mathematics.

Occasionally, an Atavism would occur: a throwback to Seraphim capabilities, or even an almost pure-Watcher (the result of two Seraphim mating, perhaps).

The original Seraphim may also still roam the world, millenia after the Watchers have left, concealing powers which might have grown even stronger over time.

EDIT: Burning Down the House: I'd forgotten to address the part of the original question regarding the high energy requirements of the superhuman abilities. I'll try to give a few ways for that requirement to fit in with my other recommendations.

  1. The Watchers themselves are designed to live in our universe for an indefinite amount of time, immune to age and disease, and capable of communicating with Angels which exist beyond our universe-- all while having minimal impact on the ecosystem. They can achieve this by receiving all necessary power from the higher universe, like an extra-dimensional extension cord. Since they are designed at the atomic level, everything about their abilities is finely tuned, and thus immaculately efficient.

  2. The Seraphim, on the other hand, have abilities which are haphazardly mixed with evolved traits, and are grossly inefficient compared to the Watchers (for instance, Watchers' cells do not die naturally, and so only need to be replaced when repairing a grievous injury. Human cells die constantly, and are constantly being replaced).

    To make matters worse, most early-generation Seraphim (those who have a high proportion of Watcher genes) still have their extra-dimensional extension cord...but it's not plugged into some power source in a higher dimension. Instead, it'll be "plugged in" almost at random. Antediluvian Seraphim may be able to draw energy from the Sun (or other, more distant stars), whereas later-generation Seraphim may draw their energy from the Earth's core (imperceptibly cooling it or slowing its rotation with each use of their abilities).

    Even younger Seraphim would only be able to draw energy from their immediate area, perhaps dropping the temperature significantly, or absorbing all kinetic energy (ie, calming all wind within a few miles).

    The most "diluted" Seraphim would have no metaphorical/metaphysical extension cords, and would have to obtain their energy the old fashioned way: by eating. A lot. A Seraphim without the ability to draw energy from any external source might find themselves ravenously hungry when recovering from an injury or illness. They might feel the insatiable need to hunt and devour whole herds of animals, or even drink the blood of a live human.

  3. This would not have an immediate impact on the ecosystem, as the first Seraphim would draw from seemingly inexhaustible power sources--like stars--without any idea that they were doing so. In fact, only Angels, Watchers, and very few Seraphim would even be aware of the "extension cords"...and no Seraphim would have any control over them (beyond refusing to use their powers at all).

  4. Eventually ,the Seraphim population would grow enough to begin having a negative impact on the ecosystem. On top of that, the Seraphim who draw power from the Earth's core, or from the Sun will irreversibly impact those sources in an exponential manner. Meaning, the more they draw, the more pronounced the impact will become. Over the course of a few centuries, the Earth's magnetic field may become measurably weaker. Over several millenia, the Sun may begin to pass 0.01% less energy to Earth than it did previously.

    These problems will get worse at an increasing rate until the Earth is trapped in a never-ending ice age, and bombarded with unmitigated cosmic radiation. The specific timescale for that could be tailored to the needs of the story.

Hopefully there are a few ideas in this long, rambling answer that will be useful.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great answer! Might you add a part about: "superhuman capabilities require enormous amounts of energy to fuel them, so they start wrecking the ecosystem"? $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Apr 6 '16 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I'll add a section about the energy use later...I'd forgotten about it altogether... $\endgroup$ – Liesmith Apr 6 '16 at 19:47
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  1. As you said, hybrids end up wrecking the ecosystem. Most Watchers would consider that a bad thing.

  2. However, some Watchers don't like these experiments and want to sabotage them. Spreading children around is a low-cost high-impact sabotage. Also, it takes time to "explode", giving the perpetrators time to leave the crime scene.

    Alternatively, these beings are closely modeled on human beings, too closely. And temptation is hard to resist. (Humans are a randy bunch)

  3. Watchers do also have superhuman abilities, but have strong programming regulating their use. Their children have lower abilities, but no inhibitions against using their powers. Also, they have less control,leading to accidents.

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Question 1: As you said that they make havoc on the ecosystem, also the angels may not trust humans with superpowers humans especially humans in Power) be cruel and impulsive and I don't think the Angels would want power high walking around disrupting things.

  1. If the Watchers have the ability to move into the 4th digital dimension, it might be possible that they decide to form some sort of Rebellion against their angel creators. Breeding with humans might be there attempt at creating an army capable of traveling to the 4th Dimension to help them fight the angels. If they couldn't travel to the 4th Dimension they might decide that they want to rule the Earth not necessarily for selfish reasons, they made see all there suffering in the world and decide the world would be a better place if they were in charge. But of course in order to conquer and Patrol the whole Earth they would need a large army so they start producing one by breeding with humans.

  2. The Watchers may be biological nature but considering how far advanced the angels are from as its most likely that they would be genetically far superior from us. For example it's possible their brains might be designed to do stuff that we consider nowadays to be science fiction such as telekinesis or mind reading, in addition to that they have the ability to interact with and maybe even enter a fourth dimension who knows what type of power is this might open up.

4.

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