Spoilers of Antiquity

{** keep reading if you want spoilers, stop if you don’t **}

{{** also, hi **}}


Hazmonean? Or Ashmonai? This story is about the fact that I had to make this choice in the first place. A heritage, lost.


Three domains of flow exchange. Two are presented, but the parent domain is mostly omitted until the conclusion – for stylistic effect of course.

The three domains circle then collide into a single “social stack overflow,” exploding into a hail of flying fruit, of all things. The decoherence event then causes untold misery over time. As they tend to do.

This short story attempts to thread this kind of interaction into a recasting of the obscure history of a forgotten Judean king.

(The story is taken mostly from the Josephus version of events, plus some rabbinical sources.)

(Be mindful: A single source of truth always makes things easier, even if you know it to be unreliable.)

(Don’t worry: There will be a time for resolving inconsistencies.)


Jannaeus is styled as a Nietzschean force of power and creation, swift and decisive no matter the circumstance. Shetach is fashioned in a Kantian manner of cold absolutism, unwavering in his deliberate convictions. He is, in essence, precisely the Pharisee of which Nietzsche spoke. Both are depicted as eminent within their domain, stewards for the interlocking systems they represent, acting out their respective authorities as best they see fit.

Assuming rational, good faith actors, you might think systems with aligned interests should always resolve to good faith outcomes, but in practice that isn’t always the case.

Time’s assertion can always inject the potential paradox of perfectly logical actors resolving to an irrational conclusion. This is the unavoidable potential of fault inherent to all finite perspectives. Against preventable error, the gods themselves contend in vain.

In this case, exactly such an error occurs due to the inherent uncertainty of adversarial reasoning.

Because Jannaeus incorrectly assumes that his adversary must be making a purely adversarial assertion, he neglects the meaningful information being conveyed and cuts his exchanges short, opting instead to utilize the method of arbitrary deadlines. In other words, he forces unnecessary tests, ones which can only be settled by the parent domain itself.

Ultimately, both protagonists fail. Only the omitted domain truly survives through the ordeal, and only just barely, forever changed.


So, yeah…

I guess it’s a-uh… big swing

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