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* ParentalIncest: Lenie was sexually abused by her father in her youth. It affected her so badly that she sees shades of incest in every father-daughter relationship she encounters, to the point where she's tempted to kill fathers of young girls she meets. [[spoiler:It turns out that these memories of incest are fake and that her relationship with her late parents was most likely quite normal and healthy]].


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** Lenie Clarke was raped by her father as a child [[spoiler:according to her implanted memories]].


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* {{Sadist}}: Desjardins is a sadist in the sexual sense, getting off on subjecting women to violent torture. Prior to the removal of his RestrainingBolt, he used simulations to scratch this itch. [[spoiler:Once the RestrainingBolt is gone, taking his normal sense of guilt with it, his sadism becomes his primary motivation. He intends to prolong the βehemoth crisis for as long as possible, since that will make his help so important that the authorities will look the other way when he becomes a SerialKiller.]]


* ApocalypseHow: [[spoiler:The βehemoth outbreak]] threatens a Class 5 - the end of multicellular life. If it continues unabated, ''all life'' will die of nutrient deficiency, especially sulfur deficiency.

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* ApocalypseHow: [[spoiler:The βehemoth outbreak]] threatens a Class 5 - the end of multicellular life. If it continues unabated, ''all life'' will die of nutrient deficiency, especially sulfur deficiency. Only the continued survival of [[spoiler:βehemoth itself]] would keep such a situation from reaching a full-blown Class 6.

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* ApocalypseHow: [[spoiler:The βehemoth outbreak]] threatens a Class 5 - the end of multicellular life. If it continues unabated, ''all life'' will die of nutrient deficiency, especially sulfur deficiency.


** It's made clear in the third book that she ''does'' feel guilt about her actions. Plus, it could be said that karma bit her in the ass when [[spoiler:at the end of the series everyone in and around Atlantis are killed by Achilles's torpedoes. Everyone she came close to caring about was there]].

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** It's made clear in the third book that she ''does'' feel guilt about her actions. Plus, it could be said that karma bit her in the ass when [[spoiler:at the end of the series everyone in and around Atlantis are is killed by Achilles's torpedoes. Everyone she came close to caring about was there]].


** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus decides that βehemoth's simpler structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it -- and does everything within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter]].

to:

** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So So the programmers don't know were never ''told'' they were supposed to program give the gel to value a certain directive;[[spoiler: ''[[YouHaveResearchedBreathing save human life. civilization]].'' And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus decides that βehemoth's simpler structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it -- and does everything within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter]].platter]].
-->''You'' gave us the job, they'd said. ''You'' didn't tell us what was at stake. You didn't even really tell us what we were doing.


** [[spoiler:Lenie]] intentionally cutting the inside of her vagina before sex so she's more likely to pass ThePlague on to her partner wasn't exactly appealing either, except [[FetishFuel maybe if you have odd tastes]].

to:

** [[spoiler:Lenie]] intentionally cutting the inside of her vagina before sex so she's more likely to pass ThePlague on to her partner wasn't exactly appealing either, except [[FetishFuel maybe if you have odd tastes]].tastes.

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* EverythingIsOnline: Averted. Actually, in this world, the trend is to move away from connecting everything to the 'net, because once viruses started to evolve without human input, the resulting Maelstrom became a feeding frenzy of "wildlife."


* MoralSociopathy: Ken Lubin doesn't have a biochemical conscience or a feeling of guilt after [[spoiler: infection with Absolution]]. He remains a...somewhat decent person despite this.



* NoBiochemicalBarriers: The "transferable disease" type. Most modern life on Earth is understood to be the result of a Martian Impact event in prehistory dubbed "Martian Mike". However, Earth actually developed life of its own before Martian Mike, and forms The Plague [[spoiler: capable of outperforming the mitochondria in our cells]].

to:

* NoBiochemicalBarriers: The "transferable disease" type. Most modern life on Earth is understood to be the result of a Martian Impact event in prehistory dubbed "Martian Mike". However, Earth actually developed life of its own before Martian Mike, and forms The Plague ThePlague [[spoiler: capable of outperforming the mitochondria in our cells]].


** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus decides
that βehemoth's simpler structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it -- and does everything within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter]].

to:

** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus decides
decides that βehemoth's simpler structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it -- and does everything within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter]].


** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus deciding that βehemoth's simpler structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it -- and does everything within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter]].

to:

** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus deciding decides
that βehemoth's simpler structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it -- and does everything within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter]].


** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus does everything within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter, deciding that βehemoth's simpler structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it]].

to:

** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus deciding that βehemoth's simpler structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it -- and does everything within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter, deciding that βehemoth's simpler structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it]].platter]].


* FreudianExcuse: Gerry Fischer's pedophilia is due to him having an [[RapeIsLove incredibly screwed up]] notion of human relationships due to childhood sexual abuse, and [[UnreliableNarrator if we believe his flashback is an actual memory]] it seems the girl who abused him was herself sexually abused by her father and she raped Fischer because she had accepted her father's explanation that "[[RapeIsLove this is what you do when you really love somebody]]".

to:

* FreudianExcuse: Gerry Fischer's pedophilia is due to him having an [[RapeIsLove incredibly screwed up]] up notion of human relationships due to childhood sexual abuse, and [[UnreliableNarrator if we believe his flashback is an actual memory]] it seems the girl who abused him was herself sexually abused by her father and she raped Fischer because she had accepted her father's explanation that "[[RapeIsLove this "this is what you do when you really love somebody]]".somebody".


->''"Take a dozen children, any children. [[DysfunctionJunction Beat and mix thoroughly]] until some lumps remain. Simmer for two to three decades; bring to a slow, rolling boil. Skim off the full-blown psychotics, the schizoaffectives, the multiple personalities, and discard. Let cool. Serve with dopamine garnish. What do you get? [[DarkAndTroubledPast Something bent, not broken]]. [[PsychoForHire Something that fits into cracks too twisted for the rest of us.]]"''
-->—Excerpt from personal diary of [[MadDoctor Yves Scanlon]], N'[=AmPac=] GA [[PlayingWithSyringes Industrial Psych]]

A SpeculativeFiction series by Creator/PeterWatts, intended as a trilogy of three novels: ''Starfish'', ''Maelstrom'', and ''βehemoth''. The last novel, however, was published [[ExecutiveMeddling as two separate books]]: ''βehemoth: β-Max'' and ''βehemoth: Seppuku''. Owing to Watts's troubles with publisher Tor, the printed versions of these are hard to find in stores, so Watts ended up puting all the novels online [[DoingItForTheArt for free]] on [[http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm his website]].
Set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, the trilogy is set in a CrapsackWorld where [[JustBeforeTheEnd the end is nigh]].

The [[MegaCorp N'Am-Pac Grid Authority]] is constructing geothemeral power stations along tectonic rifts at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Staffing these stations is difficult, since keeping normal people alive and functional at such depths is prohibitively expensive. As such, the company has developed methods of cybernetically altering people to function in the deep, making them water-breathing and pressure-resistant: the titular "Rifters". With one of their lungs removed and filled with machinery, a Rifter can breathe underwater indefinitely as well as function in the crushing depths of deep sea. Combined with a self-cleaning skinsuit, a voice-modulator for speaking underwater, and [[ProphetEyes light-amplifying "eyecaps"]], a Rifter can feel [[HeWhoFightsMonsters more at home in the deep]] [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul than anywhere else]].

Unfortunately, [[FreakOut most people go crazy]] when they're miles underwater, literally under extreme pressure and in a working and living situation where they [[AnyoneCanDie might die at any moment]] from the many dangers in the rift. So in a somewhat questionable bit of decision-making, the company decides they can save time and money by making Rifters from people who are ''already'' psychologically damaged - in other words, abuse victims, war vets, criminals, etc. This actually works [[DysfunctionJunction surprisingly well]], since these people, having already acclimated to living in stressful environments in their everyday lives, are better able to pyschologically handle the stresses of working on the rift.

The downside, of course, is that this can (and does) lead to a [[AxCrazy bit of friction]] between the staff, seeing as [[RoomFullOfCrazy they're all disturbed individuals]]. This becomes a recipe for disaster when, deep within the Juan de Fuca rift, an ancient microbe is discovered. One that has been [[SealedEvilInACan isolated for over two billion years]], and that could mean [[ThePlague the end of all life on the surface]]. And the people put in charge of containing it feel less and less connected to humanity every day.

to:

->''"Take a dozen children, any children. [[DysfunctionJunction Beat and mix thoroughly]] until some lumps remain. Simmer for two to three decades; bring to a slow, rolling boil. Skim off the full-blown psychotics, the schizoaffectives, the multiple personalities, and discard. Let cool. Serve with dopamine garnish. What do you get? [[DarkAndTroubledPast Something bent, not broken]].broken. [[PsychoForHire Something that fits into cracks too twisted for the rest of us.]]"''
-->—Excerpt from personal diary of [[MadDoctor Yves Scanlon]], N'[=AmPac=] GA [[PlayingWithSyringes Industrial Psych]]

Psych

A SpeculativeFiction series by Creator/PeterWatts, intended as a trilogy of three novels: ''Starfish'', ''Maelstrom'', and ''βehemoth''. The last novel, however, was published [[ExecutiveMeddling as two separate books]]: ''βehemoth: β-Max'' and ''βehemoth: Seppuku''. Owing to Watts's troubles with publisher Tor, the printed versions of these are hard to find in stores, so Watts ended up puting all the novels online [[DoingItForTheArt for free]] on [[http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm his website]].
Set
sci-fi author Creator/PeterWatts. Taking place TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, the trilogy series is set in a CrapsackWorld where [[JustBeforeTheEnd the end is nigh]].

The [[MegaCorp N'Am-Pac Grid Authority]] is constructing building geothemeral power stations along tectonic rifts plants at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Staffing ocean, along tectonic rifts. But constructing and staffing these stations is difficult, a problem, since keeping normal people are hard to keep alive and functional at such depths is prohibitively expensive. depths. As such, the company has developed methods of cybernetically altering people to function certain cybernetic enhancements for its workers, resulting in the deep, making them water-breathing and pressure-resistant: the titular "Rifters". With one of their lungs removed and filled replaced with complex machinery, a Rifter can breathe underwater indefinitely as well as function in the crushing depths of the deep sea. Combined with a self-cleaning skinsuit, a voice-modulator for speaking underwater, and [[ProphetEyes light-amplifying "eyecaps"]], a Rifter can feel [[HeWhoFightsMonsters more at home in the deep]] [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul than anywhere else]].

Unfortunately, The thing is: normal people tend to suffer [[FreakOut most people go crazy]] complete nervous breakdowns]] when they're miles underwater, literally under extreme pressure and in a working and living situation where they [[AnyoneCanDie might die at any moment]] from the many dangers in of the rift. So in a somewhat questionable bit of decision-making, the company decides they can save time and money by making to recruit new Rifters from people who are ''already'' psychologically damaged - in other words, words: abuse victims, war vets, criminals, etc. This actually works ends up working [[DysfunctionJunction surprisingly well]], well]] since these people, having already acclimated used to living in stressful environments in their everyday lives, constant stress, are better able to pyschologically mentally handle the stresses of working on the rift.

The downside, of
rift. Of course, is that this can (and does) lead to a [[AxCrazy bit of friction]] between the staff, seeing as [[RoomFullOfCrazy they're all disturbed individuals]]. This becomes a recipe for disaster when, deep within the Juan de Fuca rift, an ancient microbe is discovered. One that has been [[SealedEvilInACan isolated for over two billion years]], years]] and that could mean [[ThePlague the end of all life on the surface]]. And the people put in charge of containing it feel less and less connected to humanity every day.
day...

Originally written by Watts as a trilogy of three novels: ''Starfish'', ''Maelstrom'', and ''βehemoth''. However, due to ExecutiveMeddling, ''βehemoth'' was split and pulished as ''βehemoth: β-Max'' and ''βehemoth: Seppuku''. This, among with other troubles from the publisher, means that printed versions of the novels are hard to find in stores, so Watts ended up puting all the novels [[DoingItForTheArt for free]] on [[http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm his website]].


** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus does every within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter, deciding that βehemoth's simpler srtucture is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it]].

to:

** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus does every everything within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter, deciding that βehemoth's simpler srtucture structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it]].

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* RightHandVersusLeftHand: What turns the first novel into a trilogy. After [[spoiler:βehemoth]] is identified, everyone involved starts screaming at everyone ''else'' involved;
-->'''Rowan''': ''...Tanaka-Krueger wouldn't trust Japan. And then the Columbian Hegemony wouldn't trust Tanaka-Krueger. And the Chinese, of course, they don't trust anybody since Korea...''\\
'''Scanlon''': ''Kin selection... Tribal loyalties. Never give the competition an edge. It's basically genetic.''
**...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus does every within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter, deciding that βehemoth's simpler srtucture is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it]].

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