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Memoirs of Morat

Mr Nice, a diary

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Jesus loves you...but Satan has candy
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Megalomaniacs are not unknown in the Culture, but they tend to be diverted successfully into highly complicated games; there are entire Orbitals where some of these philosophically crude Obsessive games are played, though most are in Virtual Reality. Something of a status-symbol for the determined megalomaniac is having one's own starship; this is considered wasteful by most people, and is also futile, if the purpose of having it is to escape the Culture completely and - say - set up oneself up as God or Emperor on some backward planet; the person might be free to pilot their (obviously non-AI controlled) ship, and even approach a planet, but the Contact section is equally free to follow that person wherever they go and do whatever it thinks appropriate to stop him or her from doing anything injurious or unpleasant to whatever civilisations they come into - or attempt to come into - contact with. This tends to be frustrating, and Virtual Reality games - up to and including utter-involvement level, in which the player has to make a real and sustained effort to return to the real world, and can even forget that it exists entirely - are far more satisfying.

Some people, however, refuse this escape-route too, and leave the Culture altogether for a civilisation that suits them better and where they can operate in a system which gives them the kind of rewards they seek. To renounce the Culture so is to lose access to its technology though, and, again, Contact supervises the entry of such people into their chosen civilisation at a level which guarantees they aren't starting with too great an advantage compared to the original inhabitants (and retains the option of interfering, if it sees fit).

A few such apparently anti-social people are even used by Contact itself, especially by the Special Circumstances section.

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