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Title: Three Bodies at Mitanni

Author: Seth Dickinson

Published: Analog Magazine, June 2015

Description, by Lois Tilton [Locus]: "A millennium or so in the past, facing some crisis, Earth sent out a fleet of seedships to propagate human populations on different worlds. Now, in the ideal condition of a “liberal democratic state” and apparently full of misgivings, it has sent out a new mission:  

Locate the seedship colonies, the frozen progeny scattered by a younger and more desperate Earth. Study these new humanities. And in the most extreme situations: remove existential threats to mankind.  
That’s pretty arrogant, but the reality is even moreso. There are three members of the mission, one with a predisposition to kill entire populations, one to reject the idea, and Shinobu, our narrator, as the tiebreaker. They also have a template for the approved sort of society, one that fosters art and culture, and a list of social diseases including the “Duong-Watts malignant”. This is a theoretical society in which humans have been engineered to suppress their individual self-consciousness. On Mitanni, this seems to have happened. The society resembles a global ant hive, with each individual working for the survival of the whole. Now the mission has to decide whether to destroy it."

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