Odd One Out

Cilmínár is perhaps, despite all the others’ uniquities, the one with the best claim to be the odd one out of of Thirteen Colonies; while the others all had their own distinctions based on their worlds, societies, technologies, or other evolved characteristics, Cilmínár was the first and only eldraeic colonial venture intended to leave the Empire.

At the time of the Deep Star program, and in particular in the years leading up to 3038, the time at which IS Potentiality Golden left the Lumenna-Súnáris System, the Empire was caught up in the final century of the Consolidation Wars. In the Senate, the Above All, One Imperium Movement was dominant, and the Imperium Bellipotent was prominent within that coalition.

These conditions gave rise to some concern in dedicated libertist circles that the Empire might be heading down the wrong path, and could possibly end up recreating the governance-by-force methods of the kórasan. A number of these groups responded by setting up the Free Colony Foundation, a private colonization venture intended to build a colony around newly prospected Cilminé faithful to the Contract but eschewing the Charter – i.e., a recreation of the Ungoverned Era. Prospective colonists agreed only to participation in the early steps of ensuring colony viability, thereafter being governed solely by the Contract.

This venture proved controversial, to say the least, in the somewhat heated atmosphere of patriotism which characterized the late Consolidation, and arguments over the ethics and legalities of the matter – lawful secession being guaranteed by the Charter even as military annexation was the practice of the day – grew in volume and vigor until they eventually reached the Court of Courts, silenced only by the Imperial Proclamation of Alphas III Amanyr after meeting with the leaders of the Foundation:

“Go in peace, cousins. Your principles are ours, and in their name, we would not hold you. Know that you will always be welcomed here.”

Unsubstantiated Court gossip of the era attributed a simpler statement to Elyse II Cyprium.

“You’ll be back.”

As history would have it, IS Potentiality Golden arrived at Cilmínár in 3136, six years after the final act of the Consolidation and the opening of the Aeon-Long Peace, and this news – along with the recession of the Bellipotency into deep eclipse in the Senate – was among the first news the colony received when laser communication with the homeworld was established in 3160.

Nonetheless, the establishment of the colony went ahead as planned, with the Free Colony Foundation wrapping itself up and spinning off necessary functions into the private sector as the colony was established, dwindling into a registry and contract-notarization organization. As in the Ungoverned Era, PPLs, community militias, and deemsters emerged or were established to serve as guardians of citizens’ rights.

However, over the centuries between the colony’s establishment and its participation in the Reunification, the population of Cilmínár found itself having to address and solve many modern recensions of the same or similar issues that ancient Eliéra had been required to deal with during the lengthy transition between Ungoverned Era and Empire, and had developed its own institutions to do so, while observing over the course of its communications with the homeworld both that their fears for the future had not come true – with the Empire’s post-Consolidation turn away from annexationism – and its eager adoption of various Cilmínárian institutional innovations which promised greater flexibility and were more in accordance with libertist principles.

As such, when the Reunification came calling in 4003, the Free Colony of Cilmínár needed surprisingly little persuasion to return to the Imperial fold with the Deal of 4014, while retaining its own local customs. (Conveniently, legal ground for this had already been laid by private edict of Alphas III and Elyse II back in the 3030s, placing the citizen-shareholderships of the colonists in temporary abeyance, rather than cancelling them, permitting a retroactive reinstantiation.)

The Deal, as it is known locally, uses as the colony’s charter a detailed and frequently amended contract between the Imperial governance and the assortment of Cilmínárian institutions responsible for various local functions, and the Free Colony is acknowledged as a single constituent nation of individual sovereigns. Internal legal matters continue to be handled by PPLs and deemsters, although appeal is available as it would be from the Courts of the Districts, and in other matters, the planet is indeed a technologically-updated microcosm of that legendary era of pre-Imperial history.

As Elyse II predicted so long ago: they were back.

– Octavia Dalastel, The First Constellation

Trope-a-Day: War of Earthly Aggression

War of Earthly Aggression: Preemptively averted with the Empire’s interstellar colonies.  The Thirteen Colonies (the first thirteen systems colonized) were originally colonized sublight by sleeper vessels, so while technically subordinate to the Eliéran Empire were functionally independent.  When the wormhole was invented and reunification came about, they were each developed systems on their own – too much so to be integrated as anything less than peers even if the Empire had wanted to do so.  This then set the pattern for future colonial relations.


Old Friends

Memeweave: News/Stargate Project/Recontact/Broadcast (Read Only)
Source: CS Prince of Octania
Classification: WHITE (General Access)
Encryption: None
Distribution: Everywhere (News/Live)
As received at: Relay Station (Eliéra-Seléne L3)
Language: Eldraeic I
Time of transcript: 3953:10:04:9-01:30.2 (Imperial Standard Time); time set by relay
Light lag (at source): 0.432 p
Light lag (overall): 9.776 kp

WARNING: Source link is down, attempting to reestablish…
WARNING: Source link is down, attempting to reestablish…
WARNING: Source link is down, attempting to reestablish…

INFORMATIONAL: Link restored.

WARNING: New source routing address is within an unallocated/experimental range (system override).
WARNING: Experimental flag is set on routing protocol.
WARNING: Link fleetrelay-a/bigocty/tangle0 is not available; using fallback route.

— bridge transcript continues —

[1] …navigation systems restored. Starlocks are maintained, nominal errors. Sunlock is Finíällë.

[2] Drift?

[3] Commander? Communications are restored. Tangle is scrambled as expected, but we have a gate relay carrier. Auto-reestablish is running.

[2] Very well.

[1] This is ballpark, but estimate drift close to 60 kay spatial.

[2] And temporal?

[1] Frame lock was tight. No greater drift, certainly.

[2] Good. Get me a course for –

[4] Conn, Sensor Ops. Status change. We show three hot spots at twelve hundred kay, not under thrust, looks like they’re keeping gate-relative position. Designating them Target Vekar.

[2] Belay that course. Sensor Ops, give me –

[4] Conn, Sensor Ops, further status change. Target Vekar just lit off its drives. Acceleration’s still changing, but it’s compatible for going for a zero-zero with us if we hold position.

[2] Very well, Sensor Ops. Give them a lidar ping. Don’t go for a hull map, just let them know we’re here.

Put us on a heading to zero-zero with them at best time, as their course settles. Execute at two-thirds cruising.

[1] Course laid in.

[5] Executing at two-thirds cruising, aye.


[5] Two-thirds cruising established.

[6] Growler!

[2] Confirm target status.

[6] No status change on target. Steady illumination.

[2] That might not be a targeting laser. Comms, do a modulation check.

[3] Checking… yeah, I’m seeing pulses. It’s not in the standard bands, so the software missed it. Rerunning now.

Nothing on standard set, nothing on contact set. Ah, wait one. Checking the archives.

And we have a communication request. Old protocol. Watchvid abbrev stack, commercial-comm version, fourth revision, standard dated three-oh-one-eight.

[2] You’re surprised, Mr. Serquel? That’s got to be the latest version we have in common. Integrate, and put it up on two.

WARNING: Memeweave contains rebroadcast content received via obsolete IIP version (29 revisions in deficit) (system override).
WARNING: Memeweave contains rebroadcast content using obsolete trivid protocol flagged for discard (system override).
WARNING: Memeweave contains rebroadcast content with unverifiable embedded authentication keys.

[2] This is Flight Commander Miruna Dalael, Imperial Navy, aboard CS Prince of Octania. I believe you were expecting us? Over.

[3] Transmission lag 8.9 pulses.

[C] This is Flight Commander Adévis Amarens, Víëlle Star –

Correction. This is Flight Commander Adévis Amarens, Imperial Navy, aboard CVS Backup’s Pride. Welcome to Víëlle System. If you’ll take a course from us, there’s a party waiting for you when we reach Víëlle orbit. Over.

[2] Glad to, Flight Commander, and we’ll bring the beer. Dalael, clear.

Secure from alert stations. Stand down to condition three.  And have my gig made ready for transit at intercept.


Trope-a-Day: Planet of Hats

(Incidentally, if you were wondering what I was doing this weekend, I was attempting to nail down the characters for my next ongoing longer series. I think I have a good handle on four of them, as of now. The fifth… is troublesome.)

Planet of Hats: Trying very hard to avert this one, except for in-world explicable exceptions like relatively new, low-population colonies, and odd cases like Valiár (Imperial Core), one of the Thirteen Colonies whose colony ship malfunctioned explosively, leading to the planet being populated by large numbers of clones of an original small group of archetypes.  (And even then, they’re not all that hatty.)  And, of course, some created species.

Trope-a-Day: Human Popsicle

Human Popsicle: Cryostasis used to be a standard way of storing people, and was taken advantage of for a variety of purposes, specifically including the Deep Star projects (subluminal interstellar colonization of the Thirteen Colonies, with ships full of frozen people), and, in the time after the prospect of fixing the dead was mooted but before the technology to do so was available, freezing something very close to everybody who died accidentally “for later”, in the Vaults of the Dead Awaiting.  Hates the permadeath, they does.  Some people, chrononauts, even used it electively for, to be closest to the spirit of the trope, deliberate one-way time travel into the future.  See history while skipping the boring parts!

In the modern era, cryostasis is an archaic technology, mostly replaced with digital archiving for minds and the rather more high-tech and less damaging/risky nanostasis for organic bodies, but the effects and the purposes for doing it remain much the same.

Trope-a-Day: Generation Ships

Generation Ships: The Empire itself has never used generation ships, despite thinking of the concept.  Regular lighthuggers don’t count – the whole immortality thing means that while children may well be born en voyage, the people who got on will by and large be the same people who’ll get off.  Their first burst of interstellar colonization (the Thirteen Colonies) was done subluminally, but the Deep Stars carried frozen colonists, so they don’t count either.  And the wandering city-ships don’t count simply because they’re not a means of transport, they’re places people live – and people come and go all the time, any time they pass through a system.

Which is not, of course, to say that the concept’s never been used by anyone else; I’m sure it has, probably quite a bit, and still is in places beyond the Associated Worlds, or where they’re still en route.  And, arguably, the couple of nomadic cultures (the londian, for one example) who live on wandering city-ships and have nowhere to leave them for but other city-ships might well count.

To Boldly Go

“INASMUCH as the proven success of the Thirteen Colonies and their foundation by means of lighthugger colony ships has demonstrated the viability of such starships for interstellar voyaging;

“And inasmuch as the reconnection of the Thirteen Colonies to the metropolitan Empire and our Reunification has demonstrated the potential of the stargates to permit fast travel and communication between established worlds;

“And inasmuch as the trusty and profitable relationship between the eldrae of the colony of Galáré and the galari whose homeworld Galáré is has demonstrated the great value of relations, formal and informal, with the other sophont species of our galaxy;

“And inasmuch as Our scientists have detected signs that demonstrate, to a high order of probability, that such sophont life abounds in the universe beyond our few systems;

“And inasmuch as the quest for knowledge and advancement is a core principle of Our Empire;

“WE hereby direct the formation of an IMPERIAL EXPLORATORY SERVICE to seek out and survey systems and worlds beyond the frontiers of Our Empire, and to make contact with such sophont species as may exist thereupon in Our name.”

– Her Divine Majesty Eledië II, Imperial edict “On the Exploratory Service”, 10 years post-Reunification