This thread consists of a story within a slaver empire and may discuss viewpoints of slavery which aren’t my own. Nor should this story be utilized to promote or condone slavery in any way, shape or form. Remember that this is a piece of fiction within a brutal setting.
“No species is as adaptable, and indeed ruthless, as the Arvarr. Adopting our customs, religion and traditions with ease and above all, thrive by it. For that, we should be both thankful and wary of them.”
—Sapa Zelvana Irva I na-Zeltan
Arvarr. The ecumenopolis world just 8 LY away from the capital of the Zelvan Regime. A star nation devoted to hierarchy, order and above all, the divine right of Zelvans to enslave lesser races. Arvarr was the first to fall prey to the Zelvans’ interstellar slaving crusade, yet now thrived. When nowadays people look upon the golden towers of Arvarr, none regret the tainted history bounded to the glittering towers. For Arvarr was now the Golden City-World of the Regime a true testament to the Zelvan foundations.
The key to Arvarr’s success was the ruthless cunning of the ruling class shown when the Zelvans arrived in the Arvarro system roughly 7.000 years ago. The lunar colony of Mataris and its mining population had rebelled and the Arvarr government was losing control. Yet the ruling houses of Arvarr wouldn’t so easily give up their control. In what would later be known as the Great Betrayal in the common memory of the Matari people, the Arvarrans brokered a deal with the Zelvans. In exchange for technology and wealth to the people on Arvarr, Mataris and its rebelling population would become Zelvan domain. For centuries ethnic tensions had intensified and the ruling class of Arvarr took their golden opportunity without remorse.
However, greed and power weren’t enough for the ruling class. They too had drunk from the elixir of decadence brewed by the Zelvans. They were enticed by it and even further separated its own people so the magnates and aristocrats may live in excess. The two other races on Arvarr, the Khannarr and Tenarr, lived in oppression as the Arvarr brought them into submission with the new Zelvan gifts: electrowhips.
Though the Tenarr had plans of their own. They didn’t wish to share the same fate as the Khannarr or Matari. No. They would transform themselves. To raise their status in the caste system, they had to become essential to it. To comfort the excesses and needs of both the Zelvans and Arvarr. Through mental conditioning and cybernetic implants they had achieved it. The Khannarr became known as the Ni-Khannarr and form a large labour force. The Tenarr had transcended and became living computers. Beings of logics, they became known as the Mi-Tenarr and the most promising of their race would become Mitants. Personal assistants of unmatched cognitive capabilities, they became essential to the ruling class which had drenched itself in cutthroat politics across the stars. Through calculations, perception and deduction, they had become key members in unravelling plots in the courts of the nobility. Equally saving and destroying the lives of many nobility through their machinations. Becoming compliant in the Zelvan caste system.
Such was the Zelvan caste system. Adapt and embrace it or weep under the lashes. This brutal belief manifested itself in the Chan ka Raasta - The Path of the Chosen. The religious order manifested in the Zelvanist religion, adopted in political form and governance. Only the needs of the rulers was to be considered and those of the large slave masses be ignored. For this was the divine order of the universe. Equality was not a concept relished in the Regime. It was everyone for themselves and secure the best future for their own children. At the cost of a dividing its prosperity. This decadent belief would stagnate Zelvan society and lead to thousands of years of isolation. Only on few occasions would the Zelvan Deterrence Forces actively raid for new slaves beyond their borders. As long as the Zelvans lived their lives of depraved pleasures, the Regime fulfilled its needs.
Though a growing number of the Arvarr nobility had begun to disagree. Through whispers and secret meetings a new ideology was born circling amongst the elites. Naya Raasta - The New Way. Followers of this new ideology believe that the Regime should change its methods. The Great Slave Revolts had been squashed and not even the staunch Matari would dream again of complete freedom. The caste system was divine indeed, but it no longer required its current harsh enforcement. Through good grace and compassion, one could achieve equal results as through brutalist measures. Perhaps even more… More and more Arvarr Noble Houses openly supported this ideology, though the Zelvans dismissed their ideas and continued their brutalist policies. However, within the courts of some of these Noble Houses, and even on more secluded worlds, the Naya Raasta flourished. One of the supporters of the Naya Raasta was within House Pantecius.
A recent power vacuum in the House had been stabilized. The previous head of House Pantecius, Jevsan Pantecius, died during his sleep. Though no trace of poison was found, House Pantecius didn’t believe in such things. Someone had killed the old Pantecian. The question was who? Was it one of their own or another House on Arvarr? Regardless of the reason, members within the family vied for the position amongst themselves. While the head of a Noble House didn’t have an office within the Zelvan Regime, they were the heads of their family and responsible to appoint and manage the different fiefs appointed to their family. The informal title of Padhuraj is given to these heads who have considerable influences in the royal courts of the Regime.
The true purpose of the old Padhuraj’s death would be revealed during the power struggle. Jiregh Pantecius, the grandnephew of Jevsan, was the head of one of the largest MegaCorps in the Regime. His Pantecius Interstellar Heavy Industries had recently risen in the Regime stock exchange and gained a sizeable fortune. It was believed that this new position would propel the company further and make it the largest ships manufacturer of the Regime. When one of its niche subsidiaries, Emrayur Deluxe Engineering, had been sold to the rival company of House Veridurji. Thus P.I.H.I. had lost its economic momentum while Jiregh was distracted with succession politics. The whole E.D.E. situation had the stench of a serious blackmail on it and he would make House Veridurji pay for it later. Now though, for the long term sake of the Regime, he had to focus on his internal House.
Through careful manipulations he was able to gain the favour over the Jevsan’s own son, Baruyan. From his new position as Padhuraj of House Pantecius, he had renewed and vast resources. Enough to further his political and corporate interests. Now he resided on Arvarr where he would be much closer to all the Arvarr Noble Houses. It was Arvarr tradition that the Padhuraji remained on Arvarr. From the planets extensive infrastructure, they could easily keep an eye on their family’s fiefs and their rivalling houses.
Jiregh was enjoying the golden view from the top of Pantecius Spire. It was the first time since his arrival since he could really enjoy the view without fearing for some unwarranted relative to convince him that Baruyan would be the better choice for the House. The fool had already fled off-world to one of the resort worlds south of Seldis. For all Jiregh could care, he was far better off in the Pishar Territory. The western fringes of the Regime where slaves were harvesting resources to feed the economy of planets such as Arvarr or MegaCorps like Jiregh’s. The door behind opened and he quickly turned around. He was relieved at the sight of Jincra, the purple striped Tvo’Lek who served the late Padhuraj. She had brought some coufhee for her new master. Despite the Tvo’Lek’s relative old age, the live of a maid on Arvarr had spared her of the harsh treatments. Treatments Jiregh disapproved of. While slaves were unquestionable beneficial for his company and he firmly believed in the institution, he had come to see that a healthy and compassionate slave force was far more productive. The recent rise of his company was no mere coincidence after all.
As Jincra put down the coufhee on the table on the balcony she bowed and turned around to leave her master alone.
“Jincra… Where are you going? I didn’t dismiss you.”
The Tvo’Lek faced Jiregh again, though she obviously didn’t dare to look in his eyes. Looking at his feet in fear of his retaliation. Jiregh however smiled at her.
“I cannot have a maid that won’t look up.”
“Bu- But master! It’s improp-”
“I said look up. Look me in the eyes.”
The sight Jiregh saw next nearly broke his heart. The Tvo’Lek showed only fear in her eyes. Granted Jiregh had used his more aggressive voice, but it all still perplexed him. How such a little thing, nothing really, could instil such fear in a being. She too was confused as she saw her master smile. She concluded only one solution…
“Jincra what are you doing? Are you undressing yourself?”
“The old Padhuraj… Enjoyed drinking his coufhee in the presence of naked Tvo’Leki master. I- I assumed you wanted the same.”
Jiregh couldn’t help but feel his stomach turn inside. Arvarr breathes of decadence and he hoped he wouldn’t eventually succumb to it. He noticed Jincra was again looking at his feet. Avoiding his eyes as a sign of her subservient nature.
"Look me in the eyes, Jincra… Do you see Padhuraj Jevsan? "
“N- No. Master.”
“Well then…” Jiregh widened his smile and his eyes sparkled. He truly enjoyed helping to enlighten his subjects with his unorthodox style of rule. “If you won’t treat me like Padhuraj Jevsan. I won’t treat you like he did. It seems like a fair deal no?”
“A slave doesn’t concern herself with what’s fair. her master decides that for her.”
Jiregh came closer and put both his hands on her shoulders. Giving her his comforting smile again.
“Well Jincra… Your new master wishes that you sit down and drink the coufhee while we simply… talk.”
“Master, I’m not sure it is proper.”
“Like you said, the master decides for his slaves. Well I decide that you deserve a little bit of relaxation. Here.” Jiregh pulled out a chair, offering her to sit on it. “Com sit down and enjoy the view for once.”
Shyly, Jincra sat down looking at her master for further instructions.
“I told you to relax Jincra. Drink from it and enjoy the view. Isn’t it a beautiful sight?”
Jincra then looked up and likely for the first time, truly saw it. Slowly but steadily, she calmed herself down while admiring the golden landscape. After a while she began to drink from the coufhee and talked with Jiregh about her family. She clearly had begun to loosen up. The goal Jiregh had in mind all along. Give his subjects some comfort as well. The next hour the two discussed different issues, ranging from small talk to familial issues. It was a conversation Jincra never had with a master before, but Jiregh could see the sparkles of enjoyment in her eyes. Their small piece of heaven would however be interrupted by Junget Eraster, Jiregh’s own personal Mitant. As the tall and muscular figure with the back of his head filled with polished metal plaques set foot on the balcony, Jiregh politely dismissed Jincra for he had important matters to discuss.
“Master Jiregh, the spy has been successful in procuring the necessary files. It was as we suspected. House Veridurji was behind the recent death of Padhuraj Jevsan and E.D.E.'s buy-out.”
"Good, call Shahib Akura. We’ll confront him with the evidence and force
Shahib Donijeg Akura was the planetary governor of Arvarr and head of House Akura. It was a prestigious position that only members of House Akura could receive, though it also was a dangerous position. Despite all this, the position, having its own title, was the most influential position a non-Zelvan could have. The voice of the Shahib carried heavy weight in the Zel-An-Tok Palace on Zeltar. Jiregh planned to use this position to his advantage, though his plans wouldn’t reveal quite so soon. After half an hour, the Shahib’s hologram appeared over Jiregh’s office.
“Shahib Akura, you honour us.”
“The honour is mine. Tell me what can I do for the newly elected Padhuraj of House Pantecius?”
“I take it this channel is secure?”
“Of course, I wouldn’t have gotten this position if I was now would I?”
The large and rotund Arvarr laughed as the piercings on his left eyebrow clattered. Jiregh reciproked with a small smile.
“No indeed, though likely you would have enjoyed yourself on one of our resort worlds. As our friend Baruyan seems to do every quite so often.”
“It’s good that you are keeping tabs on that slime. He never was the most cunning of House Pantecius.”
“That he was not. He certainly wouldn’t have been able to get some very sensitive evidence.”
Jiregh clicked on his office’s controls and sent the file from earlier to the Shahib.
“You certainly haven’t taken time to rest from your election. I admire that. Help an old man out will you. What have you got?”
“Some evidence of the troubles House Verdurji has been causing us. Though perhaps myself more than others. I wish to ask a favour of you.”
“A favour now?” Akura laughed as his baritone voiced echoed through the room. “Well you certainly don’t hesitate when whipping now do you? You must know that a favour from the Shahib doesn’t come cheap. Surely the Ordinance Service wouldn’t appreciate such… Illegalities, shall we say.”
“You don’t fool me Shahib Akura, this planet reeks of such illegalities. Besides, I wouldn’t say this unless I knew you couldn’t refuse my offer.”
The Shahib chuckled again while pointing at Jiregh through the hologram. “Ah Jiregh, I see Kor-Azor has kept you sharp and calculated. One might say you might be a Mintant. Now that you have made the old man curious, don’t disappoint him.”
“I only need a few words from you in the Imperial Court, Shahib. In exchange, you’ll receive a substantial increase in your corporate shares. I’ve already taken care of it. If you were to check it, you’ll see it has an increase of exactly 0,542%. Consider that a down payment.”
The Shahib looked over some of his own consoles and was pleasantly surprised to see Jiregh’s accuracy. “And what might these words be exactly?”
“We have recently made contact with a neighbouring state. The Treecuu Star Empire. Reports have indicated that they know of other star nations out there. I wish for you to merely suggest that we should engage in formal diplomatic relations with them.”
“Phah! As if the Zelvans would want that? They’re more than happy with the current status quo.”
“Perhaps, but they might be even more happier with a potential result.”
“Please elaborate, Padhuraj.”
“Zelvanism teaches us that it is the divine duty of the Zelvans to bring order to the universe. By enslaving other races and installing great worlds like our own. Their righteousness is unquestionable, but the other star nations must come to the same conclusion. We could open their eyes to embrace our customs as we Arvarr once have. Through trade Arvarr itself could become the very centre. Imagine if Arvarr’s economy could be tenfold because of it. It would bring us wealth like we’ve never seen before… And with it, the position of Shahib would only increase…”
The Shahib looked sternly at Jiregh. For half a minute he did so, prying to get reacting out of the young Arvarr. Jiregh looked back like a stone.
“All right, considering you’re only asking for a few reasonable words… I’ll do what you ask.”
“Thank you Shahib, I ask of nothing more. Please let me no longer interrupt your evening.”
The Shahib then cut off his communications. For a first time bribing one of the most powerful people on Arvarr, it went rather well. But these were merely the first stepping stones of his larger plan. A plan to reshape the Sector and the Regime while making an incredible amount of profit. The plan of a true Arvarr…