Society

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Social Structure[edit]

When the colony ship first landed and disembarked the cold sleepers, the task of setting up the colony fell to the military leadership, who handled it with the typical way the military handles things, in a hierarchical manner with documentation and processes for everything. Anyone needed for a leadership position that was not immediately on the Ryo-Ohki was assigned a rank and given minimal training in order to give them the authority that they needed for their tasks. Eventually, when the bare minimum infrastructure was set up, with power, manufacturing, food processing and living quarters, a civilian government was set up with the military subordinate to elected civilian leaders.

Somewhat similar to the Earth's EASA, a three part governing body was constructed, with a judicial, legislative and an executive body, with certain powers and duties being granted to each. Because there were only a few colonists to start with, much of the work done was by robots and specialized AI, with the colonists being knowledge workers and doing design. Even now, much of the physical labor is done by specialized AI while the colonists do what they're good at doing. It is not quite a post-scarcity society, but power, food and shelter are readily available. People are still required to do various jobs, and there is a large need for technical, scientific and medical services, with those services being highly paid. There is a currency, but because power, food and shelter are readily and cheaply available, most of that goes to services beyond the first three layers of Maslow's pyramid of hierarchies, and many people who do not work directly for the civilian government or the utilities work to further their own businesses providing those services or possibly have their own scientific and societal pursuits. All of the works of mankind were taken aboard the colony ship, and are available to anyone who wants them.

Military Life[edit]

Being a soldier is one of the more difficult jobs, and is quite dangerous as well, so currently, soldiers and the military pay quite well. All areas of the military are in need of personnel, and there is a large PR drive to produce high quality operators at all levels, from spacecraft mechanics to black ops. However, government isn't always where soldiers are found. There are also military contractors, companies that field mercenary squads, platoons, even at the company level. Civilians also do work in the military, with a clearance level, but no military rank.

Military life in the Hope system is much like it is on Earth, with strict adherence to the chain of command, rank and a code as well as a culture that forbids fraternization in and outside the ranks. There are two command structures for the military, one that corresponds to old United States Army and one that corresponds to the old United States Navy. The NH System Army consists of infantry, mechanized and flight operations. The NH System Navy consists of any and all space craft, including shuttles, drop ships, and ships of the line.

Enlisted personnel can choose to live on the base in the barracks for free, or they can pay for either an on-base or off-base apartment. Enlisted personnel who are married have an additional stipend they can use for on-base housing. Officers also have on-base and off-base housing they can choose to live in. Typically they are not sequestered from civilians, but may choose to live on base to save money or for convenience.

Military personnel who are not working on the bases and in their command structures are often deployed for long periods of time. Three to six months deployment periods are the most common lengths. These deployment phases can be anywhere from being on a ship that's doing system picket duty, in a flotilla that's exploring, being assigned on a base inside the system, or being on a space station that's sitting on a Lagrange point. Some assignments involve quite a bit of combat duty for the areas that are in contention.

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Civilian Life[edit]

Civilian life is a smaller scale version of life on Old Earth. One hundred years after landing on New Earth, there are now multiple cities on the many islands of the planet. There are an abundance of jobs available for those who want them and they are necessary to have if they want access to some of the luxuries that are provided by the other citizens. The kind of jobs available are things that can't be done by the limited AIs or automated factories. Information workers are in high demand, as are anyone with creative design like artists, writers and musicians. Critical services (nurses, doctors, peace officers) are also in high demand, but are high stress, and carry quite a bit of cultural respect and capital. While there are some citizens who do not have a job and are content to lay around doing nothing, social pressure is enough for most people to go out and seek something useful to do and to contribute.

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Psychic Powers and Alien Life forms[edit]

Once the NH System Navy began exploring outside of Hope, they discovered aliens, some even advanced enough to have their own faster than light technology. While there were a few initial hostile engagements, since then there have been peace treaties signed, trade alliances enacted and immigration/emigration to and from the Hope system to these various alien worlds. Thus, there are numerous aliens on New Earth, hoping to earn their fortunes there and to get a new start. Some may be fugitives fleeing justice or refugees fleeing war, but most are welcome so long as they don't create trouble. Once these alien immigrants have lived on New Earth for a period of 5 years, they are eligible for citizenship and voting in the government.

While there are a great many aliens on New Earth now, they typically only make up 30% of the population. However, they can be found in all aspects of society, from artist, doctor to soldier and politician. The colonists from Old Earth were exposed to aliens for a good long time and were already acclimatized to their existence, and all that was needed for full acceptance to these new aliens was an understanding of their underlying philosophy, outlook and for the new immigrants to accept the culture of New Earth while also holding on to their own.

While the populace was wholly and willing to accept alien cultures, what they were unprepared for were the emergence of psychics and psychic powers. These powers started emerging as soon as landing took place, with 15% of the populace being affected with more being born every day. The psychic powers started with telepathic abilities that allowed someone to do two way communication between the telepath and a non-telepath, but not to read their minds, to being able to pull 'gambits' like being able to freeze water at range or hack a robot without the use of a computer. The emergence of these powers were controversial, with riots and hunts happening at settlements until the government had to step in to quell the violence. In time, psychic powers too became accepted as nearly everyone knew someone who had them, and their children were also being born with them. Today, psychics are accepted as normal and are neither held up as exemplary nor downtrodden.

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The Strange[edit]

Back on Old Earth, there was an organization called The Estate, whose mission was to deal with any phenomenon that dealt with The Strange or the chaosphere as it was sometimes called. The Strange is the name given to the dark matter/dark energy that makes up most of the universe. It is an artifact that was constructed by unknown beings soon after the afterglow of the Big Bang that created our universe. This network hosts creations called 'recursions', the fiction of conscious beings given life. For example, in the recursion of Rukh, steampunk fiction is the rule, where Mad Science is the norm and runs rampant throughout that reality. In Ardeyn, magic and fantasy is the fiction that reigns supreme. Normally, no one would be concerned about this, except that there are people, beings that are quickened, who are aware of the Strange and can go back and forth between it and our Prime Reality. That is the mission of the Estate, to monitor these incursions, to make use of them, and to make sure that knowledge of them does not escape to the general public.

There is also another concern, that of the planetovores. These are creatures that consume entire planets, who enter normal space when they find a rich source of energy. These creatures normally dwell only within the Strange and emerge to consume planets when they find one. The only reason that Old Earth was safe is because of its richness of recursions; it is somewhat shielded by the sheer number that are in place around it. However, New Earth does not have such a luxury, which is why representatives of the Estate have hidden themselves away on Colony ships in order to promote literature, creativity and imagination in order to spawn recursions off-planet, in order to give fledgling societies a chance.

Special Forces commands know about the Estate and cooperate with them from time to time, and may even send missions in and out of recursions. Rukh and other recursions that are around Old Earth are not reachable, but there are newer ones out there or impossibly old ones that have been there since the dawn of time.

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Artificial Intelligence[edit]

While there are robots, androids and cyborgs whose intelligence and capabilities are comparable to sentient species, they are not manufactured on New Earth. Cyborg prostheses and body are manufactured off-world, either using advanced technology of much older alien races or excavated caches of ancient tech. Robots and androids are the result of excavated caches of ancient technology, which can be repaired, but not manufactured by any of the races close to New Earth. Artificially intelligent computing units do exist, but usually as part of an isolated network governing an installation like a station, small moon or a single building. These units are also not manufactured, but have existed and outlived their creators and they themselves do not know how they were made.

Some research into AI try to approximate general behavior, but most of the work done is in very narrow fields of expertise or tasks. So far, while very close approximations to general behavior can be made, the models break down after a while and stop behaving in a 'normal' manner or have some aberrant behavior.

The robots, androids and cyborgs are accepted much like any other alien race in the Hope system. They were introduced gradually, as the system matured, and New Earth acquired more allies in their various encounters with alien races and hostile forces. Because they're not manufactured, they are not treated as disposable units, but as actual persons who fulfill a need in society. As far as roles in society go, artificial persons are found in all walks of life, from researchers (androids, mostly) to soldiers (cyborgs) in the military.