Thread: Flat Black
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Flat Black

Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post

The only people who appear to have to value the lives of others for this to work are the Empire policy-makers. They don't seem to be asking anyone's permission to prevent planetary annihilation events.
Indeed not.

They have to ask permission from the Imperial Senate when considering Interventions to remove a particularly inept or corrupt colonial government (and since the Senate consists of a Senator from each colony, this permission is rarely given except in the most egrerious cases), but the Empire definitely makes no excuses for the fact that given a serious CT threat, they regard it as an Imperial prerogative to end this threat. With any means at their disposal.

The evils of mass death are drummed into native-born Imperials from birth with TL10 psychoengineering and mostly they turn out with a fanatical hatred for weapons capable of snuffing out large numbers of human beings. About half of the Imperial service is also made up of colonial recruits, carefully selected with psychoanalysis to make sure that their personalities and motivations are in harmony with the Empire's central Mission (as well as being honourable and trustworthy enough to warrant being given responsibility).

The 'race' of Imperial Servants makes up about 0.0002% (slightly less shortly after the Treaty of Luna, slightly more later) of the population of the setting. And they are like nothing we know in our world, in that each and every one of them tends to be utterly trustworthy, selfless and dedicated to a higher purpose with single-mindedness approaching obsession.

A majority of Imperial Servants are aid workers, development economists, technical advisors, etc. They seek to help the less advanced colonies to manage their affairs in such a way as not to fall into one of the failure modes of colonial economies and consequent mass deaths from famine, disease, civil wars or pogroms. Colonies are free to refuse help from the Empire, unless the Senate passes an Intervention Act, but most prefer to get the free technical assistance, even at the price of some well-meaning political and jurisprudence advice.

A significant minority of Imperial Servants work in either the two revenue-making industries of the Empire (Eichberger Spaceways or Eichberger Realty Corp) or in supporting service or manufacturing sectors which allows the continued running of these industries, of the Residencies (embassies) and other Imperial Direct Jurisdictions (where Imperials live) and the other branches of the Service.

Then there's the Imperial Navy. A powerful force of warships controlled by honourable fanatics dedicated to ensuring that humanity does not have the means by which to destroy itself. The Imperial Navy in its entirety is a significant fraction of the Imperial manpower and Naval Intelligence is almost as large as the Astronautics branch (those who actually drive armed spaceships). It is the responsibility of Naval Intelligence to watch any research that might lead to weapons of mass destruction with the aformentioned gimlet eyes, that and ensure that no situation likely to end in massive deaths develops without the Empire being aware of it.

The Marines are smaller than the Navy and trained and selected much more like a special operations force like to-day's SAS or Delta Force than shock troopers. Each Marine has to be versed in anything ranging from Meteoric Drop assaults inside the largest city on a TL10 world to counter-insurgency in the jungles of a TL0 colony, with hostage rescue and urban counter-terror operations being their most common task. Responsible for the safety of Residencies, which can be a formiddable undertaking, as Imperials tend to attract a lot of attention from anti-social elements on some colonies.

In later periods, the Imperial authority to enforce the Imperial Crimes Act becomes more than a theoretical possibility with the establishment of the Independent Commissioner for Justice. His Imperial Marshals have authority to enforce Imperial law anywhere, but they have to get their warrants from the local Imperial Magistrate, who is appointed by the colony in question and tends to be about as fond of the Empire muscling in on colonial business as the average pimp is of a customer who claims to be a male prostitute and demands that he be paid for that bit of business. Their cases are also tried in courts staffed with colonial appointees.

The whole rigamole is then controlled by the Imperial Office, where you can find more impartial, honest and sensible public officials than you can shake a stick at. The psychoengineered, créche-raised Imperial Heirs are paragons of wisdom and Imperial virtue and only the best of them eventually join the Board of Trustees. Each and every one of them is a ruthless philanthropist who will allow no human emotion to interfere with his selfless service to the human race. The wishes of individual humans don't even register in the vast and incomprehensible calculus that underlies the hard decisions that must be taken by those cool and dispassionate intellects.
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