The below is written in character. If you’d like to see a certain topic in the universe of the comic addressed, please drop me a note here or on my twitter account.
I broke a promise I had made to myself: No politics. This entry in my series is very much political and dealing with that sticky area of colonization when it involves sentient species. Of course the thing that comes to mind when I bring this up now is the latest branch of our galactic family, the Rapterra.
This entry is also different in another way as it is less a Galactipedia article draft, but rather an opinion piece of my own choice. I do not forget my roots however, as you shall see this article uses my encyclopedic knowledge to a great degree. I am curious how Editorial will respond to it, of course, but really, this is written for you because you, dear readers, seem interested about my view on these subjects. So far this series has exceeded my expectations.
Silver Spiral Field Notes: #004 The Rapterra Problem
Part of the understanding of the problem of the Rapterra into the larger galaxy requires some knowledge about galactic politics and the nature of colonization between the Federation and the Blassnaught Empire. All of this, of course, also requires an understanding of the circumstances of the Dividing War, but any well-educated galactic citizen is very familiar with this.
The Rapterra are, of course, the latest race to integrate into the galactic stage and serve as a distillation of Imperial colonization and governance that is in complete contrast to the Musset and the Federation’s policies on integrating new races into the dominion. The Rapterra have been popping up on more and more Imperial worlds as they begin to establish their own holdings in the larger galaxy. The fundamental issue here, however, is that the Rapterra never had their own space program. They are a race who are still relatively early in the development in their civilization who have had technology rapidly thrust upon them by the Empire. Thousands of reports indicate a certain level of savagery within the populace, and now a race that had not even begun to conceptualize traveling the stars is now able to do so without performing the work of unlocking that ability for themselves.
Where the Rapterra are the latest race on the galactic stage, the Musset are the second latest having become full-fledged Federation citizens within the last decade. The Mussett, of course, have already contributed major advances to the whole galaxy. For a long time the technological rivalry of the Grey and Mantoid has become somewhat static, but the Mussett, having been established colonists themselves have certainly provided fresh perspective on current technologies. That is the key, that the Mussett already understand and respect the powers of space, and – I am sure this statement will be most controversial- are more civilized. They are familiar with technology and computer systems. All field reports within the last five years indicate the Rapterra’s technology did not vary much beyond blasting power, wheels, and sails. The Rapterra were simply not ready for space travel, and now they are struggling, quite violently, with a system that expects a certain understanding of physics and galactic history.
One of the elements that divides the colonization perspectives of the Federation and Empire is the question of integration of a race into galactic society. Galactic society is a complex ecosystem of different races, laws, religions, cultures, technology and perspectives and the haphazard integration of one new element into this mix can prove chaotic, such as the case of the integration of Terrans and the resulting war. That is not to say the integration of the Terran colonists of Earth into the galaxy was the sole cause for the Dividing War, but it was most assuredly the spark which lit the tinder. When they Musset were first observed, studies were held by the Federation, and within months, due to the optimistic results of the studies, first contact was established. From there it took a further two years to establish the integration process, but that calm, measured approach has been nothing but beneficial for the Federation (and to an extent the Neutrality which modeled its integration policies on the Federation’s). Clearly a lesson was learned from the Dividing War. On the other hand we have the Empire who have shown their approach to colonial expansion as anything but measured. Sure there have been great successes on their part, such as footholds on planetoids that for the most part would be considered uninhabitable, but that also has lead to the Rapterra problem. For the Empire, the Rapterra present a solution to providing bodies on the ground and an expansion to colonial security, but their integration was nothing but hasty in every sense of the word. This is of course speculation, but it is clear that the Empire is interested in laying claim to large swathes of territory, and the Rapterra could alleviate the concern of needed bodies. If anything, this can help put to rest the rumors or involuntary colonization that has been spreading from Blassna.
The Rapterra seem to present something that the galaxy has lost in many ways, though and it seems like their presence is a bit of a game-changer. For a long time we of the Silver Spiral have been a bit too wrapped up in ourselves and our technology. The Rapterra are a little more free from those relationships and are a little more primal, for lack of a better term. Just as the Mussett have contributed much though their fresh perspective on technology, perhaps the Rapterra, barring these violent instances, can teach us something as well. This colonial boom is a grand experiment in the grand scheme of our galactic history and the Rapterra seem to be one component that, while fitting in awkwardly, may come to play a vital role in the years to come.