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Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far Future
Julian Protectorate, The
by Michael R. Mikesh
Relations between Vargr and humans dominate the Julian Protectorate as it does in no other region of space. The population there mix the two races in almost equal proportion. As such, the setting provides Mega Traveller gaming groups an ideal opportunity to use the Vargr portions in the supplement, Vilani & Vargr: The Coreward Races (Digest Group, 1990).
The Imperial leadership probably promoted this view to lessen the humiliation of the Julian War, for we know now the view was wrong. Events of the Rebellion (1116 on) have made citizens suddenly aware of the truth of Julian power. The Protectorate navy, called the Star Legion, compares well with fleet strength under Dulinor's command at the beginning of the Rebellion. Julian diplomatic influence reaches across the Vargr Extents as far as the Windhorn Rift. It also possess the Menderes Corporation, whose services also reach to the Windhorn.
The sphere lured veteran Solomani traders to it even before the end of the Interstellar Wars (-2219). For their experience and familiarity, Emperor Hiroshi II began replacing the military governors, giving these distant posts to traders instead. While most areas around the Imperium continued to decay, the trader families sustained the region with minimal Imperial support.
The success of the sphere eventually attracted the attention of the Scorpion Company, a growing Solomani development corporation. Scorpion introduced to the Antares region new techniques and technology not used by the Vilani. While the Vilani often bypassed potentials, Scorpion aggressively invested in difficult efforts that promised lucrative rewards later. The corporation saw much promise among the worlds in Mendan and Amdukan.
In cooperation with Sharurshid, Scorpion recruited thousands of colonists annually throughout the bureau. Most were Vilani, eager to escape the decay of their worlds. Some were Solomani, attracted by grants of authority once at the new colonies. A few were shanghaied, made victims by recruiters in pursuit of commissions. All of them streamed toward Antares in cold sleep to then be directed to colonies. Some went to worlds near Antares, others coreward branching out along the Mendan Main. Many even went to virgin worlds beyond the Imperial borders in Gashikan and Trenchan Sectors.
The comparative vitality of Antares Sector and its coreward neighbors set the region apart from the rest of the Imperium. The delay in its decline created economic strain between Antares and the central government. Finally, in -1776, the Treasury at Hub/Ershur refused to honor a monetary issue of the branch treasury at Antares. Most Imperial scholars mark this events as the end of the Rule of Man and the beginning of the Long Night.
As the Imperium waned, Vargr streamed into the coreward regions, those under Makhidkarun bureau authority. Although initially welcomed as a resource by developers, corsairs and raiders inevitably followed in the wake of Vargr migrants. Conflict between humaniti and Vargr was common through the Long Night as the two races had not yet learned how to coexist.
Although already poor, relations took a disastrous turn in Gashikan Sector during -1658. Vargr corsairs dropped nuclear weapons on the human garden world of Gashikan and looted its wealth while the population suffered the global catastrophy. The shock from the Sack of Gashikan, and bloody reprisals inflicted on neighboring Vargr worlds, set off a chain of events that inflamed mutual feelings of race hatred as far rimward as Antares.
The Second Empire of Gashikan, formed in -1646, founding itself on the belief that the rise of the Vargr threatened the very existence of humaniti. Early efforts to destroy Vargr communities and drive the corsairs away from Gashilean Subsector occasionally met with defeat. When the Vargr struck back in kind, fear ever increased, fueling a fanatical determination to wipe out the aliens before the humans themselves were exterminated. As the race wars continued with each succeeding generation, fear and hatred of the Vargr rooted itself deeper into Gashikan society.
The xenophobia infected other communities to rimward as well. Gashikan campaigned feverishly to bring other star systems under its protection, and many accepted. Others, however, refused Gashikan's authority, eventually resulting in a fierce war of unification. At its greatest extent, the Second Empire of Gashikan encompassed most of Gashikan Sector, and half of Trenchan and Mendan. It also spilled about 5 parsecs into Meshan and Gzaekfueg Sectors where the Empire fought most of the later wars against the Vargr.
The Vargr Race Wars eventually ended about -1000, although the navy continued to vigorously and violently defend against Vargr incursions. No Vargr lived long within the borders of the Empire. The end of the wars, however, also heralded the beginning of a gradual reversal in the anti-Vargr prejudice that dominated the entire area.
Faltering tolerance for the Vargr started in the rimward halves of Mendan and Amdukan, areas outside the borders of the Second Empire of Gashikan. Humans occasionally ignored Vargr settlements on undesirable planets, as long as they posed no threat. When humans intervened, they increasingly preferred to enslave the Vargr rather than exterminate them.
Vargr slavery grew into an enormous industry that reached its height about -300. By this time, the Vargr population in human space outside of Gashikan swelled to a surplus. The number of freed Vargr exceeded those enslaved. Soon after this, the Menderes Corporation began a meteortic rise.
The Menderes Corporation was by far the largest company on Asimikigir (Amdukan 0223), and the most powerful by virtue of its family members active in government. It owned millions of Vargr who made up most of its labor force. Unlike elsewhere, however, Menderes went to great lengths to assure its Vargr lead happy and rewarding lives. Their productivity well exceeded the investment in return.
In a bold move, Karik Menderes, the family head at the time, transferred all Menderes Vargr to the status of employees in -321. Although motivated by economic reasons, it started a movement on the world that made slavery illegal on Asimikigir by -302. The trend spread to other worlds as well.
Tran Menderes also broke precedent in -275 by accepting a Vargr offer to carry Menderes goods off planet. Till then, Kudukara Lines, the principle transport line of the Empire of Gashikan, carried all goods for the region. Almost no worlds other than those in Gashikan had the ability to construct starships.
But the Vargr in Meshan did. By establishing a relationship with these first traders, more foreign Vargr soon approached Menderes in whom they found a receptive ear. The new association received region-wide criticism and saw much controversy even on Asimikigir. Tran, however, remained undaunted. In -247, the Menderes Corporation completed construction of its first starship, the Senarkhu, in a yard built with Vargr technology and assistance. Tran Menderes died as it set out on its maiden voyage.
The new merchant fleet at once entered competition with Kudukara Lines. In the history following that beginning, the two fought half a dozen trade wars, with Menderes the usual victor. Still, Menderes grew to eventually connect the Vargr Extents to the Enclaves and profited by the Vargr commerce it carried.
The Menderes Corporation founded its policies on the belief that racist and prejudice harmed business. The company had no interest in convincing the rest of the universe of this wisdom. It merely set aside such feelings for the sake of its commercial dealings. Still, these policies influenced the reshaping of the area. Vargr migrating to the area found less resentment and more opportunity for lucrative exchange with humans.
The region paid little attention to the rise of the Sylean Federation nor to the audacity of renaming itself the Third Imperium in year 0. This changed, however, in the aftermath of the Antarean Pacification Campaign in 89. Regions that once belonged to the Menderes's trading sphere fell to the control of the Third Imperium and the corporations that formed its base. Important Antarean families that resisted the Imperium fled coreward and brought with them their resentment of the Sylean upstarts.
During this time, the Imperium bore little tolerance or respect for the Vargr. Its treatment of Vargr controlled Corridor typified the attitude. As colonial ships passed through Corridor for the frontier, the Imperium more frequently resorted to intimidation and outright take-overs than friendly diplomacy.
Armed with this, the Menderes began a propaganda campaign across the coreward sectors giving both races common cause against the Imperium. They anticipated the Imperium would try to claim the region formerly controlled by the Makhidkarun bureau, now occupied by the Vargr. And indeed it did. In 166, the Imperium sent the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service and the Diplomatic Corps as its ambassadors of goodwill. But they generally received only a cool reception as a result of Menderes influence.
Frustrated, Martin I sent the Imperial fleets to drive into Mendan Sector, beginning the Julian War in 175. The people of the region displayed surprising resistance and, most unexpectantly, unity. Before the war, the region was divided into dozens of independent confederations. During it, however, they quickly rallyed to the Asimikigir Confederation, the Menderes Corporation, and Julian Menderes in particular when he became Regent and the Menderes family head in 178. Both races deeply respected Julian as a great leader. Many served him with fanatical loyalty.
Combining Vargr resourcefulness and human determination, Protectorate forces, collectively called the Star Legion, repulsed the Imperial fleets from the region by 185. They continue to press into the Imperium to force a formal peace agreement, and got it in 191.
In the final resolution, the Imperium gave a cluster of 12 worlds near Antares, captured by the Protectorate, autonomous status. In return, the Protectorate withdrew its bases from there. But before doing so, it placed several Antarean families, who fled the Pacification Campaigns, in positions of power within the League of Antares, as the cluster was later called.
In the year of their victory, the Julian Protectorate transformed itself from an emergency organization into a permanent authority, and established the Star Legion as its armed service. Since its purpose was to resist the advances of the Third Imperium, the Protectorate functioned less as an interstellar state and more as a defense alliance.
The Julian Protectorate, as a binding force for the region, slipped into dormancy with the passing of the years following the Julian War, but surged again during four separate occasions. The first occurred during the original Imperial Grand Survey (published 420). Scout Service survey cruisers entering the coreward sectors sparked concerns the Imperium meant to use gathered intelligence in a renewed war. Many states refused the Scouts permission to operate in their systems.
However, when incidents involving clandestine Scout missions began to occur, goodwill between the coreward states and the Imperium quickly dissolved. The Julian Protectorate came to alert and dispatched the Star Legion to carefully patrol the entire region. Until publication of the Grand Survey, the Protectorate engaged the Imperium in a cat and mouse like contest against the survey ships. The Imperium still managed to survey most of the region to class III.
The second surge in Protectorate influenced happened during the Vargr Mission (486 to 499), which was one of a series of Alien Missions started by Martin III in 382. Having given attention to most of its neighboring regions, the Scout Service moved on to send teams of xenologists, journalists, and diplomats into the Extents to learn more of the Vargr.
Politics, however, troubled the Vargr Mission. Displeasure with the Imperium during the Grand Survey had paled. However, emissaries from radical anti-Imperial factions within the Julian Protectorate preceded the Scouts, encouraging local governments to turn back the Imperial teams. Where these emissaries failed, they resorted to terrorism, often hiring corsair bands to attack the Scout Service ships.
Cleon IV sent Imperial Naval Intelligence to counter the anti-Imperials' activities, particularly the terrorism. Naval Intelligence responded to the challenge with an enormous effort that soundly neutralized the anti-Imperials. But this Hidden War (488 to 494) was widely publicized in the Julian Protectorate, enhancing a negative attitude toward the Imperium. Although the Scouts faced no further interference, they shortened the Vargr Mission and moved on.
The third return from dormancy occurred during the Second Survey (published 1065). In many ways, events during the Second Survey paralleled those of the First. The Imperium, however, sent far fewer clandestine missions and relied more heavily on diplomacy. Still, some damaging incidents did occur between secret survey cruisers and Star Legion patrols.
The utovogh tirades sparked the fourth and latest surge. While anti-Imperial feelings soared across the Vargr Extents, favor of the Julian Protectorate tended to accompany it. Anticipating eventual belligerence, the Protectorate built up the Star Legion to the largest its been since the Julian War.
THE JULIAN PROTECTORATE
The Protectorate, however, does give the community of states structure. It mediates disputes, provides a set of interstellar laws, and promotes communication and cooperation. It also has a standing armed service used for patrols and to react to crises.
The borders of the Julian Protectorate are not easy to define since membership in the Protectorate varies in degrees. Till recently, Imperial cartographers drew the Protectorate as a state on the four corners of Mendan, Amdukan, Empty Quarter, and Antares Sectors. In fact, this is but the Julian core. Isolated associate member worlds exist as far away as Windhorn Sector.
Since the beginning of the Rebellion, revised charts also include those confederations even with a slightly reduced involvement than the core worlds. Current charts show the Protectorate enveloping all of Amdukan Sector and extending into all adjacent sectors.
The spinward half of the Julian Protectorate is far the more commercially active. Here lies the Mendan Main used by the Vilani traders for millennia. More importantly, this is where the Protectorate interfaces with the Imperium, Gashikan, and Vargr trade routes leading all the way to Lair.
The trailing half includes much of the Vargr Enclaves, a less dynamic region of Vargr space. Worlds tend to remain independent of an interstellar community, except for direct membership with the Julian Protectorate. It interfaces with no significant neighbors other than K'kree, who at best give cold regard to the Julians.
Like the Imperials, the Protectorate uses Galanglic as its official interstellar language, specifically a broad dialect called Transform. This is the same as the dialect found in the Antares region of the Imperium. The roots of Transform extend back to the Rule of Man and the activities of the Scorpion Company. During the Third Imperium, the dialect has evolved slightly to accommodate Vargr. Interface trading brought these elements into the Antares region as well.
While Vargr and humans populate the Julian sectors in almost equal proportion, the distribution is not homogeneous. Individual world populations may have any proportion at all. Vargr are generally less common closer to Gashikan Sector.
Other races also exist in the Protectorate. Humans and Vargr clearly dominate, while most others tend to remain on their respective homeworlds. Two additional races also play an interstellar roll, a large, somewhat aggressive lizardoid race called the Hhkar, and the Bwaps (see "Contact! Newts," JTAS #11) to a lesser degree.