Traveller: Spitballing the Avalar Consulate

Traveller ImageAs you may be aware, Jon Brazer Enterprises is working on the Foreven Sector for Traveller. While there is little canon for the sector, one of them is the planet Avalar and it has a C law level. Considering the Traveller Main Rulebook goes up to a 9 on the law level, I’ve been trying to work out what exactly that means in practical terms. My girlfriend and I were talking about that this morning and we came up with a number of ideas. We would like your opinion on them.

First off, you need a license for everything. You need a license from the government to have kids and a separate license from the government to raise kids. The government only issues licenses to have kids to couples they deem to be genetically compatible with the Avalar vision for the future. If you want a run a company, it must be licensed and frequently reviewed by the government to be in keeping with the Avalar ideals of progress. All citizens must just have an implant that connects their minds directly to the planetary communication array. Naturally all criminals must be implanted to keep tabs on them.

Back to children for a moment: all zygotes are removed from the mother’s body and raised in a gestation farm until the child reaches a weight where it can care for itself. The zygote is modified at this stage to remove genetic defects, improve the future child’s genetic potential as well as direct the overall flow of children entering the next generation. This will ultimately increase the overall potential of society. While the Consulate encourages diversity, any zygote that are too far astray from the Avalar ideals are terminated at this stage. Parents that are licensed to raise children may not necessarily raise their own children. A child genetically predisposed to high intelligence will be placed in a home that meets all Avalar loyalty requirements as well as demonstrates a thorough understanding of academic requirements and and produce a positive growing environment. This not only pairs children with a household that will foster their unique potentials but also eliminates social problem such as physical and mental abusiveness, by not allowing such persons to raise children.

Areas of the planet are designated for Avalarians that are unincorporated, those without the necessary implants to be fully functioning members of society. The unincorporated cannot leave their designated zones without a license. These people are denied access to high paying positions and seldom receive higher education. They do not get a say in the way their government is run and are frequently turned down for other opportunities available to the implanted.

Avalar has two main exports to the Federation of Worlds (known by some as die Weltbund): prenatal vitamins and youth education programs. Several corporation provide vitamins to parents that are marketed to increase the health of their children. While they are proven to do so, they have side effects that increases the redness in the child’s hair, make the eyes more brown, have increased height and other Avalarian characteristics. Childhood education corporations graduate children that perform exceptionally well on standardized tests. However, some parents notice that their children have a significant fondness for the Avalar Consulate. Few parents, however, feel this fondness is enough to warrant pulling their children out of such a program that produces such exceptional results.

This is what we have so far. Please tell us what you think in the comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Traveller: Spitballing the Avalar Consulate

  1. Since the government type is “Impersonal Bureaucracy”, and TravellerMap rates Law Level C as “unrestricted invasion of privacy”, I think you’re on the right track. I love their “Export and Assimilate” philosophy. They should read like a technological version of the Zhodani Consulate. Everyone is happy and loyal, and can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to live like they do.

  2. The borg was one of the ideas behind them. Other ideas included space nazis and the shadows from Babylon 5.

  3. I used to have a “DPforPV” designation for law levels above the highest with designations. With apologies to Steve Martin for theft, that meant “Death Penalty for Parking Violations.”

  4. It also reminds me of Brave New World complete with Coventry. Still I like it, but then I do dig me a good fictional dytopia (not so keen on the real ones).

  5. It would be interesting to speculate on how the Avalar Consulate relates with other interstellar polities. I would suspect that they would oppose the Zhos – different approaches but similar societal aims – but would find common cause with the Zhos against the Imperials.

  6. Considering they they share a similar government structure as the Zhodani Consulate, I am speculating they have reasonably close ties to each other. Having said that, I’d assume that since the majority of the worlds they take over have cultural ties with the Imperium, requiring the Avalarians to have positive relations for trade, whether the rulers want it or not. I actually kind of picture it as not dissimilar to the Ukraine. They have close economic ties to Russia, but the people are demanding closer ties to the West. So the government either has to walk the fine line carefully or face massive rebellions.

  7. I would imagine that if you needed a license to have a child (especially with the high law level) then all males and females are fitted with birth control devices upon puberty (you could even make it some sort of rite of passage) to ensure no ‘accidents’ would occur. A high-tech world with such totalitarian leanings would not want messy abortions or illicit breeding going on.
    If you can’t leave your zone without a license, that would mean some sort of universal ID mechanism, either passive (genetic or retinal), or active (chip implants). Since you don’t mention it, I’d assume things like bar code markings that are visible to not be part of the setting. Though for those with less desirable traits, having society force them to be marked in such a way would fit in with the ideals. It would also make it harder for them to blend in with their betters.
    The direct-connect to the planetary data arrays via implant is interesting. It would require very high levels of tech and medical tech to both build the implants and to allow for thought readings by the mind police. And that begs a question – how in the hell do you monitor all those minds all the time? It also makes it possible (since this is SF) that you could have hackers who are against the government and use other people to carry out rebellious acts. The tv show Intelligence might provide you with some ideas on how to handle humans with chip implants. I would suspect that criminals would have their chips altered so they would be flagged with their implant. Probably reduced to the scut work of society since they would be the lowest of the lows. With such a high law level I would suspect you’d have entire ghetto’s of criminals and undesirables. Perfect places to forment dissent and where people go to get drugs and other illegal things (maybe holidays away from the mind police?). You probably would want to get a better backstory on how the monitoring works and how people keep their secrets. You know that there are going to be powerful people with thoughts and desires against the law and they’d need some way to maintain power and still enforce their policies. Much like people in power today do such things behind closed doors. Except mind monitoring would make that much harder – especially since it would have to be automated to handle such a large population.
    A planetary export of vitamins seems kind of improbable. Vitamins could easily be manufactured locally far cheaper than shipping them in from off-planet. No society with a TL of 6-7 or better would need to do so. Plus it seems kind of an overly-simplistic hook. I think you’d be better off with say with exports of other medical supplies, say a lower-level of anagathics or some other sort of medical drug that would appeal to the upper-end of society (i.e. the rich and powerful) that affects the parents and THEN it would tend to influence the offspring and even provide the genetic traits you are suggesting. That way it would seem more plausible, especially if you put the TL of Avalar higher than the other planets to engender a TL superiority that provides them with the ability to manufacture drugs of this type to make it happen. Perhaps a nanotech, or biotech background that allows them to encapsulate the capabilities into the treatments. If you gave the plot a longer lead time you could say that Avalar is patient and is willing to wait the decades (or longer) required to build up sympathetic populations on other planets of people that have a gentic “fondness” for Avalar. Then couple that with offering the offspring of these people trips to Avalar to study and you have the ability to indoctrinate them even further.

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