It's going to be a short personal blurb today. The first reason is because writing is going well, but I can't share any of the things I want to gush about due to it all being in first draft condition and I refuse to subject you to anything before it's edited. And edited. And edited again. And that process repeated multiple times. Lol.
The second reason is because I've had eczema my entire life and currently the skin on a few of my fingertips is dry and cracked and typing hurts more that it should. I'll keep using my cortisone cream and have better fingers in a few days. Today, however, there is ouch and I don't want to suffer.
Content Warning: I know I said I'd do warnings for the big terror attack and the violence / injuries in this story, and those are still at a distance from now, but I feel there needs to be a warning here for the history of the Daions because of the plague and then mistreatment the survivors went through. These happenings are not presented as detailed accountings and this summary of the history in this story's universe forms part of its current politics. This warning is here so you know the flavor of this chapter.
Leo shut off his personal comp hours later. He’d been good at history, but the refresher he’d just given himself left a queasier feeling than he could attribute solely to the quickly eaten galley meal.
The last two worlds with signs of habitation Dockland had scanned were Daion worlds. The first was one of their historical First Landing Colonies, and this one Dockland was scanning right now – planet sixty-eight – had been a home world. Planet seventy-four had also been a Daion home world but, more than that, it had been their Central World.
The very first explorations out of Coalition controlled space had been one-way. The ships had been huge, designed to separate into components capable of landing on habitable planets and becoming shelters for the explorers. They’d carried building materials, housed active, mechanized farms because seed foods were all that were available at that level of technology, and they’d contained stable populations of all the living things needed to establish colonies and then enable them to thrive and grow. Early forms of Advanced Cryo were utilized so living beings could survive the dozens of standard years required for interstellar travel prior to modern over distance technology.
During the Fifty Year Revolt, many colony communications were disrupted and some lost, and a few entire colonies were lost along with the records of them. Some of the most distant lost colonies were close enough together they began communicating with each other when they lost contact with Coalition. They formed their own system, evolving into a people who called themselves Daions after multiple generations passed.
Scientists, innovators, farmers, artists, teachers, adventurers, every discipline deemed necessary for a colony’s survival along with the natural progression of expanding technology, medicine communication, and education… Daion worlds flourished just as well as Coalition worlds. Some historians argued Daions ended up better. A few hundred standard years after the Fifty Year Revolt, New Coalition started calling itself Coalition and history reduced those tumultuous centuries into a few pages within childhood school books. A few hundred standard years after that, new explorations were started – with more advanced technology – and Coalition ships travelled back out into what they thought at the time were uncharted and unexplored sectors.
Stumbling into Daion controlled space had been a chance encounter. Voice and vid communications, as well as history data exchanges once political relationships became friendly instead of tentative, confirmed Daions as descendants of Old Coalition lost exploration colonies. The news was top page for weeks, and search results now still brought up pages and pages of articles. The first formal meeting, face to face, was between allied political leaders for signing the Agreement of One Cause. Coalition Public Face travelled to meet Daion Voice, their highest members of both governments in the same room for document signing, vid ops, and still vid and still holo images. (Leo even found an announcement about a planned holocinema, but it was never made.) Daions were publicly recognized as equals, although there were thick private opinions about ‘upstart colonizers’ on more than a few Coalition worlds.
Some Daions had started getting sick before that first formal meeting, though. Over twelve hundred standard years had passed since those colonizers had left Coalition sectors for their one-way journey, and the immune systems of their descendants had been exposed to so many other things Coalition peoples hadn’t encountered that Daions were hailed as a better evolution. It was true their immune systems were heartier, something medical exploration had planned to study because of the benefits to populations the galaxy over, but their immune systems weren’t impervious.
The initial people who got sick barely raised any attention because they weren’t prominent people, and their sicknesses were the results of in-person meetings for trade business which wasn’t entirely legal. Due to the business being illegal, and Daions being descendants of lost Coalition colonies, proper isolation and cleansing protocols for meeting new species or visiting unknown planets were ignored.
After the agreement was signed, due to the large number of high profile people at the week-long schedule of meetings, the much higher number of sick started to get a lot of attention. Viral warfare verbiage was thrown around and denials were just as loud. It turned out a common cold virus in Coalition space was an airborne, lethal plague in Daion space. A vaccine was developed as quickly as possible, but the kill rate had been… beyond count. Daion civilization collapsed and survivors were (as the history books written by Coalition stated) absorbed into Coalition.
Not absorbed in reality, though, Leo thought glumly. The thick opinions on some worlds reared up in ugly ways throughout Coalition, running rampant that Daions viewed themselves as superior because Coalition medical scientists admired their immune systems. Daion culture was different, their ways deemed other, and the people were ostracized on some worlds and subjugated on others. Radical factions of Coalition populations simply assumed lies and opinions as fact, their point of view dictating that Daion people had been rightfully punished through the plague by some higher power for the original colonies having never returned after losing contact. It became a normalized view on some worlds that medical reports stating Daion immune systems were superior was publicly admitted self-proclamations of secular superiority over all Coalition peoples. The radical factions argued it was due justice to undermine, degrade and abuse the plague survivors for the opinion-based views many Radicals imposed.
To Leo, the whole argument against Daions was a bolt situation, but it had the partially positive outcome of bringing about Coalition’s response of New Wave. Radical factions were – and Leo had to quote his dad on this one because the history, surprisingly, wasn’t as polite – as isolated as they should have been in the first place. Daions who survived the abuse on those Radical worlds were granted refugee status on other worlds, but the damage had already been done.
So much damage had already been done.
Populations in the billions had been reduced to thousands. Those thousands had been marked irreparably when their worlds were placed under Non Settlement laws, meaning they weren’t allowed to return home. Radical views were thinned on Coalition worlds which claimed to offer safety, but radical opinions had been advertised enough to become ingrained through repetition. To admit being Daion now was an immediate track to a life of the lowest caste in Coalition space. Many made the best they could but, overall, it was apparent in the census reports for the past five standard years that Daion people were disappearing. Probably into extinction, Leo thought sadly.
Leo and most of the crew on Dockland hadn’t been born yet when New Wave started, but nobody on board was dumb enough to think New Wave planning for isolating radical groups would actually fix the situation. Now there were rumors of even more radicalized beliefs than had gotten the Radicals isolated, with the gossip and hearsay working into New Wave sectors. That’s why a lot of people – Leo included – had volunteered for these explorations.
Senior Coalition could call explorations whatever they wanted to, and right now they were going with something pleasant like ‘New Colony Viability’, but every planet on the list for being scanned had been discovered before and each one had a reason for having military viability. Daion planets were extremely valuable due to having so many developed assets left behind, and enforced Non Settlement laws protecting them, so Senior Coalition wanted to get to everything before any of the Radicals could. Planet seventy-four had the potential to be a world of opportunity as long as nobody acknowledged they were rooting through the hundred standard year old mausoleums every building had become.
Planetary grave robbing was, apparently, a great way to accumulate developed resources and technology.
A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!