Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Inbound

The passenger liner hurtled on through the faux-blue realm of hyperspace, bound inexorable for the centre of the universe. Within its cavernous interior thousands of immigrants, returning citizens, and transit passengers sat and mingled and ate and slept - or did the equivalent of their species - the normal hubbub of sapient activity so native to the galaxy at large.

Genes did not unite the Galaxy, but shared communion of life did.

This was not the era of war and strife, of conflicts that consumed worlds. The Sith Wars had died out years ago; the Sith in hiding or dead, never having risen again. The galaxy was in the throes of its last golden age under the Republic. Trade lanes lay open under the token protection of the Republic Navy. Ships in the trillions navigated the space lanes, feeding the ever-growing furnace of the Galactic economy. At once there was a demographic shift to the more affluent Core Worlds. Planets of renown and legend, names that whispered down the corridors of galactic history - Corellia, Corulag, Alderaan - now found themselves targets of eager floods of suddenly-affluent galactic migrants inbound from less glamorous locales in the outer reaches of the galaxy.

For what seemed the first time in thousands of years of strife, those planets had the resources to accomodate the swarming crowds.

The Centre of the Universe, ironically, had never enjoyed such control. Coruscant, embattled ecumenupolis, bearer of a thousand scars of conflict - motherworld of civilization - it has always been the figurehead of a galaxy that took care of itself. Privy to the wishes of smaller, more powerful conglomerates, like the Czerka corporation or the Huttese economic and political hegemony, Coruscant was bound to play a continuous cosmic game of chance and political appeasement to these myraid groupings. It was little more than a nominal leader to the Core Worlds and not much more than a distant guardian of the Outer Rim, where the Republic was little more than a distant rumour and corporations ruled with absolute control.

With the end of the Sith Wars, however, all that changed. A century of increasing Republic control and propaganda established the political and economic supremacy of the Republic. Draconian trade laws enforced by a heavy hand massively reduced the clout of the hegemonies plaguing the worlds of the Rim. The Republic became synonymous with a force for civilization, hearkening back to the days of the Unification Wars where the Republic brought the fruits of technology to all it encountered.

The Republic became the great civilizing force, the bringer of light, the bastion of progress and freedom. And this brought with it greater control than ever before, with outbound planets supporting the Republic which had freed hem from the clutches of exploitative galactic companies like Czerka.

No longer would a foe find the Republic unprepared for war. Space was a perpetual conflict zone, and the Republic Navy controlled everything. Even the enemy had to use space lanes that had been scouted out. Space lanes could come under the interdict. No foe would ever hope to penetrate the trade lanes that led to the Core.

But this centralization, this peace, would not last. Already it was showing signs of instability. As the disapora continued, balance must be restored. The inbound would come, but along with it, the Mid Rim would sag into obscurity. Lacking its administrators and businessmen and scientists, planets would stagnate. As the diaspora continued, the Core Worlds would also sag under the weight of the immigration of billions. Immigration laws made little sense in the context of entire worlds - it was easy to disappear into planets. Especially planets like Coruscant or Humbarine. The vicious cycle would continue until the Republic would sag under the weight of centralization and stagnation. The bureaucracy would inflate, coorporations would reestablish their footing on distant planets. Power blocs would form, with senators defending the interests of their sectors.

Balance.

Where there are peaks, there are also valleys.

One would come, of an ancient prophecy, he who will bring balance.

The inbound ship hurtled on in hyperspace, carrying the seeds of chaos. To Coruscant it would come.

***

1 comment:

John Riemann Soong said...

This sounds suspiciously like a political allegory.