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Naplian Society

Naplian Society

When two cultures collide, it is invariably the culture with inferior technology that loses. The reasons are manifold, though some are fairly obvious. The seeming ability to do things faster and more efficiently promises more leisure time and more wealth. Medical benefits speak for themselves while entertainment often seems brighter and more readily accessible. Further, those that do not adopt are less able to compete, leading to less leisure time as they have to work longer to compete and generally have less wealth. In other words, technology brings rapid inflation to the lower technology culture if there is at least some adoption.

While there may be those from the technologically advanced culture that seek to adopt the culture of the other, these are invariably in a minority for two distinct reasons. First and foremost is that it is invariably the culture with the higher technology that has come to the location with the lower technology and the people in the higher technology are there on a professional basis or because they have the monetary capability of doing do. In either case they are already invested in the high technology culture. Second, technology creep due to continued exposure to higher technology culture means that even adoption of the lower technology culture will eventually lead to rapid technological advances (how soon before Mr Modern, the wannabe Roman citizen convinces the populace to replace the lead piping with copper and drops hints about float glass).


Due to the nature of cognitive processing, the most readily adopters of the advanced technology is the younger generation. This can and often does lead to a discontinuity in the culture as are no cultural rules for dealing with the social situations that arise from use of the newly available technology – the older generation have no obvious wisdom to share, diminishing the respect the younger generation has for them. The generation gap widens into a gulf as the younger generation forms its own cultural identity or is swallowed by the culture of the higher technology. Where the latter happens, the traditional cultural beliefs of the lower technology can effectively end when the older generation dies out or at best remain as vestigial reminders, practiced by a few and lacking in authority.

From the position of the advanced culture, the sharing of technology can be seen as benevolent uplifting. The removal of bogus ideologies, local gods and sacrifices to them and the introduction of industry, agriculture, medicine, rapid transport and media, there will always be a darker side.

First encounter by the higher technology may result in colonisation. When this happens there is never full integration, rather a colony will form as the bridgehead for newly arriving people from the technologically advanced culture. The allure of the wonders of the newly formed enclave is often sufficient to draw those from the other culture. Promises given to them by unscrupulous sentient traffickers can lead them to lives of prostitution, exploitation and much worse. Unfair trade deals can lead to trading precious metals and land control for mass produced consumer goods.

The promise of better things from technology and access to drugs combined with a lack of guidance from culture and the older generation, it is hardly surprising that the newly emerging generation is dominated by consumerism and illicit activity.

It is not long before those from the lower technology culture start to form an underclass.

Naplians
In phoenix, the term was first applied to the natives of the Capellan Star System. Humans arriving there encountered diminutive humanoids on the planet Utopia (a planet called Naplia by the natives). This was the first sentient species that humanity had discovered. The initial amazement at discovering sentient life was quickly replaced by the pragmatic realisation that here was a potential labour force, much easier to recruit than dragging humans all the way from Earth. Ruthless mega-corps such as the SSL and the FET ‘recruited’ them to their colonies, mines and factories. Drugs were sold in abundance and their ancient way of life was shattered.

Rebellion in the form of the Democratic Naplian Alliance (DNA) merely led to the destruction of the last remaining resistance. To stop it happening again the new civilian government was almost totally formed from humans and it is this way to this day.

The term Naplian is now synonymous with a rapidly uplifted culture that no longer has an authoritative traditional cultural identity and suffers from a significant underclass.

Naplians on Developed Worlds
As has been pointed out, stereotypical naplians are attracted to the bright centres of the technologically superior culture. Why isn’t there an increase in naplian populations on advanced worlds? There are two reasons for this. The first is physical, in that they rarely account for a significant portion of the population to register. The second is social, in that they rarely contribute to the legal economy of the world, generally engaging in illicit activity willing or otherwise.

Culture
As has been commented on naplian culture is little more than a smattering of outdated customs that can rarely be fully applied to the newly emerging culture. The more obvious features however are raging consumerism and a fear of losing what has been gained by access to technology. One of the first signs of an emerging ‘naplian’ culture is the general growth of settlements, largely around technologically superior enclaves as the populace seeks jobs in the new ‘world’. Gang culture is also common; generally using whatever advanced technology they can find, scrounge, trade and steal. Crime in these ghettos is high and ranges the full spectrum from opportunistic and petty through to organised criminal activity. Poverty is also noticeable in many areas. This can seem incongruous. A person may malnourished and dressed in rags but also armed with blasters and have an integrated coms-media headset and the ubiquitous carved gem on a necklace.



Culture Growth
In time a naplian culture will develop into a sentient one, though how long this takes is highly variable. Factors such as prosperity, law enforcement, xenophilia (where more than one species exist), religion, access to education and social mobility will determine the rate. An elite faction in power never profits from and is rarely inclined to change the situation. In crass terms, why endeavour to make yourself poorer? Crime levels, though often slightly higher on a world of naplians than on sentient worlds is more than offset by access to cheap labour and the unlikelihood of it rebelling.

Democratic Naplian Alliance (DNA)
The first instance of the DNA resulted in a crushing defeat for the naplians of Utopia and the Capellan system in general. Since then they have manifested themselves as freedom fighters looking to liberate worlds where naplians exist. Their specific objectives are often fuzzy on account of the lack of support by anyone in real power amongst the naplians on the world they are looking to liberate. Rather it is closer to an act of defiance and seeking a return to the ‘utopian’ society that existed prior to the advent of technology.

A second goal is the removal of foreign elite powers in order to allow the naplian civilians to become self-governed, develop and achieve sentient status. This is often futile as the elite powers are often supported by bases controlled by mega-corporations or naval forces for empires and toppling the government would first require removing the bases.





 
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Return of the LiQuans

A close associate of the Baron LiQuan has been haunting the Corewards periphery and like the old Baron it is said he has a meklan connection. It's unclear whether he obtained his meklan nanites via the CIA but there are rumours that the DEN may be helping the Liquan relative in a bid to sow discontent in the Stellar Empire. Exactly why they would start in Corewards is unclear although with DEN allies, the DOM, having strong positions both in the Sol system and the old Harcorp systems of Harlong and Coptuv they may be the linking factor.


 
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Meklan Unleashed on Mobile Bay

Mad Dewiek scientist Dr Kala released a number of Meklan on the busy world of Mobile Bay in the Yank system. Thousands of civilians have been killed in what is treated by DEN warlords as an amusing practical joke. Rather than take any responsibility for their affiliation’s reckless behaviour, a DEN lord rumoured to be half-meklan himself quipped he would nuke the planet whilst another merely saw it as an opportunity to test some of his greener troops in combat. Surprisingly, the KAS planetary defence force was up to the job of repelling the insidious incursion. Questions remain whether further meklan are stored elsewhere on the planet and whether anybody will challenge the Dewiek’s lack of care for the lives of innocents. Probably not, given how even the mighty IMP are now cowering from a fight with the DEN (see inside this edition).


 
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Who is behind the AFA?

Following the large scale holiday attack by the AFA against the FET the question of who is behind the attacks has been raised once again. What is clear is that the AFA is using ships that were transferred from the GTT to the IMP. The organisation and expertise of the operation also reduces the pool of potential candidates. Few can go from commanding a handful of broadswords to half a thousand warships and significant army logistics without a long stint in one of the more combative affiliations. With the DEN’s allies the HEX in close relations with the FET and no recent history of animosity between the aliens and FET, at least since the departure of former one-eye big-bun Norozov, it would be a bizarre turn of events if they were behind these attacks. Frankly, there’s no point dancing around it. The IMP are clearly behind the AFA. The question is what can anybody do about this move of significant Imperial resources to a black-flag agency?


 
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Fox Effects Fantastic Turnaround

With his feet barely under the table, Xavier Fox has managed to dramatically turn things around at the GTT. With year-on-year sales figures up by 23%, manufacturing up 42% and ship production increased by 36%, the megacorporation is running at full steam with noticeable impact on local economies across the Stellar Empire. Political analysts also note that after a period of retrenchment following the disastrous leadership of Ike Krieger, investment in defence is at a five-year high. After such bullish growth, the trick will be for Mr. Fox to recruit C-level executives fast enough to match his ambitions. It is notable in temperament, the current crop of GTT politicals do not exhibit the monomaniacal xenophobia of their predecessors and have resisted repeated provocations by the DEN to enter a pointless spar before they have re-established superiority against the foolhardy aliens.


 
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Felini flounder in Winter against superior Dewiek forces

The FEL have managed to get their asses kicked by the DEN yet again after provoking the definitely “not cute or cuddly” Dewiek in the Crossley system. The furry punching bags had bought a civilian flagged outpost in the system, without permission or under certain conditions depending on who you ask, and then had the gall to reinforce this error by positioning warships in orbit. The famously patient warlord Halvor did not buy the story these heavy hull armed ships were merely transports and sent a pack to clear the orbit. The mouthy yet green Felini fleet commander Pr'prz fancied his chances against what looked like a light complement of DEN warships and ordered his own warships to engage in the neighbouring Winter system. The result was predictably a wipe out of the FEL forces consisting of forty-seven capital warships at no loss to the DEN. Once again, a series of calamitous decision making resulted in Felini lives being wasted by a leadership barely fit to clean a litter tray. The otherwise untested Halvor can now claim some victory ale although with his penchant for picking on creatures as weak as Gracians, it’s not exactly clear how much glory this new breed of Dewiek warrior can claim against the legends of old.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Dastardly Dewiek Disregard Yank Neutrality

The governor of a MRC outpost in the Yank system reports that a 400-hull DEN warship called Grey Hunter Axiom entered orbit of Spritzer and opened fire with weapons of mass destruction (WoMD) against a platform, outpost, ground party and ship. Reports indicate significant casualties to Kastorian personnel both in space and on the ground. The KAS Junta is gruffly warning, with a slightly indifferent air, that everybody better stay out of the sector of the outpost for their own health. It is unclear what measures the KAS have or will take against the DEN on this matter. Such a breach of Yank neutrality has in the past caused the Dewiek to froth at the bit against the Empire for their disregard of ‘civilised’ norms. Their current silence on this matter speaks volumes.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Yenni-bodies Pirates?

A PIR outpost was miraculously discovered by an IMP freighter, of all things, in the Yanni system with several Javelin class warships in orbit. After noticing the IMP freighter and seeing the public post by Jack Jones on subspace, the PIR decided to flee and leave a combined force of IMP and FET forces to capture the outpost. A brain damaged three-year old commentator who still believed in the goodness of people and Santa Claus was quick to commend the IMP on their good work, dismissing those who thought it no more than a convenient clearing up operation signifying* completion of operations in the nearby FET claimed systems of Graydown, Canth and Onissian by IMP puppet Edward Lowe. Meanwhile, the Wolf Lord Lyceum summed up the view of many when he screamed, “What is this amateur b*llshit?” into an uncaring universe.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Crowe Coups Self

The IMP Viceroy Tiberius Crowe has finally achieved something in his unremarkable tenure by relinquishing even the semblance of wearing big boy pants and instead, appointed Jack Jones as Patrol Commissioner, salty spokesperson and policy maker for the Empire. Crowe will now join CIA Director Laton in riding the special bus to work where the two of them will enjoy long pleasant afternoons sipping cups of tea. Actually, just tepid fruit-scented water as neither of them can be fully trusted with a hot kettle. Occasionally, they might be visited by equally dynamic war “veteran” Admiral Bridge to enjoy mimes presenting the latest comics from the Howl. Meanwhile, Jones is putting pressure on the FET and will soon no doubt find a pretext to deploy his vast mercenary forces against anyone else who is seen working too closely with his most hated of enemies, the HEX.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Highlord Aadolf Loses Control As Dewiek Break Peace Treaty

Around one hundred DEN warships have launched an attack on a small GTT destroyer squadron of forty ships in the Daggern system. Two GTT ships were destroyed and another fifteen suffered noticeable damage. CEO Xavier Fox issued a restrained but angry statement demanding the DEN explain themselves. Highlord Aadolf’s buffoon-like response amounted to “Dewiek be Dewiek, let’s drink and forget about it.” Cold comfort for the dead crew onboard the GTT ships and their families. Especially, as seems likely at this time, the Empire will settle for some bloody money instead of retribution.


 

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I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic