|Flag of Scolopendra|
|Motto: "Idealism at Any Cost!"|
|Official Language(s)||Arabic, English, multiple tertiary languages|
|Leader||Supreme Emperor Speaker-Rrit|
|Population||> 4.5 billion|
|NS NSTracker Sunset XML|
The Federated Segments of Scolopendra is an idealist socialist nation on Titan, the moon of Saturn, made up of a wide array of cultures, races, and religions. It is a major nation of the Triumvirate of Yut and is generally considered that alliance's de facto head. It is also a signatory to the KIST treaty.
- Traditional Long Form: The Federated Segments of Scolopendra
- Traditional Short Form: Scolopendra, The Segments, The Federated Segments
- Abbreviations: FS, FSS
- Form of Government: Bicameral Representative Democracy, strong Executive and many plebiscites
- Locations: Northeastern third of Primary Continent and Eastern Islands, Titan; Sectors 1 through 25 and 51 through 75, Ring habitats; Tarjeet Continent, Si'lat; Various Locations, Bright Morning; Olympus, Hillary
Main article: Scolopendran History
Scolopendran history stretches from the nation's creation as a revolutionary response to the Capricorn Group's Gibsonian hypercapitalism and its resultant wage slavery in the XXIII Century to the present day in the post-Break era, although the conditions that would eventually lead to the formation of the Segments began some time in the XXI Century. In short, immediately after the Revolution the Segments established itself as a regional economic power by regulating trade through strategic control of the Mediterranean and its ports. Threats from both petty warlords using legacy nuclear arsenals, a destabilizing Europe, incursions from an African attempt at an economic superbloc, and constant military and economic threats from Confederate SouthEast Asia and the United American Conglomerate caused the Segments to form the Triumvirate of Yut and colonize Titan.
In the modern post-Break era Scolopendra is a moderately notable nation generally considered to be the de facto ruling party of the Triumvirate of Yut, leading combined forces from that organization to be commonly confused for Scolopendrans. However, the Scolopendran role in the Triumvirate is far closer to that of a facilitator than a ruler.
The Scolopendran government is, at its core, a collection of small sets of direct democracies (usually on the neighborhood or town level) that build up into larger representative democratic regions (Segments) which, when combined, make the body politic of the whole nation. The federal government is split into three Units--the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial Units--and each unit has a specific set of functions it performs on a national level.
The Executive Unit (ExU -- ecks-yoo) is again split up into Sections, each responsible for a specific set of duties related either to international actions or the execution of Legislative mandates. The International Relations (IntRelate) Section is responsible for diplomacy with other nations; the International Trade (InterTrade) Section is responsible for regulating international trade; the Foot-to-Ass (FtA, formerly Defense) Section is responsible for organizing national defense and international power projection via both the Scolopendran Military Services and the Civilian Defense Corps; the Science Section is responsible for organizing national research projects, coordinating between local research centers, and determining the policies and basic curriculi of the state-run education system; and the Intelligence (Intel) Section is responsible for gathering and disseminating information concerning threats internal and external; and the Internal Policy (IntPoly) Section is responsible for the enforcement of the laws of the Legislature via the Federal Police. All Sections are led by an Advisor that directly reports to the Supreme Emperor, except for IntPoly which is led by the PseudoEmperor (as per LUM-4618 "Government Consolidation Act").
The Supreme Emperor is an extremely powerful executive leader, elected by plebiscite of federally-enfranchised citizens every five years, who has the authority to sign treaties, create Executive policy decisions to enforce Legislative Unit Mandates, deploy military forces, appoint Advisors and Arbiters, and determine Scolopendran foreign policy. All actions of the Supreme Emperor can be reviewed by the Legislative Unit if the legislature so desires, but this is generally limited to (by tradition) only when there is serious dispute as to what is in the best interest of the nation; some policies (such as entering into alliances such as the Triumvirate that draws monetary funding from Scolopendran federal resources and confirmation of choices for Scolopendran Arbiters) must be sent through the Legislative Unit for ratification. The qualification for running for Supreme Emperor is that the candidate must be federally enfranchised.
The Legislative Unit (LegU -- lej-yoo) is a bicameral representative body whose members are elected via plebiscite of federally-enfranchised citizens in each Segment every three years; the number of representatives for each Segment is weighted by population in the Population House and a set number of five per Segment in the Territory House. This Unit is primarily responsible for passing what laws seem to be necessary, verifying the policy decisions of the Executive Branch, and, most importantly, controlling funding for the federal government and its obligations via the People's Money Committee (the traditional Communist tradition of "People's String-Variable-Whatever" is reserved only for situations concerning wealth as a reminder). Each representative used to represent five million people (as per LUM-4618 "Government Consolidation Act"), but due to recent reforms, now represents ten million people which makes local governments vital to ensure the proper representation of each citizen in their daily lives.
The Legislative Unit is presided over by an internally-elected Legislative Voice who runs the day-to-day workings of the LejU and acts as a liason to the Executive and Judicial Units. The LejU was originally bicameral in nature with a second Section based on territory; this Section was disbanded as unnecessary after the Break and the subsequent loss of all territories save Titanian Scolopendra (as per LUM-4419 "Emergency Government Realignment Act") and recreated recently to deal with greater political pressure coming from the colonists living in Si'lat and Hillary.
The Judicial Unit (JudU -- judd-yoo) is a simple meritocratic pyramidal system responsible of constitutionally evaluating the laws of the Legislative Unit and then enforcing them via the court system. Rehabilitation facilities are "run" by the Federal Police via a liason to the FtA Section, which truly runs them. The members of the Judicial Unit, known as Arbiters, are appointed by the Supreme Emperor and its designated secondaries from a basic metric of merits and qualifications--mostly a "rubber-stamping" process, except that then the Arbiters are confirmed by the Legislative Unit for more populist sensibilities.
The court structure is simply pyramidal, the capstone being the Arbitration Council which is elected by plebiscite every seven years. The requirements for an Arbiter to be eligible for election into the Arbitration Council are service in the JudU for at leaest ten years and the approval of both the ExU and the JudU, making them pre-confirmed for election.
Federal enfranchisement is based on merit and a basic understanding of the basic values of civic virtue and its rights and responsibilities; local enfranchisement is based on the policy of each local government but is generally given due to birth by tradition. The capability to vote in federal elections is granted after a term of federal service. There is no mandatory federal service in Scolopendra; it is the right of every local citizen to opt out of federal service but there are consequences for such an action. Federal service can be either military via the Military Services or the Civilian Defense Corps (the most common method, organized under FtA), civil via the Civil Services (spanning all Units and Sections of the government), diplomatic via the Diplomatic Corps (organized under IntRelate), or even locally via the Federal Police or the Federal Emergency Corps of firefighters, paramedics, and the like (organized under the Federal Police and IntPoly). Federal enfranchisement averages around 80 percent of the population, and voting turnout is almost always the totality of that as the right has been earned despite general contentment (and its attendant apathy).
Due to advances in networking and digital democracy, gathering the vote of the electorate is a relatively simple affair, causing plebiscites to be common on issues of popular interest and internal policy.
- Chief of State (full title, technically also head of government): Supreme Emperor Mballa Ipolla
- Executive Officer (full title, also head of Internal Policy Section): PseudoEmperor Abu Tariq Rezah bin Huseyn Diniyyun
- Foreign Relations Officer (full title): International Relations Advisor Thong-oon Kraisee
- Education and Research Officer (full title): Science Advisor TBA
- Defense Officer (full title): Foot-to-Ass Advisor Shri Nikunj
- Intelligence Officer (full title): Intelligence Advisor TBA
- Trade Officer (full title): International Trade Advisor TBA
- Chief of Legislature (full title): Legislative Voice TBA
- Chairman, People's Money Committee: Legislator TBA
- Chief of Judiciary (full title): Presiding Head Arbiter TBA
"The Elders" are a group of Scolopendran statesmen who established, functionally, a dynasty of leadership during the Segments' most troubled times. Their popular rule eventually came to an end when Speaker-Rrit refused to run for re-election, fearing that he and his cabinet would become a political institution. Even after refusing public office, however, The Elders remain a political force due to their experience and popularity with the Scolopendran electorate. Because of this, they are often considered unofficial advisors, although they are usually very careful not to make public statements regarding the current leadership.
- Former Supreme Emperor Speaker-Rrit
- Former PseudoEmperor / FtA Advisor Julius M Razak
- Former Intelligence Advisor Janus Akikazu Garbo
Former Supreme Emperor and Former International Relations Advisor Automata Alshai Kommetrez is generally considered a fourth member of The Elders, but since his retirement he has refused to remain a public personality, only rarely making appearances and never talking about politics.
The people of Scolopendra are as widely varied as the cultural backgrounds of the nation, "natively" constituted of the cultures of Northern Africa, Southern Europe, the Middle East and having incorporated the cultures of the rest of the world via pre-Break immigration. Predominantly citizens think of themselves as Scolopendran first and then whatever category under which they choose to classify themselves; however, Scolopendran secular culture is so minimalist that those subcategories shine through, making Scolopendra a vibrant "cultural salad."
The nation's Arabic plurality and North African history gives the entire nation a definite Arabesque flair, from the common Moroccan arches integrated into the nominally Western Art Deco architecture to the muezzin calling faithful Muslims to prayer five times a day. Street bazaars abound, but have a definite sense of both commonality and multiculturalism to them; one street may hold Arabesque bazaars that would not be amiss in a Tunisian marketplace of a thousand years ago, while the next may have nothing but Chinese street markets labeled in English, Arabic, and Mandarin; the next could be a Greek agora in the same vein except with local Greek lettering and language. Originally based on trade that goes back thousands of years, Scolopendran ground-level culture could be described as all the great trading cities of the Mediterranean coalesced into one and thensome. Historically good relations with India leads to a high incidence of people of subcontinental Indian descent; its economic prosperity and open borders brought immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa; its inherent idealism and man-on-the-white-horse policies brought in idealists from the rest of the world.
These multiple cultures interact peacefully with mutual curiosity and interest, core groups staying 'true' to their own particular culture with interesting mixes on the borders. All cultures are valued for their usefulness in seeing the same things in different lights, and as an excellent way of easily analyzing a subject from many different angles simultaneously. Debate between cultures is common and generally encouraged as long as it stays civil, which generally occurs for Scolopendrans are difficult to offend--one of the few overarching Scolopendran traits is a quiet enjoyment of the ability to keep one's cool while watching others overreact over minor situations.
Among themselves, Scolopendrans bandy about "racial slurs" as terms of endearment, with even personal nicknames being belittling in some form or another; However all are said with joviality and quite often some modicum of respect. It is an extreme compliment to receive and be referred to commonly by a respectful nickname. Still, it is generally understood that the conversation: "Hey, nigger, what's happenin?" "Not much, you fool cracker! Yourself?" might raise eyebrows and is therefore discarded around foreigners. It is also a sign of respect and camraderie if that form of speech is taken up--after first requesting--with an outsider. It is only polite and hospitable to defer for an outsider.
The Segments are by plurality made of baseline Humans, although about half of the population carries mild cybernetic enhancement in the form of headware memory and sensory augments. A certain paranoia around the potential for brainhacking generally precludes direct-to-sensorium wireless communications gear, but subdermal datajacks are becoming more common. About half of the nation would classify as something other than baseline human in terms of physical or sensory ability. Five percent of the population is Kzinti; another five percent is made up of various "alien" species.
Scolopendran culture is extremely open-minded, with personal responsibility and service to others being their core values. The values of one individual are probably not the values of the other and may not be the values of the state, which are generally limited to those few that ensure the basic viability of any culture. Any person is free to do as they wish as long as they do not aggressively infringe upon the rights of others to do the same; free speech is lauded as well as free listening; there is no nudity taboo because there's no reason that anyone should stare. People are not to be protected from themselves, only from each other.
Service comes to the fore in not only in public service, but also in the basic concepts of good citizenship, which, in Scolopendra, appears as a wider form of traditionally Arabic hospitality and familial fealty. All Scolopendrans are members of the greater Scolopendran family and thus generally look out for others; "good neighbor" policies are generally extended across the nation. Scolopendrans help others whenever they have the opportunity, and actually look forward to doing so.
Simplicity and durability are also valued, and so Scolopendran items are often designed to be as simple and robust as possible and their aesthetics reflect this as well, usually quite utilitarian and geometric while rarely falling into the realm of ugly. Scolopendran vehicles, mainstream public art, and architecture generally follows the Art Deco and German Futurist modes of sleek, simple lines; resolving natural objects not into abstraction but rather geometrically simplified forms of themselves. All other forms of art are common in Scolopendra; these forms are simply the most prevalent and generally the most widely accepted.
Politics and economics
Generally, Scolopendrans do have the ethnocentric view that their way is best; they are fiercely, yet sublimely, patriotic, democratic, and egalitarian. Still, the values of one society are probably not the values of the other, and so they do not interfere in other cultures that appear to work for those cultures with a minimum of oppression. They tolerate autocracies but do not quite like them; they tolerate large corporations but also do not necessarily trust them implicitly.
While most Scolopendrans are quite liberal and libertarian, their opinions on economics can vary, usually ranging from a slight historic mistrust of corporations (the larger, the worse). They generally believe that wealth is the means to an end and so there are very few liquid-assets rich in Scolopendra; although government taxing schemes keep the difference between "rich" and "poor" relatively small with the difference based more on merit instead of business.
Scolopendra is an unusually spiritual country for as independently secular as its government is and as technologically advanced as it is. As could be expected from the Arabic plurality, Islam is the most common religion, instantly obvious to any observer given the regular density of mosques with their distinctive minarets. Of the three major Islamic schools of thought, Sufi Islam with its emphasis on universal love and the multifaceted nature of Allah is the most powerful, making up eighty percent of all Scolopendran Muslims. Along those same lines, spiritualist religions are far more common than more "traditional" (in a Western sense) dogmatic religions.
Buddhism and Hinduism, concentrating as they do on self-improvement and duty to others, round out the top three religions. Intellectual religions make up a tenth of the population, followed by more traditional dogmatic religions. Given Mediterranean Scolopendra's unique collection of locations, members of the Abrahamic religions tend to quietly think of themselves as the truest believers of those forms in the multiverse--Muslims because of Scolopendran control of Mecca and its unification of Arabian Islam into a singluar cohesive group; Roman Catholicism because of the Vatican City's presence inside Scolopendran Italy (there are conspiracy theories concerning Maria Rostov paying off the Pope and starting a long tradition of the Intelligence Section using the Pope as a puppet, except that Roman Catholicism stayed true to its dogma and opposed secular Scolopendran opinions ninety percent of the time). Historically, Israel held poor relations with Scolopendra, considering it an Arab nation, and thus Judaism is relatively rare in Scolopendra.
Church and state
Religious groups reciprocate somewhat in Scolopendra, and all are treated equally by the secular government; just like any other collection of citizens. There is, as is to be expected, some friction; however, this is usually used as the basis of (sometimes rather heated) televised debates which are rather a national pastime.
The one form of religion which carries a general stigma is the soi-disant: "Cults of Personality" which include Sirithilism and the Church of Angelus, among others. Scolopendrans, in a surprising reversal from a common condition, generally refuse to believe in anything they can experience as holy or sacred. While these cults do exist and are quite benign, they are considered as jokes by the national community, harmless but amusing idiosyncracies.
- Islam: 33.5% -- Being the largest religious bloc in the Segments, Islam certainly defines the spiritual culture of the Segments. Scolopendrans schedule their days in relation to the five prayer times that Islam breaks the day into much like people in other countries use 'afternoon' and 'evening' (although Scolopendrans use these terms too as appropriate). At the specified prayer times, mosque density is high enough that there are very few places in the Segments where the muezzin are not heard.
- "Leading" Sufi: Dervish Mullah Kadira ibnat Neelam Alzeshi Tunisiyyatun -- Sufism makes up the great majority of Scolopendran Islam, almost unsurprisingly how its emphasis on Allah's Universal Love and spiritualism over dogmatism do not conflict with the Segments' liberal secular ideals. Scolopendran Sufi are not the robed monks of the past; instead, Sufism has expanded into a vibrant sect of its own right still lead by the monk-like cores of several schools. In this way, it resembles Russian Orthodoxy. Mullah Kadira is currently the undeclared leader of Scolopendran Sufism due to her quiet, unassumming attitudes and patiently logical theology. She is a supporter of the argument that the Prophet was a flawed (but great) man and that these flaws inevitably made their way into the Qu'ran. Her belief that this is an indicator that Allah wants people to "use their heads to find a truth" is a common one in the Segments.
- "Leading" Sunni: Mufti Heydar bin Hamed Somayli Ridyahiyyun -- The Sunni sect of Islam is now a minority, and not a content one at that. Generally making up the most conservative elements of Scolopendran Islam, the Sunni, lead by Mufti Heydar, are constantly seen protesting against the liberalism of the Segments. The most conservative elements have actually formed splinter colonies on the Ring and outsystem such as Dar-al-Din where they follow the Shariah as far as they can while still qualifying for Scolopendran citizenship and thus protection.
- "Leading" Shi'a: Imam Sharad ibn Rigel Elouahabu Karbalaiyyun -- The Shi'a are the quiet middle ground of Scolopendran Islam. Their members maintain the traditional rules of modesty which in Sufism are only followed by clerics, and while they religiously oppose many secular doctrines of the Segments they make very little attempt to change them. Imam Sharad himself is well-respected in both the Sufi and Shi'a communities, but is self-admittedly more a theologian than a spiritual leader.
- Buddhism: 15.7% -- Buddhism is a common, if mostly politically inert, religion in the Segments. A higher percentage of Buddhists than average refuse to earn federal enfranchisement on the grounds of complete pacifism.
- Hinduism: 11.5% -- Due to the Mediterranean Segments' historically close relation to India, there was a large deal of cross-immigration. The Hindu history of generally being open-minded about other religions have made them popular in the Segments.
- Deism ("Intellectualism"): 10.1% -- Deists believe that God initiated and then left. Broken up into several unorganized schools of thought, the Deists are not a unified spiritual or political bloc.
- Nondenominational Christianity: 7.1% -- Occasionally (semi-accurately) called the Scolopendran Protestants, the Nondenominational Christians are to Christianity what Scolopendran Sufism is to Islam. They are widely regarded as 'saving' Scolopendran Protestantism after the centuries of religiospiritual stagnation in Europe and are still now gaining popularity.
- Roman Catholicism: 5.2% -- The Roman Catholics, reunited with the Church in Rome, are currently experiencing an upswing in "God's People" mentality due to the seeming divine grace that saw them back in communion with the Mother Church without excessive modification to their order of faith.
- President: The Most Reverend Estevão Xadreque Cardinal Castelbranco, Primate of Stonozka -- is the head of Scolopendran Catholicism, who has lead it since The Break with a unvarying attention to the fundaments of the Catholic faith. His (some would say extreme) conservatism has made Scolopendran Catholicism somewhat 'more' conservative than the average.
- Kzedf'sraz (Cult of the Fanged God): 4.7% -- Notable as the official religion of the (Scolopendran) Kzin Patriarchy. Speaker-Rrit is its official head, equivalent to the Pope in Catholicism.
- Taoism ("Natural Way"): 3.1% -- More Taoists than the weighted average become TerraEngineers because their spiritual mindset is natural for it.
- Protestantism: 2.4% -- Primarily Lutheran and Anglican, Scolopendran Protestantism also have relatively small blocs of Baptists and Methodists imported from the Americas during the Mediterranean Scolopendra period. The 'Catholic Lite' sects are slowly being absorbed into Nondenominational Christianity while the more fundamentalist sects (Baptists especially) are making extreme efforts to maintain their identity.
- Eastern Orthodoxy: 1.8% -- The Eastern Orthodox faith is, in terms of spirituality, small and left alone, and seems quite happy to be that way. Their traditional religious artwork is appreciated throughout the Segments, and several (calligraphic) Orthodox-produced ikons grace more than a few mosques.
- Agnosticism: 1.5% -- Agnosticism is as close to atheism as most Scolopendrans are comfortable to getting. They range from being atheists with caveats to near-Deists who refuse to make Pascal's Wager on principle.
- Shintoism: 1.1% -- Mostly imported from Karmabaijan, Shintoism has a relatively small, insular following.
- Wicca ("Pagan"): 1.0% -- The Scolopendran Pagans are united solely by a) their disbelief in a singular monotheistic God and b) their Western background. Beyond that they are so widely varied so as to make any further attempt at abstraction absurd.
- Judaism: 0.8% -- Always seen as the Arab Superstate, the Segments could never get on the good side of Israel, which was lost with the rest of Earth-That-Was in The Break. The Jewish population of Scolopendra are therefore almost entirely of European or North American descent. Perhaps counterintuitively, they share very good relations with Scolopendran Islam and Christianity in a combined 'People of the Book' bloc, possibly as a reaction to the growth of Eastern religions in Scolopendra.
- Head priest: Hrazkagk wtunu zhu Kzsuzttukz T'kizhb (Priest of the Dark Pelt) Sizhfa-Ch'johr (Prayer-Writer)
- Atheism: 0.6% -- Not common, and not popular.
- Cults of Personality: Traces
- Semitic: 19%
- Arabic: 60%
- Asia Minor (Turkish): 23%
- Eastern (Persian): 16%
- African: 18%
- Western: 30%
- Northern: 28%
- Southern: 22%
- Central: 20%
- European: 16%
- Eastern: 20%
- Baltic: 18%
- Iberian: 15%
- Western: 13%
- Slavic: 12%
- Northern: 10%
- Basque: 7%
- British Isles: 5%
- Indian: 15%
- Commonwealth Territories: 13%
- English Extraction: 90%
- Indigenous: 10%
- Asian: 10%
- Japanese: 30%
- Chinese: 23%
- Indonesian: 17%
- Southeast Asian: 13%
- Mongolian: 7%
- Pacific Islander: 6%
- Kakadu: 4%
- Kzin: 5%
- Other: 5%
- Elf (Noldor and otherwise): 42%
- Metahuman: 35%
- Nonhuman: 19%
- Extrasolar: 4%