Friday, 26 September 2014

Shalmu II

See Shalmu.

Shalmu is an inhabited planet in Sector Alpha Crucis.

"Shalmu" is its name in one of the languages of its most technologically advanced civilization.

That civilization was in a bronze age when discovered.

Sporadic trade progressed it to iron.

In Flandry's time, a combustion-powered technology spreads the advanced civilization across Shalmu.

This process is slower than on Terra because Shalmuans are less inclined to exterminate or exploit each other.

The Terran Empire protects Shalmu from barbarians.

The Terran Naval base is on a barren planet elsewhere in the system.

However, the small marine garrison on Shalmu and spacemen visiting the planet on leave bring traders who do business with both service personnel and natives.

Some Shalmuans work for extraplanetarians or gain scholarships for outsystem education.

Shalmuan taxes are metals, fuels, food or art.

The Imperial resident does not interfere with native cultures and suppresses wars and bandits with his marines.

Terran law curbs the arrogance of young Imperials.

Sector Governor Snelund increases taxes and militarily enforces payment. Then he instructs armed Shalmuans to catch others for the barbarian slave trade. This decree is enforced by mass crucifixions.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

VERY true, what you said about how Aaron Snelund abused his powers while governor of Sector Alpha Crucis. But, I think it's only fair to quote what another Shalmuan, Chives (Flandry's invaluable gentleman's gentebeing) said in Chapter IV of A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS: "My planet of origin has no technologically advanced society, Donna. His late Majesty Josip appointed a sector governor who organized a slave trade in my people, chiefly selling to the barbarians beyond the limes The charges against those captured for this purpose, were, shall we say, arguable; but no one argued. When that governor met with misfortune, his successor attempted to right matters. However, this was impossible. Not even victims still within the Empire could be traced, across thousands of worlds. Sir Dominic merely chanced upon me, in a provincial market."

Here I wish to stress how Chives mentioned how Snelund's successor, Governor Muratori, tried to track down the Shalmuans unlawfully sold into slavery. With admittedly little success, due to the difficulties Chives mentioned.


Paul Shackley said...

We discuss the Terran Empire as though it were a real political entity! My first Technic History story was "The Game of Glory," which made me think that the Empire was merely oppressive but I came to see that the oppressive incidents were aberrations.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I agree, both the Polesotechnic League and the Terran Empire are very convincingly shown to us in the Technic stories. I'm reminded of how many fans react the same way to Tolkien's Middle Earth stories.

Incidents like Snelund's governorship and the seizure of Brae were, alas, signs of how badly wrong things could get in the Empire. Again, those incidents were convincing; because it reminds me of many similar events in real history. And, of course, this also reminds me of how hard it is to preserve civilization and a half way tolerable society.

But, even "The Game of Glory" shows us the Empire doing some things right. Recall Flandry's kind words about the Imperial resident for Nyanza who was murdered very soon before he arrived on that world. Flandry mentioned how Bannerji "fussed around" and pulled wires to do things like helping ambitious Nyanzans (impatient with a quiet, peaceful life) find off world connections for new jobs and careers.