Thursday, 14 January 2016

History In The Pioneer

The Pioneer left the Solar System in 2126. Evan Friday, twenty four in 2205, studies the history of the ship but does not tell us every date:

the small private farms of the early years were replaced by a food trust;

in 2160, leading Engineers instigated a violent general strike by underpaid workers in that trust;

the strike overthrew the trust;

the Engineers had wanted to divide and weaken food producers by returning them to the earlier system;

however, upper Administration preferred to socialize food production, packaging and distribution under its own bureaucracy;

Admy won and confronted Engy as a powerful new rival;

when Captain Petri died in 2162, Engy and Admy, ignoring the rule that the first mate should have succeeded, nominated instead the young Juan Gomez from Astrogation;

Astro, a small officers only group, played the two more powerful Departments off against each other;

for a few years, the overlords' bully gangs clashed, green and gray workers became restless, young officers became arrogant and exclusive and Admy used ship's law to aggrandize its leaders;

in 2171, the private forces of Engy and Admy waged war over the extent of Admy jurisdiction;

although the two small sides lacked effective weapons, there was death, damage and suspension of services;

Astro rallied police and other groups to end the war;

ship's articles were amended with police power transferred from Admy to the Captaincy, thus effectively to Astro;

Admy opposed the move but Engy supported it because it weakened Admy;

Astro acquired followers, investments and political contacts;

in 2176, lower Engy ranks violently revolted and were suppressed although the Captain's Court then made concessions disliked by most officers;

in 2182, Duncan, chief of Admy, tried to seize the Captaincy but was defeated with the help of Engy;

however, his power passed to his successor with help from Astro;

in 2187, Admy and Astro ended officer ownership of factories and socialized them, having acquired sufficient fighting strength to enforce this;

from 2187 to 2201, the ship owned all important facilities, with ultimate control exercised by the Captain and his Council;

a combine mainly of Astro officers held, and struggled to keep, the balance of power;

characteristic ship art, literature and music began plus scientific advances in astrophysics and the biological effects of cosmic radiation;

the laboring classes organized unions which merged as the Brotherhood of Workers, led by Wilson;

independents organized in Guilds but had no effective voice;

in 2201, the Council violently suppressed a general strike but let Wilson onto the Council from which position he began to make alliances with younger, more liberal, officers;

in 2205, Wilson wants all but purely personal property to belong to the ship with plants governed by workers' councils;

other factions want either a return to some earlier stage of the ship's history or an advance, e.g., to complete economic and political control by a hereditary officer caste;

Captain Gomez, chairing the Council and controlling the police, is supported by conservative officers and possibly by most commons although McMurtrie, chief of Astro, might hold ultimate power;

the ship is ready for another upheaval.

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