Final Hail Mary - Act 3 Culture Notes

The culture is called Azeti who have named their world the same Azeti Prime. They are a space-faring race and governed by the Common Coalition Party.

Azeti

Azeti Image

The Azeti are a bipedal humanoid species, averaging about 2 meters tall (6’ to 6’6"). They have thin bodies with generally long and thin arms and legs. Their hands have 4 fingers with an additional 2 thumbs on each hand, one on each side. Their feet have 3 large toes. They have long flexible necks with relatively large heads holding an extremely well developed brain and large brainpan. Their skin is relatively insensitive to temperature changes but very sensitive to pressure changes.

Hearing

They do not have ears in the human sense. Rather the skin over the flat parts of their temples has almost 100 times the pressure sensors as the rest of the body, allowing them to feel changes in air pressure with extreme accuracy across those regions. They do not hear in the same way as humans or other humanoids but can learn to make out auditory speech with effort, though it can become muddled for them in areas of wind or other air changes. Loud noises do not hurt them and they can feel pressure changes in miniscule detail.

Sight

Their eyes are large and have a very wide but segmented retinas. They have 2 lenses, one is monofocal and the other is a trifocal lense allowing them to see in 3 distinct spectrums, visible light, ultraviolet, and infrared. The trifocal lense is what diverts incoming light by spectrum at 3 different retinal segments while the monofocal lense focuses incoming light into a more focused beam to shine the incoming light onto the trifocal lense in a specific configuration. This pair of lenses allows them to maintain visual acuity while actually changing their field of view, zooming in and out at will. They do have binocular vision and both eyes work in sync with each other like human eyes. Since their eyes have 3 retinal segments they can only really focus thought on one at a time per eye, with training they can focus on two wavelengths at once but it is taxing.

Scent

They don’t have actual noses the way humans do. Rather they have breathing slits where the nose would be that have a kind of gill which allows them to breath underwater and in air. Their mouths do not have an effective tract to breath though but their mouth is lined with scent receptors to taste the air similar to the way a snake does. They take in small amounts of air through their mouth, but not enough to sustain their blood oxygen level alone. As such things like a cold that swells the airways can be fatal to an Azeti relatively quickly without medical intervention.

Communication

They do have primitive vocal cords but they not capable of conventional speech without technological help since they don’t have the anatomy of their mouth, throat, and such to allow them to control the way sound resonates. Instead they use telepathic communication, all Azeti are telepathic but not empathic. For the most part they do not have the ability to invade or forcibly read the mind of others, though some rare cases do have the ability to read surface emotions (empathy) and still fewer can read surface thoughts.

Reproduction

They are asexual and produce their young via eggs which form into a near-replica of the parent. There is a certain amount of genetic variation through a hormone-DNA interaction process while the egg is forming. Once the egg is laid its genetic sequences are set.

Common Coalition Party

Most commonly called the Common Coalition or just the Coalition. The governing body over Azeti Prime is a Socialist Representative Republic with a constitutional mandate to provide for the public good. The government is made up two primary branches, the Executive and Legislative. The executive branch presides over issues of the foreign relations and law enforcement. The legislative branch oversees lawmaking, taxes and budgets, and military action. Elections are held for the Senate every 6 years on a rotating basis so that every year a certain segment of the Senate is elected. The Senate then chooses a Prime Minister to run the executive branch.

Culture

The population is mostly collectivist but there is a strong individual expression streak while working together for common goals. Most of the daily needs of the population are taken care of by the Coalition and it is generally socially unacceptable to own vast amounts of private properties though it is possible. Most people have a small number of private possessions with the rest of their needs provided through the government. No one is homeless as every citizen is entitled to a home and culturally citizens spend very little time at home, it is mostly a place for rest and personal hygiene needs.

Individuality

Citizens will display their own personality through clothing mostly, bright colors and complex patterns across all 3 spectrums the Azeti can see. They also will have a variety of fabric textures which are used for close friends to touch and feel. They are a very tactile society and touching people is a way of introduction. They will touch hands, harms, shoulders, and even chest in increasing levels of familiarity. The closest of people will touch faces and lovers will touch their most sensitive regions on the sides of the head, which are erogenous when touched in specific ways.

Public Good vs. Private Desires

Collectively the society works together very well and easily. They value collective projects and collective efforts toward the social good. There is a very high value placed on the overall good of society and personal wants and desires beyond clothes and personal decorative choices are minimized. The Coalition generally assigns worked based on skills and education is done the same for everyone until they reach maturity (about 22 years of age) when specializations occur based on the needs of their local society. The are methods of requesting different projects or different educational paths but it must be justified with emphasis on what society needs.

Crime & Enforcement

Crime is relatively low and generally blamed on mental illness. Any social disparity of job, hours, and educational paths is generally seen as required to provide for the public good. There is little disparity between needs being met, domicile, availability of food, and textiles / clothes as the government provides for all such needs equally. The main issues within society is that there are growing groups of young people who do not wish to conform to the “public good” as it is defined by the Coalition. This would be minor except for the practice from the Prime Minister in recent years to treat dissenters as mentally ill and requiring retraining. This has spawned minor skirmishes of violence with law enforcement officials as young people try to escape.

Recent Troubles

Students have been lobbying and protesting over the last few decades to provide a better path to choose the educational opportunities they will receive. Since this is chosen by administrators it has tended over the last 30+ years to follow along family associations on whose children goes into various positions. This has led to an administrative push toward providing perks to people in various positions of authority.

The current lobbying push is to provide more equal distribution of vocation based on abilities, aptitudes, and desire of the student. As different student groups have pushed for this administrators have issued punishments aimed at “retraining” or “educating” young people on the values of collectivist society with more and more of a bend toward obedience.

Violent interactions with law enforcement has increased as protests have also increased. Law enforcement used to simply break up protests and instruct students to return home, which they largely would. The issues started as law enforcement began to put protestors into specialized education facilities. Rumors circulate among student populations that those students often to not return from these facilities or if they do are radically different people. The reality is somewhere between the two poles, the facilities are hybrid prisons and schools which heavy emphasis on indoctrination toward following the orders of the Coalition. While many do come back from these places with a renewed sense that it is best to trust the Coalition many come back and isolate themselves. The facilities use physical punishment as well as strong psychological manipulation to “convince” the students there to follow the rules and this results in numerous students leaving there with psychological damage.

This has caused a rise in other crimes as some students decide to try and live outside the mainstream of society and live “off the grid”. This has caused its own problems as communities have developed around the idea that the government is bad moving into a collectivist anarchist movement wishing to abolish the Coalition. These communities live on the fringes of society, stealing what they need or even getting donations from citizens who sympathize and desire to bring them back into society.

The Coalition has labeled these communities as dissenters working to destroy society.