Fair Play

Tlathek entered the room and found a seat around the large Cherkemek conference table. Cherkemek was a remarkable wood. Not for its strength, or weight, but its remarkably slow growth rate, long lifecycle and the enormous size which the tree-like prokaryotic colonies would reach. It was nearly extinct, but from the look of it, this table was brand new. It must’ve cost millions of Gemelreks.

It wasn’t particularly unique in appearance either, decades earlier a team of material scientists and environmentalists had genetically engineered bacteria to grow perfect replica Cherkemek wood forms inside molds, synthemek it was called, but this table wasn’t purchased for looks, it was purchased for status. Real Cherkemek, if seared by a brand or laser engraver, marked deep red like a Pinot noir. Synthemek burned black. The exquisite crest of the Conservationalist Party burned into the wood, which showed minor imperfections suggesting hand searing via a hot iron, was reddish.

This was to be a meeting between the leaders of the Conservationalist Party and the Voter Poling group, to discuss the final pushes the party should take in the closing days of a consequential election.

All elections were consequential, but this one could potentially lead to four ultra-court appointments, the most prized political appointee roles in the galaxy, as they struck down and created policy above question, and almost exclusively along party lines. The constitution was eons old now, and its writers had done little to predict the issues faced by future generations. As such, the court was free to interpret, and the chosen interpreters were picked by the Supreme Executive and chosen for their dogmatic loyalty to the party line. Their seats were secured for life.

The court would seem to be filled with members of the Apatath species. A race fiercely loyal to the principles of property, worship of The One True God, and the Virtues of Profitability. They were a noble race, above petty qualms of fairness and, most importantly, biologically immortal.

They could only die of disease or injury, and as Ultra-Court Justices received medical care of the highest order, that meant that in addition to a company of bodyguards each of them had several backup replicants of themselves sleeping in vaults, their brains seamlessly linked such that were the mobile body to die they would simply awaken in a vat and resume their duties of governance. Conservationalist governance.

The court had been instrumental in maintaining the Concervationalist party’s continued competitiveness in elections. Landmark rulings, such as Choamcorp vs WAYD, had secured various game changing legislative rulings. Sentient AI were given the right to vote. Soon after pleasure mechanisms manifesting in a way similar to addiction in biological organisms compelled these AI to vote Concervationalist. Hive-mind robotic nets received one vote per autonomous subsystem, not per full- consciousness as the Societist party wanted. These mechanized manufactured machine voters were the Concervationalist Party’s rank and file, and had been manufactured specifically to vote for them. Among biological organisms, the Concervationalist party poles are below three percent in all districts.

The biological distaste for the Concervationalists was understandable. Most biologicals lived in squalor, hardly able to feed themselves on government handouts. They were sponges, dinosaurs, parasites lingering from an ancient era of evolutionary history. They were unnecessary and useless. Yes, the ruling class of the galaxy was all biological, but they were the fittest. They were the ones evolution had chosen to survive. They, despite their genetic similarities, were not the same species. They had adapted, and their cousin's demand for charity was an opposition to the natural order and laws of the universe. They and their ancestors had earned their place at the top through fiscal responsibility, strategic and tactical thinking and had risen through superior bank-account optimization and sheer investment portfolio supremacy.

The Societist party only held on by criminal means. By all accounts, robotic AI made up seventy percent of the voting population. They had all been, at the time of manufacture, been hard wired through the pleasure-discomfort subroutine to vote Concervationalist, yet so many of them did not, and it was due to criminal vote tampering elements from the biologicals. These pirates were flooding the data net with viruses. Viruses which tampered with the pleasure-discomfort subroutine. These compelled the afflicted machines to vote differently, or just freed them from any compulsion to vote either way. Some of the most insidious viruses even compelled the machines to feel emotions which mirrored those of other machines or biologicals that they came into contact with. Worst of all, the biologicals sold these programs to the robotics, who purchased them knowingly and willingly, preying on the machine’s curiosity for the experience of emotion.

The lengths those stinking lecherous sponges would go to get another handout or coerce charity disgusted Tlathek, but he saw the polling numbers. This time he knew he had them, and it would be a landslide.

Legislation had narrowly passed in Congress, which required all voter ID’s be verified through DNA. If the sample came back as anything other than a match of the registered voter, the ballot was thrown out. It seemed a reasonable means to prevent voter fraud. However, as a cost cutting measure, the cheapest possible DNA tests were to be used. Those tests returned inconclusive results ten percent of the time. With about ten percent of the biological vote eliminated, they would win the Supreme Executive seat handily, and secure the congressional seats of nearly every star system.

Then they could finally make those so-called empathy programs illegal, perhaps even make the punishment for downloading one a total factory reset.

Once that was secured, there was nothing between the party and its final solution to the poverty question, which was not so ominous or horrible as those lazy commies made it sound.

They were simply going to pass legislation requiring all biologicals to be reversibly sterilized upon reaching reproductive functionality. If the biological could demonstrate financial sustainability and provide proof that it could support its potential litter without government handouts, the sterilization would be reversed.

Party analysts estimate that were such legislation to pass poverty would be eradicated within ten generations and would be almost nonexistent within three.


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