The Jove Empire
The Jove Empire has always been a mystery to the other nations of New Eden, particularly as every new insight into its inscrutable people tends to do little but raise more questions. First encounters with the Jove are inevitably conditioned by the unsettling appearance of members of their race. The Jove have practiced genetic manipulation of their population for millennia and, while still human, can seem quite alien to others, due to their distinctive skin texture, disturbingly symmetrical facial features, and lustrous black eyes. Those who spend much time with Jovian individuals speak of them as almost inhuman in their lack of emotion, yet clearly driven by powerful impulses kept under careful control.
Enigmatic as they are, the Jove are impossible to dismiss. One reason is their technological superiority. Jovian technology has arguably had a bigger hand in shaping the New Eden of today than any other force in the last century. Perhaps the most far-reaching example of this was the Jovian introduction of capsule technology to the Caldari, which paved the way for the capsuleer of today.
Despite the best efforts of innumerable researchers, very little is clearly known about the history of the Jove Empire. Even in the early days when contacts were being forged with the other empires, and the Jove took an active role in shaping interstellar society and the CONCORD Assembly, very few of their number were actually encountered in the core empires of New Eden.
The territory claimed by the Jove Empire itself is spread across two regions on the edges of the New Eden cluster. The low numbers of Jove traveling into the core regions were initially attributed to the distances involved, as well as an aloof attitude in general. Over time, however, it came to be realized that the Jove had a relatively small population compared to the other interstellar powers, and it was learned that a deadly genetic malady, the Jovian disease, afflicted their race. Even so, it was still obvious that Jovian technology outmatched everything available to the core empires by orders of magnitude. The starkest reminder of the Jove Empire’s technological lead over the other empires was provided at the Battle of Vak’Atioth, where an entire Amarrian invasion force was laid to waste by a Jovian mother ship.
In recent times the Jove have withdrawn, ever more reluctant to intervene in the affairs of other empires. It has been several years since a Jovian delegation to CONCORD has appeared, and their section of the CONCORD Assembly station has been left vacant for even longer than that. Jovian commercial interests in New Eden remain in the form of their corporations, such as Genolution and Impro, but these are staffed by employees drawn from the other races. Some whisper that the Jove are gone for good—even dead, finally wiped out by the Jovian disease or some other catastrophe. Others point out that activity can still be detected in the Jove Empire, and that someone, or something, continues to defend their territory from unwelcome visitors.
The Jove Empire’s history stretches back to the beginning of colonization in New Eden. In a strange irony, the Jove’s ancestors were some of the last to make the journey to New Eden, arriving in spaceships of relatively basic design. These ships had warp drives that could attain velocities only marginally greater than light speed, relying on cryostasis for the survival of the colonists they carried. The Jove established their society in the Utopia system of the Heaven constellation. There are indications that the ancestors of these early settlers possessed a diverse collection of philosophical, scientific, and social tendencies, being unified only by mutual idealism. The early Jovian colonies seem to have been loosely affiliated, contacting each other mostly for mutual support in a situation where they were cut off from any contact with the other side of the EVE wormhole.
The Early Jove
Having anticipated difficulties in colonizing the system they had acquired, and wishing to be as self-sufficient as possible, the early Jovian colonists were particularly well equipped for survival in isolation. Even so, with resources limited, many opted to remain in cryostasis to avoid putting excessive strain on the new settlements. This use of cryogenics to relieve pressure on society seemed a natural extension of its use in the Jovian migration from the old world, and indeed cryogenics would become a distinctive technology used by society throughout Jovian history.
The colonies of the early Jove gradually began to diverge from one another as their separate philosophical and scientific outlooks developed. Several of these enclaves were devoted to the accelerated development of the human species, variously concerned with genetic modification, cybernetics, and psychological conditioning to explore transhumanist sociopolitical theories. It can be speculated that some of the directions taken by these groups were radical in the extreme. Inevitably, over the centuries, the increasing divergence between the enclaves led to conflict, with open warfare raging across the systems of the Heaven constellation.
The scope of the early Jove’s internecine warfare is difficult to evaluate. A notable trait among the modern Jove is an implacable ruthlessness. If the early Jove shared this tendency, then it can be assumed that there were significant losses over the centuries of conflict, yet there also appears to have been an outward movement generated by the conflict and a large expansion of early Jovian presence beyond the confines of the Heaven constellation. While the ruins of early Jovian civilization are most frequently found among the systems of Heaven, there are sufficient sites across Curse and neighboring regions to suggest a relatively wide Jovian presence in the surrounding area.
It is also quite likely that many chose to avoid conflict by retreating to the cryostasis tubes or taking refuge in virtual reality environments. Both technologies had by that point been brought to a high art by certain Jovian enclaves, with at least one prominent faction having combined the two to create an enclave within an enclave.
The First Empire
Whatever the details of the early Jovian conflict may have been, it appears that around ten to twelve thousand years before the formation of CONCORD, the Jove resolved their struggles and came together to form the First Jove Empire.
This achievement brought all the scientific and technological prowess of the various Jovian enclaves together under one nation, heralding a golden age for the Jove. Very little survives of the First Empire’s history, but what fragments there are indicate that for most of its eight-thousand-year reign it was a remarkably cohesive, productive, and peaceable society. Over the course of time the highly diversified enclaves of the early Jove apparently grew much closer, and a people more like the modern Jove came into being.
During the period of the First Empire, the factionalism of the Jove appears to have been limited by the overarching authority of the people’s ruling councils. The convergence of many enclaves also contributed to the stability of the empire, and while several distinct sociogenetic factions developed, their energies were diverted into playing particular important roles in the life of the First Empire. The wisdom of the First Empire’s political structure lay in providing an environment for scientific freedom while ensuring that the products of enclave research led to greater social and political cohesion. The
ruling factions of the First Empire were particularly concerned about further developing technologies that promoted the long view. As a result, cryogenic suspension, virtual reality environments, cloning technology, and longevity enhancement were constantly under research and development.
The glories of the First Empire were tragically dashed by a catastrophic collapse. Though the factionalizing tendencies of the Jove had been usefully directed by the First Empire’s government for thousands of years, in the end the pressure could not be contained. The problems began when a particularly conservative faction achieved overall control of the First Empire. This faction, called the “Elders,” due to their extensive use of longevity technology to extend their lifespans, seem to have come to the conclusion that Jovian society had reached an ideal equilibrium and therefore all efforts at change should be suppressed. The effect of their actions over the next few centuries was akin to trapping gas in a pressure vessel while neglecting to turn off the heat or provide a release valve.
The founders of the First Empire had understood all too clearly that turning off the heat of Jovian curiosity and radicalism was not a viable option. They had therefore provided a release valve in the structuring of the polity so that every tendency in Jovian society could be made useful. The Elder faction, in their desire to maintain equilibrium, attempted to enforce stasis on an inherently dynamic system. The eventual result was explosive. Amidst great destruction and chaos, the First Empire collapsed.
The Second Empire
As is evidenced by archaeology in the Curse region and neighboring regions, the collapse of the First Empire led to a considerable contraction of Jove-occupied territories. Those traces and ruins that survive outside the Curse region and in much of its outer systems are very ancient indeed.
The inward collapse of the Jove appears to have been arrested by the firm and decisive actions of a man who has entered into Jovian legend: Miko Bour, the First Tyrant of the Second Empire. A dynamic and forceful individual, Miko
Bour is believed to have seized power in Utopia some three thousand years ago, displacing the remnants of the Elder faction apparatus that had clung to the seat of power. His ruthlessness and talent for strategy is the stuff of myth among the Jove of today.
In a few short decades, Bour is held to have eliminated his opposition using any and every means at his disposal. With the entirety of the Heaven constellation under his control, he proclaimed the Second Jove Empire, inviting all remaining factions and colonies outside his authority to join the new state. Most Jove, tired of the chaos of the past decades, willingly reunited with the core of their civilization. Those that resisted were dealt with by Bour’s fanatically loyal navy.
While certainly ruthless in pursuing his goal of uniting the Jove, Miko Bour was no mere warlord. Once the Second Empire was stabilized, he put in place a federal system where each Jovian enclave could promote representatives to an
assembly called the Ruling Chamber. Recognizing that the power of the Tyrant required legitimacy, Bour provided for the Ruling Chamber to appoint one of its members to the office of Tyrant. The system served the Second Empire well for a time, and the rule of the Tyrants lasted for some two thousand years before disaster struck the Jove once more.
The Shrouded Days
The Second Empire never reached the mythical heights of the First Empire, the Jove’s long-lamented golden age, but the fall that preceded it was not so great as that which followed it. The Second Empire is looked back on by today’s Jove as the last time of true Jovian greatness. In many ways it was the definitive empire of the modern Jove, having been founded and populated by people not so very different from the Jove of the modern day. The fall of the Second Empire is a greater horror for the Jove than the legendary collapse of the First Empire, because in Jovian terms it took place a matter of generations ago and it brought with it the nemesis of the Jovian race: the Jovian disease.
Why the Second Empire collapsed is a mystery as complete to the modern Jove as it is to anyone else. Given the apparent connection with the Jovian disease, much speculation has focused on the malady. On this account the survivors were
those who were able to resist to some extent, but remained vulnerable over the long term. Many alternatives have been proposed, including yet another Jovian civil war, invasion by some unknown external enemy, or simple exhaustion of local resources and subsequent economic collapse.
The evidence suggests that outlying settlements were destroyed. From the archaeological remains in the band of systems that constituted the outer Second Empire, some kind of cataclysm is apparent; the ruins there are almost all in worse condition than the remains of the First Empire. In the Heaven constellation some arrest of the disaster was managed, but the following period of approximately five hundred years is a historical black hole.
This period is known by the Jove as the “Shrouded Days.” It is a topic of great pain for them, representing an immeasurable loss of knowledge of science, technology, culture, and history. Above all, it represents a calamitous breach in the genetic records of their race. The Jove of the colonial period, as well as the First and Second Empires, through all their troubles, had been connected by a carefully maintained genetic history. The
Shrouded Days destroyed that history, leaving its account of the First and Second Empires fragmentary and introducing a gaping void of five hundred years following what was arguably the hardest fall of the Jovian race.
The Third Empire
Though it is not known how, the Jove survived the Shrouded Days, commencing eventually to rebuild their civilization as best they could. Scattered enclaves across the Heaven constellation renewed their contacts with one another. Whatever factional differences may have existed, no one was of any mind for further conflict. They were too few, too traumatized, and far too keenly aware that they had avoided extinction by a razor-thin margin.
The remaining population was by now entirely reliant on artificial reproduction and irrevocably marked by the eons of genetic manipulation various factions had indulged in. The opponents of this activity (most often referred to as the “Statics”) and its supporters (known as “Modifiers”), each with their subfactions, eyed each other askance but had no choice but to work together. They soon realized that the Shrouded Days had left them with a terrible legacy in the Jovian disease.
The Statics recognized the Jovian disease as a genetic malady with some resemblance to a few conditions mentioned in surviving records. Even the most radical of the Modifiers, while unwilling to concede that genetic tampering should stop, had to acknowledge that something had gone dreadfully wrong with the collective Jovian genome. Unity in the face of their adversity was the key for most Jove, and it appeared that a backhanded benefit of the Shrouded Days was that it had left the Jove more able to suppress their inherent factionalism and cooperate with one another.
Shortly after reestablishing contact, the surviving Jovian enclaves formed a coordinating body they called the Jovian Directorate. This organization surveyed the resources and records of the remaining enclaves and was able to piece together a picture of the science and technology still available to the Jove.
While the obvious losses made for a grim account, the capabilities retained by the Jove were still of a high order. Most importantly, the ability to manipulate fullerenes, a core Jovian technology for thousands of years, was still theirs to command. Still, there were several puzzles for the Jovian Directorate to confront, particularly concerning the various enclaves that had constituted the so-called “Stasis People” faction, members of the Static tendency who had always made extensive use of cryostasis and virtual environments.
The majority of Stasis People enclaves were simply missing, with no physical traces left at all, and in all cases the remaining enclaves were those in the moderate wing of the faction. The remaining Stasis People enclaves claimed ignorance of the fate of their faction mates but strongly argued that the time had come for the Jovian race to leave the Heaven constellation.
The Stasis People were not alone in their argument for migration. The Modifiers, to an enclave, argued that Heaven could not support yet another revival and could even be subject to unknown dangers that may have precipitated the fall of the Second Empire. Most of the other Statics were reluctant, but the words of the Stasis People weighed heavily in the councils of the directorate, especially as they counted among their numbers many Jovian scientists who retained a great portion of the race’s surviving knowledge. To that end the directorate oversaw the construction of three vast motherships, and using the expertise of the few remaining Stasis People, had chamber after chamber of cryostasis tubes built into their cavernous spaces.
The Jovian mother ships were designed to function with only periodic oversight from crews that rotated in and out of cryostasis. They were to move from system to system and carry out automated surveys in their search for a suitable place to establish a new Jove Empire. This combined voyage of exploration and migration took decades but eventually, in one of the outermost regions of New Eden, the mother ships settled on a suitable system and awakened the sleeping members of the Jovian Directorate. The Jove spent little time in hesitation, and soon the vast banks of cryotubes were opening out onto the dawn of the Third Jove Empire.
Once established in its new home system, deep in the heart of the J7HZ-F region, the Jovian Directorate decided on a new strategy of casting enclaves far and wide across the region.
This strategy led the Third Empire to lay loose claim not only to the J7HZ-F region but also the neighboring A821-A region. The Jovian Directorate tied this far-flung empire of small outposts and settlements together with a new corporatist philosophy in which enclaves were encouraged to move away from the previous model of organization along factional lines.
Instead, enclaves adopted areas of expertise and function, linking themselves with other enclaves covering related fields in a quasi-corporate structure. It was a novel idea, but it allowed Jove belonging to different factions to work more closely together and considerably cut down on duplication of effort.
Building on this expansionist theme, the Jovian Directorate began to send out deep-space explorer units in an effort to gain a picture of the rest of the New Eden cluster. It was during this period that the Society of Conscious Thought was founded and, for a time, greatly influenced the political direction of the Third Empire. The old dividing lines between Statics and Modifiers shifted in curious ways, with the main debate now revolving around the exercise of the outward urge, contrasted with the need to maintain some kind of cohesion in Jovian society.
It has been surmised that roughly 200–250 years after the foundation of the Third Empire, Jovian exploratory teams became aware of the rising core empires, in particular the Amarr Empire and the Gallente Federation. If this is true, then there followed perhaps 50–100 years of cautious reconnaissance by Jovian scouts before, in AD 23149, the Jovian Directorate revealed itself to the government of the Gallente Federation. Limited diplomatic exchanges followed, but when the Gallente-Caldari War broke out in AD 23155, the Jove immediately severed all contact with the federation.
Almost four decades passed before the Jove decided to reveal themselves to all the races of the core empires in AD 23192, a couple of years after mutual contact had finally been established between the Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, and Minmatar. With their unfathomable motives and astounding technology, the Jove were a complete mystery to the other races. Jovian cloaking technology, in particular, impressed them deeply. It was not, however, until the Amarr-Jove War and the one-sided Battle of Vak’Atioth, in AD 23210, that Jovian weapons technology seared an even deeper impression into their minds.
The Capsule and CONCORD
Contact with the other races appeared to reinvigorate the torpid factions of the Jovian people, and the Jovian Directorate channeled the roused political impulses of the race into a flurry of diplomatic activity. The Jove had made no trouble about accepting the Amarr Empire’s hasty peace offer and now took steps to establish diplomatic missions with the other races, including the fledgling Minmatar Republic. The first notable product of increased contact between the Jove and the other races was their decision to supply hydrostatic capsule technology to the Ishukone megacorporation, effectively putting a hyperadvanced space technology in the hands of the Caldari State.
Having given this technology to one empire, the Jovian Directorate now proposed a new interstellar organization for the purposes of mediating relations between the five major empires of the Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, Jove, and Minmatar. It has since become clear that one of the special mandates
of CONCORD was to serve as a constraining check on the development of capsule technology within the sphere of influence of the core empires.
While the Caldari State was permitted to cement its independence through its initial lead with the capsule, the proliferation of the technology by way of
Ishukone licensing it to other corporations in all four empires was overseen by CONCORD’s Secure Commerce Commission. The Jovian Directorate’s special attention to the neutrality of the SCC may well have been primarily concerned with matters of spreading technological developments such as the capsule without a destabilizing advantage for any one empire.
For roughly a century, from the foundation of CONCORD, through the holding of the Yoiul Conference aboard one of their own cruisers, to the establishment of Jovian corporations in core empire space, and nearly through to the modern day, the Jovian Directorate took an active, though measured, part in the political and diplomatic life of New Eden.
The penultimate confirmed contact between the Jovian Directorate and the CONCORD Assembly was in YC 112, and concerned the Sansha’s Nation incursion into the Prosper Vault in the 3-CE1R system. In a communiqué to the Inner Circle of CONCORD, the directorate tersely announced the expulsion of the Sansha's Nation fleet and the reestablishment of Jovian control over a facility that was stated to be an unimportant materials repository in an outlying system.
In YC118, after half a dozen more years of silence, the Jovian Directorate transferred control of its corporations in the core regions of New Eden to the Society of Inner Thought, designated the SoCT as its successor in CONCORD, and finally withdrew from New Eden's astropolitical scene once and for all.
The Jovian Directorate has remained completely silent since then. No manned Jovian vessels have been seen beyond the border of the Third Empire. The only traces of Jovian presence that remain are their corporations and the Society of Conscious Thought. Within either of those, no member of the Jovian race has been encountered for many years. Many believe the Jove are gone. Some think the Jovian disease has finally claimed them. Others suspect they have migrated yet again, perhaps into the depths of wormhole space, a region they call “Anoikis.”
The remaining four CONCORD empires do not speculate openly about the former “fifth point of the star,” but there is a good deal of concern nonetheless. CONCORD itself has cleared the Jovian section of its headquarters. Nobody in any position of authority is saying much on the subject of the Jove Empire, but whatever they may be thinking, there are few willing to openly act as if the Jove really are no more.
Politics and Culture
The Jovian Directorate and Corporations
While the Jove Empire’s third incarnation appears to be highly decentralized, it retains a recognizable form of government in the shape of the Jovian Directorate. More of a coordinating and consultative body than a government per se, the directorate is more analogous to the Caldari State’s Chief Executive Panel than any more traditional governmental form.
Certainly it is an interesting fact that the Third Empire organized itself
according to a corporatist philosophy as a means to ease the tensions between its factions while directing expertise in the most efficient manner. It is even possible that the Jovian Directorate’s liking for a corporate form of governance led to capsule technology being introduced to the core empires via the Caldari Ishukone Corporation.
Operating alongside the Jovian Directorate are a number of corporations involved in certain necessary functions or specialized activities. The Jove Navy is organized as a small but enormously potent striking force, primarily using large numbers of very advanced cruisers, supplemented by frigate wings and a relatively small number of battleships that are intended as command and control vessels rather than ships of the line. That being said, any Jovian battleship is capable of crushing an entire squadron of non-Jovian battleships singlehandedly. Backing up the Jovian fighting ships are the motherships, the power of which is well known after the bright and bloody Battle of Vak’Atioth.
The Jovian corporations most well known to non-Jove are those with a presence throughout the core empires. These include the well-regarded leading-edge cloning corporation Genolution, the biotechnology equipment supplier X-Sense,
and the advanced electronics manufacturer Impro. While it has no permanent presence in the empires, the Jovian finance and commodities house Prosper is known to have invested in numerous non-Jovian corporations, though always selectively and with great care not to interfere in their operations.
Other Jovian corporations carry out little commerce in the core empire and are rather geared towards general or specific functions within the Third Empire. The Shapeset corporation is essentially the dedicated manufacturing arm
of the Jove, producing ships and equipment solely for use by the Jove themselves. Highly specialized entities include the Material Institute, which explores practical applications for hyperadvanced Jovian science, and the rather bizarre Academy of Aggressive Behavior, which is dedicated to training cadres of pilots and soldiers to overcome the apathetic and pacifist tendencies of the modern Jove.
The Jovian Disease
To understand modern Jovian culture, it is necessary to understand the Jovian disease. Nothing else has had as great an impact on the shape and nature of Jovian society in the Third Empire. As has been described, the Jovian disease emerged in its current form out of the Shrouded Days and has even been cited as a possible reason for the collapse of the Second Empire before that. The precise mechanism and action of the disease is still not understood by the Jove, but they are well aware that it is genetic in nature and has the potential to strike them down at any time. Indeed, that a Jove will finally succumb to the Jovian disease is no mere potential fate. It is inevitable and certain that a Jove who lives long enough will develop the condition and die as a result of its disruptive psychological effects.
It is quite possible, indeed likely, that a precursor to the Jovian disease was present in some form during the Second Empire. The genetic manipulation of the Jovian race had already reached dangerous heights when the Second Empire
was young, and by its end the Modifiers had promoted many more experiments and alterations. Soon after emerging from the Shrouded Days, the Jove began to see cases of the Jovian disease manifest themselves. The first signs of something
very wrong were seen in the Jovian reproductive facilities. One of the two main forms of the Jovian disease strikes at developing Jove in the so-called “fetus tubes” that serve as the race’s artificial wombs. This form is invariably and swiftly fatal. Even though this is the statistically rarer of the two forms, the impact on Jovian reproduction was noted very quickly.
Soon after the disturbing evidence of a fatal genetic flaw or disease manifesting itself in the fetus tubes arrived signs of the second form of the Jovian disease. In this variant, the disease first presents itself as a psychological condition that initially produces mild apathy, loss of appetite, and poor mental focus. As the condition progresses it can develop into strong depression, mild dementia, or in rare cases a sort of obsessive-compulsive condition. These symptoms are then overtaken by a peak phase where extreme psychological disorders manifest, running through hyperparanoia, sociopathy, and psychopathy. When the peak phase is exhausted, a final collapse into a kind of psychological paralysis ensues. As all will to eat and drink disappears, death is typically by dehydration after falling into a coma.
The age at which the disease first presents itself and the pace of its progress vary considerably from individual to individual. The link with genetic manipulation in the past is considered established, although the causation is a mystery. Radical members of the Modifier factions seem particularly prone to early onset, and this has led to theorizing that the act of genetic tampering can accelerate the disease. Given that Jovian reproduction involves considerable genetic manipulation in order to produce viable fetuses, a necessity due to the accumulated genetic damage of eons, and given the existence of a prenatal form of the disease, some suspect that the condition is triggered by certain combinations of genetic alteration.
Much research focuses on the genetic tampering trigger, together with all manner of experimentation with gene splicing of material from other races. It has so far not been shown that splicing non-Jovian material into a Jove’s genetic makeup has a statistically significant effect on the progress of the disease. In itself, this does at least tend to confirm suspicions that the
disease is fundamentally bound up with the activation and combination of Jove-specific genetic sequences. The Jovian attitude to the search for a cure is almost that of crusaders on a holy mission. The concept of religion is meaningless when applied to the Jove, but it is fair to say that their most powerful philosophical beliefs are intimately connected with the quest for a cure.
The typical Jove will stop at almost nothing to chase down a possible cure. The most driven Jove will literally subordinate all ethics to this goal. It would be unwise in the extreme to get in the way of a Jovian who is convinced she is on the path to a cure for her people’s nemesis.
Factions and Enclaves
The Jove of the Third Empire may be a pale shadow of their glorious forebears from the First and Second Empires, but they do not fall short when it comes to factionalism and the tendency to splinter into isolated enclaves. If the Jovian disease is a real menace that has only relatively recently become the
doom of the race, then their almost pathological need to form factions is perhaps the original curse of the Jovian people.
The two main philosophical groupings that have been in tension throughout the history of the Jove are the Modifiers and the Statics. These are very broad categories containing numerous factions and splinters, many of which are often found working against one another, as well as members of the opposing tendency. For most of Jovian history, these groups were organized into enclaves made up only of members of a particular faction or subfaction. The Third Empire and the Jovian Directorate changed that somewhat, making possible unusual groups such as the Society of Conscious Thought, but Jovian enclaves usually lean at least a little more in one direction than another.
The Modifier tendency has manifested itself in many strange forms over the shared history of the three Jove Empires. Its unifying principle is the notion that the existing state of the Jovian race must be altered using genetic manipulation. Two major philosophical factions have endured over these ages
to the extent that they can be considered the primary groupings within the Modifier tendency: the Existentialists and the Puritans.
The Existentialists are almost the archetypal experimenters and scientific adventurers, constantly exploring new avenues of research and, above all, tinkering with their own genetic codes. The Existentialists are the most energetic of all Jovian factions and the quickest to debate a point or advance
their own agenda. Their energy is somewhat constrained by their own diversity, leading to vicious arguments within their own ranks and steady erosion, as radicals splinter off to form their own philosophical sects. Even so, the Existentialists are perhaps the most dangerous individuals in Jovian society, and their disdain for non-Jove leads them to see other races as little
more than resources or opportunities for ever more bizarre experiments.
The Puritans constitute the other main faction within the Modifier tendency and are a rather more coherent grouping, with a single philosophical principle guiding their conduct. Put simply, the Puritans wish to reverse the accumulated centuries of genetic manipulation that the Jove have subjected themselves to. At this point in the history of the Jove, this can be considered an extraordinary and probably impossible goal. For the Puritans, however, it is the logical answer to the Jovian disease. If the taint of genetic manipulation can be erased, and a pure form of the Jovian genetic code developed, then the race may be saved. If the concept seems sound, in practice it has led to all manner of collective genetic engineering projects, some with rather spectacular and unexpected results. Regardless, the Puritans are capable of commanding the respect of even the Statics.
The activities of the various Modifier factions have resulted in another group usually considered part of their tendency, the so-called Lab Rats. In truth, the Lab Rats are not a coherent group, and the name — the closest approximation CONCORD translators could put on the usage of the Jovian term “Apokumenoi” — refers to the rather tragic origins of this class of Jove as individuals specifically created for the purpose of scientific research, rather than the social good of reproducing.
Lab Rats are in no way a slave class or possessed of limited rights. They are conceived and brought to term in the fetus tubes according to a particular set of experimental variables, and once born are treated as full Jove in the normal way. Lab Rats are usually asked to voluntarily make themselves available for tests throughout the rest of their lives. Such are the cultural pressures bound up with the search for a cure for the Jovian disease that almost all Lab Rats acquiesce in this melancholy duty.
The Static tendency is marked by the unifying notion that there has been enough change wrought on the Jovian genetic code and even on the very fabric of the Jove Empire’s society. As a result the Statics are very firmly opposed to large-scale genetic engineering, and many are fanatically opposed even to minor genetic alterations. The knowledge that the Third Empire is very far from the pinnacle of Jovian achievement has considerably blunted the philosophy of social stasis within the tendency, but the most dedicated still hold that attempts at directed change to society are misguided and should be resisted. There are three significant factions within the Static tendency: the Elders, the Unsullied, and the Stasis People.
The Elders, in something of a historical irony, are the descendants and beneficiaries of one of the very first Jovian factions to use genetic engineering to effect significant change in the race. Their First Empire forerunners were masters in the arts of gerontological science and manipulated their genetic code to considerably slow the aging process. Their success was significant; pure-strain Elders can live for centuries in a natural life span, and even longer still with longevity implants. It is quite possible that the oldest Elders of them all have outlived more than one member of the Amarrian
The Elders achieved paramount authority over the First Empire, but they developed their Static philosophies to an extreme that brought about the fall of the very empire they were trying to preserve. This failure weighs heavily on the Elder faction’s collective conscience, and while they do continue to argue their view, Elders rarely take an active role in Jovian politics anymore. (It should be noted that there is no relationship between this Jovian faction and the Minmatar spiritual leaders known as “elders.”)
The Unsullied are the strongest advocates of an end to all genetic manipulation and experimentation. For the Unsullied, enough has been done, and the time has come to abandon genetic technology except where absolutely necessary for the survival of the race. The Unsullied do not even use genetic therapies for medical purposes, opting instead for conventional medicine, nanotechnology, or cybernetic methods of dealing with sickness and the onset of old age. The Unsullied are rather active in the political life of the Jovian Directorate, and it is likely many of the Jove encountered by the other races were members of this faction.
Like the Elders (and, for that matter, all Statics), the Unsullied are deeply concerned with the accumulation and preservation of knowledge. Unlike the Elders, however, the Unsullied are rather outward looking. With the exception of genetic manipulation, they are willing to entertain the development and spread of many technologies, particularly cybernetics and nanotechnology.
The Stasis People are a relatively small faction in numbers, but their importance is considerable. Their mastery of cryostasis technology and the use of virtual environments has led to their taking on a role as important keepers of much knowledge that would otherwise have been lost to the Third Empire. For some reason, the Stasis People insist that virtual environment technology has reached the optimal level and should not be developed any further.
While those Jove from other factions who have been granted access to their virtual environments have been impressed with the fidelity of the simulations, they have often wondered why the Stasis People do not experiment with novel environments or alter parameters such as the information density and temporal flow of the simulations. The Stasis People politely refuse to discuss such matters and concentrate on their role as the ultimate archivists of the Third Jove Empire. In keeping with their special function, the Stasis People maintain cordial relations with all tendencies and factions of the Jove. They can be classed as Statics more on the basis of their philosophical outlook than any political or ideological activism.
The Society of Conscious Thought
In AD 23044, roughly two centuries after the formation of the Third Empire, a man named Ior Labron founded a new kind of organization that he called the Society of Conscious Thought.
While Ior Labron was a Static hailing from a particularly outward-looking Unsullied enclave, he had been a keen student of a remarkable Jovian entrepreneur and intellectual named Gorda Hoje. A rather unique individual, Hoje derived from the Elders’ genetic strain, but he had broken with the introspective and secluded ways of their faction as a young man, wishing to help expand the Third Empire. It is thought that Hoje may have been a crew member on the long flight of the Jovian motherships from the Heaven constellation. Certainly, as an Elder it is quite possible that he had lived through that time. He died a little under two centuries after the Jovian resettlement.
Hoje’s special talent in his later years lay in nurturing young minds, particularly those with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand the ultimate ends of sentient life. Wealthy, seemingly from his work as a leading corporatist in the early Third Empire, Hoje had much time to churn out cryptic philosophical texts and carefully constructed scientific papers. Most viewed his philosophy as eccentric and his science as impractical. Hoje did not care. As he saw it, his real task was mentoring a generation of Jovian minds in preparation for the coming age.
In Ior Labron, Gorda Hoje probably had his greatest success. When the old savant and philanthropist finally passed, Labron made a deep study of his mentor’s works and found in them the outlines of a profound and rich philosophy. After many years of study and preparation, the energetic young intellectual gathered together like minds and founded the Society of Conscious Thought (SoCT) as a vehicle for the exploration of Jovian spiritual potential.
The great task of the Society was to discover the meaning of life itself, a seemingly quixotic goal that somehow led the cult-like organization into the politics of the Jovian Directorate. In truth, the Jovian need to find meaning in existence was only heightened by their lack of a deep emotional life, and the SoCT therefore readily attracted many dynamic adherents, becoming very powerful in the process.
For a period the SoCT was effectively the secret power behind the Jovian Directorate, operating as a sort of shadow government, but the distorting effect this had on the Third Empire was swiftly noticed by equally active factions. In particular, the various Modifier groups banded together to break the SoCT’s power and even succeeded in persuading the orthodox Statics to agree to ban the Society.
In the widely distributed and diverse atmosphere of the Third Empire, however, such a ban could not hold forever. The SoCT slowly but surely emerged again, but this time as a new form of scientific and spiritual community. In order to avoid triggering the intervention of other factions, they established a far-flung network of self-contained enclaves that they called “kitzes.”
The kitzes were built in remote places throughout the Jove Empire, with the resulting settlements resembling fortress monasteries and housing living quarters, food production, libraries, laboratories, and all the needs of a self-sustaining commune of Jovian spiritual scientists. Each kitz developed
independently of the others, but communication between the kitzes of the SoCT network is frequent and considered vital to the mission of the Society.
Once the Jove Empire established contact with the core empires, the Society began setting up its own connections with the other nations of New Eden. Before long the SoCT established new kitzes in remote areas beyond the Jove Empire and closer to the core of New Eden. Ultimately, the Society went so far as to openly establish control over an isolated constellation in the mostly uninhabited Geminate region. Nominally independent of the Jove Empire, the Society was granted sovereignty over the N-K4Q0 constellation by CONCORD without intervention by the Jovian Directorate.
The SoCT has subsequently had a large impact on New Eden through its policy of admitting non-Jove to its schools. Arguably providing the best education available to non-Jove in New Eden, the SoCT schools have a remarkable track record when it comes to turning out world leaders in science, industry, and politics. So prestigious and effective is a SoCT education that even the elite of the Amarr Empire will eagerly send their children, should they gain one of the coveted scholarships to a kitz school.
The legendary founder and First Tyrant of the Second Jove Empire, Miko Bour achieved ultimate power in the Utopia system in the chaotic aftermath of the fall of the First Empire. The historical tradition considers Bour to have been a Modifier of a now-extinct political faction who seized power through a combination of statecraft, subterfuge, and political violence. Analysis of the surviving records of his military campaign to pacify the Heaven constellation is required for those enrolled in the Academy of Aggressive Behavior.
Once Miko Bour had united the Jove in the Second Empire, he laid down a system for representation of the Jovian enclaves in the Ruling Chamber, which would legislate for the empire and appoint future Tyrants from its ranks. While Jove of the Third Empire have great difficulty contemplating Miko Bour’s most ruthless acts, the verdict of most Jovian historians is that the Tyrant’s actions arrested the disintegration of the Jovian race and laid the foundations for future stability.
Founder of the Society of Conscious Thought (see “The Society
of Conscious Thought,” above).
Radical Jovian intellectual and teacher. Mentor of Ior Labron
(see “The Society of Conscious Thought,” above).
Admiral Ouria was a Jovian renegade disavowed by the Third Jove Empire after his apparent overtures to non-Jovian radicals with a view to share forbidden technology. Admiral Ouria’s actions are notable for having forced the Jovian Directorate to admit the existence of the Jovian disease to outsiders in order to explain his sociopathic actions. Ouria is believed to have been in the early peak stage of the Jovian disease when he began his bid to spread Jovian technology to terrorists and other destabilizing forces in the Stain region.
Ouria's ship was destroyed in battle with capsuleers in August YC105. It is unknown whether or not Ouria had clones, but the stage his disease had progressed to makes it likely that any resurrected clone would have died shortly after the events of the Ouria incident.
A member of the Society of Conscious Thought and a possible Jovian renegade, Veniel was an associate of the ill-fated Admiral Ouria but showed far more subtlety and self-control than the rogue Jovian warrior. That Veniel showed no sign at all of mental impairment or other symptoms of the Jovian disease must account for the greater part of the difference, but the SoCT agent has been attested by all who met him to be notably devious.
Veniel played a pivotal role in the Immensea Affair and may have engineered the circumstances that prevented CONCORD from stopping news of the abandoned station network from slipping out. As the incident gave the emerging capsuleers their first permanent bases in the Outer Regions, Veniel could be considered complicit in enhancing the power and reach of the immortal ship captains. The motives of Veniel remain obscure, and his ultimate fate is a mystery.