The Quorum


Regions:

  •  Quaoar (65,000 pop)
  •  Weywot (5000 pop)

Overview:

  • Quaoar, pronounced "KWA-war", is named after a Californian Amerindian creator deity.
  • Although by Inner World standards Quaoar is far even from its nearest neighbor, the Pluto-Charon binary system, by Kuiper Belt standards the two worlds are very close. In another similarity, Quaoar is also about the same size as Charon, and thus twice as massive as Orcus.
  • A brutal impact earlier in Quaoar’s geological history stripped it of most of its icy mantle, leaving behind mostly the rocky core.
  • Unlike Orcus, Quaoar does not have an internal liquid water ocean due to insufficient internal heating of the world’s core. Ice in sufficient quantities to maintain life does exist, but lacking a natural mechanism for heating has meant the Quorum has needed to be more creative than usual in maintaining its existence.
  • Quaoar has one tiny moonlet named Weywot, the result of the earlier collision that stripped Quaoar of its original icy mantle.
  • Although signatory of multiple treaties and mutual agreements with the Kuiper Compact, it is not a member and has staunchly maintained its independence. Given certain cultural incompatibilities, there is, if anything, more chance of fractious Haumea joining the Kuiper Compact.

History

  • Quaoar's (relatively) close proximity to Pluto made it inevitable that Quaoar would be seen as a promising early settlement target in the Kuiper Belt, despite its lack of a substantial icy mantle or internal core heating mechanism. After research drones sent in the latter part of the 23rd century established that colonization was indeed viable, settlement rights were finally negotiated by a multinational cultural institute based on Earth and Mars.
  • In honor of the locale of its actual settlement, the institute established the colonizing entity on Quaoar as a partial subsidiary named The Quorum, run under principles common to its original institution.
  • By 2360 the parent institution was bankrupt due to a series of punishing lawsuits arising from scandals implicating its founder in massive fraud, and to save itself from financial claims the Quorum repudiated its parent and in a maneuver of questionable legality unilaterally divested itself of formal association with the parent organization.
  • Quaoar has always been the smallest in terms of population of the major colonies of the Kuiper Belt, partially due to its own stringent entrance requirements, but also due to a certain cultural insularity that at times borders on xenophobia.
  • In 2352 Quaoar was fully operational as a colony, in practical terms meaning its accelerated artificial rotation was considered stable, complete with a functional spaceport on the northern pole.

Primary Industries:

  • Carbonates
  • Silicates
  • Metals
  • Extensive research operations

Conflicts:

  • The Quorum has non-aggression treaties with both the Kuiper Compact and the Orcus Directorate, as well as the Alliance. The Quorum has made a point of staying studiously neutral in political disputes.
  • Despite its careful stance of neutrality, the Quorum is the subject of some skepticism among many of the democracies of the solar system. The Quorum's insular cultural sensitivities and single-minded, almost religious pursuit of research and information collection has resulted in frequent charges of moral turpitude.
  • The Quorum is aggressive in enforcing control over the space around it and has no tolerance for commerce raiding, with its security forces operating under quite liberal rules of engagement, something that has resulted in outside orgs being very careful about unannounced visits to Quaoar.
  • The military forces of the Quorum are quite healthy for its size and position, consisting of several destroyers and a trio of dreadnoughts it has refitted as heavily armed "science vessels".

Politics and Culture:

  • Culturally, the Quorum is essentially an authoritarian, monomaniacal psychological self-actualization program writ large. Variously casting itself as a political entity, a social movement, or a religion, the Quorum considers itself the logical cultural evolutionary next step in human social organization.
  • With the twin drives of self-improvement and the at times morally questionably aggressive pursuit of pure research, dissent - often framed as "suppressive personalities" - is both socially frowned upon and politically dangerous. Quorum Organizational Security (QOS) operates quietly and efficiently without uniforms or pesky things like public trials. Informing on dissenters is considered a civic obligation and a religious duty.
  • Although English is the common language of the Quorum, its ethnic composition is extremely broad-based. Further, the English spoken by citizens of the Quorum has considerable amounts of words with modified and specialized meaning to the point that an outsider listening to two people from the Quorum speaking would understand the words but likely have a great deal of difficulty understanding what is actually being communicated.
  • Examples of specialized Quorum linguistic elements include:
    • authenticity - The ideal state whereby the individual in question is honest with their own inner drives, feelings, and thoughts, and has "moved past" those issues to exist in a state of honesty with their friends, relations, and business partners.
    • classification - Polity tested psychological performance grades used to measure how thoroughly a particular individual has cleansed themselves.
    • Cleanse - A voluntary intensive period of self-discipline intended to break harmful habits and promote positive habits.
    • complete - A state of psychological resolution whereby the individual has, in the specified area of discussion, ordered their own daemons.
    • daemon - A subconscious instinctive and/or cultural or environmentally-driven reaction. Distinct from the ideal of a purely logical rational thinking. The Quorum ideal is to achieve a higher level of consciousness and awareness, eradicating or at least subordinating instinctual responses in favor of overtly rational thinking. The process of achieving this is referred to as "ordering your daemons".
    • designated suppressive personality - Individual who has been administratively designated by the Quorum as needing social reconditioning.
    • intervention - The process by which Quorum Organizational Security (QOS) takes into custody a designated suppressive personality for interview, then escalated to interrogation, then subjected to remedial education courses .
    • registration - Enlisting an outsider into the ideals of the Quorum.
    • remedial education courses - Intensive, usually involuntary social conditioning programs that frequently include aggressive pharmacological and psychological techniques.
    • story - A lie one tells to avoid a truth.
    • suppressive personality - Dissent from Quorum social and ideological ideals. Frequently leads to intervention.
  • The Quorum maintains an active missionary arm that aggressively proselytizes throughout the solar system. This effort is handled through designated "Education Institutes" and presented as a form of psychological self-improvement education. In practice, these efforts tend to be very aggressive, and attempt to leverage new recruits by using them to recruit family members and friends. When this fails, if family members or friends react negatively to the recruit's experiences with the Quorum, that hostility is manipulated to encourage the recruit to cut off their family members and friends as "suppressive personalities".
  • Quaoar is not particularly rich in resources, although it does have a healthy mining industry in iron and other metals. The primary industry of the Quorum is in fact research. The Quorum aggressively buys, trades, and sells research throughout the solar system, in addition to furthering research natively on Quaoar and Weywot proper - usually in those areas of research that other polities are reluctant to engage in out of ethical or similar concerns.
  • The governing political structure is bureaucratically intensive and convoluted considering the relatively low population on Quaoar. At the top of the pile, however, is the Board of Directors, a holdover from the days when the Quorum was a subsidiary arm of a multinational org.