The story takes place in the distant future, around 2720. Mankind has spread out to the stars. Over a hundred worlds have been colonized with multiple polities governing various groups of colonies. The story takes place on a planet called Dominion.
History of Earth and the beginning of the human Diaspora.
2092: The secret of maintaining a stable fusion reaction is finally discovered. A new revolution in energy begins leading to finally realizing the dream of cheap, clean and nearly limitless energy.
In the decades that followed, great leaps were made in the fields of medicine, nano-technology, and propulsion.
By 2150, average life spans were pushing 200 years and the Earth was becoming increasingly crowded. Permanent colonies had been established on the Moon and on Mars
2187: A practical faster than light drive was invented. The inventor was not tied to any existing government and released the knowledge in such a way that it could not be easily restricted.
A wave of exploration occurred over the next 100 years.
It was discovered that Earth-like worlds were actually quite common and that most contained life very similar to what exists on Earth. So similar to the life on Earth in fact that it was theorized that some intelligence must have seeded life throughout the galaxy from some common source. Despite so many Earth-like life bearing worlds being found, no extra terrestrial intelligent life or any evidence of intelligent life has ever been discovered.
This discovery gave some resurgence to the major religions.
In 2250 a wave of outward colonization began, some retained close ties to Earth and others maintained little or no contact with Earth.
Over the years since, many subcultures, feeling either real or perceived persecution, gathered together the funds to establish their own colonies far from Earth.
Almost all vehicles are fusion powered. Reaction-less thrusters exist that push/pull against the fabric of space itself; these come in all sizes from just a few kilos of thrust to thousands of metric tons. Primarily these are used for sub-light and maneuvering in space or to propel aerodynamic aircraft in planetary atmospheres. FTL drive for interstellar travel
FTL drive systems exist that, depending on available power and the amount of mass that has to be moved, can achieve speeds up to 15 light years per day.
General ship classes
Fast Courier: These are relatively small ships with minimal cargo capacity and the ability to carry up to a dozen passengers on top of their small crew. These are the fastest ships, reaching speeds up to 15 ly/day
Military Warships: These vary in size and class. They are around twice the physical size as an equivalent ocean going warship with the same crew size. Devoting more power to weapons and shields than to drive systems, they are limited to a speed of around 5 ly/day
Passenger Ships. These run around twice the physical size of 20th century ocean going passenger ships of similar capacity.
Passenger ships can be further subdivided into two categories by speed.
Fast passenger ships run at speeds around 5 ly/day
Slow passenger ships run at speeds around 3ly/day
Cargo ships: Running the gamut from fairly small to massive ships and covering both open cargo bays, capable of taking heavy machinery, to container ships. Smaller lighter cargo ships can run at up to 3 ly/day and heavy cargo ships, equivalent to oceangoing super tankers and mega container ships, run slower at around 1.5 ly/day
Interplanetary craft are usually referred to as shuttles or boats. These range in size from the approximate size and passenger capacity of a speedboat, to the size of a small cargo ship. Many, though not all, are FTL capable to shorten interplanetary travel times. These differ from true interstellar craft in that they don't have sufficient life support capacity for interstellar travel.
Aircraft mostly use either ducted turbofans or low power reaction-less thrusters combined with an aerodynamic lift and control surfaces.
Most short and mid-range transportation is by ground vehicles. These are mostly wheeled vehicles similar to 20th century vehicles, except that they use electric motors powered by a miniature fusion power plant. Various levitation vehicles do exist, but since they require significantly more power than a wheeled vehicle. They are usually only used for highly specialized tasks or as rich men's toys.
Three categories of nanites
These are the least expensive form of nanites
They are used in:
Constructing cybernetic implants in place without surgery
Manufacturing (fabricating objects molecule by molecule)
Recycling: disassembly on the molecular level
Stored power (micro battery) These are single use
These are used for:
Demolitions: on-site disassembly of very large objects
Weaponized nanites (disassembly of biologicals)
Nano-fusion or chemical power from chemicals drawn from the intended environment (oxidizing sugars for biological use)
Self powered nanites are extremely expensive
They are used for
Military use, mostly for recon and defense against weponized nannites
Mostly wet-ware, machine / mind interface. Not inexpensive. Many upper class have comp/comp implants allowing direct mind access to local networks.
Interstellar communication: A form of FTL radio exists that can in theory transmit near instantaneous messages across hundreds of light years. However in practice this has not been possible. To the date that the story takes place, no one has managed to transmit a message with a high enough data density for either real time voice or video more than 2 light years. Even simple Morse code messages have to date not been detectable at more than 10 light years. This has limited interstellar communications to electronic messages archived on fast couriers heading towards the final destination of the message.
Planet wide Internet like computer networks. Mix of publicly and privately owned servers. Generally referred to as Planet Net or <Planet Name> Net
Personal tablet computers are almost universal. Only the poorest of the poor do not have them. High speed processors, more ram and storage than a 20th century high end desktop computer (still considered a thin client in the time period of the story), wireless communications, both 2D and holographic display capability.
Medical technology has advanced to the point where most non life threatening injuries can be fully repaired within a few hours and even the most severe injuries can be fully healed as long as the patient is still alive when he / she arrives at a medical facility. This is largely due to advances in nanotech, allowing assisted cellular regeneration and repair of bones at the molecular level.
Advances in medical knowledge and technology have allowed the aging process to be slowed across the population. Increasing basic life expectancy, baring disease, accident or violence, to 200 years.
Self powered medical nannites originally developed for military use, they were intended to provide rapid regeneration to injured soldiers to keep them on the battlefield longer. The first prototypes started trials around the year 2400. It took another hundred years for anyone to notice that they also, still further, slowed the aging process. Because they are programmed to the individuals DNA, while they slow the degenerative process of aging, they do not slow the growth process through full physical maturity; making them safe to administer to children for those who can afford it. These are extremely expensive, costing more than a typical single family home.
Available birth control methods are more effective and more convenient.
Shots are available for both men and women that will cause temporary sterility for approximately three years. Another shot that will reverse the first, before it wears off naturally, is also available.
Implants are available for both genders with the same effects, but that last ten years. Fertility will resume within 2 to 3 months of the implant being removed or depleting.
When the first wave of interstellar colonization started in 2250, Earth was still divided amongst many squabbling nations.
In 2300 a new push to create a global government was started.
In 2350 Earth and the entire solar system came under the control of a single government. The new government was corporatist, highly socially conservative and riddled with corruption.
Anything even remotely sexually or morally deviant was subjected to severe persecution.
Part of the push against sexual deviancy was due to the ever growing population of the Earth, which by 2350 had reached 15 billion. A hundred years of interstellar colonization had only slowed down population growth.
In those early days, most of the colonies were governed completely independently. Distance and slow communication made interstellar government difficult to maintain.
In 2436 a war broke out between two of the colonies that would take 12 years and intervention from Earth to settle. This began the process of the Earth government taking control over the closer colonies. Grasping ever farther out.
Many of the outer colonies began organizing their own interstellar governments to counter the growth of the Earth Federation.
By 2700 the Earth Federation controls a sphere extending 150 light years out from the solar system.
Over the years, the Earth Federation has become a bureaucratic monstrosity, a near police state.
Their outward push for control was finally halted by a combination of organized resistance, simple distance and domestic issues within the Earth Federation. Three Earth Federation worlds are under open revolt and two more are locked down under military law.
The Confederation of Independent Worlds.
The Confederation of Independent Worlds, usually just referred to as the Confederation, is a loose alliance of a number of worlds. The Confederation has more in common with NATO of the late 20th century than it does with any other interstellar government. It's sole jurisdictions are mutual military defense and prosecuting interstellar pirates within the confederations boundaries.
Most of the Confederation worlds are in a small but dense cluster of 24 star systems in a sphere of space with a 10 light year radius. Nearly half of those star systems have inhabitable worlds.
This star cluster is 210 light year from Earth at its closest point.
All of the inhabitable planets in this cluster have in common a radioactive trace mineral that exists throughout the environment of each world.
Both the mineral and the form of radiation it emits were previously unknown and still have not been found anywhere outside the cluster.
The radiation this mineral produces has a number of effects on humans and the effects are different for each gender.
The outer membranes of sperm cells are altered in such a way that the membranes of X chromosome sperm are slightly different from the membranes of Y chromosome sperm.
Reduces incidence of homosexuality or bisexuality among men
Increases libido, sexual endurance and reduces recovery time.
Outer membrane of egg altered to become more resistant to Y chromosome sperm than to X chromosome sperm. This leads to more females than males from conception. Exact ratio depends on the concentration of the mineral on each planet in the cluster.
Increased libido, although not quite to the same extent as in males,
Increased milk production post pregnancy.
Worlds of the confederation.
Below is not a complete list but are the major ones which will have relevancy to the story. Others will be added as they become relevant.
Dominion history law and culture
Dominion was the first Confederate world to be founded.
In 2310, 12 wealthy families heavily involved in the BDSM subculture saw the efforts to create a global government on Earth. They saw who was behind it and knew that any government formed with those groups behind it would not be good for them.
They also saw in the ongoing wave of colonization an opportunity to create a world where they could live BDSM lifestyles; even openly if they so chose, with no fear of prosecution or persecution.
They chose a world that was very distant from the Earth in a star cluster 210 light years from Earth.
They sold off their assets and built a vast colony ship.
The ship intended to carry 20,000 to 30,000 passengers, even with the largest star drive ever built to that point it would be slow; even by the standards then. It was 6 times slower than a modern heavy freighter. The journey to the new colony would take more than 2 years
They planed the framework of the government along libertarian ideals, making sure that even if those in the lifestyle became a minority, the law could not be turned against them.
The word was put out through fetish clubs, on-line chat rooms and forums.
Throwing every resource they had at it, the founding families managed to get the ship built and ready for launch in just over 5 years.
In 2316 the colony ship was launched from its hidden space dock in Saturn's orbit with 25,000 aboard, roughly evenly divided between men and women.
The colonists finally landed on their new home in 2318.
Geography and physical stats.
Dominion is just slightly larger than Earth. Gravity is 1.1 times Earth normal.
59.8% water 40.2% land
Day length 24 hours
Year length 372.2 days
The government of Dominion is established by a written contract loosely modeled after the US constitution.
Major differences from US constitution
Single legislative body called the Senate.
Term of 8 years, with 25% of Senate up for re-election at any one time (every 2 years).
Passing new laws or repealing old laws requires 66% majority.
Measures increasing government revenues require a 80% majority.
Majority requirements above are for full membership. Passing new revenue with 80% of members present would require unanimous vote of present members.
Amendments to constitution must pass general referendum by 90%.
Executive appointed by Senate to 16 year term.
Chief justice appointed by Senate to life term. Chief Justice appoints additional judges, subject to Senate approval.
No laws prohibiting consensual sexual contact of any kind, except for laws governing sexual contact between adults and children. Detailed elsewhere.
No laws against pornography.
Law explicitly recognizes written sexual consent as binding, unless revoked in writing or as otherwise described in the original written consent.
Prostitution is legal
Due to above, provision of sexual favors to boss/supervisor can be a job requirement, but by law this must be stated up front when someone is hired.
Public nudity is legal. As a matter of law, simple nudity is not considered lewd, obscene or harmful to children. Witnessing consensual sex between adults is not generally considered harmful to children.
Validly signed contracts are enforceable unless the purpose of the contract is illegal (this exception doesn't cover much).
Courts can void a contract for lack of agreement, breach, fraud or coercion. Voiding a contract for coercion requires direct evidence of coercion by one party to the contract. That the judge thinks the contract is lopsided is not by itself evidence of coercion.
Master/slave contracts are enforceable.
Indentured Servitude is legal on Dominion
There are two ways to become involuntarily indentured.
This is available as a sentencing option for non-violent crimes at the request of the defendant. Term of indenture is finite, end date cannot be extended and is equal to incarceration for the same crime.
Indebtedness: If a person becomes insolvent, they can be forced into a term of servitude necessary to pay off the debts. The end date of the indenture is determined up front, using the greater of the debtors earnings for the last year or $50,000 and the value of the debt + current interest rates. If this goes above life expectancy, indenture is deemed permanent.
Involuntary indentured servants cannot be killed or permanently injured. If the indenture is permanent, then this restriction is lifted.
This is the result of a voluntarily entered master/slave contract with a fixed end date. Term of indenture can be no more than 50 years.
Limits are as specified in contract.
Bound marriage / concubine. Voluntary indenture with no end date.
Law creates a Indentured Persons Administration (IPA)
All indentures should be filed with the IPA
Failure to file does not void the indenture, but does make it more difficult to enforce.
Additionally, persons explicitly seeking to become VIS or concubines can preregister with the IPA.
All indentured servants (including preregisters) are issued an ID and implanted with a transponder chip. This chip can be used to locate the IS and to link to records on the terms and owner of the indenture.
A bar code of the ID number can be tattooed on to the IS.
This is mandatory for IIS, but is optional for preregisters and at the discretion of the owner for VIS and concubines.
Besides tracking ISs, the IPA is responsible for protecting them from violations of the limits of their indenture.
Marriage is handled as a contract.
Government does not define the number of or genders of parties to marriage contracts
Government provides several base form marriage contracts.
Clauses common to all contracts
Explicit statement of mutual sexual consent. Except for BDSM bound marriages, this statement is generally fairly vague. Parties must add detail if desired. Outside of BDSM bound marriage, use of force to enforce consent is not legal.
Minimum / maximum frequency of sex
Allowed / required practices and positions.
The standard form contract replicates normal marriage in the real world in a community property jurisdiction.
Standard property division is 50/50 split of all assets.
Mostly all female groups or groups with multiple males and multiple females.
All parties may seek / audition potential new additions to the group marriage.
Parties doing this are obligated to take precautions against disease and / or pregnancy.
Standard property division is based on shares, determined by how much each party added to the group marriages total net worth.
Primarily used for standard polygamous marriages with one male and many females. Sometimes used for all female group with a dominant female not interested in BDSM lifestyle.
Wives are required to remain exclusive to the group marriage
Husband may interview / audition potential new wives.
Husband has duty to take precautions against disease and pregnancy in this process.
Standard property division is similar to community property except for having more parties. With N parties, each party is entitled to 1/Nth of the marital assets.
Non-mutually Exclusive Bound
Legal name for master/slave marriage contract
Standard property division for dissolution (including in the case of the master's death)
Concubine retains property they entered the marriage with (assuming said property still exists in the case of physical assets)
Fixed payout based on an amount specified in contract for each year the marriage lasts.
This can vary from a few thousand per year at the low end of the economic strata to numbers into six figures at the top end.
For the top half of the payout range a trust or escrow account is typically established for each concubine and the annual figure is deposited each year. In the case of termination of the contract the concubine would receive the specified amount plus any earnings.
Additional BDSM clauses / terms to standard non-mutually exclusive contract.
Fill in the blank for safe word and / or warning word.
Section on limits clauses.
No permanent injury (marks like tattoos and brands are not considered injury)
Only contract type where mods to non-transferability clause are seen with any frequency. Most common mod is to replace non-transferability with estate clause. Under estate clause, contract is non-transferable during master's lifetime, but the contract survives the master's death and becomes part of the estate to be sold or inherited.
Any contract with only the non-transferability clause or estate clause in the limits section is considered no-limits. Such a contract transfers all of the concubine's rights up to and including the right to life itself to the master. In such cases a one on one interview of the concubine by an administrative law judge working for the IPA must be conducted to insure no coercion was used before the contract can be filed.
Only if this type of marriage contract is filed with the state can the police be called to retrieve a missing concubine.
All types of marriage contracts can be filed with the same government agency/entity that would issue marriage licenses in the real world for a small fee.
Filling is optional.
The main benefit to filing is having a certified copy filed with the state, to be used in the event of a dispute over terms.
Not filing the contract may limit enforceability of some clauses.
Non-mutually Exclusive Bound contracts should additionally be filed with the IPA.
Marriage contract can be terminated by mutual agreement of the parties
No fault unilateral divorce does not exist
Handled as breach of contract
Property division as specified in the contract. In the case of breach, the non-breaching party may be due additional damages for the breach.
Children and the law.
Have same legal status as in real world.
Sex with prepubescent children is illegal under all circumstances.
Onset of Puberty
NOTE: This section is here for the impact it will have on the attitudes / development of older characters. My own stories in this universe will not have any "On Stage" sex involving participants younger than 16. If you are going to write stories for this universe please respect the SOL age guidelines.
Sexual contact between parent or other adult and post pubescent child is not automatically considered abusive, but is criminal if deemed abusive.
Legal sexual contact, if parties have parental consent/permission.
Permission for sex can be as broad or as narrow as the parents see fit to make it.
Completion of sophomore year of high school
Limited parental authority
Field trips and other school activity that would require parental consent in the real world do not require such consent on Dominion.
Medical treatment must be consented to by children in this age group personally. Parents can not consent to medical treatment against the childs wishes unless the child is incapable of consent due to lack of conciousness or mental infirmity (this would be a rare exception as most such infirmities would prevent a child from reaching this level).
Where a parent is required to be present for police questioning automatically for lower level children, for this group the presense of a parent like the right to a lawyer must be explicitly invoked.
It is easier for children in this group to seek emancipation than it is in the real world.
Can consent to sex without parental permission.
Can drink beer and wine, but not hard liquors. Quantities of beer/wine that can be purchased are limited.
Can form contracts within some limits.
Parents can step in and void contracts for this group.
Full legal majority / adulthood
This is gained at high school graduation.
Colonists on Dominion started their own calendar; synced to Dominion's orbit. The local year being 372 days, they made a calendar of 12 months (using the familiar names), all 31 days long. Years are counted since the original landing. Current year at start of story 402 AL.
BDSM sub-culture mainstreamed for majority of population. However, sizable segments of society still consider it offensive, or at least uncouth, in public.
There are business of all types that will openly cater to the lifestyle.
Business men have as much power as members of Government.
Dominion is highly capitalistic, but it is true free market capitalism and not corporatist.
Consumer tastes rule.
Success in business requires awareness of rapidly evolving trends and ability to act fast.
Prostitution while legal, the forms that would be most recognizable in the 20th century (street walkers, brothels, call girl services) are very rare. Given the high female to male ratio, a man would have to be rather repulsive to be forced into a position of needing to pay for sex.
Most prostitutes are male serving female clients.