Mictlan

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The flag of Mictlan as a planet in the Republic of Biesel.

A primarily aquatic world with jungle-speckled Islands making up all of its geological landmasses. Mictlan’s poles are insignificant compared to Earth’s. This, and other evidence, leads scientists to believe that the planet was originally not aquatic in nature but more Earth-like in the past.

The planet is a democratic state with the highest echelons being dominated by local corporate and Idris money and power, while not as extreme as Eridani or Biesel, it was an outlier among the Solarian planets. This has led to stratification, with most of the population living on oceanic installations while tourists and corporate sponsors enjoy their life on the little mainland there is.

While Mictlan is been a beacon of multiculturalism among humans and aliens in the Orion Spur, many humans that have immigrated to the planet have been assimilated into Mictlan's culture and society. Because of this, human characters born on Mictlan must have names and appearances consistent with the peoples of Central and South America. Only characters native to Mictlan may take the Mictlan accent. This is enforceable by server moderators and admins.

Flora and Fauna

Although initially a worry of some scientific communities, the native species of Mictlan have formed symbiotic relationships with the foreign species, baffling the settlers. Those that haven’t are considered protected, and it’s illegal to hunt them or attempt to domesticate them. Xenobiology is a popular field in Mictlan, with the Tupac Amaru University having coordinated efforts with the Skrell to study many of them that hide deep in the jungles and swamps.

The official animal of Mictlan is referred to as the Aztlanian llama. This animal is the most characteristic species of Mictlan with a longer neck than its human counterpart, an affinity for submerging in baths almost daily, and a protective layer of water-resistant fur covering their soft and heat-insulating wool. Another important species is Buxton’s Alpaca, a hybrid of llama and alpaca: with their willingness to work, nutritious meat, and luxurious wool, even the poorest settlers of Mictlan found their place on the planet. Both the hybrid and the common Mictlanian llama have thermic adaptive properties, which are known for being fresh in the summer and retaining the heat in the winter. The popularity has also created a growing industry of textiles in Mictlan with many corporations competing to dominate this market galaxy-wide.

A native domesticated animal is the Arequipan cow. While only vaguely resembling their earth counterpart, they are similar in that they provide the settlers with milk. This milk has unique properties that even lactose-intolerant individuals can ingest without issue. The main crux is the Arequipan bull, a male member of the species that are extremely territorial and aggressive. According to polls, Arequipa bulls are responsible for 15% of deaths in the farming industry.

Flora-wise the large amount of insects present on Mictlan seem to have contributed to their assimilation into the local ecosystem. Establishing evolutionary links that would have otherwise taken millions of years to develop in less than a century. This allowed Mictlan to produce harvests much sooner than other settlements and acquire food independence early on. Currently, the largest harvests come in the forms of wine and coconut oil.

Population and Society

According to the most recent polls conducted in 2457, Mictlanian society boasted the largest amount of Xenos in Solarian society but with their inclusion in the Republic of Biesel, they have been trumped by Biesel. Regardless, Mictlan remains very popular among all alien species and the society and government of Mictlan are much less judgemental of these foreign immigrants, though the majority of the planet's population is human. Among the most numerous are Skrell, followed by Unathi, and finally Dionae. Sol Common is the official language of Mictlan and is spoken by nearly all of its human population, however Tau Ceti Basic is a second language that most, alien or human, on the planet know in order to communicate with the other species on Mictlan. Tradeband is also spoken on Mictlan and was historically used to communicate between different species. Despite this, it is not considered an official language of the planet and is more seen as a relic from the planet's early colonial days. Its number of speakers has begun to decline as Tau Ceti Basic has gained rapid popularity among humans and aliens alike on the planet in recent years.

Most of the population lives on metallic oceanic constructions that have been established since the first settlers arrived. These sturdy buildings have been expanded over time and now entire cities rest on their plasteel shoulders. While breakdowns are not uncommon, a major accident has not occurred in 50 years and these cities are just as safe as any other. The mainland, the little there is, is mostly reserved for natural reserves, agriculture, and rich corporate sponsors and tourists. Most Mictlanians never step on the soil of Mictlan throughout their lives.

History

Mictlan was not the original target for the South and Central American colonists whose descendants now inhabit it, instead, it became an accidental one after they were forced into an emergency landing. The captain of the original colonization fleet, codename: Tlaloc, whose name has been removed from the records to protect his descendants, excessively mishandled the allocation of resources during their long voyage, focusing more on the comfort of the first-class clientele. This had resulted in a lack of fuel, food, and other resources that forced them to make an emergency landing two years prior to reaching their intended target.

The colonists already lacked the expertise and technology to comfortably adapt to an aquatic planet, and with the captain’s refusal to change his behavior casualties mounted. An attempt was made to challenge the captain’s leadership by contacting the Sol government, however, the continued failures of the colonists to meet quotas led to them being largely ignored. Thus a revolution was inevitable. During this insurrection, the captain alongside other colony heads was murdered, and the newly appointed government began calling itself the Movimiento Fundación. This explosion of violence finally caught the interest of the Sol government, who immediately sent out an armed force to rescue the survivors and re-establish law and order.

The movement did not last long against such an overwhelming force and democracy was re-established. A new head for the colony was chosen and with the continued efforts the possibilities of underwater logging and uranium mining became apparent, corporations began to invest in Mictlan, building up infrastructure and worker force. During this time, the newly established colonial government led a “War on Waste”, to preserve the natural beauty of Mictlan. This included the nationalization of small private businesses that created too much waste, higher fees to secure intellectual property rights, and the introduction of new fines targeting the Mictlanians for littering. It was clear to the colonists at the time this was a transparent attempt to prevent a surge of small-time businesses but with an armed force present, the concerns went unvoiced.

Today, Mictlan is a democratic state like many others and until recently one of the many planets belonging to Sol. Its beautiful and verdant landscapes, largely undisturbed by the usual tinkering and biome modification, provide a great source of rich tourists who wish to see nature in its rawest and also safest state. Bountiful aquaculture and agriculture create an environment of rich harvests and excess fruit production and the great Uranium deposits allow for constant streams of credits to enter the economy. Still, the planet is plagued with hostile laws targetting those who would wish to strike out big, most of the excess food is exported and very few of the locals get to live in the luxurious hotels dotting the large cities. This issue has only increased in recent years, as misleading marketing has led to many aliens hoping for a better future in Mictlan, ultimately ending up stuck in the lower rings. With a corporate structure choking out any attempts to ascend the social classes.

Culture

Mictlanian culture is strongly based on its South American roots. As such, Mictlan is known for large-scale and colorful parades, strong religious beliefs, exotic cuisine, and well-established artists. These experiences are often provided to tourists, however safely packaged and toned down, to not disturb the façade of corporate professionalism. Thus one can’t really claim they have been part of the Mictlanian life if their only experience with the culture was from a polished hotel. The native life can be found in the metallic streets of the oceanic constructs. While one might assume these metallic structures are drab, depressing, and boring, Mictlanians have made them their own. Upon entry, the streets explode in colors as artists and sprayers are encouraged to fill the walls and roofs with designs. Frequent motifs being caricatures of political figures, hopeful messages, large elaborate paintings, and other comical or positive art. Mictlanians who travel off-world frequently carry this habit with them, turning their streets or neighborhoods into colorful tapestries.

The Mictlanian household is built around community and many families often live together in interconnected houses with greenhouse roofs, that are framed around large cemented patios. These host huge celebrations, music, food, and drinks are provided and consumed freely by all present, although everyone is expected to add even a little bit to the menu. The celebrations can range from grandiose weddings or religious holidays to a simple meetup at the grill to unwind after work. Frankly, to a Mictlanian, any day is a good day to spend with your loved ones. A frequent sight at these celebrations is the Mictlanian pulque. This alcoholic beverage boasts a higher alcohol content than its Earthen counterpart as the environment of Mictlan allows for a much stronger agave extract. In closing, family and community are everything to a Mictlanian, and a Mictlanian will rarely emigrate without their family. A less popular aspect of Mictlanian life is their view on the concept of “intellectual property”. With high fees following the copyright law reforms the relationship of the locals with the idea of an idea belonging to one person has shifted. The unintentional side-effect being that regardless of how well you attempt to secure your idea or intellectual property, someone on Mictlan will copy it and repackage it as their own. Initially, the police cracked down on these cases when it came to their large corporate clients, but as this sentiment spread it has become impossible to contain this wave of bootlegging. Now even the biggest corporations are not safe and even their own private corporate forces fail to enforce the law. This means that Mictlan is a pirate’s haven: “cracked” games, pirated movies, and homemade VR are sold both on the street and in official stores, the owners being just as likely to put “Swam Nebulas” and “Swimstars” on the same shelf. And alongside the destruction of intellectual property rights, came a sky-high rate of cyber-crime. Over 12% of all cyber-attacks in the universe are traced back to Mictlan and both large and small entities find themselves as the sharp end of a variable. This being one of the few, or only, avenues on Mictlan where a single man can make a fortune and climb from nothing.

But with underhanded deals comes political violence and a group calling themselves the “Founding Movement”, referencing the “Movimiento Fundación” has begun a series of political campaigns and attacks. Their initial memo was attacking Sol websites, sabotaging local elections, and leaking government files, their statement was clear, no more Sol dependency and the protection of artist’s rights and intellectual properties. But recently, as violence in Sol escalated, they carried out multiple physical terrorist acts. The most prolific being the murder of Marlene Pessoa, a pro-Sol actress and a Mictlanian local. The authorities hoped that after the collapse of Sol and integration into Biesel their actions would cease, but they have only escalated. The group now seeks complete independence and refuses to take no for an answer.

Fashion

There is a long-standing tradition of masks on Mictlan, usually made of wood and in varied expressions. Mictlanians use these masks for important events, painted in bright colors for celebrations, while black and white are used for mourning, be it personal or public. Protestors, rebel groups, and Founders have also adopted these masks, often giving them a terrifying visage. Wearing a mask is certainly not a daily thing, and a person’s celebratory or mourning masks are viewed as extremely personal, being one of the few things considered taboo to copy and replicated en-mass. Early on, corporations attempted to levy a ban on them, but their cultural significance resulted in planet-wide backlash. Thus, the only requirement is that masked employees wear their identification visibly.

Tattoos and piercings are very popular in Mictlan and are considered the standard among the locals. Even the cleanest corporate will often sport at least a few tattoos on his face if he is a Mictlanian local, to them, it is a form of self-expression, a way to non-verbally communicate their allegiances, beliefs, or values. Sometimes removal is unavoidable, however, as Eridanian suits will often press any Mictlanians under their employ to remove their tattoos completely. The abundance of aquatic life has led to tattoo ink solutions based on Grumbo Squid ink becoming widespread and popular, even endorsed as healthy by certain "physical therapists" and "health gurus". The most popular motif is the coloring of the whole upper face, right above the nose, with the most popular color being red, but white and blue are also frequently used. Piercings are often used in combination with these tattoos, septum and lip piercings being the most popular. Stainless steel is used the most often, gold being actually quite unpopular among the locals as it’s seen as a mark of corporatism on a person. Indeed, all designs that appear too “contemporary” or “mainstream” are very unpopular with native Mictlanians, usually only see on corporatists who don’t mind having a brand etched onto their face. This means that most tattooing businesses are run by the locals, as corporates have found little success in their own tattoo parlors.

Major Cities

Arequipa

A mainland city and a self-proclaimed shining jewel of Mictlan, Arequipa houses the national museum, the governing body of Mictlan, and one of the few spaceyards on Mictlan capable of holding a Zhukov-class carrier. Arequipa isn’t constructed as a traditional city, instead being a collection of large towers called “Canopies”, which are interconnected through a series of sound-proof glass tunnels. This allows the fauna beneath these cities to travel undisturbed while the many white-collar and tourist citizens are graced with a day-to-day view of these beasts. This of course comes at the cost of transportation as the only way around is hyper-elevators and self-driving trams. Arequipa is often called the “cultural heart” of Mictlan, with a large number of white-collar workers, artists, singers, and dancers present to entertain the visiting tourists. The general population would regard this as a blatant farce, as the “Mictlanian experience” one gets at Arequipa is about as authentic as the glass walls of their towers. The culture in Arequipa is packaged and presented in a safe and easily digestible way, not to scare away the shareholders and companies. Still, even a well-presented and well-oiled machine needs workers to maintain it, and the closest one gets to Mictlanian culture inside of Arequipa is when visiting the slums situated in the maintenance tunnels and worker apartments of the Canopies.

Sikunda

An ocean city, the largest and one of many dotting the surface of Mictlan. Sikunda is considered the second (by some the real) capital of Mictlan and boasts higher population numbers than its official capital, Arequipa. Its large platforms are dotted with maze-like interconnected housing structures, factories, and production facilities. Jobs are available everywhere on Sikunda, but the vast majority are low-skill which also means providing little pay. And while the population managed under the Solarian government, the assimilation into the Republic of Biesel is now threatening the welfare and healthcare laws that kept the population of Sikunda relatively safe. One might imagine Sikunda to be a large grey maze, depressing and drab, full of sunken faces akin to the slums of Eridani, yet the exact opposite is true. Mictlanians have made the rig truly theirs, each street boasts a painted landscape, graffiti, or colorful slogan. Colorful tapestries hang from the windows and small shrines dot the dead-ends of streets. Sikunda teems with life during the night, families and communities celebrating on their shared patios and drinking together into the late hours of the night. Sikunda also seems to be the center for cybercrime, as the majority of all attacks come from said city. While the local authorities and corporate sponsors consider this an issue, locals to Sikunda rarely snitch on these pirate stations.

Lago de Abundancia

The skyline of Lago de Abundencia.

Lago de Abundancia is a coastal city that was built with older earth architecture in mind during the early years of settlement. Its presence was never very well established as it mostly existed for agricultural reasons, however, in 2412 Idris invested heavily into Lago de Abundancia, transforming it into a proper competitor of Arequipa. Lago de Abundancia is now the second biggest tourist haven on the planet, promising wide beaches, big waves, and warm waters. Lago de Abundancia boasts the Spur's biggest and most diverse aquarium in the form of an entertainment park dubbed, Ocean Planet™.

The people of Lago de Abundancia hold themselves in high regard, being proud of their achievement to turn their small coastal town into a bustling metropolis with a skyrocketing economy but these boasts hide a very insidious truth, that Lago de Abundancia has an issue with crime. Idris' refusal to boost the funding for public police while handling all security privately has led to the outside communities of farmers and workers being harassed daily by large criminal organizations and loan sharks. It is also the central operating area of the Founding Movement.

Foreigners on Mictlan

Humans

Mictlanians have a reputation as friendly people, a reputation that can be quite misleading to outsiders as instead of an open welcome they’re more likely to get cautious looks shortly after immigration. It is, however, true that the public is much more accepting of outsiders, and humans who decide to settle in Mictlan are integrated into their communal society quite speedily. The same, however, cannot be said of tourists, who can find it off-putting and even dangerous to wander the streets outside of their luxurious canopy hotels. The locals are also not particularly welcoming of military forces or soldiers on leave, the past military interventions of Sol leaving a multi-generational scar. This includes even the TCFL, who are often surprised to not be welcomed as heroes when they decide to choose Mictlan for their leave.

Skrell

Skrell have found it very easy to adapt to Mictlan, the environment is after all a perfect fit for their species. Yet, they can find it very difficult to fit in, mainly the older generations. While yes, skrell also lead communal lives, they’re much more different than the more energetic and exciting bustle of the Mictlanian streets. Residing skrell can often find the constant physical contact, gratingly positive atmosphere, and energetic drinking, exhausting. Still, Mictlanian skrell are known as some of the most communal, no doubt a result of the environment. The largest Mictlanian university, the Arequipan Institute of Ecology and Natural Sciences, which as the name implies is a leading institution in the field of organic sciences, has Xaal Qaqii, a skrell, as its president. Many Skrell originating from Mictlan choose the medical or one of the many xenosciences fields, with the institute being more than able to equip them for it.

Unathi

After skrell the second most numerous species and also the one that fits in the best. Unathi clan structure slots right into the family and community-oriented dynamics of Mictlan and thus many Unathi immigrants choose to stay on Mictlan permanently, living lives not too dissimilar from their homeland. They are frequently contracted by researchers as their biology makes them perfect at scouting through the jungles and leading research expeditions through the small but fertile mainlands. Unathi from Mictlan are often seen as excellent officers and ranchers.

Tajara

Tajara have always struggled on Mictlan due to the heat, and their own prejudiced views of humans did not help them accommodate, instead, they have created isolated ghettos where they continue to live out their own personal cultures. This issue was only exasperated with the third Tajara ban, the narrow streets of the steel-rigs leading to much collateral damage which resulted in a lower opinion on the Tajara immigrants, as well as a negative view of the natives by the Tajara. Still the mills of time affected even these people, and slowly but surely their communities are opening up to Mictlan, with the youngest generations leading the charge to trans-species cooperation. Still, there is a long road ahead of them and the two cultures, one family-oriented and open, the other likewise but closed off, often come at heads with each other. Tajara from Mictlan are often experienced engineers, being initially employed to handle and maintain the cooling devices keeping the cities in live-able conditions.