There are some who believe that the unity is a dictatorship, that because one individual is the voice of the entire population that he controls the actual course of that population. That is however wrong in the case of the unity. While the ‘first’ is just that the first among warriors, he is so only because he has the backing of the majority population base of the unity. Some may point to the fact that the line appears to be hereditary in nature, Ker’an has made it rather clear that Stev’an or Stephan Harding as he prefers to be called is his chosen successor, why would the unity allow such a thing if the role was not that of a dictatorship? In part because of unique markers within the Warrior Genome, like many animal species the genetics of a Warrior hold ‘racial’ memory, this is vital given their original role was to be fighters, they are born with the knowledge locked within them to operate their machinery, to fight, they have the sum knowledge of their ancestors locked within them at their beck and call, though one should not presume that they are aware constantly of this knowledge and of course the knowledge gained from a parent after their time of conception is not transferred.
This means that Stev’An has the knowledge that made his father’s time as First or Prime warrior already, he can by entering the state known by the warriors as ‘listing’ access the genetic data on top of this he has or it is presumed that he has many of his mother’s memories as well, however given her status as a Questar/Human it is hard to actually confirm or deny this matter.
Politics and structure aside, one must look strongly at the actual make-up of the unity as a whole while many see the Warrior caste it is not the only caste that the unity holds this is untrue in fact three distinct castes of which a person will always belong to at least two of exist; Warrior, Worker and Breeder. Some may flinch at that last classification but given that the unity’s entire society is based on fighting a war the need for ‘repopulation’ and making it a specific role within their society itself makes perfect sense.
So let us stop and take a look at the actual castes, how do they work what is their role within society, for a start their names are fairly important, Warrior for example tells you that they are fighters, their role is that of War, but it is more than that as we will explain shortly, Worker again tells you they work, but once more their role is far more than simply ‘working, So let us start with the most controversial of the castes, the Breeding Caste.
The Breeding caste is comprised of population drawn from both the WARRIOR and the WORKER caste, at any point in their lives a Warrior or a Worker might find themselves part of this caste, how? Simply by becoming pregnant, at the same time those who are wounded beyond the point of rehabilitation or being able to be retrained typically choose this caste over death. The Breeding Caste is expected by social norms to do one of three things, in the terms of a person whom is pregnant they will either have their child transferred into a surrogate artificial womb, allowing them to return to their normal caste, or they may choose to remain in the caste until their child is born. In the case of those whom are male, they serve as donors for the artificial process, and crèche workers for the children that are being brought up. This later part is actually the most important aspect of all the Caste’s roles, despite what people may think of the actual methods the Unity goes through to give birth to children, it holds them in extremely high regard something most simply do not understand given the events that often lead to death during their trials and other roles.
It is the breeding castes role to take care of the children within a crèche until such time that the child is of an age to either choose to become a worker or under-take the trials to become a warrior. It is their role to teach, to guide and to nourish and it is the other two castes job to make certain that this can happen.
It is often surprising to watch a human who has never meet a warrior for example around a baby or young child, at first most parents act very concerned, these giants seem able to rip arm from limb, and yet in over 50 years of close human contact not once has a warrior ever harmed a child, instead it has been seen that both Warrior and Worker will go out of their way to protect children something seen recently during the Eridi riots when warriors and workers both went to great lengths after the bombing of the orphanage in New Paris, the workers where seen tending to the ill while the warriors where shown to stop at nothing to find those responsible and bring them to justice. Now you may have a small understanding of why, the breeding caste, consisting of those whom are pregnant, those who may still give to their society through birth and those still growing to become part of another caste are considered the most important resources of the unity.
So the question should be asked why do so many young warriors in training fear the caste? Why has it been heard ‘please not the breeders’? Because it is a sign that they have failed to integrate into the society that they belong to, prior to the contact with humanity (where some of those who fail their trials now choose to go) failure to become worker or warrior meant that no path other than that of watching over the young and contributing your genes remained to a person, for those who had been brought up knowing the genetic deeds of their ancestors and a genetic ‘need’ to fight and engage in combat, it was a fate that many considered worse than death at such a young age. You will note that while young members of the unity state the ‘not the breeders’ it has never been heard by an elder member.
Let us move on however to the Warrior, the caste which we tend to associate with the unity, what is the warrior’s role within the society? Well as we have said they are the leaders of the society and it’s body that goes to war, but it is also the body that must Govern, protect and at all times serve. Unlike many other cultures, the Warrior Caste understands that without the worker caste there is no food, no weapons, no ships or anything else for that matter and while a Warrior is well versed in the cleaning, maintenance and production of his or her own gear, that of the ships he or she may travel on they are not versed in many of the more mundane and common tasks. So in effect the relationship between Warrior and Worker is very much a symbiosis one reliant on the other. It is the warriors role to protect the Worker and the Breeder, it is the Warriors role to protect the assets of the Unity and during the Watcher war it was the Warriors role to follow orders and fight when and where told.
Finally the worker caste, without the worker caste the unity would cease to exist as its primary source of the technical and applied sciences of the unity, it is the worker caste that the normal human can most easily bring themselves to understand, though few actually realise how dedicated this segment of the Unity is to the continuance of their civilization. It is the worker who builds the machines, farms the crops, studies new ideas and as such it is the worker who keeps society from falling apart.
It is then often mentioned that should not the worker be the ruling caste? If they are the ones who keep the unity alive, who keep it functioning should they not be the ones who chart its future? Perhaps when you look at it with the view of our human civilization however in light of the unity you must remember that their entire existence was for millennia to fight, much like in ancient earth Sparta and other militaristic cultures. It is for this reason that the Warrior is the elevated caste, the workers could easily refuse to follow the warrior caste, but why should they? For as long as they have existed the Warrior caste has willingly sacrificed itself to protect them from harm, they have lead the workers wisely, they have given no reason for the worker to need to question their position within the hierarchy of unity society and many actually question the actual system that humanity uses, finding it chaotic and often cause of needless conflict.
- Lecture given by Professor J Depaul Harvard Mars Academy.