We of the Cyborg Feudality gladly make our technological advancements available to the untutored natives we find on the planets in the NuNiverse. Indeed, as we have earlier had reason to observe, they embrace our ways with such enthusiasm that they eventually vanish into our Noble Collective, swelling our ranks and reinforcing our efforts. This is as it should be.
Unfortunately, our new citizens often reach such numbers that they overwhelm the capacity of the host planet. Frequently, the local climate will be the major limiting factor, but it is also true that rude natives need less space. In point of fact, they are often content with dwellings so primitive that they would cause a full citizen to recoil in horror.
It is also worthy of note that, oft-times, primitives are sufficiently ignorant of true wealth that they are far more willing to contribute to the Feudality’s tax base than even the most loyal of colonists. Now, there are some who would be content merely taxing the ignorant to their capacity and beyond, content in the knowledge that these will soon become happy members of our Feudality and that any past burdens will be forgotten. A more enlightened ruler, however, may choose rather to permit the natives to remain content in their ignorance, contributing in their own way, to wit: taxes.
It is regrettable, perhaps, that members of the higher nobility be forced to deal with such merchantly considerations as taxation. And yet, in times of war, one’s own finer feelings must often be sacrificed for the good of the Feudality. It helps, I find, to think of this as but a form of agriculture.
And so I offer for your consideration the following method, which I term “Serf Farming”.
One of the great advantages we in the Most Noble Collective possess is that of the Firecloud Chunnel. By employing this, we can shift vast cargoes incalculable distances using the merest pittance of fuel. An enlightened lord of the Cyborg will use this practice frequently in order to alleviate overcrowding on the more cramped worlds in one’s demesne, employing several large vessels at once to move millions of colonists at a time. It is indeed fortunate that, for this purpose, substandard engines are more than sufficient, else the practice would soon become prohibitively expensive – but I digress.
Serf Farming is simple in concept and only slightly more difficult in practice. One must first identify a proper target, the best of which would be a temperate world containing Bovinoid, Avian, or Insectoid natives with what for natives passes as an advanced form of government. Over the world is stationed a permanent Firecloud, one that never moves further than the Warp Well. Also needed are several empty freighters, a second Firecloud able to move them, and the most important factor: a destination world with a lovely climate but few colonists, with a third Firecloud in stationary orbit.
One permits the natives to join the Collective for a time; it is presumed that the most eager or capable will volunteer first, and these would be the most worthy. Once a certain point is reached, however, recruitment must be stopped for a time and the natives permitted to repopulate; the majority of our new citizens will be transferred to the colony ships now in orbit and transported to their new home.
During the recruitment stage, it is desirable to tax the natives at a high rate until their happiness is reduced to around 70%. Immediately thereupon, tax on them should be set to 0% in order to permit the maximum native population recovery; likewise, at this time the tax on full citizens can be eliminated, so overtaxing them beforehand causes little harm. When the native happiness again nears 100% the cycle of overtaxing may again be allowed to begin. With care, these cycles may be repeated endlessly; alternately, the income stream can be temporarily increased in times of extreme need, though at a permanent cost to native numbers. Likewise, modifications to this practice may be desired to maximize production from Bovinoids and Avians.
It is important to retain a moderate population of citizens in orbit at all times so this cycle can be precisely controlled. Likewise, there must always be sufficient capacity to remove any excess citizenry before our numbers get too large and the natives are overwhelmed by their understandable compulsion to join us. We have also often found it desirable to limit the number of planetary structures so our serfs may be less inhibited; it is only natural that too many of our improvements will increase their feelings of inferiority.
This practice is highly intensive in terms of ship requirements and the details are often complex. Moreover, it frequently happens that an invader will attempt to interfere for their own purposes, little caring about the devastation they may cause by destroying even a single Cyborg ship. Great attention must be paid to make this a profitable venture, but the returns are often well worth the investment – especially when, for example, Insectoid natives aspire to the Unity as a form of government.
Incidentally, the practice of “Cloud Stationing”, the method best employed to carry out Serf Farming, is one worthy of its own description, but that of course is described in another article.
Until then, remember:
Resistance is Feudal!
This article is copyright 2013 by the writer, J. Millard Simpson. Permission is granted to Planets Magazine and its editors to publish this and to reprint excerpts for purposes of publicity without compensation. Ownership and all other rights are reserved.