Scattered Among The Stars
By J. L. Young
I was born in a small enclave that no longer exists. My family had fled before the Commonwealth had seen fit to storm my home and take it. Some 180 billion people are thought to be lost. It is presumed that a list, generated by our bi-decade census, is used to determine who had sought refuge among the stars.
The only reason I can think of for the fervent attack and near eradication of my people is that my ancestors were once servants to the great houses of Cavdan and Mirsar. Those families reigned over the whole of the galaxy. They used the endless war to pad their profits. The enslaved were the fodder. We obtained our freedom through a great war with a great many dead.
We found Traesa. A sector devoid of our enemy. Devoid for good reason. A nebula surrounded it. Her clouds would ignite and destroy any vessel trying to push through under power. Inertia was our friend as our ancestors had run dry of fuel before breaching the clouds. It took a great many generations to reach the clearing inside.
Once enveloped by that natural border, we found many planets devoid of sentient life. It was harsh at first, but we persevered and thrived. Our people, tribal as instinct drove us, fought among ourselves, and learned that peace and understanding through knowledge were more advantageous to the whole than war ever was.
Alas, the nebula was no longer insurance protecting us from the families. Cavdan and Mirsar had joined calling themselves the Commonwealth. Information regarding us refugees is propagandized to make the citizens believe that Traesian freedom is somehow detrimental to their well-being. Every piece broadcast by the Commonwealth shows Traesians in the role of the servant. Some channels even offer Traesians for sale. They have learned nothing.
Some people see beyond the propaganda and have formed small groups determined to ensure our freedom. Edicts have been laid down by the ruling class that anyone caught aiding and abetting Traesians will have their immediate families and they themselves sacrificed to the gods without prejudice. Those in their circle will be watched until their loyalty is assured.
We will hide among them until we can rise again. We will not simply flee, that will not ensure freedom for all. The citizens of the Commonwealth will understand freedom through democracy. They may fear it at first, but they will find it worth fighting for. Worth dying for.