The Proteron are a major faction in Naev.
Proteron worlds are governed by a totalitarian regime that expects its citizens to follow their dictated daily routines, acting against transgressions under a zero-tolerance policy. A Proteron citizen is typically not his own man. He is an asset of the government, his life's labor neatly represented in a book keeping column somewhere. Even the details of his private life are managed and tallied by the authorities. Despite the lack of freedom and privacy, Proteron citizens are not mere slaves. The government keeps them in top shape, providing an adequate supply of health care, relaxation and entertainment, making sure all predispositions and tastes are catered for. This both keeps citizens content and tunes their psyche for optimal performance. A Proteron citizen's life is quite a satisfying one, though excitement is utterly absent.
Proteron's worlds are all specialist worlds. They are geared to performing a limited selection of tasks, according to the planet's natural properties. The inhabitants on a world are placed there by the government. Each individual is measured and tested, then sent to the world where they can be of the most use. As such, Proteron society is built of individuals rather than families - a family only complicates the relocation process.
The local planetary governments are directly responsible to a Patrician. A Patrician manages one or more worlds, depending on how densely populated and productive the worlds are. Once every four years all the Proteron Patricians meet in a Circle. During this meeting, the Patricians evaluate the development of each Proteron world individually as well as that of the greater Proteron body in general. Based on this evaluation, goals are set for the next four years. Each Patrician is expected to meet or exceed these goals, and those Patricians who fail to do so are removed from office - in a very permanent manner.
Proteron diplomatic relations are nonexistent, as the nebula prevents contact with any of the other factions in the galaxy.
When the Empire was still the undisputed power in the galaxy, it knew it could not last unless it was prepared to change with the times. As the people lived, adapted and expanded through the universe, there would undoubtedly problems that could not be addressed by an antiquated regime. A repetition of the Faction Wars was to be avoided at all costs. Therefore, the Empire set up Project Proteron, an experimental environment to test new forms of government and galactic administration. The purpose of Project Proteron was to be the test-bed of the "next generation" Empire, an improved form of government that would keep the galaxy stable and under the rule of the Emperor.
Project Proteron was limited to a few worlds at first, on the basis that a galactic government could only succeed given stable planetary governments. Soon, however, the scope of the project expanded as its overseers came to the conclusion that planetary government needed to be designed simultaneously with galaxy-wide administration. Within a decade of its inception, the worlds assigned to Project Proteron numbered more than a dozen.
The Emperor, eager to see results, continued to push the experiment to work faster and more efficiently. As a direct result of this, the more liberal, self-controlling processes were eliminated from the test roster, and more emphasis was put on controlled, high-yield social structures. More and more planets were added to the project, its populations relocated, re-educated and re-assigned for a better turnout. The concepts of personal liberties and privacy became more and more a thing of the past, and eventually were abandoned altogether by those who led the Project.
The expansion and results of the Project led the then-time Emperor to promote Proteron from an Empire-commissioned Project to a full-fledged, independent Great House. The philosophy was that House Proteron would eventually become a prototype for the New Empire, and once all the bugs were ironed out, its model would be implemented in the entire known galaxy and House Proteron would once again be part of the greater Empire.
With its new title, House Proteron enjoyed more freedom and independence than it had so far. Its leaders eagerly made use of their increased authority, further fine-tuning House Proteron for economic and industrial efficiency as well as social control. Taxes were levied. Ships were built. A well-oiled military machine was created from scratch, securing House Proteron from outside influences as well as from those from within. In only a few years, House Proteron had become a powerful diplomatic and economic factor in the galaxy.
It was then that House Proteron began to notice the weakness in the old Empire. By this time the Houses Dvaered and Sirius had been established, both born from necessity rather than goodwill on the part of the Emperor, and both effectively reducing the Empire's controlled territory. In addition, House Za'lek wasn't returning on its investment as well as the Imperial bureaucrats had hoped, so the Empire's technological development was not progressing well. Finally, in the eyes of the leaders of House Proteron, the Empire's social model was crassly outdated and inefficient.
Some debate followed, but the consensus was that House Proteron had achieved its original goal, and now it was time for the Empire to make way for the new generation of galactic dominance. But when the Proteron leaders delivered this message to the Emperor, he became furious and ordered all leaders executed. Appalled at this reaction, the Proteron government concluded that the Empire had no intention of honoring the original agreement, thereby forfeiting its claim to the loyalty of House Proteron. There was to be a war of dominance, one House Proteron would surely win.
But no sooner were the preparations for a full-scale conflict underway or the Incident struck. The Empire was torn asunder, but House Proteron was hit even harder. Most of its richest resource worlds and shipyards were within the zone of the calamity, as was nearly two thirds of all Proteron worlds. House Proteron reeled, and for a time was thrown into a chaos not even the most meticulously planned government could prevent. Eventually, however, House Proteron regained its bearings.
The Incident had severed all the major jump routes between House Proteron and the rest of the galaxy, effectively marooning the worlds that survived behind an impenetrable barrier. Proteron, discarding its old and now meaningless title, began to rebuild. Without trade and communications, it was completely left to its own devices. A period of regression followed where the authorities abandoned the idea of war for expansion, economic development and population growth. Slowly but surely, Proteron regained the strength it had lost in that single disaster.
Presently, House Proteron has once again set its sight on the rest of the galaxy. Ships are being built that can survive the trek through the deadly nebula, and others are designed that can allow Proteron to traverse the long, empty jump routes that lead around. Proteron has no knowledge of the state of the galaxy other than its records from before the Incident, but its leaders assume that the Empire will not nearly have recovered as fast as Proteron - if at all - and should therefore not present an obstacle on the road to the ultimate goal.
Proteron may well be right. With the Empire severely weakened, House Dvaered making war on its weaker neighbors and dealing with internal conflicts, House Sirius on the verge of collapsing on itself and House Za'lek preoccupied with whatever it is they're guarding, the galaxy seems ill-prepared to deal with the full force of the Proteron onslaught...
|The following section is written from an in-universe perspective. It may contain biased information or omit facts for dramatic purposes.|