Slavery in Vespia
Slavery in Vespia is a large and thriving sector of public life and the national economy, with about 31.7% of the population – or some 574.5 million people – living in bonds. Having been in existence within Vespia since its earliest foundations more than fifteen thousand years ago, chattel slavery has long been an integral part of Vespian society, culture, and religion. Making up nearly all of Vespia's manual and unskilled labor, slaves also make up a considerable portion of the domestic labor workforce and some high-skilled workers in certain sectors of the economy. Slavery in the country is absolutely brutal, with slaves regularly abused, raped, beaten, cannibalized, and sacrificed to the gods of the Vespian people. Slave revolts have been a common occurrence in the country, one or twice a year in some regions of Vespia, but each one has failed; there has never been a successful slave uprising in Vespia ever since the country's founding as an imperial state nearly four thousand years ago.
Slaves have no rights in Vespia and lack legal person-hood under Vespian law, and the freeborn population is thus free to do to them as they please. Considered on the same level are basic property, slaves are regularly subjected to inhumane treatment by their Vespian masters, including beatings, sexual exploitation, torture, and immediate execution. The popular sport of diyudoka, or "manhunting", involves the tracking down and killing of slaves as a national pastime. Slaves are not permitted to own property, and they have no freetime to themselves. 90% of all slaves within Vespia are the products of the imperial breeding factories, which are believed to number in the hundreds to thousands based on various external estimates, and are home to slaves set aside for the sole purpose of producing offspring to be pressed into slavery. Many Vespians own slaves, with slaves found in virtually all well-to-do households in the country. It is not uncommon for a Vespian family to own at least one or two slaves, with the wealthiest Vespians owning hundreds. However, 70% of the slaves in the country are owned by no more than 40% of the freeborn population.
History[edit | edit source]
Origins[edit | edit source]
Law of TBD[edit | edit source]
Under the TBD[edit | edit source]
Contemporary history[edit | edit source]
System[edit | edit source]
Treatment[edit | edit source]
Legal status[edit | edit source]
Living standards[edit | edit source]
Working conditions[edit | edit source]
Slave breeding[edit | edit source]
Punishment[edit | edit source]
Economy[edit | edit source]
Sectors[edit | edit source]
Agriculture[edit | edit source]
Mining and industry[edit | edit source]
Energy[edit | edit source]
Prostitution[edit | edit source]
Efficiency[edit | edit source]
For Vespia, the slavery has been managed so that the profitability of the institution is preserved. Over the centuries, Vespian business leaders developed the system to be as efficient as possible to ensure that the implementation of slave labor would remain an effective method of low-cost and unskilled manpower, predominately in jobs and careers that highly educated Vespians would not do themselves, such as agricultural and custodial work. The state provides all basic needs for the slave population, such as housing and the absolute minimal healthcare need, though the slaves are required to pay for these services and accrue massive amounts of debt to the state as a result. Clothing is provided twice a year, which must be maintained until the second pair is within the next six months. Food is not provided by the state, and must come out of the wages of the slaves themselves, as well as any other needs. Overall, slavery costs Vespia more than $0.0 billion a year, but in the long-term, the country saves more than $0.0 trillion from the implementation of slave labor rather than the use of freeborn Vespians paid a full wage. This is a profit of more than 0% per annum, more than enough justification for the institution of chattel slavery by Vespian economists and policy makers alike.
- Pay: $0 per year (10% of overall productivity)
- Bills: $0 per year
- Rent: $0 per year
- Clothing: $0 per year
- Medicine: $0 per year
- Total: $0 per year
- Savings: $0 per year (for the state)
Price of slaves[edit | edit source]
Demographics[edit | edit source]
Religion[edit | edit source]
Ethnicity[edit | edit source]
Family life[edit | edit source]
Health[edit | edit source]
Security risks[edit | edit source]
Runaway slaves[edit | edit source]
Because of the critical importance of slavery within the Vespian economy, the government of Vespia has traditionally spared no effort in ensuring that the enslaved workforce does not escape from the country. The Vespian government long ago developed a sophisticated system of managing runaway slaves, ranging from microchip tracking devices, omnipresent surveillance in slave housing complexes, and dissemination of turncoat informants within the slave population. Furthermore, overseers are well-paid and furnished with all the tools required to keep the slaves in line and on the lands they are tied too. In the event of a runaway slave situation, the Vespian government maintains a professional force of slave catchers known as the Imperial Vespian Huntsmen Corps, which consists of TBD active personnel who specialize in tracking and capturing runaway slaves. Several private businesses involved in the maintenance of slave labor also provide third-party slave hunting services, and unlike the Huntsmen Corps, can operate internationally without involving the imperial government, allowing owners to get their slaves back no matter where they may be hiding. It is believed that slave handling businesses are worth more than $0 billion annually, as masters will pay handsomely to ensure their manpower is kept in check properly and efficiently.
Beginning with the first item, microchips designed to survive for decades are implanted in slaves at birth, and are imaged with the information of the slave's owner, date of birth, residence, and record of service, as well as additional information related to work infractions and medical issues. The chips are built in two parts, one which handles the bulk of data relaying information and the second to serve as a backup in the event of a critical failure of the primary chip. The first chip is implanted in the spine between vertebrae C1 and C2, and the second between vertebrae C7 and T1. The chips have fail-safe switches which destroy the nervous system of the enslaved individual; the primary chip cutting off the body's ability to provide blood to the head and operation of the eyes and auditory nerves, and the secondary ship cutting off all upper-body to lower-body functions. These fail-safes can be set off by an authorized overseer or government official in the event a slave cannot be found or in the event of non-cooperation. So as to prevent surgical removal, the chips are equipped with sensors to detect oxygenation of the blood in their immediate area, and cook off instantaneously to cripple the slave.
The second method of preventing runaway slaves is the practice of surveillance of slave housing complexes that exist on the grounds of their work area. Though surveillance is not the preferred method of handling slave labor and stopping runaways, the psychological effect is highly valued by the Vespians, as it serves as a visible reminder to the slaves of their owners' constant watchful eye no matter where they may be. The bulk of surveillance equipment is kept out in the open, not to provide the slave owners with a better line of sight as the majority of the slave population believes, but to provide the slaves with a false sense of security, as most know where the cameras in their area are located, and often attempt to avoid them. In fact, the majority of the important surveillance equipment is maintained in hidden locations where the Vespians know the slaves go to avoid being watched, and it is in these areas where the Vespians direct the bulk of their attention in preventing slave revolts and attempts at fleeing the country. Only a handful of slaves know of this information, but all are paid by the Vespian government to maintain the equipment in exchange for better rations, better treatment, and greater privileges, such as not being offered up as a sacrifice or taken as a sex slave.
The final method utilized by the Vespians is the use of slaves as informants with the population. As mentioned above, these slaves are offered numerous privileges that allow them to stand above their fellows slaves, even in their dire circumstances. Some are allowed better living conditions and a greater stipend by their owners or the government, and their work is maintained secretly so as to prevent the slaves from catching on. In some cases, the Vespians themselves actively out informants, spreading discontent and distrust between slaves, and keeping them disunited and fighting one another, allowing the Vespians to keep the slaves in line. The informants can be anyone, from innocent children, to respected elders, to nurturing midwives, and desperate families looking to improve their lot in life, and all willing to out the intentions of one another so as to be one step above those waiting to be crushed and devoured by their owners. The majority of runaways captured by the Vespians were turned in by slaves on separate lands and plantations who benefited financially from doing so, and have nothing to fear in the way of retaliation as the family of the captured slave is trapped on a different plot of land. In the end, fleeing a life of slavery in Vespia has been made next to impossible, as the government and the freeborn population have too much to lose from runaway slaves, and too much power and resources at their disposal to maintain their grip on their fellow human beings.
Insubordination[edit | edit source]
Insubordination by the slave population is not tolerated by the Vespians, and any hint of it is crushed immediately, often in the most repugnant and revolting of ways. Slaves who attempt to defy their masters are typically beaten, though it is often the children of the slaves or the pregnant wives and daughters who are raped and beaten in front of a captive audience as a form of collective punishment. Torture is another method of cowing the slaves into obedience, with the most vulnerable taken from their families, and brutalized out of sight but within the hearing range of their fellow slaves. Many masters have even set up loudspeakers throughout their slave communes, and during the dead night, torture, rape, or murder the captive slave, while forcing the rest of the slaves to hear but remain powerless in rendering assistance, a sign of the master's power of his or her stock. The punishment can typically last for days or weeks depending on the predilections of the owner, and the results of their grizzly work often displayed in the morning after they have completed their "work" on the insubordinate slave. The sight is almost always nauseating to the extreme, with most slaves seeking to avoid the site, but forced to visit it by their overseers, to ensure all understand the price of defying the will of the one who owns them.
The act of insubordination runs deep throughout Vespia, as virtually all slaves are aware of the powerlessness of their condition in the empire. This encourages some to take up arms against the imperial government in less visible ways, such as sabotaging equipment, destroying crops, crippling their hands and feet, or even committing suicide, all with the aim of robbing their Vespian masters of something they hold as valuable. However, with the ability of the Vespians to replace large numbers of slaves en masse thanks to the numerous breeding factories in the country, many of the acts of sabotage are minor in harm or simply annoying distractions for the freeborn population, though the constant threat of a major issue arising from the slaves random acts of defiance, often keep the Vespians on their toes and ever mindful of their slaves misdeeds, desires, and whereabouts. In the end, no slave worth his or her salt holds any misguided view that their insubordinate behavior will go unnoticed to cripple the massive empire of that is Vespia, built upon the back of millions of slaves throughout recorded. Instead, it is the hope of many from those the Vespians wrung the truth out of, that their actions will inspire others to act, though for most this seems to be an increasingly waning hope.
Slave revolts[edit | edit source]
Throughout the history of Vespia, slave revolts were commonplace in the empire, with one every two or three decades taking place within one of the zharukdoms of Vespia. However, the majority of these were provoked by the Vespians themselves, typically as a tradition of culling slaves for their own entertainment. The practice of "TBD", or "liberation", has existed throughout Vespian civilization, with the Vespians freeing their slaves to spark a conflict, and then killing them out for amusement and keeping the people satisfied between major wars and black harvests. The last slave uprising in Vespia took place in TBD, with more than 100,000 slaves in Dejan revolting and killing some 13,500 Vespians before they were cornered in a mountain valley and killed. Many slaves use the opportunity to escape Vespia, braving the vast desert and mountains of the empire to make it to the southern lands free of direct Vespian control. This is often the goal of all slave revolts, as the slaves themselves are aware of the presence of Vespian influence in the southern countries, which will turn them over to the Vespians so as to avoid inviting their ire, and where their fate is either re-enslavement, torture, or execution. Because of this predictable behavior, the Vespian military often keeps the majority of its anti-slave combat personnel located in the south, so as to prevent any slaves from making it to their freedom.
Of considerable interest is the existence of the resistance group known as the Defiance, an insurgency group devoted to the liberation of all slaves in Vespia and the prosecution of their old Vespian masters. The organization has existed since the late-5760s, when the Vespian empire yet again collapsed under its own weight, allowing many tens of thousands of slaves to escape their owners and flee into the mountains for protection. Using the period of chaos to organize themselves, the Defiance built up a considerable presence in Vespia's northwest, far from the center of power in central Vespia, where it actively protects freed slaves and embarks upon dangerous missions to free other slaves. Though incapable of facing the much more numerous and better trained and equipped Vespians in battle, the Defiance does what it can to actively disrupt the trade of slaves in the empire. Unbeknownst to the leadership of the Defiance is that virtually all of their weaponry, equipment, and funding comes directly from the Vespian government itself, which knows the exact whereabouts of the organization, allowing it to exist so as to advance its own goals and agendas. Many Vespians look forward to the revolts staged by the Defiance, and somehow always know where to be when they take place, giving many within the Defiance cause for concern.
Currently, there exist a number of obstacles to a successful slave revolt in Vespia. Some of the elder members of the Defiance have pointed out the peculiarity of malfunctioning slave chips which allow the Vespians to punish or terminate slaves at will, and the ease with which weapons flow into the country in spite of the tight controls and tacit support of the countries to the south and east of the empire. To day, no slave uprising in Vespia has ever accomplished its goals of liberating the slave population, or surviving long enough to flee beyond the free nations of southern Zhakar. Because of the Vespians blasting of slave heroes from memory, no martyrs exist for the slaves to latch upon for inspiration, granted those who try are even aware of the existence of such heroes in the first place. Finally, there is the issue of the Vespian people themselves. Every freeborn Vespian has spent two decades of their life training their minds and bodies to be killers, and actively seek out conflict around them. A slave lacks both the skill and the general lack of self-restraint that allows a Vespian to, for example, rip a person's throat open with their teeth, as has been the case many times in the past. An open rebellion would end in a resounding defeat for the slaves, thus causing many to call for a secret escape route rather than an outright war with their masters.
Database security[edit | edit source]
Because of the vital role slaves play in the Vespian economy, the imperial government has mandated that strict measures be maintained to ensure the security of slave labor within the systems of the nation. Slaves purchased from above may only be acquired through officials of freeborn Vespian descent and in the employ of the Vespian government via the Imperial Ministry of Industry. Foreigners and non-Vespians are forbidden from interacting with imperial slavers, and the primary offices of operation for the slave management bureaucracy is required by law to be located within the interior region of Greater Vespia. Databases on all slaves in the empire are decentralized with a system of least privilege in place to prevent low-rank bureaucrats within the government from accessing details on the economic impact of slavery on the empire. Each marin is required to have two databases on the slaves in its territory, one for public reference and commercial use, and one classified in a secure and hidden location. Each of the marin likewise passes this information up to the zharukdom it belongs to, which compiles all of the information into a regional database, with at least five major servers and another five in secure locations whose whereabouts are classified.
Ultimately, all of this information is compiled into a national database, which is centered in Zanza, with redundant servers whose locations are privy only to the members of the Imperial Advisory Council and the Tazen, who is the de facto owner of all slaves in the empire. The servers are protected to the same degree as the empire's stock market centers, which are as an institution a constant target by hackers throughout the globe. Because of the humanity issues related to the Vespian's practice of chattel slavery, the database regarding the information on the slaves within the empire is a constant target for foreign hackers, and as a result, the imperial government invests considerable sums of money to ensure the information is protect to the highest degree feasible. Allowing leaks for the information is forbidden, though given the wide-scale practice and religious and social importance of slavery, Vespians as a whole tend to be wary of harming their own nation's survival by damaging one of its most important institutions. The scale of redundancies, proxies, dead zones, and honeypots within the digital slave database in Vespia is enough to dissuade all but the most persistent of hackers and cyber-terrorists, through the Vespians have a history of seeking the source of the problem and terminating it, be it digital or physical.