The Kaa Cartel

The Planet Kaa was discovered in TE 203, and the Kaa Cartel was organized the next year under the Imperial Act of Nonexploitation, for the purpose of regulating contact with the nonhuman natives. The Cartel, after much wrangling and wheeling/dealing, turned out to be a five-member board composed of representatives of the Throne, the Wakmarrel School, Idara deVigny, the Karphos Corporation, and the Sisters of Mercy.

Human interaction with the Kaanese, when it took place, was based in Kaa Station: a large, complex station in Clarke orbit above the major population center of Kaa.

After TE 360, the Karphos Corporation's seat was taken over by Borshallan Artificial Intelligences. In the wake of the TE 381 upsets, the Borshallan Artificial Intelligences seat went to the Borshallan cyborg Kwofi, a re-animated corpsicle from pre-Imperial Umoja. House deVigny was at the time represented by the 52-year-old Alma deVigny. Alma and Kwofi fell in love and married in TE 385. Until TE 413, they totally dominated the Kaa Cartel. Kaa Station became an orbiting Victorian Gothic mansion, the Kaa Cartel wrapped its proceedings in secrecy and extended its power into odd corners of the Empire's socioeconomy in search of security for its charges.

The Kaa Cartel in TE 400 was as close as it could be to all-powerful. Kwofi shared time in Chance, a Svarth-series computer that the Cartel owned. Alma deVigny brought all the considerable power of her Idara to bear. Kandry Renj, the Wakmarrel adept, had slight telepathic sensitivity and spent her time studying the natives from orbit. Sister Julia the Blessed of the Sisterhood barricaded herself in her room and only conversed with the outside world by voice-and-vision circuits. And Ilanor Alexandrov, representative of the Throne, was a slight, pale man whose eyes stared past you and replied to all conversations on a skewed line.

It was a marvelous time.

Find out more in A Voice in Every Wind by Don Sakers Digg!

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