Meritocratic Republic of Trattoria
|Meritocratic Republic of Trattoria|
|Tek Level 7|
|150 systems, 3 extra-galactic colony systems|
|see Trattorian Characters|
The Meritocratic Republic of Trattoria, or more tersely known as the Trattorian Empire, is a large star nation and superpower spanning 150 systems. It also has a vast economy relative to its size, being the third-largest in the brikverse by Gross Domestic Product, and also has the most highly advanced science and research communities in the galaxy. The government is officially a democracy, with a three branch USA-style representative democracy. However, the bureaucracy and Cabinet are selected and appointed via meritocracy in each Department’s field of expertise, and the executive branch wields the true power within Trattoria. The current President is Dr. Kuroki, who has opted for a more hands-off approach to governance.
Trattorians have demonstrated technological prowess in its military forces compared to other star nations, having built SHIPs and SHDTs, along with other classified black-ops projects and more mundane upgrades to the rest of the military. However, it suffers from a small and weak infantry force due to the nation’s persistent underpopulation and Trattorians’ fragile physiology, as well as commanders incompetent in the art and tactics of warfare. Thus the Trattorian Armed Forces tends to stumble much more than expected for that of a TL 7 civilization, or even by baseline galactic standards, except when specifically propped up with special tek and competence from the Science Department. The best teknology is usually reserved for the Citizens and the civilian sector.
History of Trattoria
The Trattorians have strived to maintain an uneventful and orderly history. The nation began a thousand years ago when the initial population, once part of a larger extragalactic empire, was space-dropped onto a habitable planet at the fringe of the Nehellium Galaxy along with blueprints for war-machines and resources. They began building, and within a few years, launched a spaceship into the next system. For the most part, the colonization has been unstoppable for hundreds of years since then until it plateaued at 150 systems a few decades ago. One major incident was the AI Rebellion 300 years ago, which resulted in prohibitions and regulations on sentient AI and cybernetics that persist to this day and also explain the current inefficient usage of minifigs in the Armed Forces. Five colony systems, the farthest away, broke away a little later in the chaos to form the Paladins against the Peaches.
Several centuries of rebuilding and peace ensued, and Trattoria was close to regaining its former pre-AI Rebellion status. Another shock came in the form of an intelligence director by the name of Siri, who briefly overthrew the government of Trattoria, established herself as kaiserin, and temporarily made Trattoria a member of the Third Alliance. She was assassinated in early G.R. 2014, however, reverting Trattoria to its prior meritocratic/democratic government and policies. Trattoria also conquered 50 colony systems from Valoros, committing several acts of ethnic cleansing and other minifig rights violations, before giving up control over the Annex voluntarily after severe AN Minifig Rights Council criticism.
The Science Department formed a classified agency known as the Black Box Bureau several years ago to deal with unscientific or magical anomalies and study their destruction and rectification. The BBB had a paramilitary arm known as the Trattorian Recovery Force, which consisted of hand-picked elite conscripts with access to the most advanced weapons teknology that the Science Department does not normally trust or permit soldiers to use. The TRF conducted operations to recover and destroy anomalies, particularly before other groups such as RARCom, the Scythian Office of Naval Intelligence, and the Magicians Alliance. The BBB engaged in several controversial practices, including operating in foreign countries and sometimes even using anomalies in missions in defiance of its own mission statement. The Mikoto Incident, in which an anomalous esper killed several people on the homeworld, brought anomalies and the BBB's activities to light. After Chief Scientist Dr. Liang unsuccessfully attempted a coup in response, the Legislative Committee on Science decided to reassign the TRF to the Armed Forces Department and bring public oversight to the BBB to ensure the prevention of further abuses or another incident. The BBB's existence and certain related documents were declassified on the authority of Dr. Nakahara and Dr. Suzuki, Chair of the Legislative Committee on Science and the Chief Attorney.
Trattoria has since maintained a strong adherence to its core principles of “order and meritocracy”, taking care not to let external interactions with the galaxy disrupt its society.
Policies of Trattoria
Trattoria has ended up as a major player in galactic politics, although it approaches current international situations with an isolationist caution. Currently it is anti-immortal and a major backer of the Allied Nations/NATO. It has a strong rivalry with Bavaria due to the latter’s use of magic, and in general opposes any forces that utilize magic like the Magician’s Alliance, Pwnies, and radical Cuthulics. Trattoria also enforces state atheism, prohibiting its own Citizens from joining religions, although it otherwise tolerates religions provided their activities are not disruptive to Trattorian national interests.
At the onset of the AN-TA War, Trattoria took an active role in the Allied Nations. Under Siri's coup, however, Trattoria joined the Third Alliance for a short time, until her assassination and the restoration of the prior government. President Kuroki returned Trattoria to its old partners, the Anti-Immortal Alliance and NATO.
Many, including the AN High Commissioner for Minifig Rights, have called out Trattoria for its poor minifig rights record, most egregiously in its ethnic cleansing of its Valorian Annex territories after seizing the systems in the Seven-Hour War. Trattorian Citizens tend to look down on foreigners without doctorates, even more than they do with Trattorian Sub-Citizen soldiers or test subjects.
Although politicians and diplomats are prominent in Trattorian society, the real power rests with the scientists. Prioritizing economic growth over military strength, the scientists have attained a near extra-legal status though their role in shifting the LRAS and increasing the GDP through research and development. At the forefront of the galactic scientific community, the science department of Trattoria has produced such wonders as perfect age-reversing miracle-cures, galaxy-destroying neutrina bombs, a complete physical Theory of Everything, and deadly chlorine-trifluoride throwers among countless other innovations. The Science Department also conducts true inter-galactic voyages, with a firm hold on three colony systems in the Andromeda Galaxy.
Government of Trattoria
Trattoria possesses democratic institutions but is actually more strongly dominated by meritocracy. Trattoria is a unitary state- the national government retains supreme power and divides the country's 150 home star systems into fifty districts of three star systems each for administrative purposes. The capital is on the homeworld of Trattoria.
Two elected Legislators represent each district in the unicameral Legislature, for a total of 100 members. The Legislature drafts and votes on laws and is non-partisan (no political parties)- each Legislator stands for him/herself and his/her own platform, although the Legislature is relatively homogeneous in ideology in comparison to other nations' parliaments and congresses. The Legislature is empowered to declare war, pass the budget, and annex and determine the status of new territories. It elects a Speaker of the Legislature from the body to chair meetings and enforce procedure, usually the most senior Legislator. Legislators are paid little but usually own a fortune from a previous occupation. Any Trattorian Citizen may run, but the final candidates list on the ballot is sometimes trimmed with a science/mathematics examination. The votes of Legislative districts are weighted by their economic contribution, with each district's two Legislators splitting equally.
The executive branch is nominally headed by the President and Vice President, determined by a nationwide popular election with a procedure similar to Legislative elections. Due to the unpredictable nature of democracy, the President possesses little de facto power, which instead rests in the cabinet of merit-selected bureaucrats. The Cabinet consists of six Chief officials heading their respective departments:
- The Economics Department
- The Science Department
- The Foreign Relations Department
- The Legal Department
- The Education Department
- The Armed Forces Department
Each department is led by a Chief official and usually a ruling council: notable ones include the Chief Comptroller and the Board of Governors for the Economics Department, the Chief Scientist and the Council of Scientists for the Science Department, the Chief Ambassador and the ambassadors to the BrikVerse's G8 nations for the Foreign Relations Department, the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the Armed Forces Department, the Chief Attorney for the Legal Department, and the Chief Chancellor for the Education Department. Each Department usually possesses further subdivisions- the Science Department has Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering sub-Departments, while the Armed Forces Department has Army, Navy, Fighter Force, and Marine branches. In the event of presidential assassination, the line of succession is the Vice President, the Speaker of the Legislature, and then the Chief cabinet officials in the order introduced above. The executive branch would avoid the last outcome however, as an ambitious Chief cabinet official could abuse the presidency's powers and seize control over the other Departments and Trattoria.
The Armed Forces’ enlisted ranks consist of conscripted sub-citizen soldiers. On the other hand, the command structure (aka generals, admirals, air marshals, commandants, etc.) are almost always doled out as political favors to Citizens, with promotions from the ranks done only very rarely.
Blue collar crime is rare to nonexistent in Trattoria and the robotic police force exists primarily to keep visiting foreigners in line. Crimes against sub-citizens (such as soldiers, test subjects, or subjugated foreigners) committed by Citizens are not prosecuted as sub-citizens possess few or no legal rights. Foreigners guilty of crimes as well as undocumented immigrants are dealt with depending on the power and prominence of their country of origin. White collar crime occurs, however, with the Legal Department investigating general white collar crimes committed by Citizens and the Economics Department's Comptrollers specializing in financial crime and economic treason. Citizens are guaranteed a right to fair trial, and Trattorian courts follow typical adversarial format with a judge and jury. Trattorian courts rely more heavily on technology than their counterparts in other countries, including polygraphs and neural scans. Even upon conviction, judges are usually lax in sentencing (a short stay in prison) unless there is something especially offensive about the crime in question (such as Dr. Kruszewski's usage of a Black Box anomaly), in which case execution, citizenship/Ph.D. revocation, or exile may be imposed. Verdicts may be appealed in higher courts, and the Supreme Tribunal (consisting of nine senior justices) has the ultimate say on any legal matter in Trattoria.
Culture of Trattoria
Trattoria highly values intelligence and academic prowess, believing intellectual acuity to be the key to its prosperity. Consequently, Trattorian citizenship requires a Ph. D. that satisfies national education standards, which is most easily achieved through attending a Trattorian university or an approved foreign institution (which are consistently ranked among the highest in the Brikverse, paid for entirely by the government for prospective citizens). After completing such rigorous training, a Trattorian citizen is then entitled to a near-utopian lifestyle free of crime, poverty, sickness, hunger, etc. with a usual median salary of around seven to eight figures. Combined with heavy under-population, plentiful resources, and Level 7 Tek, the Allied Nations consistently ranks Trattoria as having one of the highest qualities of life in the Brikverse.
In exchange, Trattoria lacks or bans many activities that other countries in the Brikverse take for granted. There is no sex, no romance/marriage, no drugs (except for RbT, which has by now been quashed/cured), no metal music, no violence, etc., a lifestyle which minifigs outside of Trattoria believe is abhorrent. Foreigners are not exempt from these bans within Trattoria, including the infamous ban on foreigner public displays of affection and a ban on chewing gum.
Reproduction is conducted artificially by BlueGene Inc. (a quasi-government-owned corporation), with heavy genetic engineering geared towards maximizing intelligence, and marriage is replaced by an 18-year legal contract to raise a child, often assigned to a male and female Trattorian via lottery. Excessively wealthy Trattorians are excluded from the lottery, however, in order to assign children to relatively equal-income households and thus ensure equality of opportunity. Trattorians are actually physically incapable of romantic love or sex.
Trattorians practically always address each other using the “Dr.” title and their surname and expect foreigners to do the same. Dropping the title, or worse, using their given name without permission, is considered extremely offensive and is sometimes deliberately used as a grave insult. Prospective Citizens (students who don’t have a Ph.D. yet) address each other using “Ms.” or “Mr.” and their surnames. Eye contact is considered rude, and physical contact is practically taboo.
Citizenship in Trattoria
Like many other great nations in the brikverse, Trattoria's prosperity is built upon the backs of slaves. Or in this case, prospective citizens who failed academically and therefore forfeited their right to full citizenship. These sub-citizens are mostly culled in middle school and some in high school using a variety of factors, including GPA and test scores, with a very few drafted due to egregiously poor performance in college or graduate school. Those incapable of following Trattoria's rigorous curriculum are usually assigned as sub-citizen conscript soldiers in the military, or even as scientific test subjects in more egregious cases. These sub-citizens have few legal rights and are treated in an inferior manner to full Citizens in Trattorian society.
The general attitude extends towards the rest of the Brikverse as well, with the phrase "unenlightened imbeciles" commonly used to refer to foreigners. A perennial issue of debate within the Trattorian Legislature is whether to allow qualified, doctorate-holding foreigner naturalization for Trattorian Citizenship - the current policy does not allow it.
A list of some important Trattorians can be found on the Trattorian Characters page.
A list of some important Trattorian star systems and planets can be found on the Trattorian Planets page.
For additional images to supplement the article.
Trattorian Armed Forces Gallery
Trattorian forces in the Seven-Hour War against Valoros.
Trattorian fleet during Operation Dominion's Call.
Trattorian Science Department Gallery
Former Department Chair of Biology Dr. Pang's office.
Dr. Piérre performs a dissection (Contest winner!)
Current Council of Scientists. See Trattorian Characters for names.
Trattorian Government Sector Gallery
(Excluding the Science and Armed Forces Departments, which have their own galleries above.)
The Chief Comptroller's office.