...the father of modern ideas
This Character, from the perspective of other neoXeno stories is historical;
intended to help explain circumstances later on the time line.
In the early days of Apsu life in the galaxy a young man named Aurig Trier was born on a large family vineyard on the planet Bacchus. At the time the planet was sparely populated, fewer than 100,000 Apsu lived on the planet; two thirds of them scattered about on farms and in small towns. The remainder lived in the space port city of Nysus, but it was growing, the port's population would come to double every two years, coinciding with rapid border expansion. The first child in his family to be born terrain, Aurig Trier was adored by both his grandmother and his mother; his parents were both very small children when their families arrived on Bacchus. Raised to be the heir apparent to a rapidly growing and highly successful family vineyard, young Aurig was placed on a pedestal within the family, even upon the births of his siblings he was always the apex of affection, particularly among the women in the family. As a boy Aurig was tutored initially by his grandmother who had spent most of her 100 plus years living on space ships traveling, the stars. She regaled the bright young man with tales of harrowing space travel across the vast bythos between star systems, before they found their way into the dense collection of systems that make up their home galaxy. As he got older Aurig began to spend more time with his father who was intent on teaching him about the business of running the family vineyard; but he had very little interest in the business. His grandmother's stories of brave starship captains and the way they dominated the lives of their passengers and crew fascinated the boy and dominated his thoughts. In contrast, Aurig saw his father's kindness to the workers around the vineyard as weakness; he grew to resent what he saw as the workers taking advantage of his father's kindness. Often workers would come and go moving back and forth between the vineyards and the city; always returning broke and malnourished after gambling away all their earnings in the city, they came back to work in and around the vineyards. Aurig wondered why his father would allow such behavior. “These people were fools, mindless pursuers of pleasure and frivolity” and his “father allowed them to wallow in the mire of their wretchedness.” The captains in his Grandmother's tales would never have tolerated such profligacy, contemptuousness and blatant disrespect for their authority. On one occasion, a ten year old Aurig confronted one of the workers who had just returned from a trip to Nysus, the impudent boy demanded to know why the worker had left, and insisted that he apologize for disrespecting the family. The worker simply brushed the small boy aside and continued on his way, which further infuriated Aurig who grabbed a nearby field tool and struck the man across the back of his knees. He was rearing back for another blow when his father rushed onto the scene, snatched him up and carried him back to the house, in the boy's mind this was yet another example of his father's weakness.
As a teenager Aurig grew increasingly hostile toward any vineyard employee who did not jump on his slightest command; either his mother or grandmother always at the ready to make amends for the boy's temperamental outburst. Realizing that Aurig would not likely grow to be suited to run the vineyard his father left him to the care of the family matriarchs. He would spend most of his time reading documents and watching videos on the Bacchan Record and items copied in from other worlds; he was particularly taken with the Cipa'ci caste system. He was also very impressed with the Tiamot dynasty that ruled the nearby planet of Akrotyri, he frequently bothered his father to take him there, but he was too busy running his business to be bothered with a boy's infatuation with an alien monarchy. Aurig's readings described societies across the galaxy where people led lives of chaotic struggle, each civilization was unique in its own way, the cultures and traditions varied, but it seemed that all of them had problems with social stratification, where the under classes seemed to always be at odds with the ruling classes. Struggling to understand why this was, and why no one was working to solve the problem, Aurig began to formulate solutions. His initial experiments in engaging those ideas was among the workers on the vineyard; deciding he needed to snap them into submission, and command more respect from the workers he began seeking someone whom he could make an example of, but once again, his father intervened just in time when Aurig confronted a worker he accused to stealing a bottle of wine. The teenager had knocked the bottle away from him, it shattered on the stone path, Aurig grabbed a piece of the broken glass and was about to strike the man with it when his father grabbed him by the collar, yanked him toward the house and immediately set the impassioned youth to packing a bag for a trip to Nysus. His intention was that his son would get away from the family and experience what real life was like. He believed his son needed to find out that most people would not respond to his temperamental outbursts beyond the comfortable world of the vineyard. But the lesson would fall on deaf ears; upon arriving in the city, Aurig went to the finest hotel in town, announced to the clerks who he was and demanded a room… on credit. From an early age he had loathed the idea of paying people for things he felt he deserved to have, or thanking them for that matter. The notion that someone expected compensation or gratitude was confusing to him, particularly if they failed to put that compensation to a use he considered worthy.
Aurig used the small amount of money his father gave him to hire a guide to show him around the city, a last resort as no one seemed to want to talk to him otherwise. The guide would not last long, within a few days he had more than enough of Aurig's pestering, quarrelsome disposition. Everywhere he went his used his father's name and status to get food, clothes and entertainment on credit; he had never engaged in actual commerce before, everything he ever wanted was given to him, so when a storekeeper or restaurateur asked for payment, Aurig pointed them to his father. When the bills began arriving in his father's mail, Aurig was cut off, but only for the briefest of time. His mother would quickly step in to send him more gold to sustain his lifestyle. Entering his 20s Aurig would settle in to a nice life in Nysus where he would gamble himself up and down the economic ladder, with frequent infusions of either gold or wine from his mother. He also continued his pursuits in social organization, often offering unsolicited advice to people he considered his equals; posting videos of speeches to near empty rooms with canned applause added later for effect. He had few friends and berated anyone that disagreed with him, a smattering of peers came to follow him about, but mostly because with Aurig, the wine flowed freely.
While his family ran a business and engaged in commerce to maintain it, Aurig disdained the notion of capitalism; he considered merchants vulgar and beneath him. He would ask himself, “Why should I give this fool my gold when he will only waste it on some frivolity.” It never occurred to him that those same merchants considered his gambling equally wasteful. Anyone that Aurig considered beneath him was subject to his disdain and angry outbursts. He frequently displayed a great interest in the conditions of the poor, his desire was that they be kept in their place and far removed from the stratus of what he considered proper people. The working classes in the mind of Aurig were mere rabble, necessary only in as much as their labor was needed to maintain society. But since leaving the Vineyard he rarely ever came into contact with such people, this didn't stop him from railing against their very existence to anyone with the patience to listen to his screeds. Save for the waiters and housekeepers in the hotel in which he lived and the casinos and restaurants he frequented Aurig had no contact what so ever with the people that so irritated him and those unfortunate enough to meet him were often sorry they had. His condescension and dismissive attitude were the milder aspects of his increasingly larger personae, for anyone who dared to challenge his ideas or merely question his conclusions he harbored a temper for which he was quickly becoming famous, Aurig, on the slightest of offense would lustily unleash furious vengeance upon anyone who crossed him; once beating a waitress until she fell to the floor when she mentioned that she planned to one day own her own vineyard much like his family did. For her insolence and the audacity to compare herself to any member of the Trier clan, Aurig fractured her wrist while she tried to block him from kicking her. To his family back on the vineyard, Aurig's wasteful spending, gambling, philandering and politicking had been little more than an annoyance, but his indelicate temper was fast becoming a problem his distant parents could no longer continue to suffer. On another occasion, after suffering heavy gambling losses to a shopkeeper, Aurig accosted the man in his store the next day. The incredulous boy demanded his money back, calling the man an “ignoble swindle,” insisting he had been cheated. Aurig was angry when he arrived, but when the man laughed at him and ordered him to leave, he flew into a blinding rage, grabbing a pocket lighter from the counter and a spray can from the shelf he set fire to the a rack of clothes on the wall; nearly a third of the shopkeepers goods were destroyed in the flame. For the first time Aurig was actually picked up by local authorities, the constabulary summoned his father who once again swooped in and ordered his son to pack his things, this time he would be sent to the stars to seek out new markets for his families wine. An odd duty given his great distain for the merchant class, but with five hundred barrels and thousands of bottles of wine in tow he would visit the finest homes in the galaxy, and ply them with his families wine in exchange for them listening to his ideas. Unbeknownst to Aurig, many of the powerful people he was speaking to were interested in what he was saying however his abrasive personality and amazing sense of self had been so off-putting that they frequently asked him to leave after just a few days. He would be well into his 30s before he began to hone his message and improve his presentation.
Realizing that many of the people he was visiting were in his opinion nearly as smart as he was, and equally self confident, he began to move away from his more direct, aggressive approach to a more subtle method of flattery and suggestion. With weeks between stops in space travel, a person has a lot more time to spend with their own thoughts, and this time served Aurig Trier well. Still employing the ample quantities of wine he always had on his ship, Aurig would now begin his conversations by telling his host how wise and clever they were. Making sure to learn as much about a potential host as he could before arriving, he could complement them on their latest accomplishments, tell them how much he admired how they handled a recent social unrest for example. Then Aurig could tell his host how his own ideas were similar and begin to lay out his theories. Which at this moment were quite well developed: Every society, every species was generally the same. Only cultures and DNA were different, but the most important commonality from planet to planet, nation to nation was that most people were simply incapable of making their own decisions. The feeble under classes and unsavory merchant classes were not to be trusted or tolerated. To the elite power brokers with whom Aurig kept company, this came as common knowledge. But what he sold to them as a new idea was that those elite and powerful individuals were duty bound to guide those people to more productive lives. He would stress to them the importance of preventing proles from wandering beyond their station; while accepting that on occasion exceptional individuals could rise from the lower classes most people were simply too dim witted to be little more than breeders to perpetuate the species. That being the most basic compulsion of any living thing, but that too should be limited to prevent expansion of their numbers; “on occasion, should the need arise do not hesitate to strike down a third or more of their number, this will keep the undesirables in safe accounting and with a healthy fear of their benefactors.” He considered it not just a choice, but a duty to keep the lower classes in a permanent state of desperation. Additionally, Aurig warned his hosts to beware of those undeserving of power due to their inability to grasp these important ideas; “fools will on occasion rise with claims of equality among people, anyone who dares suggest that the average prole is the equal or dare I say the better of us should himself be cast onto the rocky floor beneath the nearest cliff.” His goal, and hopefully the goal of his host would soon become; to move the galaxy forward to the next step of sentient development. The Ancients had given the peoples of the galaxy so much, and it was incumbent upon the galaxies wisest men and women to protect what they had, advance forward with it, and not allow the lower classes to ruin what they had achieved.
Aurig stressed heavily the dangers of the backward ideas of the past; deeply ingrained into the indigenous peoples of the galaxy. Ancient customs, rituals and most dangerous, religions were believed to be a hindrance to taking the next step. “…the ignorant ways of the past must be forgotten, insane devotion to pathetic myths simply because ones ancestors believed in them, these habits must be cast unto the nearest star to be consumed in flames of the future.” For the new comers, the Syk'a rii and his own Apsu people, they needed to be prevented from falling prey to the old ideas of native peoples. This was a grandiose movement Aurig was trying to create and he worked diligently to do so. He visited every space station and planet within range of the Helas system, spending much of his time on Demeter where his ideas were particularly popular among the ruling class. But Aurig's influence was not limited to the places he laid foot; Ship captains and traveling dignitaries, after visiting with Aurig would pass on his ideas, sharing them with their friends and other people they considered their equals. He would return to an earlier practice of creating video speeches to load to the Galactic record that ships would carry to the far reaches of the galaxy.
As his ideas spread, and his fame grew, Aurig became the first and for a few centuries the only Apsu to ever visit and set foot on Cipa'nid. He spent several months on the planet speaking with the ruling Majesteux , and bureaucratic Voulu who saw his ideas as a strong reinforcement of the caste system they already had in place. Stringent new laws would be passed to clamp down on miscegenation, and even the most basic of social activity between castes were severely limited during this time. At this point in his life Aurig was a sought after speaker on many worlds across the galaxy but nearly 20 years of almost constant space travel began to wear on him, so he returned to the Helas system to attempt to settle down. He was still unwelcome on Bacchus, so he made his home on Demeter. For the first time since his early 20s, Aurig Trier would live the life of a Terrain. Only occasionally venturing out to nearby stations and planets to give talks and visit acolytes. During this period he began to include talk of morality in his speeches, not however a need to adhere to morals, but how he considered them useless to the furtherance of his goals. Morality was merely a tool, more a cudgel to be used to keep the lower classes he had by then come to refer to as proletariat, or proles for short, in line. He encouraged speech codes; customized to each society to keep the proles on constant alert about saying the wrong thing. Stratification among the proles was equally important, keeping them constantly agitated at one another with only Government to mediate. Whatever means necessary should be employed to keep the proles in a permanent state of fear and desperation; dependence on authority was paramount to maintaining order. Aurig frequently warned that when the proles felt self sufficient, satisfied with themselves or in any way independent, they became a threat to the natural order, a dangerous example to other proles. “Any semblance of hope” he insisted, “must be crushed with great vengeance and furious anger to prevent the slightest flicker of rebellion from igniting a flaming torrent of insurrection!” Aurig was always the most strident when he spoke of maintaining order, “Do not fear visiting upon them misery, from the dawn of life itself every sentient species has known a single constant; MISERY! Plagues, famines, quakes and storms, every world is filled with a million magnificent ways make men miserable, so it will never be a new sensation for proles to have it crash down upon them. However, every so often in our collective histories there are times when even the lowliest of creatures are, for a time, lifted to a level of comfort by wise leaders, but be not mistaken; misery is the perpetual companion of the proletariat. Hence there is no dilemma in escorting this well known visitor back to their doors.” This particular line of discussion always brought a smile to his usually stone face.
Having spread his ideas across the galaxy for most of his adult life, Aurig was determined to prevent any lowly prole, or soft hearted fool from fouling up his great works. As a result he became more and more strident and defensive of his ideas. “Our resolve is to be ever vigilant in defense of progress toward the Next Step! What we are creating is more important than any individual, me included. Any one standing in the way must not only be crushed in the gears of advancement, but their ideas must likewise be discredited to anyone who may be infected with their anti-intellectual poison.”
Crushing opposition became just as important as the Next Step itself, over the years several people had stepped up to oppose, or at least speak against Aurig's ideas, and each would be shoved aside when his time came. One such man, a fellow Bacchan made it his business to follow Aurig around sitting in on his talks and trying to speak with people in the audience before and after. When Aurig was made aware he invited the man to the stage to speak, but before he uttered a single word a pair of men rushed up to grab the interloper, Aurig sarcastically questioned “I thought you wanted to speak…” as the men dragged him by his feet to the door in the rear of the room, “I guess you didn't really have much to say then.” Video of the incident spread across the Galactic Record, the room full of laughing people, Aurig at the lectern with a stern countenance about him, his head held high with pride. Without his prompting, his acolytes had removed the doubter; leaving Aurig in absolute control of the room, unchallenged. The same way he preached his Next Steppers should run their dominions. “If you dare to suffer insubordination, you will soon face insurrection, the slow witted are easily ramped into violence by mischief makers, greedy interlopers and usurpers whose selfish desires stand athwart our noble goals. We will drag this galaxy kicking and screaming if need be to the Next Step”
In his mid 50s Aurig was visiting a Co'ir way station at the edge of the Helas system where he was to give a talk to a group of Captains. One of the Captains, an Apsu man named Coyn Stu'vhan had with him his daughter, Jhn'hee who was an officer in her own right. Over the course of a three day visit Jhn'hee became deeply enamored of the charismatic Bacchan. For the next two years she would shower him with correspondence as she traveled across the galaxy on her father's ship. The next time they visited the Helas system, Jhn'hee would convince the lifelong bachelor to take her as his wife. Aurig was never a man in search of a family, and since Jhn'hee was still in the employ of Co'ir he assumed she would soon be off to the stars and out of his hair. But he was wrong, a result of taking a terrain husband, the young bride was released from her commitment to Co'ir, and Aurig would have her at his side for the next twenty years.
Never one to suffer insubordination Aurig's temper lied ever in wait to lash out at whom ever had the misfortune of calling upon it. One such occasion came when Aurig hired a housekeeper to maintain his new home on Demeter; she had only been working for Aurig for a short time when her young child went missing. It was big news in the town, but when she failed to show for work he was incensed; Aurig had planned to have over several important people from across the planet for dinner and a talk. As the domestic was frantically searching for her missing son, Aurig seethed with rage refusing to allow Jhn'hee to clean the house, he ordered her to go out for food. When their guests arrived, after a brief apology for the delayed delivery food, and unkempt house, he raged on about the delinquency of his housekeeper, and then stormed into a tirade on why parents of the underclass need not be bothered with raising their own offspring. Jhn'hee returned with the food, but Aurig barely gave the guests time to eat continuing on in a fevered pace, insisting that the state would be more responsible and could do an overall better job preparing the children for their adult duties; whatever the state may require of them. The talk lasted late into the night, when news that the boy had been found safe, his angered again peeked as Aurig commanded Jhn'hee to bring the domestic over to clean up the mess from their meal. Within months the first generations of Demeter's children to be raised by the state were being born.
Seven years into his marriage Aurig was having a child of his own, a daughter they named Jhn'yee. The child would travel with her parents across the galaxy until she was twelve years old; at which point her father decided that she would be best served attending what he deemed an excellent academy on the planet Condura. Aurig and Jhn'hee remained on Condura for several months while he lectured and visited with the Conduran elites. The couple would eventually continue traveling the galaxy with Aurig lecturing and guiding adherents to his vision of the Next Step. His temper never eased even in old age, and the worst of his rage was always reserved for those closest to him, his wife and daughter neither of whom ever ceased trying to please him.