neoXeno
 
Akrotyri
 
 

The forgotten brother of the Hellas system, Akrotyri is a war torn wasteland her people lost to the bythos, her history an education is how a great society can implode on itself when good intentions go bad.  Occupying an orbit almost totally opposite of Bacchus within the Hellas star system the planet is not within the normal vector of ships moving in and out of the system.  Hence few if any people even wander by, let alone visit on purpose. 

            When the Ancients arrived in the galaxy, with tens of thousands of Apsu in their convoy, the Akrotyri were happy to invite the new people into their system and assist them in settling on two of their sister worlds; Bacchus and Demeter.  But the welcome would be short lived, after an initial decade of peaceful and fruitful trade among the three worlds tension began to build; initially the problems were feeble, trade imbalances and tariffs being the only indication of trouble.  When the Apsu arrived, they were in great need of Akrotyrian goods, but in short order they were producing their goods, and began exporting them back to Akrotyri and further out into the galaxy.  The Akrotyrian king, Tiamot II, was displeased with this development; having had 2 worlds dependant on his bounty he found himself in need of a new beneficiary.  On the council of the Ancients he had begun to re-order his already great society; Akrotyri had not known open war for over 4 generations.  His great grandfather Tiamot the 1st had brought peace to their world, freedom and liberty abounded.  There were social problems; crime, disease and disorder were not unknown, but most Akrotyrians lived good lives.  Three generations later Tiamot II with his sons ever at his side, and advisors from the Ancients ever at his ear; set out to make a great people, perfect. 

            His first order was to clear the country sides and expand the cities; there had been frequent famines and droughts throughout the millennia and each time the rural people had suffered dearly.  To prevent this, these people were moved into the cities, the fields would be farmed mechanically using technology provided by the Ancients.  Block after block of towering housing buildings were constructed to accommodate the new city dwellers.  Small towns and isolated mountain villages were cleared out, their people shipped into the cites, some of which more than tripled in size in mere months.  It wasn’t long before tensions arose between the Mounties (a term long used to describe the dwellers of the small mountain towns,) and the more sophisticated urban natives, who considered their new neighbors, low brow at best and downright ignorant at worst.  Tiamot II set his eldest son Kiel to manage the disruptions.  When the strife grew more intense gentrification set in, as groups of Mounties were moved into specific cities, the locals, many of which had been there for tens of generations were moved to other cities to separate them from the Mounties.  When segregation failed to solve the tensions, and mollify the people Kiel and his younger Bother Tiamot III built a new planetary police force to smother the flames of tension. 

            The new planetary police known as the Namtar, patrolled and maintained order across the five livable continents of the planet but this too failed to solve the problem as the Namtar was staffed with natives of the various cities who came down hardest on new comers creating further stratification.  The harder Tiamot II and his sons tried to maintain order the more chaos arose.  The tension would continue for over a generation well into the reign of Kiel II who began a campaign of extermination of the Ki, a small minority religious sect (the only remaining adherents to the original religion of Akrotyri) who had remained spread across the planet as they were present in every corner of the planet long before the reordering.  On advice from the Ancients, Tiamot IV ordered the Namtar to round up the Ki and banish them from the planet.  But many of the Namtar were themselves Ki, or had relations who were adherents to the “Old Way” as it was called.  The banishment order had a surprising effect, as many previously agnostic Akrotyrians began to join the Ki, motivated by three generations of chaos and forced relocation many were desperate for something they could take with them no matter where they traveled. And the Old Way became that thing.
           
            When the Old Way began to spread among the people Kiel II was enraged and expelled all Ki from the Namtar, and replenished its ranks with new younger recruits drawn from the Royal Schools that were built to teach the children of Akrotyri the lessons of the Ancients.  Kiel II had attended these schools and was deeply committed to these new ideas.  His anger with the Ki grew with each passing year, and the order for expulsion was replaced with an order for extermination.  Even with the rise in popularity the Ki were still a small minority within the population and not easy to identify.   The religion had gone underground when their temples were looted and burned by the Namtar.  Unable to properly identify their targets the Namtar began to threaten and harass anyone who didn’t fall totally inline with the new ways, any decent was me with swift and brutal retribution.  This would go on for another generation, before the son Kiel II came to power.  He had been a general in the Namtar until his father’s death, now King Rabisu would make it his sole mission in life to rid Akrotyri of the scourge of the Ki, and silence forever the Old Way.  But his devotion to their destruction would all but wipe out life on his own planet.  Many Ki had long since been banished form the planet, but as word of the new wave of terror spread many returned to defend their brothers and sisters at home.  Using weapons purchased from the Apsu on Demeter the Ki came back with the intention of removing Rabisu from power.  But he was prepared to defend his regime with weapons provided by the Ancients.   

            His first act was to poison the lakes and streams in the Akkad valley where the Ki were gathering supporters forcing them into the mountains where the fresh water melted from the frozen peaks.  The poison was not however confined to the Akkad valley; a potent artificially developed biological sludge called “the Black” (though it was actually deep purple in color) would spread across the planet in less than five years infecting seas, rivers and lakes throughout Akrotyri.  The water tainted by the Black would cause a gruesome and painful death to any person or animal that drank it.  Many species of fish and other aquatic animals that came into contact with the Black also died in large numbers, while others were mutated into horrible aggressive creatures that would starve over time due to the large fish kills caused by the Black.  With the tainted water came droughts and famines, which had not happened since before the arrival of the Ancients.  The Black prevented the water from evaporating preventing rain and causing desertification of once lush grasslands and forests. 
            All these natural disasters only hastened the impending war between the Namtar and the returning Ki.  Now they fought not just for control of the planet, but for control of the rapidly dwindling resources on the planet.   King Rabisu planned a master stroke, a singular attack to wipe out his enemies now hiding in the mountains south of the Akkad valley.  His troops in the Namtar set explosives at the base of the mountains over several kilometers; but when the bombs went off the Ki had lifted their people off the mountain, Namtar troops sympathetic to the Ki had warned them weeks in advance.  The resulting explosions began a series of terra quakes that led to volcanic activity that filled the skies of Akrotyri with thick clouds of ash.   Within hours no ship could escape nor enter the planets atmosphere, cutting off King Rabisu from the Ancients in orbit above the planet and preventing him or anyone else from escaping the planets surface. 
           
            Over the next six months the Akrotyri people would literally tear one another apart fighting to the few resources available in the over crowded cities.  The mechanical farm equipment was permanently damaged in the quakes, no food remained growing in the fields, no transports were available to move people out of the cities, Rabisu had them destroyed to keep the people from coming to his remote palace looking for food.  Rumors spread among the people that a ship was being prepared to help some important people escape the planet.  Riots hemorrhaged across the planet, every city with awash in chaos; fires, looting and vandalism became the norm.  Large mutated aquatic beasts came from the seas and began to feed on the already panicked people. Once peaceful citizens exploded had into rage, then slowly… there was silence.  In less than a year after the initial explosions set forth the calamity, life on Akrotyri was no more.  A population of over a billion people had been wiped out by themselves.  And what was left behind was a series of open sores, cities lying in ruin, a testament to their leader’s devotion to perfection.

 

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