Races of the Galactic Continuum: Rheans

By Graid Daberev

Rheans, the leader race of the Galactic Continuum, an empire that they themselves had founded and preside over, are a very political culture, though not in a sense in which most races have come to understand what politics are.

Rhean politics are based primarily on perpetual skill-based competition in all areas of life, which means that no representatives or leaders are voted into office. Instead, they have to win the office by proving they are the best individual in the given field. It’s also worth mentioning that the office is not granted for a specific amount of time, and that the decisive competition is not necessarily annual or regular in any way. It’s mainly a challenge system.

This means that theoretically, there’s no limit to how long (or brief) the office run may end up being, it all depends on how quickly the current incumbent is bested at whatever it is they’re supposed to represent or lead in. In practice, this way of selecting officials does cause perpetual replacement, since most Rheans live for a good challenge. Only a handful of legendary (or extremely unlucky) Rheans have managed to die without ever being replaced.

Such individuals have a special place in Rhean culture because for Rheans there’s no greater honor than to be the best at what you do in your (or any) generation. This brings the status of a celebrity and eternal remembrance, not to mention affluence and influence. In this way, the leaders also never cease to inspire the general population to do better and achieve more.

This kind of government has largely been translated into the institution of the Universal Council and its Celestial Ministries, after the Rheans formed the Galactic Continuum. While the Rheans would never settle for anything less than being ultimately the number one in their own empire, they realized that managing a galaxy takes too much effort to be done properly by a single race.

They were also forced to admit, however annoyingly humbling that might have been, that they’re in fact not the best race in every aspect. Not in most, actually. Other races have proven to be better natural born warriors, pilots, scientists, traders, you name it, though for every discipline, there are at least a few Rhean individuals who can hold their own against the best of the aliens. What Rheans learned was that their strength lies in their ability to cooperate more effectively than any other race across the broadest spectrum of areas.

This model of peaceful cooperation through competition over control has proven to be very popular among all the other races, since each of them knew that in this way, everyone could be a leader at precisely that which matters most to them. After all, the eleven other major races in the Magea galaxy have joined this Rhean empire voluntarily, even though some of them have done so after a Rhean-led coalition and their peacekeeping forces put a stop to their wars of aggression against their neighbors, or their corporate or spying schemes.

As a Rhean saying goes, however, there’s no such thing as a final victory. Galactic Continuum has many internal pressures which are constantly trying to break it apart, and there’s no telling what other forces will this empire encounter as it gradually expands into the surrounding Wilderness.

It’s an area of space that’s largely opaque due to higher than usual concentration of nebulae with frequent star formation as well as stellar death in the form of supernovae. Many new races emerge and disappear within the tight-knit clusters of young stars that are unusually close to each other, allowing even the most primitive of races to permeate among them at slower than light speeds. Rheans, and by extension the member races of the Galactic Continuum, have taken it upon themselves to bring civilization to this space.

It may turn out to be folly, but attempting a folly this grand is the Rhean way.

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