Category: Original Fiction; Sci-Fi, ALT (f/f); mature audience
This is an original work of fiction. Copies of this story may be made for personal use only, but must include disclaimers. Original characters and plot lines are copyrighted to the authors and may be used with permission.
Content Disclaimer: This story is rated Mature – for readers 18 or older
Sexual Content: This is a story that contains scenes of sexual intimacy between two females and references to forced sex.
Violence Content: This is a story that contains some violence, though not overly explicit.
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Visit our blog – https://theorionspur.wordpress.com/ – where you will find the Glossary and Pronunciation Guide and progress updates.
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank our wonderful beta readers, Bindi and Michele, for their time, comments, and support of this project.
Cover art by TheNetGirl - https://www.deviantart.com/thenetgirl/
Note: The Orion Spur series is written using British English; however, there are words that are unique to the story.
The Orion Spur, 1: Family Business
For over two thousand years, humankind had colonised the local area of the galaxy known as The Orion Spur. In that time, factions rose and fell. Some were conquered. Others were conquerors. One such faction, The Kalenth Hegemony, a rigidly oppressive regime, had become one of the dominant powers in the region.
Kikola ap Karthen is a young woman of privilege whose future was planned from birth by The Kalenth Hegemony.
Having just graduated from the Hegemony's Elit Military Academy, Kikola is set to fulfil her destiny with a single-minded purpose. That is, until she meets Tehvay, a slave, and suddenly everything she has been taught is turned upside down.
The two women, from opposite ends of the Hegemony's strict social caste system, find common ground that blossoms into friendship and eventually into so much more. But their feelings for each other will force Kikola to risk everything – her position, her family, her destiny – for a chance at happiness and a life of her own choosing with the woman she loves.
Star Map of The Orion Spur
Approximately 3,500 light years, left to right. Approximately 6,500 light years, top to bottom.
Star Map of The Kalenth Hegemony
By the latter half of the twenty-third century, humankind had brought itself back from the brink of self-annihilation one last time, but the Earth was made almost uninhabitable. A scientific breakthrough in fusion propulsion, using super heavy elements, had made interstellar travel possible, and that was the catalyst for a mass exodus. Humankind spread out into the local area of the galaxy, known as The Orion Spur, in an uncoordinated fashion. Groups settled on planets and moons and created their own empires.
Five hundred years after the exodus from Earth, on the planet Kalenth, five powerful families, D'Angel, Karthen, Maldan, Taliss and Willenth, forged an alliance. They called their alliance The Kalenth Hegemony. A ruling council with one member from each family was formed. It was the perfect democracy: one family, one vote.
Their philosophy was simple, they wanted to create a perfect society and they would encourage people to adopt their principles through non-violent means and education.
They called the date Year 1.
It took fifty-seven years before the whole of the Kalenth system had been persuaded. Another twenty-five years before they took control of the nearest system.
By then, the ruling families had expanded to seven. They were getting greedier. They were becoming restless. They no longer wanted to encourage people to follow their principles; they demanded it. Persuasion was replaced by intimidation. Education was replaced by indoctrination, and a caste system evolved to maintain social and political order.
There were four castes:
Elit – The ruling families. Those who held a seat on the governing council, the planetary governors, the top military leaders, artists and musicians; the cream of society.
Fethusal – The professionals. Doctors, intellectuals, civil servants, the military officers. To the Elit they were just about acceptable company, to everyone else they were the wannabe Elit.
Quernal – The business owners and skilled workers. Rich, affluent and powerful to a degree, they were to the Fethusal as the Fethusal were to the Elit. To the Elit the Quernal were mentioned in polite conversation only as a last resort and only with the right amount of disdain.
Labror – The unskilled. Those who did everything that made society run, from factory workers to prostitutes. To the Elit the Labror were considered unmentionable. Everyone of Quernal and below were referred to as Quernal, the great unwashed, the common people.
Then after a failed uprising in Year 453, a new caste was formed. Slaves.
For the Elit it gave them a powerful weapon in maintaining order. Everyone from Elit to the more affluent Quernal could afford to own a slave. And with someone to oppress, the lower castes were less likely to rebel when they were oppressed. The Labror were trapped. Oppressed from above, they could count their blessings that at least they were not slaves, so kept their heads down and got on with things as best they could.
By Year 1602 there were over twenty-five thousand inhabited systems in the Hegemony and ninety-one families in the Elit. But still the old tenet held for the ruling council: one family, one vote.
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