Motto of the Ounta-Kadiis League

“Let justice prevail, and the divine plan forever endure.” Motto of the Ounta-Kadiis League, 18K light years from the galactic core

The Ounta-Kadiis call themselves Firstborn Children of the Universe. Until 3099 T.C.E., five years before the Star Lawyers series begins, the O-Ks thought they were the only intelligent life in the Universe. For a look at this “new” species, here is a slice from The Stellar Light Conspiracy. The Henry crew (those not already at the OK League with Tyler’s brother J.B.) has assembled at the M-double-I underground habitat north of Tucson. Noah Matthews moved Corp HQ to this secondary site after Hideki Tsuchiya attacked and destroyed most of downtown Kansas City.

First Lieutenant Oliver Brisbane-Smith, an Australian officer with the Terran Commonwealth’s Deep Space Rangers, is speaking.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Ryde-Harkos, homeworld of an ancient spacefaring civilization, today known as the Ounta-Kadiis League. Ryde-Harkos lies Coreward along the Norma arm, eighteen thousand light years from the center of the Milky Way.

“These blokes have been knocking around awhile. The Okie-Dokes were among the eleven founding star nations of the old Galactic Empire. FTL capability on their planet goes back 400,000 years. That is twice as long as H-sapiens has existed, mates.

“Fast forward about 300-K years. The O-K culture is no longer okay. Their society begins to collapse. Maybe because of war, political intrigues, economic dysfunction. Nobody knows. Took a long time, but they crashed hard. First they lost Faster Than Light, then all spaceflight, then aerial travel. A global, agrarian culture struggled to feed itself. They went back to fossil fuels and poisoned their planet to the brink of extinction.

“The Ounta-Kadiis rebooted slowly. Rediscovered FTL about two thousand years ago. Expanded into the stars again. But no ancient star charts or records of alien civilizations survived, so the buggers thought they were alone.”

“So did humans before Aurelio Lupetti and the Victoria,” Noah added.

“Yes, sir,” the lieutenant said. “Like Polynesians paddling out to sea from an atoll in Oceania, the Okey-Dokes sailed into the Never-Never. Started new colonies on uninhabited Terra-class worlds, explored thousands of systems, had a rip-snorter of a walkabout in unclaimed space. With a hundred billion stars near the GC, they didn’t cross paths with another spacefaring society until three years ago. Fortunately, pink penguin tradies were carrying on a brisk biz in the—”

“Excuse me?” Tyler said.

Suzie translated. “Traders from the Carrooban Flock, luv. Working their business routes.”

“I’ll be stuffed!” Lt. Smith laughed. “A pommie who speaks ‘Stralian?”

“Fair dinkum, mate,” she replied.

“Oh, God.” Tyler closed his eyes.

Oliver Brisbane-Smith continued. “Anyway, when the Commonwealth heard about this unknown humanoid race, we sent First Contact teams and began negotiations for cultural, scientific, economic and political cooperation. The Ounta-Kadiis have claimed over a thousand star systems in their immediate neighborhood, within two thousand light years of the homeworld. Plenty of worlds to colonize.

“And the bloody ‘roids! The Okey-Doke fossickers have found—uh, sorry. Fossicker means prospector in Terran Standard. So, their mining ships and exploration drones have tagged at least ten-K ‘roid fields. Chockers with rare ores.”

“Lieutenant, what is the latest threat assessment for the OK League?” Noah said.

Brisbane-Smith shook his head. “No naval forces. No technology to weaponize starships. Not even forcefields. Blooming joey in the pouch.”

“Again like Lupetti,” Noah said.

Susie said, “When you’re the lone dingo prowling a sterile outback, I fancy you don’t worry about predators.”

The motto of the Ounta-Kadiis League is, “Let justice prevail, and the divine plan forever endure.” A cryptic, Orwellian meaning hides within this simple declaration.

The “Firstborn Children” have endured isolation long enough to develop a quirky caste system where everyone knows their place. And beneath all the Naturals who are born, a vast clone substructure supports the humanoid public with specialized professions, menial labor, and domestic servitude.

There is a desperate need for these clones, without whom the whole species would cease to exist in a few generation. For some reason O-K science is yet to detect, only one in ten thousand Ounta-Kadiis are born female. The condition developed thousands of years ago, driving O-K medical science into a frenzy of experimental programs to overcome the deficiency, none of which worked.

Finally, organic chemistry developed a solution, clone females. They had all the features of humanoid existence and could be programmed with skill sets and physical traits as needed by each generation. They were sexually compatible with Naturals and became mated for life with millions of males who had not attracted a rare Natural female spouse. Clone women could bear implanted embryos to term, nurse and raise them the same as Natural women. The only difference was the clone inability to conceive.

As the centuries passed, the Ounta-Kadiis social system developed into a caste system, and clones also had ascending value assigned to them, one through eight. All unmated clone women were required by law to provide sexual services to any Natural male who requested them. Some higher level clones—six thru eighth castes—were reserved for upper tier Natural males.

There were a few male clones produced to perform duties requiring more physical strength and stamina, and although those models were not eunuchs they were strictly forbidden from engaging sexually with Natural or clone females.

Clones were “born” full-grown with an expiration date the equivalent of forty Terran years. At that time, their neck tattoos changed color from dark blue to red, and they were expected to report to the Recycling Plants where they were executed. Their bodies were processed as food supplements to enrich the protein diet of Naturals.

The only exception to this scheme were the members of the College of Jaleema Virgins, clones presided over by an almost immortal High Priestess. The current High Priestess Kalei Kyte-Dezion is eight centuries old and looks like a woman in her early thirties.

And then there is the Stellar Light trade… But let’s save something for the novel.

Watch for Star Lawyers Book 5 – The Stellar Light Conspiracy this summer.

And don’t forget the Star Lawyers series is now available on Audiobooks. Star Lawyers 1 – Jump Gate Omega is already on the market. Star Lawyers 2 – Forbidden Sanctuary is scheduled for release in the next few weeks.

Tom Shepherd

Tucson, AZ

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