Manifold Conservation Society
The Manifold Conservation Society, also known as the the Conservatorship or MCS, is a state formed by former academics from the Voxelia Academy of Sciences.
The original academics who started the Conservatorship, now known as the Administrators, formed themselves into the Administrative Council. Each Administrator manages a specific bureau within the Conservatorship based on their individual expertise. Bureaucrats are hired by the Administrator for their bureau after rigorous academic trials, undergo civil service training, slowly work themselves up the bureaucratic echelons, and eventually, if lucky, replace the Administrator when that Adminstrator's twelve year term is up. The Administrative Council chooses a volunteer from their own number to attend special administrative training over the course of two more years, after which that individual becomes a High Administrator for a twelve year term, carrying out executive functions and setting the agenda of the state.
The Manifold Conservation Society professes political neutrality, accepting immigration from anywhere within the Manifold Sky and making no aggressive military moves against any other state. The Conservatorship was created the specific intent to preserve sentient life within the Manifold due to the perceived inevitability of an apocalyptic war between Voxelia and the Coalition of Breakaway Colonies - one which will eventually scour all other life from the Manifold. The recent theft of the Menger Catalyst has emboldened the High Administrator in these claims.
In 9901, the Manifold Conservation Society was formed by members of Voxelian academic circles as a non-governmental organization. At its inception, the MCS was not intended to be a state unto itself, but rather an independent organization of scientists, explorers, and anthropologists with a shared goal of cataloging and preserving the natural diversity of the Manifold - a sort of academic version of the Burning Hearts Social Club. At that time, the relatively minimal activity in Medial E made the cube an obvious choice for the organization's proposed seed vault, nature preserve, museum, and administrative facility; a Navigator's Guild refit station on Medial E5 became the new center of the organization's operations, with the neutrality of the Guild serving as an umbrella against attack by poachers or colonial rebels. Explorers and tradesmen from around the cubes would be invited to bring specimens to the growing campus on Medial E5, and mercenaries were retained to provide an additional layer of protection. Certain collectivist and technocratic political thoughts - endemic to Voxelian academia but normally suppressed by the norms of Medial A Voxelian society - were over-represented in the organization's leadership. Over time, as it became clear that Voxelia and the Free Faces League were preparing for a long war over arable land in their respective adjacent cubes, the leaders of the Manifold Conservation Society realized that they could not keep their beloved campus safe without distancing themselves from Voxelia. It was around this time that the underground storage areas were expanded to include barracks, greenhouses, archives, fresh water cisterns, and armories, with a few suits of auto-armor purchased through third parties from League Dieseltech Armory for both construction and light armored defense purposes. In 9908, a few members of the organization began to invite academics from other states that they had met through their conservation work to come live and work at the campus full-time. This served a dual purpose of showing national impartiality and making the campus a "civilian" target to dissuade attack from the belligerents in the coming war. Soon, the previously isolated facility was housing over 1,000 personnel, with growing infrastructure able to withstand sustained bombardment by airships or artillery with minimal real losses. By 9915, births within the organization, imported academics, and refugees from the war had brought the population to 10,000, with the engineers amongst the immigrants employed in infrastructure improvements. By this point, the campus had become a town unto itself, with the longest-serving science, education, engineering, and anthropology department heads serving as de-facto municipal leaders. By 9920, it was abundantly clear to the organization that the war between Voxelia and her wayward colonies would run into the foreseeable future, with funding reluctantly cut by the Voxelia Academy of Sciences and notice given by the Grand Army of Voxelia that they could no longer guarantee the continued safety of the campus on Medial E5. It was at this point that the Administrative Council, as the leaders of the Manifold Conservation Society were now calling themselves, realized that they would have a chance to implement their ideas without interference, having radicalized one another over the years into the technocratic ideology of the founding members. Recognizing that declaring independence immediately would look like the organization was throwing in with the rebels, the Administrative Council thanked the Grand Army for their concern but declined offers to evacuate, quietly moving their now 15,000 strong population into the bunkers for protection. The surface town remained small, even being bombarded several times as collateral damage from the Coalition Defense Forces campaign against their Voxelian former masters, but work continued apace on the bunker system where the burgeoning population spent most of their time. The Council implemented technocratic regulations and a labor-based command economy within the bunker system, which was always expanding in an effort to replace the need for surface living quarters and preservation greenhouses. While the Administrative Council maintained contacts in Voxelia, they gradually included more non-Voxelians (especially children not registered with Voxelian authorities, and therefore not citizens thereof) into the Administrative Council to break any remaining legal ties with the old country. While the fledgling state had become independent in all but name by 9920, the original mission statement as found in the charter of the organization remained in effect as part of the state's ethos. By 9945, no member of the Administrative Council still held any patriotism towards Voxelia, either having been born officially stateless within the bunkers, having come from another nation, or having faked their own deaths along with notifications to the Voxelia Academy of Sciences. To the outside world, the Manifold Preservation Society appeared to have been destroyed utterly by 9950; it was an image the organization studiously avoided amending until the late 9960's, when the diplomats of a certain "Conservatorship" approached the various nations with trade deals, appeals for national recognition - and advertisements to join the "newest, safest nation."
Demography and Population
The Manifold Conservation Society is relatively diverse, with all sentient species in the Manifold represented in similar proportion (though New Voxelian (ethnic group) Human have a narrow majority). Conservatorship representatives from the Bureau of Outreach begin to scout for new citizens in other nations if the population of that nation's major species group within the Conservatorship's territory falls too low. The goal of the MCS is to keep breeding populations of all species in case the Manifold suffers an extinction-level event. Conservatees are often unhappy with the undemocratic and labyrinthine, bureaucratic nature of their society and a percieved lack of personal agency within that society. Nevertheless, the MCS has an expansive social services sector, and citizens are usually well-fed, well-educated, healthy, and upwardly mobile (if interested in joining the bureaucracy). Fully 15% of the population will attempt to escape to adjacent states at some point during their lifetimes, as the overly officious nature of MCS society is undeniably elitist and is intimately involved with managing the day-to-day lives of individual citizens.
The Manifold Conservation Society exists as a single, multi-level metropolis called Bunker Primus located on - and within - the inter-cube crust between Medial E5 and Medial D5. Surface farms and structures are mostly low and heavily-fortified, with the bulk of the Conservatorship situated in fortified underground bunkers that fully penetrate the crust such that the lowermost levels exist in compressive micro-gravity. Small outposts and underground bunker-towns dot the landscape in Medial E, connected to Bunker Primus via RadNet and telegraphy lines; these 'seeds' remain hidden so as to 'regrow' the Conservatorship anew in the event that Bunker Primus is somehow destroyed. MCS diplomats and explorers are constantly ranging far afield to find locations for new embassies and bunker-towns respectively.
The Bureau of Defense manages all military assets within the Manifold Conservation Society. While the Conservatorship has little force projection, the incredibly dense fortification of their territory, along with expansive anti-air, artillery, and auto-armor assets make taking territory from the Conservatorship a death sentence for most comers. For this reason, the Medial E inflection layer is a commonly-used safe passage for international trade and travel, recieving higher marks than most Medial routes per the Navigator's Guild Hazard Index.
Having been borne of Voxelian scientists, being forced to deal with unique infrastructure issues, and being dogmatically fixated on the problems of the future, the Manifold Conservation Society is arguably the most technologically advanced faction in the Manifold. MCS scientists and engineers lack the broad intellectual flexibility of their Voxelian or Holdsman counterparts and intense individual drives of Leaguesman or Commonwealth citizens, but they make up for this by being deeply educated and experienced in their specific field of expertise. In addition to the civil engineering wonder that is Bunker Primus, the Conservatorship has constructed the MCSV Celestial Praxis (the largest airship), achieved control over billowing hate spores, and has independently worked on MAGI-like projects to enhance the humanoid form.
The Manifold Conservation Society attempts to keep good ties with all foreign states, though the Conservatorship is willing to retaliate against direct military threats to their own continued existence. These ties are typically reinforced with diplomatic envoys and trade agreements. The relative isolation and deep entrenchment of the Conservatorship within the soil of Medial E5 and B5 also make the MCS an unappealing military target, even though this region lies in contested lands between Voxelia and the nations of the Free Faces League and Craterhold. The Conservatorship maintains a public relations campaign advertising themselves to potential immigrants from other nations as an "enlightened," "forward-thinking," and "safe" society. These promotional claims come across as seditious to Voxelia and disingenuous to the Free Faces League, but are seldom annoying enough for either nation to come after the Conservatorship with any degree of vigorous force.
Agriculture & Industry
The Manifold Conservation Society maintains tracts of surface flax, Penrose fescue, and barley fields as well as large underground gardens of bio-luminescent mushrooms transplanted from the Caudal Tesseract. In addition to these sources of food, vast underground complexes of specialized arboretums lit by sun lamps are employed to preserve as much of the biodiversity of other cubes as possible, with plants from every known cube tended and meticulously catalogued by the Bureau of Agriculture. Industrial output mostly comes from mineral extraction and refining, with geothermal heat being the primary source of usable heat and electricity in the bunkers. While excavation expands Bunker Primus, the cast-off stone is repurposed into construction materials to improve the external fortifications.
Trade & Transport
Because the territory of the Manifold Conservation Society is so dense, mass transit is the primary mode of travel there. Tube trains crisscross the metropolis, with the tunnels twisting about their longitudinal axis when they pass through the micro-gravity district. Bunker Primus contains its own skystation and terrestrial commissure transit stations.
Citizens of the Manifold Conservation Society are given free education throughout the life course, with attainment gauged both through rigorous academic testing and professional performance review. Bureau of Education officials in the Conservatorship assess each citizen and, using a complex rubric, assign each to a specific course of training and, later, employment. Over time, every Conservatee becomes a specialist, though a few do have multi-disciplinary training after failing out of a previous career development arc. This hyper-specialization makes the Conservatorship mindset doctrinaire and arrogant in it's surety; it is said amongst citizens in the Free Faces League that, "while science gets done in the Conservatorship, innovation must be imported."
In addition to all the heating, plumbing, and electrical infrastructure required by such an advanced society, the Manifold Conservation Society, in digging their bunkers as deeply into the crust as they have, must also contend with heat dispersal issues. The deeper sections of the metropolis would be too hot for a Human (let alone a verdial) to survive without technological interventions. Massive radiator spires rise up from the micro-gravity district, penetrate the surface, and reach into the sky to provide cooling. Futhermore, as the physical properties of the micro-gravity district are detrimental to the health of long-term workers stationed there, public "gravity baths" have been constructed where workers sit in centrifuges to recover at break times, while some offices are built into bowl-shaped centrifuges to maintain a semblance of normal gravity all day long. The Last Taps Chapterhouse is a notable example, being a Burning Hearts pub built into a gravity bath.
Head of State
Head of Government
The Conservatorship does not have a physical currency. Instead, a citizen's "hours," or number of hours worked in roles assigned to them by the Administrators, are logged at the worksite and used to determine a set ration of goods and services apportioned to that individual. An informal barter economy and black market (using foreign currencies) also exists within the Conservatorship, operated from the shadows by the Groundling subculture.
The Manifold Conservation Society produces an excess of generic drugs and prosthetics, making them the primary exporters for medical goods in the Manifold. While excavating new bunkers produces prodigious amounts of hewn stone and minerals, most of these are used in internal public works projects unless more leverage is needed in trade deals with foreign powers. Paradoxically, Bunker-born guns-for-hire are an unintended export of the Conservatorship, as emigrants often find themselves in the employ of the Free Faces League, Craterhold, or Voxelia as mercenaries.
Being of limited territorial reach, the Manifold Conservation Cociety sometimes requires imported food and fertilizer to balance the nutritional needs of their population. Immigrants are imported to service the original mission of the Conservatorship, that being to conserve the variety of sentient life within the Manifold in case of an extinction-level event. Voxelian educational materials and League Dieseltech Armory auto-armor are rarer imports, but important to the long-term goals of the Conservatorship.
The Bureau of Arbitration settles legal disputes in all forms within the Conservatorship, with byzantine layers of empirical investigative process, laws, precedent, bureaucratic paperwork separating the accused and accuser alike from justice. Once an alleged lawbreaker has been arrested by Conservatorship security forces, he or she might languish in a cell for up to a full year before learning of their fate; the subjects of a legal battle never see one another in court, their statements being heard only through paperwork sent through the bureaucratic process.