Origin is a unique system in many ways. Separated from New Eden by the ever shifting wormholes of the Talocan Static Network and settled by radical transhumanists and those fleeing what they saw as CONCORD oppression over their autonomy, morphological freedom, and technological development, the people of Origin have created a unique system of governance that does not resemble any of the Known Space empires.
The Origin Colonial Authority
The Origin Colonial Authority is the government of the system of Origin. The OCA is a constitutional cellular democracy operated on demarchist principles by a quincencameral government. The five branches of the federal government oversee systemwide affairs but keep a mostly hands off approach at the local level, while democratic cells define the local politics of individual towns, homesteads, and colony projects. Its responsibilities are not merely governance of the wider populace but also the related infrastructure and institutions.
The beginning of the government’s formation began in YC115, as more and more colonists entered the system. Whereas initially all colonists were employees of the Alexylva Paradox, as the population grew and more and more independent industries and businesses began to open up, it was clear that a real governing body would soon be required. The Origin Colonial Authority was unceremoniously founded in late-YC115 during first establishment of planetside habitation on Renaissance in order to better manage the planned colonisation effort on various planets. Initially acting merely as an advisory board, It would soon find its present resources stretched thin by the establishment of Foundation on Renaissance. As the population boomed with the construction of the first city in Origin, the OCA needed to expand its capabilities and resources. As a result a new executive body, the Board of Coordinators, was established with assistance of Alexylva Paradox. This new body then produced the Exodus Charter, the central governing document and constitution of Origin, which defined everything that came after it.
Branches of Government
Uniquely, the Origin Colonial Authority has five branches of government, each acting to apply checks and balances to the other four, with the goal being to make it nearly impossible for one group to seize power over all branches of the government.
The Board of Coordinators
The Board of Coordinators is a council of experts and representatives of different demographics present in Origin and is the closest thing Origin has to an executive branch like the Federation’s Office of the President. Linked by a Conjoiner network to allow rapid and easy information transfer between members, this board is responsible for overseeing the Alexylva Paradox and other military forces in Origin both in space and on the ground, as well as the management of large infrastructure projects such as city and station building, research projects such as the stellar observation project and the Evolution Project, and many other operations that require an ability to make quick decisions. The Board of Coordinators exists partly of positions chosen by the original directorate of the Alexylva Paradox on basis of merit, partly elected by the Digital Council, and partly chosen by the Scientific Conclave. While the Board can enact systemwide policies, A 90% consensus is required in order to enact policy at this level, with the goal being to limit the overall power of the Federal system and encourage policy based on objectivity and scientific understanding. Although the exact number of Coordinators is known to fluctuate as offices merge and split, the number generally remains between 300 and 400 members.
The Digital Council
The Digital Council is a virtually run cellular democracy which makes up the legislative branch of the OCA. The structure of the Digital Council encourages decision making at the local level in line with demarchist principles. Each town, clan, district, homestead, or other base level organisational cell make their own laws and vote on their own policies including taxation and enforcement, which means policy can vary wildly between each individual cell. Affairs within a given cell are typically run as a direct or representative democracy, but nearly every form of governance can be found in a small scale at the local level.
Around a hundred geographically proximal cells make up a first order Council. Each of cell within this area selects a delegation who will represent them at their local council. Delegations can have as many or as few members as an individual cell chooses to send, but larger delegations do not grant a cell more political power in their council. Delegations are typically made up of various local experts and community leaders, but including activist groups, decorated veterans, business interests, and religious leaders is also common.
The first order council makes laws overseeing all of the cells within their purview, but their ability to effect individual cells is limited and local laws take precedence over wider laws except in the cases of trade disputes, sentient rights violations, and in cases of conflict between two or more cells.
Each first order council is also responsible for electing a delegation to send onward to a second order council composed of around one hundred first order councils. This system continues upward to the top level, with planetary regions and stations submitting delegations to the top level council who oversee legislative policy for the entire system. In addition to setting systemwide policy, the top level council also elects a number of individuals to appoint to the Board of Coordinators to ensure that the legislative branch is well represented within the executive. The majority of the legal activity within Origin occurs within the digital council, with districts and clans setting their own laws, taxes, and policies for their cells on a local level.
The Scientific Conclave
The Scientific Conclave is a non-elected hierarchic governmental branch whose focus is on scientific research and technological advancement. Positions within the conclave are chosen by merit and talent from among qualified doctors, researchers, and scientists across the system. Specific roles are appointed based on knowledge and skill, with the goal being to put the person best qualified for a position into that position. The Conclave runs the larger scientific ventures of the system, as well as managing resource distribution, property management, and transportation infrastructure. The goal of the conclave’s existence is to ensure that there is never a point where political practicalities are able to trump scientific findings and lead the system into an unseen disaster. The Scientific Conclave also oversees the Sentient Equilibrium, and establishes management directives for it.
The Judicial Convention
The role of the Judicial Convention is twofold. First, it acts as a adjudicatory body for settling disputes usually between council cells but also between government branches and corporate interests as well. Secondarily, the Convention is also responsible for the enforcement of systemwide laws set down by the Board of Coordinators and the Digital Council. It includes judges, police forces, rehabilitation centres, and prisons. The top tier of the Judicial Convention is the Grand Judiciary, chosen by the Sentient Equilibrium, with the power to overrule and strike down laws created by either the Digital Council or the Board of Coordinators, if those laws are found to be in violation of sentient rights and freedoms established in the Exodus Charter.
The Sentient Equilibrium
The Sentient Equilibrium is a strong AI overseen by the Scientific Conclave whose purpose is to oversee the management of automated systems, ensure fair rights are granted to nonhuman sentients, and acting in an advisory capacity to both the Board of Coordinators and the Digital Council overall. Any sentient within Origin can call up the Sentient Equilibrium to ask for everything from advice, to legal help, to financial support, to medical care and therapy and the Sentient Equilibrium is the main method which most sentients have of interfacing with various government services and benefits granted to sentients within Origin. Outside Origin, the existence of the Sentient Equilibrium is seen as a sore point in international relations, with many Known Space governments taking a very dim view of the strong AI and fearing that it may only be a matter of time before it goes rogue and wreaks havoc across Origin and beyond. Despite this, within Origin, views on the Sentient Equilibrium are more positive than views on most of the rest of the government, largely owing to its nature as a direct method of interfacing with and gaining support from that government.
Within Origin, in addition to the various branches of the government, several extragovernmental entities also hold significant political power over various aspects of system organisation and management. These groups do not supersede the government in decision making power, but largely have control over non-overlapping spheres of influence.
The Alexylva Paradox
The capsuleer corporation Alexylva Paradox is the original founding body behind the Origin colonies and has been responsible for supporting and defending the various colonies and settlements within Origin since its inception. After the formation of the OCA, the role of the Alexylva Paradox within the system’s political process has gradually been pared back from the overall ruling body to merely being responsible for the maintenance of space-based assets such as orbital customs facilities, starbases and various other related infrastructure. The corporation is also responsible for the system’s safety and security from hostile capsuleer corporations. While existing largely alongside and independently from the government, all members of the Alexylva Paradox’s corporate leadership are also members of the Board of Coordinators.
The Oneieda Paradox
The warclone corporation Oneieda Paradox is responsible for planetary and station defense within Origin since its inception and makes up the ground based military counterpart to the space-based Alexylva Paradox. While primarily employing warclones, backed up baseline soldiers are also a component of the Oneieda Paradox’s military arm. They maintain planetary defense batteries, city shields, station-based marine forces, infantry regiments, armored vehicles, and close range air and space support including citadel and capital based fighters. In the event of a surface invasion of Origin, the primary defense of the planetary bodies and their populations would fall to the soldiers of the Oneieda Paradox, a role which they hope to never be called upon to fill. While existing largely alongside and independently from the government, all members of the Oneieda Paradox’s corporate leadership are also members of the Board of Coordinators.
The Office of Central Reconnaissance
The Office of Central Reconnaissance is responsible for intelligence and espionage within Origin and has a rather checkered and storied past. Beginning as just another administrative office of the level of the Office of Cloning, the OCR’s mandate and purpose gradually allowed it to gain power until it was operating ships and stations with almost complete independence, secrecy, and autonomy from the rest of the system’s government. This came to a head in January of YC117 when the system was rocked by a series of leaks and political scandals which revealed the existence of numerous secret OCR blacksites which were being used as prisons and for questionable and dangerous research.
Following the leaks, a systemwide referendum voted to disband and reform the OCR. This resulted in OCR’s replacement with the much more politically limited Office of Special Surveillance, but when the OCR was ordered to disband, OCR Coordinator Shiroh Yatamii cut himself off from the board’s conjoiner network and went into hiding along with tens of thousands of OCR employees. At this point the Judicial Convention declared the OCR to be a criminal organisation operating in the system without a legal mandate and authorized the arrest of any members of the rogue office.
Despite this, the OCR continued to protect Origin in secret, operating out of a station near enough to the system’s star to blind sensors. Shortly following the Sacking of Origin in YC120, the OCR revealed the existence of this station to the system and worked with the surviving forces of the Alexylva Paradox to coordinate defense and re-secure the system. Since then, the OCR has been hesitantly invited back to the table as a part of the system’s defense structure, although not without strong misgivings. The OCR remains almost entirely independent from government oversight and Shiroh Yatamii has yet to rejoin the Coordinator’s conjoiner network.
The legal system for the Origin system is laid out in a series of publicly available documents established first by the Alexylva Paradox and then later by the population of Origin.
The Corporate Policy Agreement
The Corporate Policy Agreement of the Alexlyva Paradox is a set of basic employee agreements governing behavior of corporate employees. The policy agreement is far more basic then that of most megacorporations, and is established with each employee acting as a subcontracted entrepreneur. These agreements govern day to day policy of the Alexylva Paradox, dictate chain of command, handle conflict mediation, establish corporate law, and support other vital functions. These documents apply exclusively to Paradox employees, and are a signed agreement made between the employee and the company. They do not apply to the majority of the Origin colonists.
The Exodus Charter
The Exodus Charter is the legal backbone of the Origin system. Co-written by over 23,000 colonists over the Origin Colonial Subnet, and ratified by 75% of the population in late YC115, it dictates the operation of the core functions of government. Beginning with the most basic functions and powers of the branches of government, rights of the citizens, and the legal system, it extends out to encompass all areas of government operation. Tax laws, penal codes, land rights, and the various offices of the OCA are all detailed out within the Exodus Charter. The Charter is considered a living document and regularly scheduled and organised citizen referendums modify the charter on a frequent basis.