Bureaucracy, The

The primary administrative arm of the modosophont level government of the Terragen Federation

Image from Steve Bowers
Many members of the Bureaucracy are based in the city of N'EastSeaboard on New Earth

The Bureaucracy is responsible for nearly all aspects of the day to day management and operation of the Terragen Federation federal infrastructure and government, including law enforcement, public works, diplomatic relations, education, and so on. Although often compared to such organizations as Guidance in the Solar Dominion or Mediation and the Mediators of the Sophic League, the Bureaucracy is distinctly different from either of these in its structure and operations.

Modosophont members of the Bureaucracy are chosen directly by Yave, the ruling archailect of the Federation, using the Bureaucracy as a tool to communicate its choices to the wider civilization. Selection for Bureaucratic service has been compared to the ancient practice of jury duty, selecting random members of society to serve in judgment of those undergoing trial in the local judicial system. However, in practice the process is much more than this. Those selected always seem to be at a point in their lives when a period of working in the service of the greater civilization feels precisely right for them. Indeed, although the option exists of refusing entrance into the Bureaucracy, there is no record of it ever being exercised. A standard term of Bureaucratic service lasts for 100 years (as measured on New Earth - around 162 standard years). Transapient members of the Bureaucracy are presumed to also be chosen in a similar fashion, but neither they nor Yave have deigned to respond to inquiries on the subject.

This is generally considered by the Terragen Federal population to be an example of Yave's great intelligence, understanding of, and empathy with Eir subjects. Although in other empires, it is often seen as a prime example of Yave manipulating Eir own population into a position of receptiveness before drafting them to become its agents and administrative workers.

Individual Bureaucrats are heavily augmented for the duration of their service and are able to manifest different S1 transavant talents as required, usually in the areas of planning, project management, negotiation, and multi-variable analysis. Although any individual Bureaucrat can only employ a single transavant spike at a time, they can switch from talent to talent at will, usually taking a few seconds to do so. In addition, when multiple Bureaucrats are working together, or simply in proximity to each other, they can network their minds together, coordinating the use of individual talents, and forming a unityware intelligence (known as a Committee) that exceeds the capabilities of any individual member, particularly in its ability to employ multiple transavant talents simultaneously and in a coordinated fashion. In situations requiring even greater mental power, a large number of Bureaucrats may merge with each other and specialized external processors to form a First or Second Singularity group entity (referred to as a Quorum) that can take command of a situation or project with the capacities and authority of a complete transapient intelligence. In rare cases, Yave Emself has been observed to manifest through one or more Bureaucrats, treating them as an interface to the modosophont world.

While the majority of the Bureaucracy is essentially self-managing, with individual Bureaucrats forming their own Committees and Quorums as required, it is overseen at the macro-level by the Terragen Federal management mind known as the Executive and the legislative body of the Metagov. Yave Emself has ultimate authority over all aspects of Terragen Federal government operations, although E mostly takes a merely advisory role.

Whether as a result of its built-in transavant and transapient organizational structure or its close association with an S6 mind, the Bureaucracy is best known for what has often been characterized as its 'terrifying efficiency'. Whether dealing with individual citizens or operating across the Federation as a whole, the Bureaucracy is famed (or feared) for its responsiveness, accuracy, and overall quality of governance. In the course of its history, it has gone centuries at a time without losing or misplacing information in its keeping and has not missed a deadline or gone over budget on a project in the last thousand years (critics contend that this is because the Federation has not done anything truly new or challenging in the last thousand years, but Federation citizens strongly contest this assertion). Bureaucratic foresight, contingency planning, and disaster recovery methodologies are generally considered to be at least the equal of every other comparable organization in the Civilized Galaxy. Bureaucratic improvisational skills are somewhat less capable but still considered quite formidable, with only some NoCoZo businessminds and Cyberian hacker-warriors able to credibly claim a significantly greater level of ability.

For reasons known only to Emself, Yave personally designed the standard Bureaucratic uniform (actually a variety of basic uniform templates, each designed for one of the myriad species of the Federation) and has retained the design virtually unchanged ever since. Terragen Federal Bureaucrats are readily identifiable by their simple gray clothing, with a silver pin depicting the Federation flag prominently displayed, and an opaque utility fog cowl that is presumed to augment the wearer's natural senses, but also completely hides their features from external observers.

There are some 6 billion Bureaucrats in active Federal service at any given time.

Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner
Initially published on 20 March 2014.

Additional Information
Fiction about the Bureaucracy

A Day in the Life of a Bureaucrat - by Ryan B