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Bebeto

A786998-B

by Pete Grey

In every stellar community it seems, there is a place for the non-conformist or the outcast. And in every stellar community, there is an impetus or a practice of cruelty that compells rejection of mainstream society in favor of a shining dream of justice or prosperity at its expense.

Bebeto was settled early in the history of the Avalar Consulate as a rich agricultural source world that supplied grain and meat to the capitol and its neighboring worlds. It was an unremarkable world for the most part, one that was simply never at the center of attention by the Avalar government or the swirling vortex of bureaucratic intrigue manifest in the capitol or Milne and Daphne. That ordinariness was reassuring to the rest of the Avalar Corridor, and made the world a welcome haven and reststop for workers and professionals attempting to leave the madding crowd, at least for a while.

But in the late 900s Bebeto began to attract a throng belonging to an extremist and bizarre religious cult known locally as the Neo-Pythagoreans. The cult was made up of people disappointed or disenfrancised by the stagnation, desiccated rationalism and stifling spiritual poverty of life within the Consulate. They espoused a lifestyle based upon classical depictions of Pythagoras and his Sicilian cult on ancient Terra. This included a superstitous belief in numerology, and the basing of their entire society upon a quasi-mystical association between harmonic values based within music. The cult refused to pay taxes, honor military service, or recognise the Consulate as the sovereign authority; attempts to crack down led to violence with the authorities on other Consulate worlds.

The Pythagoreans, or the Church of the Golden Ratios as they preferred to call themselves, somehow acquired a massive tract of upland plateau known as the Varsinian Heights, and most of the faithful came to live their in a decade long wave of immigration. Their silent protest induced other desperate groups to immigrate and convert, and the community came to number in the tens of millions. The implicit defiance of the group upset the Consulate security services, and a siege by the military and the Shanza secret police in 1004 led to open fighting.

Fearing that confrontation would only widen dissension, the Bebeto and Consulate governments offered a compromise, leaving the CGR alone in their holding in return for their acceptance of Consulate law and sovereignty outside of their marked boundaries. The Churce accepted this compromise in 1005, but only after recieving guarantees from the Zhodani ambassadors and wringing out additional commercial concessions.

Today Bebeto shows no signs of the past strife, and the CGR has softened its stance towards the outside world. While still strongly anti-modernist, many of the original cultists came down from their holdings and mingled with the secular culture in the lowlands. A number of hardline communities remain in the Varsinian Heights, but are isolationist and remote. The church's influence upon Bebeto is quite noticeable in its architecture and culture, which seems heavily slanted towards a "Creeping Geometrism."

The arrival of Regency immigrants in the post-Collapse period has created something of a cultural flowering on the world, as the migrants have lended their own artistic and religious ideas into the mix, creating a resrugence of interest in ancient Solomani arts like cubism, neo-classicism and impressionistic arts like jazz music. It is remarked by more than a few outsiders that Bebeto is the one bit of spice in the Consulate's otherwise bland soup of worlds.


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