Government on Loki is not unlike Mafia families. Loki is not united, but instead there are individual power bases, due to the limits of natural resources; these structures are called Hierarchies, and they often struggle with each other for profit and power. There are yearly gatherings of the leaders of these Hierarchies--called Survivors...which are called the Uneasy Alliance. Once every twelve years there are meetings where the Survivors are there but any member of any of the Hierarchies can voice an opinion. Of course,they might get shot for their pains...no one hierarchy, though, can enforce their will on the others, short of wars, which are not infrequent--and strike with the suddenness of gang wars.

However, one advantage of Lokiite warfare is that, since Lokiites are totally self-centered and only take actions for their own self-interest, innocents are rarely killed. There would be no point. It's more a matter of carefully timed assassination.

Pirate and bandit bands exist outside the existing power structures, but are tolerated. (The Heirarchies have some similarity to multinational corporations, also. They might "hire out" a job to these smaller bands.)

The colony worlds are nominally offshoots of certain Hierarchies, but they in effect become independent Hierarchies, and then usually branch into several smaller ones.

The name of the heads of the Hierarchies, Survivor, is a grim jest about the struggle to become head. Specific poisons are fed to those around him, which are both addictive and deadly if withdrawn, to ensure he will not be assasinated by those who work directly under him. Where he keeps the poisons and how they are distributed and produced remains the greatest secret of a Survivor...and yet still remains his or her weakest point. They are usually killed by an ambitious lieutenant.

Those interested with comments, suggestions, things I have forgotten, things I messed up, contact me at... E-Mail:a l.schroeder@nashville.com

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