The GICW sets down rules that (in theory) govern all conflicts. Among its rules are these:
The most powerful of institutes since it bridges all galactic cultures and sapient orders through
historical records of technology, wars, uplifts, planets, and so on. It can be instrumental in keeping
peace and avoiding wars to extinction. The Great Seal of the Library
with its five-rayed spiral is a universally recognized flag of truce. The Library Branch on
Garth is a K outlet, which contained
only 1024 times the information in all the Human books written before
Contact. This was the minimum size of Library that the
Gubru thought prudent as the information resource for their
most backward colony. It is now the premier library in Terragen
space. The Library at La Paz, Earth has the same capacity, but a far
more condescending interface. (See Also: Tanith)
A stodgy and environmentally fanatical organization that enforces Galactic Laws of Residence and Migration and determines which planets --or whole areas of space --will go fallow, and for how long. The G.I.M. also gives out temporary permits to races for residence on specified worlds. Usually a planet's continents would be left fallow, with a settlers occupying only geologically active coasts or islands. A standard Class C permit allows 300 million years of residence. The G.I.M. allowed Humanity to lease its three existing colonies at Cygnus shortly after contact.
The Institute of Migration takes its ecological mandate VERY seriously. G.I.M. tends to give ecologies the benefit of any flexibility in legal interpretation, and are loath to grant clemency to any violators, no matter the extenuating circumstances. As a result, early G.I.M.-Terragen relations were exceedingly hostile. The Institute ordered the massacre of one Terragen colony and the forced evacuation of others.
However, relations have since improved markedly. The G.I.M. is quite satisfied with the
Terragen record in biosphere reclamation and rehabilitation.
New York's very limited resources, and the Confederation's small, primitive
economy have only added to approval of Terragen ecological
accomplishments. Even more important, extensive Terragen first-contact
experience, combined with the advanced state of Terragen linguistic
science, and innovations in exotic-sapientology have made Earthlings the
darlings of the G.I.M. division responsible for relations with H-2 space.
(Actually, Terragen's have the ONLY first-contact experience in known space,
except for those races that deal regularly with Earth.)
Several Terragen citizens now serve as associates of the G.I.M., both in the
Bureau of Biosphere Rehabilitation and in the College of H-2
Communications and Relationships. Promotion of at least one Terragen to the level of
Junior Fellow is expected within the next decade.
The GUI regulates all affairs dealing with the uplift of species. It stipulates that clients must be able to pilot starships, exercise judgement and logic, and be capable of becoming Patrons someday. It oversees all Ceremonies of Adoption for acquiring a new species, and all Uplift Ceremonies.
During some periods of Galactic history, the uplift ceremony has been purely ritual, allowing Patrons to vouch for their clients readiness without evidence. Other eras have seen a much stronger Institute involved in all stages of a client's Uplift --an example is the Sumubulum Meritocracy. The present era falls between these extremes with both Institute supervision and Patron responsibility playing important roles. However, Institute participation has increased since a recent epidemic rash of Uplift failure 100,000 to 50,000 years ago. In theory, both the Institute and the client's Uplift Consort must approve a client's development.
An Uplift Ceremony serves two practical functions. First it tests
client species to determine their readiness for the rights and responsibilities of the next stage of
Uplift. Criteria used in the evaluation include many factors such as phagocity, modality of movement,
mental technique, and so on. Second, it allows clients to choose their Uplift
Consorts for the next stage of Uplift. Uplift Consorts are obliged to watch, protect, and --if
need be --intercede on the client's behalf. The Ceremony culminates with a selected "pair"
(or otherwise completed sexual group) entering a hyperspace shunt and projecting
their affirmation of Patron and their choice of Consort. During the Ceremony clients also have the
right to ask that the Uplift process be stopped and reversed, though such a request is very rare indeed.
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