Zeita. Many people who've lived on Rigel Prima for a short amount of time know of the civilization populating one of the moons in the sky above their planet. Occasionally, the night sky can be illuminated by tiny lights twinkling from the surface of the craterous astral body. Rumors and legends surround this civilization, who is known to have cut off all contact with Rigel Prima, never having set foot on the planet below themselves in recently recorded history. There is, however, evidence showing that they were once like any other Rigel Primans. A small civilization who's ruins sparsely populate some areas of the planet, millenniums old, from before some continents on Rigel Prima even existed. Why they left is a mystery, but some theorize the appearance of Rifts threatened them, and so they left for a safer, more stable environment. Regardless of when or why they left, no trace of them exists except the destroyed remains of their cities, most buried under thousands of years of earth. Perhaps one day the people of Rigel Prima may know of the truth of Zeita.
Taking up nearly a quarter of the surface of the moon "Azurea" that orbits the world of Rigel Prima, the civilization of Zeita is one of the greatest and oldest mysteries that exists on (or off) the planet. The Zeitan race used to live on Rigel Prima, long, long ago. Before the founding of Town, before the arrival of Equestria, and even before Rifts even existed. In fact, some ruins of their massive cities still sparsely dot the landscape of the Great Plains, now completely abandoned, save for the Centaurs that use them occasionally for shelter. The Zeitans left their homeland of Rigel Prima due to Rifts beginning to appear, which they felt severely threatened their way of life. Instead of risking the well being of their race and culture, using their advanced technology, they took to the stars, taking everything they could with them. Every Zeitan was brought with, leaving none behind. Animals, literature, art, weapons, and especially technology were all brought with, making sure there was as little evidence of them ever existing at all left on the planet. It took time and effort, and even a few lives, but eventually the Zeitan people were able to colonize Azurea, and eventually build their civilization bigger than it ever was before.
- 1 Society & Culture
- 2 Religion
- 3 Subraces
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Science and Technology
Society & Culture
Zeitan culture isn't too dissimilar from Rigel Prima's own. Being a humanoid race, the Zeitans enjoy many things that humans do on the planet below. They sing, dance, party, etc. when they feel so inclined. However, many a Zeitan will agree that the usual way of having fun... is reading and writing. Whether this be fiction or non, a story or a textbook, you can always count on there being at least one Zeitan in the room typing away on their NOMAD Interface or reading something on it at thousands of words per-minute.
In terms of a Calendar, due to living on another celestial body, their calendar is quite different than the one used on Rigel Prima. A year is only 270 days, and it only consists of 9 months, instead of twelve. On the calendar, there are a few marked holidays such as Genetically-Modified Goat Day, which celebrates the main source of sustenance for the Zeitan people, and The Festival of the Great Scholar, celebrating the life and deeds of the Zeitan who first discovered the method of time control.
The Festival of the Great Scholar is the most important holiday for Zeitans, celebrating the very man who made most of their technology possible. Because of the celebratory nature of the holiday, the entire day is filled with feasts, parties, dancing and other such exciting, fun and indulgent activities. Even the government gets involved, providing most, if not all, supplies needed for a memorable festival.
Due to the harsh environment the Zeitans have made there home in, there is not much variety to the food that they eat. Zeita's primary source of food is Goats, for both meat and milk. Of course, just normal goats would not be able to satisfy the needs of a civilization as large as Zeita, so over many years, the race has genetically modified their livestock so that they may better serve the needs of the many. Now, Goats grow up to twice their size and only require half of what they originally ate, making them an extremely efficient solution to food. In addition, the genetic modification increased their protein value substantially, allowing for small meals to have the same effect as a full supper in terms of energy intake.
Of course, no one can survive on just meat and milk. So, the Zeitans have created another such solution to this. Like Goats, the Zeitans brought with them a certain kind of plant called Astraleaf. Astraleaf is a plant that thrives under a night sky, which, luckily for the Zeitans, is what their sky was at all times. Due to having no atmosphere around their home, the plants thrived so much that it created a permanent surplus that grows even to this day. It is used as Goat feed, as well as a part of a Zeitan's staple diet.
Like many do on Rigel Prima, Zeitans regularly eat with family... Or at least, close friends, due to there being no traditional familial system in Zeita. Regardless, people eat together, oftentimes at a table. While preparing the meal, it is customary for guests to assist in the creation of it, be it stirring, cutting or other tasks. A Zeitan's kitchen is their workshop, and guests are their apprentices. While eating at home is often preferable, Zeitans also eat out occasionally. There are no "fast food" restaurants in the moon-nation. Zeitan culture treats the culinary arts as valuable as any other art, and so they put the utmost effort into creating food that is up to snuff to their society's expectations.
Education in Zeita is its #1 priority. Above all else, it strives to teach its people everything there is to know, so that they may utilize this knowledge for the betterment of society. All Zeitans, even Stagnants, are enrolled into the Psychic Training Program (PTP) at the age of 3, who by then should already know how to read and write. The PTP teaches such things such as advanced mathematics, most of the sciences, art and music, and literature, as well as training students to control their Psychokinesis. School is a daily occurrence for young Zeitans, only getting one day off per week, and that is usually spent studying. At the age of 18, a Zeitan will graduate and be given their choice on 3 pre-chosen career paths based on their personality, grades and personal preference. After which, if they so desire, they can file a request to be transferred to another career path.
Ethics and Values
Many a Zeitan will agree that life is meaningless if you are note willing to go out and learn all that you can. Because of this agreed-upon belief, education, science and research are among the most respected things in Zeita's culture. It also leads to some interesting words to be meant as swears or curses, such as "Stox", which directly translates to "Stupid". It is one of the most hurtful things a Zeitan can say to another. These values also lead the society to see the unwillingness to learn as shocking, at the very least. If a Zeitan were to show this kind of behavior, they'd be lucky to get along through life with nothing more than hurt feelings and a few scuffs and scratches. Zeitans oftentimes do not take kindly to those who "betray" their kind in their eyes.
Fashion and Dress
Zeitan fashion isn't exactly a thing you can generalize, just like on Rigel Prima. Anyone can dress how they like, although the most popular colors are certainly white and various shades of grey. If one would have to make a generalization, the general look of Zeitan fashion and dress would be described as "clean". No more than two colors at a time, and nearly all clothes are minimal, having no decoration or ornamentation or special designs on them. Everyone, from the royalty down to the common man, dresses similar to this. For the most part, anyways.
Despite their pride in logic and reason, religion does exist in Zeita. The religion is a monotheistic one that worships the God of Time, Quindem. While not very popular outside of the Epochium Monasteries where Time Mages make their homes, it is still a respected and ancient tradition that has effects on every day life. While anyone may practice the religion through faith, Time Mages are the only ones expected to follow the Commandments set out by Quindem himself.
In the ancient legends of Zeita, it is said that Quindem was who gave the world its time, and with it, change, entropy and progress. While only a minor god in a large pantheon back in the Zeitans' days on Rigel Prima, it is said that he was the one who bestowed upon Zeitans the knowledge of space flight, allowing them to escape the dangerous world of Rigel Prima to settle on the moon. Later on, he also is credited with teaching the very first Zeitans to become Time Mages, and subsequently became a monotheistic god, no longer part of a pantheon. Instead, the Zeitans worshiped him and him only. However, as the millenniums passed, the religion lost more and more members, and is now more of a cult than anything.
While every person in Zeita is descended from ancient Zeitans, and ONLY ancient Zeitans, there are a few "types". Each type carries with it its own abilities and appearance, but all are seen equal in the eyes of society. Due to genetic mutations over time, and because of simple differences between the genes, the Zeitan race holds with it many sub-races. Below are a list of them.
- Hvitur: The most numerous and also the most "average" type compared to the others, the Hvitur are your typical Zeitan. Possessing pale skin, rounded ears and eyes that contain an iris and pupil, they most closely resemble Caucasian humans. Despite being the most numerous type, they are actually the furthest away from the original race of Zeitans genetically. Due to this, they are often chosen to work in the mines or other laborious tasks, for while they are respected and accepted by society, they are also seen as the weakest; a Hvitur almost always possesses very little psychic power, usually only having access to mild telepathy.
- Blar: The Blar are second to the Hvitur in terms of population and power. Possessing bluish skin, either rounded or pointed ears, and often pale or white hair, the Blar certainly stand out in a crowd of Zeitans. They usually possess a bit more psychic power than their white-skinned brethren, able to lift small things with telekinesis, but that's about it. The Blar are somewhat of a "middle-ground" in the Subraces.
- Gulur: Even an academic and studious race such as Zeita holds its fair share of bodybuilders, supermodels and strongmen. The Gulur are such people, taking pride in the beauty of the body. The Gulur also have the greatest difference between men and women, as the men are typically very large and muscular, while the women are most often curvy, voluptuous and generally conventionally beautiful. Gulur typically have vibrant yellow or orange skin, but they can also be born with whitish skin as well, much like a Hvitur's. The Gulur possess the strongest Telepathy out of all the subraces, able to detect even the smallest fluctuation in emotion in someone's mind, and to even delve into the deepest reaches of their subconscious. They are the artists of Zeita, commonly using their extreme empathy to create wondrous and vibrant works of art, music and theater.
- Brunn: Finally, we have the Brunn. The Brunn are the psychically most powerful subrace of Zeitan, having decent telepathy skills, and able to perform incredible feats of telekinesis and even fire "mind blasts". Brunn are typically brown-skinned, possessing pointed ears and vibrantly-colored eyes. They are the politicians and warriors of Zeita, often being born into nobility or wealthy family. The current queen, Queen Isalya, is a Brunn, although it would be impossible to tell by looking at her. Many Brunn often become high-ranking officials or Time Mages, chosen to be so for their impressive mental skill. If trained properly, a Brunn can grow powerful enough to create a wormhole in space itself... Although the last recorded incident of that happening was nearly 500 years ago.
Being a very old and very proud race, it comes as no surprise that the form of government that leads them is a Constitutional Monarchy. In addition to there being a single royal leader, Zeita is also a Matriarchy, with the Queen being the highest seat of political power. Surrounding the queen are many advisors, as well as a Parliament, to assist in making day-to-day decisions and passing or lifting laws. In terms of laws, Zeita is somewhat strict, but by no means unreasonable. There is a curfew on all citizens, and there is heavy regulation on the power source that fuels the entire moon-nation, Chronus. However, there is also no death penalty for any crimes... Other than one, very severe one. Murderers often get a life-sentence, thieves get no more than a few years depending on what was stolen. Luckily, rape is nonexistant in Zeita due to all Zeitans lacking genatalia, instead being grown inside "Incubators" as a sort of pseudo-clone. The only crime that legally calls for death is the crime of consuming Chronus, which grants the user extreme control over time for a little while, but also drives them completely insane. Any who break this one taboo will swiftly be put to death by Time Mages.
Speaking of Time Mages, the elite sect of scientists also has a very high political position. Because of their duties investigating anything out of the ordinary, as a sort of elite police force, they are exempt from most laws involving trespassing and disturbance of the peace, within reason. A Time Mage blasting death metal after curfew would receive no immunities from the law, of course.
The Immortal Queen
Zeita is ruled by the venerable queen Isalya, who is respected by all. In fact... She has been for the last 1000 Years, ever since the end of the Crystallite War. A wise, kind and powerful Queen, she has been responsible for many of the large decisions that have bettered Zeita over time. The inclusion of Companions as citizens, the locking away of all Juggernauts, the consideration of exploring the Underworld... While there were plenty of Queens before her, she has been the most progressive of them all, by far... And the oldest. Having been so loved during her original reign, and seeing so much to repair after the War, she refused to leave at an old age. Instead, she commissioned the greatest engineers in the nation to build a massive and beautiful life-support device so that she may continue to rule. Of course, Isalya realized that such a thing could corrupt, so she also had the Parliament write an amendment to their Constitution; Were the Queen to display tyrannical behavior, any group of 20 Time Mages would be able to shut her down and begin the election for a new Queen.
Zeitan economy is very simple. Much like Equestria's system of exchanging "bits" for products, Zeita uses "Credits". Unlike most currencies, however, Credits are completely digital, stored in a "cloud bank". This allows Zeitan citizens to always have their full bank balance on their person at all times, and needing no physical exchange of currency. Zeita is also what most would consider a "Socialist" economy. Most goods are owned by the government, and regularly supplied to citizens on a regular basis to ensure no one citizen rises above the others through wealth alone. Zeitans consider greed a very corrupting and destructive force, so most support this system wholeheartedly.
Common occupations that many Zeitans are part of mostly include industrial or research jobs. By far, mining is the most populated profession, with more than a third of the Zeitan population having a job in the Chronus Mines. Luckily, through use of their technology, this is no more a dangerous job than an office-based one. Other popular occupations include:
- Secretarial work in the National Library of Zeita
- Law Enforcement
While there are many, many more occupations, these are certainly the most popular.
Chronus and Glass
Without the two most important materials discovered by Zeitans, they never would have been able to survive on the desolate surface of Azurea. Chronus and Glass, the fuel and building blocks of Zeita, are what make up their entire nation. Their buildings are erected, armor and tools created, all through the use of Glass. Glass is the wood, plastic and metal of Zeita. However, none of anything Glass has created would function without Chronus. Chronus is the stuff that fuels the scientific nation of Zeita. It runs through the veins of the nation, keeping it going even in the toughest of times. It is their gasoline, electricity, steam and oil.
- Chronus is a substance commonly found a few miles underneath the surface of Azurea, viscous and thick like jelly in its raw state. It is pure, bright Cyan in color, and glows intensely. In fact, it is this material that gives Azurea its bluish hue. While not very useful in its unrefined form, it does have some limited time-altering properties. Anything within a few centimeters of the stuff will slow down substantially in time. While not very useful by itself, when burned, one fistful of Chronus could emit enough energy to power an entire Rigel Priman city for a week. However, due to the dependency on the time-altering goo the Zeitans have, they require much more to fuel their lives.
When refined, Chronus can serve an entirely different purpose. It loses its viscous and gooey form, instead being refined into a solid brick. One brick of Chronus takes around 20 lbs of the raw form of it to make. While this might not seem totally efficient at first, the loss of impurities is the Chronus allows its power output to be amplified 100-fold. A single brick of Chronus can power a city completely for a year, or more. This is what the Zeitans use to power their cities. That said, refined Chronus is rather unstable. Just the right amount of heat must be applied, lest the entire brick explode violently.
Not only does refined Chronus produce much more power when burned, but its time-altering properties are also increased substantially. In fact, it must be properly contained to prevent people from getting "locked" in time. With this property, bricks of Chronus are implanted into the gear of Time Mages; Elite soldiers who use Chronus and what little magic they have in their bodies to perform incredible feats of time control.
Glass is what the Zeitans use to build, to put it plainly. It is a black, translucent crystal found in clusters in craters on the moon's surface, requiring Zeitans to take expeditions to mine them. The material itself is extremely durable, flexible and conductive, leading Zeitans to use it in nearly all of their creations. It makes incredibly good wiring, building material and even armor. Other than its versatility and durability, however, it has no particularly unique aspects to it.
Science and Technology
Time Mages. The social, political and military elite. The "Perfect Citizen" by Zeitan standards. Hand-picked from the PTP (Psychic Training Program) (AKA Schooling system) at a young age, a select few Zeitan children are inducted into a place called an Epochium Monastary, the secretive training facility for potential Time Mages. Here, they undergo a few rather disturbing medical procedures, are taught the secrets of Zeita, the Code of Time, and an education far beyond anything in the PTP. The training of a Time Mage takes 15 years in total. The rigorous and strict teachings and training techniques employed by the Epochium Monastary leads many Time Mages to become calculating, extremely powerful clerics and warriors.
Time Mages are tasked with the preservation and advancement of Zeitan civilization, as well as the worship of their god, Quindem. When something scientific is not known, you can count on a Time Mage to figure out what it does, why it does it, and how. They are the greatest scientists on the face of Azurea, and also the most powerful warriors. Utilizing a suit of armor known as "Chrono-Plate" and a weapon mounted on the arm known as an "Infinity Drive", both implanted with many bricks of Chronus, Time Mages can alter and manipulate time around themselves to their liking. They can slow a bullet to a snail's pace, cross a city in a second, and even accelerate the time of an opponent so they wither and crumble to dust. Luckily, the "warrior" part doesn't often come into play, but they keep them trained just in case. Especially now that a good portion of them are talking about an expedition to the "Fallen Land", also known as Rigel Prima.
In their monasteries, Time Mages are required to follow a strict set of rules known as the Commandments of Quindem.
- Thou shalt take thy time, as well as that of others.
- Thou shalt count to ten before speaking.
- Thou shalt strike when the time cometh.
- Thou shalt greet thy peers with a little hand wave.
- Thou shalt always have the correct time.
- Thou shalt swallow a spoonful of oil every morning to keep the cogs turning. (Oil is a metaphorical name for an ancient herbal remedy, said to stop you from having an idle mind, AKA Keeping the cogs turning.)
- Thou shalt never be late without first presenting your excuses.
- If thou dost not follow these commandments, thou shalt walk around the dial twenty-four times as a sign of penitence. (The dial being the large clock in the courtyard of all monasteries.)
In addition to the commandments, there are various other traditions and rules that are often taken more or less seriously, depending on what it is. One that only the most devout Time Mages follow is the ancient, nearly-forgotten tradition of preventing any skin from showing. This is usually done by wrapping the entire body in bandages to ensure no one shall see any skin whatsoever. Another tradition is the learning the ancient martial art known as Tick-Tock. Clearly inspired by clocks, a user of Tick-Tock will use 24 stances, depending on the time of day. Each resembles the hands of a clock in their respective positions.
Creating a Time Mage
While the people of Zeita are simply told that all Time Mages are chosen for their ability and talent, the truth is considerably more... dark. While personal ability does help, what the Monasteries look for in potential candidates is not personal ability, grades, talent, or any such thing... It is their reaction to having unrefined Chronus introduced to their bodies. Disguised as a simple vaccination shot, every Zeitan child, at the age of 5, is given an injection of a minuscule amount of unrefined Chronus. This does no more than give the child a mild sickness which is easily passed off by the Government as being the effects of the vaccine taking place. However, there are some (Less than .01%) children who show no form of sickness at all. These are the children who the Epochium looks for. Stating that the child has the qualities required to become a Time Mage, they bring the child to the nearest Epochium Monastery.
Potential Time Mage recruits are given a grand, public ceremony for their induction to the Order. The Monastery will tell people that they plan to train, teach and help these children unlock their true potential. While not completely false, this is little more than a public relations stunt. It is what happens deep underneath these monasteries that truly matters. It was in the secret laboratories built deep underground by ancient Zeitans that the scientists were able to discover the true potential of the Zeitan people, as well as the future of their race: The vaguely magical, liquid resource known as Chronus.
Indeed, it was in these labs that they discovered that Chronus, other than its apparent time-altering properties, had some very, very interesting usages. It was discovered that it did not simply distort time near it. Instead, it was taking already-existing residual mana on the moon and absorbing it. It just happened to convert the energy to time distortions. Theoretically, Chronus could control any energy through the use of magic, even in places where magic seemed to be all but gone. It was because of this discovery that Time Mages were created.
Through various procedures and surgeries, the child initiate's body would be introduced to large amounts of Chronus. Enough to drive someone foaming-at-the-mouth insane. Enough to kill. Even with their natural resistance to the effects of Chronus, no child will remain mentally unscathed from the traumatizing procedure of combining Chronus with their very DNA. They truly become one with the poisonous, magical substance. By splicing Chronus into the DNA of Time-Mages, they are capable of incredible feats of magic and physical prowess. They are able to see energy as it flows through the ground, reflexively speed up their sense of time at will, allowing them to alleviate boredom or dodge blows with ease. While it hasn't been tested yet, they could even theoretically absorb energy into themselves as a sort of "living battery", becoming stronger and stronger with the amount absorbed.
If the child survives the treatment, they are allowed to move onto the next phases of training, including education, martial arts and technical skills. If they do not, well... Accidents happen during the rigorous training regime.
Nearly every Zeitan holds some amount of Psychokinesis. Depending on the person, their upbringing, and genes, the powers a Zeitan holds can range from the ability to lift no more than a pencil off a desk, to being able to freely lift cars, trains and even buildings with their mind. The most powerful psychics in Zeita are often given a high-ranking position in the military, protecting the land from any potential threats that might come their way. Because nearly every Zeitan has some amount of Psychic power, a subconscious "shield" surrounds the entire moon of Azurea, preventing any objects from entering unless sufficiently powerful.
While most Zeitans have this kind of power, there are a small amount who are born without it. These people are called "Stagnants", and are ostracized by society. That is, if they are even allowed to grow past infancy. Most Stagnants are euthanized out of fear that they will only grow up in a miserable, poor environment, adding to their rarity.
Unsurprisingly, Zeitan robotics are extremely advanced. Having studied such things for centuries, the Zeitan people quickly learned the secrets to creating powerful robots, computers and even true AI. Nearly every Zeitan household has at least one robot occupying it, and the vast majority of the police force is populated by androids as well. Not only that, but advanced robotic prosthetics are a common occurrence, especially for Time Mages, who replace an entire arm with their Infinity Drive. There are many different types of robots that are used throughout Zeita, and those with true AI even have a place as citizens. Below are the various types.
- Companion Models: Zeitans do not have pets of any kind, so when living alone in Zeita, it can get painfully lonely. Luckily, there is a solution to this issue: Companions. Companion Model Androids, or "Companions" as they are more commonly referred to, are a popular type of robot produced in Zeita for the purpose of alleviating loneliness, boredom and giving the population some variety. All possessing true AI, Companions are seen as fellow citizens, living like any other Zietan. They are allowed to work, study, and even marry. However, due to issues in the past, any kind of tampering with a Companion will result in immediate arrest, unless for suitable reasons like repair and maintenance by a licensed engineer.
- Entourage Models: Much like Companions, Entourages are largely human in appearance and possess true AI. However, this particular type of model also possesses much higher combat potential than Companions. Possessing more powerful servos and processors, they are stronger, more agile, and often given some kinds of battle-upgrades such as arms that transform into guns, lasers on their fingertips, and other such things. These are exclusively used as bodyguards for the nobility, celebrities, and whoever can afford paying them. They aren't bought or sold, but hired. They are citizens, after all. Many Entourages request customization to help them stand out in a crowd, and some even become artists to design their own look, just like Companions are able to do.
- Cyberguard Models: The Cyberguard are an advanced, combat-oriented model that's sole task is keeping peace throughout all of Zeita. Extremely numerous and very versatile, they make up most of the police force throughout the nation. While not possessing true AI due to fears of being unable to control them, they are still highly intelligent, able to rationalize and make smart decisions. They are all equipped with a laser rifle and baton, although these are often concealed to better comfort the populous.
- Juggernaut Models: Juggernauts were once the flagship robots of Zeita. Humongous mechanical men possessing incredible strength, durability and speed, this model was key in defeating the alien life that once populated Azurea. It was because of the Juggernauts that the Zeitans were able to drive the violent aliens to extinction, and finally achieve a peaceful life on the moon. Since then, Juggernaut models have become increasingly sparse, most being disassembled for use in other projects. There are some, however, that were kept in vaults around Zeita, in case they were somehow driven to war again. One in particular, the Juggernaut HZ-0A1, the largest and most deadly of them all, is rumored to still be intact and functional in one such vault.