Sooooo this is for the prompt that @jigglejaggle sent in to @taylor-tut, with claustrophobic Lance stuck in a shrinking room. Fair warning… Hella angst ahead. I included some cuddly catharsis afterwards, though, no worries, I’m not evil ;)
*Quick note before I start: This is the 2nd installment in a series I’ve called the Lost Colonies which is largely about human society adapting to the strange environments of other worlds. You can read the other installments here: 1, 3,4, 5, 6, 7. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing this series, but with my new work schedule I had to bring it to a close. If you’ve enjoyed this story follow me on here for my other writings. Thanks again to everyone who has reblogged, liked, replied, DMed, or otherwise shown their appreciation for this series. It means a lot to me that people enjoyed it and the love you’ve all shown me has really helped keep me going for these last few months.*
Jeanne had been sitting for nearly half an hour in stony silence glaring at the Turic across from her. She had been in interrogation rooms before, never one this nice though. Her eyes kept taking in the room any time he looked away as she scanned for anything she could use as a weapon. She had never had to fight a Turic, or any alien really, but it paid to be prepared.
“Are you sure I can’t get you anything? Food? Water? Our scans indicate that you are lacking in several nutrients required by humans for optimal health.”
The door opened and a human woman she didn’t recognize came in. Of course they would use a human to be the “bad cop”. Well this slag wouldn’t get anything out of her.
“Thank’s for keeping her company Kit’cha, took forever to get here.” The woman smiled at the Turic and they did some kind of secret handshake before the Turic left the room. The woman turned to Jeanne and smiled again before sitting down. “Sorry to keep you waiting Miss…” she glanced at the file on the desk “Jeanne. Do you have a last name or something you prefer to be called?”
Jeanne met the questions with more silence.
“I understand that re-acclimating to interstellar society can be rough, but that’s why I’m here. My name is Kiara Williams and I am the special liaison between the galactic council and what’s being called ‘The Lost Colonies’. I just want to assure you that we’re all here to help and you don’t have to be scared of any of the alien races you’ll see aboard this station, they’re all friendly, especially the Turics like Kit’cha.”
Jeanne settled back into her surprisingly comfortable chair with her arms folded and glared at Kiara. It had taken her years to perfect this look and it felt like a waste to use it on someone as soft as her, but she knew better than to give any information to a cop, or worse, a shrink. Kiara, for her part, just smiled again and made a note in the file.
“I get it, I do. Finding out that there are other alien races out there and that you’re part of a larger galactic community can be a little jarring. When my colony was found it took years for some of my closest family to warm up to those outside our species, but now that we’ve opened up to the galactic community we’ve managed to make huge strides in settling worlds that were previously thought to be inhospitable and exploring some of the unknown reaches. We don’t know much yet about your colony, but I’m sure we can learn a lot from each other.”
Jeanne ground her teeth together as she mulled over what Kiara had said. There was a long moment of silence before Jeanne finally spoke.
“I already know about the aliens, and about other humans, never saw them of course. You keep saying lost colony and shit. Are you telling me you don’t know why we were on that planet?”
Kiara shook her head and spun the file around so Jeanne could read it. “From what I was told on my way here, there was an underground human colony detected on a planet orbiting a red dwarf star. Apparently the communication array was destroyed several hundred Sols ago and the surface was inhospitable to human life due to the high levels of radiation from the nearby star. We only detected it due to the unique formations on the surface that corresponded to human architecture. We assumed that it was a self sustaining scientific outpost that had managed to get stranded. As usual the rest of the search team was surprised anyone could live there until they realized that it was humans. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have records of your colony though.”
Jeanne narrowed her eyes but uncrossed her arms as she looked over the file. Either this Kiara was one helluva bullshit artist or they genuinely didn’t know what PX-9 was.
“We were never a research colony or any of that shit. PX-9 is blacksite prison run by EarthGov. My father says that the warden robots destroyed the comms array and the transport during a riot a few generations back. We’ve been stuck on that prison ever since. A few riots later and we managed to take out the warden robots too. That was a long time ago. Doesn’t matter though. We found the databases and prison logs. According to EarthGov law, anyone born in that prison is automatically guilty of their parent’s crimes so I’m stuck there. You seem like a nice person. You should probably take me back before they find a reason to lock you up too, if they haven’t already.”
Kiara’s jaw dropped as she tried to gather her thoughts. “I’m so sorry Jeanne, both your people and to you personally. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be born into that, but I want you to know that you don’t have to go back if you don’t want. No one will make you. EarthGov hasn’t existed for over 200 Sols.”
From the outside Jeanne appeared as composed as she had all day. Someone who knew her well enough would have recognized the twitch in her lip and would have known to take a few steps back. On the inside her heart was pounding and her mind was racing. What did she mean EarthGov didn’t exist? Jeanne had spent a long time learning to read people, it was an important skill to have when you needed to know who you could trust in a fight. Kiara didn’t seem to be lying about any of this. Could she trust Kiara? IF she could trust Kiara, what would happen to the people on PX-9 once whatever government was in place found out about it? “Suppose I believe you. What now? What happens to me and my family?”
Kiara smiled again, a hint of sadness in her eyes. “When EarthGov fell we lost a lot of records of colonies, research outposts and apparently prisons as well. Most of them still had communications, but some either lost them or purposefully never set them up to avoid the government so we keep finding pockets of humanity in the most surprising places. I was on one of those planets 20 sols ago and ever since I’ve been one of the specialists they call in to help people find their way in the galactic community. I don’t know yet where we can send you if you don’t want to stay on PX-9 though there are plenty of beautiful worlds I’ve found that could use the ‘human touch’ if you and your family are willing. First though, we would like to know more about you and your society.”
“Leaving would be… good. I want that in writing.”
Kiara nodded “Will do. I’ll send a message to my contacts on the galactic council and get set up with some priority transport ships to get as many people offworld as want to leave. We’ll find a planet that will work for you and your people. Several if necessary. Also I can personally guarantee you that no one will be held accountable for the actions of their ancestors, that’s just not the way we do things anymore.”
“What- What if” Jeanne’s voice broke for a moment as some darker thoughts came rushing in. “What if we did some things that might be against the law of your galactic council. I’m not saying I did, just that suppose someone like me had to do something, something they’re not proud of, in order to get by. What then?”
Kiara thought for a moment before finally speaking. “We haven’t run into this situation before. PX-9 is the first, and hopefully only, prison colony we’ve found so far. I would hope though that we can use this to set a positive precedent and grant some kind of clemency for people unjustly imprisoned by a defunct government. I’ll have to get clearance but as long as someone that ‘had to do certain things in order to get by’ is able to abide by the laws of the Galactic Republic then I think we should be able to work something out.”
The only thing holding Jeanne together at this point was a lifetime of conditioning to suppress her emotions.
“I still have a few cycles before we’re back in comms range of the council so we’ve got some time. I understand you’ve got a lot to process so if you don’t want to talk that’s fine but at some point before you leave I’d like to know more about you and your society. It will help us find out how to best help you find your place in the galaxy.”
Jeanne’s mouth twitched up, starting to form a smile. She stood up from the table and took Kiara’s hand. “Get it for me in writing shrink. Then we’ll talk.”
It had taken far too many months to track down Lance. Shiro had lost count of the days since his teammate had willingly surrendered himself to Galran Prince Lotor in order to save the others. The Blade of Marmora had been reluctant to offer help until Allura helpfully pointed out that they couldn’t form Voltron with a Paladin missing.
It made Shiro a little sick to think about it. The look on Lotor’s face as he had wrapped his arms possessively around the Blue Paladin and petted his hair – Shiro couldn’t get the image of that predatory smile out of his head. It awakened from his fitful sleep and drove him harder when it seemed like their leads were about to dry up.
What if all humans are really born as dragon riders?
What if all of us have a soul out there, yearning and calling out to us and so unbelievably lonely, connected to our own?
And what if the only reason we haven’t become the most terrifying force to ever be reckoned with in the history of everything is simply… that they’re too far away from us? That we were never allowed to find them? We have the legends, we have the stories and almost-forgotten memories passed down from ancestors that desperately tried to let us know, hoping we would bring back what has been ripped away from us. They were here, our myths whisper. Find them. Find them. Find them.
It’s been two hundred years since we first left our planet. Our ships roam the solar system. Trade flourishes and we are met with a strangely reserved kind of respect - almost as if we are merely tolerated, though never outright insulted or rejected.
And then, a ship vanishes. Another follows. We search for our lost people, don’t find, help refused by the creatures more intelligent than us, stronger, larger, still keeping their distance instead of overthrowing us. But when our ships return, we know why. When they return from what we thought was a prison colony planet full of caves underground and mountains too high to land, we learn.
They all speak different languages, those other creatures, but they share an age-old saying in all of them:
“You cannot kill a dragon, but you can tame it if you take the eggs from its nest.”
But we’re humans, and they didn’t know what that meant. Without the warmth from our other souls, we took the nearest hand. We made ourselves hatch.
What if all humans are really born as dragon riders?
And what if someone’s out there, waiting for us to find them?
The remains of a prison built by the French in 1864. Its prisoners would be serving a life sentence and had the job to manufacture lime for construction. So Lo Voi is known as being one of the harshest prison facilities on the island.
Snow ↳ “Don’t get me wrong. It’s a dream vacation. I mean, I load up, I go into space, I get inside the maximum-security nuthouse, save the President’s daughter if she’s not dead already, get past all the psychos who’ve just woken up. I’m thrilled that you would think of me.”
Manifestations of White Leftism in the Global North: Undermining Revolutionary Politics
It is clear that revolutionary politics in the global north or first world continue to be increasingly encroached by a fatal flaw: white leftism. At the present, this white leftism manifests itself in all leftist tendencies with some form of presence or another in the sphere of first world politics and it is a core, guiding principle of the many of the statements put out by these tendencies, in certain cases becoming outright popular among fellow travellers or even liberals as these “ideas” not only lack of a revolutionary character, they have no materialist analysis and fall to idealism or utopianism.
But what are these manifestations?
From left communists and anarchists of all varieties we see a crystal clear opposition, ‘intellectual’ rejection of national liberation, revolutionary nationalism of oppressed peoples and their anti-imperialist struggle, especially when these third world struggles are being carried out by organisations that oppose and suppress anarchism. Such is the rank and file level of racism demonstrated by first world anarchists that they have no issue of celebrating the death of third world revolutionaries, or they feature themselves in a position where they – seemingly agents of chaos and anti-statism – join forces and became the propaganda parrots of their own settler imperialist countries to attack countries such as the DPRK and Cuba.
When approached with criticism, these inexperienced (more often than not obscure) tendencies turn to an outdated buzzword coming back to a decades old debate of whether invading Czechoslovakia was something worth supporting or not, or simply accuse you of being a “Stalinist” which not only demonstrates a strong lack of an argument but somewhat reminding of the same level of 'accusation’ carried out by anti-communists.
While among ML(M) the aforementioned issues are less prevalent, another major flaw arises: the vanguardism of the white worker. A great majority of these political organisations appear to be bent on replicating social imperialism, and cater to this very outdated, non-materialist concept that the majority of white workers contain revolutionary interests and are just helplessly educated into white supremacy without any material benefit.
For anyone who has studied the history of settler colonial states such as the U$ or Klanada, that has never been the case. Since the inception of these as nations, white workers have outdone themselves in being the bootlickers of the bourgeoise, showing no restraint or opposition towards sacrificing other non-white workers for their own benefit – these countries were built on that noble European spirit of the enlightened pursuit of slavery, genocide, and land conquering.
Without comprehending settler colonies as prisons of oppressed nations, and failing to understand that these countries [of the global north] exist and maintain their wealth through the exploitation and extraction of super profits from the global south, ML(M) parties automatically subscribe to a set of politics disconnected from society and tendentious towards presenting a majority of workers with no material or social interest in revolution (white workers) as the main, or one of the main sources of revolutionary, anti-capitalist politics.
This failure of understanding materialism and how the first world countries have maintained their material, wealth conditions has lead to the popularisation of yet another manifestation of white leftism: FALC or fully automated luxury communism.
It’s evident that the absence of a materialist analysis of this aeons old idea that 'capitalism will be destroyed by increasing automated production’ (no different to the theory of productive forces, which was the downfall of socialist countries) has led to its popularity as a 'meme’.
How is it a manifestation of white leftism?
Beyond its unrealistic utopian basis, FALC has been shaped and championed by first world social democrats who have yet to understand (oh, they know) that the economic development and social rights their countries 'guarantees’ them comes from mass murdering the peoples of the Global South, and stealing all their resources to the point these countries are forced to dependent on the 'good will and aid’ of imperialist institutions either posing as relief aid or charity. FALC sustains and feeds the wildest dreams of white worker conjuration of their imperialist nations becoming even wealthier than they already are through the art of technological magic – automated labour!
What they fail to realise, or simply do not want to realise, is that this automated labour machine of luxury communism is being (will be) fuelled with the blood of war crimes, famine, resource extraction, pollution – this great machine of luxury is eating the peoples of the Global South so the first world workers can live the utopia dream.
We are at a point that without combating these very wrong ideas, without harshly criticising and attacking the structures of white leftism, any sort of revolutionary politics in the first world will be condensed into a pointless, performative demonstration of white workers for white workers, in favour of white workers, that lash out at any non-white organisation that has a better praxis and political organisation than them.
I hate how you can’t critique STEM without people accusing you of being anti-science, anti-intellectual, or crazy.
News flash: the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, weapons of mass destruction, police states, mass surveillance, the wholesale poisoning of the environment, sterilization of prisoners and minorities, military drone strikes, and virtually every other large-scale atrocity have all been made possible (or at least made brutally efficient on scales never before imagined) through the eager contributions of mathematicians both pure and applied, physicists, engineers, computer scientists, medical doctors, biologists, and chemists.
Sure, the humanities and social scientists supply the less tangible but equally violent weapons of cultural and political warfare, but time and time again scientists, engineers and mathematicians align themselves with power and do work that directly contributes to the continued abuse and exploitation of vulnerable peoples.
So it doesn’t actually have anything to do with being anti-science or anti-intellectual – indeed, Grothendieck, one of the originators of algebraic geometry (and so clearly not someone who could be reasonably called ‘anti-science’ or ‘anti-intellectual’) resigned his tenured position when he learned that his department was heavily financed by the defense industry – and so it is said that he “went crazy” or “lost his mind”. And so an ableist counter-narrative at once maintains the sanctity of his work as a breakthrough in modern mathematics while cleansing the hands of every pure and applied mathematician whose work directly or indirectly contributed to more accurate missile targeting systems, or more insightful models of the social networks of activists to be used by intelligence agencies, or more destructive ballistics.
Maybe if folks in STEM were more willing to have some self-awareness around this, and align themselves with vulnerable peoples more frequently and more readily than with their abusers they wouldn’t find themselves the targets of such distrust.