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Sunday, March 10, 2013
Never Trust the S'ta Zoku
The star folk or s’ta zoku are a nomadic, starfaring human culture found throughout the known galaxy. While star folk of all ages presumably exist, the ones most frequently encountered as visitors to other societies are in their teens twenties (or wear bodies that appear as such), so they’re sometimes called “star children.”
The star folk live in space, traveling between worlds in caravans of their living starships. They declare “festivals” on planets where they make landfall--sharing eclectic, primitivist music, non-fabricated wares, psychedelic drugs, and xenophilic sexual encounters. In passing, they impart facets of their quasi-religious philosophy (a mishmash of various aspects of ancient mysticism memes) that embraces the seemingly conflicting elements of radical individualism and universal interconnectedness.
They also play practical jokes and minor confidence games meant as performance art or rituals on authority figures and those they consider too narrow-minded. They use no currency, so either barter for goods and services or rely on gratuity. Neither of these traits have endeared them to more controlled societies.
Despite their preference for “natural” or pre-nanofaber clothes and items, the s’ta zoku seems to have access to advanced technology. Some engage in radical body-shaping, modifying their baseline form or changing their sex on a temporary basis. Self-organized groups of star folk youths share box-like devices that may contain picotechnology and be the product of a long dead culture. The star folk have formed something of a “cargo cult” around them.
The boxes are thought to be artificial intelligences. They are attuned to the mental state of their associated groups; they emit sounds and their surfaces display changing color patterns that act to reinforce group cohesion and mental well-being. Star folk groups seldom make significant decisions without consulting these devices.