Here I post articles from my Star Trek Fanzine: Sehlat's Roar. I hope to place all of the work online for fan's enjoyment. This Fanzine was first published in the late 1970's by a band of most unlikely friends located in Flat Rock, in the southeastern quadrant of Michigan. The material is clearly born of the time, and some of it is quite dated; yet, for those who enjoy this sort of thing, I trust, at the least, interesting.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mrraneti of Cait, part 4

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Economically, the Mrraneti rank with the Vulcans in the apparently phenomenal stability of their market system. To humans, used to industrialism, they seem rustic and primitive since most of the prides engage in farming. Farming you ask? But the Mrraneti are carnivorous. Wouldn’t they be a hunting culture? The answer is no. The hunter has no time to develop a civilization. The Mrraneti are farmers who grow feed for their livestock, which they kill and eat. It’s the same for us.

The Mrraneti have an enviably stable currency in their gold and gold-backed credit. A secondary medium of exchange is the males of the species, but they know better than to trade solely on such a chancy thing as genetics. Their general market seems picayune by comparison to the vast selection available to the rest of the Federation, but it is quite sufficient for the present needs of the Mrraneti, and quite flexible enough to be able to handle any future needs. They are presently exploring the broader market of the Federation to see where they may contribute most profitably. Some possibilities are wool and leather goods, ceramics, artworks, foodstuffs, refined metals, rare alloy, and the like.

Trade on Cait is carried on primarily by the adolescent and young adult males, to whom wandering is a way of life from the age of seven to that of about twenty or so, when they reach physical maturity and are tapped for mastership.

Besides goods, the trade caravans also carry the major burden of communication between prides and clans. Technological advances have as yet taken only a small bit of this burden, not surprising since the Mrraneti are extremely conservative and like to consider carefully the ramifications of any alteration before allowing it in. This may seem odd in such a highly advanced culture, but it is actually one of the prime factors in that advance.

The Mrraneti have been called lazy and indolent, even decadent, but some who have seen how much leisure time they have to spare from letting carefully tended machines perform the most time consuming of the chores. This is because they enjoy it to the hilt. They are excellent artisans and entertainers, rivaling the Vulcans in the richness of their artistic ability and tradition. All of their art is based on the vast oral (and oral means something quite different to the Mrraneti) Tradition, which is as old as they are.

Strictly speaking, the Mrraneti have no written literature. Their only written language is mathematical, used in engineering and related areas. Everything else is encompassed by the Tradition, which is so extensive only the Vulcans have any conception of what it’s like. It surrounds every Mrraneti from birth. IT consists of the pride’s traditions, the clan’s traditions, the lays of derring-do learned from fathers who once roamed far and wide. With such wide communication as it available to the individual, either directly or indirectly, he or she usually comes in contact with a considerable portion of the Tradition in the course of a ling lifetime. Of course, no one person could possibly know the entire Tradition, but because everyone learns as much as possible of it, and thereby contributes continuously, it is truly a living, growing part of each individual.

The communication of such a rich tradition calls for a language capable of communicating extremely subtle and fine nuances. Rather than the exceedingly complex, precise verbal language of the Vulcans, the Mrraneti have opted for body language, so that their every action is communication. This, although their verbal language consists of little more than sounding-sounding grunts, growls, and coughs, there total language is actually a very subtle, flexible instrument of expression, not at all artificial, but flowing and naturally graceful.

Although to the outsider, the Mrraneti may seem excessively formal, this formality in no way implies rigidity of response. Rather, it is symptomatic of respect for all others. The Mrraneti realizes the truth that formality based on respect is actually far more flexible than is familiarity based on disrespect. For them, all manners and customs are predicated on respect for the other person.

Out of this respect for self and other comes their philosophy and theology, neither considered a formal discipline. The first is generally a subject for idle speculation (assuming there is any time left over from the many other pursuits) and the other is considered a forgone conclusion. Obviously the universe is an ordered creation and equally obviously, the creative force is benevolent. For the Mrraneti as a whole, there has NEVER been any doubt on this point. At the same time, however, they have never shown any tendency to anthropomorphosize this creative force. Indeed, there is no explicit means of referring to it. Instead, it is implied by every thing they do. In other words, their theology is so totally practical as to have no room for speculation at all. As a result, human theology, with its confusion of concepts and emphases, is a complete mystery to them.


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