|Orion Pirates, Xo-a Kulkaadi|
Primarily Beta Quadrant
200,000+ years ago
Varies; Anarcho-Capitalism is most common
|Head of State:||
None; varies with ship or fleet commanders
|Fleets in Service:||
Ship or fleet based
|END OF BRIEFING|
At a Glance
The Xo-a Kulkaadi (which translates in old Ur'eon to "Tidal Scum," is a play on words of a natural phenomenon on Orion: the protein foam that floats on tidal marshes and seems to serve no purpose. The term is perjorative but the Xo-a Kulkaadi have taken it as their own as a badge of pride. The Orion Pirates enjoy a similar infamy in Orion space as pirates did on Earth. There is something romantic, anti-hero and free about it- even if it is also dangerous, destructive and tragic about it. The only common thread among the Xo-a Kulkaadi is that they summarily reject Orion social contracts and constructs- the very few that Orions seem to have.
An unusual aspect of the Xo-a Kulkaadi is that their rejection of many Orion traditions and institutions has pushed them- past and present- into interesting experiments with governing styles. Some pirate groups practice recognizably Orion-like ruling structures, but a number of pirate outposts have experimental social contracts that aren't found on any world in the Orion Colonies.
Despotic rule under the pirates is far less common than foreigners realize. Unquestioned authority centralized in one person has never sat well with the majority of Orion people. Even the Caju have dualistic rule and the input of those with greater powers of Xo-I and Vodazee. Most rulerships of despotism are found in the most extreme Orion pirate gangs, often because they have gone through a succession crisis. 80% of these despots are female Orions with the strong backing of other females and Tah'e Bulls. They seldom last long if their rulership is based on fear or malicious behavior toward their crews.
Talata-Vero's Role in Despotic Rule
Rejection of Orion Institutions
Rejection of Foreign Influences
Rejection of Cluros
Rejection of the Orion Neutrality Pact
(Tense) Cooperation with the Orion Syndicate
Exalting Bunjeezu and the Qodi
Prevalence of Titles
The Orion Pirates are most well known for their criminal trades but outsiders often miss that this is not the core of the Xo-a Kulkaadi. The Xo-a Kulkaadi want freedom from what they view as indenturing, oppressive or wage-enslaving practices. Freedom of expression and choice is the most important element to these people. A large percentage of the Orion Pirates' time has little to do with piracy or criminal activity. The Pirates are sophisticated enough to manufacture and fabricate a portion of their needs. Most orion Pirates operate in a deeply gray, amoral zone of commerce- either in neutral space or else through loopholes. But when illegal activity and violence are necessary, the Orion Pirates don't falter. To them, there is a kill or be killed, take or be taken mentality.
Ties to the Syndicate
Despite having similar operations and goals, the Syndicate and the Xo-a Kulkaadi are occasionally in competition with one another. Despite the fact that they sometimes engage in similar criminal or gray market practices, the reality is similar to organized Mafias compared to street gangs. The Syndicate is born from a conspiracy at the highest levels of Orion society to secure Orion interests and longevity. The Xo-a Kulkaadi reject most Orion culture that the Syndicate upholds as sacred. They do occasionally work together- though it is usually the Syndicate overseeing bands of Xo-a Kulkaadi. The typical Orion Pirate band lacks the precision and resources of the Syndicate. The Syndicate has no issue with using the Pirates as their fall guys and scapegoats. It is that practice that leads to outsider misunderstanding of the two. Many outsiders think they are the same group- they are not.
Smuggling vs. Legitimate Trade
Piracy vs. Privateering vs. Mercenary Action
Sapient enslavement, while still an Orion practice, is in decline. It was far more common before the Federations' foundation and consolidation of local space near the Borderlands. The darkest elements of the Orion Pirates and Orion Syndicate still traffic in sentient beings, but it has twisted into a form of debt servitude. The vilest, most despotic pirate cells will raid shipping lanes and take hostages which they sell to various galacto-political powers- groups like the Breen. None of the Orion Colonies officially sanction slavery any longer; the slave trade is not allowed on Verex III in the 24th Century.
Sometimes known as the "free scum," the Xo-a Kulkaadi have roots in the roving gangs of "Qaj-less" youths, exiles and those of such poor reputation that they could not function in normal, pre-Diaspora Orion society. The Orion Pirates were born out of what is the closest to an "Untouchable" class as Orion civilization has.
Like some of the rebel Qaju that were exiled from Orion (and went on to found Vondem and Kolar), the Xo-a Kulkaadi were rounded up and exiled from the homeworld as well, by those in power trying to prevent a total collapse of Orion's habitability.