Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Persona non Grata

One of the more interesting and highly effective forms of punishment for certain crimes against Polite Society that has grown in popularity as an alternative to the Spheres is to render the convicted a non-person or to simply shun or banish them. In effect, what is done is the DNA contained within the convicted person's Gold Sequence is encapsulated in a translucent shell that is then tuned to become darker and less accessible to the Deep Infrastructure. The more severe the sentence, the darker the attunement and the less access the convicted has to Local, Municipal or Metropolitan services such as mass transit, communications, or even some aspects of emergency services. They can no longer take most of these sorts of things for granted. They also cannot cross various gate thresholds without express permission, and many of their fundamental rights are proscribed, forfeit or held in abeyance until they satisfy various conditions or make restitution for their crimes.

The assimilation-fever involved in implementing this form of deepscale punishment is difficult, and needs to be monitored within a medical facility such as at the Jolille Facility. This is not something that is meant to be handed-out willy-nilly. It is for those individuals who pose a clear and present threat to Polite Society, those rare personalities that cannot be simply exiled or dropped into a nondescript hellworld or lost in the barren wastes of the Blasted Outback. These are the sorts of criminals who need to be excised from Civilization with no chance of return.  Of course, that is the Doctrinal Ideal, and there have been several instances where Rescue-Extraction Teams have been covertly sent out to Recover certain non-persons for various discrete reasons, most of which are still classified as Official Secrets and thus not immediately available to the Public.

There are several popular vidramas that use the non-person trope within their various storylines, usually as a cautionary moral lesson, but a few have been wildly successful with fictionalized returned or restored non-persons turned avengers or members of the so-called Identity Underground, which Simply Does Not Exist.

Those rendered fully non-persons cannot access anything beyond the most basic Public Access systems, and then only by simple proximity, with no recognition or acknowledgement whatsoever. These non-persons no longer can access their previous personal property as it is registered to a definite identity that they can no longer access or claim. Every door quickly closes and very few open for them. They only register as ambient biological masses to most of the subsystems and every form of law enforcement, regulatory body, immune-response-service, and so forth are the only ones who know where they are every moment of every day that they remain within the bounds of Polite Society. Should they linger overlong, as in more than twenty-four hours, most non-persons are considered fair-game for snuffers, slavers, or worse...especially since they no longer have any rights, not even those accorded to property. Some few do not receive this period of grace, but such a sentence is very, very rare and quite extreme and is sure to attact the attentions of various paparazzi, journalists or watchdogs. It is an abuse of the system that has brought down more than a few corrupt officials in past regimes.

As a courtesy, every means of egress is made immediately available to these non-persons just by coming into close proximity to an empty cab, deserted raft, skiffblimp or whatever. They can freely enter the Pararail terminal and ride the trains for as long as they wish so long as they keep moving outwards and away from the locus of their sentence.

It is considered Traditional to provide the non-person with a slingable bundle containing a knife, salt, fire-making supplies and a datatablet with Public Domain access so as to give them a chance of survival.

Getting Sent to Coventry
If the sentence is some form of Involuntary Absentia or being sent to Coventry, then the individual is expected to leave the bounds of Civilization and never return. Those who invoke the Benediction of Saint Heinlein gain access to a full panoply of tools, weapons, and so forth that they are freely given in order to go off and start a new life elsewhere. These individuals are also promptly escorted to an Obelisk Gate for permanent Exile, remanded to the custody of a one-way banishment-blimp, or criosealed into a freight-pod scheduled for delivery out past the Perimeter where competing agents bid for the opportunity to transport it as far out and away from all settled areas as possible. A transponder in the pod ensures that once the pod is at its final destination, the local gates are all polarized and detuned, stranding the convict as outside as is possible. During the Retroclastic Regime that seized office during a war-time scare, some non-persons were actually fitted into solarsails and sent off into the yawning void of space. This was deemed both an extravagant waste of resources and a terrible abuse of power and at their own trial under their successors, the primary officers of the Retroclastics were themselves sealed into solarsails and sent off into the void.

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