All life begins and ends in the Space Between. - Guide Creed
The Ciceronean homeworld was destroyed by a supernova over 1000 years ago. As an advanced spacefaring race, they were able to save their culture by moving to the stars.
The Ciceronean Guides were formed to introduce new spacefaring races to the wonders of the Space Between and exploration of the beauties of the universe. Since technology is a limiting factor for many races, the Ciceronean Guides provide platforms that allow lower technology races to attach their short range vehicles to the much faster Cicerone ships.
Ciceronean Guides consider space exploration to be the given right of all beings, so that they have the ability to commune with their creator. They find solace and connection in the depths of the Space Between.
Dotted throughout the universe, the Cicerone have built lighthouses. In each lighthouse, there is a Chief Guide station which can function as a place of worship or a venue for scientific discussions. Organizationally, each station head (Chief Guide) is equal. Together they make up the network, a group that votes on any regulations or changes in policy.
Each Chief Guide takes a turn at being the Primary Guide for a Ciceronean year, with the rotation passing from person to person based on a lot that is drawn from the Chief Guide pool. If an individual has served as a Primary within the last 10 years, their name is automatically removed from the pool.
Individual caravans or TREINs are run by Guide families.
Ciceroneans in general prefer to spend their entire lives in space. Because the lighthouses are fixed bases, even though they are in space, they feel too sedentary for most Cicerone. As a result it is not uncommon for lighthouse crews to move from station to station with routine frequency. Personnel are considered interchangeable with rotations from the lighthouses to the TREINs common in order to exercise their wanderlust.
The organization's seat is based in Lighthouse 1, located nearest to the system that once housed the Ciceronean home world.
Because each lighthouse only has one Chief Guide, their movement is more coordinated than that of the general crew. When a Chief Guide feels the need to relocate, they will reach out to several lighthouse posts that they would like to explore. Arrangements are made between Chief Guides for the swap. Ciceroneans are used to these constant changes which can confuse outsiders.
Stability of policy is considered critical to prevent the organizational fluctuations from devolving into anarchy.
Organizationally, they are closest to a Thalassocracy, or maritime power. Where they exist in space, they exercise total control over the space they occupy. However, they do not consider it necessary to control any space where they have been or may be in the future. Their control only exists while they are physically in a place. All else is the Space Between.
Aside from their lighthouses, the Ciceroneans claim no territory. The Guides claim only the offices and quarters of the Chief Guide on each lighthouse and the physical position around any TREIN. Anyone flying close enough to impact the mission of a TREIN will face a more formidable foe than would be anticipated. Wherever the TREIN is, that area is under Ciceronean control, but only for as long as the TREIN is there.
All Guides are trained in the use of their native weaponry. While they are a peace-loving people, they are also essentially one giant army.
While the culture of the Guides varies from clan to clan, their devotion to the Guide religion is absolute. Any individual who settles in one location or denies the beauty of the Space Between is immediately exiled from their clan.
The Guides work hard to be friends to all, refusing to take sides in any war or conflict. They refuse to transport weapons, however, weapons are often smuggled aboard the TREINs without direct involvement by the Guides. With their advanced technology, outsiders would assume that the Guides are capable of preventing this type of smuggling, so it is believed that they are content to look the other way provided travel in the Space Between is not impacted by any local conflict.
Agriculture & Industry
Lighthouses and TREINS each have a pod for growing food to sustain the clan and crew in charge. The younger members of the society tend the gardens until they are old enough to take up other positions. Many choose to remain as farmers, merely changing location periodically.
Trade & Transport
All interstellar trade moves within the realm of the Guides. While they do not mandate that trade pass through their hands, it often does merely by default. As such, their economy is fueled by the interstellar trade that they enable.
There are other significantly advanced space faring races, but for everyday transport, the TREINS are often the most cost effective way to move goods.
Guides are educated within the clan system, each clan having its own standards and methods.
Culturally, all must pass a competency test in their chosen role. If a Guide changes career, they must only pass the competency test in the new career and will be allowed to switch.
Less prestigious roles within the society are often given to outsiders, slaves, or artificially created life forms.
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