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Slaves and prolong

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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by tlb   » Sun Sep 25, 2022 2:40 pm

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tlb wrote:I expect that Manpower Inc ensures that no slave can conceive, but assume that procedure is reversible. The way that slaves are generally worked pretty much guarantees that no slave will live what would be considered a life of normal length, which is a partial reason why the slave owners will not pay the additional amount for prolong treatment.

Somtaaw wrote:It was in one of the Torch novels, that (labor) slaves are even knocking each other up in the pens almost before Mesa has shipped them. They even 'encourage' slaves to form couples and to care for the child themselves.

Pleasure slaves may have their reproductive capabilities inhibited in one way or another most of the time. Because a pregnant pleasure slave isn't as able to provide as much pleasure, unless the final client were to want to be able to knock up their slaves.


Edit: found the clip, but it didn't specifically mention it's the slaves knocking each other up, but 'breeding vats' is rather unclear.

Torch of Freedom, Ch12 wrote: Even from Manpower's viewpoint, there were advantages to having slaves raising the youngsters who came out of the breeding vats instead of Manpower having to do it directly. It was a lot cheaper, if nothing else. So, Manpower was often willing to let slave couples stay together and keep their "children." With some lines of slaves, at least. They wouldn't allow slaves destined to be personal servants—certainly not pleasure slaves—any such entanglements. But with most of the labor varieties, it didn't much matter. Those slaves would be sold in large groups to people needing a lot of labor. It was usually possible to keep the families of such slaves more or less intact in the course of the transactions, since both the seller and the buyer had a vested interest in doing so. Having slaves raising their own children was cheaper for the buyer of the labor force, too.

No, breeding vats and "children" in quotes are NOT unclear; the breeding vats are the mechanical wombs where the members of a slave line are created and biological children would NOT need to be in quotes.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:21 pm

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kzt wrote:
kzt wrote:It doesn't matter. The age when a subject can breed is all that matters, not when they die. And there are decent reasons to want to see how things interact.
ZVar wrote:It does matter if they are also testing what happens 3 generations later, or even 10-20 generations later.

Nope.

Woman has child at 16. Child has child at 16. Grandchild has child at 16. Great gradchild has child at 16. Does it matter if the great grandmother is still alive?

Not for seeing what happens 3, or 4 generations later. Those genetics are already passed on and you'll see what happens to them whether the great grandmother, or even the great great grandmother had died or lives another century.

But there are two conflicting desires that might push or pull to MAlign towards natural longevity (or not) for their slave lines.

1. In order to sell the slaves, and maintain the façade that Manpower is a profit oriented company, while continuing their experiments in gene slicing the various genetic slave lines they need a steady demand for slaves. And excessive longevity tends to depress that demand as slave owners don't need replacements as frequently.

2. OTOH they are trialing genetic adjustments with the hope of finding and perfecting ones worthy of eventual incorporation into the Alpha and Star lines. They not only want long natural lifespans in those elite lines, but also that their trial subjects live long enough for any mid- to late- life issues to crop up -- so they have a chance to either mitigate them or abandon a line as a candidate for incorporation. (It'd be pretty embarrassing to incorporate some promising new genetic trait and it turns out it has a side effect of very high rates of dementia in the subjects' 70s; which you never discovered because all your test subjects died by their 60s... oops)



That ability to perform genetic selection based on late-life issues, after the ability/desire for procreation, is one way selected evolution or genetic engineering is potentially more powerful than evolution through natural selection. Natural selection by-and-large doesn't much 'care' what happens after an organism can no longer reproduce. (It 'cares' a little because a parent that's still around to contribute more to the survival of their offspring gives those offsprings' genes a bit better chance of being passed on; but there isn't a strong selection pressure for longevity)
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by Brigade XO   » Tue Sep 27, 2022 5:41 pm

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Paulo d'Arezzo (presently dating Helen Zilwicki) is one of a long series of children of former slaves - in this case he and his father survived the capture of the slaver they were on though his mother did not- so Slaves can have children and two slaves CAN have children together.

Those we see are generally those who have gone into the RMN so, other than some of the odder things (like having cat's eyes etc) they can't truly have any serious medical problems or aberrations which would cause known health problems.

No mention of genetic programing that would cause early death, no- that we are yet told about- festering medical problems that are age related. The more common thing seems that the slaves don't get Prolong although in the case of people like Paulo that would have come when he arrived at a Manticore intake center and certainly by the time he was accepted into the Academy- he was young enough- but with his father applying for citizenship, Paulo along as a minor, would have been eligible for medical care even if his father may have been too old for Prolong.
We also have all those Seccies on Mesa who came out of the factories and now are having children with others of their casts on Mesa.

I don't think Manpower actually cared about the ability of the slaves to have viable children. Are they producing slaves on order (probably some) but in general how long does it take to decant a genetic slave and bring it to the point where they can function both on their own and have been taught the sets of skills that would make them useful to buyers? Not clear.
On the other hand, what would the actual life expectancy be for a slave who didn't get Prolong and what are the chances that they wouldn't make it to that projected age, particularly if they didn't get adequate medial care from their owners? Catastrophic injury, serious illness (how many planets/systems do the get sold out too) environmental problems that cause cancers -and what will the owner find might be "cost effective" to allow the slave to continue on doing their "jobs".
Remember, the presentation seems to be that most slave buyers don't think of these people as people but more like self directing animals and machines. They are disposable. If you get a 15yr old slave and they are most likely going to live to 60 if they don't get significantly damaged by "whatever", how much are you going to spend for medical assistance beyond sending them to the infirmary for aspirin etc.?
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by tlb   » Tue Sep 27, 2022 5:58 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:Paulo d'Arezzo (presently dating Helen Zilwicki) is one of a long series of children of former slaves - in this case he and his father survived the capture of the slaver they were on though his mother did not- so Slaves can have children and two slaves CAN have children together.

I think there is some ambiguity there. It has already been pointed out that Manpower lets slaves care for child slaves, because that is an easier way to give care as they mature. A child in that circumstance would consider them as mother and father, and they would the same as adopted parents. But everyone still could have come out of the vats.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Sep 27, 2022 6:12 pm

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tlb wrote:I think there is some ambiguity there. It has already been pointed out that Manpower lets slaves care for child slaves, because that is an easier way to give care as they mature. A child in that circumstance would consider them as mother and father, and they would the same as adopted parents. But everyone still could have come out of the vats.


True, though in Paulo's case, it was implied he was a biological child of slaves. Would need to check the precise text of when he's talking to Helen about not having had biosculpt. It's possible this was simply my (our) reading too much into what he really said, and that his legal father in Manticore is not his biological father.

Either way, why is Manpower shipping immature slave children in slaver ships? I get caring for them in the breeding and raising institutions, but why ship them across the galaxy at all?

There were some very sick people who would receive them (I think Massimo Filareta was implied to be one such), but it didn't seem like Manpower officially catered for this market. The unofficial, black market would probably not be shipped in Jessyk ships.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by tlb   » Tue Sep 27, 2022 7:20 pm

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tlb wrote:I think there is some ambiguity there. It has already been pointed out that Manpower lets slaves care for child slaves, because that is an easier way to give care as they mature. A child in that circumstance would consider them as mother and father, and they would the same as adopted parents. But everyone still could have come out of the vats.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:True, though in Paulo's case, it was implied he was a biological child of slaves. Would need to check the precise text of when he's talking to Helen about not having had biosculpt. It's possible this was simply my (our) reading too much into what he really said, and that his legal father in Manticore is not his biological father.

Either way, why is Manpower shipping immature slave children in slaver ships? I get caring for them in the breeding and raising institutions, but why ship them across the galaxy at all?

There were some very sick people who would receive them (I think Massimo Filareta was implied to be one such), but it didn't seem like Manpower officially catered for this market. The unofficial, black market would probably not be shipped in Jessyk ships.

It is in chapter 28 of Shadow of Saganami:
"I didn't say it was natural genetics," he said, his deep, musical voice suddenly so harsh that she sat bolt upright. His eyes met hers, and the cool gray was no longer cool. It was hot, like molten quartz. And then, suddenly, shockingly, he stuck out his tongue at her.
It was a gesture she'd seen before—seen from "terrorists" like Jeremy X and scholars like Web Du Havel. But she'd never seen the genetic bar code of a genetically engineered slave on the tongue of a fellow Naval officer. He showed it to her for perhaps five seconds, then closed his mouth, gray eyes still blazing.
"If you think I'm good-looking," Paulo said bitterly, "you should have seen my mother. I never did—or not that I remember, anyway. She died when I was less than a year old. But my father's described her to me often enough. He had to describe her because he couldn't show me—Manpower doesn't let its slaves have pictures of each other."

If you truly believe Paulo is a biological child of two slaves, then you need to describe how he gets a unique slave number on his tongue. A slave number, that we are told in another book, consists of a catalog code, a batch number and a number for order out of the vat.

If it is a slave ship by the equipment clause, then everything about it is black-market and Jessyk was in it to the max.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Sep 27, 2022 7:50 pm

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tlb wrote:If you truly believe Paulo is a biological child of two slaves, then you need to describe how he gets a unique slave number on his tongue. A slave number, that we are told in another book, consists of a catalog code, a batch number and a number for order out of the vat.


Very good point, I'd forgotten about that and remembered only what he said about "mother" and "father." This means Paulo is himself an escaped slave and must have been at most 15 T-years old when he escaped. Probably younger, in fact; he needed to get an education of some sort in Manticore before applying to Saganami Island.

If it is a slave ship by the equipment clause, then everything about it is black-market and Jessyk was in it to the max.


I meant to make a distinction between the massive slaver ships that carried thousands of slaves, like the one that Ruth and Berry boarded in Crown of Slaves, or the one that Jack McBryde was extracted from Mesa in, to smaller ships. According to pre-conquest Mesan law, Jessyk was doing nothing illegal in shipping slaves. They did hide from Cherwell Convention warships, but one assumes that at origin and destination, they had no need to hide at all.

But trafficking in children might run afoul of other problems, even where slavery was legal, especially if it became known who was meant to receive those. If the presence of children was very rare, hiding that someone was getting them at destination could be problematic. And if it wasn't rare, then why were they being shipped?

Or maybe I'm just applying my own morality and those folks who were in systems that condoned slavery didn't care about the age of the slave or what they were going to be used for, any more than they'd care if a table was brand new or centuries old.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by tlb   » Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:10 pm

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tlb wrote:If you truly believe Paulo is a biological child of two slaves, then you need to describe how he gets a unique slave number on his tongue. A slave number, that we are told in another book, consists of a catalog code, a batch number and a number for order out of the vat.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Very good point, I'd forgotten about that and remembered only what he said about "mother" and "father." This means Paulo is himself an escaped slave and must have been at most 15 T-years old when he escaped. Probably younger, in fact; he needed to get an education of some sort in Manticore before applying to Saganami Island.

Well, if you read a paragraph or two later; he states that he does not remember his mother (who died when the slave ship was captured). All that he knows of her, he heard from his father. So he was being shipped as barely more than a baby.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:28 pm

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tlb wrote:Well, if you read a paragraph or two later; he states that he does not remember his mother (who died when the slave ship was captured). All that he knows of her, he heard from his father. So he was being shipped as barely more than a baby.


Thanks, now that you've pointed the passage, I've found it. He does indeed say that his mother died was "killed in the process" of the RMN intercepting the slaver, and since he'd said she had died when he was less than one year old, it means he's been a Manticore citizen for practically all his life and therefore got the regular education.

But that still begs the question of why Manpower was shipping a baby in the first place. I really don't think there's a market for slave babies. If someone wants to play at raising children, they could just adopt or foster one. Anyone rich enough to buy a slave can afford to foster. And even then they'd probably wait until the child in question has learnt to sleep through the night.

That means that the reason can't have been sales, but instead intra-company "inventory shipping." I'd thought of this before, but had discarded it as uneconomical. However cheap shipping finished goods over interstellar distances may be in the HV, I can't see how shipping people is. It should probably be cheaper to co-locate the necessary facilities to complete whatever training is required with the breeding vats themselves. I'm not talking about Paulo's or any other baby's education, but that of his mother or father: if they were being shipped in the first place, I would expect that it's for delivery after sales is complete.

We do know that the economics of the HV often don't make sense. This is one more: a plot necessity to have Paulo be an ex-slave and also that he had needed an education to apply to Saganami Island.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by kzt   » Wed Sep 28, 2022 1:00 am

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They were shipping families. As the Confederacy showed, families can be an effective way to increase your number of slaves.
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