Forty-five years after Peladon was admitted into the Galactic Federation, opening up its trisilicate exports to a market of 28 worlds, today the planet goes to the polls on whether to unilaterally leave.
Despite reaping unquestionable economic benefits, Peladon has always been a reluctant Federation member, holding its traditions close to its chest in the face of increasing cultural homogenisation across the 28 worlds.
Those traditions, including Aggedor-worship and the right of individual mining companies to work their miners to an early grave, have been evoked repeatedly by floppy-haired high priest Boresh, and Govar, the junior priest whose official title within the priesthood of Aggedor, Lickspittle of the Beast, is currently the subject of a high court injunction.
Boresh has consistently reminded Peladonians that the planet ships 350 million tons of trisilicate to the Federation each week, which could be better used at home. Notably though, this figure has turned out to be inaccurate in every conceivable way.
Economic experts predict the imminent collapse of Peladon’s economy if the rocky world with the quirky semi-mythical Royal Beast votes to pull out of the Federation.
‘The people of Peladon are sick of these “experts” with their “science” and their “verifiable reality”’ Govar explained. ‘Entrail-reading was good enough for their fathers and their fathers’ fathers – it’s good enough for modern Peladonians too.’The PEXIT debate though has never been entirely confined to economics. Issues of sovereignty have played a part, with the Federation increasingly pushing for a democratic system of government on Peladon.
King Peladon IV, being asked his views on this creeping democratisation on united worlds, remarked that the Federation ‘can kiss my lily-white crown-wearing, grape-eating, hereditary monarch ass’ – giving PEXIT campaigners a much-needed figure around whom to rally.
Controversy has dogged the PEXIT campaign from the beginning. Alongside the official campaign, more extreme groups like the Sons of Aggedor and Peladon First have thrown their weight behind a PEXIT vote, turning off many voters with their focus on the ‘glorious’ idea of a ‘Little Peladon’ and a demand that ‘We Want our Planet Back.’ The call comes in response not to the 32 actual attempted invasions Peladon has repelled since joining the Federation, but instead to the creeping ‘Terranisation’ supporters claim is undermining Peladonian society. Along the way, Deputy Leader of Peladon First, Angie McEarthgirl, was forced to retract her organisation’s call for the repatriation of all Peladon residents who could not prove they were pure-born Peladonians for three generations when it emerged that her grandfather was an Ice Lord, and her grandmother came from Guildford. The clue was probably in the name.
In what has been one of the most bitter campaigns in recent Peladonian history, events took a sombre tone though when a protestor affiliated to the Sons of Aggedor dressed up as the legendary beast and gored Premain campaigner Joral Notharmafli to death in the corridors of Peladon’s Royal Palace. When apprehended by palace guards, the killer gave his name as ‘So strikes Aggedor the Mighty against all Federation traitors.’
The Sons of Aggedor have accused the Premain campaign of making hay from the murder. ‘Jeesh, it’s not like everything’s political you know, Vote Pexit!’ said their leader, Faresh of the Tiny Staff.
The Sons of Aggedor have also claimed Peladon’s healthcare service is being overwhelmed by Federation nationals, swarming to the backwater world to steal the resources of hard-working Peladonians. The claim stands in stark contrast to the easily-available figures which prove it’s largely Federation citizens, enabled through the free-movement clauses of Peladon’s membership, who are currently keeping the Peladonian healthcare system from collapsing under its own weight.
‘Entrails!’ said Govar when quizzed about the disparity between the scaremongering claims and the reality.
Meanwhile, Camerarch the Shifty, Chief Advisor to the King and leader of the Premain supporters, has seemed increasing desperate in the final days leading up to the vote, coining odder and more disconnected slogans to rouse Premain voters to the polls. His latest message boils down the complexities of union with a federation of worlds into ultra-simplicity: On a planet-wide broadcast, he pleaded ‘Peladon – don’t Pelad-off.’ Political observers have been working round the clock to distinguish any meaning or insight in his plea, but have yet to find any. Corbo, the self-styled ‘Miner’s Champion,’ went on record to support his nominal adversary’s position. ‘Like…yeah,’ he told reporters. ‘I just think, right, it’d be a revolutionary idea, right, if we could all just be, like nice to one another. Just imagine what that could be like, yeah? Mind-blowing. You get to be nice to a whole lot more people within the Federation, so yeah…Premain. It’s the cool thing to do.’
With both the polls and the entrails of small squeaky creatures currently too close to call, Peladon’s destiny remains uncertain.
Peladonians – get to your voting pods. The Future of Peladon is in your hands.