Slave Shield

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Ur-Quan Topics
Kzer-Za • Kohr-Ah
Sentient Milieu
Slave Revolt
Slave War
The Words
Doctrinal Conflict
Second Doctrinal War
Kzer-Za • Kohr-Ah
Path of Now and Forever
Ur-Quan Hierarchy • Battle Thrall • Fallow Slave • Oath of Fealty Doctrinal Conflict
Dreadnought • Marauder • Sa-Matra
Excruciator • Slave Shield • Talking Pet

A slave shield is one of the most significant and recognizable technologies in the galaxy. Developed after the Ur-Quan Slave Revolt by the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za, it is a highly robust, self-maintaining force field implanted around a planet's atmosphere that blocks the passage of all physical objects. It also filters and scatters all radiation that passes through it, causing a visual red halo effect around the planet and causing sunlight from the surface to appear reddened and take on a pulsating appearance. The ultimate symbol of cultural dominance from a Kzer-Za point of view, it is their universal device for humanely confining other species to prevent their ever becoming a threat to the Kzer-Za's survival and freedom. The Kzer-Za dream appears to be to keep all sentient species other than themselves bottled up like this, allowing only Ur-Quan to have the exalted freedom to travel the stars. However, the constant emergence of new technological races necessitates constant vigilance to keep new races slave-shielded, and the immense logistical drain of conquering and slave-shielding other species without using genocidal methods of war has required the Kzer-Za to adopt the compromise of allowing a Hierarchy of un-slave-shielded Battle Thralls in contested regions of space.

Unfortunately for the Kzer-Za, time has proven that their slave shields are not as perfect a solution to the problem of eternally preventing traffic and communication from a planet as they once thought. Very sensitive HyperWave receivers are able to pick up transmissions from across a slave shield, if the message is sent with enough power; the New Alliance of Free Stars was able to communicate with the slave-shielded Chenjesu this way, thanks to the Chenjesu's highly refined natural HyperWave-sensing anatomy. Moreover, the immense technological resources of the Chmmr that emerged after the Unification Process of the Chenjesu and Mmmrnmhrm allowed them to develop a method to "crack" slave shields, using a large grid of satellites to introduce disruptions across the slave-shield's surface until it dissipated. After the Ur-Quan defeat in the Second War, this method was used to free the Alliance races that had been slave-shielded after the First War.

Moreover, it seems likely that over a very long period of time even Kzer-Za technology cannot be perfectly reliable, and slave shields must eventually decay, though it is probably unlikely that a technological culture could maintain itself on a planet's surface that long. This may have happened to the first race ever slave-shielded by the Kzer-Za, the Faz, if speculations of some connection between the Faz and the Utwig -- specifically, an Utwig creation myth that bears resemblance to a slave-shield collapse -- are true.