The Hush of Expansion
Chief Researcher at the Proudon Research Station
Professor Kellan Viad-Lorelli (Allegiance: Proudhon Research Station)
Starting location: Aletheia (Hunan VIII)
Goal: Unite the planet of Aletheia into a proto-hivemind state
Family: Daughter, Son-in-law, grandchildren
Personal finances: Getting by
Personal starship: No
Popular support with faction: Strong
Popular support with home planet (Aletheia): Moderate
Faction strength: Minor
Born in Paris, Earth in 2238 to Amelia, Elsa, and Serena Lorelli who lived at the time in the Viad Urban Commune on the processional path from Versailles to Paris Tower. Viad Commune was a working commune run along a syndicalist basis, and from a young age Kellan was exposed to radical politics (and the political backlash the authorities have against them). By ten he could discuss at great length the history of radicalism and its place in an evolving post-rational society, but his true love was for science and engineering. After a heated row that led to the split of his parent-triad, he and Serena left for Bern where he was to win a place at the esteemed Bern Engineering Academy.
Graduating at 17 with a specialism in quantum computing and artificial intelligence he went on to further studies at the Parisian Technology Institute, taking the opportunity to reunite with Elsa and Amelia. The news that the Viad commune had been dismantled by enforcement troops from the Tower on the orders of the Paris Cite Corporation, who had taken a dislike to the communitarian politics of the group, further instilled radicalism into his fundamental being, and caused him to swear to uphold his roots.
But such principles can easily be forgotten. After graduating from the Institute in Paris he was offered a lucrative contract working on cranial implants in the New Dutch East India Company. The employment was extremely attractive for the young researcher as it allowed him to participate in revolutionary consciousness trials that were only legal in the controversial AFEZ (Asian Free Enterprise Zone). Tempted by the chance to pursue radical advances he accepted, and for the next three decades he worked in the Sangev Laboratory on the new Ring Coast in AFEZ. Consumed by his work his past in radicalism seemed far behind him, and though he paid little attention to his paychecks, he was handsomely rewarded for his devotion.
It was whilst on a vacation at a polar trail resort that Kellan received a wakeup call. He met a young woman (almost half his age) who was both involved intensively in advanced intelligence development, but also held extreme anti-corporate political views. Initially disturbed by her presence, he began to find himself fascinated with her, and by the end of their three week trek found himself, to his own astonishment, accepting a position working with her in a research commune in Brazil. Within a year, he and the young woman (Luana Estelle) were married in a relatively old-fashioned ceremony and Kellan found himself with a life outside of research for the first time in thirty years.
It was a slow reawakening, but as it came he began to realise how badly misled he had been by NDEIC – deceived as to the military and enforcement applications of his work and lied to about his contributions to humanitarian projects. With free net access for the first time in years he was quick to discover the atrocities that NDEIC had been responsible for, and had concealed from him inside the AFEZ. Outraged he began to release many of the confidential projects he had worked on to much public alarm and media attention. NDEIC, furious, took him to court but found that his actions were constitutionally protected within the state of Brazil.
It’s hard to say now whether it was an officially sanctioned action by NDEIC, or just the snap judgement of one of its executives, but six months after the court case ended, fully nine years since Luana and Kellan had been married, a hired killer entered their home and opened fire with an illegal disruptor carbine. Luana and their two sons, Jaime and Paulo, were killed in the attack, but Kellan and his daughter Laura survived.
Consumed by grief and terrified that he and his daughter would be subject to further attacks, Kellan decided to leave Earth and the Sol system, and travel out into the diaspora. Eventually he began to think on the best way to honour his wife and her legacy, and, using contacts he had accumulated over the years, founded a research centre on the surface of Aletheia in the Hunan system. This sparsely-populated water world had no central government, and so Kellan hoped it would be free of political interference.
It has been 23 years since then, and Proudhon Research Station has grown from a single have with half a dozen researchers to a thriving colony of almost ten thousand, only about a tenth of which are actually scientists of any kind. Though the colony organises itself along communitarian and anrcho-syndicalist lines, but Kellan has remained a prominent figure in the settlement, and is well-respected due to his long his calm and considered approach to issues, and acts a figurehead to negotiate with outsiders.