NEW Story: The Fountain
⚠️ This article is archived, and should be considered non-canon.
On Tuesday, two casualties were reported among Vekllei’s Folifedestarmie 24th and 25th Garden Companies in the ongoing war to make the capital’s parks the finest in the world. Michael Helen-Louisviuan cut his leg on an exposed nail during the deinstallation of old fence posts, and Ana Po cut her thumb on a rose. Both attackers were neutralised appropriately, through planned deinstallation and some mild pruning. The reports were passed onto the local Garden command, where they were filed and will eventually be destroyed after ten years.
In Vekllei, where a military service of four years is mandatory between the ages of 18 and 32, the purpose of conscription is twofold; first, to ensure the citizenry is at least lightly trained should an invasion follow a nuclear strike, and second; to ensure that important jobs in the country that are not easily automated are always filled.
A breakdown of the most common roles a Vekllei person will enter upon conscription:
- Construction, 22%
- Misc. support roles for the armed forces, 18%
- Combat roles in the armed forces, 15%
- Arts work including architecture and garden preservation, 8%
- Local policing, 6%
- National policing, 4%
- Service roles, 4%
- Education, 2%
- Politics, 2%
- Other misc. work, 19%
The garden battalions are not simply the pacifist’s way out — there are many other jobs for principled people. Instead, they appeal mostly to those nearing the end of their eligible conscription age who are looking to get service out of the way before family-making or major career advancement.
In this sense, conscription for most Vekllei people is a rite of passage that mimics preindustrial ritual, and otherwise defines the transition to adulthood in a country that has largely desegregated aged schooling. It is one of the few times in a Vekllei persons’ life in which the organs of power of the country will interfere directly with their lives, making conscription a welcome structure for young Vekllei boys n gals not yet sure what to do with their lives. Indeed, many of the roles taken on during service will echo throughout their working lives, as gardeners become council planners and labourers become robotics engineers.
The truth of automation and work as pleasure is that the unfettered freedom and hedonism of the Vekllei lifestyle can often feel as aimless and agoraphobic as it does liberating. The four years of service in Vekllei’s military reflect Vekllei in total — both in its confronting usurpation of traditional institutions by petticoat ideology and in its tantalising, insatiable liberty and pleasure. The military will let you dip a finger into that well, and help prepare your posture for the leap.
Tzipora: “They were telling me! ‘We never planted them here!’ The idiots! Look at it. Tell me that is not a god-damned rose. Sitting under this rock. They must have planted them last spring. I was resting in the sun. That’s how I found it.”
If you have any questions, let me know! Check out www.vekllei.city, @melon.kony, and r/vekllei for more!