“I have lopped off the top and formed a trapezoid!”
This is the phrase in which I end the second part of "A Drop of Blood". For reference, At this point in the story my steampunk brother just revealed he has the missing Holy Coronation Items. My steampunk persona, Gilbert, then drops a bigger reveal that he has the mask of worn by the Technocratic Salvation Front assassin who took the life of Harold the III. And then he starts talking about trapezoids. And this is the point where you must think my persona is a some sort of nutter to talk about trapezoid shapes. Luckily, there is a method to this madness!
Well, the simple answer is I'm making a references to how a society is structured. Now, I have to admit that this isn't my idea or a new one. It's one of the concepts that is discussed in Gordon S. Wood's The Radicalism of the American Revolution. I've hyper-linked the book for those who might want to pick it up. For the rest of us, I'm going to describe the concept below. Given how I'm likely going to use this construct more in my writings, I'll be detailed on how it applies to Antiford specifically.
Let's start first by representing a monarchy with a triangle. Specifically, a triangle with equal angles and sides. The bottom of the triangle is flat with the other two sides reaching up to a point at the top. Starting at the base, we're looking peasants and others of lowest rank. As we head up the sides of the triangle, we are advancing up in class. The tip of the triangle is a single point. This point is the representation of the sovereign in that he sits above everyone. Power in this diagram is from the top going down.
Let's bisect the triangle with a line parallel with the base. The result of this is that we'll have a new smaller triangle above the line and trapezoid figure below it. In our case, we're looking at royalty in the top triangle and the rest of society below the that line. Now that we have this image, the phase spoken by persona has full context and meaning. A bloody one no less.
Let's consider the Antiford Technocractic revolution as having removed the royal triangle leaving the the trapezoid. Here's the the implications of this. The first is that the top of society is parallel with the base. It's an indication of some level of equality up and down. The next implication is that through personal merit, one can rise from the base to the upper level, which is now the top. I want to stress that these are the ideals.
One of the issues in Antiford is that the while the Technocracy runs the country, in practice they haven't fully up held those ideals well. To understand the reason for this, we need to back to the image of the triangle bisected. Let's consider the implications when the bisecting line lies much higher than say at the middle. Well, the top and bottom of the trapezoid are much less equal. Equal in this case being in length. And with a smaller length at the top, it implies there's less room people of merit. Additionally, the height from the base to the top is a much higher climb. Essentially, we've traded the "rule by one" to "rule by a couple".
In the case of Antiford, one could even say that the bisecting line might have cheeped up higher since the revolution instead downward into more equality. The reason for this is that the technocrats did so to help keep control. Let's take the justification for Masquerade Mayhem to help illustrate this idea. Lucius has technology that could disrupt. Before he can apply it himself, it's taken and used by Button. By this act, Lucius is denied advancement upward by those already holding the top. In this case Button. It's an example of power and control at work. Unfortunately this did back fire. Button was killed cause the technocrats reeling and clamped down harder. It's a trend that isn't reversing any time soon, particularly how the technocratic Prush is currently losing control to the Emperor.
Hopefully, I've laid out all the major concepts well and explained the applied usage well. If you've made it this far an your mind isn't mush, I've done my job.