Mesa (Honorverse)

Mesa (Honorverse)

Infobox HonorverseOrganizations
name = Mesa
formofgovernment = Corporate Monopoly
officiallanguage = Standard English
homeplanet = Mesa
capital =
headofstate =
headofgovernment = Head
of the Mesan Strategy Council
(governing council)
seniormilitarycommander = in rank of Commodore
executivebranch = governing council
legislativebranch =
military = Mesan Navy
establishment =
currency = Solarian credit

Mesa is a fictional star nation that appears in David Weber's Honorverse, as well as in some anthology stories based in the same universe written by Eric Flint. In the more recent novels and stories of the Honorverse, Mesa has been slowly replacing Haven as the main antagonist nation.

Mesa is an independent planet located within Solarian League space. It was founded by a group of renegade Beowulfans who rejected the Beowulf code. [ [ Why does Mesa still exist?] ] Mesa is controlled by a Council of several interstellar corporations. The best-known of these is Manpower Incorporated, a company that grows genetically engineered humans as slaves. Another major Mesan corporation is the Jessyk Combine, a transport corporation mostly controlled by Manpower which operates its fleet of slave transports.

Mesa probably has the highest level of genetic engineering in the galaxy (primarily since the technology is shunned by most planets). The Mesans' skill at genetic engineering is used to produce slaves that are designed for various functions, but it has also been used in a long term plan to "improve" the leaders of Mesa.

Genetic slavery

Although slavery is outlawed in most of the galaxy, Solarian bureaucracies and large corporations find tolerance of slavery, Manpower, and Mesa generally to be advantageous. Some star nations, notably the Star Kingdom of Manticore and the Republic of Haven (formerly the People's Republic of Haven), are far less tolerant. Their navies have long stringently enforced anti-slavery agreements, and even a few Solarian Navy commanders do as well, often by turning captured slave transports over to navies of Manticore or the Republic. As a result, Mesa is in a long term and somewhat active cold war with at least two star nations. It is in a much hotter war with the Audubon Ballroom, an organization of escaped slaves whose policy includes kidnapping and assassination of those involved in the slave trade.

Manpower's main market is the Solarian League, or rather some large corporations in the League. They use slave labor industrially and at pleasure resorts. Both uses are illegal, but somewhat tolerated in practice. Slaves are also marketed in the Silesian Confederacy, often also to large, though shady, based in Silesia and elsewhere. When Manticore and the Andermani Empire seized control of the Confederacy at the resumption of the Haven-Manticore war after several years of cease-fire and "negotiations", the prospects for slavery in Silesia took a turn for the worse.

Manpower and other Mesan multistellar corporations have numerous facilities off Mesa, but these have been under some pressure on occasion from some navies, and from the Audubon Ballroom in every case it can manage to undermine Mesan operations. One of the most famous Mesan off-world facilities was the planet Verdant Vista (a.k.a. Congo) recently liberated by a joint Manticoran–Solarian–Audubon Ballroom operation and transformed into the independent Kingdom of Torch.

"At All Costs" depicts a meeting of important Mesan corporate officials, and it is stated for the first time that Mesa is involved in plots covering centuries, possibly with the eventual goal of controlling all of human-settled space. (Albrecht Detweiler, the apparent Mesan chief executive, is probably the descendant of Leonard Detweiler, who was a major proponent of genetic engineering and an opponent of the Cherwell Convention.) Mesan nanotechnology is currently being used by their operatives to forestall any peace talks between Haven and Manticore, out of fear that the two nations and their allies would turn against their one true common enemy: Mesa itself. Unfortunately for Mesa, these particular activities have now attracted the attention and suspicions of Victor Cachat and Anton Zilwicki, who are investigating the matter.

Manpower Incorporated

Manpower Incorporated is a Mesa-based business that specializes in manufacturing genetic slaves. Although slavery is outlawed in much of the galaxy, the company does not seem to have any trouble staying in business. Its main market can be found in the Solarian League.


Most of Manpower's slaves are artificially conceived. Manpower "gengineers" first manipulate genetic material so that the final product suits the purpose for which he or she is designed. The genetic material is then used to grow a batch of slaves in a breeding chamber. Each batch contains between three to five infants. each slave has a number genetically encoded onto their tongue which specifies their gender, purpose, and batch number.

Although the company officially claims to know enough about the human genome, it would be impossible to produce slaves that will perform exactly to specifications, if this were not the case. All slave children are subjected to the "phenotype development process," under the ruse that Manpower, Inc. does not genetically engineer its "product." This is a brutal conditioning process that is more likely intended to break a slave's spirit.


Manpower designs slaves for a variety of roles.


Pleasure slaves are essentially sex slaves. They are designed to be attractive, submissive, and libidinally energetic. As part of the phenotype development process they are frequently raped by one of Manpower's phenotype technicians from the age of nine onwards.

As a group, pleasure slaves are often clever and a high percentage of them manage to escape after they are sold.


These slaves are produced for assembly and manufacturing jobs. Physically they are fairly strong, and mentally they are mechanically inclined.

Other types

Manpower also offers slaves bred and trained as personal servants, technical combat, and heavy manual labor.

Audubon Ballroom

Although the phenotype development process is intended to increase submissiveness and reduce escape rates, a fair number of slaves do escape. Of those who do, most take new names, and live the rest of their lives in obscurity. Some however, join the Audubon Ballroom, and fight back against Mesa. Manpower employees who are captured by members of the Ballroom, often die very badly.


*Weber, David, and Eric Flint. "Crown of Slaves". Baen Books, 2005. ISBN 0743498992.
*Flint, Eric. "From the Highlands", a short story in "Changer of Worlds". ISBN 0743435206.

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