How big is La Familia?

Monday, September 6, 2010 - 01:03 PM

For Drive readers, an interesting question for the upcoming Grand Council is, "How many members are there in La Familia?" As we saw in this past Saturday's strip, getting them all in one place for a meeting hasn't been done for 100 years: And with good reason. Without Familia onboard, large military ships and transports have no one to service their drives. Without Familia running the courts or trade consulates, law and business freeze up. Without Familia...the whole Empire just goes on hold for a week or so.

The last time a council was called, it was just an aging Emperor Conrado, his five middle-age kids, and a smattering of grandkids in adulthood. And in the background, an empire that consisted of Earth, the lunar and Martian colonies, and Veeta.

This time around, it's dozens of planets, a fleet of military and trade ships, and a family numbering in the....

Well, that's the interesting part. Thanks to the kind efforts of Drive reader Brian Huisman, you can plug in the variables yourself, to see how big the family might be after 140 years. Try it out yourself. (We assume that, for political & economic reasons, La Familia encourages an intentionally high number of children, such that each offspring averages five kids. Also: That they have them (on average) between the age of 25-30, that their (average) lifespan is 80 years old, and that males and females both count as "continuing" the family line. Add to that, we know that Conrado already had five children 140 years ago, and can assume that they were near, but not at, adulthood. We also know that, by Fernando's time, there were "1,200" Familia servicing the drive -- but that's just a slice of the total populace, as they serve multiple roles in the Empire.)

Anyway, plug in the variables and see what you get! The number can rise and fall exponentially with tiny tweaks...so I'm still debating where *I'd* like the final tally to be. For now, I'm thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of 6,000-8,000 current members of La Familia.

Anyway, fun stuff!

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