The Rank system or ‘Rank’ is a medium of exchange for goods and services in the universe of D’Olex. It is a numerical system – the higher a citizen’s Rank – the more wealth and prestige they possess. Rank is transacted via Rank cards. These cards are palm-sized, wafer-thin and easily carried in a pocket. Rank can be added to or subtracted from a Rank card. The Rank system is the common currency throughout the Gstaddt and the Alliance of Planets. Citizens can use Rank on all planets and across all star systems.
It is not explained in the book series thus far what units of measurement are used in the Rank system, however we know that (Rank) Two Hundred buys a crispy rodent in the star system of Thruress. To which the POV character Illick notes, “That is the price of thieves!”
The Interstellar Quorum embraced the wide use of Rank as their preferred medium of exchange, although readers learn it was the Valkers who created the Rank system in the first place. The Alliance of Planets adopted Rank shortly after.
“It was we Valkers who introduced Rank to the star systems. We did it to standardise currencies across an expanding Gstaddt. Though it did not take long for the Interstellar Quorum to adopt Rank as their own.”
War and Rank
War across the star systems has had an effect on food supply, and in turn has increased the Rank required to purchase scarce food. Citizens who cannot afford to buy goods are often referred to as Rankless (having a lack of Rank) – a loose translation would be “penniless”. To counter the plight of the hungry, Valkers readily conduct free food handouts in major cities across the Gstaddt. This act of giving (kindness or smokescreen) plays well into the hearts and minds of citizens, so much so, that some cities would defend their reptilian masters against the Alliance’s liberating forces.
A Divisive system
Rank has created a class system whereby the many citizens in D’Olex are either excessively wealthy or poverty-stricken. Several characters in Book 1 provide differing viewpoints on the Rank system.
“You are where you are because of the Rank system. Or have you forgotten how well you live in that tower of yours? You need to see the bigger picture, and realise that what keeps us empowered is the same mechanism that keeps the citizens in check – Rank.”