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Asal Janto was a female Payav, native to the nation-state of Domtos on planet Mestiko. Asal was a classmate and friend of Raya elMora during their time in university, and the two were both active together in environmental causes.
As of 2274, Asal was a Councillor to the Zamestaad, where she advocated for the construction of a global radiation shield, in order to protect Mestiko from a repeat of the destruction caused by "the Pulse" nine years earlier. This put her at odds politically with Raya, who had become Jo'Zamestaad.
In 2274, Asal aligned herself with the mar-Atyya religious faction, giving them secular political legitimacy, and helping lead the revolution that overthrew the Zamestaad and sent Raya and her loyalists into exile.
Asal was nominally the leader of the Synod, which governed Mestiko following the revolution, though in reality, mar-Atyya leader Odra maVolan wielded the true power of state. By 2279, given the deterioration of Mestiko's ecology and Odra's increasingly repressive policies, Asal had begun to lose her previously uncompromising faith. However, she tempered her criticisms until 2282, when the threat of a popular revolution lead Asal, backed by the Synod, to call for free elections. (TOS eBook: Mere Anarchy: The Darkness Drops Again)
Following Raya elMora's victory in those elections, Asal was allowed to resume her role as Councillor, given her support of the elections and other reforms. However, she remained a political rival, and was a vocal opponent of the Discovery Center Raya established on Varnex. (TOS eBook: Mere Anarchy: The Blood-Dimmed Tide)