PEOPLES AFRICAN UNION
The chartering of the Peoples African Union was the culmination of what
has been called the sub-Saharan Renaissance. A new generation of political
thinkers and cultural organizers used the chaos of the years following the
Great Mistake to build pockets of good governance and stability, then
gradually expanded and combined, focusing on continental self-reliance,
traditional values of communalism, and a newly-developed sense of shared
destiny. These states were able to create strong stewardship of Africas ample
mineral and biological resources and counter the ecological damage within
their borders. The Peoples African Union was one of the earliest backers of
the Seeding, and has profited greatly by its equatorial positioning in serving
as a launch base for many expeditions.
SAMATAR JAMA BARRE:
Avuncular, genial, affable, affecting an air of bonhomie, Samatar Jama Barre
wished to be addressed as Kubwa Mjomba (great uncle in Swahili) by those
he both commanded and protected. Despite his seeming benevolence and
absent-minded demeanor, he was nonetheless an efficient and effective
administrator, an able diplomat, and ruthless when necessary. Barre was
amused and likely pleased when detractors likened him to the traditional
African village chieftains of the past, claiming him to be a throwback and outof-
step with the new world in the wake of the Great Mistake. But the Peoples
African Union made a wise choice when he was selected as one of their
Rising from the poverty and violence of the inundated streets of Hargeisa,
Samatar joined the African Unions resurgent military forces, eventually rising
to the rank of Major. For three decades he served in a variety of increasingly
important posts, military and civilian, rising steadily in both ability and
influence. He was able to overcome lingering tribal tensions, dealing with
the polyglot cultures of Africa with both reverence and common sense.
Barre displayed those same diplomatic skills when negotiating with those
outside the African Union, and brought to culmination several international
agreements that helped propel the Unions colonization effort before he was
selected to command one of those colonies.
Barre proved to be just as efficient against any perceived threat to the wellbeing
and safety of those under his protection. In dealing with nascent
warlords, religious fanatics, and local dictators, he either brought about an
equitable peace, or bludgeoned them into submission. Although never known
as a military genius, his troops were extremely loyal to their great uncle
and fought with abandon for his approval. Samatar Barre never lost a battle,
although he took no credit for his victories and viewed them as lamentable
Though not religious himself, he was tolerant and accepting, of others
religious traditions. In the end, it was this tolerance, coupled with his intellect
and personality that would shape the African Unions colony on the new
Although badly affected by the Great Mistake and the upheaval that followed,
the Pan-Asian Cooperative emerged as a strong, transnational entity.
Centered on the old Peoples Republic of China, the Cooperative spans
Asia from the Mongolian steppe to the megalopolis of Bangkok, with even
former regional rivals South Korea and Japan laying aside their differences
to work in the framework of the PAC. It is a powerhouse of industry, home to
world-class R&D and high-tech corporations, and boasts a skilled population
living in Earths most populous cities. Although relatively new to spaceflight
and space colonization, the PAC has quickly caught up to or passed the old
Space Bloc as it embraces the Seeding.
Born to a Chinese mother and Cambodian father, Daoming Sochua was
raised in the traditions of both cultures. She tested at genius levels at a very
young age and progressed rapidly through the state-sponsored school
systems for gifted children. She quickly surpassed her parents who were
both university professors in the sciences and her bright siblings in her
studies. Entering university in her early teens, she proved focused and
motivated to dominate her olderpeers.
By the age of thirty, she held four PhDs in electrical engineering, nanoelectronics,
nuclear physics, and bubble fusion. Pioneering ground-breaking
methods for extracting energy from sources heretofore thought exhausted,
as well as deep-sea and off-world resources, Daoming Sochua was
presented with numerous international awards before joining the Pan-Asian
Cooperatives Bureau of Scientific Revolution. She was specifically recruited
by the Cooperative Space Agency for her experience with energy research
and unconventional power systems. Daoming was brilliant, driven, and singleminded
in her roles, whether as a researcher or administrator.
When she was appointed to head a number of innovative (and perhaps
dangerous) projects undertaken by the Cooperative, she revealed a talent
for administration. Motivated by the Seeding, she volunteered to head one
of the missions to colonize other planets for Pan-Asia. At the time, she was
in charge of research studies aimed at overcoming the Inflection Point,
knowledge that would serve her in good stead in her new role. Throwing
herself into her role as mission leader, Sochua brought her characteristic
single-mindedness to decisions on the outfitting and launch of her colony,
driving her crew and staff unrelentingly. Although not beloved by the colonists
on the one-way trip, she was highly respected which was all that Daoming
Sochua expected or demanded.
After its population was displaced by the Great Mistake and rising sea levels,
many commentators were quick to dismiss the Indian Protectorate - to
their great loss. Where other countries might have been content to wallow
in despair, the Indian Protectorate underwent one of the greatest cultural
transformations that a civilization has undertaken, becoming culturally
dynamic, indomitably optimistic, and cleverly resourceful. With one-sixth
of Old Earths population within its borders, and under the charismatic,
enlightened guidance of syncretic religious mystic and prophet Raj Thakur,
the Protectorate has launched a space program that is the pride of its people,
celebrated in song and movie, with every boy and girl from Punjab to Tamil
aspiring to work on our Prophets Dream. Now Raj Thakurs only child,
Kavitha, has assumed her fathers mantle. Work continues on the Prophets
Dream and life on new worlds.
Although western scholars are almost uniformly incredulous, the followers
of Kavitha Thakur hold fast to the claim that she was born on the first day of
June, 17 years before the events of the Great Mistake, making her well over
200 years old. More reliable estimates concede she may be considerably
older than the average life expectancy.
As the daughter of revered northern mystic Raj Thakur, Kavitha had a strong
spiritual connection at a young age. She often experienced near-catatonic
states of disembodied concentration, during which she was said to have
had visions of the far future. To the devotees of her father, this only served
to solidify their belief that she would one day supplant him in his role, as he
himself had declared upon her birth.
Nearly 80 years after Raj Thakurs journey to the Kush, Kavithas followers
numbered in the hundreds of millions as the stories of her and her father
become legend among desperate and forgotten peoples. Despite a number
of political and military candidates tailored for the position, when it came
time to elect a leader for the now geographically diverse region under their
control, none saw a means to overcome Kavithas popularity. Swept up in a
nearly uncontested vote and thrust into a position of political authority she
neither desired nor prepared for, Kavitha focused her early efforts on what
she knew best humanitarian campaigns. She focused her vast resources on
repairing the damage done by her predecessors to the people of the Indian
When the Eurozone collapsed after the Great Mistake, Franco-Iberia emerged
to fill the gap the European Union left behind. Now this transnational spans
much of the area around the Mediterranean, and sees itself as the cultural
guardian of the best of Western Civilization. Its prosperity made it a beacon
for refugees, and its sagacious social policies meant that it continued to
grow and develop while other nations struggled to regain what they had once
held. Now home to many of the great minds of the age, Franco-Iberia sees
the Seeding as the next logical step in the process of leading the world by
example. The Rock of Gibraltar, it is said, is the border of the solar system;
Franco-Iberia is ready to continue beyond the end of this Old Earth.
Long wealthy, Élodies lineage traces back to the nobility and privileged
elite of France and Italy a millennia before the Great Mistake. Her familys
prestige and influence was not, however, based on its peerage, but rather on
the immense fortune it had amassed over the previous two centuries from
its holdings in agriculture, food processing, pharmaceuticals and textiles.
Opportunities since the Great Mistake have made it even richer; for instance,
from its pharmaceutical operations during the super-bug pandemic after
the Great Mistake and its farms, orchards and vineyards in Portugal, France,
Sicily and Greece which remained relatively untouched by the fallout.
Born in Europes foremost fertility and maternity clinic in Braga, Élodie
was her parents only child. Raised in luxury along the Cote dAzur and the
Costa del Sol, Élodie became a media darling as a teen, although not always
portrayed in a flattering light. Reaching maturity, she parlayed that exposure
and her experience with the press into a platform for her politics and cultural
cachet. Although raised in the Catholic traditions of the New Papacy, Élodie
professed to follow no specific religion. She was, however, a staunch
monotheist and brought her faith into all her dealings.
Accused by her detractors as an isolationist, and a European elitist, Élodie
certainly possessed a famously acerbic tongue and quick wit. A strong
believer in the value of the Western cultural tradition, she believed that it was
up to the educated European elite to guide the masses for their betterment,
ensuring the survival of high culture. The best way to do this on Earth was
the independence and sustainability of the new Union. More vital, in Élodies
view, was to insure that the Franco-Iberian Union plant colonies off-world.
When Franco-Iberia announced its plans to launch a Seeding, Élodie used her
considerable influence and family connections to get her name on the short list
for command. Using her media savvy, she managed to get the mass medias
backing, making her a popular choice among the citizenry of the Union despite
her age. Beyond the operational matters (and Élodie had a knack for choosing
able lieutenants), she also personally oversaw the construction of the Canon,
the definitive collection of Western art, letters, and music, which became the
template for inclusion in the cultural banks of other Seeding projects. Hence,
when the colony ship set out, it not only carried people and technology from
Franco-Iberia, but some of old Europes great artworks and schematics for
duplicating many of Europes great architectural wonders. Élodies new colony
was not only to prosper, but look good doing so.
Polyglot, multi-ethnic, and spanning Eurasia and Eastern Europe, the
new Slavic Federation covers territory beyond what the czars could ever
have dreamed. Although rich in resources, much of its land was barely
developed until the time of the Seeding, and the Slavic Federation has grown
wealthy with providing the materials for many space programs around the
world. Politically fractious, but united around its signature massive space
engineering projects, the Federation sees itself as the keepers of the last true
national space program. It continues to rise from the wreckage of the Great
one rocket, one space station, and one starship at a time.
VADIM PETROVICH KOZLOV:
The most celebrated cosmonaut since Yuri Gagarin, Vadim Kozlov came
from a working-class family but rose to heroic stature in the years before
the Seeding. Eldest son of parents who labored as itinerant steelworkers
and welders, Vadim acquired his limited formal education in industrial cities
scattered across the Federation: Krakow, Bydgoszcz, Lublin, Minsk, Vitebsk,
Donetsk, and Dnipropetrovsk. Vadim answered the call for construction
volunteers issued by Roscosmos, the resurgent Federation space agency.
Minimally trained in zero-G construction methods, Kozlov was sent to work
on building the second Federation Earth-orbit station. He was soon promoted
to foreman of his shift due to his aptitude for weightless labor combined with
practical experience in heavy construction.
Inducted into the armed forces and immediately given the rank of Colonel,
Vadim took advantage of part-time educational programs to gain a compdiploma
in aerospace engineering. Over the next decade, he became the
public face of the Federation efforts to exploit the vast resources of space.
Vadim Kozlov was the first citizen of the Federation to set foot on Mars.
For this, he was made a Hero of the People and promoted to General in
Roscosmos. Six years later, he led the mission to map Sols asteroid belt in
preparation for mining operations; for this success, Kozlov was awarded a
second Heros medal and promoted again.
Incredibly popular among the working class, a devoted family man, and
fiercely loyal to the Slavic state that had rewarded his hard work, Kozlov
eschewed offers to enter politics or move into the civilian realm. At the age
of 35, he was overseeing Roscosmos construction projects on Earth, Mars,
and in space. He was not reticent in pitching in personally to do manual labor
during inspections of construction sites on Earth, elevating his reputation
even more as a self-effacing, self-made, successful servant of the people.
Both professionally and personally, Vadim Kozlov appeared content.
Yet Vadim made no effort to disguise his desire to return to space. In his early
40s, when the Slavic colonization effort was launched, Kozlov volunteered
to head one of the missions. He was promptly accepted, and threw himself
into the role of mission commander with the vigor and consummate
professionalism for which he was famed. It has been surmised that he was
urged to volunteer by his beloved wife, who hoped to give their children
opportunities on a new world not available in the overcrowded and calcifying
Slavic Federation. Whatever the truth of such rumors, in the colony mission,
Kozlov was able to combine all the loves of his life: space travel, exploration,
engineering, family, and Federation.
When they realized the rising seas were creating a common threat, Australia,
the Pacific archipelagos, New Zealand and the major South Asia nations
united to form the Commonwealth of the pacific, better known as Polystralia.
Together these nations tried to safeguard and preserve their coasts and the
unique biodiversity of the Pacific and South Indian oceans and became a
world leader in climate engineering. Long a crossroads for trade, Polystralias
economic power stems from its unique relationship with the great oceans.
Its port cities bustle with freight cranes and train shipments, as well as
new ideas and technologies. Resilient and rich, Polystralias relatively small
Seeding program is one of the best financed and most focused.
Hutama came to public notice first as a 20-year-old college student at the
Universitas Sumatera Utara in Medan, Indonesia, heading a grass-roots
movement protesting differential resources assigned to reclamation projects
across the Commonwealth. But what differentiated Hutama was his incredible
charm, media savvy, and drive. Ubiquitous on social networks and broadcast,
Hutamas cheerful face, trilinguality, and informal quips endeared him to
audiences across the Commonwealth. From Perth to Vanuatu, Hutama was
instantly recognizable, parlaying this into a career in politics.
Elected to the Commonwealth Parliament before his 30th birthday as a
junior member of the opposition, he famously launched the Platypus Inquiry,
which ended up splitting the majority coalition, toppling that government and
ushering in a new government with Hutama as Interior Minister. Once in high
office, he continued his work against corruption, crony contracts, and waste,
all while retaining his famous irreverent, informal sense of humor. His weekly
Internet broadcast Question, Minister mixed populism, no small amount of
flashy production, and occasionally serious politics. Hutama is credited with
delivering the popular vote needed on a referendum on funding Polystralias
merchant fleet, on being an early backer of the Tahiti2 Island Project, and on
universal access to fresh water.
Hutamas spread the wealth populist politics were key to his success, but
it would be wrong to assume that these were cynical ploys. His sharpest
criticisms were always reserved to people exploiting the public wellbeing,
and his own personal charities were devoted to alleviating suffering
throughout the Commonwealth. Gadfly he might be on the screen, but this
was motivated by a strong sense of public justice.
Notably, Hutama seems to have misread public attitudes about the Seeding.
After publicly calling into question the Commission Report on the Inflection
Point, he resisted Polystralias efforts to strengthen its space program and
start Seeding construction. After a series of sharp political defeats (and a
decline in his weekly show ratings) Hutama reversed his position, although
his support carried something of a satirical edge. But when the time came to
nominate leaders, Hutamas loyalists across the Commonwealth put his name
forward - even after Hutama devoted an entire program to reasons why he
would be a bad expedition leader.
Its development checked briefly by the Great Mistake, Brasilia roared back
as the preeminent South American economic entity and a world-class
military power. Brasilias military was the backbone of many peacekeeping
forces deployed to restore order, and the nation was able to establish itself
as a major trading partner with the rest of the world. With the wealth of the
Andean highlands and the Amazon acting as a highway to the continents
interior, Brasilia experienced tremendous growth and development as order
returned to the world. An early adopter of the Inflection Point theory, Brasilias
aerospace industry and veteran air forces allowed them to launch the very
first Seeding expedition.
REJINALDO LEONARDO PEDRO BOLIVAR
Said to be the finest soldier ever produced by the Western Hemisphere,
Rejinaldo Leonardo Pedro Bolivar de Alencar-Araripe began his celebrated
career at the age of 16 by enlisting in Brasilias Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais,
lying about his age in the finest military tradition. His first assignment as a
Marine was in support of a Security Council operation in northern Myanmar,
where he saved his platoon, called in air support, and coordinated evacuation
after their transport was shot down. His ascent after that was meteoric -
rising quickly to sargento, then attending the prestigious Academia Militar
das Agulhas Negras to become an officer. Commissioned as an Aspiriante at
the outbreak of the Peshawar Crisis, he was part of a continent hastily sent
to Asia to help quell the crisis and deliver humanitarian supplies. Again, his
heroism was proven at the Battle of Route Blue, as he stepped into command
after the first, second, and third commanders of the forces protecting the
refugee camp were killed in battle.
A complete listing of his military accomplishments would exceed the scope
of this article, but there were few battlefield commanders held in as broad
regard as Bolivar. Resisting staff duty until it became impossible to do so
and still serve his nation, Bolivar has been in no less than nine combat tours,
seven of them as a commander on the front lines. His talent for planning and
improvisation with limited resources are legendary, and when not serving in
combat he has been a fixture at Agulhas Negras, training the next generation
of military minds.
Somehow, in this illustrious military career, he has found time to write the
seminal volume of military sciences in the post-Mistake world: The threevolume
Principles of Modern Warfare, and the slimmer On the Training and
Conduct of Soldiers (for enlisted soldiers and military cadets). A proponent
of special forces, total victory, aerospatial power projection, and professional
NCOs, these volumes have served as the blueprint for infantry doctrine
around the world, its pithy maxims backed up examples from history and
Bolivars own career. In anyone else, these books would be grandiose; in
Bolivars case they are statement of fact.
National hero for Brasilia, his name came quickly to the top of the list for
commanders of the first Seeding projects. Despite a career in the mud,
Bolivar was endorsed by the Brasilian Air Force and the Space Department.
Never one to decline a chance to serve his country, Bolivar honed the first
Seeding to leave Earths orbit into the professional, dedicated, force that was
the hallmark of his military career.
The third-largest economy in the world is the American Reclamation
Corporation: Old Earths first and most powerful megacorporation. Beginning
as a geo-engineering firm specializing in environmental risk mitigation, ARC is
credited with designing and carrying out the recovery plan that saved North
America from dissolving after the Great Mistake. Although rumors abound
about ARCs methods and corporate shenanigans, there is no doubt that it
has become a power unto itself, receiving grudging respect even from those
who denounce it. Now ARC is involved in almost every nations Seeding
project and recovery plan. From crop science to tidal power generation to
security contracting, ARC has a project or product for every problem. Unique
among Seeding projects in that ARCs colonial ventures are entirely private,
many other Seeding programs rely on ARC financing and products.
SUZANNE MARJORIE FIELDING:
Suzanne Fielding was the eldest of three siblings, all daughters, born on
the Texas Gulf Coast to a Mexican-born mother and an African-American
father. Her father was the owner of three hardware stores in the region;
Suzanne joined her father in running the business as a teenager. Accepting
a scholarship to Louisiana State University, she graduated with honors and
a double-major in economics and accounting. Driven by a desire to help
reclaim coastal lands lost to the rising sea level in her home states, she was
hired by the relatively new American Reclamation Corporation (ARC) to an
entry-level position. Both meticulous and daring, and surprisingly adept at
corporate politics, Fielding rose steadily through the ARC accounting division
until, within 15 years, she was heading several operations simultaneously as
When ARC CEO Michael Modersky signed the Trans-Mississippi Recovery
Initiative, he personally asked Fielding to oversee the governmental
resource coordination, to which she turned her considerable acumen.
It was Fielding who caught the accounting chicanery which led to the
FBIs Operation Riverboat and subsequent political fallout. Guiding
the government to continue funding during the roiling controversy that
followed, Fielding also kept the Initiative on track and on time, such that
when Modersky stepped down as CEO, Fielding (who had since been
elevated to CFO) was the logical choice for CEO. Sidestepping the Board
of Directors, Fieldings appeal to the shareholders enabled her to hold
both the CEO and CFO positions for ARC, making her the most powerful
woman in the most powerful corporation in the world.
With Fielding at the helm, ARC turned from retail and manufacturing to
financial and other services. She used the balance sheet and financial weight
of ARC as a massive lever, engineering a series of shifts on Old Wall Street
to unseat banks and exchanges. As ARCs capital reserves blossomed,
many wondered what Fielding would do next. Few expected that she would
announce ARC pursuing its own private Seeding venture, drawing on its vast
engineering and manufacturing resources, and gaining a waiver from the
government to conduct private space operations. The biggest surprise was
when Fielding announced she would personally lead the first such expedition.
With enough money to buy the world, the woman who led ARC found more
meaning in starting over with a new planet.