Pale Blue Dot

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Shadowbound, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
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    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    Polity Name: Kosmicheskie Voyska Autonomous High Command
    Color: RED CD0000
    Summary: Russia’s victory over China was the greatest victory in human history. Russia a weak power, the last beleaguered outpost of the white race left in the world, had cast down the Asiatic tiger. With China defeated, the “Asian century” was over, and a new white era had begun. The defeat of China was also heralded as a new Plassey – a chance for Russia to impose its will on East Asia and reap the economic rewards with Manchuria and Korea added to her sphere. Others thought it closer to a Second Stalingrad which would herald the birth of a renewed Russian Empire in Central Asia, much as the first had represented a down payment on Eastern Europe. The military seduced by its own brilliance, arrogant in its belief that it could deliver Russia control of the heartland, and with it the geographical pivot of the world, saw their Divine Victory as all three. To the military and its many supporters, Russia had been given the opportunity to establish her hegemony over the entire world – and thanks to the weak civilians she had squandered it.

    The military while angry was not incorrect in thinking that Russia should have seized the advantage while she could. With China in chaos, she could have carved herself a sphere of influence and gone some way to correcting her demographic and economic decline. But her victory was not followed up and before long Russia found herself in the same position as before militarily strong and nothing else. The public caught the militaristic fire for a while, but the demands of ever-increasing military expenditure as the economy tottered and the constant war scares against her numerous neighbors soon dented enthusiasm. Some civilian militarists stayed the course and soon consolidated into the near defunct Liberal Democratic Party of Russia attracted by its long dead founder Vladamir Zhironovsky’s visions of a renewed Russian Empire. Zhironovsky, Russia’s greatest modern thinker, held that Russia must break into the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, retake Jerusalem; unite the Slavic races under Russia’s benevolent control; bring the True Church to all of her new territories; and reassert control of the remaining territories of the former Soviet Union. To this was soon added seizing control of north-east China and Korea the better to assert Russian control over East Asia, a messianic belief in Russian military elan and an absolute commitment to retaining Russian space supremacy.

    This eccentric set of views proved less than popular with the public. This might have bothered other politicians, but the military elite who inhabited the upper echelons and their “civilian” (in some cases genuinely so) political friends in the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia could not have cared less. They had no desire to win high office. Their goal was far simpler: to ensure that the military was capable of defeating Russia’s enemies and to make use of those capabilities to win the wars Russia needed to achieve its Holy Mission. Their methods: war scares; creative manoeuvres in the Duma; lobbying by the Space League; thorough indoctrination of their officers and men, attacks by paramilitaries on their many enemies; assassinations, accidents and blackmail by the intelligence agencies; and ceaseless protests by their suspiciously well disciplined buzz cut supporters.

    All this pressure pushed the liberals to continue their spending, but it was never enough to satisfy the military. Funding instead went to vanity projects: colonization of mars and the cosmodrome. Mars to the military was an expensive indulgence that was a drain on the budget, yielding no profit and was moreover a distant target that the Kosmicheskie Voyska (KR) had to do defend. The KR, the premier service so far as it was concerned, would much rather have preferred to take control of the asteroid belt. The synergies were immense: greatly strengthened demand for Russian spacecraft, a huge pool of experienced men and women and ships to tap in wartime, an immense bounty of valuable minerals that could be sold, and an excuse for the KR to make itself felt! The cosmodrome meanwhile was a noose hanging around Russia’s neck. An immense expenditure of resources that forced the KR to hold defensive positions around it and tied their logistics to a single target that could be destroyed in an afternoon. The KR would much rather have preferred a distributed model of production. Shipyards spaced out to protect against surprise attack and reduce the cost of any single loss. All this could have been lived with… had the liberals gone to war and used their decisive edge to knock out Russia’s many enemies. Instead, the liberals, weak indulgent men of no conviction or faith dithered and squandered Russia’s opportunities.

    The military was aware in a way that the Kremlin was not that for all their superiority in the here and now, Russia’s star was still dimming. While they knew that Russian elan and arms were superior above all, they also knew that Russia’s resources were not growing fast enough to keep up with her military needs. The military also knew that while she commanded an advantage in brute strength much Russian technology was behind a legacy of decades of underinvestment. The Kremlin’s decision to ban the military from acquiring technology from foreign corporations came as a blow to its hopes to catch-up on the cheap. The other services despondently accepted the status quo. But the KR was (allegedly) not deterred and with the connivance of the LDP, friendly oligarchs and Russian space firms sought to solve both problems, at least for itself, on its own initiative. The budget problem was (allegedly) solved by founding Y. A. Gargarin Mining and Space Corporation Mineraly (Y. A. G. Mineraly). The exact ownership structure of Y. A. G. Mineraly remains a mystery but it soon became the leading firm in asteroid mining. This proved a lucrative venture: Russian government subsidies underwrote the cost of the ships, the crews were sourced from experienced veterans of the KR, and competitors soon gave the Mineraly’s vessels a wide berth lest the KR turn up and make “the thieves” leave. Darker rumours had it that the KR ran “little green ships” that would destroy isolated asteroid mining vessels. These rumours were of course vicious slander. Technology transfer was fixed through another corporate vehicle Konstantin Rokossosky Zashchita (K. R. Protection) which as any Russian would tell you was clearly not Russian because its namesake, Rokossosky, was a Pole. Whatever the case, K. R. Protection soon a close partner of Singreal providing protection, maintaining protected facilities in Singreal space which attracted significant Russian military traffic (entirely by coindience!) and acting as escorts to Singreal asteroid miners to protect them from “bandits”. These two vehicles, neither of which have ever been provably linked to the KR, paid out large dividends to persons unknown… right around the time the KR construction costs for new ships and shipyards declined significantly – due to Russia’s vaunted efficiency of course!

    Moscow was opposed to this, of course, but it was hard for the Kremlin to do much about it. KR was still doing its job and it was hard to argue against that. It was also less demanding on the budget. Moreover, space was vast. The KR command was space based, the better, so they claimed, to maintain control. Even the department itself was spaced based. The ships of the fleet were forever on long runs to Mars (5 months) or multi-year return trips to the asteroid belt. In the name of efficiency and security, the fleet also seldom pulled into station except for maintenance, repairs, and refits. So even if Moscow had tried to do something about it… they would at best have had access to only a few hulls. Worryingly, when the KR did pull into station, they increasingly did so in Singreal stations or in secret KR facilities. Moreover, crews and supplies were switched at pre-arranged locations further reducing their time in port.

    This might seem hard on the men and women of the KR. But they were used to it. Young women and men who signed up were educated and trained in space. Officers at the military academy in Lubyanka (a nickname) and the ranks at Siberia (another nickname). Many hailed from KR families, were orphans or otherwise unwanted. To foster social cohesion, the service encouraged marriage between void farers and in another break from tradition (and a concession to psychological health) allowed children and partners on their ships. Ships soon became families all their own with the captain as the Father/Grandfather (or Mother/Grandfather) presiding over long tables that could hold the entire complement. At the same time, each ship soon had its own Orthodox Priest and saints’ relics were soon reverently placed in the ship’s chapels turning them into fully fledged churches. The saints where possible sharing the name of the ship. St Peter of Moscow for the KR. Moscow. The KR. Moscow was also the first cathedral in space the seat of the Archbishop of KR Moscow and Metropolitan of all KR Space. Fraternal nationalistic and religious brotherhoods and sisterhoods soon sprung up within the military with evocative names like “The Space Legion of the Archangel Michael”, The Cult of Archangel Michael Heavenly Guardian” “The Order of St. Barbara Patroness of Missiles” and “Nuclear Initiates of St Seraphim of Sarov”. After service in the KR, men and women would serve in Mineraly or K. R. Protection or with Singreal or in a host of other Russian concerns with close links to the KR. Few ever returned to the ground. The long periods in space, the length of service and the fact many were born into it or spent their life in service made the transition to earth gravity difficult.

    As time went on, the KR command and Moscow became concerned about the potential for a decapitation strike on the homeland (exactly as they had done to China). The huge distances and the lag in communications also worried them since it meant that attacks in space could also come at any time. The risk was such that a new command structure was adopted modelled on that of the Russian ballistic submarine command. But instead of individual captains acting on their own initiative in wartime, the KR service was given full autonomy to act in defense of their interests and those of their Motherlands at all times in space. The peculiar circumstances and specialization of the service also saw it soon take control of its own military appointments. Moscow, in theory, still had control but with command space based and many senior officers in command of ships, rotating command soon became the norm with the most senior officers sometimes months or years removed from the action. Promotions also came from within the service exclusively. Nobody else was qualified. Civilian oversight was also limited to non-existent because it was based on earth. Moreover, even if they had gone into orbit to check… little of the KR’s strength was anywhere near earth. The budget freedom afforded by its commercial interests also served to distance the KR from the government. None of this was overt. The KR still followed orders. But the government lacked the knowledge to even know what the KR was up to most of the time. On the rare occasions it did try and assert its power the KR could and did subvert their efforts. The KR listened to Moscow still, but only ever with ears half open and with a great deal of eye rolling. The KR’s culture: isolated, insular, quasi-independent, ultra-nationalistic, ultra-militaristic and ultra-religious helped no end with this and many have suggested it was what fueled it. As a result, the KR became a world all of its own and rather liked it that way...

    Militarization 1 – The KR will use its own funds to acquire technology to help close the gap in fields it is behind it. It will also use these to trial new ships, lay down extra hulls, test innovative concepts and maintain its edge in military quantity and surpass its foes in military quality. Regular state funding will be used to supplement and support this drive.

    Interplanetary Exploitation 2 – stripping the heavens of valuables alongside will help the KR fund its war machine, now that Moscow is fixated on other things, while also ensuring that the KR has a ready supply of ships and crew that can be tapped during wartime. It helps that the KR patrols are active against pirates and that Russian and Singreal vessels are safe. Others… are not so lucky.

    Orbital Manufacturing 1 – the KR needs shipyards to maintain, repair, refit, upgrade and construct their vessels. The Cosmodrome could be destroyed in an afternoon and with-it Russia’s hopes of a glorious future. What the KR builds instead are distributed facilities that provide insurance against a surprise attack and allow the KR to control the space lanes. These facilities are built in out of the way places or near Singreal’s well situated facilities.
     
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  2. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Albany, New York

    A female cosmonaut, posing with her AK247 coilgun. By the space age, Russia made no distinction between sex in the armed forces; all positions were open for women, and women were subjected to the same conscription laws as men.*

    As the Russian Federation started to spread its manned influence into space in the 22nd century, the fundamental role of the Cosmonaut has shifted along with it. For most of history up to that point, cosmonauts, although officially part of either the Russian or Soviet armed forces, were not seen as interchangeable with traditional soldiers. While physical fitness was absolutely a requirement in the unforgiving confines of outer space, actual combat ability was not important, due to the lack of any direct military maneuvers performed. Indeed, they were more often selected for their intellect, education, and resilient psychological profiles. They were engineers and scientists, either performing valuable research, or maintaining the systems to allow said research to happen. Even after space started to get more commercialized in the 21st century, as resource extraction developed into an important sector of national space programs, manned spaceflight was a peaceful affair, and there was no need to carry weapons in space.

    Much like many other elements of classic space exploration, this illusion was eventually shattered by the Sino-Russian War. After the pacifism of space was exploited by the Russians to propel themselves as the world's strongest superpower, there was nothing stopping the Europeans, or another power, from militarizing in turn to defend from the Russians, and thus turning outer space into the frontlines of the next war. The first postwar manned launch by Roscosmos would famously feature cosmonauts with AK12s slung on their backs. Even if there was no human threat at the time in space, the subtle underlying message was there: Russia, and her cosmonauts, were willing to defend her assets in space, by force.

    In the 22nd century, what was just a token gesture became a chilling reality: as Russia focused on full-fledged space colonization, both on Mars and on the Perun Cosmodrome, a full-fledged class of professional soldiers was needed to keep order internally and protect themselves from encroaching claims by other space powers. The new generation of cosmonauts, still prized for their physical acumen, were now being diluted away from their scientific endeavors, and into a professional fighting force. These "Cosmic soldiers" (Ru: космический солдат) became a common sight in Russian space, a constant reminder of the growing presence of Moscow and her military apparatus offworld.

    The shift towards militarization could be observed through the design of the cosmonaut's suit. Taking cues from contemporary body armor, the ceramic chestplate which defined the profile of modern cosmonauts was more than just protection against the cold, pressureless vacuum of space. It was designed as effective body armor in its own right, stress-tested to keep up its structural integrity even after being shot. The helmet significantly reduced the amount of glass present, trading some visibility for increased cranial protection, which would be very important in potential firefights in a low-oxygen environment. Even the jump suit ended up being more padded, with kevlar woven in to add a smaller element of protection if the extremities were shot.

    However, the most defining feature of the cosmic soldiers was their firearm. By the 22nd century, AK-pattern rifles was a point of Russian pride; its sleek design and legendary reputation of reliability gave it an omnipresent place in Russian culture, a modern weapon that embodied the spirit of the Russian nation. However, the AK247 (so named because it was adopted in the 2120s, with the latter designation of 47 a deliberate throwback to the orgional AK47), in reality, shared very little with the traditional AK rifle other than its appearance. Indeed, its internal mechanisms were completely different, as it was the world's first practical infantry coilgun.

    Creating an infantry-portable coilgun was one of the top priorities of the Russian military even in the 21st century. The muzzle velocity coilguns could produce far exceeded traditional propellant-based munitions, allowing for longer effective ranges, less bullet drop, and delivering more kinetic energy against the target when hit, increasing lethality. More esoterically, coilguns would also be more effective underwater compared to traditional guns, but currently Roscosmos does not see a situation where increased reliability underwater would actually be relevant**. Coilguns, along with their bigger brother, railguns, were pursued by Russia primarily for vessel to vessel combat. However, the idea of an individual cosmonaut being able to shoot a satellite during a spacewalk captured the imagination of the armed forces. Perhaps a situation like that would never come up, but the possibility for a single human to represent a danger to enemy assets was simply too valuable to pass up. And it isn't as if the benefits of higher muzzle velocity don't apply in traditional range, either.

    All said and done, the role of the cosmonaut has evolved signficantly in the course of the 22nd century. The "cosmic soldiers" of Russia became one of the most defining features of the era, a final sign that space exploration has fundamentally shifted in character since its beginning in the 20th.


    *Russia by the 22nd century, however, is de facto a volunteer-only force; the large population of Russia means they get enough volunteers to effectively staff all positions. In a time of crisis, however, women can and would be drawn up as much as men are.
    **At the very least, the Russian Navy and Naval Infantry both appreciate this fact.

    OOC: Thank you Buttery for surprising me with a drawing of my faction for this game! :love:
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  3. Xugador

    Xugador Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
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    Gender:
    Male
    Polity Name:Argentine Lunarian Settlements(ALS), New Hope Settlements(NHS)(Asentamientos Lunares Argentinos(ALA), Asentamiento de Nueva Esperanza(ANE))
    Flag:
    the flag itself is a combination of 2, the flag of the republic, and the flag of the CABA, Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires(Autonomous City of Buenos Aires), a combination of both the symbol of who the settlement comes from(Argentina) and who exactly is financing and supporting the large part of it(Buenos Aires)
    Color: HEX #6CACE4 or RGB 108,172,228, the colour of the sky of which they try to fly towards, or #FFB81C or RGB 255,184,28, the colour of the sun, and the new beginning that is fast approaching

    Summary: Argentina, while it wanted space, wasn't exactly sure where to go next

    sure, it seemed obvious and clear Argentina needed to go to space, but the question as to exactly where was the main point of great contentions, and many group appeared, mainly organised in regional places, the interior gathered around cordoba proposed mars, it military industrial complex, while outdated and not in the best shape, could be refitted and revived to be used for high-space usage, believing that it would make it possible and easier to do missions over there in their belief that, with a strong industrial backing, mars could certainly be the home of a new Argentina, the Argentine Mesopotamia and the northern pushed for the moons of mars, far smaller than mars itself, it was still large enough and could had probably proved itself far easier for colonisation than what mars would be, after all, mars might become hotly contested, to why not claim something that might not be in the eyesight of the people? yet, despite it all, a group rose to beat them all.

    Buenos Aires, the capital and the centre of commerce of the republic, instead proposed a simple solution:the moon, close, easy to get and not needing to waste that many resources to get there in the first place, it seemed as a great starting point to test Argentine space capabilities, after all, something close shouldn't be THAT hard,right? so, that is what it is, spearheaded by Buenos Aires, the settlements of new hope have proved to be home of the first mass-colonisation campaign of Argentina as part of the government's goal, granted it could be argued that perhaps it would still be better to go somewhere bigger, but in all honesty who cares? it proving to work, so let keep it the Buenos Aires way!

    • Orbital Manufacturing(1):The construction of shipyards and heavy industry in space has been something the government has concentrated on doing, however, it hasn't been it main concentration, most of said construction are related to the facilitation and completion of the main objective of the space plan, since the government believes that what industry remains currently in argentina should be enough to help the NHS
    • Space Colonization(3):Space, the final frontier, just as Patagonia and the interior was home of gauchos and the likes in its march of colonisation so has Argentina fully adopted it, marching it with a high head, the population in turn has done so as well, marching into the future with the hopes of learning from the mistake of the past and creating a new one in the future, sure its a rather easy way to get to the moon, but that hasn't stop the propaganda machine to campaign that now, does it?
    • Interplanetary Exploitation(0) - As it stand, the ALS hasn't actually began plans for interplanetary exploitation, as part of the whole colonisation campaign, it first plans to have as much of it maintained by the Argentine government on earth as to ensure that the colonisation process is sound and has left for it on the back-burner for once the colonisation campaign has been consider "satisfactory"
    • Domestic Investment(0) Wait you actua- c'mon now, you know their plans, their intention doesn't lie at home, it lies on the stars, as such, it has not concentrated on investing on earth at all, and it certainly not gonna do so in the near or far future, at least that the governmental and societal consensus for now
    • Militarization(0) Military, perhaps the thing most wonder is the thing that not concentrated, as mentioned before, the army suffered a extreme hit during its last dictatorship all that time ago and even now after the 2nd infamous decade and all, the Argentine "army" is more like the air-force, this of course has lead to the space of it area of colonisation not so defended military at all, infact, military is the last thing the plan even intends to create, after all, it be quite hard to remove the still overall pacifist mindest that the Argentine has developed towards the army

      do not be sorry, just my bad internet striking again, also kinda why i left a short summary so that i dont' get that same bloody issue again
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
  4. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Osaka
    A Heavenly Jig

    The room is lit by green light which reveals consoles and large screens which provide the only light as neon green text and images appear, fade, flicker and scroll ceaselessly. The signs of human life are few. There is a bottle on the console. If you were able to read the black text on its silver label you would discover it said “Laika Vodka: First in Space” in English, Russian, Chinese (traditional) and Hebrew above a minimalist sketch of a little dog in profile, its head cocked backwards looking down its body with one eye staring out at you. An image forever frozen in time. The only other sign of life is the ash tray that sits next to the bottle. Perched awkwardly on it is a filter-less lit cigarette the black smoke from which twists and turns drawn hither and thither by the air filters that cover almost every available surface and provide only sound in the room a dull whirring hum of the blades turning.

    It appears the room is empty. But if you stare long enough into it you might notice a little movement in part of the room that has just a little bit more texture than the black consoles and walls. A careful observer would note that this movement occurred every second or so and might conclude it was someone breathing swathed in a black garment that enveloped his or her form. You might also notice that this figure seated perched over a screen. As your eyes further adjusted to the green gloom, you would notice that they were long. You would know that they were tall. But that would not be what would strike you. No, what is interesting is their limbs. Even hunched down over the screen, the figures shoulders are well above the top of the screen. The scene reminds you of an adult sitting on a child’s seat. The figures forearms though, and you are not sure how, nonetheless manage to rest fully on the keyboard. The proportions are wrong your subconscious tells and you feel fear and anxiety. The feeling intensifies when you notice that what you had thought was part of the seat was in fact the figures legs which are so long that to fit on the seat their knees are pulled up almost to mid-chest. Your subconscious recoils from what it takes to be a giant spider. Your waking brain is awed you had known that true spaceborne were tall. You also know that the Kosmicheskie Voyska were tall even by their standards. But this was the first you had seen in the flesh.

    The cosmonaut has sensed you and now begins to unfold and the figure begins to rise, higher and higher till its head touches the ceiling. It continues to rise and the back returns to its hunched over position. You now understand that they are forced to hunch because the station’s ceilings are too low. The figure movements you now see are graceful. The turn to face you is executed in one graceful half pirouette. All the weight shifts to one foot and the figure sways its body around. The head lowers down towards you, the upper body hunching. Impossibly long fingers on hand the palm of which twice the length of yours reach up and lower the hood. You have another start. The hair is obviously blonde, almost white and you can tell it must be shiny because it reflects the green light. The eyes glow one red and one green. You see no glasses and no other evidence of augments. The skin itself is pale, you think it almost translucent – how else to explain what you think are blood vessels visible beneath the skin? The features themselves are sharp. High cheekbones, a pointed Slavic nose, thin lips, and a high forehead. You find yourself unable to tell the beings’ gender. The face is alien looking. Its clothes are black and shapeless, hanging loosely from the beings’ frame. You will have to wait to hear its voice.

    The being begins to speak. Its voice is harsh, and vaguely mechanical sounding. You swear you can hear the crackle and pop of a radiation affected speaker beneath the words. So distracted are you by the strange sound you missed completely what the being has said. You find your voice, introduce yourself and hope that what you have missed is not anything more than greetings. The being looks at you with what you think is confusion its head cocked with where you think its eyebrows should be (you cannot see any). The being pauses for a moment, shakes its head, reaches under its robe (you freeze worried it has taken offence and might be drawing a weapon on you, but manage against the panic to keep your hand reaching for you own sidearm) and fiddles with something. The crackling and popping which you realize had not stopped when the figure stopped speaking ceases. The figure looks at you, extends a long arm and pats you on the hand affably and begins to speak.

    “Sorry about that comrade. I left my headset on. It is very good headset. Very low packet loss. But not good for speaking close. Only speaking far.” The voice is now recognizably human. A soft masculine growl. “But where are my manners. I am Kosmicheskie Voyska Captain, 3rd Rank Alexander Nikolayevich Kuznetsov. You may call me Captain Sasha. It is easier for you.” The figure bends over and with a graceful flick the cigarette spins up towards his mouth. He catches it easily with his lips and takes a puff. The dexterity and coordination were so impressive you cannot help but gawp. Your mouth hanging open. “Is nothing. Much harder to do in low gravity.” While you watch he flicks the bottle up and catches it deftly with one hand and offers it to you. “Now drink.” He pauses. “You are secondee yes? Must check. Not acceptable to get messenger drunk. You Singreal uptight about these things.” I nodded, took what I thought was a good swing, handed the bottle back and had it pushed back at me in turn “no drink like Kosmicheskie Voyska proper!” And that was how I met Captain Sasha of Singreal Space Traffic Control (SPTC). A man who, as he put it one day months later, delighted in making the heavens dance to his tune.

    The heavens he talked about were the roughly thousand or so ships, stations, habitats, warehouses, drones, tethers, tubes and hubs that made up Singreal space. The tune well that was in three dimensions and had a thousand moving parts that danced in eccentric orbits that the computers had trouble keeping up with. Without Captain Sash and his crew of KR misfits, Singreal would not have been possible. A single error could have been disastrous. Tens of thousands of shards of space debris streaking out into space, all with the potential to rip holes in the fragile bubbles we all lived in. Yet that had never happened.

    It was whispered that there had once been a breakdown in SPTC. The rumour was that someone from Singreal HQ had visited SPTC unannounced and found the KRs each deep into a bottle of Laika (which as Captain Sasha reminded me was the first commercial spirit made in space and all the evidence one needed for KR’s technological prowess). A day later an edict came down barring the SPTC from drinking on the job. The KR’s protested but accepted it. The first day went poorly: headaches, nausea, tremors, and anxiety. By the second day that list of symptoms had widened to include hallucinations, seizures, and vomiting. The tremors which had started off mildly were now so bad that they could barely use their hands. Station traffic ground to a halt as SPTC started to rave and scream into the headsets (unusual but not unheard of) and then more ominously went silent.

    News of the silence soon spread and within ten minutes another edict from right up the top came down saying simply: “Whichever idiot stopped SPTC’s drinking needs to fix it now or else”. Nothing more, so it was said, was heard of the apparatchik who had made the call in the first place. Some whispered that they had been kicked out of the airlock for their stupidity, others that Captain Sasha had carved them up for revenge… but the darkest rumours said that they had been sent to Mars as head of Singreal Oxygen and Algae Generation Station 2. A fate that was worse than death according to Singreal old hands who at this part of the story would nod sagely, remark on how one had to work with SPTC not against them, stare up at the ceiling and clunk their tongues before asking if you could get them another Laika to wet their throat before they started another story.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
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  5. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 Thought Bubble Thinker Supporter

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    An old version of the Republic of Mercury signup can be found in the spoiler.

    Spoiler :
    Polity Name:Republic of Mercury, New Botany Bay
    Colour: Dark Grey (169,169,169)
    Summary: Due to increasing political instability and the increasing unpopularity of Private Prisons in the United States and the United Kingdom, the GEO Group sold the last of its operations to the United States in 2030 and relocated its operations to Australia, hoping to take advantage of the country’s geographical location and increasingly closer ties to ASEAN. This was a wise decision and put the GEO Group in a prime position to take advantage of increasingly corporate friendly polities both within and outside of ASEAN, reliving states of the increasingly expensive task of keeping increasing prison populations under control under the spectre of increasing instability. Soon GEO Group established itself, attracting a great deal of investment of big corporate players in ASEAN and other influential megacorporations, becoming a node in the Corporate Collective’s massive web of finance.

    In the dawn of the 23rd Century, the GEO Group elected Oliver Ranger, a new and ambitious CEO. He has his sights set on Mercury – while rich in minerals, its proximity to the sun made it an awful candidate for traditional colonisation due to extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) and intense radioactivity. Outside of extremely brief trips, being sent to Mercury meant one could never return to Earth. Experiments with fully automated space colonies never got out the planning stage. Not even the poorest gunk farmer would willingly go to Mercury. However, convicts had no say in their future, who would truly care if they died?

    Seeing the potential in the venture, the GEO Group was backed by an influential Singaporean trillionaire Shufen Bai (often touted as the “Elon Musk of the 23rd Century” by his PR team) to create the mining colony of New Botany Bay on Mercury. It consisted of able-bodied convicts alongside some construction, security and administrative AI. They were told to meet mining quotas or shipments would be delayed and they would starve. The high upfront cost of the colony was quickly repaid as the GEO Group and her investors used the convicts to bring large amounts of precious metal to fuel the industrial base of Earth and the world’s more prestigious space colonial ventures.

    The desired demographic of strong and abled bodied persons (primarily, but not exclusively, men) resulted in a lot of people who were involved in organised crime being sent to New Botany Bay. Mostly they retained their loyalties to their syndicates, making a power struggle inevitable. Eventually one faction reigned supreme, while primarily consisting of Triads the leader Master Dragon Wan Dingxiang was notable for forging an alliance of non-Triad and non-Chinese gangs. After exterminating the opposition and getting the rest of the gangs to swear allegiance to him, he declared the creation of the Mercury Righteous and Harmonious Guild. As this name is quite a mouthful, most Hermians* refer to the group as the “Mercury Organisation” or just “The Organisation”. Offworlders often refer to them as “The Mercury Triad”.

    Biologist Tabari Kader who was sent to Mercury due to unethical genetic engineering experiments was able to forcibly mutate a nutrient rich fungus that feeds on human waste to reduce the crippling reliance of New Botany Bay on external shipments of food and water. For his service he was appointed the prestigious position of Master Dragon Wan Dingxiang’s White Paper Fan (Administrative Advisor). While it tastes disgusting, this was a vital part in helping create an imperfect semi-self-sustaining space colony.

    Mercury is a cruel home. Even with the protection the colony and the space suits and provides, the lives of the Hermians* are brutal and short. Despite this, the overwhelming biological instinct to have children prevailed and a generation of native Hermians have been born. The existence of native Hermians was extremely controversial – after all, while many consider that the original convicts deserved their sentence**, surely their children did not? This was extremely unpopular on Earth and GEO faced an international backlash. Despite the chances of a Hermian infant surviving on a planet other than Earth being extremely low, a team of GEO security officers were sent to extract a Hermian child from the colony. The team was killed to a man. This incident led to the Mercury Organisation declaring the independence of the Republic of Mercury. The newly formed Republic made an offer to the rest of the solar system – recognise our independence and provide protection against inevitable GEO backlash and we will sell you our minerals on the cheap (cheaper than GEO ever did, anyway). This offer was accepted as nobody wanted to go through the hassle of settling a new colony on Mercury.

    Mercury has developed a distinct culture and system of government. Mercury is dominated by the Organisation, which is feudal in nature. The Master Dragon is elected by from a group of Dragons (Capos, essentially) who retain the loyalty of their 49ners (adults who are loyal to said Dragons). Dragons each oversee their own Family – no traditional nuclear family structure could be maintained due to a near 1:10 ratio of men:women in the colony. A system of polygamy was developed – women would typically marry a Dragon or one of his closer lieutenants but would usually have numerous lovers among his gang. Children born would generally pledge loyalty and become 49ers of the Dragon from the Family “sired” them, thus the line between the criminal/political family and literal family was forever blurred. New Dragons are elected from the eldest and most respected members of the Family with an informal vote held by all 49ers in the Family. 2nd and 3rd generation Hermians are beginning to identify themselves with three names – a given name, the name of their mother as a “middle” name and the name of the Family to which they belong. On a few occasions Families have split due to political intrigue and because of Families becoming too large, this trend will likely continue to the future. Refugees and exiles (the only people who would willingly migrate to Mercury) are expected to pledge themselves to one of the less prestigious Families upon arrival, otherwise they will face even more difficulties then they usually would.

    The Master Dragon’s political power depends entirely on his force of will and his relationship with the Council of Dragons. Ever since the passing of Master Dragon Wan Dingxiang without an appointed successor, the Master Dragon serves at the pleasure of the Council of Dragons. Master Dragons who lose the support of the Council of Dragons should expect their reign to be short and bloody.

    Due to the harsh conditions of New Botany Bay and the history of the colony, Hermian culture is Spartan and distrustful of non-Hermians. Hermians view Earthlings in particular with special distain – they were the ones who trapped them on this unforsaken rock. The Council of Dragons are smart enough to not let Hermian opinions shine through in dealings with outsiders as they are still reliant on outside trade. Hermian language is rapidly evolving into something unique to the planet, it is primarily a pidgin language of Chinese and English*** with many loan words from other cultures who sent prisoners to the colony.

    Hermian justice is swift and brutal – it is generally dispensed by the Dragon from the Family of the offender, with the Council of Dragons and the Master Dragon having the final say in high profile cases and inter-familial disputes. Lesser crimes are dealt with the chopping off of body parts, the greater the crime the more important the part removed. Greater crimes are dealt with through swift execution. All bodies are efficiently processed to provide nourishment on the vital fungus that sustains the colony. The greatest crime is the injury of an infant or a woman due to scarcity – this crime is dealt with by placing the offender in the processing plant while still alive.

    The Republic’s economy and security is entirely dependent on their trade of minerals, although their newfound independence has allowed them to request resources and technology that could be used to establish independent defences and even more self-sufficiency…

    Orbital Manufacturing – (0) The Republic of Mercury is not in a position to manufacture spacecraft.
    Space Colonisation – (1) New Botany Bay holds an impressive amount of people, although the conditions are dire.
    Interplanetary Exploitation – (3) New Botany Bay is and continues to be a mining colony. It provides minerals to many customers in the solar system.
    Domestic Investment – (0) N/A
    Militarisation – (0) New Botany Bay has minimal space defences; it is primarily defended through contracts with its trading partners and by the fact that nobody else wants to go to the effort of setting up another colony. An armed takeover of the colony is impractical due to fears of damaging, destroying or long term interruptions the mining operations.

    * - lit "Of Mercury", referring to someone born on Mercury or identifying as a Citizen of the Republic of Mercury.

    ** - While many in the first generation of Hermians were involved in serious crime (organised or otherwise), many were held on dubious grounds by corrupt governments or were political opponents who presented a threat or inconvenience. GEO Group did not ask questions - free labour is free labour.

    *** - Despite the collapse of Anglophone empires, English remained a lingua franca throughout the 22nd and 23rd Centuries due to its widespread use.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
  6. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,019
    Right,

    After lengthy and extended consideration, I'm accepting Seon's Atlas Mars, Crezth's Sovereign Republic of Singreal, Masada's Kosmicheskie Voyska, and Glatux's Ceres.

    Everyone else put in great submissions but these fit the current state of play the best. I was very tempted to take five or six polities in this round, but I am remaining true to my arbitrary metrics.

    The good news is the next deadline is scheduled for Tuesday evening, which will remain despite the delay because we're just waiting on Immaculate, and I'll be able to turn around an update quickly on my day off (and start to flesh out the OP). Please resubmit then and we'll get you guys in for the next update.
     
    Glatux and Lord Apple like this.
  7. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Messages:
    7,619
    I will 100% submit something for tomorrow evening. I have an evening meeting at 19h est but will get something by 21h30EST.
     
  8. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Messages:
    7,619
    Cooperative

    Themes
    • Continued corporate identity at the expense of national and territorial identity. Membership is extremely fluid and based on temporary contracts, including significantly with Atlas America corporations as well as companies in South America, Africa and even Europe and Asia that are not as beholden to their central authority.
    • Tech: Genetic engineering, Energy, New Materials. The very beginnings of speciation with 'designer babies' but also efforts to develop genetic traits appropriate for certain environments (like weightlessness). We also invest significantly in developing new materials and energy transfer systems to support our off-world efforts. Invest in the technical, administrative, and commercial prowess (and genetic superiority) of our next generations.
    • Profit-focused foreign policy. We do business with whomever without concern, profit and ROI being the end focus.
    • Independence from national regulations. We avoid any regulatory authority and refuse to recognize international or national regulatory treaties; we will mine where we want and do business with whom we want.
    • Predatory capitalism. We continue to protect our membership but provide only as little support to the larger population as we need to to avoid being overthrown by them (soylent green gruel, etc).

    Point Allocation:
    • Orbital Manufacturing 1- we continue to invest in our previously developed space elevator and orbital manufacturing facilities and develop new smaller scale facilities in support of our colonies and armed forces.
    • Space Colonization 3- significant colonies, especially on Mars (northern hemisphere), in the asteroid belt, and in free-floating stations orbiting mercury and venus
    • Interplanetary Exploitation 0- We continue to utilize prior investments but additional investments have slowed in favor of more permanent habitats.
    • Domestic Investment 1- Primarily in education and technical development of biotech, new materials, and energy. We continue to turn a blind eye to the poor and wretched masses to focus exclusively on our membership.
    • Militarization 3- the militarization of space by others must be matched by the Cooperative for fear that we will be pressured to accept their 'regulations' (which we don't). On appropriate opportunistic occasion we will use force to support our business ventures.


    Apologies this is obviously more rushed than i would like; RL has been busy (but very rewarding).

    Thanks Shadow!
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  9. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,019
    Update One
    Life on Mars


    The human race started the 22rd century among rising tensions between global powers, increased ecological and social instability, and the development of extraplanetary colonies across the solar system. These trends continued, but the 2100s can’t be discounted for the important role in planting the seeds of colonial self-determination and for revolutionary advances in politics and biology in the second half of the century. Many of the national mythos of the next generation of interplanetary powers would be set in this era, the struggle and consensus of small groups of early pioneers across the solar system setting the stage for their much more ambitious descendants.

    Beginning with the center of human civilization and working outward, the Earth’s environmental collapse continued unabated. More and more of the planet’s surface, especially along the equator, was deemed uninhabitable for human living (indeed, mining and research efforts in these regions would draw on similar technologies used to colonize space) and the planet’s population was increasingly concentrated in four* or five** habitable zones where landmasses were sufficiently far north to still be livable. “Livable” is questionable: sealed environments became the norm for much of the population as the deterioration of the Earth’s atmospheric composition left it barely breathable. The oceans were heavily acidified and nearly all marine life was extinct, with massive algae blooms increasingly dominating the seas. Mankind had, for millennia, concentrated much of its wealth and population among the planet’s coastlines because of their easy access to transportation and food, but this was reversed due to rising sea levels and depressingly regular superstorms that battered the shores. Environmental scientists had gone from sounding alarm bells to committing suicide, supplanting economics as the dismal science: according to them, the Anthropocene Era was likely just the transition on the way towards an anaerobic ecosystem at best inimical towards human survival.

    All of this prompted massive changes in geopolitics: the United Nations’ revived Trusteeship Council came to assume much of the political power over the uninhabited stretches of the globe, along with a broad mandate for environmental activity, while the structure of the organization shifted to accommodate the remaining fraction of nation-states that were still functioning. The Security Council still retained significant privileges at the start of the century, though one of its members (China)*** was a defunct polity and the European Union occupied two seats, and tensions between the EU and Russia stifled any reform on this front.

    Speaking of Russia and the European Union, Russia’s military supremacy would be short-lived and soon contested. It continued to make heavy investments in its military capabilities, including the construction of an ambitious space-based cosmodrome as the anchor of the leading military power in the solar system. Europe lacked a single keystone for its space-based presence, scattered between smaller orbital facilities and its settlements across the Solar System, but in many ways this decentralized system was considered far more robust in an era where space-based defense systems were considered questionable. Both powers had a keen interest in Mars, as the Russian settlement in Novokiev and the European New Hellas caused tensions despite having almost a whole planet to themselves (there were other colonies, of course, we’ll get to them later). Europe and Russia, and the Corporate Cooperative, developed significant defensive positions on the planet to protect their assets.

    On Earth these tensions could be mitigated through negotiation and detente: resources were scarce and could be ill spent on military conflict (though that didn’t prevent stockpiling). On Mars, the planet was still largely uninhabited and actual opportunities for conflict were rare. The bane of peaceful relations in the 22nd century would be earth-based powers’ inability to control the activities of agents along their distant periphery: the asteroid belt. Corporate entities would be major drivers of economic activity in the solar system and attempts at unified regulation by the United Nations would be stymied by consistent American and Chinese vetoes. In the absence of regulation and law, force ruled, and every corporate group retained its own security force in space for the defense of its assets, and nearly every had a “competitive action” detachment that operated as a modern form of piracy, contesting claims and mining rights wherever security was lacking. Russia was unique among space-based powers in retaining national control of all interplanetary assets, but it couldn’t retain complete control of far-flung military assets in its space forces, the Kosmicheskie Voyska, which came to be dominated by a clique of ultranationalist and fundamentalist officers with effectively independent control from civilian authorities outside the orbit of the Earth.

    The Kosmicheskie Voyska would be the largest player in the asteroid belt by 2140, acting in its own independent interest and with extensive commercial investments through a secretive network of off-the-books rackets and firms. At their peak an estimated 40% of “competitive actions” outside the orbit of Mars could be attributed to KV operations. Their aggressive operations provoked a response, not from Europe but from the Corporate Cooperative, which established an important operating base out of Hygiea with repair and supply facilities supported by a significant “civilian” population to serve as a transit hub. From here Cooperative security vessels were prominently active across a large part of the belt, disrupting the protection rackets established by the KV.

    Open clashes between the Cooperative’s ships and the Russian Space Forces followed, with the Cooperative positively IDing Russian personnel in several deniable operations. The KV stepped up its own activities in response, leading to open conflict, and the escalating tensions would bring the Motherland into the struggle as well, placing Russia in the unusual position of waging a war on a transnational corporate coalition without a clear political status. It was at times unclear which targets were viable and which were neutral until they had been activated by the opposition: simply identifying which satellites were part of the Cooperative’s network required thousands of lawyers years of billable hours.

    Worse, it found itself on the backfoot as a century of Russian military dominance had courted complacency and Russia’s Mars Command found itself locally outgunned by corporate commandos disrupting hydrologic operations needed to support Novokiev. Mars at this point was home to four major colony groups, two of which were technically neutral (and yet clandestinely favoring the Cooperative) in the conflict. Interservice rivalry between KV and Russian Army forces hindered efforts to resupply and reinforce positions on the planet.

    That is not to say, of course, that it all went poorly. The Cooperative’s decentralized structure made it difficult to attack because of its ability to obfuscate ownership in Earth orbit, but it opened windows of opportunity in other places. One of these opportunities came with a “changing of the guard” on Hygiea, as several contracts for the supply of services went to a new subcontractor. But among the contractors were KV deep cover agents, inserted into the corporate underworld a decade before, who critically crippled the planetoid’s defenses through a combination of electronic sabotage and suicide bombing. The bulk of KV’s might soon descended on the planetoid, swept aside the remaining defenders, gutted the asteroid’s infrastructure, and left the surviving population to die. This wouldn’t be a complete victory in the Belt for the Russians, but it severely disrupted the Cooperative’s logistics forcing them to withdraw to a few remaining holdouts and largely abandon their forward positions.

    The Hygiean Incident would have a terrestrial response, as the Cooperative escalated the conflict further by targeting Russia’s Perun Cosmodrome with “Direct Delivery Vehicles”, surface based magnetically launched guided munitions capable of penetrating the suddenly obsolete defense systems around the space station. A significant chunk of Russia’s industrial capacity over the preceding decades had been invested into Perun and in just the few seconds between launch and impact it was destroyed (practically, in theory the facility is still mostly in orbit, just in more pieces than desired). This kicked off a nuclear exchange as Russia’s leadership, apoplectic, retaliated by targeting the Australasian polities in which the Cooperative was based in reprisal (which prompted Cooperative strikes on Siberia in turn).

    At this point the situation had deteriorated enough that the other major powers stepped in to prevent further escalation, fearful of indiscriminate collateral damage (indeed, Europe would soon feel the fallout from Cooperative strikes in its own habitable zone). Both sides were willing to accept; a frontier conflict had escalated far enough to deal immense damage to their heartlands. The resulting peace conference at Neuquen would do more than formalize an armistice: it would settle issues of the sovereignty of transnational corporations and political claims in the solar system, establishing strong guidelines for corporate-involved actors at Russian and European insistence.

    After the Asteroid War and Neuquen, the political order modernized appropriately. The Corporate Cooperative had its own seat on the reformed United Nations Security Council, among other things, but a host of new polities claimed sovereignty in the aftermath of the war.

    Controversially, the Kosmicheskie Voyska did not achieve sovereignty, though it possessed more power than most actual nations. It continued to exist under the aegis of the Russian Federation, which, even with a rebuilt Perun II, exerted little to no influence on its operations beyond what is effectively an alliance. This arrangement will last only as long as both parties see it in their mutual interest, which may already be over.

    But the KV did possess sovereignty by proxy, in much the same way that Saudi Arabia in the 21st century possessed a nuclear arsenal through its clandestine control of Pakistan’s strategic weapons. The Russians had closely cooperated with an eclectic and heterogeneous habitat on the far side of the moon for decades, using the Singreal Station as a front and hub for many clandestine activities. The Sovereign Republic of Singreal thus became the first extraorbital colonies to achieve formal sovereignty under the Neuquen Accords, with universal backing.

    Singreal was a grouping of space habitats around the dark side of the moon, populated by the Asian and Israeli diasporas and frequently used as a proxy and clearinghouse for terrestrial powers flying under the radar. Years of careful investment, and powerful allies in the Russian military, had preserved Singreal’s autonomy long enough that it was able to apply for its own sovereignty as the poster child of the inner colonies. It would wield impressive, if unreliable, heft as a financial powerhouse and commercial center and a steady manufacturing sector.

    Singreal would be the first, but it would not be the last: the American corporate colonies on Mars would soon follow as a result of internal political tensions between them and the home office on Earth. This wasn’t without bloodshed, the first test of Neuquen, but Atlas America found itself unable to justify the expense of resisting the hostile takeover of its Martian assets to its shareholders over a prolonged period (and, much like Britain and America in the first place, Atlas America and Atlas Mars would establish working relationship aside from occasional clashes over shared trademarks). Atlas Mars soon organized a strict corporatocratic state, albeit with a loosely aligned libertarian fringe. This libertarian fringe would bring it into conflict with Singrealian-based enterprises competing for similar territory along the equator, sparking competitive actions where Atlas Legionaries would gain a formidable reputation.

    The third notable offworld colony would be Ceres, colonized by Europe and transformed into the dominant hub of the Belt after the destruction of its main competitor in Hygiea. Ceres itself represented about 25% of the Belt’s total mass, making it closer to a planet than an asteroid. Colonization efforts on Ceres would be spearheaded by European-based corporate entities, unaffiliated with the Cooperative but desiring a less regulated environment than in Europe (which walked a better balance between Russia and the Cooperative on regulation). The postwar boom brought with it wealth, but relatively little trickled down and working conditions deteriorated as the colony’s population swelled. A strike in 2147 provoked a harsh crackdown that radicalized the population, which took control of the asteroid from underpaid security contractors, and stunned the solar system with a sudden resurfacing of a Communist Revolution****. Unlike two centuries before, Brussels was flexible in allowing sovereignty for the asteroid, albeit still technically part of the EU, and the radical worker’s collective segued into resuming its position as a major commercial player. With a network of operations centered on Ceres they would be the main competition for Kosmicheskie Voyska’s control of the Belt.

    There are other extraorbital powers: Mercury would be an independent prison colony financed by a wealthy ex-Singaporean***** billionaire and Argentine settlements dotted the moon alongside those of the more conventional space polities, but it’s not quite time to give them attention. The rise of competing extraterrestrial powers coincided with a decline in the earth-based polities: the leading space powers found themselves with shrinking budgets as advances in productivity were outpaced by the decline in population and the expense of maintaining an increasingly stressed and cumbersome infrastructure to support said population. Earth had the strongest gravitational field of any inhabited planet and that meant a commensurate cost in moving assets into orbit (not to mention rough meteorological conditions and the steadily growing debris field in orbit).

    Until now human interest had been confined to a relatively narrow habitable zone between Venus and the Asteroid Belt because of the extreme distances involved in travel, and even in the Belt the main logistical hurdle was potentially multi-year travel times between different points.Technology marched on, however, funded generously by both state R&D programs seeking an advantage in the aftermath of the Asteroid War and private ventures looking to gain greater access to the riches of the outer solar system. A new generation of pulsed plasma engines unveiled towards the end of the century offered reliable, high speed, long distance travel, dramatically reducing both the time and cost involved in reaching the outer solar system. Until now the region had been populated by lonely research outposts, some manned, most unmanned, but it would supplant the asteroid belt as the wild frontier of the 23rd century.

    Human interest in the outer system would be piqued not just by the potential economic benefits, but unexpectedly by the prospects of life and settlement. Mars, Luna, and the Asteroid Belt were all challenges to colonize because of the lack of magnetic fields protecting humans from solar radiation (part of why nearly all settlements would be buried under the surface) but the Gas Giants projected weak magnetic fields that encompassed many of their satellite moons. Different challenges existed, of course: weak solar light meant solar energy wasn’t a viable option, and the still significant distance from Earth meant that many colonies couldn’t expect reliable support or supply. But that hasn’t stopped frontiersmen before.

    It’s also easy to bury the lede here: the importance of a magnetosphere for supporting life was given renewed weight by the discovery of complex non-Earth life on Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter. Ganymede possessed its own molten core and a weak magnetic field to match, along with a vast subsurface ocean. Unmanned probes first penetrated the icy surface in the 21st century, but research settlements established in the latter half of the century would succeed in reaching the third layer of oceans. Here, complex life had developed where geothermal activity began to provide enough energy to support a simple ecosystem of extremophilic plant, herbivore, and carnivore analogues, unrelated to life on Earth and absolutely revolutionary in biology for establishing a common basis for the development of life.

    The 23rd century thus began on an important note: the confirmation that mankind was almost certainly not alone in the universe. Life had independently evolved in two separate places in the solar system. It was almost certain to have evolved elsewhere in the universe, among the billions of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, as a result.

    So where was it?

    Spoiler :
    *Technically an ecologist will tell you that the European and Russian Zones are the same, but with sharp national divisions between them and no cooperation they are best treated as separate entities.

    **Europe, Russia, North America, South Pacific (Patagonia and a slice of Antarctica), and Australasia.

    ***China’s vote would be effectively controlled by corporate interests based out of the L2 Lagrange Point.

    ****Okay, Syndicalist.

    *****Singapore was destroyed by Typhoon Dianmu in 2130.


    -----------

    Pardon for the delay, I’ve had a very exciting month.

    6 points for Terrestrial Powers, 8 points for the Inner Colonies (established in the last update) and 4 points for any new Outer Colonies. I’m looking for another ~4 Outer Colonies this turn and next combined, I don’t expect to need the cap but I want to have no more than twelve players for my sanity. The possible point categories have been slightly rejiggered this turn:

    • Planetary Defense - Surface to Space, or Surface to Surface, defense schemes designed to defend existing colonies from attack or assert control of a planetary body.
    • Interplanetary Warfare - Development of the capacity to wage war in deep space between planetary bodies, including mobile combatants.
    • Environmental Engineering - Long-term investments to make a planet’s environment more amenable to human colonization, or keep it amenable.
    • Space Colonization - The establishment or expansion of major extraterrestrial colonies throughout the Solar System.
    • Resource Development - Focusing not on the establishment of major population centers, but instead on smaller resource outposts to support existing development.

    You can expect preliminary stats to go up later this week.

    Deadline for orders in the next update will be December 15th, giving everyone a full week so that I can then spend another month chewing through the update.
     
  10. Butteryicarus

    Butteryicarus Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    41




    Polity Name
    : Acropolis of Titan

    Colour: Yellow-Orange, 255 186 0

    Summary: Titan is a harsh and seemingly inhospitable moon. Methane rains from the sky and its seas are a primordial muck, nothing like the famed Europan seas. Its thick atmosphere roars with gargantuan storms, and its volcanoes spew out a perplexing mix of Ammonia and Methane. It seems like an apocalyptic mirror of Earth.

    Ask the people living there though, and they would proclaim Titan is on track to be a New Earth. It is merely a work in progress.

    Settled by the European Union, it represents the federation’s hopes of colonising the moons of beautiful Saturn. Despite its chilly nature, Titan is a cornucopia of natural resources, including hydrocarbons that are necessary for the terraforming of Mars and other bodies. It even has more gas and oil reserves than Earth. Its colonisation would be tough, but its economic benefits was too promising for the EU to ignore.

    It makes the choice of colonists being sent there perplexing. Titan, despite its rough weather and unliveable surface conditions, contains all the building blocks for terraforming; not only does it contain an atmosphere, but it also has an abundance of frozen water and nitrogen. It is cold, but with effort, it could become just as liveable as Mars.


    The origins of Titan’s sociological division began the moment the EU failed to reconcile the two competing goals of the Titan project: was Titan to become an economic and resource haven, or was it to go down the path of terraforming and become a new cradle for humanity in Saturn? The EU simply said both, both were easily reconcilable.

    There were two very different groups trekking towards Titan; first were the regular colonists, sent there to extract Titan’s natural wealth and export it to the rest of the EU. In turn, Titan would receive food and industrial equipment that it used to develop up Titan’s infrastructure. Promising sites filled with oil, gas and minerals were already scouted out by probes, and these initial mines laid the foundations of what would become Titan’s frontier towns, small settlements devoted to digging up the riches of Titan.

    But then there was the other half; the Arcadia Project. Part Museum initiative, part terraforming project; the Arcadia project was the EU’s attempt to create a potential new Earth. It was far more fatalistic than it let on though, the people on the project posited that Earth was on borrowed time. Soon, both its ecosystem and humanity would collapse, a bright light in a pitch-black universe snuffed out. The project believed Titan was a humanity’s last chance.

    (The Martians would heavily disagree, of course.)



    When one walks down Arcadia, Titan’s modern capital, the fruits of the colony’s duelling-philosophies shines. Arcadia is an oasis. A domed city, abounding with plant life sprouting from its gleaming white towers. In a sea of orange, Arcadia stands out. Some Titanists praise it as a new bright torch. Others say it’s a sore thumb.

    Arcadia’s centrepiece is the Museum of Titan, or simply the Museum. The result of decades of construction by the Arcadian Project, it is a massive preservation of what it thinks is worth preserving from Earth. One building is a massive seed bank, filled with thousands of species of plants, encased forever, waiting to be planted once Titan is ready. Another is a massive repository of Literature, and while it proudly boasts a physical library, it is mostly for PR, with a giant digital collection making up the vast majority of its catalogue. Although it claims to collect as much of Earth’s old literature as it claims to fit, the colony’s origins as an EU settlement shine through; a good chunk of the literature is European in origin. Other buildings include art, artifacts, media and photography.

    Titan’s ruling body, the Council, descends from the Arcadian project. They were appointed as the main coordinators of the settlement, and as such they are the biggest influence on Titanist politics, for better or worse. Artists, ecologists, and idealists; the council views itself as mothers, nurturing humanity for a more creative and less wasteful universe. The council heavily funds the arts and green tech, hoping to make Titan abound with music and clean air alike.

    To them, Titan will not just be a new Earth, but a better Earth, a society that will not pollute their planet nor fall to the greed that doomed humanity.

    The reality of the situation is…complicated.

    According to the Forges of Titan, Titan’s economic ministry, the council’s idealism does not take into account reality. The Council does not understand Titan’s need to drill and mine, nor the need to prop up industry to export more and more of Titan’s abundant resources. Descending from the workers and engineers of the first colonists, the Forgers plan and coordinate trade and resource extraction for the colony. While they do shun corporatism to the delight of the Council, they also view the Council as ivory tower idealists. To the Forgers, the economic development of Titan far outweighs the Council funding yet another symphony. The Forge has facilities that dot Titan, and thanks to the lower gravity, it makes the transportation of extracted resources to Arcadia Port much easier, where it is shot up into space and to the rest of the EU. From these facilities, the rural workers and the leaders of the Forge alike eye Arcadia and the Council with suspicion and distrust. Arcadia is over the mountains, far away, too busy reading poetry and planting flowers. They do not understand what it means to wear a tight, uncomfortable gasmask, covered in rancid Ammonia, spending hours upon hours in liquid muck, all to prop up the hippies of Arcadia.

    Arcadia in turn hardly understands them. Clinics and Libraries are finally being built in the smaller settlements outside Arcadia. It is in Arcadia that nearly all of Titan’s entertainment is made. It is Arcadia that enables Titan to export those riches. Both view each other as ungrateful.

    It will be a while before Titan becomes as green and pastoral as the Council wishes. Yet ask a Titanist if her planet is beautiful and nearly all will agree. Nearly everyone has their own personal flight kits, Titan’s gravity allowing them to soar like eagles across Titan’s autumn skies. Arcadia City is perched over massive stilts over the surface, in preparation for Titan’s eventual transformation. One day it shall be a planet of vast, pristine oceans, abounding with people flying through her clouds. Titan is socially divided, and you still need a suit to venture out, but the Acropolis is special to the people there. It’s certainly worth a visit.



    A look at some of Titan's Citizens




    • Space Colonization: 1 - Titan has become increasingly populated; vast domed farms and imported food sustains what has become a minor hub for culture and research. Despite this tremendous growth, manufacturing remains negligible due to regulations, and as such Titan is yet to be self-sufficient. As such, further colonization into the rest of the Saturnian system might be the solution to breaking Titan's limits...

    • Resource Development: 2 - Titan’s entire society is propped up by exploitation of not just Titan’s mineral wealth alone, but the riches of Saturn as a whole. Forges, mines and drills dot Titan, extracting hydrocarbons that are all too valuable to the rest of human space. While not the sole polity exploiting resources among its rings, mining outposts of the Arcadian government can be found among the asteroids of Saturn’s rings. However, its biggest outposts are among the ice mines of Enceladus. While initially merely a scientific outpost, it has since become the colony’s biggest source of water, allowing Titan to be far less dependent on Europa’s water exports.

      Titan is also fast becoming a major population center for the outer solar system, with trade, culture and mineral exportation allowing Titan and it's capital city to flourish as a beacon of Humanity.

    • Environmental Engineering: 1 - The terraforming of Titan is, ostensibly, a huge priority of the Titan Colony. However, economic and cultural growth has competed with the attention and resources of the colony. As such, while efforts to turn Titan is progressing, it will take far, far more resources and time till Titan can even come close to being the Arcadia it professes to be.

    • Planetary Defense: 0 – Titan relies exclusively on the EU and Europa to defend the colony. Titan has tried to justify to itself that due to its valuable exports, the superpowers dare not invade Titan at the risk of international condemnation. Such ideas are…naïve. An on-the-ground militia is all that stands between Titan and capitulation.

    • Interplanetary Warfare: 0 – Titan lacks orbital harbours and war factories, preferring to focus on developing the surface of Titan and her outposts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
    gay_Aleks, NinjaCow64 and Omega124 like this.
  11. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 Thought Bubble Thinker Supporter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    8,155
    Gender:
    Male
    Polity Name: Republic of Mercury, New Botany Bay
    Colour: Dark Grey (#A9A9A9)


    Summary: The origins of the Republic of Mercury began as early as the 21st Century. In 2030, due to increasing political instability and the increasing unpopularity of Private Prisons in the United States and the United Kingdom, the GEO Group sold the last of its operations to the United States in 2030 and relocated its operations to Australia, hoping to take advantage of the country’s geographical location and increasingly closer ties to ASEAN. This was a wise decision and put the GEO Group in a prime position to take advantage of increasingly corporate friendly polities both within and outside of ASEAN, reliving states of the increasingly expensive task of keeping increasing prison populations under control under the spectre of increasing instability. Soon GEO Group established itself, attracting a great deal of investment of big corporate players in ASEAN and other influential megacorporations, becoming a node in the Corporate Collective’s massive web of finance.

    In the dawn of the 23rd Century, the GEO Group elected Oliver Ranger, a new and ambitious CEO. He has his sights set on Mercury – while rich in minerals, its proximity to the sun made it an awful candidate for traditional colonisation due to extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) and intense radioactivity. Outside of extremely brief trips, being sent to Mercury was a death sentence and experiments with fully automated space colonies proved their unviability. Not even the poorest gunk farmer would willingly go to Mercury. However, convicts had no say in their future, and who would truly care if they died?

    Seeing the potential in the venture, the GEO Group was backed by an influential ex-Singaporean trillionaire Shufen Bai (often touted as the “Elon Musk of the 23rd Century” by his PR team) to create the mining colony of New Botany Bay on Mercury. Able-bodied convicts from all around the solar system were brought Mercury, along with some rudimentary security and administrative AI. They were told to meet mining quotas, or shipments would be delayed and they would starve. The high upfront cost of the colony was quickly repaid as the GEO Group and her investors used the convicts to bring large amounts of precious metal to fuel the growing needs of the dying Earth and the growing Solar System.

    The desired demographic of strong and abled bodied persons (primarily, but not exclusively, men) resulted in a lot of people who were involved in organised crime being sent to New Botany Bay. Mostly they retained their loyalties to their syndicates, making a power struggle inevitable. Eventually one faction reigned supreme. While primarily consisting of Triads, leader Master Dragon Wan Dingxiang was notable for forging an alliance of non-Triad and non-Chinese gangs. After exterminating the opposition and getting the rest of the gangs to swear allegiance to him, he declared the creation of the Mercury Righteous and Harmonious Guild. As this name is quite a mouthful, most Hermians* refer to the group as the “Mercury Organisation” or just “The Organisation”. Offworlders often refer to them as “The Mercury Triad”.

    Biologist Tabari Kader, who was sent to Mercury due to unethical genetic engineering experiments, was able to forcibly mutate a nutrient rich fungus that feeds on human waste. This reduced the crippling reliance of New Botany Bay on external shipments of food and water. For his service he was appointed the prestigious position of Master Dragon Wan Dingxiang’s White Paper Fan (Administrative Advisor). While it tastes disgusting, this was a vital part in helping create an imperfect semi-self-sustaining space colony.

    Mercury is a cruel home. Even with the protection the colony and the space suits and provides, the lives of the Hermians are brutal and short. Despite this, the overwhelming biological instinct to have children prevailed and a generation of native Hermians were born in the mid-23rd Century. The existence of native Hermians was extremely controversial – after all, while many consider that the original convicts deserved their sentence**, surely their children did not? GEO faced backlash from all quarters, the already controversial programme becoming unpalatable in the eyes of all but the hungriest for boot. In a desperate attempt to regain acceptance in the eyes of the solar community, a team of GEO security officers were sent to extract Hermian the children from the colony despite the chances of a Hermian infant surviving on another planet being low. The team was killed to a man by the enraged Hermians. This incident led to the Mercury Organisation declaring the independence of the Republic of Mercury. The newly formed Republic made an offer to the rest of the solar system – recognise our independence and provide protection against inevitable GEO backlash and we will sell you our minerals on the cheap (cheaper than GEO ever did, anyway). This offer was accepted as nobody wanted to go through the hassle of settling a new colony on Mercury. GEO was forcibly dissolved and its remaining assets were cannibalised by other Cooperative corporations, per standard practice for scandals as large as these.

    Mercury has developed a distinct culture and system of government. Mercury is dominated by the Organisation, which is somewhat feudal in nature but is moving towards something akin to a Parliamentary system. The Master Dragon is elected by from a group of Dragons (Capos, essentially) who retain the loyalty of their 49ners (adults who are loyal to said Dragons). Dragons each oversee their own Family – no traditional nuclear family structure could be maintained due to a near 1:10 ratio of men:women in the colony. A system of polygamy was developed – women would typically marry a Dragon or one of his closer lieutenants but would usually have numerous lovers among his gang. Children born would almost always pledge loyalty to the family of their mother’s – they would become 49ers of the Dragon from the family that sired them, forever blurring the line between the criminal/political family and literal famil. 2nd and 3rd generation Hermians are beginning to identify themselves with three names – a given name, the name of their mother as a “middle” name and the name of the Family to which they belong. On a few occasions Families have split due to political intrigue and because of Families becoming too large, this trend will likely continue to the future. Refugees and exiles (the only people who would willingly migrate to Mercury) are expected to pledge themselves to one of the less prestigious Families upon arrival, otherwise they will face even more difficulties then they usually would.

    The Master Dragon’s political power depends entirely on his force of will and his relationship with the Council of Dragons. Ever since the passing of Master Dragon Wan Dingxiang without an appointed successor, the Master Dragon serves at the pleasure of the Council of Dragons. Master Dragons who lose the support of the Council of Dragons should expect their reign to be short and painful. It is in this way that the Republic of Mercury is democratic – the Spartan culture of the Hermians (which arose due to the harsh conditions of New Botany Bay and her history) ensures that, while the devotion of the 49ers to their Dragon is absolute, ultimately each Dragon serves at the pleasure of their 49ers and each Master Dragon serves at the pleasure of the Council.

    Hermian justice is swift and brutal – it is generally dispensed by the Dragon from the Family of the offender, with the Council of Dragons and the Master Dragon having the final say in high profile cases and inter-familial disputes. Lesser crimes are generally dealt with the chopping off of body parts, the greater the crime the more important the part removed. Greater crimes are dealt with through swift execution. All bodies are efficiently processed to provide nourishment on the vital fungus that sustains the colony. The greatest crime is the injury of an infant or a woman due to scarcity – this crime is dealt with by placing the offender in the processing plant while still alive.

    Mercury is quickly developing a unique national character and culture emphasising strength, self-reliance and differentiation from Offworlders. There is a distrust of Offworlders – Hermians are stuck on this God-forsaken rock and Offworlders were the ones who trapped them here! Due to Mercury’s reliance on external trade, by necessity this has not evolved into outright xenophobia in most instances. Instead, the Hermians demand respect from the outsiders. There are many projects to differentiate Mercury from the other worlds culturally, including all the national trappings of a flag, government name ect. The most notable is the formulation of a truly Hermian language. While an informal pidgin language of Chinese and English*** (with many loan words from other cultures who sent prisoners to the colony) has developed, the push to formalise this language and develop detailed grammatical rules and formalised dictionaries is its early stages.

    The Republic trends towards collectivism, the only way that Hermians can survive is if they stick together. The distinction between the Hermian government, Hermian families and the individual is extremely thin – everyone is an “employee” of the “state”. The economy is planned out of necessity – the excesses of unrestrained free market capitalism could not survive the harsh conditions of Mercury. Public property by and large does not exist. A Hermian Dollar has begun to be produced, although its use is limited and is more akin to the Soviet Rubel than hard currency (outside of contexts of national trade where it usually exchanged for foreign currency or raw resources).

    The national economy and security of the Republic of Mercury is almost entirely dependent on their trade of minerals, although their independence has enabled them to acquire resources and technology that is being used to establish independent defences and even more self-sufficiency…
    • Planetary Defence (1) – The Republic reliant on military contracts with trading partners and by the fact that nobody else wants to go to the extreme effort of setting up another colony. Establishing an independent space force to defend the planet was a high priority of successive Master Dragons and the newly minted Republican Navy has begun phasing out some security contracts. While no one is confident that they would fare well in any extended engagement, Hermian diplomats claim that in private channels that their capacities are enough to make invasion of New Botany Bay prohibitively expensive. Why bother fighting when we are willing to sell you everything you would ever need for such reasonable prices?
    • Interplanetary Warfare (0) – lol
    • Environmental Engineering – (0) The GEO Group did the bare minimum to keep New Botany Bay liveable.
    • Space Colonisation – (1) The establishment of New Botany Bay by the GEO was quite a feat in of itself. The Republic has expanded and improved the life support systems of New Botany Bay to accommodate more people more comfortably, but resources are limited.
    • Resource Development – (2) New Botany Bay is and continues to be a mining colony, focus of its development in the GEO era was towards extracting more and more resources more efficiently. Priorities have shifted under the Republic, but due to its reliance on mineral exports resource development remains near the top.
    * - lit "Of Mercury", referring to someone born on Mercury or identifying as a Citizen of the Republic of Mercury.

    ** - While many in the first generation of Hermians were involved in serious crime (organised or otherwise), many were held on dubious grounds by corrupt governments or were political opponents who presented a threat or inconvenience. GEO Group did not ask questions - free labour is free labour.

    *** - Despite the collapse of Anglophone empires, English remained a lingua franca throughout the 22nd and beyond due to its widespread use beforehand.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
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  12. EmpressDesu

    EmpressDesu Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Gender:
    Female
    Polity Name: Federated States of New Columbia/Estados Federados de Nueva Columbia

    Color: #66B2FF





    Summary: The Federated States of New Columbia do not harken their legacy back to the 22nd or even 21st Century- no, their self-claimed history (at least, if the Museum of Columbian Exploration at Aldrin Center is to be believed) finds itself starting in the 20th Century, with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s first cautious steps into outer space. Even earlier, some claim, begins the true legacy of the Federated States- the frontier and exploration spirit of the Old America, divorced from the corporate greed that has consumed its existence on Earth itself. While hypocrisy is claimed by many outside of the Federated States, particularly with their rose-tinted look at the history of their society, it can be said that many within the Federated States themselves believe themselves merely the inheritors of a legacy of frontiersmen and explorers charting a new course for themselves, free of the oppression of whatever the enemies of their origins may be- religious, cultural, or now commercial oppressors.


    Of course, New Columbia did not start as it is now- it would have never left Earth if its new professed goal was to be known. The colony that would become New Columbia started as simply yet another American corporate mining colony in the rings of Saturn, just profitable enough to encourage the settlement (forced or otherwise) of people there, but not profitable enough to find itself under strict scrutiny. Over time, however, those who inhabited New Columbia were increasingly left to settle their own affairs- small internal courts being established as a “cost-saving measure”, as well as representatives chosen to handle things in lieu of direct contact- something that many shareholders celebrated as a way to allow even greater profits. Something that, had anyone taken a closer look, would have seemed dangerous- but nobody would take a good look at a colony that far out, with minimal defenses or much of anything beyond simple mining equipment. That all would come to change with the immigration (a fanciful term, in these times, for the coerced resettlement) of one particular individual- Elizabeth Whitaker, eventually to become the first elected President of New Columbia. Not much is known about her early years outside of the Colony, apart from the fact that she quickly found herself elected as a representative for a group of mining workers, one of twelve chosen to represent the colony as part of the agreed compact made two decades prior. Of course, this role was merely symbolic- the true power lay in the Chief Administrator of the station, whose power was nearly absolute, the representatives but puppets to his whims.


    Puppets to his whims they would not stay, however, with a series of crises on the station in terms of food, oxygen, and more exploding into a series of open riots. Corporate police were quick to put them down, but not before a number of the representatives- five, in particular- found themselves as part of a new, hastily-assembled representative council to “explain the situation” to the Chief Administrator. Instead of doing so, the representatives met in secret aboard one of the quieter areas of the ship, and held a meeting on what was to be done. When the meeting began, only one- Whitaker- was in favor of removing the Chief Administrator of the station. When it ended, the vote was unanimous. So concluded the First Columbian Congress- a far cry from what it would end up being- that, in order to effectively manage the situation of the colony, matters would have to be taken into the hands of its colonists, not the Chief Administrator and his forces. A brutal and bloody conflict broke out, one which lasted months, but eventually ended in the removal of the Chief Administrator- a shuttle taking him, several more representatives, and the remains of those who remained loyal to the corporation back to Earth. Fears ran high for months aboard the new colony- now under the Provisional Columbian Congress- that their corporate masters would return to take their colony, however, this would never come to pass. Stockholders were far more concerned with events on Mars than some Saturnian backwater, and so, after a year of the Provisional Columbian Government, a new constitution was formed, one on the basis of Federal Self-Government and Exploration, with the goal of continuing the Great Columbian Mandate- a mandate compared by many to the archaic term of Manifest Destiny.


    Now, almost a century later, the Federated States of New Columbia find themselves in a position none of them expected to be in- a refuge for those fleeing Earth, for those fleeing other colonies, simply, for those fleeing. Despite internal politics- the height of which comes with the question of how the Mandate should be fulfilled- dividing the orbital habitats and hollowed-out asteroids which make up the fledgling federation, they maintain unity in their self-described purpose as a home for those who cannot- nay, will not- live under the corporate polities that make up Earth, as a home for those who seek adventure, and as a home for those who seek solace and warmth in their new place in the stars, a place untainted by the cold and oppressive greed of spreadsheets or the leather of boots.


    The capital of New Columbia lies on the moon of Saturn, Enceladus, with the titular name itself, though many "states" find themselves within the rings of Saturn or lying on other objects in Saturn's orbit, a testament to the tenaciousness of the Columbian way of life. The largest centers of individuals besides New Columbia are Glenn Station, Ulysses, and New Plymouth, all lying within the rings of Saturn, a hodgepodge of domestically produced habitats and imported Terran sites, though the numbers of registered citizens of the Federated States changes as often as their locale membership, with new habitats being filed under the Department of the Interior every few months.


    New Columbian society prides itself on its frontier nature and attitude- with many jokes often made about the fact that if you give a New Columbian a piece of tape, some metal, and time, they can make either a firearm or a space vessel’s stabilizer, whichever one they find more interesting. New Columbians also find themselves characterized, in decreasing order of positivity, as relentlessly optimistic, self-starting, brutally honest, quarrelsome, and lacking much sense of decorum or fanciful diplomacy- besides those in the diplomatic corps- at all. Nearly any issue, beyond those dictated in the Columbian Constitution, is handled on a low-level, with settlement courts often finding themselves deciding everything from marriage licenses to mineral rights to armed robbery charges. Nobody in New Columbia will claim this system is perfect- far from it, news feeds are littered with complaints and editorials about court decisions- but they do take pride in its attitude towards the common person, with each and every citizen of New Columbia required by the Constitution to be considered equal and to be treated fairly, no matter any semblance of their status.


    The nominal "official" language- though none has been, or will ever be prescribed- of New Columbia is an affected dialect of American English, which has been likened by visitors to the independent polity as a variant of Western American English and Southern American English combined, with significant influence from Southwestern-dialect Spanish, which is also a common language within the polity. Officially, all documents are required to be written in Standard American English and Spanish most typically associated with Northeastern Mexico and the Southwestern United States, though some habitats have additional provisions, such as German-language or even Mandarin-language documentation, depending on specific demographics.


    New Columbia often finds itself looking back at its self-described history- and while many deride the silliness of tying themselves to a failed nation, one whose spot in human history is come and gone, the citizens of New Columbia will be sure to tell you that their history effectively ended in the 21st Century and didn’t begin again until recently, with the Union of America on Earth being merely a warning on what occurs if they fail to heed the lessons of history. The stories of the old space men breaking the boundaries of what was thought possible, over and over again, are taught often to children, whose mythical heroes are the ones who braved the new frontier of space, the ones who found themselves forging a new path for them and their descendants. It is a common tradition in New Columbian society to name streets, vessels, and even children after relics of the past- Lincoln and Armstrong being two of the most common surnames within the Federated States as of 2302. In addition, its citizens take pride in their history as a nation of migrants and settlers, with many deriding any attempt to control or slow the integration of settlements into the Federated States- apart from criminals, who are they to decide who wishes to join?


    Diplomacy of New Columbia is often characterized by the older civilizations who interact with the Federated States as lacking polish, but not without its own folksy charm- an example of its society, truly, in action. As a general rule, it’ll talk to just about anyone, but that can be as much a hindrance as a help- many a scandal has come out of a New Columbian diplomat chatting up exactly the wrong person in regards to a particular point of contention. Trade with the people of Titan- particularly mined goods in exchange for food and other supplies- is the most common external trade, though foreign trade back to Earth does come through every few months to years, particularly with what can be smuggled out of the Union of America- of particular concern to the people are the ever-coveted artifacts of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which often find themselves in museums and displays in New Columbian habitats. However, New Columbia often limits itself to trading with corporations- particularly those described as "megacorporations"- to an absolute minimum, with distrust of said institutions being seen as an ingrained part of their perceived national identity.


    Its military forces are… well, the best thing that can be said about them is that they’re enthusiastic. Their equipment may be old, and there might not be enough of it to go around, and they’re constantly plagued by shortages, not to mention the lack of experienced officers… but if you told a New Columbian soldier that taking that orbital platform is key to the defense of the Federated States, then by the rings of Saturn, they’ll be sure to have it flying the blue-red flag by the next Earth solar cycle. The various forces of New Columbia pride themselves on their individual problem-solving and creativity- preferring to sabotage a space vessel, for example, or board it, rather than simply blow it up, if it is at all possible, in order to make use of it later. There are three main sub-organizations who form the Federated States Defense Forces- the Federated States Naval Protection Force, Federated States Marine Corps, and Federated States Militia Force. The FSNPF consists of all patrol and customs vessels within the Federated States, whose purpose is to protect the various habitats from foreign attackers- and as such, its funding is the largest of the three branches. The FSMC consists of the detachments who serve aboard the FSNPF ships (the commonly-used prefix being FSNCS) and are trained in boarding, landing, and other such actions, and who are the sole professional land force within the FSDF. The final branch, the FSMF, makes up the largest branch by manpower, but also one of the less-funded- being a number of paramilitary organizations trained and equipped in order to act in a policing role- usually in the form of deputized militiamen- or in a wholly defensive role. FSMF Sheriffs are a sub-branch of the FSMF, typically one to five per habitat, who act as the primary arm of the law, chosen by the habitat and approved by the central government after a careful vetting process. While they are restricted in the scope of activities, they are entrusted with the day-to-day law keeping processes of whatever habitat they run- which typically involves aiding the Judicial Corps in settling disputes or the often-unpleasant act of ensuring that the few things that are required of habitats in the New Columbian Constitution are being well-followed (particularly rules regarding the limitations of property accumulation, prevention of corporate or otherwise authoritarian engagement in domestic affairs, required minimums towards the treatment of fellow colonists- both in terms of domestic disputes and inter-habitat disputes- when it comes to basic decencies, requirements to provide certain minimums of treatment in regards to food, water, and medicine, or disputes with other habitats).


    Space Colonization: 3 There is one thing New Columbia knows, and one thing alone- and that is its colonization. Rapid growth and integration of new refugees, new exiles, new immigrants seem to be the one thing it can do efficiently. New Columbia seems less a polity of its own and more a place for the tired, huddled masses to go when they want to forge a new path- and its ability to handle such immigration is to be more than commended.


    Resource Development: 1 Built on a foundation of former asteroid mining colonies, New Columbia has a number of these machines still around after its War of Independence- and it is sure to continue to use them. Nearby neighbors will often buy said exports, and it is one of the few things allowing growth within the New Columbian economy- something they are quick to consistently improve.


    Environmental Engineering: 0 The habitats of New Columbia aren’t pretty, nor are they incredibly high-tech- but they work, and that’s all they ask of them. An existence in Saturn’s rings is bound to be difficult.


    Planetary Defense: 0 As previously stated, the New Columbian forces are enthusiastic- but not exactly competent, nor are they well-equipped. They’ll be damned if they don’t do their best, though.


    Interplanetary Warfare: 0 The New Columbian navy primarily consists of merchant-escorts and a few patrol vessels- warships are far from priority for their society. They will never launch an attack on a foreign polity, unless absolutely necessary, so any capabilities for that are entirely unnecessary.


    While many issues have yet to be solved, or even decided upon as a point of topic in the New Columbian Congress, few seem to take issue or note of this- they find their freedom and existence away from other polities within the Solar System to be enough for them. For if they do not have this fundamental existence, the alternative of all alternatives, a look to the past and future combined- what do they have?


    Hail, Columbia, happy land!
    Hail, ye heroes, heav'n-born band,
    Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
    And when the storm of war was gone
    Enjoy'd the peace your valor won.
    Let independence be our boast,
    Ever mindful what it cost;
    Ever grateful for the prize,
    Let its altar reach the skies.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
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  13. Glatux

    Glatux Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 31, 2019
    Messages:
    21
    Gender:
    Female
    Themes : Ends justifies the means, desperation, making a new home for themselves, last bastion of socialism, asserting one place in the universe, underdog?


    The 22nd century dawned and Ceres stood the first socialist revolution of the modern era the mining and industrial hub turned colony. As the 23rd century rolled around Ceres stood at the gateway to the outer system, the middle point of the solar system and it was finally her time to shine.

    As the first if not only socialist entity in the solar system Ceres combined with the fact that Earth was increasingly becoming uninhabitable, Ceres started to attract a number of migrants, some looking for a new place to live, other having given up on a revolution back on earth, as well as political refugee. Following socialist principle Ceres would of course accept people from all over the world, from all cultures; this wasn’t all bread and roses but shared political ideology and being stranded in the middle of space after running away from earth did help greatly in a relatively peaceful integration, Ceres would overtime move from her very European worker culture to a more multicultural place which progressively became the Ceresian culture we know today.

    “If you like socialism so much why don’t you move to Ceres” – Unknown earth conservative.​

    All this greatly inflated Ceres’ population and the tunneling of the inside of the planet continued, the massive troglodyte city expanding further and further inside the planet. And as the population grew so did Ceres’ industrial capacity, which increased the number of mining vessels increasing her wealth, combined with her position as a trading hub(Even if many ideologists decry the existence of the trade port) will slowly turn Ceres into a major player in the Solar system.

    Wars on Earth quickly grab the eyes of the population and the navy experiments, which so far were limited to a few prototypes and jerry-rigged mining vessels acting as experimental vehicles, turned into a priority project. The Ceres industrial yards started pumping space combat vessels in numbers quickly improving over and over as every worker though of way to improve either the vehicles or production of them.

    However vessels are only one part of the navy, the rest is crew, which Ceres didn’t really have a lot of, and “Space naval warfare” was still unexplored ground. The solution came in two things, first that immigration increased in pace and the second thing came in the form of a “secret” proposal.
    The “Makhno proposal” was to have an unofficial "freeport" on Ceres, letting pirates and smugglers sell their and loot and selling them some old working prototypes and outdated vessels to recoup on our losses as a mean to serve as testing ground for space warfare to be studied by the newly formed Ceres naval academy and "Free data" by the Ceres shipyard.

    As time passed the official Ceres Navy kept growing as threats kept growing more real, the Belt war in the neighborhood told us to worry about the KV, and spend lots of time on war games in case of a future warfare and sometimes looking at our "free data" to see if some unconventional tactics were worth exploring.

    Ceres never put much effort into stamping out pirates as they had the smart idea of staying clear of any cargo that was escorted by the Ceres Navy and the unlucky fool that tried quickly found themselves destroyed by more modern ships that already knew most of their tricks.

    The Navy has the elected officers model that is characteristic of the already existing Ceres militia, it's doctrine is based on studies of the Asteroid war and the "free data" as it aims to master space combat.
    As for the shipyard, as they built ships efficiency grew and grew, as they got better at building ships be their military or civilian, using it's main advantage of being free from having to operate on a planet with a decent gravity to build ships that couldn't be build anywhere other than space and not having to spend much energy transporting those resources there.

    It should be noted that Ceres never recognized the pirates in any official matter and it was clear they'd be thrown under the bus if their existence were to harm Ceres.

    Ceres Naval Flag


    On a less spectacular note the greenhouses of Ceres kept growing thanks to earth imports to the point where Ceres gradually became sustainable. Soy, beans, potatoes, fungus and grains are her main produce along with few vegetables and fruits, as importing livestock or trying to clone meat would only be a strain on Ceres’ aggro-industry.

    Nonetheless not having to really on earth and other colonies to avoid starving to death came with great celebration, the day became in a way Ceres’ unofficial (as Ceres has yet to broke away from the EU) Independence Day.

    “I miss steaks” – Random migrant from earth.
    “Close to the real deal, is best you can get here, and we got use to it so I’m sure they will too” – Random Ceres chef on the reception of their fake meat veggie patty.​

    Speaking of the EU and Foreign relation, Ceres relations with other country haven’t improved as well communist aren’t well liked; she is seen as a hub of revolutionary and political dissidents by most and her lack of commitment to space privateering doesn’t help. Still Ceres does her best to maintain her role as the hub between the inner and outer solar system and focuses most of her effort in keeping her competitors at bay will enriching herself and her citizen.

    In regards to the EU, Ceres maintains it's... presence but the interest of the EU and hers grow more and more distant, and while they haven't had incentive to leave just yet, they will leave as soon as the EU tries to enforce it's authority on Ceres against her best interest.

    Regarding space diplomacy the KV presence forced Ceres to make alliances ideological purist keep decrying to this day but in the end safety and realpolitik won and the Security treaty with Atlas was made : Ceres would protect Atlas trade routes in exchanges for materials, weapons and mutual defense.


    • Planetary Defense – 0 – Living mostly underground does present a lot of advantage and Ceres main focus is on her space navy, so it was judged unimportant to invest in planetary defense beyond our existing 22nd century installation.

    • Interplanetary Warfare – 5 – The Ceres Navy is the pride of Ceres, with our tactical experimental ground(wargames and "free data") as well as observations of the Asteroid wars, it is hopefully prepared for any conflict that may arise. Ceres intends on becoming a major power in the 23rd century.

    • Environmental Engineering – 0 – No plan is made to ever terraform the surface which is mostly empty saved for a few installations and docking ports. There is no atmosphere nor are we getting one. All effort here would be wasted

    • Space Colonization – 2 – It is preferred to keep our effort on Ceres as it’s the only thing remotely being worthy of being called a planet in the asteroid belt, as well as we don’t have the resources to Colonize the outer system ourselves, we’re just Ceres. Still more and more migrants are coming in and the city of Ceres expends deeper into the planet underground and green houses are made to sustain it to end our dependence on foreign powers.

    • Resource Development – 1 – Mining is why we’re here in the first place and all that mineral wealth is very useful, to build our navy, improve the lives of our citizens and keep improving Ceres. While Pallas and Vesta seems like valuable prospect we don't have the resources to do more than plant a flag and some outpost there majority of our mining operation will stay in Ceres, and the tunnel can be used later on when expending the Undercity.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  14. Butteryicarus

    Butteryicarus Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    41


    Russian Diplomacy in this game be like
     
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  15. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    The KR protests this deplorable display of Russian territorial denialism. Truly our enemies are many and varied and ruthless! As all people of good faith know, Russia is also master of Hygiea, Vesta and Pallas and a great much else beside! Long live the interstellar Motherland!
     
    Crezth, Omega124 and NinjaCow64 like this.
  16. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The 23rd century was a period of humbling for the Russian Federation. After the golden years of the mid 21st to early 22nd century, where Russia was by far the ascended power above all of humanity, it finally had to face its first conflict while being recognized as the hegemon it was. The Corporate Cooperative, one of its major terrestrial rivals, finally faced down the Federation after its refusal to cede its national sovereignty over its claims in the Belt. Immediately, the issues of the Federation became exposed to the world; the Russians in the Belt had effectively formed their own society, wholly separate from its government on Earth. While still nominally loyal to Moscow, they operated on a separate chain of command, focused on creating a virtual fiefdom where their militaristic society held complete sway. Whenever units of the Russian Space Forces from Earth and from the Belt operated together, it was practically as-if they were two entirely separate armies, with their own doctrines and objectives. No more was this more apparent than on Mars; the inability of the Terrestrial/Martian contingent to cooperate with the Belter contingent led to significant setbacks in operations on that planet, to the point where the continued existence of Novokiev looked bleak.

    To make matters worse, the Perun Cosmodrome, the planned heart of the new Russian Empire in space, was destroyed by a coordinated surface-to-space bombardment from Australasia. That finally caused Russia to snap, the Cooperative went simply too far. A Nuclear strike on Australasia was the only appropriate response, the only way to avenge those lost on Perun, to finally destroy the damn Cooperative once and for all. The pandora's box of nuclear warfare, first opened by Russia's victory in the Sino-Russian War, was finally actually realized, as cities all across the Southern Hemisphere were wiped off the map. The bear was angry, and nothing would satisfy it other than every executive in the Cooperative hung on a tree.

    Then the Cooperative fired back. Somehow, a mega corporation got its hands on a nuclear stockpile, and fired its own salvo of nuclear missiles at Siberia. With Russian anti-strategic assets nowhere near at full capacity due to the extended fighting, it was impossible for them all to be intercepted. While the Cooperative salvo was nowhere near as impressive as the initial Russian attack, major cities across all of Siberia, by now the most populated area of Russia, were likewise destroyed in atomic fire.

    The rest of the world stepped in. Russia and the Cooperative were going to destroy the Earth out of their mutual refusal to back down. Indeed, Russia was fully prepared to perform a second nuclear strike, to turn the entire Australasian Habitable Zone into an irritated wasteland. The pride of the nation had to be defended at all costs, those lost in the destruction of Novosibirsk and other cities to be avenged tenfold (not to mention the Perun, which still stung as by far the most deadly attack). Fiat iustitia, et pereat mundus.

    Telling the two parties to stop killing each other was a herculean task. To Russian diplomats, it had to spun as no less than the Cooperative capitulating for Russia to even enter Neuquen, a tacit admittance that Russian space, was, indeed, Russian. How much of this was true, versus what Moscow wanted to hear, is up to debate. However, the Asteroid War is still spun as a Russian victory in Russia, albeit not a total one. Sure, it stung to have to recognize the Cooperative as sovereign, it stung that they got a seat on the Security Council, but they submitted themselves, finally, to international regulation, that they had to respect Russian (and European) national territory in space, and that Russian holdings in space would be recognized as theirs.

    Russia signed the treaty. Many Russians, including those within the Duma and even some post-war Presidents, wish they didn't, that they just dropped 50 more nukes on Australia, and let the chips fall. The fact that the Cooperative still existed as an entity at all deeply offended Russia; there was tacit comparison of the equivalent of the Soviet Union just stopping at the 1939 borders, instead of going down to Berlin and finally gutting the Nazi beast. But, the Russian government was forced to face a bitter truth: had they continued the vendetta, Russia could have likely destroyed the Cooperative, but they would have destroyed Earth along with them. The planet was already failing, and even Siberia was no longer the promised untapped fertile wonderland it once was. There was only five regions left in the world that were considered fit for human habitation; destroying two them over an admittingly extremely justified feud benefited no one.

    And with a stroke of the pen, the Asteroid War was over. Suddenly, there was a powerful sense of dread on what to do next. Much like the Americans after 9/11, there was a movement to rebuild Perun, as a testament that they would not be cowed by corporate terrorism. The practical reality, too, is that Perun had to be rebuilt. So much critical infrastructure was either moved, or in the process of being moved, offworld, Russia was without the manufacturing capability it so desperately needed to maintain its empire. Informally called "Perun II" by outside observers (many Russians would consider this label offensive; the name was simply Perun, with perhaps "Old Perun" to differentiate the one that was destroyed), the new Perun Cosmodrome would be designed specifically to withstand the type of missile attack done in the Asteroid War.

    However, this was simply rebuilding and reconsolidating. The Federaton was still in a funk. The air was unbreathable, the oceans uninhabitable, many of the land that *was* livable was now irradiated crates. The hated enemy still existed, the Belt was in all-but-name independnet, and while Novokiev still shone as perhaps the last jewel of the Federation's crown, there were legitimate concerns over whether or not Russia could even hold it if the rogue elements of the VK or some foreign power came knocking (or, god forbid, they themselves declare independence). What was even the point of continuing onwards, if anything the Federation built towards was going to burn up into ashes?

    Then, the most wondrous news came from Ganymede: alien life was discovered on the Jovian moon. This came at just the right moment to completely rejuvenate Roscosmos. The eternal question of if we were alone in the universe was finally, definitely solved. However, it suddenly spawned more questions: how did life exist on Ganymede? How old was life there? How similar were they to us? Do we perhaps have a distant, but yet common ancestor? Who knew for sure, but somebody had to go answer that question, and by god, did Russia want to be the ones answering that question.

    With whatever limited resources the civilian Roscosmos had left, all resources were pooled to establish a presence in Jupiter, particularly on Ganymede, with a secondary presence on Io. Unlike Novokiev, these two proposed colonies were not intended to just be prestige colonies, but had clearly defined purposes for their establishment before the first settler even touched down on the surface. Ganymede, as expected, was established primarily for xenobiological study, a site with the ultimate goal of studying the fish underneath the surface in greater detailed. Named Ushakov, after the legendary admiral-saint of the Russian Navy, the colony's biggest feature is a massive sub-pen, designed to host a fleet of exploratory vehicles to one day, perhaps capture live specimens at the bottom of the third sea.

    Io's purpose is a little more nebulous in its function; many outside observers still don't fully understand exactly why Io was considered such a high priority for Roscosmos. Indeed, to a degree, Io being so inhospitable was a significant factor in why it was chosen. The moon, with its volcanic basalt lakes, bountiful geothermic activity, and mineral wealth, gave it the nickname of "Jupiter's Forge". It was a source of near inexhaustible energy, and as Russia has always primed itself as an energy exporter for centuries, it only made sense to the Russian government to be interested in continuing its competitive advantage into the stars. Not to mention, of course, the other raw building resources, which could be leveraged for its main priority on Ganymede. This Ioan colony has been darkly nicknamed Chernobog, after the primeval evil God of old Slavic folklore. Io was still going to be a hellhole, regardless of why they're there.

    However, these lofty goals would be, to some degree, hampered by an unfortunate reality: the Earth was dying. The Russian habitable zone was shrinking due to the radiation caused by the nuclear exchange, If Russia did not try to clean up its home on Earth, then Russia would cease to exist on Earth. Sure, Russia could theoretically survive in space; that was the whole point of Novokiev, but Novokiev was a controlled migration; Russia was no prepared to resettle hundreds of millions of people into space. Where would they go? A hundred years ago, "Perun" would have made sense, as it was envisioned as almost an artificial moon in its own right. However, the destruction of the first Perun Cosmodrome showed how dangerous that would be. Another coordinated strategic attack, and millions of people could perish in the crossfire. Ushakov and Chernobog are too specialized to accept too many civilians outside of their respective scopes, and its not like Chernobog in particular would be much better than Earth's surface. There are some other scattered Russian colonies, too small to name, but they are exactly that, too small.

    Any attempt at maintaining the Federation, therefore, had to require saving Earth. So, when the Europeans came in, knocking on Moscow's door with a proposal to work together, with the Cooperative and the other remaining terrestial powers, to try to repair the Earth, Russia didn't immediately shoot them down. Now, granted, no one in the Federation trusted the EU, and the blood vendetta against the Cooperative, while fading with time as the Asteroid War became a memory, was still present in certain segments of society. But, imagine a world where the EU and the Cooperative *did* work together to save the Earth, and Russia was the one to finally doom it, much in the same way she was responsible for the state of space exploration being so violent and brutal in the first place....

    No one liked it, but Russia had to join the initiative. And thus twice in one century, Moscow swallowed its pride, and used a stroke of its pen to save the planet the city rested on.
    • Planetary Defense (1) - The legacy of the Asteroid War meant that Russia refused to sit around and not expand its defensive capabilities, to prevent such a catastrophe from happening again. Unfortunately, the new wave of mobilization and R&D was simply not as explosive as it was in the prior 200 years, a fact that stung to the military's ears.
    • Interplanetary Warfare (0) - To the utter embarrassment of Moscow, concerns back at home has stripped major portions of the Russian military budget. Expansion on Russia's interplanetary warfare was delegated to the KV's Autonomous Command, as Russia simply could not afford more development on this front
    • Environmental Engineering (3) - The Eden Initiative is a act of good faith for the entire world to try to repair the Earth, before the climate situation becomes too untenable. By scrubbing fallout, actively trying to remove CO2 in the air, and repairing the damage of the oceans, Russia is doing its part to uphold the tenants of the Initiative, even if it likely means abandoning a good chunk of its space program in the meantime.
    • Space Colonization (2) - The colonization Ushakov was Russia's main priority off of Earth, with nearly all funding not diverted to addressing climate change was directed towards finding an awnser to the mysteries of life. Chernobog was a secondary colony also established during this time, never a central focus on Russia, but perhaps a more long-term viable outpost in Jupiter, simply because of no one wanting to live on Io.
    • Resource Development (0) - The Federation has long since abandoned resource development to the KV's Autonomous Command. They're simply more equipped to handle resource extraction than we are.
     
  17. Kyzarc Fotjage

    Kyzarc Fotjage Rise Up

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    Just going to post it in case I don't end up having time/forget to properly go through and edit, will expand later.

    Polity Name: Atlas Belt

    Colour: Dusty Rose (194, 130, 133)

    Space Colonization 0: Atlas Belt is very lightly populated and only has a few thousand personnel total, most of whom live in isolated family units aboard outposts. Children are generally sent back to the largest of the colonies, Kalypso, for education and socializing with outsiders, with many finding partners and joining their family units.
    Resource Consolidation 1: Atlas Belt is ostensibly a mining operation and its outposts do their best, but many of the most profitable asteroids have already been claimed and much of their budget is earmarked towards defense spending.
    Interplanetary Warfare 3: The violent nature of the Asteroid Belt has caused Atlas Mars to heavily subsidize weapons purchases by Atlas Belt, leading to the barely profitable colonies to be densely armed to the point where one was attacked for the sole purpose of taking its weapons. One particularly infamous outpost, Metis, boasts that it has more ship-to-ship weapons than it has crew to man them, an exaggeration but not a particularly egregious one given the tendency of the colonies to reinvest their profits in heavier weaponry. Further several of the outposts are used as testing grounds for Atlas’s military R&D, as open conflict is more common in the Belt than on Mars’ surface.

    Spoiler Summary :
    As Atlas Mars continued to militarize and centralize, its more independent-minded personnel began protesting internally. While normally such behavior would’ve been squashed by management, there was sufficient sympathy on the Stewardship Council who themselves were divided on what direction the company should take to cause actual discussion. John Johnson, Head of Human Resources, was convinced that these radicals were ultimately still loyal and just needed appropriate placement in a low-oversight environment where they could act freely. He spoke with Yu Xuanji, a major shareholder whose parents had fled Earth and whom he’d previously worked with during the arming of Phobos, and together they decided that the best place for them would be in the famously combative Belt, where they’d be dependent on Atlas backing for survival but not have management second-guessing them. This was sold to the Stewardship Council as a diversification of the company off Mars into the resource-rich Belt. The intermittent warfare in the Belt, while problematic, also presented an opportunity as long-established colonies (some upwards of a century old) were in flux, ripe for Atlas intervention. Further the isolated belt colonies would provide isolated testing grounds for new technologies which could be dangerous to experiment with on the same planet they themselves lived. They managed to garner sufficient support from the Council to invest corporate resources into their Atlas Belt and by the end of the first decade of the 22nd century dozens of small mining outposts were being established along the Belt, cheerfully working steadily at turning large rocks into smaller rocks in the name of Atlas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  18. LordArgon

    LordArgon King

    Joined:
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    Male
    Polity Name: The Neo Exodus Evangels

    Color: Purple (170, 0, 204)
    The 22nd century was seen as the dawn of a new era by the scientific community. For the first time ever life had been found to have evolved somewhere other than Earth. With this discovery and the increased expansion of humanity into space, a group of scientists and industrialists created a research university on Deimos to expand the limits of humanity to beyond its home star. From advanced ship engines to advanced prosthetics, Deimos University became a hotbed for new technology innovations. In this atmosphere of progress and curiosity, a new pseudo-religious society formed. The members of this group saw the human body as the last barrier to expanding beyond the solar system. By enhancing or replacing the human body, humanity could leave its cradle without fear of death. All planets would be habitable and the problem of inertia could be ignored. The society soon began expanding beyond the university through the groups newly formed corporates conglomerate, The Exodus Corporation. Using the fruits of their research into advanced prosthetics and implants, they soon began to expand to the belt and eventually planned to create outposts over Saturn.

    The Evangels main tenet is that humanity's destiny is to expand beyond throughout the universe, and that they must do everything in their power to meet that end. The first step is artificial organs and limbs that can survive the harsh conditions of the outer planets. Once the human society is more comfortable with the concept of transhumanism and when technology is advanced enough, the next step is to completely replace the human body with advanced robotics, so that air and nutrition will no longer hamper progress. Then with sturdier bodies and an unending life, massive colony ships can be built to began expanding to new systems. Some in the society also hope to find the means to create a FTL drive or wormhole generator, but creating immortality is the more urgent matter.
    • Planetary Defense - 1: While we seek to end war, we still must defend ourselves from the attacks of the short sighted and the savage.
    • Interplanetary Warfare - 0: We believe that war is driven from a scarcity of resources and living space, and we seek to eliminate these issues. We are not a violent organization, and will not pursue such ends.
    • Environmental Engineering - 0: When our research is completed we will no longer need to alter planets to be habitable, everywhere will be livable for the new humanity.
    • Space Colonization - 1: Humanity must continue to branch out and explore the cosmos. It is our destiny and our duty to help this process along.
    • Resource Development - 2: Our research needs plentiful resources to reach our goal of a spacefaring species. From rare metals to top scientists, our needs are many and must be met.
     
  19. Lord Apple

    Lord Apple Chieftain

    Joined:
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    The European Union finds itself on a precipice. Entering into the 23rd century had proved to be an exhausting challenge on every front, yet it had weathered those challenges using the means it felt most comfortable with: Words and common sense. That’s not to say it had not gained some teeth, but it would always be preferred to forgo those rash measures for level-headedness. The hundred years prior saw it spared from war, like what happened to its neighbor in Russia. It played a role in its solution before the end of all things was brought about. It was still reaching heights previously thought impossible, on technological and economic fronts.

    And yet, it came at a grave cost. Outright nuclear war hit Earth, and while it certainly could have been worse, its effects could be felt across the hemispheres. And for what? Conflicts out in the Belt that by all means should have been handled diplomatically? And yet, Russia and the Cooperative chose to escalate. The European Council voted to intervene, and the diplomatic corps worked feverishly to bring an end to the frankly pointless war. And while they were ultimately successful, the wakeup call did, in the end, finally arrive.

    Europe realised that horrific truth about Earth, that things were seriously going wrong, although perhaps it did always know and hoped and prayed that it would never have to deal with it. Generations had pushed the responsibility to their children, and the cycle only got worse. The people of Europe had awoken to a nightmare. But perhaps not all was lost. While there was a wave of fatalism that swept across the Union, it did recover, and finally got to action. Political opposition against unbelievably large environmental works had all but disappeared. A call from the people that something had to be done could no longer be ignored as confidently as those in charge had done before.

    A historic environment conference was to be held in Copenhagen, (a prime symbol of successful environmental engineering merely by the fact that it survived the times at all) hosted by the European Environment Agency. Not just all heads of state of the Union attended, as the Agency had always been larger than the EU itself. The heads of state of Turkey, Switzerland and others also attended, desperate to save their failing countries. After days of debates, presentations and speeches, the EEA finally unveiled to the EU at large its stake in the future of humanity itself, the product of the Treaty of Copenhagen: The Eden Initiative.


    Led by scientists and representatives of all partaking nations, it was decided that the Eden Initiative should not, and could not, be just composed of only Europe. Its area of access and availability of resources would simply be too small. Those in charge also figured that, if we were not all in this together, there would be little point either way. So once again, the EU diplomatic corps got to work. Those in the Americas and the South Pacific proved easy to convince. Brazil’s contributions especially would be crucial in the drafted later stages, as their burden would be one of the heaviest when the time comes. What the corps did have nightmares about was starting the dialogue with their more serious competitors in Russia and the Cooperative. It was going to be make or break, and they knew it. Convincing the Russians and the Cooperative to join the program would be hard enough, but for them to work together would be the greatest diplomatic feat of the last few centuries. After all, these two powers had until recently been launching nuclear warheads against each other.

    The talks were rough, and nervous tension was at an all time high in the corps, but the diplomats did, in the end, pull off the impossible. Russia and the Cooperative would take their place on the Eden Iniative’s council and aid the reconstruction of Earth back to the paradise humans of all ages had envisioned it to be. The means by which they were going to do so were nothing less than the development and utilisation of the most cutting edge non-military technology in the solar system. Great machines, cooling engines of sorts, would be placed at strategic areas across the planet. Structures designed to take in excess heat and store it in solid state batteries would seek a reversal to the runaway greenhouse effect that was endangering Earth, to name a few of the developments. This all coincided with a new wave of European optimism that reminded one of the atmosphere in the European Union after it was just founded. While much of the political and economic capital would be focused on Earth for the coming decades, European interest in space and the frontier did not decline.

    Aside from the Asteroid War, Europe’s main focus, initially, would be on custodianship and care for New Hellas and the associated smaller colonies, at least nominally controlled by their sponsor member states back on Earth, as each was eager to have an area of the Red Planet to call their own. As the outer areas of the solar system become accessible, though, the focus of the ESA shifted radically. Its eye landed on Titan as perhaps the most promising candidate for colonisation. The plentiful hydrocarbons that could be sourced from Titan were very valuable indeed. Colonisation efforts were established, but as the EU focused on the Eden Initiative, the missions sent to Titan were allowed extensive autonomy compared to previous missions.

    While the discovery of life on Ganymede did fascinate scientists, the EU saw itself beaten there by the Russians. A research post would be established there, but it would be nowhere near the size of Russia's presence on that moon, and would not be permanently settled, operating instead with scientists sent there on 4-month long assignments. But in a way, being denied Ganymede in this fashion proved to be a boon to the ESA, as those resources could be reassigned to the ESA’s pet prestige project, the settling of Europa. Aside from the obvious nationalist reasons, Europa too boasted an underground ocean, one which settlers would become very familiar with. With surface radiation being too high for any large settlements to be constructed there, human habitation on Europa would be built underwater, hanging from the ceiling and the walls. It spoke to the imaginating, a world of fantastical underwater cities! While that vision has surely not been realised, it would be something to strive towards. And perhaps the Europans could strike it rich off water and science.


    The colonies on Europa would be more closely bound to Earth, being ruled more directly from Brussels. The EU government was eager to avoid the issues that arose with Ceres at first and with Titan later. Europa would see a distinctly more militaristic presence, in order to protect the valuable water exports and to ensure that Europa would not become too independent.


    • Planetary Defense - 1: The European military remains of lesser influence than it plays in other polities. That being said, the EU recognises the need for defense in space.

    • Interplanetary Warfare - 0: The EU had no interest in waging offensive war in space. It has nothing to gain and everything to lose from such wasteful efforts.

    • Environmental Engineering - 4: The Eden Initiative is perhaps the greatest international environmental effort in the history of humanity. The EU will see to its completion. Earth is mother to us all.

    • Space Colonization - 1: The settlement of space continually fascinates and drives us. Europa and Titan seem very promising indeed.

    • Resource Development - 0: As it stands with the resources supplied to us, we are content with simply maintaining what we have. The EU will revisit this in the future, however.
     
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  20. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    On Hat in the Service

    Noted proto-proto-proto-Space-Russian* poet, Sappho of Mytilene**, wrote famously in Fragment 16*** about her affection for space and the motherland****. This might seem an extraordinary claim to make. But it is quite clear in her words. Consider that she examines the army, the navy (and the marines by implication) and the air-force in turn and dismisses them as earth-bound and thus limited in majesty. Having dismissed the others she tells us that the most beautiful thing in the world is what one loves -- in short, the space forces. Some have argued that this poem is a paean to the Gods or to her lovers (male or female or neither) or to the state. This represents the "mainstream" view. But we hold that this is indisputable evidence of her partiality towards the space forces. Her second stanza***** provides further evidence of this. For did not Menelaus end up among the stars******?

    Whatever one thinks*******, the space forces are the most beautiful of the services. Our ships are elegant expensive works of art that can level an asteroid with a touch of their atomics that move like ballet dancers in three dimensions. The navy? Bah they move only along the sea. Where is the elegance in that? The army and marines? They are but men and robots who are unsteady in zero gravity like children and like to wave around their pop guns that are good only for punching through hulls. Morons the lot of them. The chair force? When was the last time they went into the sky? All they do is sit in their climate controlled offices and play games. A child can fly a plane. It only goes forward and up and down. A space craft? That requires real skill. It's combat in true three dimensions. Backwards, forwards, up and down? Those are the constructs of gravity bound fools. We are unconstrained by such delusions. We have learned not to rely on our ordinary senses too. Everything is fast -- so fast normal eyes can't process it. Regular human reflexes? Bah. You must be augmented. The Gs? Liable to kill a regular person. The weapons? A hit will kill. Space is the most beautiful and deadly form of combat. We are the ballet of war. We train until our hands are misshapen, our legs are throwing clots and our hearts are forced against our chests so hard we black out. The rest? They are like classic hip hoppers. No discipline. All flailing.

    Now it is often remarked that we in the space forces take things to extreme. But how can we not? We show through our dress, our bearing and our augments our superiority. The corporates in their drab uniforms, stiff little poses and their lowest bidder augments have none of our class or, frankly, our skill. But still they and others like to mock us. To question our status. They, in particular, like to focus on our hats. They say they are too large. That they are not practical. That wearing them is a mere affection. That our hats are to us what the tails of Mecha-Peacocks******** are to them. A mere piece of frippery. We, in fact, wholly agree with this characterization. They are frippery. We know it. But we wear them with pride nonetheless. And we most assuredly wear them into battle. Now, one might ask? Isn't wearing a tall hat with a wide brim a bit of a handicap in space? Perhaps. But it has not stopped us from winning now has it? In fact, the taller the hat and the broader the brim the better we do! Why? Because the best wear taller and broader hats. You earn them through grueling competition or honest combat.

    Besides, our hats are not as impractical as they seem. True they are tall but this lets you know in advance how close you are to the ceiling. True they are broad but this lets you know how near you are to the wall. Sure they are stiff and inflexible but this is a matter of fashion and good design*********. The gap between the hat and the head gives the illusion of height and also provides a safe space to tuck a safety flask of multi-purpose medicinal alcohol. For the rank of Captain and above there is enough space to store a range of other useful items include a pistol, pencil and crossword and approved snacks. Admirals who, of course, have the largest hats can store such extravagances as mecha-parrots while they take in the sights of the asteroid belt on holiday. In fact, holiday hats are generally large (mecha-parrots and mecha-monkeys are a favorite of holidaying cosmonauts) and have a distinctive cut (with the peak running down the middle) and are in black with a silver chased Totenkopf badge affixed to them to show the world that these men and women are on holiday and free of the ordinary strictures of military discipline.

    Finally, in closing, the Kosmicheskie Voyska is a progressive employer which offers generous leave of up to 12 weeks per annum and a year long sabbatical every 10 years. We also oppose discrimination on the basis of augments (or not), gender (or not), sexual orientation (or not), mutations/special affinities (or not)**********, disabilities (or not), race (or not), national/corporate orientation (or not), ideological/post ideology (or not), transhumanism/enlightenment (or not), religion/ethics/cult (or not) and any other such factors as might occasion discrimination other than those deemed illegal under Kosmicheskie Voyska law***********.

    * Greeks > Byzantines > Moscow > Moscow in Space
    ** Formerly Lesvos but was official renamed to Mytilene because of "questionable" associations between island and a certain social group before island was abandoned due to climate change.
    *** Verse 1:

    Some say and army of horsemen,
    others say foot soldiers,
    still others say a fleet
    is the finest thing on the earth,
    but I say it is whatever one loves...

    **** Sappho: A Reactionary History? by noted Sappho expert and self-funded digital pop historian SapphoWasStraightWeGeeWizBangReactionary38 a resident virtual scholar at the respected For Profit Corporate Conclave Centre for Ideological Defense.
    ***** Verse 2:

    Everyone can understand
    that Helen far surpassing the beauty
    Of mortals left behind
    The best man of all

    ****** 1647 Menelaus
    ******* Only idiots think otherwise, and do you want to be one of them?
    ******** A popular mecha-pet in Singreal space famed for its long fan tail, aggression and willingness to defecate in places it should not. An enviable set of traits in our view. It is truly kin to us. Much like the cat.
    ********* All Kosmicheskie Voyska hats are made from a special proprietary material which gives the look of felt but offers all the protection of a standard helmet found in the corporate services.
    ********** For your safety and ours mutations must be investigated by a medical panel before any application to join is approved. Minor stable mutations do not need to be cleared.
    *********** Anarchists are encouraged to apply but will be subject to a suitability test to ensure that they are a good cultural fit for the Kosmicheskie Voyska. We do not accept anarcho-capitalists and no amount of argument about "liberty", "sentient rights", "freedom of contract" and "free speech" will win us over. We reserve the right to eject all individuals who decide to continue the argument in recruiting centers out of the airlock. Threats to our staff will not be tolerated and a guided micro-missile or hunter-killer drone may be used, subject to the relevant laws in place, to safeguard the security of our people and organization.

    Legal disclaimer: This document is not intended as an official statement of facts, position, views or opinions by the Kosmicheskie Voyska and any and all facts, positions, views and opinions are the work of the the authors who are
    not at this time employed, hired, contracted or otherwise affiliated with the Kosmicheskie Voyska and therefore cannot be taken as evidence, fact, basis, argument, position, guess, estimate, guestimate or used for any legal, moral, ethical, political, ideological, post-ideological, cultist or any such other form as it may be used in without the express consent of the authors and the Kosmicheskie Voyska which will, of course, not be forthcoming.
     
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