Pale Blue Dot

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

  1. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

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

    Themes
    • Venerable Stakeholders. RP idea (feel free to dismiss): The ultrarich stakeholders are now over 200 years old, a sizable portion of the wealth of the entire inner solar system flowing through their dried skeletal hands. The worst sort of oligarchies form around them as their experience, business and political savvy, wealth, and sheer evil predatory capitalist tendencies conspire to make them some of the most influential power brokers of humanity.
    • Increased cooperation with nations and international bodies. Stakeholders were not impressed with the fiasco that was the 'belt wars' and nuclear exchange on earth. While foreign aggression could not be tolerated, the escalation of the crisis is considered a huge failure by the shareholders and investors and both the executive and many members of the board have been replaced with those embracing a vision of collaboration and normalized trade with nations and competitive factions. Using the Neuquen treaty as a basis, the Cooperative will be an active member in United Nations Security Council diplomacy and trade, advocating for stability and open markets, the regulation of violence and the promotion of commerce, while working to centralize political and economic power within its own sphere of influence when it can.
    • Role in the Eden Initiative: The Cooperative will take a major role in the Eden Project, investing significantly in the appropriate technologies and projects to maintain Earth as a viable habitat
    • Cooperative Security Arrangements: The Cooperative will enter into cooperative security and trade arrangements with Atlas Mars on that planet, working in conjunction with that faction to help secure both surface assets and trade to and from the planet. The Cooperative will enter into cooperative security and trade arrangement with Atlas Belt, working with them to patrol our lanes and providing protection to their ships with the expectation that they will do the same for us. For both arrangements, in particular we feel we can protect their trade fleets away from mars and the belt (ie- when trading with Earth market) while they can provide more regionally focused protection.
    • Security Focus on the Earth-Luna-Mars-Belt: Attacks by foreign powers will be met through a combination of diplomatic efforts at the United Nations Security Council (which does seem to still have some strong teeth despite my RL expectations to the contrary), legal and financial attacks on assets and trade access, and finally security blockade/embargo of their shipping if warranted. Based on the events of the last century we will do what we can to avoid escalation. In the face of piracy we will use our sizable military to directly patrol our routes and escort our trade ships.

    Point Allocation:
    • Planetary Defense (0) - Our military is already significant. While we will maintain and modernize, we will not be expanding it significantly. Planetary forces will transition to a purely defensive posture.
    • Interplanetary Warfare (0) - Our military is already significant. We will continue to invest in its maintenance and modernization but will not be expanding it significantly. Its role will transition to trade escort primarily.
    • Environmental Engineering (3) - We will support the Eden initiative proposed by the Europeans. This investment also represents our efforts to coordinate within the United Nations and wider diplomatic effort.
    • Space Colonization (2) - Our analysts have strategized a plan that focuses on developing our existing colonies. Specifically 1) Luna will serve as a near-earth support station (focusing on ship-building industries and non-earth R&D, and probably developing local titanium industries as well as importing from mars and the belt) since new plasma engines have effectively turned Luna earth-accessible in a way that orbital stations were in the past. 2) Mars will be developed and expanded with significant subsurface colonies and extensive agricultural production to support our growing population there and to potentially export to other Mars and off-earth powers. Finally, 3) the belt will be expanded with our colony focused on supporting the recovery of asteroids with appropriate resources (water, minerals) to support the development of both our belt colony and as well as those on Mars (water) and Luna (water and mineral?). Our belt colony(s) will focus on development of larger asteroids on the far side of the system than where the militant and piracy-prone Ceres are focused- after all the belt is twice as far from one side to the other as it is from the sun. Mercury, Venus, and everything beyond the belt will be ignored for now- we do not want to stretch our logistics and security apparatuses too much.
    • Resource Development (1) - We will develop slow, high-efficiency, drone-like remote "tugs" powered with the new plasma engines to recover appropriately resource-rich asteroids (water, metals, etc) from the inner belt as well as beyond the inner systems in areas such as saturn's rings or the Atens, Apollos, Amors, and Trojan asteroid systems. Finally, we will expand recovery of titanium and associated alloy resources (magnesium, manganese, ferrite etc) from Luna to support ship-building there. Mars will focus on developing subterranean agriculture and therefore resource development will focus on maturing the regolith to soil locally and on energy capture (solar and/or nuclear?) for redirect to our greenhouses.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
  2. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    8,128
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    ATLAS

    80, 32, 40

    If any mourn us in the workshop, say
    We died because the shift kept holiday.


    Themes: Self-sacrifice and death drive, collective good, individual heroism, and expansion

    ATLAS is what happens when people are divided into individuals and then fitted like cogs into a machine.

    Mars is a cold, harsh place, and made an unlikely place for a libertarian utopia as perhaps envisioned by their more fringe elements. Indeed, ATLAS management wasted no time in establishing a strict, monolithic, and hierarchic society as its propaganda mills truly found its pace. In this, they found little opposition--ATLAS citizenry were largely self-selecting in terms of obedience to legal authority, and outside pressure from occasional skirmishes with Singereal and Russian agents only helped the ATLAS propagandists to make their case.

    Today, ATLAS propagandists argue that Mars will be the new, true center of humanity, its people free from the myriad sins of Earth’s past. The beautiful bounty of Earth’s cradle was a truly wondrous thing, of course, but the cornucopia fed the illusion of infinite growth and infinite consumption up until the atmosphere and water became too poisoned. Luna Terran politicians of old were thus too weak, too divisive, too greedy, and too short-sighted to tackle the problems of the new century with the courage and willpower needed to do what must be done.

    And what must be done was to face the cold together, united as one.

    Today, Atlesian society is a strictly hierarchical, militarist, and corporatocratic society centered around constant expansionism on Martian territory. Financial/Social Credit Score determine a person’s place in the hierarchy, rewarding good behavior, individual initiative, loyalty to the corpro, and contribution to the collective good. It is still possible, the propagandists and statisticians argue, for even those starting from the bottom of the Atlesian hierarchy to one day make it to the top, with sufficient luck and determination. Modern Atlesian propaganda thus focuses on these rags-to-riches stories: a line worker producing guns who, after years of ensuring that her products of her line were above standard, was promoted to managerial position of a newly established Hab and given stipends for herself and her children.

    Colonists from the doomed Earth flock to ATLAS, attracted by promise of better living in an already established colony and the shot of making it big in the new frontier. However, it must never be forgotten that for every rags-to-riches story, there is another story, blood-soaked and hidden, of those who tried to stand in the way of the corpro’s progress.

    On the frontiers, ATLAS legion, ever growing, continues to stake their ever growing claims on the red planet, expanding and setting up bases aggressively on the moons of Mars and upon its surface. After them come the new colonists, establishing mining habs using old prospecting data to acquire new resources, to feed the appetites of the ever-growing Aspera and the dying earth. New, orbital shipbuilding industries are established, to act as a replacement option for the increasingly non-viable Earth based shipyards.

    This rapid expansion does not come without consequence. ATLAS prides itself in its monolithic cultural block, which they claim is free of the old sins of Earth. Only unwavering belief in human progress and good of the collective matters. Nationality does not exist. Race does not matter, and neither does gender, assigned or not. The rivalry and suspicion between the descendents of the original Atlesian colonists and the constant new-arrivals is a thing constantly noted in foreign news, although its own internal sources try to minimize such conflicts. Leadership positions in ATLAS, aside from the inherited post of the Director General, are theoretically determined democratically, with voting power somewhat influenced by a person's Fin/Soc score. The on-average higher Fin/Soc score of established colonists in comparison to the new arrivals mean that elected positions are largely dominated by Asperans and other such groups.

    It is often joked thus that new colonists have a better shot at entering the halls of the Board of Directors, a largely shadowy technocratic institution with bulk of the managerial power in Atlas, than actually being elected as the prime steward.

    ............................................................

    On War on Mars and Elsewhere, the new Iron Curtain.

    With the corporate wars of assassins, mercenaries, and thugs between Singreal and ATLAS escalating, ATLAS finds itself into occasions and conflicts it could really do without. It quickly became apparent to the Board of Directors that, despite the propaganda, ATLAS simply could not survive the Martian environment by itself. Trade with Earth and the Belt both needed to be maintained.

    To address the paradox, ATLAS put forth the so called "Iron Wall" doctrine, a supposedly anti-Imperialist dogma that emphasized the need for the colonies of Earth and supernational corporate or collective entities to declare independence and self-rule from both the national superpowers and the harmful actions of the UN security council. By using this logic, ATLAS hoped to justify its ongoing attempts to woo both the Cooperative on Earth and, ironically, the socialists on Ceres, all in the aegis of ensuring their independence from increasingly aggressive Russian actions. But really, to ensure the continuous growth demanded by its society.

    The treaties were simple. ATLAS would provide them both with wealth of industries, shipyards, and resources needed to replace declining Earth-based industries, and agree to protect each other's assets in their zone of influence. In exchange, they would agree to help secure ATLAS's trade and opportunities into the Belt and back on Earth.

    With the security treaties in effect with Ceres and Cooperative established and with its lifelines in the Belt and Earth secured ATLAS turned bulk of its attention to the Red Planet itself, and the ongoing conflicts and skirmishes with its rivals of Singreal.

    Planetary Defense: 3: ATLAS Legions over the course of the century becomes a dominant military force on Mars, expanding and enforcing claims aggressively against rival powers, especially the Lunarians of Singereal and establishing bases on Phobos and Deimos to serve as orbital defenses. As per security agreement with the Cooperative, however, and for the purpose of realpolitiks, they make a point of avoiding dispute with European Union and the Cooperative. With the latter, ATLAS even enters into a cooperative security treaty, pledging mutual defense of each other’s assets, in exchange for Cooperative safeguarding the still lucrative trade with Earth.

    Recruitment into the rapidly increasing size of the ATLAS Legion are done through not only propaganda which constantly emphasize the need for self-sacrifice for the collective and the beauty of individual heroism of soldiers, but also through the Fin/Soc system. For many, it is simply the most logical and quickest way of resolving significant debts they have incurred.

    For ATLAS, the fate of minor and formally independent libertarian wildcat habs are simple. They are either bought out, merged diplomatically, or stamped out.

    Today, the ATLAS Legion is tangled web of independent contractors, official corporate security, mercenaries it can rely upon, and array of long-range stationery defenses, all murderously pointed outwards.

    Interplanetary Warfare: 0 With the Legion grabbing bulk of the military budget, ATLAS board of directors decided to focus strictly on terrestrial matters, letting its subsidiary of ATLAS Belt--perceived as band of rogue traders-- handle its orbital mechanics. It leans upon the Security Contract with the Cooperative and the socialists on Ceres to safeguard trade with Earth and the belt.

    Colonization: 3 This century is marked by aggressive colonization, claims, and build up of industrial and orbital manufacturing on Mars and Phobos by ATLAS, as well as establishment of a new, monolithic culture.

    While ATLAS itself maintains almost no standing navy, their weapons, ships, and industrial equipment soon finds itself across the solar system, being put into use by anyone with the credit to spend. With the Iron Wall doctrine, however, the Cooperative and, deeply ironically, the socialists on Ceres, remain ATLAS's best customers.

    Resource Exploitation: 2 As ATLAS’s war machine and industrial might truly comes to come into fore, it becomes ever more in dire need of raw resources. Metals and food becomes the new obsession of ATLAS as old prospecting data of the wildcat era are exploited in full to find water veins, mineral mines, and other such goods necessary for running of society and industry.


    Adjective of ATLAS is Atlesian

    habitat names

    Aspera—Capital and Headquarter of ATLAS Mars
    Irons Landing
    Yamasaki Enterprise
    Brian’s Vision
    Hurston Arsenal
    Al-Din Cooperative
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  3. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    11,133
    Location:
    北京皇城
    Singreal in the 23rd Century
    What had once begun as a pie-in-the-sky venture, a mere dream of the mastery of space, had evolved over the course of the century into the first and largest independent spaceport; once helmed by rich old men, now helmed by rich young men, women, and other genders, who had lived near their whole lives in space. It's not difficult to see why: for its wealthy owners, Singreal was a paradise in space. Careful engineering of the habitats and tether-torque engines had created beautiful works of engineering, the amenities of all Earth's most sybaritic excesses repackaged and distilled for a life reaping the heavens.

    Of course, though there was much to reap, the times can change quickly and the 23rd century crawled into a world where the growth of space industry seemed to accelerate every day. So it was that Singreal, too, spun elements off into the deeper parts of space; and lost, slowly but surely, its competitive edge in a few fields it was once ambitious for.

    Three matters are most important discussing the pacing of the new century for the young and peculiar Republic of Singreal, and the old and cutthroat Board of Directors of the Singreal Holdings Corporation. First became known as the Matter of Mars, a political slogan popularized during the nadir of Singreal-ATLAS relations. Two corporations, both alike in dignity; in fair Elysium*, where we lay our scene. This matter, as it was to be regarded all over the globe, concerned most of all the antagonism between these two companies as they attempted each to seize control of the Martian surface. It was this matter, and its conduct, that lent a fearsome reputation to the ATLAS Legionaries; and it was also this matter that tested the UN in its first peacekeeping outings.

    For whatever reason, Singreal began to let off the gas. As ATLAS seized first one, then two, then three mining centers - administrating the "transferred corporate assets" as it saw fit - the Singreali leadership was forced to consider the future of the colony. Rather than continue investment, efforts began to proceed in a liquidating direction - one that was much-hampered by the ever-present threat of ATLAS legionaries, who quickly made such transactions moot.

    This was exactly the state of affairs that then provoked the involvement of the KR and, in turn, the UN. For one thing, some of the KR's biggest hats owned stakes in these Martian colonies. They housed many Russians. For another, it was a good opportunity for disruption. These corporate wars had evolved in the direction that a fair amount of territory was promised to change hands; and the burning of these transactions due to prolonged wars, not to mention the bizarre course of revaluation of the acquired properties (as Earth-ATLAS wanted to profit from selling the conquests - being as they occurred with non-marginal help from Earth-ATLAS weapons - while Mars-ATLAS wanted to keep them), brought the attention of the international community to bear. In the ensuing political battles, the Singreali manage to make away with a good number of indemnities placed on ATLAS (though the extent to which these were paid off remain a subject of active debate), although ATLAS had won absolutely the battle for the ground. A precedent was then set for war among the colonies, and the legal exchange of conquests.

    Within Singreal, heads began to roll. Keqiu Fan, the long-time Director of Martian Operations, was tried for conspiracy and embezzlement, and consigned to penal servitude. Her replacement, Yongri Cui, was a patsy who was similarly dispatched. The Martian ventures were ultimately left to the wolves, traded away for liquidity. That is how the First Martian Corporate Wars ended.

    It was this situation that also precipitated the continued and ongoing success of Singreal's other, more profitable ventures: particularly, the most preeminent enterprise responsible for interplanetary cargo and shipping: TransLuna - a subsidiary of the SHC that would in this century acquire notoriety as one of SHC's most important companies. The strategy was simple, but effective: run the smallest shipping firms out of business, purchase the larger ones, and employ privateers in the suppression of the rest. Two individuals who were found at the forefront of this enterprise: Ya Deng, the CEO of TransLuna for 23 years; and Fu Xia, boss President of the Singreal Pilots, Taxi, & Teamsters Union. Though their titles may suggest otherwise, politically the two were inseparable: Deng was a person** who had climbed the corporate ladder for years, and after obtaining their hard-won CEO position, proceeded to transform the enterprise into one that spanned the full breadth of the solar system. Xia, by contrast, was something of a swindler, a grifter, and a con man: a genius, but one whose genius was for the social and the political. Taking advantage of the good bargaining position and solidarity of Singreal's many, many teamsters, Xia maneuvered himself into a comfortable and powerful position - and for a long time, a close partner and collaborator of Ya Deng. In the end, the two would each make the Board of Directors of Singreal; they would also each attempt to betray the other, and each died penniless before the end. But the corporation they built would, by the end of the 23rd century, be Singreal's biggest and most important subsidiary.

    But the increased Singreali traffic to the outer worlds, as greater interest in Jupiter took hold, brought with it a whetting of the Singreali appetite for a new form of colonization: that of the Jovian well, beginning amidst the great Jovian rush, where many nations and powers sought to establish outposts and exploit the wealth of Jupiter's many moons. It was in the midst of this rush that new Singreali enterprises sprang up, seeking to capitalize on the great promise of this colonization: starting with no greater furor than in the rush to colonize Ganymede. Interest in terraforming grew as well, and soon labs and expeditions were replaced by long-term habitats and other profitable operations. Xenotourism was just one of many services Singreal began to provide through its new subsidiary, the Ganymede Development Corporation (which did not solely operate in Ganymede). This was the brainchild of one of TransLuna's most important shareholders, a one Binyamin Shao - regarded at the end of her life as the greatest chairperson Singreal ever had.

    Other Jovian moons followed suit, and thus began Singreal's second push for further colonization, having decades before lost the first decisively.

    • Planetary Defense - 0 - Singreali doctrine does not value planetary installations.
    • Interplanetary Warfare - 2 - Singreali authorities prefer to use privateers and mercenaries in a spacebound context to get relevant work done. Failsafe reactive foam armor, missiles on deadmen switches, and bribes: the main weapons of the Singreali.
    • Environmental Engineering - 0 - Despite a hobbyist interest, no serious investments were made in this category, especially on Ganymede where "preservation" was cited as one of the biggest long-term objectives... to keep profiting off the aliens.
    • Space Colonization - 3 - The Ganymede Development Corporation was quite busy. Not to mention more and more TransLuna depots.
    • Resource Development - 3 - Above all else, Singreal seeks to extract wealth from its colonies. One way or another.

    *An equatorial plain of Mars, named long ago, in the days of the war especially the site of the majority of the Martian colonial habitats.

    **Deng did not identify as man or woman.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
    Masada likes this.
  4. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    Kosmicheskie Voyska Autonomous High Command

    The 23rd century saw the Kosmicheskie Voyska the preeminent military power in the solar system. In a heroic struggle against the Cooperative, the fleet had driven the salarymen from their hide on Hygiea, burned them out of their mining stations, and left much of their fleet – military and mercantile – as hulks. This victory proved a boon to miners and shippers with Russian names who moved behind the KV’s wake. In time, the Hygiea was rebuilt by the Stroitel'naya Kompaniya Mirnogo Kosmosa (the Peaceful Space Construction Company) over the KV’s objections who preferred to leave it a shell. Some claimed the SKMK was a KV front corporation, but these were wild claims with no basis in evidence motivated by one-part irrational hatred and two parts envy of the Motherland’s successes.

    The new port at Hygiea, which the KV had opposed, soon proved a boon for the fleet. It became a popular port of call for the fleet who appreciated the spaceport’s excellent vodka, competitive pricing and near tailor-made facilities. The presence of a forward base also allowed the KV to work with the miners (independent, corporate and Y. A. G. Mineraly) to organize mining in the asteroid belt to avoid further potential competition. With UN support, the KV developed a system of claims; established common user mining outposts; created independent arbitration boards to adjudicate disputes; began regular patrols of the belt to dissuade piracy; and took on policing functions on station and in space to ensure everyone played by the rules. The KV had been wary of taking on these responsibilities but with all the other powers focused elsewhere and declining serious investment into warships… there was nobody else with the heft to do it. It was considered a triumph of diplomacy and the new post-Belt War order.

    The problem was that not everyone was willing to work within the new rules. “Corsairs” based out of Ceres soon became the bane of shipping across the solar system. The KV presence in the asteroid belt proved an effective deterrent. Some whispered that the actual reason had to do with the number of corsairs who spoke had once been members of the KV. But as the KV liked to point it was the largest trainer of qualified crew and officers in the solar system and those who ended up as pirates were screw-ups, deserters or in need of quick cash and sometimes all three! With the asteroid belt under KV protection becoming slim pickings, the corsairs turned their attention to hitting ships en-route to Mars where the KV’s presence was weaker and the powers active there had fewer active warships and long lines to protect. Another favoured target was ships en-route to the moons of the Gas Giants. The distances were greater, but it was safer and there was far more value in their holds – advanced manufactures, capital goods and the same resources (oxygen, water, and power) that Ceres needed to keep life liveable. This also went a long way to undermining the KV’s distance blockade of Ceres that was enough to keep most merchantmen from taking the risk but proved inadequate to stopping the corsairs.

    The corsairs soon became ever bolder. Raiding stations. Seizing bulk carriers. Attacking the isolated warships. These attacks only grew in strength and sophistication. But the break point came when the corsairs began seizing colony ships. Nobody knew what the corsairs were doing with those they seized. The KV had some intelligence which suggested that the crew and debt-peons of corporate ships staged mutinies, conducted sabotage and were often in covert communication with the corsairs. The fact people might have willingly gone over to the anarchists seemed unbelievable. But some iconoclastic thinkers made the bold claim that the non-existent wages, poor diet, harsh discipline, awful living conditions and jobs that often killed of the corporates might be to blame. The attacks soon became grew in scale and effectiveness and rumours of an attempted takeover of this or that moon or this or that Mars habitat caused panic. Attacks on Russian vessels and stations around Saturn and Jupiter saw the KV deploy there. It soon provided aid to the other moons and began organising convoys which KV ships would escort to the Belt or Mars. Alas this saw the corsairs towards Mars where the players there proved unable to coordinate an effective defence. The corsairs picked them apart. Aided by suspiciously good intelligence.

    The KV frustrated at this sought to tackle it diplomatically. Using its ties with Russia and Singreal it pushed the UN to take a stand. The UN did take a stand and established a special UN military mission to deal with Ceres. With the parties in mars locked in conflict, the terrestrial powers focused on their own problems… the KV was forced to step up again and provided the core of the UN’s strength. Support did come from other sources, but it added up in aggregate. The UN fleet then sailed on Ceres. The hardline pro-pirate government of Ceres refused to negotiate and declare that it was prepared to sacrifice Ceres to the sacred cause of socialism and freedom! The corsairs began to defect en-masse after hearing this. Some deserted (to be hunted down later), others surrendered and took the pardons on offer while some worked in concert with moderate elements in the government and military Ceres to pull off a coup. The new government soon came to terms with the UN. There was some shooting, but it was limited. The hardliners were sent to mercury or shot. The former being a harsher punishment than the latter.

    Cynics whispered that this was UN sponsored support for a KV coup. In support of this they pointed out that many of the chief plotters were ex-KVers. But as the KV noted the new head of the government was not. (Though he had been to Ceres Naval Academy and was known to be part of a clique that was had formed under the tutelage of ex-KV teachers at the academy.) They also liked to cite the fact that Interior, Fleet and Treasury and command of the navy ended up in ex-KV hands. But as the KV pointed out they were the UN supported candidates and the KV had no say in UN affairs. Basing rights for the UN were also established and a sizeable garrison left. These were KV personnel and ships but nobody else had the assets spare. The reconstruction of the Ceres navy was also one of the terms of the treaty and this also ended up in KV hands. Likewise, the new political system which was intended to ensure that Ceres popular democracy would avoid further… ideological excesses was put in place under KV auspices. While these changes might seem punitive the treaty proved a boon to Ceres. The blockade was lifted, Ceres miners became valued members of the belt mining community, former corsairs pardoned began to invest their ill-gotten (and now legal) riches in Ceres. The presence of KV personnel and ships stimulated demand. The newly reformed government got around to solving vexing issues like issuing fines for pissing in the corridors after a hard night; regulating noxious odours; imposing a ceiling on how much bass could drop; and finally getting around to clearing up public spaces. All of which the old regime had proved singularly unwilling or incapable of carrying out for fear of an uprising by anti-social elements.

    The next theatre the KV found itself dragged into was mars. The KV had no interests in mars itself. But it was friendly with Singreal and conducted a lot of business with them. The extent of its business dealings posed a real problem for Singreal’s foes on mars. An attack on Singreal’s main holdings around earth were a major port of call for the KV and any attack there would have been guaranteed to hit a KV vessel and liable to kill a great many KV personnel. Attacks on Mars were a little safer but the KV still maintained a host of diplomatic posts and economic assets there. Nevertheless, certain hostile corporate elements which may or may not have been tied to larger corporate elements that may or may not have been tied to even larger corporate elements and who even if this could be proved were, as the evidence would show, assuming it existed, were acting without, in excess, or contradiction of standing orders. This was all speculative of course but certain… bold moves by rogue actors/independent contractors/hired guns (who was paying the bills nobody knew?)/corporate moles and traitors/etc did get KV personnel killed. Some had expected to the KV to nuke those responsible, which was what the high command wanted if it could have figured out which corporate player had done it. The hardliners within the high command suggests just nuking the most likely culprits and call it a day. But the moderate majority decided to turn once more to the UN. There they found a surprising amount of support, including from a certain corporate power, for a diplomatic solution.

    (The KV should not have been surprised by this since the fleet it had assembled around mars was the largest in history and, as it turned out, more than capable of enforcing a blockade which stopped the flow of warships and soldiers… and of food, water, oxygen, machinery, colonists, and everything else the Martians in their fragile eggshell habitats on their inhospitable red rock needed to survive. Oops).

    The diplomatic agreement which followed proved to be a winner with all sides. A system of rules to regulate conduct on mars and a system of arbitration boards to ensure compliance and mediate disputes followed. These rules included sharp limits on arms and warships allowed in and around mars. The presence of a UN taskforce that policed the system and ensure that the arbitration boards decisions were followed. The system was not infallible, but it went a long way to cooling relations on mars. The KV also found itself providing the ships for the UN taskforce. There was nobody else that had the ships available or that was even close to acceptable to the participants. The fact that the KV manifestly did not want the honour helped make the decision for them.

    The fact that the KV now found itself a central pillar in the new global order was strange to say the least. KV ships acting under UN auspices policed Ceres and through a thicket of treaties was entrusted to maintain peace in the asteroid belt. The cost of this security was paid for out of port levies at Ceres and Hygiea, royalties on minerals, the sale of claims, taxes on insurance and fees from the courts. It also helped that KV-aligned miners operating from Ceres and Hygiea dominated the belt. Some tried to avoid the taxes, but hardline ex-Ceres pirates still haunted the void and were apt to swoop on vessels that strayed outside of the KV protected zones. A similar arrangement helped to keep the moons of Saturn and Jupiter safe under the auspices of the UN Jupiter and Saturn Taskforce. The taxes and fees were levied under UN mandate and with the grateful support of the moons. The ex-Ceres pirates of the deep void were fond of seizing gas giant merchantmen which were full of everything that a void dwelling pirate society needed to survive. Mars was overseen by the UN Mars Observation Fleet which was the largest KV deployment. Mechanisms were also in place, by treaty, to help defray the costs. The majority of the KV fleet was still operating outside of UN auspices. KV aligned businesses had also grown significantly in the belt and elsewhere, in large part, because they had been able to develop safe of pirates and without worrying about the tensions on mars with shipping and mining remained the largest businesses that the KR found itself in. But all this focus on multilateralism and business was a source of considerable embarrassment to the fleet high command who one day woke up to find that the marketing and propaganda department had their slogan to “Team Russia: Solar Police”… it was a bitter blow to their pride.

    • Planetary Defense - 0 - Defend what?
    • Interplanetary Warfare - 5 - The fleet did what a navy does and bought bigger and better toys and lots and lots of them. Some wags insisted that the fleet might have gone overboard. They may have had a point because the fleet laid down almost as much tonnage as the rest of the solar system combined...
    • Environmental Engineering - 0 - Huh?
    • Space Colonization - 1 - Hygiea needed some support.
    • Resource Development - 2 - Resource extraction and transportation were the main focus.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  5. gay_Aleks

    gay_Aleks communism will win.

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
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    10,831
    Location:
    Nightvale, US
    Polity Name: Cloudy Skies Inc.

    Motto: "Larger than air."
    Colour: Gold (255,215,0)
    Summary:

    Dreams. Some people only have dreams. The indentured workers on Singreal, for an example, only had a dream, a rather humble one, for an example, to not die during the incredibly dangerous ordeal of retrieving lunar debris. And maybe, just maybe, to make enough money to escape the 30-year contract. Then, the cut from the debris recovery would increase from 0.1% to a whooping 5%, even if that 5% figure had a bunch of asterisks in very fine font.

    A man had a dream. Unlike a grand many other men, women and people who don't fit within that category, he actually had the possibility to do so. That man's name was Ma Shun, and he was the proprietor of Lunar Debris Solutions Inc., who did 75% of debris clearance operations in lunar orbit. A child of Singaporean refugees, who were part of the proverbial 'white horses' on Earth, they had lost a lot...not that much, though. Compared to the average Singaporean refugee, who lost every single thing on Singapore, and had been written onto the fantastical 50 Year Contracts ("Save Ten Years If You Sign Up Your Whole Family!"), they were very well-off, and managed to constitute not an insignificant part of the newly arising Singaporean corporate unit. Ma Shun's parents, however, were stuck into something of a psychological paroxysm. The destruction of their home - Singapore - left an indelible mark. And true, their new residence was an exact replica of it - with the same servants, too, the same manners, but it was not the same, for they were changed too much. The grip of the past was inescapable. They sunk into indulgence, with little expansion beyond what they have managed to save up.

    After their death - a sea funeral into the waters where Singapore once stood - Ma Shun inherited a mausoleum to the city. He had grown to despise this attitude, the thought of a million souls behind him grappling at his back both repulsed, and on some deeper level, terrified him. The continued degradation of Earth left a scorn for all past nationalities, preferring to identify as Singreali. Now, those people got it. They understood that the Earth past needs to be done with.

    The main 'innovation' that Ma Shun created was, in essence, the reinvention of scavenging. Lunar Debris Solutions Inc., unlike its competitors, actually employed mostly people as opposed to robots. Why? It was generally easier, and cheaper to maintain (i.e, replace dead labourers). But Ma Shun also introduced a kind of a catch: your recovery efforts give you a little bonus to your wage. Now, said wage could potentially get re-adjusted if you make too much money off debris, but hey. Risks of the business, no? Besides, hardy workers get five years off their contract if they take extra time! "Work today, to be free tomorrow!", that was the motto of the company.

    Seventy-five percent. People thought, isn't this a great achievement? Ma Shun wouldn't agree with that. He had not just a dream, but also, a vision and the means to do it. He had been an avid reader of the great late 20th century author, Kim Stanley Robinson, and his writings on terraformation. A veritable Jules Verne of his own time, scientists have been befuddled by the accuracy of some of his predictions, while, of course, smiling down on the inevitable mistakes.

    Earth-shaping. Earth...creation, rather.

    Ma Shun did not think that monopolizing debris collection on the Moon is actually an achievement. But to create a new, habitable world…? And perhaps – a new humanity. Singreal was a bold new step in this direction, but they were still tethered to Earth. Entities like Atlas Mars, or even Ceres – despite being loathsome Syndicalists (not communists, as many claimed – anyone educated in history would see the difference between the disciplined communists of the past and what was going on in Ceres) seemed to be a real, indigenous spacer peoples, who knew how to survive. The future was with them.

    First off, Ma Shun visited Mars. The classic. A large part of it was controlled by ATLAS Mars, the now-independent entity of ATLAS within the former United States. Shockingly to Ma Shun, the Atlesians were very happy to hear out his proposals. In fact, perhaps a bit too happy, as countless of think tanks mercilessly shredded into the proposals drafted up by the band of scientists that have rallied around his cause. Those were long days, but they allowed an insight into Martian society. ATLAS Mars was one big family, that wished to advance humanity...at the cost of any independence for those who were engaged in doing so. In this case, Ma Shun would be the equivalent of a landscaper, making the planet look more habitable and beautiful. Eventually, after the tenth think tank quizzing him on everything, he and his scientists left.

    Next up was Ganymede. Ah! The stunning news of life in the Solar System. By the time Ma Shun arrived, however, Ganymede was more than crowded. Scientists – of every earthbound nation, and even some space nations, including Singreal – as well as some claimants, such as Russia, were there, eagerly exploring the life-forms there. Not just that, but one of the bigwigs in Singreal told Ma Shun, completely seriously, that he would get support, but only if he preserves the life in the oceans, or at very least, builds a zoo. A zoo! Did Ma Shun look like a zoo tycoon? No, there were too many interests, too much danger…

    On the way back from Ganymede, Ma Shun visited Titan, and there he found the newest, EU-sponsored colonization effort. Ha! As if earthlings could know anything about survival here, in the cold and desolate depths of space. As if they could tame it. Fools, the whole lot of them. But that wasn’t all. They brought the earthling greed, the desire to exploit resources, which had wrought so much destruction – and will indeed do so in the future – while...while preserving its rags. A grand curatorial museum – or, rather, as Ma Shun famously (caught on camera, available for 5 Venusian scrips!) denounced it, a mausoleum to Earth’s fall, a graveyard waiting to be filled.

    So this left only one place. Venus! Very little presence of any forces here, beyond token outposts, which could be easily bought out. After all, Ma Shun did need their research, but more importantly, their loyalty, too. But he couldn’t do it on his own. Prospects were good, however. A shade on the sun side of Venus, and the atmosphere could slowly thin out, removing the acid. Then, an introduction of high-pressure injection into subsurface porous basalt formations, where carbon dioxide would be rapidly transformed into solid inert minerals. All this and more. But it costed money, more than even Ma Shun had, but his project made noise around the various Singreali councils, and a proposal was made – if Ma Shun gave over his company, de facto “nationalizing” it, and then created a new one, for the terraformation of Venus, he would get money, people, scientists, anything he needed. They were somewhat shocked by how quickly he agreed.

    Phase I of Venusian colonization meant skycities. Lots of them. Scientific teams. Construction builders, for the enormous shades. Nitrogen extraction. Taking in asteroids from Atlas Belt, and accommodating to all that. From a provincial backwater, in the 23th century, Venus was quickly striving to become the Next Big Thing. Cloudy Skies Inc. was rather open to anyone with skills, so long as they proved two very simple things: 1) their ability to do something to benefit terraformation, and 2) revocation of any belonging to a corporation or especially a nationstate. Venus promised a new start, but you had to leave it all behind. Aren’t we creating a new society, anyway?

    • Planetary Defense - Zero (0). Currently, most powers are under the impression that Venus is a backwater, and are busy waging their desperate wars of control within the Belt and Mars.
    • Interplanetary Warfare – Zero (0). Singreal can back us up...right?

    • Environmental Engineering – Three (3). The crown of the jewel in Cloudy Skies Inc., the best engineers and the best scientists in the spheres of geology, biology, chemistry, physics, and so forth, with the help of the charming Singraeli backers, have all flocked towards Venus. New innovations in making life in outer space, and on hostile planetary biomes, are constantly under development.

    • Space Colonization – One (1). Per Phase I, currently, no land settlements are made, as to the impossibility of that. However, the atmosphere is dotted with skydomes and skycities – bright and shiny gems in the cloudy and tumultuous Venusian atmosphere.

    • Resource Development – Zero (0). Despite constant experimenting, nitrogen extraction is, for the time being, certainly not on the industrial levels that intersolar demands seems to be slowly soaring towards.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
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  6. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    8,128
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    Life in Atlas

    A hundred years after the foundation of the first colony of Aspera on Martian soil, ATLAS remains a bastion of corporato-centric and chauvinist thought and praxis. Over the century of United Nations distant hegemony and the reality of condition on Mars and the Belt, their anti-socialist policies and rhetoric have become far more restrained, although perhaps not moderated in truth. That being said, ATLAS, like any other state, even the more monolithic ones such as Russia, is a place that contains many ideologies and cultures, from the hardline Martian-Chauvinists to more moderate and even progressive factions.

    The majority of Atlesian citizenry falls into the moderately Martian-Chauvinist position, an ideology that goes increasingly unchallenged as the state continues to grow in complexity and more luxuries are made available through expansion. For the majority of Atlesians, they have a culture and a history to be proud of--hardworking pioneers making the first landfall on Mars, making a new home for humanity through grim determination and labor--and nothing but a rosy future of constant expansion, growth, and access to wealth of a new Martian Planet-State.

    As Standard or Able tier citizens, they are valued members of one of the largest manufacturer of arms, industrial equipment, and ships in the solar system, one with history traceable to the great nation of America and a future of new legends to carve in the solar system. Few know of the massacres of resisting wildcat independents, the indoctrination of the Legions, or have ever heard of Atlas's involvement in sale of arms to Ceresians and other ongoing conflicts across the solar system. When faced with the evidence of ATLAS's crimes, it is easy to explain away as astro-political reality that weaker cultures and people with less resolve, courage, moral clarity, or right, would shy away from. There is a reason why ATLAS is one of the most established and economically successful colony beyond the Lunar-Terrain Orbit, after all! A position they surely enjoy through their strength and good work they do to shape the world not only for the benefit of the Company, but also for Humanity as a whole. Certainly not because everyone was too distracted to stop them.

    To your average Standard or Able tier citizens, life and social progress in the Company is fair and attainable--through service in furthering the Armory's expansion through work in municipalities and the Legion. While there may be need for belt-tightening here and there, they can be rest assured that the equity lords and corporate nobility above them is fair and rules with the best intentions. Furthermore, they know that if life becomes ever too boring or static, they can hop on a ship and venture forth into the more exotic frontiers out there. ATLAS Belt, for the brave freedom lovers. Ganymede, for the scientifically curious. Venus, for the grand terraforming project. Titan, if they are seeking a more exotic, yet promising life. Ceres, if they are particularly insane, homicidal, or somehow still believing in the viability of the interplanetary socialist project despite all the wars.*

    For the Elites and Nobles of the Atlesian hierarchy, there has never been better time than today to live. These upper tier citizens enjoy access to all of the Company's habitats and reaches, manage grand projects of human ingenuity and import, command regiments of the finest footsoldiers in the solar system, minister to grand civic places of Aspera, and leave their family names in records of stone. They make money through guaranteed revenue sharing structures commensurate to their rankings, are celebrated for their work in uplifting and expanding the reach of the Company -- once your family has advanced past the Able tier, through the gentry ranks and the Elites and into the Noble tier, it is quite possible for newly founded habitats and important civic structures to bear your name.

    With a few exceptions there are very little dissent in the upper tiers of Atlesian society. While some might moderate their chauvinist leanings owing to their exposure to the rest of the solar systems, especially and specifically their common professional interaction with business partners and nations across the solar system, many of the most hardline fascist and Martian-supremacist partisans can be found by those with titles before their names. After all, they are likely to be the direct descendent of original Atlesian colonists who were disdainful of the socialist Union of America.

    New arrivals and those freshly 'liberated' or 'resolved' in inter-corporate disputes are a study in contrast. They are far less likely to be rosy about their future in Atlas. To an independent miner of a hab recently forcefully integrated or bought out by the Corporation, ATLAS is a land that encroaches upon their homes, represented in sleekly armored legionaries and the sturdy geometry of their war-vehicles. A line marked by fortifications, orbital guns, and land mines that marches forward as resistance and protests are ground under literal or figurative advance.

    The new arrivals and colonial subjects who choose to cooperate with ATLAS are some of the more passionate and ardent supporters of ATLAS's mission and centralization policy on Mars. These are the wide-eyed, crisply uniformed subjects shown in homefront propaganda reels, cheering on and pledging allegiance to Aspera in their native Earth tongues. They have chosen their side, and know that the only way to prove it to the skeptical hierarchy of ATLAS is to prove it with their life and work.

    Taken together, Atlesian citizens are largely moderate body living increasingly comfortable lives, doesn't bother much with questioning political and territorial aims of the Board of Directors, and are largely concerned with bettering their own individual station and lives.




    *Okay, Syndicalist, but whatever.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  7. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,251
    Location:
    Within the realm of impossibility
    Polity Name: The Directorate of Refugee Resettlement Services
    Color: Blue and Gold
    Symbolism: A single gold band across a dark blue flag to represent a ray of hope
    Summary: A technocratic state carefully managed by a non-profit to help refugees settle into a new life

    History: The Directorate of Refugee Resettlement Services was a non-profit created in the wake of the nuclear exchanges that took place due to the Kosmicheskie Voyska Autonomous High Command's actions to help resettle refugees on the moon of Ganymede to avoid a large class of undesirables creating social problems in the cities of Russia and Australasia. In order to ensure the initial colony began with all the skills it would need to be prosperous, the non-profit created an application process which selected immigrants based on their particular talents and skillsets. The Directorate would then create a work permit system that locked the chosen refugees into "neccessary" work for the state, with the idea being an individual given a permit to work as a "farm worker" could only work in a position that was related to agriculture, so that oversaturation of labor can't happen and every hand is used as efficiently as possible. Through this way, the labor force for needed work was compelled. The directorate also used funds it had solicited from nations and charitable companies on earth to build expensive but indispensable infrastructure such as power, terraforming, water and agriculture, while infrastructure that needed less capital investment was often built by refugees themselves with state permission. The result is a public-private hybrid economy where the state backstops economic activity through the use of labor permits and restrictions on companies to ensure all economic activity complies with the goals of a self sufficient colony as closely as possible. However as new refugees arrive with less of a need for a skill vetting process, the system may come under threat, but for now, the Directorate manages its life as a well meaning technocracy

    • Planetary Defense - 0
    • Interplanetary Warfare - 0
    • Environmental Engineering - 2
    • Space Colonization - 1
    • Resource Development - 1
     
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  8. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

    Joined:
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    7,083
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Albany, New York
    Russia's current policy to refuse to hand over peoples, even undesirables, to megacorporations still applies.
     
  9. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    3,251
    Location:
    Within the realm of impossibility
    The Directorate is an non-profit NGO not a corporation. It’s not trying to make a profit off of this colony or these people

    I’d also like to add that these refugees aren’t Russia’s to handover. They’re probably spread over multiple refugee camps not all of which are necessarily in Russia
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020
  10. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    11,133
    Location:
    北京皇城
    opens a briefcase full of ecorubles
     
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  11. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    Blows on microphone

    "Sorry I can't hear you, you're breaking up"

    "Co---"

    Blows on microphone

    "Please repeat"

    "Cor---

    Taps on microphone

    "The connection is bad. It must be interference from external sources. Maybe try again in three months?"

    Hangs up

    "What did they what to talk about?"

    "I don't know."
     
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  12. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    upload_2020-12-17_16-0-8.png

    We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming of Space Cowboys x KV Troopers: Space Police 90210101 to Bring You This Breaking News from the Hall of the Stars

    The screen fades to black. The camera flickers. The image is fuzzy. The camera zooms in and out. The image clears. The camera focuses on the grand chamber of the Hall of the Stars.



    Gentleman, ladies, gentlepeople and all and others! Comrades, citizens, shareholders and bondsmen. I welcome you all to this sacred place -- the heart of of the Reach! Today, I will be addressing you about the most important subject of this era and indeed all eras.

    The Belt and Moons are the future of mankind! For we are charting a new peaceful, prosperous and just order for all mankind! This is an awe-inspiring achievement and our actions will inspire the rest of poor, beleaguered mankind to lift their eyes up and behold their future -- the Reach! If you look around you, you must feel not only a sense of satisfaction for what we have achieved but also you must feel anxiety lest we slip and turn reality into dream. Opportunity is here now, clear and shining for both Belt and Moon. To reject it or ignore it or fritter it away will bring upon us all the long reproaches of the after-time. It is necessary that constancy of mind, persistency of purpose, and the grand simplicity of decision shall guide and rule the conduct of the peoples of the Reaches. We must, and I believe we shall, prove ourselves equal to this severe requirement.

    The Belt military men/women/other stand for nothing less than the safety and welfare, the freedom and progress, of all the homes and families of all the men/women/other in all the Reaches. And here I speak particularly of the myriad domes, the corporate bunkhouses, the collective caverns or simple cave homes where the wage-earner strives amid the accidents and difficulties of life to guard his/her/their partner/s and children/s from privation and bring the family/s and/or collectives up in freedom from want, insecurity and distant tyranny.

    To give security to these countless homes, they must be shielded from the two giant marauders, war and tyranny. We all know the frightful disturbances in which the ordinary family is plunged when dread corsair of war swoops down upon the bread-winner and those for whom he works and contrives. The awful ruin of Earth with its vanished glories, and the shattered domes of Mars glares us in the eyes. When the designs of wicked men/women/others in world-born HQ or parliament urge the destruction of cities, of stations and habitats, humble Reachers are confronted with horrors for which we who know the fragility of life and sphere cannot cope.

    When I stand here this quiet afternoon I shudder to see what is actually happening to billions now who live on ruined Terra or among the shattered domes of Mars. None can compute the misery of humans afflicted by planetary thought. Thus, our supreme task and duty is to guard the homes of the common people, on these our most fragile spheres, from the manifest evils of planetary thought!

    We have great gained insight into the problems of planetary thought in recent years. The foul corsairs of Ceres ravaged our shipping. Stealing the goods we need to live. The people we need to thrive. The equipment for us to grow and expand. Divided we fell to them. Self-help proved inadequate. Our ships were too few and weak. Those of us who had home offices and worlds to call upon put their faith in outside help. But the bureaucrats did nothing. In desperation we turned to each other. Mutual aid is an essential quality of life in the Reach. If something breaks and cannot be fixed, we turn to our fellows to furnish aid. This is the only way to survive in the frontier. Our true enemies are distance, the void and the spheres we call home. So together we stood against the corsairs and for a time it helped. But they grew in boldness, strength and guile and pulled us apart, tearing at the seams of our alliance and renewing their attacks while we stood impotent and afraid. Then from the stars came the Kosmicheskie Voyska took the fight to the corsairs. Not for profit or gain, but an earnest desire to help their fellow Reachers. With our support they eventually carried the war to Ceres.

    Our Ceres brothers had been taken over by rouge elements. Violence and coercion was used to keep the masses in-line. Pirates and their profiteer allies controlled Ceres while the European Union stood by and piously protested about sovereignty and jurisdiction as corsairs slipped anchor and Ceres grew fat off our misery. The Kosmicheskie Voyska had driven them from their parts of the Belt by working together with the miners and other sovereignties and in doing so had bought an enviable state of peace, order and prosperity to it. We in the moons found ourselves harried by pirates, bedeviled by the conflicts of distant home offices and governments who cared not for us found ourselves impoverished because of the actions of others - despite our best efforts. Together we began working with the Kosmicheskie Voyska to drive the pirates out. And, by Saturn and Jupiter, it worked. We hardened ourselves to their raids, coordinated among ourselves and soon gave better than we got. The warships of the Kosmicheskie Voyska were invaluable, but even the Admirals here will admit - and they have many times - that no less important was our unity of purpose! The void and spheres reward those who help each other!

    The Kosmicheskie Voyska left ships to protect us and travelled to mars where the corsairs now struck. There however our friends efforts came up short. The dust-born had no desire to cooperate. Planet dwellers are strange creatures. They have too much space which breeds ill-discipline and the conditions are too forgiving which breeds greed. As a result, they are ever willing to fight. Wars are cheap, measured only in lives, when there is no risk to habitation. On earth they throw around nuclear weapons and clean up the damage afterwards. On mars the sides raid each other and seal the breaches after the fact. In the Belt and Moons any such action could not be repaired. The fragile economic threads that keep us alive and bind us together would fray and we would soon all begin to die. War is not for us. War is for them. The Kosmicheskie Voyska good natured, selfless and used to dealing with reasonable people became bitter at the bickering of mars and frustrated at the lack of progress against the corsair menace. Efforts to work with the UN which had shown some promise some came to naught as the European Union stymied efforts to deal with the corsairs at the source -- Ceres.

    Repeated pleas to distant Moscow to be able to deal with the problem came to naught. Moscow was focused on Terra and cared naught for us. But the Kosmicheskie Voyska did find allies in the void. Corporates who had tired of Ceres came onboard. The independent Belt miners and merchants sent ships. We sent ships. Together this was the largest assemblage of space-ships in human history. A testament to the power of the entire void. We sailed for Ceres. The UN complained, as was its want, but our friend on the Council blocked their objections. Attempts to gain a mandate went nowhere. We were threatened with war from the dirt-born but we scoffed. Who could threaten us? I called for the destruction of Ceres as a lesson. So did many others from the Belt and Moons. We had suffered. But the Kosmicheskie Voyska insisted we were not like then. That we understood the fragility of life and habitat. That we should never be like them. That we should show them another way. We doubted there was another way. But as we got closer pirates surrendered to us accepting pardon offers. Others fled into the void. Still others hatched a plan with moderate elements on Ceres to save the asteroid from destruction. The average Ceres dweller was like us. They valued life and habitat. The hate-spitting pirate supporters on Ceres were deposed and cast into the void for their crimes. A new government was constituted under Kosmicheskie Voyska auspices and a new era dawned!

    The Kosmicheskie Voyska soon found that their actions came at a cost. Moscow focused on Terra rebuked them and demanded the High Command bend knee. Moscow felt that it was in control. It now had assets in the Moons. To its mind the tyranny of distance had been solved. But the distance was really never physical - it was mental. The Kosmicheskie Voyska cognizant of these differences now and of its role in ensuring the Reaches safety refused to bend knee. Giving such power to Moscow would guarantee war in the Belt and Moons. For if Moscow militarized the Reaches, then others who had no more respect for life and habitat would follow. Soon we would all be exposed to their guns. Faced with threats from Moscow and Brussels, whose anger about the defeat of their pirate-agents, the Kosmicheskie Voyska declared itself sovereign and renamed itself the Belt and Moon Independent Corporation. Before doing so it sought our support, for such a decision could be met with military reprisal, but we gave it willingly. How could we not? The Kosmicheskie Voyska had saved us and shown itself to be our firmest friend.

    The Belt and Moon Independent Corporation is an organization erected for the prime purpose of preventing piracy, war and privation and they are already at work. Our role in the Belt and Moons is to make sure that its work is fruitful, that it is a reality and not a sham, that it is a force for action, and not merely a frothing of words, that it is a true organization of peace in which the shields of many moons and 'stroids can be hung! We must cast away the flimsy assurances of self-help and mutual assistance and instead build our safety and security, not upon the shifting sands of self-interest, the quagmires of distant bureaucracies and the whims of "men-on-the-ground" but upon the solid rock of the Belt whose ships even now maintain our freedoms! Anyone with his eyes open can see that our path will be difficult and also long, but if we persevere together I cannot doubt that we will achieve our common purposes -- order, prosperity, and justice for the Reaches!

    To this end I propose a practical series of steps we must take. A trans-spheran congress must be established to regulate our conduct. Many of us share our fragile homes with other sovereignties or find our interests clashing with others. I say that the actions of one should not come at the cost of others. Drilling must be regulated. Space must be allotted through peaceful means. Ship orbits and docking must be coordinated. Resources should be shared in times of crisis. We must be relinquish the old planet ways and build a new Reach way suitable to our conditions. Courts and magistrates must be set up to mediate and if required provide binding decisions to ensure that disputes between ourselves remain the province of court and not conflict. We must also have a common foreign policy. I know that many of us wish to retain contact with home offices or governments. We do not stand against this. But we all believe strongly that this must not come at the cost of resources lives or habitability here! Reachers should command Reachers. If we must pay a dividend it should be a sustainable one. If we must accept orders let them be sane. If we must fight let it be because we wish too. To deal with our enemies internal and external we need sheriffs and sailors. To this end, the Belt and Moon Independent Corporation must immediately be furnished with revenues to empower it to take on that responsibility.

    This need not come, as some have asserted, at the cost our independence. The Belt is one of us, not one above us. I know that this will take time to build trust and that we can only go step by step, but we must begin now! I propose therefore that each of the Corporations, the Organizations, the Collectives, the States and Independent 'Stroids should be invited to delegate a certain number of ships to serve alongside the Belt and Moon Independent Corporation. These ship would be trained and prepared in their own sovereignties and would serve in their own uniforms but with different badges. They would not be required to act against their own nation, but in other respects they would be directed by the Belt subject to the wishes of congress. This might be started on a modest scale and would grow as confidence grew. I wished to see this done after the Ceres Incident, and I devoutly trust it may be done forthwith.

    It would nevertheless be wrong and imprudent to entrust the secret knowledge of our security systems. No one in any sovereignty will sleep better knowing that the keys to their lives are in others hands. But I do not believe that we should sleep any more soundly knowing that our codes are in the hands of distant bureaucrats on Terra or Mars. The fear of that alone can easily be used to enforce their distant wills upon our fragile homes, with consequences appalling to Belter imagination. We will this should not be and we can make it so together. We will therefore change our security systems so that they are under our control and free of the meddling of foreigners.

    Now I come to the second danger of these two marauders which threatens the dome, the cavern, the cave and the bunkhouse of the ordinary people, tyranny. We cannot be blind to the fact that the liberties enjoyed in the Belt are not valid in a considerable number of sovereignties, some of which are very powerful. In these sovereignties control is enforced upon the common people by various kinds of all-embracing police corporations or governments. The power of the sovereignties is exercised without restraint, either by boards, oligarchies, legislatures, bureaucracies or dictators. It is not our duty at this time to interfere forcibly in the internal affairs of Moon or Belt. But we must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of mutual assistance, restraint, respect for life, appreciation of fragility and self-rule which are the joint legacy of our distance and the nature of our homes.

    All this means that the sovereignties here have the right and indeed to the duty to all of us and themselves to disobey those orders and mandates and resist those impulses that would risk their lives, that would drain them of the resources necessary for life, that would expose our fragile habitats to damage at the whims of sovereignties months away from us with no understanding of the conditions under which we live and thrive! Here is the message of the Belt and Moons: We will not die for you, only for ourselves!

    I say now that from Ganymede around Jupiter, to Ceres in the Belt, a state of order, justice and prosperity hitherto unknown now exists across the Reaches. The state we find ourselves in in the Reaches is the future of humankind! Let us work together to make our dreams, reality; our reality, permanent; our order eternal; our skies clear of pirates; our prosperity into abundance; our abundance into riches; and our justice a call to all of mankind to lift up its weary eyes and behold the future in the Reaches!

    The space anthem begins to play:

    The Moon and 'Roids that we call home
    Are yours and yours, but ours alone!
    Together we shall build better spheres
    And be the future's own pioneers!


    Woe betide the enemy who roams
    With evil in their heart to seize our homes!
    For we are home in blackness deep
    And our ships united shall make them weep!


    Notes on terms:

    Belt and Moon refers to all of the belt and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
    Reach is a close synonym for Belt and Moon but is more inclusive of station and ship dwellers.
    Reachers refers to all those who dwell in the Reach
    The Belt can refer to (1) the Belt and Moon Independent Corporation or (2) the Asteroid Belt in its entirety
    Sphere is a generic term that includes moons and asteroids
    Void is space
    Terra is used for earth
    Men-on-the-ground a pejorative term for people who have never left the planets
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
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  13. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    8,128
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    ATLAS Mars sends its warm regard to the new Belt and Moon Corpro, and expresses well wishes on their ambitions to guide human progress in the outer reaches of the solar system, and would like to request for membership in the newly founded Stellar Congress should one be organized. Peace and Progress in the Colonies! Liberty from the United Nations! For Free Mars!*


    *Trade with Earth governments will continue despite all rhetoric. We are a corporation, as well as a state.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
  14. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    We welcome the ascension of our brothers in Mars to the Stellar Congress! Let all the voices of distant spheres unite in our shared quest for peace and progress. Liberty for all among the void!
     
  15. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

    Joined:
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    Update Two
    Bad Moon Rising

    The great irony of the 23rd century: while the 22nd closed with the discovery of life off of Earth, the main preoccupation of the 2200s would be the survival of life on Earth. Mankind at this point was confined to the Arctic and Antarctic circles, a fragile handful of habitable zones dependent on extraorbital resources for survival. The prevailing climate strategy was adaptation, the creation of sealed cities, not too different from space colonies, in which billions of humans would live. How sustainable this was was a matter of debate; projections for worsening weather conditions pointed to a runaway greenhouse gas effect that would render the Earth much like Venus. The odd nuclear war between global powers hadn’t helped matters; in 2205 the Patagonian Revolution, when the Earth-based motherland revolted against the wealthier lunar colonies, culminated in a nuclear exchange that required a major humanitarian and environmental effort in South America along with harsh sanctions on the lunar colony.

    By the start of the century European environmental scientists had succeeded in convincing their government that the accelerating deterioration of the Earth’s biosphere was reversible, albeit with an unprecedented investment of resources on a global scale. The European Union, in turn, took this proposal and its mind boggling cost estimate to its great rivals in the Russian Federation and the Corporate Cooperative. A generation ago the two had been bitter enemies, but the Europeans attempted to convince them (and the minor powers in the Western Hemisphere) to pool their resources and cooperate for the long-term survival of Earth-based civilization.

    Amazingly, they agreed to the “Eden Initiative''. The Eden Initiative was a sweeping international effort to stabilize the Earth’s climate. The United Nations as a whole received a broad new mandate for environmental restoration and trillions of singdollars were poured into ambitious carbon storage, solar shade, and tidal processing facilities across the globe. The scope here cannot go underestimated: by 2250, a third of Earth’s gross domestic product was directly or indirectly involved in the Eden Initiative. And by the century’s end immense progress had been made as temperatures and meteorological activity began to decrease, defying projections for the opposite. Increased data meant that environmentalists were able to determine that the Earth would have passed a point of no return sometime in the 2290s. In a geological sense the human race had avoided disaster by a millimeter through a massive and prolonged intervention into stabilizing the planet’s environment.

    The Eden Initiative represented a triumph of European diplomacy and influence in the halls of the United Nations. While increasingly ossified and archaic by modern standards, and largely irrelevant in political affairs beyond the moon’s orbit, it nonetheless claimed authority over the majority of the human population. This accumulation of diplomatic capital led to subsequent dividends: the Eden Initiative also brought together the disparate regional governments of North America, which were loosely under the aegis of an American Union that had been steadily abdicating responsibility for over two hundred years. Inertia and infrastructural ties had kept the habitats together, but at the apex of European influence the Atlantic provinces chose to formally secede and join the stronger and more unified political polity, beginning a series of wars of independence and corporate conflicts that would be unresolved by the end of the century but almost certainly seeming to result in the European Union gaining full control over all of North America. The final integration of the entire continent, and the necessary reforms needed to accommodate it within the EU’s framework, would continue to divert resources in the new century from other endeavors, but some of the practical effects in the immediate term would be the breakup of Atlas Earth under the EU’s antitrust laws and a wave of migration towards the Outer Solar System.

    The concentration of terrestrial resources on Earth isn’t happening in a vacuum (metaphorically). Human colonies like Atlas Mars and Ceres began making ambitious power plays for influence in the solar system, directly challenging the established powers on Earth. Did Earth-based powers choose to invest more resources into the Earth because of their declining positions offworld, or did those positions begin to decline because of the focus on Earth-based interests? It’s a bit of a chicken or the egg situation: each trend reinforced the other.

    That’s not to say the terrestrial superpowers were completely inactive: Europe established new colonies on Europa and Titan, the Corporate Cooperative parlayed an alliance with Atlas Mars into a stronger position on the Red Planet, and Russia made investments on Io and Ganymede. But these moves were almost entirely with the cooperation of practically independent space powers who were less subsidiaries and more partners, and often were the senior partners in each initiative.

    The second defining event of the 23rd century were the Asteroid Wars. The Eden Initiative saw unprecedented cooperation between terrestrial powers, while the Asteroid Wars saw an unprecedented conflict among their extraterrestrial counterparts. The First Asteroid War, decades earlier, had rearranged the balance of power in the inner solar system. But it had been far from decisive in settling the question of who controlled the Belt. The Belt at this point in history was transforming from the frontier of human settlement into a power in its own right, with industry to take advantage of its own mineral wealth. Ceres was the largest population center, but Pallas, Vesta, and Hygiea all began to develop as habitats with economies centered around something beyond simple resource extraction.

    The First Asteroid War had left the Russian Federation dominant in the Belt, through their autonomous Space Forces, while revealing the vulnerability of their colonies on Mars and the Corporate Cooperative’s presence had been severely reduced, though not eliminated. But there was a third power: the European colony of Ceres had ridden its position of neutrality into a prominent commercial position allowing it to challenge the Kosmicheskie Voyska. Belter interests were increasingly out of alignment with their home countries on Earth, where the focus was on environmental cooperation. Ironically the resources demanded for the Eden Initiative intensified competition in the Belt to provide those raw materials. A fresh wave of mining outposts and the infrastructure to support them was established, much of it corporate driven.

    Cerean politics was defined as populist and anti-corporate, a legacy of their political revolution. Their military was similarly populist, a militia of loosely organized part-time mining vessels. Many of them turned to piracy as much for ideological reasons as economic, eager to cut the corporations profiting from it as they were to take a cut out of the wealth flowing towards Earth. Unlike the “competitive actions” between corporate security forces of the previous century these were a magnitude more disruptive to commerce, like a broadsword to a scalpel. They were also near undeniably based out of Ceres: while the government never authorized it, it was also slow to condemn it. The ramping up of pirate activity got the Cerean government a great deal of bad press in the inner system and provided the KV a window to take action against them. This was the Second Asteroid War, a sharp conflict as the KV attacked Cerean positions in the Belt, some of them explicitly in support of the pirates, some of them just strategically important. Despite being on paper a formidable force the Cerean navy was caught off guard and outmatched ton for ton by the KV, which had ambitious plans to directly attack Ceres under the auspices of a UN anti-piracy mandate.

    But the same economic factors that drove the escalation in the Belt worked to put a damper on Earth, where the European Union vetoed the Russian proposals and pressured the Russian Federation to de-escalate the conflict. The KV’s victory was thus incomplete and the Cerean military was able to rebuild, though they were forced to greatly rein in their militia fleet. Relations between both powers and Earth were badly damaged: Ceres felt unsupported in the actual war by Europe, while the KV felt betrayed by their own civilian leadership in the peace deal. Both sides made meaningful reforms in the aftermath. Tensions remained high and both factions sponsored pirates against each other’s spheres.

    Ceres significantly centralized its militia fleet, both to prevent further provocations and provide greater command and control in the event of the war. Many remained converted mining vessels, but they were no longer part-time militia commands. This militarization placed great strain on the social and political fabric of the colony as resources were dedicated to a relatively small part of the community, neglecting the powerful hydroponic syndicates. Tenuous compromises held up under the threat of a fresh war with the KV for the moment but the military-industrial build-up began to concentrate wealth in unions tied to the militarization effort.

    The same KV, the autonomous Russian space force, confronted the reality that their interests were being actively held back by their central government. They began to divert more resources into their off-the-books holdings, minimizing the portions officially part of the Russian military. They also massively increased the number of support staff and contractors in their controlled habitats, offering generous contracts including extensive family relocation plans. At the same time they continued to refine the legacy of two interplanetary wars, matching Cerean ship-building and standardizing the lessons learned across the fleet.

    The Third Asteroid War would have its origin not in the Belt, but on Mars, where Atlas Mars began to act on its grandiose ambitions. The Corporate Cooperative had signed several security agreements with them and began development of large-scale agriculture, but the bulk of domestic Martian food was still under control of the Sovereign Republic of Singreal, a state of affairs intolerable to the nationalistic (is that even the right word?) Atlesians. Atlesian Legionaries aggressively contested mining rights in bordering territories and then suddenly escalated, seizing Singreali stations on the planet’s surface as part of a general military offensive against their colony. Singreali corporate security was overwhelmed and they appealed to the KV, who had stakes in the settlements, for support. KV naval assets began to redeploy to Mars, the largest military deployment in the inner solar system in history, a response that made the terrestrial powers suddenly very nervous when they considered their relative military neglect. KV’s intervention escalated the conflict and Atlas Mars opened operations against the Russian colony of Novokiev, where the lack of coordination between Russian navy and army again left the Russians unprepared as in the First Asteroid War. KV and Atlas Mars exchanged limited orbit-surface strikes as both sides laid out demands, Atlesian positions on the ground secure but their habitats vulnerable to an space-based attack.

    The Martian Corporate War became the Third Asteroid War when Ceres took advantage of the KV’s deployment to Mars to attack their weakened positions throughout the Belt. Cerean stealth missile carriers devastated the Hygiean Defence Force and strike teams seized key resupply depots. Hygiea was under siege, it’s surface installations eliminated and Cerean commandos clashing with Russian marines around the airlocks. Atlas Mars, Singreal, and the KV had tense negotiations which resulted in Singreal losing its claim to their Martian colonies in return for indemnities from Atlas, a face-saving measure allowing the KV to return its military strength to the Belt (Russian concerns at this point were secondary to the KV’s own power base).

    The remaining Kosmicheskie Voyska ships in the Belt rallied to retake control of a key deuterium depot near Psyche, in what is now considered the pivotal battle of the war as it allowed the KV fleet to refuel prior to the following engagements with the Cerean fleet through the Belt. The novelty, and reserves, of Cerean stealth missiles had been depleted and the KV’s professional leadership and discipline proved decisive in a series of fleet engagements across the Belt over the next few years, beginning with the relief of Hygiea. The Third Asteroid War would be bitter and bloody, and even survivors would suffer drastically shortened life spans as a result of radiation exposure caused by close maneuvering around friendly ships’ fusion drives. Despite the advanced positions taken by Ceres in the early stages of the war the KV succeeded in pushing them out of much of the Belt and coercing many independent habitats to support them in the war effort. In the end Ceres was forced to sue for peace, losing its outlying habitats and compelled to demilitarize its fleet, dependent on the KV for protection from pirates. The government was upended as the hydroponics syndicates ousted and broke up those tied to the naval efforts.

    Relations between Russia and its autonomous space forces were abysmal in the aftermath of the war. For the second time, the KV’s own interests had threatened Russia’s Martian colonies, this time fatally, as Russia would never recover Novokiev despite several years of blockade and a dismal attempt at a contested orbital landing. The Russian government attempted to exercise its theoretical authority over the Kosmicheskie Voyska’s leadership, who had none of it and enacted their long-prepared plans to declare formal independence as the Belt and Moon Independent Corporation, claiming corporate sovereignty under Neuquen. Overnight a new power would take primacy in the Belt, with three successful interplanetary wars as a legacy.

    There’s a coda to this saga. The Fourth Asteroid War was the first to not involve the entity formerly known as the KV: it was instead an internal conflict within Ceres. Technically it is still ongoing: radicals dissatisfied with the peace treaty and the new government on Ceres attempted to overthrow the administration and were beaten back in several weeks of bitter close corridor fighting throughout the station. The rebels, calling themselves the Free Cerean Navy, seized many ships in Cerean dockyards (some of which were in the process of being scuttled) and fled, vowing to continue the fight against oppression and corporate power. The Free Navy were experienced naval personnel and veterans of the Asteroid Wars and returned to the early days of the Cerean militia, making a legal living through ice mining and occasionally raiding corporate shipping lanes in defiance of the Belt and Moon Independent Corporation. They maintained their cohesion with a strong ideological commitment to demarchy and socialist principles, attracting new recruits from across the Solar System to reinforce their numbers.

    The context of the Asteroid Wars provided insulation for the development of human colonies in the Outer Solar System. The military strength of the big fish in the system was locked in a delicate cosmic dance with their opposition for much of the century, restricting assets that could be deployed to enforce claims and control elsewhere. Privateering and conflict also meant instability in supply chains and logistics, allowing the development of mini-economies without immediate domination by a larger power.

    The third influence on the course of events in the 23rd century was economics. Specifically, energy economics. Advances in solid state batteries had been revolutionary for space travel, but they were unaccompanied by a corresponding revolution in energy generation. Solar power, the mainstay of the 22nd century, suffered as the polysilicates needed for high quality photovoltaic panels were in higher demand than supply. Exotic ideas like antimatter failed to find fruition even as the energy demands of human technology continued to increase. Mankind had more ideas on how to spend energy than on creating it, as ambitious military designs for laser-armed warships were tabled due to the ruinous energy costs. But the development of the outer solar system offered a solution. Few bodies in the region were mineral rich, but there were limitless reserves of water and hydrocarbons, along with the silicates that were suddenly in short supply. Energy refineries that were dismissed as crude and harmful on Earth were built turning stellar resources into usable energy. This Jovian Rush funded a wave of settlement of the outer solar system.

    The poster child for Jovian mining was the Federated States of New Columbia. Founded out of North American corporate mining outposts, New Columbia became a haven for libertarians and patriots in the aftermath of the collapse of the Union of America. America may be dead, but the American Dream lived on in the orbit of Saturn on a rough frontier filled with nostalgia for an America long past, where instead of gold and oil they mine hydrogen and oxygen from Saturn’s rings. The nominal capital of the new Columbians was on Enceladus but the bulk of their population was scattered in tiny habitats among the 82 moons of Saturn, a decentralized mess in stark contrast to the centralized states of the inner system.

    Titan, in the same planetary system as New Columbia, was also settled, but as a direct European initiative rather than as wildcat mining settlements. Unlike the other European colonies, which were nominally under the control of one or another member nation, Arcadia was independent and autonomous from the get-go. Titan was also meant to be the off-world testing ground for the same environmental sciences reaching maturity on Earth, albeit with a twist. Instead of working to cool the planet they would work to heat it, using the massive reserves of liquid methane already present on the surface. The project ran into issues from the get-go: questions of short vs long-term profitability came into play, as that methane and other liquids could be sold, now, for a profit on Earth to keep the colony afloat. These internal tensions would define the political life of the colony as the capital habitat pushed for long-term terraforming while also developing into the central energy refinery of the Saturn system, clashing with its satellite habitats who simply wanted an export-oriented economy.

    The third player in the Saturn system was the strangest. The Neo Exodus Evangels were a bizarre techno-religious group originating from corporate and research interests on Deimos that incorporated themselves and gained sovereignty under Neuquen. Described as more of a cult than a university, Deimos was the center of outlandish research into cybernetics and physics. On top of the traditional concerns about cults, there was the element of cyberpsychosis: neurological issues prompted by the replacement of body parts with mechanical systems. The Deimans invested heavily in radical cybernetic modifications among their adherents that was the cause of significant suspicion and alienation elsewhere in the solar system. But their adherents found a niche as ice miners in the energy rich Jovian moons, their cybernetic implants reducing their life support requirements and boosting profit margins.

    It’s no accident that independent powers formed in the furthermost Jovian. Jupiter was astronomically closer to the stellar powers operating out of the Belt and became dotted with their colonies and those of their partners. Europe, as mentioned, was interested in Europa, establishing a small colony there (and finding none of the xenobiological treasures present on Ganymede). Ganymede, along with Io, were dominated by Russia and Singreal, establishing a strong presence with significant cooperation on both planets. All powers actively searched for extraterrestrial life across the Jovian systems, making key findings that excited xenobiologists but few others.

    But this doesn’t mean Jupiter was devoid of independent interests. The Directorate for Refugee Resettlement Services was a UN-aligned non-governmental organization funded by corporate interests. Nominally aiming to resettle refugees from the various conflicts in the Western Hemisphere elsewhere in the Solar System, along with the large underclass in the Corporate Cooperative, the Directorate identified Ganymede as one of the best bodies in the Solar System for long-term human habitation and established itself alongside the Russian and Singreali outposts there. Settlement would occur, but the first priority of the Directorate was terraforming. Excess volatiles from the Jovian systems and the Belt were directed towards the planet, along with direct combustion of its own icy mantle, to begin to produce an atmosphere for the body. The resulting thin atmosphere was a boon for operations on the planet, benefitting the Directorate’s neighbors and transforming the planet into the Outer Solar System’s center for farming and organic production when combined with the existing magnetosphere. However, further terraforming carries risks as biologists warn that proposals to heat the planet, melting the outer layers of the mantle and producing a standing ocean, would threaten the native Ganymedan life under the surface.

    The same demand for energy that fuelled Jovian settlement also led to an explosion in Mercurian mining. The same infrastructure that delved under Mercury’s surface also supported extensive solar farms on it and made its corporate backers incredibly wealthy at the peak of the KV-Cerean conflict. And the same historical forces at work elsewhere in the solar system saw the prisoners on Mercury seize control of the colony and declare independence. Corporate efforts to re-establish control were bloody wastes of resources and lives, and the First and Second Mercurian Wars of Independence resulted in an independent Republic of Mercury establishing sovereignty under Neuquen. A harsh feudal structure founded in the criminal organizations that many prisoners hailed from on old Earth underlaid the trappings of a modern planet-state (indeed, Mercury would provide the model that other would-be planet-states like Atlas Mars would aspire to be). And Mercury’s economic growth continued unabated, with the profits off their resource operations now reinvested into planetary enterprises.

    Earth’s sister planet, Venus, also attracted renewed interest as a potential colony with the advent of practical terraforming. The lonely European outpost in orbit was joined by Singreali interests in Ma Shun’s Cloudy Skies corporation. The solar shades developed for use in the Eden Initiative were soon constructed around Venus, starting the laborious process of cooling the planet to be viable for human settlement in a century or two. This long time frame meant Cloudy Skies was far from profitability, profitability wasn’t the point, and its finances were a jenga tower of monetary innovations and bonds from across human space. Ma Shun certainly wouldn’t live to see his dreams reach fruition and it remains to be seen if his heirs would follow through on making them a reality.

    The break up of Atlas Earth has left Atlas Belt, its corporate holdings in the system, independent (it was either that or be incorporated into Europe). It grew significantly from an influx of capital and personnel thanks to Atlas Mars, which found the Belt a good place to dump undesirables. The colony became heavily militarized during the Asteroid Wars to defend itself against pirates and maintain its neutrality: every Atlesian ship was as much a warship as a mining vessel or transport. While the efficacy of part-time craft such as this has been called into question by the Asteroid Wars, it goes a long way towards deterring pirates and providing cheap power projection.

    Atlas Mars’s clear ambitions to gain a controlling interest on the Red Planet prompted reevaluation among corporate powers about continued investment into the planet. Most chose to sell their holdings and vacate the planet, a few of the largest powers like the Corporate Cooperative attempted to strike bargains with Atlas, but the Ares Colony is a remnant that has claimed sovereignty in its own right following abandonment by their earth-based headquarters. Their exact relationship with the Atlesians is unclear going forward but the colony remains profitable through its mining operations in the short term, even if they’re having a hard time buying insurance.

    The existing powers are undergoing major changes of their own: the European Union needs serious internal reforms to accommodate the absorption of North America, limiting the resources available for expansion despite its formidable domestic base. Russia and the Corporate Cooperative are grappling with their military decline compared to the powers in the Belt and Mars, particularly disturbing for the former given its military legacy. Singreal and Belt and Moon Independent Corporation laid down modern fleets of gun and missile frigates, establishing a dominant position in control of the Belt and space commerce across the system. Atlas Mars consolidated control over its majority on Mars and considered its next moves. And Ceres, while suffering under BMIC’s control of the trade lanes, nonetheless possessed considerable mineral and industrial wealth within itself that it used to rebuild its economy.

    With all of these actors in the Solar System, it became an increasingly complicated place. An increasingly crowded place. Everything that moves is heard in the void, but the volume of activity makes tracking from radar stations near impossible. Both KV and Ceres had pioneered the use of both active stealth, the deployment of decoys on both a strategic and tactical scale, and passive stealth, the minimization of drive signatures and radar profiles, to allow deployments to be concealed from the other and these practices became commonplace. Continued advances in technology significantly reduced travel times: transfer orbits still remained the standard for bulk cargo, but direct travel times from the Earth to Saturn had been cut to a month by 2300 (and two weeks for a high-power military ship). The fledgling colonies of the Outer Solar System are closer than ever to the established inner powers. Uranus, as far from Saturn as Saturn is from Earth, is now within reach of the interplanetary economy. And, for the first time since the 21st century, the human population has passed the ten billion mark.

    Things are looking up.

    -----------

    Action Points for Update Three are irregular and split by polity. They are assigned with consideration for relative income and political situation. Any new powers will have 4 action points to begin with. Orders can now be sent via PM, but some in-thread content is still required. This will be the last of the Phase One updates.

    Atlas Earth has launched copyright lawsuits against Atlas Mars and Atlas Belt for sole use of the Atlas name, citing both sovereign states military and political actions as impacting the brand’s favorability on Earth. Mars and the Belt are outside the jurisdiction of the European Union, but this may affect business operations in the Earth system. Your lawyers recommend reaching a settlement.

    A new round of preliminary stats will be going up through the week.

    Spoiler Action Points :


    Russian Federation - 6 Action Points

    Corporate Cooperative - 6 Action Points

    European Union - 4 Action Points

    KV - 8 Action Points

    Ceres - 4 Action Points

    Atlas Mars - 8 Action Points

    Singreal - 6 Action Points

    Titan - 8 Action Points

    New Columbia - 6 Action Points

    Mercury - 8 Action Points

    Atlas Belt - 4 Action Points

    Resettlement Directorate - 6 Action Points

    Ares Colony - 4 Action Points

    Neo Exodus Evangels - 4 Action Points

    Cloudy Skies - 6 Action Points
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2020
  16. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

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    Proposed Flag of the new Atlesian Directorate, as approved by Director General Johna Irons I (Formerly Johanathan Irons VIII)​
     
  17. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

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    The girl was awake. Despite all the habitats of the Directorate she visited, she had not yet visited Atlesian Phobos colony.

    It was her birthday. She could do whatever she wanted.

    The girl sat wrapped in a blanket on the shuttle's CIC, tucked into a crew chair too large for her. It was located inside a hardened blister, walls lined to show perfect fidelity projection of the space around the ship. It looked as if the girl's chair was floating in space. The effect was so strong, that in her guts it felt as if she slipped and fell from the chair, she would tumble away into the void forever, even if realistically she would fall at most three feet before hitting the floor of the CIC.

    She leaned forward, clutching the blanket around her, and let loose a drop of spit from her mouth, watched it fall and land with a splat among some distant star fields.

    "I see you spitting on my display, Johna," a voice in her ear spoke. "Stop that immediately."

    "It's okay," the girl said dismissively. "You can just send a drone to clean it up."

    And indeed, one had already been dispatched.

    "See?" the girl says, pointing at the drone mopping up the display. "No big deal, Mentor."

    The Mentor, a tall blue projection who moved among the stars, knelt to regard the little drone. "The scale of the response--how easy it is to clean up the mess you made--is besides the point. What matters, as always, is that you did it."

    "Can I not have a lecture right now?" the girl says, sinking back into her blankets. "It's my birthday."

    The Mentor watched the drone go about its business, taking a moment to himself. He was occupied at all times. He monitored the vitals of the ship's crew. Ensured that ship's atmosphere maintained a pleasant and breathable oxygen mixture. Managed the fuel levels and ensured radiation alerts were functioning. In a few moments he would be down the decks to check on the ship's fresh citron supplies and take inventory with the head cook.

    "Happy birthday," the Mentor spoke. "Would you like to know how old you are?"

    The girl searched the starfield over Mars. Somewhere out there, a particularly fast moving dot would be Deimos, another colony in her Directorate--an empire that would be her's. She did not know what this meant, but it felt nice, like every day would be her birthday.

    "Legally you are about 237 years old for the purpose of corporate accounting on Earth," Mentor spoke. "But to most reasonable people, you are thirteen years old. Isn't this fascinating?"

    The girl grabbed onto the CIC's helm and pretended to be piloting the ship. The pilot, before vacating the seat to her, had severed the controls from the primary system, so that her inevitable fiddling would not throw the shuttle off course.

    "I find it fascinating," the Mentor spoke. He let the drone handle the repetitive routine and flashed his hologram next to the girl. "I've ordered cake for you, would you like it here or somewhere else?"

    "Here," she said. "When did I turn thirteen?"

    "About a few hours ago," the Mentor shrugged.

    The girl said nothing. The Mentor placed a glowing hand on her shoulder.

    "Think of all the colonies you will see, and all the new people you will meet. Know that you bring joy and hope to so many people. Right now, your birth is being celebrated by millions of your loyal subjects."

    "Really?" she asked.

    "Really."

    "Cool."

    The Mentor smiled.

    ..............................................................................................................

    "When we arrive in Phobos," the girl said with a mouthful of cake. "I'd want to take Yoko and Maggie and Ben and have a real party, like, with candles."

    "Sure," Mentor said. "We can do that."

    The little girl smiles.

    "The way we are going," the Mentor speaks, tapping his chin. "It shouldn't take much more than a few hours. We can go over the exact orbital dynamics we would have needed to calculate to make our approach after your birthday."

    She groans. "Can I have another slice of cake?"

    Mentor orders for another slice to be brought up from mess. "As many as you'd like," he says. "But then it's time for bedtime, okay?"

    The little girl nodded and, as she was waiting for the next slice, Mentor accelerated the projection of the local space and had her tour the route they were taking.

    The girl and the ghost flew through space for a little while and when one of Mars's moons came up into view properly, it was the biggest thing she had ever seen, and then it was gone, and the ghost sent her to bed.
     
  18. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

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    The Matter of Mars

    Brought before the UN Council Meeting for Consideration

    In response to repeated illegal and aggressive actions to blockade and invade our sovereign territories without cause,

    And noting their repeated actions to sanction wars and unsanctioned hostile acts across much of the Belt and Beyond,

    We the people of Atlesian Directorate demand for immediate sanctions to be placed upon the Russian Federation, and reparations paid to the Directorate for the honored lives lost in the defense of our motherland against their attempted invasion of Mars, in direct violation of peace terms laid out and agreed to in the Treaty of New Kiev. WE have paid our indemnities and done everything in accordance to the contract signed, only for the Federation to react with illegal blockades and outright hostile invasions, causing untold trauma and hardship for the people of Atlas.

    Such cowardly act to promise peace, only to immediately break it moments later in a renewed aggression against our homeland, is an anathema and a crime against not only the Directorate, but also the progress of humanity at large. It puts at risk every hope for a peaceful and rational resolution to a conflict and brings the specter of total war and annihilation to the table, for how could anyone trust the words of an arch-traitor who aims a gun underneath the table?
     
  19. christopher_sni

    christopher_sni Prince

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    Male
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    Fort Worth, TX
    Any space left for new players?
     
  20. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

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    Yeah you can join as any new power you want
     

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