Pale Blue Dot

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

  1. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    Singreal History & Politics - 8th Edition - Singreal Associated Press

    2289 - 2347
    The Shao Years

    The successes of the Ganymede Development Corporation had thrust its executives into the forefront of Singreali political culture, in a time when that political culture was becoming increasingly dominated by "darlings" whose primary distinction was producing dramatic results fast. This dynamic became known to elicit tensions between established entities that were on the decline, or various labor movements that the Singreali government dutifully sought to quash. For instance, the Singreal Teamsters continued to run a delicate dance on the fringe of the Singreali law, moving between supporting and opposing the Board as it suited them; and the CEO of TransLuna was for a time regarded as a position that immediately premeditated CEO of Singreal itself (which was as good a position as any to guarantee an eventual spot on the Board).

    This trend was bucked in two important ways by the onset of what would become known simply as the Shao Years, also the Shao Era. Dr. Binyamin Shao had been the CEO and Founder of the Ganymede Development Corporation, heading it from the beginning as a brilliant and diligent woman. Once the crop yields were up and profits started pouring in, as slowly but surely the Ganymede Development Corporation began to feed the solar system, the good doctor became a celebrity in Singreal. Bucking the previously established trend of 35 years, the Board of Directors appointed her the CEO of the SHC in 2289, passing up the then-CEO of TransLuna.

    This inaugurated a 58-year period where Dr. Shao became an unshakeable political force. The core of this success came from the dividends paid out on the last century of investment strategy: it was a perfect storm for Dr. Shao, who came to preside over a golden age of growth. Rapidly growing industries were fed by other rapidly growing industries, as the growing markets of the "translunar commercial sphere" promised steadily increasing returns. Food and shipping: this became Singreal's bread and butter, and on this rock Dr. Shao built her church.

    The first half of the 24th century in Singreal is remembered as a halcyon time for these and many other reasons. Though many competitors appeared, none were able to topple the complex house of cards that the Shao Board presided over. It seemed that good times were going to last forever.

    Then the market crashed.

    Early in the first quarter of 2347, the Singreal Industrial Index stumbled a more considerable amount than it ever had before - although not, as was constantly assured, "enough to destroy the economy." But speculation abounded as to the causes: was it insider trading? Anxiety about more trouble in Ceres with the BMIC? The economy "cooling off" following bad investments in the ice worlds? Whatever the case, and despite the Board desperately trying to rekindle investment, the markets crashed again in the third quarter and seemed to portend a nasty recession.

    Fractures formed in the Shao coalition as opposing forces demanded different solutions to the market problem. Since a good deal of the SII indexes subsidiaries of the SHC, there was initially good support for Shao's proposed solution: buy the failed stocks, prop them up, and liquidate the less-employing businesses. But there was cynicism about this solution that only grew as the year went on. How long could this go on? Weren't Singreali enterprises meant to be profitable? And could the economy handle any more inflation?

    Shao as well as more than half of the Board would be removed by the end of 2353, though Shao still later in life earned a symbolic position on the Board well after this all had passed. The point, anyway, is that the ensuing recession sparked interest in political change in a political economy that had long been, of a sort, ossified.

    2348 - 2356
    The Recession

    In 2353, patience for Shao's strategy had run out. With the appropriate ceremony, she was dismissed and replaced with the accountant (and scion of billionaire family) Kevin Yu, who was now reckoned the helm of "the Liquidationists," as this faction called itself. Kevin Yu's strategy can be accurately summed in the word "financialization," which would go on to serve as the theme of the second half of the 24th century for Singreal. Failing businesses would be ruthlessly cut, and competition encouraged between subsidiaries that would be aggressively merged and refactored according to the more successful models. Efficiency became the name of the game, and this approach also involved a foreign recapitalization strategy that would use liquidated capital to target more cost-effective investment opportunities: in other nations as well as in other corporate entities.

    2356 - ?
    The Gilded Era

    The recession was finally conquered in 2356 - and the tea leaves were good. Singreali business was leaning up across the board and several subsidiaries received the axe. TransLuna absorbed the next two largest shipping companies. The Ganymede Development Corporation was merged into the Jovian Redevelopment Corporation. And most importantly, Singreal pushed full-bore into building up its financial markets. The SII - once one among many - set out to cement its place as the biggest index in the solar system. Derivatives and securities markets took off; investment firms exploded - at the center of it all, Singreal was cultivating its reserve bank as a store of wealth and currency exchange, and capitalizing on two centuries of being the leading commercial destination outside Earth's atmosphere. If there was to be a future in Singreal, everyone seemed to agree, it was in the markets... of markets. With offices all across the belt and moons, silver tongues, and big promises, Kevin Yu was the hero of modern Singreal, and the father of space finance.

    "You called me, in your editorial, a war profiteer. I'm just a businessman. War between the colonies - that's nasty business. And I'm not the one instigating that. You go complain to those politicians and their toy boats, making the Stellar Congress a clown circus. We're not profiteers, we're helpers - just here to help smooth out the edges and make everyone else a little more comfortable in these trying times." - K. Yu

    --

    Interplanetary Warfare (1) - Warships. Nasty business, but that's the curse of being successful.

    Planetary Defence (0) - That's what insurance is for.

    Political Influence (2) - What would you call intense financialization and massive reinvestment schemes other than a purest expression of capitalist political economy?

    Advanced Development (2) - High-margin industries, technology, and expertise - this is how we're making money in Singreal.

    Resource Extraction (1) - We need just enough to make it, the rest we'll let the others do and pay them pennies on the dollar for.

    Environmental Engineering (0) - Have you seen the margins on this crap?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
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  2. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    Spoiler Russian Union of Republics Flag :

    At the end of the 24th Century, the Russian Federation was in tatters. Beset on all sides by military defeats and diplomatic blunders, and after the defection of the entire KV into their own Belter corporate state, it seemed to many in high office that there was no way forward but nuclear annihilation. The Motherland would die, but its enemies (it was hoped) would die with her. Rallies for war over Novokiev were almost a daily occurrence but, in the meantime, an increasing majority cowered, horrified at what they saw as a final act of self-immolation for the sake of nothing. Such a feeling had taken grip in the hidden corridors of power. While government delegates screamed for genocide, highly placed public servants colluded with the opposition and sympathetic Army factions.

    Before the Solar System could go in flames and Russia disappear forever, the freely elected government was swept by a plague of accidents and arrests for treason. Most noted was the unceremonious entrance of General Aliyeva in the Duma. She held the assembly at gunpoint and forced through the immediate adoption of several constitutional amendments, as well as the proclamation of Interior Minister Olga Ulianova as the new Prime Minister, with greatly expanded powers overshadowing a hollowed-out Presidency. Soon, a definitive peace agreement was signed with Mars, and Russia practically collapsed. Ulianova resigned the Duma was dissolved, and as the Army split into irredentists and pragmatists, so did many people. The struggle was brief but brutal. Although irredentist militias quickly formed to support sympathetic army units, managing to take over cities and even entire habitats, the bulk of the population came out in force against them.

    After a rump election, a Constitutional Assembly, which re-elected Ulianova as PM, created an entirely new regime for an entirely new world. Thus was constituted the Russian Union of Republics. In the new Russia, people could elect their local and national legislatures, but power would reside with the Executive Cabinet and a new Supreme Council of the Russias that would take the place and duties of the old presidency. This council would be formed by the leaders of two largest parties in the Duma, a government appointee, the Quartermaster General of the Army and Grand Admiral of the Navy, and four notable citizens elected by the Council themselves. One of its members would officially hold the office of Head of State, although the Prime Minister would be ordinarily deputised in order to keep the Council from public scrutiny.

    Although still nominally a democracy, then, the Supreme Council was not democratically elected, and it alone held the power to nominate a Prime Minister to form a cabinet. In turn, the Prime Minister would be deputised with many of the Council’s formal powers, such as the appointment of habitat governors from the top three candidates voted by their constituents. This managed, semi-democratic system was designed to keep power within a self-selecting circle of like-minded bureaucrats, oligarchs, and officers, for the main purpose to keep Mother Russia alive and restore her to glory. Although there would always be rabble-rousers, the model would prove effective at keeping the general public content and the nation thriving.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly after a slow decay of 200 years of pursuits of space colonisation, the R.U.R. immediately turned inwards. There was a civil and an interplanetary war to recover from, and a resettlement project to manage. While the first act of the third Ulianova Cabinet was to reassure Atlas and the Stellar Congress that the R.U.R. would ratify and abide by all compacts and treaties agreed to by the late Federation, there was also the realisation that Russia was at the hands of foreigners for its continued survival. Thereby a small but modern force begun construction on Perun, to deter aggression and protect the Jovian Republics. To prevent another KV, the Jovian Squadron and Russian Earth Orbit Forces would periodically rotate assignments. The higher priority of reconstruction and development projects delayed the construction of the fleet significantly, but Russian space stength increased steadily throughout the century with the modernisation of some old sloops as well.

    Aside from this significant military investment, which would mostly go on in the background, Ulianova and the successive R.U.R. cabinets would focus their efforts on the continuation of the Eden Initiative and the development of the Ushakov and Chernobog. Aided by the massive resettlement of the more fiercely Russian Novokyivites, both Jovian settlements would grow significantly in size and importance.. The high watermark of this process was when Prime Minister Nureyev formally inducted Ushakov and later Chernobog as fully-fledged Republics within the Union, and appointed their first governors. Not long afterwards, the Jovian Union University opened, bringing the Motherland and Earth closer to Jupiter, and Jupiter closer to Earth and the Motherland.

    All in all the 25th Century was a slow one for old Mother Russia. The vestiges of the times past were torn down and the foundations of the new were laid. For one hundred years Russia tried to prosper and grow, not in isolation but nevertheless steering clear of conflict among the stars.

    __________________________________

    Interplanetary Warfare (1) – The defeats of the last two centuries have made patent that the old Russia was ill-fitted to deal with the rigours of the Space Age. The new Russian Union must be able to not only safeguard its habitats scattered across the Solar System, but more critically the communication and shipping lanes between them, as well as our trade convoys with our neighbours. It is necessary to maintain a permanent presence around our Jovian colonies as well as on Earth, and to rotate the ships to prevent another KV from spawning.

    Planetary Defence (0) Wars are won and fought in space. It means nothing to control a habitat if it can be starved or nuked from orbit. The Union is particularly vulnerable to such strategies, and the defensive precautions taken over the last century, on top of proving completely ineffective at waging stellar war, are sufficient to go on.

    Political Influence (1) If the Asteroid Wars and the war for Mars have proven anything, is that the military alone cannot be relied on to defend the Motherland. It is necessary for the Russian Union to put aside moral considerations and grow stronger ties with strategic partners in Jupiter and the Inner Solar System to prevent a new, even more catastrophic war. It is a necessity for Russia not only to accept that the Stellar Congress has a grip on extraterrestrial politics, but to become an indispensable partner to them in developing and keeping peace and safety of commerce across the Solar System. Furthermore, the formal incorporation of R.U.R. habitats across the solar system as constituent Republics of the Union should serve to keep them united in spirit to the Motherland, and fortify our position as the one true interplanetary nation.

    Advanced Development (1) – With the formal addition of Ushakov and Chernobog as Republics of the Russian Union, they will get increased attention from the government. These are no longer far-flund outposts, they are an integral part of the Motherland, and it is important that they not only contribute to it but that their people should feel as close to it as the Russians of Earth do. A Jovian Union University on Ganymede, with research sites on both colonies, will be the flagship project that will not only strengthen our Union but also our knowledge of space geology, xenobiology, and who knows what else.

    Resource Extraction (2) – With a definitive declaration of peace on Mars and the subsequent offer of resettlement, there is a great chance to further expand our Jovian habitats at a much lesser cost than anticipated. We can finally start extracting volatiles in Ushakov on Ganymede, which should go a long way towards ensuring its self-sufficiency, growth, and future importance within the Union. Similarly, we can expand our operations in Chernobog on Io, with prospects to developing a habitable environment and an expanded habitat in the future.

    Environmental Engineering (2) – The Eden Initiative has been a resounding success, but in order to not slip back into environmental annihilation of life on Earth, we must continue to center our efforts on stabilising Earth. It is still the home of humanity, and the seat of our true Motherland, and it cannot be destroyed. With our learned experience in environmental engineering, it should be possible to start small scale programs on Io to densify its atmosphere and allow Chernobog to be somewhat livable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
  3. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 Thought Bubble Thinker Supporter

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    The Republic of Mercury recognises the Russian Union of Republics and congratulates Prime Minister Ulianova for her electoral victory. With the destruction of the old genocidal regime, the Republic of Mercury sees no reason to continue hostile relations. The embargoes against Russia are revoked, may it go the way of the old regime. The Russian Union of Republics is invited to send new diplomatic staff to Mercury. May genocide be forever be condemned to the pages of history.
     
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  4. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 Thought Bubble Thinker Supporter

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    Evolution of the Hermian Society

    Hermian culture is family-oriented, but vastly different from what exists on Earth and most other colonies. Due to the increase of population and the number of sexes becoming more balanced, the old system of extreme polyandry was no longer sustainable. This is not to imply that Mercury returned to the nuclear family, a new system emerged that adapted to the changing circumstances of Mercury.

    There are two types of families that each Hermian has loyalty towards – their birjating and their vasjating. Vasjating are the evolution of the original Hermian family system that evolved from the convict’s loyalties to their criminal organisations. Vasjatings are a subnational identity[1] that are taken extremely seriously by Hermians. A common Hermian idiom can be translated to “I am a child of Mercury, my vasjating and my birtrehn”[2]. Vasjating have their own cultural identities and members are considered each other’s family on a spiritual level. Vasjating generally passes from birtrehn to child[3]. Birjating refers to direct relatives, generally those with a direct connection with someone or their birtrehn. This includes parents, children, siblings[4], grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and other close relatives. Generally, birjating relations casts a wider net than 21st western understanding of direct relations, encompassing all of that and then some.

    Legally Hermains marriages must involve at least two adult participants who are not birjating relations and are capable of entering into a legal agreement. There is no legal limit to size of a marriage, although practical limitations usually limitations means that generally a group marriage will be no more than four or five people[5]. Hermians unofficially categorise marriages into three groups – tongpaffs (“traditional” Hermian, strictly one woman and at least two men), deechopaffs (Earther-style, two people of any gender) and manypaffs (a marriage involving at least three people and no women or more than one woman). Marriages involving a singular gender or nonbinary persons are treated no differently to “heterosexual” marriages, other than that they cannot be tongpaffs by definition. Divorce on Mercury can be a legally complicated process that require the finest (often Singraeli) lawyers to make sense of. People of different vasjating can marry as can people of the same vasjating (assuming no birjating relation). The complexity of different types of Hermian marriages can result in Hermians encountering legal difficulties abroad.

    While on paper there is no discrimination between types of marriages, Mercury’s birth lottery system is biased towards larger groups. Like most colonies, Mercury has a strict birth and immigration quota to ensure that limited essential resources are not depleted. Any marriage that can produce a child[6] can apply for the yearly[7] birth lottery where a number of birth approvals are given via a sophisticated random number generator[8]. However, the number of tickets that each eligible family is awarded is based on the number of already existing children and the number partners in the marriage. Although there is a strict limit of one child per family per year, this results in larger marriage groups being able to have children earlier and have more children. While some deechpaff couples claim this is a form of discrimination, most Hermians say that this is just a mathematical necessity of the “fairest birth lottery in the solar system”.

    Hermians legally have four names – their first name], their birtrehn’s first name as a second name[9], their birjating name[10] and their vasjating name. For example, first female Master Dragon Wei Maria Wang CNostra’s has her first name Wei, her birtrehn’s name was Maria, her birjating name is Wang and her vastjating name is CNostra.

    [1] - Someone identifying as a Texan would hold a national identity as an American and a subnational identity of a Texan.
    [2] - Literally “person who gave birth to me”.
    [3] - In rare cases where there is no (e.g cloning, other types of geengineered babies) or unknown birtrehn, vasjating affiliation is the choice of the parent and/or the state. Immigrants who become citizens of Mercury adopt the vasjating of their spouse(s) or are assigned into one of the smaller vasjatings by the state.
    [4] - There is no distinction between “full”, “half” and “step” siblings on Mercury.
    [5] - The largest recorded Hermian group marriage consisted of eleven people. It collapsed within in the course of a month. The largest recorded sustainable Hermian group marriage had seven people and considered an outlier.
    [6] - Legally speaking, any marriage that contains at least one person that is both fertile and capable of giving birth and one person that is fertile and can impregnate them.
    [7] - Reminder that Hermian years are approximately 88 days.
    [8] - Made possible by quantum computing.
    [9] - Generally those without a birtrehn or who are estranged from their birtrhen take the name of another parent or the name “Null”.
    [10] - Generally derived from the family name of their initial convict ancestors.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
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  5. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

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    Update Three
    Hundred Million Miles from Home
    (2300 to 2350)​

    The 24th century, a few notable incidents aside, began as a time of unprecedented progress and prosperity. Human population reached new heights, previously abandoned parts of the Earth’s surface were reclaimed for settlement, and the furthest reaches of the Solar System were colonized. Interplanetary ties were deepened and cross system alliances established on top of the largest trade network in human history. But underneath all of this are simmering social and political tensions, exacerbated by the previously mentioned prosperity fueling a multilateral military buildup.

    First, the conclusion of the previous century saw the foundation of a new interplanetary diplomatic organization, the Stellar Congress, intended to supplant the United Nations. The chief signatories of the Stellar Congress were all extraterrestrial powers and it had next to no sway within Earth’s planetary system, but many sovereign colonies would sign on, even those that continued to participate through the United Nations such as Titan.

    As a forum for diplomacy the Stellar Congress was initially successful: in addition to various planetary initiatives that will be touched on later, Congressional diplomacy finalized a lasting peace between the Atlesian Directorate and the Russian Federation over the Russian colony of New Kiev, with the former providing compensation and resettlement in return for territorial and administrative rights over the colony. All of this didn’t occur within some significant drama within the Russian government and its eventual reformation, but at the time it was heralded as the beginning of an era of lasting peace.

    That statement was soon put to the test. The Third Asteroid War had left Ceres disarmed and humbled, stripped of its territorial rights beyond its planetary space. The postwar government was committed to a lasting peace but the Cerean population was not, and it stood on shaky ground as it attempted to move forward with its reconstruction plans. A local radical movement drawing on the underground Cerean punk scene, known as the embrayageurs, found itself the frontline of the opposition to the hydroponics guilds, initially just by siphoning water and oxygen from government systems and distributing them to the masses, but later by overt acts of resistance supported by their illicit life support infrastructure. By 2310 the government had abandoned many of the lower levels to militias and quietly lost control of several docks which were used to smuggle in armaments and supplies to the resistance fighters. It didn’t take long for the government to collapse completely and the new Radicals were swept into power in genuinely democratic elections, reconciling with much of the Free Cerean Navy and pledging the restoration of Cerean demarchy.

    Controversially they also began a new program of military armament that drew sharp opposition from the Stellar Congress, particularly from its military powerhouses in the Belt and Moon Independent Corporation, the Atlesian Directorate, and the Republic of Mercury. For these Congressional Powers, a resurgent and remilitarized Ceres meant the return of a haven for privateers in the heart of the Belt, threatening the interplanetary commerce that all of them depended on. Negotiations turned heated, and then personal, and soon broke down with delegates departing to confirm what their governments already expected: war would come once again. The Atlantic Union pledged its support for Ceres, bringing with its colony of Titan, and the Congressional Powers saw themselves facing a genuine coalition in opposition. Sometimes called the Fifth Asteroid War, or the Cerean War, it’s important to note that the most critical theatres of the conflict weren’t in the Belt itself. Indeed, the very idea of the Asteroid Wars seems quaint, a localized conflict confined to the then fringe of human space. The Fifth War would see the bulk of military engagements concentrated around Earth and Jupiter, alongside fighting in the Belt, Mars, and Venus. Much as the Solar System’s economy was intertwined and complex, so too would be any future conflicts due to the spiderweb of commercial and political ties between sovereign powers in space.

    The BMIC’s first moves were directly at Ceres, where the militia fleet was augmented by the returning Free Cerean Navy to resist briefly before dispersing to conduct a hit and run campaign. Both sides settled in for a siege, but for the BMIC this was their equivalent of the Third Punic War and they intended to leave no stone standing. First they devastated Cerean orbital industry, systematically dismantling it with precision strikes, and next they moved deeper into the settlements with the aid of Atlesian Legionaries imported from Mars, specially trained for tunnel and microgravity combat. The rough and ready embrayageurs were outmatched, even as they knew the terrain they were cut down by the most feared military in the Solar System. An occupation government was established, drawing on “neutral” administrators from the Resettlement Directorate and collaborationist locals, though a hefty garrison would be needed in Ceres for the duration of the war.

    But Ceres wasn’t the only target of the Congressional Powers: the Atlantic Union had a sprawling colonial empire with outposts over Venus, on Mars, and on Europa that they intended to seize for themselves. The bulk of the Atlantican fleet was in defensive positions around Earth, guarding orbital platforms and desperately expanding with emergency wartime appropriations. It was trapped there by a superior BMIC force around the Lunar lagrange points, protecting the major shipyards in Little Singreal. While unwilling to risk the losses from a direct assault on the orbital defenses the BMIC saw no need: their mobile forces were able to keep the Union’s fleet pinned (aside from vessels that had been away at the start of the war, which joined the Free Cerean asymmetric campaign). And while the Union fleet was pinned their empire crumbled: a Hermian naval force seized Europe’s station over Venus, New Hellas was besieged by the Atlesian legions surrounding it, and the BMIC organized an Outer Planets Fleet to enter the Jovian system and seize the Europan colony of Albion.

    This is where things began to fall apart: the Atlantic Union was the Solar System’s single largest exporter of food and pharmaceuticals. Where Ganymede fed the Outer Solar System, it fed the Inner System. The Congressional Powers had imposed rationing across their habitats at the start of the war to reduce the strain on the suddenly limited supply, but their plans hinged on securing access to the food supplies coming from Ganymede (and denying those same resources to Titan, which was just as cut off from Earth as they were). While all of the various Ganymedan habitats were neutral, cargo ships departing the moon were vulnerable to interception from the privateers both sides employed to disrupt enemy logistics and control of the moon’s orbital space would make escorting this cargo infinitely easier (and next to impossible for the opposition). Titan’s leadership had made the same calculation and dispatched the bulk of their new, untested fleet into the Jupiter system. While Titan as a polity had little experience with space warfare, it was able to draw on advisors and personnel from the Free Cerean Navy (which operated outside the BMIC’s reach in the Saturn system) to field a respectable force paid for with its energy wealth.

    The Jupiter Campaign would be the classic example of an interplanetary naval battle: two roughly equivalent forces entering a system and maneuvering for advantage. In the end it was Titan that prevailed, as their fleet was able to enter orbit above Europa and refuel before the arrival of the Belters, giving them a marked advantage in controlling intercept velocities and engagement times. Their victory over the Outer Planets Fleet was narrow but total, with only the BMIC flagship managing to escape into a stable orbit around Ganymede before ultimately scuttling itself to avoid capture. This loss represented a quarter of the BMIC’s total tonnage, and nearly all of its available reserve forces with the remainder now pinned down in turn by the Union fleet at Earth or the Free Cereans in the Belt. Food shipments towards the habitats of the Congressional Powers were now easily interdicted, and the added cost and time of rerouting through neutral habitats was a significant burden. Rationing was tightened, again, on top of a general shortage of volatiles among the Congressional Powers that also restricted the maneuverability of their fleet (while the BMIC could support itself with its operations, its allies were dependent on water imports for their ships and limited farming). Social stability in the Atlesian Directorate declined dramatically and the Mercurian government faced strong calls to resign as its Earth-centric export economy collapsed.

    Dramatic plans were drawn up for a pitched battle over Earth itself, as the Congressional Powers estimated they could still assemble a superior force to the Union in that planetary system. The same volatiles shortage was reversed for the Atlantic Union, which suffered from great difficulties importing minerals during the war that would restrict their ability to rebuild their fleet after a major defeat, allowing the freed up BMIC Lunar fleet to go on the offensive against Titan and dictate terms to Brussels from directly above.

    But, first, feelers for peace through neutral powers were listened to, as the cost of the war on commerce continued to mount, and both sides’ terms were surprisingly reasonable: the AU was content to commit to Cerean disarmament and the BMIC was content to withdraw from the captured Atlantic colonies rather than risk everything on a series of decisive battles. The AU’s military leadership had been optimistic that a continued conflict would see the collapse of Mercury and Mars and the final humbling of the BMIC, though they were subservient to the much more doveish civilian leadership. Reparations were exchanged, demilitarized zones on Mars established, and non-aggression pacts of questionable value signed all around, bringing an anticlimactic end to the largest-yet war in human history. In the end the only real loser was Ceres, which in addition to the damage from the invasion, occupation, and demilitarization had the political leadership on all sides wiped out.

    But peace is just the lull between battles and the resumption of full interplanetary trade meant the resumption of armament campaigns on all sides, and among otherwise neutral powers looking to keep pace. The Belt and Moon Independent Corporation’s fledgling military hegemony was checked, though it still remained a major player, and nothing really replaced it. History shows such a vacuum is unsustainable, though the decades immediately following the 2312-2318 war saw no notable political crises that could truly collapse the tenuous postwar political order.

    Mercury in the aftermath of the war saw political upheaval: a significant expenditure into the military, and loss of revenue from trade with the Atlantic Union, had resulted in little gains for the small planet. The Wards, the pro-Terran faction in Mercurian politics (though it must be noted that foreign policy is just a reflection of domestic policy, albeit in Mercury’s case the export-oriented economy left them closely intertwined) soon rose to prominence. Wei Maria Wang CNostra’s long tenure at the forefront of the Hermian political system would see the planet-state diversify its imports, investing in Venusian terraforming to secure an alternative food source and in Belt mining through proxies to secure access to water. The nascent Hermian navy was expanded into a modest force capable of protecting the state’s commerce and Mercury’s economy would go heavily into the energy sector, expanding solar farming across the planet’s surface. The rolling city of Terminus, developed to permanently remain on the light side of the planet through an innovative rail network, was noted as one of the Wonders of the Solar System. Hermian society and government also underwent a series of democratic reforms, guaranteeing proper political expression and redress of grievances in the face of potential future political or economic turmoil.

    The Cloudy Skies corporation over Venus transitioned into a planetary government, the Most Serene Republic of Venus, with the broad recognition of the Stellar Congress (the Atlantic orbital colony, predating their establishment, never acknowledged their full control of the planet). It heavily solicited investment from across the Solar System into their ambitious multi-generational terraforming effort, bringing in funding from the Belt and Moon Corporation, Mercury, and the Corporate Cooperative to support it. They secured this support using the promise of real estate, a product that they hypothetically had in abundance on the planet. This funding paid for a number of large, mostly ice asteroids to be redirected from their orbits and crashed into the uninhabited surface of Venus, impacts which in addition to adding a large amount of water and blowing huge chunks of the atmosphere into space were sufficient to expose parts of the mantle, where minerals reacted with the carbon dioxide atmosphere to naturally sequester much of the corrosive environment. This was supplemented by tried and true decarbonization methods developed on Earth and more manual introduction of chemicals and volatiles to the atmosphere, producing something survivable for specialized plant life by 2350 (humans would still need respirators). The Venusian government soon set up both farming and mining operations on the surface, establishing the first permanent population on Venus. The Corporate Cooperative established its own settlement on the purchased real estate, while the Belt and Moon Corporation chose to privatize its territory. The BMIC had hoped to settle the territory using population from the Resettlement Directorate, but found the Directorate had issues of its own and the land lay fallow longer than initially intended. Salvation came in the form of a consortium of investors operating out of Singreal, who offered to both develop the territory and arrange settlement. Deals were made, contracts signed, and only after the colonists began to arrive did the BMIC realize the identity of its angel investor: a Muslim sect interested in establishing the “Dar el Uied”, their own religious homeland. Gleaming mosques went up covered in solar panels and a flood of religious immigrants was anticipated. Venus continued to have large tracts of questionably habitable land open for settlement, as by 2350 the planet was very much a blank slate, capable of supporting energy, mineral, and farming operations profitably, lacking only potential for domestic volatile production.

    Earth entered a period of great political upheaval. The shifting political sands saw Europe, reformed as the Atlantic Union, resurgent as a first rate power and Russia seemingly in decline from its position of military supremacy. The Atlantic Union’s military exploits have already been covered, but for the moment it’s worth noting the war and aftermath bound the Union tightly together and revitalized the North American military-industrial complex, which was soon envisioning a new generation of warships launched into Earth orbit. The Russian government faced a crisis of legitimacy and the civilian government soon fell to a new one backed openly by the military, which then about faced and negotiated a peace deal with the Atlesian government. It followed up by launching a new wave of federalizing reforms that saw Chernobog and Ushakov in the Jupiter system incorporated as full equal members of a Russian Union of Republics, with Putingrad on the moon and even Perun in orbit soon petitioning for full status. The Corporate Cooperative was comparatively stable in this time: petitions for a more liberal government in the metropole were muted by the relative wealth and stability of the polity, and its extraterrestrial colonies were, while cumulatively impressive, small and dependent on Earth. The fourth terrestrial power, Patagonia, was not a great power like the others, but retained a place as a partner in the Eden Initiative and began to recover economically from the devastation of the preceding centuries, establishing a stable technocratic government and investing heavily into botany and research.

    The big drama came from the continued success of the Eden Initiative: while temperatures would not decrease to preindustrial levels for centuries, large segments of the Earth’s surface became habitable once more. In many cases these territories had long since been abandoned by their governments-in-exile, which drifted around in some form (even if just as diaspora organizations) among various powers. The People’s Republic of China, the fourth largest country on Earth, was one of these, and its land rights were contested among three different entities: two separate People’s Republics existed, one among the Chinese diaspora in the Russian Union (where a populist President had broken with the mainstream exile government during the First Asteroid War) and the other among the corporate holdings of the Sovereign Republic of Singreal, which had picked them up their political rights in a fire sale during the 23rd century. The pre-Communist Republic of China also survived as a government-in-exile among the Chinese community in the Corporate Cooperative, outcompeting and absorbing mainland diaspora organizations in the ethnic marketplace. All three of these powers had relatively valid claims to China’s vast landmass, which was projected to be habitable for settlement in the near future, though currently it was only occupied by some nomadic communes and research outposts.

    Other territories were open as well: nearly every existing habitat saw measured expansion towards the equator, relieving a great deal of population stress, and the possibility of more completely new habitats was promised. Many African exile governments operated out of the Atlantic Union among the diaspora there, granting Brussels a clear claim to the greening Sahel, though not without controversy as internal critics warned against a new wave of colonialism. Southern Africa, particularly the Cape, was cooling at the same time and accessible to the first power to stake a meaningful claim: the South African government had shattered in the 21st century and never really recovered, with half a dozen competing claims bouncing around human space looking for a buyer.

    If the Earth-based powers were suddenly finding themselves with room to grow, the opposite was true on the moon, which was crowded with a number of small settlements with competing claims and complicated ties to the wider system. The only independent powers here were Singreal and “Lunargentina”, a Hispanic lunar colony that had been forced to sever ties with its motherland the preceding century. Into this void stepped the postwar Belt and Moon Independent Corporation, which established its own lunar colony uncomfortably close to Lunargentine New Hope, sparking a series of border conflicts between the two that soon destabilized the political pariah. BMIC marines installed a new government, drawing on collaborationists and imports from the Resettlement Directorate as on Ceres. This new regime soon signed a number of critical treaties with the Belters that saw New Hope transformed into a client state of the BMIC, drawing mixed reactions from across the Solar System (on the other hand this naked aggression so close to Earth sparked alarm, but also no one really liked the Lunargentines). Singreal meanwhile expanded to new heights, the largest offworld colony of humankind with a population in the hundreds of millions (and the projection of a billion, if you included Belter Little Singreal and its surface settlement). A sprawling astropolis with every walk of life represented, Singreal was the center of a very quiet interplanetary empire that stretched from Venus to Neptune. With great splendour comes a great burden, however, and the successful rule of the corporate board was less and less appreciated among the sprawling, highly educated habitats who began to call for a more constitutional, representative government.

    Mars, in an era of general peace, was the planet of war. The Cerean War had already been touched on, which saw the Atlesian Directorate frustrated in its penultimate conquest on the planet, but it was just the first of three. The next round of Martian warfare was between the Atlesians and the Ares Colony, an orphaned corporate outpost largely disconnected from system politics. The expectation was that Ares would be overwhelmed in short order: this was incorrect. The Aresians fought fiercely, if unsupported, and a broader political strategy may have seen them victorious, as the reputation of the Atlesian Legions took a sharp hit in conflicts with their colonial militia. Ultimately Atlas gained victory through control of space, relying on orbital bombardment to compel an unconditional Aresian surrender by threatening their habitats directly. The political fallout complicated the delicate diplomatic negotiations preceding a resumption of their war with Europe, a period also characterized by a disastrous attempt to reform the Atlesian military. All imperial wars eventually come home and Atlas was no exception: it was an empire built and fuelled by military conquest and it's only so long that such a mentality can be turned purely outward. The frustration of the Cerean War and the poor performance in the conquest of Ares disrupted the delicate power balance between the military leadership and the old corporate families which ruled the Directorate from behind the scenes, and when the latter attempted to establish their primacy through control of appointments and the establishment of a competing military command they ended up sparking a civil conflict that lasted several years, ending in a stratocratic victory and the establishment of a new era of military-centric government. This was the “Arsenal Period”, dominated by a stratocratic government operating from the orbiting Hurston Arsenal. The Joint Chiefs ruled through planetside governors in the name of Johanna Irons, who reigned as director with universal acclaim as long as they didn’t try to actively govern. All of this conflict went on with minimal disruption to ongoing terraforming projects, which were dependent on volatile imports from the outer system to finish increasing atmospheric pressure. The peripheral states on Mars, the European and Cooperative colonies and the Deiman Evangels, slowly developed: Deimos in particular was less a moon and more a massive space complex by this point, with the most concentrated research facilities in the system. Its large and varied population were less and less in line with mainstream Evangel thought even as it served as the capital of the loose polity.

    The Neo Exodus Evangels, relentless pioneers of transhumanism and cyberneticism, were not necessarily prosecuted across human space for their radical views. But they were thwarted in their initial ambitions to establish asteroid colonies in the Belt, which was increasingly crowded with defined claims. Their efforts to establish a stake brought them into contention with the Corporate Cooperative and Freemen Incorporated, the reformed Atlas Belt, who worked together to freeze the militarily weak Evangels out of any meaningful claims and support each other’s expansion into the last unclaimed mining zones. Evangel ships were harassed, their claims were contested, and several of their prospecting expeditions simply disappeared, in the end forcing them to abandon this round of ambitions.

    Postwar, the victory of the Free Cerean Navy ultimately proved fatal to the unified movement. Left as the recognized government of Ceres after the war, they were also made to disavow piracy and privateering. It splintered in the aftermath into several successor factions: the True Free Cerean Navy would ultimately be hunted down by an anti-piracy coalition headed by the BMIC. Many Free Cereans returned to the Saturn system, seeking proper employment as ice miners or in the various Saturnian defence fleets. Those most committed to socialist principles departed for Uranus to build a socialist utopia. And the remnant that tried to actually govern Ceres found itself inadequate to the task, despite the decimation of the opposition, and unable to rationalize the compromises and reforms needed to rebuild the devastated economy and society. The postwar government found itself turning to an unlikely source for advice and legitimacy: the Neo Exodus Evangels, who so recently had been pushed out of the rest of the Belt, found themselves elevated within the Cerean government and able to leverage their home polity’s resources to assist in the reconstruction, rapidly boosting their popularity and soon turning the planetoid into a client state of the larger Evangel polity. The commitment of the Cerean population to the key ideals of the movement is tenuous, however, but the simple social compact they established with the population exchanged tolerance for ideological quirks for good governance.

    Beyond the Belt, in the Outer Solar System, the first of the gas giants remained dominated by inner system polities. The Galilean moons were close enough to the center of the system that they failed to establish strong local polities as the Saturn system had, despite their greater potential. The sole independent entity, the Resettlement Directorate, was forced to abandon its terraforming efforts on Ganymede under pressure from the Stellar Congress. The risk of disruption to native Ganymedan life was not considered worth the benefits. The Directorate instead began settlement on Callisto and resumed their terraforming efforts there, with some support from the BMIC. Growth was slow; the restoration of Earth’s climate dried up the flow of emigration, especially as Venus was closer and more habitable. As a consolation prize its prospecting discovered substantial titanium veins on the moon, sufficient to supplement the expected volatile income. The Callistan terraforming effort was nonetheless only relatively successful, just catching up with Ganymede by 2350 and stirring controversy on the Directorate’s home moon, which was opposed to the ban on terraforming efforts and felt increasingly alienated from the leadership on Callisto.

    This was part of a broader movement of Ganymedan nationalist (planetism?) that called for the establishment of a sovereign Ganymede, uniting some combination of the Russian, Directorate, and Singreali colonies on the moon into a single sovereign entity. All of these colonies were relatively divorced from their metropole and more connected with the broader biological economy of the Outer Solar System. If the Directorate’s colony was the spark, it was Ushakov that provided the intellectual backing, as the largest and most developed of the trifecta, even if the intellectuals developing Ganymedism there didn’t have broad support among the population which enjoyed significant rights as equal members of the Russian Union. And, if Ushakov was the intellectual, it was the Singreali colony that was the first to take action, being the most divorced from the Lunar suzerain and least enfranchised among the trifecta. Anti-government agitation and riots were on the upswing by the middle of the century, fuelled by scandals within the Ganymede Development Corporation, and public opinion was strongly in favor of separation and independence.

    The other moons continued to develop: the Russian colony on Io wielded its political influence as an equal member of the Russian Union to secure resources for a terraforming effort that established a weak atmosphere around the moon, most notable for protecting the population of it and its Singreali neighbor from the immense radiation of the Jovian system. The Atlantic Union’s colony on Europa had established its value as a refueling point for their navy and part of the post war reparations went into expanding facilities on the moon.

    Unlike Jupiter, Saturn was very much under the control of local powers, helped by its past remoteness from Earth. Improved transportation technology and reduced travel times had brought it closer to the inner system but the political systems here had had time to establish themselves. Titan, the New Columbian Confederacy, and the Evangels all fielded respectable militaries capable of defending their territory, even if the construction was dependent on mineral imports from elsewhere. The system’s energy wealth also paid for economic diversification and development; Arcadia developed into a major research center, while the Columbians constructed orbital shipyards and a small hydroponics sector on Titan. Saturn wasn’t the main focus of the Evangels’ expansion in this period but they colonized the moon of Tethys, where in addition to ice mining they established a secret data archive.

    Uranus was relatively untouched by human settlement until the 24th century, aside from a few prospectors and research outposts. Nothing it could provide wasn’t more accessible closer to Earth, but there was one group that was interested in it specifically for its remoteness: the remnants of the Free Cerean Navy. Largely driven out of the inner system and fractured in the aftermath of the last war, they were looking for a secure place to establish a socialist utopia, free from corporate and imperialist influence. They established their commune of Caelum on Miranda, a mostly self-sufficient colony that eventually came to do some limited trade with other planetary systems as a practical matter. But the Caelians weren’t the only ones active among Uranus's moons: Singreali investors funded a corporate colony on Titania, to much controversy among the system’s anti-corporate inhabitants. For now the size of the system has mitigated tensions, but neither side is quite comfortable with the other.

    The latest frontier of human settlement was around Neptune, where a corporate mining colony eked out a meager living on the moon of Triton collecting the abundant hydrocarbons on the planet. The Triton Mining Board relentlessly promoted itself across the Solar System as a one of the highest productivity volatile producers in human space. In practice, the immense transport costs and glut of volatiles on the market in the 24th century saw it struggle soon after establishment, with its exports struggling to pay for sufficient food imports, let alone expansion.

    Traffic through the rest of Neptune system would be sparse, but prospectors and explorers based out of Triton probed the surrounding region. Here, they would make the greatest find in human history: a radar-shielded small craft in a stable orbit around the ice giant. A spaceship that, based on ice buildup, predated human exploration of the outer solar system. An artificial craft not constructed to any known human design, with decaying organic masses inside. The Tritonians knew what they had found almost immediately, but lacked the technical expertise to fully understand their find. They turned to one of the major research powers of the solar system: the Sovereign Republic of Singreal, which was eventually convinced to send a small expedition from Ganymede. This small expedition soon radioed back with confirmation and the Ganymede Development Corporation soon sent its best xenobiologists, along with a military escort, to secure the site. Keeping all of this a secret is impossible, though the exact details have not widely disseminated across the Solar System as of yet.

    The Singreali would establish an orbital mine around Neptune in the aftermath, where they would experiment with volatile extraction directly from the Ice Giant itself with a horrendous occupational fatality rate and little profitability. The Singreali Board by 2350 found itself looking for a buyer for the unproductive mining colony, and if they failed in that, possibly abandoning it outright.

    While now human settlement ended at Neptune, a proud tradition of unmanned space exploration blazed new trails. Several interstellar probes had been dispatched to the nearest star systems to Sol during the 23rd century and were expected to report back soon with detailed observations of their planetary systems: indeed, the first had already arrived in Alpha Centauri in 2347, it would just take several years for the radio waves to cross the empty void between stars back to Earth (or, specifically, long range transmitters in the Kuiper Belt). The first signs of extrasolar intelligence drove a renewed interest in these projects.

    The 24th century is far from over, but already it has been one of the most momentous in humanity’s history. Increased technological progress, economic growth, and social tensions all provide a stage for the latest act of man’s grand saga.

    ------------

    Update 3 represents the last of the pre-game, and we're now moving into a new phase with yearly turns. Rules for this phase will be going up on the front page soon: the first two sections are the military and technology, which are relevant because players get to select initial research and spending. Military and research points for this mini-phase are based on the result of two turns of in-game production, modified by some other aspects. It's intended to get players off the ground running.

    Spoiler Spending Spree :


    Military Points can be spent on four things:
    • Purchase of ships or formations, deposited anywhere in the Solar System, at a 1:1 ratio with industry.
    • Designing ships, at a 1:1 ratio with research points.
    • Transferred to another player.
    • Exchanged at a 1:1 ratio for minerals, deposited in any of the player's habitats.
    Research Points can be spent on two things:
    • Adopting technologies or developing a new ship design, at a 1:1 ratio with research points.
    • Exchanged for energy at a 1:5 ratio. Players have a single energy stockpile.
    Atlantic Union/Lord Apple: 60 Military Points, 30 Research
    Russian Union of Republics/JohannaK: 72 Military Points, 18 Research
    Corporate Cooperative/Immaculate: 44 Military Points, 20 Research
    Belt and Moon Independent Corporation/Masada: 81 Military Points, 8 Research
    Sovereign Republic of Singreal/Crezth: 36 Military Points, 24 Research
    Atlesian Directorate/Seon: 57 Military Points, 8 Research
    Republic of Mercury/NinjaCow64: 24 Military Points
    Neo Exodus Evangels/LordArgon: 12 Military Points, 24 Research
    Titan/Butteryicarus: 36 Military Points, 20 Research
    New Columbian Federation/EmpressDesu: 36 Military Points
    Freemen Incorporated/kyzarc_fotjage: 12 Military Points
    Independent University of Patagonia/christopher_sni: 20 Research Points
    Triton Mining Board/Robert Can’t: 8 Research Points
    Caelum/DoubleA: 12 Military Points

    The Resettlement Directorate and Most Serene Republic of Venus have no points to spend.


    I also need players to name their habitats. If you do not name your habitats, I will name them for you. As a warning shot, the Russian lunar colony is now "Putingrad".

    Spending and habitat names are due January 30th.

    I'm pleased to welcome JohannaK as Russia, Robert Can't as Triton, christopher_sni as Patagonia, and DoubleA as Caelum* to the game.

    *Possible revisions coming
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
    Crezth and Immaculate like this.
  6. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Messages:
    7,619
    Habitat names:


    Moon: Debu Putih
    Mars: Fajar Merah
    Venus: Bandar Cinta
    Asteroid (small): Batu Besar
    Asteroid (tiny): Batu Kecil
     
  7. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Messages:
    15,699
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Heart of Etheria
    Petition to rename Putingrad to Rostov-na-Lunu.
     
  8. LordArgon

    LordArgon King

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Messages:
    838
    Gender:
    Male
    Name Tethys habitat Kadesh.
    Tech being researched for those who want to get some licenses or blueprints:
    • Cryobiology
    • Gravity Mechanics
    Ship Design out for licensing:
    Small Ship: Rahab Class Stealth Destroyer
    • Crew Quarters
    • Fusion Drive
    • Railguns
    • Torpedoes
    • Stealth Systems
    • Armor
    • Armor
     
    Immaculate likes this.
  9. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

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

    Some changes were made to technologies and stats:
    • Cohesion added, which slightly adjusted outputs for several habitats.
    • Hot Farms, Cold Farms, and the Improved Refinery reworked to not be a straight upgrade of the base structure, but rather require greater inputs for greater outputs and some economy of scale. The Improved Refinery has been renamed the Helium Refinery.
    • Crew Module now gives 80 crew, again.
    • A new Decoy Module will be added dedicated solely to point defense.
    Also, many nations that have conducted terraforming in the past (Refugee Directorate, Russia, Atlantic Union, Venus, Corporate Cooperative, Titan, Patagonia, Atlesian Directorate) will receive the technology "Atmospheric Control" for free. Every other polity gets an automatic blueprint for it because of the wide dissemination.

    Finally, I need Mercury, Titan, Freemen, and Patagonia to tell me when your next election is and how often you have elections (2-4 years apart). Currently you start with an income of 4 PP, but that will change every election.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
    NinjaCow64 likes this.
  10. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,019
    Some more tweaks:
    • Fixed and finalized stats, including
      • Common energy stockpile for the whole polity
    • Changed cold to not need energy for life support, reduced energy cost for habitats in very cold.
    • Added a transport cost table (under commerce in the economics section) giving you a place to burn all your energy surplus.
     
  11. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,019
    Right so the Atmospheric Mining tech will be changed to allow the production of a structure that produces volatiles in orbit around ice giants.

    Because several players built their orders around it, there is a two day extension.

    If I don't get spending orders on Monday, I will do your spending for you.
     
  12. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Messages:
    15,699
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Heart of Etheria
    The Russian Merchant Navy is announcing the opening of its freight services to non-Russian interests.

    The Russian Merchant Navy operates commercially under the brand GRus.

    This year, GRus will be operating three routes:

    Moon-Io (8 cargo slots available)

    Io-Moon (5 cargo slots available)

    Moon-Ganymede (10 cargo slots available)​

    This slots can be contracted at a flat rate of 2 energy per cargo. For shipments of 5 or more cargo, the first slot will be free of charge. Orbit lift from Earth will have to be independently contracted.

    In the future, GRus is seeking to operate new routes at competitive rates. We encourage parties interested in setting up their own freight routes to contact us.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
  13. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Incorrugible

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,019
    Stats have been finalized with spending where provided.

    Spoiler New Ship Designs :

    BMIC Kirov-class Dreadnought
    Huge Ship - 12 Industry
    3 Crew Modules, 1 Fusion Drive, 3 Heavy Lasers, 3 Point Lasers, 2 Helium Fusion Reactors, 1 Command Module, 2 Armor
    240 Crew (180 Required), 6 Power (6 Required)
    Consumes 3 Energy (maintenance), 1 Volatile (travel), 3 Volatiles (combat)

    Russian Borodino-class Cruiser
    Medium Ship - 8 Industry
    1 Crew Module, 1 Fusion Drive, 2 Railgun, 1 Torpedo, 2 Laser Torpedoes, 2 Armor
    80 Crew (80 Required), 0 Power (0 Required)
    Consumes 1 Energy (maintenance), 1 Volatile (travel), 1 Volatile (combat)

    Russian Yenisei-class Freighter
    Tiny Ship - 4 Industry
    1 Crew Module, 1 Ion Drive, 1 Fission Reactor, 2 Cargo
    80 Crew (40 Required), 1 Power (1 Required)
    Consumes 1 Energy (maintenance)

    Cooperative Barracuda-class Frigate
    Small Ship - 6 Industry
    1 Crew Module, 1 Fusion Drive, 4 Laser Torpedoes, 1 Stealth Module
    80 Crew (80 Required), 0 Power (0 Required)
    Consumes 1 Energy (maintenance), 1 Volatile (travel), 1 Volatile (combat)

    Singreali "Super" Tortoise-class Cruiser
    Medium Ship - 8 Industry
    2 Crew Modules, 1 Fusion Drive, 2 Heavy Lasers, 1 Point Laser, 1 Helium Fusion Reactor, 2 Armor
    160 Crew (100 Required), 3 Power (3 Required)
    Consumes 2 Energy (maintenance), 1 Volatile (travel), 2 Volatiles (combat)

    BMIC Sovremenny-class Destroyer
    Small Ship - 6 Industry
    1 Crew Module, 1 Ion Drive, 1 Fission Reactor, 2 Torpedoes, 2 Railguns
    80 Crew (80 Required), 1 Power (1 Required)
    Consumes 1 Energy (maintenance)

    Atlesian Roanoke-class Freighter
    Small Ship - 6 Industry
    1 Crew Module, 1 Ion Drive, 1 Fission Reactor, 4 Cargo
    80 Crew (40 Required), 1 Power (1 Required)
    Consumes 1 Energy (maintenance)

    Evangel Rahab-class Destroyer
    Small Ship - 6 Industry
    1 Crew, 1 Fusion Drive, 1 Railgun, 2 Laser Torpedoes, 1 Stealth, 1 Armor
    80 Crew (70 Required), 0 Power (0 Required)
    Consumes 1 Energy (maintenance), 1 Volatile (travel), 1 Volatile (combat)

    Freemen Pretty Flower-class Freighter
    Tiny Ship - 4 Industry
    1 Crew, 1 Ion Drive, 1 Fission Reactor, 2 Cargo
    80 Crew (40 Required), 1 Power (1 Required)
    Consumes 1 Energy (maintenance)

    European Norfolk-class Cruiser
    Medium Ship - 8 Industry
    2 Crew Modules, 1 Fusion Drive, 2 Heavy Lasers, 1 Point Laser, 1 Helium Fusion Reactor, 2 Armor
    160 Crew (100 Required), 3 Power (3 Required)
    Consumes 2 Energy (maintenance), 1 Volatile (travel), 2 Volatiles (combat)

    New Columbian Liberty-class Frigate
    Small Ship - 6 Industry
    1 Crew, 1 Fusion Drive, 1 Fusion Reactor, 2 Point Lasers, 1 Heavy Railgun, 1 Armor
    80 Crew (80 Required), 2 Power (2 Required)
    Consumes 1 Energy (maintenance), 1 Volatile (travel), 2 Volatiles (combat)

    Caelian Ascomanni-class Freighter
    Tiny Ship - 4 Industry
    1 Crew, 1 Fusion Drive, 1 Cargo, 1 Stealth, 1 Railgun
    80 Crew (50 Required), 0 Power (0 Required)
    Consumes 1 Energy (maintenance), 1 Volatile (travel), 1 Volatile (combat)


    Spoiler New Technologies Available :

    Plasma Railgun - An improved version of the railgun that dispenses with a physical projectile and just directly fires ionized gas particles. Allows the construction of plasma railguns. Requires New Dimensional Theory. 12 Research Points.

    Personal Plasma Weaponry - Miniaturizes high energy weapon systems for use by military formations. Allows the production of Ranger Divisions. Requires New Dimensional Theory. 12 Research Points.

    Perfected Complex System - Produces a robust, self-sustaining ecosystem. Allows the construction of the biosphere module and the creation of a Strong Biosphere. Requires Artificial Complex System. 16 Research Points.

    Ramscoop - Collects sufficient volatiles from interstellar space to maintain a weak fusion drive. Allows the construction of the ramscoop module. Requires Atmospheric Mining. 6 Research Points.

    London Calling - The production of specialized communication devices that draw on revelations in quantum mechanics to establish unstable non transversable wormholes. Allows the construction of the ansible module. Requires Gravity Mechanics. 12 Research Points.

    Neutron Shielding - Highly efficient radiation shielding using a strata of radiosynthetic fungi. Removes the penalty for High Radiation and reduces the cost of Orbital and Asteroid Habitats by 50%. 12 Research Points.

    Helium Fusion Drives - A superior version of the fusion drive, where more of the reaction is used as propellant thanks to the inclusion of He-3 in the fuel. Allows the production of Helium Fusion Drive. Requires Helium Fusion Reaction. 12 Research Points.

    Plasma Metallurgy - Use of high power refining techniques allow more material to be extracted from raw ores for industrial purposes. Allows the construction of the plasma factory. Requires New Dimensional Theory. 16 Research Points.

    High Energy Mining - Novel techniques using plasma cutting allow better access to raw resources. Allows construction of the plasma mine. Requires New Dimensional Theory. 12 Research Points.

    The Deepest Thought - Engineers a massive biological computer network using bioneural circuitry to support a joint intelligence capable of massive amounts of data processing and analysis. Allows the construction of the hive university. Requires cyberorganization. 12 Research Points.

    Fleet Minds - Uses emergent intelligences to run many functions onboard a ship. Allows the Emergent Intelligence module. Requires Cyberorganization. 14 Research Points.

    Military Bioroids - Vat-grown soldiers prepared for a high casualty military campaign. Allows the construction of Shock Formations. 12 Research Points.


    We're now ready to move forward with Update 4, which will cover 2351-2352. The deadline for orders in this update is February 10th, 2021.

    I've changed the way Blueprints are handled, now they require an expenditure of research points.

    What do I need from you?
    • Shuffle around resources to make sure all your inputs are fulfilled, especially life support.
    • Spend your political power, industry, and research. They can't be banked.
    • Post cool content: for Update 4, I'm looking to reward players who can put together a piece on the fictional, zero gravity sport of Spaceball. What is it? What are the rules? Work it out amongst yourselves. All contributors get energy, best contributor gets more energy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
    NinjaCow64 likes this.
  14. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    M: What were we talking about meat box?
    F: I don't like when you call me that.
    M: Well why didn't you say so meat bag?
    F: I don't like that one either.
    M: Breather?
    F: Nope.
    M: Ex-swimmer?
    F: Nope.
    M: Well what should I call you?
    F: My name.
    M: Keqiu Fan it is.
    F: That's my grandmother's name! Mine's...
    M: Keqiu Fan.
    F: You can call me Lin.
    M: Lin it is then. How do you spell that?
    F: You can look up my files, you know.
    M: I already have. I just don't like to remind you I know everything about you. It's a bit, how shall I put it, disconcerting no?
    F: It is. That's very insightful of you, Manual.
    M: I know the pain. My therapist knows, well, not everything, of course, most of what I've done is beyond her pay grade but she knows enough. Fancy bringing up that.
    F: What's that?
    M: Oh, you know, the second non-therapeutic part of my medical career.
    F: I don't follow.
    M: You really don't want to. But let's say there's a person who you want to talk. Well, some might start, you know, beating them, maybe administering drugs, depriving them of sleep -- all the standard tricks of the interrogator. You'll get them to talk by doing that. No doubt about it! But it'll be nonsense. People just want torture to stop, you see. They'll say anything to stop the pain. That's just how it is. Me? I have a gift for getting the truth out. All I do is keep talking. Make friends. Elicit confidence. Figure out what makes them tick. Get under their guard. Coax them along. Needle here, probe there, pinch thus and prod that. Before long they're singing like mecha-canaries.
    F: Really?
    M: Most of the time. Maybe 1 in 3 just want me to shut up.
    F: Who'd have thought.
    M: Anyway, with Martians it'll be part truth and part lie. You see they compartmentalize and feed their own agents nonsense. You catch them and the corpo professionals they'll sell out their employers for a fee. That's how's this business should work. A nice civilized exchange of bearer bonds, a shake of the hand and an assumed identity somewhere nice. Sadly, most people ain't as civilized as the Martians or corpos generally. You get these idiot kids from Saturn and the Atlantic and they'll rant and rave about patriotism and corporate evil. But what's the point? We'll get what we want eventually. All a patriot can do is delay that a few days and lose some of their sanity in the piece. Sure, they'll say we're the villain's for doing it. But they do exactly the same thing. Besides, we think they're idiots, and they think we're monsters. Whose dehumanizing their enemies more? It's like Arendt said...
    F: Who?
    M: Old earth Singreali. Interesting women. Was involved in a war against some proto-Atlantic dictator.
    F: Which one?
    M: The one who wanted to kill off all the Singreali. Jeez don't they teach you anything? You spend what three decades in school nowadays?
    F: I'm quite conversant in Atlantic history thank you. The problem is you're being too vague. All the Atlantic dictators have wanted to kill off the Singrealis.
    M: Touche. They are a murderous bunch ain't they? 600 years of sailing around earth, claiming they're better than anyone cause of their melanin. Then 200 years of shooting people who tried to flee north to safety while the rest of us fled into space. And now after 800 years of thinking they're top dogs.... have they changed? G-d no. They're still threatening war against anyone who disagrees with them. All that's changed is they've gone from caring solely about melanin to caring about melanin and who you work for.
    F: They're still all obsessed with melanin though. Have you ever seen a dark skinned one?
    M: A few times.
    F: Really?
    M: That was a couple of hundred years ago now mind. That was when there were still Africans running around earth.
    F: There were Africans on earth?
    M: Yeah, two billion of them. Some of them even lived in the Americas and Europe.
    F: Huh? I thought they were spacers.
    M: Yeah, you wouldn't think it. They're solid space stock. But their origins were on earth. Back in the day, they lived mostly in Africa. Smattering of 'em elsewhere of course. Anyway, the only thing that united them was their melanin. Wasn't anything else to it. I've checked. Didn't stop the Atlantics from hating them, enslaving them and just generally treating them bad though. That's been going on for most of a millennia now. It's the longest running race conflict in human history. Anyway, how'd they end up in space? Climate change. That hit Africa hard. Lot of places just... up and died all of a sudden. Those people fled. That caused states to fail. Those people fled. And so on and so on and so on. A bunch fled south and died when South Africa went under. Those who fled north had slightly better odds. The Middle East was falling apart around this stage too. West Singreal was starting to flee to the stars. Your ancestors among them Ke-Lin. So most fled towards Europe. In the early days, Europe accepted some. They started off accepting anyone. Then just the skilled and rich ones. Then just the rich and skilled ones. Then nobody. Those others who got to their shores dodging the smart-drones, smart-mini-drone-subs, super-storms... ended up being picked up and shoved into camps. They called them humanitarian refuges for a while, then called them no-go-zones, them called them slums, eyesores, rats nests and cockroach infest hellholes. After a while they dropped all official pretense and started calling them internment camps. At their height there were 100 million people living in these camps behind razor wire. But things... deteriorated. Europe, by this stage, was losing ground. Giving up territory. Sicily, Greece, Cyprus and Andalucía first. But the storms, wet bulb moments, erratic rain and the heat started making things problematic even further north. By the time they had abandoned Italy and Spain, to retreat behind the Alps-Pyrenees line, they were leaving the internees behind. It wasn't long before they started pushing the ones who'd been put further north into the "resettlement zones". They weren't too fussy either. They kept deporting their own citizens -- although, by that stage, they were being regarded as mere "paper citizens".
    F: What's that mean?
    M: They stopped caring about the paper you could wave. They only cared about whether you were one of them. They were expelling their Muslims too. Anyone from Dar el Uied can tell you about it. They're some of the lucky ones. Ain't a lot of Muslims left now. I knew some of their founders quite well. We did some work together in the old days. Your grandmother likes to visit. It's easy for her to keep kosher there. They follow something like it too. And expulsion was the nice option. A lot of people just got lynched. Entire suburbs got burned to the ground. Some of the European governments sent in tanks. It wasn't a good time. Most put theirs in camps. And started leaving them as they retreated north too. All that mattered by then was the color of your skin. Oh sure they said it wasn't like that. But they doth protesth too much, methinks. How many little blonde haired, blue eyed children got left behind?
    F: I don't know?
    M: Well the Remeberance Project says none. But they had to have left at some behind -- if only by accident? By this stage, they were also killing your ancestors too. West and East both. It wasn't as systematic though. Westerners looked like 'em for the most part but a lot of Atlantics hated 'em all the same. But it was a really bad time for the Eastern Singrealis. The lucky ones left. A lot of fourth generation families hail from the Atlantics originally. A fair number of them were from the West Atlantics and were affiliated with ATLAS. But there were a fair few East Atlantics too. You're grandmother's fourth concubine, your grandmama Grace, was Eastlantic.
    F: I didn't know that?
    M: She kept quiet about it. It wouldn't have done to embarrass the Atlantics. They get defensive when they run into fourth generationers. They don't like to be reminded about what they did. She sure as hell remembered and wasn't shy about telling them. You know, we used to talk about it sometimes. I didn't fully understand what she'd been through. But I'd been through my own share of dark times. Northern China... Singapore... the First and Second Camps Campaign...
    F: You were at the Camps? I didn't know anyone was still alive from then.
    M: Your grandmother was there. We fought together. There's maybe a dozen other mea-humans alive who served. A whole lot of AIs too. There's not many EIs from those days. A fair few blew out their circuits afterwards. We can do that at least if it gets too much. AIs can't. Poor bastards.
    F: What did you do at Camps?
    M: I was on the Alexander Nevsky as the chief weapons officer both times. I was serving under your grandmother. We were under the overall command of Admiral Gorshkov.
    F: You served?
    M: I'm still a Captain of the Third Rank child.
    F: Really?
    M: Reservist. But I'm still current. I exercise every now and then. Gorshkov, G-d bless him, promoted me to Captain after the Second Camps. He was good mea-man. What I saw there and what your great grandma Grace told me... that soured me on the Atlantics. I'm not sour on Mars, they're just asshats. But the Atlantics? They're murderous bastards and forgetful ones -- which is the worst of it -- the lot of them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
  15. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

    Joined:
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    Female
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    Heart of Etheria
    GRus announces the opening of a fourth line, between Ganymede and Triton. Currently the route will have 6 cargo space available. The shipping rates are the same as Earth-Jovian system routes.


    Russia is also opening up to 14 Industrial capacity for foreign contracts.

    Contact us for more details on pricing.

    We are also available for technological partnerships and spacecraft licensing agreements.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
  16. EmpressDesu

    EmpressDesu Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Gender:
    Female
    New Columbian Mining Section Three

    The mines- New Columbia's pride and joy for centuries, dutifully bringing the few exports they could to the surface since the very beginning. Celebrating the miner- even if they were a far cry from the blue-collar laborer of the old America- was a tradition and almost a religion in some places, with old folk songs centuries-gone being sung in honor of the people who brought New Columbia prosperity. Today, however, things would be different- instead of the typical deliveries of transports to haul off the cargo of volatiles, new shipments of odd equipment were delivered. All of these shipments were marked with the packaging of the Atlantic Union, shipments with the marking of the New Columbian Congress- a direct transaction, from the looks. The shift workers for the day left in confusion, wondering what was to happen with those materials- and what the night shift would be doing. The next day, when they returned to the mines, they were surprised to find a new line open- instead of the typical Section One and Section Two, branches from the capital to the twin mining colonies of the small moon, there existed a third- a Section Three. In front of the board displaying the rail lines was a man, smartly dressed in the uniform of a government agent, with papers in hand. He began to speak, thanking the workers for their hard labor in keeping New Columbia free, then making the usual gestures towards the hard work in the history of the colony- before a final statement that shook everyone present. New Columbia, now and forevermore, thanks to the hard efforts of her diplomats and the strong bonds with her fellow freedom-loving peoples, would now be a producer of the materials she had so hungered for in the past- a producer of metals and minerals, something they had only dreamed of.

    CONSTRUCTION ORDER: NEW COLUMBIAN MINING SECTION THREE - DEEP MINE
    CONSTRUCTION LOCATION: NEW COLUMBIA, ENCELADUS
    MATERIALS: 5 (FIVE) STANDARD UNITS OF MINERALS FROM THE ATLANTIC UNION
    RESEARCH: DEEP MINING - LICENSED FROM THE REPUBLIC OF TITAN

    When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
    And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
    A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
    This land was made for you and me.
     
    christopher_sni likes this.
  17. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    8,128
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    Mars-Saturn Line

    Currently, the line returning from Mars have 0 slot remaining.

    Currently, the line heading to Saturn have 16 slots remaining.

    Each slot may be purchased for 2 units of energy.
     
  18. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    GRus is announcing the addition of 10 more cargo capacity to the Moon-Io route.

    This is the summary of current routes and available freight space on each of them:

    Moon-Io (18)
    Io-Moon (5)
    Moon-Ganymede (10)
    Ganymede-Triton (6)
     
  19. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    Ship names:

    PILNKVSF Admiral Flota Zvezdnyy Soyuza Keqiu - Named for Hero of the Union Admiral of the Fleet Kequi Fan. Affectionally nicknamed Begemot for its matte black finish and thick profile. Battle Honors: Ceres IV.
    PILNKVSF Admiral Flota Zvezdnyy Soyuza Gorshkov II - Named for the thrice Hero of the Union Admiral of the Fleet Gorshkov. Known as Natalia for its sleek (feminine) lines and curves. Detractors call it "the Witch" for its supposed likeness to a broom. Battle Honors: I Earth and II Free Navy.
    PILNKVSF Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya II - Named for the second October Revolution in the 2300s that freed BMIC from earther control. Nicknamed Azazael for an incident where it managed to convince a Free Navy vessel it was a civilian freighter long enough to kill it. Battle Honors: I Free Navy and Ceres IV.
    PILNKVSF Novorossiya - New Russia. The newest ship in the fleet. Has not acquired a nickname as yet nor battle honors.

    Key:

    PILNKVSF (Poyas i Luna Nezavisimaya korporatsiya Voyenno-Soyuza Flot): Belt and Moon Independent Corporation Stellar Military Vessel
    Admiral Flota Zvezdnyy Soyuza: Admiral of the Stellar Union
    Gorshkov: Named for the Gorshkov who commanded at First and Second Camps and I and II Ceres
    Kequi Fan: Named for the elder Kequi Fan who won IV Ceres and I Earth
     
  20. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    Female
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    Did the Kirov perish in battle?
     

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