Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Chandrasekhar, Dec 16, 2007.
“Proceeding to Checkpoint Lambda,” said Maikov.
“Affirmative, taking up position at Checkpoint Omicron,” said Beloi, adding “Kirik, advance to Checkpoint Upsilon.”
“Roger,” said Kirik Chuikov.
He tensed his calves to deploy the secondary movement system. His HAVOC rose ever so slightly as the roller wheels deployed from inside the feet and jacked the entire vehicle up, before whirring to life, carrying the bipedal war machine forward at an increasingly hectic pace, its frame moderately hunched for stability at high speed. He blinked twice to shift the display from infrared to millimeter band radar and then shook his head slightly to overlay the two simultaneously, the world taking on a strange black and white texture marked by scattered bursts of color where there were thermal irregularities. He could see people huddled inside their apartment blocks he whizzed by, straight through the walls. All of them reacted to the keening whine of the SMS as he went by, whether they tried to ignore it or were blatantly watching him pass. Radar didn’t pick up anything looking like weapons. He moved his hand as if to grasp the 100mm assault rifle’s fore-grip and the machine followed suit, the ground-tracking lidar automatically steering the suit around potholes and other impediments as he went.
“Approaching Checkpoint Upsilon,” said Kirik.
“Arrived at Checkpoint Sigma,” said Zasekin.
Their HAVOC platoon had been deployed into Rumah, Saudi Arabia, as part of the post-WWIII peacekeeping effort in ex-Confed territory. The 108th Armored Battalion hadn’t been ready in time for actual combat during the war, but they’d been deployed into the vicinity of Riyadh soon after the “end” of hostilities. Like with most wars these days, that just meant that major combat operations were over. They were here to make sure nobody had any second thoughts about surrender, which was easier said than done. But HAVOCs were different than normal peacekeeping forces.
“Taking up position at Checkpoint Upsilon,” said Kirik.
He made his left leg completely rigid to signal for a nanotube spike with an artdiamond head to slam into the ground, penetrating the cracked asphalt like a bullet. The HAVOC began to spin around this new focal point as Kirik tensed his legs again, to shut off the SMS, coming to a grinding, sparking stop a complete revolution later, retracting the spike and trotting toward the intersection, using the corner of the building as cover. Checkpoint Upsilon was an otherwise unassuming four-way intersection lined with some shops and a café. Right now, at two in the morning, it was totally abandoned. Kirik brought the 3.1m HAVOC down into a kneel and swept the area. There was absolutely nothing nearby of note.
“We’ve got them surrounded,” said Maikov.
HQ had received intel that an extremist group had set up an arms cache in Rumah to support ongoing insurgent activities in Riyadh, and they had been sent to check it out. The locals had heard enough about the HAVOCs by now to know better than to mess with them, but you never knew with ex-Confed guys.
Kirik brought the HAVOC back up and slowly advanced to the edge, swinging the assault rifle around the corner and using its sensors on zoom to look down the street at the suspected facility. It looked like an ordinary warehouse. Unfortunately, they couldn’t just knock it over and leave. But they couldn’t walk up and knock on the door either.
“Come in Wild Elk, repeat, come in Wild Elk,” said Beloi.
“This is Wild Elk, we are reading you loud and clear Rabid Dog,” came a smooth female voice over the radio.
“We are at the target, Wild Elk, requesting sweep,” answered Beloi.
“Affirmative Rabid Dog, we are inbound, ETA sixty seconds,” said the operator.
Kirik waited in silence and checked over his weapons systems to make sure they were all online. On his left shoulder the micromissile pod’s doors sprung open, revealing the flat black nosecones of its contents. He zoomed his gun’s sensors in farther, keeping his omnisensors on full scan to make sure they weren’t being set up. There was a silent flashing indicator informing him of unusual activity in the airspace above. Without warning a floodlight snapped on above the target compound, turning night to day.
“Attention occupants, this is the Allied Peacekeeping Force,” boomed a synthesized Arabic voice from the source of the light, smooth but still not quite human.
“You are under suspicion of illegal activity, evacuate this structure and prepare to be searched,” it continued.
At first there was no response. Then, in a flash there was a rocket contrail capped by a glowing white projectile arcing up toward the source of the light. It missed widely and detonated somewhere up in the night sky, and was quickly followed by tracers of automatic weapons fire.
“I’d say your target is hot,” said the operator with just a touch of sarcasm, adding “I’m out, duty calls—good luck boys.”
The spotlight quickly swept away and disappeared, even as the platoon sprung into action. They all knew the plan, they didn’t have to talk while executing it; at least not until something went wrong.
Kirik stepped the HAVOC out from behind the corner and aimed the assault rifle with both hands from a hip-position, the gun’s sensors allowing him to fire without compromising his accuracy. Spikes struck down into the road to anchor him. He held down the trigger and began to pour automatic fire down the street into the structure, the tracers lighting up the shops on either side as a deafening roar followed after the rounds. With his augmented vision he could see each and ever one tear holes into the structure.
As his magazine emptied he casually ejected it and reached to the armored skirt for another, using his teeth to trip the micromissile launch switch. As he locked the new magazine into place two dozen missiles roared out of the pod and spun down the building-lined gully that was the street, blowing out windows as they screamed toward their target. He released the spikes and engaged the SMS, rolling in behind them.
A gout of flame lit up the northern side of the building moments before the micros impacted, sending up a sheet of flame and debris as they demolished the eastern side of the warehouse. Smaller, secondary explosions tore the structure down as ammunition inside cooked off and exploded. The warehouse was history.
“Taking fire from an adjacent structure,” said Zasekin.
A map flashed up into Kirik’s display as he rolled down the street, before veering into a side-street to navigate to it, avoiding the wreckage of the first warehouse. He glanced at the micropod’s ammo count: it was out. A quick call up and review of the rest of the platoon’s weaponry revealed only he and Maikov had their side-missile pods still loaded. He queued them into the secondary slot previously occupied by the micros as he spun around a corner, flicking the rifle’s fire selection to semi-auto.
As he came around the corner the second warehouse came into view, RPG fire issuing out of one side and being responded to with 100mm shells. He fired off the side-stored missiles on a top-down strike and began firing shots into the side of the building as he rolled towards it, releasing the fore-grip and letting it recoil, freeing his left hand.
“Ingressing,” he radioed.
“Roger, providing supporting fire,” said Maikov.
A column of flame issued out of the center of the building just as he pulled up to it, slamming the spikes down to hard stop and pulling his left arm back, clenching his fist before punching forward at the wall. The suit followed as the motion triggered a pre-programmed response, setting off the blank 120mm charge in the arm. It extended as the explosive charge shot the fore-end out like a piston, before it came to a halt and recoiling back into socket—but not before utterly demolishing the wall in a shower of dust and a cacophony of rending metal and stone. The whole section came down and Kirik immediately brought his rifle to bear through the gap, using the newly reconnected arm to remove a large anti-personnel hand-grenade from the skirt. There was fire everywhere, along with active and downed human thermal returns.
“Surrender,” he said it in Russian, but he could hear it repeated over the outside audio sensors in Arabic.
The nearest figures froze. There was a tense moment as they weighed their options. Millimeter-band radar showed weapons lifting, including RPGs. Kirik threw the grenade into the building and sidestepped in a single motion, bringing the rifle to target the previously recorded areas where the combatants had been, opening fire. The rounds punched gaping holes in the structure before a spiral of flame shot out of the hole he had knocked down, fire licking out of the newly issued punctures. As the noise dimmed he could hear other blasts from farther away. He made his way back to the smoldering entryway he had knocked into the building and brought his rifle around, using it to target inside; nothing moved.
“No remaining hostiles,” he said.
“Not registering any here either,” said Beloi.
“Same,” said Maikov, adding “Are you alright, Fyodor?”
“Just going to need a new paintjob,” said Zasekin.
Kirik swept his sensors across the building to ensure that they were all reading it the same, before listening to the creaking groan it emitted. He moved the HAVOC back from the remains of the warehouse just as it shuddered and collapsed in on itself, a smoldering pile of rubble, the only sign of activity the crackling of flames. There was a moment of silence.
“This is Lieutenant Maikov of the 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, 108th Armored Battalion reporting that the insurgent threat in Rumah has been confirmed and eliminated,” said Maikov.
He paused, before adding “There were no survivors.”
There was an unusually long pause on the group radio transmission as they waited for a response from HQ, sufficiently long that they began to start a patrol of the two warehouses. After almost two minutes, it came.
“Your transmission has been acknowledged, Lieutenant, your orders are to return to headquarters for debrief, reporting, and reassignment—that is all.”
The connection to HQ severed itself.
“What do they mean ‘reassignment’,” asked Zasekin.
“Who can tell with the brass,” said Beloi.
As he brought his SMS online to execute their exit strategy, Kirik caught a glimpse of Maikov’s HAVOC doing the best approximation the vehicle could do of a shrug.
President Inauguration of Nikolai Kerensky
Televised and Netcast Address
Original Air Date: 1500GMT, May 7, 2118AD
Broadcast From: The Kremlin, Moscow, Russian Federation
Announcer: President of of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Grigori Vladimirovich Kavelin!
Grigori Kavelin: When inaugurated as President of the Russian Federation, the President takes an oath, the text of which is set by the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Nikolai Dmitryevich, I ask you to take this oath.
Nikolai Kerensky: I vow, in performing my duties as President of the Russian Federation, to respect and protect human and civil rights and liberties, to observe and protect the Constitution, to protect the sovereignty and independence, security and integrity of the state, and to serve the people faithfully.
Grigori Kavelin: Nikolai Dmitryevich Kerensky has been inaugurated as President of the Russian Federation. (The national anthem is played).
Announcer: President of the Russian Federation Nikolai Dmitryevich Kerensky!
Nikolai Kerensky: Fellow citizens of Mother Russia, and of the world abroad, [...]
OOC: So, after having studied the map some, I decided it wasn't cool enough for this game. I decided to try my hand at redoing it:
I made the starfield myself (though the process isn't mine). I'd prefer it be sharper, but I guess final file-size is dependent upon what's deemed appropriate; personally I think we could take it up to around a megabyte (as this version is). The main benefit is all the stars are uniform in size so it's easier to project ownership onto them (here assigned to designate ownership of major inhabited planets [bold/blue in statistics], non-proportional).
I've got all the pieces separated out so it can be reassembled (and expanded to fill the currently unknown sections), if there's an interest in adopting it.
At any rate, it was kind of fun to make, so regardless I thought I'd share.
I think it's a very cool map Sym. I think that showing ownership on the map is a great idea (I've been keeping track of ownership by some really ugly edits I've done to the map on my own computer).
I agree, that's a really cool map. I definitely like Chand's style, but this one is a few notches cooler.
However, I would actually prefer the starfield to be a bit less sharp if possible, to make the "actual map" stand out better. Perhaps add a mostly-transparent black overlay to the background? Not really a complaint, just a suggestion...
OOC: It's the same style (excepting the addition of ownership and slight modification of habitability rings), I was just looking at it and decided it needed something more than a flat black background.
Regarding an intermediary layer, I'm not adverse to that, and somewhere between 15% and 30% opacity seems to work best. If Chand wants to adopt it I can put all the pieces in a zip folder and throw in some instructions on how to put it back together and maintain it.
Excellent! I had planned to make some cosmetic enhancements to the map this turn, but your map looks much cooler than anything I probably would have managed. I also agree with Niklas about making the background a tad less distracting from the map itself.
If you can get me the relevant files and details today or tomorrow, Symphony, I'll adopt this style for the next update.
I'd like to join but I don't know which I should choose: be a governor, a newly colonising power or an outsider (corporations etc.)
You're welcome to be a European Colony, if you wish.
Several governorships will be open after the update, and many middle-tier nations, like Japan and Australia, will have opportunities to begin colonizing as well. You can decide what you'd like to do after the update is posted, so the options will be more clearly presented.
Speaking of which, the update itself is completely written and longer than the last one. I'll be working on the stats over the next couple of days. It'll be posted Friday at the latest.
OOC: Personally I would just as soon have the meat of the update early and wait on the stats, given they're more informational than necessary to play at this point. We don't really need them for diplomacy or stories and getting all of that begun earlier means the deadline can be set earlier. Et cetera, rabble rabble.
Hm... I'll consider that. If I don't have the stats done by tomorrow night, I may put up the update first and fill in the stats a bit later.
Symphony is right, in the Pre-NES the stats don't really matter that much to us anyway. The text and the map is what counts. And I'm really eager to see this update, I think you can guess why...
Following previous trends, the peaceful competition in Sol became both more intense and more profittable for all involved. While Europe and China continued to focus on distant systems to gain a future advantage, America and Russia, for the most part, concentrated their energies in their home system.
On Earth itself, developments on the worldwide system of space elevators, skyhooks, and orbital rings continued with great success. Russia, especially, capitalized on their unique position in the development to make deals with several more minor nations, allowing them to access space. This gave Russia an industrial leverage greatly out of proportion to its internal infrastructure, and allowed it to compete with the United States in solar system development.
Russia also purchased the Chinese colony on Mercury, and set about putting it to more thorough use than the Chinese had done. Minerals and solar energy from Mercury supplemented Russian efforts elsewhere in the system.
Further out, the development of Orion boosters made asteroid mining and retrieval more economically feasible. Russia had a notable head start here, but America's considerable industrial might and powerful corporations minimized that advantage. Interplanetary business underwent a boom as minerals and water were in high demand, and transporting them from Earth, even with its space elevators, wasn't always the most efficient option. Additionally, Russia began to use some of those asteroids in an ambitious project to terraform Venus. By introducing high amounts of water ice and hydrogen into Venus's atmosphere by way of massive impacts, the air there could be thinned and chemically altered on a large scale to make it somewhat livable.
It was still expected to take longer than Mars's terraforming project, however. The American colony on Mars grew even larger due to the boom in interplanetary business, and it acted as both a waypoint and final destination for asteroid and gas miners throughout the solar system.
Even further from Sol, economic battles between American and Russian corporations were waged over the abundant resources of the gas giants. American facilities around Jupiter and Saturn had already begun to explore mining for valuable gases, and further colonization of Uranus and Neptune was also being launched. However, around the same time, Russia also began launching a concentrated effort to monopolize the outer solar system with its more advanced spacecraft.
The end result was that neither America nor Russia collected the great profits that might have been expected from sole ownership of the gas giants, but everyone benefitted from the competetive influx of resources, and both America and Russia were well set up to begin making more colonization efforts outside the solar system.
In contrast to the peaceful competition around Sol, the atmosphere in Infinitas was rapidly deteriorating into a revolutionary sentiment. On Bacchus, an increasingly significant portion of the European population was demanding independence. As the population became ever more unruly, the governor of Bacchus was forced to act.
And act he did, in 2117. In an alliance with a large portion of the European military on Bacchus, and with popular support, the colonial government of Bacchus pulled off a virtually bloodless coup d'etat, wresting control of the planet from the European Union. Though one of the two orbitting destroyers remained loyal to Europe, it was persuaded to surrender after Bacchus performed some tense diplomacy with the EU itself.
Indeed, the terms with which Bacchus offered its independence were quite friendly to the European Union. Though the new Planetary Republic of Bacchus demanded that it retain complete control of its government and economy, and that all troops loyal to the European Union be sent back to Europe or one of its colonies, it still offered the European Union free access to Bacchus's Stigma Skimmer, and expressed a desire to retain friendly relations with its parent nation.
Ultimately, the European Union accepted those terms, as a bloody war to retain a rebellious colony held little appeal to the peaceful union. The tax revenues from Bacchus were not badly missed, and the Europeans' colonization elsewhere was hardly impacted at all. In retrospect, the declaration of Bacchus's independence was looked upon as a great achievement of two civilized peoples, though some lingering resentment remained among the Europeans.
As a side note, Bacchus's stance towards the People's Republic of China was less friendly. As soon as its independence was assured, Bacchus demanded that all Chinese there either join the new republic or go back to Chinese controlled Volturnus. A surprising number of them stayed as citizens of Bacchus, but after some initial grumbling, China eventually let its loyal citizens be deported from the planet. As for the Americans there, they were allowed to remain loyal to America, though Bacchus-American relations remained ill-defined as of 2125.
Elsewhere in Infinitas, the declaration of Bacchus's independence had some significant political impacts. The colony on Vulcan, which had mostly been founded and supplied by independent action from Bacchus, predictably became a part of the "Planetary" Republic. The European facilities on Carmenta, however, decided to remain loyal to Europe.
The effects on Carmenta were also quite complex. Despite a decent opportunity and excuse to do so, the governor of Carmenta declined to declare independence as well. Overall, the American colonists remained fairly loyal to the United States back on Earth, but Bacchus's example certainly had an effect on them. Revolutionary sentiment on Carmenta regained some momentum, and it was unclear whether the planet could remain loyal indefinitely.
On a less political note, Bacchus continued to work on its terraforming and infrastructural projects. A space elevator was completed on the planet, despite the engineering difficulties of Bacchus's greater gravity, in 2122. Additionally, some basic plantlife was also introduced into the environment, though the results here were less promising - Bacchus would still have many years to go before its atmosphere was breathable.
Valhalla, Olympia, Lucenta, Carpathia
Despite Bacchus's independence, over the next few years the other European colonies remained quite loyal to their parent nation. In Valhalla, Asgard continued to industrialize, defying its natural role as a link in the chain between Europe and Olympia, and it continued to attract more colonists coming to Valhalla for its own sake, not just as a stepping stone to further systems.
Olympia's advances were even greater, as its orbital industry continued to expand, and geothermal energy plants were utilized to great effectiveness on Arcadia's surface. Arcadia also managed to complete a space elevator by 2123, and on the whole its development began to compete somewhat with the distant Chinese system of Xu Fu.
This infrastructural development was mirrored by some military development as well. Though Olympia was far from being a military colony, it constructed a couple of corvettes for its own use, and raised a small military of its own. However, its culture remained primarily a nonmilitary one, unlike the former European colony of Bacchus.
Politically, Olympia also managed to distinguish itself. Mostly on its own initiative, the system developed a more complex political system than any other colony, with elected representatives instead of appointed officials. Though some Europeans worried that this would accelerate Olympia's possible decay into another independent nation, the representatives mostly reflected the loyal views of Arcadia's citizens, and it was also speculated that this better representation would result in a populace more content with European authority.
Europe had also colonized two new systems by 2125. In 2120, a colony ship arrived at Lucenta, formerly 078-219, and quickly began working to construct a Stigma Skimmer there. The Europeans eagerly anticipated what they'd find on the apparently Earth-like planet at 091-322, but the colonization would have to wait for a Skimmer to be built in the otherwise insignificant system.
Meanwhile, in 2123, another colony ship was sent by Europe to Carpathia, formerly 075-321, to further extend its colonial empire. This colony was more distant than any that had come before, and its resources were not as spectacular as some of the other recently founded colonies, but Europe welcomed it regardless. The hot, dry surface of its colonized planet, Duhlen, soon began to develop into an urban center, though it would have many years before it rivalled older colonies like Asgard or Bacchus.
The Russians also made their move into the interstellar frontier as the 2120's began. By 2121, their Pionerskaya colony ship had been completed and launched, and by 2122, it had skimmed with Europe's (and Bacchus's) consent to Valhalla, where it conducted an independent Stigma jump to - somewhere.
Indeed, the destination of the Pionerskaya remained a mystery to the international community until 2123, when a European probe to 091-322 found the system already occupied and given the name "Zenit." Surprise and confusion were expressed by all of the other nations of Sol, but it was left to them to figure out just how Russia had done it.
The general consensus was that Russia had used its nuclear technology to "brute force" its way past the energy requirements on Stigma jumps. Not even a gigantic nuclear reactor could produce the necessary power to perform a second Stigma jump without a launch platform, but a one-time nuclear weapon blast might be able to do so. So, after skimming with European consent to Valhalla, the Pionerskaya must have jumped to the general vicinity of Lucenta, and then somehow performed a second jump to reach Zenit (formerly 091-322). At least, the European physicists maintained that it was impossible for the Russians to do it in a single jump, and the Russians maintained that it was a classified matter.
The move was technically justified by all the precedents and laws of interstellar colonization - from America's and China's promotion of "first come, first serve" policies to Europe's dictum of "space is big enough for all of us." However, it was widely seen as an underhanded landgrab by an upstart nation that abused the trust of a more established power. Certainly, Russia managed to retain a strong diplomatic position with the many countries that didn't care much about whether Europe felt offended or not, but it did cause the other superpowers to view Russia with a new suspicion - especially since that sort of "double-jump" remained beyond their capabilities.
As European surprise turned into anger and resentment, it was unclear what action it would take against the Russian colony at Zenit. Insult upon insult had been piled upon the EU ever since it placed humanity's first extrasolar colony on Bacchus, and the EU had always responded with restraint and pacifism. In this, too, they responded peacefully, though not without a sort of vindictiveness. The only way for Russia to supply Zenit was by using Europe's Stigma Skimways, and both Europe and Bacchus charged an extremely heavy tax on all goods sent through the intervening systems, especially those goods most useful to colony building.
Physically, Zenit was a highly unique system. Its colonized planet was Earth sized and had an environment as good as Earth's had ever been - better, in fact, than Earth's current polluted state. Predictably, it had native life, and its life was more complex than anything seen outside Earth. Its aquatic and landborne life followed patterns eerily similar to Earth's, and some forms of aquatic life - closely analogous to cetaceans - seemed to be as smart as any animals on Earth.
The Russian colony was designed to be quite environmentally friendly, and of course the European restriction on their supplies kept their industry from growing too large in any case. Information on the xenoforms there added to humanity's collective biological knowledge to an unprecedented degree, and the work of cataloguing the abundant life there would last many years.
The Europeans also decided that they wouldn't place a competing colony on a planet with less potential in the Zenit system. Instead, the colony ship that was previously intended to colonize Zenit was instead launched directly from Sol in early 2125, mere months before the second Russian colony ship departed.
As it happened, they had the same destination: 110-142. It was the Europeans' turn to surprise the arriving Russian colony ship with a colony on Zenit's most valuable world. Apparently the Europeans had been working on their own system for a longer Stigma jump, this one based entirely off refinements of Stigma technology itself. It hadn't been completed in time to secure 091-322, but now it would add an interesting dynamic to the colonization race between Europe and Russia.
There was a second good colonization site in 110-142, though its quality wasn't as good as the Europeans' planet. Lacking the means to travel back to Sol, the Russian colonists landed there, and tentatively began setting up their colony while waiting for the powers back in Sol to come to some sort of agreement. Also, while Europe had apparently not yet decided on a name for 110-142, as their success with the longer Stigma jumps was far from assured, the Russians had come intending to name the place "Soyuz," and so that name came into more common usage.
The geography of Soyuz was good for human habitation, though not so good as Zenit. Both of the colonized planets were much smaller than Earth, but the European one was distinguished by a (mostly) breathable atmosphere and useful quantities of liquid water, while the further Russian one was rather like Mars, though more rocky than dusty. The Europeans clearly had managed to snag the better end of the deal, but the fate of their colony might depend as much on diplomacy as on innate value.
Damen, Xiaoping, Haiyaoliangge, 039-240, 025-367
Despite the drama occuring between the other major powers, China managed to remain separate from most competition and conflicts. Instead, business continued as usual on the path of Chinese colony worlds leading to the ultimate prize of 025-367, with some colonies being maintained and others being founded and grown.
Though Xiaoping, formerly 009-108, was somewhat off the path to 025-367, its own inherent value let it retain much of the Chinese government's attention. Detailed policies were enacted on Xu Fu to exploit the aquatic environment as much as possible without completely depleting the planet's resources, and virtually every spot of land that poked above the waves was heavily urbanized. Meanwhile, massive agricultural platforms were constructed to float freely on the water's surface, and domestication of Xu Fu's native life proceeded with productive results.
Interestingly, Xiaoping also gained somewhat of a repuatation for being more liberal than the other colonies, which were held under an iron Chinese fist. Granted, "liberal" in the context of Chinese colonies was still quite heavily oppressed by any other standard, but this difference did attract more colonists to the system - it attracted some disapproval from Communist Party leaders as well.
Haiyaoliangge, formerly 025-177, remained more of a pathway world than an objective in itself, but the development there to facilitate ease of transport grew to resemble that of neighboring Damen. In 2117, a fresh colony ship passed through the Skimmer at Haiyaoliangge to reach 039-240, and a colony on the harsh world of 039-240D began to grow as well. In fact, the Chinese government poured unprecedented effort into supplying and building the colony in this new system, and in record time another Stigma Skimmer was online and ready to send another colony ship through the system.
If the theorized Russian system of double-jumping could be called "brute force," then the term could be just as well applied to the Chinese method of simply throwing their state-controlled resources at the problem. Yet it was undenyably effective - by 2124, a Chinese colony ship had reached 025-367, a system of surpassing quality, matched only by Zenit and Sol itself.
025-367 was also quite unique in that two of its planets had life. One of the planets was clearly more suited to life than the other, but both of them had breathable atmospheres, and both of them would doubtless be quite useful to the Chinese government. The great push to secure the system of 025-367 had been incredibly taxing on China's resources, but it may have been worth it - if China could hold the long string of colonized systems together under its own rule.
And here's the map. I don't have the stats done yet, but considering the popular demand to just post the damn update, I decided that I would finish them on Friday. Until then, I suppose you can make preliminary plans by what has been revealed.
Lots of interesting interactions this turn. Plenty of player plans interferred with other plans and pre-determined events. Some managed to go off without a hitch, while others were derailed or redirected elsewhere. I also had to take a couple of creative liberties with orders this turn, as some events turned up which weren't covered by contingencies, but I think that the results turned out pretty similar to what the players would've decided anyway.
So any positions I could take? Iggy suggested governing an European colony but are there any good colonies to govern?
What about my joining? I guess I can't join yet...
Nice and interesting update. I can't say I'm sorry my predictions on sapient life were unfounded. Things are becoming interesting, that's for sure.
President Nikolai Kerensky
Televised and Netcast Address
Original Air Date: 1900GMT, May 16, 2125AD
Broadcast From: The Kremlin, Moscow, Russian Federation
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the Russian Federation, Earth at large, and all mankind.
This address is being issued to make it officially known to the world at large that this government has successfully begun colonization efforts at both 091-322 and 110-142 systems, now known as Zenit and Soyuz, respectively. This is a remarkable feat in its own right, and one in which the Russian people may be immensely proud.
However momentous this occasion may be, however, it is only the first of several such landmark events of which it is my duty to inform you. What is equally critical to the knowledge that such an event is ongoing is knowledge of how events will proceed.
Firstly, I am giving public notice of the Russian government’s official stance regarding colonization of planets in other solar systems. This government, after careful review of both historical interactions on Earth and within the initial group of colonies founded by the United States of America, the European Union, the People’s Republic of China, and the now defunct Islamic Confederation, has come to a decision regarding all future colonization efforts. That decision is simple: colonies should be the product of direct and singular ethnic-streaming. What is meant by this is that a given world should be considered as a singular colony, and that all colonists to embark upon that world should be of a singular, roughly similar ethnic background.
The reasons for this are simple to understand and well-grounded in history: when two different groups of people meet, there are often disagreements and conflict. These disagreements are only magnified when these people are then forced to become direct neighbors. This has been demonstrated time and again throughout human history, and is visible even today on this very Earth, and on stage one colonies where multiple nations have landed. Intermixed colonial efforts are most likely to congeal into a nation-state format similar to those of the present, and will inherently find themselves competing for resources or opposed in ideology, just as the superpowers of today do. This is not a universal constant, but given human behavior, it is the most likely outcome. The detriment of this pattern is that if cultures are intermixed in such a fashion as they are likely to be in a mixed-occupation scheme, there will be no geographic features or distance to shield a given group. Polarization will inherently be violent and bloody.
Russia cannot in good conscience commit to a colonial effort which merely lays the seeds for future conflicts by spreading the imperfections of modern-day man across the galaxy without undertaking efforts to correct them. By founding planetary colonies dedicated solely to the expression of a single ethnic culture, these problems of competition are circumvented by roughly equal distribution of material wealth, and by “personal space” for the culture in question. With secure worlds under their control, ethnicities are thus free to mingle on an interplanetary and interstellar level without need for competition or conflict. This type of distribution respects the cultural identity of any given group, and prevents future conflicts: once colonies have become mature and independent, there is little real threat of any attempting to take the territory of others, as any given other major planet will contain a population of a wholly different ethnicity.
Secondly, having outlined this new policy, I state unequivocally that the surfaces of both Zenit and Soyuz themselves within the Zenit and Soyuz system are restricted solely to colonization efforts by persons of East Slavic ethnicity, which is to say, broadly, direct descendants of Russian, Rusyns, Ukrainians, and Belarussians sharing those groups’s culture and language, and will be colonized under direct Russian supervision until such time as they may become fully independent, self-supporting worlds, at which time their political independence will be negotiated. It is notable that the People’s Republic of China has already begun to exercise a similar strategy of exclusivity, and the European Union has already followed with its unilateral declarations of sovereignty over given planets. What is proposed here is nothing revolutionary in practice, merely in motive: while those declarations were given by imperialist drives for territory, this is driven by respect for the cultures of humanity.
Some might criticize the underpinnings of the stated policy move as being elitist and racist. I would say to them that it is practical and respectful of Earth’s great cultural diversity. But I would acknowledge that without sufficient mechanisms in place to include the ethnic groups of powers which are not already among the colonial powers such an effort would produce an environment which is unsuitable to the peaceful intent behind this concept, as it would be dividing nations into the haves and have-nots, which is not the aim of such a measure.
Thirdly, to reconcile this I state the intent of the Russian government to assist other nations interested in this program with establishing similar such worlds. For that reason, building upon the great success of the NEOCOM efforts which the Russian government has made with other powers in the construction of the Orbital Array, I officially announce the foundation of the Alliance for Settlement Transport, Research, Implementation and Security (ASTRIS).
Under ASTRIS, powers which do not currently have access to Stigma-based colonization may petition the Russian government for entry into the program. Under the program, the country or countries in question will convey to Russia either the funds or materials necessary to develop and complete the vessels required to settle a system. In return, Russia will construct these vessels and secure for the country or countries in question a planet as favorable as possible to the human condition, which will be the sole purview of the ethnicity in question. The country or countries in question will coordinate colonial development themselves, along with ground defense, while space defense will be provided by the Russian government.
I and my advisers believe this presents an amicable and reasonable agreement to allow the less economically and technically fortunate nations of Earth to participate in the growth of humanity, and serves to advance the interests of these individual entities while simultaneously advancing the interest of the whole. It is the hope of the Russian government that such cooperation in space and on other worlds may result in a similarly more peaceful settlement on Earth, so that conflicts such as the war my predecessor was forced to engage in do not occur again.
The Russian government is currently analyzing expansion routes on behalf of ASTRIS and is ready to begin planning its expansion efforts on a first-come, first-serve basis to those who wish to join it in such an enterprise. Should any citizens at large believe that their government should be involved in such a program, we can only suggest that they petition their respective governments to begin negotiations.
Good day, and may God bless Mother Russia and all of humanity.
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