Citizens of the Imperium

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Kilgs June 24th, 2014 10:30 AM

[Project_SN] Storybook/Setting Log

The idea came from Heavy Gear which published a series of products that followed events of each year in a five year storyline. The books were the journal of an espionage/journalism expert and contained snippets of stories, articles, surveillance records and a number of other pieces of information. It really struck me as a great way to impart information on the setting, historical facts and other tidbits without long columns of text. In a way, it was the ultimate “sidebar” of information.

So I decided to do something similar. Some things to keep in mind:

1. The storyline is fluid and not set in stone. I am writing them as I come up with them, sometimes as they occur, sometimes I go backwards as a future event requires some foreshadowing or alters how I want a previously recorded entry to be presented.

In other words, this is a very rough draft.

2. One benefit of using generic years is I can change them or lengthen them. For example, I am strongly considering having the first 30yrs actually be the first 60yrs. The game is fairly slow due to the large amount of work involved. I’m lucky if I move a year or half-a-year a week. Summer isn’t helping. So to keep this from taking seven years, I may change the duration of certain years.

3. There are some “plot” events that will happen although I’m rolling randomly to see when they occur. These will create certain situations/actors that are prominent in the end setting. I know some broadstrokes such as political entities, a few conflicts and some “story” events. But a lot of it, I’m just going with.

4. The POV are just for fun. In some cases, they represent people who are “Elite Officers” in the VBAM. But in other cases, they are just me writing to show another side of the setting. Obviously, if I change the years duration, this will mess with the POV’s and the age of folks. Oops. I’ll go back and fix it. And yes, it’s amateur writing. I have a job that does not include writing fiction… it’s just fun for me. Please don’t critique the writing.

5. Since there’s a lot of stuff happening, you may just see headlines from time to time. I write down important events and then go back and fill them in. Sometimes this may take awhile, I’ll provide notice of updated entries.

6. There was something else important I was going to put here but my phone rang and I forgot…

7. Updates to this thread will be once per week. That should give me enough time to stay ahead of things since I have about 22 years in game done but only about 15 of those years fully filled out in the storybook log.

8. It’s a game. More importantly, it’s MY game. Please do not comment on politico-social stuff unless providing positive criticism or honest insight. Seriously, this board is famous for “you can’t do that.”

Yes, I can.

If anyone is interested in reading the Heavy Gear storybooks, here is a link…

Kilgs June 24th, 2014 03:08 PM

Eureka! I remembered!

6. When I first conceived of the setting, I had a particular plot/faction/antagonist. Some storyline entries have to do with the expanding plotline of that setting element. I like it. It's cool and it's tied into key parts of the setting but... as I lean more and more towards a grittier, 2300 setting it may not fit. It almost seems a bit "science fantasy" or cartoonish when you consider that much of the antagonism in 2300-esque settings is good old humanity.

So I'll keep putting the information in there but may, in the end, yank it all out. Or ask you folks who followed it to see if it actually fits or ruins the whole setting. It could be kinda gonzo.

Kilgs June 25th, 2014 12:31 AM

SN_Year 0

[Gateway Station/Torus Gate][Gate Cluster/Centaurus]

She leaned back in the chair and closed her eyes, shutting out the vid screen on the wall and the message sitting on her desk. Three years of political wrangling, three years moving towards this very moment and she was almost sorry to see it all end. But it was really just the beginning, she reminded herself. A beginning that would herald something new and amazing in the existence of man. She looked over at the other vid-plate, the one whose image never wavered due to a constant laser comm feed, and traced the perfect lines of the Gate for what seemed like a millionth time. As Head Administrator of the USN’s Gate Commission, Alande Urbo had access to nearly every piece of research that had been compiled on the Gate and it all amounted to the same thing: it is beyond our understanding. She kept a sarcastic smile from her face only through years of practice and took a deep breath. The woman sitting across from her kept silent as the older diplomat returned her attention to the room.

“My apologies, Saryna, I’m getting nostalgic with each decade.” Alande looked over at the woman across from her, soon-to-be Head Gate Administrator-UN for the Centaurus Super-Cluster, and her one-time protégé. Alande Urbo had been fortunate enough to have hand-picked her successor and she was pleased that Saryna Maraquino had risen to the top of everyone’s list by dint of natural talent.

“You’ve done amazing things, Ma’am.” The younger woman’s face was impassive and her hands were steady and still on her datapad. Alande smiled at her and shrugged.

“It’s up to you to ensure it lasts, Saryna.” She turned her attention back to the figures on her desk screen. “Who have you picked for your staff?”

That question prompted a series of names from the younger woman. Some of them were familiar such as Commander Luis Ardante. He was a fine choice for Gate Defense/Enforcement even though she had only managed to get him an aging escort frigate and several patrol boats. Non-FTL patrol boats would be acceptable for the enforcement of UN rules regarding use of the Gate but she definitely wished that the Centaurus contingent would have merited more meatier vessels. Being that the UN was not and could not be a standing military force; it was enough that she was able to call up on those vessels at all. The outcry from the Assembly had almost put an end to it. Another victory that would seem hollow until time passed on the project.

“Dame Halliwell is staying on-board?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Saryna looked up at the Administrator and quirked an eyebrow. “Is that a problem?”

“No, not at all.” Alande thought about it for a moment and then smiled. “Definitely not. She’s a gifted commander and she has a remarkable gift at staying true to the mission without getting embroiled by the Commonwealth politics.”

“That should be even easier.” Saryna smiled. “I’ve heard that she threatened to resign from the Commonwealth Navy if they recalled her from the position and some rumors indicate that she did it anyways.”

“She would. She knows what we’re trying to do here. You can rely on her. What about your chief policy team?”

“Vladimir Orstolov, formerly of the Cygna Federation Working Group, has accepted my offer.”

Alande smiled and nodded, pleased with the choice, and leaned back in her chair. “Excellent choice, I was not aware that he was freed up.”

“Well, it seems that he had bumped heads with the new Group Head sent out there… Patricia Choi?”

Alande nodded at that name. No wonder there were sparks, she noted, the two of them were about as different in their approaches as missiles and marijuana. “Again, an excellent choice and I imagine he leapt at the chance?”

“He did.” Saryna looked up at her mentor with a wide smile. “I’m sure a quietly delivered message from this office had nothing to do with his decision.” If she had been fifty years less confident Alande might have blushed in embarrassment; instead she gave a tight, smart smile and shrugged.

“Believe me, Orstolov has wanted to be a part of this thing since the beginning. I needed him untarnished for the real work; your work. Anyone on my team has already burnt their bridges and entrenched their enemies. We had to pull out all the guns to get this to work. Which is why you’re needed now; a fresh face and a new team. One that I can trust.”

Saryna nodded as the culmination of the last few decades of dreams and plans lay stretched out before her. Urbo watched her casually as she knew the fire that burned within the woman’s heart for this kind of work. She knew it intimately since she had recognized it two decades ago when Saryna Maraquino had signed onto the United Nations Interstellar Working Group. Alande Urbo had fanned that flame throughout the years and been rewarded with a protégé whose passion equaled hers and with far more skill.

And tact, Urbo admitted to herself. Saryna Maraquino was the consummate diplomat; something that Urbo had failed to achieve over the many years. Her caustic tongue and demanding personality had driven many from her administration and the ripples that flowed through the governments forced to deal with it still echoed behind her. She was a natural for the Gate Commission, Mvaram Iochiko had recognized that and it was no secret that she worked hand-in-hand with his directives. As the Assistant Secretary of the United Nations, Iochiko was a bland man whose calm demeanor hid an undercurrent of that same passion. The personnel of the United Nations, the real personnel and not the government appointees, simply called him ‘the Secretary’ as he was their leader. The Secretary General was a man elected by the representatives of the Assembly and always came from within their ranks. The Assistant Secretary was the only high-level position allowed to the administration and was chiefly responsible for making things work. When, that is, the Assembly allowed them to work on a problem in the first place.

“Ma’am, I am with you.” Saryna must have mistook the silence for second thoughts as she leaned forward and spoke quietly to Alande Urbo. “It’s like you said all those years ago, the only chance for us all is to start anew. To shed a thousand years of grudges, borders, blood and war. You were so right back then and we didn’t even realize that the Gate was out here… that the first step to all of that was right here waiting for us.”

“I know. Amazing isn’t it,” Urbo turned to the display again. Saryna’s eyes followed hers and there was a moment of silence between the two. “On the other side of that Gate lies all of the hate and prejudice and troubles of mankind. Here, on this side, we have territory with no borders and no claims by others. We have planets aplenty that will be seeded with folks seeking a new life and who will discover a new way of life. All we have to do… all you have to do, is ensure that they have the chance. The polities are already circling like vultures and you know that they would love to raise their flags, draw their lines, control their people and start their wars. In fact, we know it’s going to happen all over again. But this time will be different. The distances are too great, the frontier is too broad and every year it becomes easier and easier to make the trip. The damage that they have done to Earth has gone too far and people want something new.”

Alande Urbo stood up abruptly and extended her hand. Saryna rose more slowly and a tight smile, a smile of determination, writ itself on her face as she grasped the hand of the older woman.

“Saryna, you are at the helm of the best chance for the people of Earth. The real United Nations at the forefront of virgin territory. I have the utmost faith in you as does the Secretary.” They both smiled as the title was used for someone who stood a step below the ‘official’ Secretary. “Godspeed to you, Administrator. Your road will be hard but that is only because you are paving it anew for all the others that come behind you. You are paving the road to the stars and to freedom for them all. Have strength”

Their hands held tight to each other for a long moment while the Gate hung in the space beyond them. Unmoving and revealing nothing.
================================================== ================================================== =============================================
The links connect to videos of the Astrosynthesis maps of the clusters. They’re large and jerky. Sorry.

Red systems are unexplored.
Orange systems have been discovered with minimal exploration.
Green systems have colonies.
Red dotted lines denote routes being scouted or under plans to be scouted.
Grey lines denote established routes.
Light blue lines (only in full maps) denote links between cluster groups.

Here is the Gate Cluster at Year 0. The British Commonwealth and the UN have had access for over three years but no significant exploration has been undertaken by either.

Kilgs June 26th, 2014 12:09 AM

Year 1

Behind me you can see the unnaturally smooth surface of the Torus Gate. The center, that inky blackness, is believed to be a captured or harnessed wormhole allowing for instantaneous transit across millions of light years to the Centaurus Super-Cluster. Not since the discovery of the Face at Cydonia or the columns on Altair have we found something so definitive and so maddening in its unassailability. After three years of tests and research, the United Nations have come no closer to unearthing the secrets of its operation, manufacture or what powers it. The entire structure leaves all questions but one completely unanswered. But that one question is perhaps the most important:

We know where they came from.

--Markos Hijao, Institut Xeno

[Interstellar News Network, transmitting from Liberty Station/Virgo]

It remains to be seen whether the ambitious aims of the United Nations can be accomplished as the deadline for the opening of the Torus Gate comes upon us. Three years ago, the government of the Commonwealth revealed the presence of the Gate to the United Nations and ceded control of it for “academic and diplomatic purposes.” The UN has strongly advocated the fair and open access of the Gate upon completion of all research and safety studies. The leaked report from the UN Gate Commission only confirms the knowledge that we have had since the discovery of the Gate: it is of alien origin, powered by unknown means and we are incapable of duplicating it at our present rate of technology. The Torus Gate, according to the UN Gate Commission, promises to be a new start to the Age of Stars, where those nations and peoples who have been held back from the universal birthright of interstellar colonization can attain those goals. Time will tell whether the USN’s hopes will be realized. The Gate Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow and we will provide up-to-date coverage for download.

[INN] Interview with Dr. Gion Altarma, Head of Astrophysics, De Paulo Universidad

HN: Before the break, you were explaining the differences between the Virgo Super-Cluster and the Centauran?

GA: …um yes, they are not so much differences but matters of degree. The majority of astronomical collections that we see are based on the formation of clusters of objects.

HN: Like the Virgo Super-Cluster?

GA: Si, the super-clusters are the largest category of this formation. They hold thousands of galaxies, millions of stars but within them we find cluster after cluster in diminishing degrees in volume. Micro-clusters, so to speak. Of course, when we speak of size and degree on an astronomical scale, we are often fooling ourselves.

HN: I’m sorry?

GA: The Virgo Supercluster, where we and Earth are located, spans approximately 130 million light years. We cannot even begin to guess at the number of galaxies although we’ve identified approximately 76,000 distinct galaxies that we have been cataloguing for over a century. So when we are saying small cluster or microcluster, we are still talking about areas of space that… well, defy perception.

HN: Of course, I think we all understand the types of distances at play here.

GA: Sometimes I wonder… but the differences of degree so far discovered in the Centaurus Supercluster, or that specific galaxy located on the other side of the Torus Gate, is of clusters with much more density. The stellar objects and systems are more closely packed and, therefore, theoretically more accessible.

HN: Accessible to us, you mean?

GA: Si.

HN: How so?

GA: Take our Milky Way, our Virgo Supercluster, we have been abroad in space for nearly forty years now. We have reached twenty-two systems by vessel and yet we find ourselves stymied in numerous places due to the constraints of the AF drive.

HN: The Alcubierre-Firak drive, you mean, the gravity drive?

GA: Of course, sir, it is the only FTL system we have. Since the mass of the object transported defines the distance and speed available, we have been limited to stars within the neighborhood of six or so light years. And since the drive must charge within a planetary field, vessels are unable to take advantage of stellar objects without child bodies. The gravity field of a star is of no use to the capacitors.

HN: Couldn’t we build bigger vessels? By increasing the mass, we would then be able to travel further, right?

GA: True but the equation has a diminishing return to it. The larger the vessel, it does go farther, but the increments change and are smaller. So doubling the size will not double the range, understand? Even exponentially, the equation provides for less and less effectiveness but you would need to speak to an expert on gravitational physics, I am not that person. As to the density of the Virgo Supercluster, we have found ourselves at various dead-ends in the stellar routes. Rifts or gaps between stars that are too large for us to travel across. These road endings, so to speak, have constrained us in further rapid exploration although many routes still remain open. But the Gate Cluster, based on the information that has been made available to us, shows a much more densely-packed region of space. We still see the same networks of clusters and micro-clusters, much like molecular chains, where small links lead to larger clusters. But the distances are smaller. Much smaller.

HN: Didn’t China just open up a route to XXXX here in our Supercluster? Why does this new Centaurus region offer so much excitement, I mean, besides the Gate itself?

GA: The Chinese system. You will notice the survey information published?

HN: I am familiar with it.

GA: It is simple. The system has no planets matching a compatibility with human life. Earth life.

HN: Which is fairly common though, we have only discovered, what, two planets that support us?

GA: Correct. That creates the second difference… the possible ratio of life-supporting planets. Our life, that is. Think of it this way, the UN and Commonwealth have mapped routes and surveyed three systems in the Alpha Cluster, or Gate Cluster I hear it is called, at this point.

HN: Halliwell’s Star, Cuento and I can’t recall the other one.

GA: Correct, and of those three, two of them have hospitable planets for colonization. A 2/3 ratio! It is very exciting.

HN: But that could just be a fluke… chance, right?

GA: It could be but long-range scanning indicates a strong probability of more exo-planets that match preliminary data for compatibility. And the information on further stars is growing daily, although they are some distance, it appears that the Centauran Supercluster may be more fertile, for lack of a word, than our own region of space.

HN: That’s a lucky break for us then!

GA: It is most definitely not. You are forgetting a simple thing… the Torus Gate was placed there by something or someone. It stands to reason that it was placed where it would be of the most use. A region of space that was disproportionately populated with friendly eco-systems or systems that were amenable to carbon-based forms of life.

HN: Wait a minute, are you saying the Architects were carbon-based?

GA: I am saying that it is likely the answer to that question lies through the Gate. Within our reach.

Kilgs July 8th, 2014 11:10 AM

Year 2

[Orbital News Network][Liberty Station/Virgo]

“Behind us, you can see the awaiting colony ships chartered to the UN. These vessels bear aboard them the volunteer colonists from the Mexican Territories. As you are well aware, the Mexican Territories have been plagued with incredible violence and struggle for the past seventeen years due to the collapse of the ruling junta. While the United States has moved into several areas to stem unrest and consolidate the situation, the remainder of the territories remains a lawless battleground between warring interests and individuals. The UN has chosen these individuals, refugee volunteers from those areas, to be the first populations to be granted residence since the establishment of the Commonwealth community on Halliwell. We have been informed that their transit through the Gate will be the official ‘opening ceremonies’ of the Torus Gate. This is Meiland Wurna, with Orbital News, reporting from the Torus Gate-Virgo.”

<Incoming 210.305>
<Source Origin: [Unknown]>
<Decrypt Successful>

Proceed with caution on the green planet. Lariat has been embedded there and has dispatches. Lariat notes possible surveillance by unknown parties so contact should be minimal. The faculty are concerned about Bear movements and request confirmation of package delivery. Dispatches are believed to change mission specs so confirm with me as soon as received. There should be no question of our concerns out here but the old folks back home appear to be branching out.

[ONN][Montreal, Quebec/Sol]
Live report from Montreal, Quebec

“…was a tense scene here in Montreal as protestors filled the streets in response to the latest news from the Atlantic Compact negotiations taking place in Dublin, Ireland. The Quebec petition to join the Compact has been delayed again by the British Commonwealth. This is the second time that the petition has been delayed for further consideration and the people of Quebec are outraged by their treatment at the hands of the closest trade alliance. The Compact, composed of the Commonwealth, Canadian United Provinces, United States, and the Rhine Collective has dominated trade in the region over the past several decades. Isolation from the Compact has always been a point of pride in the Quebecois people who remain fiercely independent since their break from the Commonwealth and the Canadian United Provinces. But that attitude has shifted with the election of Laquier. A central part of his platform was increased trade and open borders with Quebec’s neighbors. While a historical connection with America has kept trade flowing on the continent; the country has been stifled by the competition imposed by the Compact. No specific items were identified as the cause for the delay of the petition’s consideration this time or three years ago but speculation is rampant. A widely-held belief is that the Commonwealth and the Canadian United Provinces are engaged in ratcheting up the economic pressure on Quebec to bring them back into the Provinces and, by default, into the Commonwealth. Representatives from the Commonwealth and CUP have vigorously denied such reports in the past. American Compact representatives have remained close-mouthed regarding the deliberations but it has been made apparent that the United States is not pleased with the continued delay of the petition. With a long shared border and tradition of trade, America stands to profit on any increase in trafficking by Quebecois interests….”

[ONN] Commonwealth Officially Logs Route to GS-0503-03 “Constantine”
A preliminary filing by the British Commonwealth has indicated success for their efforts to map an FTL route to GS-050303. While the required report is lacking in hard details, the official name of the system has been designated “Constantine” for unknown reasons. The Commonwealth government has previously indicated that nomenclature is the prerogative of the vessel making the discovery and only subject to rubber-stamp approval by the Assembly. The vessel, Far Pointer, is a Magellan-class Explorer commanded b Captain Melana Durst. Public records denote her rank and profile within Commonwealth Naval branches. She was chosen to be one of the first exploratory commands within the Centaurus cluster. The Far Pointer and her colleagues have been focused on a route to the system since the opening of the Torus Gate.

The GS-0503-03 system is clustered around a G7V stellar object and is composed of nine planetary bodies as well as a single visible asteroid belt. The system has been graded with a high probability of habitable environment on the fourth planet, GS-0503-03 IV.

Digital Excerpt-- Digipedia.cas/United Nations
UNITED NATIONS (Political Body/Global Organization): The United Nations is the longest-lasting Earth forum for international cooperation and coordination. Formed out of the failed League of Nations created after World War I, the United Nations functioned as international court, law enforcement, conflict resolution and diplomatic bureaucracy since its inception until the present day. The United Nations grew steadily in influence and authority in the 21st century as the global financial and political spectrums were increasingly intermingled with the rise of high-speed data, media and interests. The United Nations suffered a series of significant blows to its mandate and authority over a period of several decades in the 21st century. The dominance of the Security Council, chaired by the former super-powers, held tremendous power over the organization’s actions by means of vetoing certain courses. This led to a complete stalemate in sanctioned operations for purposes of peace-keeping and conflict intervention. Several high-profile conflicts were allowed to increase due to a Security Council veto upholding proactive intervention. This led to a significant decline in the effectiveness and image bestowed upon the United Nations. With the General Assembly and Security Council stuck in a political stalemate of gamesmanship, the United Nations administration/bureaucracy began to work outside of the bounds of the allowed or proscribed actions. The administration grew to become a force of its own and numerous allegations consisted of UN operations acting without proper approval. Faith in, and the integrity of, the UN fell dramatically during this period. Many member nations ceased overt support of the agency and even strong backers, such as the United States and France, began to hold back from their commitments.

In the late 21st century, the United Nations bureaucracy was accused of attempting to establish a global or regional authority with access to military recourse. [See Aztlan Crisis]. Under the auspices of a UN Protectorate program, the agency had made moves to annex several large tracts of land for purposes of “reconciliation and global cooperation.” The moves were exposed to allegedly illuminate an agenda for a global political body with authority over the sovereign nations. This revelation, along with unfounded accusations of military designs, resulted in a loss of support and goodwill for the organization. The United Nations was pressured to stand down on all peace-keeping operations, dismantle espionage agencies except for Interpol information-sharing, and confine its role solely to a forum for international cooperation. The Security Council was disbanded by general acclaim due to accusations of political favoritism, obstructionism and being complicit in attempting to hold back Second and Third World countries in favor of the super-polities of the time. Stripped of its global authority, the United Nations lacked any influence on the global or stellar arena for several decades.

The rise of interstellar colonies, the Eden Crisis and the discovery of the Centauran Torus Gate has apparently reversed this decline. Fledgling colonies, independent or those seeking independence, required the United Nations to mediate disputes with the larger and more powerful polities of the day. The United Nations was reorganized by the General Assembly after its role in interstellar relations became a required voice of reason in the opening days of the interstellar age.

Proponents of the new form of the United Nations indicate that it is operating true to the original charter in only providing a forum, or means, for which polities may conduct diplomacy freely. The United Nations has reinstituted many aid and development programs but has not participated in peace-keeping operations since its reorganization. The Assembly has some authority in being able to issue censures or provide legitimacy to sanctions issued against certain polities or organizations. However, the lack of a central council or authority has left the United Nations subject to the votes of every member nation on any particular issue. A significant issue has been the reorganization of the United Nations bureaucracy that, critics claim, is aloof from allegiance to any particular nation. This accusation has been countered with the reality that the United Nations possesses no means with which to assert its authority or provide foundation and backing to its goals.

The investiture of the Centauran Torus-Gate to the United Nations was objected to by many nation-states due to the concern over continued authoritarian agendas. Given the significant support of the many smaller polities, who feared super-power monopoly over such a resource, the administration of the Gate has provided the United Nations with a significant stake in the future of mankind. As such, the administration of the Gate and the subsequent systems discovered is under constant and close scrutiny by all nations.

Kilgs July 9th, 2014 02:06 PM

Year 3, Part I

Ciulaca-UN Resettlement Colony [Ciel Vert/Cuento][Gate]

Sweat ran into Ramon’s eye as he set down the loop of metallic piping near the other stacks. All around him, the bustle of activity was amazing after so long at space. They were finally here, his mind repeated the same mantra over and over as he worked, they were finally here. The planet had been scouted by UN personnel long before the Resettlement fleet had arrived but it was still a shock. Ramon Guittera was thirty-one years old and he stood upon the surface of a planet that was millions of light years from Earth. When he stopped to catch his breath, which was all too infrequent these days, the rush of emotions threatened to overwhelm. He shook his head and started walking back towards the cargo pad. It was so much easier to lose himself in the work for the new colony. Everywhere around him were the sounds of industry, of people, and of progress as modular buildings were being unpacked and placed in orderly rows. The seemingly endless launch and landing of supply crafts flaring in the sky before coming to rest with a low boom at the pads marked out several kilometers away.

Ramon picked up the next section of piping and threw it over his shoulder. The pallet was the sixth emptied due to a couple hours work. It lay in a section of rows of pallets that were ferried from the pads by cargo trucks. The pallets contained everything from piping, to seed, food, medicines and more. They were the staples of the colony effort here on Ciel Vert and Ramon was pleased to be able to work at an honest labor. It was odd to think that it took a journey of more than a hundred million light-years to find solid work. Day labor was not glamorous but it was honest and more than was available back home on Earth. He turned and began carrying it across the clearing to a pile marked for various projects. The supervisors here were a mixed lot with many Mexicalis and other foreigners spread liberally throughout the work. The French woman who had given him this project disappeared around on midday and so he figured it was best to not stop in his work. They would let him know when the pile was sufficient.

Only a couple months had passed since Guittera had arrived on Ciel Vert for the UN Resettlement project. He adjusted the breathing unit in his nostrils and wondered at the crisp, clean smell that managed to bypass the sterile oxygen smell from the assisted-breathing unit. Ciel Vert, his new home, was taken some getting used to and he was not the only with problems. The UN medical personnel had warned them of the Adaptation Syndrome and the gravity difference but it was so much harder to face when his feet were firmly on the ground. The UN personnel had assured him that acclimation to the atmosphere would not take much longer.

Smaller than Earth, Ciel Vert had over three-quarters the gravity of Earth and the air was thinner than humanity’s home. Ramon sniffed without thinking about it, an unconscious gesture imitated by the several thousand fellow new arrivals, with the reminder of the cannula unit in his nostril. It was just one of the new sensations that all of them were settling into on this planet. The air that was prevalent was clean and untarnished by centuries of pollution, war or even population.

The land itself was green and leafy although what passed for trees were long and spindly. The orientation seminars said that almost all of the plant life was some form of fern and that the biosphere had not branched out yet. He had dozed off during much of the seminars and figured he would learn all about it soon enough.

After thirty years in the Mexican Territories, for the first time in his life, Ramon felt the chance for a strong future. He felt it every morning when he awoke and each night went to bed in exhausted satisfaction that tomorrow brought even more of this wonderful future.

But, he knew, that yesterday had changed all of that. He could not shake the feeling that a fork had been reached and the loss of that positive vibration in his heart concerned him. Perhaps he had taken the right path?

As Ramon dropped the piping next to the others, he heard the soft squelch of boots nearby and resisted turning around to face the approaching figure. From the shadow on the ground, it was only one which surprised him.

“You Ramon?” The language was Mexical but the accent was norteamericano. Ramon moved slowly and turned around.

“Si, Ramon Guittera.” The man who had asked was taller than him by a good dozen or more centimeters and had a squat head, almost square, on a short neck. He was not wearing a uniform but Ramon recognized him for what he was: policia. Dressed in sweat-stained drab tunic and heavier, resistant trousers, the man had no insignia.

“My name’s Bauer and I was wondering if we could talk about what happened yesterday?” His voice was soft but measured as if he had asked the question a thousand times. Age was hard to guess these days with retro-treatments but he figured fifty to seventy years old made it possible he had asked it that many times. Ramon arched his back for a moment and breathed in deep.

“Of course, senor Bauer.” Ramon felt a lump of ice in his stomach as he followed the man towards a waiting hoverjeep. The engine was still running and it had the markings of the UN Resettlement Office on the flap-doors. Bauer leaned over and canted the passenger side up and smiled at him. Ramon struggled to remain calm as he got into the front seat of the hover, arching his legs to stay clear of the ceramic skirts. Bauer seemed to pause for a moment as he got in and then he shut the door softly and came around to the driver’s side.

Inside, Ramon was surprised to see that there were few of the usual suites present in the vehicle. A simple communications rig and a midboard network computer was the majority of it. A cluster of flimsy-sheet maps and memos was on the floor at his feet and Ramon gingerly moved them out of the way of his muddy boots. The hover-jeep seemed stripped down and almost raw from the lack of furnishings inside.

“Buckle up,” Bauer watched him as Ramon clipped in. Once he did so, Ramon turned his head to look out the window. He tried hard to keep his jaw from clenching but it was too much. So far, he thought, we came so far and I last less than a couple months. Thoughts of ruining everything for him and Esta. The jeep fans whirred to life and he felt the vehicle catch the cushion and accelerate away from the new life Ramon was hoping to build here.

Kilgs July 9th, 2014 02:07 PM

Year 3, Part II
The drive had been quick with no one speaking and Ramon Guittera found himself in the smaller of three modular buildings on the outskirts of the rough settlement center. Inside, the building was separated into several areas with doors closing off a few rooms. They had moved directly to what must be Bauer’s office and Ramon was now sitting across a wide desk, covered in flimsies, from Bauer. It seemed cooler within the building but Ramon could feel it condense on his skin and he wiped at his face and arms. Bauer arched an eyebrow and smiled at him as the older man did the same.

“Coolant system. Doesn’t work worth dunk once I got done unpacking it. All it does is turn this into a wet breeze but they’re sending someone over to fix it.” He leaned back in a chair that squeaked with new fabric. Behind Bauer was a series of screens, Ramon recognized scenes from the Colony Main, launchpads and other areas. One of the screens seemed to be a satellite view of the area with varying colors shifting across the landscape.
The older man turned and pointed at one of the screens.

“Watch that one.” Ramon nodded, the cold lump returning as he saw a wide-angle view of the packing area on the vidscreen. There were three individuals, distant in the screen, around a series of pallets. Two of the men were surrounding a third man in the utility garments issued to resettlement workers. He winced as he saw what was coming. The segment had no sound but the two men crowded the other and their gestures were angry. Ramon watched the scene play out and then it froze unexpectedly. He looked over to see Bauer’s eyes firmly on him.

“This was yesterday at the packing center. You recognize it?” Ramon nodded, unable to speak through a dry mouth.

“This is where it gets interesting.” Bauer turned back to the vidscreen and Ramon watched as the events unfolded at a distance. He watched as the exchange between the men continued and then saw his own image come into view. Asno, he thought to himself. Should have kept my head down, his thoughts spun, it wasn’t my business. Even so, he could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he saw the two men threatening Jofe again in his mind’s eye. A look at the vidscreen showed an identical image, as if from an invisible eye, as he confronted the two men. Ramon did not need the audio to remember what had been said as he came to Jofe’s aid. The older laborer had been in charge of medical supplies. The two others were trying to lift some of the supplies and Jofe had caught them in the act.

Ramon and his sister had met Jofe Zeron on the voyage from Mexico. The older man had been filled with wonder at the possibility of a new start for him and his family. He was the patriarch of fourteen family members including a son-in-law, three daughters and ten children. He was especially good with the children. Zeron had volunteered right away for assisting the colonial effort and was quickly given responsibility over some of the more valuable cargoes that were moving in daily from the orbital inserts.

Ramon watched as one of the men dropped his hands to the pac-knife at his belt. He watched in silence as his own image lashed out and dropped the man with a kick to the groin. As the first matón folded over, Ramon’s image engaged the second and had him prostrate on the wet ground seconds later. The first had run off but Ramon had held the other on the ground with a series of punches. The vidscreen froze again and Ramon closed his eyes for a moment. He knew he should have walked away but he could remember how angry he was at the moment. They had traveled so far and, even here, the bastards had followed them. The same people who had stripped his family’s farm of everything and left them only to dust.

“You saw that shakedown from across the yard.” Bauer turned back to watching him as his hand pulled a sheet from the stack on the side of the desk.

“I know what they look like, Oficial Bauer.”

Mister Bauer, please. I’m no officer here.” Ramon quirked his lips at that and Bauer smiled again. “I imagine you do. Where is your family from?”

“Tamaulipas, near Abasolo.” His minds-eye saw again the ruined farm. Dust everywhere and felt the heat, dry and gritty on his skin again.

“Rough place.” Bauer studied the sheet in his hand. “Corazanegra territory, right?”

Ramon nodded. The Corazon Negra were just one of the raider bands that had plagued the area but they were one of the worst. Ramon remembered the dark emblem on the vehicles that had passed him as he returned home from school. It had been a few years since then but he still felt the flush of shame at not being home. He had driven right past them on his bus as they left his family’s land. Even running from the transit stop, Ramon knew it was too late before he even arrived at the smoked out wreckage. Only his sister was not among the remnants of the gutted homes on their land. Working as a nanny, she had spent the week at her employer’s house near the coast.

“Why’d you do it?” The soft voice broke Ramon’s thoughts for a moment. It took him several seconds to shake the grip of those memories.

“Those men… Jofe was just doing his job. I’ve seen their type before. It just seemed wrong so far from home…” It was hard to explain, he wasn’t sure if he could to this man. Ramon shook his head. “You like to think… want to believe that we left all that at home. That Mexico was like that because of the climate or because of economics or something else. I never wanted to believe that there was something just wrong with us period.”

“Huh.” Bauer sat still and watched Ramon from across the desk. He took a deep breath and leaned forward, elbows on the desktop. “It’s just people, hombre. Doesn’t matter where you come from, who your parents were or any of that. Humans, we all got it in us. Mexican, American, African, Japanese every-kind-of-ese… we’re all flawed or maybe just lazy. It’s got nothing to do with Mexicali folks and everything to do with just being human. Even in space, even here, there are cockroaches.”

Ramon dropped his eyes into his lap and saw his hands were tightened around each other. All of this talk was magnifying what he knew was to come. As Bauer opened his mouth again, Ramon was certain that the end of it all was near.

“You left the area before I got there.”

Ramon nodded and kept his gaze down. “I’ve got a problem, Guittera. ”There, Ramon sighed. There it was and now everything was going to come to an end.

If Bauer heard the sigh, he did not give any sign of it. “I’ve got cockroaches.” A creak of the fabric and Ramon lifted his head to see Bauer stand up and walk over to the screens. “I’ve got over six thousand people on the ground here and, from what I hear, more of them coming. Over ninety percent of them are Recolonas like yourself. I’ve got another couple hundred aid workers, liaisons, professional advisors and who knows what else assisting with the project. We’re building a new world here and it’s got all the problems that a person can imagine… being a couple hundred million light-years from home just adds to the problem.” He turned back to Ramon.

“Your two friends there,” he waved at the frozen image, “are part of my problem. They’re my cockroaches and the reports coming in tell that I have more and more of them every day. Maybe they were criminals back home or maybe they just picked it up since touching down here. It doesn’t really matter.”

He changed the display again and Ramon saw the man from yesterday sitting on bunks in what appeared to be a cell. The image was from a high corner of the room, probably a security feed. “The problem is that I don’t really have anything I can do about these cockroaches.”

“But,” Ramon looked at him in confusion, “you are the policia? Aren’t there courts or prisons…?” For a moment, Ramon forgot that he was the one in trouble here. The frustration on Bauer’s face was as clear as the sun over the Gulf.

Bauer shook his head and sat on the edge of the desk.“No, son, I’m a technical advisor also.” He snatched a small ident-card from his chest pocket and dropped it on the desk. “Doesn’t have the same kind of heft as a badge. You see, the UN in their high minded thinking have declared that you and all of the recolonas are independent, or will be in fifteen years. All of the advisors, officials and other people running around here are just here to help you out. In fifteen years, the UN will be gone from this place and you’ll be on your own. Until then, special liaisons such as myself are here to ‘train and assist’ in the development of urban structure.”

Ramon wasn’t following Bauer’s speech and leaned back into his chair. “That’s loco. There is no structure but the UN.”

“You and I know that but the folks in orbit,” Bauer jabbed a finger at the sky, “are rather dumb on the ground.”

“Truth is, I’m going to have to let your friend go in a few days.” Ramon’s eyes narrowed. “There’s no judicial system because there’s no government. Everyone interested in making a political structure is up in orbit aboard one of those ships or back in Halliwell at Congruence working on it right now. In fact, the closest thing I have to a judicial officer are a group of Mexicali lawyers up there but they are too busy writing laws and pulling favors to get them passed to actually come down here.”

“I’m no policia.” Bauer dropped back into his chair. “I’m here to train the law enforcement on the planet but I can’t do that until we have a government or agency in place to get the laws set up and running. Meanwhile, cockroaches like your friend there are moving fast. They’re getting organized and the reports are starting to come in. Are you starting to see my problem?” Ramon nodded.

Kilgs July 9th, 2014 02:08 PM

Year 3, Part III
“I do, however, have authority over protection of UN assets.” Bauer smiled. “That’s the one club I can swing but it’s not like I can issue a citation or bring someone before a magistrate. No, this is a fine old mess. You would think that they would have learned over the years.”

To Ramon’s eyes, the entire operation had been smooth. They were on the ground from orbit in a matter of weeks and every day new buildings and systems were being put into place. The power grid was built before their arrival and often it was just a matter of calling the UN offices to get connected to the network. His PAD was connected to the satellites spreading the linknet over the entire community, meals were served out of a communal hall or food was received for processing in the home at two different distribution points. Everyone seemed to be moving with purpose.

“It’s the UN.” Bauer explained quickly. “This entire operation is a first so it’s being done so politically correct that it does nothing but squeak. Every polity out there is watching to see if the UN is getting imperial again and ready to smack them down in an instant.”

“But that’s far afield of why we’re here today. I have a question for you,” the man leaned back in his chair and regarding the younger one quietly before asking it.

“Were you in the army?”

Ramon sucked in his breath and considered lying. After the farm, he had raced out and enlisted with the Provisionals. He only lasted a year before things got…bad. His face was impassive while he considered the answer. The lies bounced around inside his head but he refused to give them traction. He had come here to start a new life with his sister and nothing could be built without strong foundations. Deception and lies were not the way to begin this foundation and deep down, Ramon knew it.

He looked at Bauer and nodded tightly.

“Okay, nothing you want to talk about. I know things were bad there.” Bauer’s voice softened a little. “Saw a lot of it on the news. A half-dozen armies all vying for the same dust and raiders hitting everything in between. The reason for this whole resettlement thing. I’m not asking you because I like dredging up the past. Served myself and don’t much like to think about it either.”

Ramon saw Bauer roll his sleeve back to display a ink sigil set into his forearm. “14th… we were in Juarez.” The name of the city said it all. Before the grid went down, even Ramon and his family had seen the vids of the US invasion of Juarez. A brutal street-fight between an ultra-modern military and drug cartels, thugs and citizen defenders. The smoke from the city was on the horizon for weeks.

“Senor, why are you here?” The question erupted from the young man as he felt caught in an undertow around his legs. This conversation, this man, the events from yesterday. For a moment, he envied the leaf on the wind simply because it knew it would come to rest on the ground.

“Because not all of us think that Mexico or the Mexicali ought to be trampled into dust. Because my daughter grew up to be a do-gooder, not sure where that came from although likely her mom,” Bauer stood up and brushed his hands on his legs and moved around the desk toward the door. “This was her idea and I, being a foolish old man, decided that it beat retirement. Come on.”

“Where are we going?” Ramon stood up and followed the man through the office door and out into the empty hallway.

“We’re going to pick up my daughter, Karen. You’ll like her, she’s working over at the UN admin office right now. Then we’re going to pick up your sister and head back to our place. Karen’s a decent cook with this stuff they’ve been getting to us and I’m going to treat you to dinner.”

“Wh-why?” Ramon stumbled as he finished the question for Bauer had spun on him. The man’s eyes were like marbles surrounded by laugh lines as they sat in his face.

“Because I’m going to fatten you up, butter you up and then offer you a job.” Ramon’s mouth dropped open and he stopped in his tracks.

“A policia? Me? I am not … I can’t be a policeman, senor.”

“Really? Seemed to me like you were enforcing the law just fine the other day. And frankly, I don’t have a whole lot to choose from… you’re as good a start as any.” The door banged open as the man finished his rush outside and the humid air slapped tight around them both. Bauer stepped down onto the ground and looked up at the main star of the Cuento system looming overhead.

“My own fault really,” he said almost to himself, “when Karen asked where I wanted to retire… all I said was someplace warm.”


The White House has confirmed reports that the Path of Ages, a Pioneer-series scout vessel, has passed through the Torus Gate to the Centaurus Supercluster. The Path of Ages is a USSN vessel crewed by military personnel but the White House has indicated that it has been tasked with exploration duties on behalf of the US State Department and Immigrations/Colonial Enforcement (ICE) Department. The White House did not provide further details regarding the intended thrust of the nation’s exploration interests but it has been reported by Halliwell City observers that the vessel has left the system on an FTL track.

[Info.Link][Enshang/Beta Hydri/Virgo]

“…Chinese authorities have not released any information on the seventeen Commonwealth citizens that are currently being held by Enshang law enforcement. We have learned from Commonwealth officials that the seventeen citizens are a student group on a scholarship-sponsored visit to the Chinese system. All seventeen, eleven female and six males, are secondary school students at the Crosby Technical Alliance Academy, a well-known Commonwealth academy for technical sciences. The students had been working on a joint energy project with students from the Enshang school system for the past three years. It should be noted that Commonwealth officials are speaking in very tense and disturbing words for the release of these young adults. This is the latest in a series of incidents between the two polities that have caused many to fear an outbreak of hostilities. Already there are calls for strengthening trade embargoes against the Chinese. The two nations have not had amicable relations for over two decades. It is sad to see that this project, one of many designed to encourage better relations, has run afoul of the diplomatic row between the two powers.”

[Paris, France—Earth/Sol][Virgo]

Sultan Fadzeera Wakkilah ibni Al-Marhum, the King of Brunei appeared before the Lower Assembly today to request support for his people. The invasion of Brunei by the Pacific Rim Alliance six years ago preceded the current conflict with Indonesia and Malaysia. The King fled under security cover from the country before PRA forces could seize the capital. Having been resident in London, Britain, for the past six years the King has publicly been “outraged” by the lack of action on the part of the Commonwealth. The ANZAC members of the Commonwealth have shown little interest in provoking a war with the PRA knowing that it would take place in their region. As neighbors, the ANZAC regions would suffer from any devastation while the remainder of the Commonwealth was distant from the conflict.

Appearing before the Lower Assembly of France, the King stated that the PRA were “imperialist thugs” who had every intention of swallowing the polities of the South Pacific into their dominion. He noted that the long-standing ties France maintained with Malaysia have been cast aside as the PRA holds over half of the country’s land bordering on Brunei. “It is a sad day when strong and capable partners have advanced words of support for so long that, in the final analysis, are worth nothing more than sand,” the King thundered to the Assembly. His speech was over an hour long and focused on the rapidly growing influence of the PRA as many southeast Asian countries seek terms or prepare for war with their belligerent neighbor.

Reactions from the Assembly were varied but vocal. The Alliance Centriste members were vocal in their support for non-intervention in the crisis. This was answered by several pro-Islamic groups. The members of Front Nationale were strident in their claims against intervening in a non-French country. The mood of the room was high but anger and frustration seemed to rule the day. The King is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Lourdes Sevaroix tomorrow. The Prime Minister has not publicly indicated a position on the PRA and the conflict in Indonesia or Brunei although she has approved increased military sales to Sukhotai in the past six months.


Designer Notes
At this point, only the United Nations, Rhine Collective and the British Commonwealth are active within the Gate Cluster. The United States and Korea go active in Year 3. Ural Federation comes in Year 6. Each of the polities started with different resources based on their position in space technology. The Commonwealth, Collective and USA are the most advanced nations at play at the moment in terms of technology. However, the United States has a marginal interest other than national pride, speculation and over-population.

The British Commonwealth is composed of the UK, South African Union, Canadian United Provinces, East Indian States and Australia-New Zealand Cooperative. The Commonwealth is a tense alliance although many consider it one polity due to the dominance of the UK. It grew out of the original Commonwealth but became far more concrete in the later 21st century.

Kilgs July 16th, 2014 10:10 AM

YEAR 4, Part I

Strathryc Refueling Station in Standard Orbit [Halliwell IV/Halliwell’s Star][Gate/Centaurus]

The entire panorama spun for a moment as Magnus triggered his MMU to reposition himself along the wide beam stretching towards the surface of the gas giant. Even from here, almost XXX million klicks, the orb seemed to glare at Magnus as he secured himself to the beam hooks. He steadied himself and took a deep breath to clear the image from his mind, trying to keep all of his attention on the chem-weld he was hoping to complete here. The beam was light-weight but stretched almost a quarter-kilometer off the rotating ‘plug’ that was Magnus’ dream. Lightweight metal still had mass and he checked the HUD on his faceplate, verifying that the six clamps he had fixed in place were still in place, before he unlimbered the chem-welder from his thigh. It was bulky and the power/materials cord that attached it to the reservoir were always tangling up on his suit. He shook it loose with the lazy movements of zero-g and lined up the reticle on the joins that he had plotted with Yashio. Magnus smiled as he thought of the young Jap—no, Nipponese engineer who had opted into their line marriage when he had heard of Magnus’ dream. The kid was bright as the sun and had become indispensable to the project.

[Base, Magnus]

He waited for the acknowledgment from his comms before starting up the chem-welder.

[Base here, go ahead.]

[On the last weld, all clamps look good, can you check the angle one more time?]

The angle of the arm that would eventually form part of the network holding gas reservoirs had precise requirements if he was to pack in as many tanks as possible on the small frame of the plug station. Each arm would spread out from the station and form a hexagonal tap for the tanks to ensure that any spin generated by their hub would not tear them loose. He blinked as the laser flickered in the corner of his eye. Just a hint of it as the beam hit and refracted from dust in the vacuum. It played a few seconds along the entire length of the beam and then disappeared.

[Excellent readings, angle is good. Hurry up with that weld, Jen says that dinner is almost ready.]

Magnus ignored the directive and took his time, carefully bonding the materials together to ensure that the structure was sound. Once he was finished, he stowed away the chem-welder and spun over on his axis to cast a look back at the station behind and above him. The squat metal was large, easily the size of a baseball field and shaped in a hard egg fashion. The entire thing had been shipped out in parts and Magnus, along with his family, had been working for the past three months getting it all together. It represented everything they owned in the universe at this point but the thought never worried him.

The Gate Cluster and the Centaurus Super-Cluster began right here, he had told the family. Everything coming through the Gate would pass through Halliwell’s Star and they would all need fuel. That fuel would have to come from somewhere and he meant to be the first private firm providing it. He had convinced them all to sell everything, take out every loan possible and speculate on the refurbished gas siphoning station. It had spent nearly six years off the jovian mass in Ceti Bursa before the company owning it had gone bankrupt. The price had been astronomical but Magnus knew it would be worth it in the long run. The cost of shipping it out here had been subsidized by the UN incentive program and he had snatched up every credit possible to assist in the project. But now that it was out here, floating alongside the gas giant dominating Halliwell’s Star, the rest of it was up to him and the family.

[Base, Magnus. Coming home.]

He unhooked the umbilical carabiner from the arm and turned triggered his MMU. A burst of reaction mass spewed from the outtakes on his back unit and he felt the slight tug of acceleration after over an hour of zero-g. The station seemed to grow as he approached it slowly and carefully. He was as adept with his suit and MMU as any piano maestro and had been working out-space for more than three decades. As the station loomed before him, it was possible to see the strip of interior lighting that came from the observation and control deck. From there, Yashio had become the de facto supervisor of most of the projects and Magnus had found the young man to be a dedicated worker and imaginative mind. Yashio had met Lucy, the third wife, on Collorus Station while they both worked an orbital line. It did not take long for the little vixen to wrap him in, Magnus smiled to himself. He focused back on the immediate as the airlock approached and triggered a few bursts to slow his arrival.

Clambering against the airlock holds, Magnus looked back at the unfolding station and could hear his heart pounding in his chest. He and his family were the first ones here and that would mean the difference. By the end of the month, they would be harvesting the gaseous atmosphere of Halliwell IV. The tanks here would hold reserves sufficient for refueling purposes by the occasional independent. Magnus knew that the big lines would have their own stations in place before long but the smaller, independents would need a place for their own vessels. Combining that with a cycler transit to Halliwell III and the resource contracts he had already managed with interests there, yes… soon, it would all come together.


A series of blasts last night in the Sevastopol shipyards is believed to have claimed the lives of over four hundred workers and military personnel. The shipyards, the most influential port facilities on the Black Sea and home to the Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet, are the nucleus of this Black Sea metropolitan area. Prior to midnight, a succession of explosions erupted along the waterfront and across the civilian and military docking facilities. Experts have indicated that sabotage is the likely cause of the explosions. Surveillance video shows that the explosions were spaced by identical yet minimal spacing and that their placement was in key areas needed for refit/resupply of maritime vessels. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility but an unnamed source in the Ukrainian government has indicated that “separatist elements” are believed responsible for the attack. As several separatist factions exist to protest the Ukraine’s control of the area it is difficult to narrow down the suspects. Groups supporting Sevastopol independence, alliance with the Ural Federation or those with a strong pro-Russian sentiment continue to cause troubles in this Black Sea region. At this time, the government has made no official statement but the departure of the remainder of the Black Sea Fleet into open water signifies that concerns over repeat attacks do exist. It has been more than a decade since the Mistra riots in the city that led to a military cordon and street violence. That incident was instigated by the pro-Russian elements that argued for reunification with the Russian Federation. The URF denied any support for the uprising at that time and the rebel leaders were caught and executed by Ukrainian security.

Kilgs July 16th, 2014 10:11 AM

Year 4, Part II
YEAR 4, Part II

Digital Excerpt-- Digipedia.cas/UN/Centaurus/Gate Accord
GATE ACCORD (TREATY)—The Gate Accord is the common name for the series of agreements entered into by successive polities for access to the Torus Gate [See Torus Gate; Centaurus Supercluster]. The Accords place several requirements on all polities seeking to utilize the Torus for transit to the Centaurus Supercluster. The principal requirements of the Accords are that all systems remain open for colonization to all polities, individuals and otherwise. Territorial claims prevail only on occupied or colonized surfaces and disputes are to be handled within the United Nations Assembly.

The exploration and survey of systems within the Centaurus is also governed by the Accords. These activities are available to all entities but, in order to be of “use to all mankind,” require systematic pooling of data. All exploration routes and calculations are to be filed with the United Nations Gate Commission within 364 Earth standard days of completion. This measure, as with others, was strongly contested amongst Assembly members but for the purposes of trade and expansion was deemed necessary.

The Gate Accords signified the most successful use of influence and authority by the United Nations Administration since it was stripped of any utility in previous decades. While the many polities in the UN Assembly were specific in the placement of safeguards and controlling mechanisms to ensure that the Administration was not provided with complete authority, the polities were required to accede a number of duties to the Administration if only to keep them from resting with rival polities.

The Gate Commission and Administration is restricted to diplomatic authority only as broad as that allowed by participating nations, a dedication to on-going refugee/relocation missions and banned from possessing any military-grade FTL-capable starships. The use of system defense craft was granted to the Commission for the policing of the Gate itself and designated UN areas. Even resettlement programs were required to have a cut-off date of no more than thirty years to ensure that the Administration was not able to gain actual authority over a populace.

The Gate Accord was signed by an ever-increasing number of polities as the need to seek out new living space grew in the face of ecological disaster on Earth. An interesting historical sidenote to the Gate Accords is that, while standard business entities were allowed to operate under their respective flags of origin, transtellar corporations were required to become signatories to the Accords. This caused a delay in the interest among many of the largest or most influential megacorporations. Unwilling or unable to enter into such a treaty in the beginning decades of the opening of the Torus Gate allowed smaller and independent operators to gain a foothold.

Origin: Ciulaca-Ciel Vert/Cuento [Gate]
Author: Unknown
Recipient: Unknown
Destination: Congruence-Halliwell II/Halliwell’s Star [Gate]

Reports of increased criminal activity have been verified by ground assets. I would note that much of this activity is coming to light due to a significant shift in enforcement by the Special Liaison Office tasked with civic security. It appears to be focused on the SLO’s operating under Senior SLO Matt Bauer (UN_ID#502381/28]. I have credible intelligence that SLO Bauer has recruited a small number of recolonas into his employ for use with enforcement duties. These individuals, supported by the SLO, have been responsible for a direct push on various criminal elements within the colony. This ‘push’ has been responsible for some of the disturbing reports that you referred to in your communique. I do not believe that there has been any extreme justice but the unit is apparently getting results by way of enhanced methods. At this time, the mood is appreciative as most of the recolonas has been reluctant to speak with our agencies about the crime pandemic. We have known that several groups have coalesced either from Earth-based groups or communities as well as new groups forming from the circumstances. Their activities range from racketeering/protection, theft, smuggling and intimidation accompanied by violence.

The recolonas are familiar with the situation and they act based on past experiences from the Mexican Territories. Bauer’s group has changed all of that with an aggressive stance against these gangs as well as maintaining strong ties with the communities. We have confirmed several firefights and missing colonists, all of whom have been positively linked with criminal groups, but we have no intelligence indicating that Bauer’s group has gone rogue.

At this point, there is no legislative authority and no central enforcement standard here due to continual delays from the Committee on Congruence. Until they ratify a Constitution and government, there are simply no real laws to enforce with any judicial oversight. It would seem that the colonists are taking matters into their own hands and I have appended a copy of a locally-drafted Citizen’s Rights agreement. My understanding is that the communities have informally put this set of directives together and adopted it on their own. Bauer’s group has apparently turned over several violators of the agreement to community councils that have organically formed here on the ground. I have observed thirteen individuals working under the supervision of community volunteers at hard labor in the fields and assisting with communal projects under duress. None of them have appeared to be mistreated and so we are leaving the situation alone at this time.

To summarize, the Constitutional Committee had better get moving or they are going to find that their so-called ‘constituents’ have formed a government all of their own. The mood regarding those on Congruence working on the Committee is not favorable. I would point out that since none of those individuals were elected many of the folks here think that the entire process is a farce. The appointment of these “representatives” (yes, I’m using double quotes intentionally, it’s a hint) by UN administration and the Assembly has angered many of the local population. Frankly, I’m not sure where the upper echelons dug those folks up but I doubt they represent much more than their own interests. You may want to come out here and assess things for yourselves. These people are doing a fairly good job of straightening things out on their own.

Please be advised that I have approved the off-world transportation of three individuals to your custody at Congruence. All three have been found determinatively, I hesitate to say ‘guilty’, responsible for the death of a farmer here last week. Bauer’s group investigated the situation, identified them, gathered evidence and brought them before one of the community groups for fact-finding. I would point out that Bauer’s people have kept the three safe from no less than four attempts at lynching. SLO Bauer has placed them in my control with a strong insistence that we do something about them.

I’m sending them to you because I saw the photos of the poor man they killed and am strongly tempted to let the lynch mob have them.


The Gate Commission has received the preliminary data on the system named Constantine, GS-0503-03, from the Commonwealth. The results are better than predictions based on astronomical observation. The system features ten planetary objects circling a G7V stellar mass. The objects consist of several barren rocky masses, a gas giant, asteroid belt and a Terran class planet.

Constantine IV has been given a preliminary grade as a Class V Terran garden planet. Roughly Earth-sized, the planet has a constant gravity of 1.01g, a standard year of 309.07 days and a daily 26hr rotation. The temperature, globally, averages out to -22 Celsius but significant land masses in the equatorial provide ample room for settlement with average temperatures above freezing. The atmosphere mix is analogous to Earth and preliminary findings suggest minimal adaptation necessary for acclimation to the environment.

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