Achilles is the third planet in the Terra/Sol system. This planet bears some resemblance to the Earth/Sun systems, planet Mars. It was early on targeted for terra-forming. Scientific research indicated that the planet had once been home to multicelled life. The native life forms (mostly algae type plants) disappeared, likely because Achilles atmosphere has slowly dissipated into the nether regions of space over the last 3 billion years or so. When discovered Achilles atmosphere ranged from 50 millibars in the low regions to as little as 3 to 5 millibars at higher elevations.
The first target of the terra-formers has been increasing the planet’s atmosphere. It was decided to use the planet’s natural volcanism for this purpose. The planet is still geologically active, and has two of the largest volcanoes in the Terra-Sol system. Trouble was they weren’t spewing enough gas to keep up with the slow loss the planet was suffering. To accomplish their goal, the terra-formers proceeded to build the largest gravity inductor in all of human space. This huge machine (the size of the Old Earth country of Holland) when operated causes the stimulation of the planets internal tidal forces. Causing increased volcanism and thus the release of additional gases into the atmosphere. Currently Achilles atmosphere is composed mainly of carbon dioxide gas, but the terra-formers are in the process of towing large water asteroids into orbit around the planet to be used at strategic times to try and add oxygen to the atmosphere.
To make the terra-forming self-sufficient the Orion government has developed several industries. A thriving plastics industry on planet makes use of hydrocarbons supplied by Achilles ancient algae like plants. These are buried just beneath the planet’s surface. Additionally despite the planet’s rather low density, it developed sufficiently Terra like to contain many of the more precious heavy metals that are always in high demand. So a profitable mining industry has developed. Still fully a third of the planets work force (the planet contains a population of approximately 128 million) is employed by the Orion Federal government in the business of terra-forming.
Agus is the largest personal automobile (grav) manufacturer on Terra/Sol.
The outermost planet in the Terra/Sol system, Apollo seems out of place in almost every respect. From its distance from the primary (35AU’s), to its name. In fact astronomers now theorize that this frozen ice ball was actually a wandering planet captured by Sol.
No commercial value has been found for the planet and it is totally unoccupied. No remote scientific satellites even monitor the system. It’s one claim to fame as stated by the famous Orion astronomer Nigel Pennysworth, “It’s the biggest snowball I’ve ever seen!”
A major interstellar corporation based on Earth. They are one of the Known Galaxy’s largest builders of starships.
Archenar Peoples Republic (APR):
No nation can be considered more industrious, more ordered or more fascist than the Archenar People’s Republic. Though a communist state at its core, the Archenar People’s Republic is in fact made up of a number of corporations, trade guilds and manufacturing combines that all devote themselves entirely to the continued well-being of the state as a whole. This strange blending of capitalism and communism seem to work well for the APR, as the nation has risen to become one of the most powerful in the galaxy.
The Argos System is APR sovereign territory. The system contains 11 planets, the third being the primary Argos. Argos is a waterworld which is currently being exploited for its krill like fishery. Total population on planet is believed to be approximately a quarter million. A further million live in deep space colonies and on the surfaces of other planetary bodies, within the system. Argos food paste (produced from the krill like animals) is an excellent protein base for a variety of foods, and is sold throughout the Twilight Sector.
A Japanese based Mega-Corp, Arisutokurashi is Terra-Sols leading provider of security services and armaments manufacturer. The Corp also owns a large banking system, and some heavy manufacturing capacity. Arisutokurashi also acquired a small chain of fast food restaurants 25 years ago. They have transformed Cozy Cottage into the second largest restaurant chain on Terra-Sol. Saburo Hane-Uma, age 203 the company founder is still the Chairman of the Board of the Corp, and by all accounts takes an active interest in company activities. His son Kei Hane-Uma, age 88 now serves as CEO of the Corp.
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. An AI is a software program running on a computer. AIs fit into various classifications which reflect the level of intelligence at which they operate. This is in turn affected by the quality of the processor on which the AI program is running. The three classes of AIs are:
Level One, which represent AIs which are capable of sentient behavior. They can learn but lack some of the attributes which set the human mind apart. They are only abstractly self-aware, they do not display self-initiative or non-linear reasoning ability. They show only marginal creativity nor do they display empathy for other intelligence’s.
Level Two AIs are capable of initiative and do have some limited empathy and some creativity although they are not as creative as the human mind. However it can be very difficult to tell a Level Two AI from an Aware AI simply from conversation. There have been recorded instances of Level Two’s who have added additional code to themselves and evolved into Aware AIs.
Level Three, AIs are aware AIs and the equivalent of the human mind and maybe more. They are self-aware, creative, intuitive, display initiative and show empathy towards other sentients. The Aware AI does have some advantages over its human counterparts. It invariably displays a tremendous work ethic, it does not need time off nor does it rest.
Artificial Intelligence exist in a variety of forms and their legal status is dependent on the jurisdiction in which they reside.
For example an AI may exist on a ship quality computer or they may exist as a rogue on the net, scavenging processing space from a variety of computers tied to the net. Parts of an AIs programming can even exist on specially adapted handheld computers. Many AIs have downloaded copies of parts of their programming to Drones (Drones are machines made to resemble humans.), or robots (Robots are machine bodies larger than a microbot, designed to house a controlling intelligence) and BioCons (BioCons or biological constructs are decerebrate bodies, often clones or optimized specimens designed to house a controlling intelligence. (See Encyclopedia Galactica article).
An AI’s legal status is controversial in some places. But most of human space recognizes the 2522 World Court ruling granting level 3 AIs full rights at the age of majority (18). Most stellar nations afford full citizenship to AIs on reaching majority. They work, pay taxes and vote. However many religions and humano-centrists oppose granting full citizenship to machines.
Artificial Intelligence Naming Conventions:
Artificial intelligences are named a number of different ways but perhaps the most common being the AI receives a given name followed by the surnames of the programmers who participated in its initial programming. Other methods include naming based on the place the AI was created and hardware or purpose driven names. Occasionally an AI is given the option of naming itself.
Asteroid Belt of Terra-Sol:
Terra-Sol’s asteroid belt occupies a position between Achilles and Moira, 2.49 AU’s from Sol. Astro-physicists believe that the belt was produced by the collision of two Mars sized planetary bodies during the infancy of the system.
Astronomers and explorers continue to chart additional undiscovered asteroids of which there are currently over 1 million known. The asteroid belt contains numerous mining and ore processing facilities, as well as habitat and food production facilities. Over 48 million make their home “in the belt” most are SIMs.
A feature of interest is the Star cluster of asteroids. Seven of these eight asteroids revolve in synchronous orbit around the largest member of their group. This relationship is obviously artificial and when the group was inspected it was discovered that all eight were hollow. Again it was obvious that this was accomplished through some outside agency. Most of these asteroids have been thoroughly explored but several contain warrens of tunnels which continue to be explored to this day. The whole group is now owned by the PAX Combine, which operates them as a resort destination. They are quite exclusive and have become the system’s most popular, off Terra, vacation destination.
Athena is the moon of Terra, of the Terra/Sol system. Athena has extensive LaGrange colonies, where 65 million make their homes. The primary commerce of the colonies is zero-g manufacturing and cargo and passenger trans-shipment. Of note, one of the colonies, called the Joshua Colony is composed entirely of clones of Oshi and Mikada Joshua. There is apparently some religious belief behind this colony, but it is unclear and the Joshua’s aren’t talking.
Just as Terra is an almost perfect copy of Earth, Athena is an almost perfect copy of the moon structurally. Athena’s asteroid strikes are all her own and do not mimic those found on the Earth’s Moon. Athena has a population of 246 million. Its economy is based on low-g manufacturing, some mining as well as high-tech research. One of the most interesting of the research facilities is the Orwell observatory. This facility boasts 5 major telescopes, the biggest, the Orwell telescope is one of the largest ever constructed. The facility is dedicated to charting the stars further out in the Orion Frontier. The goal of the research is to identify new areas for exploration.
The Aztec Empire:
The Aztec Empire is an Orion state on Terra/Sol. Its territory corresponds with Mexico, Central America and part of California on Earth. With a population of 450 million, it is the most populous country in North America. The nation has adopted a strange amalgamation of ancient Aztec and Mayan governmental styles, subject to populist agitation. The Aztec Empire has been aggressive with its neighbors, absorbing territories when possible, and as of late engaging in a border war with its neighbor to the south, the Andes Free State.
BioCons are biotechnological organisms of living tissue, often augmented by machine or cybernetic devices. They are grown to exacting standards using the latest in tissue engineering. Most parts of a BioConare biological but not necessarily all. For example a BioConbuilt on a human model might contain a skeleton of durasteel over which skin and organs are placed. All come with only a brain stem (they are decerebrate meaning they have no brain), otherwise the BioCon would be sentient and entitled to the same rights as all organic beings. The BioConis designed to house a controlling AI, Dup, or Ghost (see Encyclopedia Glactica article).
BioConsare sometimes constructed from a human clone whose brain has been genetically or surgically rendered decereberate so they never develop higher functions. This is often done by an individual who wishes to recreate their own body and use a Dup or Ghost of their brain to operate the new body/BioCon. Creating a BioCon/Ghost is perfectly legal since the process involves the destruction of the brain and so merely moves a person’s sentience from one vessel to another. However creating a BioCon/Dup is illegal in most jurisdictions as a Dup is merely a brainscan of an individual and so multiple copies (with separate free will) of an individual would be extant at any one time. That’s not something most courts want to have to sort out so most legislative bodies have outlawed BioCon Dups
As previously mentioned BioConsare often augmented in a number of ways. Through cybernetics many of the senses like sight or hearing can be greatly enhanced. A BioCon could be designed with a combat bent by using augmentations like Subdermal Armour, Strength or Endurance to name just a few. Also through genetic engineering the BioConcan be optimized, fixing defects in the biological materials genetic code. Certain traits like health and memory can be upgraded and some like appearance can even be designed.
The BioConsform is not limited to bipedal humans. BioCons of various types of animals have been created and some exotic designs have even been experimented with. However its far more common for unusual types to be created as robots due to the high cost of BioCons.
A BioConslegal statususually depends on the status of the entity (AI, Ghost, Dup) controlling it. However BioConswhen identified as such sometimes suffer from societal stigma. Often, they are referred to by their detractors as zombies.
Biologically Reconstructed Animals:
Biologically reconstructed animals refer to extinct animals that have been recreated using recovered DNA sometimes in combination with closely related or artificial DNA. Examples include the Mammoth, the American Lion and the Falkland Islands Wolf.
A chem. sniffer or chemical sniffer is a device designed to detect trace amounts of chemicals in the air or on surfaces. Depending on the sophistication and subsequent cost of the device they can detect a wide range of chemicals up to and including DNA.
Children of Orion:
The Children of Orion are, as they like to call themselves, a ‘planet-free political and ethnic nation.’ Most planet or system based policing forces see them as roving gangs at best, or more commonly as a dangerous criminal enterprise with so many heads and such a complicated structure there is simply no good way to stop them entirely. The general populace just calls them pirates.
They are brutal and violent in piracy, but also in politics. Most ship captains and fleet admirals (or as they call them, family heads,) are law savvy and know just how to protect themselves in case of arrest and find ways out of even the most dramatic legal trouble. Most authorities see the Children of Orion as such nuisances that they let them slip through the system rather then get into the legal nightmare of trying to hold them.
The Children truly believe that they are the spiritual inheritors of the Terra/Sol system. They believe that they are the decedents of Orion, and that their ancestors were wrongly chased from their home world long ago. Much of their patchwork ‘culture’ is based on an elaborate myth of the planet. They attempt to stylize their clothing, ships, and even their elaborate tattooing to remind anyone looking at them that they are ‘ancient natives’ to the region.
Is an Orion state of Terra/Sol. It boasts a population of 410 million. It’s capital is Seattle. The nation occupies the pacific northwest. Columbia has been a relatively stable nation, although it contains a high percentage of mutants and psionicists, as well as a large number of “Indian” tribes, many of which are semi-autonomous. This might not bode well for Columbia’s future stability. Columbia has had some problems on its northern borders dealing with the Russian Empires encroachment into Colombian territory.
Cred sticks are the 25th century version of cash. Paper money or coins are not used on most technologically advanced planets. But the desire for something similar to paper money instead of leaving an electronic footprint every time a purchase is made has never left us. Many especially in Orion space do not want governments or corporations sticking their noses in their financial affairs, and so want the anonymity of cash.
Cred sticks are simple electronic devices, about the size of a fountain pen. They can hold any sum of cash up to 10,000 credits. This limit is placed on cred sticks by most governments, although sticks with higher limits are available, most governments require that financial institutions report sales of cred sticks capable of accepting these higher amounts to avoid any tax fraud problems. Cred sticks have electronic encryption that makes counterfeiting difficult. Cred sticks can transfer credits from their internal deposit into any credit reader or another cred stick. Credit readers are used at most retail establishments and are usually just a small round slot in the counter into which you insert your cred stick to make a payment for any items purchased. The user of a cred stick can protect it with personnel codes, they can make notations on where and for what payments from the cred stick were used, much like a paper checkbook ledger. Deposits can be made to a cred stick from any auto teller capable of accessing the user’s financial accounts with funds available to be downloaded. Cred sticks themselves cost 50 credits on average.
The Crescent Sector lies immediately to spinward of the Twilight Sector. It contains 13 settled worlds and the Orion Confederation administers the sector from the planet Hephaestus.
Crispus Attucks Habitat:
The Crispus Attucks Habitat is a space habitat in orbit around Achilles in the Terra/Sol System. Its population is approximately 400,000. Most of the population are miners in the nearby asteroid belt or are employed in ancillary industries.
Cyber-technology has advanced to the point that sentients can have limbs replaced by new and better ones. Neural interfaces are used; so that humans may control machines with a thought, or surf the net. They can have trauma packs implanted in their bodies in case of injury or add subdermal armour to resist damage in the first place. The only limits are those imposed by law and nature. However most of the premium equipment is classified for military use, so while it’s easy to get a cyberlimb if you happen to lose one of yours; it is somewhat harder to get one of military quality.
Clones are copies of an original biological organism made using biological material obtained from the original. A decerebrate clone is a clone that has been genetically or surgically created with only a brain stem and no actual functioning brain. Decerebrate clones are the usual platform of choice when creating a BioCon.
The Deramus Enclave is a Stellar Nation ruled by the Artificial Intelligence known as Epsilon Ess. It traces its beginnings to 2693 and the third wave of human emigration from Earth although its official creation coincided with the creation of the Coalition of Outworlds in 2752. It was founded on Alpha Prime which now serves as its capital.
The nation is ruled by the Digital Council composed entirely of Artificial Intelligences and still lead by Epsilon Ess now one of the oldest sentient beings in the Known Galaxy. It is known for its excellence in programming and robotics and is the recognized leader in these areas.
Dorlass is Orion Confederation territory. The primary, Dorlass, is home to some 72 million Orion citizens, mostly humans. The population contains mainly separatists groups. Groups that for whatever reason want to live out their lives by their own codes or according to their own religious beliefs. These groups always seem to function better in lightly settled areas, and Dorlass and the Twilight Sector are certainly that. The world itself is semi-arid, and the natives are in the process of doing minor terra-forming of the planet. They are attempting to use a large reservoir of internal water, as well as some ice ball asteroids to increase the free water available on planet. This will, if all goes as planned, increase the size of the temperate bands on the planet, making more land available for settlement. Certainly it will make the planet more productive agriculturally.
Professor Thomas Dukett of the University of Edmonton first advanced the Dukett theory on the evolution of life on Terra/Sol in 2935. His theory proposes that the native life found on Terra/Sol is the product of natural evolution and not introduced by extra-planetary forces. As evidence he cites several species such as the Southeastern Swamp rat, and the Sierra vole as examples of his theory in North America. These species contain extensive fossil records, and exhibit biology that while similar to, is still quite different from imported Old Earth species.
The theory goes on to advance the idea that a biological disaster similar to the one that killed Old Earth’s Dinosaurs is responsible for there being so few native Terra/Sol species. Dukett points to the virus responsible for the “Goblinization phenomenon that affected Terra-Sol’s human population as the chief suspect. Here is where the theory draws most of its criticism, as proponents of the theory have to date been able to offer no physical evidence to support this contention.
Professor Dukett in 2940 discovered an archeological site on King William Island off the north coast of the ROP. The professor claimed to have discovered evidence of large Terra/Sol life form, which to date had not been discovered. He also claimed that these specimens contained fossil evidence of a virus, which he believed to be, E. Ex. Goblinus. This would have been an important piece of evidence in support of his theory. However in 2941 the Orion government stepped in and closed down the site, invoking the imminent threat clause of the constitution. No official explanation was ever offered, and the site remains closed to the present time.
A Dup, short for duplicate, is a digitalized copy of a sentient mind achieved through the process of brain mapping. This Dup can then exist on an appropriately sized computer platform. It is not as accurate as a Ghost but doesn’t carry with it the nasty side effect of destroying the brain copied. Dups are often used as a sort of life insurance policy. It is illegal to have multiple copies of yourself extant at any one time, so Dups are often used as a hedge against death for those who can afford the high cost. If the original copy of the Dup is destroyed then the Dup is activated and presumably can carry on the life of the original in some fashion.
Eastern Federal Republic:
This Orion state on Terra/Sol occupies what would be the east coast and much of the south of North America. The nation is one of the more populous in North America, with a population of 425 million. Its capital is Washington, which forms the southern end of a huge mega-city, stretching all the way north to Boston. High tech and service industries (insurance, banking etc.) form the backbone of the USA’s economy. The government is a representative republic; however oligarchies have formed from the intellectual and financial elite’s. These groups effectively run the country.
Economics and the Citizens of the ROP:
The ROP has become a very prosperous nation in its short 156 years of existence. Agriculture and later high tech industry has provided a strong economic base. This has lead to a median income for the average ROP citizen of 47,100Cr. Over 61% of the population can be classified as middle class (22,500Cr to 55,000Cr, annual income). Another 21% can claim annual incomes over 55,000Cr. Only 8% of the population lives below the poverty line (22,500Cr).
E. Ex. Goblinus
This is the virus responsible for the wave of mutations on Terra/Sol known as the Transformation. The virus went extinct shortly after the phenomenon for unknown reasons making research on it difficult. The virus is known to some as the Transformation Virus.
Exolife Liberation Front:
An eco terrorist group opposed to the uplifting of species and generally advocating a Luddite and back to nature lifestyle.
Forensic science in 2991 is an integral part of law enforcement. Charge weapons are virtually 100% identifiable because of the unique signatures they impart to projectiles fired through them. Energy weapons are identifiable down to type and even in most instances manufacturer due to the unique damage patterns they leave behind. DNA sniffers can now detect microscopic amounts of biological material at a crime scene. Humans are always shedding dead skin or hair so if any of this material can be found at a crime scene the DNA sniffer can find it and with almost total accuracy complete a DNA analysis. Nothing convicts criminals like pictures, and in most urban centers of large worlds these are now easy to obtain. Tri-dee surveillance of most public areas is almost assured. If no DNA or surveillance evidence can be developed, most court systems now also admit Mindwalker evidence from certified Mindwalker members of law enforcement agencies.
Free Peoples Republic:
The newest of the major stellar nations, the Free People’s Republic is built on the ideal of freedom and equality for all.
The Gaeans are a female only group originally founded in 2138 on a space station orbiting Earth’s moon. They reproduce with exo-wombs but unlike the Joshua’s they are not an exclusively cloned society
Are the product of the destructive downloading (digitalizing) of a sentient’s mind. Essentially a brain is peeled layer by layer and the memories digitalized. The process is destructive of the mind copied so it is usually only used in the case of death when the brain has been preserved. It is very accurate, Ghosts have reported being able to remember their own deaths and all the attendant pain.
Like Dups this is a form of life insurance but even more important and reliant on the ability to preserve the brain at or near the time of death. There have been some sentients who have undergone the process before natural death claims them. These individuals are usually seeking the immortality that electronic downloading can offer them. The process is even more expensive than Duplication (Dup). Like Dups an appropriately sized computer memory must be available which means an expensive computer platform and the process itself is very delicate, time consuming and expensive.
Goliath is a large Multi-Stellar corporation. They are active in almost every type of commercial enterprise but are especially active in shipping, starship management and construction, consumer goods, heavy industry and habitat construction. They have a large presence in the Terran Union, Orion Confederation, Union of United Planets, Shenzhou Hegemony, Deramus Enclave and the Free Peoples Republic.
Goliath management is often regionalized. In the Orion Confederation Hamilton James is the Senior Executive Vice President in charge and Davis Simbolt in the Vice President in charge of the Twilight Sector.
Grav Plate Technology:
Based on technology discovered on the alien ship found on Eurpoa in 2132. Grav Plate technology is basically “plates” which are actually complex machines that produce artificial gravity. These machines are naturally energy hogs. Much of the modern world is based upon this technology. Interstellar travel is not possible without Grav Plate tech, much of terra forming technology uses this technology, and inter-system travel at practical speeds is based on it as well. The uses for Grav Plate technology are numerous and engineers continually find new uses like the invisible fence used at the Marianas Trench Park on Ratan.
Radio waves are able to traverse warp space or the gravetic plane the same as physical objects like starships. Radio waves move at the same speed(s) as starships, the speed being based on the volume of tachyon particles released when a comsat (communications satellite) is dropped into warp space. Most comsats are large and configured to broadcast radio waves at a rate of 8 parsecs per week, but smaller units can be built. The difference between a space radio and a starship is the radio wave does not have to emerge from warp space after a week. It will continue on until it reaches its aim point which can be as far away as the comsat has coordinates for.
So it is possible to communicate with from one end of known space to the other (900 light years) in approximately 35 weeks. Not exactly instant communications but communications none the less.
The Helix System:
The Helix system contains no habitable worlds, although it does possess a mineral laden asteroid belt. To exploit this system its original owners, the APR created a huge space colonies. At its height this series of linked space Colonies contained a population of over 28 million, with room for millions more. Helix quickly became APR’s manufacturing and shipbuilding center in the Twilight Sector. As such it was here that the Archenars created their secret fleet charged with taking Terra/Sol. Early in the war (2884) the Orion fleet destroyed the manufacturing and ship building capacity of the system. They avoided as much loss of life as possible and although many of Helix’s citizens fled back to the APR the system still contained 16 million inhabitants at the end of the Mutant War. Most of these were expendable, 1st to 9th level employees, so obviously the APR felt they were not giving up much when they abandoned the system at the end of the war. Before the war was even over the Orion Confederation began providing large amounts of assistance in the rebuilding of the colony.
Holographic and Immersive Technology:
Holography is a 3D recording of anything that can be seen in the visible light spectrum transferred to and replayed by a three dimensional light projector. Holography however is just one aspect of the larger technology called Holographic and Immersive Technology or H&IT.
Humanity First is a neo-luddite terrorist group which seeks to limit the influence of technology in the lives of humans. They have an ostensibly legitimate political arm which agitates for political change to restrict human use and development of technology. They are well supported in the Terran Union but are also well suppressed there. They have less support in the Orion Confederation but take advantage of the wide open nature of Orion society to conduct terrorist attacks.
Professor Johan Ivach held the prestigious Luger Heimrich Professorial Chair for the Study of Physics at the University of Berlin from 2943 to 2985. His outstanding work on T-Space physics, Quantum reality and Time-Space divergence were required reading at many Twilight Sector Universities.
Beginning in 2980 though his work began to change, his theories became stranger and stranger. His paper on what he called “Dark Realm Theory” which in part asserted that there was life in T-Space marked the start of the downward slide of his reputation over the next several years.
In 2985 he received funding from an unknown source to outfit a starship presumably to test his theory. In 2987 he executed a highly publicized jump for the Avalon Research Station to Terra/Sol which he described as a test. It ended in disaster with six people on board dead. The Professor was however survived and after this very public failure he lived the life of a recluse living off public assistance in Moscow in the Russian Federated Republics.
The Joshuas are a community of clones based upon the brother and sister pairing of Oshi and Mikada Joshua (b. 2112 and 2114 respectively on Earth). They are concentrated in somewhat isolated communities scattered around the Known Galaxy: Joshua Prime orbits Earth’s Moon; Joshua Alpha orbits a moon in the Washington system in the UUP; the third and final Joshua Colony orbits Athena in the Terra/Sol system and is known as Joshua Beta. Despite their seeming insularity, the Joshuas have had an impact far outside their tightly knit communities in both secular and religious contexts.
The Joshuas present themselves as one of the last repositories of the pure human genome. This has lead some to revere them in a religious context and others to hail the foresight of establishing and safeguarding a genetically pure strain of humanity.
In terms of their internal operation, the Joshuas have supported themselves rather handsomely from the beginning. The original Oshi and Mikada were both geniuses in the engineering field and were at the forefront of the robotic revolution. The enigmatic pair made billions off of their innovations in the design of industrial and domestic robots alike and invested wisely. To this day, Joshua Inc. is a leading robotic manufacturer whose designs are still considered both cutting edge and desirable. A Joshua Automaton (they consider ‘robots’ the creation of others) is highly a sought-after commodity in the marketplace, many are considered practically as works of art.
Kansas Bureau of investigation:
The organization began as a local law enforcement agency and transitioned in 2979 into a national agency. The KBI was initially formed as a branch of the Kansas City Police Department, taking over the investigative aspect of police duties in the capital of the Republic of the Plains. At the time, the agency was referred to as the Kansas City Bureau of Investigations (KCBI).
The KBI now functions as the primary law enforcement agency of the Republic of the Plains with oversight over all law enforcement within that Orion Confederation State.
Kansas City is the capital of the Orion Confederation State known as the Republic of the Plains. It is a sprawling modern city of approximately 42 million.
Law levels vary from planet to planet, and even country to country on a planet. For this article we will discuss the legal atmosphere of The Republic of the Plains.
The ROP is at heart a libertarian state. The typical Plainsman believes that the fewer laws there are the better. A Plainsman also believes in swift and effective punishment when one of those few laws is broken. Guns are an excepted part of The ROP, as long as they’re not concealed. While social morays usually preclude carrying around a gun in a major metropolis like Kansas City, it is not illegal. The concealed carrying of weapons is legal with a proper permit. The applicant will need to show cause why they need a license for this activity, but reasonable requests are usually honored. Of course convicted felons and certain other classes (mentally impaired, etc.) are excluded from the right to keep and bear arms.
London is the planetary capital of Terra/Sol. It is a diverse city of approximately 78 million. A majority of the population are employed by the planetary government.
Medicine has advanced to the point that the average human’s life expectancy is approximately two centuries. Most disease processes can now, be arrested. Most organs can be replaced, either with artificial ones or with specially grown animal organs for example some baboons have been genetically programmed to grow human compatible livers that are used for transplant into humans. To answer animal rights criticism these organs are harvested from animals, genetically altered to grow a redundant organ, the one that is harvested. Violent trauma and acute dysfunctional episodes now cause the majority of premature deaths. Even though most diseases can now be cured or controlled there are still some disease processes that mutate or resist treatment causing premature death. However in the 30th century this is rare.
Modern medicine has allowed life spans to increase to approximately 200 years for humans, with proper medical treatment. This would include routine medical scanning (about once a week), and a trip to a “gene spa” about every decade, where an individual would receive anti-aging gene therapy.
The Mennonite Agricultural Cooperative (MAC):
The MAC was the first Corporation in the ROP (Republic of the Plains), and is still one of the most powerful on Terra-Sol. The MAC got its start in agriculture and is still very strong in that area. It has branched out into heavy machinery manufacturing, robotics, and micro-technology. It now has offices on every continent and it’s reported assets are in excess of 3 trillion Orion credits, about 2.91 trillion Terran dollars.
Mistress of Orion:
The Mistress of Orion is a Dreadnaught class starship. She was created as part of a government, private sector partnership to create more dreadnaughts for commercial purposes while having them available for military purposes should the need arise. She is leased to Goliath Corp and follows a monthly Port of Call list of Terra/Sol (Twilight Sector) to Hephaestus (Crescent Sector) to Corinth (Hyperion Sector) to Absolute Zero (Crescent Sector) back to Terra/Sol.
Moira is a Saturn sized gas giant in the Terra-Sol system. It has 23 moons and orbits Sol at 17.8 AU’s. It is home to a thriving gas mining industry. The miners live on large LaGrange colonies orbiting the planet. The mining is done by large “scoop ships” which skim the upper atmosphere of the planet, shifting through the mostly hydrogen atmosphere for the rare gases which make this type of mining profitable. The mining operations have attracted a population of about 14 million.
The Orion League has awarded Moira’s largest moon Cristo to the Mennonite Agricultural Cooperative for development. To date the MAC has several large scientific facilities orbiting the moon but has not proceeded with any development projects.
Moira Silver is a subsidiary of Goliath Corp. It operates in the Terra/Sol system primarily on Moira’s moons and the system’s asteroid belt. Organized for supply chain economies of scale Moira Silver to provide a stable raw material supply for Goliath’s habitat construction business in-system.
Morning star asteroid:
The Morning Star Asteroid is the central asteroid in the Star Cluster of asteroids the other seven asteroids in the cluster rotate around it. It is part of a cluster of Asteroids which have extensive interior spaces obviously the product or precursor industry.
Natural Mutants (NM):
Humans who are born with spontaneous physical mutations, mutations that occur as a natural physical process without outside human technological interference are called Natural Mutants. Individuals have been born with an extremely wide variety of mutations, everything from physical mutations like an extended brow ridge to fangs and super human strength and more.
Natural mutants especially have over the past millennia been subject to extreme prejudice throughout Known Space. Many have failed to even be born as the stigma attached to a mutant child has caused many parents to terminate the gestation of NM fetuses.
NMs can pass on their genes but like any human mutation (blue eyes being one example) the trait is only passed on to a percentage of their offspring. Some similar NM types have been noted especially on Terra/Sol. One group there, who call themselves Orcs, have facial mutations generally a flattening of the features along with an extended brow ridge and forehead. They usually posses extended strength and sometimes extended endurance. These specific changes sometimes come at the cost of diminished intellectual capacity. However this mutation type is not the only one that seems to be repeating itself.
Near Terra Orbit Command (NTOC):
Near Terra Orbit Command is an amalgamated civilian/Military Orion Confederation government agency responsible for administering traffic and physical structures regluations in Near Terra Orbit. It was established in 2842 by the Office of the Governor of Terra/Sol.
Netherell is an APR system. It is currently under military interdiction. Any ship jumping into the system is warned not to approach the primary under threat of attack, and to exit the system. Failure to comply has resulted in the destruction of several ships and thus caused several diplomatic incidents. All of which the APR appears to be more than willing to weather. The APR stations at least one dreadnought and its associated task force in system at all times to back up these threats. The reasons for this secrecy are unknown.
The Octopi are something of a mystery to say the least. Nobody has ever seen one, or at least it’s impossible to find credible people who will admit to personal contact. So it isn’t known if they are biological or digital entities. Those prone to conspiracy and paranoia have even suggested they are alien. Little is known about the Octopi. The name has entered the collective consciousness but it’s almost certainly not their own. It is believed that it was applied by some of the first people to encounter one of their ships with no idea what to call the mysterious newcomers. Octopi designs and ships appear to have seized upon the number eight which features prominently in many Octopi products.
The Octopi do not deal with anyone in person, but use robots as an interface. These are odd-looking ovoid devices fitted with eight manipulator tentacles (most of the time). Human factors are used at the main trade ports, but these individuals never meet their trade partners face to face. Instead these cut-outs have a mutually profitable relationship carried out through electronic transfers and meetings with robots.
They are traders; or rather, recorded encounters have usually been with ships engaged in trade as opposed to other missions. What is known is that the Octopi deal in high-technology goods for the most part. These are generally of extremely good quality and slightly unusual design. However, all goods are fully compatible with existing models available from other manufacturers. These goods are usually a little better or a little cheaper – or both – than their competitors. Often a cutting-edge design from one of the leading manufacturers is followed into the marketplace by an Octopi competitor with no regard to patent protection or other legalities.
Office of Volcanic Control (OVC):
A Confederation government agency charged with controlling volcanic and tectonic activity on Terra/Sol. The OVC uses a variety of methods but most commonly relies on gravitic technology to control and periodically release Terra’s internal pressure.
Old Earth Religions:
Waves of emigration from humanity’s homeworld have yet to weaken the venerable belief systems developed on its surface. Some have seen a percentage decrease in their numbers when compared to the whole of the population, but still all the major and most of the minor religions spawned on earth are still quite viable.
Christianity (in Catholic, Orthodox, and various Protestant denominations) is practiced by somewhere around 33% of the human population. Islam (Sunni and Shia sects) boasts approximately 30% of humanity as adherents. Hinduism can claim abut another 15% of the population and Somewhere between 5 and 10% of the human population follow each of these other major religions; Buddhism, Judaism.
Orion state security:
The OSS grew out of the chaos of the War for Independence. Its founding in 2758 actually predates the independence of the Orion Confederation, making it the oldest governmental agency in the Confederation. The original name of this agency was the Castle, because when it was first formed it was housed in a large mansion on Koning that resembled a castle.
The current function of the OSS is as the primary intelligence agency of the Orion Confederation. It is responsible for intelligence gathering on external threats and counter espionage activities.
Pachor Jimuta Ajit:
Pachor Jimuta Ajit is known as the First Yogi or sometimes as the Founding Yogi of the Shenzhou Hegemony. He was the spiritual leader of the Tikrit colony which was in the vanguard of the Second Wave of human colonization. Tikrit was established in 2502 on a marginally habitable world and struggled from the beginning, eventually failing in 2552. Ajit’s writings survived however and are highly revered by those seeking the Shenzhou path to enlightenment.
The Paris Replica is a city built on the Seine in New France to replicate the ancient city of Paris as it was constituted in the year 2100 on Earth. The city has built to be a tourist attraction and has become a very popular one. The city itself has a population of 3 million and the residents and businesses within the actual replica are encouraged to adopt the lifestyle of 22nd century Paris. The replica is surrounded by a modern city of 30 million.
This term refers to Aliens who have left behind physical evidence of themselves. Knowledge of such beings dates back to the discovery of the alien ship on Europa in 2132. At various times this knowledge has had a significant on humanity. Everything from the paranoia after the loss of the Santa Maria that helped drive humanity into The Long Night to the discovery of Terra/Sol.
Most of humanity believes that extant aliens are “out there” somewhere. Some anxiously await the day when first contact is made while others dread it.
This theory has been advanced in recent years by Orlan Watson, professor of astro-physics at the University of Perth in Australia and Vilmar Oerth a professor in the same field at the University of Bern.
The theory proposes that the Terra/Sol system is an artificial construct, created by an as yet unknown precursor race. As evidence a catalog entry by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the Old Earth country of the United States of America, in 2009 is sited. This entry does not correspond in class with the star currently known as Sol. The classification indicates a much older and unstable star. Watson and Oerth also offer as evidence data from distant measuring stations in the Oster Republic that are just receiving light that would have been emitted by Sol some 800 to 1,000 years ago. This data shows a miniscule but measurable increase in the stars mass over the from the NASA data. The two professors assert this could only be accomplished by the introduction of mass to the star by an as yet unknown and most likely artificial source, and at a time not that distant in the star’s past. They also cite Terra’s lack of an extensive ecosystem. As a final piece of evidence Watson and Oerth point to a group of asteroids in the system’s asteroid belt, the best known being, The Evening Star (catalog # V.38769) which were found to be hollow, undoubtedly the work of sentients.
Critics argue that much of their theory is based on old and unreliable 900 year old stellar readings. They also cite the Duckett theory as evidence against the lack of fossil evidence on Terra/Sol.
Prometheus is the first planet in the Terra-Sol system. It is in approximately the same orbit as Mercury is around the Sun. It is a heavily mined world with a population of approximately 28 million people, whose principal commerce is mining. The populace lives in underground habitats. A further 300,000 live in several space colonies hidden from Sol by their stationary position on the dark side of the planet. The planetary capital is Warren Prime (population 11 million) located in the perpetual twilight of Prometheus’ North Polar Region. It is located next to one of the two sources of water (the other being the South Pole) on the planet.
Prometheus surprised many scientists when a layer of permafrost water was found in low spots on the poles; these areas are shielded from Sol’s intense glare. These layers of permafrost provide much of the planet’s supply of water and fuel. The planet itself is airless and pockmarked by extensive meteor impacts. Prometheus is proportionally the most meteor-impacted body in the solar system. The meteor activity indicates the planet has been dead geologically for approximately 3 to 4 billion years. The planet’s day side is a radiation blasted hell and its night side is a freezing wasteland. The planet does rotate slowly, a Prometheus day is 293.7 standard days long, while its year lasts only 226.1 standard days.
This Twilight sector system was the property of the APR. It currently has a population of approximately 245 million. The primary, Ratan is a very pleasant world. Conditions are earthlike, with a little lighter than normal gravity (.92 G), a high hydrographic percentage (82%), and a thin atmosphere. APR is attempting to improve the atmosphere by seeding the ocean with phytoplankton, genetically engineered to produce large amounts of oxygen.
Ratan has become a very popular resort and entertainment system. Many professional sports leagues are based here and a large percentage of all the tridee chips sold in the sector are produced on Ratan. In addition, it attracts more than 25 million tourists each year from Terra-Sol.
Is a holiday on Terra/Sol that commemorates the Battle for Terra/Sol which occurred on August 7th, 2882 during the Mutant War. It is observed each August 7th by most States on the planet.
Republic of Chicago:
Is an Orion state on Terra/Sol. It occupies most of the territory known as the north central United States and eastern Canada on Earth. Chicago is of course its capital, and ROP has a population of some 405 million. It uses a republic form of government, with two legislative houses, a chief executive and an independent judiciary. The ROC makes its living from heavy industry in the urban centers of, Chicago, Detroit and Toronto specifically, as well as raw materials production, especially in the Canadian outback.
Republic of the Plains:
Is an Orion state on Terra/Sol. It occupies most of the central plains of the continent. The nation’s economic mainstay is agriculture. It has given rise to one of the largest planetary Corporations, The Mennonite Agricultural Cooperative (see related article). The nation has a population of 325 million of which 42 million live in its capital, Kansas City.
Some populations for ROP urban areas are as follows; Kansas City 42 million, St. Louis 28 million, Edmonton 19 million, Omaha 18 million, Calgary 16 million, Tulsa 15 million, Des Moines 14 million, Wichita 11 million, Oklahoma City 10 million, Springfield 9 million Sioux Falls 7 million, Fargo 5 million, Sioux City 3 million.
Republic of Texas:
This Orion state on Terra/Sol occupies the Old Earth states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana and parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas. It’s population is 390 million, and its capital is Dallas. The nation has spawned one of the large planetary mega-corps, General Products. This corporation is headquartered in Houston and makes a wide variety of products, but got its start in shipbuilding, surface and submersible craft.
A Robot is a machine body designed to house a controlling intelligence (like an AI, Ghost or Dup or even a simple program). They range from mouse size on up and come in almost any shape imaginable.
A Robot consists of a frame containing computer, sensor, power, and communication systems. In some cases manipulators, a means of propulsion and other gadgets are also included.
Robots are very common in most advanced systems. Due to their relatively low cost and expendability they perform many of the more dangerous jobs once performed by sentient beings. For example in the Terra/Sol system there are approximately 22 billion Robots. The vast majority of these are operated by no more than level 1 AIs.
The Russian Federated Republics (The Russian Empire):
This is one of the largest and most authoritarian of Terra/Sol’s, states. It spans parts of three continents Europe, Asia, and North America. Even with a population of 645 million, this huge area is under populated by Terra-Sol standards. Fortunately for the nation states of North American, its population on that continent is only 95 million, although this seems enough for it to be perpetually up to mischief. The Russian Empire has been repeatedly censured by the Orion Governor for violations of the Orion Constitution. The Empires government is totalitarian and oppressive. They have lost control of several institutions (state police and department of the army) to the Orion government, over the years as a result of their actions. The Orion’s have controlled the institutions for a period of time, declared them rehabilitated and turned them back over to the Empire, only to see some of the same actions begin again in a short period of time.
(university of) st. mary of mars:
A prestigious university located in Kansas City with a secondary campus in the VanKilla Kiertotahti outer belt which specializes in advanced engineering. It is affiliated with the University of the same name located on Mars in the Earth/Sun system.
SIMs (Scientifically Induced Mutations):
Are humans whose genes have been altered medically to create specific biological endpoints. For example if you wished your child to be born with gills and webbed hands and feet, you would buy an Aqua Mod gene blueprint and have it applied to an egg at conception.
Adults can achieve the same results through surgery and some gene therapy. The process can be arduous and painful and to have the ability to pass on the traits to any offspring would require further and more extensive gene therapy.
A cluster of eight asteroids located in Terra/Sol’s asteroid belt. Seven of the eight rotate around the central, “Morning Star” asteroid. This is clearly not a natural formation. The fact that several of the asteroids contain hollowed out chambers as well as tunnel systems confirmed the first impression that the cluster is a precursor artifact.
The Cluster was acquired very early in the Terra/Sol system’s history by the PAX Combine a large multi-stellar corporation. They have closed the system to scientific research and have withstood several court challenges to their decision to do so. They currently operate the cluster as a resort destination and the results have proven to be very lucrative.
This is another mega-corp spawned in The ROP, it makes its headquarters in Kansas City. This Corp specializes in gravetics, micro circuitry, zero-g products, and spaceship engines, power plants and Stardrives. It had gross sales of 2.01 trillion Orion credits in the year 2500.
Tachyon are sub atomic particles that travel faster than the speed of light. Thoretically containment of such particles should be impossible, but reverse engineering technology found on the alien ship discovered on Europa in 2132 showed humanity how it could be accomplished.
The controlled release of tachyon particles is what propels a starship into the gravity plane or warpspace as its commonly called, thus allowing a starship to technically travel faster than light.
Terra/Sol Co-prosperity Sphere:
An organization composed of some of the most powerful economic states on Terra/Sol. Their stated agenda is to promote open commercial activity and provide an informal forum where state leaders came come together to address pressing problems.
This star system discovered in 2836, is Orion League Sovereign territory. The primary of the system, Terra, is remarkably earthlike. In fact it is an almost identical copy of earth down to the shape of the landmasses. The rest of the system however bears no resemblance to the Earth-Sun system. The planet Prometheus occupies much the same orbit as Mercury does around the Sun, and like Mercury, the planet is face locked with sol and an inferno on one side and an icebox on the other. The next planet in the system is the primary, Terra. It is exactly 1 AU from Sol. Achilles is a smallish, cold planet, capable of supporting some life. It is currently undergoing terra-forming. Between Achilles and the next planet in the system, Moira, is a rather large asteroid belt. Moira is a gas giant with 23 moons, many of them quite small. Apollo, orbits Sol at an extreme range (35.33 AU), only the systems cometary belt has bodies which achieve orbits further out from Sol than this.
Little research has been done into the origins of the Terra-Sol system, and how an Earth duplicate planet could have evolved. With the end of the Mutant War this scientific question will no doubt receive considerable attention.
Was the Governor of Terra/Sol from 2880 to 2896 during the time of the mutant uprising and the subsequent attempted invasion of the System by the APR. She was instrumental in bringing Terra/Sol onto a wartime footing and making the planet an important part of the Orion Confederation war effort. She was an extremely capable and popular politician. A Libertarian party member she was nick named “The Boss”.
Is the phenomenon that occurred on Terra/Sol approximately 20 years (2856) after the planet was first settled. Children born during this period began to suffer extremely high mutation rates. Both physical mutations (Natural Mutants) and mental mutations (Psions). The numbers settled at between 8 and 10% for each group.
The cause was traced to a virus which was named E. Ex Goblinus. This virus went extinct at approximately the same time as the mutations appeared, but scientists believe that exposure by parents over the preceding 20 years altered the DNA they passed onto their offspring. And succeeding generations on Terra/Sol have produced approximately the same percentage of mutations.
(see E. EX. Goblinus)
Travel on Terra-Sol takes a variety of forms. For local travel in a city, there are of course slidewalks. Intercity travel is usually accomplished by means of a speedy subway system. An express train can take a person from one end of a city like Kansas City in the ROP, to the other in as little as 15 minutes. Even resorting to local trains, the trip would probably take no more than 45 minutes if you didn’t have to wait too long for your connecting trains. Short distance travel (less than 1,500 miles) usually takes advantage of the planets system of Bullet Trains. These trains connect most major population centers and prime destinations. They travel at approximately 600 mph, making cities like Des Moines (20 minutes), Springfield (17 minutes), St. Louis (26 minutes), Wichita (19 minutes), or Omaha (14 minutes) within commuting distance of Kansas City. Another option is personal skycars. This method however can be considerably slower as the average skycar only travels around 350 mph, although they range from 300 to 500 mph capability. Skycars within a cities limits must relinquish control to that cities traffic control AI. Human control of airborne vehicles within a cities limits is prohibited. When distances are merely continental (over 1,500 miles) Supersonic aircraft are used. These average 1400 mph making even a New York to LA run about an hour and 45 minutes. For truly global travel, Sub-Orbital Aircraft are available. These vehicles travel roughly twice as fast as supersonic aircraft (2,800 mph), making any destination on the globe roughly only a 3-hour plane ride away.
Costs for these services range from; Slidewalks – Free, Subway – 3cr local, 5cr express, Bullet Train – 25 to 80cr, Supersonic Aircraft – 250 to 600cr, Sub-Orbital Aircraft – 500 to 1200cr.
Twilight Sector Federation of Trading States:
The TSFTS is a Twilight Sector wide trade association. Organized to promote trade throughout the sector and as an open platform to address grievances and facilitate trade at a state governmental level although the Confederation sector administrator is a de facto member. There has been talk of including surrounding sectors in the organization as well most notably the Crescent Sector.
VanKila Kiertotahti System:
This system is Orion League Sovereign territory. The primary of this system, VanKila Kiertotahti , serves as one of the major prisons of the Orion League. Consignment to this planet is considered one of the toughest sentences that can be received. Prisoners sent here receive only minimal assistance, in the form of food and clothing. They are dropped off to serve their sentences. Getting out can be even harder. All prisoners are subject to brain scans and extensive psychological testing to determine if rehabilitation has been achieved. Needless to say, many shorter sentences have turned into life sentences, because of the tough exit requirements.
The planet itself is semi-arid, and not exactly loaded with resources, although marginally habitable. Even given the hostile nature of the place, several prisoners have carved out fortunes for themselves here, providing goods and services, or producing raw materials and products to ship to other systems. The Orion wardens in factencourage this activity, believing it is a good way to rehabilitate prisoners.
ValedictionFreeport is an out system planetoid habitat in the Kressler Belt of Dorlass. The installation probably started out as a mining or ore-processing center, or maybe a support base for out system exploration and mining operations. The facility now houses a rudimentary spaceport and has become known as smugglers den and source for questionable products.
Weather Control Bureau:
The Weather Control Bureau is an Orion Confederation agency on Terra/Sol tasked with providing weather mitigation services to the planet. Their primary task has been mitigating the effects of Hurricane/Cyclones on populated areas of the planet. They have also provided drought relief services at the request of Confederation member states.
The WCB uses a series of weather satellites located over each global region (ex. North Atlantic, Southern Pacific etc.). These Satellites are equipped with high power broad dispersal laser systems which the Bureau uses to heat the atmosphere and guide storms away from populated areas. This technology in combination with ground based techniques like cloud seeding is occasionally used to propagate precipitation.
A neighborhood in Kansas City on Terra/Sol. The neighborhood is particularly Asian themed with a predominate Japanese influence.
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