Author Topic: Chapter II: Far from Alone  (Read 904 times)

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Offline Cavgunner (OP)

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Chapter II: Far from Alone
« on: November 04, 2019, 09:06:15 PM »
"The universe is the way it is. It's not going to be changed by supplications."  Buzz Aldrin

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”  Arthur C. Clarke

The Terran Republic: 3067

Starship tonnage
Naval Tonnage: 944,415
Commercial Tonnage (public sector): 5,027,060
Commercial Tonnage (private sector): 5,659,400

Terran Republic Navy
2 Carriers
2 Cruisers
6 Destroyers
9 Frigates
8 Corvettes
16 Missile Boats
6 Patrol Cutters
4 Fleet Support Vessels
12 Stealth Exploration Ships
16 Auxiliaries, various types
80 starfighters, various marks
63 shuttles and other small support craft

Terran Republic Army
2 Mobile Infantry Divisions
2 mixed Heavy/Assault Divisions
1 Marine Regiment
50 Garrison Battalions (mostly scattered throughout the Republic as regimental-sized Planetary Defense units)
5 Construction Regiments

Major Worlds and Populations

Sol System
Earth: 959 million. The capital world, center of government, and ancient home of humanity. Also the Republic's primary center of research, finance, industry, and starship construction. The major academies of the Republic hold their main offices here, but campuses can also be found on Mars, Horizon, and Outback. Despite a near-total environmental collapse at the end of the Last War, good stewardship has resulted in a heartening rebound of the ecosphere's health. Earth's remaining human population now reside mainly in carefully-planned vertical cities, leaving most of the rest of the planet to nature.
Mars: 117 million. Mars is a growing powerhouse that has emerged as the primary center of ordnance production in the Republic. Its industrial and financial strengths are second only to Earth, and it also possesses a few minor shipyards specializing in smaller craft. The billion-years-old red deserts are slowly being reclaimed by agriculture and greenification projects.
Jupiter/Callisto: The Jupiter system is the most important site of Sorium refining in the Republic. 27 Sorium harvesters are currently engaged.
Venus, Hyperion, Titania, others: the Sol system is home to 13 major civilian and auto-mining operations. At present, these facilities are not quite keeping up with Earth's ravenous demand for raw materials.

Barnard's Star
Horizon: 69 million. The first extra-solar colony and only one jump from Sol, Horizon is a mild and pleasant water-world dotted with a few small island chains. The planet now boasts a diverse range of production capability, and is also home to the shipyards for the Mellor-class cutters and Kepler-class exploration ships. The shipyards for the Mars-class cruisers were also recently moved here due to a worker shortage on Earth. Horizon's own resources are sparse, but two remote mining sites elsewhere in the system do much to address this shortage. In recent years the economy of Horizon has boomed as it has become the de facto gateway for interstellar trade with the Union of Ra.

82 Eridani
Outback: 63 million. Located in a cul-de-sac at the end of the Barren Stars, Outback is a cold, barren moon that has remained dry and somewhat inhospitable even after decades of atmospheric terraforming. Outback possesses modest resources, which is why it was settled in the first place, and it is further supplemented by a medium-sized mining operation in the outer system. Thus, some manufacturing does occur here. However the harsh environment has done much to stunt the world's growth, and its unappealing location means that traders rarely come here. As a consequence, Outback has struggled to find an identity amongst its more prosperous sister colonies. The world's most important employer remains its 25 terraforming installations. Although breathable, the atmosphere is intensely cold and will likely remain so for many years.

61 Cygni
Corronis: 61 million. First surveyed in 2050, Corronis was the site of the largest and most intact alien city-ruin yet discovered by mankind. These ruins were completely excavated only a few years ago, and much of that infrastructure was still in sufficient condition to be integrated into the new colony. Corronis itself is a very resource-poor world, possessing only low-accessibility Duranium that is supplemented by a pair of remote mining outposts in the distant inner system. As such, the planet cannot support a significant amount of industry. However, it does support 11 Research Labs, some of them original Corronian facilities, as well as an ancient Logistics/Ground Combat (100%) research hub. For these reasons Corronis is one of the most important sites of research outside of the Sol system.  Much like Outback, Corronis is cold, dry, and utterly deprived of natural water resources. Although the atmosphere is now breathable, those caught outside without cold-weather survival gear put their lives at risk. Conversely, the cold temperatures and utter lack of humidity greatly enhance the efficiency of the world's research facilities. Other than research, the world's most important exports are salts mined from the world's long-extinct seabeds and marketed under gourmet brands.

36 Ophiuchi
Darwin: 59 million. For years Darwin was promised to become a warm-water ocean paradise, and those promises have finally borne fruit. Due to gentle weather patterns brought about by its extremely close proximity to the system's weak but highly placid third star, daytime temperatures anywhere on the planet rarely drop below 26C or above 30C. Darwin possesses a new shipyard that is currently being expanded, and it also boasts some surface industry. However, aside from its natural beauty the world is mainly known for being the most important mining center in the Republic. Darwin boasts massive quantities of every known Trans-Newtonian mineral, and those deposits with low accessibility are easily offset by no less than four in-system mining outposts. In fact, Darwin's mineral output almost singlehandedly relieved the Duranium crunch of 2057. So far the planet's leadership have managed to balance environmental protections with their production obligations to the rest of the Republic. There are additional terraforming candidate worlds orbiting the primary and secondary stars, but they have yet to be settled.

Hussey 644 (aka The Boneyard)
Fresnillo: 53 million. In 2059 Hussey 644 was the site of the largest campaign yet conducted against the Ancient Guardians. A 12-strong battlegroup of drone warships defended the system, and when they were finally put down after an extended missile duel, it quickly became clear what they had been defending with such ferocity. The second planet of the second star, a world now known as Fresnillo, was the site of an incredibly advanced Power/Propulsion (100%) research hub. The technological gains obtained from the large number of wrecks as well as the research site itself simply cannot be overstated; the Republic was able to introduce Magnetic Confinement Fusion Drive technology (T6) in a matter of years rather than decades. Like Corronis, Fresnillo is first and foremost a tech-world. Its 14 research lab complexes represent the largest chunk of scientific talent outside of the Sol system. However, Fresnillo is unique in that it also has enough mineral resources to support a significant amount of mining and industry. Although the planet has grown extraordinarily fast, it was first settled only a few years ago; therefore the excavations of the planet's Ancient Guardian ruins are currently still ongoing. Fresnillo is a landlocked planet with a few small saltwater seas. After terraforming the planet remained arid and cool, but not unpleasantly so.

GJ 1207
Cerberus: 44 million. In 2038, GJ 1207 was one of the first extrasolar systems visited by the young Republic. It was also, unfortunately, the site of first contact with the Ancient Guardians, and the system's potential was locked away for many years due to the presence there of a small drone-squadron. It was not until 2053 that the Fleet was finally dispatched to deal with this problem; as such, Cerberus was only settled relatively recently. Of all the worlds the Republic has encountered so far Cerberus is perhaps the most Earthlike in environment and composition, for it needed only a gentle touch of terraforming to make it ideal for habitation. Indeed, in many ways Cerberus represents the Republic's template for a perfect colony: a mild environment, plentiful water resources, strong local industry, and abundance of every known T-N element means that even if it was completely cut off from Earth tomorrow, Cerberus would be able to survive. As the colony grows it is expected that its mineral exports will become even more valuable to its sister worlds. Already, Cerberus is the most important location for Sorium mining and refining outside Sol.

HIP 103096
Mordia: 38 million. Mordia is tidally locked in close proximity to its parent star. Most of the population therefore resides in enclosed domes on the permanent nightside of the planet. The atmosphere is breathable but even on Nightside the temperature consistently reaches a punishing 59-60C, made even worse by constant high humidity from Mordia's agitated, over-warmed oceans.  Because it has limited mineral resources and because additional terraforming will result in minimal returns at best, Mordia's future prospects as a colony are limited. For now it serves mainly as a watchpost over the Coreward Frontier. For that reason there is some hope among the local government that the Navy will build a forward base there.

Wolf 636
Kar Komak: 32 million. Kar Komak is another former Ancient Guardian tech-world. Like Fresnillo it hosts a Power/Propulsion (70%) research hub, but one of a smaller, less advanced design. Approximately 53% of the planet is covered by oceans, so while the world is cool it can support a fully functioning Earthlike ecosphere. Kar Komak is still developing and the planetary xeno-ruins have yet to be fully excavated, so the colony has yet to adopt a specialization. However, some notable scientific research is already occurring there.

GJ 1230
Tars Tarkas: 1.78 million. Tars Tarkas was settled to take advantage of the Ancient Guardian Biology/Genetics (60%) research hub located there. In time the Republic hopes to use this facility to explore the possibilities of humane and beneficial genetic modification. For now it is the Republic's newest colony, a rough, fiercely independent, and slightly lawless desert frontier world at the distant edge of Earth's authority. The planet's abundance of natural resources hold great promise for future development, assuming that the population continues to accept Republic rule.

Known Alien Races
Ancient Guardians: Drone cyber-ships that appear to be the last functioning element of a long-dead multi-species civilization. They attack until they or their targets are destroyed.
Stalkers: Living bio-ships that utilize an unknown form of energy. It is theorized that they swarm from system to system searching for resources, and that their higher bio-forms may possess some level of intelligence. However, they do not communicate.
The Union of Ra: A humanoid race. The unexpected arrival of a Terran Republic "guardian-sweeper" battlegroup in their home system in 2064 initially caused the Ra great alarm. Fortunately, quick diplomacy by Admiral Conway allowed the Ra to realize that the Republic was friendly and curious, even genuinely relieved to meet another starfaring civilization. Although the Union and the Republic are not allies they are certainly on polite and cautious good terms with each other. While the Ra have revealed little about themselves or their culture, interstellar trade between the two nations is growing at a significant rate. The Ra possess a small warfleet but their ships appear to be at least a generation less advanced than those of the Republic.
Kaaxin Imperium: Arachnid techno-warriors. Tau Ceti star system interdicted by order of Central Command. [FURTHER INFORMATION RESTRICTED, UPSILON-LEVEL ACCESS ONLY]


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Offline Cavgunner (OP)

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Re: Chapter II: Far from Alone
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2019, 04:59:56 PM »
January 1, 3067- July 1, 3068

The Terran Republic has become a true interstellar civilization with major human populations on 11 different worlds. Trade continues to flourish; in 3067 alone, trade from all civilian sources accounted for nearly 3% of gross domestic income. This figure would be much higher, however, if the Republic was not purchasing the entire output of every civilian mining operation.

Militarily, the Navy is constructing ten new warships from various classes, with many more planned after that. In addition all existing warships have been upgraded with Magnetic Confinement Fusion Drives or are in the process of doing so. This resurgence in shipbuilding activity has temporarily depleted the Republic's reserves of Gallicite, the key element needed in starship engine construction. However, enough Gallicite reserves remain on Mars and other out-system colonies to feed the shipyards at Earth and Horizon with only minor delays. At present the Navy has enough strength to divide its force into two full-strength battlegroups, although the long-term plan is to double that.

The local defense infrastructures of the colonies have also continued to improve. By 2069 most of the colonies will have at least one missile base supported by 1-2 fighter squadrons and a pair of system cutters. Of course, every colony also hosts a brigade-strength garrison.

This flurry of military activity is due to the Republic's first contact with a new alien race in late 3066, when a Kepler-class exploration ship encountered an unsanctioned mining post on one of the moons in Tau Ceti. Once communications were established, the owners declared themselves to be the Kaaxin Imperium, and submitted a terse warning to stay out of their space or be fired upon. This has proven problematic since the Kaaxin provided no information as to their current borders or the location of their homeworld. Despite this warning, the Republic has dropped an espionage team on the Kaaxin mining post in Tau Ceti in an attempt to obtain more information.  In sharp contrast, relations with the Union of Ra have continued to improve and the Ra are now freely sharing their geological surveys with the Republic.

Ancient Guardian drones continue to be encountered in about 20% of newly explored systems. In 55 Cancri, the Tycho Brahe is able to remain undetected after picking up the presence of an Aggie fighter-killer and its escorts 100 million kilometers away. This is the first proof that the Republic's stealth technology is viable in the field.

Another large Aggie drone contingent is discovered guarding an Earthlike planet in Gliese 667 on the Anti-Spinward Frontier. A Fleet guardian-sweeper battlegroup is dispatched to deal with them. After years of doing so, the Fleet has become very adept at clearing out Ancient Guardian drones.

In June 2068 the Pierre-Simon Laplace is mapping jump points at Gliese 674 on the Rimward frontier when its shuttle is dispatched to explore a nearby jump gate. The shuttle makes an incredible discovery: the 2nd planet of Gliese 555 is filled to overflowing with a pre-starfaring civilization, estimated to be at least twice the population of Earth. As of July 2067 efforts to establish communication with this civilization are still ongoing.

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Offline Cavgunner (OP)

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Re: Chapter II: Far from Alone
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 09:00:39 PM »
September 15, 2068

Communication with the alien civilization previously encountered at Gliese 555 has been achieved. They refer to their civilization as the Council of Moonless Vigil, though this translation is an approximation, and it is not clear what term they use to refer to themselves individually- their language appears to rely heavily on subtext and internal references that currently elude us. From what little can be ascertained, they are a cybernetic race who are utterly devoted to the efficient management of their home planet. This preference may represent a deep cultural or societal prejudice. In contrast to the Ra or even the Kaaxin, these aliens seem utterly nonplussed by the Republic or its ships despite the fact that they have no space presence that we can detect, not even a probe-based exploration program.

The Fleet has expanded its efforts to define the size and extent of the Kaaxin Imperium. Exploration ships have been assigned to fully explore every jump point leading out of Tau Ceti, but so far no further Kaaxin settlements have been found.

Four jumps out from Darwin in the newly discovered system of Kapteyns Star, the explorer William Herschel was able to maintain stealth when it detected a single Ancient Guardian medium warship. Because the main body of the Fleet is currently engaged in clearing out the Ancient Guardian units in Gliese 667 and 55 Cancri, an ad-hoc battlegroup is formed at Sol to engage, and if possible, capture this lone ship. This task force consists of the carrier Colossus, the newly-constructed Moray-class frigate Snakehead, the high-endurance frigates Auger, Discovery, Farsight and Longstrider, the dropship Ropucha, and three fighter squadrons with a total of 24 Starhawk Mk VI's.

Commanding ship #4 of the Silver Kings squadron is a young, newly commissioned Lieutenant Commander by the name of Daniel Perkins, setting out on his first mission following graduation from Mars Military Academy...
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