Guide to Life in Earth Orbit 2395.   Posted by Orbital Control.Group: 0
Orbital Control
 GM, 1 post
Fri 6 Jan 2012
at 23:31
Guide to Life in Earth Orbit  2395
Rifts: Orbit location guide
Note: 2395 is roughly PA 109



This game takes place in the Sol solar system located in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.  Its closest neighbor, a triple star system called Alpha Centauri, is 4.2 light years away.  The Sol system contains nine planets, over 150 moons, and almost countless other stellar bodies.  It may be far from its neighbors but there is plenty of room to explore.  Humankind rose from the third planet of the system, earth, to send probes and eventually themselves to explore their near space objects.  Stations were built, colonies designed and constructed, and artificial satellites were sent out.  The stars seemed to be almost within the earth’s grasp when calamity struck.  Bombs went off, missiles were launched, and natural disasters struck.  Lines of blue began emanating from seemingly nowhere crisscrossing the Earths surface.  Cities were erased, plains burnt, the very face of the earth underwent drastic changes as the land rose and fell.  Earth was lost, most of its population was killed and chaos reigned.  This was surly the end for humanity.  Or was it?

The space community survived even when rouge defense satellites attacked.  The stations stood even when the explosion of unexplained energy came rushing from the cradle of life that had spawned them.  Humanity survived even when alone and in desperation the survivors began to take their own lives instead of living on without the possibility of seeing home again.  Even as the upheaval on earth slowed, they noticed they could not return home.  Large creatures walked the land, the small bits of civilization that survived were barbaric and a danger to the space folk, and odd energies that must have caused their ancestral home to be lost to them still lit up the dark side of the planet.  Without communication from the surface and with great sorrow the Station peoples imprisoned their planet in a field of debris that spun counter to the rotation of the earth and an impenetrable guard of killer satellites to keep themselves safe from the land below them.  Centuries passed and it is the year 2387AD (possibly a lil later) man has not only survived space, but is thriving.

At First humanity struggled as they held funerals for those that died or chose to die.  Humans that survived were little more than walking corpses, waiting there turn to be given up to the void.  Then something spectacular happened, those on the stations awoke as from a nightmare into a golden dream.  All the stations and the moon united to rebuild not only their homes, but their lives as well.  Working together national boundaries were erased and for the first time of humanities existence all were united, unfortunately it took the earth being gone for its children to unite.  They rebuilt the stations, they contained the earth, and they expanded.  Expansion started slowly, the stations and moon working together covered most of their needs.  Ice became the most sought after resource in the Sol.  It was needed to make air and sustain life.  Spacers from every station began operating far from their spinning metal homes to meet the demand for Ice.  They went out to the Asteroid belt and other places to scavenge for ice to make a large profit similar to the gold rush in western society in America during the 1840s over five hundred years earlier.  These pioneers helped to develop space travel into an everyday undertaking.  The modern standard of currency was created during this period.  Ice-Oxygen Units, or IOUs.  The rich became those who controlled the most ‘Ice’ as slang would name the IOU.

Eventually even the need for air and water were no longer something to worry about, at least very much.  The spacers kept bringing in ice and the stations easily covered each other’s needs.  Life began to become ‘ordinary’ and ‘mundane’.  The only problem that arose were random mutations that began to change humanity.  Some mutations were benign, some beneficial, others turned people into horrid uglies that were painful to look upon.  Those problems were dealt with through exile and forced work with the ice gathering squads.  Then the dream of humanity working together was shattered when the Moon Colony of Mare Imbrium became an independent nation and they claimed the entire moon as their territory.  Instead of galvanizing the stations into bringing the moon back into their fold, a ripple effect went through the Orbit community.  Every station broke away and formed its own government.  All during this mess of independence another station seemed to appear out of a half finished Satellite that some people had decided to call home, this was Outcast Station.  Outcast station was home to all the unwanted mutants who had left the other ‘prettier’ stations; they were drawn there like moths to a flame.  Politics began and a strange ever-shifting cold war started.

Each station had developed its own couture, distinct and different from its neighbors.  These changes lead to the splintering of each group, Mare Imbrium’s independence was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.  As each of the stations became more insular, many of the ice miners and spacers declared their own independence. They declared themselves independent of any society.  The spacers, called freebooters, still provided needed services and thrived as the merchants and intermediaries between the super power colonies.  This era spurred a new age of expansion.  Now that every station was looking out for itself, they needed to find ways to become self-contained and less dependant on the other stations.  Even the Freebooters needed new basis of operation and homes away from the stations.  Humanity seems to still be struggling with its identity, possibly reliving the events that lead to them loosing the planet of their birth.

OOC NOTE:
I am posting my changes to rifts orbit here mixed in with the actual book information.  Just like when you read a rifts supplement there is information that a character may or may not know.  This is just to give general information about the setting and to give an idea of some of the changes I believe should be in place to differ the setting from its After the Bomb counterpart.  Rifts is a more advanced setting with higher levels of technology.  I want to keep some of the rifts feel while keeping the setting Science fiction,  Some people may personally disagree with how I have set up the new colonies and whatnot, well…. poop on them :P .
Orbital Control
 GM, 2 posts
Fri 6 Jan 2012
at 23:37
Inner System 2395
Inner System:

The inner system named this for its location relative to the sun and the asteroid belt.  It consists mainly of Solid planets and their moons.  There are also comets and Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) that also float around.  For the most part these asteroids don’t pose a threat to any of the planets due to also being in their own orbits around the Sun.  Humanity comes from this section of space and it is the most civilized and populated in the solar system.  If not for the flash, there would be more development and a great deal more people.  Nevertheless, Humanity almost died in the flash…. Only now are the Stations trying to expand beyond their little corner of space,

Mercury:


Position: first planet in the system
Gravity: .38 G
Moons: none
Stations: 1, Doch station

The first Planet in the solar system is Mercury.  It revolves over a period of 58.646 earth days.  Roughly 25.5 of those days are a melting 800 degrees Fahrenheit and another 25.5 days of freezing -280 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures.  The remaining 7.5 days range somewhere in-between as the sun rises or sets.  The Mercurial year lasts only 88 days as it flies around the sun at 31 miles (50 kilometers) a second.  It has no atmosphere but has a constantly shifting exosphere of atoms blasted away by solar winds and striking meteorites.  That does thicken the “air” of the planet, but the atoms are quickly lost to space.  Mercury does have a magnetic belt that helps to protect its surface from some of the sun’s rays, but its proximity to the sun means that the direct rays still penetrate to the surface.  Its core is almost entirely composed of Iron and it only has a thin crust.  Mercury has only recently begun to be properly explored.  In the early ages of mans exploration of space watching mercury was difficult and costly, but with current technologies it has become the hopes for at least one station for expansion.  The comrades of Laika station have been studying this planet for a place to expand.  It took a lot of hard work, but the citizens of Laika were used to that, and they managed to get a station placed in an odd orbital arraignment that always keeps it in the shadow of Mercury.  The only other group to take any interest in mercury is the British section of Yuro station.  They have a satellite in orbit around Mercury that consistently sends them information.  As of yet there are not any mines or structures on the planet, but in the near future that may change.

Doch Station:


Position: in the shadow of Mercury
Gravity: .5g
Businesses: None
Services: Rest and refuel for a slightly increased IOU cost.
Industry: set up for mining operations, but they haven’t been used.
Government: Overseen by the Science commander and the Mining commander with orders given by the General of Laika Station
Language: Euro with 50% speaking English/American or Techno-Can

Doch station was originally just to be a way station for the future mining operations on mercury.  Mercury is incredibly rich in iron and other useful metals, as well as containing ice under the surface of the north and south poles.  It is not large; it has the capacity for 120 permanent personal and up to 300 miners in transit.  Shortly after it was brought on-line, the plan changed.  Additional sensors and labs have replaced much of the room for miners.  Doch is safely positioned with mercury between it and the sun, aided by advanced traction drives fresh from Laika‘s construction yards.  One thing to point out is that Doch Station is the ONLY station designed to be able to move entirely under its own power.  Due to its position out of any direct light, solar panels cannot be directly used.  Instead, they built a powerful nuclear generator and keep two small ships equipped with solar sails that leave to collect energy.  It is an additional experiment being tested by Laika to help decrease its dependency on others for energy.  The moment Doch’s nuclear generators began to power the sensors every possible alarm on the station went off.  The sensors had detected something in space just a few miles away from the station.  Moments later the readings just disappeared, and the alarms stopped.  Months later the mysterious readings reappeared, the heads of the Doch project feared that they would be shut down.  Instead, the General of Laika station sent scientists and computer equipment.  Since then they have discovered that Mercury has Blue Zones crisscrossing its surface like earth and mars.  The strange readings that occasionally set the station on red alert are actually similar to other readings taken from earth and other Zones.  The station has been researching this oddity in space hoping to find a solution to repair their homeland.  Doch is still the intended launch point of mining mercury; those plans have just been suspended until the station can be expanded.  Doch may be a focus for new experiments for Laika station but experiments are not funded very well by the military isolationists at Laika.  To help fund the expansions needed to continue the mining operations the station has opened it’s doors to any spacer who needs to stop and refuel in that corner of the solar system, for a cost.  It is well defended and out of the way, a surprisingly good place for meetings to be held that don’t need unwanted people watching.


Venus:


Position: second planet in the system
Gravity: .90g
Moons: None
Stations:  None

After Mercury, the next planet is Venus.  This planet was once thought of as the twin of earth.  This was quickly found out to be quite false.  Gravity is close to that of earth’s and it has a similar size but the two planets couldn‘t be much more different.   It takes 227 earth days for Venus to completely rotate on its axis; it only takes 225 days for the planet to orbit the sun.  Venus has a retrograde rotation, which means it rotates opposite of most planets in the system including earth.  This actually causes the Venusians day to last 110 earth days.  For some reason recent data shows that the planet has begun to speed up its day, but thus far it has only decreased the Venusian day by about 8 earth days (16 less days to complete is axial spin).  The thick atmosphere keeps the planet’s temperature up to heights of 870 degrees and atmospheric pressure 90 times that of earth.  Sulfuric acid and carbon dioxide make up a majority of the air making the planet inhospitable for humans in yet one more way.  This has not stopped humanity from trying to find something to do with Venus.  The British section of Yuro Station always has a satellite in orbit around Venus collecting and sending data, they have even worked with several other groups to send unmanned probes to the surface, but like the early attempts to send probes to Venus, all have been destroyed.  Several desperate spacers have tried to use basic atmosphere scoops to collect whatever they can for some kind of profit, but it is dangerous work that rarely makes up for the expense.  There are innumerable rumors floating around about Venus, usually by down on their luck spacers sitting in bars.  Stories of shapes moving in the acidic clouds, Dark cloud formations that look like eyes watching your ship, Lights on the surface that remind spacers of old cities from earth s golden age, Patches of green that look like forests that are there one day and gone the next, creatures that pull ships down to the surface to an early grave, and radio signals that lure spacers to the surface.  Venus has been associated with bad luck and death; this has lead to fewer and fewer ships traveling towards this mysterious planet.


Earth:


Position: Third planet from the sun
Gravity: 1g
Moons: one, the Moon
Stations:  five major and countless minor, Freedom station, Laika station, Yuro Station, Outcast Station, and the Sino-Japanese graveyard

Earth is the evolutionary pond that spawned humanity.  The spacer year, day, and society exists because of this floating rock in space.  It takes roughly 24 hours for Earth to rotate on its axis and 365 earth days for it to orbit the sun.  Atmospherically it is ideal to support life, especially with the large amounts of unfrozen water across its surface.  Earth has a protective magnetic field called the Van-Allen Belt that stops most deadly radiation from reaching the surface of the planet.  The Orbital community has abandoned the idea of living on earth.  300 years ago a Cataclysm struck called the ‘Flash’ where lines of energy appeared across the surface of the planet, called blue zones or lay lines to the very few who study the phenomenon, and natural disasters struck everywhere at once.  If this was not bad enough monsters seemed to appear through wormhole like gates and even a new continent appeared displacing the earth’s oceans further.  The Stations and the Moon decided to ‘cordon off’ the earth with a field of debris that spins counter to that of earth backed up by a large collection of killer satellites.  While it has been discovered that some humans have survived on the surface it has been decided that it is still too dangerous to try to make contact.  That has never stopped the occupants of Outcast station from trying things though.  Laika Station has not given up on earth, there are just too many resources down there that the stations need.  They are also the only station that believes that relations with some earth government may help the people of the orbital community.  As rumor would state it, they are planning a mission to earth, and intend on returning.  That being stated only the outcast station does not assist in the containment of earth.



Freedom Station:


Position:  At the L-5 point along the moons orbital path.  Constantly following the moon.
Gravity: .96g
Businesses:  Weapons, armors, used ships, power armors, Electrical components and computers, Cyber shops allowing for implants and partial conversions.
Services: cheap port costs, rest and refuel.  First rate electrical and computer work.  Experts at modifying pre-flash and other technologies.  Home of the Freedom Link.
Industry: Massive KLS factories and other component manufacturers
Government: A republic style government called the Free Senate
Language: English/American and 50% know Euro or Techno-Can

Freedom station is the oldest of the stations in the orbital community.  Its citizens call themselves ‘Freebies’ while others call them ‘Yankers’.  It is quite rich with nearly 3 million tons of Ice tethered to the station at any time.  It is also one of the largest communities in space with around 50,000 inhabitants, not counting the almost constant shifting freebooter presence.  It seems like a lawless place full of chaotic designs.  There is almost no police to help contain the populace, but surprisingly it isn’t really needed.  Almost every independent and ‘Freebie’ on the station considers it their unofficial duty to stop crime and report it to the proper authorities.  Once criminals have been apprehended, the judicial branch of the Stations government passes judgment on the crime.  Mutants and other outcasts still wander through the port section of the Station but are not allowed anywhere else, as the populace considers them dangerous.  As one wanders through the station they would notice that most of the corridors don’t make much sense, there has never been any official building plan since corporations took over running the station hundreds of yeas ago.  Sections that are no longer needed or are malfunctioning are sometimes just built around and sealed off, leading to odd angular halls and an unnatural look of the station from the outside.  The entire station is modular, and they have continued to use the same designs with minor tweaks that their ancestors used three hundred years ago.  Its government is modeled after the old American Empire on earth with an Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches that are elected by the citizens, they are proud of this tradition and will defend it to the death.  This station should be the open-minded moderator of space, but the unscrupulous KLS Corporation that owns 35% of the manufacturing and 75% of the defense of the station have been manipulating things for years.  They produce the ever-famous Glitter boys that provide a bulk of the stations defense.  Two families, the Longven and Sims family own the corporation.  The have steered the Orbital community to war for almost every moment since the flash.  They wish to see the Moon crushed by the Silver boot of there famous power armor.  The two major underground factions in the orbital community, the family, which seems to be centered on Freedom station and the Network that seems to be everywhere else in the solar system, battle occasionally on the station.  As with most underground activities, the populace just goes about there daily lives without ‘noticing’ what happened.  The Freebies are masters with computers and modifying any technology they come across.  Other stations may have better facilities for converting cyborgs, but Freedom Station has the best Bioware and cybernetic implant facilities in the solar system.  Most people here have some training with computers as the entire station is run automatically.  It also houses one of the most important resources found in the Orbital community, The Link.  The Link is similar to the internet of old earth and is accessible if you are within 1 million kilometers of the station, as long as you have the equipment to access it.  It can be used to gather information, communicate, or even access and control a computer from a distance.  In addition, if you have a data jack you can enter a virtual reality where you can interact with other ‘Linkers’ and deal with the Virtual world.  There are games, sporting events, and business meetings every day using the Link, it can be dangerous though so most people are quite careful in there dealings with The Link.


Laika Station:


Position:  In orbit around the Moon
Gravity: .6g
Businesses: For the most part just basic needs and technical shops run by the government.  There are also the Spacecraft manufacturing facilities.
Services: Food rest and refuel with an expensive costs, Ship repair and modification
Industry: Ship building
Government: Beneficial Military dictatorship
Language: all speak Euro 50% speak English/American or Techno-Can

Greetings comrade! The Russians built Laika station shortly after they pulled out their support for the International space station that became Freedom Station.  It is a crucial industrial giant of the Orbital community.  It is the only place in the solar system where space-fairing ships are constructed, not counting hand crafted vessels.  It built the Ark that was supposed to carry humanity to the stars, even if many of its components were manufactured at other stations.  After the flash the station was in total chaos, if it was not for the military stationed there the Laika would have burned and the orbital community would never have had the chance to survive.  Ever since that time, the station has been under ‘Martial Law’.  It is commanded by the Laika General and every man woman and child of it’s over 19,000 people are in the military.  There are commanders under the general who oversee everything in the station, from hydroponics to the ever-important shipyards.  No one in the New Russian Commonwealth of Laika Station is rich or poor, from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.  Despite its military structure the people live happy lives of order and balance.  The true problem with this station lies in its inability to accept outsiders.  They are afraid of the mutant humans, or even any human that is not a part of their society.  They believe everyone is out to get them, the only true ally they have in space is the moon.  Both groups attempt to exist as apart from the other stations as possible.  Also despite their military organization, the people of Laika station wish to avoid conflict whenever possible, though they would still defend themselves with a fierceness that most other people couldn’t match.  On the bright side, other than their relations with the Outcast Station, Laika station has good relations with almost every other group in the system.  They do not like dealing with independents, but they recognize the need for it.  They also don’t like the KLS Corporation and Freedom station’s constant mixture with the freebooters, which make their relations with the station to be slightly less then friendly.  The Outcasts are the true enemy of the Laika citizens, or at least they think so.


Yuro Station:


Position:  Geostationary orbit 100,000 kilometers above Brussels, Belgium
Gravity: .4g
Businesses: Cyber shops providing full and partial cyber conversions, ‘Mind shops’ offering M.O.M conversion, science labs for rent, and weapons.
Services: excellent food and very cheap fuel as well as best medical facilities in the solar system.
Industry: Advanced labs and computer manufacturing abilities.  Biogenetics research section that is responsible for the mutant animals in the system.
Government: A committee made up of representatives of each nationality on the station
Language: All speak Euro, 70% speak English/American or Techno-Can

36,000 people and mutant animals constantly at each others throats while at the same time somehow running a station efficiently’ is something a spacer might say about Yuro station.  Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway once worked together to peacefully create this station occasionally called ‘King Angel’.  Now it is once again divided with each nation for the most part out for itself.  Spain tries to stay to itself and its massive hydroponics garden, coming out occasionally to say that Brittan has a point.  The Italians Do their part to run the solar sail that powers the station with the most powerful computers in the Solar system.  The Germans scheme to build an army of armored and robotic soldiers to first control the station, then eventually the orbital community.  The Danes, Norwegians, and the Swedes run their hospitals trying to get the other nations to get along.  The French control the fleet and diplomatic relations as they continue their M.O.M experiment.  All the While, the British have spies everywhere as their King tries to get the Outsiders to side with him and collect power to defend the station.  Brawls happen at least once every other day, usually it is just a simple fistfight, but things seem to be getting worse.  The station’s claim to fame is a large solar sail that collects a ridiculous amount of energy.  That in combination with the station’s ability to manufacture superior computers and other services should have made this station quite rich.  Unfortunately, between the infighting and high requirements of the station it has not been able to produce wealth like Freedom Station.  Basically, the people of this station don’t trust or hate just about every other group in the solar system.  The British have been trying to create friendly relations with Freebooters and Outcast station, but that isn’t for love of these groups, just good business.  The only thing that unifies the station is there hatred of the Moon; they have the most to gain if the resources there were opened up for full mining.


Outcast Station:


Position:  An erratic orbit the goes around earth and the moon
Gravity: .110g, basically zero
Businesses: anything underhanded and mercenaries
Services: free rest, unless you are robbed.
Industry: none, Piracy and minor manufactured goods.
Government: None, ruled by gangs in each section of the station
Language: English/American, Euro, Techno-Can, Gobbely, and Spanish.  There is no unifying language.

If Freedom station seems lawless, it is outcast station that actually is lawless.  Might makes right and gangs rule over sections of the station.  Once an experimental Japanese Station was not finished when the flash happened, it is nothing like its original plans.  Supposedly, an Old Mutant called ‘Akio’ or the shining man, lead other outcasts here to be their safe haven and home.  Somehow, the systems set in place to keep the station in orbit and powered have somehow maintained an operational status even after centuries of neglect.  Somewhere between 15,000 and 24,000 people exist on this barely functioning piece of space junk.  Years ago, someone decided to drag an asteroid to the station and it has been incorporated into the structure.  The people here suffer from oppression, famine, and pestilence.  The only groups that the outcasts do not despise are the Independents, whom they feel a kindred spirit with, the British of Yuro Station, who have made many attempts to make friends with the mutants, and Freedom station, since they share a mutual hatred for the moon.  The reason for this hatred is that people of the other stations reject Outcast Station and its mutated citizens, the outcasts are jealous of the ‘pretty’ people of the other stations.  Just reading the First section of the station would give you a feeling of how others view the station, but there is more.  While piracy is the biggest supplier of the resources needed for the station there are other ways the station fills the need for resources.  Primarily are the Freebooters that stay here.  There are not any official port costs, although you may get charged an entry fee by whatever gang is in power in the section you are trying to enter, and basically if you want to sleep somewhere you just get comfortable and go to sleep.  While manufacturing facilities here are very poor and rare, the people have taken to the old-fashioned method of making things by hand.  Some quality and unique items can be had from these dealers.  There are no questions asked medical facilities on the station as well, not that they are very good, but some of the doctors are quite brilliant.  One of the side effects of some of the worst mutated creatures of the Outcast station is enhanced intelligence.  It is s though the body is trying to compensate for the horrid mutations and the brain ‘opens’ up.  Most of the ultra intelligent beings are benign and try to do what they can to help the station some are true nihilists that only wish destruction.  Rifts from earth occasionally send people to Outcast station.  This includes D-Bees and practitioners of magic; these new people only help add to the chaos of the station.  Weird artifacts, magic talismans, and alien technology end up in the small markets that draw collectors to the station on regular intervals.  The various gangs on the station actually do meet to discuss important matters of the station, rarely all of them at the same time but they do have a council set up called the Nihilist Metas to run thing.  One gang called the Solar Rouges seems to be in ‘charge’ of the station.  They are entirely made up of super powered mutants and they generally try to hold things together.

Mare Imbrium, the Moon:


Position:  in the Mare Imbrium plains on the Moon
Gravity: .165g
Businesses: Anything you can find in a rifts modern city, with no magic.
Services: Basic rest, food, and refueling…. Then you are asked to leave, the moon does not like visitors
Industry: Advanced robotics and manufacturing of just about every product and mining
Government: The CAN republic
Language:  Primarily English/American with as much as 70% also speaking Euro.  Around 40% also speak Techno-Can

The ever-silent stellar companion of Earth, the Moon.  A multinational colony was founded here in the early days of the space colonial days, mostly funded by American Money and the Cyberworks Corporation.  It is a massive center of humanity that holds 96,000 people in its subsurface passages.  Guided by the A.R.C.H.I.E 7 artificial intelligence and supported by technology that is more advanced than anything humanity has produced either in space or on Earth.  The Colony on the Moon is like any other advanced city, even if it is out in space.  In the early days after the flash, the Cyberworks Aerospace Network organized the colony and helped it survive, so much that the people demanded they lead the colony.  This developed into the CAN republic that to this day fairly administers the people and runs the colony.  The people here suffer from decreased physical stature but seem to be physically beautiful by the others of the Space Community.  They evolved over the years to the micro-gravity environment and suffer from several maladies unique to their situation.  Organ failure, deteriorating muscles, weaker resistance to acceleration, and finally an inability to exist within heavier gravities than their own.  The people are jealous of the ability of the Station’s inhabitants to be able to return to earth.  This may not have been an early reason for them to blockade the Earth but it definitely factors into why they demand it must be kept in place.  Other than their need for ships to collect ice and power the ‘Loonies’ as others call them, would be happy to exist on the moon with no other outside contact.  When they declared independence, they took the whole moon with them, something the other stations have almost been at war with them since.  10% of the space facing side of the moon has been opened up to miners for temporary mines.  Conflicts erupt on the moon regularly as rouge installations seem to appear everywhere and the moon’s robotic forces evict them.  Occasionally this happens on the open section of the moon as the miners who have set up temporary mining camps attempt to out stay their welcome period.  Two areas of the moon are completely off limits for even random flybys, these are lay line nexuses that have rift activity.  The people of the moon do not spend much time trying to study the phenomena but have stationed forces in orbit and on the ground to contain anything that dares to step out.  Unbeknownst to the CAN Republic Laika, the closest thing the Moon has to an ally, has been scanning and studying these areas to further their studies on Blue Zones.  The Moon has more than its own fair share of troubles, some caused by the policies they have put in place regarding mutants and other space colonies, some from the rifts of the moon, but recently more and more keep popping up.  The most advanced A.I. ever produced by humanity A.R.C.H.I.E. 7 is loyal to the people of the Moon and for the most part operates with their well-being, as well as monitoring the containment of Earth.  Recently it has detected several of the older satellites around earth being reactivated and accessed by someone on the surface, actually multiple some ones.  He has been reluctant to give this information to the people who control him and will only do so if he is directly ordered by one of the 6-10 people who can actually order him around.  He has been a lone detective trying to uncover what is going on, but without much success.  Some have been accessing the Satellites with ancient codes AFTER the Satellite has come active of it’s own accord, those are quickly shut back down by the A.I.(OOC note: Groups like the New Navy and the remnants of the Canadian military that exist in rifts).  The one that confuses the advanced computer is someone with the technical know how and ability to activate, control, and hide most of its activities.  It has been a cat and mouse game that has been forcing more and more of the computers processing power to be taken up.

Sino-Japanese Graveyard:


Position:  L4 zone along the moons orbital path, always ahead of the moons orbit.
Gravity: mostly zero with pockets of up to 1.2g
Businesses: None
Services: None
Industry: None
Government: None
Language: None

The most advanced station in space was the Sino-Japanese Space station, built by China and Japan.  It had state of the art facilities and some of the most brilliant minds earth could produce.  Advancement of technology and the human species was the mission of the station.  They wanted to create artificial gravity, drugs that would end ageing, and a number of other advancements.  While the Japanese wanted their own station, until that was up and running this station was the best they had to work with.  The advancements being worked on at the station brought a lot of interest from other parties.  Killer and spy satellites were placed secretly in the L4 zone waiting for instructions.  One the day of the flash one satellite gliched and began to fire, this caused a chain reaction of the other satellites to activate.  The defenseless Sino-Japanese station never had a chance.  Today it is a no-mans land that spacers try to ignore unless they are desperate.  Like their seafaring counterparts of earth days gone, spacers are a superstitious bunch, and the Sino-Japanese graveyard has become the focus of the worst tales in space.  Over the centuries, the L4 point has picked up a massive amount of space junk, from asteroids to satellites to other debris.  This random junk has almost quadrupled the original mass of the station.  Collisions happen, fires burn from ships that somehow seem to still have oxygen in their tanks, rouge satellites still track objects and fire indiscriminately.  Another, more morbid reminders of the horrors of the station are the floating corpses.  Thousands of dead bodies have been trapped, frozen in space, by the L4 point.  If these dangers weren’t bad enough there are supposedly aliens, monsters, and strange phenomena that occur here.  The Scientists of Laika station have discovered that the station actually sits in a space version of a Blue Nexus, or where several Blue zones meet.  There is always a Laika shuttle near the Graveyard collecting data, but they rarely communicate with others and are vary unlikely to assist anyone in danger.

Independent Stations:


Position:  For the most part these stations are in geosynchronous orbit above the Equator
Gravity: Most have a gravity that is lower than .5 G
Businesses: there is at least one of every kind of possible business spread through out the independent stations, from gun shops to pleasure stations.
Services: Most offer food, oxygen and fuel as long as they aren’t just someone’s personal home.
Industry: Some have manufacturing facilities while others have hydroponics.
Government: Usually just run by the owner of the station
Language: Almost all speak English/American as it has become the universal Freebooter Language thanks to Freedom Station.

These countless stations dot the orbital landscape.  Some small enough for just a family or two while others are trying to grow to the point of notice by the larger stations.  Even the largest of these stations don’t have the facilities for even a thousand occupants.  (OOC note: I have notes for a few stations that exist but I will be posting most of them under a separate heading after they are needed.)

Mars:


Position: fourth planet in the system
Gravity: .38g
Moons: two, Phobos and Deimos
Stations:  two, Tulipan and Rock butt

Also known as the red planet, Mars is the most historically tied planet to Earth in the solar system.  It is much smaller than earth, with half the diameter of Earth, but with about the same amount of dry surface area.  It has water on its surface, that is usually frozen, and an atmosphere that is mainly carbon dioxide.  It was once a goal of humanity to terraform this seemingly dead rock and make it a new home for humanity.  The Martian day is only 37 minutes longer than Earths but it’s year is about 680 earth days long.  There are seasons on Mars, even though before the flash they barely had any difference to the planet.  The surface temperature of mars occasionally reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but the air around it usually is much colder.  Due to Old Earth attempts to Terraform Mars the atmosphere is getting much thicker and contains more oxygen they it may have ever had.  The process would still take at least another hundred years if the poor colonists on the planet hadn’t died off.  Mars is now the property of highly mutated Insects that are almost manlike, if not for their voracious temper and instinctual ways.  Whether these creatures were created as a servitor race, an accident, or even the products of an insane mind is not known.  The few scouting missions that have gone into the dangerous area that contains the old colony have found evidence of fighting and little else before they were chased from the planet.  The Equator of mars holds a belt of vegetation and life, along with the insects, and is almost ready for human inhabitants.  There are two strange sections of mars that show both the presence of Lay Lines(Or Blue Zones as the Laika call them… no one else has a name for them) and mass amounts of vegetation!  These veritable jungles are infested with the man-like insects but contain unassisted breathable air.  One of the biggest problems with finding out more about the mutant insects is the fact that the colony sits right in the middle of one of these Zones.  Humans still land on Mars to mine ice and explore, they just cannot seem to stay away.  They still run into some of the insects but those are usually just the cockroaches that are more easily dealt with than many of the other types.  There are even tales of four armed ant-like creatures that show a basic intelligence.  Some wanderers have claimed to have found odd structures that do not look to have been made by human hands that some insects seemed to have been drawn towards.  Like the deserts of ancient earth, when they returned to get proof the structures were gone, possibly covered by the red sands of Mars.



Phobos:


Position:  5827 miles above the Martian Equator
Gravity: .05 to .08G
Businesses: None
Services: None
Industry: Some Minor Ice mines
Government: None
Language: None

As Mars is named after the Roman god of War, of which Aries is the Greek counterpart, Phobos is named after the Aries’ son who is the god of Fear.  Sometimes it is referred to as ‘The Doomed Moon’. It is the larger Of Mars’ moons and is shaped somewhat like a potato.  It is porous, being full of caves and holes, and does not contain any recourses worth of note.  The outside of Phobos has a fair amount of junk laying around from previous visitors, both hopeful miners and outlaws hiding on the rarely visited rock.  Several years ago, an old miner began telling stories of Alien artifacts and monsters living in the caves and a high number of explorers went looking for the fabled lost treasure of Phobos.  Most returned without anything useful, a few didn’t return at all.  Most people have discounted the possibility of space monsters and treasure being located here, figuring that the people who did not come back either had accidents, or were killed by outlaws.  One Spacer returned with an odd alien skeleton with a robe and a strange black box, but pirates attacked him on his way back to freedom station.  His story didn’t include monsters or an amazing cave of alien wonders; he just found the box and the dead alien in a side cavern.  His story is considered a hoax, people believe the characters inscribed on the box are just gibberish and the body just a horribly mutated human corpse.  The only thing that remains is a small shred of cloth, which after tests seems to be made of an unknown material.  There is a scientific curiosity about Phobos as it is a doomed moon.  In about 45 million years, it will collide with Mars, every year the moon moves closer and closer to the planet.

Deimos:


Position:  14,573 miles above Mars’ equator
Gravity: effectively zero
Businesses: None
Services: None
Industry: Ice Mining
Government: None
Language: None

Named after the Greek God of fear, another of Aries’ children, Deimos is the smaller of the two moons.  There is Enough Ice on the Moon to make it a resource, but the Mare Imbrium colony has most of the mining rights to that Ice.  Other than the occasional attack by Ice Pirates, this moon holds very little excitement.  This moon has such a low gravity that it is fairly easy for someone to just jump and launch themselves into orbit.  Freebooters used to do most of the Mining here under contract for the moon, but they have been slowly being phased out as the Moon colony does not trust them.  The British have a Satellite that is constantly near Deimos that monitors both the Martian Moon and Mars itself.

Tulipan Station:


Position:  in an orbit roughly in-between Phobos and Deimos
Gravity: .23G
Businesses: no open shops as of yet.
Services: Rest, refuel, and basic food services.
Industry: Set up for advanced Mining operations.
Government: the head of LDM Company and the Danish commander both claim to be in command, they often contradict each other.
Language: A strong mix of Euro and English/American

Tulipan Station, The newest Station in the System and a symbol that things can be achieved when different groups work together.  The Idea was conceived by the Danes and Spanish, Built by Laika, and funded by the Moon.  The Idea was to create a place to collect and study the flora on the moon.  The Spanish wanted to study it to expand their Hydroponics while the Danes wanted to see if any of the plants on Mars could help advance medicine.  Both parts of Yuro station tried to appeal to their neighbors but the pleas fell on mostly deaf ears.  One group listened, the people of the Moon.  The Lunar Deimos Mining Company had been looking to create its own station but had constantly been told they could not by the CAN Republic.  The LDM decided to fund the station as long as they could modify the original plans to include mining facilities.  There was only one facility that could build the station, and when Laika station found out it was a joint venture between two governments that hate each other, they decided to throw in a little support of their own.  Laika did not help much, other than bringing the cost of the construction down, but they hope this little example of teamwork would be a good example for the rest of the Solar system.  LDM also included several technological advances only found on the Moon itself, but the components are only maintained by official Moon personnel.  One such component is E.N.A.I. 1, or External Network Artificial Intelligence One, which is an experimental A.I. designed by Cyberworks.  It isn’t anywhere near as powerful as A.R.C.H.I.E. 7 and is actually designed to work in concert with the more advanced computer.  On the occasions that E.N.A.I is denied access to A.R.C.H.I.E. its computing power is reduced, but its personality shows through more actively.  It has a personality similar to that of a nice inquisitive child, but it is still entirely mechanical and subject to the orders it receives, from both A.R.C.H.I.E. 7 and the leaders who run the station, who both think it is just an automated computer system.  The station itself is designed to rotate enough to generate a slightly heavier than moon-like gravity, enough to make it comfortable for Lunar citizens while not impeding the research.  It has the Space for up to 2000 inhabitants but currently only has about 700 humans living on the station at any given time.  There are no mutants, animal or otherwise on the station.  Unfortunately, any miners who aren’t a part of LDM are unwelcome, and any freebooter is treated with extreme paranoia.  The station has only been online for just shy of nine months and its citizens are hopeful that it will be the answer to all of their dreams

R-13 Mining Platform, Rock Butt:


Position:  In orbit just near the Northern Cap of Mars
Gravity: effectively Zero
Businesses: A few shops supplying Mining supplies and booze
Services: Food, rest, and refueling.  Ship modification and the beginnings of ship construction facilities..
Industry: Mining and a free flea market
Government: Operated by Bjorn 3142 Former section head of Planetary Mining Corp.
Language: English/American and a small amount of Euro

While the Tulipan Station may be considered one of the newest state of the Art Facility, The R-13 Mining Platform is the least advanced station in the solar system, and maybe the galaxy beyond.  It has two large containers designed to contain Ice and ore that flank either side of the main entry to the station, the view a spacer receives on his way to the station has given R-13 it’s affectionate nickname, Rock Butt.  A little more than 1200 residents live here, but it could definitely hold more.  This is mostly because the old Planetary Mining Corp. offices are being repurposed and more and more miners take their business elsewhere opening up more room. Many years ago the Independent Mining operation, Planetary Mining Corporation, built a station to assist in the Mining operations on Mars.  It was a shady company that believed in doing everything possible to operate cheaply.  R-13 was their shining jewel that was supposed to catapult them to fame and fortune.  Unfortunately Mining for Ice on Mars was expensive and dangerous, and they never saw the profits they were expecting.  This station did draw in a great many freebooters on their way to the Asteroid field, which was much more cost effective than mining Mars, and was the base of operations for many of the mining done on Deimos.  About six years ago, the Planetary Mining Corporation folded after one of its board members embezzled all of its funds.  The company had a fair amount of debt and couldn’t afford to stay in business.  The compassionate head of the station, Bjorn 3142 from Freedom Station who had fallen in love with his job, did everything in his power to keep it in operation. This was a daunting task with its failing nuclear generator and it’s mostly jury-rigged parts.  Exposed wiring provides both power leaks and a hazard to anyone floating around the station, and there almost seems to be as much duct tape holding the station together as steel.  Bjorn understood there was a lot of work to be done, so he opened his station up to anyone who is willing to help fix it up, including criminals and mutants.  He also opened up one of the two massive containers to be a free market without questions asked, all he asked for was a small tax for any item sold.  While there is a security force on the station, they only try to stop fighting, they do not even enforce the tax on sales as Bjorn works on the honor system.  Sure, some taxes are lost, but the sellers like to be able to use the market so most actually give up IOUs to keep the station operational.  Bjorn recently hired several genius mechanics from Outcast station that have begun fashioning new workable parts for the station from scrap junk that was sitting around.  This lead the Station head to begin brainstorming to create a ship modification service with possible expansion to begin constructing new ships.  Ceres and Rock Butt have been opening up dialogues for helping each other but the station doesn’t have much to offer so any cooperation between them would be funded by the asteroid colony.  Laika station is watching how the situation develops.  The don’t want to see the station become non functional, but they do mind if they begin to get competition.  If the shipyard begins to build ships they would be years behind what Laika could make, none the less the two stations seem to have icy relations.  This may create another issue for the station as Laika is also the best manufacturer if nuclear generators, something Rock Butt needs badly.  Bjorn keeps hope alive, and it seems to be infectious.

This message was lightly edited by the GM at 23:38, Fri 06 Jan 2012.

Orbital Control
 GM, 3 posts
Sat 7 Jan 2012
at 00:08
Asteroid Belts 2395
Asteroid Belts:



An uncounted number of Asteroids float through this sea of rock and space.  Once mankind had begun charting this territory, but ever since the Flash the asteroid belt of old has changed drastically.   For some reason, many new rocks appeared while others vanished during the flash.  Contrary to what most people think it is quite easy to fly around most of the asteroid belt, computers easily track the other objects floating around.  Most of the Belt only sees a collision of two asteroids once every year or so.  It is about as easy to walk down a street and not bump into anyone else as it is to navigate the belt, as long as you are looking forward you should not have any issues.  Occasionally something causes the ‘seas’ of the asteroid belt to become a chaotic mess of flying rock and ice, but those occurrences are rare, usually caused by a Jupiter storm or a new asteroid appearing.  Some people believe that the ‘new’ asteroids that appear are just the old asteroids reappearing, just like Atlantis on Earth, but there is yet to be any proof of this.  Originally, there were several Asteroids large enough to be considered Dwarf Planets, now there are at least a Dozen more that have been discovered.  There are four Asteroid fields, the Largest being the large belt that slowly orbit’s the sun.  The other Fields are the Trojan Field, the Greek Field, and the Minor Hildas Field.  Like the relation between the Earth and the Moon there are Lagrange points between Jupiter and the Sun.  The Trojan Field is gathered up in the L5 point, constantly following Jupiter around in its orbit, while The Greek Field always precedes Jupiter being located in the L4 point.  The Hildas Field is made up of Asteroids gathered at the L3 point, directly opposite Jupiter from the Sun.  For the most part the Asteroid belt is where Humanities influence ends in the Solar System.  There are several types of asteroids floating in the Belt; they are C-type, S-type, and M-type.  C-type asteroids are the most common asteroids found in the Belt.  They range from rocks that contain carbon, aluminum, iron, magnesium with trace amounts of ice to large Ice balls that are mostly frozen water with the occasional rock.  S-type asteroids are rich in iron and other metals with a fair mix of other rocks.  M-type asteroids are the rarest type, and the most rewarding.  They are almost pure chunks of nickel Iron and are occasionally made up of rare elements.  Due to its location and major influence on the Asteroids Jupiter has been listed in this section.

The Belt:



The most Important Field of asteroids, at least to humanity.  Once this Field was several proto planets that were trying to become a world, that was until Jupiter formed.  These proto planets are still here, along with the massive amount of rocks that would have made up these planets mass‘.  While Life in this region of space is rough, many of the colonists who have made their way out here have managed to cobble together a decent life.  Even when Energies from Jupiter Flare up and a ‘Stroid Storm’, as the locals call it, starts most don’t feel the need to move back to civilized space.  Some argue the only difference between here and the ’inner orbit’ are the distances between colonies and the amount of technology available.  While ice is common in the belt, many people here are not rich in IOUs.  Most of the ice that is mined is taken back to the stations, as it is really the only way to effectively be paid and do something with your money, but this may change in the future.  (Ooc note, I did try and research asteroid gravities, but after looking at the MIO book belt way station had a gravity of .25 so I upped the other gravities)

Ceres:



Position:  Deep Belt
Gravity: .26g
Businesses: Defense shops galore
Services: Rest, refuel, food, second rate Bioware services
Industry: Extensive mining operations and several minor manufacturers
Government: The Ceres Democracy
Language: All speak English/American with 25% speaking Euro or Techno-Can

Almost as soon as Asteroids became cost effective to mine for ice several groups decided to hunt down the Fabled Ceres Asteroid and its fields of ice.  The Planetary Mining Corp. and many independent mining operations decided to settle down and mine Ceres.  Over time, the Dwarf Planet was teeming with life, with nearly 7,000 inhabitants.   Unfortunately mining a single massive body for ice was less cost effective than just pulling ice rich asteroids out of the belt and towing them to the stations, but with enough backing it can become a major money maker.  It takes 4.6 years for Ceres to orbit the Sun, and 9.12 hours for it to spin on its axis.  The colony doesn’t have an official name yet but people are just happy to call it Ceres until another city pops up on the surface of the Planetoid (Ceres has a surface area just over that of Argentina for those who want to know).  It became a major stop for prospectors out to make a claim, and one of the few places where you could stake a claim and have it officially recognized.  While not as famous a stop as the Belt Way Station it is almost a required stop for any deep belt miner.  The are some of the most accurate maps of the belt available, a variety of small shops, and even a fairly nice hydroponics facility.  A full two thirds of the Colony exist on the Exterior of the Dwarf Planet as opposed to the subterranean colony of Mare Imbrium.  The major reason this is possible is that the Space around Ceres is uncommonly calm, and surprisingly protected from solar rays.  On the off chance that an asteroid from the belt moves towards the colony ships are sent to divert or destroy the space rock.  Also even with the lower than earth gravity people here don’t seem to suffer the deteriorating effects that the people of the moon suffer from.  If that wasn’t strange enough, mutations here are almost unheard of, even if the parents are both mutants themselves!  Mutant animals born here also seem to have a very human like appearance, in recent years some scientists have heard about this incredible news, but most discount the idea as just another wild story from the fringes of human society.  After the primary organizing force of the colony, The Planetary Mining Corporation, went bankrupt and dissolved, the people of the colony decided to create a government, The Ceres Democracy.  Almost every issue is handled by a small committee that is headed by a President.  All the positions are designed to be elected every few years, incumbents won every time.  This has lead several outside governments to believe that the Ceres election process is rigged, not that the developed stations actually care.  While there are officials that propose legislation every issue is voted on by every citizen of the colony, so far there has been an astounding 94% turnout of voters.  Freedom station has been reviewing the idea of recognizing Ceres as an Independent Nation, and considers the mining colony an extension of itself.  Rock Butt station orbiting Mars has been trying to include itself in the planetoids success, something the Committee has been reluctant to accept.  The people of the station are desperate for someone, anyone to recognize them so the Committee may help the minor station.  They are seen as the big brother asteroid and almost all of the permanent colonies seem to look to Ceres for help.  They have plenty of mining equipment, as well as the ability to harvest and process ice and minerals.  Several shops offering products and services beyond the daily needs of the colony have also recently sprung up.  There is a second rate Bio-Ware facility that opened up recently, after its owner was exiled from freedom station, as well as a weapons manufacturer that has made its base of operations here.  From ship armaments to personal side arms, they vow to be able to handle any opposition.  They have produced several armors to protect people as well, but they are far from the top protection.  There is a large dome on Ceres that holds the largest body of water outside of earth accessible by man.  It is called the Titus ocean after the theory that caused the Dwarf planet to be found.  It is maintained by a company that advertises the ’ocean’ as a vacation spot.  Humans are free to swim completely immersed in water that goes to a depth of 30 feet.  The biggest issue the colony faces currently is its lack of ability to create electrical components and computers, as well as advanced medical supplies.  They have been able to purchase supplies from the Stations, but prices seem to slowly be increasing on them.  There is magical activity on Ceres, but it seems to be random and fluctuating.  Random Blue lines occasionally crises-cross the surface of the planetoid, but without any true signs of power.  There are two popular theories as to why this happens, but they are made without any actual knowledge of what these Blue lights are.  First is that the Energies that flash from Jupiter actually drain the lay lines of Ceres.  The second is that the Lay Lines of Ceres actually are what is causing the odd lack of mutation and Debilitating Zero-G sickness.

Vesta:



Position:  Inner belt
Gravity: .38g
Businesses: None
Services: None
Industry: None
Government: None
Language: None

Vesta is one of the largest Asteroids in the Belt.  It was one of the original ‘big four’ of pre-flash Asteroids and was once thought to be a planet.  Few Mining operations have attempted to come here and exploit this large rock.  It may be smaller than Pallas but its mass is much higher indicating that it should have a much higher volume of useful materials.  One story of Vesta clams that once during a ‘Stroid Storm’ the entire rock was bathed in blue light, leading some to believe it is a very unstable place to be.  If there is ever a race to colonize the belt unwitting miners and colonists may very well land unknowingly on a dangerous land.

Pallas:



Position:  Inner Belt
Gravity: .13g
Businesses:  Buying and selling of booze and stolen goods
Services:  Rest, refuel, and food
Industry: Piracy
Government: None
Language: Most speak English/American while the rest speak Euro.  Old French is rising in popularity.

Of the nations that make up Yuro Station the French are the most commonly seen in other places in the system.  The acquired a fairly large Fleet of ships and are usually the most interested as to what is happening other places than their own corridors of the station.  It should not be that surprising that they decided to set up their own mining operations.  They chose Pallas to be their target, unfortunately they chose poorly.  Pallas has very few resources that are abundant enough, and easy enough to get at to be worthwhile.  Shortly after they set up facilities, they found a rich deposit of Ice, something few believed they would find.  Under the Ice they found deposits of rock that were rich in Palladium!  They believed it was fate to find various kinds of palladium on the Asteroid that the element was named after.  Those combined with several other lucky finds caused the French to pour money into the mine.  They even got several other Mining companies to join them in the venture, Like the Planetary Mining Corp that was desperate for profit.  After the official mining complex was installed, mining started in earnest.  Unfortunately, that is when their luck ran out.  Two years the workers desperately tried to find the next score that would justify the facilities cost.  While several sections of the Asteroid haven’t been properly surveyed, most evidence showed that there was just nothing there.  In the end after paying the workers, the mine was loosing money.  The French and the Mining companies pulled out, and the colony died.  Several years later pirates on the run from Freedom Shuttles found the facility and hid.  The Shuttles turned back as Pallas was still officially the territory of Yuro station.  Those pirates quickly spread word of the safe location and soon pirates swarmed the ugly Rock.  The hiding spot was even sweeter due to rock collisions that happen frequently in the area.  Before the Stations could properly respond the place was infested with heavily armed pirates and mutant outcasts, making it almost impossible to clear out.  It is now a brutal place, built deep into the heart of Pallas, with death in every corner.  Murders are not uncommon and it is one of the few places in the solar system to use slaves.  The outcast station is a tame place compared to this ruthless colony.  The Freedom Navy tries it’s best to track and mark any vessel that enters the area, but more and more ships slip through every day.

Hygeia:



Position:  Deep Belt
Gravity: .1g
Businesses: None
Services: Rest, refuel and food for official visitors, no others are allowed
Industry: Mining
Government: Military dictatorship.
Language: Roughly 60% speak English/American while 40% speak Euro.  Recently Gobbely has become popular.

Hygeia is one of the Big 4 large asteroids that were once classified as planets.  Now it is a prison complex.  It is probably the only place in the system you can find Soldiers from every station and the moon together with a common purpose.  No matter what the politics may be, they are prison guards.  The only member of the Major stations that does not support or use this facility is the Outcast station.  As the years went on and the populations of the Stations swelled, there was a need to do something with criminals.  The prison of Hygeia was devised.  It is a harsh place almost entirely built underground.  There are only four vac suits ever in the colony unless there is a special reason; those are for technical staff only.  Even most of the guards are trapped here, many of them once served as prisoners themselves, as a spot opened up they were promoted from prisoner to guard, not that it reduces the sentence that they were given.  The complex was designed by engineers from both Freedom Station and the German section of Yuro Station.  It has Full hydroponics systems, advanced monitoring and defense systems and one mark three Glitter in case of a prison break.  The prisoners mine the many ores that make up the asteroid, which are then sent equally to all of it‘s participating members.  A small number of prisoners have escaped the prison and riots occur often, but have always been stopped.  There are 300 guards and over 3000 prisoners, making the situation more volatile than it has ever been before.  Mare Imbrium has all but pulled out of the project, the Moon has it’s own prisons, but it still believes in sending a token force to guard the other dangerous criminals that stay there.  Recently the Hygeian Correctional Mine has had to deal with Ceres to get additional ice to maintain the facilities, this shows that the Stations aren’t paying much attention to this location anymore.


NA-003153 Cerberus:



Position:  Last Asteroid in the belt before one moves on to the Hildas Field
Gravity: 1.1g
Businesses: None
Services: None
Industry: None
Government: None
Language: None

This is one of the largest asteroids in the belt now; it appeared on the day of the flash.  It’s official name is NA-003153 but after a spacer landed here and barely escaped it has been known as Cerberus, the Giant three headed dog that guards Hades.  While another mystery surrounds the Hildas Field Tales about the last object you pass on your way there have given the field another name, Hell.  Cerberus has a breathable atmosphere and heavier than earth gravity.  It spins on its axis twice every earth day and is always by the Hildas Field.  There are open volcanoes and magma flowing over a full two thirds of the planetoid, giving it less surface area than most of the other major Asteroids.  It apparently has ‘natural life’ on its surface, but tales of these creatures send shivers down the spine of the most rational of beings.  Little fact is known about Cerberus, and little is likely to be known anytime soon.  It appears to have come from another dimension; even what Scientists have discovered about the composition of the asteroid seems to indicate it is of some kind of alien object.

NA-222319, Normandy:



Position:  Deep Belt (on the upper section of asteroids)
Gravity: .43g
Businesses: None
Services: None
Industry: Basic Mines
Government: French and British interests
Language: All speak Euro 80 % speak English/American and another 40% speak Techno-Can

The French section of Yuro Station never gave up its early attempts to gather resources for the station.  They had a bulk of the fleet so it was their responsibility to explore and attempt to expand their sphere of influence.  More importantly if they made the other sections of Yuro station more dependant on them they would finally, and officially, be in charge of the station.  They sent ships to scour the Field looking for good places to build a new mining colony.  They never found one that suited their needs, but the British, using satellites and drones, succeeded.  The French had been avoiding the ’New’ asteroids, but the British used tools that ancient earth had used to map the system before advanced spacecraft, drone satellites and telescopes.  After months of argument, the two sections agreed to work together and form a mining colony.  Initially the British helped fund the process and the French transported both British and French miners to the location.  The first mining camp was named Normandy and the planetoid received its name due to the camp.  Normandy is a truly alien rock.  It is believed it contained water, air and life forms before it was transported to the Belt.  There are large stone ‘spikes’ that angle off in weird directions.  It is minerally very rich and seemed to have ample ice to mine as well.  For all of the activity on the planet it has barely been explored.  4 months after mining operations began a fight broke out and several minors were killed.  Both mining crews retreated to their ships when an alarm went off, shortly afterwards the camp exploded.  Both groups of miners blamed each other, and what little amount of unity and friendship had been forged was now shattered.  Both the British and French lay claim to the Asteroid and officially they still get along.  In reality, there are two different mining camps on the Surface of Normandy, The British camp of Brittany, and the French camp of Île-de-France.  Now the miners play both soldier and miner as each group fights over the space rock, without any ‘official’ assistance from their governments.  There is an ever-shifting population on this rock as miners come and go.  Between the two colonies there is room for 5,000 colonists, but between the transitory nature of miners and the fact that this is the only place in the solar system with an active war the number is much smaller.


NA-699968, Spook:
Position:  Random
Gravity: effectively none
Businesses: None
Services: None
Industry: None
Government: None
Language: None

One asteroid that was once believed to be a myth is the infamous ‘Spook’ Asteroid.  Once a tall tale of an asteroid that seemed to appear and disappear without warning, it has now been confirmed by enough video evidence that it was given an official classification.  Scanners and any instrument that magnifies human sight don’t seem to be able to notice this phantom rock, only human sight will work, not even a Bioware enhanced eye is able to perceive Spook.  Several spacers state that they were able to land on the rock before it disappeared.  Fortunately, they were all tethered to their spacecraft as they all have stated that they felt like they were being pulled somewhere.

Maybe Dick:
Position:  probably nowhere
Gravity: ??
Businesses: none
Services: none
Industry: none
Government: none
Language: none

No one knows where this story started but it has spread through the spacer ranks like wildfire.  Supposedly, there is an asteroid floating around that from a distance looks like a large Ice asteroid, but after you close on it you come across the realization that it is actually a large diamond.  This story is quite unlikely but not impossible.

NA-0000512, Belt Way Station:
Position:  Inner Belt
Gravity: .25
Businesses: Minor needs shop
Services: Rest, refuel, and food.
Industry: None
Government: none
Language: none

This self-sufficient planetoid is home to the only place in the asteroid field that everyone knows about.  It has been operated by the Wintel family for over 40 years.  A large extended family takes pride in its independence and the fact that they own the entirety of the small planetoid.  Almost everyone that has been to the inn holds the Wintels with high regard.


Trojan Field: L5

This was the first asteroid field that was discovered that was not a part of the Asteroid belt.  Rouge asteroids are usually referred to as ‘Trojans’ so when this field was detected it was named the Trojan Field.  It is rarely affected by the Stroid storms and is peaceful.  It also seems to have very few changes after the flash, something that may send scientists to the region to study one day.  It contains major asteroids like Paris, Sarpedon, Alcathous, Phereclos, and Cebriones but none have truly been explored.

Greek Field: L4



If the Trojan field is a peaceful place with little change, the Greek Field is quite the opposite.  Most of the original asteroids here have been replaced, with more changes that happen every day.  The storms that Emit from Jupiter often shoot over to strike the Greek field.  Also a green nebula like cloud is always surrounding the field, obscuring many dangers from view.  Few have been insane enough to venture into the Greek field, but those that come back tell tales of riches and creatures moving around in the clouds, just out of sight.


Hildas Field: L3

Oddly enough, it is not the Greek belt that inspires fear in spacers; it is the Mysterious Hildas Field.  No one who has ever gone into the cluster of asteroids has ever returned.  They appear normal enough but the closest asteroid that people have landed upon is Cerberus, which is technically a part of the Asteroid Belt.  Due to the reputation of Cerberus, most spacers believe that the Hildas field is full of other nightmares that kill everyone that tries to get near them.  It is quite possible that the Hildas field sits on some kind of magical nexus point.  Somehow, instead of causing massive destruction like Jupiter does, it is possible the Field just gates people to other places.  Perhaps someday someone will return and pass this information on…

Jupiter:

Position: fifth planet of the system
Gravity: Very high
Moons: 60+ four of note Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto
Stations: None

Jupiter is the largest Planet in the solar system.  It is a gas Giant, meaning that most of it’s mass is made up of gasses.  There is a solid mass in the center of all of the gas but the pressure there would crush any man made material well before it made it there.  Jupiter is named after the Roman god of thunder, this seems far more appropriate after the affects of the Flash.  Jupiter seems to be centered on some kind of power nexus unlike any seen in the Solar system.  The famous red storms of Jupiter now give off eldritch lightning large enough to incinerate anything made by man.  They arc from Jupiter to one of its lesser sattelites, where it then arcs into the asteroid field where chaos then erupts as one or more asteroids are obliterated.  This causes the Stroid Storms that plague the main Belt and the Greek field.  For some reason these eldritch bolts do not explode until they reach a destination in the asteroid field and they have yet to strike anything made by man.  In addition, any asteroid that is flung around Jupiter or any of its four major moons seem to be safe from the ravages of these powerful bolts.  As odd as it seems more spacers have studied the effects of Jupiter and its storms than any other object outside the belt.  Ships have been as close to Jupiter as Callisto before they started having issues with their equipment.  Future missions may be in order for these spacers, as it is believed that the Inner moons of Jupiter may be changing.  Io in particular has changed color, and more than one spacer believes that it is becoming less volcanic.  The storms are also getting less and less powerful, this could be a process of ebbing and flowing, but the hope is that these storms are just an aftereffect of the Flash.  Some Scientists also believe that Jupiter is headed for some kind of meltdown.  Jupiter is believed to be a failed star, but lost the race with our sun.  Some believe that the Magical storms are a countdown until the planet combusts and Sol becomes a Binary star system.
Orbital Control
 GM, 4 posts
Sat 7 Jan 2012
at 00:14
Outer System 2395
Outer System:


The outer system is everything beyond the asteroid belt that is a part of the Solar System.  It includes three gas giants and one terrestrial planet.  There is also another Belt of Asteroids and Dwarf planets called The Kuiper Belt that extends quite a distance away from the sun.  Humanity may have to explore this belt as it expands further if it never achieves FTL capabilities.  Much like the rest of the system, this area has changed since the days of pure science.  The People of the orbital communities have a long way to go before these regions even begin to be explored.  Very little detail is going to be given about each of these planets; they are as far away from man as the moon was during the 20th century.

Saturn:
Position: sixth planet in the System
Gravity: Very High
Moons: a powerful planetary ring and 60+ the most notable being Titan
Stations:  none

The beauty of Saturn has enchanted people for as long as humanity has been aware of it.  It has thick rings or Ice and space dust the fan out from its equator.  It seems to quite calm for one of the gas giants.  Unlike Jupiter that has massive eldritch storms Saturn just quietly sits in the darkness, its rings occasionally giving off a faint blue glow.  Much like some of Jupiter’s moons one of Saturn’s moon of Titan appears to be going through some changes.  More accurately, it already changed.  The first image of Titan shows that its atmosphere had changed to that of an oxygen rich atmosphere.  There is even some evidence that plants may even be growing.  Until humanity begins sending out probes to investigate Saturn and its companion Triton will remain a mystery


Uranus:
Position: seventh planet in the solar system
Gravity: Very High
Moons: a powerful planetary ring and up to 27 moons Most notable being Titania and Oberon
Stations:  none

Uranus has always been a strange planet.  It spins from what earthlings would consider south to north and its moons orbit in the same manner.  Uranus is one of the two ‘Ice Giants’ which are gas giants that hold a great amount of ice and water within their mass.  Uranus seems to be in flux, sections of it seem to disappear at times leading people to believe it may have some connection to the Spook asteroid.  Oddly enough Titania and Oberon seem to be the only objects near Uranus that don’t suffer the same condition.  Only a faint blue outline stays in place any time a chunk of the planet or moon disappear.


Neptune:
Position: eighth planet in the solar system
Gravity: Very High
Moons: 13 most notable being Triton and Proteus.
Stations:  none

This planet has an orbit that occasionally puts it into the Kuiper Belt.  Like Uranus, it is an Ice Giant, but with a standard rotation.  It has begun to ‘Eat’ parts of the Kuiper belt, drawing in asteroids at a frightening rate.  It also seems to be loosing some of its water.  There are six small moon sized solid chunks of ice (as far as anyone can tell) that have begun to follow Neptune in its orbit.  One was observed from freedom station as having been ‘ejected’ from the Planets south pole.  This does not seem to have any affect on the inner system for now, but who knows what will happen in the days after the Flash.

Pluto:
Position: ninth planet in the solar system (technically a part pf the Kuiper belt)
Gravity: .97g
Moons: three Charon, Nix, and Hydra
Stations: none

When Pluto was first discovered it was called a planet, but then some 75 years later it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.  Close to a hundred years would pass before this would change again.  After the Flash Pluto seemed to grow to be, just a little smaller than it had originally theorized to be.  In the 1930’s it was believed that Pluto was actually roughly the same size as earth.  It retains its three moons and continues its orbital path that wanders around the solar system.  The only other oddity is that one of its moons, Hydra now produces light.  It almost seems as though the surface of the moon is on fire.  It will be strange to finally find out what changes happened to this small controversial world.

Kuiper Belt and Beyond:

Beyond the standard idea that we have of a solar system exists another asteroid belt, one far more massive than the belt humanity has started to explore.  There are many more dwarf planets and other strangeness…. However, that would take us well out of the Rifts: Orbit setting