ROUND ONE VOTING: PLACES.   Posted by The GM.Group: 0
The GM
 GM, 146 posts
Mon 4 Jul 2022
at 17:16
Colony Ship Longo Drum (spaceship):

When the seed component of Longo Drum was launched from the Conakry, Guinea in 2130AD, making it one of the last of the such ships to be launched, its plan of action was clear:
a) the best real estate would have been claimed by earlier ships before; and
b) before the ship arrived at its destination, technology would have advanced so far as to make the inhabitants of Longo Drum seem primitives or even savages in comparison by those who would have arrived through some kind of faster than light travel, so the committee behind the launch proposed a strategy with three strands:

1) the arts and humanities rather than sciences should be developed as far as they could be developed providing the ship with objects of immense aesthetic value to trade with systems they might meet on the way;
2) scientific work taking place on the ship should concentrate on technologies arising from fringe scientific theories or from unexpected phenomena; and
3) attempts should be made to uplift six intelligent non-human lifeforms, namely, the Eurasian magpie, the bottle-nosed dolphin, the common octopus, the chimpanzee, the Humboldt squid and the rat and to produce a society where all seven organisms (including humans) can thrive equally.

The Longo Drum was built in space and in 2147 launched in an orbit that would bring it into contact with as many other colonies as possible before reaching a point on the edge of the galaxy in around 230 million years.  Its beginning complement was 51,000 people in roughly equal parts Romany, Guineans, and artists and weird scientists of all ethnic origins plus a thousand each of the animals being uplifted.

Harvest (planet):

Harvest! Breadbasket of the Spiral Arm! Harvest has no moon, so there are no tides, but the rain is fine. Harvest doesn't have a lot of vulcanism, so there are few mountains-- mostly just lots of plains for crops. And crops it has! Harvest is 90 percent crops (and harvesting facilities), and 10 percent security facilities to guard those crops and their harvests. Harvest is responsible for feeding an even larger percentage of the civilized galaxy than one might think.

Rumors of sentient native life in the oceans or (especially) burrowing under the plains are dismissed by the security forces. "The scavs? The scavs are clever-- cunning, even, sure, but they're not intelligent! They're just, like, smart gophers!" The harvesting crews aren't so sure...

Hong Kong Station (space station/republic):

Hong Kong Station is an artificial satellite in the orbit of old Earth.  Originally it was built at the trailing (L4) then stable point of the moon's orbit around the Earth.  It was built as a prison for political prisoners during the Taipei Supremacy but since the fall of the T'ai Empire has become an independent state operating on Mutualist lines.  It has remained an independent republic for several millennia.  It is about one twentieth of the size of Earth's natural moon but the mass is somewhat higher.  It spins at such a rate that the subjective gravity at the outer ring is 2/3 g.  The population is currently twenty million.

The Insular Nebula (nebula):
     Nebulas are the birth cradles of planets and stars. The Insular Nebula has birthed a dozen solar systems in its time and does not yet seem even close to done. It is vast, dense with various elements, and the gravity within it is irregular and unpredictable. Any space lanes that go near it or, stupidly, through it would be difficult or impossible to traverse. Too, the nebula sits close to the center of a galaxy which causes even more navigational headaches. However, those who study the stars keep a close eye on it.

Lilith (planet):

A planet that's at the same size as Earth, with a greenish sky in its hemisphere, with several giant fungi inhabiting the entire landmass. Other than that, the planet looks habitable. Though, when the first settlers decided to move in, they found very quickly that the air in this planet was toxic. The fungal growth has a hallucinogenic spore that has spread upon the air. Most of the settlers have started hallucinating their worst fears and gone mad, killing each other. Even those wearing hazmat suits were completely affected by the spores effect. The planet was deemed uninhabitable for the near future, although several mega-corporation have sent in drones to harvest the fungal growth for a special product line.

Mahalzhan System (solar system):
     Its primary sun is a yellow star, but the system is a binary star system, and Mahalzhan orbits around a center of mass along with a smaller red sun, Oozhan. This causes both the radiation and gravity of the system to be higher than normal. Now, alongside the sun, two planetoid masses orbit the same center of mass. The first is a barren, rocky thing blasted by radiation and extreme gravity. It orbit close enough to the center of mass that it passes close to the yellow star at one point of it orbit and then close-ish to the red star on the opposite end of its orbit. This causes its weather to alternate between extreme heat and extreme cold. The planet, Mahalzhan 1, is not naturally inhabitable. Further out, a second planetoid orbit in what would be considered the goldilocks zone of a normal star system. Here, though, this planet is also blasted by radiations and suffers from extreme weather conditions. Finally, outside these two is a large asteroid belt that orbits the system. Vast and made of a combined rock and ice mixture, this asteroid belt is the most easily habitable place in the system with the right equipment. It is also mineral rich and contains vast deposits of iron, aluminum, and gold.

Mersta (space station/power plant):

Originally "Mercury Station," soon shortened to MerSta and finally just Mersta. Just a little closer to the sun than Mercury, Mersta is two shapes-- a flat disc 200 miles wide with solar panels on the sun-facing side, and a cylinder coming off the center of the back of the disc that provides 10 miles of area for living and working space. The whole thing revolves, to give those on the inside of the cylinder 3/4ths Earth gravity. The main function of the inhabitants of the cylinder is to serve as constant repair crews for anything that hits the back of the disc as needed. However, its ability to not only beam nigh-unlimited power to all structures on Mercury, as well as to recharge any number of forms of huge batteries, means that Mersta is actually more important-- and more visited by ships-- than all of Mercury itself put together.

S.S. Belong (spaceship):
Deep in the far reaches of space there was once a ship that had a thriving colony: the S.S. Belong. They would travel upon worlds, trade their goods to other cultures, and then finally find a planet to settle, though they much preferred their life in the ship. Then one day a prophet came, no one knows where he came into the room, he just appeared one day as if by thin air. And he foretold that this ship would face its end, that no help will come for them for they have been abandoned. The colonists simply laugh it off as the delusions of an old man. But the prophet said one final thing, that the only way to survive is to give up all ideals and personalities and be of one mind, of one collective.

Several weeks go by after the prophet mysteriously vanishes, an incident occurred, a calamitous one. Over half of the millions of colonists perished, the ships engines all but ceased, communications were cut and a disease ravaged upon the survivors. They have tried signaling for help, but they received no response. They've tried using their escape pods to set up a rescue mission but all they met was a grisly end. They were trapped in their own vessel. As food and water started running dry, as the plague got worse and worse. They all remembered the prophet's words, and with no other option and clinging to a last sliver of hope.

Months went by and the S.S. Belong made a sudden appearance near a colony ship that focused on trade. This sudden appearance was not the strangest thing, it was the fact that the ship appeared out of nowhere and its model looked unrecognizable, almost like it was upgraded. The colonists in that ship were also different, they started referring to themselves as One, referring as we and speaking in unison. Though they still do what they've always done-- trade-- they've also started preaching about being One and have actively wanted others to enlist in their colony. They acted like a cult but they weren't hostile unless in self-defense. Those few who did attempt to join them backed off again very soon, saying that the inhabitants of the the S.S. Belong just aren't right in the head-- but were at least nice enough to let them go. Eventually the ship departed and disappeared, along with its colonists. It's been appearing in and out across the Galaxy, trading, and also looking for others to join them.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:52, Mon 04 July.