19 April 2012

Library Data T & N - Terra & New California

Recovered from the depths of "the Stacks" the after at great effort and diligence, we present these fragments of Old Empires history. These entries allegedly date form a First Imperium Imperial University Library. 

 Worlds of the Empire and beyond.

TERRA/Sol [0000] A 877 A6C-B. 

In Imperial Year 20 this world is the Capital of the Empire. Terra's starport has had its war damage repaired and just recently been reclassified as a Class A Starport. Terra's Size and Hydrographics don't change enough to alter their original values. The Atmosphere shows the lingering effects of the ecological disasters of the 21st Century and First Space War and the end of 1st Interstellar War. The Population of Terra is on the low end of the high population worlds spectrum which reflects both the recent war casualties, but also Terra's policy of deporting the excess "useless" population to its colonies. Terra is currently occupied by the Empire and that is reflected in both the Government Type and the extreme Law Level.

The Republic of New California/New Horizons [Artifact Hex 1101] C 310 883-8.

Discovery and Contact: Ice Station Zebra is a combined Naval and Scout Base on a large, frozen world in the outer reaches of the most distant Imperial system. It is Ice Station Zebra that picked up the radio transmissions of the New Republic of California, an apparently post-Atomic, space faring civilization. Imperial Scouts (covered as Merchants) jumped from Ice Station Zebra to New California. Shortly after making contact with the natives of the world the Scouts discovered the Terran origin of the New Californians. 

The natives are not entirely pleased to see their new Imperial kin. They speak of the Confederation of the Shattered Kingdoms of the Sapphire Throne, whom they trade with. These Confederation traders have Jump drives so the New Californians were not surprised by the Imperials' Jump capable starship. In fact they claim they aren't allowed to have Jump drives without the permission of the "Old Ones", though they have worked their way to licensing Gravitic technologies. They also imply the coming of a Terran Jump capable society on the Confederation's borders may put that agreement in jeopardy. 

General Information: The natives are sleeper colonists from what is known to current natives as the Great Expedition. The Expedition left from old, pre-jump Terra late in the Exodus. They live underground in enlarged Space Coral caves or cities LASERed out of the bedrock, both of which are lined with a sealant before habitation began. In some cases people still live in the large, prefab domes, upgraded over time that the original colonists brought with them. A few of the original domes are kept as historical sites and left as they were when people moved out of them into the first underground city, Los Angeles. There are also new domes used and lived in by members of the Space Coral Artists' Guild. The major exports of New California are Space Coral and natural resources such as radioactives, gems, metals, and rare earth elements.
The New California system actually has slightly less than the local average for a resource base, but the population of several hundred million beings allows for an easier and more profitable exploitation of the system's resources. The system's low trade barriers and law level gives this a world a positive budget of RUs for large civil projects. One such project was the construction of the high port. Such high ports are not normally present at a C class starport of a world with population of less than a billion or more. It is the recognition of being on the Team that accomplished such Civil Projects, or CPs that drives the Junior Administrators and other low ranking members of New California's planetary government. 

The planetary government is a civil service with exceedingly strict qualifications required to enter The Administration as it is known generally (the official name is The Planetary Administration of the Colony of the Republic of New California). Positions within the Administration are chosen on the basis of examinations and merit, with "merit" being defined as completing projects that benefit the people and world. Completing such a project early, under budget and improved from the original specs pretty much can guarantee a Team not only continuing careers in the Administration, but rapid promotion as well. 

Of the two major players in New California's interstellar trade, the Space Coral Artists' Guild still enjoys the status of having been an early example of such a CP, while pointing out the Miners' Union was a always part of the Administration of the planet. This is not entirely true, the Union is not legally part of the Administration, but they were one of the first interstellar trade blocks and backers of certain powerful early political parties. Currently the Guild is seen as the backers of the Progressive party and the Union as backing the Conservative party.

The natives appear to be a general homogeneous society and are highly accepting of others (while worried about the impact of a Jump capable Terran Empire and its effect on the local stellar political situation, they were still welcoming to beings  previously unknown to them). Their society is not that different from similar worlds within Imperial borders and would have little problems integrating in to the Empire. They are average symbol users, showing no great symbolic leaps not already seen in other human populations.

Physical Characteristics: New California is one world of minor importance in the local interstellar area. It is the Main World of a system of eight worlds and one planetoid belt that orbit a K1 VI star. It is a small, yet dense world with a surface gravity of approximately 0.5 Gs. It has higher than normal metal content. The higher metal content made the first attempts to grow food in the native soil extremely difficult, causing the natives to survive on dwindling ships stores in the early days of the colony. The world has a decent supply of radioactives which the natives trade with the Confederation. 

Air Tax: As New California has only a trace atmosphere they charge foreigners an "Air Tax". The Foreign Atmosphere Consumption Tax is 100 New California Dollars per week. The New Californian dollar is named after the Spanish and then US dollar that the California of Terra used as currency. The current exchange rate is one half gram of gold per dollar. (Currency exchange fees may apply.) Citizens and Resident Aliens are charged a significantly lower yearly rate. This is justified according to the natives because they stay and contribute, whereas Travellers are merely passing through.

Space Coral: New California has a trace of atmosphere and less than 10% free water, enough for a coral/lichen type organism native to the world to survive. The Space Coral leeches the metals forming its skeleton from the surface and below which gives individual corals unique coloring and some unusual material qualities. Also it creates subsurface caves and sometimes tunnel structures. These structures can grow quite large if all the factors needed by the Space Coral to flourish are present in the area. It is one these spaces that the intrepid colonists used to build Los Angeles.

The Space Coral Artists' Guild controls most production of Space Corals. The Guild produces both works of art, such as sculptures, and industrial products, such as specialized bio-crystal chips and solar collection panels. Once the Miners' Union was the most powerful organization in interstellar trade relations, but in the last several decades the Guild has been steadily taking the lead away from the Union as their products and reputation spread farther into the Confederation. Where as most of the products offered by the Union can be found many places in the Confederation and are sold to a smaller market (industrial worlds) the Guild's products can be used and enjoyed by almost any world opening up far more markets.

Fostering: New Californians on the whole practice fostering children between the different states and cultures. This practice goes back to when they were on ships and as there were different cultures aboard the ships one had to make attempts to cross those cultural gaps to insure the survival of the whole Expedition. Thus when the ships made refueling stops the ships would exchange children between the ages of five and eighteen. At eighteen an Able Spacer or Specialist was allowed to choose their ship (with the permission of the fostering and birth ship captains). This custom is still prevalent on New California, though now a Citizen is allowed to move about with out the prior permission of an authority.
The Colony: New California also has a TL-7 colony, Neo-Oregon, in the neighboring system rimward. It is settled by those looking for a new frontier, New California being to lax to them. The Law Level on Neo-Oregon is high, unlike its neighboring world. This may be to the various states interlocking and extremely dense treaties that keep the balkanized world from exploding into world war. 

The Artifact: One of the New Californians sold one of the Scouts a map for sixteen head of cattle. The map is on an advanced version of universe-paper complete with 2-D to 3-D projection. While the Empire has 3-D media technology, the current standard of Imperial data-paper is still pretty limited and 2-D (though the better d-paper has fairly good simulated 3-D). The native language is not known to Imperial Scientists and the native of New Cali claimed no understanding of the Artifact's language or higher functions. The format is non-standard and is composed of a map of eleven parsecs by fourteen parsecs. When it was purchased there was a still 3-D of what seem to be Jump routes, whether trade or military or exploration is unknown. No worlds or stars are shown only the "routes" themselves. 

The Artifact is believed to be old, hundreds, possibly thousands of years old. This is theorized due to indications of extreme wear and tear as well as other clues gathered by non-destructive or invasive investigative methods. The most disturbing feature of the u-paper is that it is still even functioning at all and that it seems to show "Routes" running the gambit from Jump-1 to Jump-4. As the Empire is just beginning to bring Jump-3 on line they are concerned about possible threats from the New Horizons Sector. If the makers of the map come looking for it, the future of the Empire looks bleak indeed. It does explain why the natives were so easy to talk out possession of the Artifact. 

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