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Thread: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

  1. #31
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    Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

    It is when you have to pin your Contingency Plans on prosecuting the Grand General as a common crook (based on covert actions of his subordinates rather than his own), instead of a War Criminal, for fear that a War Crimes verdict will win the Grand General so much support from the less Humanitarian Crius that the admirers of this particular Martyr will someday pronounce YOUR Death Sentence.
    Last edited by Libra1010; 05-19-2017 at 12:40 PM.

  2. #32
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    Planet Carthage

    Star - G3 V Yellow Main Sequence (Phoenix)
    Year - 273 Days
    Day - 30 Hours

    Gravity - Light
    Hydrosphere - Small
    Atmosphere - Breathable at High Elevations


    When you're watching a Mechanical Bullfight in the old dome at Ciudad Barca it sometimes hits you - Humanity has come a very long way in truth.

    Once upon a time Planet Carthage was the epitome of the desirable, a Planet that Humanity could grow accustomed to no matter the difficulties posed by a planet where the average temperature was as close to boiling point as it was to freezing* and never mind that the atmosphere was thick enough to cut with a knife; we could live on parts of this Planet if the air conditioning didn't fail and the crops took root, so the ancestors of my Hosts did just that.

    Then somebody discovered Horus, half-killed that Planet and somehow worked out how to mend the place, patented the process and now we can ignore Planets as close to the edge of our comfort zone as Carthage. Good or Bad that changed the way we looked at Worlds, for now we could remake them to suit ourselves and never bother shaping our habits to suit the Planet (though old Horus itself has crashed into the limits of that Process, after testing them for many a year).

    *In other words about 50 degrees celsius or 122 degrees fahrenheit.
    It makes you think but then so does quite a bit when you're waiting for the mechanics to knock some life back into a malfunction and smothering in heat higher than a man most comfortable with a Starcraft climate cares to endure without distraction; thankfully the clowns popped up and chanced some patter before I could die of abstraction, so all's well that continues well.

    Now Carthage itself is an old world, as you may have gathered from those rambles - not a First World, but our civilisation isn't too much younger there than it is on Old Shiva or Bold Albion - but unlike some of the oldest planets this world has taken an interest in business outside its orbit, not least because after a life lived with the half-familiar biomes of the Uppers and the superheated species living in the Downs that find the human idea of tropical just too close to freezing for their tastes the Alien holds no fears. More to the point Carthage was a world which had much to trade upon that was unprecedented in the Human Experience even from the first (Alien curiosities galore) and that made this a world of Merchants from the first, their transactions shaping the local History to a degree that beats out even my own Albion (which enjoyed a century or so of peaceful acculturation before we decided to take an interest in the wider Galaxy, percentage to be determined and no defaulting on final payment).

    As you might imagine that's given the locals a nice, healthy attitude to traffic and an even nicer balance to local budgets - the first convoy I ever rode all the way took me here and I cannot regret having made my first shore-leave here, broken boiler of a climate aside - but it's also left the Planet open to offers from all and sundry they might have been wiser to decline; the Transtellars, the Union of Faith, even the dear old Commonwealth flew its flag here a few years but none of these alignments have ever quite held because the Carthaginians keep looking for the better deal.

    No matter how Good your timing, that sort of flip-flopping leaves bad blood in its wake and that means Carthage has more grudges ranked against it than a man who keeps three wives but only one wedding ring; crooks have been taking advantage of the less than brotherly attitude of the Great Powers where carthage has been concerned for years now (no extradition treaty), but on the other hand so have more Legitimate types - political refugees looking for somewhere that won't shop them out to the Home just dying to have them back (no extradition treaty), including the Emancipated Church of Lucifer.

    No, not our new "friends" the Crius State Faith, it's the ecclesiastical equivalent of that rascally elder brother who was kicked out of the house because he kept inviting strange kids Home from school without showing them who was boss first; I can't decide if that makes them better neighbours than the Old Archduke's Congregation or just too cynical to batter someone when they can milk them, but we've done business a time or three (mostly because the local Light-bringer could talk a snake into giving the boot-maker business and quite possibly its hatchlings, bless the old con).

    Whatever that makes them their presence is only the most famous of the Stateless lot who help keep life interesting on Carthage and business that little bit more questionable; well, that and the Superpowers giving each other the Evil Eye within a hop, a skip and a jump of this Planet near to the edge.

  3. #33
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    Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

    Sorry for the delay in getting my response to the Shogun's planet but my wife is finally home from the hospital after a week (and having had her leg broken two months).

    Also, Lucifer's Star is now available on audio.

    https://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fa...ook/B0716TDCCD

    Plus we had a few essays on it!

    In Space No One Can See You Bleed

    Populating a Universe

    Black and White or Gray in Space
    The United Federation of Charles: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
    Twitter: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger

  4. #34
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    Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

    Planet Shogun

    You raise some very good point Libra about the Slaver's Planet, though it should be noted whether or not it really deserves that appellation is something which depends greatly on who you are on said planet as well as what you see as the world's future.

    1. The planet Shogun is, indeed, controlled by the Rin-O'Harra Family which is a family of what we'd consider to be mixed Irish-Japanese which have adopted the larger attitudes of a mob family. The family made its fortune in both piracy as well as slavery but has broadened its reach considerably to being a corporate zaibatsu that produces many-many other products that they prefer to keep in the family.

    There is a bit of a conflict within the family right now between the aggressive hardliners who wish to continue the "good old ways" even if it means working as privateers and switching to genetic slavery (i.e bioroids) versus those who believe it's about time to go into a profession which doesn't make them social pariahs on a galactic scale. The current matriarch of the family despite her young for her position is Janice Rin-O'Harra who in addition to looking like a Rhianna-haired Lucy Liu is a progressive who wants to end the slave trade and become a simple trading empire. To that end, ironically, she's ended up working with terrorists...err, freedom fighters in the Free Systems Alliance as the Commonwealth has made it very clear what they want from Shogun.

    Cheap labor and lots of it.

    This is actually against Commonwealth policy as General Hun is misusing resources in the Sector. The official policy from Parliament is they're to assist Shogun phasing out the genetic slave trade and other more offensive institutions for an egalitarian society. It's just, right now, the General's army could really use trustworthy machines--even if those cyborgs didn't start as them.

    Janice, who'd hoped to become the Senator for Sector-7, was appalled by this deal and is only reluctantly complying.
    2. It should be noted that if you're not part of the Rin-O'Harra Cartel or living in one of their floating communities then you're probably dirt poor among the locals and may well be among the Island Folk who are somewhat Polynesian in culture but pretty much descended from any number of spacers who realized that there were hundreds of tropical islands the cartel had no interest in since they expanded primarily along the equator for space travel.

    An interesting quality about the Island Folk is that they're almost entirely a nation of smugglers and freedom fighters as they've built much of their culture AGAINST slavery with many millions of bioroids having escaped to live among them. Indeed, the Lighthouse which is the galaxy's largest anti-slavery movement, began on Shogun and has many representatives who would love to end the Cartel and free the planet's ludicrous slave population. In fact, the Cartel could probably go to war with them and wipe them out but it would be a costly war and previous heads have considered it a safety valve versus a genuine threat. Radicals on both sides will soon escalate that.

    3. It should be noted the actual citizens of Shogun's many floating cities (called "watertowns") are almost all employed by the Cartel in one form or another but very few are genuinely loyal to their masters. If you're not island folk or a bioroid then you're almost certainly an indenture which is working off your family's staggering generational debts. This is not impossible but designed to be extremely difficult and the populace is kept docile only by an abundant availability of entertainments along with a minimum guaranteed standard of living.

    Spam and sea-shows if you will.
    Ironically, this life has led to several competing syndicates rising up against the Cartel with piracy considered to be a lucrative as well as dynamic career move--particularly piracy AGAINST the Cartel or its allies. Leaving the planet without paying off your family's indenture is illegal but, well, stowaways are more common than not.

    4. Shogun was never part of the Archduchy of Crius and its recent admittance into the Commonwealth was entirely voluntarily. It remained studiously neutral in the war, though, with a slight favoring to the people of Albion. This is due to the bizarre fact that while the Archduchy of Crius employed a genetically engineered workers caste and even had whole regions put into forced labor camps--they considered slavery grossly distasteful and use of bioroids while non-sentient by law--were heavily restricted.

    Much like the Ironborn, they considered what they did sharply different from slavery.

    It is a policy which remains curiously enforced in the Republic that those carrying non-bioroid slaves will have the latter freed and the crew spaced. Bioroids, sadly, get a toss-up between freedom, ignoring, and those captains who consider them abominations to the purity of human genetics.
    Last edited by Charles Phipps; 05-20-2017 at 09:06 PM.
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  5. #35
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    Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

    You raise some very good point Libra about the Slaver's Planet, though it should be noted whether or not it really deserves that appellation is something which depends greatly on who you are on said planet as well as what you see as the world's future.
    Given the present dominance of those that traffic in Human Lives (and Bioroids count as Human in my book) over both the Politics & Economy of Shogun, a superiority maintained over at least one or two generations, at least for the present this appellation does not seem unfair - although one will be delighted if Future Developments oblige me to revise that opinion.


    The planet Shogun is, indeed, controlled by the Rin-O'Harra Family which is a family of what we'd consider to be mixed Irish-Japanese which have adopted the larger attitudes of a mob family.
    Not to mention some downright peculiar ideas about The Buddha, to say the very least, although given the Shogunese tend to the materialistic (not necessarily as a point of principle; the poorer elements of the Population either acquire enough to live on or suffer, the wealthier can't really afford to take their eyes off either the stock or their rivals by lifting them to Higher Things for longer than a few instants of time).


    This is actually against Commonwealth policy as General Hun is misusing resources in the Sector. The official policy from Parliament is they're to assist Shogun phasing out the genetic slave trade and other more offensive institutions for an egalitarian society.
    As the Rambler whose snippets of thought concerning various Planets I have been transcribing (by the way, are these any Good? are there any suggestions for their improvement?) would put it: "If the average Commonwealth Officer thought like the average Commonwealth citizen then they wouldn't have had to find a career that took them a long, long way away from their neighbours in the first place" (although that might be a tad cynical).

    By the way, it might amuse you to know that I've been thinking of the Commonwealth's central assembly as Congress because what they seem to do best is either "**** people over or **** things up" as young Cassius would doubtless put it.


    It should be noted that if you're not part of the Rin-O'Harra Cartel or living in one of their floating communities then you're probably dirt poor among the locals and may well be among the Island Folk who are somewhat Polynesian in culture but pretty much descended from any number of spacers who realized that there were hundreds of tropical islands the cartel had no interest in since they expanded primarily along the equator for space travel.
    Not least because most of those islands are too small to walk across in a day - since most of them scarcely require a few hours to traverse - but there ARE quite a few of them and all those little communes do add up; they all live on much the same sort of sea-life (all those man hours spent stuffing the ocean with edible fish et al paying off), but interestingly almost every islands grows its own sort of land-life, principally based on whatever it was the original settlers brought with them in the first place.


    An interesting quality about the Island Folk is that they're almost entirely a nation of smugglers and freedom fighters as they've built much of their culture AGAINST slavery with many millions of bioroids having escaped to live among them.
    It's good to know that there's a healthy Maroon community fighting back against this particular Slave State (although one suspects that "Millions" might well be overstating things, given the difficulty in scratching out a life on the flea-bite islands of "90% seawater" Shogun); one imagines that at least a few rogue bioroids do their best to hide in plain sight amongst the denser populations of the Floating Settlements (given that there are more people to hide out amongst, even if there are also more "Catchers" there to hunt them).


    It should be noted the actual citizens of Shogun's many floating cities (called "watertowns") are almost all employed by the Cartel in one form or another but very few are genuinely loyal to their masters.
    Might one suggest that there should be a number of "Watertown" types? One imagines that some of them are basically super-sized oil rigs (fixed in position to exploit a particularly large reserve of mineral resources), others are basically super-futuristic cruise ships the size of small or not-so-small town (moving around as they follow the fish that keep their locals fed - but also to make it harder for Bioroids to jump ship with the confidence of finding a friendly harbour) and a few may well have been built with a particularly dense archipelago of islands as their foundation-stones.

    It might be amusing to suggest that not a single Sea City on Shogun has ever been built below the surface of the local Ocean "because all the interesting stuff is UP not down" (as opposed to Albion, where the local settlers were quite happy to rusticate in their little Underwater garden cities).


    Side note: Given the domination of this planet's surface by Salt Water there must be a bustling trade in fresh water, whether drawn from comets, cribbed from rainwater or filtered from Big Wet (local nickname for the native Panthalassa), exacerbated by the thirst of a densely-concentrated series of populations (whether on small islands or the artificial Habs).


    Interestingly, Shogun was never part of the Archduchy of Crius and its recent admittance into the Commonwealth was entirely voluntarily. It remained studiously neutral in the war, though, with a slight favoring to the people of Albion.
    One imagines that at least some of the "Dukes" got the idea that it would be much easier to extort monies from Shogun if the planet had no recourse to the Courts of Crius, over and above the genuine principle involved when turning the native Zaibatsu "Chivalrous Organisations" down flat.


    Thank You for taking the time to compose these replies Charles - they are much appreciated, let me assure you.

  6. #36
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    Planet Washington

    Star - K2 V Orange Main Sequence (Rocket).
    Year - 255 Days
    Day - 26 Hours

    Gravity - Moderate
    Hydrosphere - Substantial
    Atmosphere - Breathable

    "... High Washington is a planet of abundant greenery supported by an energetic hydrosphere that supports a high-oxygen atmosphere and superabundant wildlife in turn, principally insectile life of superb size, along with the formidable amphibians that subsist both upon these pseudo-arthropods and upon each other, amongst other forms of prey. The vast majority of these species may be found in the extensive local wetlands, a mixture of fresh and brackish water, along with temperate and tropical rainforests that create an Ecosystem most accurately compared to the Carboniferous Period on Old Earth."

    "The local political system is a Democratic one, acknowledging a direct debt of inspiration to the long lost Constitution of the United States and most particularly to Thomas Jefferson, the man who drafted it. This system has withstood well over a century of regional and factional feuds, possibly due to the lingering threat from the Crius Archduchy, although Government continues to be a matter local to the point of being downright provincial (including a curious prohibition on the sale of dairy goods across the Planet)."
    -Encyclopedia Universal(93rd Edition).


    The first time I ever dropped shuttle on High Washington, back when I wasn't old enough to qualify as a fossil fuel yet, your correspondent was under the impression that the locals worshipped this Old Earth philosopher called Thomas Jefferson one and all - then I popped into the First Church of Jefferson on President's Island, spotted that nice Jewish boy everyone keeps talking about nailed up in the usual spot, realised it was a Christian church and was left more than slightly disappointed by the sheer lack of novelty I had found therein.

    As I was later to learn the locals did worship Long Tom, which explains a great deal: firstly their naming a whole city after the man and another after his Country Home, secondly their going so far as to prefer his Bible to any other (disappointing lack of Miracles and all), thirdly their overwhelming addiction to the very directest sort of Democracy and most of all their habit of feuding like Shark & Dolphin over just what exactly it was about the Man of the People they actually believed in (the old boy appearing to have changed him mind once or twice in a long lifetime, leaving more than enough opinions to shape more than one future philosophy).

    These are disagreements that have been rumbling along right nicely since the Settling, but almost as old are the divides between "Wets" and "Drys" (low-down wetland-types Vs high-and-mighty mountaineers) which fails to tear the planet in two only because the saltwater and freshwater Wets snap at each other almost as often as the Drys scowl at those from a different Range - thankfully the natives utterly exhaust their Bad Temper when snarling at each other and so are the soul of friendliness with those from Elsewhere (possibly because they don't have any old arguments to bring up).

    It was in the full warmth of this amiable spirit that I was invited to attend a family reunion held in the sinking city of Columbia - once intended for the Planetary Capitol but long since neglected and grown sodden, but still where the Highlands most often meets the Wetlands - and was there given my first taste of "Washington All-In" cookery; We've all heard the old joke that Washingtonians will eat anything, but it was made clear to me that this was only half the truth.

    High Washington natives will eat anything only if they cook it first.

    As we chewed, slurped and crunched our way through dinner - High Washington has the crawliest ecosystems known to Humanity, for if it doesn't bug you the local life SLITHERS but so help me I quite forgot that over dinner. Along with the candied bugs and sautéed Amphibia, I also got a bellyful of local politics ("I hear the name Jefferson once again and I'll be quoting him myself at this rate" thought yours truly), most of it disagreeing on Truths mutually-agreed to be Self-Evident. Made me feel right at Home all that friendly disagreement did, but then things got interesting.

    Gunfire, explosions and abominably hungry oversized newts; last time I agree to do the milk run on High Washington.

  7. #37
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    Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

    Local Star - G6 V Yellow Main Sequence (Gloriana).
    Local Year - 390 Days
    Local Day - 21 Hours

    Gravity - Moderate
    Hydrosphere - Substantial
    Atmosphere - Breathable


    On discovery an ocean planet where the natural world had achieved a level of development roughly equivalent to Grandmother Earth’s Devonian Period, Albion as humanity first knew it hosted oceanic life multitudinous and highly-advanced but as yet very little animal life on the modest planetary land masses.

    Taking advantage of the fact that the planet’s maritime wildlife was edible, though undoubtedly eerie to behold even allowing for an entirely Alien evolutionary process, the first settlers were also fortunate enough to enjoy the homelike fruits of a world whose land surfaces had been quite thoroughly terraformed by Preparatory teams who would now behold their life’s work revealed as a pearl beyond price in the ongoing quest to uncover the Galaxy’s treasures


    self-sufficient in all the everyday requirements of Civilisation, Albion nonetheless imports a vast number of Alien luxuries from both the other Terrestrial worlds and extraterrestrial species

    It can safely be said that while the Business of Albion is Interstellar, the greatest Pleasure of the planet’s population is to take an interest in the business of others. After several centuries of acting as first amongst equals in the affairs of the Confederation, Albion was finally chosen as the Political centre of that federation, although while delegates to the Supreme Congress do their work on the planet’s surface not a few have been noted to prefer maintaining a private residence amongst the moons of Planet Vala.
    -from Encyclopaedia Universal (91st Edition)


    As my old mum said to me, blessed with a son finally returned from the first convoy to leave him flush with cash, “begin at the start then get to the good bit before you lose your audience” - well then I was born and bred on Bold Albion so I’ll start right here, right under the golden light of Gloriana herself.

    It’s a good place to be born and not a bad place to be bred - too many politicians for a truth, but plenty of doctors and teachers to balance them out, crewed up with a Population that doesn’t believe in Bad Manners but doesn’t believe in letting the Bosses escape censure and scrutiny either (Politics is too important for Politicians to be let alone!); now if it weren’t for the fact I’m a man who loves all ships but gets sick at sea (and had the wrong reaction to the right medicine) I might stay there yet.

    Instead I got bored with redecorating the decks ad nausea and shipped out with a fodder shuttle on the Gelt Belt run, which is how I got the chance to ride my first convoy across the Stars (that I took, which choice I have never yet regretted for very long).


    The Gelt Belt, in answer to the question you might not even have asked, is what divides the old Home System into two; asteroids bundled deep as kelp and teeming with miners cracking those oversized pebbles for the shiny stuff inside them (the dull stuff too, because not all that turns a profit looks like a glittering million).

    Well that’s how I got MY start in life, but you came here to learn of Bold Albion and I’m glad to tell you more than you’ll learn in most histories; Albion got its start because here were the makings of a Terrestrial world on what was once an Alien Planet and there was a survey team took note of that, but it got its name because we keep an Island high in our northern hemisphere which looks exactly like a letter “A” from orbit (as anyone with eyes to read the map above or a friend to read it for them can see). The survey team noticed this too and argued quite a bit over who would get to bring out their “A” name for posterity.

    As it happened old Cummings the Britain quite literally won the toss and, feeling homesick for his Homeland, dubbed the planet Albion. Then some colonisation Mastermind came along a generation or two later, took note of that name and lumbered every school of true-born Albions for all Eternity yet to come with the ancient works of William Blake by hanging names from the old man’s private Fantasies on every other planet in the system (requiring we poor, defenceless kiddies to learn just where all those names came from, over and over until we graduated or ran way to sea or the stars - weeding out the brains from the bold, as it were).

    Luvah, Ahana, Urthona, Albion, Enitharmon, Vala, Enion, Urizen - we’ll stick to names, to spare you Mythic ramblings and half-remembered Academics to go with them, but the list does go on; only Gloriana escaped being lumbered with some Blake-ism and she was named because the Founding Forebears wanted to hang a name that fired the imagination on our sun (a pretty little GE V Yellow) even if they broke the pattern Mrs Hyde insisted upon.

    Clever fellas those old Earthlings were - they saw that with time barren land masses could be made over to mirror Mother Earth and that the Oceans were rich enough to repay an investment from the very start; the local sea life looks a fright but their flesh eats very well indeed and some of the Plant Life in these waters long ago proved themselves well worth cultivating (Sea Greens beat any other salad I ever stomached and Smoke-weed has a nice smooth puff with a salty savour once you light it, if you can sniff out a smoker’s tavern).

    Now I remember visiting Keystone Island, where our terraformers established themselves and from which they remade the land surface of the planet; I still chuckle at the thought they’d spent all their time making a little Eden from an Alien World only for a grateful posterity to undo all their hard work in the interests of making an authentic living monument to their memory, leaving the place they’d known as Home away from Home just as it was in the first days of the Planting right before Terra began to catch on across our Globe.

    I laugh but I remember those long-dead Earthlings with pride and gratitude, for we owe them everything and they well deserve their memorial; if it hadn’t been for their efforts the First Arrivals would have found no earthly refuge on this orb, just the spookiest collection of Sea Life on a World in known Space and the odd scrap of Algae trying to decide if it could get used to this “dry land” stuff; instead we found more Ocean than land, but Land fit for Heroes all across the Planet.

    All thanks to the efforts of those that took their pay and were left to their own devices so very far from all they had known.

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