Thursday, December 3, 2020

Space Politics: The Setting

My thoughts return to my space politics story, and I found myself a bit stumped because I had, foolishly, left a very important part out: the actual setting of the damn thing. I had kept it all rather vague, and as the scope expanded outward and I started bringing in elements of the colonies and the war, there was nothing actually there to go.

So I've fixed that.

As with the plot and characters, the setting is entirely legally distinct. The best kind of distinct!

As a refresher, there was a brief period of political unity on the Homeworld, which lead to a busy period of expansion into the solar system, which then eventually triggered a war between colonial corporate seperatists and the Homeworld, which ended in a Pyrrhic victory for the Homeworld that provided easy prey for the growth of fascism, and we ended up with the Tyranny.

The Solar System

[Molten Rock] - A small, molten world, just barely far enough away from the sun to maintain its own orbit and just big enough to prevent the solar tidal forces from pulling it apart. Got one flyby probe mission in the pre-War days and hasn't been touched or thought much of since.

[Airless Rock] - A burnt, airless dwarf planet. Settled during the Expansion. The research stations and mining facilities were converted into work camps by the [Tyranny] after the War, and used for political prisoners. By the time of the story in the previous post, the [Homeworld] to [Airless Rock] route is the only remaining interplanetary travel route

[Pressure Cooker] - A very hot terrestrial world with a very dense atmosphere. So dense, in fact, that the boiling point of water is increased enough so that liquid water can still exist on the surface. Possesses its own exotic ecosystem. A colony attempt was made during the Expansion. (Turns out it survived, though radically changed - the [Colonial Emissary] mentioned in the story post is from this settlement.)

[Homeworld] - A temperate terrestrial world, home of humanity. It possesses one moon, which was settled in the Expansion and abandoned during the War after fighting reached its surface.

[Cold Desert] - A cold, lifeless terrestrial world with a thin atmosphere and shallow, brackish seas. The most well-established colony and the inciter of the War. Settlement infrastructure was devastated during the War, but the Homeworld can confirm that there are still inhabitants there. Two small moons of little importance save as transit stations. The wreckage of most of the Homeworld / Tyranny spacefleet is either in orbit or junked on the surface.

[Oceanic] - A large (3EM) waterworld with a collection of small, rocky moons - mostly captured asteroids. Most settlements were in orbit (and destroyed during the War). Surface ones remained intact, but they've got no way offworld, as far as anyone knows. This planet is notorious for being the hinge of the campaign that decapitated the colonies on [Cold Desert], where [Right Hand] led a fleet to attack from behind

[Gas Giant 1] - Site of some light colonization - He3 mining in the upper atmosphere and some settlements in the ring and the moons. Remained out of the War due to distance. With no one to sell to, things have been rough. Very rough.

[Gas Giant 2] - There's potential that this planetary system was settled, but it would have been during or after the War, so it remains completely unknown to us. Long-distance telescopes have picked up a moon of an unusual green color.

[Titanian] - A frigid, distant world with a discernible atmosphere. Seas of liquid hydrocarbons.

[Rogue] - More speculation that anything else. A terrestrial world (or so believed), jettisoned from its home system long ago and caught at the very edge of this one.

So there you go. As with the other post, this is all very loosey and I very much want to hear your thoughts on things I missed, things that could be added or changed, and potential places this could go.


  1. Homeworld in particular is a mashup of a great many legally distinct planet biomes.

  2. The idea of [Rogue] really fascinates me, wonder what it could have brought with it across the vast gulfs of space?

    1. Yeah it is a big question mark. It does have a parent-idea like all the other ones, though it is rather obtuse.

  3. I am delighted to see more Space content, and crawl out once more from the darkness between refreshing webpages to comment. I had a more, but the comment box ate my words, so here I go again:

    - The first question is who has access to mobility. We know the [Tyranny] has access to a space fleet under the control of the [Right Hand], although whoever wins the succession crisis also controls the fleet. They also likely have the ability to produce more warships or other freighters. [Pressure Cooker] controls enough ships to send a delegation to [Moon Colony.] [Cold Desert] has so much wreckage on the surface and in orbit that they are likely capable of putting something functional together, even if it's poor quality. The [Gas Giants] are a tossup, although they may at least have their own original colony ships, alongside whatever [Gas Giant 1] was using to ship He3 to [Homeworld]. Finally, [Moon Colony] controls a few transports, only good enough for shuttling to [Homeworld] and back without modification.

    - If there are any people with knowledge of the [Tyranny]'s dark secrets, or any other important [Tyranny] based information, they are likely on [Airless Rock.] The losers of the Succession Crisis likely get a one-way ticket here too. The [Scion] might actually thrive in this environment, and come out stronger than ever before.

    - The people from [Pressure Cooker], no matter how strange they may be, are at least noble enough (or opportunistic enough) to answer [Moon Colony]'s call for aid. They likely see themselves as the new head of the Rebellion, after the disaster off [Oceanic.] The [Moon Government's] most obvious allies. In addition, they're in a great place to intercept the route between [Airless Rock] and [Homeworld]. If you can't build a ship, might as well steal one...

    - Once the succession crisis is over, and the [Moon Colony] is successfully pacified, the fleet is probably on it's way to [Cold Desert]. As original inciters of the rebellion, it's likely they haven't given up just yet. I imagine them expanding beneath the surface of the planet, safe from [Tyranny] telescopes aside from the small mountains of debris growing on the surface. If the [Tyranny] tries to take the colony by force, they'll find corridor after mazelike corridor, kill-zone after kill zone, thousands of prepared chokepoints and stockpiles sufficient to last the population for years; a fortress dungeon designed for an enemy they know is coming for them, and determined to make them bleed for every centimeter.


    1. - If any of the orbital settlements of [Oceanic] are inhabited, they will be extremely grateful to anybody who can get the population from the surface onto space, or vice versa; the war separated many families. Otherwise, there's a healthy amount of useful space junk with several settlements that can be re-purposed and re-inhabited with minimal maintenance. Just clear out the bodies first.

      - [Gas Giant 1] sounds like a *lot* of fun, politics wise. A desperate population plus a resource rich system could make for a powerful ally, even accounting for the problem of distance. War can be good for business, alongside the chance to change the system in their favor. If the system is anything like Jupiter's, their position might even be strengthening as they make use of their materials. If people won't buy He3, maybe they'll buy warships...

      - If [Gas Giant 2] is colonized, it was colonized by desperate refugees from [Gas Giant 1]. As for the green moon, perhaps the [Tyranny] Telescopes were mistaken, and the moon isn't covered in green gas, but algae, rich with organic compounds...

      - In addition, if any Alien object entered the system, it most likely got caught in the orbit of the [Gas Giants.] Especially if anything got ejected from...

      - [Rouge], as Locheil said, is fascinating. If it's truly from outside the system, then the chance for strange alien structures to exist on it's surface is very tantalizing. However, due to the distance, visiting is difficult even if it's existence was confirmed. The [Gas Giants] probably know for sure, getting a better look at the surface. And I can't deny that "Quest to the Rouge Planet" sounds like an amazing title for something.

      I'm fearful of coloring your ideas too much with my own, but this is what I have so far. It feels like a few bones are missing, but this post really helped flesh things out.

    2. Hell yeah man your comments are super good at getting the wheels turning - always important to know what details the reader sees that I have forgotten.

      I think I know how to tie the Vaults into all of this...