Copyright © 2003 by Bob Hall
This transcript is a general survey of the state of the Solar System, following the cease fire and the signing of the GLACAS treaty by the lunar colonies.
The colossal loss of life from the third world war left only three small cities with any semblance of organized government. These civilized locales battle constantly to preserve their precious infrastructure and libraries against wandering barbarian tribes, biological agents, radiation damage, the occasional hunter-killer bot, and many other effects of the war.
Other islands of civilization may have survived the calamities of the war, but for now they remain carefully incognito.
|Ruler: Finn Boddsson||Pop: 37,400|
The largest and most secure site is located at Reykjavik, Iceland. Extensive natural power sources provide electrical energy to the city, and surrounding lands. The airfield has been upgraded to fully support the infrequent polar shuttle landings from the moon. While airborne bioagents and submarine robots have taken their toll, the local population is gradually making a comeback.
|Coastal Oregon, North America|
|Ruler: Council of Seven||Pop: 11,200|
A cluster of small communities along the Oregon coast have managed to survive the war through a combination of preparation, favorable climate, and luck. Large stocks of survival gear have served these groups well. However, they suffer from the annual raids by barbarian slavers, and have an intrinsic cultural paranoia that makes them difficult to approach. They are known to possess a considerable arsenal, including warbots, artillery pieces, and possibly some portable nukes.
|Invercargill, New Zealand|
|Ruler: Rev. John Langtree||Pop: 8,700|
Cold circumpolar winds have kept this region relatively free from bioagents, although the population still suffers from a high level of radiation defects. Lack of energy sources and manufacturing capability have dropped this community to a pre-industrial economy. However, the centralized, religious, post-holocaust government has held this town together well through many years of crisis. The clergy is dedicated to preserving as much human knowledge as possible until the current dark age has passed.
Earth space within Geosynchronous orbit remains too hazardous to navigate, except for brief, high-speed runs through the polar regions. This situation is not expected to improve for several centuries, until orbital decay has cleared most of the lower debris. High radiation levels among the debris disrupts surface and orbital communications, and makes salvaging missions all but pointless.
Seven satellites remain operational outside this zone: an old german automated Solar Observatory, two repaired communication arrays from the SkyNet system, an early warning spy-sat that belonged to Iranistan, and three relay satellites built after the war by the Lunar Republic to maintain ground communications with the shuttle runs.
|Fort Panama - L1 (Inner Stationary Orbit)|
This small military base was built by the U.S. as a response to the buildup of heavy mass drivers on the lunar surface. The base is equipped with six launch tubes and over 180 nuclear-tipped intercept missiles with binary dry propellant. The habitation module and cargo bays were destroyed in 2092 by an X-ray laser, forcing the base to be abandoned.
The facility is now in automated stand-down maintenance mode, with the missile launch codes stored at a secret location on the lunar surface. Orbital decay is expected some time after 2150 when the remaining maneuvering fuel is expended.
|Syracuse Laser Facility - L4 (Leading Trojan)|
This Euro-Russian UV laser station was intended to propel ships to the outer planets in a period of weeks, instead of months or years. The construction was halted several times as members of the international community objected to the station's potential use as a strategic weapon.
The framework was only partially completed in 2091 when the war broke out. A mysterious radiation accident in the secondary power plant killed most of the crew and workers, and the base was soon abandoned.
|Abandoned Colony - L5 (Trailing Trojan)|
Only limited construction had begun on the colony at this location when the war broke out. Most of the materials were salvaged in the aftermath, but the two remaining habitation modules can serve as an emergency shelter. The biodome once supported a complete hydrofarm, but the equipment is now broken and lacks replacement parts and water. Miners occasionally visit this site and leave their mark on the bulkheads.
|Bayerlein Ship Yards - L2 (Outer Stationary Orbit)|
|Commander: Juan Carlos de Regista||Pop: 3,266|
Originally built as a mass catcher during the initial industrial growth period in the 50's, the station added ship assembly yards, propellant storage facilities, and recreation and habitation domes during the 60's.
Designated as an international facility in 2084, the yards were officially run by a panel of neutral parties from Switzerland, Algeria, New Guinea, Quebec Free State, and Burma. In reality, most of the operations were run by the major Earth political blocs, including USONA, Pan-Euro Union, Dominion forces, and the Iranistan delegation.
Despite the war, the Yards continued to expand in the late 90's, adding micro-gravity manufacturing and ship maintenance. Many of the mining ships now operating in the belt were assembled at the yards.
Currently, regular shuttle runs arrive at the Yards several times a day from the major Lunar cities. The station has a decidedly old-world internationalist flavor, with several ethnic eateries and trade houses.
In lunar orbit at present are 149 satellites built for communications, espionage, defense, and scientific observation. There are three manned orbiting stations: the 13,000 metric ton Tallahassee Center supply and refueling station; a military base built by the Iranistan government, now used by the Lunar Republic for internal security; and a general purpose science station in low polar orbit, constructed by the Han Dominion and now leased to a variety of commercial and scientific groups. Finally, the destroyers Cargill and Genoa are held in standby mode with a minimum maintenance crew.
The population of the Lunar surface is estimated at less than 95,000, with the majority concentrated in five cities. Less than 1,000 dwell on the so-called dark side. A description of the known cities and towns follows along with some other locations of interest.
Magnetic sling trains have recently been completed between Eurocit, Kant, Kazerun, Meneur, and New Augusta. These fixed trajectory shuttles have reduced travel time between the cities to a few hours, improving trade traffic and enhancing lunar government control. Old-style propellant shuttles are now reserved for transport to the orbital stations and outlying settlements.
|Apollo Landing Sites|
The original Apollo landing sites have been established as historica preservation sites by the Lunar Republic, although that hasn't prevented looters from sureptitiously removing many parts as souvenirs. The best preserved is the Apollo 11 site, since it is continually monitored by hidden cameras. The landing sites are located as follows:
|Apollo 11||1N, 23E||Mare Tranquillitatis|
|Apollo 12||3S, 23W||Oceanus Procellarum|
|Apollo 14||4S, 17W||Fra Mauro|
|Apollo 15||26N, 4E||Hadley Rille|
|Apollo 16||9S, 16E||Descartes|
|Apollo 17||20N, 31E||Taurus-Littrow|
|Cascade Hunting Lodge (28W, 28S)|
|Commander: Sir Charles E. Tynside||Pop: 37|
In 2038, Dr. Werner Loewig successfully integrated neural cells with semiconductor technology, resulting in Animal-Robotic hybrids. The technology was banned after heavy lobbying by Animal Rights groups. However, further research, sponsored by private hunting and rifle clubs, resumed a decade later in a secret lunar lab. The result was a line of predator-prey hybrid robots with adapted neural and sensory structures.
This private hunting lodge was built near the laboratory in the south end of the Altai range around 2058. As new hybrids were produced in the nearby laboratory, hunting parties were staged for the wealthy and renowned. Tracking the creatures was relatively easy across the untouched landscape, but the harsh environment, rough terrain, and specialized robotic hybrids presented their own special challenges.
The lodge is a squat, cylindrical tower, with an unusually high window ratio. At the base of the lodge is a garage with 3 URVs, a pressurized walker, and a loiter-capable two-person yacht. Dairy food is supplied from a large, excavated cave farm nearby.
The current owner of the lodge is Sir Charles Tynside, a wealthy recluse who retired to the moon in 2070 for health reasons. The other residents consist of his wife and oldest son, a private staff, and several favorite hunting partners. they continue to hunt the nearby lands for new releases, and many surviving hybrids wander the hills hereabouts.
The hybrid technology has been improved considerably during the last few decades, and some captured hybrids have demonstrated limited breeding ability when water is available. The laboratory remains successfully hidden from orbiting satellites, an impressive feat of lunar camouflage.
|Cheyenne Agricultural Settlement (23E, 15N)|
|Commander: Martha Chu||Pop: 792|
At the outbreak of the war in 2091, most of the orbital bases and factories in near earth orbit were destroyed during the pre-emptive strike. Several targets of negligible military value were left intact, however, and the occupants were left to fend for themselves in rubble-strewn orbits. One such station was the TINZA (Thailand, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia) experimental hydroponics lab, a multi-domed structure used to develop new strains of high yield, microgravity crops.
Joined by the nigerian supply ship Irol East, the TINZA refitted the laboratory maneuvering rockets to gradually boost the station into lunar orbit. Unfortunately, the station was struck by a large chunk of debris during the ascent, causing extensive damage to the hull, and killing over a third of the crew.
The TINZA cannibalized their lab and set up a pressurized colony within lava caves on the north slope of the Carpathian Mountains. Four farm domes were taken apart and rebuilt using additional support struts. The colonists then used their fresh farm produce to trade with the local miners for essential supplies.
After many lean years, the colony has finally begun to thrive, and now maintains 14 large agricultural domes. New crop strains are traded with the nearby cities for manufactured goods, and most of the food needs of the local miners are now supplied by the town. The lava tubes have been expanded to house the growing population, and a new 500m dome is planned for lumber growth. The colony possesses little in the way of transportation, apart from several farm utility vehicles.
|Dust Hole (35E, 30S)|
|Commander: Austen Wire-bit||Pop: 1,730|
After the war started, many dust farmers found themselves without a market when the orbital factories were smashed. These disfranchised laborers attempted to band together for mutual survival, forming small communities in whatever shelter was available. The miners remained stubbornly independent, however, and most of the settlements failed.
One of the few success stories is Dust Hole, perhaps due to the ready assistance of newly arrived farming settlers, and also because of the abundance of heavy equipment in the area. A recently discovered, huge lava cavern system was methodically sealed, buttressed with concrete arches, and cleared for buildings. Three agricultural domes provided the required food stuffs, and a renegade scientist the recycling expertise.
The underground town remains a rough and tumble community, with swift frontier justice and a decidedly low-tech economy. The population has continued to expand with the arrival of unsuccessful miners, refugees from the lunar cities, and failed homesteaders. Most of their equipment is made from refurbished mining tools, with some poor reproductions by local smithies. There is a severe shortage of functional vacuum suits, and most are unsafe, patchwork affairs.
|Eurocit (21W, 4N)|
|Commander: Werner L. Stein, CSLE||Pop: 21,480|
Primarily constructed between 2079 and 2089 at a site in the south east rim of Mare Tranquillitatis. The old city was built by the recently formed Euro-Rus space conglomerate in response to the rapid USONA buildup at New Augusta. The old city is highly modular in design, with a hexagonal pattern formed from 236 ceramic CHaMPs (Covered Habitation Module, Pressurized).
200m farm domes were added about the periphery, and no less than six heavy mass drivers were built in the Hart industrial center to the south-west. The old city was nicknamed Hull Downs for the large number of buried buildings and extensive underground passages.
The new city section was built between 2085 and the start of the war. Constructed Cathedral-fashion, with straight buildings forming the outer walls, the new city features long, grassy commons and an automated transit system on the upper levels. At the middle of the complex is the elegant Stickney Building, a sixteen-story administrative center with an underground 600 MwH Fusion plant complex.
In 2088, the Fulda Genetics Research Complex was added 16km to the north, in compliance with the SCRAP (Synthetic Clonal Reproduction and Propagation) treaty. The center rapidly became a leader in cloning research, producing the first fully synthetic human offspring in 2090. The site is now building up for a mass production goal of 1,000 infants per year.
The city has a large, diverse population of primarily Eurasian ethnic origin. Easily the largest city on the moon, Eurocit is currently the capitol of the Lunar Republic. (A consensus decision after strenuous objections were raised against the other candidate sites.)
|Farside Station (161W, 2S)|
|Commander: Lt. Harvey Burnside||Pop: 134|
Originally established in 2044 as an astronomical observatory by the Pan-European Union, Farside Station was mothballed in 2068 due to financial difficulties. The station was reopened in 2075 as a deep-space tracking and communications center.
The site is now primarily crewed by technical specialists and their families. There are three 50m automated farming domes, a cluster of 18 linked CHaMPs, four URVs (Unpressurized Roving Vehicles), a 200 KwH Solar Array, and considerable astronomical, tracking, and communications equipment. Farside is visited once a month for resupply and personnel relief by a rocket BUS (Basic Utility Shuttle) from New Augusta.
|Hargrove Penitentiary ( 8S, 41E )|
|Commander: None||Pop: 1,560|
Built at the peak of the USONA lunar development in 2086, Hargrove Penitentiary is a fully automated center for the permanent detention of violent criminals. Prisoners are kept in NALS tanks for regular two week periods, followed by a brief release for exercise breaks.
The Penitentiary is heavily guarded by automated systems, both to quell any prisoner disturbances, and to prevent break-in attempts. No new prisoners have been added to this facility since the war began, and the prisoner population is greying rapidly. Despite periodic debates within the Lunar government about releasing the older inmates, no action is expected to be taken.
|Iceland Recovery Haven (30E, 87S)|
|Commander: Dr. William Banks||Pop: 350|
This base was established in 2039 by an Eloxco subsidiary to mine the shallow ice deposits in the south polar craters. Extraction proved difficult due to the extreme conditions, but enough hydrogen was collected to finance several additional mines during the 40's. By 2049, the base was declining as a financial source, and was sold to Redux Futures, a small firm specializing in cryogenics for the wealthy.
The base has survived to varying degrees since that time by research into cryogenic sleep recovery and low-temperature biochemistry, plus long-duration data records storage and some hydrogen mining by independents. The current cryogenics recovery rate is approaching 50%, and new techniques hold promise for reliable use during lengthy interplanetary trips.
The base boasts the largest vertically aligned solar array ever built, standing some 150 meters tall and running 5.1 km in diameter. The habitation quarters have room for 515, but currently houses just over half that number. Additional residents are found in nearby mining villages, and the Cryogenic Storage Facility in Haven Crater.The Iceland Research building houses the surviving members and family of the Redux Futures Corp. In addition, there are 7.3km of tunnels originally dug for transition racks, but now used primarily for farming. There are 14 URVs, two M8 roller transports, a refurbished 8-seater shuttle, and a new survey walker.
|Kant (22W, 12S)|
|Commander: Hu-Lin Tie, People's Leader||Pop: 8,900+|
This immense domed structure lies entirely within the Kant crater. Built as an experimental prototype during the 80's by the Sino-Han Dominion, the dome housed a fully automated bio-factory designed to produce large quantities of engineered bacterial food mass for Chinese worker-immigrants. Insufficient hydrogen was delivered to go into full production before the war broke out, however, and the dome was permanently ruptured in a retaliation strike by New Augusta.
The pressurized section of the base survived intact and now houses a mixed population of bonded immigrants, political functionaries, and elite technical staffs. The site remains highly insular, and is well protected by roving security drones, laser batteries, ASAT missiles, and the so-called People's Lunar liberation Army. External contact is limited to a recently completed Trade and Information building to the north-west of the center.
Scattered seismic sensors have detected extensive automated mining efforts underway in the crater, including a shaft that descends a stunning 1,300km. The city government steadily maintains that the mining is intended purely for expanded housing, but knowledgeable sources suspect a major search for heavy element concentrations is underway.
Reinforced hangars and concealed bunkers are known to exist in a secured area to the north of the crater, possibly housing extensive machine shops, military hardware, and at least two Assault Orbiters. Arrivals at the reinforced landing strip are infrequent, and are usually limited to former Dominion vessels or emergency landings.
|Kazerun (84W, 19S)|
|Commander: Faiaz Adil||Pop: 7,850|
Established by the Iranistani state in 2049, this scientific outpost was financed by the enormous oil monopoly of the 2040's. the location selected for the base was the eastern edge of the Mare Orientale, where Earth appears just above the east lunar horizon.
Gradually expanded throughout the 2050's with the addition of CHaMPs, a Mosque, eight agricultural domes, a paved landing field, and an ore processing center. In 2059, a secret military base was added to the north, in defiance of the LDM treaty. The base contained an elite company of holy guards, 30 modified Tartarus battle tanks, a squadron of two-seat interceptors, 28 Sony E-471 remodelled security droids, and a small arsenal of purchased missile and beam weaponry.
A series of nine 400m village domes were added by 2070, each a self-sufficient community for over 800 colonists. Automated monorails were built to join the widely separated domes.
Between 2066 and 2071, the Grand Mosque was constructed from pre-fabricated marble sections, shipped 'up' from Earth at enormous expense. The seamless dome was a marvel of modern microbot manufacturing techniques. Unfortunately, the crystalline dome was ruptured in 2084 by a suicidal bomber aboard a leased shuttle. The damage was extensive, and was only partially repaired by the time the final war broke out.
The city government is highly centralized bureaucracy, with tight control of the economy and communications. The ruling council was originally selected by Iranistan, but the government now appears headed toward a hereditary aristocracy.
|Kennedy-Vostok Landing Site (6W, 14N)|
When humans finally returned to the moon to stay in 2017, the selected landing point was the eastern edge of Mare Vaporum. The initial base consisted of two 6-person habitation modules, a tent garage, a two-story laboratory, and a 500-square meter solar array. buried shelter was added the following year, along with a greenhouse, a long-range pressurized rover, additional science pallets, communications gear, and an emergency ascent module. The base was in continuous operation until mothballed in 2028. The site now serves as an emergency supply and habitation depot.
|Marius Hills Mines (56W, 14N)|
|Commander: CEO Leomund Reinstadt||Pop: 833|
This area of the moon has long been noted for its gravitational anomaly, due to dense upwellings of lava beneath the surface. As a result this area has some of the densest iron ore deposits on the lunar surface. Colonists have constructed a hive of subterranean mine chambers in old, collapsed lava bubbles. These dome-shaped caverns have beed readily sealed and filled with breathable atmospheres, allowing the miners to excavate shafts without requiring the use of vacuum suits. A smelting and refining complex has been build in the largest such dome, and the small settlement of Deepton has sprung up around this industry. As a result the Marius Hills mines have become a rich source of iron for use in the major Lunar settlements. Work has begun on the construction of a maglev cargo line from the mines that is intended to link up with the major towns and cities.
The Marius Hills mining company owns most of the active mining bubbles in the area, and has successfully competition with the exception of a few independents. The company has a monopoly of equipment, living quarters, and workers in the area, and actively works to prevent competition from establishing itself nearby. The company has a small security force of thirty men, a half dozen surface rovers, and hundreds of automated monitoring sites. The corporate offices are located nearly a half kilometer below Deepton. They are preparing for a major expansion of the mining operation, using robotic diggers, more efficient processing technology, and the importation of more miners. For this reason the company settlement of Deepton is undergoing a minor housing boom, and new residence complexes are continually being added.
|Max's Place (20E, 10N)|
|Commander: Lander Zero||Pop: 1,500+|
During the halcyon days of the 20's, playboy Maximillian Vishardo made a fortune on Deuterium Reprocessing Futures. What followed was a series of ill-considered investments, culminating with an out-of-this-world restaurant and villa for the wealthy on the slopes of Mt. Etna in Copernicus Crater.
The gaudy chateau was built in 2047-9 with a tasteless, metallic Alpine style; staffed with imported Swiss and Italian servants; and equipped with all the latest conveniences. Even a fully functional ski slop was built on the mountain side using plastic flakes.
After Max died in poverty in 2061, the place fell into decline until purchased by the Indonesian government in 2065. The space port was expanded, and the site became a melting pot for lunar developers, miners, industrialists, and mountebanks. The First Lunar Bank was opened here in 2070, backed by the Swiss currency, and providing ready capitol for the growing waves of entrepreneurs.
All this flourishing activity came to an end during the war years, although the base became something of a second home for wealthy refugees. Following the war, the base continued to decline until now it is a somewhat seedy hangout for a variety of independent miners, dispossessed hustlers, vagabonds, virus addicts, and other questionable elements.
The site now consists of a paved spaceport; 3 hangars and a repair shop; the chateau and domed villa; 8.4 square kilometers of domed farm land; the "village" - a cluster of 21 refurbished fuel tanks used for housing; Min-Leit's space rentals - 14 old, but well maintained BUS' for rent; and a variety of overused ground vehicles. It is not uncommon for the space port to be visited by a family mining ship or a private yacht.
|Meneur (25W, 18N)|
|Commander: Margarette Lane-Stone, Mayor||Pop: 9,288|
Initially established as a supply base in 2044 by the Pan-European Union, this transport hub began to grow rapidly after 2065 until the war began. Defense systems were added in 2070, along with a space-trained platoon of the Legion Etrange.
The early design was a haphazard affair, with clusters of buildings mixed with domes. Order was introduced during the expansion period, and Meneur is now a well-planned site with residential clusters, a warehouse district, the shuttle train yards, and a large business industrial park. The administrative center is housed in the slender Toulon Tower, the tallest man-made structure on the lunar surface at 1.2km.
The base specializes in machinery repair, high-capacity batteries, agriculture, and maglev railway construction. 41 agricultural domes provide most of the animal protein for the lunar colonies. A self-replicating solar array factory was added to the south in 2068, and now covers 44 square kilometers. A second paved space port lies 31 kilometers to the west, linked to the city by a high-speed maglev transport.
|New Alexandria (3S, 39E)|
|Commander: Victor Hampton, Libr.||Pop: 147|
Constructed in 2068 as a long-duration information storage facility, the underground complex now contains most of the surviving written and digitized record of human history. Designed to withstand the impact of a 100 megaton explosion, the structure lies 1.2km beneath the surface in a reinforced ceramic cocoon. All records are maintained in inert gas capsules at a steady 4 degrees celsius.
Currently this library is maintained by a dedicated handful of former civil servants who continue to recover old manuscripts and documents from Earth. Access to the computer facility is available for a moderate fee, which funds security, facility maintenance, and additional recovery expeditions. Plans for a college annex are being negotiated with the Lunar Republic.
|New Augusta (46N, 26E)|
|Commander: Cedrick "Ray" Murray, Governor||Pop: 11,240|
Established in 2059 as a mining center, by the USONA government, at the Laplace Promontory near the Sinus Iridium. The site expanded rapidly as a transport hub, ore processing center, heavy mass-driver facility, and administrative center. Light rail transport lines were built north across Mare Imbrium and Oceanus Procellarum to carry lunar soil to the base. By 2062, a million metric tons of processed materials had been launched into orbit.
In 2064, the large solar arrays were supplemented by a heavy He3 fusion plant. Light industrial parks were built throughout the 60's, supplying tools and spare parts for most of the lunar colonies. With the completion of a 200m transparent dome in 2069, the first public lunar resort was opened to tourists. Heavy growth of the city continued until the war began.
New Augusta suffered one of the few attacks made on the lunar surface during the war, when the primary mass driver was destroyed in a raid by the Dominion on April 29, 2091.
The city now occupies a 9km radius, with a perimeter protected by an active sensor grid and patrolled by 54 Compudyne 3nX Security Droids. The interior is zoned into residential, energy production, manufacturing, farming, transportation, administration, and recreation sectors. The core of the city consists of eight self-repairing 2-500m domes linked by an automated transit system. The space port is the second largest on the moon, with fully automated refueling and boarding systems, berths for 18 cargo and military ships, and a continually-manned emergency rescue ship.
Currently, the city is the largest manufacturing center on the moon. The automated plants are powered by a dedicated 1,200 Mw fusion plant, with a 500 KwH solar array for surge use. The factories turn out a wide variety of processed goods, primarily ceramic or metallic-based products.
New Augusta retains a strong independent streak, and is believed to be the heart of the resistance movement against the autocratic lunar government. While the leaders of the city turn a blind eye to this treasonous activity, they plan remain cooperative with the republic, at least until the post-war crisis is averted.
|Picard Caverns ( 15N, 55E )|
Some 7 kilometers beneath the lunar surface, near Picard crater in Mare Crisium, is a mining excavation project that was being funded by a group of wealthy patrons. The temperature at this depth is a comfortable 27 degrees celsius, warm enough to live in shirt sleeve clothing. The patrons planned a facility consisting of several hemispherical domes ranging from one half to five kilometers in size. Once completed the caverns would house an environmental repository that could provide refuge for several endangered species from the earth, as well as cloned copies of extinct creatures.
The owners planned to turn this into a tourist safari setting that would use the entry fee to pay for the facilities, as well as further expansions and a research facility. Unfortunately, in spite of considerable funds contributed to the project, only the primary entrance shaft, a small dome, and a water storage cavern were completed before the work was abandoned.
Recent refugees have made their way down to the cavern and successfully established a small farming commune. A solar array on the surface, combined with an electrical storage system, provide lighting for the crops and farm animals, and the commune is able to harvest their crops five times a year. Most of the old equipment used to excavate the caverns is now in disrepair due to the lack of spare parts, but enough remains operational to allow the construction of several tunnels and chambers in the surrounding rock. The community located here owns three solar-powered, wheeled vehicles that are used for the occasional expedition to the nearest settlements, but for the most part they are self-sufficient.
|Spotsville Nuclear Disposal Facility ( 6S, 68E )|
|Commander: Charles T. Benderson||Pop: >200|
Codenamed Project Windsaw, this USONA government facility was completed in 2048 ostensibly as a nuclear waste storage facility. In reality, this base was constructed for top secret research into military uses of nanotechnology.
The main complex is buried 400m below the lava plains of Grimaldi. Three rings of trenchworks surround the main landing field at 900m, 1km, and 1.2km radii, each filled with lethal quantities of radioactive waste. The base is defended by two batteries of SVMs (Surface to Vacuum Missiles), at least 15 Compudyne 5z44 heavy battle-droids, and 2-3 squads of well-armed security guards.
Many of the personnel were relocated from the base during the war, providing the only source of intelligence about this site. The base has remained incommunicado since that time. Spysats have detected some recent activity within the perimeter, however, including the appearance of several metallic domes and a tower-like structure.
|Tina's Homestead ( 32W, 22N )|
|Commander: Steward Pelterson, Elder||Pop: 45|
Typical of the small farming communities that are coming to dot the lunar landscape, this homestead is notable only for its location near the old Apollo 17 landing site in the Taurus-Littrow valley.
The homestead was built in the usual fashion, with several BUS-loads of tough, smart-filter dome panels, and leased dome-building equipment, including a light crane; electric bulldozer with backhoe; and an automated brick-making kiln. Once the waterproof foundation was laid to the bedrock and the double-layered dome erected and sealed, tankers were brought in to supply the farm with hydrogen for water. Oxygen was generated on the spot by a portable solar furnace, and the farm house was built underground near the vehicle airlock.
For energy needs, several acres of solar panels were laid down next to the dome, and a high-capacity super-conducting coil is used to store the energy needed during the long lunar nights.
The first crops of special grass strains were used to build up the soil base, with shipments of sod, fertilizer, and 'geneered' bacterial additives mixed into the soil. Early crops were limited to hardy plants that grow well in poor soil. As the ground grew richer with steady care, a mix of crops were grown and rotated in plots within the 200m dome. The grain and vegetables are supplemented by chicken eggs, goat's milk and cheese, fruit from the small orchard, and animal protein supplied by large bacterial vats.
Tina's farm community owns two electrical farm vehicles capable of towing their pressurized habitation trailer and other attachments, a TriUV, a Pical V communications unit with satellite antenna, and several small beam weapons and a tangler gun for defense against intruders.
The clan lives modestly, and most of their needs are supplied by their dome. However, they often trade their surplus crops for manufactured goods from the visiting mobile merchant trains. Their infrequent medical needs are usually handled by teleoperated waldoes and virtual visits by the family doctor.
|Zenith Base, Sinus Medii ( 0W, 0N )|
|Commander: Dr. Joseph Riedesel||Pop: 27|
This small base is located at the point of the lunar surface where the earth is directly overhead. It was established by the Lunar Republic to study methods of deflecting debris in orbit about the earth using focused beams of light from a massive array of rotating mirrors. Self-replicating technology is being tested to construct the mirror array, but thus far the technology has proven difficult to engineer. A pair of steerable mirrors have been assembled to test the targeting software and design specifications.
Inhabiting the base is a team of twenty seven technicians dwelling in a cluster of habitation domes, along with their families and a small support crew. The base is quite spartan with only a small recreation area and little thought given for personal comforts. However the team is a close-knit community and morale remains high.
The space beyond the lunar orbit is home to over 300 vessels of various dimensions and quality. Many of these ships were built for mining operations, and range from small family mining vessels to corporate belter factories.
Fourteen automated prospecting satellites were built by the mining consortiums to search for rich mineral deposits in the belt. (Of these, only five remain operational. The remainder were scavenged for parts.) There are also an unknown spysats still operational within the belt, most sending their reports back to their dead masters.
Several private yachts and heavy freighters have been confiscated by the lunar republic. These are used to ship materials and people to the moon and back. The lunar republic has also stationed four of its ion drive destroyers in the belt, where they maintain order and hunt for pirates.
A total of ninety one asteroids have been colonized by family operations. These typically consist of a cluster of habitation modules, one or two farm domes, a docking array, 100m solar concentrator dish, communications shed, and utility maneuvering units. Mining operations are run from fully pressurized tunnels within the asteroid. Several independent freighters make regular runs between these small mines and the main base on Ceres.
The wide expanse of the belt is home to a number of desperate ruffians who have learned to prey on the small mining operations for survival. An outlaw base is thought to be located in the outer belt, but so far has escaped detection.
Beyond the belt, a variety of robotic probes were sent to the outer worlds up until the war began. More recent explorations were of a decidedly pragmatic nature, as automated mining ships searched for low delta-V sources of hydrogen and concentrated heavy elements.
The Clark-Siberia expedition of 2090-98 was the first official manned journey to the outer planets. After the war ended, this refurbished mining vessel made extensive studies of the rings and moons of Saturn to study the feasibility of ice mining operations. An orbital processing station is planned for 2119, and several mining groups have signed up.
|Firehawk Station, Mercury|
|Commander: None||Pop: 0|
This scientific base was built on Mercury as a joint project of the European Union and Brazil in 2089. The main complex was built at the southern pole in underground caverns excavated by means of clean nuclear devices dropped from orbit. Solar panels were used as the primary power source to take advantage of the high radiation levels from the sun.
When the war broke out, the crews were stranded on Mercury with little more than a shuttle for transport. The resourceful base members put their talents to good use, however, and the site survived for nearly a decade before the freighter Bosham arrived to transport the inhabitants to the moon. The base has been in remote command mode since that time.
|Commander: None||Pop: 0|
The last scientific mission completed before the war, this probe was intended to descend into the solar atmosphere and deploy a solar sail. The radiation pressure from the sun would offset the powerful gravity, allowing the robotic station to directly study the environment. The war commenced before the probe could be fully deployed, and it now follows a highly elliptical orbit that extends out to the distance of Jupiter.
The heliostat represented the state of the art in self-repairing, autonomous robotics at the time of the war. It was constructed to withstand high levels of radiation, and to repair or re-route damaged circuitry. However it was programmed to enter a hibernation maintenance and repair state if it lost communications with the earth. No effort has been made to communicate with the probe, and it is unknown if the probe is still operational.
|Phobos Base, Mars|
|Commander: Pen Khazir||Pop: 134|
Mankind first journeyed to Mars in 2051 with the establishment of a scientific outpost on Phobos. The first man on Mars was the german astronaut Daynard Hurlein, one of the eight members of the all-european crew. The base was revisited and expanded six years later, and a permanent presence was established by 2062. Crews were rotated down to the roving martian expeditions every three months, and a series of weather monitoring stations established. by 2065, semi-automated ice mines were built on Phobos and Deimos, with regular tanker shipments sent to the lunar cities and Ceres.
The manned base was temporarily abandoned in 2074, with crews returning to the moon or joining the asteroid mining consortiums. In 2095, the base was reoccupied by the Khazir mining family, with the permission of the lunar government. Hydrogen shipments to the moon resumed two years later.
|Quan's Space Rentals|
|Owner: Quan Hyung||Pop: 27|
Built atop a tower attached to the asteroid Flora, Quan's is a trade and rental shop that caters to independent miners in the inner belt. The Hyung family maintains this store, and runs the repair and light manufacturing facility at the base of the tower. The heavily modified family freighter "Shadow Moon" is used to make periodic supply runs to Ceres.
|Commander: Peter Langley||Pop: 7,948|
Heavy mining of the asteroid belt in the late 2060's, when several major mining industrial consortiums built a line of ore mining and processing ships.
The first major base, Kansas Range, was built by the USONA on Ceres in 2066. Automated refineries were constructed on the planetoid's surface, and several local mining operations begun by independents. In 2084, the settlement of St. Michael was constructed on Ceres. Two major mining corporations, Bethlehem Metallurgy and Ishimodo Steelworks, placed their space headquarters at this location, and the town quickly grew and eventually outstripped Kansas Range in size.
By the time the war erupted in 2091, St. Michael was home to several small ship yard domes, eight large trader establishments, an entertainment strip, three habitat clusters, a system video broadcasting center, and the incomplete Fort Ludlow.
Fourteen orbiting agricultural domes provide fresh food for many of the local belters. The LRS Missouri, a nuclear-powered ion destroyer built by the USONA, has been stationed at Kansas Range since 2087.
In 2102, the Star Bound religious cult migrated to the Ceres asteroid and built a small settlement at the south pole. The cult has focused on converting an old mining ship into a giant transport for their colonists. While the local authorities believe the cult to be relatively harmless, they nevertheless perform more frequent inspections of the facilities than normal.
|Commander: Alice Burtran||Pop: 830|
This mining village was built by Tanglier-Dalmer Manufacturing in 2084. Ship repair yards were added, and the base is now visited regularly by belters for maintenance work on their spacecraft.