Aug 232012

Illustration of half-dome warren transit area, with panels showing HVAC & technical access.The type-3 terraforming of the new Klaros—Klaros II—concentrated on the planet’s viable near-polar zones, establishing two loosely-organized rings of warren/dome habitats with spurs extending (in the northern zone) to the polar ice cap for water mining, and (in the southern zone) to the largest lode of transuranic ores easily accessible to extant mining technology.

The Oligarchs also contracted independently with Rilm Habitat Systems for an administrative cluster adjacent to the northern ring, and another cluster on the planet’s primary satellite.  Over some objections from influential elements in the colony’s economic sector, the government opted for the more expensive thousand-year terraforming, committing both present and future colony assets to a major long-term obligation.


Southring is the more populous of the planet’s two habitation axes. It included nine major complexes of the standard warren/dome type, linked by high-speed gravprop tubes.

The largest, Gattrek Major, formed the colony’s main industrial hub, focused around the polis of Kos Gattrek, a city of 15 million or so inhabitants. Kos Gattrek included the colony’s largest (although not the most important) STG port and shipyard, and was the major Southring station for the AB shuttle that linked the two rings. (There were also less important Southring stations at Doxan Pab, Jethrik, and Oquanax.)

Nearby Gattrek Minor formed a high-amenity, high-end residential and recreation area for the elite of Kos Gattrek, and included many cultural and artistic facilities. Gattrek Minor had its own exclusive small-traffic STG port, as well as a free-surface reservoir lake with extensive “natural” terraforming around it.

Proceeding westward around Southring from the Gattrek complexes, the next major habitat was Hirst Niepach, a large agronic production and processing center. The polis of Demira (about 2,000,000) was also a destination for religious tourism, based on the life of Warter Manjek, a Prelate at the time of the Transfer who was credited with saving an entire shipload of colonists and believed to be an “Avatar,” a saintlike figure in Duo-Latteran Hamartic theology. Although Manjek was not officially accorded Avatar status until nearly a century after the transfer, pilgrimages to the Holy Shield Monastery where he lived and died began almost immediately after his death.

A long way further west (the Southy gravprop, or GP tube, had to be blasted through a major geological formation,) the habitation ring resumed with the Zenlis Complex, including the small but influential polis of Oquanax. The Zenlis Complex, though not heavily populated in itself, linked several offshoot complexes including the Ampart Maxicells processing facilities (Ampart Central,) the Pon-Trevis Research Complex, Wendlach Mining, and a small military base, South Gamma.

Fard Karachik, the next Complex in the Southring, had no major polis but several smaller ones, including Limnak, Purvap, Doxan Pab, and Reschek. The Fard Karachik domes and warrens were widely dispersed to take advantage of a cluster of rare ore nodes and most of the communities are mining-oriented. Many were nearly wholly-owned subsidiaries of the half-dozen Democratic Companies dominating Klaros’ extractive sector.

The large Home Legion training base was the center of Morj Alpha Complex, which also included extensive residential complexes and some high-end domes and warrens outlying the smaller of the Complex’s two polises, Alpha Nex. The larger, Mag Alpha, was a city of about three million that is oriented around military and military contractors’ activities. A substantial military STG field/base was the northernmost node of the Complex. The Home Legion military academy, Kortallis Dome, was the southernmost.

The next Complex, Martabal Bwes, was loosely-dispersed among one of the more salubrious areas of the planet’s surface, a valley among long-dead volcanic ranges that has the planet’s last remaining free surface watercourse. Vestiges of the native xenons could be found among the sparse stands of vegetation, and several “exotic tour” vacation resorts and tourist facilities made the major polis, Jethrik (pop. about a million), a popular destination. There was also a scattering of industrial complexes and the Karvich University’s research complex.

Tikparran Complex was home to several facilities developing and producing communications equipment, components, and consumer goods, as well as some major military contractors. It was the home of Keval Ust University and the Corporate Headquarters of Chagarth Fabrik, the colony’s second most influential Democratic Company. The only sizable polis, Metarad, was a modernistic city of half a million or so high-status emp-class, exec-class, and owner-class enclaves, surrounded by suburban domes housing the smaller communities of emp-class and cit-class workers who fulfilled the menial functions of Metarad.

South Ust Complex was the eastern neighbor of Gattrek Major, a sprawling network of cheaper habitats housing light manufacturing and low-status housing. The largest polis, Ardill, was home to about three million Klarosians but noted for being very high in violent crime and possibly under the control of criminal elements. A valiant civic leadership was constantly working to overcome this perception and vitalize the polis (and the Complex) with new development, but the outcome of the struggle was always in doubt.



Less populous, but more influential, the ten habitat complexes of Northring were home to many of administrative headquarters of the colony’s governing institutions.

Northring was dominated by Center, the largest habitat complex on the planet and home to the colonial capital, Kos Centrum. A polis of nearly thirty million, Kos Centrum also formed the nexus for Klaros’ financial industries and services. Adjacent to Center, the Admin Central complex formed the civadmin’s major facilities. Center was home to the planet’s most important STG port, Centrum Bek, and had been extended several times to incorporate smaller polis and industrial domes and warrens.

West of Center, the complex of Jait Hurst was the largest concentration of military facilities on the planet, including the Shirch Prime military academy, Legion Hospital, the heavily-fortified Supreme Command Center, Tarvich Fleet Base, and the Miranat Testing Complex adjacent to the south. The major polis, Port Andall, was a nexus for military families and retirees, and several smaller communities included extensive recreational facilities.

Devlit Complex to the west of Jait Hurst was a small cluster of prestigious residential and very high-tech research and development facilities, many exclusive enclaves of military contractors among the Democratic Companies. Three communities, Pentrad, Xellek, and Chart Deb, formed the main central nexus of warrens, clustered around a small patch of xenic biome sustained by underground watercourses from the northern polar cap. Several Boardsman families had domes in the biome.

Tof Oqualat, the next westernmost Complex, was the location of the colony’s major watermining collection and processing facility, the North Oasham Plant. A string of adjacent dome and habitat clusters extended to the north, to house pipelines operated by the Segeth Vanus Company, the prime contractor to the colonial government for water production and distribution. Several free-surface reservoir lakes centered prime high-end residential real estate especially for retired exec-class and wealthy emp-class individuals, and a large hospital and medical services complex served their needs as well as being home to the Bride’s Mercy Medical Academy, the Church’s most prestigious medical education facility.

Kos Parkel, the next Complex, was an almost wholly-owned enclave of the colony’s most powerful Boardsman family, who controlled Parkel Multigen, the prime contractor to the colonial government for power production and distribution. In addition to the massive industrial domes and the planet’s deepest-delved warren spaces housing the largest power generators on the planet, adjacent to the north a smaller cluster known as Parkel Quast housed the Quast Vallek campus of Center University, the colony’s most advanced engineering school. Stenzak, the planet’s largest single-dome polis (sited between the two complexes,) was home to nearly six million Klarosians.

Veztarran Major, almost directly opposite Center on the Northring axis, was a sprawling mixed habitat of light industrial, manufacturing, and financial interests, including the Ulgarast Port facility, the colony’s third-largest but highest-volume STG Port. Most of the colony’s major merchant shipping interests had headquarters and shipyard facilities there. It was regarded as a center of immorality and possibly even heresy by the Church, which tried in vain to control the various “sin industries” common in the res-class and cit-class habitats clustered around the port areas.

Veztarran Minor, very close (almost adjacent) to Major in the Northring, was a considerable contrast to its larger neighbor, being the home of the famous Sword of Eternity Monastery and the Warrior’s Rest Basilica, as well as numerous small colleges training teachers, medical workers, and proctors. It included a number of retirement facilities for the Church’s lower-echelons, pensies, stipies, and eesies, as well as some very luxurious and exclusive facilities for administrators. A large tourist industry and some “family recreational” complexes were clustered around Palatis (population about 3 million,) the major polis.

Tang Matris, a mixed complex of industrial, military, and financial sectors, was almost adjacent to Vezterran Minor, and included the Legion’s Quental Academy and a good many Second Legion bases and facilities, as well as the Hellgate Training Base, at the far western end of the Complex, whose facilities extended into the large area of usable but harsh planetary surface environment that formed a high, extensive plateau between Tang Matris and Storrest Bek. The major polis in Tang Matris was Garravet, population about half a million. A loose cluster of residential habitats extended south of the Complex, housing a number of smaller communities and military families.

Fendal Points was a long way west of Tang Matris, with the GP tube snaking across Hell’s Plateau to reach the cluster of educational, research, engineering, and light manufacturing facilities dominated by Kervik Dome, the tallest dome on the planet and the headquarters of Kerant Cryston. Regarded as an exclusive, Boardsman’s recreational area, the adjacent Vardry Cluster provided high-end recreational and entertainment facilities. Fendal Points was also home to the Klarosian entertainment industry and its main polis, Istarak, boasted many celebrity homes and a flourishing arts community.

Piskal Haret, Center’s eastern neighbor, was a smallish cluster of habitats holding a mix of commercial and communications interests, as well as the Church’s Extant Stand cluster of warrens housing the bulk of the Church bureaucracy and the Bride’s Gift theological seminary. Although the spiritual “center” of the colony was at the Glorious Revelations Basilica in Center, where the Supreme Prelacy was headquartered, Extant Stand was the real “guts” of the Church. The rest of Piskal Haret’s habitats were heavily influenced by Church-related activities, but it was also the center for distribution of entertainment media (being conveniently close to the Shining Truth Proctory so that media could be reviewed for “appropriateness to the public good”) and the headquarters of some large entertainment industry companies. Adjacent to Piskal Haret and extending far to the South was the colony’s largest Reformatory, the Compassionate Bride, which held nearly a million and a half penitents along with proctors and stipies, and a small Home Legion unit, who provided security.


Aug 232012

Detail from "The Bellman"-- Moonrise behind foothills with sleeping village in foreground.Ravin slithered against the side of the stable, and became one with its shadow. The Klarosian patrol, searching, was making its way up this narrow, dusty street. Four men—at least they accorded him that respect—he smiled a little grimly at the thought.  Four might be enough, if they were the right men. Two were in the street, in front of the small shops, houses, businesses. Two moved through the narrow dirt alley behind, checking stable yards, storage sheds, forges, gardens. Even in the crowded streets of the older parts of town, every Veran tried to have some kind of garden.

The Klarosians methodically tramped over and through any vegetation that impeded their search pattern. As they reached a particularly lush yard, crackling heavily through stands of rennit-bushes, Ravin swarmed up the drystone wall of the tiny stable, in an instant, almost noiselessly. On the roof, he lay flat, his dark-grey tunic and breeks blending seamlessly with the roof slates in the dim moonlight. Continue reading »

Aug 222012
B&W picture of rod assembly in a weapons power system.Commander Bavek Dinart, Executive Preceptor
Shirch Prime Academy

 Introduction and Preparatory Summation

To understand the conduct of military operations in the contemporary astropolitical context, it is necessary first to clarify the status and relevant assumptions about that context. Military tactics depend upon strategic and logistical considerations that are profoundly influenced by current astropolitical realities.

Strategic considerations, per se, are the province of other study curricula, and so will be addressed only where they directly control particular tactical decisions. Logistics, however, are critical in all tactical considerations, and will be addressed in more detail. As this is a survey, the discussions will not be in-depth, but the most important, common, and relevant logistical questions will be examined.

The material will be grouped in two broad categories, offensive and defensive operations. Offensive operations are primarily expeditionary in nature. Occupation, counter-insurgency, and garrison operations are included under the defensive category. Continue reading »

Aug 222012

Sun slanting into a steep-sided valley between forested hills.Midsummer memories: Shorthand for the gloss that time, distance, and circumstances can add to simple recollection. We recall the summer celebrations of our youth as times of untainted happiness. There were never untimely storms during our youthful Festivals of the Air, our kites and gliders were always the best, the brightest, the highest-flying. The feasts always had the best food and drink, the music’s remembered harmonies are unmatched by later song.

As you get older, your appreciation of the holiday is tempered by adult realities. It’s easier to recall the year the windstorms cancelled the balloon race, and the year the roasting pit collapsed, and the times you couldn’t celebrate at all because responsibilities interfered. The years when things all went well fade into a blur, for they could never match the midsummer memories of youth. Continue reading »

Aug 222012

Purple sky with an orange satellite floating in it, above a horizon of skeletal structures lit in red and blueThe Creator blesses procreation, and His Plan for humanity involves lots of breeding. That’s how a comparatively small human colony like Klaros, originally a very minor offshoot of the vast Procyon colonial axis, ended up with nearly half a billion people, shortly before it was destroyed. You’d think a benevolent Creator would give His Devout People more credit for their hard work fulfilling His Plan, and do a little better by them than allowing a weapons experiment to get out of control and hork up the entire surface of Reveille C, killing damn’ near all of the Divine Warrior’s Chosen.

Such cynicism is fairly easy to understand after the fact. Having everything that matters to you—your work, your family, your ambitions, your home—blown to hell and gone might make anyone a little cynical. But Kelm Poquard was cynical long before the Rayki Weapons Lab carelessly lost control of its matter-to-energy induction projector. He didn’t think of it as ‘cynical,’ of course. He considered himself ‘objective.’ And ‘scientific.’ Continue reading »

Aug 222012

A circular door more than 5 meters tall stands open between two tunnels, a man standing at the base looks very small.

Most of the images on this site are from U.S. Government free image archives.  Some have been Photoshopped more or less extensively.  There are some amazing free images available from the U.S. Government, which can’t copyright them, so they are free to everyone to use.  Your tax dollars at work, and a good thing, too.

Here’s a few of the best sources:

NASA Image Gallery

US Geological Survey EROS project

National Human Genome Research Institute

National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery

NIST Image Gallery

Aug 222012

Vividly colored stars clustered together in space.We all want to build worlds.  Or galaxies.  Or universes.

The Hub is mine.

This project is a lifelong imagining of something between a world and a galaxy:  The Hub, wheel-shaped cluster of stars explored and settled by humanity thousands of years into the future.  Or possibly thousands of years in the past.  Although there is a timeline in the Reference section, it must be stated that the Hub exists in a conceptual multiverse, and the Fourth Dimension flows like an overlapping spiral among the layers.

Like everything connected with humanity, the Hub is complex:  Human cultures on literally thousands of worlds over millenia have sprouted in myriad directions, embracing a wide variety of values systems, social organization, economic structures, and every other institution.

But humans remain essentially the same.  A few thousand years is a drop on the ocean of evolutionary time.  The constant struggle between altruism and self-interest still shapes us.  We retain the capacity to be heroes and villains, nonentities and extraordinary, lovers and killers, fearsome and fearful, all in the same lifespan.

The project began as a simple single story arc, a good-versus-evil space opera with a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Along the way it kept sprouting offshoots.  The bad guys weren’t so bad, the good guys weren’t so good. Protagonists went mute, minor characters hijacked scenes, and there were constant stops and side-journeys to discover the more about where and how everyone lives.

It’s not the final frontier, and the mission has gone on much longer than five years.  The first descriptions and attempts at “chapters”  started in 1997.  But we are definitely exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations.

On the other hand, we are definitely not boldly going where no one has gone before.  The last time the multiverse forked it, James H. Schmitz drew back the curtain. The current fork has changed– we’ve lost the fabulous psionic machines, and there’s no benevolent Psychology Service.  And no intelligent aliens.  No matter, we have humanity, which keeps things plenty lively.


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