MoonHunter's Worksheet V2.2
7Cs: Consistancy, Connection, Chrome, Cycle, Conflict, Control, Continuity
(__) Sift and sort
(__) Top down process (__)(__)(__)
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Themes and Images: Based in the distant future, the realm of Megaroad is one that swings between a Gene Roddenbery-esque future of starships and intraspecies/racial harmony, and a darker industrial future on the brink of war. The Refinery theme is that of pragmaticism, and utilitarian design. The images of ducted pipes, standard issue gray paint, and improvisation of the sake of entertainment are prevalent.
Worlds Specs: The Refinery floats in the upper-middle portion of a gas giant's atmosphere. The host planet, Sigma Centauros VII, aka Brontis, is a slightly smaller than Jupiter gas giant with no major moons. The planet has a yellow to russet color and lacks the swirling red storm characteristic to Jupiter. instead it has smaller white storms that circle the planet that the locals jokingly refer to as planetary zits. Gravity on the refinery is roughly 160% earth standard and the air is produced by a pair of biospheres and an oxygen distiller that metabolizes carbon dioxide from the harvested gas.
Terrain: The terrain inside the refinery is plate metal with synth-plastic fittings, a few portholes show the sulferous light captured by the atmoshpere of the planet. Most prefer the artificial light created onboard. Outside the refinery, the average windspeed is 110 miles per hour, with a bite at only -50 degrees F. Beneath the station there is nothing except gas, some speculate that if you could survive the fall a metallic hydrogen core could be found a few thousand miles down.
Flora/Fauna: There is native life on the planet, mainly in the form of sulfer eating microbacteria and plankton like organisms that drift along on the driving winds via a small hydrogen filled airbag. There are stories of creatures that come up from the depths to feed on the organisms, but none have been confirmed, photographed or seen by more than one person at a time. Reports do remain consistant on the creature having a wide flattened body, wings, giant eyes, feeding mandibles, and a whip like tail. Size varies from a few meters long to the length of a Terramax tanker.
Resources: The key resource of Brontis is available hydrogen. The platform was built with the sole purpose of extracting this gas and refining it for use as starship fuel. A group of spires, some a mile long dip down into the lower atmosphere and draw up the denser gas. Several processes remove the other trace elements from the purified hydrogen. Oxygen is cycled into the life support system, helium is vented into the ballast tanks, each 1000 feet long and half as wide, to support the neutral bouyancy of the refinery. Food is produced by harvesting protein rich mycoid fungus grown in the dark under the O2 tanks, as well as by raising a creature known as a slig. Sligs are invertibrates that reach up to five feet in length, 80 pounds in weight, and serve as organic waste disposals and meat. Some newbies to the refinery balk ate eating an often bloody sligsteak after they find out what it eats. The bulk of the food supply is brought in on the fuel tankers and supply vessels that frequent the station, with the biospheres and sligs providing fresh supplies and emergency rations.
Races and Peoples: While there are no races indiginous to the refinery, the most common refinery worker is of Indo-European stock and speak the Emperor's English. Most find work on the refinery as a stop gap, a place to earn a living between tours on merchant marine vessels or freighters.
Cultural Overview: The subculture of the Refinery is a rough and tumble one, divided between the elites, who have private quarters, access to the restricted officer's lounge and other perks, the roughnecks who do most of the hard labor of maintaining the harvester lines and refining equipment, and the space-jocks who BS about the thrill and danger of space while waiting out their two month layover. The sexes are segregated, as per the Mandates of Accomodation laid out by the Emperor. Women live in the middle levels, while the elites have the option of being co-ed few actually do. Men, especially the roughnecks live in four man barracks in the bottom of the refinery, but above the tankage and machinery. The Cult of the Emperor, blessed be his name, is strong on the refinery, and is one of the few things that keeps tensions from running higher than they already do. Fights are common, and 10 to 30 deaths a year is average for the refinery. Discipline is hard, and the captain has the right of execution to ensure order on the refinery.
Calendar/Standards: Brontis has a day that is 13 hours long, but the crew runs on a 26 hour schedule, 13 on and 13 off. The planet itself orbits Sigma Centauros once every 15 years, but the refinery maintains the Imperial standard (earth standard) calendar of 365 days. The comment 'That's Earth" refers to both the terran standard date and is a slang term for something that has no relevance to the situation. This slang could be considered anti-terran and outlawed by the Imperium, but it is tolerated in light of the fact that many Earth things are trivial on the Refinery.
Institutions-Major: Two major institutions support the Refinery, the Imperium of Man and the the Fleet Reserve. The IoM built, crewed, and maintains the refinery using it to extract hydrogen from the planet and serve as a refueling station for the Imperial Fleet. The Fleet Reserve, which maintains the fuel tankers, merchant marine, and independent ship registry keeps the annual quota of hydrogen coming to the cogs of the empire.
Laws and Morals: The laws of the refinery match the Naval Space Acts, a draconian set of rules that empower the captain and commanding officers life and death power over their crews to ensure the safety of the crew, paradoxically, as well as the operation of their command, be it a ship, station, or floating refinery. Violations of the law result in lock-up time, ostracism by the Cult of the Emperor, and even death by decompression. Morality is formed by the Cult of the Emperor that espouces devotion to the emperor as the incarnate form of God and the benevolent protector of humanity and its dominion, and by the Precepts of Protocol, which decry violence between humans, chaos and dissent, and support the status quo.
Family: Families are quite rare on the refinery given the segregated living conditions. The few that do exist tend to be spacers by blood, having served on ships and stations their whole lives, often for generations. The children stay with the mother until they reach puberty when the boys are graduated to the mens quarters. Spacer families tend to be small, with 1 child being the norm, 2 being rare, and more unheard of.
Social classes: There are four classes aboard the refinery. The Military has a very small presence, but the dictates of the Quartermaster are only outranked by the refinery captain. The captain and much of the elite officers hail from Ministry or military positions, placing them in the top class. Beneath the elites are the members of the Cult of the Emperor, mainly the priest and his acolytes and associated deacons who serve as whips for the priest. Beneath the clergy are the skilled freebooters who have the guts and brains to fly shuttles, work with navcomps, and do the other sticky tech jobs, but lack the political connections to rise higher in the social classes. also with the freebooters are working classes supported by the crew of the refinery, but not tied to its operation. The service workers, prostitutes, and such are accounted as a half step between true freebooters and the workers. The lowest class is the plebian worker, most of whom are destined to spend as long as a decade working in the bowels of the refinery before finding a new commision of joining into a new crew and escaping.
Political Power: The Refinery, and all the other hydrogen refineries like it on a hundred other gias giants as political backwaters. Being stationed to a refinery is a form of punishment for a seasoned officer, or a challenge for the politically connected who buy their status, but lack the respect of the quartermasters.
Economics: The price of bulk hydrogen is a daily concern of the refinery, as well as meeting the annual quotas of refined hydrogen. The Empire takes as much as 70% of the refineries output, the bulk of that carried off in Terramax hydrogen tankers, the rest refueling fleet groups on maneuvers. The remaining 30% is sold on the market to independent ships, and planetary governments. The captain and paymasters have to meet the crew operating costs of the refinery from this income, as well as making their own salaries. More than a few senior officers have come away from positions at refineries wealthy men and women. More than a few have been driven to the cusp of poverty and suicide by the vicissitudes of the open market.
Religion:The cult of the Emperor is the standard faith of the refinery. Variations are not tolerated.
Technology and Common Power:
Military Weapons and Tactics - The partical projector cannon (PPC) lasers, and guided missles are the standard weaponry of the Imperial Navy. Projectile weapons such as gauss cannons, and autocannons are only found on stations and planetary defences. The Refinery only has a few point defence weapons to rely on, as well as a detachment of 6 aerospace fighters for escort and defence. The rest of the military power of the refinery is in the form of a company of Imperial space marines, and the defences of any ships that are in orbit awaiting a fuel transfer.
Industrial/ Production - Aside from self maintenance machine shops and metal-working, the refinery doesnt produce anything other than hydrogen gas for starship fuel. Raw gas from the planet is drawn in the bottom of the station, subjected to several refining processes, and pumped into holding tanks. When the tanks are full, or a ship is to be filled, the helium tanks are heated to increase boyancy so that the refinery can drift up to an atmosphere high enough for umbilicals to be connected to the ship or its shuttles for transfer.
Medical - Facilities are available, with ample supplies of BloodPaks, and assorted implements for setting bones, healing wounds and the like. Facility is well used, and often running short on some basic supplies.
Agricultural - Serviced by a pair of biospheres, the refinery grows grain for making into bread and processing CO2 into O2 for breathing. Having been subjected to a rather sulfer rich atmosphere (you get over the smell after a few days) the plants tend to have a rather bitter taste. however, refinery garlic can be sold for a very hefty profit. A few captains demonstrate their position by planting frivolities such as flowers or fruit trees, though few things can match a sulfer peach for unpleasantness.
Communication - sublight communications are handled by shortwave FM radio, refinery to ship is done by laser communication. The refinery has a service station that houses a hyper-pulse generator that allows for transolar communications as well as being a beacon for incoming ships.
Math and Science: - while advanced, the highly advanced math and science is handled by either tech-minded freebooters or AIs.
Construction - The Refinery, displacing some 70,000 tons has a density that is equal to the surrounding atmosphere. As such it floats in whatever cloudband it has settled in. It is very large, with the bulk of its space devoted to hydrogen and helium tankage. It was constructed primarily out of aluminum for weight concerns, and is protected from Brontis' EM field by means of a EM field of its own, generated by a rotating germanium torus.