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Author Topic: Chalk and Fire: The Prequel  (Read 61 times)

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Offline Pariah

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Chalk and Fire: The Prequel
« on: October 20, 2014, 10:43:53 PM »
Space Opera/Cyberpunk

Setting to be limited to the Solar System, in the game world research is currently ongoing into FTL travel, at the forefront of this field is Dr Metzi (because if I already named the guy I might as well us him again)

Date: 2163, because those are fun numbers...

Interplanetary travel is helped along by the existence of Light Gates, which (this is going to be a shocker) are gates that allow ships to travel between them at the speed of light. 

FTL communications are possible thanks to the (need name for ansible network) a staggeringly complex system of interconnected entangled particle thingies (see last C&F thread for specifics)

Pulling directly from the Star Wars prequel movies for inspiration (bad movies CAN have good ideas, no matter what CP might've said), the system is currently governed by the United System Alliance, under a largely republican form of government (and I mean that in the dictionary sense of the word, not current US party meaning) unfortunately outter system Separatists a straining against the yoke of the system.  Their biggest gripes, what with the fact that basically all trade to and from their colonies/homes needs to travel through a Gate in order to reach anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, is the fact that GateCorp has a government backed monopoly of the technologies behind the gates.  This further grates the fringers because GateCorp is most definately an inner system corporation, so all the money flows into the pockets of those already rich folks on Luna, Mars, and (to a lesser extent), Terra.

A brief history:
2028 - Mars One colony fails due to series of unfortunate events, next resupply launch skipped.  Launch in 2031 founds Mars Two on site of failed colony, renamed Remembrance in 2061.

2034 - First habitat in a Lagrange point (L1), built primarily to support a proposed lunar colonization effort.  Over the next six years habitats are to be found in all five Lagrange points.

2035 - First lunar colony establish in Tycho crater, primarily a mining colony for the extraction of He3, Lithium, Europium (et cetera et cetera) this colony develops over the next 50 years into the preeminent research hub of the solar system, home to Tycho University.

2039 - Antono Jozafo publishes theory and proof that objects with mass can be forced to travel at speed of light between 2 points.

2041 - Gate Corp founded.

2042 - Artificial Gravity developed PKU, energy requirements limit it us in planet/moon bound colonies.  It will be 25 years before advances in miniaturization finally allow their use in even the largest of space craft.

2045 - First two Gates opened, at the L5 of earth and Mars, over then next 30 years Gates are deployed to all major bodies in the solar system, and numerous minor ones, allowing the rapid expansion of humanity throughout the system.

2067 - The Gate station at earth's L5 becomes the first space station with artificial gravity generation.  3 more stations will install similar systems before the 20 year war.

2071 - WW3 (aka the 20 years war) with hostilities beginning on earth, it was originally called world war three, but because they were not limited to terra itself, a more accurate name might be the 20 years war.  Over the length of the war, roughly 60% of the human race is killed, whether due to direct action or because supplies were cut to outlying colonies that were unable to sustain themselves during the war.  By the end of the war, earth's population has been reduced to approximately 3 billion (accounting for about 2/3 of the casualties).  The victors, hoping to prevent any more such wars, united under a single world government, which was quickly expanded to include the whole solar system.  Thus the United System Alliance was formed on the basis of "Let's never do that again."

Thanks to lessons learned during the initial round of colonization, the population of earth builds a collection of arcologies and sets about rebuilding the ecosystem of the planet, a process that will be nearing it's final stages in 2163. 

2090's to now - second round of colonization, much more efficient than the first due to the fact that most of the Gates are still intact, combined with artificial gravity for reactionless drives and all the lessons learned during the first round means that stuff goes smoother.

Subs to write:
Light Gates
Ansibles
Gate Corp (possibly include in main Gate sub)
United System Alliance (how government functions, peacekeeping forces, interplanetary relations)
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Pariah

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Re: Chalk and Fire: The Prequel
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 04:41:03 AM »
Can't have a setting without places to go, and one of the biggest draws of space opera is its roots in planetary romances, so away we go...

The Cytherean* colonies: Slowly extracting carbon and inserting hydrogen into the atmosphere of Venus, these hardy folk are viewed as deranged by pretty much everyone else in the Solar System, other than the nice folk on Io, mainly for the fact that the colonies have no failsafes for anything other than the lift bags.  Exterior walls 1mm thick being all that separates them from horribly corrosive lung death strikes most sane people as insane.  Cythereans will gladly reply that it's actually a lot safer than being in a mining vessel, because the ship might have triply redundant failsafes in place, but a hull breach is still a hull breach and all the atmo in at least one compartment is going to be sucked out into nice, hard vacuum, possibly with you included.  All they have to worry about is choking.

*I like Cytherean to describe colonies on Venus, mainly because I apparently have the same problem with Venusian as early astronomers did, namely it sounds bad.  Venerean works, but carries connotations of pus, lice, and drippage...

Mercury - While there are a few Mercurian mining colonies, and a couple factories, Mercury is still largely uninhabited.  Part of this is caused by the fact that Mercury doesn't have a Gate of its own due to its present status as a "wandering planet."  Forced out of its original orbit it's currently migrating to its future position as Venus's moon, planned arrival time of late 2236.  As Venus's moon it will end up tidally locked to its new planet, and impose spin on her, also providing tidal heating, allowing for a heated Cytherean core and a magnetosphere to help keep that precious hydrogen in Venus's atmosphere where we're working so hard to put it.

Project Hektor: In response to complaints from the outer colonies over how much of their tax money was going to fund work on the inner systems, PH is clearing the Jovian L4.  Using advances in applied gravitronics (no idea what I'm going to call gravity manipulation, I think that's the industry accepted term though) first researched at the Charon Institute for Colonization, the Project is capable of projecting strong gravity fields away from the actual source of the artificial gravity.  The Project will collect all the asteroids in the L4 into one spheroid, thus simplifying resource extraction and providing valuable real estate for colonization.  Depending on the success of the project, Patroclus might be the next application of the technology, thus solidifying them in the wrong camps for perpetuity.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

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Re: Chalk and Fire: The Prequel
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 07:22:33 AM »
Weapons, because while I was all set to do one post here a day, sometimes the brain says "screw you and your plans, you might as well write this s**t down because otherwise you'll forget"

In the distant future of 2163 the most common thing people think of when you say weapon is largely the same as what it was 300 years before, a gun that projects its projectile downrange through the combustion of its propellant in a violent reaction.  This is because, despite how amazing some of the advances in personal and seige weaponry have been, gun powder actually has a lot to recommend itself with.  It's self oxidizing, which means it functions just as well in atmo as it does in vacuum, it doesn't require batteries or any other sort of power supply, and while advances in defense technologies and personal augmentation means that the traditional 9mm hollow point of grandpappy's day no longer strikes fear into the hearts of innocent bystanders, continued advances in the field means that in the world of today gunpowder is still relevant.

With that out of the way, on to why you're really here, to hear about the awesome but slightly less practical weapons.  :mrgreen:

Electrolaser (picture the shock rifle of Unreal Tournament, which I'm assuming someone over there read about testing in electrolasers and said, "I want THAT in the game")

Definately falling under the exotic label, the electrolaser functions by using a laser to excite the air in a beam to the point where it forms a channel of plasma, which then gets a nice lightning bolt to shot down its length to even out the electrical thingymajigs.  Listen, I'm tired and applied awesome is not my major.

Primary uses: anti-personnel/anti-materiel sniper rifle is the image that first pops into peoples minds when talking of elctrolasers, though it isn't the only use.  During the war batteries of electrolasers were set up as anti-missile point defense systems, being significantly cheaper and more effective than launching your own missile at the incoming missle.  They're also commonly mounted on (attack helicopter/transit helicopter style) gunships.  Due to the exotic nature of the weapon, most systems are not properly shielded against sustained fire, and most infantry style troops are infact not shielded against directed lightning.

CONS (in all caps because killing people with lightning is awesome and everyone should want to use one of this, so we need to cover why a generic assault rifle is more often better)
-Due to how the weapon works, it can ONLY be used in an enviroment with atmosphere, and when taking it from one type of atmo to another (say Earth to the outside of a Cytherean hab) on board software needs to be updated so as to provide the proper amount of power to the laser to properly ionize the air.  Most vehicle mounted weapons have the processing power to do this automatically, however the man portable version must be updated by hand (newer models generally have the most common loadout preinstalled, just requiring a brief trip into the system menu)
-Power.  These things eat power like it's going out of style.  This means that one either needs to be plugged into the local power grid, or as is the most common case in the field, plugged into a portable fusion bottle.  Said bottle needed to be lugged with you, oftentimes by the spotter in a 2-man team.  Just because antigravity exists doesn't mean we can eliminate all weight, and most man-portable fusion bottles already have so many interconnected grav fields that too much outside interference can cause containment failure, with all the fun that the image of a fusion reaction escaping containment brings to your wonderful imaginations.

And speaking of fusion escaping containment, that brings us to our second kind of exotic weaponry...

Plasma Weaponry AKA The Marine's Portable Kitchen

Capable of both opening up passages into opposing ships (aka can opener) and cooking adversaries inside their own power armor (Microwaved Marine) plasma weaponry saw significant use in the latter stages of the war.  Because any personal armor capable of standing up to the sort of micrometeorite hits you'll see in a space engagement is more or less impervious to small arms, and boarding squads already carried a plasma lance to open passages into opposing ships (and yes, sometime boarding is called for, you don't always want to just nuke them from over the horizon) plasma weaponry saw significant development.

CONS:
Heavy, unless if you're wearing power armor, you don't really want to have to try to use this.  And, in case you needed another reason to not use this outside of power armor, because more plasma weapons are basically just opening one end of a fusion bottle and letting all the fun stuff shoot out, you also get a nice dose of hard radiation.  Oh, and the very slight chance of catastrophic containment failure when you stop firing, which is why marines felt a need to give the weapon a nickname, because it's less scary when you get to walk around with a portable kitchen as opposed to the official moniker of Directed Plasma Lance.

Can't be used in atmo.  Though this one is less of a hard and fast rule than the shock rifle's in atmo restriction, it's just that as the amount of atmosphere increases the range of the plasma decreases.  At ground level on earth you're basically just holding a really expensive and dangerous blowtorch, and really, there are safer and more efficient ways to do whatever you're trying to do at that point.  Why not try Russian Roulette instead if you really have a deathwish?

Mass Drivers

Functioning along the same general line of thought as gunpowder weapons (and crossbows, bows, and thrown rocks before them), a mass driver exists to propel a piece of ferrous material downrange with as much force as possible.  The only reason they're not man portable is because the recoil issues haven't been solved yet, and the power issues, but the moment someone figures out the recoil I'm sure the power issues won't be too far behind.  There's money there.

ANYWAY, mass drivers are absolutely amazing at what they do, and they scale beautifully as well.  Spinal mounted mass drivers are used on many of the asteroid breakers, with numerous "point defense" drivers to further break up their prey, as well as protect against the stray piece of valuable mineral that might damage the ship.  Note that the same general principles work on a war-ship as well, though in that case they'd also have missiles with which to pelt the enemy.

Micromissles

In this case I'm referring to a weapon that fills the same general role as the 40mm grenade launcher, with the added bonus that on-board computers allow for EFF and target-locking functions.  Other uses are in ship-to-ship combat where a single large missile will split either shortly before it gets in range of point defenses or when it appears that an anti-missile missile has achieved lock, launching anywhere from 6-600 submunitions with their own onboard tracking and defense avoidance programs.  While this method is clearly less explosive on a gram for gram basis than a single missile that uses all that payload for its own explosives, it has the benefit of potentially overloading defending point defense programs with too many targets, allowing more powerful missiles through due to poor target selection.

and I'm sure more weapon ideas will come to me, but that's it for today...  I'm pretty sure...

Edit: FRACK!

Monomolecular blades
PEPS (DE:HR)
Pulse Rifle (HL2) <-some sort of projectile weapon using exotic method of pushing things downrange.
Glowing Crossbow Bolts (HL2) <- superheated to deal with heavy armor, though I really don't think that'd work...
Shredder Ammo (ME2) <- think of something to do with the name as inspiration
Disrupter Ammo (ME2) <- "--"
M-920 Cain/Littleboy (ME3/FO3) <- because manportable nukes :mrgreen:
Mauler (HL3) <- Hand shotgun
Fuel Rod Cannon (HL1) <- unknown glowing green explosives
Needler (HL1) <- switch from tracking f&f to shotgunning a cloud downrange, keep the fact that whatever material it's made out of explodes in a nonlinear fashion the more of the material is present in an area
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 07:57:56 AM by Pariah »
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

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Re: Chalk and Fire: The Prequel
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2014, 06:46:03 AM »
And now continuing what is basically just stream of consciousness barfed up onto lined paper (9.5x6 because they were the only size I could find with decent twirly ring binding that doesn't fall apart if looked at funny) with only minimal (read spell checking) editing between paper and screen, we're off that that most iconic part of space, the seedy underbelly.

When asked what they're most favorite character from the star wars movies are six out of every ten will tell you it's Han Solo (the other 50% say Boba Fett, solely for the disintegration line.)  Because cowboys, outlaws, and those who kill them are such a backbone to great American cinema that they've even spread their grubby feelers into Hong Kong, Japan, and back to America again through cultural reimportation, that's where we're going today.

ISSP (needs rename due to blatant theft) is the primary police force of space, which is not to say that they're the police everyone deals with on a day to day basis.

Jurisdiction covers crimes committed in vacuum, interplanetary crime, and attempts to flee from one planet to another in an attempt to avoid paying for your wrong doing.  While that all sounds quite simple, in practice it's not.  Because while that is their job, they actually lack any ability to enforce their laws or arrest anyone once the criminal enters a space station or makes landfall, which kind of sucks for them.  In the news and on vidshows ISSP is held up as a paragon of highly trained officers who are utterly and completely incorruptible, in the cold light of reality they're a tiger with pulled teeth.

To get around these pesky restrictions imposed on doing their job, the ISSP turns to two very different methods of criminal acquisition (read that as the acquisition of criminals and not acquiring something illegally, though both meanings probably fit when you're talking about an agency totally ignoring its guidelines just because the guy that's wanted for murder on seven planets happens to be good friends with the security chief on a podunk station in the middle of the belt) the first of which is Special Activities Directorate - Section 9 (also change due to blatant theft, twice this time.)  SAD-S9 is a collection of "private" individuals who have been trained by the ISSP and then "fired" due to "disciplinary issues" who were then immediately hired by a collection of shell companies or are "self-employed" receiving their checks through cut outs and other less than legal means, who go out on SWAT raids/black-bag jobs to collect high value individuals for the ISSP.  Of course, working illegally for a government agency that needs to protect its public image is not without risk, and you can be d**n sure that if one of these fine gentlemen is captured the ISSP will gladly point out that they were loose cannons, and definitely not involved with them in any way (read disavowed.) Now, while I'm sure you're all thinking of secret police of dystopia's everywhere, this is in fact not the case, after the, admittedly grey, capture of the criminal in question they do face a public trial with all of their rights, it's just, you know, they were kinda playing the system and the system doesn't like being played.

The other method the ISSP turns to to collect criminals to return to the jurisdiction that wants to try them for their crimes is the bounty program.  This is actually the most common method of dealing with criminals wanted for crimes, and it relies on basic human greed to work.  Local police forces and dedicated bounty hunters concerned citizens regularly put food on their families' tables by hunting down dangerous fugitives (and peaceful ones too) and turning them in (ALIVE) to their nearest ISSP representative.  After a brief period whereby they verify that this is in fact the correct individual, ChaChing, you get the bounty and gets to go your merry way.

The criminals themselves, because that's what you're really here for, are basically the same you'd see in a movie the world over, or even your own tabletop.  The range from the two bit thug that "just wants his money" all the way up to the high class "legitimate businessman," all of them looking to get ahead and stay out of prison.  Boring huh?

Alright, seeing as I mentioned bounty hunters a couple lines ago, I guess it's time to go back to them, this time covering the morally ambiguous methods of making a living by hunting your fellow human beings.  While the cops put up most of the bounties out there, almost all of them are for small change, the only time a big fish ends up on a bounty board instead of the back of a SAD-S9 hovervan is when the authorities just have no idea where they are.  Mafia dons and Triad bosses on the other hand, do put out high value bounties on people, with the added bonus that most of them don't really care if the person shows up to their door dead or alive.

When I started this I was planning on writing something about drugs in particular, but I really can't think of anything other than something, something, natural earth drugs for the discerning addict, something something; so, yeah...
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Pariah

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Re: Chalk and Fire: The Prequel
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 07:53:39 AM »
DOUBLE POST DAY!!!  Mainly because even in the notebook I keep separate ideas separate.

On Being Human

While I'm steering clear of making this about transhumanist themes and instead focusing on Action! and Adventure! and IN SPACE! as much as possible, certain things can't totally be ignored, because this is a setting of humans, and some of them have metal body parts (or bodies as the case may be, who am I to judge).  Since the setting is going to include peeps from across the spectrum of baseline though augmented all the way up to full cyborg and possibly AI (though I'm not entirely sure how I want to handle AI, it's kinda like wizards in that it has the possibility of getting out of hand really quickly...  Might go the Bungie/Looking Glass route of AIs having a tendency to pick up certain 'quirks' as they age, whether it's just a bit of a stutter or a compulsion to count the number of ceiling tiles in a room upon entry (and then turn in three full circles before leaving) all the way up to and including the compulsion to KILL ALL HUMANS!!!1!) and because as I was thinking about crime I started thinking of cyberpsychosis, here's today's doubleshot of crazy.

Now, one of the things that makes humans Human is that, rather than adapting to our environments like Mr Darwin's finches, we adapt our environments to us.  As such discussion of the public's views regarding those with various abilities to set off metal detectors naked are kind of needed to be dealt with.

At the first level we have "baseline" humans, which is not to say they're completely with or without any sort of augmentation, only that in common conversation most people don't refer to them as such.  There's really no clear line to mark where this ends and the next one begins (unless you're a crazy human purist who believes that man was never meant to better himself), but a brief detour into the reader's present day and age will suffice for a quick example.  Grand-Uncle George, the cyborg, of course you don't really view him as a cyborg, but going by a strict reading of the definition thereof he is in fact a cyborg.  After that one heart attack they put in a pace maker, then a few years later he started losing his hearing so he got a cochlear implant.  Grand-Uncle George is goddammed metal, like a boss, but neither you nor I would call him a cyborg.  This same view applies in an era where you can do more to your body than just fix the heart and ears, most people see nothing wrong with having a Jack (brain-computer interface) or blood-cleaners to help keep you alive if your job exposes you to environmental hazards and even something like that thingymajig that baseball banned four or five decades ago that boosts your reaction time by something like 20% is still pretty normal and not anything you'd be looked at askance for.

At the next level we have people who are OBVIOUSLY augmented, eye implants, arm replacements, replacing your hair with fiber optic dreadlocks like that one pop star from Enceladus, so on and so forth.  Unless if you're able to get some really high quality synthskin to cover up your arm, or shell out the big bucks to make sure your eyes look as real as modern engineering can get them (at which point most people would put you back in the previous category, even if you need to take off your arm to go through spaceport security) you're generally going to get a couple looks from people (more from spaceport security, apparently stations don't like it when some out of towner walks into a bank and robs it with their arm that turns into a machine gun or the detachable shotgun leg, and even if it only happened that one time and it wasn't even at this station, the public uproar gets people to do things they shouldn't without taking the time to think about why they shouldn't and then they can't take it back without admitting they shouldn't have done it in the first place) kinda like that kid that walks on the subway with six square inches of untattooed skin and 15 pounds of metal on his face, but otherwise most people don't really care.  There's a lot of reasons to get obvious augments done, born blind, went blind, got an arm lopped off in a mining accident, really wanted glow in the dark dreadlocks, and people understand that.

Finally we reach the "cyborgs" a term that can be applied equally well to people like Molly from Neuromancer with her fingerblades, mirrorshades, and 'tude (to her obvious love-child with Jensen from Deus Ex:Human Revolution) all the way up to people that are basically just a brain in a jar with a human shaped prosthesis to walk around in.  These poor shmucks actually do face problems with local governments and regular people on a day to day basis.  Part of this is because, using Jensen as an example, he could cover his arms with quality synthskin and surgically remove the mirrorshades and company logo on his forehead, it's kind of hard to pass as human with a government mandated remote-activated kill-collar around your neck, which he'd have to wear in nine out of ten of the Terran Arcologies, and this is a scene that is sadly repeated throughout the system.  Not all places require them, but far too many do.

The reasons for this irrational fear of the heavily modified can trace their roots to the prewar years, with numerous yellow articles of cyborgs that suddenly went crazy due to a complete loss of their empathy for their fellow man, because they weren't really human anymore.  This is, despite the fact that these same news organizations would generally publish a piece by actual professionals involved in such disparate fields as psychology and mechanical engineering saying that cyberpsychosis is downright impossible, followed a few days later by a belated retraction of the previous article, after it had spurred a few hundred thousand extra people to subscribe to whatever news service published the original article.  This old wives tale (I know it's probably not true, but you know, stuff like the kill collars wouldn't really be needed if it wasn't an outside possibility, right?) grew new legs after the war when the creative reimagining of Rambo by Park Sung Hyo starred Rambo as a cyborg.

And now that we've covered the various strains of human, let's move on to the not human.  Namely Bioengineered Humanoids.  The creation of, and research into the creation of, and thinking about making them, were banned in the Koani Accords of 2037.  Of course there's still rumors and conspiracy theories that this government or that corporation are secretly making them in a research facility in some out of the way place like Haumea, just waiting for the day that they can sell them legally so they're the first to market, but I'm sure you realize just how stupid that sounds, right?  I mean, if there's no market for something because it's illegal to buy, sell, possess, talk to, associate with, look at, or think about BH's, and it's actually safer for criminal organizations to kidnap orphans off the street to sell as slaves to shady mines and sex houses, who in their right mind would make them?
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

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Re: Chalk and Fire: The Prequel
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 09:14:01 AM »
Minor setbacks like missing the bus will not defeat me in my quest to fill whole kilobytes of Strolen's valuable storage with drivel from which I well eventually extract gold.  Sleep, thout's siren wail will avail you not, for unlike mere mortals I have stuff, and NoDoz.  Not actual NoDoz, because apparently too many people were mistaking it for bath salts or something, who knows, Florida...

AND OFF WE GO! (I would like to apologize to myself beforehand [because I'm pretty sure I'm the only one actually reading these things], in case if you don't remember, you basically wrote like five incomplete sentences down on a piece of 8.5x11 printer paper because you forgot your handy dandy notebook when you went to work.  One of those "sentences" consisted solely of the word CFC...  I'm doing my best here, but it's going to be even more disjointed than normal.  Just so you know what I was forced to work with after delaying bedtime [glorious sleep] I'm putting the "notes" at the end of each paragraph.)

Mars, glorious planets where all your dreams can be made real.  While Earthly society has largely stagnated due to the general lack of places where you don't need to eat iodine pills daily just to not drop over dead, and then of those it's actually illegal to live in a number of them because captain planet says so.  Most of the population on the homeworld lives in the highly stratified hives, with little chance to interact outside of their social caste, and no chance to really move up in the world.  After the war Mars became the stopping over point for points further in the galaxy, and prior to the rebuilding of the Terran Gate, where raw materials coming from outsystem needed to pass through to get to their final destination on Earth.  Due to the sheer amount of travel through the Martian Gate, Mars's economy flourished, pilots need a place to unwind after all, and the ruins of Earth after the 20 year war just weren't relaxing enough apparently.
(Earth stagged b/c arco/cpt planet)

Already in the beginning phases of terraforming before the war, after the war it was decided that the process needed to be sped up.  While there's only so much you can speed up the process of turning a lifeless husk into something that humans don't die from walking outside on without suits, though even the most insane plans did still require the use of personal oxygen supplies.  In the end it was decided that the time it would take to go from a largely unbreathable atmosphere composed of CO2 and CFC to one that could support human life would be more than enough time for CFC introduced to induce heating to be safely broken down by good out fashioned stellar radiation.  With that out of the way the plan was begun, and 15 years of nonstop production and pumping into the atmosphere of Martian CFCs were begun.
(tfing start before war, sped up after) && (CFC)

Eventually rampant greenhouse warming took hold, until it leveled off around 12C for a global mean temperature.  The orbital bombardment of water rich asteroids continued unabated, and once there was a stable atmosphere lichen were released into the wild to act as something to break virgin ground, to provide biomass, and to help increase oxygen levels, however slightly.  And so in the 2160's Mars has an atmosphere, and is warm enough you can walk around on the surface without immediately having your blood sublimate out of your pores, though it still very much qualifies as barren.

(10-15 C is prolly accurate?) && (lichen: more indestructible than gamecube)

The jewels of Mars though are her cities.  The stereotypical Martian city has walls stretching all the way to the stars, courtesy of the traditional gravity being one third that of the homeworld.  Of course Martians would never let something so crass get in their way, so after a brief generally divided up between parks and lakes the main part of the city begins, under nearly a full gravity.  Depending on how near you are to the closest gravity generator a repeat of the apple experiment might have it dropping at 9.5m/s or 9.9m/s, but drop it does.  Martians, when they were told that having too many gravity units acting in close proximity could have dire consequences, scoffed in the face of their lesser men and did it anyway.  (I'm hearing Cave Johnson yelling in my brain)

At this point I'm really thinking the best way to have Mars govern itself would be a bunch of backstabbing independent city-states, all playing games with each other using their lesser cities as pieces to attempt to gain advantages over their comrades.  All I really know is that they say you can buy anything on Mars if you have the money.  Of course most of them only say that when you walk into their store asking about buying something that they don't have, as a back handed way of getting you out of there.  Maybe if they knew you they might point you to someone you could theoretically buy it from, but since they don't all they have is worthless wisdom.  And there's more I think, trying to hammer its way out of the back of my eye sockets, but I don't know what it is yet, so I'll bid sleep welcome and call it here.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Pariah

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Re: Chalk and Fire: The Prequel
« Reply #6 on: Today at 08:40:24 AM »
DEAR ME, I CAN'T HEAR MYSELF THINK (which means those voices can't whisper their vile secrets about krispy kreme's plans for world domination)

The Belt

It's kinda like West Virginia, except with less trees.  Joking aside, the Belt is viewed throughout the rest of the Solar System as a backwater and is generally known only for its mining industry.  While this isn't the entire story, especially in recent years with the expansion of home grown production industries based around Ceres ship building yards, it has been the case for the majority of humanity's colonization of the solar system.  Despite the fact that the only real population center in the Belt is Ceres, it is still the 3rd most populated part of the system, behind Earth and Mars, due in large part to the sheer amount of asteroids to mine, and the fact that so long as you are willing to suffer the risks involved in mining in space, you can pretty much retire off the proceeds after twenty years.  And that's assuming you're signing on to someone else's ship.  Pretty much anything you pull out of the Belt has a market somewhere, which was the primary reason for the colony on Ceres for a long time, it served as a place for the miners to sell their wares to middlemen who dealt with the corporations and local governments bidding on the materials in bulk.  Bradley H Plant, a Cytherean, looked upon the complete lack of finished goods leaving the Belt and realized he'd struck a gold mine (not literally of course, he'd have to have been in a mining vessel for that).  Within a few years he had converted a couple repair docks into factories making knock off freighters for the local market.  It's only in the last two years that he's begun exporting ships out of the system under the Plant label.  (I really don't know why I have that bit of flavor in there)

Saturn's Rings

While the rings themselves are protected under 2093 Heritage Act, that only covers mining and permanent settling of anything naturally in orbit around Saturn that isn't in hydrostatic equilibrium.  Which left room for the creation of space stations in the rings, so long as said stations could support themselves without actually making anything, and thus the Saturnian (really, when they decided to go with the Roman names for the planets were they just not thinking about how it would sound like for their great-great-grandchildren to have to say their planetality in actual speech?  Sure, there's Cronian as another option, but seeing as Saturnian is less bad than Venusian those poor people are just going to have to suffer, especially seeing as I'm not populatating anywhere on a gas giant with anything other than some upper atmo fuel processing plants and none of the other rings are getting a population.) tourism industry was born.  While it's true that organized crime does have close ties with the casinos and resorts orbiting Saturn, that perversely makes them some of the safest places in the Solar System.  Even in the midst of their most bloody wars between cartels, mobs, and the like, they will not attack saturnian stations their enemy has ties too, because EVERY other criminal organization will then make it their business to end yours, as shown by the 4A4 fiasco of 2127 when they attacked a casino owned by their bitter rivals.  By the end of 2128 the only thing they still had of any value was their holdings in an outer ring resort.  Because even Hutts have rules they follow. 

And because I can't think of anymore to add, this is going up as is.  6 or 7 (depending on if I count killing the trojans once and for all) bodies of the solar system dealt with, 100000000 named bodies left...  :cry:
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station