Part One: System Overview
Part Two: Inner Zone
Part Three: The Planets
Part Four: Outer Zone
Part Five: Past, Present, Future Imperfect (Telajan)
The planets within the Habitable Zone of the Telajan system have been modified and manipulated on a planetary scale, but to what end, what purpose?
Ju-HaiLargest of the planets within the Telajan Habitable Zone, Ju-Hai is owned by the Merellon Corporation, at least legally. They hold all Title and Claim to this planet, despite continual challenges by various 'interested parties,' and those who would contest their right to this world in the courts, any courts. Merellon Corp employs an incredibly sophisticated and hierarchically regimented cadre of legal staff larger than some empire's standing armies, and better armed.
Merellon Corp maintains a massive collapsed-durinium-clad arcofort on Lithus Prime just to deal with the ongoing legal turmoil surrounding Ju-Hai and the rest of the Telajan system.
Gaining access to Ju-Hai requires passing through Merellon CorpSec protocols and an inspection that has been immortalized in Lpop music for its overly-diligent invasiveness. No matter how much the PR Teams attempt to soften the impression made by the In-Transit Inspectory (ITI), some fresh new vidiot comes out with a catchy new song lambasting yet another lapse or failure, blowing it all out of proportion and heaping scorn and ridicule upon Merellon Corp. The initial efforts to suppress or drown-out such agitpop efforts only made them all the more popular and successful. Current official policy is to just ignore it all in the hopes that it will just go away once people get bored or the next fad comes along. But it does not go away. If anything the agitpop songdramas, memejingles and rhymeries have proliferated.
Plenty of offworlders still manage to pass the entry protocols (bribery is notoriously unreliable, not recommended and quite steep if you can even locate someone useful who will accept a little well-intentioned graft). Imports are rigorously monitored, checked and re-checked and the list of prohibited substances and cargoes is constantly being upgraded and revised every ten minutes. Non-Corprist interests and businesses have a difficult time navigating the deliberately complicated and ever-changing regulations, mandates, special orders and so forth. Very few non-sponsored or non-subsidized traders can afford to attempt to deal with this planet. Those who do subscribe to the Merellon Trade Network or who mount Merellon Transponders on their ships find that much of the stifling red tape fades away with one click.
Life on Ju-HaiJu-Hai is slightly larger than Earth and covered by many seas broken-up by myriads of rocky, mountainous landmasses. Each major land mass is divided into a number of Independent Satrapies. Legally, technically each of these divisions are free to pursue their own agendas, but in reality they are all clients of Merellon Corp. The charters and constitutions of these 'Independent' Satrapies are cynical shams filled with double-talk and nested word-labyrinths of gibberish calculated to prevent anyone outside of the Merellon Legal Department from ever sorting any of it out, and even they require extensive AI-assistance to keep track of all the subtle, inter-textual boobytraps and dead-ends.
A few of the Satrapies have begun to pull away from the Council of Founders, which is the direct management unit under the Atmosphereic Control Authority (ACA) and the Orbital Defense Mandate (ODM) both of which are directly beneath the Ju-Hai committee of the Telajan Project that reports directly to the Lithus Sector Oversight Committee of the Merellon Corp's Sub-Board. Of course, none of the Satrapies currently have the means to really ever break away from Merellon control. They carry far too much debt and are burdened with incredibly onerous penalty clauses, specified transition procedures and a host of sub-clauses and riders to their Charters that make such efforts all but doomed.
But in the face of such entrenched regulatory cynicism there has arisen a host of creative reactions and responses. Those who would call for violent revolution have been remanded to corporate jurisdiction long ago. Extreme rendition truly means something dire and in most cases quite irreversible when you're dealing with a Sector-spanning Megacorp. But such things have only strengthened the resolve, the ingenuity and the determination of a growing caste of increasingly legally-adept practitioners of contra-corporate activity. Engaging, highly netcast episodes of incredibly elaborate forms of civil disobedience have rapidly become not only a populist artform imitated elsewhere (especially within the Aerostat Communes of Aldrin), but have quickly become the number two export and a major part of Ju-Hai's economy.
Merellon Corp now faces something of an existential crisis as they must manage the on-going anti-Corprist activities of the various cells and covies of insurrectional artists, politimpressionists, spontaneos, vote-mobs, and other such things even as all manner of new, feral political movements appear, make their mark and fade or explode into obscurity until revived or remodeled by successors and others.
The political ecology of Ju-Hai has transcended everything else. Subversion has become the norm. Flouting the rules and regs is the established way of doing things. And this is troubling to the CorpSec Overseers who fear that this might eventually lead to a total crash of the rigid structures imposed upon the Satrapies.
Outsiders, especially the more idealistic and radicalized fan-bases of the various Ju-Hai based movements, have been flooding into the pre-fab cities along the coasts and high up in the mountains. Every CorpRetreat and SpaPlex has been overrun by deliberately dirty students, creed-chanters, illicit dance-troupes, mocking clowns, and worse. Squatters, Freegetters, DropOuts, DropIns, and a host of other even more obscure, weird and marginalized sects, parties, non-govs and the like have made Ju-Hai their preferred target destination. Tourist agencies make pilgrimages and even immigration incredibly affordable and accessible. Several competing Missions have taken to sponsoring Fellow Travelers, in some cases going so far as to smuggle in a few of their brethren officially classified as undesirable, at least according to the tabloids and newsfeeds.
The one thing that sets Ju-Hai apart from every other revolution is the deeply ingrained non-violent ethic at the heart of it all. Any schlub can lob a bomb, but who can write a one act play that brings a totalitarian regime sixty-two lightyears away to come crashing to its knees? On Ju-Hai this is not a rhetorical question.
Six Scenarios for Adventuring on Ju-Hai
- Appleseed Blue is a fresh young start-up that focuses on providing reliable and untraceable immigration to Ju-Hai for any self-styled revolutionist, impressario of social change, or whatever. They charge a steep price due to all the trouble it takes to circumvent the local protocols and counter-measures. A lot of their clientele finance their excursions through FreeBanks, but an increasing number of them use the FinServ Bureau of various private lenders who are offering extremely generous rates, often interest free. Nine out of ten of these operations are part of a holding company under the control of the Merellon Corp. A recent expose revealed some of these sorts of connections, but since the program was sponsored by a Merellon-subsidiary PR firm, no one takes it seriously. What didn't make it into the expose is that Appleseed Blue is also a deep subsidiary of Merellon Corp. That's how they have managed to build-up such an impeccable record in so short a time. A smaller, tramp carrier service that only leases a few de-listed or discontinued small-craft has lodged a complaint. Unfortunately for them, someone within the byzantine hierarchy of Merellon has noted their objections and panicked. A contract for disposable mercenaries was rushed through, ostensibly to 'teach these upstarts a lesson in manners.' The casual trashing of the carrier's offices got out of hand. Two mercs were liquidated and one of the work orders did not self-dissolve properly. Now the small carrier is looking to hire-on some protection for their ships. Your team could be hired as the initial muscleheads, the follow-ups, or maybe you'd prefer to take up arms on behalf of the scrappy little carrier facing down the corporate behemoth. There might even be a dramacast possible, or some sort of realitycast if you jump on the opportunity before someone else does.
- A group of red-tagged Aerostatists from Aldrin have slipped past the PolDroids in one Satrapy to take temporary refuge in another one. They came here to make recordings and to soak up the unique atmosphere of the on-going struggle here on Ju-Hai with the plan to take it all back to lend verisimilitude and an extravagant, fresh new energy to their own Mardi Gras-esque celebrations. They managed to get more than they counted on and are now on the infamous Dump/Detain/Deport list of enemies of the Ju-Hai state...even though technically there is no overall Ju-Hai state (a mere technicality). These excitable students and their instructors are desperately looking for some way to get word out or to find asylum or passage offworld. Whatever they saw--and recorded--seems to be extremely inflammatory. Are you up to the task of getting them offworld with their data intact?
- Jack came to Ju-Hai to stir things up once and for all. The very notion of a non-violent protest makes him sick. Physically ill. It's the illicit dolphin-hacked wetware he implemented back at that unlisted clinic on Mattagar. The wetware is malfunctioning, possibly. Or maybe Jack is the pawn of some sinister cabal of malcontents who wish to see Ju-Hai enveloped in flames and madness and war. Whichever might be the case, Jack has begun to make an example of the disgusting peaceniks. They've found three bodies so far. Forensic Psychometrists predict there are at least five more to be uncovered and that the kill-spree is far from over. Local Authorities have gotten too used to petty squabbles and word-fights. They have decided to call in outside experts on violent crime. That'd be you. They want this miscreant found and stopped immediately. Especially as a major holiday is coming up and this psychokiller is upping the ante with each victim.
- An ambitious young clone from Tregio (00.03) has hired your team as personal Security. She has brought you all to Ju-Hai to help facilitate a project that so far only three people know about. At first you didn't much mind the whole 'Need-To-Know' crap, that kind of thing is just SOP when working with Corprist clients and contracts. But that was before a hit-squad of Parthenogens tried to take you all out with a rather messy IED at the Tregio Sub Port. Then a suicide bomb-clone took out a substantial section of the hull in your part of the transport enroute to Ju-Hai. Maybe it's time you knew what was going on. Yeah. Right. Knowing isn't all it's cracked up to be. Especially when you find out that you're expected to run interference and physical security for a mad woman who is planning to found a New City in the middle of nowhere where there is a glitch in the boundary-marker sub-routines and a small patch of Ju-Hai is legally outside the purview of Merellon Corp. It's a technicality. Pretty damned thin. But someone somewhere is willing to go to extreme measures to stop her. You can walk away, as per the standard clause in your contract...but will you?
- A virulent and hyper-addictive morphogenic drug has just started popping-up along the more fashionable Happenings and other impromptu events in six widely separated Satrapies at the same time. Merellon CorpSec cannot move against what they suspect as a foreign investor trying to poison the well due to internal conflicts and considerations. They require a discrete, professional Solution to the matter in the next 15 hours. You'll get LuxClass travel arranged both ways, a catering robot and a direct holoLink Rep to help facilitate communications with some very high-level Merellon Execs who wish to remain unverified. The chain of evidence available, such as was provided to you from the CorpSec team, points to the Dolphin Ghettoes under Lascalla, the Southern-most Satrapy and a hot-bed for chemo-separtists. Of course the time-stamps are all smudged, demoted or missing. Everything you've been told is suspect. Potentially untrue or worse, at least according to the dolphin who is Nmailing you. They claim that you're being set-up. Something about provoking an incident. Who do you trust? What do you want to do now that you're on site, on planet?
- Three hundred years of isolation and info-suppression just ended last Tuesday. The CorpSec firewalls breached. There has been a blacked-out xeno-archaeological dig on Ju-Hai with one of the richest arrays of Precursor relics ever found. All hell is breaking loose as all the academics are filing complaints, and quite a few tomb-poachers have dropped everything to jump all over this site while there is some measure of chaos and jurisdictional indeterminancy. The Xeno-Arc Department of the University of Kaaldu has acted precipitously in sending out a 'Neutral Intervention Team' to take stock of the files, records, and site disposition immediately. Merellon Corp PR is trying to smooth things over, but they've been deeply hacked, possibly by a clandestine team operating from within the blacked-out site itself. Private Collectors are hiring unscrupulous Retrievers to go in and grab what is easily made away with, while every institution with even a modest pretension to xenological interest is calling for sanctions, urging a total repeal of Merellon's ownership of Ju-Hai and all manner of even more drastic measures. Forty-three families through-out the Lithus Sector have declared Vendetta upon Merellon Corp and its Board and Subsidiaries in the name of each one of their members who they believe had their careers ruined or lives cut short by Merellon's duplicity and illegal/unethical restriction on this site. Letters of Marque targeting Merellon Corp holdings or properties are being issued by several small opportunistic principalities. Matters are spinning wildly out of control. Violence has broken out on-site. You can guarantee that you are not the only ones running around with guns and lots of unanswered questions.