Procyon II

1919 A767957-C, pop=3b, F5IV white subgiant

Expanded details about Procyon.

Procyon-Ac is a rocky planet in the habitable zone of Procyon-A, about 2AU from its star. Its oceans are home to cyanobacteria which have given the world an oxygen atmosphere, but there are no higher forms of native life. The world is just emerging from a desert phase, caused by the Procyon-B’s expansion into a red giant. That star has now shed most of its mass, and is a hot white dwarf. Continuing comet impacts have replenished Procyon-Ac’s water oceans. Planetologists expect this process to continue, so that the planet will become a water world within the next 100 million years.

Humans have seeded the world with Earth species, which have taken vigorous hold on land. Human settlements tend to be built in mature woodland, in order to shade them from harmful UV-A radiation.

Procyon was amongst the first of Earth’s off world colonies. Planted centuries ago by slower-than-light colony ships, before the discovery of jump drive. The earliest population was from Earth’s European continent. These people are known as the “Old Andorians”. In the centuries since, most immigrants have come from the Outer Planets (“Belters”), or Earth’s underclass. This is a balkanised world, mostly governed by mega corporations whose philosophy is akin to the mercantile spirit of Earth’s Belters. The most prominent geographical state is “Andor”. There is a global “Steering Committee”, which acts as a talking shop for intercorporate cooperation.

Most people on Procyon are notionally citizens of a geographical state, but their principle connection is to one or more corporations. It is the corporations that provide medical, social care, and even schools and universities. There are cultural difference between corps too. Old Andor is the only state whose citizenship has any standing. An Andorian ID is sufficient to gain access to the best clubs.

Social status:

2-3 : Stateless. Refugee or deep ocean nomad.
4-10: Corporate citizen.
11+ : Old Andorian

Since the fall of Earth to the totalitarian Esperanzan Commonwealth, Procyon has become the last bastion of freedom in the Core Worlds. The Commonwealth has blockaded Procyon, cutting off its supply of antimatter. The routes through Esperanza and Corridor are out of the question, but the Earth Union fleet is also blockading Epsilon Eridani. Procyon’s traders’ only option is to jump via Sirius to Kapteyn, where they must deal with the historically hostile Xa Imperium.

A stream of refugees from Earth and the Belt have arrived. Some of them have brought great wealth, knowledge or resources with them, but most arrived with nothing. These refugees have been housed in cramped tent-cities – for many of them, movement is strictly limited – there have been disturbances, and tensions are on the rise.

The arrival of millions of Uploads has placed further strain on Procyon’s economy. The Uploads’ data centres require vast amounts of power to operate, and power is in short supply. Without antimatter, the world has been forced to fall back on fusion generators, which produce orders of magnitude less energy. Without the power to run them, many Uploads remain in storage.

Most corporations are members of the Procyon Defence Alliance (PDA), which operates a fleet of monitors and system defence boats, and coordinates a rag tag assembly of corporate warships and ships that have defected from the Earth Union Fleet. The PDA also operates a significant missile PD network, and is currently building out a fleet of robot battle stations.

Procyon is subject to fairly frequent asteroid and comet impacts. There is a well-established early warning and impact deflection system.

Cities

Laikan Capital city of the Old Andorians. Founded over 500 years ago, it is the colony’s second oldest settlement. Laikan is temperate on the coasts and cold inland, with good access to sea fishing (of imported species), maritime climate farmland, and heavily wooded forests. Skiing is popular.

Harbourtown Procyon’s largest city, and principal starport – 30m people packed into an urban sprawl near the mouth of the Merciful River. A subtropical paradise. The city is owned and run by Ling, one of Procyon’s major corporations. Harbourtown’s urban hinterland is home to 250m people, its rail hub serves over a billion. It is mostly beyond Ling’s charter – within the larger United Corporations zone. UC is a hugely successful investment trust – effectively corporate “neutral ground”. Habourtown’s government chafes at its territorial restrictions – Ling have repeated tried to win additional concessions from UC, but its board have always frustrated their advances.

The starport is located in UC territory, officially controlled by the Harbourtown mayor, but its day to day operations have been contracted out to Serendipity. The vast nearby shipyard is owned and operated by Andor Inc. – It supports a huge industrial ecosystem of spacecraft design & construction industries.

Harbourtown is ringed by squalid refugee camps. Every day, tens of thousands of refugees make their pilgrimage into the city, to look for work, or beg on the streets. Organised gangs prey on them. The Harbourtown Agency (law enforcement) do their best to keep the refugees away from the business districts, but they are losing the game of cat and mouse. Roadblocks and checkpoints on major arterial roads do nothing to keep them out. The Agency is in the process of blocking off minor roads that lead into the city. Many streets on the outskirts have been bisected by ugly new concrete walls, topped with barbed wire.

New Miami. The principle city of The Coves. New Miami lies at the heart of an extensive river and canal network – much of the Coves’ coastal culture extends deep inland here. The Spire, Procyon’s largest archology lies at the heart of the city. It is the capital of Florida-2, a weak nation state whose only real remaining power is as the government of the Spire.

Regions

Old Andor The first region to be settled. Old Andor is the closest Procyon has to an old fashioned nation state. Citizens elect a Congress, whose laws are enforced by an independent judiciary. Old Andor’s legal system which is based upon the ancient common law, form the informal basis for all of Procyon’s myriad of intersecting, and contradictory legal systems. Many corporations domicile themselves here, in order to take advantage of free access to Andor’s courts. Others commonly pay to have their contracts enforced here. Even in-house corporate justice systems are usually based on Andorian precedent.

Old Andor is mostly old-growth forest – it has the oldest trees on Procyon. Many of them date back to the first settlement, over 500 years ago. Its network of small towns, and liveable cities nestles beneath the protective foliage.

Central Ocean Procyon’s four continents cluster around this large ocean. The vast majority of seagoing traffic crosses this ocean. It is administered by the Central Ocean Authority – an independent agency, sponsored by most of the world’s largest corporations. COA directly controls a number of coastal islands, and leases land in all important ports. It is funded by corporate subscriptions, and by fees paid by shipping companies.

COA operates a fleet of maritime patrol craft, and half a dozen aircraft carriers. They provide traffic control; a search and rescue service; customs inspections; piracy suppression; and general security service in the Central Ocean Zone. The Zone is defined by treaty as extending 1000m inland. This has lead to jurisdictional conflict with a number of coastal governments.

Coves The eastern coast of Wulf, on the Central Ocean, is a patchwork of independent statelets and corporate enclaves. Originally a new frontier, this whole 1000 km strip is now home to the most dynamic economy on Procyon. Traditionally, coastal transport by sea was more important than travel by land, and there are still huge numbers of sea going vessels steaming up & down the Coves. Traders, floating offices, ferry boats, yachts, and liveaboard luxury liners fill the seas. Travelling from marina to marina is a common way to spend a holiday, or even a lifetime. Nowadays, the land transport links are equally good of course. The Wulf Infrastructure Community (Winco) operates high speed rail, and local highway networks.

The Garden is the vast interior of Wulf – Procyon’s western continent, across the Central Ocean from Harbourtown. The Garden is millions of square kilometers of agricultural land – mixed grains and mature trees for shade. Most of the area is owned and run by agricorps, and tended by fleets of robotic farming machines. They also operate gigantic glasshouses. Squeezed in between the mechanised farms, are millions of smallholdings, owned by individuals and small family businesses. The small holdings are farmed much more intensively, and produce a significant propertion of Procyon’s fruit and vegetables. Thousands of small towns serve the smallholdings and host machine repair shops and accomodation for agribusiness workers.

Farshore is the western coast of Wulf. This is as far from civilization as you can get on Procyon – the edge of the world, with nothing but mountains and 2000 km of mostly empty farmland behind you, and the aching emptiness of the Uncharted Seas ahead of you. A scattered population of people who value their privacy have colonised these lonely cliffs & beaches, but the region is mostly the preserve of Procyon’s military. Is it peppered with bases, spaceports, weapons test ranges, planetary defence installations, etc.

Uncharted Seas Beyond the Central Ocean, the “uncharted seas” are a chaotic, lawless place. Governments that control “outer” coastlines often patrol their nearby waters, but the deep ocean belongs to no man. It is sparsely populated by nomad fishermen, idealistic seagoing communities, floating refugee camps, and isolationist cults. The only law here is the Close Orbit Command, who only deign to drop in to deal with the most urgent humanitarian emergencies, or egregious atrocities.

Corporations

Andor Inc. construction, starships

Huge, conservative corporation. Largely unionised workforce. Takes recruitment very seriously – generally expects employees to work with them for life. Benefits are extremely generous. All employees over a certain grade can live for free in corporate archology. There are company holidays, company schools, company medical care. Employees who resign are blackballed, and cannot rejoin, unless an executive approves it. They also lose all retirement benefits.

Specialises in heavy construction & civil engineering: Archologies, defence installations, bridges, roads. Some of the work is now accomplished using Xa-derived nanobots: They are mainly used for excavation, and landscaping. 3D printing is heavily used for fabrication of building components, both on site, and in specialised fab centres. Andor has the most advanced statis fields in known space: they use them to reinforce building cores, and spacecraft hulls.

It is hard (DM:-2) to join Andor Inc., but employees have a fast track to Andorian citizenship. Employees of rank 3+ automatically get at least SOC-10 when they muster out.

Serendipity transport, mining, insurance, hospitality, defence, government

Aggressive conglomerate, originally based in the Earth system’s belt. The leadership is still mainly belters or citizens of the Outer Planets. They respect the Universal Spirituality, and offer spiritual advice and retreats to all staff. Serendipity invented the now common practice of contracting out core government services, such as defence and foreign policy. Many governments on Procyon and in the Outer Planets have been subsumed by its corporate embrace. Serendipity’s military is very powerful – they offer law enforcement, space patrol, ground forces, and full space navy services. Much of that capability has now been signed over to the PDA – a decision which the Serendipity board seems to be regretting. Conversely, many of the company’s rivals are concerned that the PDA leadership is too close to the Serendipity board.

Serendipity also runs a well regarded shipping line, offering freight, but specialising in passenger liners. That business integrates seamlessly with their chain of luxury hotels, and associated retail outlets. Their space defence & logistics operations have also allowed them to branch out into asteroid mining – another highly successful venture.

The three legs of the Universal Spirituality are core to Serendipity’s thinking:

  • Statis: is the watch word of the Government Services Division. Their goal is to ensure the continuity of the states they serve.

  • Entropy: guides the operation of mining & resource extraction divisions. The idea that everything is impermanent informs their zeal for building anew.

  • Cusp: The veneration of change and risk-taking lies at the heart of Serendipity’s Armed Forces Division. Their informal motto is “Who Dares Wins”.

Ling mining, electronics, manufacturing, vehicles, small arms

Ling have specialised in asteroid mining, and planetary mining for centuries. They were founded on Ganymede in the early days of STL colonisation, but moved to Procyon around 200 years ago. They are the “Ford” of 28th century industry – nearly 30% of all vehicles are made by a Ling fab – everything from small space craft, huge ocean going ships, to aircraft and domestic automobiles. They are also major manufacturers of reaction drives. Their small arms business is highly innovative – their newest product is the Ling gauss rifle. Since the Emergency, Ling has been trying to build up a starship weapons division, but their products have so far failed to find a market.

Ling has a small but well trained security force – Ling Security. They are not at all afraid to use it to further their corporate interests. It is also available for hire. Missions are often guarding or escorting valuables, but less legitimate activities are rumoured.

Ling’s people are very proud of their corporation’s heritage. Ling invented many of the industries in which they still compete, and employees tend to believe that the “Ling way” is always the best way. If outsiders out-innovate them, then Ling’s people tend to use that as a spur for their own business – to drive them to prove that they are still the best. In truth, they have been eclipsed in several areas – while their vehicles are ubiquitous, their quality and reliability has been surpassed by Serendipity’s “Fortuna” brand.

Dog Star retail, resource extraction, fuel, construction

A “bread & butter” operation. Dog Star operate a range of retail ventures, usually aimed at the budget end of the market. they are perhaps best known for their Star-Mart supermarket chain. The Star-Mart brand is also used at spacecraft refuelling stations, at starports and jump stations. Dog Star has great experience of space based resource extraction – especially gas giant skimming and comet capture and disassembly. They have a construction division that specialises in large-scale hostile environment habs.

Dog Star are the most down to Earth of Procyon’s major corporations. They have no idea of being more than a good employer and profitable business. Employees tend to sneer at the grandiloquent pretentions of others corps. Dog Star tends to excel in logistics and management. They would say that their practicality gives them the edge over their more self-absorbed competitors.

Mitsubishi banking, insurance, electronics, manufacturing, heavy plant

Mitsubishi is a truly ancient Earth-based corporation. Much of the corporate structure remains on Earth, and has now been subverted by Next Step radicals. They especially mistrust Mitsubishi, because of the corporation’s focus on computer and upload systems. The majority of Earth’s uploads ran on Mitsubishi hardware. The corporation manufactures a wide range of electronics, from comms to power plants. Their Transdimensional Research Division did the basic research that lead to the revolutionary J1+ and J2 drives.

Tradition is very much emphasised in the Mitsubishi corporate culture. Architecture, interiors, and industrial design are consciously influenced by ancient Japanese styles. Employees are encouraged to take part in Japanese living history – from tea ceremonies to battle reenactments. Japanese swords are regularly used by Mitsubishi’s security troops.

Schunamann & Son chemicals and pharmaceuticals

The Core Worlds’ largest drugs company. Their revenue from pharmaceuticals is larger than all of their competitors combined. The Earth Union held a decades-long inquiry into SuS’s alleged monopoly abuse. The company fled to Procyon’s jurisdiction in 2712 CE in order to escape the sanctions that they expected the inquiry to recommend. There are dark rumours that SuS’s psi-drugs division is in collusion with the Next Step. Whatever the truth of that, SuS’s assets in the Commonwealth have been seized by the new radical government.

Their Procyon-based operation is alleged to be working on psi-suppression agents, but there have not yet been any publicly acknowledged breakthroughs.

High-technology is the corporate raison-d’etre. Architecture tends to be brutalist. Interiors are clinical white, with lab-coated employees going about their business in hushed seriousness. Visitors often find SuS facilities a little creepy.

Amazon Investment, logistics & data warehousing, dimensional engineering.

Amazon was responsible for the majority of the Virtuality hosting centres on Earth. This gave them enormous influence with the Uploads. Wealth poured into their coffers, and Amazon became the richest, most influential corporation in human history. Later, Amazon’s researchers discovered grid energy and stasis fields, which were originally used to make Virtuality servers cheaper to run. This grounding in dimensional engineering, and close connections with the Uploads lead Amazon to be the principle product developer of J1+ technology (using principles originated by Mitsubishi).

In the 26th Century, a reformist zeal swept Earth, and lead to a series of enquiries into Amazon’s alleged corruption. Many of the company’s investments were confiscated, but the rump of the company fled to Procyon, and continued to hold its dominant position in many industries. It is widely believed that powerful Uploads protected the company, even while professing to hold it to account. Amazon’s corporate culture remains very influenced by Earth’s caste system. Low level workers are treated as proles, and offered no promotion opportunities. Corporate leadership is recruited from Earth Favoured or Andorians who are seen as their equivalent on Procyon.

Since the Coup, all of Amazon’s holdings on Earth & Mars have been dissolved. It has lost the majority of its income. Many R&D facilities on Procyon remain, but the company relies on subsidies from the PDA to keep them running. This has lead to a freer, more collaborative atmosphere in those R&D facilities – scientists, both human & uploads have made remarkable advanced in them over the last decade.

Amazon’s corporate offices and business ventures are all run with a ruthless efficiency. Long hours are expected, and failure is harshly punished. This attitude has become even more extreme since the holding on Earth have been lost. By contrast, the R&D facilities have shed this oppressive atmosphere, and become very open, freewheeling, can-do places. Nuclear dampers have been a recent spectacular success. Amazon corporate officers are often made to feel less than welcome here. In turn, they dismiss the researchers as Underclass scum.

Start-ups. This is not one corporation, but a whole category. Despite the mega-corps’ dominance of Procyon’s society, there remains a space for new and innovative businesses to thrive. Often started by successful corp employees, or by the independently wealthy, start-ups are usually supported by one or more of the large, established corporations. More often than not, a large corp will buy out a successful start-up before it gets to the point of challenging them in any real sense.

Examples:

  • Rory. A retail outlet specialising in boutique cybernetic upgrades.

  • Ginko. Offers innovative off-world banking and investment opportunities. Has links with Fteirle traders and Xa corporations. Founded by Madelaine Chen, a successful operator of independent merchant ships.

  • B. Extremely fashionable clothes for rebellious youth. Corporate schools tend to be hidebound and inward looking. B caters to young people who want to be part of a broader world. They have introduced many styles from newly arrived Earth immigrants – much to the horror of many parents.

  • Stellography. Purveyors of the very best astrogation software. This software can improve the accuracy of the notoriously tricky J1+ calculations, and is considered essential for achieving J2. Founded by an unknown number of uploads, and a number of high ranking ex-Mitsubishi employees. Mitsubishi is currently suing Stellography in the Andorian courts.

Organisations

Procyon Defence Alliance (PDA): Formed during the “Emergency” that lead to the Next Step’s coup on Earth. The PDA is Procyon’s global military force. Prior to the Emergency, the Core Worlds had been at peace for centuries. The Earth Union had built a navy in order to project power outwards in support of its trade; the Outer Planets had a well equipped Space Patrol; but there was thought to be no need for a military within the Core.

As the Next Step party overthrew government after government on Earth, the prospect of the EU Navy falling into their hands came closer and closer. The PDA was formed to counter that threat. At its core were the patrol forces of each of Procyon’s corporations and states. These were typically 200-600t corvettes, with a handful of 1000-2000t frigates. The fleet was bolstered by large numbers of converted freighters, anywhere from 200t to 10,000t – fortunately freighters are often armoured in the Core Worlds, because of the danger from X-ray flares in the Wolf-359 system.

In the aftermath of the Coup, large numbers of Earth Union ships defected, and have added to the PDA’s strength. Procyon’s industry quickly rose to the task of filling out this motley fleet. Captured planetoids have been converted into monitors, and highly effective 400t SDBs are now being launched at the rate of 3 per day. The problem now is a critical shortage of trained crews.

Chargen: Procyon-based characters can switch from Space Patrol or Merchant Marine careers to Navy, for one or two terms before the present day. They retain their Patrol or Merchant rank. Navy careers were not available on Procyon until 8 years (2 terms) ago. Navy characters may roll twice for advancement, but only get the extra skill roll if they succeed first time.

Having created the PDA with wide powers, several corporations are now regretting handing over such control to a third party. All in-system patrol work is now carried out by the PDA, which strives to be even-handed. That eliminates a key avenue of influence that that previously open to the corps. Consequently, there is lots of infighting. The PDA high command is heavily influenced by uploads who have escaped Earth, and they are struggling to root out corruption and corporate spies.

Close Orbit Command (COC): This agency is responsible for managing the close orbit environment. They regulate shipping, and satellite slots. They operate the high port (“Close Orbit One”). They have a fast response search, rescue and salvage fleet. COC is mostly funded from fees charged to shipping for berths at Close Orbit One, and charged to ground based starports for their traffic control services. Notionally controlled by the Procyon Chamber of Commerce.

Central Ocean Authority (COA): Manages surface shipping in the Central Ocean. Operates and licenses sea ports.

Procyon Chamber of Commerce: Originally a talking shop for Procyon’s corporate leaders, this body has become the defacto world government. It has very weak powers: It is the enabling authority for the PDA, COC & COA agencies, but it exerts little executive power over them. It can act as an ad hoc supreme court, where member corporations cannot agree on another jurisdiction (which would usually be the Andorian courts). It’s most important functions are purely political. The President and her staff have a very high public profile, and are very capable of knocking heads together behind the scenes.

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