Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Freeport

System: Freeport
Hex Location: 2123
Star Type: Single B5 V
Number of Worlds: 8
Gas Giants: 3
Planetoid Belt: Cometary and asteroid belts

Starport Type: C
World Size: Earth-sized
Atmosphere Type: Earth-like
Surface Water: 60%
Population: Large (c. 1 billion)
Political Affiliation: Independent
Notes: Freeport is an interesting place, and that's mainly because of the history and settlement pattern that built it.  Named many centuries ago by it's founder, a retired Janissary who was looking for a place to set up with his retinue and loyal brothers-in-arms away from the greater territory of the Cilindarean Arm and its allies, Freeport has grown tremendously due both to high birthrate as well as reasonably high immigration.

Onidas Mosonor was a hero of the Slave Wars as a young man and was part of the elite guard that ended up freeing the Janissaries permanently from the control of the Marian Empire.  As an older man, he was a feared, respected and successful general of the Last Emperors Wars.  His reputation among Cilindareans and Janissaries both was impeccable.  He was so respected, in fact, that there was serious talk of elevating him to Anaxaster of the Cilindareans, but he was wise enough to know that that would only provoke intense conflict; the Cilindareans were proud enough that large numbers would never accept a foreign Anaxaster, even a highly respected one, and the Cilindarean Arm would be fractured and broken.  Taking only his most loyal battalion and their families, he left Cilindare into self-imposed exile and created the settlement of Freeport.  With him went many Janissaries and Cilindareans both, but to some degree, they turned their backs on their former Motherland in order to save it, and established a peaceful colony where they could live in freedom and peace.  They didn't exactly beat their radium rifles into plowshares, but they did become rural agrarians for the most part, and maintained their martial traditions as a form of citizen militia.  (They are, after all, located close to Voormellei and Tekeli-li, and neither were their idea of good neighbors.)  Freeport thrived, and grew—partly due to immigration from jaded Cilindareans and Janissaries who romanticized the agrarian former soldier lifestyle immortalized by Mosonor and his followers, but especially through a thriving and furious birthrate as the colonials found that peaceful farming suited them tremendously well.  Today, the descendants of these mixed Cilindarean and Janissary settlers make up about 45% of the population of Freeport, and they still maintain autonomous governments that are largely unconnected from the other population groups, although they do exist in friendly confederation.

Another 20% of the population is emancipated robots.  Many of them are "natives" of Freeport, having been built here, but many come from various parts of known space looking for haven.  In fact, Freeport has been accused by some of enabling and tolerating a robot "underground railroad" for them, which may in fact be true, but its more simply that it is an unflinching matter of public policy that citizens of Freeport are guaranteed freedoms.  Many of the robots that come here are not, of course, admitted as citizens and have to move on, but the same has always been true of the human citizens as well, and immigration controls have been strict to avoid watering the place down with culture that is incompatible with the ideals of the founders, which would therefore jeopardize the birthright of those for whom the colony was built—the descendants of the original colonists.

The last 35% or so of the population are refugees and the descendants of refugees from the Revanchists.  These are mostly Jaffans—"rainbows" as they're sometimes called—who have risen above the rabbity instincts of the r-strategist herd that makes up the majority of the Revanchist citizens.  For various reasons, they desire and admire true freedom, not the mockery of freedom that the Republic offers, and many such dissidents have come to Freeport over the last few hundred years.  Sicha Nasheii was the intellectual and literal leader of these, but many more continue to stream away from the Republic territory; particularly the nearby Carthen colony (which is, admittedly, not strictly speaking a Jaffan colony).  Although the original founders are sympathetic to the disillusionment that they have faced with the Revanchist party line, they are also wary of these, and tend to have granted them their own autonomous territories within the Freeport system or on the Freeport surface, rather than allowed to live in large numbers among them.  The Jaffans are also subject to a great deal of suspicion, as "sleepers" and other terrorists infiltrate them to a relatively high degree.  This has caused a great deal of slumbering, nascent conflict to be if it cannot be dealt with effectively, somehow.


Freeport itself is a fertile, Earth-like world in most respects, although the daytime sky is surprisingly dim and hazy due to upper atmosphere salmon-colored dust clouds that have been suspended for as long as the colonists have lived here, at least.  Its most famous terrain are the rolling chaparral hills colored in colorful plant growth, but it is by far not the only type of terrain on the planet, which features as much variety as Earth does.

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