|Ochre/Kukulkan (Solomani Rim 2731)|
|Classic Era (1115)|| |
Ochre is a poor, moderate population desert world with no free-standing water and a population over a hundred million, but not yet at a billion sophonts in size.
- This world contains an archaeological site with suspected high-tech remnants of the now-vanished Ancients precursor race.
- It is a member of the Solomani Confederation in the Kukulkan Subsector of Solomani Rim Sector.
- This world has a nearby Naval Base, usually associated with military starships.
- This world has a nearby Military Base, usually associated with military ground forces.
- It has a colony on Tlaloc (Solomani Rim Kukulkan).
- Ochre is part of the Thetis-Laputa Coalition, a powerful trade alliance, and is served by Crown Lines.
Description (Astrography & Planetology)
Ochre takes its name from the dull red soil that covers most of the world. Most of the world is uninhabited; its 117 million population is concentrated around the temperate polar regions, although about ten million inhabit the hotter desert regions (living on ranches in the deserts; in small villages in the mountains).
- Ochre's major cities are located near the poles, where temperatures average 20° C. Average temperatures at the equator are an unbearable 75° C, and the central band around the equator is virtually uninhabitable. The mid-latitudes, on the other hand, are a kind of frontier; a harsh physical environment, but a relief from the repressive government at the poles. Settlement in the mid-latitudes has served as a relief valve for that part of the population which has especially bridled under the rule of the Council of the Seven Citizens.
2731 Ochre (Solomani)
Starport: Class V - Naval Base.
Diameter: 2,300 miles (3,700 km). Gravity: 0.30g.
Atmosphere: Thin oxygen-nitrogen.
Population: 120 million.
Control Level: 6.
Tech Level: 11.
World Trade Number: 5.
History & Background (Dossier)
Ochre is a poor, pre-high desert world, with one small moon and no free-standing water.
- The population is over a hundred million, but not yet at a billion sophonts in size.
- Ochre is a member of the Solomani Confederation in the Kukulkan Subsector of Solomani Rim Sector.
- It contains a Confederation naval base.
- This world has a nearby Military Base, usually associated with ground forces.
- It contains a xeno-archaeological site with suspected high-tech remnants of the now-vanished Ancients precursor race.
- Langren Research Center
Ochre is ruled by the Council of Seven Citizens, which draws its members from leading figures in local industry or business. The council heads an extremely pro-business, anti-labor government which is heavily aided by and influenced by the Confederation government; the local law level reflects this repressiveness and prohibits guns outside the home. Ochre's tech level is very high.
- The major official Solomani presence on Ochre is the Solomani naval base situated at the north pole. Nearby is Hythene, the capital, largest city, and site of the Starport. The base includes a Solomani Army regiment (the 412th Assault Infantry), a Solomani Navy fighter squadron (the 972nd Strike Fighter Squadron), and several support units.
Hythene is a major trade center and boasts the headquarters of several large trading companies, a cargo and commodities marker, and a large warehouse complex. One reason for its high level of trade is because of the proximity of the Imperial border. Because the border is so close, Ochre is a natural focus for smuggled goods in each direction. The local government tolerates the practice because it generates taxes through passage fees and inspection duties (which amount to about 1% of the value of goods passing through). The Solomani Confederation authorities tolerate the trade as well, primarily because it keeps channels open for acquisition of goods and components which Imperial technology can manufacture, but which are hard to produce in Solomani territory. They feel that it is better to tolerate and monitor the trade here than to shut it down and not know where the goods are crossing the border.
- The concentration of smugglers makes Hythene's Startown especially disreputable; it is filled with unsavory types ready to traffic in many different types of illegally imported goods, to swindle a merchant new to the system, or to steal a starship if the situation presents itself. The Solomani and local authorities routinely sweep Startown for criminals, people without papers, or just suspicious characters in an attempt to maintain some sort of law and order, but it seems to be a losing battle. Bribes and graft are commonplace; so are robbery and murder.
Non-canon: The population of Ochre is divided into two distinct cultures, "city folk" and "wilders".
- Close to the poles, the city folk either live an ordered, stratified existence under the heavy hand of the authorities, or scrabble to make a living as part of the unacknowledged criminal underclass. Life can be good for the captains of industry, and even the overworked proles are well provided for if they toe the line. High technology does much to ease the lives of everyone - but it does most for those with power, and workers have little recourse if their jobs are destroyed by the advancing robotics technology. Accommodation for proles is cramped, with communal eating halls providing artificially-grown, -flavoured and -shaped proteins. The level of accommodation improves with social position (which corresponds to income and/or party position), as does access to nonessential amenities. Everyone is liable to have their papers randomly checked, however.
- The north polar region is the more heavily-populated of the two citified zones, with close to half the total urban population concentrated in the capital, Hythene, which hosts the only starport, Hythene Down. The area around the port is the centre for much conflict. The poorest gather in the hope of getting offworld (or at least touching offworlders for money), traders of all sorts fight for position, and the authorities try to keep the streets clear in order to create a "good impression" on visitors. Laws on trade are laxer than most others, but what laws do exist protect the rights of larger businesses at the expense of free traders. Nevertheless, this is a vibrant neighbourhood, where almost anything can be obtained for the right price.
- The first impression formed by most Imperial visitors to Ochre is that it is much like any other high-tech urbanised world, with the usual mixture of rich and poor - except for the irritating, bureaucratic, paper-checking police force. If they stay longer, they generally begin to see it as some kind of stifling Orwellian police state; but if they stay even longer, they begin to see that the human spirit has not been crushed. There are escape valves, and (for those that choose to go along with the system) benefits such as free education and health care. While far from the best place to live, Ochre is not the worst, either.
- In the mid-latitudes, the wilders have rejected the government's regimentation. They live a life of hard work but in freedom, reminiscent of the stereotypical "Old West" homesteaders. Family ties are strong, and extended families the norm. People here will welcome those who are willing to pull their weight, especially if they have had trouble with the government; but shirkers and people who suggest that an easier life would be worth a small loss of freedom will get short shrift. Many wilders engage in small-scale mining operations which can be used to obtain necessary supplies from the cities, but few will acknowledge that they rely on the cities for anything. Water is the single most precious resource in the mid-latitudes - almost none occurs naturally, and although various imported crops thrive in the rich volcanic soil on the slopes of the main mountain ranges, they still require significant quantities. Domestic animals for meat are a luxury wilders can ill afford, but few are vegetarian - the vermin that have spread from the cities carry very few diseases not killed by cooking, and provide a tasty addition to the normal diet...