|Primary||M0 V M3 V|
|Army Size (BEs)||100|
|World Trade Number||5|
|Trade Volume (MCr/year)||7,457|
|Building Capacity (Tons)||575,000|
|Port passengers (annual)||13,100|
Antra is a moderate population world with over a hundred million, but not yet at a billion sophonts in population size. This system serves as the capital for the subsector. This world designated as an Amber Zone. Caution is advised since the world has an environment, laws, customs, life forms, or other conditions that are not well understood and might be a danger to a visitor. It is a member of Third Imperium in the Antra Subsector of Deneb Sector and in the Domain of Deneb. Antra, as a member world of the Third Imperium, holds the estate of an Imperial knight and the feifdom of a viscount. Both are members of the Imperial Nobility charged with overseeing the world.
|Army Size (BEs)||70|
|World Trade Number||5|
|Trade Volume (MCr/year)||4,638|
|Building Capacity (Tons)||195,499|
|Port passengers (annual)||28,700|
Era: New Era
Antra system has a population between 10 and 100 million sophonts. This system serves as the capital for the subsector. It is a member of Regency of Deneb in the Antra Subsector of Deneb Sector and in the Regency Frontier. This world contains a Regency Scout Base, capable of handling Scout Service starships and personnel. 10% of the world's population is the Major Race Vargr.
Description (Astrography & Planetology)
No information yet available.
Binary Solar System
Antra Binary Star System Star Name Hierarchy Category Mass (Sol) Temp (K) Luminosity (Sol) Antra
Primary Main Sequence 0.489 2800 - 3600 0.04 Unit Diameter Min Distance Hab Zone Jump Shadow M-Drive Limit AU 0.00511 0.01659 0.16 - 0.26 0.511 5.11 Orbit # * * 0 1 6 Remarks Star Name Hierarchy Category Mass (Sol) Temp (K) Luminosity (Sol) Antra
Secondary Main Sequence 0.3942 2300 - 3100 0.02 Unit Diameter Min Distance Hab Zone Jump Shadow M-Drive Limit AU 0.00404 0.01179 0.11 - 0.18 0.404 4.04 Orbit # * * 0 1 6 Remarks
History & Background (Dossier)
The system is the subsector capital and is a busy port of call, known for its works of art, tourism and vast uranium mines. Antra’s Worldroof is one of the Seven Wonders of the Imperium, a mosaic of hexagonal glasslike cells suspended in the air by 1,700 supports, covering 80% of the world to a level of two kilometer. Another popular tourist attraction are the Black Lines: inexplicable, artificial lines and curves, kilometers wide, etched out of the bedrock of the world surface by unknown forces.
Despite being a sector-wide tourist attraction and despite their vigorous level of trade with the rest of the Imperium, Antrans are xenophobic. They detest offworlders, who do not fit into their cultural traditions. A fair-sized community of expatriate Crenduthaar exists on Antra.
Imperial High (Landed) Nobility
Antra is a pleasantly warm world, and the sole free world orbiting the M1V star Rochefort. The climate is very earthlike, even though the local gravity and atmospheric pressure are less than desirable for people. The First Imperium discovered the world around -3000, and a small colony lived there for about the next thousand years before being evacuated. After that it was held by various Vargr states in one form or another. The Third Imperium wrested it from them in 255, and made it an important marshalling point for the remainder of the Vargr Campaigns. Though not the bloodiest of wars, the Campaigns were notable for the tendency of private groups on both sides to launch unsanctioned raids that often ended in atrocities. The low unit density of Imperial military forces meant that many worlds were dependent upon local militias for protection against such raids, or in fact to retaliate for them. On Antra the new human colonists took this responsibility a wee bit to seriously.
The Antran government is best described as a quasi-fascist security state. The lives of the early colonists were dictated by the paramilitary Authority, being required to constantly account for their movements and conforming to curfews. Several bloody Vargr raids reinforced this security mentality, and the colonists never broke away from it after the Campaigns were declared over. Antra is divided into wards that roughly follow old militia boundaries. Each ward is commanded by a seperate command of the Authority, and the lives of each citizen is their responsibility. Though generally not oppressive like most governments of its type, it can be painfully intrusive, and very sensitive to what it terms as "subversive" activities. Though the locals have learned to limit their public behaviors, the Authority can be a severe nuisance to offworld traders lacking permits or contacts.
Antra started out as an agricultural world that raised low pressure crops for export. As its stature for organisation increased, it became the subsector colony in 956. Industry now accounts for most of its income, as its labor costs are low compared to the Regency Safe, and it has a highly educated and disciplined work force, if a tad unimaginative and overly cautious. The world was severely damaged by Vargr raids during the Rebellion, when it was the leading outpost against the incursions of the Assemblage of 1116 and its corsairs. When the Abandonment was declared, the Authority purposely evacuated its own people, and it has concentrated upon improving the quality of life for the remainder. Given the discriminatory nature of the evacuations (sparing fanatically loyal elements of the population) and the increasingly mercenary nature of the Authority and its tendency to chase every credit, allegations of cynicism are inescapable. It did help the world weather the Representational Reforms without a dent.
Situated on the very edge of the Regency/Virus border, the incoming traveller can expect Trin-level paranoia. And just as well: if for any reason Virus enters the system, the 700 million people of Antra are as dead as Dulinor.
Any ship filing a direct flight plan to Antra is immediately pointed to the nearest Regency Quarantine Office. In cooperation with the Antran government, the RQS keeps a set of specific travel routes and jump routines controlling movement within the Antran system, which vary from time to time. The computer module of flight routine for the specific time that the traders intend to be in the system is directly plugged into the various computer systems of the ship by RQS personnel, and an RQS officer is posted to the ship for the week's trip.
Before leaving for Antra, the ship is carefully checked out by an RQS team, taking a day per 100 tons displacement. Everyone is given a complete physical examination: no-one with artificial inorganic enhancements is permitted to continue on the voyage, on pain of death.
When they first arrive from jump the ship follows its pre-computed flight plan to a pre-selected position and vector in space. The RQS officer on board must radio for a RQS cutter to meet them, using a special one-time code that only the RQS officer on board knows.
NOTE: Antra is within 100 diameters of its primary star: the ship leaves jump space between 155 and 355 light-seconds from Antra, depending on orbital mechanics, the skill of the pilot, etc. With the pre-computed jump co-ordinates, the ship always leaves jump exactly opposite of Antra's position, 355 light-seconds away on the other side of the star.
Ships that do not conform to the specific flight plan must immediately kill their velocity, and come to a dead halt. The people on board must put on their space suits and cross over to the RQS cutter. The ship is impounded, and usually considered forfeited to the Antran government if free of Virus. If the ship is found to be infected, the crew have their personalities reconstructed.
Ships that don't come to a stop, for whatever reason, are destroyed.
The cutter boards the ship and an RQS team carefully looks it over for Virus. Since this is a lighter team that the previous base-check, it only takes a few hours before the ship is underway again, to a nearby (usually under 20 light-seconds) RQS space station.
The RQS station - basically an underarmed naval base, designed to take on a flotilla of 100 ships of up to 1000 disp tons each - AGAIN checks out the ship for Virus. After about half a day - regardless of the size of the ship, the local crew is large, good, well equipped, and fast enough to process it in under 12 hours - the ship, without its escort but still with its babysitting RQS officer onboard, finally heads for Antra.
Your ship will be halted and inspected 10 light seconds from Antra, not by a RQS cutter by a 1000-6000 ton SDB.
As you finally approach Antra (at 1G, as per regulations), bathed under the dull red light of its star, you start to notice that it seems to be largely encased by glass. And when you arrive at the Highport - attached to Antra by a 50 km elevator - the vast Worldroof of Antra is revealed in all its glory. It covers over 80% of Antra, composed by a mosaic of hexagonal "glass" cells suspended in the air by 1,774 2km high 'tower groups'. Each 'tower group' is composed of seven towers: six towers supports the roof, generates power (via both capturing a small percent of the star's radiated energy and the 200-300 km winds), and provides the best weather control in the Regency (or for that matter, in the preCollapse Imperium).
The seventh tower is either an industrial or residential centre. Industrial centers were built with 5,000 inhabitants, residential centers - basically tower cities, in a style familiar on high-tech worlds - holds up to 500,000 people.
No ship ever lands on Antra: the high-atmosphere winds are both fast and fickle, continually shifting to equalize the temperature between the dark and light sides of Antra. Also, it's a security measure by the Antrans to again insure that Virus doesn't get in. Thus, all transport is via the Highport elevator.
ARRIVING ON ANTRA
All people, articles and cargo is completely checked out by local antiVirus teams on the Highport, taking another day. (This includes medical examinations: no people with ANY artificial inorganic enhancements is permitted insystem. If caught in this stage of the game, they will be killed.) Another quickie 'make sure' check is made before leaving the elevator, and a final antiViral team awaits to greet the players just as they step off the 30 minute journey on the massive elevator, for another full check of everyone and everything.
The first thing everyone does after arrival is look up at the immense hexagonal grid over them. Throughout most of the year, you'll only see a crystal clear, cloudless sky, faintly outlined with hundreds of hexagons. In the nighttime, the outlines glow faintly red: but that is all.
But, if you arrived during the two-week Blazing Lights Festival, you'd see some fantastic pattern of lights and graphics in the sky, surpassing anything you may have seen in a VR tube. These Festivals have become more and more ornate since the Collapse, now including sounds and wind patterns specifically created for the artist, generated by the weather control system.
Of course, tickets for Antra tends to skyrocket as the Festival nears: not officially, of course, but the cost in bribes and favors can get very severe. Regardless of the officially fixed passenger prices (rumor has it that, even in the Wilds, they haven't changed a bit!), you only see the best and the wealthiest arrive on Antra in time for the Festival.
Festival serves not only as the premiere social event of the subsector, but as one of five or six events of sector-wide reputation, and thus a location where Things Happen and media attention is guaranteed. Archduke Norris, for example, formally announced the engagement of his daughter on Antra.
ATTITUDE TO VISITORS
Despite the waves of visitors to Antra, despite their standing as a subsector capital, and despite their A-class port, Antrans are intensely xenophobic. They detest foreigners who don't fit into their ways, or don't understand their arts. Usually, this loathing is displayed by rudeness or by mocking the ignorance of visitors. The more upper-class folk will tend to prefer to use a biting wit, or cruel puns. The lower class Antrans prefer a more direct approach: never giving a visitor the benefit of the doubt, shouting down any attempt to offer an opinion, or a light beating if a visitor gets too uppity. Visitors being raped and killed in certain neighborhoods after dark is not unknown.
But vying head to head with this xenophobia is a great fear and respect for large organizations. The Antrans are very aware of how close they are to joining a thousand dead worlds, and how badly they need the protection of the Regency government. Thus, often they deny their unwarranted actions, or say that it's just a joke, or otherwise try to soothe the waters. Their comedies often revolve on how to make a fool of visitors, how to hurt them savagely, and yet have the visitors still love you.
Traders should be cautious here: some friction is inevitable, and many routine liaison tasks need to be increased one difficulty level. Always be aware that much of the hostility that Antrans feel towards you is simply cultural, and can be handled with finesse - or even turned into an advantage - if you know what you are doing.
Also be aware that they do not so much want to kill you has to humiliate you, to wound your pride without being hurt in return. Some traders are good enough, and have enough leverage, that they can fight head-to-head with the Antrans. Most - including almost all free traders, who are always a cargo-load away from disaster - simply have to take it, in order to get that cargo you need.
Sorry: the law level of this world does not allow you to carry any weapons off the ship - although at least they don't impound them off-ship.
Of course, not all starship traffic is related to the Festival. After Virus was halted at Catacomb and Deneb, (and several small, sharp battles were fought right here) Antra found itself not only having to rebuild from Vargr pillaging and stupid stunts (more than one Vargr corsair met its end on the Worldroof, weakening its integrity), but also having to rewire everything to meet anti-Viral specs. Also, Antra made very heavy use of robots: without them, Antra simply couldn't meet the demands that rebuilding made.
In the end, Antra - which prides itself on tight population control - had to allow massive immigration to provide a workforce. The population rose from 500 million to 700 million, almost all from immigration from nearby Uakari (Antra: Deneb/1710 C5349AA-7). These immigrants are loathed by native Antrans, and considered low-brow, low-tech thugs. They are not permitted to bring any family, and workers who get pregnant are given the choice of leaving or having an abortion: if they stay, a one-time contraceptive is administered to insure sterility, with an antidote given when the working women leave.
Despite the fact that they are paid ten times the amount they would earn back home, unrest festers in the shantytowns of Antra, kept near the industrial towers and far from the tower cities where Antrans live. The immigrants hate the veiled (or, often, completely open) contempt and hatred that are held by the xenophobic Antrans, who believe that they are doing the Uakari an unmerited, and unthanked, favor.
The immigrants - referred to as "visiting workers" by upper-class Antrans, "thugees" by lower-class Antrans, and "toilers" by themselves - are hired on one, five, or ten-year workterms, with a continuous flow of about 2 million people either entering or leaving Antra (keeping over 40,000 subsidized liners employed). The immigrant workforce has been in decline for the last 20 years, and now make up 170 million people: native born Antrans and non-computerized machinery have been slowly squeezing them out, and the immigrant workforce is predicted to be all gone in 20 years.
When the first survey ships arrived from Corridor, there were a series of egnamic, artificial lines and curves on the earth. Etched out in black stone, and often half a mile wide, they can be seen from low orbit. They do definitely make out patterns, but no one has ever managed to successfully translate them.
No one knows who made these lines, or can even guess how old they are, but the Black Lines are a major factor in the many local beliefs. The largest local religions insists that the lines were made from an ancient civilization, trying to tell Antran - who, of all the people of the universe, have alone been blessed with the Lines - the secrets of the universe.
Equally dominant in Antran philosophy is evolution, but as a doctrine rather than a scientific theory. This doctrine - never formally organized, it has no official name, but commonly called the Promethians - most believe that humaniti, even post-Collapse humaniti, is marching on to a higher goal, continually evolving themselves to spread their genes and power throughout the Universe.
The Black Liners believe that other human civilizations have transcended this universe millions of years ago, and that current humaniti (including the Zhos, Vilani, and Solomani) are simply walking on a well-trod path. While they certainly don't believe in the God of the Solomani monotheists, they do believe that there is a guiding Spirit of Humaniti over all, and that a glorious unity of souls awaits us after death.
The Promethians, in contrast, does not care for such a soft-headed concept as a sweet afterlife, ruled over by kindly spirits, and would laugh out loud in contempt at the concept of a stern and conquering Judge, weighting the lives of men in the balance. They do, however, believe that we can gain a kind of immortality, not by some impossible resurrection, but by doing great and astounding deeds, by inspired leadership, by securing a great insight into the nature of things that will leave the universe a better place than before.
Both religions are often in contention with each other ("Superstitious fables!" vs. "Connect, man! Connect!").
Both gag at the sight of other religions, esp. Christians ("I can't believe that ignorant people like you exist in this day and age!", "Onward walks the spiritually blind, refusing in their narrow-mindedness to open their Third Eye, and see the significance of the Lines!")
The Antrans are a highly extroverted, social, and fanciful people. Of the "Imperial" race (standard Solomani/Vilani parentage), they are only ho-hum physically, without the supernatural elegance and perfect physique that bioengineering grants most citizens of high-tech worlds.
They take no particular pride in their status as subsector capital, but do take pride in their artistic endeavors. Their buildings, while not particularly 'artistic', do radiate a certain grace, a certain lightness. Their most famed artists are sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, but approach their work with a disciplined hand. Even third-rate artists from Antra are highly valued elsewhere: their command of the repertoire of Imperial culture is unmatched elsewhere, their intense understanding and respect of their audience (even as they recoil at their alieness) is known to all.
There are several rituals and notable variations on Antra that should be noted by the casual traveller.
When two friends meet, they give the standard greeting "Howdo?", then they both circle a point halfway between them in silence. After two revolutions, they clap hands and hug affectionately.
Antrans love their children immensely, and enjoy showing them the world they live in. They happily haul their children to work, to play, to shop, to visit lovers, even to see (and laugh at) visitors. What they *won't* allow is for some filthy stranger to touch their children. Expect serious verbal abuse if you dare do so.
Antra has no native lifeforms, and the locals have chosen to introduce nothing but plants and insects: but (after a checkup) the Antrans will allow animals on the world, as long as they are T-linked. (T-links come in two parts: one part goes on the owner's body, and the other around the animal's neck. If the animal leaves a certain distance from the owner, it suffers pain: if it crosses another threshold, it dies.)
Antrans have a sharp sense of what looks good: often their taste runs to simple and elegant, but many like large and loud. Either way, their clothing is comfortable, loose-fitting and of good quality. They don't go for effect-clothing, but there is a current fad for bioluminescent contact lenses (bright yellow, or Denebian red eyes, is the most desired.)
While the Antrans have good taste everywhere else, they don't cut it when it comes to the belly. Then, they simply want it hot, spicy, and in He-man servings. Everything else is just a frill.
Antrans, like most TL C+ societies, are functionally post-literate. However, old-fashioned bookreading is a growing fad among the elite, and the fad is starting to show up in popular culture.
Regular life is much the same as on other high-tech worlds, with the cycle of conception (by whatever means), genetic therapy, birth, infant training, career selection, child-specific VR education, work, sex, ageing, and death. Marriages are rare (even for a high-tech world), but more people choose to raise children than on the typical High Stellar world. Antrans also place a higher value on "high-brow" culture and sophistication rather than focus on simple 'stupid-foreigner' entertainment like some mindless talk show or sitcoms.
The Immigrants, isolated in their shantytowns, live a different life.
Imagine a vast, dirty-grey tent city, connected by a chain of fabric tunnels. Gangs of shadowy figures, huddled together, march from the asture factory towers to their ragged tents, to hide from the bitter -20 C cold. Inside, in a city without children, live the hard-bitten men who do the work meant for machines. Someone will die on the job tomorrow when their safety lines finally snap (Antrans don't waste grav belts on 'trash': men are far cheaper than grav belts to replace), or when their poorly maintained equipment is tested once too often.
However, more deaths occur outside of the factories than inside. With only the most superficial medical care, a large portion of the workers are slowly dying (or going mad, or losing their vision) due to the noxious fumes of their work. (Remember, the robots that did the jobs before them didn't have to worry about breathing, or heat stroke, or the pounding noise destroying their eardrums). Moreover, the largely male workers get into endless fights, with handmade guns or knives. Women workers are sometimes left alone, but often are forced to take on a lover for protection, or simply for some companionship in their hard life. (Note: In many areas, the tent cities are pressurized, connected by a maze of fabric tunnels. Well, they are supposed to be pressurized: the poor-quality tents they were given were not built to take the damage the workers often inflict on it.)
References & Contributors (Sources)
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