Talk:HRD (world)

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Although all previous sources and the Mongoose Deneb book render the name HRD in all caps, the T5 data gives the name as Hrd.

This sounds like an errata inquiry to the powers that be. Tjoneslo (talk) 00:56, 13 January 2014 (EST)

Christopher Griffen's write-up on Zhodani Base

HRD System Profile[edit]

  HRD (Vincennes: Deneb/1623) A401754-F N Na Va Ic 110 RE M5 III G=0.49,
  Day=37:11:26.6, Year = 88y 308d 13:00:17.19
  Atmo=0.00, No Weather Control
  Temp= +70.97 (5/lat +15 to -35) (season +9 to -15.0, 15 deg lat)
  Daily temp range 295.82 (+20.64 to -275.18)
  Ores, Radioactives, Compounds; None; None; Recordings, Software,
  Radical/Enterprising, Competitive/Neutral, Discordant/Xenophilic
  Legal: 4-79545 Tech: FD-FFFEF-FFFH-FF-G


HRD is the primary brain trust of Deneb Sector. For centuries, the free-spending research facilities and progressively structured corporate environment of the planet have attracted some of the greatest minds of the Regency. HRD's path to fame was a difficult one, however. The system has weathered centuries of controversy and scandal, but has amazingly maintained a reputation as a premier private research facility.

NOTE: DGP's articles on Deneb Sector and Vincennes System, featured in MegaTraveller Journal #3, were used as resources for this RICE paper. I would like to acknowledge the authors of the DGP articles, James Holden, Mike Makesh, Nancy Parker and Charles P. Kalina. This RICE paper is intended to build upon the information they have provided.


HRD system, labeled 975-003 by the IISS during the Grand Survey, was initially overlooked during the colonial wave that passed through Deneb and Spinward Marches sectors. Radiation emanating from the system's smoldering giant star, YG-437, causes an extreme daily temperature fluctuation that made long-term habitation on the world difficult to manage. In 222, the Imperial Navy, having greater environmental technology at their disposal than most colonial ventures, established an industrial mining facility on the planet. For decades, the navy exploited the planet's natural resources, including substantial industrial-grade radioactives for exportation to pre-stellar worlds. Continued industrial efforts on 975-003 were abandoned after the Starn Beltstrike of 259.

In the wake of several controversial audits of Imperial Navy frontier expenditures, Admiralty decided it was in their best interests to convert rather than scrap the expensive facility on 975-003. 975-003's mining sites and factories were converted into R&D facilities and the planet was renamed Laboratory in 274. For over three centuries the Laboratory facility was issued tens of thousands of patents for innovative military technology. The facility became a nexus for top-notch military engineers.

The Imperial Navy continued to funnel public funds into Laboratory until the media again reared its ugly head. Several well-placed informants exposed the Imperial Navy Research Facility at Laboratory for misuse of public funds in 622. Fourteen research divisions on Laboratory were found guilty of plagiarizing the published work of several Imperial Research Stations. It was discovered that decades earlier, several of Laboratory's most clandestine facilities had been mothballed immediately after construction, their advanced computer and research equipment never even removed from the cargo modules. The confidentiality of the facilities protected them from scrutiny until a daring journalist, Hallah Dariso, performed a reconnaissance of the naval research center from a nearby mountain range. What she saw was a pristine facility with nary a sign of life on its campus. Dariso sold the story to the TNS and the rest is history. In the worst embarassment yet, it was rumored that the majority of funds allocated to Laboratory were being used to line the pockets of several regional nobles. The "Laboratory Scandal" rocked the Imperial Navy to its foundations and once again, they were forced to cut their political losses, this time under order of the Iridium Throne.

Several megacorporations announced their interest in purchasing the facilities for private use in 626. The controversial Humbolt family of Vincennes established themselves as the executor of a deal that would establish a permanent multi-corporation research facility on Laboratory. Discarding the "Laboratory" nom-du-plume, the planet became the Humbolt Research Directorate (HRD). The Humbolt family aggressively recruited megacorporate participants and independent venture capitalists in this unprecedented project. Eager to get their hands on the technology of the little-used naval research facility, megacorporate liaison teams flocked to HRD.

HRD had become an overnight media giant. Broadcasting agencies from throughout the sector shone the spotlight on HRD. The megacorporations longed for the opportunity to thumb their noses at the aloof Imperial Research Stations and looked at HRD as their chance to do exactly that. The Humbolts cashed in on the hysteria by charging exhorbitant amounts for real estate lots and research facility privileges. The abashed megacorporations had no choice but to relent to the greed of the Humbolts. The media buildup of HRD had become so pervasive in the public consciousness that any megacorporation not involved in the project became a market pariah. General Products became a victim of this unprecedented case of mass hysteria when they announced their refusal of the Humbolts' terms. Regional General Products stock dropped eight points overnight. Trading on GP stock was temporarily halted to avert a sectorwide calamity. The regional collapse of General Products sent a shockwave through the local industrial sector. Megacorporations grudgingly accepted the Humbolts' financial terms to avert similar disasters.

In 628, the Humbolts became the focus of an Imperial inquisition involving, among other things, the alleged large-scale abuse of the native sophonts of Perez system. Humbolt industrial interests were extracting a valuable hallucinogen from the sophonts using an excruciatingly painful process. The Humbolt family was expelled from the region and stripped of the rights to Vincennes and HRD systems. The megacorporations quickly snapped up HRD lots at auction. Less than two years after the HRD project was born, the Humbolts' only legacy was the planet's name.

In the following century, the corporations and megacorporations that established HRD research facilities began to see large returns on their investments. For many years, ideas developed at HRD were transmuted into marketable products throughout the Regency. By 700, however, the well began to run dry. If not for the return of the Imperial Navy and the conversion of much of HRD's resources to military contracting, the grand dream of the Humbolts may have died a quick death.

By the mid-700s, the Imperial Navy had reestablished a presence on HRD at the planet's class-A orbital starport. The navy brought in much needed capital to the megacorporate research concerns onplanet. Naval contracts were liberally handed out to the think tanks and technological research facilities. By 800, the navy commanded over 90 percent of HRD's resources. This arrangement remained the status quo until the early 1100s. In 1103, a consortium of neighboring system governments contracted HRD's research facilities to create cost-effective public works programs. Included were programs specifically designed to enhance environmental and transportation technology. At the present date, the HRD public works programs command approximately 20 percent of corporate resources.

In 968, the Imperial Navy built the HRD Technical Academy and the Imperial Naval Academy at HRD, adjacent to the world's capital city, Control. A large contingent of the Imperial 258th Fleet was dispatched to HRD for the opening ceremonies and to establish a permanent high guard for the strategically important work being done on the planet. The Regency Navy continues to maintain both educational facilities at the present date. Though both schools are highly reputable, they are in need of renovation and the navy is currently drumming up public support for an Academy Refit Program.

In stiff competition with the two HRD military schools is the civilian HRD Polytechnic University, located at Innovation, the planet's second-largest city. Renowned for the technical expertise of its faculty, HRDPU instructs students in the design of all forms of technology, both military and civilian. The recent addition of a humanities department has broadened the spectrum of HRD's research resources to political and social issues as well. Students at HRDPU look down their noses at the rigid spacers of the military academies.


HRD is governed by the Megacorporate Research Council (MRC). The MRC consists of Corporate Councils recruited from the five most prolific corporations on the planet. Every 5 years, an independent audit is performed to determine which corporations are most fit to run the MRC. The formula that determines which corporations shall rule is a complex one in which net income, research expenditures and patent generation are factors. Currently, the ruling corporations are Ling Standard Products, GSbaG, Makhidkarun, SuSAG and Sternmental Horizons.

The fifth slot, run by Sternmental, was recently held by Instellarms until the other four ruling megacorporations ousted the weapons manufacturer as punishment for desecrating a portion of HRD's southern hemisphere during an illegal meson weapon testing program.

Several such ousters have occurred over the planet's history. Most economists and sociologists attribute this phenomenon to the extremely competitive nature of HRD society. Political adversity is commonplace on HRD. The system's natives laud this feature of their governmental structure for its cleansing effect. Megacorporations involved in underhanded or illegal projects or business are usually ferreted out and exposed by their competitors. HRD's highly skilled "information junkies" and espionage agencies are constantly turning stones to expose corporate dirty dealings.

MRC councils are not always drawn exclusively from the megacorporations. In the planet's history, several sectorwide and even a few subsectorwide corporations have held office for varying terms. Liiri-based arms manufacturer, Tactical Solutions et cie, is perhaps the most notable sectorwide corporation to hold office on HRD for an extended period of time. The sheer economic might of the megacorporations usually wins out, however, giving them hegemony over HRD's government.

The executive and legislative tool of the MRC is the Corporate Committee. Each of the five ruling megacorporations establishes a seven-person Corporate Committee to vote and write laws for the MRC. Committee membership is a full-time job and few committee members perform any other function for their corporation other than civic duties. An independent agency, The Office of the Exchequer, oversees the activities of the MRC and manages the use of public funds. HRD is remarkably free of violent crime, so law enforcement requirements are minimal. Regency Marines perform most law-enforcement duties. The Regency Navy performs judicial duties in cases of violent crime. Corporate criminal cases and lawsuits are adjudicated in the Corporate Court, an independent judicial agency comprised of professional judges and attorneys.

Information Central[edit]

No other system in the Regency is better trained or equipped to bombard, derail or dismember an opponent with information than HRD. In fact, HRD has it down to a science. In 998, Dr. Gerhard Terili founded The Guaran Institute as a department of HRDPU. Named for the homeworld of the hivers, the most prolific manipulators in charted space, the institute employs professors who teach the fine art of using information and media as a weapon. Several primer courses feature discourses on hiver manipulative techniques as well. The Guaran Institute has come under fire recently for the inclusion in its curriculum of a course titled "Genocide 101." The course's syllabus includes the written works of several historical advocates of genocide and professes to its students the tenets of a successful genocidal program. The First Regent himself has expressed displeasure with "the questionable ethics of teaching the Regency's youth the building blocks of mass murder."

The importance of HRD to the Regency is paramount. Unprecedented discoveries have been made on HRD in the areas of antimatter power generation, manipulators (or tractor/repulsors, as they're sometimes called), subspace communications, meson technology, materials technology, matter teleportation, terraforming and black globe studies. A large portion of the cutting-edge technology in the Regency was spawned at least in part in the laboratories of HRD.

HRD fosters a unique open-door policy to all members and client states of the Regency and maintains an aggressive naturalization program to recruit scientific talent from the Daryen Confederation, the Vargr Extents and more recently, the Zhodani Consulate. Due to the large number of military contracts held by HRD corporations, Regency citizenship is required before employment can be offered. Regency Naval prejudice generally prevents non-Regency personnel from working on the most crucial classified projects.

Corporate Security[edit]

A detailed background check is mandatory for employment on HRD. Because of the ubiquitousness of corporate espionage, hiring decisions are made very carefully. A GSbaG spy manages to steal LSP's prototype plan for a new jump drive. An Instellarms agent steals and patents Tactical Solutions' latest fusion rifle design before it hits the market. These are nightmare scenarios for HRD corporations. Corporate research facilities on HRD maintain the most stringent security available in the Regency. Though the world isn't interdicted, most corporate facilities effectively are. It isn't unusual for a corporation to employ armed security to protect their research facilities or mercenary units to guard top-secret prototypes enroute to manufacturing centers elsewhere in the Regency. DNA scanners are standard equipment at all entrances of most corporate facilities.

Jumpspace Institute[edit]

The Jumpspace Institute, which maintains a research facility on HRD, is actively working to break the Jump-6 Barrier. While nearly all of the Institute's findings are classified and secured by Regency Naval Intelligence (RNI), it is known to the general public that HRD's Jumpspace Institute is pro-Jump^2 (or Jump Squared). Jump Squared advocates believe that the most probable method of breaking the Jump-6 Barrier is to find a way to perform a jump while already in jump space.

Chief opponents of the Jump Squared faction are the Misjumpers. Misjumpers believe that in order to break the Jump-6 Barrier, scientists must find a way to harness the chaotic effects of misjumps. One of the main proponents of the Misjumper faction are the Jumpspace Institute scientists at Research Station Zeta on Depot Beta (Zeng: Deneb/1432). Neither side has developed conclusive results, but the debate rages on.


After the closure of Regency borders to protect the Spinward States from Virus, customs laws became extremely harsh on HRD. No unauthorized exportation of HRD technology is permitted. The danger of AI robotics or ships' computers falling into the hands of Virus invokes the image of Trin being bombarded and infested by suicider Virus strains. Importation is also highly regulated. The effects of a Viral contamination of HRD computers would be devastating to the planet's highly technological society. As a result, imported parts and components are meticulously inspected for Viral infection.

Customs enforcement is an extremely difficult job on HRD. Highly trained naval and marine personnel are required to manage the flow of technological equipment on and off planet. HRD corporations are frequently caught attempting to ship unauthorized prototypes offplanet to manufacturing centers elsewhere in the Regency.

Most manufacturing corporations avert customs laws by designing their technology on HRD and exporting the design via computer media. Occasionally, however, corporations find the need to locally manufacture a prototype for testing purposes and quickly export it to their remote factories. Corporations caught in the act usually claim that time is of essence in the dog-eat-dog world of advanced technology and that the rigid customs laws of HRD make it nigh impossible to compete with offworld corporations, many of whom face less stringent regulations. Their cases are heard in court, but corporations caught in the act of illegal exportation are usually punished with stiff fines and imprisonment for personnel involved in the attempted offworld smuggling. HRD mastery of information flow usually protects corporate executives from incarceration.

The navy has reserved two squadrons of SDBs solely for the purpose of enforcing exportation laws. These SDB squadrons form the core of the Mobile Unit SDBs for Customs Law Enforcement (MUSCLE). MUSCLE SDBs have proven extremely effective at limiting corporate attempts to skirt exportation laws. Just recently, an LSP blockade runner was forcibly grounded on the farside of HRD by two of MUSCLE's SDBs. A shootout between mercenaries on the runner and the marine boarding party followed. Usually, smuggling attempts do not escalate to this level, but open violence does occasionally occur. Such events are played up in the local news by naval publicity personnel, with the intention of discouraging future smuggling attempts. Such propaganda usually falls upon deaf ears, however.

Major Cities[edit]

HRD's two major cities, Control and Innovation, are surprisingly lively cities. Linked to one another by an extensive maglev rail system, the two cities lie approximately 450 km from each other. Both cities feature domed starport and startown facilities aboveground and expansive business and residential subterranean sections. While most expect that a planet dedicated to intellectual pursuits would be stuffy, sedated environment, just the opposite is true on HRD.


Control, the location of the downside naval base, is more or less bifurcated into the corporate sector and military sector. The corporate sector houses and employs individuals working exclusively for corporate military contractors. Social and entertainment facilities in Control's corporate sector tend to be of the more mundane variety. Families typically enjoy a night out at one of the city's plethora of restaurants, followed by a holofilm viewing or gambling in the casino district.

The military sector features a somewhat dilapidated housing section and a score of bars and discos. Among marines and naval enlisted men, the Citadel tends to be the most popular watering hole. This expansive nightclub features a full slate of raunchy entertainment and some of the strongest ale to be found in the trailing portion of the Regency. Brawls are not uncommon at the Citadel. While the bouncers at the bar are rather effective at quashing such affairs for the most part, a fullscale bar fight nearly wrecked the joint recently when a marine NCO insulted a naval SEALS (Sea-Air-Land-Space) special ops officer. At the other end of the spectrum is the staid HRD Naval Officers' Club, a posh bi-level establishment located in the surface dome of Control. Naval officers enjoy the refined environment of the club and descend to "The Catacomb" for gambling and less reserved entertainment.

In sharp contrast with the somewhat blighted military residential and commercial districts, the adjacent naval and marine training centers and barracks are well-funded and equipped operations. Currently administered by Commodore Willa Velakusian, the dirtside naval base is a meticulously maintained facility. Also maintained at the dirtside base are 18 batteries of meson dampers and 12 deep-site particle accelerators to be used for offensive or defensive fire. Because of the concentrated population of HRD, the navy deemed it wise to provide ample defense capabilities for the naval base and adjacent city.


Other than marine law enforcement officers, one would be hard-pressed to find naval or marine personnel just about anywhere in Innovation. While many corporations that contract to the military also do business in Innovation, those who live in the city tend to avoid personal contact with the military. Innovation is home to scores of sidewalk cafes, in which all manner of discussion and debate occurs on any subject from the validity of Moroyanga's research findings to the advantages of the more pluralistic Regency over the old Imperium. After enjoying a cup of Vincennezi Espresso, the conversation is usually carried to one of hundreds of small bars, taverns or nightclubs along the subterranean streets of the city. For more family-oriented entertainment, people generally cling to the numerous malls and holotheatres on the periphery of the northeastern residential districts.

While 95 percent of HRD's population lives and works in Control or Innovation, the remaining inhabitants occupy the planetary outback. Devoid of atmosphere, HRD presents a harsh environment in which to live remotely from other sentient life. Corporate researchers at HRD's polar ice caps, faultline research facilities, geological survey divisions and low orbital zero-G pharmaceutical facilities generally use imported Vincennezi communications technology to maintain contact with their families in the cities. The extreme daily temperature fluctuation on HRD makes going outside a dangerous proposition. Thickly padded and radiation-shielded vaccsuits are worn when it is absolutely necessary to venture into the outdoors.

Strategic Value[edit]

HRD is an extremely important system to the Regency and therefore requires special attention. The Regency Navy maintains a considerable portion of the 258th Fleet in the system, mostly in point defense of the system mainworld itself. HRD's unique history and governmental structure have fostered a climate in which intellectual freedom can flourish. Though the world of HRD itself is essentially a hostile airless rock, the society contained within is home to some of the greatest minds of the age. When Regency governments look for innovation, critical evaluation or conventional wisdom, they look to HRD.

System Details[edit]

 HRD System Details
  Orbit      Name           UPP         Remarks
  Primary    YG-437         M5 III
  0-3        Within sphere of star
  4          Scorch         Y430000-0   Va
      8      Ash            Y100000-0   Va
      35     Ember          Y100000-0   Va
  5          Shade          YS00000-0   Va
  6          Nazgul         Y450000-0
      35     Beege          Y300000-0   Va
  7          Planetoid Belt G000312-F   As Nv *
  8          Fuel Depot     H300463-F   Nv Va
      6      JV-224         Y200000-0   Va
      8      JV-076         YS00000-0   Va
      15     JV-075         YS00000-0   Va
  9          HRD            A401754-F N Na Va Ic
  10         Sleet          G905267-E   Va
  11         Graul Orin     Y100000-0   Va
      7      KY-073         YS00000-0   Va
      9      KY-052         YS00000-0   Va
  12         Outcast        G977162-E
  13         Untouchable    YS00000-0   Va
  * Majority owned by Sternmental Horizons.


NOTE: The IISS satellite naming convention used during the Grand Survey in HRD system was to apply the surveyor's initials, followed by the G rating of the world without its decimal point. Thus, JV-224 was named by a scout with the initials "JV," and the world's gravity was recorded at 0.224 Gs.