Henry's Diaspora Funtime Adventure Go!
The Kronin System
“The stars are of the Gods, we’ve no right to cast our own names upon them. But the worlds are ours to till, and we shall call them as we please.”
“We know they’ll come sooner or later, and goddammit, we’ll be ready for ’em”
-General Hephaestus Kentos
Kronin: it’s hot, the air is barely breathable, and the sun is looking like it won’t last much longer, but when there’s tessilica deposits of this magnitude, little else matters.
Settled several hundred years ago by a generation ship of colonists fleeing The Troubles in the Rachmanni system. Looking for any piece of rock they could call their own, they didn’t find a perfect planet, but it had enough splashes of greens and blues on its landscape that the spacers aboard the Saeclum Navis thought they’d found paradise. They named it Kronin, and named the system after the planet in respect to and old Rachmanni tradition. This would be the last reference to their heritage; shortly thereafter, the colonists threw off the shackles of the past and embraced their new identity as Kronian.
The Kronian people kept to a quiet agrarian lifestyle for a few decades, welcoming the odd trader or emissary from Sceptri or Zamin, but a lack of slipstream ships kept them confined to their own system. When massive deposits of tessilica were uncovered, however, Kronin’s days a simple farming were over.
Agricultural production was immediately reduced to only what was needed to survive, while the rest of the populace went to work in the mines. Farming was halted entirely when the first tessilica haul, sold off to the Szuba-tai Corporation, netted Kronin enough food to last decades. Strip mining turned the surface from patches of green to valleys of red, refineries turned a clear sky to a hazy orange. Vast cityscapes sprung up, and the cybernetics industry boomed from the vast tessilica reserves. Soon Kronin became a planet divided: an upper class of rich, cybernetically enhanced traders and government officials, and a lower class of miners and factory workers.
The class divide sparked tension on Kronin, and it wasn’t long before rebellion began. The under classes found a mouthpiece in one Gustavus Prellus, a popular vidfeed reporter, who was immortalized in Kronian history in a broadcast in which he urged, "Kronians, now is the time. Take to the streets, march on the bastions of government, today we shall fight for equality!” Within moments, the streets of the Kronian capital city Isulia were clogged with mobs wielding everything from crowbars to slug throwers. Three weeks later, Chancellor Markannus’s head was on a pike, and the people celebrated.
The next few years were turbulent times. The movement that had so easily deposed Markannus fell to in-fighting. During the attempts to adopt a new constitution and government, if any side failed to get its way the argument would devolve into a hail of bullets. Order was restored when Boss Vosell, foreman of the Deep Rift mine a few hundred miles southwest of Isulia, marched into the city with fifty thousand miners armed with industrial mining lasers purchased from Szuba-tai.
Vosell demanded to meet with Gustavus Prellus, and the two were sequestered in the former Halls of Parliament for several days. Upon emergence, Prellus returned to the vidfeeds, championing Vosell as a new leader for a new Kronin.
“We have rid Isulia of the pocket-lining regime of Markannus,” Prellus addressed the planet, “and for that every Kronian can be proud. However, we cannot devolve into savages who shoot rather than compromise. In the weeks since I urged you to rise up, I have had the pleasure of being told by thousands of Kronians that I am the singular voice of the people, and so I once again hope you can grant me that position. In this new climate we need a leader who will bring equality to all Kronians. We need a leader who will keep order. We need a just and fair leader, but one who is not afraid to bear arms when necessary. When Cadios Vosell marched on Isulia, many of you were afraid. But I stand here today to say that he is exactly the leader that we need. His arrival in the capital showed that he is a man capable of leading us out of chaos, and his long-standing reputation as the foreman of the unionized Deep Rift mine shows that he is a man of the people. Tomorrow, Vosell will meet with the leaders of all of the disparate ideological factions here in Isulia, and it is my hope that a new constitution can be drafted in those meetings. But none of this can be done without the support of the people, and I beg you to offer that support to Vosell. Thank you, and long live Kronin!”
Within two weeks a constitution for the new Kronian Directorate had been drafted, and shortly thereafter an election was held. It may as well just have been a formality; Vosell won in a landslide.
A peace came over Kronin, and industry resumed as normal. New social programs appeared, funded by an increased tariff on inter-system tessilica trade, and everyone believed that Vosell truly had been the correct man for the job.
However, soon trade with the Szuba-Tai corporation slowed. Much of the populace fell out of work, and unrest began anew. In a rare vidfeed appearance, Chancellor Vosell addressed the populace. His words were brief, but effective:
“Szuba-Tai, those greed-mongers from beyond the stars, want our tesilica. For years we sold it at a rate cheap enough that they could buy up all they wanted, and as a result, much of our populace starved. The newly instated tariff has kept every man, woman, and child on Kronin free from want, but the same cannot be said about Szuba-tai. Word has reached me that our tariff has effected their so-called “bottom line,” and the powers that be aren’t happy. They wish me to end the tariff. Their corporate drones have not hesitated to remind me that their technology vastly outclasses ours, but what they’re really saying is that if they please, they will not hesitate to take our resource by force. I tell you this: I will not sacrifice our people’s newfound equality to buy their shareholder’s complacence. Today, I call upon all able-bodied men to serve their planet in the Kronian Guard. We will make our world into a fortress that the gods themselves could not by force set foot on in the trial of a thousand years.
“If those sons of bitches want our planet, then by gods, let them try.”
Vosell’s words led to an immediate and overwhelming militarization of Kronin. Where once the Kronian Guard had stood mostly as a formality, it now ballooned in size with new draftees, made rabid by the thought of an invader from beyond the stars. At Chancellor Vosell’s request, over 85% of consumer goods factories shifted their focus towards producing weapons, vehicles, and anything else the Kronian Guard demanded.
Vosell told his second in command, General Hephaestus Kentos, to secure Kronin by any means necessary. Kentos formed and placed himself in command of the Kronin Low Orbit Fleet, a massive collection of space stations, gun ships, and batteries enveloping all of Kronin.
On the surface, Kronin’s civilians continued to slave away at their factory or mine jobs, but for the most part they retained their civil liberties. However, this all changed when Vosell died and Kentos assumed Chancellorship of Kronin. Vosell had come from a union background, and new the importance of personal rights. Kentos, on the other hand, came from a strict military upbringing, and firmly believed in strength through unity and unity through force. He imposed draconian laws wherein the simplest offence against a fellow Kronian was punished by death. He rationalized it by saying, “If we fight amongst ourselves, Szuba-Tai has already won!”
Kentos grew more and more paranoid that Szuba-Tai operatives had already infiltrated all levels of the Kronian Directorate. He established the Ministry for Kronian Superiority, which kept order through an omniscient network of CCTVs, sensors, and trackers which watched nearly every moment of every Kronian’s day.
The odd fringe group sprang up to attempt to subvert Kronin’s newfound authoritarianism. All but the most careful and skilled were immediately rounded up and executed. Soon, the only remaining group that posed any threat whatsoever to the Kronian government was the “Open Source Kronin” movement, a coalition of hackers and fighters who had proven time and again to be a thorn in Chancellor Kentos’ side. The group’s leader, one Chaius Ordo, immediately leapt to the top of Kronin’s most wanted list after hacking his way into one of the Low Orbit Fleet’s batteries and turning it on the planet. The bombardment had already killed thousands by the time control was retaken.
However, thanks to a tipoff from civilian pilot Zhang Li Dao, the Kronian Guard was alerted to an attempt by the OSK to take an arms depot. Heavily armed guards were waiting, and Ordo was taken into custody.
With the most disruptive terrorist group on the planet scattered to the winds and their leader made into a Watcher, Chancellor Kentos’ efforts turn back towards Szuba-Tai. He knows they are coming… and Kronin will have a nasty surprise for them.