You arrive at the space station’s Earthview Garden, an organic room built to comfort the crew in deep space. According to your internal database, humans had a need to occasionally exist in such an environment, or they had a tendency to go insane. Something about their primate-evolved brains.

⚙️ Prometheus Joint Venture Orbital

Construction 1994 - 2009 around Saturn; ~120,000 permanent residents (joint Union and Coalition)

The first and only orbital built under direct cooperation between the Greater Union and the Enduring Coalition. The System has always relied on Prometheus for its alloy and water resources, which kickstarted the very first interplanetary colonization rush and still supplies most of the construction resources for space technology.

Thanks to its split leadership, Prometheus has a unique split design that converges in a central hub. Both sides are provided a key to the self-destruction mechanism, but the classified Final Hope Protocol designates Prometheus as safe harbor during total nuclear war. In the event of the worst outcome, diplomats and state officials must converge at Prometheus in order to enact its reseeding program.

🌿 Jannah Sanctuary Orbital (former Union, now semi-independent) Construction 2008 - 2019 around Venus; ~258,000 permanent residents

The Ministry of Colonization’s first own orbital, Merdem People’s Orbital, was planned to be a shining beacon of the Union’s societal progress. Instead, it was turned into an ideal gulag: a work colony for interplanetary-scaled food processing, where undesirables could be sent to be “re-educated” in the silence of deep and distant cosmos.

The Union’s crimes against the subjugated groups it shipped to Merdem would lead to the Naik Uprising, a bloody revolution that lasted for months. A ceasefire was finally agreed upon when the Ministry threatened to scuttle the entire orbital, along with its hundreds of thousands of residents, if the weapon systems were breached. The orbital would be divided along a demilitarized zone, established between the Union’s weapon platform and the rest of the orbital, while primary control was ceded to the new independent government.

Merdem took on its second life as Jannah, a recovering sanctuary for the Afghan diaspora. The orbital’s brutalist, concrete facades would be painted in vivid colors and the bombed, lifeless surface would be seeded with engineered plant-life. And yet, the Union’s military forces continue to linger, uncommitted to ever leaving the orbital.

⭐ Sanket Star Orbital (joint Pact and Coalition) Construction 2034 - 2052 around Saturn; ~146,000 permanent residents

Named after the experimental fusion device situated at the crux of the orbital, Sanket Star Orbital was the Coalition’s answer to the Dash for Fusion. Knowing the Coalition’s strength did not lie with brute force, Heavenbreaker chose a different approach than the Ministry of Colonization with its “Gorsk” program.

In contrast to Gorsk’s monolithic design, Sanket was the product of a grand purchase and amalgamation of several smaller orbitals constructed by private ventures in the years following Prometheus. Using their experimental approach, all that had to be designed for Sanket was the atmospheric siphoning system, a connecting structure, and the reactor itself: a relatively manageable task that lead to Sanket’s construction taking far less time than Gorsk. Technically, the Coalition and Pact had beaten the Union to fusion - but only for a brief, tense moment.

Sanket’s multifaceted nature turned it into a great hub of System commerce and trade. Its population of permanent residents is low, primarily tending to the unique infrastructure of the orbital, while the number of visitors on the orbital number at least a hundred thousand any given day.

🛢️⛽ Gorsk People’s Orbital (Union) Construction 2036 - 2055 around Jupiter; ~162,000 permanent residents

The Great Gorsk is a textbook case of the Union’s insanely bullish attitude towards space infrastructure. Beneath its characteristic thick shielding lies the “Tsar’s Pulse”: the most powerful magnetic shielding device in the Solar System, created to resist Jupiter’s continuous magnetospheric onslaught.

This was the Union’s answer to the Dash for Fusion. Gorsk took longer to plan and was astronomically difficult to implement, but created the most valuable strategic victory in history. With Europa’s rich supply of deuterium only a skipping stone away, the Jovian region became an uncontested Union stronghold.

Deep within its enormous walls and siphon systems, Gorsk’s resident operators enjoy a luxurious life styled after the “Red Dream” - sleek communal structures, moneyless economy, and served by automated units. Around this time, the Union’s leadership began to trend progressive, as younger members refused to repeat decisions that lead to disasters and atrocities such as Jannah.

After the Unreality

Gorsk’s secondary function was to serve as a social experimentation platform. With its conveniently isolated population, IRON HEART would tend entirely to the experiment in total social domination. With its loyal population lost after the IRONHEART virtually screams in the void

IH instructed to generate and implement new Socialist scenarios with the help of cyberneticists instructions After they disappeared, it began to implement increasingly erratic scenarios

  • Started 2036, Completed 2055
  • Orbits Jupiter
  • ~160,000 permanent residents
  • “Mad Dash” Orbital. Manufactures fusion capsules out of Europan deuterium and Jovian helium. Kickstarted mass transition from NTRs and other reactors to fusion power.
  • Hub for Union operations in the Jovian system
  • Notable for its extremely heavy and thick appearance due to Jupiter’s magnetosphere and heat

Alright friends, here’s another one of Sunset’s big ol orbitals.

☄️ Odyssey United Orbital (Sunset Initiative) Construction 2007 - 2095 around Mercury; ~38,000 permanent residents

The completion of the most magnificent megastructure in history, the Prometheus Orbital, lead to an explosion in space infrastructure in the early 21st century. Even before Prometheus opened, Union and Coalition scientists and engineers were coordinating on a vision for a new, improved design that would give mankind total control over the Inner System.

These discussions and the subsequent program resulted in the failure of the Vulcan Joint Venture Orbital. Midway through its construction, the program would be halted indefinitely by unrelated military escalations, leaving behind a half-complete megastructure in Mercury orbit.

For over half a century, the structure silently reminded mankind of its geopolitical reality. Never sealed and pressurized, Vulcan became a popular destination for interplanetary criminals and black operatives, who slipped deep into the structure when the occasional patrol frame passed by.

Eventually, the remains of Vulcan were purchased by the newly-formed Sunset Initiative during the 2070s, giving it a new life as the rebranded Odyssey United Orbital. Here, the construction of a mysterious pyramidal device was claimed to herald a new human age, a breakthrough in faster-than-light technology. The greatest symbol of human inability to cooperate would be converted into an icon of its strength and unity, or so they thought.

~39,000 permanent residents during opening

  • Started 2007, Abandoned 2009, Restarted 2072, Completed 2095
  • Orbits Sol
  • Meant to kickstart faster-than-light travel, causes mankind’s disappearance on activation
  • Began as the Vulcan Joint Venture Orbital Program between the Union and Coalition, which fell through at the beginning of the 21st century, leaving a half-finished megastructure
Post navigation
Newer Post
Older Post