Dunant

Antra Subsector/Deneb 1706
1202
1120
B311252-E
B311320-E
S
S
Ic Ni Lo
Ic Ni Lo
923
A523
RF
DD
M2V M4V
Local Day:27.13 hours
Local Year: 0.14 Standard years, 50.1 Standard Days, 44.3 Local Days
Axial Tilt:26°
Avg Temp:-5.5°C (4°C/lat row +6.5 to -33.5)
Seasons: +15.6 Summer, -13.6 Winter (100% at 49° lat)
Daily Range:+10.5 day, -187.3 night
Surface Gravity:0.8g

Dunant is the largest moon of the gas giant Solferino, which orbits the contact binary Alpha and Beta Lombardia. Solferino's close proximity to the dim red suns, a mere 0.2 AUs, enables it to receive a moderate amount of stellar heat. Coupled with the heat it generated on its own, conditions on Solferino were favorable enough to foster life. Life inside gas giants is a rare enough occurrence that it's a big draw for Imperial exobiologists wherever it flourishes. The Scout Service immediately felt that a base of operations was necessary to foster study of the jovian life forms as well as to protect them. Dunant was chosen to be the site for that base.

Dunant itself is a rock with a wisp of an atmosphere mostly formed by sublimated carbon dioxide breaking free from the ice cap during the day. Enough water ice was present in the caps to help feed the fledgling colony. Dunant's high gravity for its size also helped to eliminate the need for grav plates, driving down the cost of building the colony. Various companies, most notably BioPharm and SuSAG, generously contributed money and equipment to the colony, in return for scientific data. There really wasn't want of anything for the scientists stationed here and this was reflected in the world's tech level rating (14) and starport quality (B).

With all of the comings and goings of university and corporate sponsored scientists, the Scout Service recommended that the colonists form a government to administer the day-to-day functions of the colony and settle any potential disputes that would no doubt arise. The scientists couldn't be bothered with the mundane trappings of government so they kept it simple: a direct democracy with a virtual town hall (after all, they were busy conducting research) once a month to vote on issues. They voted to outsource the administrative and maintenance duties to Khilukaamuu Corporation, a Vilani facilities management company. Although they'd never been hired before to actually run a government, they adapted quickly enough and performed in an efficient Vilani manner.

Dunant's scientific populace was constantly afraid that Solferino's grand experiment in Life would be contaminated. Since they had no planetary navy of their own, they had to rely on the Scout Service to prevent poaching and trespassing. That still wasn't enough for them. The only way they could be certain that no harm would come to their research subjects would be to discourage unchecked growth. Although the government of scientists enacted very few laws (note the old law level rating of 0), those that were enacted carried stiff penalties. Solferino is off-limits for wilderness refueling for obvious reasons. It is an offense punishable by ship confiscation. The zoning laws are somewhat strict as well. Dunant's populace was worried about large mining corporations coming into the system to set up ore refineries to process ore from Dunant's two asteroid belts so there's a size limit on industrial facilities. And though Dunant's starport is of high quality, it has no berths for ships larger than 1000 tons. With such an unfriendly atmosphere to economic development, mining corporations went elsewhere.

When news of Dunant's industrial zoning laws hit the belter community at large, they thought that it was dream come true. With no megacorps around to push them out, they felt that they had a chance to make a decent living on Dunant. When they arrived the news got better: no mining permits required, no claim stake applications, and no ore taxes. The complete lack of regulations seemed like a blessing, but it turned out to be a curse. The complete lack of rules, laws, etc. meant that there was nothing to prevent claim jumping or cargo hijacking.

As skirmishes broke out in the asteroid belts, TAS was forced to classify Dunant as an Amber zone. The navigation hazards posed by wayward asteroids, the law level of zero, the prohibition of wilderness refueling at Solferino, and, most importantly, the skirmishes between belters and would be hijackers in the asteroid belts forced TAS to issue the declaration. This suited Dunant just fine, as it would further discourage interstellar traffic from passing through their system.

When the belters took their complaints to the government, they found that the Khilukaamuu Corporation was powerless to act outside of Solferino's gravity well. The belters then got an audience with the scientists at one of their monthly meetings. They were politely told that asteroid belt patrols would require too much money and that there was an insufficient population in which to tax. However, this was untrue. If the belters were made citizens, the tax base would increase enormously. The exobiologists were afraid that a booming community of belters would shift the balance of power away from them and they would lose control over Solferino. And the corporate patrons of the scientists didn't want the Scout Service to declare the planet an Imperial Reserve as it would have forced them to release all of their findings to the public domain, thereby limiting the amount by which they could profit from their investment.

The scientists recommended that the belters work together and form a union for their collective protection. The belters did just that. They formed the "Lombardian Asteroid Belts Belters Union" (LABBU). It was intended to be a message to Dunant's scientist citizenry that they were a political body independent of Dunant. LABBU coexisted peacefully with Dunant and made use of its starport, but it did not make public its census figures. LABBU's success was measured by a decrease in hijackings and an increase in wealth among its members.

As the Rebellion began and corsairs began to raid Deneb sector with impunity, research funding began to dry up. Dunant's proximity to the Vargr invaders made it an extreme risk. As funding ran out, scientists were forced to halt research and find new sources of funding. Facility taxes, which had been miniscule in the past, shot way up. The belters complained at first, but then saw the writing on the wall. By 1125, the scientists could no longer afford to retain the Khilukaamuu Corporation's services. By 1127, Dunant was bankrupt and LABBU bought the place out.

When the Frontier was established, the scientists were long gone. After asking the Scout Service to administer Solfierno (it became a Reserve), LABBU dissolved itself. The people (belters, support facilities personnel, traders, etc) agreed upon a governmental structure that was different than either the democratic clique of scientists or the communal LABBU. During election years, various groups would propose economic developmental strategies for leading the planet through the next 4 years. In the third year of the term there would be a vote of confidence. Success meant that the group could stay in power for the next 4 years. Failure meant that everyone else had one year to come up with a new 4-year plan. Elected groups have free reign to conduct the affairs of state as they see fit, though laws of a permanent nature require the approval of electorate. Indeed some legislation has been passed, most notably mining permits, claim stake dispute resolution, and a prohibition of the more lethal firearms (note increase of law level from 0 to 2).

In 1159, the Ursak A 1116 took over the world of Tuedhikhuez (Deneb 1905) and began infiltrating the Regency Frontier through Dunant. The outermost gas giants of the system were captured and used as launching points for raids within the Regency Frontier. Dunant itself and the scout base were subjected to a blockade and periodically bombarded, sometimes with hundreds of small asteroids ranging anywhere from 1 meter to 100 meters in diameter. Apparently the rocks were randomly nudged out of the asteroid belts and sent spiraling inward. Ships trying to climb out of the stars' gravity well and past the blockade were attacked, as were ships that jumped in-system attempting to bring in supplies. Few made it through.

Oddly enough, Dunant itself was never invaded. It is not known for sure why an invasion never took place but it has been speculated that Dunant's position at the bottom of the stars' gravity well, coupled with its lack of strategic value, made it an undesirable target. Simple random bombardment, combined with a blockade, turned out to be sufficient enough to keep Dunant's inhabitants in check.

In 1161, the invaders were forced from the system, though it would be a few more years before they were removed from the subsector. Meanwhile on Dunant, one third of the population perished during the brief occupation of their system. Half of the survivors decided that life in the Frontier wasn't worth it and relocated safeside.

The remaining belter population of Dunant gets along with the RQS just fine. The RQS enjoys their full cooperation and support. There are rumors that Dunant has become a haven for Wildside smugglers, who pay kickbacks to the RQS, but these rumors have never been substantiated and the Dunantians take offense at the suggestion that they would risk the safety of the Regency by breaking the Quarantine.

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