Haldeman
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Technology: +3 Slipstream mastery
Environment: -2 Hostile environment (gravity but dangerous atmosphere)
Resources: +2 One significant export

Aspects:

  • Your Needs Will Be Met
  • A Claustrophobic Maze of Steel, Flesh and Fume
  • Burdened by Destiny

Description:

Haldeman Prime is a world unlike any other in the cluster. Housing the cluster's oldest civilization, the planet's surface comprises a single, unthinkably immense contiguous city teeming with well over ten billion citizens. It is a bustling hive of smelters and foundries, power plants and refineries, factories and assembly halls turning the raw materials so meticulously extracted from the system into durable goods. The output of these industries is sold to developing systems in return for needed commodities or used to add new layers to the global urban edifice. Of special significance are the shipyards, which provide the overwhelming majority of spacecraft purchased in the cluster.

Life within the city structures can be pleasant enough, depending upon one's means. Most of the planet's inhabitants toil, seemingly endlessly, in some cavernous factory or cramped access tunnel. In between the work shifts, numerous entertainments are provided by the State. The lucky few who rise to positions of influence take great pains to protect and maintain them, for many perquisites come with even modest social station. Those who manage to accumulate enough wealth to acquire and maintain personal property holdings are fewer still.

Outside the structures, however, things are downright ugly. The planet's natural environment has been irrevocably poisoned from hundreds of years of unrestrained and unregulated industrialization, to the extent that survival outside the enclosures is nigh impossible. The atmosphere is a choking, poisonous fume, the rain is stringently acidic and the heat is unbearable. Some desperate few attempt to survive outside, and there are rumors of wild bands of scavengers roaming the rooftops and sub-tunnels. Such a life would be horrid and miserable in the extreme.

The people of Haldeman Prime and its barren companion worlds are ruled by a massive and pervasive bureaucracy, which is itself tightly controlled from within by a shadowy cabal of Directors. At first glance, the rule is benevolent: the wants and needs of the citizens are provided and government agencies appear to run cleanly and effficiently . However personal privacy is non-existent, information is rigidly regulated and all cultural activities prescribed by the State. The people in general do not seem to notice, and the society grinds forward. Those who speak out against the status quo are quietly removed by the enigmatic Ghosts. The worst offenders are sent to Home.

Haldeman puts it's best foot forward to the rest of the cluster, having appointed itself the steward of interstellar society. The Directors prefer to exercise control via the establishment and maintenance of client states rather than through outright conquest, therefore Haldeman has a significant presence on most of the other worlds in the cluster. Haldeman's standing military force is quite streamlined, consisting mostly of naval spacecraft and special operations forces. In times of outright war, Haldeman relies on its huge population to provide overwhelming numbers of draftees. The system of most concern is Wells, which has the advanced technology necessary to compete with Haldeman for dominance of the cluster. The Directors favor a strategy of containment with respect to this competitor. On Clarke this strategy has failed, resulting in direct hostilities prosecuted via proxy forces.

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