Anvils Should Be Warm (1/2)

Welcome to Palaxias System, home port for the Capital Fleet and the Home Fleet, and indeed for the Imperial Navy in general.

Astrographically, Palaxias is not a significant system; its sun, Arvael – named after Eliéra’s largest raptor – is a minor red dwarf star, its sole asset is its proximity to both the Empire’s throneworld and the seat of the Conclave, but this has been enough to raise it to galactic prominence, or at least notoriety among those who have no business there, and so are not permitted within the system.

Its six gas-giant planets are given over entirely to the business of the Empire’s fleet.  Local patrols and the system’s extensive grid of defense platforms are controlled from the moons of the outermost gas giant, Fortress.  The fleet is built, for the most part, in the shipyards and forges of Armory and its moons, and semi-autonomous swarm squadrons breed in the depths of its well.  Endless skydiver flights skim the atmosphere of Bunker for deuterium, helium-3, and metastable metallic hydrogen, and orbiting cryocels the size of moonlets stockpile antimatter shipped up from downwell or in from Esílmur.  And thousands upon thousands of pods, packages, containers, warehouses, and powered-down vessels of the Reserve surround the logistics base at Depot with a set of metallic rings.

(Officially, of course, nothing at all happens around epistellar Battlefield with its perpetual storms, sun-stoked, huge and fierce even by gas giant standards.)

But the heart of the system is its second world, Bastion, a bloated giant that had just missed fusion ignition, or rather its four moons.  Palaxias itself – Prime Base – a rocky moon hollowed out into the endless docks, autofacs, offices, barracks, laboratories, and other necessities of hosting the two largest IN fleets.  The nameless tiny moon-turned-habitat, bristling with communications arrays, which housed Core Command, seat of the Admiralty.  Frozen, ammoniac Quarters, offering places to take short leaves and quarters for families and contractors, a tiny domed outpost of civilian civility in an otherwise militarized system.

And Agoge, the fourth moon, whose close-in orbit to Bastion warmed it barely enough to allow open water and breathable air; a garden world but certainly not a garden spot.  Agoge was not a primarily Naval world.  Agoge was Legion territory…