Epistolary Experiment (30/30): Epilogue

FILISSIN, ÓDELN – The last ship of identified Republic sympathizers left Ódeln this morning on its way to Márch, under the supervision of local consular authorities from a number of polities, and at the same time, as tensions cool, the internment of the local kalatri has been terminated – although they have little to return to but now-destroyed homes and businesses. Many intend to seek transport off-world at the first opportunity.

The Temporary Tyrancy, the provisional governance of this freesoil world, has announced its intention to dissolve in one year, “subject to the resolution of the state of emergency now pertaining”. Many of Ódeln’s residents seem happy with this news, but a strong minority are unhappy with this qualification, expressing deep concern that the Tyrancy may intend to effect a transition into a permanent governance. A movement is growing among this minority to call upon Interstellar Interceders, FK, to oversee and, if necessary, enforce this dissolution.

The management of Interstellar Interceders were unavailable for comment.

– the Accord Journal

From: Sinith Arání, VP Public Relations
To: All Contractees
Subject: Thanks and Congratulations

Well done, people, well done!

Thanks to your work, the company’s come through this crisis with name unstained and flying colors. I could not be more proud of our achievement, or of all of you.

I’m also delighted to be able to tell you that the Directorate has approved a performance bonus of Es. 1,150,500,000 for our achievement, and in view of the excellent joint performance you’ve all turned in, I’ve elected to divide that equally among the department (i.e., just over a million for each of you receiving this message).

For both myself and Ring Dynamics, congratulations, and thank you again.


– from the Ring Dynamics, ICC, internal e-mail archive

VENERI (Osis Deep) – The Iltine Union regrets to report that the former Minister of Pacification, Kadrish har-Lan Sarkdor, his wife, and two of his three children, were killed yesterday when their groundcar was struck by an express maglev when leaving the capital. Investigations continue, but while suspicion must fall, in the current climate of interstellar tension, upon offworlder terrorists and other factions opposed to the Blessed Union, it is believed that this was no more than a tragic accident.

[APPROVED FOR DISSEMINATION – Meer har-Tal Ankór, Office of Desirable Truths and Detestable Falsehoods]

From: Executor Major Garren Melithos, Uulder Shore Constellation Adhoc, Imperial Exploratory Service
To: Cmdr. Leda Estenv, Flight Administrator, CS Iron Dragon
Subject: Checking up

Your Mr. Sarathos is shaping up as well as can be expected here after his transfer. Per his request, we put him to work on the hush-hush clean-up of Ekritat’s atmosphere after his oops, and he’s doing a good job there so far. Chastened, but competent.

My colleagues have some similar projects lined up for him after this. If all goes well, we might just manage to salvage him and his career.



ALLIAC (CORDAI GAP): Alliac’s governing committee has elected union with the Equality Concord. Concord representatives have already arrived on-planet and have begun mass implantation. Agents withdrawn.

DINC (CORDAI GAP): New socionovist governance has achieved stable control of the planet, and lays claim to all the former territory of the People’s State of Bantral, a claim rejected by the other Bantine worlds. Governance has limited interstellar capability at present, but is attempting to increase its military production capacity.

GORBIS (CORDAI GAP): Gorbis is presently dominated by a coalition of revolutionary groups controlling leftover Republic basing infrastructure and is evolving towards a syndic-managed anarchy; the governing coalition provides free cornucopia access to all who agree to their syndicratic pact. Consensus recommends cautious support and advisory role, and potentially inclusion in the Accords as a freesoil world.

ONCBIS (CORDAI GAP): Oncbis remains unstable, the planet having been hit hard by unlawful vultures and salvagers. Economic productivity has been severely damaged by loss of capital technology. Local militias dominate.

RRENAC (CORDAI GAP): Rrenac has collapsed entirely into warwilds. Economic productivity is zero. Interstellar capability is marginal and dropping. Habitats in the system are dying or dead. General war continues unabated. Consensus recommends placing the system under interdict.

TURBIS (CORDAI GAP): Turbis remains divided between self-governing local militias and a governance leaning towards the Equality Concord. Concord missionaries are presently attempting to convert the militias peacefully but the situation remains in balance. Consensus recommends intervention.

Sarq Iqador, the Voniensa Republic’s last governor of Vontok II, watched from the window of his office as the last of the Empire’s transports pointed its nose skyward and departed his planet.

“Finally! Now we can start putting things back in order.”

“In order?”

“We may no longer be part of the Republic, Tiesh, but we will not abandon its principles. We will start by re-indexing and securing our networks, closing the starport to smugglers, and getting all the technological leftovers of the occupation rounded up and placed under proper –“

“You may not have noticed, Governor, but the agreement we signed guarantees that we will permit the free flow of information and free trade.”

“The Republic signed that when it threw us away. We didn’t. I don’t consider it binding.”

“The Republic had the authority to sign it at the time. And are you seriously suggesting that we break our agreement with the people who just handed our entire polity its ass? Because they probably consider it binding.”

“We must clean up our own house. We are kalatri, and we will maintain –“

“You may also not have noticed, Governor, but there is enough ‘prohibited technology’ out there to keep us cleaning up for years, and at least half, maybe two-thirds, of the people on the planet are using it even if they don’t agree with it. And the ideas behind it are out there, saved in ‘qar only knows how many personal databases, and with that treaty, we can’t keep them out even if we wanted to. Might I also suggest that a much more productive line of thinking, from your perspective, would be your own legitimacy?”

“I am the appointed governor of this planet!”

“Appointed by the Republic, you mean? Which, as you pointed out, no longer owns the sovereignty of this planet. It’s a new age, Governor, and you’ll need to get used to that. Meanwhile, here’s the resignation from your administration I came to give you. I’ll see you in the election.”

“Election! What election!?”

From: Sarine min Gethill, Imperial Starport Authority
To: Phoebe Dracotarthius, Sheriff, Nightside Rock
Cc: Galin Tarquelios, Port Director, Nightside Rock
Subject: Facility Reactivation

Per standard protocol, in light of the addition of twenty-six worlds to the Accord to spinward of your facility, and in anticipation of the consequent increase in passenger and trade volumes to this region, the ISA Volume Advisory Adhoc has concluded that your star station facilities should be reactivated to Class II, pending Class III, status. As such, equipment and staffing to suit these levels (details enclosed) have been dispatched to you to enable this.

Please advise on readiness to receive and any special requirements soonest.

– SmG



Oh, starshit, plague, and corruption.

Council of the Republic
Vonis Prime

PRESIDENT: Where is the Propulsion Group representative?

SECRETARY: We haven’t been able to find him, sir.

DEFENSIVE MINISTER: The entire Propulsion Group is missing from their offices. We haven’t been able to contact, or track, any of them. I’m having their stations searched by Fleet Security.

PRESIDENT: Damn it! Put the Exception Management Group on this. I want them tracked down and made to answer for this debacle!


Well, we’ll have to handle the situation as best we can. What is the status of the Fleet?

DEFENSIVE MINISTER: We’ve lost approximately half of our trailing forces, including their logistics train, at a very unfavorable exchange ratio. We’ll get some of the crews back in prisoner transfers, but space battles don’t leave many survivors. We are, let me emphasize, very lucky that the Worlds weren’t interested in pursuing the war any further. As it stands, the Fleet can’t defend our trailing border. We need an immediate rebuilding program, and a drastic one.

PRESIDENT: Chancellor?

FINANCE MINISTER: Out of the question. Out of the question. Between the reparations we now have to pay in goods or out of our external currency reserves, and ongoing internal expenses, there’s no room to fit even a modest rebuilding program in the budget – unless we hike the tithes on the Shell Colonies again, if they wouldn’t take advantage of the situation to break away. And that’s assuming that our present economy is sustainable.


PRESIDENT: What do you mean, ‘assuming our present economy is sustainable’?

FINANCE MINISTER: The Propulsion Group operated all the stargates in the Republic. They seem to have disappeared. No stargates, no interstellar travel, which means no interstellar economy – and no Republic.

TRANSPORTATION MINISTER: He’s right, Mr. President. The stargates are operating for now, but we have no way of knowing how long that will continue without—Well, unless something useful is found when Fleet Security searches their stations, we may lose our stargate plexus at any time.


TRANSPORTATION MINISTER: At the foundation of the Republic, we agreed to let the Group handle the necessity of stargate technology at arms-length, for what seemed like good reasons at the time. But that means we don’t have an understanding of it now.

FINANCE MINISTER: So what do you propose to do about it?

TRANSPORTATION MINISTER: I don’t think we have any choice but to accept the Ring Dynamics proposal to take over construction and maintenance of our stargates, effective immediately.

DEFENSIVE MINISTER: Unacceptable! The security risks alone –

FINANCE MINISTER: Do you have any idea what that would cost –

TRANSPORTATION MINISTER: Compared to not having a polity or its economy, it’s risk-free and cheap.


We may also want to consider accepting the Probable Technologies offer to examine the Group’s “relics”, especially if they are what they say they are.

PRESIDENT: No. That is unacceptable. It will be bad enough if we have to use an outside corporation to provide us with interstellar transportation – which decision we will defer until Fleet Security has had a chance to report and the Science Division have examined one of our existing stargates – but I cannot, and will not, go down in history as conceding our one possible advantage to our adversaries.


Is the Fleet capable of keeping order in the Shell?