Naming Convention

BEING A SUMMARY OF PRODUCTION
AT STARFLIGHT SHIPYARDS, SELÉNE, CAGEWORKS TWO
FOR FIRST QUARTER, 7399

IS Lunar Loom
Custom design (orbital elevator constructor).
Worlds’ Rim Development, ICC; paid in full.

IS Alkahest of Conflict
Harbinger-class diplomatic cruiser
Galactic Arbitrations, ICC; paid in full.

IS The Sun’s Brilliance Scatters All Shadows
False Dawn-class orbital mirror tender
Sahal & Moons Orbital Light and Power, ICC; 12% advanced, mortgage on delivery.

CMS Rosy Conodont
Erlenmyer-class chemical tanker
Biolith Chemical Products, ICC; paid in full.

IS Authentic Communicative Ecstasy
Starwing-class courier, with aftermarket high-intensity communications laser (customer provision)
Private sale; paid in full.

CS Sufficiency
Apocalypse-class battleship
Imperial Navy, per construction contract 7930-02.

IS Only Hard On The Outside
Adze-class orbital construction platform
Homesteads, ICC; six-year payment plan, first due on delivery.

CMS Content Available In Your Area
Shadowcat-class blockade runner
Private sale, paid in full.

CS State Sensor-Ship
Brazen-class recon destroyer
Imperial Navy, per construction contract 7930-02.

CSS Neutrino Simulator
Peregrine-class scout
Imperial Exploratory Service, per construction contract 7930-01.

CMS Performative Optimism
Profit-class free trader
Private sale; 12% advanced, mortgage on delivery.

CSS Celeritous Sciencier
Breadboard-class space research platform, no outfitting.
Starleaper Initiative; payment on delivery.

CMS Perambulatory Debauch
Pleasurable Company-class liner
Centralia Line, ICC; 12% advanced; mortgage on delivery.

IS Seismic Dissection
Skoufer-class smeltership
Celestial Mining, ICC; paid in full.

IS Premonitions of Debris
Brutal-class cruiser
By commission for Galek’s Gutrippers; 12% advanced, mortgage on delivery.

CMS Insufficiently Hyped
Kalantha-class frontier trader
Private sale, payment on delivery.

CSS Algorithmic Beatitude
Merí-class executive yacht, without life support or internal fixtures
Transcendent commission; deliver to Qerach for final fitting-out.

CMS Peripatetic Pilgrim
Flatfoot-class short-range passenger transport
Cilmínar Orbital Charterships; 12% advanced, mortgage on delivery.

IS Bright Aphelion
Icebox-class shardcruiser
Anniax Deep Black Development, ICC; 12% advanced, mortgage on delivery.

CMS Generous Selfishness
Boxcar-class modular trader
Deliver to market.

CMS Truth and Value
Procurer-class freighter,
Deliver to market.

IS Chariot of a Lesser Sun
Sparklebug-class power freighter
Homesteads, ICC; six-year payment plan, first due on delivery.

CMS Bandwidth Advantage
Wain-class megafreighter
Unnecessaries, ICC, under standing construction contract.

All The Best Wenches Have One

Inspiration obvious.
If you haven’t already, go read
Girl Genius.

wrenchhammer: the largest size of wrench, suitable for leaning on, requiring a backsling to carry, and used for such tasks as unbolting the lids of reactor cores, dogging down the doors of pressure chambers, or tightening the bolts securing the drive chain of an elevator that runs all the way through the planet.

Its soubriquet comes from the blunt and spiked faces added on either side of the wrench socket, suiting it admirably to belaboring particularly heavy machinery or doing the needful should one encounter any of the various beasties lurking in the deep tunnels of the Eliéran crust.

Rumors of a militarized version of the wrenchhammer (the “warwrench”) designed for the Imperial Legions’ combat engineers are just that – rumors, based on rookie pranks and the occasional mock-up hanging on mess walls. Not that the standard model hasn’t cracked a few heads from time to time.

– engineering_jargon.text

Things to See, Places (Not) to Go (12)

Atrocity (Falish Traverse): A former garden world orbiting a yellow-orange sun, Atrocity – or as it was formerly known, Telchese (Falish Traverse) was a colony world of the link!n-Rechesh. It had the unfortunate distinction of being located along the primary route into the Gardens of Rechesh volume when the Theomachy of Galia declared its holy war of expansion.

When the Galian fleet arrived, conflict was immediate. After the destruction of the small guard fleet and making planetfall, disgusted by the alien nature (see the Abomination of Hexapodia) and matriarchal customs of the link!n-Rechesh, the gall!r immediately turned their weapons on the populace, committing a brutal massacre near the occupation landing zone, and rapidly expanding this violence across all settled areas, with the Galian forces driving the natives into the wilds. Driven by insane religious zeal, the Galian commander embarked upon a campaign of genocide; when his ground forces proved insufficient to achieve this, he withdrew to orbit and performed a saturation bombardment of the surface with crude, dirty nucleonic weapons, sterilizing the majority of the planet and killing nearly 900 million link!n-Rechesh, along with many of his own ground forces. The planet remains uninhabitable to this day.

As news of the slaughter spread through the recently-opened Falish Traverse, the Galian fleet responsible was destroyed by an ad-hoc alliance of nearby polities and an Imperial Navy task force, which went on to establish the ongoing policy of containment and military limitation regarding the Theomachy, and to compel the Galians to cede the Gal-nachra (Falish Traverse) system in its entirety to the link!n-Rechesh; it was renamed in the local language as the Reparation (Falish Traverse) system.

Worthiness

Credit ratings are best thought of as a measure of risk: if I lend money to, or invest money in, this person, or this corporation, or this security, how likely am I to get my money back? This is essentially the same as the trivial assessments we make every day: the staid, millennium-old commercial bank in the center of town inspires no concerns in anyone, whereas the scruffy floater hanging out in startown might as well be a walking junk bond. Credit ratings merely formalize this.

Most relevant to Imperial investors, credit ratings are assigned to any entity of market relevance and any security listed on an Imperial exchange by one of a number of market rating agencies, such as Cheraelar & Orthodox (a joint venture between Gilea & Company and the Calmiríë Securities Exchange), Adichi Reliability, or Rational Risk Ratings. Such ratings are typically published covering short-term (12 year), medium-term (144 year) and long-term (576 year) periods.

The basic categories used for these ratings were set by Cheraelar & Orthodox, as one of the earliest rating agencies, and others have stuck to their format, although providing their own detailed write-ups and occasionally extending the format into other areas.

Super-Prime (AAA)

The six grades of super-prime are assigned to those entities or securities in which the ratings agency has confidence that there is no probability of obligor default whatsoever. Such a rating is extremely rare, requiring starcorporate status and/or a personal guarantee1 from Gilea & Company or another bank of equivalent stature2, along with domicile in a legal regime which permits appropriate guarantees to be made.

In the corporate realm, the Big 26 and five other Imperial corporations hold a AAA rating, along with fourteen foreign-domiciled corporations. Imperial gilts are the only sovereign security to be thus rated.

Prime (AA)

The twelve grades of prime are assigned to those entities or securities in which the ratings agency estimates the probability of obligor default as less than 0.083% during the rating period at the high end, and 0.166% at the low end. These are considered high-grade investments, suitable for long-term holds.

Sub-Prime / Sovereign-Impaired (A)

The twelve grades of sub-prime are assigned to those entities or securities in which the ratings agency estimates the probability of obligor default as greater than the 0.166% required to qualify as prime, but less than the 1% which would relegate them to the speculative class.

So-called “sovereign-impaired” entities or securities are those whose governing legal regime does not meet Alpha Concord Free Economic Zone Standard 23.1 where foreclosure is concerned, impairing legal recovery in the event of default. Such entities or securities cannot be classified higher than sub-prime, even if in other ways they would meet the standards for prime or even super-prime rating; naturally, the majority of sovereign debt and other sovereign-issued securities are considered sovereign-impaired.

Speculative (S)

The twelve grades of speculative are assigned to those entities or securities in which the ratings agency estimates the probability of obligor default as no more than 1% during the rating period at the high end, and less than 12% at the low end. While not a high rating in terms of risk, the majority of entities or securities rated S are new business startups, engaged in inherently risky ventures, or simply lack the financial history upon which a more favorable rating could be based; as such, they also tend to offer substantially higher returns than less risky investments.

S-rated entities and securities offer a great many opportunities to the attentive investor who can safely bear the risk of such investments, and to whom they are typically directed.

Junk (no letter code)

The twelve grades of junk are assigned to those entities or securities to which the ratings agency estimates a probability of obligor default exceeding 12% during the rating period. While not in default, and potentially on the road to recovery, the risk is significant and only experienced investors should consider them. In the bottom half of the category, sometimes referred to as “sub-junk”, such entities or securities are considered in collapse, “on the road to default”, and are best left to the vultures.

Defaulter (D)

The rated entity or security is in default, and no longer eligible for exchange trading. At this level, acquiring such securities is only useful as a basis for legal foreclosure, as a basis for hostile foreclosure, or as toilet paper.

– excerpted from “So, You Have Lazy Money?”,
Auric Productions Press


1. And at this level, that means the Old Lady personally signed off on it.

2. There are no recognized banks of equivalent stature, but it could happen.

Although Most Designs Are Poly

Ascíël coupler: the standard design, in modular habitat and starship architecture, for the coupler that binds adjacent modules into a single unit.

For such semi-permanent connections on a large scale, simple docking adapters are obviously unsuitable; tidal forces and other stresses common in large structures may cause a simple docking adapter to be stressed sufficiently to separate over time, and starship-level thrust applied to a modular design would cause near-immediate failure.

A variety of designs (often based on existing railroad couplers) were tried to prevent this while also avoiding the expense, wasted time, and potential damage involved in bolting or welding additional reinforcement onto the modules, with varying degrees of success, eventually converging on the modern Ascíël coupler.

The Ascíël coupler, as defined in IOSS 64212, makes use of the IUSI androgynous docking adapter (as defined in IOSS 52114) to achieve initial connection. (As such, it too comes in the three there-defined standard sizes.)

Once hard dock has been achieved, the surrounding coupler engages a nested pair of counterrotating helical screws, which intertwine from each side of the coupler to form a solid bond between the modules. Once the screws have advanced to the fully engaged position, twelve locking rods (six per screw, three being managed by each coupler) are electromagnetically released and are forced by springs into their extended position through holes in the screws, preventing them from rotating and thus from working loose over time.

When fully engaged, an Ascíël coupler has an effective strength equivalent to that of the surrounding module hull.

– A Star Traveler’s Dictionary

A Sticky Solution

SECRET YELLOW / EYES ONLY OMRD

PROJECT TAR BABY

PROPOSAL

A prohibitive constraint on the use of conventional weapons in the anti-satellite (ASAT) role is their tendency to create debris through a variety of paths: direct ablation, spallation or fragmentation debris, warhead shrapnel, non-intercepting ordnance, and so forth.

The accumulation of such debris beyond a chaotically variable critical point – easily surpassed during military escalation, per Orbital Hazards in Simulated Great Power Escalation Scenarios (Oricalcios, Efiathe, and Cylassé, 2074) – poses a long-term hazard to civilization by inducing a cascade catastrophe, a rapid chain multiplication in debris count likely to render the orbital bands involved non-viable in the long term.

TAR BABY attempts to avert this by developing a specialized non-fragmentation ASAT weapon.

Specifically, we propose a dedicated ASAT warhead designed for compatibility with the Firehawk surface-to-orbit missile system (selected for its multiple-burn capability). Upon closing with the target satellite, this warhead deploys a sphere of viscous adhesive at its nose, formulated to remain effective in vacuum conditions for the duration of the impact event and to retain its shape via surface tension.

It is believed that this mechanism should allow a TAR BABY warhead to achieve a hard connect with the target satellite with minimal uncaptured fragmentation. Embedding within the adhesive body should in itself cause significant disruption to the operation of the target, but for maximal effect, after the adhesive sphere has set (either by passage of time or injection of a catalyst), the multiple-burn capability of the Firehawk can be used to perform a controlled deorbit and destruction of the captured satellite.

For further details of our proposal, please see the enclosed technical documentation.

Submitted for your consideration,

Vidal Amnestrianos

for and on behalf of

Firefly Aerospace, ICC

Location, Location, Location

The only permanently cold regions on Eliéra are the lands near its hub. On Upperside, divided by the grinding bergs of the Kjavalaer, the outer reaches of this region belong to the Icemarch, on the Alténiän continent, and to the Winter Principality elsewhere.

The outermost of these reaches are relatively clement windswept taiga, but as one advances towards the center, this soon gives way to cruel winter tundra. The land beyond the Frozen Gates is dominated by glaciers and permanently frozen ice fields, leading upwards to the barren, wasted foothills of the Talíär – or the Dalthíär, on the Underside – where endless ice storms and glaciers render the land nigh-impassable. The only successful settlements in this region are the siphon-towns of the Icemarch, buried deep beneath ice and rock, and accessed by ice tunnels leading far to the south.

Many explorers were nonetheless drawn to these regions, pulled onwards by the curious regularity and sixfold symmetry around the hub of the Talíär and Dalthíär mountain ranges. The most notable of these expeditions were those led by Nimínes Dalastel, whose third expedition reached the base of the Talíär proper, and whose sixth expedition, making use of base camps and caches established by the fourth and fifth, successfully ascended to one of the passes of the Talíär.

Had the expedition not correctly deduced the cause of the note resounding through the pass, it would undoubtedly have come to a fatal end after surmounting its narrow summit. Thus forewarned, however, the expedition proceeded with caution, and heavily secured by ropes, were the first to lay eyes upon the shaft within the Talíär; a near-vertical, artificially smooth descent plummeting not merely to the bottom of the mountains, but deep within the main body of the world itself.

(And so, the expedition solved a speleological puzzle of long standing. It had been observed that caves tended to “breathe”, and the predominant observation was that strongly connected caves – i.e., those leading into the network of deep-crust passages referred to as the Beneath – exhaled drafts of warmer-than-ambient air on a near-continuous basis.

We now know the source of this air is the Talíär and Dalthíär shafts. Cold stratospheric air pours through the passes of the mountains and descends rapidly into the bowels of the planet, where it serves to carry away the waste heat generated by the computation and matter editation layers of the machinery at its core. The then-heated air is vented into the Beneath, within which it cools and expands, and from which it eventually emerges at the surface as warm cave-breath.)

It is despite all this, then, that the Talíär was selected as the site for Eliéra’s first orbital elevator. While the difficulties involved in building a jack directly above a gale-force air intake in the middle of the arctic were indeed considerable, this is merely to say that the other two possible sites were worse…

– World on a String: A History of Early Orbital Elevators