Apr 261998
 

<Communique to all Chapters>
<From Qanti Gordano, Don – Information Chapter>

<BEGIN QG1>

Well, if you’re reading this then the Vaults worked. The stored genetics were not baked in the rumble between Malk and Diantos, the machinery and gears and crap didn’t rust. Too bad for you, you’ll probably figure.

So now you have to make your way out in the remains of the Six Worlds. But without knowing your history, your past, the people that put you at this crossroads, you gonna make some bad choices. If you don’t learn your roots, you’ll probably get chummy with the first Emmy you find and get fleeced. So lemme start at the beginning.

As you might have guessed, our star Malkari nearly got hit by another star, Diantos. Well, for about three hundred years before that, the Golden Order of Reason, the ruling Families of Malkari since the start of the Atom Age, had known it was coming. They had this grand scheme for creating Arks—vast generation ships designed to carry thousands of selected Malkarians, our technologies, and the history of our people to safety before Diantos’ tides tore the stuffing out of the Worlds. Once these lumbering beasts took off for the Chotheth Cluster, amid the earthquakes and meteor storms and the hellish dawns, the people of Malkari needed something to occupy themselves or they’d go straight loony. The Gores dictated that the tremendous industrial complex marshaled to create the Arks be turned to digging deep Vaults in the Worlds’ mantles. In those Vaults, they planned to put gene re-builders and cloning tanks and extensive databases which would allow the Awakened Malkarians (that’s you) to rebuild our society and try to pull together enough resources from the devastation to follow the Arks… or insure them after the fact.

Great idea, right? Ambitious, no?

Well, wouldn’t you know it: the Gores went and dictated that only Atom Age tech be preserved! After two hundred years of technological advances building the Arks, they wanted to take two steps back and force you Awakened Ones to use old-style nucleics and heat transfer tech, ignoring silicate construction methods, high energy shielding, even particle cannons, which would have been key for deflecting or destroying rogue asteroids still careening about the system!

So then a bunch of people got their panties in knots. There was argument in the Council of Ten’s chambers for months. But see, the GOR didn’t want to hear any of that. They’d been worn down by the constant violence of the dying worlds and just wanted to be certain of the Vault plan; they figured that sticking with the tried and true methods and technologies would give you Awakened the best shot at survival.

The whole can of worms boiled over in 2580 when the Admiralty of the GOR broke from them, resolving to use the asteroid belt and their personal properties to sink their own Vaults, ones which would preserve ALL of the technology developed in the Age of Arks. They even drove home the split by dropping the designation of Space Navy in favor of calling themselves the Blue Talon Corp. Oh, yes, the Birdies had high hopes for their Vaults and their Awakened.

Too bad they didn’t have the most basic drilling and mining equipment.

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The Birdies tried to convince the GOR to do business with them, offering to trade various organic samples and transport contracts. At the time, the Fifth Family, the Hortheth, held pretty major sway in the Council, and their vilification of the “traitorous” Talons persuaded the other Families to leave the Blues out in the cold. When the Admiralty heard of this, they were, shall we say, inconsolable. Their lines had, essentially, been doomed to extinction.

Admiral Shrike, leader of the Corps, would hear nothing of this prohibition. He declared war on the GOR and threatened to attack any of their freighters or orbitals that entered space.

Now, war is a bad thing. It gets employees killed and plays hell with the profit/loss statements. A few of the Ten Families spoke out against the Fifth Family’s prohibition, arguing that even the Talons were Malkarian and deserved to live into the coming age. But the Hortheth Family was never known as a flexible lineage; they resolved to bomb the Talons back to the Rock Age if so much as one light scout had engine trouble.

But war, as I have said, is bad. The last thing anyone really wanted was to add bombings and ground assaults to the meteor and seismic threats already plaguing the Vaults’ construction. That’s when our Family, along with the Luchensa and some of the Lessers, made some quiet deals with the Birdies, without the knowledge of the rest of the Gores. We hooked them up with deep diggers and slowboat transport so that they could begin their own brand of Vaulting without pummeling the other Families to do it. We Gordanos have ever been the expedient, the practical Family. We managed to keep a lid on the deals and the Talons dropped their threats to the GOR. For nearly two years, we kept the Blues supplied while they provided us with their advanced tech for our own Vaults.

Now, maybe that was old Vecci Gordano’s error: trying to capitalize on the better tech of the Blues and keep it a secret from the conservatives in the GOR. I wouldn’t presume to judge the Old Man. All I do know is that them prying Hortheths found out and blew the whistle on us. The Gordano and Luchensa Families of the Council of Ten, along with the Lesser Families Fortred, Tallinator, Byatch, and Kheve, were brought before the, now, Council of Eight, to be tried and sentenced for “conspiring with treasonous parties.”

So we counter-sued, like anyone with any sense of how a bureaucracy works would.

We filed charges against the remaining Council of Eight and penned and released the “Declaration of Free Memory of 2582.” We charged the Council with wanton disregard for the safety of the Awakened and with assault on the Blue Talon Corp. We even filed a vote of no confidence against each of the current Council members, just to make ’em squirm. While they wrangled with all of that red tape, we removed our peoples and cousins from GOR facilities, barricaded our properties on the Six Worlds, and quietly formed the Diamond Cooperative.

Vecci Gordano came up with the name one night after gambling until dawn. He won a couple pounds of diamonds off of one of the Tallinators and was reflecting on their clarity and refractive beauty. In particular, he was said to have pointed out, “a diamond, see, it doesn’t pick a color, it doesn’t choose what it cuts, see?” The symbolism struck a chord in the Old Man’s poetic heart and he convinced the other Families in the Cooperative to take the name.

From then on out, for the next twenty years, it was business as usual. Though the tensions between the Blues and the Gores never completely relaxed, they treated each other civilly and didn’t go around atomizing each other’s ships and personnel. Vault production and stocking cycled up to full speed and thousands of Vaults were sunk by all sides of the happy little triangle.

Now, understand something: though we Diamonds thought that the Blues (and ourselves, by the way) should be able to preserve whatever our little hearts desired, we weren’t really big fans of continuing research and development while meteors knocked down our homes and earthquakes closed tunnels that had taken weeks to dig. We, understandably, clamped down on further developments in the Malkari system, preserving anything with real promise but generally sweeping half-baked ideas under the carpet to be forgotten. Malkari just didn’t have time for dreamers, only DOERS.

That’s not to say, however, that the dreamers did not try to have their day.

Our Diamond Cooperative had rejected the notion of Family Seat, instead restructuring ourselves into ten Chapters that crossed Family lines and were generally divided along functionary lines. Vecci’s son, my father, Querot, probably should have guessed that the two Chapters responsible for uncovering, collating, and suppressing new developments wouldn’t want their hard-earned prizes to be locked out of sight. But instead he trusted the Chapter heads to follow Vecci’s guidelines, if only to preserve their lines in the Vaulting.

What Querot didn’t count on is those shady Chapters seizing the Vaults they controlled and breaking from the Cooperative completely. In a mockery of our Great Declaration, their hare-brained leader, Jhoern Sperring, sent us a “Declaration of Dissent in 2602.” It stated that his Chapter and another would break from the Cooperative to form the Emerald Combine. This Combine would be run exclusively by him and would have the goal of preserving ANYTHING that they wanted to preserve for the Awakened.

So, now, instead of three relatively civil factions enmeshed in a fragile detente, we had three irritable factions and a loose cannon. Needless to say, the Malkari people took this break as a sign of the ultimate decay. Within months, scores of new factions and Guilds formed, each with their own notions of what should be preserved and whose genetics could be used in rebuilding the Awakened after the Cataclysm. The GOR hemorrhaged Families left and right. Though our Cooperative had spawned this bastard Combine, we held fast through this Fragmentation, ever honoring the ideal of Vecci Gordano to make the most secure future for you, our distant progeny. The Birdies must have mostly agreed with this ideal, because they didn’t lose many Guild members to the Fragmentation either.

<BREAK : Reference ID QG1.3>

But, oh, how the harried Gores lost their members! In all, I’d guess that twenty new Guilds formed. Sure, most of ’em had membership rosters that stopped in the triple-digits; some of ’em, though, became quite powerful and controlled hundreds of Vaults. What they PUT in those Vaults, is another story. As a growing lad in the Cooperative, I even heard of a Guild that said NOTHING should be preserved in the Vaults, that only gene re-growth and space travel should be made available to the Awakened and they should be allowed to invent their own new methods and technologies! How would you like that, bud: wake up with only an airlock and a drafting table waiting for you? I don’t expect THAT Guild will crop up to cause you any problems.

The one Guild to come out of the Fragmentation that might become a player is the Crimson Dawn. They were formed in the last days of the crack-up, by a mystic philosopher named Jebediah Arktron. Though he naively preached unity of the Guilds (as if the Fraggers would listen to some loony talking about cooperation while the planets crumbled), he had some pretty effective recruiting methods. See, he was a Psi, probably the most powerful in Malkari history. He must’ve used his gifts to attract and persuade the other Psies of Malkari, because within weeks of forming his Guild, Malkari Psies began defected from every other Guild to join him. The turncoat, Arktron, is trying now to force the other Guilds to band together in the final days and forge a new Order to preserve his own special list of ideals and technologies.

He didn’t figure on the madness of the Malkari people by this time; you can’t swipe a guy’s best employees then convince him that you will lead him to a better future. Just sour grapes would keep any guy with any self-respect from shuffling to heel after such betrayal.

But these Crimmies ARE some tough cookies,though. They’ve stuck by their guns. Worse still, they’ve been getting moles into the Vaults. We’ve lost loads of Vaults to their guys. And try to stop ’em? HA! Jebediah is a genius of planning and coordination. He has apparently been able to gather the Vaults controlled by his Psies, hold them, AND stock them with the very latest developments to come out of the Combine and the Splinter Guilds. We really shoulda paid those folks better; them Psies are SO useful for determining enemy strategies and stealing plans and designs. No matter, though; the Psies probably won’t make it through the Cataclysm either; they only had about three hundred Vaults at last count. Then again, maybe they had the luckiest three hundred….

Regardless of who among the Splinters survived, you can be sure SOME Guild or two made it through the knock-up. So, as soon as you can get the Vault unsealed, you’d better tool-up for battle. Also of particular importance is seizing any remaining resources in the Malkari system. If you get the green, you’ll call the scene, so snatch up any cracked Vaults, asteroids, and any other junk you can find still around Malkari or around Diantos. The pressure to escape the system is, of course, off of you now. But you still have to make some kind of future for Malkari. You’d do well to try to build another Ark, like the Birdies are planning to do after Awakening, and catch up to the departed Malkarians on whatever world they’ve found, if any.

But most importantly: preserve our history, preserve our vision. We embraced the advances of the Ark Age, but not at the cost of the long history of Malkari and its remembrance. Be sure to remain true to your past, and be sure to respect the wishes of your Fathers in the Diamond Cooperative.

And don’t take crap from nobody….

<END QG1>

Chapter Designations
Development Chapter, Information Chapter, Research Chapter, Aquisitions Chapter, Distribution Chapter, Supression Chapter, Persuasion Chapter, The Other Chapter

Government
Cartel of corporate states, each run as dictatorships or monarchies

Ship Designations
Assault: Piranha, Caribe, Cuda
Battle Station: Anemone, Kraken, Grappler
Battleship: Man-O-War, Lamnidae, Mako
Cheap Attacker: Manta, Garroter, Sennet
Construction Station: Abalone Bay, Octopodia, Atoll
Constructor: Mollusk, Bryozo, Anthozo
Cruiser: Moray, Turbot, Ankus
Defender: Shagreen, Aegis, Cockle
Destroyer: Betta, Thresher, Persuader
Explorer: Stingray, Tope, Cuttlefish
Outpost: Sargasso, Conch, Archipelago
Scout: Skate, Raja, Cockle
Supply/Repair: Benthos, Nekton, Provender
Transport: Remora, Whelke, Purseiner
Ultimate Station: Rhincodon, Madrepore, Leviathan

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