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Osmosis

C271557-7

by Lewis Roberts

Before the rebellion, Ord was an independent world. It steadfastly refused to be drawn into the conflict between the Solomani Confederation and the Imperium. Officials from neither side were welcomed, and naval vessels were prohibited from entering the system. When the Solomani Fleets swept through the subsector, they met little resistance and quickly penetrated deeper into the subsector. The subsector was largely left to the small fleets of the Confederation member worlds. In 1122, the Velscur planetary fleet, out of Velscur-Veracruz-Alpha Crucis, under the command of Star Marshall Virginia Eggers entered the Ord system. Marshal Eggers knew of the prohibition against foreign naval vessels, but decided that no local planet could dictate where and when the fleets of the Confederation could travel. She wasn't planning an invasion, she was merely trying to prove a point to the locals.

As promised, the Ord system fleets attacked the Confederation ships as soon as they appeared. Their attack was ferocious and well executed, but in the end pointless. The system defenses were outnumbered five to one, and their TL-9 ships were no match for the TL-C ships of the Velscur fleet. The system defenses did manage to heavily damage two light cruisers and destroy a frigate. Marshal Eggers was outraged that these backwards locals would dare attack Solomani Confederation ships which had done nothing hostile. In order to teach them a lesson, Marshal Eggers landed troops on the planet. The few hundred thousand inhabitants put up a stiff struggle, but their armed forces were defeated in a matter of weeks. The planet was then put under control of the Science Council of Velscur. The Confederation government was not thrilled by Marshall Egger's actions, they had wanted to take a diplomatic tack with the non-aligned worlds, but they were also unwilling to chastise Eggers. They went along with the conquest, but then sent Eggers back to her home system. The Science Council of Velscur instituted a twin of its own government and the Science Council still rules to this day.

A small but steady guerilla movement sprang up and continues to fight on. The Ord Freedom League regard the Science Council as a occupying army and they fight against all who collaborate or assist the foreigners. They have little hope of overthrowing the Council, but they account for several bombings and assassinations every year. The movement has accounted for over 10,000 dead over the years. They claim that Ord was a peaceful planet ruled by the will of the people, when a foreign aggressor stole the planet from its rightful owners. That was true, 80 years ago, but today the conquerors from Velscur have integrated with society and other than their adherence to the Church of the Supreme Deity there is little to tell them apart from other citizens. Also the average citizen has come to accept the Science Council. Their habit of indiscriminate car bombs and assassination of "collaborators", have not endeared them to the average citizen. They are regarded as terrorists by most of the populace. About 10% of the people believe in the League's goals and a fraction of these provide aid to the League.

The planet is a small dry planet. Dust storms are created by the combination of the light gravity and low humidity. These storms can last for months at a time, and often blanket the entire world. These are dust storms, and not sand storms. The dust is much smaller and tends to stay airborne even after the wind has stopped. This accounts for the planet's tainted atmosphere. During dust storms, filter masks or other protective devices must be worn to prevent asphyxiation. The dust storms block most sunlight from hitting the ground and very little photosynthetic plant life exists. Most of the world's planets are fungi. The dust storms spread the spores from the fungi, so the biosphere is very uniform across the globe.


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