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the Edge

by Richard Perks

Libary Data

System Data The unnamed star is a type G main sequence star. The system consists of : a small insignificant rock ball of 4000km diameter (no atmosphere) orbiting within the star's inner zone and the Edge within the star's habitable zone (no moons). The star's outer zone consists of two small gas giants (Edge III and Edge V). Edge III has 5 small rock moonlets, while Edge V boasts a comparatively large system of rocky moonlets (8), a small ring system (2), and an icy outer moon with a trace methane atmosphere. small gravel planetoid belt (Edge IV) orbits between the two gas giants

History

Pre-Rebellion

The Edge had a bad reputation amongst spacers from the earliest colonization by the Third Imperium. The area is known to be the site of dozens of mysterious ship disappearances. Ships entering the system are never heard from again. The disappearance are not entirely a recent phenomenon. Old Solomani records show losses of ships over a millennia before the establishment of the Third Imperium. The nickname "the Edge" arose within the IISS because ships that enter the system seem to "fall of the edge of the universe.

Prior to the end of 1108, rumors as to the reasons for the disappearances ranged from secret bases (Hiver, solomani, K'Kree, pirates, ancients, an undiscovered alien race, first Imperium) to spatial phenomenon that either drove the crew insane, or caused jump drives to malfunction. Ship disappearances included numerous type S scouts, two Donosev class survey scouts, five gazelle class close escorts and the Azhanti High Lightening class frontier cruiser, Echo Intruder. Early in the 1100's Imperial interest in the Edge dropped (along with funding) and the IISS turned to private sources to continue exploration. In early 1108, Halden Minerals using a two ship expedition discovered the source of the disappearance and was granted permission to salvage some of the derelict vessels within the system. The Imperium recovered the missing naval and scout service vessels (returning several to active service). The Imperium then interdicted the system as a hazard to navigation and used two of the spare type 37 interdiction satellites (from Arcolund) to enforce the interdiction.

Final War

The system's remote location at the Edge of the sector, coupled with the rapid conquest of the sector after Lucan ordered the main sector fleet back to the core, meant that the Edge was not seriously considered within Solomani military planning. A small escort detachment jumped into the system in late 1118, and performed a system scan from the vicinity of the gas giant Edge III. As sensors revealed no sign of Imperial forces or a technological civilization, but still two operational nuclear armed interdiction satellites, the escort detachment jumped out system rather than risk a battle against two heavy armored combatants.

Solomani military planners never found the override codes for the satellites ( a covert act of pro-Imperial defiance). Plans to destroy the satellites and survey the system were unfortunately delayed as resources were diverted to respond to offensives from Margaret's faction, and later the internal disputes within the Solomani Party as to the definition of solomani.

Virus

The virus came to the Edge via a circular route. Lady Elise Harmon, a knight of the blue feather, had decided early in 1129 that the order's oath to protect Imperial citizens also included those citizens on interdicted planets. She reasoned that these unfortunate souls were not responsible for the chaos and death of the Rebellion and the following Hard Times, and were the least able to help or defend themselves. She deduced that with the decline of Imperial power outside the safes and frontier zones, and the rise of piracy (and worst), that these people needed protecting. As her personal resources were insufficient to protect every interdicted world with the sectors surrounding Margaret's safe, she decided to ensure that the interdiction protection around these planets was maintained to prevent them being plundered and raided by pirates, slavers and ripper gangs.

During the summer and fall of 1129 she acquired a crew and a surplus type K Safari ship, and renamed it the Azure Shield after its role and the colours of her order. After a shake down cruise in late 1129, its first voyage called at the interdicted worlds in the subsectors A to D of the Old Expanses to repair and restock the interdiction satellites etc. The Azure Shield also offered limited humanitarian aid to falling and doomed worlds in these four subsectors. Its second and final voyage into the old expanses, coincided with the spread of the virus within Margaret's safe. It is estimated that the Azure Shield was infected as it crossed the border of the frontier into the Old Expanses. The crew had originally intended to visit the interdiction satellites at the Edge to see if there were any salvageable parts to allow them to repair other more vital systems protecting inhabited worlds. Unfortunately, by the time the Azure Shield entered the Ile sub-sector, she was crewed only by ghosts and an insane computer called "Damnthing" (after the final cry of the last crewman). Damnthing as a reproducing 2B virus strain.

Arriving at the sub-sector capital of Torrel, only to find the prime pickings long gone, Damnthing searched its memory banks and came upon the details of the interdiction force at the Edge. The Azure Shield made the J2 trip to the Edge. Upon arrival, its transponder signal soon infected the complex automated systems of the two Type 37 interdiction satellites in orbit around the main world. The two new viral intelligences aboard the satellites mutated into Reproducing Doomslayers (type 2D). The Azure Shield and Damnthing were vaporized by sustained salvos of nuclear tipped missiles from the two satellites. In their first destructive glee, they did not take account of their magazine stocks and fired themselves almost dry.

In the coming years the two satellites realized that attempting to destroy the other with their limited missile stocks was a gamble, and have taken to waiting for another outside vessel to appear and change the balance of power. In the years since the collapse, only the far trader Hope has entered the system, and suffered the same fate as the Azure Shield.

In 1202 the Edge system is desolate and inhabited only by two murderous automated satellites.


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