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Torrel

E357898-6

by Richard Perks

History

Torrel was a long settled world within the Imperium and had a reasonable level of population until the late 900's. The then archduke of Sol had a visionary dream that predicted a war within his domain. Agitated by the dream, Archduke Ovalle ordered the site of his court moved from its previous location to Torrel. At the time, the Imperium was involved in the 3rd Frontier War and its attention was turned Spinward. the archduke gave his court a deadline of 11 years to transfer the central ruling government for the domain (over 1000 worlds) to Torrel. Ovalle died 3 months after the abdication of Emperor Styryx, and did not see the completion of the relocation. His sucessor, Klaxren immediately ended the relocation and refused to move the court. However several billion citizens had already been moved at Imperial expense and they were fully prepared to settle down and live out their lives on their new homeworld. Klaxren granted them permission to stay if that was their choice but refused to provide Imperial funds for anyone who wanted to move back.

Torrel was not an ideal choice for a major inhabited world. The world's small size made it even more crowded than the average high population world. Torrel is also subject to frequent (but mild) volcanic and seismic activity induced by the small gas giant Amra. The tidal effects of the gas giant also cause large ocean waves. It is also notoriously resource poor requiring massive imports of agro products and certain raw materials. It is also in a fairly remote area of the old expanses (almost a mini rift) and there are only 3 planets with Jump 3. However, Torrel had some of the larget civilian electronic component factories in the sector, and the imperial mega-corporation maintained large offices.

The trauma of the forced, and ultimately futile move affect the population. Torrel posessed a population whose rebellious tendencies never got beyond list making. The IISS categorised the culture as indifferent, unaggressive, neutral and friendly. The government consisted of an inefficinet bureacracy of a series of councils. Positions on the councils were voted for by government employees (3% of the population). The remainder of the population had no voting rights. All council members were required to live in the City of Winchester (on a separate minor continent), and meetings between the government and the people were restricted to electronic means. The primary city was Torrel Oro with a population of over 40 billion. Winchester (the government city) had a population of 6.63 billion, whilst 6 other cities had populations of approximately 500 million people. The moon Jerefnos was a vast heavily mechanised farming community, and was the subject of much debate on relocating significant portions of Torrel's population to its surface. Marlec was another potential farming colony, but beuractracic delays had prevented colonisation. Kartez was the imperial scout base, Regen a dust bowl world where environmental suits were tested and housed a small testing facility. Ralfed, Voceedal and Hutchinson, while unihabitable do possess material resources that can be exploited. Awyne and Gilbert housed small research facilities studying the refueling potential of their respective gas giants. Liberty, Xixabangma and Fall Ssubrk housed small outposts for the study and cure of a variety of phobias.

Rebellion & Hard Times

The rapid fall of the sector to the Solomani after the removal of the sector fleet by Lucan spared Torrel from the savage effects of war. The see-saw fleet actions that charterised the exchanges between Margaret's faction and the Solomani generally by passed Torrel. The Naval base was subject to a strike by fleet elements of Margaret's faction, but the main world was not subject to a concerted attack. Its remote location and middling technology level, reduced its suitability as a strategic target.

The fall off of trade had a limited effect on Torrel and its nearby worlds, several trading companies had spent their entire pre-war effort shipping materials too and from Torrel and its local cluster of worlds, and the mental attitude of Torrels population ensured that things carried on much as before. Maragrets openning of a trade route to the Hive Federation via the Hinterworlds also had a slight knock on economic effect on the subsector in general. However, sheer planetary inertia could not stop the slide, equipment gradually falled, the starport was insufficient to perform annual maintenance, and planetary technology gradually dropped to TL=8. Fortunately the attitude of the population, whilst leading to several bitter attacks against government incompetence in the media, never got much further. With the coming of hard times the nearby scout bases on Barron and Para shut down and their xboats and equipment transhipped to Torrel. What limited communication existed between systems was now carried by the merchants.

The Collapse.

Virus came to Torrel in early 1130 via one of the numerous mid sized freighters (10Ktns or so) that still operated in the Torrel cluster of worlds. The exact source was never identified. The results were not documented. The vast (by hardtimes standards) number of ships - primarily merchants fell out of the sky, as did the orbital city / starport of Selwyn, condeming its population of 17,500 souls to a fiery end. the massive city of Torrel Oro experienced the worst casulties, it had a population of over 40 billion and stretched over 2000km north - south and 1000km east - west. Power plant explosions, starship crashes, fires, insane traffic control, exploding chemical plants and other industries killed millions. Lack of food and water due to the shitdown of public services killed millions more. And finally fighting over the scraps and disease filled billions more. Only those on the outskirts of the city could escape to the country side. Only about 5% made it out of the city, but 5% of 40 billion was still more than the country side could support. The refugees overwhelmed and destroyed the nearby city of Gorbiv.

The city of winchester had its own problems, as a government city it did not suffer the effects of imploding industry, and only suffered localised damage around its secondary starport, however, this lack of industry and agriculture signficantly hindered recovery efforts. This lack of an industrial base togther with the small size and rocky nature of its continent resulted in a significant population die off. The city of plainsprings on the islands within the Sea of Ovalle was suffered a complete loss of its water bourne transport system. This destroyed the possibility of recovery or even simple food shipments. With tranport limited to a few small private sailcraft, and any attempts at agriculture devestated by the decaying virus controlled weather control system, the population starved. In less than a decade, the population had dropped to about 25,000 people living a middle aged lifestyle (TL2/3).Only the isolated cities of Norris Arm and Ronmot survived with any semblence of order.

The outer planets faired worst, the small outposts died when the virus opened the airlocks and shutdown the life-support systems. The mechanized farms on Jerefnos massacred the farmers.

Torrel's recovery has added by a lucky fluke, the university of Torrel was desperately trying to find a storage space for its archives and the decaying TL8 technology was not up to the job, so it rented computer storage space in some of the derlict Xboats grounded at Torrel's scout base. The Xboat's communications computers and databanks were more than sufficient to hold the university's archives. These archives were off-line when the virus struck and formed the knowledge base for Torrel's recovery. However Torrel's static government hindered the recovery, and it was only through the efforts of the University of Torrel and the Scout Base that Torrel was able to support its population, and maintain its technology.

It was the efforts of the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service that saved Torrel. They were the main driving force behind the private building effort together with the University, often in direct conflict with poorly organised government programmes. It was the IISS's remaining scout couriers that intercepted and destroyed the remaining vampire ships in orbit around Torrel, but often at terrible cost. The last flight of the survey scout Shakleton was a prime example, its crew had manually disconnected several vampire satellites before the ship was deliberately crashed into the spaceport on Jerefnos to prevent further virus expansion.

1202

Torrel languishes at TL6, the massive population, the lack of high tech artifacts, and the people's lack of drive hinder recovery efforts. The entire planets efforts are spent keeping everyone fed and clothed. The system of government is still intact - everyone knows it is inefficient and incompetent but no-one seems to want to make the effort to change it. The technology drop has meant that communications with the government is now by telex, radio or surface mail, further isolating the government from the people and slowing further the wheels of government.

The efforts of the IISS severely depleted the scout bases resources of ships and men, and it now has no jump capable vessels left. Gradually recruits from Torrel have rebuilt the scouts numbers, but presently it is limited to providing traffic control (and possibly a last stand) for Torrel.

Extended System

Orbit Name 1120 1202 Remarks
Primary Torrelac F2V   
2   Dae Y530000-0 Y530000-0 
  42 Radched Y400000-0 Y400000-0 
3   Amra Small GG  
  6 Regen G340227-9 Y340000-0 
  6.6 Raled H100000-0 Y100000-0 
  6.8 Jerefnos Y558365-9 Y558000-9 
  8 Kartez HS00167-9 HS00167-9 Scout base
  11 Voceedal YS00000-0  
  33 Torrel C357A95-A E357898-6 
  47 Hutchinson H312000-0 Y312000-0 
  60 Marlec Y352000-0 Y352000-0 
4  Sitapur Small GG  
  56 Awnye H500136-A H500000-0 
5  Kinel Large GG  
  3.9 Kosciusko Y420000-0 Y420000-0 
  4 Niltonc H100000-0 Y100000-0 
  5 Balikesir Y620000-0 Y620000-0 
  6 Dubovka Y300000-0 Y300000-0 
  10 Mea Y100000-0 Y100000-0 
  14 Swansboro Y300000-0 Y300000-0 
  18 Targid Y200000-0 Y200000-0 
  22 Ovalle Y623000-0 Y623000-0 
  51 Everett Y310000-0 Y310000-0 
6.4   Pequannock Large GG  
  6 Boromlya Y400000-0 Y400000-0 
  8 Linnfrak Y100000-0 Y100000-0 
  9 Gilbert G320165-A Y320000-0 
  10 Kelog YR00000-0 YR00000-0 
  31 Nariah Y600000-0 Y600000-0 
  45 Quanicot Y310000-0 Y310000-0 
7  Bergsland Small GG 
  7 Liberty GS00236-9 YS00000-0 
  10 Holand Y200000-0 Y200000-0 
  23 Xixabangma GS00166-9 YS00000-0 
  32 Fall Ssubrk GS00267-9 YS00000-0 
  39 Yeckul Y610000-0 Y610000-0 

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