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Lune

B440966-A

by Pete Grey

Lune recieved its name from its close resemblence to Earth's moon. The world is a waterless ball of anorthositic rock of the same composition and color as Luna, and it is also a moon in orbit around a much larger (size A) world, the world of Mala Tierre (UPP: FAB4562-A Mi). The resemblance doesn't end there either, as it seems to possess the same geological history.

Both Luna and Lune were created by a huge planetismal collision with their parent worlds. In Terra's case, a huge world fragment the size of Mars was slammed into Earth, possibly through the influence of an errant Jupiter. The collision ejected a plume of lighter non-volatile elements into near-Earth orbit, and it eventually clumped to form its moon.

Lune shows the same geological features as Luna, including tidal lock, mares (seas) of basaltic lava on the bright side facing Mala Tierre, and an asymetrical crust. The body that created Lune must have been titanic, but no trace has even been found of this errant body.

Where Lune is different is that it has an atmosphere, and a slight amount of water. Despite severe heating and cooling during its 263 hour day, it was habitable enough to attract prospectors intent upon exploiting Mala Tierre's rich mineral deposits.

First settled around 280, the world was primarily a transhippment point for either heavy elements from Mala Tierre, or for the lighter elements, particularly Titanium and Vanadium ores, from Lune proper. Cities arose from the camps on the near face, while smaller outback communities dotted the "darkside" or farside. The harshness of life made the locals harsh and greatly resilient. Deep divisions arose between the worlds scattered cities over a multitude of issues, particularly water, and the bitterness of these conflicts made voluntary cooperation in government all but impossible.

The first dictatorship took over the world in 433, having its origin in several mining camp militias, and succeeded in coercing the other metropolitan areas into its control. This dictatorship was unstable, and was overthrown by the First Frontier War, but it was succeeded by a long line of similar rickety governments that attempted to control the world and its surly population.

In the late 1110s the charismatic dictatorship of "Marshal" Bela Meguna was deposed by a coup led by several rebel factions, and the world disintegrated into an especially bloody civil war. The war was still raging by the time of the Collapse, though its intensity had lessened greatly as a result of increasing civil hardship, and civil strife on Urnian that disrupted the flow of weaponry.

Citing "a clear and present danger to the Avalar Consulate and the Quarantine" Consulate forces invaded the world in late 1132. They quickly established bases on the farside, and used a mixed strategy of commercial interdiction (siege) and quick assualts of ground troops against vital life support facilities to coerce the local factions into surrendering. By 1135, the Consulate declared the world free of hostilities, and reopened it to outside contact.

The Avalar occupation is highly unpopular with the locals. The Consulate is seen as an oppurtunistic meddler rather than the world's savior, a mood reinforced by its heavyhanded policies and strict control over mining production and exports. This resistance is mooted by the simmering resentments between the world's local factions, and a lack of consensus on the appropriate action or the unified front to be taken against their occupiers. In the end, the Consulate is tolerated because it is the only force for order and unity on this bitterly divided world. No matter how bad the occupation is, the alternative is much worse.

The world's Amber Zone is a reflection of this internal animosity, as terrorist attacks and civil disruptions against neighboring communities are a daily occurence. Attacks on the Avalaran occupation troops are rare (but are massive and deadly when they do occur) but attacks against collapborators are quite common. The bombings and assassinations are rarely intended to directly target offworlders, but the chance of collateral damage is too great to simply ignore.

People arriving and leaving insystem are often detained for days as their belongings are searched and backgrounds examined. This is partially to satisfy Quarantine requirements, but mostly to deter the offworld flow of armaments and explosives. Most analysts think that this draconian customs are now rather counterproductive, as the locals have enough local sources for arms manufacture as to make it moot.


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