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Taupi

E6A4447-6

by Pete Grey

Taupi is pronounced as the Greek letters Tau-Pi. The CO2 shrouded world was settled as a mining colony in the latter days -1100s by Darrian mining companies intent upon exploiting its Osmium and Iridium deposits for export back to the Confederation. As such it was the furthest of the Darrian's possessions from the homeworld. Because of the distance involved, and the world's hardships, workers were rotated in on seasonal half-year shifts. In later years, an overlapping shift structure of four work shifts per year was maintained, two on the planet at the same time but with different arrival and departure schedules.

Taupi's B and C shifts were present when the Maghiz knocked out the Confederation. Part of the relieving D shift had also just arrived. The three groups waited in vain for their reliefs and supply vessels to return, before giving up and falling back upon their own resources. The miners were fortunate, as their fellows at Saxe, in that the TL-16 facilities would run indefinitely throughout their isolation and the Imperial period. Food was in short supply, and the colony only had two emergency jump capable craft that could not be wasted on a risky recontact expedition to the homeworlds.

They made a few tentative contacts with neighboring worlds, including Urnian, and used its ships to trade minerals for vital supplies. Eventually the ships wore out, and the Taupians became reliant on either Urnian or the local corsairs to carry their shipments. For their part, the two parties made their own demands on the locals, which always entailed the basing of their ships for smuggling and pirate operations along the Urnian-Five Sisters interface. Close ties were established with the Mainap pirates, who used the world as an additional safehouse to duck Imperial naval and scout patrols.

Recontact with the Confederation did not go as smooth as the locals hoped. As with Saxe, the Confederation no longer had the ability to repair, maintain or construct TL-16 materials or machinery. Nor did technicians who could understand old schematics still exist. The domes that housed the population slowly began to fail about five hundred years ago, forcing the steady consolidation of the colony into domes still operational, and encouraging greater prostitution to local criminal syndicates. An Amber Zone rating was imposed to reflect the world's desperate conditions, criminal violence and increasing despair.

Fortunately there was a happy ending. As the Regency and the Darrian Confederation began to master TL-16 construction, they intervened on the behalf of both Saxe and Taupi, helping to rebuild the facilities, and launching uplift programs to educate and train the locals in self-governance. The Amber Zone remains in place, however, due to lingering ties with local pirates, and the growing influence of the Enterprise.


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