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by Pete Grey

Ukardi is a beautiful T-Norm world possessing only a small population, a rich biosphere, and many virgin resources. It is therefore a wonder why this world has never attracted a population that would fulfill its potential.

The reason is Avalaran covetousness. While the world has never been a part of the Consulate, its richness has attracted its attention for centuries. For various reasons, mostly to do with the conflict between the Zhodani and the Third Imperium, the Consulate was never able to claim and exploit the world for themselves. But they worked damn hard to insure that no other power or group would claim the world either.

In previous centuries, Avalaran naval vessels vigilantly patrolled the world, driving off interlopers and pirates with gunfire. They established a starport, and restricted all outside traffic from any other part of the world. Rumors circulated that the Consulate Navy, in conjunction with their Zhodani allies, had training bases in the outback, and their intelligence agencies were emplaced at the starport for surveillance and inflitration purposes.

Since the Collapse, the Consulate has intensified its presence on the world. Aside from a small community allowed to settle around the world's civilian downport, it has constructed a huge array of military facilities, including barracks, training and logistic facilities, test and training ranges, military roads, vehicle parks and C3 facilities in support of the combined Avalar military. Civilian access to the world is still restricted to the starport and its approaches, with trespassers threatened with indefinite imprisonment or even death.

This activity is strange, as the Consulate has not even made any moves to formally annex the world, and begin preparation for civilian settlement. Regency Intel originally assessed the world as a exclusively military reserve, a private possession of the Avalar military and its personnel for its own aggrandizement. But the weak position of the military in Consulate politics has convinced a growing number of analysts that the bases on the world exist to conceal covert activity. And given the Consulates unrestrained attempts to annex Iptete (2334) and Asyrog (2326) because of suspected Ancient bases, it is strongly possible that all the activity on Ukardi is also associated with Final War artifacts, perhaps to a greater degree than anywhere else.

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