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by Pete Grey

Tapsa-64 was only settled by the Avalar Consulate in the aftermath of the Third Frontier War. The Consulate had originally passed over the world because of its lack of resources, and remote location. Only the Avalar military made regular trips to the system, to either prevent illegal settlement, or for naval maneuvers.

But during the war the success of Imperial commerce raiders and privateers, and the postwar increase in piracy that resulted, pointed out a window of vulnerability within the Avalar frontier. It was feared that in a future war, the Imperium would use bases along the lower Beyond-Foreven interface to attack Zhodani shipping into the Trojan Reach, and weaken the Avalars. Tapsa-64 was settled with mostly military personnel, and a naval base was built to protect the approaches to the Avalar Corridor, particularly nearby Estyske and Belisha (Beyond 1701).

The base served its function well in the next two frontier wars, forcing the Imperials to avoid deep penetration raids into Foreven or Beyond. The base also served another important purpose, it supported Zhodani task forces operating in Trojan Reach. In fact the unit involved in the Ganulph Maneuver originated from Tapsa-64. The world developed a heavy Zhodani presence as a result of this cooperation, and the base also saw Tozjabr and Consulate Guard commando units stationed as part of its normal garrison.

But much more interesting was the worlds slow transformation into a military training and testing center. The Zhodani poured billions into constructing facilities to produce needed munitions and supplies away from their main supply bases. A number of training facilities were constructed as well, including a number of psionic test facilities. Test and operation ranges were constructed for both joint maneuvers, and to keep Zhodani Deeprim patrols in fighting trim.

The post-Collapse period ended the rationale for the base. It also ended the centuries old alliance between the Zhodani and the Avalars. By 1150 the base had been abandoned by the Zhodani, and the facilities were shuttered and placed into mothballs. Currently only a handful of old factories are still in operation, producing spare parts for the Avalar's dwindling inventory of Zhodani military designs and equipment. Large parts of the world are still off-limits to civilian personnel, and rumors abound about the actual extent and function of its facilities.

Despite the continuing closure of the world, visitors are given a warm welcome at the starport. Apparently the Consulate government is trying to sell or convert a number of now unnecessary facilities for civilian use, and the downport is the main sales and advertising office for this conversion effort. Travellers will encounter special tour groups, sales offices, or shops full of goods produced as samples of military conversion.

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