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Daphne

A786886-C

by Pete Grey

This world is one of a handful in the subsector that retains its original feminine name. Daphne was one of the first Corridor worlds settled, and even had several Zhodani settlements as late as the 900s. The world is a pleasant tropical system and a florid abundance of native life. Chondol era farmers discovered that local soils were very suitable for a number of non-native crops, and the world was settled as a breadbasket world in the 650s.

Daphne, along with Milne, constituted as the residences for most of the Avalar Consulates upper managerial and ownership classes. Daphne is more earthlike than Milne, and much warmer too. Originally the world was settled for "hothouse" agriculture, the raising of warm weather or tropic loving farm products for consumption by the Consulates rapidly expanding population. The world retains its for-profit nature, but the original yeoman farmers have been replaced by the estates of wealthy and powerful government and corporate officials, and most of the original population works as servants, laborers and technicians in the households and automated farms.

Aside from the starports and their adjacent free cities, the world is divided between hundreds of private estates and corporate enclaves. The local government is a bureaucracy primarily concerned with protecting the privacy of these enclaves, and is very zealous in its persecution of uninvited offworlders and trespassers. Most of the planets surface is off-limits to ordinary citizens, and free movement is restricted to a handful of free access corridors. Entry to an estate is by either invitation or a security pass obtained through the Territorial Police Service, pending approval from the estate in question.

In addition to the TPS, a heavy presence of government and private security forces protects the estates proper, and the local consensus is that it is preferable to be caught by the local police than to being roughed up by the latter. Most of these supplementary forces are drawn from the Consulates various elite police forces, either directly, or recruited from retired police and military personnel in the case of private forces.

Most estates are permitted heavy weapons to enforce the sanctity of their privacy, and attempts to forcibly penetrate security will certainly elicit a devastating response from local forces. Daphne's airspace is restricted to prevent intrusion from space, and in some areas space defense forces and SDBs enforce the rules with shoot-to-kill orders.

Rumors have abounded for centuries that Daphne's security had permitted the Zhodani and Avalar intelligence services to establish several top secret facilities in the more remote parts of the world, and that many of these are still in operation. Most rumors hint that these facilities were for training of elite military units, Pro-Zhodani guerillas, espionage psionics. It is also claimed that a number of emergency weapon caches were constructed as a backstop against Imperial advances into Foreven, or anti-Zhodani agitation within Avalar itself. Naturally the veracity of these rumors cannot be reliably checked.


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