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by Pete Grey

Telypo is a beautiful world found at the far coreward end of the Avalar Consulate. Despite a thin atmosphere, the world has a cool and moist climate, good soils and a number of useful plant and animal products. A good portion of the world is covered in large bogs created by recently terminated glacial activity, and these are rich in organic material that are attractive for the cultivation of water loving food crops.

Unfortunately these same bogs are home to a plethora of harmful microorganisms, some quite deadly to humans. The worst of these is a parasite born disease known as Cold Sickle Fever. The viral enchephalitic disease enters the bloodstream by the bite of a local invertebrate parasite known as the Charon Mite, and its name from its peculiar pathology. For most people the only symptom is a simple fever with few other attendant maladies, but in about seventy percent of its victims soon suffer a massive "deathblow" as the virus quickly attacks the central nervous system in one overwhelming attack. Death can offer occur in a matter of just a couple of days. Fortunately the disease is not communicable between humans, and outbreaks are containable.

Colonisation of the world was first attempted by the Zhodani in 309, only to lose most of the colony the following year to the Cold Sickle Fever. Three more attempts by the Zhodani failed either because of Cold Sickle, other diseases, or a combination of all. The Zhodani eventually judged the world to be too hazardous for settlement, and only too happily transferred the world to the Avalar Consulate with the rest of their Titan holdings in the late 600s.

The first two colonisation attempts by the Avalars were only partially successful, and were confined to high-elevation areas outside of the infection zones. A number of research stations attempted to find means of controlling either the disease or the Charon Mite, but with only partial success. The Avalar military finally sent a research team into the "Reaper Zone" and managed to create several protocols that permitted their teams to compensate, adapt and tolerate the presence of the disease. A new bureaucratic government was established to enforce these containment and anti-infection protocols, and under their lead the colonists were finally able to expand into the Reaper Zone.

Visitors to the world were always greeted by a heavy presence of police/health inspectors from the local Anti-Reaper Service. Everyone is expected to learn the local environmental regulations, and visitors are only admitted to the world if they can pass a written test concerning those regulations. Frequent visitors and traders are granted special travel passes that are subject to annual recertification. Telypo is unusual in that the local customs are for EXPORTS rather than imported goods, as nearly everything from the Reaper Zone is inspected for Charon Mite infestation (This isn't paranoia. The mite has shown remarkable adaptability to other moist environments, and Cold Sickle outbreaks have occured on neighboring worlds).

Anti-Reaper Police are a fact of everyday life within the low lying areas where the mite resides. Quarantine patrols are identifiable from their white and red armored vans and cars, and they have extensive search and seizure powers. These patrols are usually on the search more for complacency than malice, usually lapses in environmental regulations. These police usually show up in public as polite and proper uniformed officers, but repeat offenders are subject to paramilitary SWAT squads not known for their restraint or patience.

Local anti-mite regulations require that farmers and communities drain all bogs and marshes, and clear all heavy brush, within a 2 km radius. Local clothing is a combination of light work clothes covered by heavy cloth tunics, containment netting and smocks impregnated with insecticide. Domestic pets are prohibited save for locally domesticated animals not frequented by the Charon Mite. Livestock are carefully monitered, and large herds of genetically modified grazers are used to winnow the local flora to prevent mite outbreaks. Buildings and communities are constructed to prevent mite infestation, and materials and surfaces that can accumulate the moist environment the mites prefer are prohibited or are carefully stored. All of these requirements are enforced with severe legal penalties.

Unusually, the Anti-Reaping Service is free of the usual overactive repressiveness that typifies other Avalar policing agencies. Except for a period in the early 1000s, the the A-RP has never been used for political repression, and the service has fiercely disavowed its earlier transgressions. This is mostly because the necessity of its protective role cannot be tied up within political agendas no matter their source, because of the Service's exemplary commitment to all levels of Telypo's society, and because the bases of the local Venues is primarily within the Anti-Reaper service. Despite its high law level, the people have long enjoyed a greater range of personal freedom than most of their bretheren.

Telypo's main exports are primarily agricultural, and most of the world's products were shipped to Titan before it lapsed into Civil War. The collapse of its main market compelled the search for alternatives, and now most of its goods are marketed to a wide range of sources from nearby Xenough subsector to a number of independent worlds in Anika and Mowbrey subsectors. The world's close proximity to Zhodani territory in Anika and its habitable climate have attracted a very large number of Zhodani refugees, many of whom have settled unknowingly in the Reaper Zone. The government is trying to transfer these refugees to camps in higher elevations, in the wake of several large Cold Sickle outbreaks that have killed thousands of them.

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