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From:Cmmdr Wafoua Syoisuis : 49th Squadron 23rd Fleet Gerome Quarantine 253-1199
To: Vice Admiral Goron Amdon : Chief of Naval Intelligence 23rd Fleet
My congratulations on your recent promotion, I look forward to working with you again. I have been asked by your predeccesor to bring you up to date on the situation on Gerome. We have recently created and released a RICE Paper for public dissemination. This paper creates a cover story that Gerome has become infected with a dangerous symbiote, of human creation. For those suspicious individuals in the press and other organizations we have created false evidence that the base on Gerome was researching biological warfare agents, in violation of Emperor Martin III's edict. There is nothing concrete, just enough to suggest. Hopefully this way suspicious individuals will be diverted from the truth.
The actual story is not that much different than the official story. In 945 a research base was established on Gerome, not to study biological improvements, but the geneering of psionic individuals. The base took several years to get established, in its early years it did not make much progress. It made a few minor improvements to psi drugs and psionic shielding, but nothing major. During the Fourth Frontier War, dozens on noble Zhodani were captured and shipped to Gerome. These individuals provided a large group of psions who shared a common gene pool. These specimens showed the researchers new approaches to their problem. In 1088 the Beta Epsilon batch of test subjects was conceived. By 1102 an above average number of specimens showed psionic awareness. The Beta Zeta and Beta Eta batches also showed increased numbers of psions with increased strengths and variety of psionic abilities. The Beta Theta batch had to be destroyed, due to an unforeseen mutation. The Beta Iota batch was decanted in 1130, by 1139 the group was showing unheard of levels of psionic abilities. Seventy five percent were psioniclly active, with psionic strengths of five to ten, with three cases of strengths of 18. The Beta Kappa and Beta Lambda batches were rushed into production. During the summer of 1148 the Beta Iota individuals, turned 18. In the next year they started to show signs of mental instabilities.
The researchers carefully watched the Beta Kappa and Beta Lambda groups. Both groups showed immense psionic strengths, and not just in the common psionic abilities, but in many different Arcane abilities. Unfortunetly they also developed mental instabilities, even earlier than in the Beta Iota group. These include megalomania, paranoia, schizophrenia, autism, mental retardation, multiple personality disorder and obsessive compulsive behavior. Production of the Beta Mu and Beta Nu batches were immediately halted, while a solution was sought.
The researchers only had 6 months, before the Betas created their own solution. Led by a Beta Iota named Alexandra, they revolted. Most of the researchers were killed, the remaining were captured and held as hostage. Some of the Betas wanted to trade the hostages for a ship in which they would roam the galaxy. Alexandra put a halt to this talk by incinerating the group's chief spokesman. She then declared herself Emperor of the Known Universe, and ordered a halt to contact with the "...mind deaf Imperials." She ordered that the Beta Mu, and Beta Nu batches be put into production, and she ordered the creation of a Beta Xi group, which consisted entirely of clones of herself. Alexandra suffered from megalomania and paranoia, a particularly dangerous combination in a leader, especially when the leader is a telepathic pyrotechnic.
The Commodore of the orbiting squadron was on planet during the revolt and was executed by Emperor Alexandra personally. There was quite a debate among the surviving Naval captains on how to react to the revolt. Some wanted to act with massive force and crush the planet. Others wanted to mount a rescue attempt, and then crush the planet. A few wanted to negotiate a settlement. Finally a rescue attempt was decided on. The attempt was a dismal failure. Two companies of assault marines landed on the planet. Though equipped with battle dress with integral psionic shielding, the marines were butchered by the psions. Psionic shielding only slows down a strength 15 psion, and it does nothing against telekinetic wielded plasma guns.
Upon hearing of the defeat, Subsector Command issued orders calling for a temporary quarantine of the planet. After several months of debate, it was ordered that the quarantine be made permanent, and the planet kept under constant surveillance. It was thought that the undesirable mental traits would be winnow ed from the gene pool, by natural selection. Even if this did not happen, the Navy would be able to study to see the long term biological effects of psionics.
The quarantine is maintened by the 49th Squadron of the 23rd Regency Fleet. The planet is monitored by a series of orbiting satellites. Yearly, missions to the planet are mounted, These are crewed solely by remotely controlled robots. Each robot has a self destruct mechanism, in case a psion with machine empathy manages to take control of the robot. These missions trade needed resources for information that can not be gathered from orbit. Some complexes await the missions with anticipation, others try to destroy the missions, for what ever goals they might have. Occasionally the missions capture a psion and bring back the specimen for in depth analysis. The 49th Squadron if fairly strong. That is both to keep intruders out of the system, and also to keep the Betas from escaping. In 1183 the Beta group known as the Avengers of Korn tried to launch a small solid fuel rocket into orbit. The cruiser Cranston was able to destroy it, but several psions were able to teleport to the Cranston, they caused extensive damage before being eliminated.
Since the revolt, life has not been good for the inhabitants of Gerome. It is standard procedure for experimental geneered individuals to be sterilized at birth. This way the gene pool is strictly controlled by the scientists in charge. Early Betas such as individuals from the Beta Beta and Beta Gamma batches, were used as lab assistants at the research base. These individuals were able to create new batches of Betas, which were fully fertile. The other major problem for the Betas was food. Most food for the research was grown on planet, but it required a great deal of foreign assistance. After several lean years, the Betas were able to create a stable food supply. Though it is precarious and does not make for a varied diet.
The society of the psions is quite chaotic, as fits a mentally unstable population. The population consists of approximately 12,000 individuals. These are gathered into 12 major groups of about 800 psions each, and 25 minor groups of varying size. Each group does not possess enough food, manufacturing, medical and technological resources to be self sufficient. Most groups trade to get access to the neccesary resources. A few, especially of the smaller bands, resort to raiding, and banditry. Local manufacturing is at TL 8, with large amounts of high tech equipment still on planet. The structure of each of these bands is quite varied, some are democratic, some are ruled by self proclaimed Queens, Dalis, Gods, and Lord Emperors, others are simply ruled by the strongest. The clones of Emperor Alexandra have created a complex inhabited solely by clones of the original Alexandra, who is kept alive in low berth. It is considered one of the more insane complexes. Due to the sheer number of sociopaths, violent crime is epidemic, most groups have incorporated this into their society, through ritual challenges, registered assassins and blood duels.
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The Navy has built a small repair facility base, to help maintain the quarantine. The base possess two flights of Rampart fighters. The 49th Squadron consists of 5 SEH (Starburst of Extreme Heroism) Light Cruisers. They are the Cranston, the Bainbridge, the Dzaekh, the Ying Zhou and the Dirk Teledon. For details of the SEH Light Cruiser see the Rebellion Source book.
Reference: The Regency Source book:Keepers of the Flame.