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by Pete Grey

Bulariawas settled by the Darrians in -1209 as an agricultural source colony for the expanding Confederacy.

Development was hindered by the Bularia fever, a minor but persistent viral disease that contaminated the local air and water. While rarely fatal to people who contracted it, the virus acted like an acute form of meningitis, incapacitating its victims for days. People infected often have recurring bouts, though the severity declines as immunity is built up. With most of the early colonists laid up by the virus, the world was still in an early stage of development when the Maghiz hit a few years later.

Most of the colony died off in the next thousand years, the victim of a small gene pool. The world was recontacted by a small Solomani colony ship in -433, and its passengers and crew abandoned their failing vessel to settle on the surface, despite its viral taint. The system was finally recontacted by the reexpanding Darrian Confederacy in -202, but it lay too far away for it to be reabsorbed.

The local were desperate for contact after centuries of isolation, but they lacked any resources beyond local agriculture, which offworlders refused to buy because of the viral taint. Their economic salvation came in the early part of the Imperial expansion from an unlikely source. A contact team from the Imperial Megacorp Naasirka chanced upon Bularia in 250, and discovered that the natives had a high quality low tech electronics industry. The company had been looking, with little success, for a world skilled in low tech electronics for export to other TL 3-6 worlds around the Imperium, and Bularia's "hobby" fit the bill.

For most of Imperial period, the Bularia "Tube" industry was their economic mainstay. And Naasirka showed remarkable restraint and responsibility for an Imperial Megacorp in their dealings with the locals. Naasirka's local managers and employees became quite attached to the hardworking and quiet locals, and when the company had to pull out of Marches during the Civil War, most of the Vilani-born employees refused to leave, and continued to work and run the factories. In the period of Hard Times, Bularia found a massive export market in Corridor and even more remote parts of the Imperium, in some cases their products were carried down through the Aslan Hierate into Reaver's Deep, Daibei and Diaspora.

But then the world almost became the casualty of the Collapse, when its markets were destroyed in the ensuing chaos. And when the Darrians moved into a military confrontation with Garoo (SM 0130) the planet became a battlefield. The Bularia incident is best described elsewhere but it stemmed from the longtime animosity between the Republic of Garoo and the Darrian Confederacy, and it was instigated by a Darrian-assisted revolt on Garoo's colony of Uniqua (0129). Coupled with the Confederacy's recent victory over the Sword Worlders on Ator, and their subsequent absorption of the world, Garoo correctly ascertained that the Darrians were set to expand further into their former rimward territory.

The Garoo Republican Navy and Army invaded the worlds of Kardin (SM 0429), Dorannia (SM 0529) and Bularia in early 1133. Despite being at a severe technological disadvantage compared to the modest Darrian "Protector" Forces already on those worlds, the Garooians achieved total suprise and moved ruthlessly to destroy these forces. The Confederacy was quick to respond, sending a large task force to the cluster four months later. Republican forces were overrun on Kardin and Dorannia, but the counterattack on Bularia bogged down in the face of fanatical resistance, aided in part by the locals who wanted to be no part of the Confederacy.

Things got really complicated afterwards, as the Zhodani Consulate threatened to intervene on the behalf of Garoo. And several Zhodani ships skirmished with DCN vessels at Bularia and Dorannia. The Confederacy sent an appeal to the Regency for aid, and a massive task force of the 208th Fleet arrived at Bularia in early 1134 in response. But the Regency reminded all of the warring parties that the contested world was a Regency client state, and that it and no one else would determine it's final disposition. With that veiled threat hanging in the air, both the Republic/Consulate and the Confederacy forces withdrew under heavy Regency naval escort.

As a result of this fracas, the Regency increased its patrols along the Foreven/Marches interface, eventually covincing many of the worlds in the region to become Regency client states. Garoo gave up most of its bankrupt empire to become a protectorate. The Darrians intensified their cooperation with the Regency, and shored up their ties with the Zhodani. And Bularia had its damage repaired, recieved a Regency Army garrison, and once again prospers, thanks to careful marketing of its goods.

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