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St. Michael's Star

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Comm-tower

Ruins of a Drakat communications relay tower on St. Michael's World

St. Michael's Star is a star system in the southeast-central portion of Human space, between Van Diemen and Chalfont.

GeographyEdit

The system has four rocky inner planets and three gas-giant outer planets, all orbiting a fairly ordinary yellow G5 star. The inmost two planets are both far too hot for colonization, and the fourth planet is too small to hold much atmosphere, and too cold for anything but a couple of tiny scientific and mining settlements. But the third world, known as St. Michael's World, is one of the most lush and fertile worlds in human space. Until 2265, the planetary capital city was Port Prosperity, located in the tropical zone at the base of the Harmony Peninsula, where the Tilapia River runs into Tranquility Bay. But in that year, the city was destroyed by orbital bombardment at the end of an invasion by the Earth Federation during their successful campaign to liberate the planet from the Holy Terran Empire. The capital was afterwards moved to the city of Foxburg on the opposite coast.

HistoryEdit

Long a Drakat colony world, St. Michael's Star was conquered by the Tech Infantry in the late 2160's during the Drakat War. The first efforts to colonize it were led by a group of Third Vatican Catholic religious fanatics who wished to separate themselves from all Awakened humans and Werecreatures, believing them to be in league with the forces of darkness. Refusing to allow any Tech Infantry facilities on their planet, they named it St. Michael's World to symbolize that they were placing their faith in the protection of the Archangel in charge of God's own armies. Symbolic protection proved inadequate when a massive invasion by the Arachnids overran the colony in 2194. The entire first human colony was wiped out, and it wasn't until 2208 that the Bugs were finally driven off the planet for good. Two years later, Harrington Industries bought out the colonization rights from the heirs of the first colonists, and began to recolonize the planet. Its lush climate, some intact infrastructure from the previous Drakat and human colonies, and its strategic location on the trade routes with the Jurvain and K'Nes, not to mention its proximity to the other expanding colonies along those frontiers, made St. Michael's Star a solid corporate investment. The colony quickly grew to be one of the most important in the region, surpassing Van Diemen within 20 years to be the most populated world in that part of space.

Almost a billion people lived on St. Michael's Star in 2243, when the Jurvain Commonality invaded during the early stages of the Third Civil War. Federation forces had been split by "Auntie" Sarah Dunmeyer's coup attempt, and those few Grand Council Loyalist forces who remained in the system suddenly found themselves cut off behind rebel lines, and pulled out. The tiny Jurvain raiding force that arrived soon thereafter found the system almost undefended, and forced the local corporate government to surrdender rather than face a devastating orbital bombardment. Jurvain reinforcements soon arrived to occupy the world, and to the surprise of many, they lived up to the terms of the surrender agreement and did not slaughter the human inhabitants or even molest the population too badly. The end of the human-on-human fighting the following April found the Jurvain still in control of the world, and a temporary ceasefire left the system in their control for the time being.

A few years later, once the Federation had time to lick some of its wounds, Arthur Clarke broke the ceasfire and attacked the Jurvain, intent on recovering the former Human worlds they had captured. The initial Federation advance along the hyperspace routes through Ashdown to Kalintos bypassed the more heavily defended St. Michael's star, splitting the Jurvain fleet. Emergency negotiations mediated by the neutral K'Nes Tor were secretly entered into, and the Jurvain made an offer: in exchange for the Federation advance stopping at the pre-Civil War border, they would return the St. Michael's Star system intact. If the Federation insisted on carrying the war into the Jurvain core systems, the entire population of St. Michael's Star would be slaughtered and its extensive infrastructure destroyed. Even Arthur Clarke had to acquiesce to those terms, although he soon after reneged on the peace agreement and imposed the Jurvain Quarantine Zone on the Jurvain.

A little over a billion and a half people live on St. Michael's Star today. In 2265, however, the planet was devastated when the Earth Federation invaded to reclaim the world from the Holy Terran Empire. Many of the smaller settlements were completely destroyed by orbital bombardment, and the capital of Port Prosperity was first devastated by house-to-house fighting, and then wiped off the map completely by a mile-high tsunami caused by orbital bombardment. Rather than see the rest of the planet similarly bombarded, General Vandemeer agreed to surrender the planet to the Federation, and was in turn appointed its new Governor after agreeing to re-swear his oath of loyalty to the Federation. When the Federation went on to lose the war anyways, Governor Vandemeer was arrested by his own troops and executed for treason.

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