Barnard's Star

Gravity Tug
Image from Steve Bowers
Sometimes it is necessary to move the asteroids in Barnard's Belt; here a pair of gravity tugs arranged in tandem are gently pulling this colonised rock to a new orbit

Surrounded by extensive asteroid belts, Barnard's Star was one of the first systems to be colonised by the First Federation, in 990AT. Soon after this, the ...Spores arrived and began to replicate in the outer asteroid belt, but mostly avoided contact with the Federation.

The Siris Habitat generation ship arrived in 1001 AT, fleeing the Technocalypse-but due to the lack of volatiles they did not remain long. Barnard's Star became an important stepping-stone in interstellar colonisation but always suffered from the lack of volatiles. The adventures of the Kuiper-belt surveyors (the "comet-hunters") and the Water Wars remain classic stories.

As colonisation expanded outwards the Barnard Belt became a second rate location, largely inhabited by anyone who could not afford to leave and find a better place. The conflicts intensified, and in 1893 a systemwide civil war broke out between various fractions. The war ended when a strong alliance between the Core Council and Henderson's Heroes (alliteration being a Barnard cultural custom at that time) succeeded in vanquishing the other fractions and impose a certain order on the system. Over time the alliance became known as the CCHH, and turned into a form of government dealing with peacekeeping, inter-habitat law and external relations.

Barnard remains a belt of mavericks, and through the millennia the Barnard cultures have diverged and mutated. It has never reached economic or cultural prominence, instead remaining one of the bohemian corners of the Inner Sphere, the ideal hiding place for shady activities and unwanted people. Barnard people are often fiercely proud of their spotty heritage and less than desirable home system. When the Negentropy Alliance attempted to "give relief" to the system during the Version War, the inhabitants rose up with a massive level of sabotage, passive resistance and open insurrection, forcing a withdrawal. The same thing occurred in 9581 when he representatives of the Terran Federation-sponsored Inner Sphere Development Alliance attempted to do something similar.
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Initially published on 12 August 2001.