by Thorbjorn Steen (2008)

Cardinal Markus Ryeson sat down in the large chair dominating one end of the conference table. He quickly checked the minicomputer set into the armrest of the chair for the agenda and looked up, clearing his throat. He once again looked around to check that everyone were there and began.

"I now call this, the 634th council meeting since landfall, open."

He folded his hands in front of him and looked solemnly at the other members of the council. His eyes finally came to rest on the Cardinal of Trade, Henry Josephson. A young, moderately tall man with a handsome look and a pleasant voice. He was generally well liked and that was the reason he had been elected for his position. It had been hoped that his charisma would influence their trade partners too. And it helped that he seemed to have a nose for business.

"How is the trade relations going?" he asked. This was the subject he always opened the meeting with. A usually harmless subject.

"I've found a good potential buyer. He seems genuinely interested in the pre-swarm information we can offer. He's apparently part of an organisation that calls themselves the Fellowship of Independent Historians. The resources he offered just for the the sample information should be enough to cover the colony's needs for the next year or so. If we can set up a deal with this organisation our full knowledgebase could support us for a very long time."

Josephson sighed

"Of course if the colonists had taken but a simple copy of the National Religious Library, or perhaps even the National Museums files, we'd have been practically supported forever."

Ryeson interupted his moody thoughts.

"Yes, but they didn't think of that." he said plainly and continued "So you do believe that you can complete the deal?"

"Most definetely." Josephson replied.

"Good." Ryeson said and allowed a smile to cross his lips. At least something was going well.

The History of Tetsic

2910 a.t. - 2915 a.t.
The Tetsic colony on Wilson in the Lambda Aurigae IV system was founded in 2910 a.t., after the heavily damaged colony ship, the Starship Savior (of The Enlightened Trans-Christian-Islamic Community polity), entered the system. The ship's AI found the system already inhabited and was by the local AI Rachel guided to colonise the outer planet Wilson instead. The entire planet was officially owned by the Goran family, but Rachel forced the family to give up a, while uninhabited, still very lucrative piece of land for a biodome complex to host the 167.755 colonists. The Goran family's bad feelings about this wasn't eased by the fact that this was over ten times as many individuals as the planet's native population and about 50% of the total population of offworlders in the system (counting all sentients outside of New Gaia).
The Goran family was fuming, believing the transfer of the land to be thievery, extortion or worse from the side of the AI. However the Goran family feared the hyperturing AI enough that they did not try to retaliate on the colonists. The situation was not improved, however, by the fact that Rachel openly mined and brought in materials from the system's planets and moons, an activity that had always been forbidden for the families, to provide materials for the biodome complex.
It took approximately half a year to build a complex large enough to, barely, support the colonist population. After this Rachel left and isolated herself again.
It had been the plan that the complex should be further expanded by scrapping the colony ship and using the gained materials. However two days after the last colonists had been unloaded from the ship, what was believed to be a malfunction in the navigation thrusters, threw the ship out of Wilson's orbit and into an eclectic orbit around the sun. It was quickly determined that the energy required to retrieve the ship would be larger than the gain in materials. So for the first years the tentatively named TETCIC colony was a crowded and noisy place with no room for privacy.

Ryeson turned to the next hopefully harmless point on the agenda by turning to look at the Cardinal of Bionecessities, Martin Weis. He was fifty years, though he looked only a little over fourty, with a large belly and small glasses. Though he had accepted the age therapy that made him look younger than he was, he had refused to do anything about his 'minor' deficiencies. And he did consider them minor despite the fact that he was almost blind without glasses.

"And how then is things going on your area. I understand that the new materials we bought should make it possible to expand the greenhouses?" Ryseson asked him.

Weis pushed his glasses into place from the tip of his nose and replied "We would have, yes. Unfortunately the explosion near the generators also damaged the eastern greenhouse complex. Most of the materials has gone into rebuilding and what is left isn't enough to open a new section. I'll keep them on hand if the greenhouses should be damaged again."

Not so harmless as he had believed. Ryeson unconsciously looked towards Farway fully believing him to interupt now.

The History of Tetsic

2916 a.t. - 2935 a.t.
While the TETCIC colony suffeered in it's first few years it slowly began to prosper as the pre-swarm colonists began to understand the new world around them. One of the colony's problems was that it didn't seem to have anything to trade. While primitive nanoassemblessers and greenhouses could provide the colony with most of its basic needs this selfreliance didn't leave room for any progress. In 2916 the colony suddently took an important step when they learned of the real value of knowledge. An offhand comment to a passing trader suddently made the colony one of the prime sources for pre-swarm trivia and technical information amongst researchers interested in that age. The early sales (in which the colony unknowingly sold their information ridicously cheap) gave the colony enough funds to expand the colony. Most of the construction were performed between 2917 and 2928 leaving the colony with approximately the form it has today. The economic effect of the incident was that all inhabitants of the colony suddently received (to them) large amounts of wealth as almost everybody had small amounts of tidbits to sell. However in 2918 it was realised by the leadership what huge amounts of funds were flowing away as the colony's citizens sold the information to relatively low prices. The sale of information was institutionalised and placed under the leadership. Though huge amounts of information had been released to the market between 2916 and 2918 enough had been preserved that the colony still had a huge appeal. And this time the colony used its monopoly to gain far better prices.
The sudden wealth and expansions of the colony had, however, not gone by unnoticed and the indignant Goran family would not sit idly by watching, what they thought as a threat to the system, grow. It had been noted by the family that Rachel seemed to have withdrawn her attention again. In 2934 the Goran family covertly destroyed a cluster of solar collectors that lay a distance form the complex. Rachel did not react. Two weeks later they destroyed another cluster, this time leaving a message for the colonists to leave the system, or else...

Surprisingly Farway didn't interupt. Ryeson had fully expected him to, since Farway had gotten more and more aggressive lately. It seemed that he always preached total war against the Goran family and the native families in general. The young weasel-like man was exactly as his father in that way, and it didn't help that he and Ryeson seemed to disagree on all other areas as well.

As Ryeson's thoughts reached their conclusion Gerard looked towards the Cardinal of Defence Antar and asked "By the way, how is our own objectives going? I've heard a bit, but what is the full status?"

Antar was a sixty year old woman, but her dark skin showed no sign of that. Due to the age therapy she looked no more than thirty, except for the, at the same time wise and cunning, look in her eyes. She had been elected into his post when it became clear in 2935 that a Cardinal of Defence was needed.

"Most of the objectives has been accomplished. I'm sure you all heard about the strike on Goran's habitat 56-a. Later reconnaissance seems to indicate that the habitat has been rendered completely inoperatable. Rebuilding 56-a will put a heavy strain on their resources." Antar replied and smiled "Last week our counter team also managed to stop a team which seemed to be heading for the western greenhouse complex. There was no reports of any kills on the opposing team, but only minor injuries on our own. At the..."

Ryeson cleared his throat to gain attention and Antar stopped her report.

"How many casulties do you estimate from the strike on 56-a?" Ryeson asked.

Antar quickly consulted her armrestcomputer and answered "We actually have exact numbers on that. Twentythree casulties."

"Twentythree! I thought these strikes were supposed to be on material only." Weis said.

Antar looked at Weis with something that wasn't quite disdain, but rather the silent resignation of one who understand something that the other never can.

"The strike accidentally took out some of the emergency functions. We haven't got exact data on how the Goran fascilities are built. Their counter teams are very sure on ensuring that. And without perfect data we cannot ensure against such accidents. The casulties are regretable, but acceptable."

"Come on Weis. Let Antar complete her report without interupting." Farway said glibly.

Antar looked at Farway "Thank you. Though there isn't much more to say. 56-a was the only major target of this month. Everything else has been simple recconaissance and infowar. Also it doesn't look like there are any obvious targets for next month. Actually we have a team out at the moment who has found a digital access to their main computer core, but if they find anything important I'll contact you."

Fahime's gaze swept proffesionally over the surroundings while Rains worked behind her. Besides her Dassous was standing silently watching the data on his eyescreen. Though he looked like he was completely lost to the surrounding world, Fahime knew that the team leader was just as alert, and probably more, than herself. Behind her Rains disengaged the last lock on the door of the abandoned airlock and the door cracked open, releasing a rush of breatable air and ice crystals into the icy cold of the planet's methane and helium lowpressure atmosphere.

Dassous immidiately turned around and pointed his rifle at the opening, while his small shouldermounted laser continued to sweep the area behind him. Though Fahime was still standing with her back to the airlock, the inside of her helmet showed her two small pictures from her teammates point of view in addition to her forward view, backward view, battlemap, 360 degree infrared scan and the myriad of data that she found gave her the best control of her surroundings.

With half an eye she watched Rains move in first. He had completed his part of the mission and in the hard logic of the unit he was now the most expendable. After scanning the airlock for bobbytraps he gave the okay signal. Dassous and Fahime quickly moved inside and with the press of a button on Rains' multitool the doors closed behind them. With a silent hissing sound the airlock replaced the thin Wilson air with breathable air and a green light turned on. Two flechette rifles, a sonic laser rifle, three eyeguided mini uzis with anti-vec rounds, a shouldermounted microwave laser and a dozen smaller automated closesupport weapons was aimed at the inner doors as they opened. The nightmare of every infiltration team was to be ambushed in an airlock by a counter team.

However, as the airlock slid open it revealed only an empty entranceroom. The enviroment systems of this section had not been at work for years and none of the team trusted the atmosphere enough to remove their helmets. Not that they would have done anyway, abandoning the soothing feeling of complete awareness that the helmets infoscreen gave.

The team moved forward quickly, hunkering down once in a while to let Dassous make a complete scan of the surroundings, before moving out again. Five minutes after entry the team reached a small inconspicuous panel, and Dassous turned to Fahime with a nod. A few swipes with Fahime multitool and the panel was loosened from the wall. Behind it was a myriad of wires, cables and switchboxes. Fahime pulled out four wires from her multitool and attached them to the correct wires behind the panel. Then she released a dozen expert programs to hack into the Goran's main computer core.

The History of Tetsic

2935 a.t. - 2963 a.t.
Throughout the thirties the Goran family wrecked sabotage and the Tetsic colony (which the name had slowly devolved into) merely increased its defenses, installing surveillance equipment and in 2937 founding the counter teams. In 2941 it was proposed by cardinal Farway I to strike back, and though the leading cardinal Ryeson I spoke against the suggestion it was passed by a majority in the council. Three counter teams were retrained as infiltration teams and sent against the nearest of Goran's habitats.
The next twenty years saw a constant escalation of the conflict. Though the conflict never developed into fullfletched war it contained enough anger and aggressiveness to fuel several. It is estimated that the damages caused by the conflict delayed the developement of the Tetsic colony by some 50 years and nearly bankrupted the Goran family (though the Goran families new aggressive bioart did find a respectable niche market). It should be noted however that only economic and infrastructure targets were targeted through the fourties and fifties. In the beginning of the sixties the conflict took a new turn as the Tetsic colony began targetting the habitation modules of the Goran family, seeking first merely to drive them farther away from the immidiate area around the Tetsic colony, and later to drive them completely off the planet.

Rian, 423 year old su panthermorph, picked up his helmet from his bed. He held it up for a moment, studying it, while ignoring the multitude information about material, temperature, classification and weak points that his cybereye gave him. He turned it around in his hands and looked at the lable on the front "Kazu Rian Goran". A label to his accomplishments and skills, he was already Kazu, leader of one of New Gaia's rare fighter wings, at his young age. Rian knew that part of it was his extensive cyborgisations; the fiber optics that replaced part of his neural pathways, the co-decision brainbox, his neurocomp and all the other enhancements to his system, but he also believed that most of it was that innate talent he had trained since he saw his first fighter as a 12 year old.

Rian looked at the helmet and then placed it on his head. Immidiately his vision was filled by so much data that no baseline mind would have been able to handle it. Rian peered at the mission timer and saw that he had plenty of time to get to the hangar. So he leasurely strolled out of the door of his room.

The rest of the meeting did not hold any great surprises. No strikes had been made on infrastructure, but they still requested a bit of resources to make backup solar panels. Education could report that everything was progressing nicely and that it seemed that the next generation would be quite smarter than the current. Moral reported only a slight unrest between the citizens in hub Alexander and hub Muhammed, but together with internal security the issue had been handed quite nicely.

When the cardinal of internal security sat down Ryeson arose.

"Does anyone have any further comments?" he asked.

He waited for a few seconds and, seeing that noone seemed to react, said

"Then I declare this, the 634th council meeting since landfall, closed."

General mumbling broke out as the other cardinals arose from the seats and in small groups made their way out into the corridor outside.

"I'm in." Fahime mumbled into her throatmike and pressed a few keys on her multitool. The search engines immidiately began to search through the huge encrypted mess that was the Goran main computer core. Looking for anything of interest to the humans in the tunnel.

After two seconds the first entry was downloaded into the multitool and soon after entry after entry streamed through the cable. As Fahime saw the sheer amount of data she silently blessed the fact that they had decided to bring extra memory modules despite the extra weight. Even with the data being divided evenly amongst the three multitools of the team there would have been far to little memory.

Fahime idly looked over the data they had received after only five seconds. There were building planes, time tables, business secrets, weapon lists and much more. Nothing of which they would have had if they hadn't discovered this old connection which led around most of the data defences.

As she scrolled down through the list she suddently saw an entry that made her dangersense tingle. A fighterlaunch just a few seconds ago. A solitary fighterlaunch, though fighterpatrols always consisted of at least 3 fighters.

She quickly opened the entry, and her eyes widened considerably. Though it was on the definete no-list she grabbed Dassous shoulder to drag his attention from the surveillance to what she had to show him.

"Watch this." she subvocalised and sent the entry to Dassous screen.

Dassous didn't show any outward sign of emotion, but quickly keyed in his com-link to the home base. Another things on the definete no- list. Any signal from inside a habitate would be picked up by the sensors. An immidiate death sentence to the team in question. But this time they couldn't worry about that.

Dassous forhead wrinkled and he immidiately spun around to look into the darkness around them.

"I'm being jammed." he mumbled into his own throat mike.

"Contacts on the scanners." Rains replied. "Three, no five contacts comming from the north."

"I have four on the south side." Dassous mumbled.

Fahime dropped the multitool and readied her rifle. The counter teams had found them.

The Aron Tech VX12 Transatmospheric Fighter

A nanodesign first created by Aron Tech. Aron Tech signed an cooperation clause with Atlantis NanoPatent Organisation in which the ANPO gained the right to include Aron Tech designs in their nanofabs. When Aron Tech was absorbed by Trillian Arms in 9234 a number of its templates, including the VX12, was hijacked by ANPO and has since then been a part of the standard template package in ANPO nanofabs.

The ANPO nanofabs has reached many systems and due to its essentially freeware status the VX12 has become a popular combat vehicle in many of the less rich, sub-ultratech polities. The design is also surprisingly robust and can take much punishment considering its technological level.

The Fighter utilises a Henry Hlorstein D-3He Fusion drive in space and the pretty standard Veron jet system in atmosphere. The cruising speed of the Fusion Drive is 125 km/sec with short bursts up to 160 km/sec possible. The Veron jet has a cruising speed of .75 km/sec with boost up to 2 km/sec possible at an exponentially larger fuelconsumption.

The fighter is designed for a Biont or Vec pilot, but could theoretically be used by AI or Virtual pilots (though in this case a cockpit is unneeded and the AM12 TA AI-targeted Fighter would probably be a better choice). The fighter is equipped with escape capsul and a long variety of help systems, including the option to upload a slaved AI.

Weaponry is highly customisable, but the most popular space-oriented models are equipped with a Rhyly Thoran Rail Cannon and either nuclear/amat missiles or semi-intelligent attack drones.

Ryeson and Weis made their way out to the corridor and walked down to the left, towards the greenhouses. A young boy of dark complexion, no more than 8 years old, ran past them screaming in delight chased by a fair skinned girl of the same age. Ryeson couldn't help but smile at the life affirming sight, but his pleasant thoughts were interupted by Weis.

"You do see that this is going the wrong way?" Weis asked.

Ryeson sighted and turned away from the kids, continuing his walk down the corridor

"Yes. I'm quite aware of that. But what do you want me to do? I don't have any real power, you know that. As long as Farway and his warcamp are in the majority there isn't anything I can do." he replied.

"You might not have the majority in the council, but you are popular outside the council." Weis shook his head wearily "Perhaps it's time you show your outside influence."

Ryeson stopped at a window and carefully avoided looking at Weis, instead studying the grey and white wasteland outside.

"What are you proposing? Dissolving the council? Revolution?" only now did he look at his shorter friend "Have you really considered the consequences?"

Weis opened his mouth to answer when he suddently noticed something behind Ryeson's back. Ryeson turned to see what had caught Weis' attention and saw Farway comming down the corridor, obviously heading towards them.

"Greetings, friend cardinals." Farway called out when he was near enough to greet them. In response Weis turned away to look out of the window. Ryeson couldn't be so undiplomatic.

"Good day Farway." he replied and looked the cardinal over. "To what do I owe the honor?"

A smile spread over Farway's youthly face and he replied "Oh, I hoped we could talk about the current military situation."

Ryeson could feel Weis quiver behind him and he too had to put a bit of restraint on his feelings to not come with an outburst. He had just opened is mouth to give a tactful denial, when Farway raised his hand.

"Please, allow me to continue. I am as interested in our colony's safety as you are." At this Weis unleashed a disbelieving snort, but Farway apparently chose to ignore it "It is simply that we see it in different ways. A split in the leadership is never good, and therefore I would like to try and talk, and perhaps we could find a way that we would both find agreeable."

Ryeson briefly considered this, and then opened his mouth to answer again.

"Crib this is Genie, code eight, nine, nine, four, two, nine, zero, five. I'm sending vital information over the datalink. A fighter carrying an amat warhead is heading for home base. I repeat this is important. A fighter carrying an amat warhead is heading for home base. Full information sent over datalink. Please respond."

Fahime was running wildly towards the airlock. She was alone. Rains had been downed by a stray flechette shot while they tried to get around the encircling counterteams. Even though it was a stray shot the massive speed of the needle had ripped out a large chunk of his left hip, instantly disabling him. They knew that the Goran didn't take any prisoners, neither did their own counterteams, but if they had tried to drag him they would all three have been caught. So they left him.

She lost Dassous two minutes ago. He had been in the front and had walked straight onto a planted patch of nanogoo. The nanomachines had begun disassembling him while he was still alive, swarming from the floor and up his body, dissolving skin, tissue and finally bones in a slow process that probably hadn't even ended yet. And now she was alone. Desperately hoping that someone were receiving her message.

Rian's eyes roamed over the data filling his vision while the fighter jumped up and down, hugging the contours of the landscape. There was no evidence that the religious freaks had any air defence or even equipment to track the fighter, but it never hurt to be sure.

Rian glanced at the timer. 1 minute before the fighter would pass over the enemy colony. And then all the problems would be solved, once and for all.

The three men at the window all looked down as their wristcomps simultanously beeped. Ryeson pressed a button and the face of one of the young men from Tactical Operations Center. His face was visibly pale as he said "Cardinal Ryeson, I think you should see this."The wristcomp beeped again as it received a file and Ryeson immidiately began to read it. When he had finished he looked up. The look on his companions' faces seemed to indicate that they had received the same message as he. A palefaced Farway confirmed it when he said

"We got to evacuate the colony. It could be here any minute."

Ryeson sighed "It's too late for that."

Looking into his wristcomp he asked the operative on the other end "Who else knows?"

"Only the cardinals, the infiltrator team and those in this room, sir." the operative replied.

"Then send a message to the cardinals to stay calm and not tell anybody else."

"Yes sir." the operative replied, and Ryeson terminated the transmission.

Farway looked at Ryeson wideeyed.

"What are you doing?"

Ryeson looked at Farway, seeing a young man, scared out of his wits, visibly shaking.

"There is no time to evacuate anybody in, what? Two minutes was the maximal prediction? Right now people are happy and secure." Ryeson turned to the window, almost believing that he could see the approaching fighter near the horizon "They'll never know what hit them."

Rian glanced at the timer again. Twenty seconds. With quick hands he pressed a few buttons, arming the amat bomb under the fighter. Then he slowly began to increase the fighter's altitude. He wouldn't want to be too close to the ground when the bomb went off.

As the cockpit tilted slightly upwards his sensors suddently caught something approaching the planet. Something big was approaching. A small window opened in the upper left side of his view showing a magnification. Rian's first thought was


John tapped on the keyboard and send on the message that Ryeson had told him to send to the cardinals. He didn't know what good it would do, but Ryeson was usually right. Suddently Altair behind him gave a shout.

"I've got something on the sensors!"

John spun around "Is it the fighter?"

"Uh, negative, at least I don't believe so. It's a large vessel comming from outer space."


"I don't think so.. it doesn't look like her hullsignature at all."

"Then what in god's name?"

The large, 500 meter long cylinder had approached the planet from the edge of the system with a speed close to 0.1c, but now it were slowing down, batteries of amat thrusters spewing vapourised steam into space. The ship looked both rough and polished at the same time. The main cylinder consisted of a smooth grey material, perfect down to subatomic level, but here and there thrusters, dishes, bumps and strange indents marked it's surface, giving the ship an appearance like grey playdough rolled between the palms of an imaginative child and then pierced with whatever else happened to be lying on the table.

The ship stopped over a point on the northern hemisphere, clearly visible in the sky by all beings on the same side of the planet. The world seemed to pause for a second. Then a signal penetrated every computersystem on the planet, swatting security systems aside like flies, sendng a message to every creature below.

"This is Armstrong. I have been given protectorship of this planet. All hostilities are to seize or they will be halted by use of terminal force. All weapons must be laid down and all vehicles and personel turn around to their own homes within 5 seconds."

Ryeson looked out through the window towards the large dot hanging in the sky above them.


Fahime stumbled out of the airlock and looked towards the sky. A voice in the far back of her brain told her to keep running, but for now all she could do was look towards the distant object in the sky.

John and Altair looked at each other, not quite sure what they had heard or what to believe.

Rian finger hovered over the button that would disarm the bomb. Then he saw the seconds ticking by and moved his hand over the bomb release button. He was so close. He couldn't just give up now. His eyes followed the countdown.

"Six.. Five.. Four.. Three.."

A subroutine told Armstrong that the five seconds had passed. On the outside of the ship two railcannons which had been tracking the fighter fired. In 0.2 seconds the projectiles crossed the distance between the ship and the fighter, leaving behind twin shining lines of excited molecules. One graphite projectile broke through the top of the cockpit, proceeded through Rian's helmet, head and body, smashed it's way through the bottom of the fighter, and finally buried into the frozen surface of Wilson. The other projectile smashed through the main body of the fighter, striking the amat bomb. The result was a flaming ball of whitehot fire which seared the visual nerves of the three council members watching through the window. Beneath the former location of the fighter the heatwave melted a deep bowl, irradiating the scenary for miles around.

At the same time that the ship had fired the railcannons, it also unleashed a swarm of guided capsules which descended through the atmosphere, to deposite their nanogoo contents at different places around the planet. Less than a minute after the amatbombs explosion microscopic machines where beginning to remove irradiated matter from the terrain, while other machines swarmed in and around the habitats, dismantling weaponry and any resistant sapients.

Fahime released her rifle as it suddently began to dismantle between her fingers, and watched in disbelief as her sensors showed how her automated weaponry where brought offline one after the other. Then suddently it was over, the silver streams of nanogoo slid of her and headed towards the airlock. Fahime could only stare and then look towards the sky, where a glow showed that the ship was leaving orbit again. With one last shaken look at the silver streams Fahime turned and began the treck back towards Tetsic.

Armstrong, The Origin

It is generally believed that Armstrong consists at least partially of the ascended AI Armstrong-12. Armstrong-12 was commissioned to lead the colonizer ship Starship Savior to New Gaia by the Enlightened Trans-Christian-Islamic Community polity of the interplanetary Era (see Josephine Ryeson-Weis's book "Major and Minor Polities of 450 a.t. - 520 a.t." for extensive details on TETCIC). The colony ship arrived to the New Gaia system in 2910 a.t., only to find that it had been fasttracked and that the system were now under the control of a caretaker god. The colonists were diverted to Wilson and Armstrong-12's assignment could be said to be finished, so the human leaders of the mission shut down the computer. Shortly after the last colonists had been removed from the ship, a sudden burst from the navigation thrusters threw the ship out of Wilson's orbit and into an eclectic orbit around the sun. This is the last information about Armstrong-12.

Then in 2963 a.t. Armstrong appears, halting excalating hostilities between the Tetsic and Golan families, the Tetsic family incidentially being descendants of the TETCIC colonists. One of Armstrong's first messages when he appeared on the scene was that e had been given protectorship of the planet. Within the next few weeks e expanded this to all settlements in the system besides New Gaia itself. The interesting fact is that Rachel apparently didn't protest, or at least no physical retaliation were seen.

This leads many to believe that Armstrong was a partner or at least a pawn of Rachel, dedicated to take care of the offplanet settlements so that Rachel could concentrate fully on the planet. Among these are those that believe that Rachel 'cultured' Armstrong- 12 into ascension and that the early shipbody of Armstrong was based on the Starship Savior's hull. This last belief will probably never be proved as the shipbody was completely destroyed during the Version wars by a barage of amat torpedoes.

The fact is that Armstrong from an ouside view largely took over the system, beginning smalescale mining operations (which had earlier in history been forbidden by Rachel) and widespread economic speculations which benefitted the system as a whole (though New Gaia to a much lesser degree than th offworlders). Violence between the offworlders were also nonexistant in this period due to a no-weapon- in-baseline-hands policy driven by Armstrong.

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