Go back to previous page
Forum URL: http://www.eyrie-productions.com/Forum/dcboard.cgi
Forum Name: Undocumented Features General
Topic ID: 11
#0, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the (UF) Galaxy
Posted by Redneck on Apr-25-01 at 00:44 AM
The series of tales collected under the title of Undocumented Features make only the rarest of mentions to a certain book.

The reason for this may be that the chroniclers of the history of the Known Galaxy from the 20th to the 25th centuries also 'moonlight' for the publishers of that book, and as such are reluctant to call attention to any connection between the works thereof.

This is a pity, as it really is a remarkable book, the most popular book ever to emerge from the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor, more popular than the ExoSalusia Arms Catalog, better selling than Build Your Own Hyperdrive Using Only Household Tools, and more controversial than Morin Trion's trilogy, The Dirty Pair are Lesbo Freaks, The Dirty Pair's Favorite Sexual Positions, and The Uncoerced Apology and Retraction to the Lovely Angels.

On many of the more relaxed worlds of the Known Galaxy, it has even replaced works such as the Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge, for though it has many omissions, and contains much that is apocryphal, inaccurate, or out-and-out fabrication, it scores over the older and more pedestrian work in two significant respects.

First, it is significantly cheaper; and second, it has the words DON'T PANIC written in large friendly letters on the cover.

It is, in fact, that shaper of cultures and rescuer of lost spacers across the cosmos, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Selected unedited entries from various time periods, generally centered around the very end of the 24th Century (2389 - 2400), have come into our hands, and now and again as we decompress them from the high-density digital format they were recorded in into plain text, they may or may not be made available here for your edification.

Certain subjects already covered quite comprehensively in existing text, such as (for example) the history of the Cybertronean people will not be covered here (except to mention that the Guide entry referring to the vast and delightful array of intoxicating beverages available in Cybertronean bars neglects to caution that organic life forms cannot digest, or survive, the beverages involved). The articles presented here will follow the sample posted immediately thereafter, covering subjects which are touched in passing by the chronicles, but which are not fully explained and which may confuse the uncautious reader.

(Any confusion which persists -after- reading the entries is only to be expected. The Guide's attitude towards correcting errors is that, when there is a conflict between the Guide and the rest of the universe, it's the rest of the universe that has it wrong.)

Be warned that these articles were not edited by the Guide staff or by the editors of the chronicles, and as such they are prone to be even more inaccurate than the usual Guide entries. Where conflicts arise, we refer you to the chronicles of Undocumented Features, which are always the last word until we change our minds next.

--- Redneck

Red wizard needs money badly...
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope

#1, Freespacers - RE: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the (UF) Galaxy
Posted by Redneck on Apr-25-01 at 02:12 AM
In response to message #0

(Article c. 2390-2400)

The Confederate Freespacers Alliance is one of a handful of nation-states with no official home planet, and the only one not composed of a single species of sapient lifeform. Like the others, it is semi-migratory, moving according to the needs of the moment but tending to remain in one system for years at a time. Unlike any of the others, however, it supports (or helps support) one of the ten most powerful military forces in the Federation, and unlike all but a tiny handful of worlds it actively hires out that military force to other planets for a profit. In short, it's a nation of not quite two million beings on close to two thousand FTL-capable starships, mercenaries, pirates, smugglers and free traders, making it a really cool place to be.

The Freespacers began as a civilian auxiliary to the Confederate Freespacers Mercenary Fleet (more on them later), which was founded to help prosecute the Zardon Civil War. At the end of that war, some seven hundred people, military and civilian, were registered as CFMF personnel or auxiliaries, although more than half the ships involved were unarmed. In order to care for the auxiliaries and their dependents, the CFMF command crafted a constitutional government, recognized by the Salusian Empire and Zardon Republic in 2008 but not accepted into the United Galactica until the last decade of the 20th Century.

The Freespacers attracted large numbers of emigrees, many seeking work with the CFMF, with the CFMF's chief supplier RebelTech Industries, or anyone else, others seeking refuge from law enforcement from other worlds, yet others just cursed with a wanderlust which could not be satisfied by the Terran Diaspora of the 21st Century. By the time the Freespacers were admitted into the Galactica, the Alliance had over 100,000 citizens, and those numbers continued to grow. By 2288 the Alliance's citizenry had expanded to over 500,000, and in the forty years following the disbanding of the WDF, leading up to the collapse of the United Galactica, that number doubled. In 2380 the Alliance's population exceeded 1.2 million; in 2390, thanks in no small part to the chaos brought on by the Corporate Wars, the number was over 1.5 million.

Today, about one-half of the Freespacer population is 'native-born,' that is born of Freespacer parents. These people form the national 'identity' of the Freespacers, a culture that values independence, free enterprise, and a lackadasical attitude towards the law. 'Live and let live' is a common Freespacer axiom, with the caveat that if they think you aren't willing to let them live, then you probably won't live very long yourself.

The other half of the population is an even mix of immigrants and refugees from various worlds. The immigrants tend to be similar in thought to the native Freespacers, especially as they usually immigrate to join the CFMF, to avoid prosecution on other worlds, or both. The refugees, on the other hand, are usually people fleeing unstable or repressive conditions on worlds where Freespacer ships happened to be in the neighborhood. Quite frequently, even when the refugees are able to return to their homeworlds, they end up returning to the Alliance, for its high standard of living, low standard of law enforcement, and 10% flat tithe of earnings.

A large number of those refugees, of course, -cannot- return home, for various reasons, and the Alliance is home to several large expatriate groups, including some who are considered harmless (like the Charismatic Vulcans, a religious group dedicated to the dissipation of destructive emotions and the loud and forceful demonstration and sharing of positive emotions, in direct contrast with the Way of Surak) and some who are feared elsewhere in the Galaxy (like the Renegade Daleks, abberant members of the species who do not share their relatives' sense of superiority and, as such, would be exterminated if they remained at home). Tolerance is STRONGLY encouraged when visiting Freespacer ships, since your bunkmate may be a Kilrathi, your cook a Gamilon, your waitress a Romulan and your ship's captain a Cyberman.

The Freespacer government is a representative democracy consisting of three branches. The executive and head-of-state is elected every six years and is limited to one term lifetime. The legislature is divided into two houses, the House of Commanders (a seat for every ship's captain with ten or more crew or inhabitants) and the Legate (a seat for every 25,000 citizens, elected every other year). The third branch, the CFMF, administers the courts through the military system under its Home Fleet (more on CFMF organization in a moment).

The chief employer of the Freespacer nation is NOT the CFMF; RebelTech Industries employs a quarter again as many people in its manufacturing, shipbuilding, and design functions, plus its operations in the entertainment and financial realms. RebelTech is renowned for loyalty to its workers, who have only unionized twice in the hundreds of years of the corporation's existence. (Both times, the union was disbanded when the organizers were revealed to be less interested in worker welfare than union dues.) However, in exchange for that loyalty RebelTech demands hard work, so this is not a position for those seeking quick short-term cash for little effort.

The CFMF, the second-largest employer in the Alliance, is a military force of some two hundred ships and over a thousand starfighters. They are organized under a central command consisting of the Fleet CINC, Fleet Chief of Staff, Fleet Quartermaster, Fleet Adjutant General, Fleet Starfighter Command and Fleet Marine Corps Commander. The military forces themselves are divided into four components; Tactical Fleet, the organized task forces around which fleets are built on deployment; Strategic Fleet, the heavier or more unusual units whihc are deployed as needs warrant; Mobile Assault and Support Squadron (M.A.S.S.)) command, individual squadrons and tender ships deployed to both TacFleet and StratFleet; and the Freespacer Marines, deployed on various ships from anything from squad size up to (on CFMF Chimera) brigade strength.

Also under CFMF command are two civilian branches; Support Fleet, consisting of those civilian contractors who haul supplies to and from Fleet deployments and those nations with whom the Fleet is contracted; and Home Fleet, the organization which operates and administers those Freespacer ships not privately owned. Persons owning their own ships will in particular want to consider employment with SupFleet, which not only supervises supply and occasional blockade-running but also operates the CFMF's intelligence service.

Home Fleet refers both to the organization previously mentioned and the main collection of Freespacer vessels. The Freespacer Home Fleet ranges in size fro two hundred to over a thousand starships in a very rigid flight pattern. Pilots who don't follow the pattern as laid down by Freespacer Traffic Control regret it VERY quickly, and sometimes VERY BRIEFLY, so any pilots visiting the Freespacer Home Fleet for the first time should pay VERY close attention to the warning buoys and starfighter patrols which surround the fleet pattern.

About fifty ships in the Home Fleet are government or CFMF owned, and these comprise the core of the Home Fleet and its visitor facilities. These include the two ships which house the Freespacer government, CFA Washington and CFA Richmond, various school ships such as CFA Jaime Escalante (home of Freespacer Alliance University), and possibly the most famous non-military Freespacer ship, the CFA New Orleans (see separate entry). The New Orleans houses Freespacer Traffic Control and Home Fleet HQ, and as such is the ship at the very center of the fleet pattern. It is also the main location for visitor facilities such as hotels, restraunts, and bars, although other city-ships such as the CFA Port Royal, CFA Boston and CFA New Kesselstan should not be ignored.

Ships docking at Freespacer ships or ports need not worry about customs inspections unless and until they bring something -off- the ship. Aside from basic safety inspections and one of the cheaper docking fees in the Federation, entering the Alliance's 'territory' is a painless process. Even if you are importing something, the Freespacer list of contraband goods is very, very short, consisting of a handful of drugs and suicidally dangerous substances or lifeforms.

Once in the Alliance, either as a shipowner or as a visitor berthed on any of hundreds of ships, there are a phenomenal number of things to do. The Alliance has multiple entertainment facilities (including many forms illegal in most other jurisdictions), great cultural events (including the annual Banned Works festival, where films, plays, music and artwork censored elsewhere in the galaxy is proudly displayed to the public), sports (three GCAA-affiliated universities plus minor league baseball, gravball, hockey and starship racing), and of course the most vital of all services for hitchhikers, booze.

<20 pages of bar reviews and drinks recipies snipped here- the Chroniclers>

After you've sample all of these wonders, or perhaps during, you are probably going to end up coming into contact with the limited Freespacer law enforcement establishment. This will usually result in nothing worse than a session in the local drunk tank, or if a firefight broke out at some point the 'drunk and disorderly' facilities. Freespacer law enforcement is of the military variety, which is usually concerned first and foremost with maintaining the peace and security of the Alliance's ships. Once a disturbance is calmed, the Freespacer security forces will usually either let people go with a nominal fine or remand the offender to his or her ship's captain. Only for very, very serious crimes will they actually go through the trouble of bringing an offender into the court system operated by CFMF Home Fleet.

Freespacer courts are courts-martial, streamlined for quickest resolution. There are no discovery periods, no opening or closing arguements, and no plea bargains. Suspects and witnesses are questioned under a veradicator (except for those who are immune or incompatible to the devices) by counsels for prosecution, counsels for defense, and finally by the three-judge panel themselves. Those tried by a court may appeal to the Supreme Court, chaired by the Adjutant General, or may have their case reheard if and when new evidence is produced. The Freespacers enforce the death penalty for repeat or multiple murder, acts of terrorism, and enslavement.

It is much more important to note, though, that the Freespacer citizenry themselves tend to enforce the laws- or the 'unwritten laws'- much more strictly than the law enforcement agencies do. Although a minority of Freespacers possess firearms, it is culturally believed that the vast majority is armed and, more importantly, believes in the proactive use of those arms against those who pose a threat to themselves or others. A mad bomber walking the corridors of the New Orleans would be watched by the dozens, if not hundreds, of people along the path who know bombs better than he does; a would-be bank robber would find a couple dozen weapons pointed back at him; and a terrorist seeking to take hostages would become barbecue in seconds.

The Freespacers refer to such actions as 'evolution in action,' (SEE ENTRY: 'NEW HONG KONG) but the practical meaning for visitors is, plain and simple, don't scare a Freespacer. A Freespacer in fear of his or her life or property is NOT a safe thing to be around.

Freespacers are among the easiest people in the galaxy to hitch rides from, especially if there's some payment in it for them. This tendency can be used from anything as small as avoiding the cost for inter-fleet transit shuttles to traveling from Zeta Cygni clear out to Tatooine. Be warned, however, that the Freespacer you hitch with may not tell you the full story of flight conditions, such as the existence of blockades or pirate fleets along the course or any unscheduled side-trips along the way.

One final note: never, EVER make fun of a Freespacer's ship. It's like making fun of a person's house, a person's home town, a person's car, and a person's mother all at the same time. If you ever want to have a Freespacer get non-fatally pissed off at you, compare their ship to a garbage hauler and see how fast you get dropped off on an uninhabited world halfway to Salusia... if you're lucky.



Red wizard needs money badly...
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope

#2, BASEBALL - RE: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the (UF) Galaxy
Posted by Redneck on Jun-18-01 at 06:23 PM
In response to message #0
LAST EDITED ON Jun-18-01 AT 06:52 PM (EDT)

Before we begin, a moment of silence for Douglas Noel Adams, 1952-2001.


A sport of dubious and murky origins on the planet Earth, in which teams of nine people each (plus substitutes) attempt to hit a small ball with an oddly shaped stick, then round three bases and return to their starting point without being tagged with the ball, wile preventing the other team from doing the same. The team which has the most men complete the circuit of bases and the starting point at the end of nine alternations of play wins.

The sport, like many unusual aspects of Earth culture, has spawned an industry centered around people who get paid to play the game. It's good work if you can get it. The most well-known organization is "Major League Baseball," which operates not merely the 'major league' of its name but dozens of lesser leagues which serve as training camps and recruiting grounds for the elite teams.

The Major Leagues, like the sport itself, originated on Earth in the latter half of the 19th Century Standard Earth Calendar. These were originally organized into the National League (the sport being confined at the time to one nation-state on Earth) and the American League (the name of the nation in question). Upon Earth's entry into the galactic society, the sport of baseball, and the people who play it, caught people's attention. The overpriced bad food and beer, the inane organ music, and the obscene cost of admissions made it one of the most popular public entertainments of the galaxy.

After some false starts, rules on who can play professional baseball were set down. Pro players must be of a human or near-human race, between 1.5 and 3 meters tall, and possessed of no cyborg implants, esper abilities, or superhuman speed, strength, or reflexes. (This restriction was stretched to allow Vulcans to play.) Performance-enhancing drugs are strictly prohibited, and after the Berzerkerite Incident of 2008, in which a member of the Cincinnati Reds killed eight and wounded fourteen, the minimum penalty for using such drugs is lifetime expulsion from the sport. Ball players *despise* people who spike the punch at parties.

The American and National Leagues dominated pro baseball from its official
introduction to the Galactica in 2000 up to the Collapse of 2288. At that
point, the Galactic League (formerly a AAA-level league with only a
handful of teams owned by major league franchises) took over in the public eye, as the two senior leagues were unable to complete a season for six years due
to extended political unrest and warfare on Earth.

In 2346 the owners of the Galactic League voted to found a new league, the
Federation League. Their intention was to replace the 'World Series' with
the 'Galaxy Series' and permanently overshadow the elder, sputtering

Unfortunately, they underestimated the ability both of the newborn
Federation and of the Olympus Earth government to bring stability to the galaxy. As nostalgic fans continued to tune in to the resumed seasons of the American and National Leagues, the newest league struggled to gain a following with frequent game and even season cancellations.

Beginning in 2355, the Galaxy Series winner challenged the World Series
winner to a one-game Federation championship game; in 2358, the elder
leagues changed their championship to the 'Earth Championship Series' and
proposed a best-of-seven contest with the junior leagues as a true 'World

Finally, in 2361, the four leagues were formally unified into one
championship bracket, and the current leagues and divisions were set out.
Since then, aside from a handful of franchise moves and expansion teams
(notably New Avalon gaining not one but two major league franchises in the
same year, 2385), the situation has been pretty much stable.

Talk has begun about bringing all the various divisions up to six teams.
Although a majority of franchise owners have not yet expressed support for
this movement, already many potential 'host cities' have applied for
expansion teams (see below).

As set down in 2361, to accomodate the demands of galactic travel the
current regular season consists of 150 games, beginning April 1st and
ending September 30th. The division champions, plus one wild-card from
each league, play two best-of-three and then a best-of-five series to determine
league champions; American and National League champions played the Earth
Series; Galactic and Federation leagues played the Galaxy Series; and the
winners of the two series meet in the World Series, usually played in
mid-November, for the baseball championship of known space.

After 2385, when the Red Sox won the Earth Series but lost the 'World Series' (thus preserving their jinx), a number of fans disputed the validity of the World Series, holding that the American-National contest was the 'true' Series. Beginning in 2386, the rules were changed so that the American and Federated Leagues would meet in the semifinals, and the National and Galactic Leagues, making it possible for American and National league teams to meet in the World Series.

The most recent controversy has been the narrow vote by American League owners to finally do away with the designated hitter (a player who takes the place of the pitcher in the batting lineup), beginning in the 2398 season. This left the Federated League as the only league of the four to permit the DH position.

For your standard hitchhiker, it is usually good policy to avoid going to games. Money can be made scalping tickets (although it is usually impossible to -give- away tickets for the Mets, Astros, or Knights) if you are lucky and unscrupulous enough. Temporary employment and a decent wage can be had selling beer and snacks in the stands, although it is recommended you be employed by the stadium owners to do this.

For more information on baseball, see GAMBLING, PROFESSIONAL SPORTS and PROSTITUTION.


American League

(Note: Under the rules of the American League, est. in the Unification
Charter 2361, all American League teams -must- be chartered and play all
home games on Earth.)


New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles
Orlando Mice (nee Tampa Bay Devil Rays)


Cleveland Indians
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins
Santa Fe Pioneers (nee Kansas City Royals)
Detroit Tigers


Texas Rangers
Oakland Athletics (A's)
Seattle Mariners
Anaheim Angels
(Olympus Thunder- defunct due to destruction of Olympus in 2388)

National League


Atlanta Braves
New Japan (nee New York) Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Babel (nee Montreal) Expos
Havana (nee Florida) Marlins


New Austin (nee Houston) Astros
Moscow (nee Cincinnati) Reds
St. Louis Cardinals
Nar Shadda (nee Pittsburgh) Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs


T'Khut Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants
Mexico (San Diego) Padres
Colorado Rockies
Brooklyn (Los Angeles) Dodgers

Galactic League (est. 2011)

East (Rigel)

Corellia Raiders *
Niogi Flash
Kane's World (nee Boston) Bats
Hipsville (Funkotron) Groove
Centauri Prime Ducks (meow)
New Paris Trappers

(* In 2403 (after this article was written) the Raiders' owners, the Corellian Engineering Corporation, and in particular its CEO and chief shareholder, Grom Tarantella, were indicted for various counts of fraud and racketeering. The CEC barely managed to transfer all their assets to Earth, including the Raiders franchise, which ended up in the only city willing to share facilities until a new stadium could be rebuilt- Toronto. Despite the turmoil of the move and the extreme circumstances, the Raiders were in their own stadium before the season ended, and played in the World Series in 2404, as documented elsewhere in the chronicles. - the Editors)

Central (Vega)

New Avalon (nee Saenar) Knights
Mega City One Judges
Sirius Werewolves
New Palnu Cooks (nee Paris Legion)
Mega Tokyo Boomers*
(* originally referred to the rapid growth of New Japan's first colony,
founded 2001; their mascot is NOT a Buma- the Editors)

West (Centauri)

shi'Kahr (Vulcan) Smiths
Andor Warriors
Tellar Pride
London Bobbies
Giesi Miners

Federated League (est. 2346)

East (Rimward)

Chira (Corellia) Biscuits
Mars Saucers (aka 'the Little Green Men')
Nal Hutta Peasants
Narn Prophets
Beta Colony Gypsies


Vulcan Academy Sehlats
Vindar Chiles
Cheltopolis Royals
Landing (Manticore) Treecats
Vidua (Centauri) Jets

West (Coreward)

New Avalon Monarchs
Deneb Slime Devils
Musashi Titans
Bryar (Corellia) Musketeers
New Osaka (New Japan) Typhoons

As of 2400, the following locations have applied to the League for expansion franchises. There are, at present, a maximum planned number of eleven slots for the 25th Century, although there is already discussion of shifting to four divisions per league before 2500.

! = currently favored for expansion

*Saenar, Salusia (Barons)
*Berlin, Niogi (Stormtroopers)
*CFA New Orleans, Confederate Freespacer Alliance (Starfighters)
!*Kronos, Klingon Republic (Bat'leths)
!*Port City, Zardon (Tanks)
!*Nekomi, Tomodachi (Ninja)
*Jyurai, Kingdom of Jyurai (Ohmu)
*Vorbarr Sultana, Barrayaran Star Empire (Lords)
*Tiure, Nal Hutta (Teamsters)
!*Rome, Earth (Gladiators)
*Chor, Minbar (Grey Sox)
*Elanor City, Meizuri (mascot not chosen)
*Chiisai Zardon, Zardon (Wheels)
*Irvine, Republic of California (a subsidiary of GENOM) (Cougars)


Red wizard needs money badly...
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope

#3, RE: BASEBALL - RE: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the (UF) Galaxy
Posted by Gryphon on Jun-18-01 at 06:39 PM
In response to message #2
I think the Federated League is the one that still has the DH; otherwise, they would have been in play for Game 7 in 2404, since it wasn't played at Fenway Park.

Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

#4, RE: BASEBALL - RE: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the (UF) Galaxy
Posted by Redneck on Jun-18-01 at 06:48 PM
In response to message #3
>I think the Federated League is the one that still has the DH;
>otherwise, they would have been in play for Game 7 in 2404, since it
>wasn't played at Fenway Park.

I thought I put -in- Federated there... oh well.

Red wizard needs money badly...
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope

#5, RE: BASEBALL - RE: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the (UF) Galaxy
Posted by Alathaniel on Jun-19-01 at 09:47 AM
In response to message #2
> Nar Shadda (nee Pittsburgh) Pirates

Heh, appropriate. Any idea how many new stadiums the Pirates have cajoled out of the Nar Shadda government? Despite the old stadium having adaquate space and facilities?

Alath A'Tharen

This space intentionally left blank.

#6, RE: BASEBALL - RE: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the (UF) Galaxy
Posted by Gryphon on Jun-19-01 at 02:17 PM
In response to message #5
>> Nar Shadda (nee Pittsburgh) Pirates
>Heh, appropriate. Any idea how many new stadiums the Pirates have
>cajoled out of the Nar Shadda government? Despite the old stadium
>having adaquate space and facilities?

Nar Shaddaa has a government?

Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

#7, RE: BASEBALL - RE: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the (UF) Galaxy
Posted by Redneck on Jun-19-01 at 02:50 PM
In response to message #6
LAST EDITED ON Jun-19-01 AT 02:57 PM (EDT)

>>> Nar Shadda (nee Pittsburgh) Pirates
>>Heh, appropriate. Any idea how many new stadiums the Pirates have
>>cajoled out of the Nar Shadda government? Despite the old stadium
>>having adaquate space and facilities?
>Nar Shaddaa has a government?

It has a board of directors, in good years. -Somebody- keeps the ATC running and space patrols flying...

I think the Pirates organization got an -education- when the Hutts bought out the franchise...

Red wizard needs money badly...
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope

#8, CFA-919 NEW ORLEANS RE: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the (UF) Galaxy
Posted by Redneck on Jun-21-01 at 01:30 AM
In response to message #0

On special request:


(NOTE: The original HHGG CFA New Orleans writeup, like the similar writeup for New Orleans on Earth and Third Orleans in the New Paris system, contained a near-encyclopaedic list of bar reviews. These have been deleted. It is presumed that, should you ever be in a position to visit one of these bars, you will be able to pick up a secondhand electronic copy of the Book as well.)

The second largest ship, and largest city, of the Confederate Freespacers Alliance, CFA New Orleans is as much fun, and occasionally as dangerous, as the North American, Earth city for which it is named...


The hulk which became the CFA New Orleans began existence as Envoy One, the deep-space generation ship project which consumed the total domestic product of the planet Onordian, a world inhabited by a humanoid race not known to Galactica surveys until 2007. The ship began construction in 2001 and, by 2007, was slightly more than half complete, with one of the planned four chemical engines installed, one of the four planned rotating gravity pods around the midsection of the ship, all of the bunkerage and about a third of the food-storage compartments. In as little as three years, the ship could have been off to the star five light-years away for which it was intended.

Unfortunately, that was when First Contact happened and turned Envoy One from a magnificent effort of engineering skill and sapient determination to explore into the biggest piece of space junk shy of Unicron's severed head.

The Onordians, bankrupted, had no choice but to sell their expensive white elephant as they could. The planned ship had been for about five kilometers long and, at its thickest point (not counting the extension of the single rotating pod, now fixed immobile on its rotating ring) about two kilometers beam and draft. The forward two kilometers had not been finished yet, and the chemical engines and bunkerage had to be yanked out so a modern engine of much smaller size could be installed; what was left was enough empty space to haul small asteroids in whole. Naturally this seemed like a real money-making opportunity, so one hauling company after another bought the hulk, did some minor remodeling, and tried hauling freight with it.

Unfortunately this was just before the days of the huge cargo ships, the days when light and medium freighters hauled most of the freight. Envoy One was not only too fragile of construction to take more than mild acceleration with ion engines, it was almost never even half-full; there just wasn't enough cargo around to justify its existence.

Finally, in 2069 a purchaser for RebelTech Industries, seeking hulks to convert into factory ships, found Envoy One and bought her for a song. Since the Freespacers didn't have any drydock large enough to handle the huge ship (even today* (2390- editors) only a handful of slips at Zeta Cygni can dock her), they instead decided to refit and rebuild her from the inside out. Already the Freespacers had lots of practice rebuilding ships any other shipbuilder would have scrapped for welding rods, but this project stressed them to the limit. In fact, if you want to be technical, it's not finished -yet-.

The first step, as always, was to install new engines to allow her to move. The ion engines which power her in sublight are very weak for her mass; if she enters the athmosphere of any planet, she's not powerful enough to pull up, and she's big enough to cause an extinction event. To balance this, she was given, and still maintains, the most powerful hyperdrive motivator and the most current, most accurate astrogation computers available, so finely tuned that she can enter hyperdrive less than 100 kilometers from the surface of a class-M planet, should she need to. (This is very, very dangerous, of course, and don't be stupid enough to try it yourself. You don't get money for breaking that record, but you could get very very dead.)

After that, the superstructure was strengthened somewhat while decks and hangars were installed for construction workers to work from. Bulkheads were installed to make the ship airtight, the makeshift control room in the massive habitat pod was remodeled into a full command center, and six hangars were constructed so as to allow multiple crews to work at once. This took a year, and nothing much happened in that time.

Once the hangar force-shields were installed, and the ship athmosphere and artificial gravity turned on, the refit crews began work in earnest, building future apartments for factory workers, an open 'town square' for them, and the first of a planned twenty different factories.

That's when the peddlers showed up.

One of the most popular Freespacer occupations is 'free trader,' in which small ship owners buy small quantities of goods and go from world to world selling as if from a flea market stall. Occasionally, such traders would join the 'roach-coaches' which followed Freespacer refit jobs and spend a few days selling to the workers during their breaks. With such a huge job, however, the number of traders grew and grew over the two years... and, unlike before, they wouldn't leave.

Eventually, the traders began trading among themselves, and before the ship was even declared open to the public, shuttles were running with non-involved civilians wanting to visit the bazaar. Finally, RebelTech gave up, finished the one factory (which now houses the Alliance coin mint) and shifted their conversion efforts into designing the center of Freespacer commerce for the Home Fleet. Finally, seven years after it began, about 30% of the newly christened CFA New Orleans was rated as inhabitable, and storefronts opened up for rent.

In 2100, when the Freespacers were granted a representative in the Galactica Assembly, they celebrated by remodeling the large open space at the center of the New Orleans into a Promenade, complete with a large grass-covered area large enough to site five soccer fields side by side. The entire CFMF was assembled, along with as much of the Freespacer nation as could be rounded up, for a grand Muster, four days of celebration which drew thousands upon thousands of spectators from other worlds. The Muster became an annual event (althought the CFMF seldom gathers all its forces into one place anymore), and it is the single greatest tourist-draw event the Freespacers have, second being (of course) Mardi Gras.

Today, the New Orleans has a permanent population of 25,000- exceeded only by the only ship larger than it in the fleet, the mobile drydock CFA Bethlehem. It has an average daily -occupation- of 65,000, including tourists, visitors on business, etc. It has official capacity, without overcrowding, for not quite 200,000 people, and handles even more when it is pressed into service as a refugee evacuation vehicle.

What's really impressive is that those numbers do not include the unofficial population, those who squirrel around the 40% of the ship which is very, very slowly being claimed by the ongoing refit. Because the New Orleans requires so -much- maintenance to be made safe, the refit project is approaching the point of diminishing returns, allowing those who can't be legal even by Freespacer standards- and that is SAYING something!- a semi-safe haven.

It's bloody dangerous in the uninhabitable zones. Some doors lead out onto hard vacuum. Others lead into holes of crime and villainy and don't lead out again. In other places, you can walk around the corner of a corridor and fall a kilometer straight down. Finally, the ship's security forces do -not- patrol or investigate anything short of a bomb threat or fresh hull breach in the zones, so any hitchhiker looking for illegal goods (again, a MAJOR stretch for Freespacers) had better have his or her towel handy.

There are several points of interest in general on the New Orleans. The Bazaar is scattered all over the ship, but concentrated on the access ramps and corridors leading to and from Bay Two, Bay Three, Bay Four, and Ship Repair Bay. (The latter is the main place to take a broken ship, although there are five private small-vessel bay repair hangars as well.) The Freespacer Mall, surrounding the Promenade and the broad walkway from Bay One, is an upscale version of the Bazaar, with galactic chains of food, clothing, and other sellers, as well as unique locations as Calrissian's on the Promenade, reputed as the best casino in whatever sector it happens to be in at the time. (It is, too; the odds are more favorable there than most places, since Calrissian's makes a lot of money off tourists looking for a glimpse of its famous proprietor.) The lower level of the central mall is actually rated Transformer-friendly, with thirty shops mallwide which cater either to giant mechanoids or to other giant-sized humanoid life forms.

If the New Orleans comes under attack- possible but unlikely, since it defines the center of the Freespacer Home Fleet and coordinates its orbital traffic pattern- it cannot fight, only run. Its multiple layers of shields protect a totally unarmored and fairly weak outer hull. It has no guns at all, only a small starfighter hangar just above the engines which cannot do quick launches. The New Orleans compensates by being the fastest ship of its mass in hyperspace, factor 0.75; when the Home Fleet moves, New Orleans is the last to leave and the first to arrive.

Other points of interest:

THE PROMENADE- a span of grass measurable in acres, it hosts public athletics (including the AAA Freespacer baseball franchise, the Rebels), marching exhibitions, picnics, and other public assemblies. It is the center of the annual Muster celebrations and, effectively, the center of the Freespacer nation. Its video billboards, overhead walkways, and six levels of storefront are a familiar postcard sight.

THE BAZAAR- if you can't find it her, legal or not, it's not likely to be found at all. ANYTHING except slaves is sold here.

FLEET PERSONNEL PROCESSING CENTER - After the GENOM-inspired Revolt of 2288, the CFMF cracked down a bit on its recruiting procedures. It's still pretty easy to get in the CFMF, though, and this is the place to go if you have your own ship and want to volunteer for Supply Fleet, or if you want a three-year-hitch as a seaman on a warship. This is also where you go to seek Freespacer citizenship- the only place, in the latter event. Both are determined by resume and personal interview (occasionally involving an unlicensed telepath or empath). The inhabitants of the Zones are in large part composed of those who were refused citizenship, but are taking advantage of Freespacer noncooperation with agencies like the WWWA and other law enforcement groups.

HOME FLEET TRAFFIC CONTROL AND HEADQUARTERS - This is the bridge of the New Orleans, the flight tower for the Home Fleet, and the administrative home of the Freespacer ship registry, all in one place- the tower-pod atop the ship. Freespacer ATC controls over 2000 ships at any given time, Freespacer and visitors, in a tight pattern with defined rights-of-way. Violations of ATC don't result in prosecution unless you hit another ship... but the pattern is so dense that that's difficult to avoid.

HOME OFFICE, FREESPACER GALACTIC BANK AND TREASURY - Home office of the fifth largest galactic banking combine, also the home of the Freespacer government treasury and mint. Located a short distance from the Promenade in the old Rebeltech factory, it is the place where the Freespacer mark (CFA currency, fluctuates between 0.9 and 2 SalCreds in value but is used almost exclusively within the Alliance) is minted.

FREESPACER STOCK AND MERCANTILE EXCHANGE - the local stock market, home of RebelTech's listings plus nearly two hundred smaller corporations.

(For other ships of interest in CFA Home Fleet, see CFF Confederacy, CFF Camelot, CFA Richmond/CFA Washington, CFA Bethlehem, CFA Birmingham, CFA Jaime Escalante, CFF Chimera, CFA Robert E. Lee II, CFA Rappahannock, CFA Golden Hind.)


Red wizard needs money badly...
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope