Setting the Stage: Station Keeping

Centuries of colonization, growth, and settlement have left scores of small and mid-sized human outposts on as many worlds. Rather than continue a disorganized and largely unnecessary program of expansion the League, or what remained of the central government, decided to concentrate its resources on developing existing outposts and supporting smaller and established populations. With good reason, many doubted the intentions and abilities of this project: resources were limited, and the mostly irrelevant mandates of the League did not inspire confidence.

Hanm Centre was one of the first outposts that the League and its often laughable Navy established as part of this project. In high orbit of the small colony world Hanm, the space station was to be the focal point of the League's efforts on several worlds. Despite the possibility of growth many on Hanm worried about the effects of the attention on their way of life. Some object to the League because they figure better to leave well enough alone‚ "Hanm, like many outlying settlements was basically self sufficient and the larger issues of humanity's unification were largely irrelevant‚" but there was another, more vocal faction on the colony that wasn't strictly opposed to the effort to federate the outposts, settlements and colonies; they were simply opposed to the potentially hegemonic League.

These circumstances left Hanm Centre, and it's residents, in a unique position to observe and act in the outcome of this debate. Life would go on: there wasn't a group of any importance that advocated for a "retreat," to the "core-side" worlds, neither was anyone particularly opposed to the existence of the Hanm Centre station. Many expected that whatever happened on Hanm Centre would have no profound impact to the planet below and the progress of the Leagues development.

Despite the potential truth of these prognostications, the residents of Hanm, and the later the station, mostly laughed or scoffed when they read the kinds of statements made by the syndicated news commentators: everyone was keen to point out that the news services were based on different worlds.

The station was still new, so new that construction wasn't even completely finished. Much of the permanent staff had yet to arrive, even. So, although everyone in the universe with a connection to the news-feeds thought that the situation on Hanm‚Ä"the planet and the station‚Ä"was the shape of things to come, the residents were of course more concerned with the construction schedules and the pending arrival of the next automated delivery transport. These concerns were complicated by the fact that a predominance of the station's occupants were transitory: there for temporary work, or pausing for a moment on the journey to other colonies and outposts. Despite this, there could be little question that everyone‚Ä"-the League, the colonists on Hanm, the station's residents, the settlers on the neighboring worlds, and observers on dozens of worlds were eagerly waiting for further news of Hanm Centre.

...and I hope you too are waiting for news of Hanm. This "trailer" was written by me to kick the series off. This project will be written by many contributors, in addition to myself, and is an on going experiment in hypertext/digital story telling. IF you're interested in participating please contact me, `tycho <>`_. I look forward to hearing from you, both in your contributions and in your responses/feedback to these stories. Next week's episode will be slightly more conventional, I promise. So stay tuned!--ty

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