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ICON Background - Omicron Station


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Omicron Station

Omicron Station originally existed as a GMG-owned space-port at the jumpgate in the Shari system. A little over ten years ago, disagreements between Pariah Larmion and the Guild caused the station to be abandoned (due to depressurisation on 50% of decks). Larmion has since rebuilt the station, and established it as the premier Ďneutral portí in CivCore. For this reason, it is being used to host the Nimyek peace conferences.

The station is far larger than it needs to be, and the only thing preventing further expansion is the environmental capability needed to handle additional guests. This leads to many derelict abandoned or just downright empty areas.

Residential

Skithtown aka. The Tubes: The Shari took a very literal view of what ventilation tubes were for. These have been designed first and foremost as a habitat for Skithrass. They probably could be used as ventilation tubes but after a brief fiasco in the early days noone has tried. The environmental system performs the same job in any case.

Residential decks: Were probably standardised once, but you would never know today. They are quite spacious compared to a ships cabin, although obviously they canít compare to planetary accommodation. Some are decorated by artists. Some looks like they were built by Escher out of a second-hand bookshop.

Promenade: The main shopping district. There is no prohibition in setting up shops anywhere, but most of the merchants congregate for convenience. Trade goods from the Federation are prominent (one jump away) but other goods are common as well. Real (organic) food is more plentiful here then anywhere else in space, as it is Shariís main export. Secure booths for private discussion also abound, used for secret trading deals, or the occasional illicit encounter. Their main attraction is that they are not covered by the Station surveillance network and theoretically are unmentionable. In practice the main safeguard is that noone will know which one you are going to use until you do.

Entertainment is a major growth area. Nightclubs, bars, and more seedy attractions are all present. The character of the promenade changes as one goes along. At first the area is like an up market shopping area. As one goes along regulation is less and less eagerly enforced until eventually downright illegal activities become commonplace.

The Cubes: Specialist accommodation with full environmental control for those with exotic habitat requirements. These all have airlocks and pressure doors to stop habitats mixing. Such visitors are asked to bring their own environment suits if they want free range of the station, although in practice these can be tailor made at the promenade for an exorbitant fee.

The Wyre: A trifling fault in the plans for Omicron station has left the accommodation for dragon and their riders slightly at odds with the rest of the station. In short all the floors ramps and ducts leading to this area have a vertical gap of about two feet. Although this inconvenient noone has got around to redesigning the area and relaying all the floors. Hence this area is called the Wyre.

The riders are regarded as somewhat eccentric. They are infamous for their wild parties and loose morals. Anyone who would venture into a ship to ship combat with only a space suit, dragon and light sabre has to be a little carefree to begin with. Generally however they respect true violence too much to use it unnecessarily. Non- lethal brawls are another matter, and the riders suffer frequent brushes with the law as a result.

The Dragons a peaceful, humorous and deadly. Tough enough to live in space, strong enough to claw their way into a hull, and smart enough to get riders pampering their every need. They also breath fire. Most people donít regard them as anything more than smart animals, although the riders claim they are fully sentient or even smarter than most people. They are familiar sight around the station although thankfully not inside it.

Rides are possible by arrangement and are vigorously touted by the authorities, who would like to see these Shari shock combat troops accepted as entertainment at social functions rather than a serious military threat. Kiddies go for half price.

The Throne Room

Larmionís Throne Room is guarded by Guardsmen day and night, who never, ever leave their posts for any reason. Large blast doors are the openly known way in to this section, which otherwise has extremely thick steel walls. Visitors are almost never admitted.

The Engine Room

The Station has engines, capable of moving the station at a terrifying 0.1g. They were originally designed to resist the weak pull of Shariís small and distant star. Last year the engines were turned off, by order of the Pariah. The station has not yet moved.

Power Control

Omicron, in typical Shari fashion, has approximately four of five different power plants. The Station could probably survive with only three, or two with careful management. Some are listed below.

Reactor core: Big. Various control rooms keep it safe. Non-Shari technicians are often appalled by what the Shari consider 'safe'. For this reason there are often disputes between the Shari and Non Shari technicals. Main power source.

Solar power panels: Very effective ones developed in co-operation with the stem. In a pinch they could be rigged up to 'sail' the station. They are not in particularly effective patterns at the moment, since space traffic takes priority over presently unneeded extra power.

Deltronic Power plant: A power plant bought off another race. Once studied, it was brought to Omicron. It breaks down Omicronís refuse to form power. Its not terribly efficient, but has a practically unlimited amount of fuel.

The Spiral: Seemingly long tubes filled with occasional burst of crackling energy. They donít appear to be connected to anything, either input or output. However, they do provide a small amount of heat. Noone knows how. These tubes become particularly active when the main gun is fired. Like most systems on Omicron, the power plants are very well shielded. Even so, visitors are surprised to see that these produce no radiation at all. None. Which is a little strange but doubtless has some engineering explanation.

Environmental Systems

These appear to have been added almost as an afterthought. Since the station was built with the help of the Skithrass, the environmental systems have been designed to prevent strange people getting access to restricted parts of the Station. Because Omicron was built with the Skithrass, this has not been entirely successful. In many places they are still being redesigned, or modified. Maintenance is a particular worry to other races, since what the Shari crews really like doing is fixing things in a desperate race against the clock, rather than making sure they donít break in the first place.

The GUN

This is a massive fixed mount weapon aimed permanently at the jumpgate. It is too big to be really practical, and has never been fired in anger. It is the real reason that there is so much spare power on Omicron.

The Docks

These are plentiful and have been expanded many times since Omicron first opened. Berths, Servicing, cargo handling and storage are handled here. Although there are theoretically strict rules and even customs duties in practice corruption is rife. The authorities will rarely take a hand unless the station or its personnel are threatened. Private ownership or running of the dock facilities is common, boosted by the fact that many consider the Shari themselves to be total incompetents. It has been claimed by some that giving repair robots, ships berths and cargo handling capabilities to private individuals would encourage some kind of organised crime. However, rumours of highly organised gangs acting in secret is almost certainly false (probably).

Berths: Many are privately owned and run either for convenience or for renting out as a package with other services. Major repairs to ship are generally confined to the larger repair bays.

Repair bays : These are large and make extensive use of robots (due to limited environmental resources but more than adequate parts and power). They can also be used as small construction yards although this activity is usually confined to outside the station.

Robots : About five years ago there was a brief attempt to create war robots - military mechanoids designed to fight. After a brief incident involving rampaging robots and about five deaths the entire project was mothballed. Many of the robots were decommissioned and have since ended up in the repair bays and in construction crews. This makes some people nervous but of course, they wouldnít these old death machines in public unless they knew it was safe... There are also rumours that not all of the robots were found - and that some still lurk in the bowls of the station.

The River Tethys

This flows from the reservoir, down numerous tubes, sluices and gravity fields and ends at the promenade. It then is pumped into a number of smaller tributaries, fountains and one small set of rapids, before ending at the purification plant and thence back to the reservoir. Boat trips are possible along some of its course, although boats and submersibles have to careful not to get sucked down into the bowls of the station.

The Gardens

These were originally designed as dwelling places for space faring plants. None have actually turned up requesting accommodation, apart from ambassador 100 who does not seem to require soil. Because of this they were briefly turned into hydroponics, but since people preferred fresh food from the planet they are now mostly used as research gardens. They are quite nice to wander in, but open spaces are less common than series of interconnecting rooms, giving people more a sense of a greenhouse labyrinth rather than a garden.

The First Interplanetary Bank of Shari

The Bank will accept anyoneís money, no questions asked, and is very secure. It is almost entirely automated and computer run.

Accountancy Department

This handles the stations internal economics, of interest to noone, and its taxes, of interest to everyone. It is populated mostly by Skithrass, to the despair of the other races who work there.

The Shades

So called because this section of the station is cast into shadow by huge solar panels. This area has not been occupied and noone has maintained it for many years. It used to contain tech labs, residential areas, storage and engineering. When it became clear that the station was too big to be maintained, all the people moved out of this badly designed and increasingly empty area.

Many rumours exist of what might lurk down these dark dank abandoned tunnels and rooms. Stories have mentioned old robots, strange mutations escaped from the labs, prototype dragons whose miscast form can not stand the light of day, carnivorous plant forms, escaped criminals and even a wild Sarcat, supposedly released by Larmion so his successor would have something to hunt. The truth is anyoneís guess. Shari does a lot of animal export, so there might be things living down there, although it is unclear exactly what they would eat. It is also easy to get lost. Whatever the reasons, people avoid this area, and it is considered by most residents to be highly dangerous.

However some people still persist. the old storerooms still exist and much remains that was forgotten about.. The main storerooms are valuable parts of the Shades containing the huge piles of rusty junk and discarded equipment that is now obsolete. Theoretically the material is owned by the Pariah but it isnít guarded and some treasure hunters have been trying to dig through these rooms in the hopes of finding something they can sell. This is not easy. Some rooms are roughly the size of a football pitch and are by no means regular in shape having unexpected cavities in walls ceiling and floor. Picture one of those tool chests with little holes for the equipment and then stuff all sorts of stuff in until it is crammed to the limit. Some of the original equipment was some 50ft tall and weighed hundreds of tons. Stuff is now piled to a height of some 70 -100 feet in some places. Other treasures might be found in the tech labs or in forgotten engineering decks.

Rumour has it that strange and wonderful can be found. Rumour also has it that Skithrass used to dwell here until things started to feed upon them.

Final point. This is not a paradise. People are here for trade, for new ideas, and because the police arenít very vigilant. It was designed to be a paradise, but is has fallen far short. Too much of the station is too big, or too small, or over designed. It is enough to make a sentientís head spin. but against all the odds it works. There is no central ANYTHING. The Pariah exerts only enough authority to make sure there a power vacuum at the top. There is no real central authority, just as there is no central power plant, no central water purification, no central computer. People have the authority that people give them because if they didnít there would be chaos. Welcome to Omicron.