Friday, February 25, 2011

The Alkonost Republic

With colonization efforts dating back to the very late First Wave, the world of Alkonost was the sector's economic and political capital prior to the Scream, housing tens of millions of citizens living a prosperous life under the Alkonost Jump Gate. Its many museums, libraries and archives, however, were stocked with many examples of First Wave-era technology; when the Scream came, cutting away Alkonost's link with the Core and destroying its Pretech industrial base, these technologies were put into use, softening the world's collapse. While countless millions died when the Psitech devices they relied upon failed, hundreds of thousands survived and were able to regress to a TL2 industrial base rather than collapse into full-scale barbarism.

And from these seeds of industry, modern Postech grew in the following centuries. Primitive inter-planetary travel and mining resumed in 2956; the first Spike Drive-equipped ship was reverse-engineered from existing relic technologies in 3081; and nearby worlds were visited, for the first time in centuries, in 3087. Most of these worlds were found to be either dead tomb-worlds or extremely primitive Feral Worlds, with the exception of Svoboda with its then-TL3 cottage industry, Nadezhda with TL3 academies and Chernobog with its already-functioning Psionics Academy. Alkonostan traders, industrialists and investors profited greatly from this renewed contact, as vast new markets - and, indeed, vast tomb-worlds ready for salvage - were opened to them. And thus the Restored Alkonost Republic was founded in 3099 AD, restoring for the first time a glimmer of the Mandate's grandeur, if only at a local scale.

The Restored Alkonost Republic Republic is, first and foremost, the largest commercial power in the Alkonost Sector, encompassing six worlds and holding a very advanced Postech industrial base, with some Pretech elements as well. Thriving on trade and industry, the Republic is a civil democracy where the economy takes the first seat and the military takes only the second seat. In the recent years, however, it is starting to show an increasing trend of introversion, complacency and corruption, with the Republic's relatively wealthy citizens being focused on their own creature comforts rather than any higher goal; politics are becoming more and more cutthroat, with many lobbyists funded by corporations and other interest groups are exerting pressure on the state apparatus. Decline, it appears to many, is inevitable.

There is also a conspiracy within the Republic's government, led by certain elements of the Navy and of the Committee on Psionics. This secret cabal is trying to covertly wrest power from the hands of the inefficient and increasingly corrupt civil authorities and transfer it into the hands of "worthy men and women" - Psions first and foremost, but also several Admirals, in order to lead the Republic with an iron hand towards a determined and aggressive imperial policy. Time will tell if this conspiracy will succeed in overthrowing the Republic Duma and installing itself in its stead.

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