The news reporters this issue were: Tim Loud, JLOUD@GAMMA.IS.TCU.EDU Mike Phillips, email@example.com David G. Kaplan, David_Kaplan@emisphere.ccmail.compuserve.com
Earth : United States : Detroit :
INTRANET UNVEILS VIRTUAL GLOBAL INTERFACE
In a surprise move Monday, IntraNet Inc. beat several competitors to the punch by inveiling its first desktop Virtual Reality station. All new systems from the company feature the impressive array of technology, and they come preloaded with the software necessary to connect into the global InTerraNet (or InTerNet [ITN] for short), as well as special enhancements to the HGML (Hyper-Graphical Markup Language) standards used for the transmission of data.
The most remarkable aspect of the new workstations are that all come with a full VR helmet, which provides a 3-dimensional rendering of the InTerraNet while the user is connected. By means of a sophisticated array of electrodes, the workstation is able to transmit a sense of touch, smell, and even, under certain circumstances, taste to the user.
However, researchers into the effects of Virtual Reality do warn that too much time spent in VR can cause dislocation in the individual, and it is known to promote motion sickness in some people. IntraNet spokesperson Ralph Sullivan is of the opinion that the sense of touch transmitted by the specially-engineered helmet will assist people in making the transition, remarking that most illnesses associated with Virtual Reality stem from the lack of tactile clues corresponding to the visual clues indicating motion.
Mike Phillips: firstname.lastname@example.org
United Terra : Acey-Two : New Dallas :
UTRPF TROOPS ARRIVING IN FORCE
Two transports have unloaded troops at New Dallas, easing the concerns of some citizens over the continuing problems with the mysterious aliens, nicknamed 'Hell's Hornets' by the colonists. The aliens have already destroyed one colony on Alpha Centauri Two (Acey- Two), and infestations have been discovered all across the planet's surface.
The General leading the expedition has expressed confidence, however, as preliminary reconnaissance has indicated that the creatures are ferocious, but not particularly intelligent. The forces are fully expected to have a difficult time in the field, but with careful planning, casualties can be kept to a minimum.
The UTRPF spokesman has indicated that there are no plans to evacuate the colony, as the aliens are not considered to be that serious of a threat at this time. With troop strength approaching 4,000, a perimeter around the colonial capital has already been set up, and sentry posts extend to the very edges of the colony.
The average colonists in the street interviewed by this reporter have been cautiously hopeful, expressing their confidence in the genetically-engineered troops to protect them. It is interesting to note that donations for cloning by the UTRPF have dramatically risen since the crisis began, and the first expeditionary force returned from the ruins of New Austin.
Mike Phillips: email@example.com
Students spend full time on ships interpreting data from systems (only a little time is spent in hibernation). As a result, they are fairly fluent by the time they arrive for the exchange.
Mufrid (one of five Outliers). System: Nasen (good spaces for
only two colonies). Cold, wet, heavy. Oceans almost saturated with
salt, just to keep it from freezing (plus calcium chloride in solution
as well); gravity 1.2 Earth's. Antarctic conditions on small
continents in its temperate zones, continent-sized rafts of polar ice
on which CO2 snow falls year-round. At the equator, a few islands
with year-round weather not to differnt from Seattle -- rainy, cold,
Nasen is like "traditional New Hampshire."
Arcturus system: Wilson ("cold Indonesia" with one habital islan
size of Borneo with climate of Auckland, new Zealand). Almost devoid
of land around equator, so there is little room for colonists. Two
polar continents, many Greenland-like islands in temperate zones. Sun
is dim but warm (7 AU, one year of about 12 Earth years). High
axialtitl resutls in rapdi ice melts, equals reversing temperatures
equals violent weather. Nuclear hurricanes every 6 Terran years, and
about 3 years after each Nuclear fall, spectacular hurricanes on a big
scale. Between those, nice weather.
Wilson's population likes a lot of hiking, campaing. "Free- spirited, fun-loving, romantics, let the good times roll!". "Traditional New Orleans" culture.
"Hyperspacial quo-ordinates 37g 38m 39f 40t"
Simian Iovine, whose underarm webbing enables them to soar through the air like flying squirrels inhabit the deepest reaches of the exchange. They are terraformers, with slow space craft that are nevertheless faster than Human.
Tim Loud: JLOUD@GAMMA.IS.TCU.EDU
Just a teaser... The campaign takes place approximately 8,000
years in the future (circa 10,000 AD). The Terran Empire rules
millions of galaxies (that's right, galaxies) with an iron grip.
Terra (Earth) has been converted into a garden planet for the Emperor,
the Royal Family, and the Empire's highest administrators (various
Imperial Ministries, HQ of the Imperial Navy, PRIMUS, etc). The fates
of trillions of worlds and millions of alien races are determined
Technology is so far advanced that it is indistinguishable from magic (luckily, gamers can make the distinction ;-). Some examples are Hyper-FTL drives, matter teleportation, psionics, star-system shattering weapons (regressor bombs, matter/antimatter missiles, sunbeams), ultra cybertech and geneering, Tachyonic communications (linking the Empire via the TachNet), advanced force-field technology, advanced materials research (neutronium, photonite), gravity control (agrav, tractor/pressor beams, collapsar-based missile and beam weapons), temporal control (time travel), and extra-dimensional travel to name a few.
Vast wealth pours into the Imperial coffers through an advanced taxation structure. Each of the many Noble Houses is responsible for tax policy; they can levy whatever tax rate they wish as long as the Emperor gets his share. Counterintuitively, this system encourages relatively low tax rates (An excessive tax rate will lead to revolt, resulting in a net decrease of the Emperor's share, and the subsequent execution of the offending noble. The newly installed noble will generally cut the tax rate to quell the uprising).
Unfortunately, the Universe(s) is(are) an extremely hostile place. This has led to the TerraShield Expansion Policy. After the conquest of the pre-Empire Terran Confederation by an alliance of hostile Powers and alien species (from this Universe and other dimensions), the Confederation's forces were widely scattered. The remnants were reformed by Admiral Kimball and after many decades of bitter fighting, Terra was reclaimed. Taking full advantage of his hero status, Admiral Kimball then dissolved the Confederation Government-in-Exile and crowned himself Emperor. With the full support of the military, Emperor Kimball rebuilt Terra's infrastructure. A colossal force- field (the TerraShield) was erected around Terra (utilizing Photonite technology. Photonite is, essentially, solidified photons immobilized in a temporal stasis field.) to prevent hostile incursions and the last of the enemy forces groundside were located and obliterated. A second Shield was constructed and maintained by a fleet of 25,000 mobile Sphereworlds (Dyson Spheres) surrounding the TerraShield. These Sphereworlds then began moving radially outward from Terra expanding the diameter of the Shield. The Empire's irresistable expansion had begun.
More to follow...
David G. Kaplan: David_Kaplan@emisphere.ccmail.compuserve.com