Copernican Shift

For 'verse proposals, random ideas, musings, and brainwaves.

Moderators: Invictus, speaker-to-trolls

Post Reply
User avatar
Arty
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:16 am

Copernican Shift

Post by Arty » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:32 am

A story of what happens when the irresistible force of Progress
meets the unyielding object of Politics
And what happens to the People
who get caught in between.
A Synthesis of Science
Society, and
Spaceships.
Last edited by Arty on Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I know it’s a mess and it’s half-taped together and it’s old and busted — but it’s mine. And you gotta make that work, right? You gotta make your own stuff work out.

User avatar
Arty
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:16 am

Re: Copernican Shift

Post by Arty » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:34 am

PRINCIPLE CHARACTERS

Justine Baker: The Tereshkovan Senator, and currently one of the Technocrats in the running to be the next Presidential candidate in the upcoming election, on the Techno-Communist ticket. She is currently seen as the underdog challenger to Pascal's former Libertarian Technocratic governor, Dionysus King, as well as the Progressive Technocrat Horatio Donovan, a junior Representative from Leibniz, who is believed to be running mostly just to draw attention to his own platforms). She is young for a Senator, at only 39, and has served four three-year terms (having been elected at only 28, she was one of the youngest Senator-elects in the system's history). Her strongest platforms are on re-strengthening the departments of Education and Colonization (thanks to the latter she is seen to have the support of many of the Expansionists, but she will be fighting hard against the Libertarian Technocrats because of the former) and on weeding out corporate corruption within the planetary governments (which, should she get the Technocratic nomination, will put her right in the sights of both Federalist parties and the Industrialists).

Baker is a widow, her husband Kyle Baker having been killed in a shuttle accident in Y122. She has a twelve-year-old daughter, Rhea, and an older sister, Erica Strong, with whom she remains close (Strong is her campaign manager, and many expect that, should Baker win the presidency, Strong will likely be appointed a position either in the cabinet or as Baker's chief of staff). She comes from a strong political family; her father, Ronald Strong, was Tereshkova's one Representative, a member of the former Progressive Party, and later a Progressive Technocrat, while her grandmother, Jaclyn Strong, was a vocal proponent of labor equality on Khwarizmi.

Rick Hansen: A freighter pilot on the Armstrong-Einstein-Kennedy run. A self-styled “student of the universe,” much of his job involves waiting for orbits to align so that he can make his run as efficiently as possible. This means he does a lot of side jobs on the worlds he makes berth on. Some of these jobs are not strictly legal – nor is all of the cargo he ships from world to world. His ship, little more than a gravity tube, a long spine of cargo slots, chemical thrusters and a pusher plate, is known simply as the Puddle Jumper (DepSpa Registry # 7-1-Aleph-7-2-Lando-1-0).

Abe Tooling: A Khwarizmian student at the University of Energia, studying Terraforming Geology, with a minor in Colonial Studies. Abe is politically apathetic, but he is rather alone in this – most of his fellow students, including his girlfriend, Milly Danes, are on one side or another of the Segment Act, a movement to split Khwarizmi into two sectors. He is an agnostic Jew who remains close to his more pious, orthodox family.

Kwan Huo-Li: The current Secretary of Space, who knows his job is likely over no matter how the election swings – the current Consolidationist President, Illyana Zvryezdya, appointed him out of friendship, but she won't be President in a few months, and Kwan has pissed off plenty of his fellow Consolidationists by working across party lines; yet he can't count on his new Technocrat friends to keep him around either, not when they can put one of their own in place. Either way, everything he's done to make the paths between worlds safer and better is going to go down the drain when he's replaced by some politician or hotshot CEO. He's living on borrowed time – unless, of course, he decides to make a run for office, himself.

Baldura Nirsinki: An IP3F officer, a Junior Investigator (Jay, Blue Jay, or Jaybird) stationed on the Cutter ISS Trident. She is only eight months out of the Academy on Jemison, and as the least-experienced investigator on the ship, she's earned the nickname “Space Cadet.” This doesn't sit especially well with Baldura, who has plenty of ambition. Baldura is a native of Nye, and is glad to be gone. Has been reluctantly (on both sides) taken under the wing of Chief Investigator Dulia Ranbo, who's in some kind of hot water with the brass and has been bucked down to training and light interdiction duties. Baldura is pretty sure she's just been saddled with dead weight – Dulia thinks much the same, but also sees Baldura's potential.

Miho Suzuka: A stewardess on a Starfleet starliner, making runs all over the system. She joined up to go new places and see new things, but the life of a Starfleet stewardess was not what she expected. The pay's alright, and she does get leave on any world they stop at, but the work is tiring, the guests are not always well-mannered, and she is just barely able to admit to herself that she is getting homesick for Newton. Of course, now there's no going back – she's signed on for a five year contract, and she's still got four and a half to go. Her fellow stewards and stewardesses include Anna Santa Gabriella (a veteran stewardess from Spinoza, Newton), David Tooling (Abe's older brother), and Lucretia “Lucy” Vlodula (Miho's friend from Flight Training, hails from distant Franklin). The starliner's captain and engineer are Dan “Scooter” LeCreigh (from Leibniz) and Ngo Tien (from Wozniak), respectively. Their starliner's number is Missouri Ganesh 426, or as Scooter keeps trying to get them to call it, the Dandy Pachyderm (or the Pachyderm Dandy, he can't seem to make up his mind).

Lee Ramadashra: The son of a radical Babbagian separatist, Mohinder Ramadashra, whom most of the system believes to have been killed years ago in a shootout with the TIA. Lee is being groomed as his father's eventual successor, even as Lee himself isn't certain that he even agrees with his father's cold, dispassionate view of mankind in general, and the Copernicus System in particular. He is a legal blank slate – he has no I.D., no glyph account, and just like every member of his father's organization, his DNA undergoes regular modification therapy, resulting in Lee having a hodgepodge of physical traits – patches of different skin and hair types, heterochromia in his eyes, and sometimes he has thoughts he's not entirely sure are his own.

Rajiya Amat'al-Bashir bint Anwar ibn Is'mael al-Qassini: A young Cassinian journalist, who has just landed her biggest gig yet – coverage of the quickly-heating-up presidential election. Rajiya doesn't work for a big news service or a popular pundit, but rather for the underground art and music site Spinward, which has been getting more and more political ever since their distribution started getting tightened on Federalist-friendly worlds. Her energy and contacts throughout the system will help her, but her inability to stick to simply reporting the story won't help her at all – or so her editors keep telling her.

Amadi Guatier: Legally, Amadi doesn't exist. Neither do his crew of a dozen “deniable assets,” the aces up the sleeve of whatever shipping corporation can afford their prices. Sometimes a pirate captain, sometimes a paid security shill, sometimes something else entirely, Amadi spends his days avoiding Cutters and Chasseurs, his old bosses who didn't like the way he did things, other D.A.s, and his own past, a long time ago on Newton. He cares about his crew, and makes sure that any potential job will end with them alive, even if that means it doesn't end with them getting rich. He is the captain of the custom-built combat ship You Saw Nothing.

Vadoma: A “comet gypsy,” born into a sprawling clan of astronaut-mystics who eschew controlled interplanetary travel, preferring instead to let the elliptical orbits of their comet-worlds to move them through the system, letting gravity and fate guide their path. Vadoma is from the comet-world Korolev, and at only fifteen years old, she has never known anyone from outside Korolev. That is about to change, as Korolev's orbit moves once again toward Copernicus, and all the people who live by its light. Vadoma was born under a “rising Galileo” (the jovian world), its light dimmed and scattered by “the Great Fates” (the asteroid belt), and as such she is projected to be the witness, or the catalyst, of great, possibly cataclysmic, change.
I know it’s a mess and it’s half-taped together and it’s old and busted — but it’s mine. And you gotta make that work, right? You gotta make your own stuff work out.

User avatar
Arty
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:16 am

Re: Copernican Shift

Post by Arty » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:03 pm

Phonetic Signals Alphabet

A – Aleph B – Baker C – Charter D – Daisy
E – Elba F – Fargo G – Ganesh H – Hangman
I – Indigo J – Jasper K – King L – Lando
M – Missouri N – Nile O – Orion P – Packard
Q – Quorum R – Rex S – Sanctum T – Taurus
U – Ultra V – Velcro W – Warhorse X – Xanadu
Y – Yukon Z – Zebra

This alphabet is in near-ubiquitous use throughout the Copernican System, most commonly by government agencies and civilian starliner and freighter groups. Regional police forces may use variations on the alphabet (for example, the Brahe Regional Police Department uses Paris in place of Packard, and Ellis rather than Elba), but the IP3F, the TIA, Starfleet and the Ranger Corps, and all ten of the largest interplanetary shipping firms all use the standardized alphabet.
Last edited by Arty on Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I know it’s a mess and it’s half-taped together and it’s old and busted — but it’s mine. And you gotta make that work, right? You gotta make your own stuff work out.

User avatar
Arty
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:16 am

Re: Copernican Shift

Post by Arty » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:04 pm

Copernican Calendar

The Copernican Calendar is based on the orbit and rotation of Newton, the most densely-populated planet, and the site of the First Landing. While other worlds have their own day-night and seasonal cycles, and many use a local calendar for informal purposes, almost all commercial and political affairs, especially interplanetary in nature, are conducted using the Copernican Calendar.

One Newtonian year is 252.328 days, with a leap year every three years, which adds an extra day to the month of Viridamensis. This leap day is considered a system-wide holiday, with almost all businesses and governmental bodies taking the day off, and many regions hosting lavish festivals and celebrations. There is some drift to this calendar, but it will not affect timekeeping for tens of thousands of years.

(Note: rough calculations for converting years, such as ages, from Solar years to Copernican years, can be done by multiplying the Solar years by .6926, or by 1.4478 for the reverse. Therefore, a ten-year-old on Earth would be considered not quite seven years old on Newton.)

When writing out a date, it can be written with the year, month, and day, or just the year and day. For example, Y128A13 (the 13th of Aridamensis in the Year 128) would be acceptable, as would Y128D140 (the 140th Day of the Year 128). Shorthand is usually rendered 28/140.

There are six months to a year, with each month being forty-nine days, or the approximate amount of time for five orbits of Newton's moon Leibniz, with seven weeks per month, each lasting seven days (the week cycle is not tied to either of the lunar orbits). Since Leibniz's orbit is not precisely one Copernican day, the moon's orbit has a drift cycle of about 27 years.
I know it’s a mess and it’s half-taped together and it’s old and busted — but it’s mine. And you gotta make that work, right? You gotta make your own stuff work out.

User avatar
speaker-to-trolls
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 12:34 am
Location: The World of Men

Re: Copernican Shift

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Sat May 18, 2013 1:17 pm

It's quite difficult to think of a comment on this one. Based on what Growing Pains/Universal Constants was like, this seems like a very similar kind of setting, very much based around people and how personal, emotional drama ties into vast cosmopolitical backdrops. The thing is here the cosmopolitical backdrop is a lot less distinctive, there are no empires of Samurai Spiders or anything, 'just' a series of countries inhabited by people like you and me who happen to be in space.

So that's my explanation of why I don't sound that helpful.

The characters all sound like they could be interesting in their own right, and I have no idea how you would bring such a disparate cast of characters together, if that's your plan. Are you planning this as a big story involving all of these characters? Or are they just a sort of series of snapshots of things that are going on in this world?

It's very well written, I'm just not sure what to make of it at the moment.
"Little monuments may be completed by their first architects, but great ones; true ones leave their copestones to posterity. God keep me from completing anything."

User avatar
Arty
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:16 am

Re: Copernican Shift

Post by Arty » Sun May 19, 2013 10:37 pm

Comparing it to Universal Constants, I think Copernican Shift is a lot more about a society in the midst of a crises, while UC is more about the interaction between different societies, and those societies learning what they have in common with one another. CS, on the other hand, is about what happens when a relatively stable, unified society gets ripped apart at the seams, and the question of whether it can ever be put back together again.

UC is also, while I like to bandy around concepts like realistic artificial gravity and at least somewhat thought-out FTL, by no means a "hard" science fiction setting. I employ a lot of handwavium there because it makes the job easier, and I'm not really looking to make any technologically-predictive statements with UC. UC is much more of a metaphor. CS is a much harder setting, and it's kind of my space for playing around with just how an interplanetary society would operate. It's there to give me some hard challenges (such as the calendar), and to then try and solve them. It's also a place where I get to play a lot more with political fiction.

The difference between the two, I would say, is the difference between Babylon 5 and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
I know it’s a mess and it’s half-taped together and it’s old and busted — but it’s mine. And you gotta make that work, right? You gotta make your own stuff work out.

User avatar
Arty
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:16 am

Re: Copernican Shift

Post by Arty » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:24 pm

Breakdown of the Copernican System Federal Government's administrative departments.

Department of Colonization

The Department of Colonization is responsible for ensuring the continued growth of the system by organizing new colonization efforts, and coordinating with and supporting similar private efforts. They maintain a moderate-sized fleet of colony ships and support vessels (130 vessels in all) and employ just over 650,000 people, not counting registered colonists or trainees (well over 5 million on any given day).

The current Colonization Secretary (ColSec) is Marguerite Cologna, one of the first generation of children born on Huygens, and a former colony ship captain, colonial director, and two-term governor of Huygens. She is a Planetary Federalist, who has made it her goal to ensure that each new colony suffers the minimum of governmental or cultural interference from Newton or any of the other more powerful worlds.

Department of Commerce


The Commerce Department works with private businesses and corporations to both uphold the law regarding these institutions and also encourage growth and entrepreneurship in the private sector. In the event of a trial where the system government stands opposite a corporation or other private entity, the Department of Commerce's lawyers handle the government's side of the case.

The current Commerce Secretary (ComSec) is Marco Palmierri, a former corporate defense lawyer and senior partner of Palmierri, Palmierri and LaGrange, a prominent law firm from Brahe, on Newton. He is a Regional Federalist, and widely considered to be the most conservative departmental Secretary in the current administration.

Department of Education

The Education Department ensures that the system's schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions meet the administration's standards of imparting knowledge, job skills, and overall intelligence. This department runs, directly or indirectly, the public school systems on every world, and has the authority to issues grants or demerits to private institutions (the latter of which being a very hot topic with the Consolidationists). Its agencies are much smaller and not nearly as well funded as those of most other departments (they currently employ only 500,000 people, fewer than the Security Department's IP3F), and Education is often seen as mostly ignored, unless something goes wrong. The Libertarian Technocrats have been pushing to abolish this Department for the last three election cycles, in favor of a more individual-focused and leaner agency within the Department of Science. Agencies include the System Literacy Council, the Arts and Humanities Support Board, and the Student Financial Aid Bureau.

The current Education Secretary (EdSec) is Martha Aduirno, the former Chancellor of Whicham University in Leonardo on Newton, where she also studied law. She is one of the only Technocrats in the current administration, and is a member of the Libertarian Technocrats. Her appointment was largely seen a political one, an olive branch from the President to the Technocrats, but she has nevertheless been praised by both Consolidationists and Technocrats for her work in lowering costs and pruning corruption, and there is a good chance that she will hold onto her office no matter the outcome of the upcoming election.

Department of Health and Safety

The Health and Safety Department is tasked with ensuring that the Copernican System's citizens lead long, healthy, and prosperous lives, and to act as an interface with the system's medical community. With a little over a hundred thousand employees, it is a rather small Department, but unlike other “weak deer” like the Departments of Colonization and Education, there has been little talk of folding the Department into one of the others. Their agencies include the System Health and Safety Inspection Agency, the Office of the Pathologist General, the Labor and Workplace Safety Agency, and the System Emergency Response Force.

The current Secretary of Health and Safety (SecHaS) is Kaspar al-Aden, one of SERF's most decorated Captains, who only took over the position last year when his predecessor, Dr. Sahavesh Gapunta, resigned due to failing health. Al-Aden has wasted no time re-structuring the Department, and he is seen as being one of the most successful members of President Zvyezda's cabinet, despite his short tenure. Al-Aden is a Planetary Federalist, though he is one of the more moderate of the party's prominent members.

Department of Resources

The Resources Department is in charge of managing both the economic and ecological wealth of the Copernican System, ensuring that the system's natural resources are handled with efficiency and foresight, and that the government's finances remain stable and strong. They have traditionally been the largest Department, with close to five million employees with a wide variety of tasks, though they are divided into a relatively small number of agencies, the most prominent of which include the System Parks and Monuments Protection Bureau, the Central Treasury and System Bank, the Bureau of Taxation and Revenue, the Bureau of Farming, Mining, and Harvesting, and the System Central Energy Agency. There was a cross-partisan movement twenty years ago to split the Department of Resources in two, creating a new Department of Finances, but this has largely been overshadowed by more pressing concerns, and the alliance has withered with the growing animosity between the Technocrats and the Consolidationists.

The current Secretary of Resources (SecRes) is Emmanuel Roja, the youngest member of the current cabinet at 37, who started his political career as a union leader for the carbon miners in the Fates belt. While he is a strong and vocal supporter of the Consolidationist cause, Roja is not a member of any of the bloc's three parties, technically making him an independent. He has crossed swords a few times with the Regional Federalists, and has been a vocal opponent of the Industrialist Party joining the Consolidationist Bloc, remaining loyal to his liberal, unionist roots.

Department of Science

The Science Department serves as a regulatory and facilitation body to advance the cause of scientific progress in the System, while also enforcing legal and ethical boundaries among private scientists. It is also tasked with developing “in-house” technology for use by the government and, eventually the public at large. The Department has nearly one million employees, and maintains more than a dozen agencies, with the largest being the System Communications Bureau (SCB, or the Combo), the Scientific Ethics Enforcement Agency (SEEA), the Corps of Engineers (CofE), and the Advanced Science Projects Agency (ASPA, though often referred to as “ASAP”). One of the Department's newest agencies, the Genetic Augmentation, Treatment, and Curation Agency (GATCA), is also one of its most controversial, and has come under fire from both the Tri-Cons and their Consolidationist allies, as well as the Independent Moderates, as being dangerously close to a eugenics program, while the Technocrats, particularly the Libertarians, have fought tooth and nail to keep the agency alive. The Department of Science often works closely with the Security and Health Departments, and with Consolidationist talks of merging the Departments of Education and Science, the Science Department has been making several overtures to the Education Department for cooperation and communication.

The current Secretary of Science (SecSci) is Dr. Margot Ueda-Akuntu, a staunch Tri-Con who began her career as a surgeon on Turing before entering politics at the age of 62. At 86 years old, she is one of the oldest government officials in the System's history, but she remains an active and passionate advocate for using science to better the lives of the Copernican populace without sacrificing their morality. She has come close to eradicating GATCA no less than three times since her appointment, and many see the final weeks of the Zvryezdya administration as Ueda-Akuntu's last chance to weed out GATCA for good.

Department of Security

The Security Department is tasked with investigating, preventing, and persecuting crimes and terrorism across the system, as well as maintaining the federal prison system and effecting communication between all levels of law enforcement. It has multiple agencies, each tasked with a different area of law enforcement, from the large Interplanetary Patrol and Peacekeeping Force (IP3F) to the relatively small but elite and well-funded Terrorism Investigation Agency (TIA). Individual cities and worlds can and do maintain their own police departments, as well as hiring private security and safety agencies, but all of these are expected to cooperate with the Department of Security during their operations. The Security Department is currently one of the largest departments, continuing to grow with each Consolidationist administration, and currently employs more than 3 million officers and other employees.

The current Secretary of Security (Sec2) is Nancy Jablowski, a former IP3F Colonel and a staunch Consolidationist, though she is not a member of any particular party. She is a Newtonian, from the continent of Kepler. Jablowski runs her staff like an IP3F crew, and has fired and replaced more Admirals, Colonels and Commissioners than her nine most immediate predecessors put together.

Department of Space and Transportation

Also called the Space Department, this department is responsible for developing, controlling, and maintaining effective, safe, and economically viable space travel. It approves new spacecraft designs, researches improvements into existing designs and methods, and does quite a bit of transport on its own under the auspices of the Public Transportation Starfleet, a fleet of over six hundred passenger starliners funded and owned by the Space Department and crewed by its employees. It also protects shipping through lawless territory, implementing the ships and spacers of the Deep System Ranger Corps, and trying to curb smuggling and human trafficking through the Bureau of Customs and Security. The Space Department currently employs just under 1 million people, roughly half of whom are officers or crew of the Starfleet.

The current Secretary of Space (SpaSec) is Kwan Huo-Lee, a shipping magnate from Heisenberg. He is a Planetary Federalist, but has a history of working well across party lines with other Consolidationists, Industrialists, and even Technocrats. There are rumors that he may try for a long-shot run at the presidency. He has been somewhat controversial for committing more funding and manpower toward the Ranger Corps than any previous SpaSec in the system's history.
I know it’s a mess and it’s half-taped together and it’s old and busted — but it’s mine. And you gotta make that work, right? You gotta make your own stuff work out.

Post Reply