Out Of The Silent Planet
REGINA A788899 C 2
Technically Regina is not a planet but a moon, orbiting the gas giant planet Assiniboia which forms parts of a fairly complex triple star system. The system primary is Lusor, an F7 main sequence star orbited by a dwarf companion named Speck. The third star is Darida, an M6 Red Dwarf star in a very distant orbit.
Darida has its own planetary system including a gas giant and several ‘rockball’ worlds of varying sizes. There are no habitable planets in the Darida system though there are a few scientific outposts and a small Navy base located on various bodies. The latter is home to a squadron of the Sector Fleet and supporting assets, as well as a larger but constantly changing force of light patrol ships from the subsector fleet. A pool of Navy couriers also operates out of the base, serving both the system administration and the fleets.
The Lusor system also contains various bodies ranging from rockballs to gas giants, but as the most habitable world in the system Regina itself was the first to be colonised and remains the main world not only of the system but also of the subsector.
Regina is the seat of the subsector Duke, currently Duke Norris Aledon. Responsible for a subsector right on the Zhodani and Vargr borders and with a background in the Navy, Duke Norris is more vocal than most in his calls for greater military strength to be deployed to the Marches.
He is also very critical of what he calls ‘over–politicisation’ of the Sector Fleet and has repeatedly asked for forward–deployed battle squadrons to be pulled back into Lunion or Mora subsectors to create a more elastic defence. This would leave the ‘forward’ worlds, including Regina, vulnerable but Duke Norris maintains that strong system defence fleets at major worlds should be enough to hold out until a relief force arrives. Thus far Norris’ entreaties have fallen on deaf ears, and he is thought to be considering a direct appeal to the Emperor himself.
Regina itself is an earth–sized body with a dense atmosphere and a high surface coverage of water. This made it easy to settle, and within a few years of the first colonists arriving in 75 Regina’s population began to expand quickly. By the time the subsector was incorporated into the Imperium (in 250) the world was the obvious choice as subsector capital.
Since that time Regina has developed steadily, though more as a centre for trade and diplomacy than as an industrial complex. Lying as it does on the Spinward Main, Regina’s excellent starport is an important interface between regional trade and that bound for more distant regions. Most ships coming up the Main from Rimward turn around at Regina. A few push on to Extolay or Efate, but for the most part it is more economical to sell cargoes at Regina or to transfer them to smaller vessels for the last leg of the journey.
Many visitors to the Regina system do not go down to the planet. The Highport has everything necessary for business, be it trade, hiring new crew or obtaining a refit. Those that do visit the surface find a comfortable enough environment physically, but one with a rather strangulous legal and governmental system.
The government itself is an impersonal bureaucracy. That is, it operates wnithout much input from the citizens most of the time, and is hamstrung by a complex system of checks and balances to prevent inappropriate governmental actions. This results in a great deal of effort being needed to actually get anything done.
Regina has a vast number of laws, which are proposed by the government but voted into being (or vetoed) by the general population. In theory, old and unnecessary laws are dropped but in practice people only vote on laws that interest or affect them, so there is a great body of obscure and archaic law in place.
Running afoul of the law (current or archaic) is unfortunately rather easy. The police tend to be somewhat over–zealous in arresting large numbers of suspects in connection with any given offence. These people are not brutalised of course; they are innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, they are also under suspicion until some time after someone else is found guilty, and trials can take some time to arrange. This makes being arrested very inconvenient for innocent people on Regina.
Only small outposts exist on the other worlds of the Lusor system, but in addition to Regina itself the moons of Assiniboia are inhabited by hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of people, but these settlements are considered to be part of Regina for administrative purposes rather than being independent worlds. Their social and economic importance is very small compared to that of the mainworld with its hundreds of millions of people and the vast trading centre that is the Highport.
There is a sizable Scout base at Regina, co–located with the main Highport. Its main function is to serve the Express Boat network but as is usual with frontier bases it also supports Scout missions along the border and surveys within Imperial territory.