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Jovian Chronicles - The Solar Nations


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A little more info on the various Solar Nations and groups.

1 AU is the distance from the Sun to the Earth (roughly 150 million kilometers)


  MERCURY    Approximate Distance from Sun: 0.38 AU

Only a handful of stations orbit the hottest planet in the solar system. Hidden behind the shadow of Mercury, the inhabitants rely on solar arrays for power and on their merchant fleet for income.

The Mercurians know very well that their living conditions are precarious and limited. The resources are rare and the environment very hostile, yet they wouldn't live anywhere else. At least, everyone leaves them alone.

Living on the edge, the Mercurians are ingenious and hard-working. They also share the same business sense as the Venusians; indeed, many Mercurians settlers were first disgruntled Venusians.

The Mercurians rely on a standard democratic government. Nothing fancy, but it works. They are the neutral settlement of the solar system, refusing to align themselves with anyone (taking sides is bad for business). This attitude is tolerated for the moment by the CEGA, although this might change in the future.

Science & Military
The Mercurians are specialists of high temperature materials and micro-electronics. They also have a high expertise in solar power arrays.

Their military forces are practically nonexistent, as the Mercurians have very little to defend.

Commerce & Industry
Mercury relies chiefly on its large merchant fleet to support itself. Their ships can be seen almost everywhere in the solar system, carrying anything from people to bulk merchandises. They all bear the crest of the Mercurian Merchant Guild on their hull.

The Guild is a powerful and shadowy organization, closely resembling the various guilds of the Renaissance era on Earth. Like its forebears, the Guild oversees transactions, regularizes traffic and settles arguments between its members. It can also represent them in disputes involving outsiders, competitors and clients alike.

All members of the Guild pay a membership fee and observe the same code of conduct. Double-crossing the Guild is generally considered a bad idea at best, since it can effectively "blacklist" offenders, preventing them from doing business with the Mercurian fleet.



  VENUS    Approximate Distance from Sun: 0.72 AU

Venus used to be the mysterious planet of the solar system. Hidden beneath an impenetrable cloak of gas, its beauty and secrets aroused the curiosity and admiration of Mankind for many centuries.

This has not changed much in the twenty-third century. The clouds are gone (thanks to terraforming), but the intrigues and opulence of the Venusians keep the planet's old image of mystery alive.

The ambitious Project New Earth was designed in the early 2070s by a group of Terran corporations who foresaw the impending social chaos and wished to emigrate to a better land. Using genetically- engineered bacteria, the terraforming process managed to transform the planet's carbon dioxyde atmosphere into an oxygen one, with the large amount of carbon falling to the surface to be used by specially designed algae. At the same time, ice asteroids were crashed on the surface to bring the much-needed water. While this has not created an Earth-like paradise, the temperatures are now bearable for humans in the polar regions, where most of the domed cities are located.

Venusian society is organized much like the ancient Greece, with its city-states and powerful leaders. Each domed settlement is ruled by the board of directors of the founding company (or the parent corporation if it has been taken over). As such, they are more corporate arcologies than true cities, as the average worker rarely sees (or, more exactly, has to see) the outside world.

Because Venus was colonized by wealthy corporations, the population is divided in city-state under the control of a given company. In turn, each board of directors sends representatives to the council, which presides over the planet's foreign affairs. The council is dominated by the most powerful entity on Venus, the Venusian Bank, a gigantic and mysterious corporation whose ramifications extend far beyond Venus.

Science & Military
The Venusians have a fairly high technological level. Although they appear like technology importers to the other settlements of the Solar System, they actually develop many of the items used in the twenty-third century.

The Home Defense Force is rather small, but it is composed of elite soldiers piloting some of the best exo-armm on the market. It is suspected that the actual size of the HDF is far larger than the published figures, but no one has managed to prove it yet.

Commerce & Industry
Money is Venus' specialty. They can sell you just about anything, or know somebody who could. Several banks are located on Venus, the biggest and best-known being the famous Venusian Bank.



  EARTH    Approximate Distance from Sun: 1.0 AU

Planet Earth was isolated from the rest of the solar system for more than a hundred years. During this time, the various remnants of governments, corporations and others groups struggled for power among the ruins of Humanity's cradle.

Upon emerging from this time of darkness, the planet supported a meager four billion people, with roughly half of its former population either dead or somehow transferred to the colonies. Rising from the ashes of the previous governments, the Central Earth Government and Administration was formed to provide a central guide to the emerging Earth-system countries.

Even after almost one century of struggles and warfare, the reunification has left the Earth population burning with a desire to regain its former status as top dog in the solar system. This has resulted into an arrogant, stubborn and proud attitude toward all of the colonies' inhabitants.

Life on Earth is not as easy as it would seem. Even if the CEGA denies it, there are still pockets of resistance scattered across the planet. In these zones, the civil war has never stopped and the governement can do nothing but confine the conflicts and prevent them from spreading. On the other hand, the dramatic reduction of the human population had a positive effect on the ecosystem: it has started to regenerate after nearly a century of continuous war.

The Central Earth Government and Administration is the archetypical nationalistic government. Its aim is to regain political control over the various human settlements of the solar system. Using the old historical argument "we paid to send you up there", they constantly apply pressure on the other governments at the UN sessions to join the CEGA and surrender the actual decision-making to the council on Earth. Up to now, these demands have fallen on deaf ears. Overt militan/ actions have not been taken as yet, but many believe it is only a question of time before the CEGA puts some bite into the bark.

Science & Military
Much of the technology of the CEGA was developed by the Moon and the orbital colonies during the Fall. It is fairly advanced, but still a little behind Jovian or Venusian technology: distrust between the various member-states prevents the free flow of knowledge.

The Terrans spend a great deal of their budget on military projects, from research to actual combat units. The CEGA prefers to invest in ships rather than in more advanced and adaptable units such as the exo-armors. This outdated attitude nevertheless produces a fearsome space navy.

Commerce & Industry
The civil war depleted the natural resources of the Earth, so the CEGA sometimes has to import food and minerals. This will have to go on until the biosphere regenerates (using, ironically, techniques developed to colonize Mars and Venus). The Terrans dislike their dependence on the off-world settlements and often try to negotiate the price of the products, or even downright steal them, using mercenaries to "protect their public image".

The various Terran companies share the arrogant attitude of the CEGA. They request the best rates, the best mining spots, and so on. This has led to more than one conflict, especially on Mars and in the Belt, where the settlers won't let outsiders get the biggest piece of the pie on their home turf.



  ORBITALS    Distance From Earth: 300 km – L2

The near space around the Terran system is home to several million people living in gigantic space stations called O'Neil Cylinders. These space stations orbit the now-famous Lagrange points, the place in space where the gravitational influences of the Earth and the Moon are equal to each other (see TECHNOLOGY). Originally research and industrial centers, they grew in size and number as more and more people fled the deteriorating environment of Earth.

After the crisis on Earth, most orbital colonies became de facto independent. The provisional Terran government took refuge there in 2081. Because of their lack of inherent natural resources and the vulnerabilities of their homes, the Orbitals (as they call themselves) took great care to remain on friendly terms with both Earth and the Moon As soon as the CEGA was formed in 2184, they petitioned for entry and are now a respected partner in the Administration.

Orbital society is cosmopolitan and changing. About a fifth of the stations (usually the smallests) are inhabited by religious or ethnic groups who prefer to be left alone. The rest is more varied in population.

Several stations are directly owned by corporations, theoretically under the watchful eye of the CEGA. In practice, the government lets the zaibatsus (giant corporations) do pretty much what they please as long as they pay their taxes. Indeed, whole stations are corporate arcologies, where the employees' lives revolve around the company taking care of them. It is not unusual to observe great corporate pride in the workers and inhabitants of a cylinder

The stations are mostly of a residential nature, although specialized cylinders do exist. Some are dedicated to farming, other to tourism, etc The society in orbit is very peaceful, and the people living there want it to stay that way.

As mentioned before, the orbital colonies are members of the CEGA. They tend to have a conservative outlook on things, well aware of their precarious living conditions. As such, they usually disapprove of strong, overt actions and are often the moderating influence in the CEGA council.

Representatives are elected every five years to represent the various cylinders and deal with the Orbitals' problems. In turn, they select 10 of their members to attend the CEGAs general council on Earth.

Science & Military
Orbital science is oriented toward space life. They have made great advances in life support, recycling technologies and spaceship design and operation.

The orbital colonies do not have a military force of their own, but they do have a private police force which has jurisdiction over all the settlements in orbit. However, most of the space-faring force of the CEGA comes from ships and personnel supplied by the colonies in exchange for raw material.

Commerce & Industry
The orbital economy is one of service and transformation. The fall of the Earth destroyed many companies which were subsequently unable to take care of their investments. The business thus fell in the hands of the Orbitals.

Most of the inhabitants of the orbital colonies either work in the service industry or in the zero gravity manufacturing plants scattered in space around their cylinders.

All inbound and outbound space traffic is directed at Pyrea, the main orbital spaceport. Pyrea has larger docking ports than any other station in existence in addition to its zero-gee dry docks orbiting nearby. It is one of the main crossroads of the solar system and the site of the UN.




The Moon was the first permanent space colonization attempt. The presence of large mineral resources and ice deposits in the soil made it a logical choice. Most of the lunar colonies were founded by large corporations to exploit this modern gold mine.

The Moon is a dead world, blasted by meteors and hard radiations. To survive there for any extended period of time, it was necessary to dig out underground caves and build the actual settlements there. This was accomplished by using solar-powered laser drills brought to the moon by robotic cargo ships.

About a million people live on Earth's satellite. The feeble gravity tends to produce tall and thin people, but the inhabitants are well aware of the danger of low gravity and dutifully train several times a week in the special rotating stations set on the surface to simulate a 1G environment.

The Selenians live in underground cities named after famous craters where everything is planned and nothing is left to chance. From birth to death, an individual's life will be organized and scheduled. The key words are pride and productivity, and little place is left for imagination and creativity.

The foreign visitor often has the impression that the Selenites are obsessed with work, and this is partly true. They do have free time, but are not noted for being "party animals". The only exception to this is called the Festival, which happens every three months. During three days, all work is stopped for a 72-hour non-stop party; a three days rest period follows while randomly designed teams of citizens clean up the mess.

The Lunar settlements use the same political system as the orbital cylinders. They are also members of the CEGA, although this is more for commercial reasons than anything else.

While their existence is generally not known to the public, small groups of rebels are trying to bring some democracy back into the Lunar cities, which they came to see as "cages with golden bars". They are generally not considered more than a minor annoyance by the CEGA.

Science & Military
The Moon's technical level is very similar to the rest of the CEGA, except when it comes to mining processes. They are the unchallenged experts in that field, training the best mining engineers in the solar system. Life support research is also fairly advanced, but not as much as the Orbitals'.

Since the Moon is one of the major weapon suppliers for the CEGA, it is home to several military bases. The fair number of soldiers on leave in the cities nearby tend to give them a somewhat martial look.

Commerce & Industry
The commercial scene of the Moon is dominated by the Lunar Mineral Exploitation Consortium (LuMEC). Founded before the Fall to supply the necessary raw materials for the ships, drones and stations, it has managed to maintain its power through the years and the hardships. It is very powerful, and its leaders may have their own agenda concerning the solar system.

Most of the other companies on the Moon are military suppliers. They are gaining in importance because of the current political situation of the CEGA..



  MARS    Approximate Distance from Sun: 1.52 AU

Mars is one of the greatest technological projects ever attempted by humanity. To terraform and transform this desert world into a place where humans would feel at home is a process which began soon after the arrival of the first colonists, and will probably go on for several more decades.

Most of the early Martian colonists were dreamers, people who wanted to help build an utopia out of the red dust. The dream was soon crushed by the hard edge of reality, as colonial interests on Earth threatened to rob the new inhabitants of everything they worked for. A short war for independence was their response, a war easily won because of the weakened state of the nations of Earth.

The independence had a price, however. The Martian Democratic Party (which was already in power at the time) decided the best way to establish Mars as a social and economic power was to found a Martian Federation with a strong central government. Not everyone agreed with this, which led to more wars and the eventual formation of the Martian Free Republic.

Mars is divided in two countries, each with its different way of life: one society is highly controlled, almost totalitarian, while the other is very carefree.

Life under the government of the Martian Democratic Party (commonly referred to by opponents as "the MaD Party") is controlled, but manageable. People adapted quickly to the daily check-ups and the limited access to outside news.

The Martian Free Republic, on the other hand, allows great freedom to its citizens. Many have compared life there to the Far-West of old. Everyone is more or less free to do whatever they want, as long as the security of the state and the people isn't compromised.

Martian cities are built under half-buried glass domes, which sometimes makes them hard to spot: many travelers get lost and circled a town for hours.

Mars is a special case in the politics of the solar system. They are the only planet not represented by a unified government to the United Nations’ sessions in Earth orbit. How long will this situation last is anybody’s guess.

The Martian Federation effectively claims two-thirds of the planet's surface, as well as the orbital elevator prototype. This gives them a lot of power over the Republic, which has to pay a steep fee to use it.

Border skirmishes are frequent, although both sides refuse to commit to a full scale military involvement. These small conflicts are typically ignored by both governments, even if they take a terrible toll on the frontier population of both sides. Sand marauders and pirates further complicate everyday life on Mars.

Science & Military
Mars is well-known for its expertise in the field of bio-engineering. The new techniques developed for the colonization often served as base for even more ambitious projects, like the terraforming of Venus (which relied heavily on bought or stolen Martian science). It is also the only planet in the solar system possessing a crude orbital elevator, which stretches from the equator to the Martian low-orbit. Built with the financial help of the Venusian Bank, the elevator is still mostly a prototype, but it does dramatically reduce the transport cost of the iron ore mined on the planet.

Both of the Martian countries have standing armies, although they are rather small and use outdated exo-armor designs bought from the Jovian Confederation. The only home-grown machines used are exo-suits specially built for combat on the surface of desert-like worlds

Commerce & Industry
Mars uses its orbital elevator to ship iron ore to the rest of the solar system. Because of the low cost of the materials, several industries orbit the planet, most of them being shipyards. Many of these orbital industries belong to outside interests.

One of the best known native companies is Martian Metals, a large industrial consortium. MM is one of the biggest independent corporations in the solar system, employing directly or indirectly nearly a tenth of Mars' population.

Martian Metals was founded in 2043, nearly five years after its prime rival Ares. It was originally a simple mining operation which grew and expanded in domains such as electronics, weapon systems and shipyards. Unlike Ares, however, it survived the war pretty much intact due to its neutral policies and weapon sales. The recent addition of the Argyre Factory and its exo-armor production lines will certainly boost the financial status of the firm even more. Already, Explorers and Defenders are rolling out at a rate of nearly 1 machine per week. MM also manufactures several models of exo-suits used by the armies of both the Free Republic and the Federation.



  JUPITER    Approximate Distance from Sun: 5.20 AU

The massive civilian colonization of Jupiter was not a planned event. Who would want to live far from the Sun, in orbit around a planet with no ground, incredible gravity and deadly radiation belts?

The first stations were thickly armored wheels orbiting far from the radiation belts, crewed by highly paid technicians sending drone ships to gather the precious gas from the atmosphere of the giant planet. Later, as the problems on Earth became more acute, thousands emigrated as far as they could and settled in the Jovian system, building more stations.

The vast amount of refugees from the war-torn inner solar system has forced the Jovian society to expand and find some place for the new arrivals. The interior wall of the colony cylinders is covered with buildings and arcologies, where space is used to the maximum.

Because of this, the majority of the living quarters in the Jovian stations are small. People's lives and family are not centered around home anyway. Most of the time the house or apartment is only the place were people sleep, sometimes eat, and sometimes throw parties. The working place, a bar, a public garden are as important for most of the inhabitants as their home. They talk, eat and play all kind of games in those places.

The Jovians have developed an open-minded, easy-going attitude toward life in general. The close confines of their homes have forced them to learn how to live with each others, and they are generally friendly and outgoing. Don't get on their bad side, however. They also tend to be very intelligent and well-educated.

The main ruling body of the Jovian Confederation is called the Agora. While each station is self-governed by an elected chamber of representatives, external policies and matter affecting all the settlements are discussed there. A president is chosen by general elections every seven years to supervise the Agora and represent the state. The Agora proper is located on Elysse, the largest Jovian station which also serves as the Jovian capital.

The current president is Alexandra ltangre (see Character Guide), a resourceful and intelligent woman in her mid-fifties. Mrs. ltangre has been the source of many controversial decisions over her years in office, but each and everyone of those has been profitable for the Confederation in the long run.

Science & Military
Jovian science is one of the most advanced in the solar system. The inhabitants of Jupiter place great emphasis on research and development; anything which might make their life safer and more comfortable is looked into with great care.

The military were among the first to benefit from the technological advances. The Jovian Armed Forces' main headquarter is Khannan Station. It had been circular at first, when it used to be a trade center and port, but a hundred years of additions, modifications, and renovations now give it a vague shape somewhere between a donut and a very irregular sphere. This is most to the military's dislike, as the poorly structured base does not fit their criteria. However, Khannan is the only existing station big enough for the Armed Forces' needs. Any major rebuilding would make too big a dent in the JAF's budget, so the station will probably continue to annoy the military minds of the Jovian generals for quite a long time.

The JAF is divided in three sub-armies, called Alpha, Beta and Gamma Divisions. Each is a self-sustained army which is further organized into smaller units called squadrons. The squadrons do not have a fixed composition: the Jovians freely mix exo-armors, spacefighters and exo-suits according to the mission at hand. The space ships, however, are assigned to a division upon final assembly and remain with it until they are decommissioned or destroyed. The Jovian flagship, the "Godsfire", is assigned to the Alpha Division.

Commerce & Industry
Most of the Jovian industry is based on Joshua's Station, the second largest station after Elysse (it is home to over 4 million people). First constructed as a relay station for deep space probing, it now receives most of the commercial ships visiting the Jovian system. It also acts as a scientific station from time to time.

It is the only place in the Jovian system where the fine electronics necessary to build ships, exo-armors, medical equipment and computers are manufactured. Zero-gee factories and work shacks surround the station, making navigation difficult without help from the station's controllers.

All kinds of people meet there: nomads, commercial ships, couriers. Joshua's Station is generally known as "the wildest place in the solar system". Anything is available provided you know the right person and have plenty of credits. The seedier parts of the station are one of the blemishes on the otherwise perfect front of the Jovian society.

Jupiter's other major industry, gas mining, is done by many multi-circular stations which hang in Jupiter's high atmosphere at a safe altitude. Enormous balloon-like rings filled with hot stable hydrogen keep them where they are, with the occasional correction made by powerful fusion thrusters. Kilometer-long tubes go down from the bottom of the industrial complex toward the lower altitudes to pump the atmosphere which is both denser and more diversified there



  NOMADS & BELTERS    Approximate Distance from Sun: 2.20 - 3.20 AU

Not all human beings live near a planet. A small part of humanity has decided to live on traveling asteroids, circling the solar system, always on the move. They are the nomads of this day and age, and take great pride in their freedom.

Most of the time, a nomad tribe begins its journey by capturing an asteroid and placing it on an orbital trajectory taking it through the solar system. Once this is done, gravity wheels are built around it, using the core of the rock for material. The settlement is now ready to accept its new population.

Since the survival of these tribes depends on the work of each and every one of its members, the social organization is rather rigid. Laziness and rudeness are considered the worst of all weaknesses, as there is always something to do in the confined space of the asteroid city.

The nomads are looked down upon by the Venusians and the Terrans, who both consider them as nothing more than modern barbarians living in margin of established society. On the other hand, they are always welcome in the rest of the solar system, where their expertise in life support and space navigation is highly valued.

Each tribe is directed by a chief, whose title usually varies according to the ethnic or social origin of the colony. He (or she) is helped by a group of advisers who carry out his orders. While the chief has absolute authority over the settlement, he still must obey a complex code of conduct to which all nomads adhere.

Science & Military
Science is not a great concern of the nomads. Whatever technology they need they can buy or trade from the other settlements. They are experts in jury-rigging and recycling. Most nomad technicians can repair a plasma drive or an air conditioner with a few bolts, some chewing gum and a toothpick.

As a rule, nomads are pacific people, preferring to bargain or buy their way out of tight situations. However, a few tribes maintain some spaceworthy exo-suits for repair and defensive purposes.

Commerce & Industry
As stated before, the nomads don't produce much except food for themselves. They make money by carrying other people's goods across the solar system for a very low fee (compared to that of a transport ship, of course).

Nomad-raised technicians and crewmen are much sought-after as they are accustomed to cramped living conditions and constant change of acceleration, both of which are common on merchant vessels




Pirates are the plague of modern space travel. Most pirate groups have only one or two ships equipped with outdated weaponry, but this is more than enough to force an unarmed commercial ship to surrender. A few organizations are based in the Asteroid Belt and in remote stations on or around the various planets. No central organization is known to exist between the various groups.

These pirate groups are not considered a major threat and very little is done to stop their activities. Once in a while, a punitive expedition will be mounted to train some rookies in a real fight.




Jupiter is the outermost major human settlement in the solar system. Beyond it, the cold outer planets support only scientific monitoring stations, most of which are automated.

Several expeditions have already explored or at the very least visited each planet. Saturn’s moon, Titan, has been home to a Intersettlement Geographic Society-founded base for nearly eleven years now. The voyages of the exploration ship IGS Beagle II are now famous and numerous documentaries have been made about them. Unfortunately, the Beagle II disappeared two years ago on a routine monitoring mission to Neptune.

It is highly unlikely that Saturn and the other remaining planets will ever be colonized. They are just too far and cold to be of any use to Mankind.

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Armed Forces of the Solar Nations

The armies of the solar system. while similar in purpose, often are very different in organization and appearance. This is to be expected since they were formed by vastly different populations in settlements millions of kilometers apart.

The quality and equipment vary widely from army to army. Some are extremely large and reasonably well-equipped, like the CEGA Armed Forces or the Martian Federated Army. Others have better equipment and training, but a smaller number of personnel, like the Jovian Armed Forces or the Venusians' Home Defense Force. Other still have poor equipment, but superbly trained soldiers. All use exo technology in some way, with varying degrees of success.

About the only thing these armies have in common are the relatively loose command structures used (except for the Martian Federated Army; see below). In a world where the nearest commanding officer can be thousands of kilometers away, the individual soldier's personal initiative and resourcefulness is needed much more than before. Often, crucial decisions must be made on the spot, without awaiting confirmation from the base.


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Jovian Armed Forces

E1: Recruit
E2: Private
E3: Corporal
E4: Sergeant
E5: Master Sergeant 

W1: Warrant Officer
W2: Chief Warrant Officer

O1: Lieutenant
O2: Captain
O3: Commander
O4: Colonel
O5: General

The Jovian Armed Forces are composed entirely of volunteers. Although there are many hopeful applicants, few pass the grueling testing and training period where the determination and courage of the recruit is tested above everything else.

Once this basic screening is done, the recruits who showed exceptional promise are sent to Officer Training School, where they receive training in leadership and tactical skills in addition to their regular recruit schedule. Needless to say, officers take longer to finish their military education, but are a much tougher bunch.

The rest of the recruits are trained to defend themselves and handle a combat space suit. They are then further divided into classes according to the specialty for which they showed the most aptitude. Thus, it is not unusual to see a greenhorn piloting an exo-armor while the seasoned exo-suited trooper looks on (and probably has a few laughs as well).

Once the recruits complete training, they are assigned to one of the three sub-armies of the JAF. called Alpha, Beta and Gamma Divisions. Each is a self-contained army which is further organized into smaller units called squadrons.

The organization of the squadrons varies, although once assigned equipment and personnel they tend to keep the same TO&E (table of organization and equipment) until disbanded. The Jovians freely mix exo-armors, spacefighters and exo-suits in a squadron, believing in flexibility. Squadrons are identified by a number and a nickname, which is often proudly displayed on the equipment. Squadrons are further divided into flights.

Flights are composed of three units, generally exo-armors or space fighters; resources and repairs may change this, however, so it is not unusual to see flights of two to five units. Flights of exo-suits are composed of ten flight-capable suits.

Space ships are assigned to a division upon final assembly, and remain with that division until they are decommissioned or destroyed.

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Martian Free Republic Rangers

E1: Home Guard
E2: Deputy Sheriff
E3: Sheriff
E4: Deputy Marshal
E5: Marshal

The Marshal and the Deputy Marshal are the most publicly recognized figures in the Free Republic Army, as they often serve as leaders of the appointed garrisons of small cities and settlements. Their leadership abilities often make them famous in their sectors.

O1: Ranger
O2: Dragoon
O3: Dragoon Captain
O4: Colonel

There are only seven Colonels in the Free Republic Army. They are all tough, seasoned men who can lead their troops through the most hair-raising combat situations and never ask someone to do a job they cannot do themselves. Colonel is the highest rank in the Army, So that they seven of them can act independently from the others, ensuring maximum flexibility.


Due to the small population and the enormous amount of territory they have to cover, the Rangers have a military organization which is much looser than any other army in the solar system. They put mobility and skill above brute strength, which means they have many jump-capable exo-suits and armors as well as a fleet of ground-effect hovertanks. Their overall approach to strategy is similar to guerilla operations, with heavy emphasis on hit-and-run tactics and fluid battlelines.

Training is centered on a "get-down-and-dirty" philosophy, where the trainees are placed as soon as possible in real life situations. Students are taught how to use their weapon, survive in the wastelands of Mars, and repair their equipment using whatever is available at that particular time. The trainees' terror is the final exam: a two-day trip, alone, through the desert, followed by a shooting session. Of course, the weapons provided are non-functional and must be repaired along the way.

Instructors also place great emphasis on extensive and frequent practice sessions, much to the dismay of the recruits. Although they may dislike it, this intensive training produces skilled, if not veteran, soldiers.


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Martian Federal Army

E1: Soldat
E2: Gefreiter
E3: Unterofficer
E4: Felowebel
E5: Oberfeldwebel
E6: Stabsfeldwebel
E7: Hauptfelowebel

The Hauptfelowebel is similar to the Sergeant of the old Earth U.S. Army. Tough and hardened by years of combat, they often serve as drill officers for trainees, who quickly learn to fear them. Hauptfelowebels are often career soldiers who would rather be fried alive than pilot a desk.

O1: Leutnant
O2: Oberleutnant
O3: Haumptmann
O4: Major
O5: Oberstleutnant
O6: Oberst


True to the way of thinking of its government, the Federated Army is very structured. Ranks are very important and the chain of command is absolutely respected. This, of course, is paid for in flexibility: more than once, an Army position was overrun while the soldiers waited for orders.

The Army's structure is similar to the one of the German army of the early twenty-first century. The Army was mostly composed of German settlers in the early days and so adopted this classification for simplicity's sake. Most of the ranks have been translated for eveyday use, although the German ranks are still used officially. Old traditions die hard.

The Army is based on a five men unit, called a Grupen, or group, commanded by a Gefreiter or an Unterofficer. Five grupens form an Obergrupen, or high group, under the command of an Oberfeldwebel. Exo-armors and other vehicles are also assigned to grupens, although it is then commanded by an Oberleutnant. The suffix "Sturm" (for exo-armor), "Blitz" (for fighter) or "Panzer" (for ground vehicle) is added after the unit number. For example, the 23' Sturm Grupen is an exo-armor unit.

The grupens are assigned to combat divisions for the duration of a campaign. Each grupen has its own symbol, often painted on all vehicles. The soldiers take great pride in this, and are allowed to make minor cosmetic changes to the paint scheme of their machines (as long as all regulation markings are clearly visible).


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Home Defense Force (Venus)

E1: Nito-Hei
E2: Heisei
E3: Jotto-Hei
E4: Go-Cho
E5: Gunso
E6: Shuijin
E7: Socho

WO: Jun-I

O1: Sho-I
O2: Chu-I
O3: Tai-I
O4: Sho-Sa
O5: Chu-Sa
O6: Tai-sa
O7: Cho-Sho
O8: Sho-Sho
O9: Chu-Ju
010: Tai-Sho

Because many of the early Venusian settlers came from enormous Japanese corporations, the HDF is loosely based on the old Japanese HDF. complete with Japanese ranks.

This does not mean that the HDF is Japanese. After nearly a century and a half, the population perceives itself as Venusian. Their military is therefore Venusian too, and not Japanese. Wherever possible, the original ranks have been translated or adapted to standard English, although the old denominations are still in use.

The HDF, although small, is one of the most advanced combat forces in existence (no doubt because the corporations keep pouring credits into it). Exo-armors are extensively used, with most machines being either older Jovian designs build under license or home-grown variations.

Standard organization is centered around the Flight, which is composed of four machines of the same type. These can be exo-armors or spacefighters. sometimes tanks (although these are now getting rare, being replaced by specially- designed ground walkers and exo-armors). Infantry, exo-suited or not, is grouped into standard squads of eight men, with twentyfour men to a platoon.

Flights are grouped into squadrons of three Flights, all under the command of a Tai-i, or Lieutenant. Squadrons are always assigned to one ship or one base, and operate together on a mission.


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CEGA Naval Forces

E1: Shipman Recruit
E2: Shipman Apprentice
E3: Shipman
E4: Petty Officer
E5: Chief Petty Officer
E6: Senior Chief Petty Officer
E7: Master Chief petty Officer
E8: Adjudant

W1: Warrant Officer
W2: Warrant Officer 1st Class
W3: Senior Warrant Officer
W4: Chief Warrant Officer

O1: Ensign
O2: Lieutenant Junior Grade
O3: Lieutenant 
O4: Lieutenant Commander
O5: Captain
O6: Commodore
O7: Rear Admiral
O8: Vice Admiral
O9: Admiral

The forces of the CEGA are divided into a ground army and a space-based navy. Although both should be on approximately equal standing, it is no secret that the Navy personnel hold the "mudkissers" in contempt. The Navy has more political leverage than the Army.

The Navy's organization is centered around its vessels as the CEGA generally prefers to rely on the brute force of its fleets rather than the more precise spacefighters or exo-armors. The Space Navy is divided in six main fleets, each being a completely independent entity with its own support division and administration. A fleet is directed by an admiral who leads operations from a "Poseidon"-class battleship.

Fleets One through Three are classified as escort fleets, with a large complement of fast frigates and destroyers. Fleets Four through Six are the main warfleets and are stationed in the Earth system. Each fleet has a number of fighter and exo-armor squadrons assigned to its ships. Squadrons are divided into Wings which are themselves divided into Flights.

The Navy has priority over the Army; if it should ever need something (personnel or material resources) from the Army, the Navy has the power to requisition it without explanation, at any time. Army personnel "borrowed" this way take on the temporary rank of Marine. The Navy seldom uses this privtlege, however, since it prefers to train its own personnel for space operations rather than waste its budget on borrowed personnel.


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CEGA Armed Forces

E1: Soldier
E2: Lance Corporal
E3: Corporal
E4: Sergeant
E5: Staff Sergeant
E6: Gunnery Sergeant
E7: Master Sergeant
E8: Sergeant Major

W1: Warrant Officer
W2: Warrant Officer 1st Class
W3: Senior Warrant Officer
W4: Chief Warrant Officer 

O1: Pilot
O2: Lieutenant
O3: Commander
O4: Major
O5: Lieutenant Colonel
O6: Colonel
O7: Brigadier General
O8: Major General
O9: Lieutenant General

The Army is similar in organization to the Navy, but is centered around regiments rather than around ships. Further adding to the complexity is the incredible number of different units in use: exo-armors (still somewhat rare), tanks, airplanes, helicopters, VTOLs, exo-suits, unarmored infantry, and so on.

The base unit is the Platoon, composed of vehicles or infantry squads of eight men. Four exo-armors or four tanks or thirty-two men make up a platoon. Unit types are never mixed in a platoon to facilitate maintenance, resupply and tactics. For the same reasons, all soldiers in a platoon are assigned the same equipment, with one exception - a heavy weapon trooper or vehicle.

A special rank has been created expressly to cover the crew of the war machines and differentiate them from their infantry counterparts. Technically, the Pilot rank corresponds to the Ensign rank. Pilots are Commissioned Officers and as such are required to attend Officer School.

The Army, apart from its tanks and airplanes, uses simplified versions of the Navy's own equipment. For example, all exo-armors are presently versions of the Wyvern, although the Army has been pressing the Council to buy smaller, more agile models. Not willing to wait too long, the Engineering Division has built a few land-based versions of the Syreen, using units deemed unspaceworthy by the Navy. The strange hybrid vehicles have been briefly seen in England, undergoing tests.


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