Alberio IV

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Official UFPDOCA Colony Entry: Alberio IV

  • Colony Name: Alberio IV
  • Creator: Tim Tyson
  • E-mail: tty99@aol.com


GEOGRAPHY

  • System/Location: Deneb is Arabic for "the tail" and this star is the tail

of the Cygnus constellation, a great swan flying southward down the Milky Way. Three stars form the wings of the swan., and outlying stars give the wings a graceful swept-back appearance. The swan has a long neck, with two dimmer stars in the middle and a head or beak are formed by the star Alberio, which is actually a beautiful binary pair of topaz yellow and sapphire blue stars.

  • Distance to Nearest Starbase: The only other inhabited planet nearby is

Deneb IV, of 'Farpoint' fame, but even to reach that requires five days at warp 6. The nearest Federation starbase is seven more days beyond that. The Alberio star system is located near the galactic rim (or more so than most Federation worlds), looking out into the eternal night of starless space.

  • Planet Classification: M-Class.
  • Satellites/Space Stations: No moons. There is an antiquated space station

orbiting the planet that serves as a trans-shipment point for most of the planet's trade. It usually remains empty except at those times.

  • Land/Water Ratio: Alberio IV is a harsh world, or at least its land

masses are. Although 50% of the world's surface is above water, almost all it of it consists of windswept desert plateaus, or huge ranges of towering, geologically active mountains. There are a few jungles and swamps near the equator, and animal life has sprung up in riotous abundance there, as opposed to the vast majority of dry land, where it is very scarce.

  • Climate Controlled: No.
  • Native Sentient Life: No.


COLONY INFORMATION

  • Colony Age (approximate): 130.
  • Population (approximate): 30,000.
  • Species Present: 85% Human, 15% other Federation species settlers.
  • Colony Status: There are too few people on the planet to constitute a

full-fledged colony, but most are Federation citizens. It was initially settled by a huge corporation with employees, and the Spaceways Corporation has pretty much run the planet ever since. Federation Comissioners regularly visit the planet, but maintain no resident status, and their only jurisdiction is over the safety of its citizens. Since it has never formed a planetary government or officially applied for status as a Federation member, Alberio IV's status is a little "grey" legally. Supposedly the company maintains Federation law for the most part.

  • Government: There is a Town Council in Drakon, the largest city on the

planet, but real power comes from the offices of Spaceways Corporation, just down the street.

  • Major Cities/Settlements: Most of the colony's population is scattered in

smaller island settlements, from a few hundred to a few thousand, but there are several large settlements.

Drakon is by far the largest city, and has a population of 10,000, and is the only major industrial center on Alberio IV. It is also the major trading center, and the only spot where Spaceways Corporation maintains their offices, and thus virtually the only market for anything from beyond the planet.

There is a settlement that was originally named Swamps' End, but over time was shortened to Swamsen. This small city is known as a lawless haven. Supposedly it boasts up to 2,000 people at times, but the population varies tremendously.

A city named Hajar, founded by the first colonists of Alberio IV, has about 2,000 inhabitants. They live at the edge of the desert in the mountains. The entire population are members of the "Hajarii" sect that fled Mars about a hundred and thirty years ago. Since landing on Alberio IV, they have kept mostly to themsleves, and have only very limited contact with anyone outside their own city.

There is one more settlement of note: Karrakis, the writer's resort. Thirty years ago, a great Vulcan poet sought a place to escape and found a series of natural wind-carved mountain caverns in the middle of a huge desert. He proclaimed it the ultimate artistic refuge, and over the last few decades, a trickle of all types of artists have come to join them, many of them well- known personalities. With them came friends, families, disciples, servants, and anyone else who had the interest or inclination to join them. Modern comforts were shipped in by the wealthy, and a small community was born. There has never been more than a few hundred residents of the caverns, but among them are many recognizable names, visiting or resident.


History:

Alberio IV had been charted by the Federation long ago, marked in the star catalogues as a 'marginally inhabitable' Class M planet, a very rare designation. No mineral wealth to speak of, nothing of value. With poor planetary resources, it was not even worth the long trip to colonize it. No trade routes were anywhere nearby, and it was too distant to even attract runaways and pirates.

There was one group that was attracted by its barren and isolated nature, however.

A strange religious cult had sprung up on Mars that advocated a return to simpler ways, eschewing all the technological "crutches" Federation society seemed to depend on. Members called themselves the "Hajar". It was quite popular for awhile, and had many adherents that moved to a primitive settlement deep in the Martian desert with only the bare minimum of technology. Like all cults, its peak passed and eventually only a few hundred hard-core remained.

They decided their movement had failed because they had not removed themselves far enough away from the Federation and the easy lure of its omnipresent technology. They searched star catalogues and eventually discovered Alberio IV, uninhabited but class M, far away from everything. It seemed perfect.

Pooling their resources, they managed to buy and repair an old freighter (after several charter attempts to this remote planet failed). Then the entire membership of the Hajarii (as they call themselves) emigrated to Alberio IV. At that time, it consisted of almost seven hundred men, women and children. No one even noticed when they left, although Starfleet was informed of their destination. Their flight plan was filed and forgotten. After all, the entire trip was taking place within Federation space, and as long as their ship passed certain minimum safety standards, they were free to go where they wanted.

The Hajarii were poor navigators and pilots. It took them almost a year to reach Alberio IV, and by then they knew the ship would never last through a return journey. They cannibalized it to make their first city.

Used to deserts and looking for a friendly land mass, the Hajarii took possession of a small plateau overlooking a much larger one that actually had its own fresh water source, the only such site found so far on Alberio IV. Here they built a city and their own little civilization.

Being basically insular, the Hajarii were content with their little slice of the planet and did very little exploring. They ventured into the desert below them a little, but found that without technological aids, it was a very dangerous place. An intrepid view clambered down the mountains to the seashore, but that was a trip that was never repeated.

For about a hundred thirty years, the Hajarii lived alone on Alberio IV, if not flourished. Over time, their numbers have slowly grown, and there are an estimated two thousand Hajarii cultists today, all limited to their one city, called Hajar by outsiders. The Hajarii themselves supposedly have a secret name for their city that they have never revealed.

About seventy years ago, a very rich man on Mars by the name of Julius Drake, owner of Spaceways Corporation, wanted to find new sources of goods for the ever more jaded customers of Earth. Remembering rumors abut the Hajarii emigration to Alberio IV over a hundred years earlier, he had his staff research the planet, and discovered very little was actually known about it. He chartered a scientific expedition on a hunch to test the potential of Alberio IV's oceans, something the initial explorers had never bothered to do, on the faint hope that something would make it worth the enormous expense. What they eventually found astounded him.

There were literally hundreds of species in what amounted to a planetary population explosion under the water. Most of them had never been seen before, and the explorers were convinced that there was much more. A wide spectrum of plants added to the potential treasure trove of resources.

In contrast to the land areas of the planet, the weather in the majority of the ocean area was almost tropical, except near the poles, and the rare islands were virtual paradises. But some were of a sufficient size to support small towns or even cities.

Spaceways Corporation recruited settlers and had them sign a formal contract. The company undertook to deliver them to the planet, help set them up, provide support in the form of regular visits (once/year) in return for a certain percentage of their take. There were a thousand altogether (800 men, 200 women), with promises of more.

At first, it worked like a charm. The colonists, chosen for their knowledge of oceans, settled quickly into island life. They built a small village, which they called Draketown in honor of their founder. That was eventually shortened to Drak'ton, and then just Drakon, by which name it is known today.

Every year, Spaceways Corporation sends a huge freighter out to Alberio IV which the colonists would fill with a stunning variety of sea associated products. A few intrepid colonists have ventured into the jungles to retrieve even more rare items and specimens, though many never came back.

To make costs and fulfill a promise, they tried to recruit more colonists. While the initial 1000 were carefully recruited and screened, the quality quickly dropped off. It was in the best interests of the company to fill the huge empty ship as much as possible on its outbound journey, so after a few decades, they started performing only the most cursory checks on their applicants. A whole thinly populated planet that was to date beyond the range of Starfleet has lately begun to attract many desperate types and drifters who have no other place to go.


Economy:

Alberio IV's natives use a large variety of currency, from latinum (very rare) to company scrip to coins minted by the Town Council, to an old and well-established barter system.


Tech Level:

About twenty to fifty years behind current Federation technology.


Culture:

Nothing special in this category. It is a standard Federation colony.