Sky of Diamonds [NOOK Book]

Overview

2356 CE A tense but long-lasting peace followed the First Galactic War. While diplomatic relations were established between the Confederacy and the Grugell Empire, the relationship remained tentative. Aided by the newfound ability to calibrate scanners to function during subspace transits, cross-border traffic became somewhat more enthusiastic. In a robust display of market economics, each side swiftly discovered that the other had commodities worth trading for. An illegal but brisk trade developed, with Grugell ...
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Sky of Diamonds

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Overview

2356 CE A tense but long-lasting peace followed the First Galactic War. While diplomatic relations were established between the Confederacy and the Grugell Empire, the relationship remained tentative. Aided by the newfound ability to calibrate scanners to function during subspace transits, cross-border traffic became somewhat more enthusiastic. In a robust display of market economics, each side swiftly discovered that the other had commodities worth trading for. An illegal but brisk trade developed, with Grugell wines, art, weapons, and other goods coming into the Confederacy, and Confederate electronics, computers, and other high-tech equipment flowing into the Empire. The Confederate Navy set up a regular patrol along the Grugell frontier, but intercepting smugglers along the billions of cubic light-years of space was hopeless. More disturbing, the Navy had for some time suspected that cloaked Grugell ships routinely violated the border. The Navy still patrolled the area, with Task Force 947 maintaining a presence at "Alpha Station," an area of space between the closest settled worlds on either side. To support this operation, a major naval base was established on New Wichita, an agricultural world on the Confederate side of the line. It was a Confederate Navy medical cruiser, the CSS Charity, which was present at the incident that first gave evidence to an ancient, almost forgotten legend, and provided the first hints that there was a guiding influence that may have manipulated events in human society for a thousand years.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940000155844
  • Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/10/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 457 KB

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Prologue

Tarbos, 2356 CE

A tense but long-lasting peace followed the First Galactic War. While diplomatic relations were established between the Confederacy and the Grugell Empire, the relationship remained tentative.

Aided by the newfound ability to calibrate scanners to function during subspace transits, cross-border traffic became somewhat more enthusiastic. In a robust display of market economics, each side swiftly discovered that the other had commodities worth trading for. An illegal but brisk trade developed, with Grugell wines, art, weapons, and other goods coming into the Confederacy, and Confederate electronics, computers, and other high-tech equipment flowing into the Empire. The Confederate Navy set up a regular patrol along the Grugell frontier, but intercepting smugglers along the billions of cubic light-years of space was hopeless. More disturbing, the Navy had for some time suspected that cloaked Grugell ships routinely violated the border.

The Navy still patrolled the area, with Task Force 947 maintaining a presence at "Alpha Station," an area of space between the closest settled worlds on either side. To support this operation, a major naval base was established on New Wichita, an agricultural world on the Confederate side of the line.

It was a Confederate Navy medical cruiser, the CSS Charity, which was present at the incident that first gave evidence to an ancient, almost forgotten legend, and provided the first hints that there was a guiding influence that may have manipulated events in human society for a thousand years.

The years following the "Ionescu incident" saw the Confederacydistracted by a sharp increase in pirate traffic out of the unaffiliated Rim Worlds, as the human presence in the Galaxy began its second wave of expansion outside the borders of the Confederacy itself.

--Morris/Handel, A History of the First Galactic Confederacy, University Publications, 2804 CE

Following are selected excerpts from Morris/Handel, A History of the First Galactic Confederacy, University Publications, 2804 CE, and selected popular news media from 2350-2354 CE.

Morris/Handel: 2350, Subspace Scanning

Interstellar travel had for years been hampered by the inability to use standard scanning technology while in subspace transit. From 2341 to 2350, the Confederate Navy Department poured billions of Confederate dollars into research, which paid off in 2350 with the development of a series of algorithmic software filters that were able to translate the seeming gibberish of subspace into data that the human mind could comprehend. Ships could now detect other ships in subspace, and while transit speeds made it impossible to identify or interact in any way with ships on tangential courses, the capacity made tight-formation jumps and convoy operations much easier. Ships on parallel trajectories were now able to track and trade messages with each other.

Within three Standard Years, the Navy discovered that the Grugell had managed to steal the technology, swiftly erasing the tactical advantage. Thus, the technology race continued.

Affiliated Galactic Press, Mountain View, Tarbos, January 1, 2354

In a press conference held this morning, Secretary of the Navy Roland Adams revealed that armed and cloaked Grugell frigates have intruded on Confederate space twice in the last Standard Year. Both ships were discovered only due to the partial or complete failure of their cloaking systems.

The transit of armed ships into Confederate space is a direct violation of the Treaty of Honshu, which allows only unarmed ships under diplomatic beacon. The president has issued a formal complaint to the Grugell emperor by hyperphone.

Morris/Handel: Unaffiliated Worlds

Prior to the passage of the Eminent Domain Act in 2408, entrepreneurs were free to open habitable worlds as private corporations. While the Rim Worlds were frequently cited as examples, the three Rim planets of Wilson, Last Chance, and Jinx were not settled in any organized fashion, but rather grew in place as an ad hoc society of smugglers, escaped convicts, Navy deserters, and various other brands of misfits.

Roman Holiday, on the other hand, was opened to settlement as a private corporation, registered as such with the Confederate government. Run by a shadowy cabal of individuals known only as "The Organization," Roman Holiday's local laws took the normal libertarian politics of the Confederacy one step farther. The world's three cities developed rapidly as meccas for gambling, prostitution, and general vice.

Transcribed from the Navy Times, a Confederate Navy internal newspaper, August 23rd, 2354:

Item: Three new ships have been commissioned into active service in the last month: the medical cruiser Charity and the destroyers Robert E. Lee and Polena Tesch.

The Charity is the first in her class, with a crew of four thousand and the latest in medical technology. The new Charity-class ships will provide medical support to major task groups. Three more ships of this class are in construction.

The Charity is currently in shakedown, and will be assigned to TF947.

The Robert E. Lee is a Reuben James-class frigate...

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