The Far Havens:
In our second of our monthly Mindscape Updates, Paul Mitchener brings us an article set in the Far Havens, in the Outer Worlds beyond the Commonality Frontier – the (somewhat seedy) Station Seven…
Station Seven is an enclosed city in space, in a distant orbit around the binary planetary system of Mesameshur (The Far Havens, page 71). Mesameshur is torn in two not just physically but also politically: two dominant polities, the Liberty Alliance and the Democratic Union, have been locked in a cold war for centuries.
Station Seven floats above this conflict. The station’s ruler and founder, Governor Markus Zeintek, has positioned the station as a place of trade and intrigue. Here the Liberty Alliance and Democratic Union can meet on neutral ground, and weapons merchants can come to trade with one or both sides.
Station Seven combines seediness and luxury. It’s relatively compact for a population in the tens of thousands, with little in the way of open space, and relies upon imports of food. The public corridors are grubby where the self-cleaning mechanisms have broken down; however, even the cheapest individual apartment complexes are well-maintained and roomy. Most of these feature thick biosynthetic carpets, more like grass than an artificial material, even as the public areas tend to be bare plasteel.
The docking facilities on Station Seven as good as anywhere more “civilised”. The very best in food, drink, and drugs from across the Far Havens are all available here for a price.
Governor Zeintek is an autocrat. As far as he is concerned, he owns the station. He maintains a force of security guards who answer only to him. Every room and corridor on Station Seven has hidden sensors which he can monitor. He has the power to do whatever he likes to those who displease him, or who interfere with free trade on the Station. Zeintek also maintains contacts with the Boryokudan, who come and go freely. Although the Governor will clamp down on anything threatening Station Seven’s safety or neutral status, he’s happy to ignore small acts of violence, especially by his friends or those willing to present the station a suitable “donation” of funds.
Despite the non-ideal conditions imposed by Zeintek’s attempts at absolute rule, Station Seven hosts several official ambassadors on a semi-permanent basis. Myron Tuft, a former general who still holds military rank, is the ambassador of the Liberty Alliance. He’s always armed, something which Zeintek allows. Tuft has a personal grudge against Si Gunnar, ambassador for the Democratic Union. Gunnar is young for his position, and seems completely dependent upon his synthetic aide, DN1A. DN1A, often called “Diana”, is known for her soothing manner with biologicals, and her perfect memory and eye for fine detail.
The most surprising ambassador is Erika Wen, who claims to be a Commonality “observer” operating far beyond the Frontier. Governor Zeintek treats Ambassador Wen with fawning respect, even though the latter has made it clear she disapproves of his dictatorship. Zeintek reasons that if Commonality trade is going to come to Mesameshur via through Wen, he should try and keep her on Station Seven so he, personally, can benefit from it.
Like many others on Station Seven, Erika Wen has a secret. Far from being an accredited Commonality observer, she is in fact an exile, having fled Commonality Space rather than face re-education after exceeding her authority in SCI Force in an action which inadvertently plunged a planet into war. Wen isn’t just fleeing justice – she thinks that here, in the war-torn Mesameshur system, she can maybe make amends, assuaging her guilty conscience and perhaps even bringing peace. The “ambassador” clings unbendingly to her Commonality values, even though she now lives in a culture with very different priorities.