Part 17: 2251-2260: The Peace RestoredThe Peace Restored
As the Republic continued to develop, its research and communication infrastructures grew to be the envy of Chiron. Although this had obvious benefits in innovation and in efficiency, a less-obvious difficulty presented by this was growing obstacles in the path of the Intelligence Service. Secrets were growing increasingly more difficult to keep, and this could eventually have negative effects when secrecy was vital.
By 2252, Autumn Grove's organic waste recycling plants had been completed, helping to provide biofuels, fertilisers, and other chemicals from what would otherwise simply be waste. The resources thereby provided helped Autumn Grove to grow.
Meanwhile, the Expeditionary Force pressed on, crushing two companies of infantry before pushing in to Memory of Earth, taking the settlement in a battle that left many buildings in Memory of Earth breached and wrecked. With Memory of Earth fallen, the last major Gaian industrial center, The Flowers Preach, lay open before the Expeditionary Force.
As the Expeditionary Force pushed on toward The Flowers Preach, the Dominion government, in desperation, agreed to a full and unconditional surrender. The eventual peace settlement written by the North Pholus Republic and signed by Deidre Skye partitioned the original territories of the Dominion in two, forming the Protectorate of South Pholus, a state administered by the Republic of North Pholus itself, and the Republic of East Pholus, comprising the territories the Dominion still held as of its surrender. The North Pholan government required all high church officials of the Stepdaughters of Gaia to be barred from future governmental positions, and that a constitution and government for East Pholus be adopted in free and democratic elections. The treasury of the old Dominion was surrendered to North Pholus as war reparations. The long war was finally over. With most trade barriers between East Pholus and North Pholus broken down by the peace settlement, trade was soon prospering between the two Pholan republics.
A pact of submission, like this one, cannot be broken by the subservient party, and they stop complaining about your social engineering choices in diplomacy to the future. In diplomacy, they will remain displayed as Submissive, which is functionally equivalent to the very highest opinion they could otherwise have. You can demand new technology or credits from them whenever you wish. They are, essentially, no longer a threat in any sense.
While the war drew to its close, Tellus' adoption of industrial robotics and growing hab developments had reached a point where the population of Tellus once again could grow easily. The settlement joined with many others of North Pholus as it pushed on to ever greater growth. A year later, the waste reprocessing plants under development in Prometheus went into business, helping supply materials for the young settlement.
A swarm of mindworms in the fungus between Gaia's Landing and Lily of the Valley was exposed in 2254, engaging a rover platoon returning from the front and forcing the rovers to break off in retreat. These worms were eventually hunted down, however, and exterminated.
In 2255, the settlement of Kusisitiza Future was founded under the Sea of Pholus, near the shores of Hercules. Kusisitiza Datametrics, which led the settlement effort along with other smaller firms and families, hoped to prove the value of long-range automated logistical systems, using the new 'settlement of the future' as a base.
Over the remainder of the decade, North and South Pholus continued to develop, with Torrson's industry taking advantage of robotic tools, Talon fully linked into the North Pholan Datalinks, Memory of Earth developing its own waste reprocessors, and with small businesses and recreation facilities growing in Autumn Grove and Lily of the Valley. The productivity of the South Pholan workforce and economy was steadily growing, and many South Pholans were beginning to become very wealthy indeed under the new economy.
While this development was under way, the Planetary University Free State contacted the North Pholan government in 2257, requesting the aid of North Pholan instructors and academics to help provide a foundation for their own researchers to keep up with the state of the art in information technology. Unfortunately, negotiations broke down over the question of compensation to the instructors and their employers, and no result came of it. Regardless of the failure of the negotiations, Prokhor Zakharov expressed his sincere admiration for North Pholus' dedication to research and its excellence in scientific endeavors. With the admiration of the Planetary University secure, the policy of the Free State was sure to follow. It seemed unlikely that anything would threaten the friendship of the Free State and the Republic of North Pholus in the foreseeable future.
That same year, further advances in machine intelligence were made, allowing for true 'learning algorithms'. Although distinctly limited compared to human intelligence, these algorithms could learn and develop on specialised bodies of information, adapting seamlessly to changing circumstances. Lovelace Software released a new suite of adaptive security tools using these techniques into the market, which adapted to intrusion attempts in such a way to make security breaches much more difficult.
Polymorphic Encryption on units doubles the cost to subvert them by enemy probe action; although of fairly specialised use, sometimes it can be a lifesaver against probe-heavy opponents.
The Republic of North Pholus as of 2260
The new Protectorate of South Pholus has had its administrative capital sited in Gaia's Landing, and fungus clearance and development of the countryside continues steadily in Pholus. Although the forests of North Pholus do not match the vast forest in South Pholus, nonetheless they stretch in patches across the continent. Cleared fungus and rail links ensure that Prometheus is tied tightly into the Republic's transporation network, like all the earlier settlements.
The new Spartan settlement of Hommel's Citadel has been founded on Hommel's Isle, just off the coast of New Lacedaimonia. The Federation is growing.
Investment shows steady growth, while innovation has exploded over the past decade. New research and discoveries press on to expand the boundries of human knowledge on Chiron. East Pholus has become one of North Pholus' most important trading partners, providing imported goods and profits from exports across the Republic.
Although Morgan remains a settlement of great wealth, its growing population has brought with it new difficulties. The area around the settlement suffers the worst pollution in the Republic, with a noticeable impact on surviving native life. As the population has grown, productivity per capita has declined, with significant portions of the population not matching high professional incomes and unable to take advantage of increased productivity. There is an underserved market here, one which Morgan Industries and other firms are scrambling to address. The Citizens' Defense Force headquartered here has accumulated the equipment to set up defensive perimeters around every settlement in the Republic and muster local militias to support regular troops in the event of threats; now all that remains is the actual deployment of equipment to every corner of the Republic.
Morgan is now out of a Golden Age for now; our growing populations will likely require 30% Psych rates to ensure universal Golden Ages like we were previously enjoying.
With the swelling population in Torrson, demand for maternity care and educational services for young children is higher than ever, and new ventures serving these needs have been growing in Torrson. The forestry industry in Torrson is thriving as the settlement grows.
Western Coast Medical, a growing company in Tellus, has begun an ambitious program of developing modern hospital facilities equipped for basic research and advanced procedures in Tellus. The growing firm hopes to compete on the same level as Apollo Meditech as time goes on, helping to advance the state of medical science and provide the highest-quality care possible to customers.
Work on establishing high-capacity cable connections to Hercules and New Lacedaimonia have slowed in Bushnell Center, and talks with interests in the UNCC to ensure cable connections between the UNCC and the Holy States of the Lord's Believers have stalled. Lovelace Computing has devoted significant efforts to machine intelligence research, hoping to find more practical applications available with the state of the art in technology.
With network connectivity in Talon increased and the local population taking advantage of virtual entertainment on a wide scale, conditions in Talon are better than ever before. Modernisation of local industry is under way, with local firms investing in new tools to expand production. With the war over, the mobile rover platoons in the Republic have relocated here for the moment, until they are called to service elsewhere.
Consumer demand in Xochimilco has begun to drive the development of new sports facilities, shopping complexes, and restaurants, and the opportunities provided by small businesses are beginning to spread amongst the general population. Agricultural yields here are strong, and the population is expected to grow swiftly over later years.
Prometheus continues to grow, taking advantage of the geothermal power along the Great Pholus Ridge to fuel its prosperity. Network cable to link its computers to the rest of the colony is being laid, and local businesses have begun upgrading network infrastructure in preparation.
Kusisitiza Future is still a very small settlement setting its initial priorities in order. There is a major subsurface uranium deposit directly north of the settlement, which it has begun developing as the backbone of its fledgling economy while work boats clear away the fungus from a nearby series of deposits of rare earths, titanium, and gold further east.
Gaia's Landing, the administrative capital of the new Protectorate of South Pholus, is still fairly underdeveloped compared to North Pholan settlements. Still, new reprocessing facilities have begun to make a business out of reclaiming valuable materials from waste, which is expected to help supply the settlement's needs for the future. In Gaia's Landing, as elsewhere in the Protectorate, there is some public resentment of South Pholus' status as a subordinate province, but growing development has helped keep the difficulties largely confined to grumbling and the occasional protest. Open violence has died away, and the need for stricter occupation tactics has passed.
Autumn Grove remains possibly the most important center of the forestry industry in all Pholus, and is prospering as new small business have helped extend opportunity to its people and ensure essentially the entire population is usefully and productively employed.
The replanting of the farmland southeast of Lily of the Valley has stabilised its food situation, helping prevent the settlement from sliding into catastrophe. The entertainment complexes built here during Dominion days are beginning to have their dominance challenged by networked home entertainment, but still hold their market position for now. Where Gaia's Landing is the administrative center of South Pholus, Lily of the Valley is the primary industrial, commercial, and scientific hub of the Protectorate.
Memory of Earth subsists on forestry, a modest industrial sector, and the reprocessing businesses it supports. It is and is expected to remain something of a backwater for some time, constructed on an arid coast poorly-suited for agriculture and with the landscape pitted with abandoned mines developed in a vain hope to bolster the local economy in Dominion days.
The Republic of East Pholus has established its own constitution and conducted a de-Gaianification of the government and civil service. Although the Stepdaughters of Gaia remain the largest religion in East Pholus and South Pholus, the faith of many of Stepdaughters has been tested by the long and bloody war. The overall character of the religion has moderated, and a number of splinter groups have fragmented off with the Church no longer able to effectively dictate adherence to dogma as a matter of state policy. Deidre Skye herself has moved to the new settlement of Deidre's Fishery, where she continues her work as a poet, religious leader, and xenobiologist now stripped of political authority. The East Pholan economy has slowly begun to stabilise, partly helped by trade with North and South Pholus. Research in East Pholus is expected to make new breakthrough within two years, something which is regarded with interest by many North Pholan business leaders and researchers.
While East Pholus has democratised, the Spartan Federation's situation has grown increasingly concerning. Their last Presidential elections brought in a hardline Christian party which has begun aggressively preaching duty to both God and State, and their diplomatic stance towards North Pholus has steadily soured. The current alliance still holds, but it seems likely that, absent steps to pacify the Spartan Federation, it will eventually crumble.
The UNCC remains the second-strongest economy on Chiron, and a reliable friend to North Pholus. Despite the strong reputation the UNCC enjoys amongst many colonies, the growing population of North Pholus makes it, if anything, even more influential.
We have 53 council votes now, to the UNCC's 52. If we ever find that last colony, we should be one of the two candidates for Planetary Governor.
The Planetary University Free State, although still small and weak, is slowly solidifying its hold on western Hercules. It, like the UNCC, has a steady policy of friendship with North Pholus, and is a valuable friend and trade partner.
The population of the Holy States of the Lord's Believers continues to steadily grow, establishing them as an ominous force on Chiron Minor. Communication with the Holy States still remains minimal, and much about their society remains a mystery.
Peace has finally been restored to Pholus, and, despite its growing difficulties, the Republic of North Pholus prospers. The Spartan Federation and the Holy States still loom as potential threats, however, and whether peace will continue in following decades is still unknown.