The Colonel Takes the Stage

The planet Intanius lies just a hop, skip, and a jump-1 from the polity capital system of Janov36.  The random characteristics gave us the usual stats that look contradictory at first blush – a small world with 100 million people, almost no atmosphere and 10% water coverage plus makes it an industrial world that manufactures food at home.  None of the other planets in the Janov Polity are agricultural, so we’re talking vat-grown Mandatory Fun here.

Why is that?  Janov-36 is the capital planet for a reason, and I think we just found it.  Though it has limited water and corrosive atmosphere, that wasn’t always the case.  The ruling class so badly mis-managed the economy and ecology of Janov that most of the population was forced to relocate to the barely habitable Intanius to escape the sulphur-ravaged atmosphere.  What few remain are either members in good standing of the Civil Bureaucracy or recyclers who salvage what they can from the ruins for shipment to Intania.

After rolling up yet another Civil Bureaucracy to govern Intania, I decided to dip into the Patron table to provide a little more detail.  Who runs the bureaucracy?  The first roll came up “rumors” which doesn’t make a lot of sense.  At this point the amateurs would reroll or pick something to suit their narrative.  Instead, I opted to roll a second time, and got “hijacker” which gives us something very interesting.  The bureau boys are nominally in charge, but word on the street is that they have been commandeered by…a third roll of the dice turns up “mercenaries”.

Wait, we already have mercenaries in system.  The VDC manages the outpost on Harkwind, and they were hot to trot to get a backlog cleared out of there for reasons we never really defined.  We know that the VDC was brought in to break up and keep a lid on the rebellious polar cities on Blaine’s World.  Apparently, the Janovians don’t trust the results of a draft among the locals. They probably have their own house guards, and the bureaucracy certainly has in-system local law-enforcement, but the gig guns necessary to enforce a system-wide regime change just aren’t there.

So they bring in a little outside help, and before long the outside help realizes that they could be in the inside help.  In order to keep the peace, they grab a little power here, a little influence there, and the government a full parsec away doesn’t mind because the money keeps flowing and everyone still listens to them. A decade of that and you’re looking at a coup in all but name.  They have “advisers” in every major burueau chief’s office who do more talking and dictating than listening and obeying, and eventually the bureua boys start to mutter about “who’s running this show?”

And that’s where we are when the action begins. As each piece of information comes to us through the dice, the picture gets a little more clear:

  1. Queen Tiadime has more in mind for Jeremy the Scout than wildlife pictures.  She needs somebody innocuous to go to Intania and do some snooping around, and figures the best spies are those who don’t even know they are acting as spies.  The kind of guy who, if caught, won’t even know what he knows. She might be willing to trade the Janov Bureau for the VDC with an eye towards eventual independence.  Hard to say at this point, but she almost certainly wants to rope the polar circuit back into her thrall.
  2. Major General Jolly needed to move a lot of stuff out of Harkwind really fast.  Does she have a timetable for the master-stroke that would put the VDC in charge of the polity?

Whatever is going on, we need a face for the VDC on Intania, and thanks to Vince McMaximus, he takes the compelling form of one Colonel Vosloo.  A hard eyed and practical ground commander, placed on Intania for his dedication to maintaining the flow of trade at any cost.  The locals chafe under his bootheels, but grudingly admit that at least the free traders run on time.

He is the real ruler of Intania, but what are his ultimate goals?  Does he just want to do his job to the best of his ability, with no ulterior motive? Is he looking to take the planet as his ow fiefdom, and break away from the rest of the VDC?  Is he a loyal third in command, following strict orders from General Voight who sees himself as taking the seat at the head of the Janov Bureaucracy?

There are a lot of potential links and political games to be played in this otherwise quiet corner of the galaxy, but the watchword is “patience”.  The dice will tell us what’s really going on here.  Eventually.  We have only to listen.