New Dawn was a Major Colony of the Galactic Federation and Commonwealth. It was the Capital World of the Cancer Sector.
Geography and ClimateEdit
New Dawn was an Earth-like planet with a temperate climate that varied from arctic at the poles to tropical in the equatorial regions. It had two moons, neither of which supported life. Its seas and skies were blue with a tint of teal.
There were four large continental land-masses on the surface of New Dawn, which were named Eastern Continent, Western Continent, Northern Continent, and Southern Continent.
History and CultureEdit
New Dawn was discovered in the late 22nd Century by the Lunar Telescopic Array on Earth’s moon. It was surveyed by an uninhabited survey ship in the early 23rd Century, and by the mid-23rd Century the first colonists arrived.
The development of New Dawn had been thoroughly planned before the first colony ship left Earth orbit, down to the location and layout of cities and their pre-determined population targets. New Dawn was to be a model world, populated by a governing class, bureaucrats, artists, scientists, and professors that would exercise control and authority over the space colonies of its Earth-based masters. Even though the planet would never exceed half a billion inhabitants – the smallest population of any Major World – careful manipulation of family ties, political dependencies, and business relationships enabled it to dominate and control the worlds of the Gemini and Cancer Sectors for over 2,000 years.
Just as its sister planet Han was populated rapidly under a Government policy known as the One Hundred Million Program; an ambitious effort to move 100,000,000 people from Earth to Han in a single century, New Dawn was populated under a Ten Million Program designed to move ten million people to the colony. These people were to be evenly distributed in the four major cities of the planet; Eastern City, Western City, Southern City, and Northern City.
Each city was instructed to build an identical tower of 100 stories to serve as a location for government.
The planet had a difficult history. Workers were sent to build the cities in advance of the arrival of colonists. But knowing they would not be permitted to live in the cities they were building, they pretty much half-assed the job and the resultant buildings and infrastructure were of inferior craftsmanship. It was also discovered that a population of bureaucrats, artists, and professors was unsustainable without a workforce. Another Ten Million Program was launched to bring farmers, skilled laborers, and technicians to the planet. Class divisions between the elite and the workers led to class divisions that persisted throughout the planet’s history. To maintain the elite status of the planet’s ruling class, workers were kept in specially designated zones outside the Four Metropolises. Dissent or failure to work adequately was punishable by exile to one of the undeveloped planets in the Sector.
New Dawn was built as a planet of beauty and luxury for the political and economic elite. Money made on Earth and other colonies was returned to New Dawn, where wealth and resources were managed.
In the Second Crusade, New Dawn dealt with the rebellious colonies of Li Shen Major and Li Shen Minor by obliterating them with a barrage of killer asteroids directed at their surfaces. This brutality turned sympathy against the Inner Colonies and isolated New Dawn. New Dawn’s Governments issued a joint declaration with the Government of Han, thousands of words long, that reached the conclusion that their exercise of power was extreme but necessary to “preserve the social, political, and economic cohesion of human civilization throughout the galaxy.” The Galactic Federation Government on Earth did not agree, and the Futura Accords were rushed into place to prevent further tragedies. The Government New Dawn responded that the advancement of the Futura Accords proved the success of their assault.
When the Galactic Commonwealth replaced the Galactic Federation in the 30th Century, New Dawn continued to act primarily as an agent of its patrons on Earth. A Fleet was constructed, the, Vermilion Armada, to ensure security and stability across the worlds in the Cancer Sector.
In the 30th Century, a financial crisis struck New Dawn. New Dawn responded by calling in the debts on their loans to the Government of Earth. The Terran Dictator X. Caliber Prime renounced the debts, spawning one of the initial conflicts of the Second Crusade. The Terran Fleet was dispatched to New Dawn, met and defeated the Vermilion Armada inside the New Dawn system. New Dawn was occupied by Terran Imperial Forces, who placed orbital weapons above the Four Metropolises to keep the planet in line. A Government in exile on the planet Jin Mao organized the defense of other worlds in the Sector. Imperial Forces eventually withdrew as the tide of war turned against them elsewhere in the galaxy.
New Dawn was preoccupied for the next century by rebuilding the damage left on their world by the Terran Imperium. In the Fourth Crusade, the Scorpion Empire avoided the Cancer Sector, but New Dawn was obligated to help defend worlds in the Gemini Sector under control of its sister-world, Han. The resources to defend those worlds came from other worlds in the sector.
In the 34th Century, New Dawn and Han went to war with each other. No longer content to be the junior partner and supporter of the sister world, Han’s Government abrogated its ancient treaties of mutual assistance and cooperation. The war did not reach the capital world, but was carried out by surrogates on other worlds in their sectors. These conflicts only subsided when Han began to suffer the effects of financial over-extension and environmental degradation.
In the 35th Century, New Dawn’s careful manipulation of its relationship with the colonies in its sector, which became key suppliers to newly settled colonies in the Outer Commonwealth brought the planet an unprecedented level of prosperity. The planet’s government invested in a series of macro-engineering projects… carving entire mountain ranges into statuary, turning saltwater seas into freshwater lakes, the construction of massive towers visible from high orbit… designed to show mastery over the planet and present themselves as the most advanced world in the Commonwealth. (The New Dawnians were especially jealous of the high-technology utopia created on Alpha colony.)
A great exposition was held from Solar Year 3490 to 3520, when visitors from across the galaxy were invited to come and gaze in wonder at the planet’s achievements.
The Unholy Wars (Sixth Crusade) of the 36th Century had little effect on New Dawn, which had always been a secular world.
In the 37th Solar Century, a group of beings manipulated the social and political system of New Dawn to establish themselves in power. Three of these beings, known as The Triad, were a group of human clones with extraordinary abilities… telepathy, telekinesis, invulnerability… that, ironically, were the products of New Dawn’s genetic experiments; which took place at the Science Institute on Jin Mao colony. The Triad dissolved the planet’s governing council and ruled with absolute power. The people of Han resented the rule of the Triad, but they had no concept of how to resist them. The Vermilion Fleet was not structured or equipped to support a coup (by design). The only group that might have been able to fight them was the ‘Black Tortoise,’ the secret police of New Dawn, but the Triad had co-opted them as well.
In the Eight Crusade (38th Solar Century), the Dark Overlady ‘She of Sixty Billion Names’ sent three world-destroying ships to New Dawn to force them to submit to her will. The ships were successfully engaged and destroyed outside the system by the Vermilion Armada, which used weapons supplied by the Overlord Liyad as part of a scheme to form an alliance with the New Dawn Triad against his rival Overlords. The Triad proved unreliable, however, and began building an Armada of ships equipped with weapons to oppose Liyad. Liyad was alerted to this, and the two fleets met in battle near the planet Harbinger. The battle was massively destructive on both sides, and just as each prepared to withdraw, a Task Force from the Christian Fleet emerged from the nearby Firestorm Nebula and finished off the remains of both sides.
In one of the darkest episodes of the Ninth Crusade (or technically, the period between the Eighth and Ninth Crusade), the entire population of New Dawn was exterminated from space, disintegrated with charged particle waves that destroyed flesh but left structures and plant-life intact. This took place after the population became infected with in-dwelling, non-corporeal, parasitic creatures called ‘Involutes.’ These Involutes took control of human bodies and used them to commit acts of horrific violence. There were infestations of Involutes on several colonies during the period between these last two Crusades, but New Dawn was the most populous world to be infected. Although New Dawn was the least populated of the Major Colonies, over 500 million people had to be destroyed to eradicate the Involutes. The Task fell to the Scorpion Fleet, which carried out the procedure from orbit. The planet was then quarantined for 200 years until it was deemed safe for humans to return. Song colony was used for administration of the Cancer Sector while New Dawn was quarantined.
A Starlock was built near New Dawn in the 45th Century and was christened Cherry Blossom.
Source: Wild Bill Keeler's Pop-Up, Scratch and Sniff Illustrated Guide to Commonwealth