Terra Nova (a.k.a Scorpio Prime) was one of the twelve original human colonies, one of the Inner Colonies of the Galactic Commonwealth, and the capital world of the Scorpius Sector of the Orion Quadrant.
Geography and ClimateEdit
Terra Nova was the sixth planet orbiting one F-type star of a binary system. It had four moons and five sizable continental landmasses; although two of them were in the planet's polar regions and sparsely inhabited.
Records indicate that Terra Nova had a remarkable stormy climate, with very strong thunder and lightning storms being common across its surface. Winters were harsh in the middle and high latitudes, exacerbated by the planet's long orbital period; almost three solar years.
History and CultureEdit
Terra Nova was either the first or second off-world colony to be established; records are in serious dispute.
Although the planet had an abundance of natural resources, early colonists imported most of their supplies from Earth. The first settlement and capital city of Mir was prefabricated on Earth and assembled on the surface. Colonists on other worlds usually made use of indigenous materials to construct their inhabitations. The colony modules of early interstellar ships were ring-shaped; hence Mir took on a layout of inter-connected rings.
Much of the initial work on the colony involved the extraction of natural resources for shipment back to Earth, especially lumber from the planet's forests and minerals from underground.
Terra Nova developed one of the most authoritarian societies of the Inner Colonies. It treated the other colonies in the Scorpio Sector as vassals, enacted heavy taxes on them, and exerted claims to their natural resources. As a result, the Scorpio Sector tended to lag behind other colonies developmentally.
In the 26th Solar Century, Terra Nova designated the planet Irongate as a penal colony; the first time in the history of the Commonwealth that an entire planet was so designated, and used it as a place of exile for criminals and political exiles. One continent of Irongate was set aside for criminals, the other for exiles. Many perished in the planet’s harsh climate. The threat of being sent to Irongate was a powerful tool of control for people on Terra Nova.
An effort at independence in the second century of the colony's existence was brutally put down by Earth Forces; who replaced the colonial government with administrators who reported directly to the United Earth Government.
The Scorpion UnionEdit
After a violent revolution in the Solar Year 3116, Terra Nova came to be ruled by a totalitarian regime, the Union of Progress (later, the Union of the Scorpion). The regime officially changed the name of their planet to Scorpio Prime. Although it preached in the language of Reason, Unity and Progress, the Scorpion Union was militaristic, ruthless and aggressive. The Union aggressively exported its revolution to other colonies through subversion, infiltration, and occasionally direct military intervention. Revolution groups were armed and funded across many colonies. By mid-century, Scorpion-friendly Governments had come to power on many of the Minor Colonies.
The Scorpion Empire united all the warships and armies of the worlds under its domination into the Scorpion Fleet and aggressively sought to spread their empire throughout human civilization; this became the Fourth Crusade. Most of the Major Worlds were able to mount a resistance sufficient to protect their homeworlds, but lost several of the outer colonies in their sectors. Pacifica was neutralized by the threat of complete destruction if it joined the fight. New Dawn and Han made a non-aggression pact with the Scorpion Empire.
According to legend, the Scorpion Union, among other tactics, took advantage of a vicious, in-dwelling alien species that incubated inside a living human host and emerged as a fast, vicious, almost unstoppable killing machine. These were dispatched to many colonies to devastating effect. There is evidence that this was a myth in its more frightening details, but there is strong evidence that an alien species that incubated inside and killed its human host was an element of biological warfare used by the Scorpion Union.
The Scorpion Union was eventually defeated by an alliance of colonies from the outer sectors of the Orion Quadrant, led by worlds with names like Byzantium, Prometheus, Oceana, Harvest, and Viśākhā and by resistance movements that sprang up on planets occupied by the Scorpion Empire. Atlas colony was instrumental in supplying those movements with weapons and funding, smuggled in by an underground movement that operated within the neutral Pacfican merchant fleets. As the empire weakened, its enemies pushed through to Terra Nova and destroyed its cities and military installations from space. The leadership of the Union of the Scorpion fled and were never heard from again, although rumors persisted that some of the regime's apparatchiks had bribed their way into protected exile on Proxima and other worlds. Terra Nova (Scorpion Prime) was occupied by Allied Forces for over a century afterward, as were several other of the major worlds in the Scorpio Sector, and cleansed of any residual traces of the Union of Progress.
Occupational forces departed in the 34th Solar Century. Terra Nova was targeted by a phalange of the Unholy, “The Bringers of Wonder,” whose promise of building a technological utopia were welcomed by a population demoralized by centuries of occupation and poverty. In the 36th Solar Century, a “Scientific Committee of Progress” was established, led by Artificial Intelligences, which began a program of rebuilding the planet and restoring some of its former luster. It created a sort of Meritocracy, where only the planet’s leading intellectuals, writers, artists, and scientists were allowed to serve in its Government.
The results were mixed. Progress was made on some fronts, but inhabitants could still witness that their planet was lagging the other major worlds. Through the 37th Solar Century, the planet underwent a long series of unrest and Government changeovers.
At the start of the 38th Century, Terra Nova became the home world of one of the powerful 'Dark Overlords;' Superbeings whose emergence resulted in the Eighth and Ninth Crusades. Lord Liyad arrived on the planet and used his powers to plunge the world into an ice age. He commanded the construction of a massive fortress at the planet's southern pole and threatened to unleash an ice age on any world that did not bend to his will. Like the other powerful meta-human beings who were taking over planets, he ordered the construction of massive ships capable of destroying entire worlds. These were sent to other worlds to threaten and control them. Through the threat of these ships and strategic alliances with the Governments of other worlds, he was able to stretch his influence across four sectors of the Commonwealth; a feat not matched since the days of the Scorpion Union.
Overlord Liyad was killed when a bomb planted in his ice palace detonated, destroying the entire complex and leaving a deep and massive crater comparable to an asteroid impact.
In the chaos that followed, most of Liyad’s space fleet was destroyed or defected. The First and Third Christian Fleets (aligned with the Commonwealth Fleet and other secular battle forces) liberated the Leo and Cancer Sectors. His mortal lieutenants fought for control of the planet, resulting in a civil war that lasted over a century.
Out of this Chaos arose The Strong Man, a Terra Novan exile and former commander of one of the Battle Cruisers of the Fleet of Sagitta who had fought against Liyad. He consolidated power and re-established unified planetary Government. The opening years of his rule were harsh as he had to mop up the remaining factions. He then began a program of economic reforms that helped restore the planet’s economy, and he invited the Ancient Church to return to Terra Nova and rebuild its cathedrals and places of worship. Eventually, Terra Nova returned to a semblance of normality. But after he had ruled for eighty years, people began to question why he didn’t age or anything. He was suspected of being a Dark Overlord. When it was pointed out that he had brought religion back to the planet and granted his people freedoms they had long forgotten, this was dismissed as part of a master conspiracy. Eventually, the Strong Man revealed himself to be not an Overlord, but an android who had taken the identity of a Scorpion Fleet Officer who died in the war. He had only wanted to help humanity rebuild, but having been exposed, he resigned and fled in a spaceship and was never heard from again.
For a time after he was gone, Terra Nova carried on. But eventually, squabbling and power rivalries arose again.
Post Crusades HistoryEdit
After the Crusades and the departure of the Strong Man, Terra Nova went into a period of severe decline, in contrast with other colonies that prospered in this period. Its population fell to fewer than 200 million people and many of its cities were abandoned. Although it remained the titular capital world of the Scorpio Sector, it had little power or influence.
A Starlock was built in the vicinity of Terra Nova in the 45th Century. It was christened ‘Checkmate.’
The remaining humans on Terra Nova were annihilated by the Tarmigans in the 53rd Solar Century.
- Mir - Planetary Capital
- New Petersburg
- New Vladivostok
- New Odessa
- Scorpio City