Firoze, once the second most important world of the Tapsco Subsector, is a formerly beautiful planet that is now riven by civil war. As one of the most enduring active conflicts to have ever taken place amongst humanity since the Race for the Stars, the war is regarded, possibly unfairly, as exemplifying how unpleasant life at the edge of colonised space can be.
The body itself is the third of four planets at location 005-Tapsco-0708. The system also contains:
- Fireins, planetoid, rocky, uninhabited
- Firezwei, small planet, rocky, uninhabited
- Firevier, giant planet, gas, one government owned orbital (Kubart)
Jump shadow out past Firezwei.
Diameter: 12,740 km
Surface Gravity: 1 g
Average Atmospheric Pressure: 1.1 bar
Average Temperature: 13 degrees Celsius
Hydrographic Percentage: 59
Control, Approach, Interface and Landing
System traffic control is provided from the government platform Kubart (Channel 0048, initial squawk code 89156705)
There is no unified approach authority for Firoze itself. Vessels approaching the hulk Courageous should contact Courageous CIC for vectors (Channel 1049). Kubart platform provides approach for Firevier.
There are no interface services available at Firoze. Vessels seeking interface guidance should contact the local authority to the landing site. THERE IS A HIGH PROBABILITY THAT LANDING VESSELS WILL BE FIRED UPON.
The main spaceport facility is controlled by Yezlihr’s Reds at time of writing (Channel 0001). There are numerous other facilities whose contact details and owners change on a regular basis. Advice should be sought from government channels on Kubart.
There are multiple entities which lay claim to the title of government of Firoze. The first, recognised as the ‘official’ government by the subsector government, has no presence on the planet and is confined to the orbital stations. It exists on a stipend granted from the Tapscan lords.
Though still maintaining a hostile stance, the official government had until recently begun cooperating with the controller of the main spaceport, the self-styled ‘real government’ of Firoze. This tenuous link is now in confusion, as recent street battles have left the spaceport in the hands of the Yezlihr’s Reds.
In addition, many of the petty gangs and militias claim lordship over particular areas, up to and including the entire planet.
Trade from Firoze is heavily suppressed due to conflict. There are no freight services, nor local authorities dealing in significant quantities.
Patrol and Naval Forces
Local patrol forces consist of 7 Serpent Police Cutters and 2 Police Patrol Ships. Vessels operate primarily out of Courageous, a former heavy carrier converted to a hulk, and provide close patrols of Firoze and Firevier.
A Tapscan naval vessel of the 4th Fleet is always in system, providing cover out to the 100-diameter limit.
Firoze was initially occupied by Krighto GmbH. as a resupply base close to Tapsco, which they had only a part share in, and a projected trans-shipment point for the motherlodes of precious minerals the company expected to find deeper into space. Its major growth in population occurred after Krighto sold off land cheap to pay for a new expedition into deep space and for a while it vied with Tapsco as the linchpin of the subsector.
After Black March, the colonial operations of Krighto were spun off as an independent company. Firoze was administered from the Tapsco headquarters and, when the various parties on that planet signed the charter that transformed them into a government, Firoze became a subject world. With an ecosystem broadly compatible with plant life originating from Earth and major pests proving easy to exterminate or keep in check, the planet became an important agricultural world, vying with Nova Ottawa as the bread-basket of 005 Sector].
That a political standoff in 2277 would turn violent was reasonably unexpected. A populist political group in opposition to the government sought to intimidate them into submission with violent rhetoric and shows of force. But the tense political situation exploded into open civil war. The Tapscan Army attempted to restore order but was thrown off the planet with the remnants of the original government. Several operations were launched to retake it but each proposal met with a small but powerful element of political opposition which reduced funding for the expeditions, all of which became failures. The Duke of Tapsco lost any formal interest in retaking the planet through force in 2289 and his successors have shown no sign of reviving this.
The planet informally announced its loyalty to the King shortly after gaining practical independence and a more ceremonial event was held in 2286. This ensured that central authority would not intervene in the planets affairs until it was too late. In 2287, the ruling party splintered and a second more destructive phase of the war began. Initially the combatants fought with conventional armies, then with armed militias, then partisans, until finally many groups were little better than well equipped street gangs, all of which themselves splintered to pursue independent objectives. This stage of the conflict led to the flight of nearly two thirds of the planet’s pre-war population of 345,000,000 and the loss of much of the agricultural infrastructure which was its main source of income.
Firoze is now a Red Zoned planet, subject to a blockade by a government in exile, which exists as an orbital authority only. Tapsco, though not pursuing any active plans to launch an attack, is a large participant in this and capital warships participate in local patrols and exercises. The neighbouring system of Marbello, subjected to direct administration by the Duke as a staging point for an invasion early in the war, now houses a major naval base and still retains the military government. Meanwhile, the population has been reduced to a ragged and pathetic state under the rule of the militias and gangs which represent the only governments on the surface.