A number of stations remain independently governed to this day. Some are run by corporate interests, whose non-affiliation is economically advantageous. Others hold onto the local, less formal, governance which saw them through the Catastrophe’s aftermath and has served them since. Some, due to their relative isolation from the norms of the major powers, will appear downright bizarre to visitors.

Diplomatic relations between Independents and their neighbors vary drastically, but few welcome the courtship of the major powers. The Consortium prefer ‘soft power’ strategies, aimed at creating public support for accepting the blue affiliation. The Gaule, though less likely to convert an independent, are also more heavy-handed when they do, especially in assimilating local populations to Gaule citizenship demands.

Not all Independent people are friendly to one another, but most share a commitment to the cause of perceived freedom and liberty from the overarching yet distant central system of control that the larger powers offer. Many cooperate at least loosely with one another, recognizing a shared self-interest in keeping blue and red at arm’s length.

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