L 726-8 Jump Gate

Description

L 726-8 Jump Gate is a well connected Jump Gate which sees the foot traffic of travelers of all stripes. While many people pass through, most are in a hurry to leave. This is largely because of the cult of alien believers called “The Roswell Division” who make their home here. The station is officially affiliated with the Consortium, but runs under a somewhat independent government. Visitors to the station are greeted at the Port by the smiling, clean-cut face of a Roswell Division member pitching life in the cult as repentance to the “alien overlords.” At best it’s annoying, albeit disturbing. At worst, it actually works.

L 726-8 Jump Gate has become the unlikely home to a harmless but bizarre cult which centers around the belief that the Catastrophe was caused by aliens with a grudge against humanity. Based on half-understood readings about the 1947 Roswell New Mexico “UFO” incident, the cult takes it as a fact that aliens really did crash land on Earth, and that their human ancestors murdered them. As such, the Roswell Division believes that the Catastrophe was the consequence of the long-held hatred for humanity of an alien race, sparked by the Roswell incident. The cult wishes to prove that humanity wants to start over their relationship with these aliens and mend the wrongs done by their ancestors.

The Roswell Division believes that the quickest way to capture the attention of the aliens and encourage contact is to recreate the circumstances which provoked contact the first time. As such, they have modeled their society strictly on late 1940’s America. They emphasize kindness and community as key values which they hope the aliens will take note of. They harshly shun anyone who does not uphold their standards. The Roswell Division believes that by living the way they do, they are proving to the aliens that humanity is at its base, moral and kind. They believe this will dissuade the aliens from unleashing a second Catastrophe, and may perhaps even move them to help humanity recover from the first one.

The cult was started by a pre-Cat scientist named Robert Lamb, posted at the Jump Gate to study the solar flares of UV Ceti. During a routine scan just units before the Catastrophe hit, Lamb picked up what he believed were non-human communication signals within the Mesh. Post-Cat, Lamb became convinced the signal he discovered was the aliens communicating with one another before the attack. His beliefs soon spiraled out of control and the Roswell Division was born. The troubling thing is, while his cult has taken the evidence in an unorthodox direction, the evidence itself is tangible and real. So, if those signals weren’t traceable to any human source, alien origin is shockingly possible.

Statistics

System: L 726-8 A
Affiliation: Consortium
Level: 13
Legal: Strong
Orwellian: High

Areas

Bank (Royal Bank of Little Earth)

The Royal Bank of Little Earth (or RBLE for short) is clean and well maintained. The bank is small, with waxy faux-wooden floors and two bank tellers behind a big metal desk. People form neat, orderly lines and make pleasant, surface-level conversation.

Bank tellers dressed in 3-piece grey or dark blue suits sit behind the counters with identical gelled back hair. They smile at you with those thin preformative smiles you recognize as a pattern among the residents of this station.

NPCs

Brig (Little Earth Penitentiary)

Styled like an old-Earth prison, Little Earth Penitentiary consists of a several long hallways with a polished concrete floor and rows of barred metal cells. Inmates here are rare due to the strict crime laws on the station, but every once in a while a cell will be filled with a sad-eyed man or woman. Each cell is equipped with a physical lock and key. Bright white fluorescent lights hang grimly from the ceiling and guards in tightly laced, tall black boots patrol the halls.

The few cells which are filled are usually inhabited by travelers who were not appropriately warned about the strict laws upheld on this station. Security forces go easier on travelers than their own. It is a grave sight when a member of the Roswell Division is being held in the brig because it can only mean one thing: they were accused of a Crime Against Community. Once accused of a Crime Against Community, offenders are very rarely found to be innocent during their trial.

Crimes Against Community include stealing, cheating, insults, reclusiveness, unfriendliness to neighbors, not lending a helping hand when able, any form of physical violence, avoiding the Greater Good tax and speaking out against The Mayor among other things.

Those convicted of Crimes Against Community are banished to Nowhereville, denied access to housing and amenities, and shunned by friends and family.

Clones (Long Life Industries)

The cloning facilities are fashioned in an anachronistic 1940’s style. The clone vats have misty-looking tinted glass which makes the clones within very difficult to see. The storefront of Long Life Industries appears to outwardly resemble an ancient Earth apothecary and is rather coy about its true function as a cloning facility.

While cloning is not illegal here, it is frowned upon and to be avoided if possible. Regular citizens are discouraged from participating in cloning, but high ranking officials like The Mayor are rumored to have multiple premium grade clones at the ready. Due to largely kindred stances on cloning, the Roswell Division is loosely allied with the Promethean Sect and oftentimes the members of both groups intersect. The Roswell Division has also been known to sometimes receive large donations from Daedalus station in Sol and maintains close ideological and political ties with them.

Available Clones

NPCs

Decommissioned Area (The Paper Mill)

A tall, foreboding building which many workers stream in and out of each day. It's here where much of the scrap plastics from Nowhereville cheaply bought from the "No Ones" banished there are turned into Little Earth's special brand of faux "paper". The plastics brought in by the No Ones are melted and warped and stretched into thin sheets of paper-like material. Workers stream in and out of the factory daily, the Mayor thinks automation is the enemy of community and so automates as little as possible, leaving many jobs for workers.

While much of the economy of Little Earth is funded by a large "Greater Good" tax laid upon its people, as well as frequent donations from the Promethean Sect, they also earn supplementary funds through the export of faux-paper out to other stations. They closely guard the exact process by which they spin old plastics into paper-like materials, and at the moment they are the only manufacturer in existence and so the sole supplier of "paper" in the galaxy.

NPCs

Employment (Employment Center)

The Employment Center is spartanly decorated with thin-legged metal tables positioned around the room with “paper” employment questionnaires on them. An old-style radio sits on table beside the career forms and plays a selection of tinny old jazz music and garbled era-appropriate radio chatter. One of the career counsellors smokes a hefty cigar and taps the ash down onto an ashtray before him. He reads a physical newspaper on plastically fabricated “paper” to complete the illusion.

The propaganda poster of The Mayor in this building depicts him shaking hands with a career counselor and smiling under his black curly mustache. Across the bottom, the poster says, “Good Work Makes Great Community!”

NPCs

Career Advisory

The career advisory center is mostly empty. Few people today have the needed skills to pursue good careers.

Discreet Work

Sometimes jobs are offered by those who need to be able to deny involvement. Don't ask too many questions; you won't get many answers. And don't be surprised if you wind up in the brig or sickbay.

Side Jobs

This is the right place if you are looking for quick and easy jobs.

Name Description Credits Statistic
Bartender Pressley at the Mercury Bar could use a hand on weekends making drinks. Will you help him keep the bar running smoothly? 40 2x Agility / 2x Agility+Social
Fry Cook Our friendly fry cook Clark could use some temporary help in the kitchen at the Venus Diner to serve up tasty eats to our community! He'd love to meet you! 45 4x Agility
Mail Delivery Person The people of Little Earth need their mail! Will you be the one to deliver it to them and put smiles on the faces of so many people? 50 3x Stamina+Intelligence / Stamina+Intelligence+Social
Paper Mill Worker Good honest work is always available at the paper mill. Come out and help our community's economy! 55 4x Stamina

Gaule Embassy

An official in a red tunic manages a bored queue of Embassy visitors, directing them to one of three counters behind. Over at the complaints desk, low-level grumbles about rejected visas are ever-present. The guards keep a watchful eye on the disputes.

Despite its diminutive size, this Embassy is always busy with travelers needing valid documents for onward journeys. As such, the Gaule keep a number of staff on station to run it, despite their protests about being posted here. Most seem to resent the somewhat strange customs of the Roswell Division and do their utmost to keep out of their way, counting down the days until their posting expires.

Extend your visa: 458.1 cr

Government Center (City Hall)

While L 726-8 Jump Gate uses a communist system of government, their leader is a round, jolly man whom they all call “The Mayor.” The Mayor works at City Hall, but his visage can be spotted all over the station on “inspirational” propaganda posters. Office workers busily toil away on typewriters in rows of faux-wood desks. The “paper” in the typewriters is a special type of material made out of thinly stretched plastic fibers only produced on L 726-8 Jump Gate. The Roswell Division uses this faux-paper as a cheap alternative to the real thing as they prefer it to data pads and more advanced technologies.

Very few people know The Mayor’s real name, and it’s no secret that his true role is less municipal Mayor and more Cult Leader. The Mayor holds absolute power over the people of Little Earth but minimally interferes with travelers passing through the station. Propaganda posters with painted, pink-cheeked portraits of the Mayor decorate the walls of City Hall with slogans like “Smile, The Mayor is Watching!”

NPCs

Inn (Little Earth Bed 'n Breakfast)

A small bell hangs above the door which rings pleasantly whenever anyone enters. A Patrician man sits at the front desk and smiles vacantly, clean shaven with perfect white teeth and gelled back hair. Gentle piano music plays from a near-perfect replica ancient Earth radio. “Paper” Magazines created out of the station’s special brand of thin sheets of plastic are splayed across a coffee table near a pistachio green love seat in the Inn’s lobby.

A poster of The Mayor hangs on the faux wooden wall above the reception desk. In the poster, The Mayor is depicted as the receptionist, his arms stretched wide, his mustache gelled into goofy curls at the ends. It says, “Stay a While,” in bold white print across the bottom.

NPCs

Bar (Mercury Bar)

Mercury Bar has faux-wood panelled walls and dark faux-cherrywood tables. Each table is adorned with a lamp which gives off an orange halo of light in the dimness. The barkeep stands behind an ornate faux-cherrywood counter with a tall shelf of their selection of liquors behind them.

The bartenders here all wear white collared shirts, faux-leather aprons, and dark blue buttoned vests. Their sleeves are rolled up and they serve each customer with a charming, if a bit put-on, smile. A poster behind the bar portrays The Mayor sipping at a tall, foamy beer. The slogan beneath it warns of overindulgence, “One beer’s polite, two is just right! Three’ll make you ill, four’s your ticket to Nowhereville!”

Menu

NPCs

Hotel Rooms (Little Earth Bed 'n Breakfast Suites)

The guest rooms in the Little Earth Bed ’n Breakfast are well maintained and neat. Each room has a white bed, a small coffee table, and a jovial poster of The Mayor with eyes that feel like they follow you wherever you stand.

You can see the sprawling expanse of Little Earth’s suburbia from the small window of your room. There is a stark line between the neatly manicured houses and well lit streets and the dark, crumbling Ruins of Nowhereville.

Prices

  • 1 day: 101.8 cr
  • 5 days: 407.2 cr
  • 10 days: 712.6 cr
  • 30 days: 1832.4 cr

You should have minimum intelligence of 16.5? to avoid injury while reading.

Lounge (Venus Diner)

The Venus Diner sports bright red plastic benches and salmon pink tiled walls. They serve the regular selection of drinks as well as mushroom-milk milkshakes, faux-meat burgers, and a variety of bubbly sugar sodas. Ancient earth music warbles from speakers installed in the ceiling and walls which instills a manufactured sense of calm.

People come here and sit at big, round tables with their friends to chat and eat. Girls wear thick pink bows in their hair and men wear baby blue polo shirts. If a traveler means to fit in, it would be a good idea to pick up matching clothes from a vendor in the market, as off-stationers stick out like sore thumbs here. Everyone is always smiling. Propaganda posters of The Mayor merrily sipping a strawberry shake leer at patrons from the walls. Their slogans say things like, “Nothing Sweeter Than Community!”

You should have minimum social of 16.5? to avoid injury while socializing.

NPCs

Market (Little Earth Flea Market)

On the edge of the Residences, the Little Earth Flea Market is set up as a suburban strip mall. Many shops have quaint little storefronts with plausibly 1940’s names like, “Ed’s Hardware” and “Wanda’s Pie in the Sky.”

The outwardly visible storefronts sell only anachronistic items such as old-style revolvers, hammers, nails, radios, and canned food. The more useful and typical items are only available storefronts in the store, hidden from view from the outside or sectioned off by curtains.

NPCs

Public Market

People offer things to be sold or buy things here.

NPCs

Storage

A few lockers are available in the back of some of the shops to store your new possessions for a nominal fee.

  • Small (50): 255 cr
  • Medium (150): 611 cr
  • Large (500): 1527 cr

Vendors

While Vendors from any station are allowed to sell their wares here, they must all conform to the same style of 1940’s dress due to the laws put in place by The Mayor. Vendors smile at you in their strange uniforms, men with neatly parted and gelled hair wearing corduroy pants and buttoned shirts. Women with hair in tight ringlets, wearing brightly patterned v-neck dresses with ruffled sleeves and skirts.

Port

Sprawled across the wall of the Port, greeting all new visitors, is a massive portrait of the pink-cheeked Mayor. His bushy mustache curls in delight, his arms are outstretched, and his eyes sparkle jovially. Beneath his image, the blocky text reads, “Welcome visitors to Little Earth! Enjoy Your Stay, and Remember to Smile: The Mayor is Watching!” Representatives of the Roswell Division greet visitors on a personal level as they enter the Port and pitch the cult’s way of life.

Due to the close proximity to UV Ceti and its sister star, the Port sports a force field around the Port itself and any ships docked there. The Port, and indeed the entire hull of the station, is built out of durable, reinforced materials which act as backup protection in case of force field malfunctions. Flare damage is rare on L 726-8 Jump Gate, as it is situated far enough away to avoid major damage unless there is a particularly huge flare on a given day. The force fields and hull plating are merely precautions which rarely see much use. Other than that, the Port is fairly unremarkable in its design. The Docks, Shipping bay, Interstellar Shuttles and Local Shuttles are all clearly marked and easily accessible provided you’re ready to navigate past several insistent people trying to recruit you to a cult.

NPCs

Docks

Ships never stay here for long. People are in and out as quickly as possible. Members of the Roswell Division are not permitted to own ships because it would enable them to leave the community as they please. Part of the way of life in the Roswell Division is placing community at the center of one’s life, and leaving the station often means leaving the cult altogether.

NPCs

Interstellar Shuttles

The Interstellar Shuttles are the busiest place on the station. As L 726-8 Jump Gate connects to five other systems, long-distance travelers are forced to pass through on a regular basis.

Roswell Division representatives are always posted here and accost interstellar travelers with propaganda and recruitment attempts. Harried travelers, too exhausted to say no, listen to long speeches about the old way of life. They’re lectured on the virtues of Little Earth living, and the way the Roswell Initiative intends to earn back the trust of the aliens who caused the Catastrophe and prevent another one.

Destinations

Destination Distance Ticket Price
Tau Ceti collapsed
YZ Ceti 3.58 ly 3538.47
Epsilon Eridani collapsed
Lacaille 9352 collapsed
Sol 8.73 ly 6221
NPCs

Local Shuttles

The Local Shuttle Bay isn’t usually very busy. As L 726-8 is rather small — touting just three stations including L 726-8 Jump Gate — the people coming through the Local Shuttles are usually a predictable bunch.

Usually, local travelers consist of Benevolent Dynamic scientists and execs passing through from another system on their way to Orwell Station on secretive business matters. If not that, they’re almost certainly eccentric wealthy types looking for a decadently “good time” on Spirit of Tianjin. Interstellar travelers on their way to another system don’t usually pass through the local shuttles, and instead stay the night at the Inn, and leave through an interstellar terminal the next day.

Shipping Bay

The shipping bay looks quite similar to an old Earth post office. Items are processed behind closed doors, searched, and then wrapped in a thin recycled plastic designed to look like brown paper packaging, and then presented to appear as if they were received in the mail. Mailmen deliver personal packages to the homes in Little Earth cheerfully whenever they arrive.

The station imports as little as possible, most of the items which come through here are rations shipments which are carefully repackaged to look like canned beans, ham, and corn.

Residences (The Township of Little Earth)

The Residential sector of L 726-8 Jump Gate is rebuilt to unnervingly resemble late 1940’s Era Earth. It’s a winding, labyrinth-like cul-de-sac populated with blocky red brick houses and white picket fences. People dress in cleanly pressed ancient Earth garb, with men in dark pressed suits and women in colorful knee-length dresses and high heels.

As you walk through Little Earth people smile at you with vacant, thinly stretched mouths while they “water” holographic gardens with empty watering cans or play with children on their lawns. Everyone here is cheerful and happy to chat, but there is a hollowness to their empty small-talk which gives the impression of a performance. The Roswell Division has been very proactive in their housing developments. Each member of the cult is guaranteed a home as long as they uphold the Roswell way of life and do not commit any Crimes Against Community.

NPCs

Ruins (Nowhereville)

Nowhereville is a sweeping expanse of desecrated former high rises and research facilities. Huge broken telescopes and tools for the measure and study solar flares lay dusty abandoned. People who have been convicted of “Crimes Against Community” are shunned from Little Earth and relegated into Nowhereville.

The people of Little Earth treat Nowhereville and its residents with a disturbing attitude of pure non-existence. While those living in Little Earth are able to constantly see the looming, grey desolation of Nowhereville where it intersects with the edge of suburbia, they rarely acknowledge that it’s there at all. When disgraced members of the Roswell Division attempt to return to Little Earth to plead for their lives back, residents — including family, friends and spouses — are trained to ignore them until they can be safely extracted back to the Ruins by The Mayor’s officials.

NPCs

The Wrecks

The Wrecks of Nowhereville are made up of mostly research facilities. Pickings here for scavengers are quite plentiful since residents of Little Earth are strongly discouraged from going to Nowhereville and travelers don’t stay long.

The culture of Little Earth and the Roswell Division in general is one which rejects modern technology. As they are more concerned with re-creating the 1940’s as accurately as possible, they have no interest in revitalizing lost tech, especially the specialized equipment for studying flares found in the Wrecks. The only people here are the residents of Nowhereville, who spend their days feverishly searching for items of value to trade with merchants for food. The people of Nowhereville aren’t allowed to attend the regular market and rely on daily visits from merchants looking for tech and interesting artifacts which they exchange for food and water. Be wary of Nowherevillians while scavenging here, these items could be the difference between starvation and survival for many of them.

NPCs

The Wilds

The Wilds of Nowhereville are a dangerous battleground between Syndicate members and the Nowherevillians hidden in rubble. Enemies are dressed in ragged 3-piece suits and cheerfully coloured dresses. Old Earth revolvers don’t seem very threatening but they kill just as easily as contemporary weapons in the right hands.

Syndicates use these bullet-riddled spaces for insecure storage, and many a bandit has been cut down attempting a bold raid on someone else’s well-guarded cache. Once a benign web of service tunnels; every inch of The Wilds now serves treachery and murder. Deep in the festering darkness, heartless animals track their prey guided by primordial instinct. Only fools come here without first securing a serious weapon and a clone back-up.

NPCs

Security (Little Earth Safety Services)

The Security Office has a bell attached the door to alert the Sheriff and his officers of a newcomer’s presence. Everyone here is clean shaven, straight-backed and serious but still greet visitors with a good-natured smile. The Bodyguard offices are in the same building, but to keep with the 1940’s appearance of the station, each company is labeled as “Private Investigation”. The bodyguards here contrast the Security staff with uniforms of long brown trench coats and bowler hats.

A poster of The Mayor adorns the wall which depicts him holding the black hand-piece of an old Earth telephone with a curly cord trailing out of frame. Beneath the portrait, the poster says, “Hear Something? Say Something.”

NPCs

Sick Bay (Little Earth Family Doctors)

While the Sick Bay here is fashioned to appear like an anachronistic Doctor’s Office of the 1940s, the tools they use for healing remain modern. The doctors here wear old Earth stethoscopes with tinny scanners hidden inside to take accurate readings, syringes for “vaccines” which are actually filled with healing micro-organisms, and other interesting rigs of modern medicine into the appearance of the ancients.

A large analog clock is positioned above the lobby, and it ticks quietly as the people in the waiting room wait to be called one by one by the nurses. There are paper magazines on the tables and gentle music wafts across the room.

NPCs

"Galactic Destinations" Introduction

What do mock penny loafers, shoulder-padded blouses, and a far-fetched theory about the Catastrophe all have in common? The answer, of course, is they’re all readily found on L 726-8 Jump Gate, where the bizarre ‘Roswell Division’ cult resides. Read on, dear reader, as we delve into this unusual place.

A simple explanation

Of all Catastrophe’s traumas, the lack of answers is – for some – worst of all. Could such epic suffering one day return? How to prepare for it? Who is friend and who is foe?

In this grisly aftermath, a plethora of speculation prospers. But for L 726-8‘s Roswell Division followers, there’s no mystery at all. The answer is evident: a non-Earth-originating lifeform. ‘Aliens’, as the kids call them.

Such ideas are not unheard of. But they took particular root here thanks to a Catastrophe survivor and former Jump Gate resident, Robert Lamb. Somewhat spuriously, he alleged discovery of the aliens’ communications on the Mesh, shortly before the Catastrophe. But it was only after the disaster that his ‘paranoid ramblings’ got more serious attention.

The Roswell Division is born

Lamb’s final post-Cat cycles were spent trying to raise awareness. Over time, snippets and details morphed into a fully-fledged narrative.

The aliens’ motive? Revenge for the disastrous old Earth ‘first contact’ incident of 1947 (about which Lamb read patchy accounts as a boy). Back then, alien scouts landed in Roswell, New Mexico with peaceful intentions, only to be met with medical labs, surgical scalpels and death. The lesson was clear: humanity was hostile and had to be destroyed.

Except that, despite centuries of preparation, the aliens didn’t quite manage it fully. Humanity survived the Catastrophe.

And so, on this unusual Jump Gate, many fear the omnipotent race who might return to finish the job. But they also harbor hope. The Roswell Division wants to somehow atone for humanity’s original error; to persuade these elusive creatures that peaceful co-existence is possible.

It almost sounds half-reasonable doesn’t it? Just you wait…

Dacron ‘slacks’ and mushroom ‘milkshakes’

Visitors to L 726-8 Jump Gate will immediately be struck by the bizarre culture and fashions of this place. These quirks are borne from an unnervingly obsessive dedication to (what they imagine as) the old Earth culture of 1940’s USA.

The Division believes that by recreating the conditions which provoked the first contact, they’ll be chosen as the location for the third one. Hence, the slacks.

But don’t be fooled by the thickly-gelled hair and nutty outfits favored by L 726-8’s Division members. This is a friendly place only for those who obey the rules. ‘Crimes against community’ are a serious matter. Projecting the wrong image for the supposedly watching aliens is a ‘no-no’. Being nice is not a matter of choice here.

Consortium by name only

And yet, like all Jump Gates, the station is a vital strategic asset. Under Consortium control it also has a Gaule embassy. Both major affiliations are twitchy about the Roswell Division’s influence on local culture and priorities. A delicate balance holds. But both great powers keep a close eye on events here…

So, what does the future hold for L 726-8 Jump Gate? Will the Division’s ‘third coming’ prophecies ever materialize? And how can you avoid the pesky Division preachers that pester you on arrival in the Port?

Galactic Destinations has no answers to these questions but, rest assured readers, we’re doing our best to find out!

Notes

<—- Return to L 726-8 A

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