The Mineman Saga

Kie-Yuma: America's Door to the French Arm

This is how Kie-Yuma might look in the alternate history my gaming group uses, although since there aren't that many references to 'my' map of the 2300 milieu, 'standard history' players might find it useful.  It is being written both from the perspective of a Naval Reservist from Ellis who's getting a bit of liberty after seven months on mine-laying duty, as well as the overview of conditions on Kie-Yuma.  Enjoy! - Scott


Yeah, yeah, I know there's a war on.  That's why I was called up with the rest of my Mobile Mine Assembly and Deployment Detachment ( MOMAD Det) from my cushy civil service job back on Ellis.  That's why the old frigate USS Boorda was sent from it's berth back at Boise with it's active cadre and reserve crew -- and MOMAD Det -- and sent to Kie-Yuma to keep the Kafers from coming up from Joi.  Okay, I know all of that, and I am grateful that we made it here before the Kafers got to Beta Canum and blocked this finger.  However, being stuck aboard this toothpaste tube for seven months building and remoting out old Mark-93s sweating the inevitable Kafer attack from Joi was making all of us, active and reserve, somewhat testy.  That's why when the captain said we'd get two weeks of liberty with free shuttle service dirtside, all of us cheered so loudly we were nearly heard back on Arnor.  Who says that in space no-one can hear you scream?  They obviously haven't been aboard the Boorda...

Kie-Yuma is the name given to the first planet in the Xi Ursae Majoris system, and home to a small American colony sealed behind domes and tunnels.  Since the colony's founding in 2260, the American Extrasolar Colonization Administration ( AECA) oversees the terraforming of Kie-Yuma by the Trilon Corporation and the University of California Merced's Environmental Engineering School.  Trilon in 2256 commissioned UCM's terraforming college to draft a study on Kie-Yuma's terraforming potential, using Trilon ships and equipment, and was pleased with the findings in the report released in 2259.  However, as Trilon did not have the resources at the time to begin it's own colonization and terraforming program, it went to the AECA with the UCM report and it's plan and asked for assistance.  Then-Interior Secretary Colin MacKenna and AECA Administrator Lionel Marchand got congressional approval for the plan in 2259, and construction began once word of the approval reached Trilon's colonization teams in orbit around the planet.  Congressional approval was granted under the provision that Trilon adhere to the following rules:

  1. That overall sovereignity of the colony rests with the United States, and that the AECA be given responsibilty over law enforcement, defense, and foreign affairs.
  2. Trilon and UCM are responsible for installation and maintenance of the facilities, and are allowed to charge reasonable fees for use thereof by non-Trilon or non-UCM personnel, 'reasonable fees' as determined by the local AECA-appointed governor and the local council.
  3. All residents living in the colony be given the same rights as persons living in the United States proper: the Bill of Rights applies to the colony much as it applies to any American territory throughout Human Space.  ( Note to sadistic referees: this includes the Second Amendment.  Life would be interesting in enclosed environments when the population is allowed to be armed...)
  4. That upon a finding of the AECA governor and local council that the domes and tunnels are no longer required for habitation that the colony be given Territory status, instead of being treated as a US outpost whose citizens' 'residency' resides with other US territories or states.

Affairs of the colony since it's founding 42 years ago have moved fairly smoothly.  Trilon, in addition to it's terraforming program, has found and exploited several mineral deposits near the main city of Arnor, and created a profitable enterprize leasing space within it's colony facility to other companies and individuals seeking a foothold in the French Arm.  However, with the advent of the Kafer War, these capacity of these facilities has been stretched by the arrival of several hundred refugees from nearby worlds, such as Joi and Crater.  Additionally, Trilon has been increasing the fees it charges non-Trilon employees, claiming "increased costs associated with accomodating our 'guests', as well as the loss of income from our trade outside the system due to the war".  On this point Governor Garrett Freeman has challenged the Trilon management, citing the "reasonable fees" clause in the colony's founding charter.  However, the local council is split between Trilon's supporters and the "private" citizens of the colony, with neither side willing to negotiate.  Governor Freeman, with his tie-breaking vote, would like to end the debate -- and the increased fees, once and for all, but Trilon has built up a good legal case to take before the nearest US Federal Court in Tirania, and before the Kafers isolated the finger received an injunction prohibiting the Governor from ordering the fees stopped.

Life on Kie-Yuma

Katie Payumo, an active-cadre first-class petty officer from Kie-Yuma, and I were talking about what I'd find on the planet once our transport arrived at the starport below.  "Davis, I hope you aren't either claustrophobic or agoraphobic, because after awhile you start feeling both under those domes".  I told her that seven months aboard the Boorda cured whatever claustrophobia I might have had, and Ellis, with it's kilometers and kilometers of empty farmland?  No, no agoraphobia here.  "Okay, farmboy, if you say so.  Incidentally, if you're interested in decent Filipino food, go to Casa Manila in Main Dome".   Somehow I knew she was going to say that -- some time earlier, after my second month of prepacked crew rations, Katie mentioned that her folks owned a restaurant here.  "Also, Kurita Corp. leases an entire dome nearby, and the Japanese gardens there are absolutely beautiful.  However, besides that, I can't think of any other reason to go dirtside.  A few restaurants and bars, but unless you've got plenty of money not much else goes on for entertainment here.  Absolutely boring for the young people here.  At least a few of us have the sense to leave when the opportunity presents itself...."

Conditions in the Kie-Yuma colony are spartan, but comfortable.  Trilon provides each living unit connections to the public computer system and entertainment nets free as part of the maintenance fees paid by each resident on a per-head basis.  Additionally, in Main Dome there is an entertainment district with restaurants, 3D cinemas, VR arcades, and taverns.  Kurita Corporation, based in Japan's Tosashimizu colony on Joi, uses the dome leased from Trilon as a means of entry into the American market, and has created a small bit of Japan under it, complete with gardens, Japanese-style inns ( or ryokan), and establishmets catering to what the Japanese euphemistically refer as the 'water trade'.  However, the cost of some of these diversions are expensive, the equipment and supplies necessary for them being imported from better-developed worlds.  As resident fees are charged on a per-head rather than a income-based basis, those on Kie-Yuma's lower, and often middle, economic levels don't have the disposable income necessary to use the entertainment facilities.  One of the problems faced by the Federal Marshals assigned to Kie-Yuma is the high incidence of juvenile crime, due to the boredom this creates.  Trilon representatives say that they would like to install a number of youth centers in each of the districts in Main Dome as well the outlying domes, but "given the lack of resources brought on by the Kafer War and our current isolation....", nothing has yet come about in that regard.  Available living space is for the most part filled up by residents and refugees, but for those willing to look hard and pay well, accomodation can be had anywhere within the colony.

Personalities of Kie-Yuma

Apparently the Boorda wasn't the only Navy ship in-system.  A damaged Japanese frigate, the Mikasa, was laid up in the orbital terminal, a victim of the battle for Joi a few months earlier.  Seems their captain managed one jump to bring news from Joi and was unable to get back.  The Colonial Guard system defense boats ( SDB) also patrol around here, their crews having been mobilized by Orsaluk's War Declaration same as the reservists aboard the Boorda.  Also in port was the hero of the day -- the HMCS Charlottetown.  They made it through the Kafer blockades to let us know that the Kafers were turned back at Joi a few weeks ago, and mentioned an unconfirmed report of the main Kafer fleet being nearly wiped out at Beowulf.  If that's true, we might be heading home soon!  In the liberty brief we received upon landing, we found out that the senior military officer was the Japanese military attache, and under the existing treaty between us, Canada, Australia, and Japan, seems she's our commodore as well.  Fortunately she's worked well with the governor and the other officers here, and pretty much ran the defense of Kie-Yuma.  Might make Congress think again about putting a permanent base here, instead of leaving it to the National Guardsmen to watch this place.

Governor Garrett Freeman: Appointed governor in 2298 by President Orsaluk following the resignation of his predecessor, Governor Freeman has since his posting been an evenhanded administrator, keeping Trilon from being too arbitrary in it's management of the colony while working with the corporation to improve it's standing with the population.  He stands nearly 2m tall, and remains built like the linebacker he was when he first met Joe Orsaluk at the University of Pennsylvania.  With a people-oriented personality, Governor Freeman has earned the respect of nearly everybody living in the colony, including Trilon management.  Trilon's injunction against the end of increased maintenance fees, however, has put him in the odd position of champion of the "private" citizens.  He is hoping to come to some agreement with Trilon management to spread the costs more fairly, having proposed a fee structure based on percentage of income rather than the current flat rate imposed by Trilon.  While this has endeared Governor Freeman to nearly everyone in the colony, including Trilon employees, the General Manager isn't willing to negotiate, using the war-imposed isolation as a reason to continue the status quo.

Motivations: Heart jack, spade seven.  Governor Freeman enjoys his position as Kie-Yuma's governor, and relishes the responsiblity that comes with it.  He is also often the voice of reason and wisdom on the colony's council, which keeps the corporate and private representatives to the council focused on the needs of the colony as a whole.

Itto Kaisa ( Naval Captain) Michiko "Mickey" Miyagi: Captain Miyagi grew up in Kurita Corporation's dome on Kie-Yuma, and learned much from the neighboring American culture, including a fluency in the English language.  As a result, she went far in her career in Japan's Imperial Interstellar Navy.  However, her refusal to take a subordinate position as a result of her gender has kept her from going any further, and her current assignment as Japan's military attache to Kie-Yuma was intended to get her out of sight of other female officers that might wish to follow her example.  However, as Kie-Yuma was her homeworld, she relished the opportunity to return home and work with her American counterparts.  When the Kafer War started and the Boorda arrived, there was little co-ordination between the Navy and the Colonial Guard, as both the Boorda's captain and the Air Force/SDB squadron commander were the same paygrade with the same date of rank, and neither had joint-service training.  Captain Miyagi used her senior rank as a means to get the two speaking to each other, and has since been the decision-maker in matters relating to the defense of the colony.  When the HIJMS Mikasa and later the HMCS Charlottetown arrived in system she found herself still in command, as both ship's captains still being in rank equivalent to US Navy Commanders.  In matters relating to defense she keeps the governor informed, but for all intents and purposes she commands the military forces present on Kie-Yuma.

Motivations: Club Ace, Heart 5: Captain Miyagi has developed an excellent defense plan for Kie-Yuma, and it is for this reason she's earned the respect of the US and Canadian commanders present, as well as her fellow Japanese spacemen.  In meetings between her counterparts to discuss the war, she easily diffuses differences between the commanders by her friendly yet firm manner.  Captain Miyagi is loyal not only to her country and Emperor, but also to her homeworld, Kie-Yuma.

Harold Menzies, Trilon General Manager: Sent from Trilon headquarters to manage the Trilon operation on Kie-Yuma in 2294, Menzies has been obsessed with cutting costs while at the same time attempting to increase Trilon's control of the colony.  It was his decision to raise the fees paid by non-Trilon personnel to cover the costs of the refugees while at the same time cutting services.  Additionally, under his management, public computer files and entertainment programming fed through the Trilon-maintained net have been 'sanitized', or slanted to give a pro-Trilon viewpoint.  Some popular programs related to the American conglomerate busters of the early 23rd century have been pulled from the system.  When some residents complained, he cited "the need for limited computer space for essential functions".  Complaintants who were Trilon employees eventually were transferred to less-desirable posts either within the colony or off it, and the matter wasn't brought up since.  He believes he will win the fee issue with the governor just as easily, using similar logic before not only the council, but the courts on Tirania and America proper as well.  His oppositon to the income-based fee structure proposed by Governor Freeman stems from his belief that the costs to provide air for a janitor and a CEO are the same, so why shouldn't they pay the same?  If the janitor can't make enough money to live with afterwards, then he should find another job...

Motivations: Spade 10, Heart 8.  Menzies is obsessed with not only saving Trilon money in it's Kie-Yuma operations, he is also working towards full Trilon control of the colony.  He has also gone so far as to complain to the AECA and the Interior Department to have Governor Freeman replaced, hopefully with a governor he can control.

James "Jimmy Ray" Perez, US Marshal, head of the Kie-Yuma office.  A no-nonsense Federal officer, Jimmy Ray oversees law enforcement in the colony with a prevention approach to crimefighting, and works with community leaders to minimise the causes of crime in Kie-Yuma.  He supports the governor and AECA in their disputes with Trilon over management of the colony, but has no problem privately chastising the governor for not doing enough to promote crime prevention, particularly anything that might help curb the rising levels of juvenile crime.  Marshal Perez has little patience for the corporate security forces in the colony, dismissing Trilon Security officers as "vacuum-headed rent-a-cops who'd wash out of any police academy dumb enough to accept them".  In the three years he's been assigned to Kie-Yuma, he's filed civil rights and assault charges against some of the Trilon officers who've stepped over the line in their duties, and has all but accused Trilon management on Kie-Yuma for condoning their behavior.

Motivations: Club Queen - stubborn.  Jimmy Ray Perez is determined to restore and maintain order in Kie-Yuma, using all of the legal means at his disposal.  Heart 10 - He is also commited to justice, as concerned for solving the 'causes' of crime as much as correcting those involved in it.

We can go home???

After a week under the domes of Kie-Yuma, I felt relaxed.  The room in the ryokan in Kurita Dome wasn't cheap, but it certainly beat hot-racking back on the Boorda.  Michaels got rolled by some kids near a VRcade, Katie Payumo got into an argument with her family over her having joined the Navy, and some Canadian spacemen, Meyerson, and I had a very heated discussion with some local Trilon types about the quality of the Trilon-produced swill they called beer here.  All in all, while Kie-Yuma is an interesting place to visit, I certainly wouldn't want to live here.  Another ship came in, the USS Tecumseh, came in while we were here.  Seems the rumor that the Canadians brought was true, that the Kafers were stopped dead cold near Beowulf.  Seems we get to go back to Ellis after all.  Of course, we have another MOMAD Det to drop off in Tirania en route: I wonder what it's like there?

The Mineman Saga