The Mineman Saga
Tirania: New Hope for an Old Colony
Tirane ( Alpha Centauri A) has a total of nine colonies from many of the major starfaring powers of Earth. This article deals with Tirania, the American colony. Initially settled after the end of the Alpha Centauri War of 2162 and the European Space Agency's signing of the Melbourne Accords, Tirania was always the 'stepchild' of the American colonial effort, as other, less crowded worlds were found along the American Arm. However, after a decade of decline in population and investment in the colony, Tirania has bounced back, as American companies, fringe groups in America, and settlers from other Earth nations have discovered the potential opportunities to be found on humanity's second Core world.
With the passage of the Adams-DiFranco Act of 2290, citizens of non-starfaring nations friendly to America such as Italy, Portugal, Palestine, New Zealand, Papua ( or Papua New Guinea, for those using my alternate timeline), the Philippines, Indonesia, and Indochina ( or Thailand and Vietnam individually; again, in my alternate timeline) are given subsidized one-way passage to any American colony world that needs their skills, provided they not attempt to relocate to America proper until they've been naturalized as American citizens after the five-year residency requirement. The other provision of the Adams-DiFranco act is that anyone receiving the relocation subsidy are sent to the colony that needs them most -- only those who are paying for their entire voyage get their choice of colony. Many of those sent to Tirania are taking skilled positions in Tirania's offshore banking and data centers, and are giving Tirania a greater cultural sophistication and cosmopolitan nature than any other colony on Tirane.
The colonial government has also enacted a number of laws allowing companies from nations who don't have colonies on Tirane tax breaks and investment incentives to relocate to Tirania, and use it as a base for operations on the entire world. One Canadian firm in particular, North West Interstellar, has decided on Tirania for its Tirane headquarters, over the offer by Wellon, as a result of Tirania's aggressive relocation incentives. The Indonesian firms that operate mines and research facilities throughout the Alpha Centauri and Proxima Centauri systems have their Tirane headquarters here as well, and, with the breaking of Friehaven from Germany in 2293, an effort is being made to convince German companies to also relocate here.
Tirania occupies a peninsula jutting south from
northern polar continent, with the southern tip of the
territory within 200 km of both Provence Nouveau and
Friehaven. Summers are cool, and winters harsh,
particularly during Tirane's 'grandwinter', when many of
the temperate plants growing in the northern region of
the colony dying off due to the ground becoming
tundra. The southern end of the peninsula is the
only place where agriculture can be done on a continuous
basis, without regard to grandseasons. However,
this is usually sufficient for the colony's needs.
This is supplemented by Tirane's largest fishing
industry, where local fish and introduced Terran species
thrive in the cooler waters off Tirania's east
coast. New Anchorage salmon is prized throughout
human space, and is a staple of many of Tirane's and
Earth's finest restaurants.
The initial settlers of America's Tirania colony were mostly employees of major American companies sent to create a Tiranian presence for their employers, but a number of Native Americans from the Cascadia region ( the Pacific Northwest in 1998), Alaska, and the Great Plains also emigrated. Their intent was to create havens for their own tribes as well as other Native Americans who wanted to live a more traditional lifestyle. They were encouraged by the American Extrasolar Colonization Administration ( AECA), setting a precedent for the Australian Aboriginal community of Rapinawab on Botany Bay nearly a century later. On Tirania in 2300, there are at least three cities that are predominantly Native American: New Anchorage, Chinook, and Lakota, each averaging 200,000 residents. The major industry of the first two cities is fishing, and Lakota's main industry is eco-tourism, receiving and educating nearly two million visitors mainly from the other colonies of Tirane in local ecology and the various Native American cultures represented in the colony. Lakota is also the home of Sequoia University, the largest Native American institution of higher learning throughout America. Native Americans make up 40% of residents in the colony, and as a voting block have ensured that the environment of the colony was not overdeveloped or polluted in any way, in their desire to see Tirania maintain its natural beauty.
Other settlers who've eventually made their way to
Tirania over the decades were new-age spiritualists
wishing to 'return to nature', artists who've found new
inspiration in Tirania's rugged natural beauty between
the cities to the south and the northern tundra, and
retirees escaping the crowds of Earth, but not willing to
forgo the comforts of the Core. With the increase
in business activity in the two main cities of Freedom
and Tirania City, with two million and one-and-a-half
million residents respectively, as well as the new
Adams-DiFranco settlers to take many of the skilled
positions created by it, future growth seems
assured. While that growth may be slower than that
of the colonies in the American Arm, Tirania should no
longer be considered a 'dying' colony.
Tirania has within the last twenty years been one of the main training areas of the American Military, with several training areas and depots set up throughout the territory. North of New Anchorage is America's Peary Arctic Environment Training Center, the primary arctic training center for the entire American military. Other military bases include the Joint Communications Station in Langhorne, Fort Powell near Blue River, the New Cascadia Training Center near the city of the same name, and Naval Interface Station ( NIS) Chinook, where the arriving troops land and are processed before reporting to their specified training areas. This often takes a few days for all the supplies and equipment of the unit to arrive. During these periods, the arriving troops take advantage of the liberty opportunities of Chinook, and the southern end of the town is predominantly geared to the entertainment of visiting and permanent troops.
The main off-base strip, Casino Road, has many casinos, restaurants, arcades, hotels, and places of other entertainments for the men and women of NIS Chinook. The local police patrol this street well, and street crime is kept to a minimum. However, visiting military personnel are often gouged by bar and casino owners, knowing that the victim won't be around long enough to complain. Permanent party troops know better than to stay on Casino Road, and visit more tourist-oriented places like Chinook's waterfront.
In addition to being a place for the fishermen to
unload their catches, the waterfront was developed as a
farmers' and fishermen's market, with a number of local
craftsmen selling their wares in the market as
well. Tirane's second largest brewery, Chinook
Brewers, sells a number of beers popular throughout
Tirania, and competes favorably against Friehaven's Stern
Brauerei throughout the planet. Potlatch Square,
near the initial settlement of Chinook, now has a number
of upscale bars, shops, and restaurants, catering
to locals and tourists alike. Many of these
establishments have specialties particular to themselves,
and a few have been mentioned in Provence Nouveau's Guide
Tiraneean as the best of their type.