THE ESTADO OF NOVA OSTIA,
Provincia do Brasil
By Ben Levy
The name "Nova Ostia" once referred solely to the settlement that became the present day Ageanopolis, for early settlers established a town on a natural harbor, the first such available natural harbor westward of the Estado of Lemanja. Anticipating its importance during the formative years of the colony, the settlement was named in honor of the port of ancient Rome. Today, the name "Nova Ostia" has passed to the entire Estado. Nova Ostia lies westward of Acre and Campobelo where the land becomes more hilly (although it never again reaches the heights of the mountains of Acre, Sera do Prado, and Vinicao) , and less arid. Most of Nova Ostia is rolling, open savannah, prairie, and woodland. The land experienced much more severe conditions in recent geologic history, and bare rock protrudes through the topsoil in many areas, forming wind eroded natural monuments. The weather is warm, mostly dry, but highly variable- weeks of slow, drizzling rain are not unheard of, neither are months of drought. The latter can produce monstrous dust storms, and sudden rain can then leave parts of the Estado looking like a series of great mud puddles.
The trees (Mostly, their Tiranean equivalents, although the range of Earth native vegetation is growing in some areas) are quite well dispersed in the east, getting denser in the west, and blending into open woodland and then forest towards the border with Alegre in the west. The northern coast is highly irregular at small scale, although the numerous bays and inlets arent large enough to be visible on most world maps. The northern coast rises steeply. It is lightly populated, with the town of Costa Barbada being the economic center of a rural region best known for its very seasonal fishing industry, and scattered industrial facilities. The more populous southern coast, by contrast, is dominated by a long offshore barrier beach, similar to the ones found on Earth on the eastern seaboard of America and the Brazilian Estado of Rio Grande do Sul. Barrier beach formation is a much rarer phenomenon than it is on Earth. With no major lunar tidal action to accelerate shoreline erosion, smooth beach sand takes much longer to forms here, geologically speaking, and beaches exist only where some mechanism exists to transport the sand to a suitable location. On the southwest coast of Calabria (the island continent that makes up most of Provincia do Brasil), that mechanism is the strong offshore currents. Ageanopolis, nee Nova Ostia, is built where a natural strait breaks the barrier beach, and leads to a usable, if shallow harbor (periodic dredging ensures that part of the harbor is usable by deep water craft).
The Rio Paraiso has its headwaters in the interior of the Estado, and briefly forms a section of border between Nova Ostia and Alegre before flowing west into Alegre and meeting the sea at Sao Celestino. The westernmost point of contact between the river and the Nova Ostian border also makers the limit of navigability by ships. Upstream from here only small boats can pass, and there are too many obstructions for easy passage by hovercraft. Nova Ostia has 592,625 square kilometers, being about 10% larger than pre-Twilight France. It is home to 4,600,000 people, giving it a population density of 7.76 persons per square kilometer. This is figure broadly defines Nova Ostia as rural, but not deserted. About two thirds of these people identify themselves as being of Greek ethnicity. About a million live in the capitol city of Ageanopolis. The region acquired Estado status in 2259. Understanding the Estados current position requires some background on certain aspects of Brazilian colonization policy.
Its been Brazilian policy to openly court emigration to Provincia from certain minor nations favored in Brasilia. The three most solicited nations have been Portugal, Italy, and Greece. The Portuguese have a long history of close involvement with the Brazilians, and Portuguese immigrants are easily assimilated into Provincia do Brasils culture. The Italians also enjoy a historical connection, but not as close a connection as the Portuguese. Italy and Brazil have been quite close since the Twilight War, as Brazil has been active in Italy, assisting in reconstruction and heavily supporting the activities of the Church. Italians generally recognize that had it not been for the efforts of the Brazilians, their nation might be, like Spain, heavily dominated by French interests. (French scoff at the notion, claiming that French involvement in Spain has been entirely benevolent, and had Brazil not stepped in and made involvement in Italy less necessary, French activity in Italy would have been benevolent as well.)
The Brazilians have been, for some time, coaxing the Italians into developing a space effort. The nation is certainly wealthy enough, and lack of Tantalum is of course no obstacle- the Italians could always buy it, just like many private corporations do. Brazil has even made offers of land, on Tirane as well as on Paulo, where its in plentiful supply. To date, the Italians have given the idea only a moderate amount of thought, and dont appear to be exceptionally interested, although a number of civil starships owned by Italian corporations make regular visits to Brazilian destinations.
The Brazilians have made similar overtures towards the Greeks. Despite the fact that economically, Greece is far worse off than Italy, Greece has taken the issue much more seriously. Brazil is prepared to part with most if not all of the Estado of Nova Ostia, which has a large Greek ethnic population, and assist Greece in developing its space force, if they are willing to commit the resources necessary to sustain it.
What do the Brazilians stand to gain from this charity? First, the moral high ground, especially with the many potential spacefaring powers that feel locked out by a powerful cartel. Brazilian diplomats have, on several occasions, noted that all of Tirane is occupied by major powers, leaving the up and coming nations no choice but to locate colonies on distant worlds, which overtaxes their resources. Had portions of Tirane been left available, the Brazilians say, perhaps a dozen more nations, which cannot afford remote colonies, might have placed colonies on Tirane. The Incans, an example pointed out by the Brazilian Foreign Minister in a speech last year, have two poor, struggling colonies far from Earth, while much of Tirane is sparsely habited and would have offered them an excellent proving ground for their colonizing techniques.
Then, there is a suspected motive the Brazilians publicly reject. Since the breakaway of the Novo Catolico church from the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican has been strongly pressing for reconciliation with the Eastern Orthodox Church. In several under-reported conferences over the past three decades, the leadership of the two bodies have moved closer together on a number of theological issues. Of course, no one is expecting a reunification of the churches anytime soon, as there are still many issues on which they are far apart. (Not the least of which is the question of the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome.) However, the Vatican has been very enthusiastic about improved relations with the Orthodox Christians, and vice versa.
The Brazilians, of course, understand that religious cooperation mirrors national cooperation, and if Brazil is viewed in Greece as a friendly, benevolent ally, Rome will have an easier time advancing its status with Salonika. Greece has been very receptive to Brazilian overtures. Greece already helps in the administration of Nova Ostia, and Greek government offices, as well as a military detachment, have set up a home in the Estado. At the same time, the Brazilian Space Agency is training Greek astronauts on several of their second line vessels stationed at Tirane, which they hope to transfer over to Greek command. If all goes as planned, within a decade Greece will have a small but functional colony on Tirane, as well as a small but functional space fleet.
The Estado capitol is in Ageanopolis. If Nova Ostia seems to have an exceptionally large and powerful government in relation to its size, one that seems to have it hand in affairs generally left to the national government in other Estados, thats only because its true. The government appears particularly intrusive at times. Not content to merely let Nova Ostia develop into whatever it may evolve towards, the bureaucracies here are attempting to guide its future in a way that Brazil eschews elsewhere. Hence, many more social and economic projects in Nova Ostia are state owned, or at least state directed.
There are many Greek government officials in Nova Ostia. Currently, they are observers and advisors only., with all actual power still resting with the elected Estado government. If the planned transfer goes through, the new Greek colonial government will rely on the experience of these individuals.
There is some question as to what the role of the current political parties would be in the new system. They most powerful party in Nova Ostia politics today is the Partido Gregos, which has seen its candidates control the Estado government for decades. They are painfully aware that even as they support moves for Greek colonization, handing the colony over to Greece will result in a tremendous loss for their party. Currently representing themselves as the only party specifically representing Greek interests, they would lose that distinction. They might, in the new scheme, be considered the "local" party, but many supporters would undoubtedly shift allegiance to the older established Greek parties that would certainly arrive, leaving the current second runner party, the Partido Alianca, as the party most able to represent itself as the "native" party. The move would also devastate Partido Gregos as a power in Provincia do Brasil, since more than half its support would be swept away.
Partido Alianca has been pushing an agenda of its own, namely, that areas of Nova Ostia that do not have a large Greek ethnic community not be transferred to Greece. Naturally, every party supporter living in areas transferred to Greece is a vote lost in the next national election, and Party Alianca wishes to minimize this. They have supported not only retaining sections of Nova Ostia, but authorizing national funds to relocate individuals who wish to live in Brazil.
Realistically, no one sees major changes for Nova Ostia, other than the flags flying in front of the public buildings. Nova Ostias institutions have been developed in close consultation with the Greek government for a decade now, and it will probably be up another decade before the transition is made, so there will be no sudden or unanticipated changes in policy or structure. Economically and socially, Nova Ostia will certainly remain bound to Provincia do Brasil. It has no starport of its own, and Greece has no plans to build one (the runway at Ageanopolis airport could handle smaller interface capable craft, but the airport has no facilities to act as a true starport). Nova Ostia will be surrounded by Brazilian territories on both sides, and major Brazilian ground transport routes will pass through it. Furthermore, support for Greek sovereignty is far from universal, even among the Greek ethnic community here, and any dramatic changes will only serve to alienate.
Law enforcement is provided for by the Estado police, and separate municipal police, surprisingly, only in the secondary city of Puxada, not in the city of Ageanopolis which is patrolled by the metro section of the Estado police. This oddity has much to do with local history and politics, but is mostly Nova Ostian appeasement of the strong local identity (and apparently, "second city" ego problems) of the residents of Puxada. Much of the state is in the jurisdiction of the National Police, who maintain several hundred officers here.
The term sub-embassy is used for a facility that is junior to one nations embassy to another, but is more important than a mere consulate. Typically, a sub-embassy is found beyond earth. The diplomats posted to such a place are technically of lesser status than the ambassador, who is usually posted to the embassy in the capitol city, which, for all but a handful of nations, is on Earth. However, the position of ambassador has become, essentially, and honorary role given to friends of a head of state. With instantaneous global communications, but painfully slow interstellar ones, foreign ministers generally place their ablest career diplomats on distant worlds, entrusting them with the care of national policy where communications with the home office is weeks away. These are often vice-ambassadors, also called, depending on the nation involved, sub-ambassadors, colonial ambassadors, or planetary ambassadors, or some other such title other than ambassador, are typically paid better and have a higher real status than the actual ambassadors. An example is Greece. This nation has a Colonial Foreign Minister handling its affairs on Tirane. He (or she) is the highest representative of the Greek government on this planet, home to over a billion people. On the other hand, there are about a hundred Greek ambassadors on Earth, each representing Greece to some nation the Greek president can easily reach in seconds on the communications net.
The Greek Colonial Minister resides and works in the large Greek Foreign Ministry complex in Ageanopolis, astride the border (not coincidentally) between the Capitol District and the Tiranean Acropolis. This complex was completed in 2287, and has exterior walls faced in white stone, with Greek style carvings whose creation took full advantage of the availability of stone carvers in Provincia do Brasil. The offices here have responsibility for the oversight and management of other Greek consulates on Tirane.
Ageanopolis has a noticeably low technology feel to it, despite the citys youth and the modern urban design. Much of the automated infrastructure is hidden, being laid into underground tunnels even before the streets and buildings were placed above. City architectural ordinances also contribute towards a deceptively rustic feel. Many of the more conventional styles of signs and advertisements, for example, especially those involving interactive components, moving pictures, or even illumination other than indirect lighting are restricted. Some roadway intersections actually use human traffic directors. The neo-Mediterranean style of architecture is everywhere. White stucco walls cover many building facades, and the eye is drawn to upper floors with handsomely landscaped terraces and corrugated plas-crete roofing mimicking the red clay tile of Southern Europe. on many .
The city is a relative latecomer to Provincia do Brasil, as Nova Ostia was settled only from 2230 onward. The early city, and the surrounding towns, are the result of a major immigration drive by Brazilian Ministry of Colonization, which has long attempted to disperse people away from the crowded southeast area of the colony, and settle them in the more vacant areas. This should come as no surprise, as it the very purpose of the organization. The city of Ageanopolis was established in 2245, taking over the function of local government seat from the town of Puxada. Puxada, built inland at the navigable limit of the Rio Paraiso, is still an important city, but the Superestrada link between Ageanopolis and Sao Celestino has supplanted the river as the dominant mode of transportation to Nova Ostia.
The downtown area of Ageanopolis was organized as a metropolitan district in 2258, with the intent that it would become the government center of the new Estado the following year. Prior to that, the entire city was considered one unified district. In the early Estado years, budget problems and political infighting delayed the construction of a civic center. For more than a decade, the Nova Ostia state government met in an army assembly hall. In 2269 designs were approved for a series of government buildings to be built upon land that had waited, empty, since 2258. The Estado Court was begun first, but the Estado office tower was completed first, in 2272, the remaining buildings being added in the 2270s and 2280s. Some critics have noted that the long delay was followed by a much too aggressive growth rush, and the debts incurred are a serious drain on the public treasury. Another drawback to the rush f construction is the maintenance schedule. The buildings are all new now, and the Estado has no real building maintenance program in effect. When such a program is needed, it will have to be created from scratch. In addition to public buildings, the Capitol district has the Urban Campus of the University of Nova Ostia, housed in a large complex of Neo-Grecan designed white stone buildings, and a number of commercial and office buildings. Residential buildings tend to be a mix low rise apartment buildings, generally featuring large terraces or balconies, or townhouses. There are very few detached homes in this district.
At the dawn of Greek interest in Nova Ostia, the Greek immigrant community in Ageanopolis, many of which were successful businessmen, sponsored the construction of this Greek cultural center, which by its very existence wrested the title of Greek capitol on Tirane away from Kantzauropolis, and established it in Ageanopolis. The Acropolis is centered on a plaza surrounded by buildings designed in the classical Greek style, including the Greek cultural center, an outdoor amphitheater, the Greek consulate, the Church of Saint Nicholas (An Eastern Orthodox Church) and a museum. There is an open air stage at one end of the plaza, and more often than not there is some sort of free public entertainment. The plaza Acropolis is the scene for various festivals celebrating Hellenic culture, and is a sort of heritage Mecca for Greeks not only in Provincia do Brasil, but throughout Tirane.
The name Acropolis implies a high point, which, on the southern coast of Nova Ostia, is a fairly rare event. Still, engineers managed to enhance one available rise in the land to the point where it is clearly above the surrounding city. Even so, the city zoners have been forced to limit the height of buildings near the Acropolis, to avoid obscuring the hill. A busy commercial district surrounds the Acropolis, as well as several middle class residential neighborhoods, a few large food processing plants, and a large cemetery, and the whole region has been incorporated as a district within the city.
Ageanopolis is home to one of Provincia do Brasils better known breweries. "Xerces" is was first bottled here in 2268 by a firm started by Brazilian immigrants. The Greek name was supposed to appeal to the large numbers of Greek immigrants, including many thirsty Greek immigrants- arriving in the area. There are several different brews sold under this label, all featuring traditional beers flavored with distinctive Tiranean herbs, fruits, and spices. For several decades it was a little known, local beverage. In 2295 the company signed up with an aggressive Scandinavian marketing firm which pushed Xerces beer as a wild, exotic product, and won approval to import to Earth through the OQC. (this is the holy Grail of all off-Earth food producers. The OQC is naturally wary of food products from alien worlds. Sales have been rising steadily since, and in 2300, Xerces took in over 90 million Livre in revenue. Xerces has never issued stock. It is a privately owned company. The owners live on an estate on the outskirts of Ageanopolis, and also maintain a townhouse on the property of the main plant, where they remain closely connected to the production of their beer.
Nova Ostias warm climate has proved less than ideal for wool bearing animals. However, farmers here raise large numbers of goats, for dairy products, meat, and hides. Goat ranching provides employment for a small number of Nova Ostians, about 6,000 total. About half of these work on independent farms. These ranchers, in an effort to keep their farms profitable in the face of larger corporate farms, belong to a strong associative, (The Nova Ostia Goat Association) which gives them economic power equal to the large commercial farms, and the tax advantages of small, private farms. Of course, their single most important product is that eternal staple of Greek cooking, Feta cheese. Nova Ostia is the largest producer of this substance beyond Earth.
A number of areas within the major cities of Provincia do Brasil were built as great experiments in Urban engineering. The heart of Miranda in Cabo Vitorio is an example. Sendas is another. The designers here felt that vehicle traffic was detrimental to the sense of community generated by a well designed urban environment, and restricted roadways to underground or out of sight routes as much as possible. It is possible to walk through much of the district without crossing a visible vehicle roadway at all. The arrangement, although rarely duplicated, seems to have been a success. The district has a very low robbery and burglary rate, although other crime rates are only slightly lower or similar to other sociologically similar districts. The overall health of the citizens is noticeably better here, and there are very few traffic related injuries and fatalities. The commercial areas of Sendas are preferred by small shop owners and family businesses. Larger companies find coping with the districts travel arrangements exasperating. One neighborhood within Sendas has become a large open air mall, and includes many small booths and kiosks. Centered on the very large school and playground maintained by the a monastic order, Mercado des Ninos (the earliest merchants here relied on sales of software, toys, and snacks tot he children) now includes many of the citys best known restaurants. Mandokos is a top rated restaurant featuring Greek cuisine, and is the largest and most popular establishment in the neighborhood. The population of Sendas is middle class and lower class, the latter drawn here by the very low cost, community orientation of living here. The culture of Sendas is very local. Employees of a store, office, or institution typically live within a short walling distance. Neighborhoods, in a style developed and studied on Vancouvers Granville Island centuries ago, are very mixed, incorporating commerce, industry and residences in close proximity to each other.
This hilly district on the northwestern side of the city is the industrial and warehouse hub of Ageanopolis. There are some scattered working and labor class neighborhoods in the district, as well as the Ageanopolis Auto Racetrack, the only major vehicle racing center in Provincia do Brasil. (Naturally, there is a horse track in the city as well, the Nova Ostia Hippodrome in Relvalinda, the suburb on the outskirts of the city, to the west) Mocidano is a common "expansion territory" for firms with operations in Alegre. Industrial real estate is cheaper here, transport is good, and there is the potential benefit of gaining a foreign market by default if plans to establish a Greek colony in Nova Ostia are successful.
This is a suburb west of the city proper but still considered part of the metropolitan area. Relvalinda is a wealthy town of old farming estates with a small, quaint, and attractive town center. The town has a lot of land put to recreational use, including the Estados horse tracks, the Nova Ostia Hippodrome, Parque Lago Arnaldo, and a large and well kept golf course. Relvalindas inhabitants are nationalistic, and generally opposed to the proposed transfer of Nova Ostia to Greece. They tend to be non-Greek in ethnic origin; the wealthy Greek ethnic community is based in deluxe townhouses in the Catpitol District. Despite the ethnic makeup of the community, the neo-Mediterranean style is popular here, and many of the houses resemble Grecian villas.
In an arrangement unique to Tirane, Brazil hosts foreign forces- in this case Greek military units- on its own sovereign soil, albeit with the understanding that at least some of Nova Ostia will one day be Greek territory.
Fortaleza Pioneira on the southern flank of Ageanopolis is one of the "preferred" posts in both the Greek and Brazilian militaries. It includes hills overlooking the sea, and a stretch of beach, fairly uncommon terrain for the planet as a whole, but very available along the southeast coast of Calabria. (The island continent making up the bulk of Provincia do Brasil) Stationed here is about two thirds of the Greek Advance Group, the name given to their regular army force on Tirane, as well as the Nova Ostia Regiment of the Brazilian Marines. The former is a large Brigade-plus sized unit of very mixed organization, basically including "some of everything" in order to give the Greek Army experience in working on Tirane. It is organized more for training and development than it is for combat, but could aid the Brazilians in the defense of their Tiranean properties if need be, contributing two infantry battalions, a heavy support battalion, and a variety of smaller units. Its weak link, of course, is the fact that it is operating far from home, and must be very self reliant for support, or depend entirely on the Brazilians (something the Brazilians fully expect) for logistics.
The Brazilian Army has a support element here, with an engineer unit, a signals unit, a military police unit, and some general support units. It keeps no combat units in the area. The Brazilian Marines, on the other hand, have their Nova Ostia Regiment here. This is a brigade sized formation that includes high echelon support elements,
Fortaleza Paraiso is well inland, on the Rio Paraiso about 150 kilometers upriver from Puxada. This base has, from the Brazilian Army, an ordnance battalion, a garrison battalion, a communications net security detachment, a transportation company, and an air cavalry battalion. Some units of the Greek Advance Group are routinely stationed here, as Fortaleza Paraiso has an extensive wilderness reservation available for training purposes. Brazils only prisoner of war camp on Tirane was located for, and used for Argentines captured during several operations in the early years of the colony. It has been abandoned now for many decades.
Brazil has no major naval forces assigned to this Estado, as nearby Alegre has a major naval base. The Greek navy has two liaison and development offices, one on the north coast at the Pholus Military Base, and one on the south coast in Ageanopolis. Each has a small force of patrol craft, used primarily for local patrol, survey, training, policing, assistance, and search and rescue. The vessels have little real military capability, although they could conceivably be outfitted with missiles if they had to (Greece has similar vessels on Earth, and they are so armed there), but the very capable Brazilian Navy is readily available to handle a threat, if one existed.
Greeces Aeroporikis Nova Ostia is based at three locations in Nova Ostia. On the north coast of the Estado, the Pholus Military Base is unusual in that it is the only military facility in the Estado maintained entirely by Greece. Based here is a patrol and surveillance detachment and a small interceptor squadron, with eight operational aircraft and two training aircraft, along with support elements. In the middle of the Estado, there is a small Greek presence at the otherwise Brazilian Aerodromo Lago de Choco. The Brazilian forces here are mostly support units, and there is a large ordnance facility here. At the southern end, there is the Aerodromo Ageanopolis, with the Brazilian 15th Tactical wing, with a squadron each of air superiority aircraft, and strike aircraft, with another squadron mixing reconnaissance, tanker, and intelligence aircraft. The headquarters for the Greek Aeroporikis Nova Ostia is here, as well as a squadron each of Greek combat, transport, and support aircraft.
Nova Ostias capitol city of Ageanopolis lies along the Superestrada, the longest and most important of Provincia do Brasils automated highway-airfilm track combinations. The Superestrada parallels the southern coast of the Estado, which has the bulk of the population. A lesser used, state owned superestrada follows an indirect route north to Puxada on the Alegre border at the Rio Paraiso, then on to the town of Costa Barbada on the north shore. There are only four runs in each direction on the state line daily, and passengers desiring the first train of the day are advised to make early reservations.
Cross-State Superestrada Airfilm Line: Times shown are from Ageanopolis
Service on the Superesrtada Sur (National Airfilm Train)
Like most cities in Provincia do Brasil, Ageanopolis has an urban transportation system using airfilm trains, which, although having some disadvantages when used in the urban environment, allow for interoperability with the national and Estado airfilm lines, and decrease costs. Ageanopolis uses a credit card system, similar to one in use in several Earth cities. One doesnt have to remove the card from ones wallet, its presence is detected on entering the station and the appropriate account billed. Usually. Hacking the system has become an occasional past time for young computer hooligans, and several times, the security measures on passenger accounts was breached, causing customers to be billed for trips they never took. A single trip on the Ageanopolis system costs 5 Cruzieros. There are thirty eight stations in the city, and sixteen more in outlying suburbs within the metropolitan area. Most of the tracks are underground, in sound baffled tunnels.
Ageanopolis International Airport was completed in 2275. This airport is rated as an international airport, however, as of 2300, international flights from Ageanopolis were limited to Ameraterasu and New Canberra. Aerotrans Brasil flies from here to Sao Celestino, Lusitanium, Basilicade, Vitorio de Conquista, Porto Jardim, and Missaoprimo. Alaoeste competes in the regional market, flying mostly shorter ranged aircraft, but reaches many smaller destinations as well as flying south to the Brazilian islands and Campinasur.
Puxada has a small local airport. Travel to nearby destinations is well provided for by airfilm to Ageanopolis and ferry to Sao Celestino, so air service here is limited. Alaoeste connects Puxada by air to these cities, Costa Barbada on the north coast, and many other regional destinations, using the centrally located Puxada as a regional hub for the Nova Ostia/Alegre area. Aerotrans Brasil has feeder flights to Puxada from Sao Celestino.
Private and Charter aviation services are popular here, with several small companies providing aircraft, and in some cases pilots, for rent, charter, or lease.
Ageanopolis is a secondary port in Provincia do Brasil. Greek ship owning families, however, some tracing their businesses to the pre-Twilight days, have shown an interest in running the Tirane branches of their empires from this city, and the number of Greek owned ships listing Ageanopolis as their home port has increased steadily since the Athanais entered service in 2289. Greek interest has stimulated growth in thr citys port capabilities. It is now the number four port in Provincia do Brasil, after Vitoria de Conquista, Cidade Delta, and Sao Celestino. It is the major terminal for the shipping lanes that traverse the Brazilian Islands and end up in Sao Leonardo, Campinasur. Although smaller than its rival Sao Celestino, the freight handling systems here are newer, the warehousing cheaper, and the port, so shippers have said, is better managed. As the port expands. More and more business is being diverted here from Saso Celestino, despite the greater sailing time from foreign ports. Aside from the freighters, including the massive new Greek owned nuclear powered container vessels, the Atrato, Aurigae, Corfu, Mykonos, and Santorini, Ageanopolis is home port to a pair of major passenger liners. This is a rarity anywhere in Tirane, as air and rail travel are much more efficient than passenger service by sea, and the two beautiful new ships home ports here are the only ones of their kind in the colony. Linha des Deas is the Brazilian shipping company that is endeavoring to recreate the lost art of the passenger cruise ship. Currently, they have two vessels, both built by Andorianha Engenharia of Vitoria de Cabeza within the past decade, the Dea Tirana and the Dea Centaura. Both ships are large and comfortable, with a capacity of 3,000 passengers each. The vessels are nuclear powered floating resorts, fitted out with the knowledge that their passengers are on board as much to experience and enjoy the journey as they are to complete it. The luxury cruise liners have helped develop a growing secondary industry of charter luxury yachts. Thus far, seven of these vessels operate out of Ageanopolis.
The Rio Paraiso is an important inland waterway in Alegre, but is unnavigable through most of Nova Ostia. High speed ferries from Sao Celestino in Alegre reach upriver only as far as Puxada.
Nova Ostia, being a Brazilian Estado, relies naturally on the Brazilian currency, the Cruzeiro. Like most areas of the colony, it is fully tied into the communications net, over which most transactions are carried out, limiting the need for cash to quick "pocket money" purchases and emergencies. Most banks in the Brazilian system have very "mobile" accounts; once your money exists somewhere in the system, it exists everywhere. Greek currency is a perennial worry in Nova Ostia. Compared to the Cruzeiro, the Greek currency is less stable, and it fluctuations impair any attempt to fix rates between the two money systems. Without such a fix, however, the prices of goods and services in Nova Ostia, measured in Greek currency, will fluctuate, while in Brazilian currency. They will remain relatively fixed. This would be perfectly acceptable, and would keep a few speculators interested, were it not for the fact that that at some future time, Greek currency is expected to become the sovereign coin of the realm. Goods purchased now in Brazilian currency will one day have a somewhat random value when the whole system switches over, and this even is what currency speculators now wrack their brains over. Will the relative value of a particular good or service purchased now be higher or lower after the change? Guess correctly, and you can get rich. Guess wrong, and bankruptcy awaits. This is the sort of event financial analysts live for.
Banco Heleno is the largest bank headquartered in Nova Ostia, and it maintains branch offices on Earth (in Greece) as well as other Estados in Provincia do Brasil. Dating back only to 2274, the fast growing bank matched its strategies to the developing businesses of the Estado, and the unique Greek-Brazilian ties emerging in the Estado. Its growth spurt is now past, but the bank is still slowly expanding, and opened a branch office in Vitorio de Conquista in 2300. The company is set up as a hybrid Greek/Brazilian entity, and is an ideal bank for companies doing business in exports between these two countries. The bank works in the two currencies easily, while most banks are still oriented around a single currency. As a result, it offers its own currencies exchange rates between the two currencies that are more favorable than they can obtain elsewhere. The bank shies away from the consumer banking end of the industry, preferring to work with commercial clients. However, a small division of the bank specializes in personal accounts for a few favored customers, and this bank is sought after as a private bank. It is headquartered in the capitol district, in a building designed to appear as an ancient Greek palace. The bank is privately owned, with the bulk of stock held by the original partners.
The commercial center of the Estado is in Ageanopolis. Some of the commerce here revolves around the mineral wealth of the area. Metal deposits that havent even been reached yet have been traded back and forth by speculators, and new information regarding mine profitability and the state of the metals markets is in continual demand.
Retail is also headquartered in Ageanopolis. Local centers elsewhere in the Estado have a much more limited market scope, often specialized to local need. For example, finding parts for a geologic sensor is a lot easier in Puxada, and the small town of Canteiro, convenient to the military bases east of Puxada, is mostly one big retail and entertainment center providing spending opportunities to off duty military personnel.
Media Nova Ostia is the major netcasting service home based in Nova Ostia, and is a multinational public-priovate partnership, designed to give the Greek media a foothold on Tirane while not alienating the Portuguese speaking population. One of the difficulties foreseen for the Greek acquisition of Nova Ostia is language. Despite two thirds of the Estado population reporting themselves to be of Greek ethnicity, less than half the population can actually speak Greek. Furthermore, even if the entire population spoke Greek, and the transfer to Greek colonial control was smooth, the new colony would still have close social and economic ties to the Brazilian colony, which would now lie on both borders. Without a doubt, Portuguese would remain the commercial language of the colony. On the other hand, a Greek colony, in the view of the Greek government, ought to be speaking Greek. Currently, it is expected that Nova Ostia will have two official languages. While problematic, this solution has worked out well in many areas. Media Nova Ostia provides news and programming in Portuguese and Greek, as well as limited netcasts in French and English. Of course, auto translations are readily available, but these never reach the quality of netcasts actually produced in a given language.
MNOs interests are both local and global, although most of their reporting has a decidedly local spin.
There is a Greek media relations office near the embassy in Ageanopolis, in the Acropolis District. For some time, it has acted as a liaison point and forward base for Greek journalists covering events in the area, in an effort to drum up Greek interest in Tirane as a whole, and Nova Ostia in particular. Success has been mixed.
Nova Ostia has a number of exploitable metal ore deposits. The most important are the deposits of Titanium, Zinc, and Lead, all found in the central area of the Estado, and all mined since the early days of the colony. At the current rate of use, these reserves will continue to be valuable for over a century, or more, if extraction technologies continue to improve. Most of the mines are in the hands of private extraction companies. Despite promises all around to retain existing economic and land use policies, there is a lot of fear that a future Greek colonial government in Nova Ostia will make life much harder for the mine owners, at least in the acquisition of new claims, possibly to "balance the field" for new companies arriving from Greece. With this in mind, mineral exploration in the Estado is at a fever pitch, with companies trying to lock in promising claims as quickly as possible. The extraction companies and their geologists are in a frenzy, and have resorted to industrial espionage to gain access to each others survey reports. A dozen or more major lawsuits are proceeding or pending between them. As a result, the legal industry is growing faster than any of the mineral sectors.
Andear Corporation, headquartered in Ageanopolis, is one of those corporations that sees its products in wide use in a broad market, but remains little known to the average consumer, as they work primarily as subcontractors and vendors to end item producers. Andear had its origin as the Nicholas Deano Robotics factory in Belem, Brasil, in the 22nd century. Its founder and prime owner, Nicholas Deano, died under suspicious circumstances 2188, leaving the company, and some very poorly balanced books, to his heirs. Maria Deano consolidated the holdings of her siblings, sold off large portions to raise cash, pay creditors, and buy time, then arranged for a government grant to transfer her business to Tirane. Initially, there was some coldness from the overwhelmingly male Brazilian business elite in the southeast core region, so in 2193 she moved everything again, this time to the remote settlement of Puxada. There they begain responding to the needs of mining companies, first repairing equipment sent from earth, eventually producing new assemblies. Companies that settle in to a frontier area early, adapt to frontier life and find a profitable niche often grow with the colony, eventually becoming a major piece of the local economy, and so it was with the Deanos firm. By the time Maria took her company public, shortly before her retirement in 2230, she had built a company as large as her fathers. In the later years, corporate boards renamed the company, and acquired several other design centers and plants. Gradually, the company moved away from mechanical work, and towards the electronic end of the industrial robot business, until, today, the only actual robotic equipment they still manufacture are very specialized armature and servo assemblies. Their control systems and computer processors, however, are used by robots of all sorts, especially industrial and mining robots. The Deanos and their heirs still own a third of the company, which is otherwise publicly held, and are Nova Ostias wealthiest family. Their yacht, the Libelula, is the gem of Ageanopoliss harbor.
Nova Ostia is a major supplier of engineered drymixed concrete for much of Western Calabria. A fair amount is exported further afield, including some sent to foreign buyers. This a secondary industry using by-products from the extensive mines in the central area of the Estado. The bulk of the concrete industry here belongs to one company, Industries General Paraiso, named for the river valley ruining through the Estados mining heartland. IGP, SA, reported gross revenues of 198 MLV in 2300, with 38000 employees. IGP is the largest corporate employer in the Estado, and has an office complex in Ageanopolis. Their choice or Distrito Acropolis for their corporate home demonstrates their commitment to staying on as a major player in the Estado no matter whose flag flies over it. They have a number of mining, production, and storage sites in central Nova Ostia, and a few in Acre and Alegre. Their VTOL corporate aircraft are common sights in the skies over this region, shuttling executives, inspectors, plant managers, etc., from site to site. IGP is publicly held, and there are quarterly stockholder conventions in Ageanopolis- no proxy voting via the net is allowed, by company by-laws that have been challenged, but never overturned by stockholder majority. This is an effort to keep the stockholders physically in their company. IGP pays very small dividends when it pays them at all, but the company is large and remarkably stable, and the stock is considered a good, safe, rainy day investment.
Ageanopolis has a number of companies producing piping, valves, hydraulic fixtures of all sorts, and commercial and residential plumbing fixtures. This local tradition (as far as such a recent colony can have traditions) is an outgrowth of the need to supply hydraulic fittings to the very demanding mining industry. The same factories could easily turn out equipment and parts for other sectors, and rapidly did so. About five major plumbing and hydraulic supply companies are located in Ageanopolis, exporting worldwide, and occasionally beyond.
Fishing in Nova Ostia is ruled by the same unusual Grand Seasonal effect as the fishing industry in Alegre, Namely, the fish populations, and the productivity of the ocean in general, oscillates between the north and south coasts of the Estado. A eighty year cycle, however, is a fairly long event. There are no great convoys of fishing boats moving north to south to follow the changing fish populations. Annually, a few boats may shift to exploit better conditions elsewhere. During the course of his career, a fisherman may move from one coast to the other once or twice.
The fish caught are a mix of native and Earth species. Earth fish are raised in sea-farms, in bubble net cages, until old enough to survive on their own, and then released. Some are beginning to make real headway towards displacing the native sea life, and this has raised concerns among some environmental groups. The fishing lobby has proved stronger at every turn, with their usual tactic being to remind the government that humanity has spread a billion humans over Tirane, a few fish here and there being no real concern.
Farming occupies about 5% of Nova Ostias wage earners, and about two thirds of these work on large, commercially operated farms. Grain is the primary product, by volume and value. Nova Ostia supplies wheat, barley, millet, corn, and some varieties of rice for its own markets, as well as nearby Alegre. Commercial farms occupy about 5% of the Estados land area- much more is arable, but neither the economy nor the population requires the use of vast amounts of the Estados territory. Most of Nova Ostia remains a wilderness under the control of the government.
Small farming occupies less than 3% of the Estados work force. Small farms tend to be of three types. First, there are people who sought out the frontier as a way to remove themselves from the press of urban existence, which , in Brazil, is very pressing indeed. These folk often use their farm as a secondary source of income, or are retired, and so profitability is a secondary concern. As a result, although these farms may be comfortable and pretty to look at, they arent really income earners. Many of their owner/workers are not even classified as "wage earners" and as there is a steady continuum between a true farm and a country cottage with a large vegetable patch, there is no real count of how many of these farms exist. Then there are subsistence level farms, where the produce of the land is primarily used to sustain the family tending the land. Barter is typically used by these farmers to obtain the goods they need, as they stand little chance of competing with the commercial farms in the money economy. Many are deliberately self sufficient, and their residents eke out a somewhat lower tech existence than the rest of the citizenry. Nova Ostia has many of these farms, as the available arable land is vast, and many early homesteaders settled down looking forward to the "freedom of the frontier" only to find that it requires a lot more labor than core life, despite the restrictions of urban living. Quite a few may even be called "peasant" farms. Many were founded by Greek immigrants, who figured that they would have here the idyllic small farm their grandparents had in Greece. These constitute the bulk of Nova Ostias small farms. Finally, there are small farms that serve a specific niche. In Nova Ostia, these are fairly common, as the large Greek ethnic community serves as a ready market for traditional Greek farm produce, and they will trust locally grown food (Real Greek Feta Cheese) long before they will trust imports, even from elsewhere in Tirane. (This was grown in Lemanja? Ech!) Fortunately, although not as warm year round as Greece, the Estado is warm enough, especially along the northern shore, to support traditional Mediterranean agriculture.
At one time, the city of Puxada, which today has almost 180,000 inhabitants, was the largest city in the territory that was to become Nova Ostia. It was eclipsed decades ago, not only because Ageanopolis was positioned along the major transportation link, the Superestrada Sur, but because the city's economic base is the mining and refining of the mineral wealth of central Nova Ostia. While this is still important, and shipments of metal stock leave daily, by barge to Alegre and train to Ageanopolis, the economy of the Estado has matured into a core-type commercial-financial-information based economy, and that is
based in Ageanopolis, leaving Puxada as an industrial wayside. Puxada is now the heart of a rural heavy industry and mining region stretching north along the Rio Paraiso towards the mid Estado military bases, a region often at odds with the more sophisticated urbane population of the Ageanopolis area. Estado legislature reproductives from Puxada and its environs are often the spoilers of Nova Ostia politics, leading the opposition to proposals put forth by the representatives of "mainstream" Nova Ostia. There is considerable local animosity towards Ageanopolis here. There are unspoken hints that many Puxada natives, most of whom can trace their Tiranean heritage back a generation or two before the Ageanopolis residents, regard the latter as "thieves" of their rightful position. Certainly the Greek ethnic community has few members here, and many locals are less than enthusiastic about Greek colonial plans, and what they regard as a national "sellout" of their land. Naturally, Puxada has been a hot spot for political agitation against this deal, and a few acts of political violence directed against the Greek government has come from residents of Puxada and the surrounding area. Puxadas mayor has suggested that the region be allowed to "opt out" of any proposed land transfer to Greece, possibly by ceding central-western Nova Ostia to Alegre. The town itself has a worn out look, with most of the buildings dating back to the initial surge, and only limited construction since, even though unemployment, thanks to the mines, mills, and refineries, has never been low.
Like all of Brazil, Nova Ostia provides education at no cost to those of low to middle income, and at moderate cost to those of high income. The latter usually send their children to non-public schools anyway, so there is very little problem with this school tax. Numerous studies have shown the advantages of direct schooling to the social development of children, so electronic schooling, although available, is shunned. Language of instruction has become an issue in Nova Ostia, with some dispute as to whether classes should be taught in Greek, Portuguese, or both. Currently, Portuguese is used for general studies, with Greek instruction provided as a special course of additional study in most areas. (Brazilian schooling, from Age 6, breaks down the day for the student into General and Additional studies, with specialist teachers handling the latter. The Brazilians almost never use automated or virtual instruction for children) Despite the majority of the population being of Greek ethnic origin, a majority has indicated a preference to retain Portuguese as the language of general instruction. This is a bit irritating to the Greek government, which believes it is hardly worth gaining a colony if theyre not even going to speak the national language. Education has therefore become one of the points of contention holding up the transfer of the colony.
This institution opened in 2265, and is one of the smaller Estado educational institutions in Provincia do Brasil. Nova Ostia has been, and in all likelihood will continue to be a net exporter of university students. The University is also fairly poorly funded in comparison with some others. There is no athletics program other than the facilities made available to all students, as the university founders never understood why a professional futbol player needed a degree in anything at all. There is a fairly active "antiquities" department offering programs in anthropology, classical (pre-twilight) history, and archaeology. It is hamstrung, however, by the same problem which affects all similar programs on Tirane; the noticeable lack of any antiquities on the planet. So dry are the local prospects that the Nova Ostia Department of Antiquities has sent volunteers to research (and assist in actual digs) project sites of the Ramtha cult. This bit of nonsense resulted in other academicians chiding the Nova Ostians for their support of the Ramtha foolishness, and the Nova Ostia folk defending their actions as being done only to give students who couldnt get all the way to Earth the experience of actually conducting an archaeological investigation at a "real" if somewhat empty site. Certainly the students themselves never seemed to regard their "Ramtha" related work as at all serious. More recent expeditions to Ramtha sites have been seen mainly as an opportunity to have fun away from their usual surroundings. One student created "Guide to Ramthean Artifacts" rates a series of mundane rocks by the amount of alcohol that must be imbibed by the viewer before they resemble things like "power crystals" and "quantum vector modules".
Ageanopolis is the cultural center of the region, both for tourists and locals, although a significant portion of the Estados significant non-Greek ethnic population shuns the Greek oriented entertainment most prevalent in the city. As a result, the airflilm, ferry, and air traffic to Sao Celestino is quite high- it is a popular weekend place for non-Greek residents, less so for those of Greek descent but still important. The irony, of course, is that Sao Celestino is the most "international" of all of Provincia do Brasils cities. Aside from this, Nova Ostia does have its share of attractions beyond the Acropolis. The city boasts a few very fine art galleries, and an important antiques furniture exchange, where many items of elegant and often quite old manufacture are put on display for a week or so before the auction date. The auctions themselves are public events, with tickets necessary to reserve the better seats. Although bids may be submitted electronically, this is never done by the serious buyer, who knows that in addition to physically examining the fine pieces before bidding, there is an advantage in sizing up the competition. Its a social event as well.
The city has a futbol team of course, the Spartanos, and the exploits of this team, one of the better in the Provincia do Brasil league, are one of the few things in the state that draw together the Greek ethnic and Brazilian ethnic communities. Their fan following is legendary, as are the open air barbecues that fans set up in the park around their Ageanopolis stadium prior to each game. (Barbecue is another cultural tie between the Greco-Brazilains and the other inhabitants of the Estado)
The Amphitheater in the Tiranean Acropolis makes it a point to present Greek cultural events, including works from classical Greek antiquity, as well as more recent productions. Its dance and choral productions leave a good many visitors puzzled more than entertained (What exactly did we just see?) but the place is a cultural icon for the Greeks of Provincia do Brasil, and most performances are sold out well in advance. Its very popular with tourists. Ever mindful of them, simultaneous translation is available for those who dont speak Greek, either via headphones or a small unobtrusive display screen in front of each seat. The Amphitheaters designers managed to conceal the amenities of a modern theater into the authentic looking classical Greek architecture. Stone columns conceal lights and speakers. The seats themselves may look like stone, but they are comfortably cushioned. Visitors are often amused by these "soft rocks", expecting to plant themselves onto a hard surface and unexpectedly sinking in. On those rare evenings when a purely Greek performance is not available, the Amphitheater has stooped to presenting contemporary Brazilian Opera, as well as internationally known pop music performers.
Grazer. No. Appearing: 4 D 10 Initiative: 2 Melee Hit Chance: Easy, Size: 2500 Kg Speed 80, Armor .3, Consciousness: 12 Life: 20 WPM 4 DPV +2 Signature +3,
This is the largest creature native to the open country of western Cabralia. It is related to the Gargantacarnado of eastern Cabralia, but is adapted for life in steppes, prairies and open woodlands. Like its cousin, it is a big, bulky animal, and is primarily a peaceful herbivore. Like its cousin, its large throat chamber is used to signal and attract mates. Unlike its cousin, the Ululador does so not by flashing a brilliant red color, but by emitting a loud, multi-tonal wailing cry, a sound something between that emitted by a quartet of harmonious but half-starved coyotes and a set of bagpipes in poor repair. They travel in small herds, spending much of their time grazing, and defending themselves with their tusks, which are similar to those wielded by the Gargantacarnados, except in the case of these beasts, the upper jaw tusks are not mobile. See the Gargantacarnado in the "Cabo Vitorio" section.
Intermittent. No. Appearing: 2-12 Initiative: 4 Melee Hit Chance: Difficult, Size: 60 Kg Speed 100, Armor 0, Consciousness: 2 Life: 6 WPM -2 DPV 0.2 Signature +1
A long legged, long necked and very brightly colored herbivore, resembling an emu in ways but displaying very colorful, short fuzzy hair over its skin. The Vedeto is skittish and unusually sensitive to human presence- it has an amazing ability to make itself scarce when observers draw near and very few have been captured. The Vedetos forearms are joined to the body with thin, fuzzy membranes of skin, and it stretches these out like wings when running. Few fossils have been found that point to an evolutionary past, although research is continuing, so scientists currently do not know if the Vedeto has evolved away from flight, or is in fact evolving towards it. Although they are hard to approach, Vedetos are very visible from a distance. Their fuzz covered skin seems to sparkle in the sunlight, reflecting in prism-like patterns. Why a creature should evolve so as to be so obvious is unknown, especially as both sexes of the Vedeto display these bright, reflective colors.
Hijacker. No. Appearing: 2-12 Initiative: 9 Melee Hit Chance: Routine, Size: 80 Kg Speed 80, Armor 0, Consciousness: 4 Life: 9 WPM 0 DPV 0.4 Signature +0
Cheyans have thin, long legged bipedal bodies- some biologists have suggested structural similarities between them and long extinct small carnivorous dinosaurs of earth. There legs do appear birdlike, a result of convergent evolution, but their heads and necks are serpentine, with a jaw arrangement that opens very wide to reveal a set of knifelike razor sharp teeth designed for quick tearing. These creatures are pack scavengers, eating carrion, small game, occasional plants, and best known for their habits of steeling prey from larger carnivores. A pack of Cheyanswill surround a carnivore with its prey, and make darting feint attacks to draw its attention. When the carnivore is suitably distracted, some Cheyanswill dash towards the meal and tear off chunks with their razor sharp teeth, run a short distance, and drop the food. They will they return to help their packmates tear off further food. Among known hijackers, they are unique in that they never take all of the original meal from the carnivore that made the kill. This is an element of their survival strategy. They break off the attack with the original carnivore still keeping enough of the food for a minimal meal. The carnivore is left with the choices of eating what it has, or attempting to hunt down the Cheyans and ending up with nothing. They generally take the latter course. Despite their pack strategies, Cheyans are not as adaptable as Terran dogs, and where they have encountered them (in Campobelo, typically) they have lost ground to them. Cheyans are allowed 3 actions per turn instead of two, however, this pace tires them, and if a Cheyan has not obtained some food after 5 rounds it has a 30% chance per round of breaking off an attack. Thereafter, it will have just two actions per round.