THE ESTADO OF CHAPARACA,
AND THE UNIDADE OF MATA CENTAURA
Provincia do Brasil
By Ben Levy
The northeast region of Provincia do Brasil is a sparsely populated land divided into the Estado of Chaparaca in the north, with the Unidade of Mata Centaura wedged between it and the Estado of Cabo Vitorio to the south. Settlement in the region goes back to 2188, when the Brazilians established weather and survey support stations along the northern coast. Development has been very slow, and this seems to be partly an accident of history. At every step of the way, the Ministry of Colonization has given priority to some other region of the colony. Not the northeast. One may imagine that if Azania, and not Argentina, had been a rival to Brazil, then Chaparaca would have received the attention that went to Alegre. The sense of abandonment, of always being last to the public trough, has created a strong local identity amongst the inhabitants of the northeast, particularly those born to the region. In Mata Centaura, there is a large segment of the population that refuses interaction with the government on a broad scale; these folk live, for the most part, primitive lives in backwoods settlements. In Chaparaca, the locals have a recognizable dialect and regional vocabulary. They seem to eschew formality and disregard customary manners found elsewhere in Brazil; they eat with their elbows on the table, chew with their mouths open, discuss politics and religion with strangers and dont say "excuse me" when they bump into you. On the other hand, they are hard working, honest and fair to a fault, charitable and generous, and although they dont like being told what to do, they are they first to pitch in to help when they havent been asked. Their speech is colored by pithy sayings that seem obvious to everyone else: "If no one does it, it doesnt get done" and "Youre not lost if youre not going anywhere" are examples. To the rest of Brazil, "Chaparacan" refers to anyone from either Chaparaca or Mata Centaura; only the locals make the distinction, although to them its quite important.
The highland plateau along the northeast coast of Cabralia, Chaparaca is known for its scenic forested plateau and its rapidly changing, physically impressive weather. Driven by off shore wind and currents, waves boom against a shoreline composed mostly of bare rock. Inland, top soil is thin to nonexistent in places, but tough subtropical trees cling to available niches. The land gets rockier and more mountainous to the west- in the east, the plateau narrows to a single, braided ridge line that winds its way around the coast, forming several large rocky spurs projecting seaward. In the south, the land flattens out towards the wetlands of Mata Centaura. Much of the coastline is hazardous for small craft and human swimmers, although colonies of creatures called "Feimarmons" (A contracted version of "Fiejoos Marine Monosupial") seem to enjoy it, and dwell here in great numbers. Chaparaca has a population of 3,000,000, and despite, or perhaps because of, the sense of the strength of nature here, the population is quite urban. With 777,500 square kilometers, (About equal to the area of pre-Twilight Mozambique) and a population density of only 3.2 per square kilometer, it is the emptiest Estado on Cabralia- although of course the Unidade of Mata Centaura is even more sparsely inhabited. The urban clustering of the population intensifies the wildness of the region. 1,100,000 people live in the capitol city of Consequencias, and another 200,000 people live in the Porto Paradeo area. Brazilians were taken with the rugged but verdant natural beauty of the region early on, and Chaparaca basts the first national park established by Brazil on Tirane. Culturally the region is at once both staunchly conservative and one of the more culturally liberal areas of Provincia do Brasil. Its often said that while the liberal Oxalans are obstinate, Chaparacans are left alone by the heavy handed Ministry of Culture simply because theyre considered too remote, and local custom is not too bother others about what holos they view and what books they read. The irony is, although Chaparaca is considered a world apart from relatively crowded, sophisticated Cabo Vitorio, Consequencias is closer to Vitoria de Conquista than Missaoprimo is, and its also the closest major Brazilian city to the French colony. But to the Brazilians, it might as well be a distant and remote corner of Tirane. Chaparaca is on the north coast, and civilization is on the south coast. The discrepancy is of the sort armchair historians, geographers, and sociologists argue about, and never seem to resolve.
The weather here is temperate, moderately humid with low seasonality. Short-term cycles, however, are notoriously unstable. Weather systems strike the eastern edge of the Estado with a vengeance, and Cabo Tempesto, on the east coast, often gets the brunt of it. The brutal weather has a legion of admiring fans. The rocky shore at Cabo Tempesto often has Tempesteros, which English speakers might call "Storm Groupies", who gathers to watch the wind driven waves batter the coast. Some of this behavior maybe understood by considering the fact that Tirane has no significant lunar tides, and most of the planets shorelines are very gentle, compared to Earth, with no pounding surf. Cabo Tempesto is a fascinating contrast.
A feature called "A Paradeo" (The Wall) stretches for 450 Km along the Chaparacan coast. This is a seaside cliff, rising up to 300 meters above the sea and plunging as much as 60 meters below it in places. The stone is as strong as terrestrial granite, and is slowly being worn back by the relentless storms of Chaparaca. At the same time, the land here is gradually rising, at a rate of a fraction of a centimeter a year. The exposed grey-green and very durable stone has been folded upon itself so that it is pitched almost vertically. There are only a few distinguishable borders between strata, and the rock face is remarkably unbroken. It offers challenging climbing sites, and most of it belongs to the Tempestos National Park. The Paradeo Highway skirts the top of it, and offers several impressive scenic overlooks. It is one of Provincias most impressive geological features, and is still being studied. Geologists do not yet know which element is winning this slow duel- the eroding power of the sea or the gradual uplift of the land. In one area, the National Engineering Corps has tunnelled from the ocean through the seawall, reaching the weaker rock on the inland side, where they have been able to create enourmous underground harbors. This cluster of tunnels, the extent of which is a state secret, is used by the Brazilian military. Shielded by over a hundred meters of stone, Porto Paredeo has been likened to Gibraltar, and is one of Tiranes most defensible military bases.
Although this area has seen settlement since very early in the history of Provincia do Brasil- a settlement grew up around an ESA weather station even before Brazil established its colony- Chaparaca gained its Estado status recently, in 2266. Most of the government institutions are still fairly young and operate informally. Part of this is the Chaparacan mindset. They make a show of despising pomp, protocol, and formality of any kind, so their chaotic, shirtsleeve legislature and courts will probably continue to function in their present formats for years to come.
The Estado is a common home for artistic recluses, especially writers and composers, many of whom live clustered around the town of Escondijo, and designers and other notables from Provincia do Brasils fashion industry, who prefer the east coast resort town of Anteande.
This is the last region on the island continent of Cabralia not yet incorporated as an Estado. With a population of only half a million, Mata Centaura still functions as a Unidade under the administration of the national government, which appoints a governor and provides services through the federal agencies.
Mata Centaura consists of 728,125 square kilometers (a little larger than pre-Twilight Texas), mostly of poorly drained lowlands, through which the fickle Rio Clandestino braids its way to the broad but shallow Lago Grosso, which then drains via the Rio Vagabundo, which exits through the Estado of Cabo Vitorio to the sea. The Rio Clandestino was named for the fact that over most of its course the river consists of numerous interweaving shallow streams, shallow enough for vegetation to grow through the water and obscure the river with the leafy crowns of plants. The Rio Vagabundo is easier to see, but has the habit of frequently changing its course. The land is very flat, which results in winding, looping river channels. These facts have helped reduce settlement, as has the thick, entangling semi-tropical underbrush covering most of the region. With natural fires attenuated by the swamps and rivers, old, dead vegetation joins with new shoots to cover much of Mata Centaura with an impenetrable mat.
The capitol is merely the largest town in this very rural region, Lagovista, with a population of 50,000. Its located on a broad upland that is at various times the eastern shore of Lago Grosso, or a peninsula dividing the western area of the lake from the eastern reach that appears in wetter seasons. This is along one of the sections where the lake is deep enough so that plants do not choke it, and the banks high enough so that much of the shoreline is stable between different seasons. This central strip has about a quarter of the population. Another quarter live along the East coast, where the town of Austeridade (originally Nossos Austeridade, the "Nossos" part of the name is no longer used) is home to about 20,000. A quarter live in the southern area near the Cabo Vitorio border, and a quarter are well scattered. The western third of the Estado is the thinnest populated region. The lake itself occupies, on the average, 90,000 square kilometers of territory, a vast if generally shallow expanse of fresh water covering an area almost the size of Portugal.
The counter-equatorial easterlies that strike the northeastern tip of Chaparaca are split in two by the highlands. Humid air is deflected to the north, where it gradually moves westward, losing both momentum and moisture along the coasts of Chaparaca and then Vinicao, and even more so to the south, where it eventually circulates over the south eastern Estados, giving them all a humid temperate climate. Much of the precipitation lands in Mata Centaura, which is a great flat bottomed bowl surrounded by higher ground on all sides. Always humid, Mata Centauras weather differs principally by degrees, sometimes being very wet, sometimes just wet. Temperatures are temperate to subtropical, depending on the progress of the Grand Seasons, but due to marine influences on the climate, annual seasonality is limited. Fog is common, especially in the cooler months, and can blanket vast areas of the Unidade. The variable precipitation causes extreme variation in the shoreline of Lago Grosso, especially in the west, and other bodies of water. During the wettest seasons Lago Grosso can double in size, and up to a third of the Unidade may be under water.
Mata Centaura has gained a reputation, somewhat deserved, as a haven for antisocial malcontents and neer-do-wells of every description. Legends place a number of escaped fugitives in the territory, but if they are to be believed, every unaccounted for felon in Provincia do Brasil has made his way here and now lives in a tiny hovel secreted away in the vast and trackless forest. The legends harbor kernels of truth. Yes, criminals have often used the remote wilderness of the territory, with its natural concealment, sheer size, and relative prosperity to the urban southeast as a refuge. There are bands of anti-technologists living here, some holding to the idea that as squatters, they have sovereign rights to the land they live on that supersede even those of the Brazilian government. The National Police know where a number of these "Sovereign Landholders" are hunkered down, but standing policy is that as long as they cause no trouble, theyre not worth the effort and the bad publicity required to bring them into mainstream society. Many of backwoods folk living in Mata Centaura are of the "unincorporated" sort; people who are uncomfortable being tracked, counted, sorted, and taxed by the government. Many of them are descendants of the "Encercadors" (Migrant laborers who once lived a sort of Gypsy existence in Provincia do Brasil) and imagine they live full lives of freedom and personal expression. They have babies without reporting them, the children often have no formal education, and existence is generally at the subsistence level. But they hold to their illusions, and despite the existence of several church programs aimed at "socializing" them, their numbers have actually increased. Theyve even taken in refugees from Perfididade in Cabo Vitorio. Apparently, if youve angered the wrong sort of people in Perfididade, this is one place they wont come looking. All that being said, bear in mind that the total population of these feral folk is quite low, certainly no more than 20% of the population of the Unidadet, and they are spread over a vast territory. And the vast majority of these people engage in no criminal activity. The forest is not crawling with bandits, and is in fact much safer than the streets in some areas of the major cities.
Mata Centaura is an economic afterthought to the Cabo Vitorio region. The commercial hub of the Unidade is the town of Lagovista, but commerce is limited to a few small local companies, branch offices and stores of commercial and financial firms located in Vitorio de Conquista, and service companies supporting the logging industry. Most transactions are routed through offices in Vitorio de Conquista. There is a strong cash economy here, as many of the more remote settlements are not connected to the Fazenet, and many locals avoid it by choice. This is partly the "frontier mindset" and partly practicality. Between rough weather and poor infrastructure, the communications net, of which the Fazenet is a part, is shut down more often in the northeast than in any other area of the colony, and locals often have to wait for days for repairs to be made. The problem is similar in Chaparaca, where the weather is worse even though the wait times for repairs typically shorter. In Mata Centaura, Lagovista and the coastal settlements are reliably connected. Anywhere else, it's advisable to do one's transactions in cash. The Estado of Chaparaca is a little better off. Consequencias has all the amenities of any modern, major city, even if they can be a bit hard to find. (Using rough log architecture for just about everything doesnt help, its hard to tell a storage shed from a public computer access kiosk in much of the city.) The tendrils of the communications net reach further, and even temporary camps set up by lumber companies usually have adequate mobile netlinks. In some ways, economic activity in Chaparaca is more net based than it is elsewhere. With the dispersed communities and long distances, locals eschew trips to the small retail centers and most purchases in the Estado are made via the net. Still, with a few important exceptions, business may reach Chaparaca, but it is not of Chaparaca. Economic policy of the companies that do business here is set in offices in Vitorio de Conquista, and other cities, with local offices here to look after their affairs.
Retail in Chaparaca tends to be of the essential goods and services nature, except in the District of Nova Metroa in Consequencias, which is home to the Estados one true major retail complex, the town of Escondijo, with its small, family owned shops and taverns, and the resort communities in the east, where fashionable stores sell trendy goods to visitors at high prices.
The northeast has its local media companies that provide news and programming of regional interest, but it is also home to one media organization of national renown. That is the Sociedade Literario de Cabralia. This foundation was chartered in 2244 as an association of writers in Provincia do Brasil. Over the years its publications have drifted from being mere outlets for writers to the inevitable social commentaries of the intellectual class, to the most revered sources of punditry in the Brazilian media on Tirane. The Foundation is financially well off, due to a number of generous endowments, and is active in a diverse mix of social causes, generally those taken on as pet projects by noted writers. Most of the better known writers of Provincia do Brasil are members, as are a number of authors on Earth, and more than a few foreign writers. The Foundation rewards do-gooders with honorary memberships, and has done much to publicize the efforts of other socially positive individuals and organizations that might otherwise go unrecognized. They have made enemies along the way, specifically, those individuals, organizations, and governments who do not like what members of the SLC have to say.
Both Chaparaca and Mata Centaura have problems that limit the profitability of intensive agriculture. In Chaparaca, the soil is thin in many areas, and of poor quality. The native trees have evolved to exploit the qualities of Chaparacas soil. Their roots spread wide to nutrients from as large as possible an area, and where they encounter the roots of other plants, aggressively (if slowly) attack, strangling the other roots. Although the process moves at a typical botanical pace, it is enough to keep Earth plants, save those with similar fast growing root systems, from competing unless the native plants are cleaned out. Even then, native roots will intrude at the perimeters of farms. Root hairs will locate the smallest pores in barriers, and deeper roots will reach around barriers. When the tiniest gap is found, the force of root growth through it will widen it, and soon the barrier will be breached. Only the sturdiest and most impermeable of barriers will hold back the native root growth, and these are difficult and expensive to install. Hence, farming is a difficult task in the region.
The battle between the root systems of the native plants of Chaparaca favor the larger, more vigorous plants. Hence, the massive trees for which the Estado is known. Small plants have a hard time competing, and the Chaparacan forests are also remarkable for the paucity of underbrush. Although circuitous routes are needed to avoid the occasional fallen log or rock outcropping, it is possible to drive wheeled vehicles freely through the forests. This fact is not lost on the locals, who have off road races through the woods.
Its not impossible to have farms, though. One tactic used by farmers is to surround their fields with "kill zones" laced with powerful herbicides. An unusual tactic that is only now coming into widespread use is the creation of altered native plants which propagate their root systems in one direction only. Farmers place theses plants in defensive rings around their fields, and these co-opted natives hold off the attacks of their brethren. Other tactics involve Earth plants that can hold their own in these duels, like strawberries, or figs or periodically trenching around fields, killing all the native roots in a wide zone around the farmed area.
Most of Chaparacas farms are small, private farms providing for local needs. The residents of the Estado have a strong affinity for their local produce. The market favors the local farmers even when their produce costs 25-50% more than the output of massive commercial farms located elsewhere. The Estado is known for orchards, and Chaparaca is a leading grower of figs and strawberries (both of these earth plants are botanicaly aggressive, capable of dealing with the native Tiranean plants on their own terms.
Conditions in the Unidade of Mata Centaura are even less favorable. Much of the land here experiences inundation. Unlike similar environments on Earth, the flooding in Mata Centaura is a-seasonal. In 2266, Lago Grosso reached its broadest extent yet measured, and then remained within 10% of that maximum point for almost two Earth years. Then, in 2269, the lake was reduced to about 25% of its average coverage, and this condition persisted until 2272. Few Earth native plants can endure such extremes of condition, and those that can are not economically desirable. The usable arable land is limited, although some farmers have created irrigation and dike systems to keep fields either dry or, in the case of rice, submerged. Except for this rice production, most of the areas crops, like those in Chaparaca, are consumed locally.
The northeast is the stronghold of Provincia do Brasils lumber industry, and lumber is the primary resource of the region. Several kinds native trees are harvested here, under the management of the Ministry of Colonization and the Ministry of the Environment in the federally controlled Unidade, and the Chaparaca Department of Natural Resources in the Estado. In Mata Centaura, the two national level agencies are often at odds with each other, as their agendas clash. The Ministry of Colonization seeks the economic development of this region, while the Ministry of the Environment works to safeguard the native environment. Generally, on Tirane, the Ministry of Colonization has the upper hand. The Brazilian lumber industry on Earth, which struggled against the environmental agencies for centuries (and thankfully for the remains of the Amazon rain forest, lost the battle long ago) support the Ministry of the Environment in their efforts in Mata Centaura. Naturally, the interest is purely selfish, but the result is that the lumber companies on Earth will often fund agents and troubleshooters seeking to stop illegal logging in Mata Centaura. In this underpopulated, trackless wilderness, this has often led to violence. In Chaparaca, things are a bit more controlled, but even here, get far enough from the well travelled tracks of the Superestradas, and it seems like anything goes.
Alburno do Cobre (Copper Sapwood) is the most commonly harvested tree type in the region. There are several varieties. All are known for rich red-gold wood, strong, finely grained, and very porous, with scattered sponge-like internal structures that, when the wood has been cut and cured, give the wood the appearance of copper colored travertine. While the tree is alive, these sponge cavities are filled with sticky sap that is extruded to the surface of the plant. When the wood is harvested, the sap is removed with high pressure steam distillation techniques (the originator of the process adapted his machinery form devices used to decaffenate coffee beans). After that the sap is sold to the synthetics industry and used in a number of industrial resins and emulsified plastics. In most species of Alburnos dos Cobres, the sap has defensive qualities, trapping, annoying, and irritating creatures attempting to scale the tree. In one unusual but popular member of the species, the sap has evolved in the other direction, being used to attract creatures. This is the Sweetwood.
This plant, a member of the Alburno do Cobre family, has a sap which, like Earths Sugar Maple, contains complex sugars and is both edible and tasty to humans, especially when reduced. This is a fairly recent discovery, and its not known exactly how this was discovered. After all, even here, people dont readily go around tasting strange wood. Exploitation of this new product has been developing gradually, mostly by individual woodsmen who locate and tap the trees. Sweetwood also takes on a rich shine when finished, and so has become a desirable wood for cabinetry and furniture making. The sweetwood drops small, hard seeds near the base of the tree. Animals are drawn to the sugary sap. In licking the tree, they invariably smear sticky sap on themselves, then get seeds and spores stuck to themselves. Travelling from tree to tree, they disperse seeds and cross pollinate the Sweetwoods.
Chaparaca is home to a number of small, specialized industries. The manufacturers of the Estado, from the small time craftsmen to the industrial plants in Consequencias, have gained a reputation for reliability and workmanship. As a result, Chaparacans can be found making a variety of products where quality is essential. They produce most of the highway and vehicle safety devices used in the colony, for example, including safety equipment for ships and aircraft. Several small companies in the Consequencias area produce musical instruments. Others produce highly calibrated containers for a variety of uses. They are also known for high quality food products, and gourmet cooking utensils. Many of the businesses here are quite small, with limited product lines, and most of these are members of the Northeast Small Manufacturers Association. The AMMdoNE (the Portuguese initials by which the association is usually known) handles relations and marketing, and insures high standards as well. Chaparaca and Mata Centaura both have unexploited mineral resources, and especially in the case of Mata Centaura, vast areas where no real surveys have yet been done. This may allow for great strides in industrial output in this region in the future.
The city of Consequencias is the eastern terminus of the Superestrada Norte. Of course, at this point, it transitions to the Superestrada Leste, which continues on through Lagovista in Mata Centaura to Vitorio de Conquista in Cabo Vitorio. Although the population is thin, its important to remember that this combination highway and airfilm track carries the bulk of the freight between the southeast area of the colony and the north coast as far west as Vinicao. Traffic, therefore, is continuous along the superestrada, although its nowhere near as busy as the Superestrada Sur. Most of the settlements are located along the Superestrada, or the Estado owned Anteande Superestrada, which branches off to reach the easternmost tip of Chaparaca. Estado of Chaparaca has no passenger airfilm trains, although there are a number of Estado owned hover busses that use the routes, and a private company, founded and jointly owned by the towns and resorts of Anteande, run a limited private airfilm line that makes local stops to Anteande. (Most visitors arrive by air, the commuter service is largely for employees). Great distances make air travel the preferred means of moving passengers between significant destinations.
Mata Centaura's flooded forests effect local ground transport preferences in a unique way: As in Chaparaca, the trees aggressively attack each other's root systems, and there is very little underbrush. There is also very little fall of organic matter, and what does reach the ground is decomposed fairly quickly. Soft humus that does accumulate is often washed away during a flood cycle. As a result, the normal processes of infill which would act to raise the soil level in the region are retarded, although they do exist, and the flooding lowlands of Mata Centaura might well eventually evolve into a poorly drained boggy woodland. In the meantime, the shallow and variably sized lake has a well defined solid bottom, capable in may places of sustaining vehicle traffic. The weather, of course, is too inconsistent for general use of LTA ships, although some are used to retrieve timber from logging sites and mills. Walker type vehicles, generally four and six legged machines, best exploit the conditions here. Mata Centaura is the only region in Provincia do Brasil with any significant use of walker type vehicles. These are used by various government agencies, and by the logging companies that forage for trees in the swamps. They are typically larger than military combat walkers, with four or six feet for redundant traction on ground that is often underwater. Most are operated by the logging companies and used to reach distant work camps. A few are owned by individuals, one of which operates as a sort of walking general store, circulating among the most isolated logging sites. Some are used as cargo and passenger transports to remote settlements. Champauds in Lagovista is the only company in Provincia do Brasil that specializes in the maintenance and sale of walker type vehicles. Their sales yard has an eclectic range of machines from different makers, from different years, and in different conditions, to meet the broad but varied local demand.
The city of Consequencias is too dispersed for efficient cost effective coverage by a single urban transport system. So they have four. (Its a Brazilian thing, go figure.) There is a "local" airfilm train that runs along the section of the Superestrada Norte that passes through the city. It makes nine stops in the city, travels beyond to the writers town of Escondijo, and returns, a continuous shuttle run. The city also has a small fleet of electric, automated busses. In the district of Nova Metroa there is an amazing network of moving sidewalks, including subterranean express walks, operating through buildings or in tunnels to avoid the weather. Finally, there are the I-cabs.
I-Cabs are the result of one American corporations pursuit of profit through convenience. Each is a robotic vehicle with on board artificial intelligence. This intelligence is based on a computer that is networked together with all the other I-cabs operating in the area, coordinated by a central hub computer. The hub handles routing and feeds continuously updated traffic and passenger request information to all the I-Cabs, and each I-Cab drives itself. The "brain" of an I-cab processes tens of billions of mathematical instructions per second, equivalent to the intelligence of a dog, and is capable of driving as well as a professional human driver. As a system, the I-Cabs select routes far better than humans do, even humans with computer assistants. This has been demonstrated in I-Cab tests. I-Cab has been adopted not only in Consequencias, but also in Lagovista and some other towns throughout the region. Private car ownership rates have always fallen in areas served by I-Cab systems, and traffic has improved as well. I-Cab has a planetary office in Nova Metroa, and a general sales and development office in Missaoprimo, Lemanja.
Over this broad region, aviation plays a key role. There is one international airport and four local airports, as well as the military field at Alto Paradeo, which, unlike all other Brazilian military airfields, regularly accepts civilian aircraft. This unusual arrangement is necessitated by the large number of military personnel, dependents, and civilian employees travelling to and from Porto Paradeo, with this allowance being seen as easier than constructing a parallel airfield solely for civilian use. The International Airport is of course Consequencias Airport, the regional airports being Lagovista and Austeridade Airports in Mata Centaura, and Anteande and Sao Carlo airports in Chaparaca.
The northeast area offers no natural deep water ports, a factor, which was surely important in retarding the settlement of the region. Although there are a number of sheltered coves and bays, these are mostly on the east coast, and none of them are usable as ports for freight carrying oceangoing vessels. Porto Paradeo was built at great expense due to just such a lack, however, it is used only by the government and civilian ships working on government contracts. There is a small charter yacht service working out of Anteande, on the easternmost tip of Chaparaca. This company makes small but very comfortable vessles available to travellers, and tour groups. Their boats can be found along the north east coast from Porto Consequencias (the small coastal town north of Consequencias; dont let the name fool you, the port is only a large marina) to their southern base of operations at Vitoriofin, in Cabo Vitorio.
The Estado of Chaparaca is home to one of Provincia do Brasils most important military installations, and one of the most unique in Brasil. This is Porto Paradeo facility, and it is described separately under the Chaparaca section below. Elsewhere, the Brazilian Air Force and Navy jointly operate Aerodromo Nascer do Sol on the eastern tip of Mata Centaura, and the Air Force has Aerodromo Alto Paradeo near Porto Paradeo. The former facility is used mostly for patrol and surveillance aircraft. The latter is home to the 12th Air Transport Regiment, and the Chaparaca Tactical Aviation Regiment. This unit has two squadrons of interceptors, a strike squadron, and a support squadron.
Mata Centaura is home to a single under-strength Army brigade, the Mata Centaura Garrison, headquartered at Fortaleza Santa Fatima north of Lagovista. The brigade has a light infantry battalion, and hover-cavalry, engineer, missile defense, and support units in company strength. Subordinate to the Mata Centaura Garrison are the only walker type units in the colony of Provincia do Brasil. The walkers, though, are unlike the smaller, "individual" walkers seen in foreign forces. The Mata Centaura Combat Engineers have a half dozen specialized six legged walker work vehicles. The Mata Centaura Infantry has fourteen armored fighting vehicles, which are adapted from six legged walkers used by the forestry industry.
There is a small military post near Anteande used by the Army and Air Force for surveillance and intelligence.
A fairly young Estado, Chaparaca has a government that often seems amateurish to seasoned politicians. The voters of this region like their leaders homegrown, and have shown an aversion to established professionals, especially those from the more developed regions of the nation. The Estado Senate has forty members, and service is not a full time job. Typically, being a hard working "real person" is a draw to local voters, who seem enchanted by farmers, forestry workers, construction workers, and activist priests. Chaparaca is a stronghold for the smaller parties of Brasil.. The Partido Renovador Nacional has held the governors office and the majority of the Senate for most of the years since 2266. The runner up, Partido Visao Novo, has had a stronger showing here, proportionally, than anywhere else in Provincia do Brasil. Government functions are not very transparent here. Its not unusual for a group of senators to meet at a barbecue and create Estado policy. Chaparacan voters are only beginning to realize the potential pitfalls of this, with a number of initiatives being passed with a minimum of public oversight.
There are no local or municipal police forces in Chaparaca. The National Police exercise jurisdiction over large areas of the Estado, patrol the Superestrada Norte, and provide direct assistance to the Estado police elsewhere, providing specialties unavailable at the Estado level here. The Estado police consist of 3,100 officers deployed across 25 districts. In Consequencias, each of the "Seven Towns", and Nova Metroa as well, is a district. The resort area of Cabo Tempestos is also a district, . The remaining 17 districts divide up the vast rural area of the Estado, and the problems of coverage are obvious.
In one section of the Paradeo, the National Engineering Corps created an artificial harbor by tunneling through the rock. Five separate tunnels pierce the stone facade, linking the ocean with the cavernous interior port and military base complex. Smaller tunnels and underground chambers riddle the cliffs for kilometers around. Three of the main tunnels are large enough accommodate large ocean going ships. This is one of the two bases of Brazils Fourth Flotilla, the other being at Vitoria de Conquista. Three of the Fourth Flotillas four modern Xavante class Aviation-Cruisers are based here, and one of the two older Suya ships. There are also several smaller warships, several patrol craft, and three submarines of the Foca class.
In addition to being a naval base, Porto Paradeo is the major defense base for the Estado of Chaparaca. The complex houses the Fourth Marine Brigade, (which often has troops afloat on Fourth Flotilla ships), most of the Provincia Marine Special Operations Brigade, and the Brazilian Armys Chaparaca Brigade, consisting of an infantry battalion, an air-interface defense battalion, an airmobile battalion, an artillery battalion, an intelligence battalion, an electronic warfare battalion, a military police battalion, and a special forces company. Various support troops round out the garrison. There is an air base about forty kilometers inland that supports Porto Paradeo. The greatest difficulty faced by the Brazilian military in Porto Paradeo is one of morale. The quality of life offered to the families of military personnel stationed here is said to be needful of improvement. Brazilians, some say, are not cut out for a cave lifestyle.
The Xavante class Aviation Cruiser is the backbone of Provincia do Brazils security. There are eight such ships on Tirane, with 2 more under construction. Upon completion of the last two ships, the two older Suya class ships based in Chaparaca and Cabo Vitorio will be relegated to secondary duties. The Xavantes, like the older ships, are deigned to be flexible, multipurpose vessels, fulfilling whatever need the Brazilians have for them. They are nuclear powered, with an advanced "over and under" hull design, in which the waterline is pierced only by two side by side thin hull sections, with the bulk of the engineering and support elements housed in a large submerged hull. The Porto Paradeo facility is the only one on the planet in which ships of this kind can be brought indoors.
Capitol of the very rural Estado of Chaparaca, Consequencias is barely over a million in population, and only because the city charter was written to incorporate an enormous land area, bringing 7 distinct towns within the city limits in addition to the original Consequencias. This was done to provide the then newly established Estado with a capitol city that was, at least on paper, up there with the other significant cities of Provincia do Brazil. A result of this incorporation is that the administrative units of the city are referred to as "towns", whereas every other major city in Provincia do Brasil has "districts".
The towns are built on a plateau, atop an ancient igneous flow, now a tough shield of metamorphic rock, that acts a eight hundred meter thick cap over the water soluble rock below. (An extension of this same geological arrangement, hundreds of kilometers to the east and much lower in altitude, gives rise to Porto Paradeo.) The soil above the rock is very thin in most areas of the city. Although drilling wells through the upper layers of rock is practical, and in such manner the city is supplied with water, excavating on a large scale is difficult. Blasting was only feasible in the early days of construction. As a result, there is little subterranean infrastructure in Consequencias. Many city utilities are carried in above ground chases. The Consequencias metropolitan transit system consists of busses, with core areas and most of the most important areas linked by a monorail Maglev system. (The only other major city in Provincia do Brasil to order Maglev has been Kantzauropolis in Oxala)
Most of the buildings are built from native stone, quarried from nearby sources, and timber, harvested from Chaparacas plentiful forests. There is a very deliberate "rough hewn" style to the local architecture, in some ways mimicking the appearance of Americas Pacific Northwest Style. Both the Chaparacan and the Pacific Northwest styles feature heavy timbered extended gables and peaked shingled roofs. However, whereas the complete American style has mortared fieldstone plinths, piers and buttresses, the Brazilians use cut dimensioned stone. Of course, where cut stone was too pricey, they were omitted, and many areas of the city look like they were built from logs alone- Nova Metroa, of course, is an exception.. Few buildings in Consequencias, outside of Nova Metroa rise more than seven stories. There seems to be a desire not to compete with the surrounding views. In the town of Nova Metroa, a more contemporary style is used, with a broader range of influences, and most of the taller buildings of the city.
There is an air of relaxed intellectualism in Consequencias. Locals tend not to make hasty opinions. This extends to government. The municipal offices are thorough, efficient, and very capable, but can move with agonizing slowness- and this is slowness by the Brazilian standard, not the Japanese.
The towns that make up Consequencias are as follows:
This is the so called "eighth town" of Consequencias, the new metropolitan center built after the incorporation. The Estado government buildings are all located here, as are other newer central facilities for the city, although in many cases already existing facilities in the original town of Consequencias,, were kept on and expanded to meet the needs of the city. One such example is the building handling the local nodes and switches for the communications net. Nova Metroa has the integrated, planned convenience of a designed city, with subterranean moving sidewalks, well laid out streets and public access computer kiosks in all the right places. Cantankerous Chaparaca voters use this as evidence that even here, politicians look after their own backyards first. Nova Metroa also has the Estados leading hospital, Santa Serena Medical Center. This semi-public, semi-private, semi-church agency owns a number of clinics scattered across the Estado, along with a major mental health center located on a scenic coastal rise a half hours drive west of the city. All the Santa Serena facilities share a reputation of pampering patients almost as if they were guests at a spa, and indeed, many wealthy Brazilians have checked themselves into the mental health center with little more complaint than mild feelings of depression or anxiety.
Occasionally, having a small portion of a city bear the same name as the city its is causes problems, but the locals here always know whether they mean Consequencias the city or Consequencias the town. (Anyone who gets the two confused is clearly a Plumbo, the local equivalent of the French colonys "Toubab") The town is the oldest and by far the largest of the components of the city of Consequencias. It was founded by anti-technologists, who believed that healthy old fashioned living, where a man could walk into the woods with an axe and hew out a home for himself, his dainty wife, smiling children, and his faithful hound. Of course, such nonsense ended with the first case of appendicitis in the town. But, even today, Consequencias lack tall buildings and in many areas, smoothly paved streets. (The high density concrete paving blocks used to create many of the minor streets may not give as smooth a surface as other core roadways, but resists wear and damage and can be easily replaced if they are damaged). As the town progressed, however, the inhabitants decided that perhaps a modern hospital would not be a bad thing, and if a hospital why not a communications center, and a sewage treatment plant Grudgingly, Consequencias adopted the trappings of a modern city, but even where they did, these infrastructure elements were concealed behind the same rustic looking rough timbered walls that made up much of the rest of the city. Consequencias today, after Nova Metroa, is the portion of the city best known to visitors, and the city is just beginning to realize the value of tourism. The Chaparaca tourist department attempts to portray Consequencias as one big frontier outpost and base camp for wilderness expeditions. Several hotels and restaurants have opened up recently, all continuing the frontier look of the town.
The second oldest established settlement, with a lot more "typical" character than Consequencias (and a a lot more support from the Ministry of Colonization), Sao Marcos is home to the national government buildings located in Chaparaca. This includes the local offices of several government ministries and a court building, as well as the local headquarters building for the national police. Sao Marcos has a lot of church owned land, and includes two major cathedrals, along with a strip of cemeteries along its southern border. The culture of Sao Marcos is traditional, conservative and strongly religious. Statues of patron saints are common sights in front of the small, well tended homes. In Sao Marcos is the citys major resource for the poor, the unemployed, or otherwise lost from society. This is a church run "managed community" that supposedly "finds a place for everyone." People are expected to contribute something, anything, in return for the food and shelter offered here. Non participants are not turned away, but receive such a high level of "counseling" from the Dominican monks that run this place that many of them eventually leave on their own. There is one "old quarter" in Sao Marcos, now a neighborhood of small private shops, many in less than stellar condition, although there are some surprises and excellent restaurants. This neighborhood, along with its century old church, has been identified as a National Historic site, and efforts are now being planned to improve it.
As the name implies, this town is set on a rolling upland centered on the highest point in Consequencias. This central area of Monte da Roca is a park, with the peak having a meteorological station, several discreetly placed antennas, and a large restaurant offering excellent views and reasonable catering. Much of the town consists of quiet residential streets, with middle class neighborhoods home to all sorts of professionals, government workers, and technical workers.
This town of very mixed commercial and residential neighborhoods, with a variety of social strata found in close proximity, also has the citys race track- a popular local attraction with dog races and horse races, sometimes on the same night, a pig race. This latter event is an unusual local custom. As such, people here take it very seriously. Owning a fast horse will get you recognition anywhere in Provincia do Brasil. Own a fast pig, and everyone in Alameda will know who you are. Alameda is the second most populous of the towns after Consequencias.
This town has the bulk of the industry in Consequencias. The industrial base here is broader and more complex than might be expected for a relatively remote city of this size, a result of the reputation for quality specialty manufactures that the Estado maintains.
A working class town with old roots, centered on Placa do Sao Sebastio- a church and town square built in local imitation of the traditional Iberian civic style. The land around Sao Sebastio, and especially between here and Campo Oriental to the east, has the best farmland in the immediate area of Consequencias, and therefore supplies much of the citys daily intake of fresh produce. Along one side of the central square in Sao Sebastio is the Mercado, a sprawling open air farmers market which has the best produce, gourmet food supplies, and more recently, craft displays and coffee shops, in Consequencias. One interesting local craft is the production of handcarved wooden "colars" for electronic devices. Many of them are exquisitely detailed pieces, some are stained, enameled or inlaid, for the person who wishes to house a home autochef in a housing that fits in with French Renaissance decor.
The easternmost town is relatively insular in nature, more like an independent town than a District of a city in many ways. Campo Oriental is separated from the remainder of the city by a broad band of exceptional farmland. Top notch agricultural land being in short supply, but buildable land being plentiful, economics dictated that the land remain farmed. Campo Oriental has a small Brazilian Army compound, left over from the early settlement days, and a number of nightclubs, located here as the other towns looked down on such establishments. The nightclubs are the core of the "late night" economy of Campo Oriental, which doesnt seem to get to sleep as early as the rest of Consequencias.
No one is quite sure why Chaparaca became a center for learning in Provincia do Brasil. Perhaps it has something to do with its remoteness, which may have caused people to consider it a good place for studious concentration without urban distractions. Perhaps some Academics thought the natural beauty befitted their institutions. Perhaps the association of this Estado with Brazilian writers fostered a belief that the place somehow fosters intellect and creativity. Perhaps Brazilians parents thought it was an distant an inescapable place to which they could banish their college age children, one in which they would not get into too much trouble. Whatever the case, this young Estado is a major net importer of university students. The universities here, for the most part, are located in isolated towns, and some of them have very restrictive policies, not allowing students the privilege of journeying off campus after hours.
Schools in Mata Centaura, of course, are run directly through the joint efforts of two national agencies, the Ministry of Colonization and the Ministry of Education. Unable to run things efficiently with two different bureaucracies, they created a third, without, of course, removing the controls of the first two. This is the Mata Centaura Science and Education Agency. Somehow, between the squabbles of all three agencies, the teachers manage to educate the children of the area, sometimes through the communications net. Many children in the remote areas, however, are believed to be missed altogether, especially if they belong to families that are deliberately avoiding contact with the government and its agencies. Lagovista has a municipal college, but students from the area journey elsewhere- usually to Cabo Vitorio or Chaparaca, for more advanced education.
The Life Foundation university is best known for the "hieroglyphics" hoax of 2278. On the rocky cliff not far from the university, a professor discovered what appeared to ancient markings inscribed into he cliff. Further study turned up more of these markings, and as media attention focused on the area, the Life Foundation undertook a major effort to study, and possibly even somehow translate the bizarre figures. As scholars debated the classifications of the complicated markings, it came to light that the inscriptions were the work of university students. These students managed to very skillfully artificially weather and erode the marks they made on the rocks so that it appeared even to trained geologists that the markings were thousands of years old. The university never fully recovered its stature afterwards. The university is on the coast at the far western border of the Estado, near Vinicao.
Other Universities include the Universidade Nordeste, which is the public university of Chaparaca, and surprisingly good considering the small population and limited resources of the state, and the small, elitist Universidade Trocono near Anteande.
In 2274, a Brazilian psychiatrist published a book outlining several interesting theories of mental health. One segment of the book mentioned "pseudo-fractalic patterns of neural energy flow", and then, without presenting much background data on just what this neural energy flow was, went on to explain how the energy flow is improved when in the presence of strong, natural "pseudo-fractalic" energy stimuli. Apparently, an ideal example of these stimuli is the sound of surf crashing against a rocky shore. Regular, yet irregular, steady and ever changing. The good doctor touted it as a powerful mental restorative, and mentioned it specifically in his description of a rustic retreat, resort and spa center on Chaparacas rough northeast coast. He didnt mention his part ownership of the facility, but the popularity of the Instidudo Psiquia-Energisiticas remained high even after this became common knowledge. The fame and success of the Santa Serena Mental Health Retreat west of Consequencias added to the reputation of the region as being a place of mental healing, and legitimate medical centers and outright quacks moved in. The idea of the "mental health retreat" to a place one third sanitarium, and two thirds spa and resort, has become an accepted national phenomenon. There are no less than nineteen mental health centers in Chaparacas today, and prospective patients are advised to look them over carefully in advance.
The wilderness of Chaparaca is a strong draw for nature-oriented Brazilians and foreigners as well. Everything done by the forces of nature in this Estado seems to have been done large. The cliffs are tall, the forests are colonnades of giant trees with great uplifts of bedrock piecing the topsoil like stone monuments. The weather is the stormiest in Tirane. It may be true that majestic landscapes can be found in many parts of Provincia do Brasil, but no where else in the colony does that landscape gift the feeling of being dynamic, of responding to the raw energies of the planet and the unstoppable flow of life. Outdoor enthusiasts throughout the colony and beyond hold a special reverence for Chaparaca. A large part of the Estado is occupied by national park. Found here are the Tempestos National Park, the Costa Blanca National Park, and the Monte Imperial National Park. Following in the successful pattern of American national parks of the 20th century, each park has a large visitors center and lodge, and little other improvement, although they are patrolled by the Brazilian Rural Police. In the vicinity of the parks, and at other popular wilderness areas in the Estado, one can find locals thriving on the flow of visitors, working as outfitters and guides. Many areas of the Estado are extremely rugged and should be tackled by the experienced outdoorsman only.
Aside from the outdoors, Chaparaca does not have a lot to offer the visitor- but next to the outdoors of this Estado, what could possibly compare? There are a number of resorts here, with Cabo Tempesto having the largest and best known. Adjacent to Cabo Tempesto is the resort town of Anteande. This town is best known as the playground and retreat of Provincia do Brasils fashion set, with several internationally famous designers havign lavish homes here. The biggest and most elaborate belongs to the Galdono family, heirs to the Xarife company that is the center of the Brazilian fashion universe, and has been for some time, even though the family now employs younger designers to carry on the company traditions. The annual outdoor fashion show at the nearby cliffs is a landmark event. Throughout the east coast area, the storm lashed shore is particularly attractive to visitors, and Tempestos National Park stretches from here to the middle area of the Paradeo. The resorts of Cabo Tempesto present their own entertainment to guests, and at this remote end of Provincia do Brasil, on the private property of the resorts, the heavy hand of Brazilian censorship is usually stayed. Not so in the holotheatres of Consequencias. The offerings here are typically stale even by Brazilian standards. While Brazilians seek out Chaparaca for the wild, untamed and living wilderness, locals travel to other regions for a taste of culture.
Like any serious Brazilian city, Consequencias has a local futbol team. The Tempestos have a brand new stadium in Consequencias, designed to look like a great natural outcropping of rock. The fans inside the fully enclosed structure enjoy the peculiar artificial weather of the stadium: while other stadiums are content to provide comfortable environments inside where teams can play and fans can relax regardless of the weather outside, Estadia Monte Optisto directs stiff artificial breezes at fans and players. Opposing teams (For some reason, especially Wellons teams) have often claimed that the artificial weather generated in the stadium is rigged to favor the home team. This is something the managers of the Tempestos flatly deny. For one thing, they say, their teams record isnt that good (although they have been improving in recent years. If they wanted to favor their team with weather, they could certainly have a greater impact, they claim. Also, the managers deride the complaining teams as unable to play in a natural environment, being to pampered by the gentle climate of most enclosed stadiums. International futbol officials have examined the situation, and most conclude that the winds stirred up inside the stadium have no impact on the games.
The Estado of Chaparaca has been a haven for Brazilian novelists, playwrights, and other writers since Emilio Tahare built his cliffside compound in 2251. This unique dwelling, sold by Mr. Tahares heirs in 2296 to the nearby Life University, is used today as a library, reading center, and writers retreat. Four separate structures are anchored to the rock wall overlooking the sea, connected by covered passageways. A small building at the top serves as an entranceway and garage. The oceanside area to the east of Consequencias, the Rural District of Sonegandos, centered on the small town of Escondijo, has many homes, often creatively designed, belonging to the nations literary artists. The sense of remoteness, the grandeur of the natural scenery, and the lack of distractions are said to aid the muse of writers. Escondijo originally tried its best to make itself unappealing to tourists, as the locals had no wish to see their privacy ruined by gawking mobs from the city. Eventually, locals, especially those who werent trying to overcome writers block or pen the Great Brazilian Novel, began to look at the visitors as sources of income. Quaint little stores and taverns opened. The town has become the model for a fictional town of the same name featured in what has become the best known example of a entertainment genre that has been gaining in popularity in Brazil in recent years, especially in Provincia do Brasil; the musical serial drama. Thus, the town tries to look as if its trying to keep a low profile, when in fact it clearly isnt as exciting as how its portrayed. Visitors come, some drawn by the very false image of the town in the holo serial or by the shops, or by the image of a serene, intellectual little town, with novelists sipping coffee in little taverns as they struggle through their latest work. A few leave dejected when they find Escondijo to be somewhat less than the passion filled, vibrant place it appears to be in the holo serial. Of course, not all Brazilian writers are recluses. When they socialize, some appear in the local taverns, but most seek out clubs in Consequencias, mainly in Campo Oriental, or in facilities maintained by several universities, or in the writers guild hall in Escondijo, a secluded traditionally built mansion on a very wooded property, hidden on a side street but deceptively close to the town center.
Throughout Provincia do Brasil, an ancient Brazilian preoccupation with the wilderness, dating back to the rise of ecological consciousness in the decades prior to the Twilight, and reinforced by the ecological catastrophes during the Twilight, has strongly affected settlement policy thoughout their colony. Most of the species found here during the first settlement periods still exist, and often in sizable numbers. The Brazilians have made this a national goal. Public support of this policy has been assisted by the fact that Provincia do Brasil is an isolated and varied locale, and many of the creatures here are found nowhere else on Tirane. In very little time, native creatures such as Gargantacarnado came to be seen not as Tiranean animals but as Brazilian animals. IT has also been recognized that extensive migration is a part of the survival strategy of many native species, and limiting them to small preserves would be ineffective in maintaining the survival of the species. In order to provide a future for the native animals, in addition to the parks and preserves established throughout the colony, there are many vast tracts of wilderness left completely untouched, forming a web of migration routes between the parks and preserves.
The system has not been without its failures, and the inevitable unpredictable consequences of the interaction of two mutually compatible ecosystems. To complicate matters, Terran animals have been deliberately introduced in some areas, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally. This includes undomesticated animals, the latter arriving at several locales within Provincia do Brasil as part of a secret plan of an extremist element of the normally honest-to-a-fault Life Foundation in the 2250s. This sect came to the conclusion that humanity was connected by primordial familial ties to the other creatures of Earth. In order to protect mankinds close kin in the event of the loss of the homeworld, it was decided that breeding populations of animals would be established at suitable sites. Some of these creatures wound up in Provincia do Brasil, parts of which now have Terran wildlife competing with their native counterparts.
Chaser. No. Appearing: 100-1000 Initiative: 5 Melee Hit Chance: Easy, Size: 60 Kg Speed 40 walking, 70 in water. Armor 0, Consciousness: 2 Life: 6 WPM -1 DPV.2 Signature -2
The name of this creature is a contraction of "Fiejoos Marine Monosupial", the name given to the creature when first described at the Seattle Symposium on Tirane Evolutionary Biology in 2210. Although these creatures were notes by earlier explorers, it was during this symposium, devoted to seeking the evolutionary links between diverse Tiranean life forms, that the Feirmarmons were demonstrated to be a link between the tree dwelling Monosupia and the Tirapingis of the icy southern seas. All of these creatures descended from a common snake-like ancestor, itself descended from four limbed pseudo-reptilian creatures that also gave rise to the Mammo-Sauropods of Nouvelle Provence and Freihaven. Over eons, the legless descendents of these four legged creatures then evolved two strong "fingers" , branching from the tip of the tail. It is now believed that a single "macro-mutation" in a species that had already developed a prehensile tail (known from a few fossils as Proto-monosupia Cabralias) produced branching tails. With a stronger grip, the fork-tail mutation spread through natural selection. Millions of years later, these "fingers had evolved into specialized legs, and in the case of aquatic species, powerful flippers. Genetic analysis has shown the Feimarmon to be an intermediary between the branch that became the Tirapingis, and the terrestrial Monosupia. At the time of the historic Seattle Symposium, this was considered a remarkable course in physiological evolution- the rise of secondary bipedalism in a lineage that had lost its primary limbs. This was because evolution was still being measured with an Earth yardstick, with Earth creatures considered unusual. On earth, no changes in gross physiological form had followed the metabolic and systemic changes that produced the modern higher vertebrates. (I.e., all mammals are quadrupeds, no mammals have varied from the quadruped form since the evolution of mammals. ) The monosupia evolution showed that the patterns of development of Earth life, although common, were by no means standard.
The Feimarmon is occupies an ecological niche somewhere between seal and marine iguana on Earth. They live in large, crowded, noisy colonies along the rocky shore of northeast Cabralia, where they nest in cracks and niches. They are fecund creatures with high birth rates and rapid maturation.
Intermittent. No. Appearing: 1-10 Initiative: 3 Melee Hit Chance: Difficult, Size: 200 Kg Speed 40. Armor .2 body or head, .1 tail, neck, legs. Consciousness: 6 Life: 6 WPM 14 DPV.4 (Bite) or .2 (Tail smack) Signature 1 (out of water, in native environment) 5 (in water, in native environment) 0 elsewhere.
This interesting creature, named for its appearing, at first glance, to have two tails and no heads, was observed for the first time only relatively recently, in 2273, in the wilds of Mata Centaura. As it is not a small animal, this late date attests to the creatures ability to escape detection. The Diplorabo was shown, in 2280, to be a direct relative of the mammalo-sauropods residing in the French colony. How their ancestors got here is still something of a mystery, but genetic research indicates the ancestors of the Diplorabos split off from their ancestral stock some 18 million years ago. One of the strange ironies of the Diplorabo is that the creature lives the lifestyle once thought to be that of the extinct sauropod dinosaurs on Earth, but discredited in the years prior to the twilight.
The creature is roughly the size of a cow, with stubby, thicks, a long, thick tail, and a long, thick neck. It actually walks along the bottom of Lago Grosso and similar bodies of water, using its neck as a combination snorkel/periscope. It raises its head high out of the water to reach the plants that make up its diet. If attacked on land, it will flee to water, if attacked on water, it will attempt to escape onto land. In either case, if cornered or defending young, it will fight, able to attack simultaneously by biting and by whipping its tail around, which attacks anything behind the creature. The Diplorabo lives in small family groups. Colonists have reported that the creature is edible, tasting something like chicken, with a fibrous texture and a gamey aftertaste, and it can be found on the menus of regional homes and restaurants. No external market for its meat has developed.