Tirania: A New Direction
By Scott Ash
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of my fellow members of the Tirane list for their thoughts and ideas of Tirania, and Tirane in general. Tiran_i_an indicates the American (future) Commonwealth, Tiran_e_an indicates the planet as a whole
The Ronald Reagan Society concept is copyright 1999 by Dave Malesevich, any references to Wellon, and the Tiranian Frontier Values Party are copyright 1999 by Dave Wilkinson. Creatures created by Randi Adams and are copyright 1999 Katz Unlimited in trust for Randi Adams. All of these are used with the permission of the copyright holders
The American colony on Tirane, the Territory of Tirania, is comprised of the entire northern polar Boreal Continent excepting Wellon's Knightsbridge Shire. The majority of its population of nearly 18 million people occupies the peninsula hooking, Malaya-like, down into the temperate and tropical areas, with comparatively few people living in the arctic areas of the north. The economy of the colony is currently based upon agriculture and aquaculture, light industry, mining, and tourism. Additionally, support of military forces, both American and Korean, has become a mainstay in several communities throughout the colony. Tirania boasts some of the most attractive natural scenery to be found anywhere in Human Space, with the people of the territory eager to share it, and their unique viewpoints, with anyone interested.
The largest cities of the colony are Free Haven, the capital; Tirania City, with the territory's largest port facilities south of Free Haven; and Chinook, up the eastern coast of the peninsula on the southern edge of the Gulf of Tirania. Other cities having more than 100,000 residents include Alyeska, Emerald Bay, Fox Island, Lakota, Mendonovo, New Anchorage, New Racine, and St. Claire. Tirania's main promotional slogan is "Frontier Spaces, Core Comforts", and in keeping with that promise, the cities offer the same amenities as any city on Earth, as well as more space to build upon. The arcologies of Earth are not found in Tirania, as Tiranians prefer detached homes on large lots. While this has led to sprawl in the area between Free Haven and Tirania City, the public transportation and hydrogen road networks have been planned with that growth in mind.
Tirania's spaceports have become arguably the best-maintained on Tirane, as the Tiranian government of late has been actively promoting itself to companies throughout human space wishing to set up a presence on Tirane. These facilities are at Chinook and Free Haven, with the bulk of the passengers arriving at Free Haven.
Currently Tirania has no fully-functioning orbital station. The territory leases space at Australia's Pointer Station facility where the American Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) performs its initial off-world immigration checks. Once cleared by the INS, Tirania's own Customs Clearance and Inspection Authority performs the customs checks at the ground facilities, as Tirania is outside the American customs zone. During the early stages of colonization, the AECA did have a small facility in orbit, mainly for survey and weather prediction, but most of Langhorne Station, except for its small fuel processing facility, fell into disrepair following the collapse of the Consortium. After decades spent as nearly a "ghost town/station" following the collapse of the American Tirane Colonization Consortium, it has since been rehabilitated. Currently the Ronald Reagan Society uses Langhorne Station as a construction support facility, pending the completion of the Ronald Reagan Station in early 2304.
Tirania has very liberal customs laws, given its status as a free trade zone, but any weapons brought into the territory must be cleared by the Customs and Clearance Authority before arrival to avoid arrest and confiscation of the offending item. Also, any software brought into the colony is inspected for any virus or attack program that might disturb the Tiranian network. Often, if it is a well-known virus, it will simply be cleaned off the arrivee's computer or datacrystal, but if any new virus is discovered to be resident, the device will be completely erased. It is recommended, then, that all visitors ensure their systems and data are free of destructive viruses before arrival in Tirania.
The climate of the colony ranges from humid tropics, found in Free Haven and Tirania City at the southern end of the peninsula, to arctic at New Anchorage. While the peninsula is narrow enough to prevent the formation of deserts, the western coastline experiences greater rainfall than does the eastern, as much of the moisture from the ocean north of Nouvelle Provence and west of Tirania is blocked by the Sierra Cascadia Range. This range of climates allows Tirania to produce a wide variety of agricultural goods, and sell its surpluses on the open market.
America never intended a large presence on Tirane, preferring instead to leave the colonization to private corporations. As a result of its internal bickering, by the time the members of the American-Tirane Colonization Consortium finally agreed to a joint development and profit sharing plan in 2170, much of the best land had already been taken. Basically left with the polar continent with a long peninsula reaching to Tirane's equator, the Consortium tried to make the best of what they had.
The original plan for a diversified economy was thrown outm and it was left to local managers to create a viable economy for the territory. The subsequent plan was for these managers, representing individual member companies of the Consortium, to found towns specializing in the particular field of their company. The managers would begin with mobile construction and engineering crews, who would then lay out the town plan. Prefabricated factories, offices, and homes were then placed into their specified locations according to the engineers plans. The specialists and technicians assigned to work in the towns, along with their families, followed behind once the construction crews finished. These company towns, which later became Chinook, New Anchorage, New Racine, and Tirania City, over time became known as "America's Gulags," as the corporations held considerable sway over the lives of the residents, often to unconstitutional levels.
Colonists from America continued to pour in, however, and many of them formed the cooperatives and small businesses that kept the colony afloat. The majority of these "free settlers" settled in Free Haven, the one town not under control of any particular Consortium-member corporation and thus the Consortium's administration center. During this time, many of the earlier colonists who had worked for Consortium member companies lost their jobs, and eventually joined the ranks of the independents. Then, after the AECA revoked the Consortium's charter in 2195 and took over the development of Tirania, the first AECA-appointed governor, Carol Wareham, arrived at Free Haven.
What Governor Wareham saw was a clear dichotomy; on one hand, corporate mismanagement and greed had kept many of the larger development projects from succeeding, which prevented the colony from establishing its own unique niche in the overall Tiranean economy. However, the small businesses and farmers' cooperatives had made many individuals prosperous, making the colony's economy self-sufficient.
Deciding to focus on what was successful, Governor Wareham revised Tirania's development policy to encourage further individual efforts and investment on Tirania, against the wishes of the surviving corporations of the earlier Consortium. These companies, still reeling from the losses they suffered from their earlier colonization attempt, filed suit in the American Federal courts for compensation as a result of the revocation of their charter.
After five years and nearly three hundred million dollars spent in both legal and extra-legal efforts by both sides, the American Supreme Court found 7-2 in favor of AECA. Justice Angela Tanaka, in writing for the majority, commented, "the members of the Consortium, in their drive to extract the maximum amount of profits, in the least amount of time with the least amount of investment, failed to consider the long-term health of our national colonial policy. As a result, their efforts on Tirania will provide to all of humanity an example of how not to start a colony."
As a result Tirania, while internally self-sufficient, never played a major role in the Tiranian or the overall American economy for the first six decades of its existence, so consequently immigration to the colony remained low. This satisfied many of those who did emigrate to Tirania, as it allowed them to live quieter lives in a pristine environment, for the most part away from the crowds and stress of the Core.
Many people saw in Tirania a place to return to the beliefs and ideals of a simpler time in American history, before the mass migration to the American West. Native Americans, in particular, wanted the opportunity to return to traditional ways of life, without worry about encroaching urbanization. While some political commentary joked about Tirania becoming the "big reservation", the AECA encouraged this migration, seeing the desire to restore Native American culture as a possible later benefit to the economy. Indeed, many Americans also supported this, out of a subconscious desire to right past wrongs.
Statehood never became a major issue during the colony's history, as many of those who emigrated to Tirania did so to escape what they saw as intrusive government at all levels. So long as the AECA and the Tiranian Legislature kept their involvement in ordinary lives to a minimum, the majority was happy with the status quo. While some of the governors appointed by the AECA argued in favor of stronger US ties, such as statehood or "Incorporated Territory" status, these efforts often fell through due to lack of popular support, despite the best efforts of America's major political parties.
However, Tirania's economic self-sufficiency and laid-back culture ill prepared it for the competition provided by America's three American Arm colonies, as well as the private effort mounted by the Trilon Corporation. When the only other competing colony was King, Tirania felt little concern, as they believed that the conditions of that world would drive many would-be emigrants to choose Tirania instead. However, King's growth and increasing importance to national affairs caught Tirania off guard.
Before Tirania could recover, Hermes and Ellis began accepting colonists, and with them the lion's share of the AECA's budget. This lack of official investment, coupled by the appointment of AECA officials less inclined to maintain Tirania's status quo in favor of unreasonable economic goals, has contributed to a decline lasting over a decade, now known as "the Slump", in the colony's economic growth and population. Other factors affecting Tiranias economy came from decreasing outside investment from American and international companies, and the strength and stability of the other Tiranean colonies. In fact, during the Slump thousands of Tiranians migrated to Tiranes other two English-speaking colonies, New Canberra and Wellon, with Nouvelle Provence, Garten (later Freihafen), and Tunghu hosting hundreds of others.
The Tiranian Legislature, fearing Tirania's demise as a viable economy, began actively courting business and individuals from all nations friendly to America, as well as other Tiranean colonies and nations, to invest there. To the surprise and concern of many in America and Tirania's Tiranean neighbors, banking laws were relaxed, the territory was declared a free trade zone, and immigration barriers were eliminated. The latter was brought about by the Tiranian delegates to Congress actively lobbying for the passage of the Addams-DiFranco Act, which allowed for fast-track approval of immigrants from several nations to emigrate to the American colony worlds.
As part of that Act, Tirania was to get thirty percent of the subsidized-passage applicants, and be allowed to court those who were able to pay their own way. Of late, these efforts by Tirania have begun to turn the local economy around. They have also heightened resentment against the AECA, as Tiranians believe that AECA has neglected the colony, forcing them to act on their own to save their home.
A major turning point in Tiranian-American relations came in November 2301, with the assassination of the AECA-appointed governor Alana Boucher. Believed to be the work of Tirania's radical pro-independence movement, subsequent investigation by a group of independent troubleshooters found that the assassin was a known anarchist, from New Canberra's Nuevas Malvinas region, who had used the independence movement as a cover for his activities.
It was as a result of this assassination and the desire for a peaceful transition that Governor Legaspi, Boucher's successor, and the AECA were able to start the independence negotiations that continue today. It is expected that the Tiranian Legislature and the US Congress will approve a treaty by the end of 2304, paving the way for a ten-year transition to Tirania's independence.
Tirania's internal government, according to its charter, consists of a unicameral locally elected Legislature and a governor appointed by the AECA back on Earth, on the advice of the Tiranian Legislature. The separation of powers inherent in the Tiranian Charter gives the Governor, as de jure (and until recently de facto) representative of the American Government, a veto over acts passed by the Legislature. Governors are appointed for six-year terms, often by the majority party in the Legislature, yet only in the six months prior to the end of a sitting Governor's term is a new one selected by the Legislature.
The Governor's role in actual legislation is mostly ceremonial. Still, he or she is commander-in-chief of National Guard and militia troops raised in Tirania, as well as chief executive in terms of legislation and law enforcement. Governors are also tasked with chairing the Cabinet (made up of the department heads, the Speaker, and the Governor himself). This advisory body is ultimately responsible to the Legislature, and is tasked with administration of the colony while the Legislature is recessed.
The Speaker of the Legislature is the highest elected office in Tirania, elected by American citizens resident in Tirania by universal suffrage, and is responsible for the day-do-day governing of the Territory. The Speaker then appoints the heads of the various executive departments, either from within or outside the Legislature at his or her discretion. These Directors, as they are known, in turn advise the Governor, Speaker, and Legislature on matters related to their departments.
Per the Charter, in the event of death or incapacitation of the Governor, the Speaker is elevated to the post. However, in the past decade no one party has held a majority of seats; the previous governor, Alana Boucher, was nominated by the Legislature only after considerable negotiation between the three parties represented. However, tragic events since her appointment triggered the succession clause of the Charter for the first time in the colony's history.
In early 2300, for the first time in Tiranian history, the Speaker, Jason Legaspi, had succeded to the Governor's Office as a result of the assassination of Governor Boucher. As a governor with no ties to the AECA, Governor Legaspi has worked hard for a peaceful transition to eventual independence, and cites America's relationship with the Philippines, his ancestral home, as an example of how it can be done. Some in the US Congress have pressured the Legislature to nominate a new Governor in order to replace Legaspi, but thus far the Legislature has been unwilling to work against one of its own.
Citing the Charter, only near the end of a Governor's term is a replacement sought, thus legally Legaspi is eligible to complete the remaining three years of Alana Boucher's unfinished term, by which time an elected Tiranian President should have taken office. In fact, as a statement of their support for the current Governor, Speaker Jessica Luce did hold an unofficial nomination session, which unanimously nominated Governor Legaspi.
On the table is a ten-year gradual plan for Tiranian independence. Its first step, upon ratification, replaces the appointed Governor with an elected Presidency chosen through universal suffrage, and directs the AECA to appoint a High Commissioner to oversee and advise the Tiranian President regarding Tiranian defense and foreign affairs off-Tirane. At the end of the ten-year period, the High Commissioner becomes the American Ambassador to Tirania, and Tirania will become fully sovereign in all of its external affairs.
The AECA has so far accepted the idea in principle, as Tirania is seen as a drain on American resources. However, since the American Defense Department depends on Tirania as a staging and training area for its Coreworld forces, it hopes to negotiate a new treaty allowing continued access to the bases for a minimal fee. Governor Legaspi agrees to the leasing of some of the more important bases, such as the Chinook Naval Interface Station and the Peary Arctic Training Center, but would like most of the bases closed or turned over to local forces. Additionally, he would like to see more money coming in for the continued use of the bases remaining open, as well as fixed, renewable lease periods. Currently the treaty talks are in the "nuts and bolts" stage, with finalization expected by 2304.
Tirania's Legislature currently has sixty-one members; sixty elected from individual single-member districts based on population, and the Speaker (who does not need to already be a member of the Legislature) elected at large. Currently, the Legislature is planning a referendum to amend Tirania's charter to provide for the direct election of the Governor, and later the President, should a new Commonwealth Act be approved by the American Congress back on Earth.
The Tiranian government's current responsibilities include the maintenance of the transportation infrastructure and its security which includes the Highway Patrol, the colonial judiciary, economic development, licensing, and internal revenue. While it has gained the right to negotiate trade agreements and other treaties with the other colonies and nations on Tirane, Tirania's foreign affairs beyond the Alpha Centauri system and overall defense are the responsibility of the State and Defense Departments, respectively.
Tiranian politics confuses many observers, even those familiar with the Byzantine machinations of America's federal government. In short, three parties vie for political control of the colony. America's two major parties, the American Party and the Popular Conservatives, have large representations in the Legislature and elected County positions, yet neither command a majority. This comes as a result of a strong third party, the Frontier Values Party, and its platform of "restoring traditional values to a pristine new land". Of the sixty-one seats (including that of the Speaker) contested every four years, the Popular Conservatives hold twenty-four seats, the American Party has twenty-one, and the Frontier Values Party the remaining sixteen.
Academics have repeatedly pointed out that having all the Legislators stand for (re)election at the same time is not a wise thing. If too many freshmen ("backbenchers") are elected, the deliberative body ends up very naive. While the newer members are learning the "ropes of government" by trial and error instead of being mentored as they would have been in a more balanced body of new/experienced members the permanent bureaucrats can run rampant. Worse, a few corrupt senior incumbent members could dominate the naive majority, at least for a while. Still the Tiranians, disgusted with the seemingly continous campaigning and endless fundraising in America on Earth, would rather accept this risk and trust the voters to throw any scoundrels out, in exchange for having three years of peace and quiet between election year campaigning.
Governor Legaspi himself is a member of the Popular Conservatives, but his participation in the independence negotiations has put his party loyalty in question back on Earth. However, few Tiranians see Legaspi's representing them against his party's wishes as a liability. The Frontier Values Party expects to come out ahead in an independent Tirania, and is the most vocal supporter for independence. The other two parties have made no comment regarding independence either way, yet many believe that they will evolve into Tiranian parties in their own right, or join forces against the FVP upon independence, to counter the FVPs reactionary social platform.
Of note in Tiranian politics is the influence of the Ronald Reagan Society. While not specifically supporting any one party over the other, it is known to support candidates of the Popular Conservatives, as well as many of that party's platforms. The RRS operates two military academies in Free Haven, the capital, and a growing number of the American Space Forces' commissioned officers and petty officers have come from these academies. Additionally, the RRS is currently building a new shipyard and orbital station from which to build new ships for the AECA's Exploration Division and warships for the American Space Force. Like the two major American political parties on Tirania, the RRS has not made any official comment regarding Tiranian independence, and there has been some spirited debate over the issue during Society conventions.
The colony is further divided into twenty Counties; each governed by a locally elected council known as either a Board of Supervisors or County Council. These councils have responsibility for law enforcement, road maintenance beyond the highways, turnpikes and airfilm lines, land use, and education. The devolved nature of Tiranian government gives the counties broad powers over land use and development, business creation and regulation, and boundaries of the Legislative Districts within the county.
As the sixty seats on the Legislature are divided among the counties according to population, all of Tirania's counties compete fiercely over prospective new immigrants and business relocations. Cities and towns within these counties are subject to the same ordinances as rural and suburban areas, and often the county seats are found in the largest cities.
These councils are chaired by a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), appointed by the Governor, and the CAO has veto power over any decision made by the council. However, the CAO's term does not end with the replacement of the Governor, only upon the CAO's resignation or loss of AECA (as opposed to the Governor's) confidence is a new CAO appointed. Prior to Governor Boucher's assassination, this was never an issue as the governor was always an AECA appointee, but with the accession of Governor Legaspi the appointment of County CAOs has become a contentious issue.
On this point Governor Legaspi has challenged the AECA, and some of its CAO appointees, over arbitrary vetoes of sound council decisions. Governor Legaspi has in particular singled out Boreal County CAO Harry Pryor for the poorly executed privatization of essential county services, which has had a detrimental effect on Boreal County's quality of life. Callenbach County CAO Lawrence Willingham has also earned the Governor's wrath for his refusal to accept that county's right to direct control of its affairs through the referendum process, a right upheld by the Tiranian Circuit Court of Appeals. In fact, Governor Legaspi has publicly stated that he would be willing to call up units of the Tiranian National Guard to forcibly eject CAO Willingham should he not peacefully end his barricade of the Callenbach County Center.
The AECA's role in Tirania of late has become one of cautious neutrality. Before Alana Boucher's assassination, it had used its control of the Federal Civil Service and Federal Marshals Service to take a more strident stand against what it perceived as the Tiranian Legislature's overstepping of its authority. However, since the assassination the AECA has backed off of interference in Tiranian affairs, restricting itself to its original mandate of immigration checks ("passport stamping") and acting as a liaison between the Federal government and the Tiranian Legislature.
The Federal Marshals still act as law enforcement officers when American Federal laws are involved, but prefer to work through their Tiranian counterparts in the city police and county sheriff's departments. The Federal Civil Service, on the other hand, remains a major thorn in the side of the Tiranian government. A recent editorial in the Free Haven Courier attributes this to a desire of the Federal civil servants to simply keep their jobs. "Only now when their positions are threatened, by Tirania finding its own way, do these Federales decide to actually do their jobs."
Law enforcement is handled on three levels: local, colony-wide, and federal. Local police agencies such as the county sheriff's and city police departments are the primary law enforcement arms of Tirania, and the first to be notified in the event of an incident. Colony-wide law enforcement on the hydrogen road net; the airfilm lines and stations; the toll roads (known as turnpikes), and the air-, space-, and seaports come under the jurisdiction of the Highway Patrol.
Federal law enforcement agencies such as the American Intelligence Agency's Office of Domestic Operations (ODO) and the Federal Marshal's Service also have offices throughout Tirania. However, as a result of the ongoing independence negotiations, these agencies work through local counterparts, and have begun training the first class of what will become the Tiranian Constabulary. The Constabulary will combine elements of the Marshal's Service and the ODO, and serve as the main law enforcement agency above the County level.
Also in Tirania are two Texas Rangers whose responsibility covers the entire Alpha Centauri system, operating out of the Texas Legation in Free Haven. If a suspect, wanted in Texas or any of the Texan colony worlds, is found anywhere on Tirane, it is the responsibility of the Rangers to apprehend him or her. Operating in Tirania with the permission of both the American and Tiranian governments, they work through Tirane's local police agencies to apprehend suspects, while (officially) they wait at the Texas Legation to take receipt of the prisoner.
While the Rangers prefer to work with the cooperation of the other colonial governments beyond Tirania, they will circumvent those authorities if that cooperation is not forthcoming, asking the forgiveness of the offended governments after the fact. Otherwise the Rangers will only work in an "advisory" role in regards to Tiranian law enforcement, and only when asked. The Rangers have lately been approached to assist in the training of the forthcoming Tiranian Constabulary, and Austin is reportedly reviewing Tirania's proposal.
Convicted violent criminals with terms of over five years, as well as repeat offenders, are sent to the Tiranian Correctional Center ( TCC) in New Anchorage. Non-violent first-time felons and those convicted of misdemeanors are incarcerated at either the county jails or the TCC, depending on the judge's decision. The TCC is notorious for its lack of central heating, and the arctic climate of Boreal County makes the TCC the most feared penitentiary in Tirane. The frequent cold-related injuries and grueling work schedule that the TCC's "guests" there undergo has had a strong deterrent effect on crime throughout Tirania.
Human rights organizations such as Chile's internationally recognized Derechos Humanos have frequently taken the Tiranian and American governments to task over the conditions of the TCC. The governments of other Tiranean colonies and nations have also levied condemnations, as several of their citizens languish in the TCC's chilly conditions. In the Tiranian Department of Corrections' favor, improvements have been made to the facility, with the installation of space heating units in those cells nearest the exterior walls, as well as improved insulation within those walls. However, central heating and a reduced work schedule are not on the agenda, as the unofficial motto of the Department of Corrections is, "If you can't take the time, don't do the crime."
Law enforcement was difficult during the years of the Slump, as the lack of adequate employment opportunities turned many to a life of crime. Both law enforcement and the judiciary recognized this situation, and many convicted of minor non-violent crimes during that period were given sentences of exile to other American colony worlds. While this contributed somewhat to the decline in Tirania's population during the Slump, it was found that many of these exiles were able to prosper once they were offered better economic prospects on Ellis or Hermes. Due to earlier agreements with King's territorial government since the Tantalum Strike, none of these convicts were sent there.
As an American colony, the defense of Tirania comes under the aegis of the Department of Defense based at the American capital of Reston.##Operationally, the American Centauri Command ( CENTAURICOM) is responsible for American active-duty and reserve forces based anywhere in the Centauri system. Commanded by Marine Corps Major General Carmen Del Bosque, CENTAURICOM currently is headquartered at Marine Corps Camp MacLean, on the northern coast of the Lefthook Peninsula southeast of Tirania City.
Army Commands under CENTAURICOM include two regular infantry brigades, the 81st Mechanized and the 41st Light (Arctic/Mountain), based in Lakota's Fort Cummings and the Peary Arctic Training Center respectively. Also, the recently redesignated Tirania National Guard (once the Tirania Colonial Guard) and its three reserve brigades: 1st Tiranian Jungle (Tirania City), 2nd Tiranian Mechanized (Chinook), and 3rd Tirania Mountain/Arctic (Mendonovo) also come under CENTAURICOM through the Tiranian Adjutant General.
Subordinate supply and support units, including communications, intelligence, logistics, medical and public affairs/recruiting batallions are scattered throughout Tirania and have recently been transferred to the command of the Adjutant General. Armored units present in Tirania are there as part of the regular Army training rotation, though the Adjutant General's Office is looking into the possibility of raising an armored brigade once Tirania achieves independence.
Unique anywhere in American military planning, the Adjutant General is also in command of navy and air forces based in Tirania. Being a recent innovation of the Defense Department, this is intended to allow for better in-theater coordination of the entire Tiranian defense effort. However, some have suggested that such a transfer of active Navy and Air Force units to the command of a National Guard general was mainly intended to prepare the Adjutant General for the day when he or she commands independent Tirania's defense force.
Thus under the command of the Adjutant General are the US Navy's seven-ship Destroyer Squadron 15 (DESRON 15) out of Chinook, six-ship DESRON 87 out of Emerald Bay (which will soon be moved to St. Claire), and seven-ship DESRON 108 out of Fox Island. Other naval forces include the nine-boat Attack Submarine Squadron 67 also based in Fox Island, and the Navy's Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadrons (HSL-) 35, 42, and 67 based at Naval Interface Station Chinook, though HSL-35 expects to be moved to St. Claire once the new Naval Station is completed. Naval forces based in Tirania mainly operate in a coastal patrol role, though the squadrons frequently train with other wet-navies on Tirane, notably the Australian Maritime Command squadrons based in New Canberra and the Royal Wellon Navy. Additionally, contacts with the French Marine Nationale and Freihafen's new navy are increasing.
As for the Air Force, two Composite Colonial Defense Wings, the 65th and the 98th, have their individual squadrons divided among Tirania's ten civilian airports and Naval Interface Station Chinook. These Composite wings have all manner of military aircraft within them, including hypersonic bombers, fighters, and transport and auxiliary craft, as well as weather and air superiority and surveillance( fighter and AWACS) units. With the unpredictable nature of Tiranean weather, including and especially the effect of the Grand Seasons, all aircraft used by the Colonial Defense Wings are rated for anything the atmosphere dishes out. Part of fighter training includes simulated dogfights in a hurricane ("first lesson, go above the clouds, then pray you don't have to ditch..."), night sorties, and stealth procedures. Support of ground troops and naval forces is also reinforced during training, with the unspoken threat of creating an "Army Air Corps" and building aviation carriers similar to those used in Provincia do Brasil and dividing Air Force assets between the two.
The Adjutant General himself, Air Force General Alan McKenna, has his offices in Camp Nikolai, a sizeable complex of several offices and military supply warehouses surrounded by a popular park in the center of Free Haven. General McKenna and his command and advisory staffs maintain offices within the large and grandiose Citadel building. A 250 square meter concrete drilling area lies in front of the Citadel, unique for its blue and white checkerboard pattern. Punishment duties given at the base include the frequent repainting of the individual concrete tiles. However, as an administrative base, Camp Nikolai has limited barracks facilities, and only for those in the support units undergoing their reserve training at the base. Still, as it is situated in the heart of downtown Free Haven, visitors should have no problem finding lodging in the area.
Active Space Force units are limited to the support and recruiting commands both in Tirania and aboard Australia's Citadel Station. The "Men In Black" have a reputation for being hard-working, hard-playing individuals with numerous opportunities to travel throughout Human Space, and many a Tiranian young adult apply to join them. Space Force Reserve units in Tirania, however, show a broad range of specialties, from administrative and support detachments, augmentation crews assigned to individual Space Force ships, to mine assembly and deployment detachments. Many of these reserve units recently returned to Tirania from the Kafer War in the ESA (French) Arm, and such was the support behind them and other American forces in the War, that many have received warm welcomes from their hometowns, even in well known secessionist communities such as Mendonovo.
Two battalions of Korea's 9th Infantry ("White Horse") Division are also based in Tirania, officially though only nominally part of CENTAURICOM. Using a converted Colonial Guard base near the town of Mendonovo, the White Horse Division rotates its battalions to train with American, Australian, and Tiranian units on an annual basis. The base itself is near Mendonovo's Bulnamu-dong neighborhood, and thus is close to one of Tirania's largest Korean communities. In addition to the infantry battalions, the White Horse Division also sends attack aviation, communications, intelligence, and operations elements to Mendonovo. It leaves the job of supply and logistics to their American and Tiranian hosts.
Currently there are plans for the integration of CENTAURICOM into Australia's Tirane Command in the event of a threat to all Tirane, or a threat to either New Canberra or Tirania individually. In fact, normally a theater command such as CENTAURICOM is a "three-star" billet in American defense planning. However, the decision to make the defense of American territory and interests in the Alpha Centauri system a "two-star" billet was intended to avoid "date of rank" conflicts between the Commander-In-Chief, Centauri Command (CINC-CENTAURICOM) and the Tirane Commandant as to who is subordinate to whom. With Australia's larger presence in and near Tirane both in terms of population and military strength, in the event of an emergency, the American commander becomes subordinate to his or her Australian counterpart. As a result all military forces stationed in Tirania, both American and Korean, train extensively with the Australians to improve interoperability, hone individual and unit skills, and build inter-Tiranean esprit de corps.
Part of Tirania's defense planning includes the Caribbean enclave of Saint Tyraine, under the terms of a mutual defense treaty. As a result Tirania National Guard forces train with their Caribbean counterparts on a rotating basis. Conversely, the company of reservists from Saint Tyraine trains with both Korean and Tiranian forces near Mendonovo. In addition to this semi-annual training, both the Tiranian National Guard and Caribbean Military station liason staffs in each other's colonial capitals.
For Tirania National Guardsmen a posting to Beauregarde may seem like paradise, but their Caribbean counterparts find living in Free Haven on meager salaries extremely difficult, despite the free housing and commissary/exchange privileges offered by the Tirania National Guard. Still, the Caribbean forces do take their role very seriously, and despite their lack of effective sealift from Saint Tyraine to Tirania ("a bunch of well-armed Rastas in sailboats" is how one former liason officer described their capabilities) they perform in a highly professional manner with the usual Caribbean flair.
As for the future of the Tiranian military establishment, there are plans in the works to create a separate Tiranian defense force, then subordinate it to CENTAURICOM. The Commander-in-Chief of CENTAURICOM (CINC-CENTAURI) will move his command and advisory staff to Ronald Reagan Station upon its completion, the Adjutant General will become Commandant of the Tirania Defense Force, and current units under the Adjutant General will form the Tirania Defense Force itself. However, those wishing to remain in the American Armed Forces, regardless of what passport they will carry after independence, will be offered new postings elsewhere in the Department of Defense, while Tiranians serving outside of the CENTAURICOM area of responsibility will be offered the chance to return home.
The three Army National Guard units assigned to Tirania have already been redesignated the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Brigades, and slowly the other units to be transferred to the Tiranian Defense Force are gaining their new names. New Tiranian ranks and insignia are in the works, though the paygrade structure is expected to match that of America's military. Unconfirmed rumors coming out of the Citadel, however, indicate that a "One Service" approach to ranks and operations of the forthcoming Tirania Defense Force, similar to that used in Australia, is being considered as the most economical and flexible means of organizing Tirania's unique defense needs and capabilities. Still, no major changes in anything but insignia are expected, at least in the first decade of independent operations.
In 2280, Tirania was granted by the American State Department the right to negotiate its own trade and mutual cooperation treaties with the other colonies and nations of Tirane. Beyond Alpha Centauri, however, the State Department and the AECA manage foreign affairs. Tirania currently has good relations with all of the colonies and nations of Tirane.
In particular, Freihafen (the earlier spelling "Freihaven" came as a result of a similar auto-translator bug that translated Frances Tiranean department "Provence Nouveau" rather than the correct "Nouvelle Provence) and Tirania have forged particularly favorable mutual relations, having peacefully settled the sovereignty of the islands immediately south of the peninsula. Known as the Queen Clara Islands, Tirania was able to keep those that were settled by Tiranians, and Freihafen got the remainder. This was decided after Tiranian companies and workers were allowed to assist in the Friehafenian bridge project that required these islands.
While Freihafen is closely allied with France through Nouvelle Provence, it is only recently finding its own footing in regards to Tiranean and international affairs. The Freihafenian government thus far has followed the French line on Tirania's future, yet is more outspoken in defense of Tirania's ability to go it alone, citing itself and Wellon as examples of successful Tiranean nations.
Trade relations are particularly close, as Freihafen provides many of the heavier industrial goods, such as vehicles and other machinery, used throughout Tirania. For its part, Tirania easily sells its electronic equipment and consumer goods to a willing Freihafenian market. Freihafen's Kanzler (Ger: Chancellor) and Governor Legaspi have both good working and personal relationships, highlighting the new affinity the Freihafenians and Tiranians have for each other.
Tiranian ties to New Canberra are also friendly and mutually profitable. During the Slump many thousands of Tiranians relocated to New Canberra seeking better economic opportunities than could be found in Tirania, and with New Canberra's solid economic growth these new immigrants were easily made welcome. Combined with business investment from New Canberra to Tirania's own growing economy and the strong bond which links the parent nations of these two colonies, NovoCanos and Tiranians often are found working together throughout Human Space in a wide variety of endeavors.
With many common goals, New Canberra and Tirania work in concert with America and Australia to further the diplomatic aims of the four in the Tirane Council, disagreements only occurring where America's relationship with Tirania are concerned. In this, Australia and New Canberra remain neutral yet keenly involved in the negotiations, going so far as to offer a neutral site in New Canberra and assist mediation should things collapse between America and its reluctant colony.
Tirania's most complex relationship is with Wellon. During the initial settlement of Tirania, the corporations then in charge of the project claimed the entire northern polar continent as part of the American colony. However, over the past four decades, the Wellonese have set up a mining town and port city on that continent north of Wellon proper. Tiranians have bitterly protested this, and to this day no direct connections exist between Knightsbridge, the port city, and any part of Tirania.
The average Tiranians' resentment towards the American government only increased when Reston accepted Wellons sovereignty over that particular part of the Boreal Continent. Still, begrudgingly Governor Legaspi has chosen to accept the facts regarding Knightsbridge and not pursue any further action, in order to avoid future conflicts with the former British colony upon independence. It is only a matter of time until Free Haven will formally recognize Wellon's claims to their portion of the Boreal Continent, and boundary negotiations can begin.
It is rumored that this acceptance and eventual recognition by Governor Legaspi and the Tiranian Legislature came as a result of secret Wellonic assistance in the independence negotiations. Her Majesty's Wellonic Government, for the most part, is neutral in its opinions regarding Tiranian independence. On the other hand, Wellon's Tirane Party, in its drive to unite the colonies and nations of Tirane into an independent world, has been the most vocal outside supporter of Tiranian independence. However, Wellon is increasingly concerned about Tirania's highly aggressive business and investment promotion, as many of those businesses, who recently set up shop in Tirania, would likely have gone to Wellon instead.
Still, cultural ties do continue between these two Anglophone nations, and while the average Tiranian may believe that Wellon's Arctic Territories were "stolen" from the American colony, interpersonal ties between Tiranians and Wellonese are friendly and frequent. During the Slump, many Tiranians relocated to Wellon as well as New Canberra and other American colonies, and have been well received. In fact, the only place any rivalry plays out between Tirania and Wellon is on the soccer field. While the Tiranian men's team offers the Wellonese what can be best described as a gratuitous practice match, the Tiranian women's squad frequently makes up for the shortcomings of their male counterparts, winning seven of the annual matches over the past decade.
Tiranian relations with Amaterasu, Tunghu, and the various estados of Provincia do Brasil are cordial. However, their parent nations see Tirania's independence drive as a threat to their hold over their own Tiranean colonies, and thus try to keep intercolonial contacts to a minimum. France sees Tiranian independence as a means to control the territory economically and politically, as much of Tirania's trade is with Nouvelle Provence and Freihaven. Indeed, while Tirania itself has excellent centers of higher education, many Tiranian students attend Nouvelle Provence's universities.
Officially France is neutral on Tiranian independence, though rumors persist about French military backing of anti-American forces if things turn violent. In fact, many idealistic Tiranistas from Nouvelle Provence have been seen in Tirania's larger cities, with a small community of anti-Imperial, republican Provencal emigres living in St. Claire. While the political activity of these exiles is not officially sanctioned or encouraged by the Tiranian government, the guarantees of the First Amendment allow them the right to freely state their opinions provided no civil or criminal laws are broken.
Relations with Tundukubwa however, have become much cooler. Tundukubwans are less receptive to independence from Azania, as it currently enjoys a great deal of autonomy from that nation. This, in turn, upsets the Tiranian pro-independence factions who believe the AECA will use the example of Tundukubwa's status as an alternative to independence. Conversely, the Tundukubwan government believes Tirania's government to be made up mostly of "wild-eyed idealists hoping to force their utopian myopia on an unwilling Tirane". Tiranian visitors to Tundukubwa are viewed with suspicion, even if no political activity takes place.
Tirania has a voting seat on the Tirane Council, one it takes very seriously. While it normally votes in concert with America, on more than one occasion the Tiranian representative has voted contrary to the wishes of its colonial parent, in particular over the seating of Germany following the War of German Reunification. Tirania voted with the majority against allowing Germany to take Bavaria's vacated seat; this 2293 vote of the Council effectively ensured Freihaven's independence. Additionally, though Caribe has a settlement on Saint Tyraine, Tirania has been asked to represent both Saint Tyraine's and Caribe's interests in the Council. This has raised much concern among the other nations on the Council, including and especially America and Britain, but the Caribbeans are happy with the situation, as they view Tirania's unique outlook on international affairs to be the closest to their own on Tirane.
Tirania, along with Australia, Britain, New Canberra, and Wellon, is a major supporter of the Council's Tirane Space Police and its sister service, the Tirane System Patrol. As a result, many Tiranians apply for the few spaces available in those organizations. The Tiranian Legislature has frequently appropriated funds for the purchase and donation of precision electronics, such as avionics and communications equipment, for use in their vessels and offices. While compatibility of this equipment in System Patrol spacecraft has been questioned from time-to-time, it often suits the needs of the officers better than systems already built into the 'craft. Thus many of the technicians contracted by the Tirane Council to support Tirane Space Police and System Patrol equipment have come from Tirania's electronics industries, to ensure the equipment meets their needs, as well as work with the spacecraft's existing systems. This isn't expected to prop up Tirania's economy, but it is hoped that the cachet of "an official supplier to the Space Police/System Patrol" will add more name recognition in the eyes of Tirane's consumers. At the same time, Tiranian industry is eagerly competing for equipment maintenance contracts for various private stations in Tiranean orbit.
Several off-Tirane nations have consulates or legations in Tirania, all at Free Haven. These include Canada, Indonesia, Korea, Texas, and Venezuela. As companies and individuals from these countries have been the most responsive to Tirania's business promotion, their governments decided that official representation was necessary in the territory to better serve their citizens. None have yet made any comment regarding the current Tiranian political situation, yet all have stated that regardless of the outcome they intend to remain in the territory serving their citizens.
Korea's consulate could well qualify as a sub-Embassy, given its size and proximity to the Legislative Buildings. While many of the other consulates are in office buildings owned or leased by corporations from these countries, the Korean Consulate-General in Free Haven consists of an imposing two-story complex surrounded by popular gardens. With the influence of Ssang-Woo in the central part of the country and the presence of Korean troops in Mendonovo, Korea fiercely defends its interests in Tirania. As a result, Korean diplomats and business executives take the independence negotiations seriously, and might be willing to act should relations between America and Tirania take a turn for the worst.
Interestingly, another nation with a consulate at Free Haven is Russia. Russia has no direct investment in the colony, nor are a large number of its citizens among the latest wave of immigrants. However, since the independence negotiations began, Russian diplomatic and trading presence has increased, and some in the American State Department have become concerned about Russia's role in an independent Tirania. This has also caused concern in the other colonies and nations of Tirane, particularly Manchuria due to Russian involvement in the Central Asian War, and so they are watching the Russians with keen interest. So far, though, none of the Russian activities in Tirania has caused any specific reason for suspicion or concern, and have actually helped in improving the Tiranian economy. The Russians have also contracted with the Ronald Reagan Society for training some of their best cadets in the Society's Tiranian academies, in exchange for considerable financial contributions to the Society's efforts. Historians find this particularly amusing.
Rumors have spread from Free Haven that America has plans to simply sell the territory to Canada. While both the AECA and the Canadian Department of Extrasolar Resources have denied them, the vociferousness of the denials have led a small number of Tiranians into believing the rumors. However, despite the faulty logic of right-wing Tiranian conspiracy theorists, Canada's interest in Tirania is limited solely to business investment. In fact, Canada has no interest or desire to absorb nearly 18 million new citizens, nor can it afford to extend the social services to, or impose and enforce stricter weapons regulation on the independent-minded Tiranians.
Tirania's economy is diversified and self-sufficient in most of the basic needs of its inhabitants, and what it cannot produce itself, it trades for with the other nations and colonies of Tirane. There is no one particular item, or group of items, that sets Tirania apart, as it sells nearly equal amounts of cutting-edge electronic items, agricultural goods, and a wide variety of services to its customers. Additionally, the large number of American military personnel stationed and rotated through the colony contributes a great deal to the economy. This has created a unique industry dedicated to serving the needs of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, spacehands, and their families near the major bases of Tirania.
The manufacturing sector is represented by several small and medium-sized electronics firms, which produce many of the consumer electronics used by Tiraneans. The quality of these items is very high, and they compete well with the lower-end items produced in Amaterasu, and clearly outperform similar products made in New Canberra. TiranElex cameras, phones, and computer equipment have found a niche as staple items in the average Tiranean home. In addition, TiranElex also supplies computer chips and other specialized components to such manufacturers as Interstellar Computer Enterprises' New Canberra operations.
Information technology related products and services also play a large role in Tirania's economy, as there are literally scores of small and mid-sized firms churning out easy to use software compatible with all ISO 13000 standard networks and operating systems. Indeed, San Francisco's Computer Services Corporation (CSC), one of America's largest companies specializing in IT services, recently opened its largest Tiranean data center in Tirania City, taking advantage of the recent tax incentives for relocation.
However, it is the heavy industrial products that Tirania has had to trade for. While many of these are shipped from America at great cost to the consumer, Freihafen and Amaterasu have both established consumer niches in the areas of personal transport and construction equipment, challenging the market share currently dominated by the larger American companies. While the American manufacturers complain about the loss of what it believes to be a captive market, the AECA has allowed Tiranian consumers to make their own decisions about whose products to buy, so long as any off-Tirane goods are primarily American in origin. The AECA has encouraged the American manufacturers to build factories in Tirania, to no avail. According to the American Interstellar Manufacturer's Association, the Tiranian market is "too small to justify local manufacture of our products, yet too large to abandon to foreign competition".
Another sector where Tirania is hoping to excel in is shipbuilding. The Ronald Reagan Society, with backing from Trilon, is currently building an orbital terminal and shipyard in orbit around Tirane. The Tiranian Government, while not in a position to offer a subsidy, feels that the Ronald Reagan Shipyards will be a needed economic shot in the arm, and has already made plans to lease space in the new orbital terminal for immigration processing. This is despite the Society's decision that the station will come under American sovereignty. The Australians have no problem with the Americans leaving, as Pointer Station is already over capacity. The end of the American presence at the Australian terminal would make both parties happy, so New Canberra has lent its support as well to the Ronald Reagan Society's project. Ronald Reagan Station should be completed by the middle of 2304, barring any unforeseen delays.
While the Ronald Reagan Station is under construction, the Society and its subcontractors are training technicians, managers, and construction personnel in preparation for the day they move "up the well"/"out there" to the new station. As a result, Tirania's vocational and community colleges are filled to capacity, with corresponding increases in fees. Many of these institutions, as well as the Ronald Reagan Society itself, have begun offering on-line and remote learning courses to meet demand. Additionally, the Legislature has allocated funds for the construction of more community colleges and another university, though as yet the sites are undetermined. This has brought several cities into competition with each other as to which of them will host what facility, the new university being the largest prize.
In agriculture, Tirania has achieved complete self-sufficiency, and established an export market for its specialty items. Two major export items that have earned Tiranian agriculture many awards are Liberty Point Bananas and New Anchorage Salmon. Grown in the southern regions of the peninsula, Liberty Point Bananas are known for their flavor, affordability, and slow ripening rates, which make them more easily shipped to markets elsewhere on Tirane. Developed with the assistance of banana growers in Saint Tyraine, these bananas have become the preferred brand among Tiranean consumers, though a minor trade conflict has arisen with Wellon in regards to banana exports to that country.
Adding to Tirania's agricultural contributions, New Anchorage Salmon is prized throughout the Core for its flavor and ease of preparation. Developed by the Alyeska Cooperative in New Anchorage, New Anchorage Salmon has been developed using natural means of selection, without the use of genetic modification or standard fish-farming techniques. Unique among salmon types, New Anchorage Salmon are allowed to live lives closer to that intended by nature, rather than in large farms near seacoasts, as is the practice on Earth. The Cooperative regularly enhances the available fish stocks, and research continues into developing the species further, enhancing size and growth rates for more frequent harvests from the Gulf of Tirania.
Food processing, particularly starship and military rations, have also become popular Tiranian exports. Korea's Ssang-Woo chaebol (Kor: corporation, conglomerate), with its Tiranean headquarters in Free Haven, produces a wide selection of Korean cuisine for both American and Korean space forces as well as commercial interstellar liners. Indeed, one of the aspects of shipboard life most remembered by veterans of the American Space Force is Dong-Wa kimchee (or its smell), one of the few naturally (as opposed to freeze-dried or irradiated) portable vegetable dishes for starship crews. Ssang-Woo's primary food processing center, known still as Dong-Wa Farms, has for the last four decades been located in the Bulnamu-dong section of Mendonovo.
However, unlike other food processing companies in Tirania, Dong-Wa buys its produce on the open market from local organic farmers. While this makes Dong-Wa products slightly more expensive, Tiranian consumers find the crisper, fresher flavors worth the added costs. Ssang-Woo also operates the old Julian Mine, also in Callenbach County, as a training facility for mining crews rotating to the Korean Lachesis mining station. While the Korean government administers the Lachesis facility, Ssang-Woo operates the mine and pays the Korean government a royalty on profits derived from it.
The Tiranian economy also depends to a lesser degree on tourism. The mountains, coastlines, and cities of Tirania have a beauty unsurpassed by any other place in the Core, and the locals endeavor to keep them in a pristine condition. Also, the restored Native American cultures draw many visitors, which is encouraged by the Native American groups displaying them.
However, those expecting Disney-style theme parks are often surprised by the lack of commercialization of the predominantly Native American cities of Chinook and Lakota. These, despite the architecture, clothing styles, and predominant language, are working cities. Commercial cultural performances do take place, but interactive activities at museums and recreations of pre-Columbian settlements are the norm. For periods of time, ranging from forty-eight hours to two weeks, a visitor at these recreated settlements becomes a part of the daily life of the inhabitant/curators, immersed in the culture of the specific tribe throughout the visit.
Of late, the Tiranian government has encouraged businesses that wish a presence on Tirane to locate their headquarters in Tirania. For the most part, they have been successful. As mentioned above, America's Computer Services Corporation, Korea's Ssang-Woo Chaebol Mining Company, and several Indonesian mining firms have placed their Tiranean headquarters in Free Haven.
Also, Canada's Northwest Interstellar (NWI) has recently opened its Tiranean headquarters at Chinook. While this is merely an administrative center, they are looking into the possibility of oil drilling from the Gulf of Tirania. Many in Chinook are protesting against any drilling in the Gulf, and the Alyeska Cooperative has threatened legal action to stop what it sees as the possible destruction of the salmon stock. The Tiranian Environmental Integrity Enforcement Office currently is reviewing NWI's drilling plan to see if it meets Tirania's rigid environmental standards. The Venezuelan Compania de Petroleos also has an office near NWI's in Chinook, and is watching the ongoing drilling controversy with interest.
As for the Indonesian mining companies opening offices in Free Haven, this has caused considerable alarm in New Canberra, as Duffer's Strip has a sizeable Indonesian-descended population that would welcome the employment opportunities offered by these firms. Oddly enough, there is currently little actual mining taking place in Tirania, so the relocation of the Indonesian firms to Free Haven illustrates the ability of Tirania's Department of Trade and Business Development to bring businesses and jobs to Tirania.
Transportation into and throughout Tirania takes on many forms. Interface travel is often through Australian, Freihavenian, or French transports out of Australia's Pointer Station, though a new upstart company from Free Haven, TiraneLink, has become a popular carrier of choice out of Carol Wareham Spaceport. There are a greater variety of air carriers into the main air hubs of Chinook, New Anchorage, and Tirania City. These carriers include Aerotrans Brasil, New Canberra's independently owned Aerovia, Air France, Freihafen's Freihansa, New Canberra Air Transport Services (New-CATS, with its popular "flying gatto" livery), and Wellon Airways and KLM from Wellon. These compete fiercely with Tirania's own TiraniAir for international and intercolonial passengers, though TiraniAir has a near monopoly on domestic routes. While the three large airports at Chinook, New Anchorage, and Tirania City handle over half the total passenger traffic in Tirania, other airports include Alyeska, Emerald Bay, Fox Island, Free Haven's commuter terminal located at the spaceport, Lakota, New Racine, and St. Claire. In fact, TiraniAir has been gaining international customers due to its no-frills, low-fare service.
Luxury airships also operate in Tirania, often as stopovers from Freihafen and Nouvelle Provence to Saint Tyraine and Wellon and vice versa. TiraniAir does have its own service, known as the Crystal Ships, linking Tirania City to Chinook, Emerald Bay, Fox Island, and St. Claire, but limited demand keeps the number of flights down. Despite that, the Crystal Ships have earned a reputation matching that of similar luxury services throughout Human Space.
While TiraniAir has a large percentage of air traffic, most cities and towns in Tirania are connected by standard rail and maglev lines, which often take less time between cities closer than 200km than flying would. The newer maglev lines radiate from Free Haven north to Chinook, south and southeast through Tirania City to Emerald Bay, and southwest to St. Claire. These were built over existing airfilm track beds during the Slump of the past decade to provide jobs and improve infrastructure, maglev having been chosen over airfilm due to the protests of environmentally-minded Tiranians opposed to the noise of the airfilm locomotives. Airfilm lines extend north from Chinook through New Racine to New Anchorage, and east from Emerald Bay and St. Claire on the southern shore of Leftook Peninsula to Liberty Point, on the mainland opposite Fox Island. Conventional railroads link Chinook to Mendonovo and Free Haven to Lakota, both airfilm and maglev being too expensive to build and maintain in the mountains surrounding both cities.
High-speed boats and passenger ships link Saint Tyraine's capital of Beauregarde to Emerald Bay, Free Haven, and Tirania City. Other passenger and automobile shipping services connect St. Claire to Nouvelle Provence and Freihaven to the south, using hydrofoils and high-speed ships. There are proposals to build a bridge spanning the Rocard Straits between Tirania and Nouvelle Provence. However, neither side has yet given the official word, or even shown willingness to do so, as a result of the incredible engineering requirements and costs involved. Cruise service is popular among tourists, particularly to Saint Tyraine, as many Caribbean ferry services stop at the other Caribbean-inhabited islands nearby.
In use throughout Tirania is the American Dollar.Currently trading at a rate of 1.25USD per Livre, the dollar is divided into 100 cents. Notes and coins in use are as follows:
Denomination Obverse Reverse Metal
Denomination Obverse Reverse Color
Also frequently used in Tirania is the Australian Dollar, a result of New Canberra's importance to Tirania's economy and the strong ties between Australia and America. Less frequently seen but still accepted is the Korean Won due to the large Korean presence in Tirania, particularly Mendonovo and Callenbach County. These two currencies are accepted at 100AUD and 1000KRW to 1USD respectively. In fact, the American Dollar also circulates to a limited degree in New Canberra, and the 1USD coin and the 100AUD coin are referred to as "pesos" in both colonies. However, people entering Tirania from Saint Tyraine are advised to exchange their Caribbean Dollars upon arrival at the ferry terminals in Emerald Bay and Free Haven. While collectors enjoy the unique designs and loud colors of Carribean currency, merchants prefer American or Australian dollars.
Unlike most Americans, Tiranians prefer to do their financial transactions in cash, using electronic funds transfers only for such things as rent or mortgage payments, loan installments, and tax payments. Additionally, as a tax-free haven, Tiranian residents pay income taxes only to the Tiranian government, while non-residents such as military personnel and rotating Federal employees must still submit tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service and to their official state of residency. The Tiranian Revenue Office, in concert with the Legislature, ensures that the maximum rate of taxation in Tirania is always ten percent less than the tax burden laid upon other American taxpayers as another incentive to relocate to Tirania.
Despite Tirania's eventually becoming independent, there are not yet any plans to replace the American Dollar as the primary unit of currency. However, several people in the arts and numismatic communities have designed a series of coins and banknotes that have become rather popular souvenir items. Known as "tiras" (sing: tira), the notes showcase popular pan-Tiranean themes, while the obverse of each of the coins highlight individual colonies. While they have no actual value, keeping a tira in one's pocket has become an identifying feature of Tiraneans with secessionist leanings planet-wide, with the tira coin usually that proposed for the individual colony or nation.
Tirania's population as of the 2300 American census stands at nearly eighteen million, plus up to ten thousand temporary residents and nearly eight thousand tourists. This represents a five percent decline in population since the 2290 census, yet on a year-by-year basis the decline has stopped, and preliminary figures show that more people have moved into the territory since the 2300 census than moved out. Additionally, the rate of natural increase has improved, as those who had put off starting families out of uncertainty during the economic slump have found new confidence in the Tiranian economy. An offshoot of this is the increased demand for the pre- and post-natal services offered throughout Tirania to pregnant women and their families.
While government policy is opposed to categorizing the citizenry by ethnicity, it is well known that Tirania has one of the most ethnically diverse populations anywhere in the Core. The colony has attracted immigrants from all over America, as well as from Austrovenia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Indochina, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Nigeria, Palestine, the Philippines, Poland, Taiwan, Tanzania, and a host of other nations. However, the largest ethnic bloc is made up of the various Native American peoples, with nearly a third of the overall population. Persons of predominantly European (including Hispanic) descent, whether from America or not, make up another thirty-two percent, followed by Asian-descended peoples and African-descended peoples at thirteen and nine percent respectively. The remaining twelve- percent either refused to answer the ethnicity question in the 2300 American census, or marked themselves as "mixed-race".
The majority of Tirania's citizens live in the subtropical and tropical regions, near the cities of Free Haven and Tirania City. The percentage of urban and suburban dwellers throughout the colony is nearly double that of rural citizens, despite the almost mythical rural ideal promoted by the Tiranian government. Wareham County, where Free Haven is located, is Tirania's most populous county with nearly four million residents. Liberty County, immediately to the south with Tirania City as its seat, is next largest in terms of population with three and a half million. The 150km long, 60km wide suburban sprawl along the eastern seaboard between these two cities is among the largest in all of Tirane, and has some of the most coveted real estate in Tirania. Most of the newer Addams-DiFranco immigrants have moved to this area, which gives the Free Haven-Tirania City metro area a diverse and cosmopolitan population.
Tirania's cities are as varied as its population. From Fox Island at Tirania's easternmost point to New Anchorage in Boreal County, each city has its own unique character. As the majority of Tirania's citizens live in urban areas, the major cities of Free Haven, Tirania City, Chinook, and New Anchorage deserve special mention.
Free Haven and Wareham County
Free Haven is clearly the hub of Tirania. Located in the Liberty Point region north of the Lefthook Peninsula, facing the eastern coast, Free Haven contains the colony's capital, primary business center and spaceport, and the largest population of any urban area in the colony. Free Haven boasts all the comforts of the Core, including Tirane's best-developed data and communications network. The Carol Wareham Spaceport handles nearly seventy percent of all commercial interface traffic to Tirania, and half of the overall traffic. In addition to Free Haven's being the capital of Tirania as a whole, it is also the county seat of Wareham County, and hosts the majority of Tirania's Federal offices as well.
Free Haven's transportation network has earned it praise throughout the Core for its ease of use and accessibility to nearly all of the city's districts, and has become a major selling point for the city in its drive to attract new business. Operating on a nearly continuous basis, and supported by sales and use taxes eliminating the need for paying fares, the FreeNet system has become one of the most popular aspects of living in Free Haven. As a result, most residents of the city pay the necessary taxes happily, and personal vehicle ownership is low within Wareham County.
Downtown Free Haven has the colony's largest concentration of business headquarters, retail centers, and the city's entertainment venues. Free Haven, with its lower cost of living in comparison to other major Tiranean cities, as well as its pro-business attitude, has attracted several film and holovision production companies. American and Tiranian media companies such as TiraNet, Pacifica Productions, and Infinity Interactive have their major studios in Free Haven, and use the city as a backdrop for many of the interactive and standard video and holo programs enjoyed by viewers all over Tirane. Within the downtown area itself are the headquarters for such companies as Tirania Marine, TiraneBanc, Free Haven Assurance, and many other local firms. Additonally, foreign companies such as Canada's MacKenzie-duPlessis Ltd., Korea's Ssang-woo, and several Indonesian companies have their Tirane headquarters in Free Haven.
The city's urban and suburban districts display its ethnic diversity. While most residents live in mixed neighborhoods, there are distinct Czech, Indonesian, Korean, and Polish neighborhoods within municipal limits. These areas are very popular with locals and visitors, with their variety of restaurants, cultural centers, and lively residents.
Tirania's most expensive real estate is within the downtown core. While there are no arcologies or other such multi-use buildings in Free Haven, many of Tirania's largest companies have their headquarters here. Due to restrictions on the height of buildings (none can be more than 750m high) coupled with stringent zoning laws intended to protect the historical integrity of Free Haven's first-settled area space is scarce in downtown Free Haven.
Camp Nikolai, headquarters of the Tirania National Guard, occupies the exact site of the original settlement of Free Haven. The Guard's headquarters building, known as the Citadel, was in fact for decades the center of Tirania's colonial administration, originally under the Consortium and subsequently under the AECA. The architecture of the Citadel itself was taken from the military school of the same name in South Carolina, and was selected by the first Administrator appointed by the Consortium, an alumnus of the school.
To the north of Camp Nikolai is the Tiranian Legislative buildings, all built to the popular Neo-Deco style of the early 2240's. Having undergone an eighteen-month restoration effort, along with the Citadel the Legislative buildings are among the most recognized landmarks in Tirania.
Tirania City and Liberty County
Tirania City, or "T-Town" to the locals, is home to Tirania's largest seaport, and the center of the colony's light and medium industries. Where its nearest neighbor, Free Haven is cultured and refined, Tirania City clearly shows its working class origins. However, this dependence on trade also lends Tirania City a cosmopolitan air all its own, as several companies from throughout Tirane have set up warehouses and branch offices near the seaport. Often, these companies send managers and their families from their home offices, so many Freihavenians, French from Nouvelle Provence, New Canberrans, and Wellonese have made their homes in the city.
Due to its working class nature Tirania City has a sizeable unionized workforce, greater than any other city or county in Tirania. During the Slump many companies in the city only survived by concessions granted by the various unions. However, with the recent economic upturn many of these unionized employees have brought their employers back to the bargaining table for their share of the new prosperity. While there has been little conflict so far, many companies that had recently moved to Tirania have begun to take a harder line towards their organized employees. The unions, in turn, have allies in the Legislature, the County Council, and nearly a century of Union-friendly labor laws passed during Carol Wareham's administration in response to the Consortium's neglect of their employees.
The Godown District, north of the city's downtown, has become a popular venue for a wide variety of drinking establishments. With a wide assortment of Wellonese and New Canberran pubs, Nouvelle Provence and Provincia do Brasilian cafes, and Amaterasu-style yakitori-ya, visitors to Tirania City can get a taste of the entire planet just by wandering the many small alleys of the Godown District. This district is well patrolled, as there have been occasional incidents of petty crime in the area, usually as people return home from a night of drinking. Most establishments are open throughout the day, so a drink and a meal is available to residents whenever they feel the need.
Liberty County's transportation net is connected to the FreeNet, so a visit to Tirania City from Free Haven can be made with a minimum of effort. As the same non-existent fare structure applies to Liberty County as much as Free Haven and Wareham County, the trains and busses are popular with all residents, yet the urban planners of both counties endeavor to keep the infrastructure up to the demands of the ridership. Consequently, trains and busses run nearly continuously, shutting down only between the hours of three and five in the morning for maintenance.
As both of those cities lie in the tropical zone of Tirania, the weather is generally calm. Though Free Haven has no natural harbor, Tirania City has one of the best in Tirane. Due to the strange tides caused by Tirane's two moons, Tirania City has built the largest flood-control system including seawall in Tirane. However, this system has yet to face a real test during the Grandsummer's frequent hurricanes that force themselves across the peninsula, and there has been some controversy over upgrading it.
Chinook and Snohomish County
Chinook and Snohomish County are on the southern edge of the Gulf of Tirania, in the peninsula's temperate region. Host to Naval Interface Station Chinook, the largest American military facility on Tirane, Chinook is clearly a military town. Near the fishing terminal is the Naval Station, where the American Navy's small Destroyer Squadron 15 (DESRON 15) is homeported, with its famous museum chronicling DESRON 15's history back to the time it was forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, between the Second and Third World (Twilight) Wars. However, Chinook's economy has a large degree of diversity, as the fishing fleet and tourism industry also play large roles in employing Chinook's residents.
Having the largest percentage of Native Americans than any other city in Tirania, and all America as well, Chinook takes great pains to preserve Native American culture while still providing the wide range of services found in any major core city. The architecture of Chinook has incorporated many Native American elements, Native languages are frequently heard in the streets, and the city has won awards for its ability to blend with the local environment.
Chinook also prides itself as being a bastion of American "traditional values". While this has earned the city a measure of respect as a result of lower divorce rates, large percentages of extended family dwellings, and an overall lower crime rate some have grown concerned about the incidences of intolerance and reactionary conservatism. This intolerance has of late led to conflicts in the Casino Road area next to the Interface Station, as self-appointed defenders of morality have verbally and physically attacked visiting military personnel and employees of the various bars, adult establishments, and casinos. The Chinook Police Department and Snohomish County Sheriff's Deputies often are forced to intercede, especially in altercations involving military personnel. The spacehands or marines defending themselves have caused serious harm to their attackers, so the city leadership and military commanders work together to avoid any further injuries.
Snohomish County, of which Chinook is the seat, also has a number of wildlife preserves. Hiking trails have been cut into the nearby forests, which visitors and locals alike use and enjoy. These preserves are often maintained by specific Native American tribal groups, and also include small museums displaying both the preservation efforts and the history of the maintaining tribe. The largest and most popular, the Snohomish Center and Preserve, also includes a recreated Snohomish tribal village, complete with a longhouse and an interactive exhibit within. As the Snohomish Center is along the coastline, demonstrations of ancient fishing methods are offered to visitors, and any fish caught by participants can be prepared for the catcher using Native methods.
Chinook is also the home of the Chinook Brewery, makers of Tirania's most popular beer, Three Star Lager. Three Star and other Chinook Brewery beers such as Emerald Bay Amber Ale, Mendonovo-Loco India Pale Ale, and Alyeska "Serious" Stout (often referred to as "Boreal Black") have consistently won awards for taste, quality, and adherence to traditional brewing methods. Additionally, the Chinook Brewery through its flagship Three Star brand has gained a large portion of the Tiranean market, competing favorably against Freihafen's Stern, Amaterasu's Takayama, and Wellon's Cape Dread breweries.
New Anchorage and Boreal County
New Anchorage lies on the northern shore of the Gulf of Tirania, in the arctic region north of the peninsula. Home to the Aleyeska Fishing Cooperative, the city's primary industries involve fishing and fish processing, mainly based upon the locally developed New Anchorage Salmon species. The nearby Peary Arctic Training Center brings in a number of visiting service personnel, and provides another element to Boreal County's economy.
The arctic environment of Boreal County inspires artists and writers from all over the core, and they form a sizeable community within New Anchorage. Additionally, adventure tourism has gained a small foothold in the city, as tourists come to experience the arctic wilderness. To accommodate these visitors, and to encourage outside investment, subterranean walkways and light rail networks provide climate-controlled links between buildings and neighborhoods. The main airfilm line from the peninsula is underground for the last thirty kilometers as it approaches the city, so it is possible for a visitor to never expose himself to the elements above the tunnels throughout their stay.
One of the most popular places for both residents and visitors is the Great Boreal Mall. Combining an indoor tropical theme park and artificial rain forest with an aquarium, numerous VRcades, and an extensive entertainment complex with some of Tirania's best retail outlets, the Great Boreal Mall has become one of New Anchorage's best-known attractions. Several of the city's most prestigious hotels are attached to the mall through tunnels and above ground covered bridges, and the central hub of the light-rail network is directly below the complex. The Boreal Buzz coffee shop, adjacent to the Mall in the Northern Lights Hotel has become a popular watering hole for many of the city's independent troubleshooters.
Forty kilometers outside of town, and not connected to New Anchorage's network of tunnels and light-rail lines, is the Tiranian Correctional Center. Tirane's most feared penitentiary, the TCC's cellblocks are known for their lack of central heating. During a grandwinter it is not unusual for the odd convict to die of hypothermia, as anything that can help keep an inmate warm is often stolen from new arrivals by more-experienced residents. The control rooms and administrative offices are kept warm, however, and "guests" of the facility work hard to earn the privilege of working in these spaces.
The facility's correctional officers, while not necessarily cruel, do keep the inmates on a grueling work schedule with the belief that "if you work them hard, they'll be too tired to cause any trouble when the sun goes down". Lawsuits have been filed in colonial and federal courts to improve conditions, but the recent independence negotiations have put these efforts on hold. The position of the Legislature on the matter is simple: "if you can't take the time, don't do the crime". The TCC, however, still conforms to American federal regulations regarding prison operations. Some of the more leftist human rights organizations would like to see more comforts added to the TCC and Tirania's other detention facilities, such as job training, addiction treatment, and other amenities included to facilitate rehabilitation. While some of these things are offered in the smaller county facilities for first-time non-violent offenders, the Correctional Center was intended to punish the worst of Tirania's criminals, and was built with that in mind.
Alyeska, at the far northwestern corner of Tirania, has over the pas few decades become Tirania's most isolated town. Currently its primary industry is mining exploration and wind power generation, as well as being the seat of Denali County. Connected to the rest of Tirania only by air and sea links, Alyeska appeals to many seeking isolation, thus giving it a diverse, eccentric group of miners, electricians, technicians, and meteorologists.
Emerald Bay lies 150km east of Tirania City, and is the major processing and distribution center for the agricultural products of Lefthook County and Liberty Point. While not large enough for large ocean shipping, the bay the city takes its name from is capable of considerable passenger traffic, and is a popular departure point for Saint Tyraine. As a result, many Caribbeans have moved here from their settlement to escape the upcoming Grandsummer, as air conditioning and water supplies are far more stable at Emerald Bay than Saint Tyraine.
Fox Island is east of the tip of the peninsula, opposite Liberty Point, near Freihafen's Queen Clara islands. Currently home to the bulk of the American Navy's Tiranean fleets, Fox Island is also a popular tropical resort and retirement community. Many of the Tiranians working on the Freihafen bridging project live in Fox Island, which contributes to the local economy.
Lakota, in the Sierra Cascadias, is the home of Sequoya University, the largest Native American institution of higher learning. Here students from all ethnic communities study Native languages and culture, ecology, and computer sciences. Additionally, Lakota is the center of the mountain tourism industry, and as it sits on the shore of the Washington Sea, a popular resort city as well.
Mendonovo, seat of Callenbach County, is home to Tirania's largest Korean community. In fact, the city's largest employer is Ssang-Woo, operating food-processing plants and the old Julian Mine as a training facility for the Lachesis miners. The Korean 9th Infantry (White Horse) Division also rotates its battalions through here to train with American and Tiranian units elsewhere in the colony. Of late, conflict over a recent referendum allowing for a popularly elected County Executive has escalated, with the AECA-appointed CAO barricading himself and his supporters inside the County Center. Federal Marshals and local police forces face off around the building's perimeter, though neither side wishes the situation to escalate further. However, in what may be "the Shot Heard 'Round Tirane", Governor Legaspi has made clear that he would send elements of the Tiranian National Guard to correct the situation and defend the elected government, should it not be resolved peacefully.
New Racine, seat of Ourigan ("Oo-ree-gahn") County, is a small but vibrant light-manufacturing center 300km north of Chinook along Tirania's eastern seaboard. While for decades conflicts between plant owners and local labor unions kept New Racine from enjoying much of the new prosperity, recently the unions decided they had enough of rancorous negotiations and frequent strikes. Over the past decade the rank-and-file have elected to take their sizeable pension funds and buy the businesses outright, preserving their jobs and removing those whom they felt unfairly profited from their labor.
With the elimination of high salaries and bonuses paid to CEO's and absentee shareholders, the new employee-owned businesses have actually shown higher profits than many traditional companies in Tirania, a point not lost on business owners and unions throughout the territory. Still, while the profits are now being shared more equitably in these employee-owned firms, salaries and bonuses are now at the whim of the marketplace, thus many of the concessions the workers refused to their former employers are now being considered in the event of a resumed Slump.
St. Claire is the seat of Acadia County, which takes up the southwesternmost coastline of the peninsula. Influenced by Cajun emigrants from southern Louisiana and east Texas, the central part of this small city in many ways resembles New Orleans' Vieux Carre, otherwise known as the French Quarter. Its proximity to Nouvelle Provence helps enforce the town's "Frenchness", and as a result has gained a measure of investment from Neo-Provencal companies, including development of the ferry terminal and seaport.
One of the newest civic development projects is the Alana Boucher Public Administration Center, named for the town's most famous daughter. Once completed, this will permit the city and county governments to leave commercially leased property, opening it up for entrepreneurs. Additionally, the Navy is building a small Naval Station to support Tirania's DESRON 87 and its associated Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron in order to better defend the colony's western coast.
Monusupia (Monusupia var.) "mah-noo-SOO-pee-ah"
A cold-blooded creature similar to Terrestrial snakes, the monusupia is found in the Liberty Point region and the tropical islands surrounding it. A monusupia will have two 30cm "fingers" at the end of its body, which have a grip strength that belie their dexterity. These are used in catching prey. Using the fingers and its jaw, a monusupia moves by swinging itself from branch to branch in the jungles of southern Tirania. "Monu's" have an odd mythology attached to them, especially in terms of fingers clamping one's leg while it strikes the jugular. However, this mythology is often meant to tease newcomers and tourists, as monusupias often flee when larger creatures are about.
Pouncer. Number appearing: 1 Initiative: 4 Melee Hit Chance: Easy or Routine Size: 5-10 kg Speed: 115 Armor: 0 DPV: -5
Dranta-Kwo (Dranta var.) "drahn-tah-KWO"
Similar to the jumbuck of New Canberra, dranta-kwos live in large herds in the rocky Sierra Cascadias, where they are able to protect their eggs in large nests. Four-legged monotremes, or egg-laying mammals, like their New Canberran counterparts, they are highly prized by Native American groups who use them for their eggs, milk, meat, and thick, furry hides. Efforts to domesticate them, however, have proven difficult, as the shock of captivity prevents wild dranta-kwo's from laying eggs or producing milk. What domestic breeds exist have come from years of stealing eggs from existing nests and hand-raising young. Currently, though, there are sufficient dranta-kwos to begin a viable commercial industry. Examples up to 1.6m tall have been found, but the domestic breeds seldom get larger than 1.4m tall.
Grazer. Number appearing: 1d6x1d10 Initiative: 2 Hit: Difficult Size: 7 Speed: 65 Armor: +2
Limbes Cruitay (Cruitay monumange[Alpha Centauri I]) "KROI-tay"
Cruitays also live in the jungles of the Liberty Point region and nearby islands, and fill an odd niche between plant and animal. Immobile and often hidden in benign fungi and mosses of the region's rainforests, as a result of hiding cruitays require additional nutritional supplement. So, like a large venus flytrap, it captures and consumes the creatures that inhabit the jungles treetrunks and branches, often monusupias. Seldom do limbes cruitays exist on ground level.
Intermittent. Number appearing: 1 Initiative: 3 Hit: Routine Size: 1 Speed: N/A Armor: 0
Governor Jason Legaspi
Governor Legaspi was born in 2253 in Free Haven. A third-generation Tiranian, before entering politics Legaspi studied American history at Free Haven College (later University), focusing on America's earlier colonial efforts in Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Finding parallels between the benign neglect of the Philippines during the American colonial and Commonwealth periods and Tirania's current situation, Legaspi began his political career with a long-term view to a peaceful transfer of sovereignty.
Enlisting the help of labor unions angry at distant corporate employers, farmers frustrated at limited markets for their goods, and Tiranians in general fed up with Reston's seeming disinterest in their needs, Legaspi was able to gain the Speakership of the Tiranian Legislature in 2293. In fact, it was he who was able to form a coalition supporting Alana Boucher in 2297, allowing her to become Governor. With Boucher's assassination in 2301, Legaspi found himself moving into the Governor's Apartments in the Legislative Buildings, where he remains today.
Governor Legaspi is a soft-spoken man, though very passionate about Tirania and its future. His fervent desire is for his government and Reston to come to agreement on a transfer of power, though he is not willing to give "99-year commercial concessions" or "special trading status" to America to achieve that. With handsome Malay features and dark hair starting to gray, Legaspi looks more the professor he was than the hardball politician he has become. This often works to his advantage, particularly to the neophyte negotiators the ACEA has sent to him. Jason Legaspi is married, with both a son and daughter in the American armed forces. His daughter, Gloria, recently returned from service in the Kafer War to take command of the 1st Tiranian Infantry Brigade.
Motivations: Spade Ace, Heart Jack. While not a military leader in the classical sense, Legaspi's skill in political tactics and strategy makes him a formidable opponent in any campaign. To his supporters and allies he offers good ideas and advice, and through his leadership Tirania was able to prosper.
Meeting Legaspi: The Governor has an official "open-door" policy, whereby during certain times of the week he is open to anyone wishing to meet with him on any subject. However, he is also keenly interested in conditions on the street, and has been known to hire field agents and troubleshooters to "have a look around, and let me know what you find out".