Once a technology hub, but now a barren system, a visit to the Orbital sector is a must for any student of history. The planet itself is irradiated and populated only by hard-core prospectors, miners, and a small collection of hermits who want to be left alone in their corner of the galaxy, self-entombed in heavily lead-shielded bunkers.

The main planet was once a thriving luxury world but is now nothing more than a tombstone for Slate Glib, whose frozen corpse still silently orbits the planet in his doomed escape craft and can be seen by any curious tourist for a small fee.

Slate Glib's repositioning of Orbital sector's planetoids also stands as a monument to excess and makes for a nice photo. Yes, there may be a million and one photos of Orbital out there, but it's always nice to have one of your own.



None, owned by the Glib Family Trust



2118 - Discovery

Renowned Ajaxian pioneer, Berkley Xiun first discovered the sector in 2118 and named it L-33-T. He was immediately struck by the number of large and similarly sized planetoids (some 200 or so) orbiting around the sun in a complex, compatible and completely unique manner, as if placed there deliberately, eons ago, by some long extinct race. Noting that the largest planet contained abundant minerals and was conducive to terraforming, he decided to relocate his operating-system development business to the new world.

News of the discovery soon reached home and a competitor known as Slate Glib decided to relocate his company (Macrostuffed Corporation) headquarters also. As part of the 2000 page contract that it prepared for Mr. Xiun to sign, which he could not be bothered reading, on page 1576 under the emboldened heading, "You have full rights to ownership and naming privileges" was the immortal word, "not". Three days later, the planet had been renamed "Orbital" and Macrostuffed Corporation moved fast to take over the bulk of the planet's territory. Xiun did however manage to retain control over a minority of the systems' orbiting planetoids, those that contained the greatest mineral richness. Over the next 80 years, the Orbital sector became a computational development hub with several corporations setting up shop amongst the planetoids. There was no really good reason for this other than 'birds of a feather flock together'. The exponential growth of space exploration created a steady increase in demand for spaceship operating systems, and Macrostuffed, with its aggressive legal teams and acquisitions model grew to dominate the spaceship OS market, eventually selling systems to all legions.

2203 - Orbital Sculpting

Having dominated the market for over 80 years, Slate Glib found himself with more credits than he knew what to do with and decided to indulge in a little corporate art. Deciding that it would look nice to have some of the planetoids adorning the central planet, he hired teams of engineers to nudge selected planetoids off course using enormous gravity drives and thermonuclear explosions. Several trillion credits later and the bulk of the 200 or so orbiting bodies had been smashed together into one big planet and a few remaining bodies moved into a close orbit around it. The big planet was designed to represent Slate Glib with the smaller Moons representing each member of the Board of Directors. Each body was then covered with terraforming equipment in an incredibly inefficient speed terraforming program took only 6 months to complete. The company then shifted headquarters and all operations to the sector and all the directors took up residence in their own little kingdoms with Slate Glib in the centre of it all.

2204 - War

For decades, all legions had been suffering from Macrostuffed crappy systems. Ships would simply shut down in the middle of a battle, pressing fire on a laser cannon would instead jettison the fuel tanks, confidential messages would divert straight to enemy inboxes, and the 'red screen of death' would all too commonly translate into real death. The orbital sculpting of 2203 pushed the legions too far. If Macrostuffed could afford to spend trillions of credits reforming an entire sector, then it could afford to spend a few billion designing a half decent operating system. In a rare show of unity, all legions united, gathering side by side in Dreadlar for the jump to Orbital with one common drive: rage-induced vengeance.

Unbeknownst to every pilot was the fact that Macrostuffed had written in a back-door to all their systems and, upon detection of the attack, immediately shut down all operating systems. Instantly, the attacking armada was reduced to a silent fleet of dead ships, rolling about aimlessly and occasionally colliding. The pilots aboard were doomed to a slow dead from freezing or lack of oxygen.

In true Macrostuffed style, about 5% of fighters had glitches in their systems that prevented their systems from shutting down. Without enough firepower to take down Macrostuffed's defenses, the pilots desperately searched for a solution amongst the few remaining independent planetoids. One such pilot landed on the planetoid of Berkeley Xiun and petitioned the developers there for help. Chuckling to themselves, they demonstrated to the pilot how needlessly complicated and useless the Microstuffed system was, and replaced it with one of their own. Taking this information back to the fleet, a frantic effort over the next few days saw life support, weapons, repair, and communications systems all blinking back on across the fleet.

With operational status restored, the fleet resumed a attack. Widely agreeing that the Galactic Convention did not apply in this case, attach craft unleashed nuclear, genetic and chemical weapons, leading to the utter destruction of all life and all infrastructure on the planet's surface. Orbiting planetoids were spared no mercy either.

In the chaos, Slate Glib tried to escape in a modified high speed cloaker but his operating system apparently suffered glitches and he easily detected. A few shots managed to disable his craft, but rather than finish it off, it was decided to attach a homing beacon and let him drift in space, forever.

Orbital (last edited 2013-04-17 19:06:28 by ecvej)