The Omega 11 system is a paradox to all those who know it. At its core lies a dying red giant star, a huge ogre, belching out fire and radiation across the system. Most of its planetary bodies have been broken up by the intense tidal and themal forces of the star as it reaches its death throes. Heat and radiation bathe this forsaken system in an eerie red light that begins erroding the hulls of any ship that enters. The numerous planetary debris clouds provide minor cover from its lethal effects, but any movement outside these fields and a ship will enter the perilous Abgrund, a region of space so alive with deadly particles that to even enter it can be fatal.
There is but one reason why humans come to this system of death, the break up of the planets, and the continued dissolution of the Omega 11 star release vast amounts of mineral wealth into space, in the form of diamonds. The abundance of these rare and beautiful objects is enough to lure many into the system seeking wealth. The area most rich in Diamonds is the molten Von Rohe Belt, that lies along the outer extent of the corona of the dying star, to get there one must brave the Abgrund, and the heightened heat and radiation of being so close to the huge star, not to mention the proximity of the corona means a single mistake in course can cause a ship to plummet into the dying giant's deathly embrace. Yet people still travel to the belt, to mine the diamonds, and to search for wrecks, the husks of ships who braved the Abgrund and fell foul of it, now float around the Belt as a testament to their former owner's foolishness. Yet within these hulks there is yet again the promise of bounty, as many of these ships still contain salvageable objects, for those who can find them, and survive the journey...
Despite possessing a thin atmosphere, this planetoid is rendered uninhabitable by the choking, acrid dust that covers its surface -- in some places to a depth of several kilometers. All survey probes have either been swallowed by the dust oceans or ceased functioning shortly after planetfall, presumably due to the nearly microscopic dust particles working their way into the delicate electronics.
Named after the senior lieutenant on Von Rohe's fateful expedition, Schutz is a dying planet, slowly being melted by the swelling red giant sun at the system's center. One of only two planets still intact in the system, its surface is convulsed by numerous volcanos. It serves as a shield for the Solarius station, protecting it from the intense radiation emitted by the dying sun.
The story of the Hessians emerges from the turbulent history of the Dresden system, the mining heartland of Rheinland since the beginning of the third century. Mining there was dirty, dangerous work, but Daumann and Kruger had little reason to lose sleep over the welfare of their employees. The price of the occasional disability pension or life insurance policy was nothing compared to the money made from extracting and refining the metals and materials that fed Rheinland industry.
As the 80-Years War wound down to its ignoble conclusion, Rheinland found itself virtually bankrupt. Kruger and Daumann released thousands of employees throughout Rheinland. Promises of bonuses were left unfulfilled, and in many cases, miners were left completely destitute. An uprising was almost inevitable. A group of miners took control of the Daumann Heavy Construction facility on Von Rohe's Day in 700 AS.
The revolt soon spread from Dresden to the rest of the Rheinland, gaining widespread backing from the legions of newly unemployed workers. The industrial heart of Rheinland stopped beating; the Popular Revolution had begun.
Within five months a new coalition government was established. Both Kruger and Daumann were required to pay reparations, and all Rheinland companies were forced to comply with a newly ratified Workers' Rights Convention. They have been careful to adhere to the letter of the law, if not the spirit. The compromise left many that had fought in the revolution bitter. Many workers could not accept the prospect of working for their old taskmasters and decided to form the Red Hessians, a group dedicated to destroying the two companies.
It was not long before Red Hessian political ideals were replaced by greed, which has led them to become more like pirates than activists. The police have been forced to maintain a significant presence in Dresden in an effort to prevent Hessian strikes from clogging the gears of Rheinland industry.
The Hessians have gradually expanded, assisted by their close proximity to Stuttgart Food shipments and an extensive Jump Hole network within the southern Sirius Sector. They now own a string of bases in the southern Rheinland Border Worlds. In Omega-5 they encountered their first real obstacle -- the Corsairs. They have fought the Edge World faction to a tenuous stalemate, with the Ronneburg base barely holding on against the stronger Corsair presence in that system. Fortunately, they live in a rich area of Sirius in terms of raw materials, especially Diamonds. Their preferred targets are Daumann and Kruger, although almost any shipper is vulnerable to attack.
Locked in a geosynchronous orbit within the planetary shadow of Planet Schutz, Solarius Station is the sole haven in the dangerous environment of Omega-11. At the heart of the system is a late-stage red giant that releases random radiation storms, fatal to any organic life unfortunate enough to be caught without protection. Despite the hazards, however, the Omega-11 system is also on of the most abundant sources of Diamonds in Sirius, the valuable gemstones locked in the circle of volcanic asteroids that ring the dying sun. Daumann Heavy Construction obtained the contract to develop Omega-11 and by 410 AS had managed to finish the construction of Solarius Station -- at the cost of 87 men and women who died "for the greater glory of Rheinland and its people".
Hessian Fighter (5F)Edit
- 2x Natterturn
- 10x Diamonds
Corsair Fighter (6D)Edit
- 2x Salamanca Mk 1
- 20x Diamonds
Bounty Hunter (6E)Edit
- 2x GOLDENBLADE
- 1x Gunslinger Turret
- 20x Diamonds
Daumann Fighter (6E)Edit
- 2x Flashpoint
- 5x Diamonds
Note: A large number of empty wrecks on the outer edge of the Von Rohe Belt
A planetary fragment field with minimal background radiation. A route has been cleared through the asteroid field leading to Nordostriemen and the Stuttgart Jump Gate, using the asteroids as natual cover from the frequent radiation storms. Unfortunately, the asteroids also provide excellent cover for Red Hessian pirates to protect the often ill defended convoys of Diamonds leaving the system from Solarius Station.
A planetary fragment field with minimal background radiation. A substantial Red Hessian contingent is present here, and will often stage direct attacks on neighboring Solarius Station where the Daumann Heavy Construction mining crews return their valuable cargos.
A planetary fragment field with minimal background radiation. The last leg of a route leading to the Stuttgart Jump Gate has been cleared through the field, but it is often the most dangerous part of the journey due to constant attacks by Red Hessians.
Von Rohe BeltEdit
A field of lava asteroids named after the great Rheinland explorer who initially surveyed the system at the cost of his own life. Thought to have once been a planet that was superheated to the point of destruction by the red giant at the heart of the system, the Van Rohe Belt contains a fortune in Diamonds. Unfortunately, the high radiation levels make mining the Belt a difficult and dangerous job for only the most daring -- or desperate -- of individuals, as the number of dead ships could attest.
- "Abgrund" is German for "chasm" (literally "no ground"). It can also refer to disaster, or to a person's dark side.