Columbus

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(References to Columbus)

Epsilon Pegasus
System information
X:Y Coordinates 404.69:601.38[e]
Spectral class G2V[1]
Recharge time 183 hours[1]
Recharge station(s) None[1]
Planets 6

Note: X and Y are coordinates (light years on XY plane) relative to Terra at (0, 0)

Columbus
Geophysical
System position 4th[1]
Jump point
distance
9.12 days[1]
Moons 1 (Amor)[1]
Surface gravity 0.90[1]
Atmospheric pressure Low (Breathable)[1]
Equatorial temperature 13°C (Cool)[1]
Surface water 67%[1]
Highest native life Mammals[1]
Reference Year 3095[1]
Infrastructure
Ruler None[1]
Population 0[1]
Socio-Industrial Levels N/A[1]
HPG (Representative) None[1]

The fourth planet of the Epsilon Pegasus system, Columbus was the name of an Age of War research facility and Deep Periphery base of operations used by the Terran Hegemony, later the Star League, and following its rediscovery, Comstar's Explorer Corps. Columbus lay anti-spinward of the JàrnFòlk, and coreward of the Draconis Combine. The text quotes an approximate distance of "270 light years coreward of Nowhere"[2], however the Explorer Corps map of the Deep Periphery depicts Columbus as approximately 150 light years coreward of Nowhere.[3].

History[edit]

Columbus was founded in 2549 by Terran Hegemony Deep Periphery exploration crews. The settlement started with a research and boarding facility for deep space exploration, and was located in the center of a crater, situated on one of the two northern continents near the equator. At the time of discovery, settling the facility near the equator was imperative because the planet was in the midst of an ice age.

ColumbusMap.jpg

After the founding of the Star League and the end of the Reunification War, the facility was expanded. Initial expansion included added tarmac and runways, paved roads, warehouses, lodging, a small town, and a garrison. By 2641, the facility also included a DropShip maintenance/repair facility with moving platforms large enough to ferry a 20,000 ton DropShip off the runways. Further, an orbital dry dock was constructed in the excavated core of Columbus's small moon.

Columbus remained active through the Amaris Civil War, but was evacuated shortly before the Exodus of General Aleksandr Kerensky and most of the SLDF from the Inner Sphere.

One mystery associated with Columbus related to the fate of the last SLDF garrison on the planet. Records from Columbus indicated that the garrison (which was of a not-insubstantial size) had responded to the presence of an unidentified JumpShip in the system in 2755 by setting off in pursuit. The garrison remained in contact with Columbus until 2756 as the SLDF forces attempted to locate the JumpShip, but then dropped out of contact. When this information was released by ComStar in the thirty-first century it led to a wealth of conspiracy theories ranging from contact with aliens to the influence of a hidden star empire within the Deep Periphery. It wasn't until after the Jihad that the true, and entirely mundane, reason for the garrison's apparent disappearance came to light. Located within the labyrinthine Star League records on Terra was confirmation that the garrison had tracked down the mysterious JumpShip and made contact with the crew, who were discovered to be JàrnFòlk. By this point the garrison was several years past the end of its official tour of duty, and the garrison promptly returned to the Inner Sphere, arriving in 2757. This information wasn't available in the archives at Columbus because communications had stopped being routed through Columbus in 2756, and Columbus facility itself was closed down a couple of years later due to financial pressures.[4]

The Comstar Explorer Corps vessel ECV Von Braun discovered the abandoned facilities during a survey of the Epsilon Pegasus system in 3023. Having determined the fourth planet was most likely to be habitable for humans, the crew spent two weeks in orbit over the planet, and discovered the facility because of the large runways, visible despite being overgrown for nearly 250 years. Identification of the name Columbus and its original use by the SLDF was only possible because the facility's computer core was still active. The Explorer Corps survey teams removed all valuable LosTech from the facility and established a rudimentary base and departure point for further exploration.

The Explorer Corps began further upgrades of the facility in 3053. The upgrades included the installation of Explorer Corps field offices, revitalization of the repair and maintenance facilities, barracks, hardened hangars for aerospace fighters, cinemas, sports bars, taverns, night clubs, a Hyperpulse Generator, new radio telescopes and other scientific facilities, and a sizable farming village. Comstar also revitalized the large dry dock orbiting the planet.

Between the 8th and 14th of December 3068 a Word of Blake strike force attacked and destroyed the Columbus facility; also destroyed in the attack was the 151st Light Horse Regiment of the Eridani Light Horse mercenary command.[5] The attack on Columbus wouldn't become known to ComStar for nearly two years, until communications with a relay station near Columbus were recovered in late 3070; downloaded was a repeating emergency broadcast from the few survivors of the Blakist WarShip attack on Columbus, confirming that the survivors of the bombardment had no means of leaving Columbus and only had supplies for perhaps six weeks. It is therefore very likely that everyone present on Columbus at the time of the attack was dead within weeks. The report also indicated that the entire Columbus facility had been burned to the ground.[6]

The 151st Light Horse Regiment were only present on Columbus at the time because they had been attempting to gain transport back from their garrison post in the Clan homeworlds after being cut off by a complete communications blackout between the Inner Sphere and Clan space.[6]

An investigation of the system was conducted in 3076 which confirmed the extent of the damage to Columbus. The investigation determined that not only had Columbus itself been destroyed, but so had the Cassion satellites and the DRUM satellites located in surrounding systems. The investigators managed to recover some dead lifeboats and the remains of a number of aerospace fighters from the wreckage in the system and managed to piece together the destruction of the installation. The Blakist forces had evidently attacked with a number of WarShips and DropShips, sweeping the system first to destroy the JumpShips present at the time along with at least two Faslane-class yardships, along with all of the DropShips and aerospace fighters the defenders on the planet managed to launch.[4]

Assured of complete aerospace superiority, the Blakists then positioned ships at the edge of the atmosphere and systematically leveled the installation on the surface and all the supporting structures. Having destroyed everything, the Blakists then evidently left the system and didn't return; there was no evidence of any attempts to utilise the planet as a base, suggesting that the strike against Columbus was purely to deny ComStar or any other agency from using the facilities as a base of operations against Blakist activities in the Deep Periphery.[4]

Despite the destruction of the Columbus facility the planet itself remained a viable target for settlement in the late thirty-first century, as it had a relatively benign ecosystem, mammal-equivalent life, abundant fresh water and a significant amount of fertile land in the temperate and tropical regions of the planet despite the ongoing ice age.[4]

Elements of the Clan Diamond Shark Watch determined that some of the JàrnFòlk, specifically the Klünder sælgeflåde, had salvaged some heavy equipment from Columbus after the Blakist destruction of the facility, including a few BattleMechs. The Diamond Shark Watch subsequently traced that recovered equipment to the Hanseatic League, as well as uncovering similar scavenging operations being conducted by different sælgeflåde at various waypoints in the Deep Periphery including Bazaar and Wark.[4]

Manufacturing Centers[edit]

Columbus was home to a shipyard capable of working on capital-scale vessels. However, the specifics, for instance whether this shipyard was solely capable of making repairs, or if the shipyard was manufacturing new vessels, is unstated. ComStar's other listed shipyard, the Newgrange Factory Yards (location unclear), was the likely production facility of the Faslane-class "yard-ships", essentially a mobile capital ship repair facility. The Faslane is derived from the huge Star League-era Newgrange-class yardship.

Owner History[edit]

Nearby Systems[edit]

There are no known inhabited systems within 60 light years. The four closest significant systems are:

Nearby Systems[edit]

Four closest significant systems (distance in light years)
Closest systems first:
Transfer Facility 4 130.2 Knutstad 132.3 Farstar 158.1 Ålborg 181.8

References[edit]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions, p. 23, "Columbus"
  2. Explorer Corps, p. 11
  3. Explorer Corps, p. 48
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Interstellar Players 3: Interstellar Expeditions, p. 22-23, "Columbus"
  5. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 46, "The Jihad In Review"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Blake Ascending, p. 288, "Columbus Falls!"

Bibliography[edit]