Untangling the Knot
Tech: -1 Atomic Power
Environment: 1 One garden, several hostile worlds
Resources: 2 One significant export
- The Singularity Wasn’t All It Was Cracked Up To Be
- Paradise Is Just A Shuttle Ride Away
- The Truth Is Out There
Shodan is something of a rarity – a system that recently suffered a Tech 4 collapse, but left behind an (almost) working culture.
Up until a century or so ago, Shodan was unknown to the rest of the cluster. A comparatively thriving Tech 3 society, the Shodani had chosen to hide themselves from all other worlds save Ford, who they were in the process of exploiting for labor while simultaneously helping advance its own tech into the space age.
The Shodani were on the cusp of a man-machine singularity event, driven by a philosophy that held the natural word as sacred and man as largely profane. Many hundreds of years prior, the population had largely abandoned Shodan itself for a series of orbital stations as well as rich mining colonies on the system’s two other livable systems. From that point onwards, the lush green planet was allowed to develop almost without influence. Today it remains a virtual paradise of unspoiled wilderness.
Imported workers from Ford provided the bulk of the skilled and unskilled labor, leaving the Shodani to pursue their cybernetic aspirations. Then the singularity finally came about. To this day no one is quite certain what form it took – all those who remain know is that one day, the original Shodani themselves lay down, to a man, and quietly expired with blissful looks on their faces.
Shodan today is inhabited primarily by the former labor class. A large population of engineers, technicians and less skilled laborers inhabit the string of stations and outworld colonies they suddenly inherited but can barely maintain. Though entirely descended from Ford emigres, these people regard themselves as the rightful inheritors of Shodan and think of themselves as ‘New Shodani.’
Many T3 and 4 systems remain throughout these stations in various degrees of repair; those that have failed have been replaced as best the local T-1 manufacturing capability can manage. A few T3 cargo haulers remain and service what trade between stations exists, but ships capable of planetfall on Shodan itself are few and far between. Isolated stations or colonies entirely dependent on imports are likely long gone.
Without the overpowering tech of the Shodani hiding it, the slipstream link to Cin was soon discovered. ‘Traders’ from Tannhauser have visited the system, concentrating primarily on Shodan itself, where they brave the mega-fauna to collect biological samples ripe for exploitation. It’s only a matter of time before a more permanent settlement is attempted, a move which the isolated and tech-poor ‘New Shodani’ are not in a position to contest.