Not listed in the official ICG star charts, GSV-368.3 appears only in highly classified Templar navigational databases. GSV-368.3 is the only human-rated planet in the GSV-GSW 0.15 AEI “sinkhole.” The local Templar garrison refers to the planet as “Terra,” and most of the local human population calls the place “Earth.”
Not listed on the “official” Templar charts acquired by Heirotus intelligence, the orbital plot of GSV-368.3.1 is known only to authorized Templar personnel. The charting omission is a deliberate defensive precaution – the idea being that a large 0.17g mass tends to play havoc with inbound vehicles that haven’t corrected for it. The theory proves valid in the opening scenes of The Dualist, when the gravitational influence of GSV-368.3.1 pulls the Heirotus starship Sabrosa out of Am well short of its intended destination, resulting in a Jump Flare easily detected by the Cheops.
At some point during the 30 years between his Soviet military service and the events of Dead City Radio, Greymalkin acquired a number of Russian-built heavy trucks. The question of whether these vehicles are Russian military surplus or were redirected into Templar garages through back channels is left as an exercise for the reader.
Heirotus is the galaxy’s premiere manufacturer of mass abstraction hardware, a leader in carbon computing and genetic engineering, and the sole manufacturer of the Biomagnetic Transfer System (BTS), humanity’s first entirely synthetic means of FTL travel. The company originally specialized in academic research until a crucial discovery in the early 1960s generated a massive patent portfolio, making Heirotus founder and sole shareholder Brandon James the richest man in the galaxy.
Colonized in the 16th century, Helios is a highly developed world and the corporate headquarters of Heirotus. Industrial output peaked well before Heirotus came along, though fresh investment and development by the company snapped the planetary economy out of a long period of torpor. Unfortunately, industrial output has been sharply curtailed by a recent period of geologic instability.
Major planet-side industries and resources include electronics, aquaculture, and hydrocarbons. While a good amount of Heirotus hardware is still manufactured on the surface, the company shipyards and BTS production lines are scattered throughout the cluster.
The Hemera is a Discovery class deep-range cartography vessel constructed by the Interstellar Cartography Group and leased to Heirotus, officially assigned to chart grid GSV and parts of grid GSU.
The base Discovery hull features two logistics hardpoints, two docking interfaces, centrifugal gravity and a stellar cartography suite equipped with the very latest optical and radio telescopes. Under Heirotus management, the Hemera has been equipped with an advanced Deep Range Holt-Rischmann Device (DR-HRD) and two U-238 utility aerospacecraft. The ship has also been configured for extreme deep-range long duration flight – most of the lower deck has been converted to hydroponics and storage, and flight systems have been heavily automated to enable the ship to run with a crew a third the size of the standard Discovery hull.
The Discovery class plays a role similar to that of the P3 Orion.
A Holt-Rischmann Device (HRD) is a quantum device that measures the local ambient energy index and the exertion of of a quantum force synonymous with (but not exclusive to) the human Will. Advanced models are sensitive enough to differentiate signatures of the same magnitude and can be programmed to detect specific individuals regardless of their level of exertion (resting, unconscious, agitated, projecting, etc).
The HRD comes in a variety of shapes and sizes – the Heirotus portable version looks like a matchlock pistol, and the ETL-supplied Templar variant is most commonly used as a desktop device. Difficult and expensive to produce, HRDs command an exorbitant price on the open market.
According to Raven Lockheart, Hrazny mrDat is “an utterly unremarkable industrial planet,” with a peak population of 1.2 billion. In her words, “the only thing this place really has going for it is [Templar head Judas] Lang’s insistence that a wormhole from the distant past will open nearby, and soon.”
During Transitional Voices the planet falls under the jurisdiction of the ETL Colonial Authority, though ETL’s majority share of the planet’s official economic output is razor thin and under constant challenge from Heirotus.
The Interstellar Cartography Group (ICG) is a politically neutral consortium formed by representatives of many Colonial Authority corporations and major governments. Built on technology-sharing and standardization agreements, the stated goal of ICG is the acquisition and dissemination of verified stellar cartography data to ship-builders, defense contractors, and other interested parties.
ICG has been around long enough to become a political entity in its own right. To serve its interests, the company has developed the Discovery class long-range long-duration survey vessel and the Foundation class long-duration “follow-up” vessel, a heavy cruiser outfitted for detailed orbital and surface survey of planets of interest. ICG spacecraft can be purchased or leased, though all such agreements include clauses that mandate or encourage the sharing of all newly acquired cartography data with ICG.
A jumpnet is an alloy mesh that surrounds a spacecraft like a Faraday cage. A Navigator in physical or very close proximity to a jumpnet can transition a spacecraft into or out of Am.
The field amplification effect of the jumpnet medium extends the HRV of any entity that makes contact with it – while this has a profound, civilization-defining benefit for Navigators, contact with a jumpnet mesh also boosts the abilities of telepaths and remote viewers.
Well outside of ICG-charted space, the composition of the gas giant orbiting KLH-149723 enables the Aeon to conduct a highly-amplified HRV sweep of star systems on the other side of the Goldfish Nebula. The combination of Aeon sensor technology and the nebula minimizes the sensor shadow of the gas giant – though orbital mechanics somewhat limits scanning capability.
The Majestic is a cutting-edge Am-capable reconnaissance aerospacecraft designed to operate in deep space, low orbit and high atmosphere. Equipped with a surveillance package containing military grade electronics and classified Heirotus organic systems, the carbon computer coordinated sensor payload provides high-volume, high-detail intelligence across the the entire spectrum of perception.
As the aerospacecraft is expensive, fragile and brutally high maintenance, Heirotus Security doctrine calls for the Majestic to be used only in situations that require its advanced organic perception capabilities.
An object removed from MBO-1 by Aleph Stevens in the early 1960s, MBO-2 is initially assumed to be some sort of flight data recorder. According to Brandon James the enclosure is opaque to conventional medical scanners and emits an unspecified type of low level radiation. Unique for an apparently synthetic artifact, the object emits a measurable high-range Holt-Rischmann field with a short falloff radius.
An attempted psychokinetic “read” of the object by Judas Lang resulted in extensive electromagnetic damage to Helios Orbital and the sudden existence of the Heirotus patent portfolio. The overnight “discovery” of synthetic FTL, mass amplification and mass abstraction technologies along with a lengthy number of other advances quickly transformed the fledgling Heirotus from a tiny academic research project into a titan of the aerospace industry.
Eventually, Lang convinced James to allow for the use of the artifact in classified FTL research, and MBO-2 was subsequently lost in the Epiphany incident of 1968.
Called the “Thumper” due to the sound of the airburst rounds and its frequent use as a bludgeon by downed pilots, the Barghosa Multi-function Compact Assault Rifle model 78 is a rugged Bullpup styled rifle that fires caseless ammunition. Three of these weapons were either loaded aboard the Hemera U-238 or were part of the U-238 survival kit.
The MCAR-78 features a laser sight, iron sights mounted on top of the electronics package, and dual-function triggers. The weapon is capable of firing a variety of rounds – explosive (programmable air-burst or touched off by the second trigger), reconnaissance (wee little cameras, primary use of the display screen after ammunition count), armor-piercing and anti-personnel. Caseless ammunition gives the MCAR-78 high long-range accuracy and stopping power at the expense of a rate of fire much lower than comparable hardware.
Though not used to its full capacity in Dead City Radio, the weapon is equivalent to a lower caliber US Army XM25. The MCAR-78 is durable, well-built and designed for a long shelf life followed by frequent, abusive use without cleaning or maintenance.
Any human or metahuman with the genetic ability to transition themselves and other objects – typically a starship – into and out of Am. While the effective area of influence of most Navigators includes a space suit and possibly a toolkit, physical contact with an alloy mesh colloquially known as a “jumpnet” will expand this area of influence to cover a starship and all materials and persons contained therein (and possibly nearby, if the object is completely inside the field of influence).
Ol’ Yeller is a megaphone Jason Whitehouse uses to violate local noise ordinances.
Earth 3.0 experienced a nuclear apocalypse at some point in the distant past. While large swaths of the planet remain uninhabitable, fallout has reached tolerable levels in some places, such as this ancient rail-fed nuclear launch facility. The ruins are noteworthy for their well-preserved rail tunnels, one of which contains a storage room that’s veil-accessible from Sub-level Three of Bethlehem Medical Centre.
Pagers are a form of telecommunications hardware in common use in Pittsburgh in the late 1990s.
The Peregrine is a VTOL utility aerospacecraft used as an executive transport by Heirotus founder Brandon James. The vehicle is well armed, well armored, and very maneuverable, used in reconnaissance and electronic warfare roles when not functioning as an officer transport. The variant shown in Transitional Voices features nose and tail turrets, missiles, and wing-mounted fuel tanks.