Name: New Providence Station
Location In Solar System: The Belt
Affiliation: Providence Shipwrights & Engineering, Outer Planets Alliance
Size: New Providence started as a single semi-hollow asteroid with a large cargo freighter crashed into it, since then it has been slowly added to. Other ships that have been pirated were built into the stations design, other hollow or semi-hollow asteroids or asteroids of high mineral worth have been towed and attached to the station, cargo containers, stolen colony habitats and shipping/construction materials have been appropriated for the purpose of expanding the station and it's population levels. It is still small compared to many other stations in the Belt, however, it's size fluctuates constantly.
Population: The station can support tens of thousands of individuals, however, the population is kept artificially low except in special circumstances.
Purpose: First created when Captain Buttersworth set one of his first victims (a freighter) on a collision course with a nearby asteroid. The vessel did not explode upon impact, but rather broke through the crust of the rock and lodged itself inside its partially hollow interior. Electing to convert this strange event into a bonus, Buttersworth used The Saxon to return the asteroid to its original orbit in the belt and has slowly added to it over the years, attaching more ships, habitats and cargo containers to it until it was capable of self-sustenance.
New Providence has always denied its association with Buttersworth and The Saxon whenever patrols come along, however, it owed it's existence to the eccentric, alcohol-fueled Captain. It has become a minor trade hub and way-station for Belters, Rock-hoppers and freighters looking for safe passage to the outer planets. It has recently affiliated with the OPA since their rise to power on Ceres and as such, rely on the OPA for much of its protection whilst Butterworth is abroad.
Description: A mess of asteroids, spacecraft, colony habitats, shipping containers, scaffolding, construction material, large spherical pods containing reactors, atmospheric regulators and hydroponic rigs for feeding the population and scrubbing the atmosphere. The station is home to 20,000 belters and refugees who have come to call the semi-anarchic station home. Food and work is plenty, as many hands are required to tend the stations two primary exports; Ale & Cannabis. Whoever does not work on these hydroponic crops are tasked with maintaining the vast jungle-like air-scrubbing pods throughout the station. Many Earth animals have been transported to the station as it is one of the last surviving locations of self-contained tropical climate and habitat.
The system runs so efficiently it's oxygen-rich atmosphere is fast becoming one of the stations primary exports, as such a giant neon illuminated slogan flashes over the main dock "New Providence, The Sweetest O2 in the Belt!". However, oxygen levels are carefully monitored by the station's central core to avoid possible ignition. The station is also home to a vast casino and festival, which funds much of the operations of the station. The primary attraction being "Belta-Man", a zero-G recreation of the famous Earther Festival, Burning Man. The event takes place in a rapidly spinning sphere towards the centre of the station, providing 0.3 G's of gravity to its occupants. Many attempts have been made to spin up the whole station however structural integrity has led to the plans being abandoned. As such many of the habitats spin independently while the rock itself remains stationary in its orbit around the sun.
Separate from "Belta-Man" is "The Pit", a vast Colosseum shaped habitat containing thousands of gambling tables, games and expertly crafted methods of parting a man from his hard earned credits. Buttersworth never really took to this part of the station, only allowing it as it allowed the economy to function, he only became interested in its long-term viability when they added The Pit's primary attraction, a reinforced semi-spherical cage, in which belters pit homemade and sometimes stolen battle mech's at each other. The reigning champion of which is the Saxon's XO Rachel Lei and her mech "The Fister".
A network of automated sentry cannons protects the station on varying ranges of 100 metres to 10 kilometres. These cannons range from small stationary PDC turrets mounted on the station itself to heavy missile pods and rail guns mounted on nearby asteroids, used in the station's defence. Their actions are coordinated by the stations central AI core. No ships are targeted by this defence network unless any threatening actions are taken such as target painting or communication jamming. If the connection to the central core is interrupted, the turrets go into auto-defence mode and will target and destroy any previously marked hostile vessels until the connection is re-established.
History: The station had humble beginnings, however as its reputation grew as a lawless and rich station, many sought to call it home. However, as the population is closely regulated, many occupants and potential citizens must be vetted before gaining citizenship. This does not, however, stop dozens of ships a day docking and selling their wares, resupplying, and recruiting. The station crew from just a hundred or so souls to upwards of tens of thousands The station has had multiple run-ins with Inner governments however it has managed to maintain its independence due to its unique governmental structure and importance of its exports.
The station is administrated by a central council of elected representatives and an advanced AI core developed by Providence Corp. The AI oversees much of the station's technical organisation, maintenance, exports, imports, economy and security. The representative council oversees social and cultural affairs.
Since the opening of the gate network, much of New Providence Station's population has left for Providentia Prime, the first belter formed colony. As the world has a gravity of 0.3g's, many do not have to have significant medical intervention in order to set foot on the world.
Due to much of the stations government and population leaving, the station has now been steadily shrinking as parts of it are repurposed for colonial uses. However, it has found a new lease on life acting as a way station of Earther and Martian colonists who await transport to the frontier.
Core AI refers to both the artificial intelligence that runs the station and a corporate entity which sells AI-based software to other ship construction firms. The AI itself is unique in that it is fully entrusted with the safety and security of the entirely of New Providence Station and its citizens. It is networked to hundreds of other "ancillary" AI's across the solar system and therefore has a wide-ranging network from which it draws data on vessel movements, communications and potential threats.
The Core AI is located at the centre of New Providence Station, buried under years of construction and self-designed security systems. Only humans with compatible DNA, verified through multiple biometric scans, are able to access the core itself. The core's primary defence is the several nuclear fusion reactors that surround it. In the event of a breach or attack, the AI floods its core with either coolant or superheated plasma, destroying any biological material whilst remaining unharmed. The AI also controls the large network of anti-ship weapon emplacements around the station, it is able to mount a successful and coordinated defence with no human interaction if a threat is detected.
The Core AI has spread throughout the system through the use of "ancillary" AI, sold off as the shipboard computer AI to run reactor, propulsion, communication and life support systems. It has a near monopoly on the shipboard AI market, including several lucrative government and military contracts with the UNN and MCRN.
Since the opening of the gate network, the Core AI has been removed from the station and relocated on Providentia Prime.
Providence Shipwrights & Engineering
New Providence Station is also home to one of the belts largest shipyards and foundries. Rivaling Pallas Station in terms of vessel output, PS&E manufactures vessels for a variety of clients, ranging from exploration & scientific, to security and freight.
Since the opening of the gate network, the shipyard has been rechristened the "Orbital City Builder". It was relocated to the orbit of Providentia Prime at great expense and effort.
Categories: Space Stations