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The Verakh Compact is an authoritarian government, formed by the militaries of several allied nations after most of the traditional nation-states collapsed. After uniting the planet under its banner in a series of wars, they have devoted themselves to one goal- the survival of the Verakh people, by any means necessary.
Verkon: The icy homeworld of the Verakh, home to nine billion souls. Due to the planet's elliptical orbit, it has two seasons: a temperate summer, during which life flourishes, and a cold winter. The ancient Verakh would grow food during the summer, and use it to survive the winters. However, the planet's orbit has become increasingly eccentric, causing the summers to grow shorter, and the winters to grow longer. This has devastated the planet's ecology, and set in motion the chain of events that lead to the formation of the Compact.
Ulteris: A fairly typical gas giant, Ulteris is highly important to the Compact because of its abnormally large amounts of helium-3. Helium-3 mined here is used to fuel nuclear reactors on Verkon, which are responsible for powering cities. Without a constant flow of helium-3, the Verakh would be unable to survive the increasingly harsh winters.
Hypergate Code: V585
When the Verakh evolved into sapient beings, Verkon was a much warmer, more hospitable place than it is today. The winters were shorter and warmer, and summer was downright temperate. The Verakh developed civilization near the equator, going from scattered tribes to more complex states.
From the beginning of the atomic age, the planet's temperature had been slowly dropping. During the early Space Age, astronomers began to notice that Verkon's orbit was seemingly becoming unstable, becoming more and more eccentric. While they warned the governments of the many nation-states that this could lead to disaster, their pleas were mostly unheard. This proved to be their undoing during the infamous "Death Winter", an abnormally long and cold winter season that lead to the deaths of millions. Many nations began to fall into civil war as the survivors fought for resources.
During this chaos, the militaries of four nations whose governments had fallen united together, forming the basis for what would one day be the Verakh Compact. This alliance, having restored order to their respective countries, began a crusade to unify the world under one banner. The Unification Wars, as they were called, was a relatively short (they went on for about a year) yet bloody conflict that resulted in the military alliance having control of the planet, either through conquest or diplomacy. The leaders of this alliance soon reorganized themselves as the Verakh Compact, an organization with one goal- save our species.
Throughout the years, the Compact has worked to accomplish this goal. Although new technologies have made survival easier, the planet isn't getting any warmer. Some fear that there will come a point where the winter will never end, and Verkon will die, becoming an uninhabitable, frozen tomb. There are only two options left: find a way to save the planet, or escape it.
The Compact is currently completely made up of Verakh, nine billion of them. The overwhelming majority live on Verkon, while a few thousand live on orbital stations, mostly around Ulteris and her moons. They are a race of humanoid mammals, four to five feet in height. Their general body structure somewhat resembles that of chimpanzees, although more suited to bipedal movement. They have four-fingered hands, flat faces, two eyes and ears, and are covered by a layer of fur (typically either grey or a reddish-brown, although other colors have been seen). Like most mammals, they give live birth, and nurse their young.
Due to the events on their homeworld, the Verakh have become increasingly pragmatic, judging things and people by their usefulness. Laziness is despised, as well as selfishness. The government encourages people to consider the welfare of the state over their own personal problems- after all, to serve the state, is to fight for the survival of the species. Dissidents are portrayed as enemies of the people, who would rather save themselves and watch the whole world freeze.
Religion varies among different people. The Compact is officially secular, and they tend to let the people believe what they want, unless it goes against the values of the state. Many Verakh have no religion. Recently, there has been a resurgence in worship of the ancient Sun God, Geshtok (whom the system's star was named after). Followers of Geshtok believe that he is waging a war against evil beings that conspire to send the world into an eternal winter.
The Compact is governed by the Overseer Council, who have complete control over the state. Each Overseer represents a different part of the government, or Office, such as the Office of War, or the Office of the Treasury. They serve as advisors to the High Overseer, who has total control over the government and the military. There are no term limits, and the High Overseer usually rules for life. The lesser Overseers are chosen by the High Overseer, and can also rule for life, but tend to get replaced far more often than the High Overseer. The High Overseer is also responsible for selecting provincial governors, who carry out the Council's commands to the many provinces of the Compact. The government does not try to hide the fact that they are essentially a dictatorship- on the contrary, they embrace it. They believe that the Council represents the wisest and most qualified rulers, who are free to do what must be done, without being hindered by red tape or partisan infighting.
Under the Compact's guidance, Verakh civilization has rapidly advanced in technology. While relative newcomers to space, they are advanced in other fields, like robotics, shielding tech, nuclear power, and climate control.
Hazardous Climate Suit (HCS): Designed to allow workers to operate during the harsh winter, this sealed suit adjusts itself to the climate, ensuring the wearer will stay comfortable, no matter how hot or cold it is outside. Advanced models provide protection against radiation, toxic materials, biological and/or chemical warfare, and even the vacuum of space. Military models include personal shield generators and increased armor.
Barrier Field Generator: A shield generator on a massive scale, the Barrier Field Generator was designed to protect cities from deadly hail storms. It projects a field over a large area, protecting it from impacts. However, it was designed to stop smaller projectiles, and larger projectiles with more force will likely shatter it. It is not meant for military use, but as a way to protect cities from hazardous weather. While there have been attempts to create a military version capable of withstanding artillery, or even orbital bombardment, these attempts have been unsuccessful.
Verakh industry relies on the flow of helium-3 from Ulteris to power it. The need to harvest helium-3, deliver it to Verkon, and protect those shipments, have been the driving force behind the Compact's expansion into space. This expansion into space has lead to the creation of the asteroid mining industry, which has proven crucial to the development of orbital infrastructure and the Compact's space fleet. On Verkon, industry is centered around the things needed to survive the winter- food, power, and raw materials. Anything else is treated as unimportant.
The Compact's military is much smaller than it was during the Unification Wars, due to the simple fact that there has been no enemy to fight. Still, the military plays an important role in maintain law and order. Besides the Army (the Landcorps) and the Navy (the Voidcorps), there is also the Peacekeeper Corps, a paramilitary organization that serves as the main law enforcement body for the Compact. Peacekeepers, besides acting as police, act as a reserve force in the event of an invasion, using guerilla tactics to assist the regular army. With their iconic teal armor, Peacekeepers are omnipresent in Verakh cities, watching over the population.
The Landcorps itself is divided into three subdivisions: Infantry (foot soldiers), Cavalry (mechanized units), and Skyforce (atmospheric fighters). The Landcorps favors overwhelming firepower and "shock and awe" style attacks. Enemies are subjected by waves of Skyforce airstrikes, followed by artillery, then waves of tanks, mechanized infantry, and shock troops. They favor railguns and gauss weapons, due to their reliability, although some weapons utilize plasma technology.
The Voidcorps, initially created with the sole purpose of protecting the Verkon-Ulteris route from pirates, tends to favor small, maneuverable stike craft, and smaller ships like corvettes and destroyers. They also use railguns heavily, although some larger ships carry nuclear torpedoes. Several leading admirals have created a proposal for a "Heavy Fleet", which could be used for large-scale campaigns and planetary invasions. These fleets would utilize a core of large battleships, supported by smaller vessels and strike craft. These proposals have not been acted on yet, as there is currently no need for such a fleet. In addition to its ships, the Voidcorps has the Void Troopers, their version of space marines. These elite troops are used as either shipboard security, for boarding actions, or for precision orbital insertions against specific, planetside targets.