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Botany Bay Colony on Nova Gaia, Shortly after the Exdus.

Botany Bay is a Hengeyokai Colony currently located in the Nova Gaia region, a small Magellanic Cloud in deep space far from any local group of galaxies. Access to the colony is via slipstream or Astria Portia. Several slip routes pass through the system, and since its re-colonization in July of 2511, the route to Botany Bay has been widely distributed to those playing the stream, and can be considered a ‘well known’ route. The colony has its roots from its current home on Nova Gaia however.

FoundingEdit

Botany Bay was originally founded in the Magellanic Cloud of the same name by Romani Traders around 2214. The system sat along the several major slipstream routes, but lacked the forerunner facilities found in other similar deep space systems, particularly the large fortifications commonly occupied by the Hengeyokai, and the associated slipgates, which allowed for the passage of large vessels though the stream.

The initial colonist consisted primarily of Romani traders and their kin, followed by a larger group of independent traders and settlers who set up the first business to support the growing trade though the system. Like most extragalactic worlds, Botany Bay sat at a nexus of slipstream pathways, or a “slipknot”. This advantageous geography is largely responsible of the settlement of such systems. Colonies such as Botany Bay cater to the unique needs of intergalactic travelers and trade. With multiple slippoints, access to many well-traveled slippaths and several other worlds sharing its cluster and accessible via other FTL technologies, Botany Bay was a busy hub of trans galactic travel, seeing visitors from many nearby galaxies, and hundreds if not thousands of worlds.

Over the years the colony remained a small, but vital trade link, providing repair, logistic and recreational services to passing vessels, and serving as a ‘midpoint’ for vessels from throughout the ‘verse. The unique position, and lack of central authority drew unwelcomed attention to the colony. Over the years, as the Romani influence moved on, less savory influences would move into the colony, including pirate bands and the slaver guild. The colony when though many governments until the establishment of a relatively stable colonial council with the return of the Romani and the Hengeyokai warrior Wolfhound Darkwatch in 2485.

During the period the Romani headed a council of local interests with power being shared among the council members who included the local pirate captain from the pirate ship Aurora, the Slaver Guild representative and several more legitimate business including New Nippon Mining. New Nippon was a relative new addition to the colony, opening a mining operation on the world to recover the rare black carbon silica, BSC was a key ingredient in advanced armor manufacture.

It was during this time, around 2490 that Jubilynn Lane was brought to the colony as a slave of the Aurora Crew.

The ‘Event’ and the StationEdit

The period of council rule was relatively short lived. Though the government lasted from 2485 to 2509, competing interests and infighting began to stall any real governance. The colony administration was set up during this period to run the day to day operations of the colony. As the council began to descend into infighting, more and more authority fell to the Administration. The permeate pirate presence in the colony came to an end with the destruction of the Aurora and the loss of most of her crew while they were raiding in January of 2509. Later that year, the slave guild was ejected from the colony by the administration. The incident had its roots over the ownership of a single slave, Jubilynn Lane, who now was the colony’s chief engineer. As a result of the incident, Jubilynn was granted freedom, deciding to stay with the colony opening the ‘Monkey’s Wrench’ repair shop, and contracting to continue duties as the colony’s engineer. During this period, a pair of Hengeyokai warriors from Clan Bastet appeared at the colony.

Not long after this upheaval, as matters were settling down, the event occurred. On 4 September 2510 the colony was unexpectedly attacked by a previously unknown enemy, the Har’ken. Details are still sketchy as to what led up the attack, and transpired after but what is known, follows:

A few days prior to the attack, miners form New Nippon discovered a large facility deep under the surface colony. The facility, while unknown to most colonists, had all the markings of a forerunner facility, or ancient facility. Word of the facility’s discovery spread throughout the colony, and beyond. By the 4th, several groups had arrived to attempt to claim it. Before word of its discovery could reach the distant Hengeyokai settlements, the Har’ken struck.

The attack came without warning, while the colonist were busy with mercenaries who were attempting to ‘secure’ the facility, while Shekmet, the Bastet warrior was in some sort of energy stream at the facility’s center, while all eyes were turned in, the attack came from without: and it was overwhelming.

The Har’ken dropped out of the slipstream above the colony in untold numbers, dropping from a large capital ship much larger than any slip capable vessel. The blue scaled humanoids assaulted the colony from all sides, overwhelming the defense gird and destroying large portions of the colony before landing. The colonists fought back, gaining time to organize and begin to evacuate. Deep underground, the facility seemed to come alive, a new wave of defenses rose to meet the Har’ken assault. The mercenaries and colonists banded together to fight though the Har’ken warriors who had breached the facility, fighting their way to the surface, leaving the Bastet alone in the central hall.

As the refugee’s boosted into orbit, they were confronted with the awesome might of the Har’ken mothership, the vessel generating a large gravity well, preventing the survivors from making slipstream and escaping, as the vessel closed in, powering weapons, a powerful energy signature was detected from the surface, signaling the destruction of the colony. The energy wave struck the Har’ken vessel, destroying it in a massive release of energy which would open an unstable wormhole in the system for years to come.

As the survivors gathered in orbit, to assess their damage, and treat their wounded, a new contact appeared on their sensors, fearing another mothership, as the contact was much larger than anything else seen in system, a crew was sent to scout the contact out. They found no Har'ken vessel: they found the Station.

The Station & WormholeEdit

The station appeared out of nowhere, if you ask the locals. There was no record or evidence of it having existed before the Har’ken attack. Most observers claim it must have been hidden, deep in the system, perhaps cloaked. Whatever its origin, the station was a godsend for the survivors, appearing In this time of need. The first crews aboard found the station fully outfitted and ready for occupation, including signs, furnishing and businesses from the lost colony below. They found the station devoid of any other crew, save one soul, the colony’s chief engineer, Jubilynn Lane, naked and gravely wounded, laying at the base of an enormous tree in the stations core.

Like the colony, Jubilynn would recover, and survive yet both seemed to be forever changed by the event. After her recovery, Jubilynn would become Administrator of the new, orbital colony aboard Botany Bay station. While many colonists had lost their lives, and yet more had fled the destruction and mysterious appearance of the station, new souls arrived, drawn to the mystery and prospect for further adventure. The station quickly replaced the lost ground colony, and surpassed its value as a trade hub, possessing much more advanced facilities then the adhoc ground facilities ever had. The massive station hosted four unique ‘quads’ catering to many diverse people. Many new groups discovered the colony during this time including the Orions and the Companion's Guild.

The wormhole provided its own adventure and dangers as the colony would come to find. At first the abnormality was too unstable to transverse in either direction, but after several months, the colonists discovered a way to predict periods of stability, and use the station to stabilize the wormhole for passage. These missions, headed by the administration but under the command of colonists themselves, served as a recon of sorts, to find out more of the Har’ken. These ‘away missions’ brought the colony into contact with the Har’ken on several worlds, the wormhole seeming to lead to Har’ken space. Each time, the away team would visit a distant forerunner facility, each time, they would encounter Har’ken warriors, who seemed to be alerted, or drawn to their presence.

The race to learn more about the Har’ken was lost, when the Har’ken, working from information uncovered from an away team’s visit to one of their facilities, gained access to the wormhole and attacked the Station as they had the ground colony on the 1st of May 2511.

Station’s Destruction and RefugeesEdit

The Hengeyokai had decided not to garrison the colony, a decision taken after much debate. The idea was to not draw extra attention to the colony, at a time when their forces were spread far and wide across the ‘verse. Instead, the Hengeyokai relied on their ability to rapidly reinforce the station, from far flung colonies via the slipstream. This decision was to be tested by the new Har’ken attack.

The Har’ken poured though the wormhole, seeking to overwhelm the station’s defense grid in one quick rush, they were unsuccessful. Betty, the Station’s AI, meet the initial rush with brutal force, a giant battle ensued , with the Station’s drones, defense gird and fighters, backed up by the various colonist vessels in orbit, did battle with the Har’ken fleet. The HDF vessels under commander Kyle’s command poured fire into the Har’ken flank, an unexpected obstacle to their plan. Yet, despite the defense, the attacking force proved too much for the station’s defense, as the shields began to fail, Har’ken boarding parties boarded, and a vicious fight began within the station itself, one with no quarter given by either side. As the stalwart defenders began to buckle, the Hengeyokai arrived.

Hundreds of Hengeyokai vessels dropped out of slipstream at nearly the same time, draw from every clan, from every colony of their far flung worlds, guided by Romani pilots, and loaded with Colonial Rangers and Hengeyokai warriors, the new defenders slammed into the Har’ken fleet. Leaving the Rangers to deal with the Har’ken vessels, the station was boarded by groups of Hengeyokai warriors. The powerful bands tore into the Har’ken and the battle became a wild melee, swirling around the giant tree in the center of the station, which now appeared to be the Har’ken objective. In a climactic moment, at the base of the tree, Shekmet squared off with the Har’ken commander, a powerful foe , and while reports vary as to the outcome, in the end, the commander fell, and in the process a powerful energy was released. The Rangers and Hengeyokai, along with the surviving colonists pushed back, then defeated the rest of the Har’ken… the day had been won, but at a terrible cost.

Once again the colony lie in ruins, the station was beyond repair, holed to space in many compartments, only emergency power was keeping life support operating. The Har’ken had been defeated, and the wormhole closed, but the station was beyond salvage, the tree was gone, and the colonists would have to find a new home.

Mu Draconis & the ExodusEdit

Following the Station’s destruction, the survivors along with some Romani colonists and a small ranger detachment were evacuated to the desert world of Mu Draconis, settling in a region known as Tanami Erg, This new colony, occupied a previously undiscovered forerunner facility in the desert. The settlement offered the comfort and protection for the refugees, being set up in the now familiar forerunner configuration, which now included the giant tree, Iusaaset, in the center of the colony. The colony Retained the name Botany Bay, despite the move from the now deserted Botany Bay system.

The colony’s arrival on Mu Draconis upset an already turbulent political situation. A world of armed factions fighting over the system’s resources, Mu Draconis was an odd choice for the colonists. When asked why, Administrator Jubilynn would often say, “we go were Iusaaset takes us,” a rather cryptic reply if there ever was one. Relations with the local government were tense throughout the colony’s stay on the desert world, almost immediately the rangers, operating under cover, and the Bastet warriors of the colony fought numerous skirmishes and battles with the varied militaries of the world.

Having arrived during one of the many invasions, the colony saw much fighting and plotting, both in the desert and in the halls of government. After several months, a final incident drove Jubilynn to a decision, the attack on the colonists by a splinter group of Orions, a supposed supporter of the colony, made it clear, that they were not safe on the desert world, as soon as Iusaaset was strong enough, operation Exodus was implemented.

Nova GaiaEdit

Having fled from the destruction on Botany Bay, Mu Draconis was simply a ‘rest stop’ for the colonists. From the beginning, it was clear to the Hengeyokai that Iusaaset and the colonists would need a new permanent home, but they were too weak to travel there. Mu Draconis, was an unlikely place to gain such strength, but it was the one presented at the time, Operations Exodus was final solution.

The colony departed Mu Draconis 1 July 2511, for their new home, on Nova Gaia. Jubi has often said Nova Gaia was a gift: the world is everything that Mu Draconis was not. Situated in deep space, in a small Magellanic Cloud, Nova Gaia is a water world, rich in life. Long isolated from the rest of the ‘verse, the world seemed to welcome the new colonists. The Exodus convoy arrived over the world on 5 July, debarking into their new home, settlement, much like the one the left in the desert.

This new home, came with new challenges and responsibilities. As the colonists became rested and settled, they were integrated more into Hengeyokai society. Juiblynn became a Kahn of the Bastet Clan, serving on the Hengeyokai Council. The colony has once again become a trade hub, as the route to the colony spread across the stream faring races. Now, in addition to their traditional role, the colony has taken on duties as a Hengeyokai outpost, responsible for relations in a large sector of the ‘verse previously little trafficked by them. Much of their current attention is on the world they departed from, Mu Draconis. What the Hengeyokai interest in the world is, remains to be seen.

The colony hosts various Colonial Ranger deployments and recently opened a permanent Ranger Station to host a Ranger Strategic Response Unit. The Khan, has also extended formal diplomatic ties to several key worlds in the region, and has plans to open more.

The colony is also attracting new colonist from all over the ‘verse. Drawn to the peaceful, stable government that the Hengeyokai provide, many seeking adventure or treasure have established a presence in the system.

Today, the colony is secure and prosperous, a new jewel in the Hengeyokai colonies. Though the years have not been kind to the colonists, it has hardened them for what may come, and given them a appreciation for the ‘gift’ that is their home.

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