System: Zhang He
Zhao Long is the capital of the Cooper Sector. Near the border of the Leo Sector, Zhao Long is the only major world in Cooper that has not yet come under assault by the invading Arkhon forces. They seem interested in bypassing it as much as possible and pushing toward the core worlds, however, everyone knows that the Arkhon will not leave this well-supplied planet on its flanks to be a rallying point for the Stellar Navy. It is only a matter of time before the Arkhon attack.
The Protectorate is making the most of that time, shunting as many forces as they dare from Leo to Zhao Long. The problem is that there’s no anchorage and there are no extensive shipyards to service the vessels. The planet has one Frontier-class space station which is being converted into a military base. But there’s another serious problem: Zhao Long is the obvious place from which to launch a strike to retake the Cooper Sector. It has ample food, technology, a sizable population and good infrastructure, and it’s the only major world in the sector left unassailed. So any military operation launched from Zhao Long is going to be a tough, hard slog into the flank of an enemy who knows you are coming.
Zhao Long was established about 150 years ago, and for at least 30 years it was known as the farthest human colony from Terra. Controlled by the Hannu clan, with large Proletaran and Yoarashi populations, the planet is largely agricultural, but is also the sector’s bureaucratic center as well. There are two major cities, Cydonia-by-the-Sea and Xiafang. There are also numerous small towns and agricultural centers. The planet exports a wide variety of goods and is pretty much self-sustaining. The planet is most known for its export of drakitos, little flying dragon-like reptiles about the size of a house cat. They are trainable, as intelligent as the smartest breeds of dog, affectionate and make excellent pets and guard animals. They also seem to handle space travel and new worlds very well. Drakitos are currently a pet fad on Terra and a few other major worlds.
Only about 30% of the planet has actively been explored beyond a quick fly-over, and there have been ruins found near Cydonia. It appears there was once intelligent life here, but it didn’t seem to advance very far…maybe equivalent to the Egyptians or the Mayans. However, that species appears to have vanished long ago and there have been very few tangible clues as to what happened to them. The few pyramid-like structures and ruins that have been found have no writing, and some speculate that the species may have either been sightless or psychic.
The people of Zhao Long are generally independent, but patriotic. They’re not thrilled at the militarization of their world, but they sure understand that they don’t want the alternative. Now that they’ve made a decision that they must act, they are fairly united in shoring up their world and turning it into a fortress in space…a bulwark against the Arkhon. And the day they have to defend their world may not be far off. There have been a number of Arkhon probe attacks, scouting intrusions and other activities in-system, which has everyone on edge. A platoon of spectral hunters has already attacked the Xiafang quantum communications system in an attempt to disable it. They were foiled, but their ship was never discovered, and it is disturbing to many that they were able to slip through the patrols.
Every ship that brings supplies in has been ordered to help in evacuating any civilians who wish to leave the planet. The number of people who have left has been surprisingly low.
Population: 14 million on the planet. A small science outpost on the larger moon, Kon-Tiki, has about 140 people.
Controlling Clan: Hannu
Diameter: 6,550 miles
Atmosphere: Earth-like, oxygen rich, lower nitrogen (70% nitrogen, 25% oxygen), slightly denser air pressure, and much more water vapor in the air.
Calendar: 30-hour days, 319 days in a year.
Satellites: Two moons, Kon-Tiki and Beagle, and a Frontier-Class Space Station.
Defense Assets: The defenses of Zhao Long are steadily evolving. The space station is being armed with batteries of anti-ship, long-range missiles and has 72 Crossbow star fighters (two wings). There are a number of planetary batteries under construction which are designed to shoot down landing craft with volleys of missiles and particle beam cannons. There are also bunkers, armories, and fortifications underway at all the major settlements and cities. Food and water are being stockpiled and about 25% of the children under the age of 14 have been shipped to a settlement in the Leo Sector for the time being, usually with one parent or a relative. There are about 400,000 marines on planet, with more on the way.
The planet itself has four squadrons of Crossbow fighters (two squadrons in each city) and a squadron of Ballista strike fighters. There are also eight L-750 light patrol ships in service as law enforcement vessels to the local magistrates which will likely be commandeered when hostilities break out.
In space, there is both a small task force that was assigned to the Zhao Long system, as well as a newly-arrived task force from Leo Sector. This has given Zhao Long a total of five escort carriers, six heavy cruisers, 14 destroyers and 35 pinnaces. Unfortunately, there are no capital ships to defend the system yet, and many doubt that the Arkhon are going to wait for some to arrive. At best, two Cerberus Mobile Defense Platforms are likely to arrive before the Arkhons make their move.
The situation is very tense, with
constant patrols throughout the six-planet system. Three Arkhon “Stalker” class
scout ships have been destroyed already and two