Click the Incatena!

Click on the map, or just keep reading, to learn more about the worlds of the Incatena. (The map shows stars on the sky as visible from Sol, which is why the solar system isn’t on it.)
Sol G2V · 0 ly · mag 4.83 Wiki
The center of the human sphere, politically and culturally, is Sol. The system contains three major inhabited planets— Earth, Luna, Mars— as well as a large number of inhabited natural and artificial satellites. The total population is about 16 billion.

There has been a loose system government, called the Douane (IPA: dwan), which began as a customs union in 22C Africa. It provides economic coordination, ecological protection, scientific cooperation, standards and protocols, and regulation of commerce. Its military and police arm, the Agence Douane, is the guarantor of peace and safety in the system.

The Douane is a federation of over 900 independent nations, excluding Luna— although (like the pre-Collapse United States or Switzerland) its components’ ability to act on their own has diminished over the years. Its legal system is a morass: e.g. in some cases you can appeal from the European Court of Justice to the Douane Members’ Court, and in other cases appeals run in the opposite direction.


Earth will always have a special status, because humanity originated there, and Earth has given humanity its very definition of normality (e.g. in gravity, color, temperature, weather, even levels of danger). Though crowded (10 billion) and abused, it is still a beautiful, diverse, and hospitable planet. Every colonial dreams of one day visiting it.

Its people are sophisticated, indeed arrogant. Only a minority have been offworld, much less outsystem. They are highly conservative, distrusting not only offworlder ideas but anything less than a thousand years old. Many are religious, since Earth is the seat of all but two of humanity’s most widespread religions. A surprising percentage are immigrants from other planets.

Though its ecology has been stabilized, and study and exploitation of its genome is an important economic sector, Earth still has an ambivalent attitude toward nature. Much of the population lives in immense ultra-dense arcologies that are as artificial an environment as a deep-space colony.

Earth is the seat of administration of the Douane; however, it cannot be called humankind’s richest or most progressive planet. Economically Earth produces massive amounts of art, data, and luxury goods. Politically it counts over 500 sovereign states.


Mars was colonized in the late 21C, and barely survived the Collapse. After the Douane-Novorossiya war, Euko and Novorossiya insisted that the new Incatena not be based on Earth. It was based on Mars instead, and over the centuries this made the planet the economic and financial center of the human sphere. It is dynamic, flexible, and forward-thinking where Earth is sluggish and traditional.

Due to terraforming it has a population (4 billion) on the same order as Earth’s. Its lowlands, such as the Valles Marineris and Hellas Planitia, have been transformed into habitable valleys, covered with lush grains and forests. In the uplands the air is still too thin to breathe. In the early days cities were built underground to avoid the hellish radiation of the surface; later domes were built incorporating Tajima energy screens, and still later incorporated even larger Tajima screens covering up to a square kilometer.

The capital, Areopolis, is one of humankind’s most cosmopolitan cities, with a population drawn from all of human space and a large number of aliens. Its language, Hanying (native Hæyeŋ) is one of the two official languages of the Incatena.

Mars is the most important place in the Incatena for financial trading; it also exports software, franchises, insurance, financial implements, and other services. Its cultural exports are almost as high as Earth’s. Politically, it is organized as the Republic of Mars, which is the largest single nation in the Douane.


Luna, Earth’s moon, is the oldest human colony, first reached in the 20C, colonized a century later. Today it is a manufacturing and military center, supplying the rich terrestrial market and exporting many design patterns to the nearer star systems.

Each of the Lunar cities is autonomous, a situation dating back to the early, highly nationalistic period of colonization. For centuries each city’s trade was largely with its parent on Earth. Luna’s interurban conflicts were legendary, stronger than the terrestrial conflicts in which they arose. When interurban terrorism threatened to drag Luna down into poverty, in the 25C, a Lunar Congress was set up to supervise common concerns, but the Lunar cities remain high-strung and independent. Luna never joined the Douane, and has a separate membership in the Incatena.

Luna is a wholly artificial environment, built mostly underground. The typical color is the grey of lunar rock; the sense of oppression felt by most visitors derives not only from the crowding (Luna holds 750 million people) but from the scarcity of wide-open spaces and the absence of sunlight. The environment has proved attractive to crime; smugglers, gangsters, and purveyors of vice find haven in its dim corridors and its impenetrable warren of legal systems.
α Centauri G2V/K1V · 4.37 ly · mag 4.38 / 5.71 Wiki
α Centauri, closest stellar system to Sol, was the first colonized, in the 25C. Its main star (A) is almost a twin of Sol. B is a lower-magnitude orange star, while the third member of the system, the eccentrically orbiting Proxima, is a red dwarf.


The dominant planet is lush Novorossiya, where dinosaurs still roam the jungled lowlands— transported from Earth sixty million years ago by some unknown alien species. Its 27C war of independence catalyzed the creation of the Incatena.

Novorossiya is a pleasant world, larger and more oceanic than Earth, thus more temperate; it now holds nearly five billion people. Novorossiyans are known for valuing quality of life over wealth; they consider that humanity is happiest in its ancestral environment. This turns out to mean small settlements, wood and stone houses, dirt paths, low-tech animal and plant food, and plenty of exercise. High-tech items are discreetly hidden— e.g an extensive underground railway system. It’s undeniably relaxing, but outsiders usually point out that few worlds have the natural ecosphere that allows such a lifestyle.

One of the planet’s main exports is chemicals, DNA, and other products from the complex local ecology.


Euko (for Europäische Kolonie) is the next planet out, a lifeless desert a little warmer than Mars, but rich in metals and minerals. Here humans built huge cities underground, creating a wholly artificial environment, and were not afraid to remake their own genome. Its population is 2.5 billion; its lingua franca is Eukoniš, derived from German.

Originally a project of the European Union, it retained and enhanced the social capitalism of its forebears— the Euko government directly controls over a third of the economy. The fragility of the ecosystem and wars with Novorossiya have sometimes led it to near autarchical levels of control.

It’s a center for nanotechnology and dark energetics, and is known for its scientific universities such as Euko Teknik.
ε Indi K5V · 11.83 ly · mag 6.89 Wiki
Besides its main star, the ε Indi system is also notable for a pair of brown dwarfs orbiting far from the star.


Sihor is a large and now densely populated terrestrial planet. The colony dates back to the 28C— one of the first colonies beyond α Centauri— and once had a rather wild reputation— “Anything goes on Sihor,” it was said.

Sihor has primitive plant life which gave it a breathable oxygen atmosphere. Earth plants and animals were introduced, and thrived. The planet now supports twenty billion people, the highest population of any human planet.

In many ways Sihor is the economic powerhouse of the Incatena— a center of financial systems, software, gravitonics, terraforming expertise, and manufacturing; only its cultural products are considered inferior to Sol’s. Sihorian businessmen are a major presence throughout human space, and several colonies have been launched from Sihor.

The Library of Man on Sihor attempts to document all ancient and modern knowledge, an ambitious brief which has made the institution the premier research institution in the Incatena.


There’s another habitable planet in the system, the largely oceanic Iemanjá. Its major industries are tourism and retirement for Sihorians.
β Hydri G2 IV · 24.33 ly · mag 3.43 Wiki
β Hydri is bright star 24 light years from Earth. It’s unique in that it’s shared by two species.


Okura is a pleasant planet with extensive oceans and a thriving ecosphere; the colonists have done their best to utilize the native plants and animals rather than introducing Earth species. Its total population is 380 million. The capital is Atami in Gōsei.

It was settled in the 36C, largely from Qeng, which was in turn largely settled by the Pacific Rim nations. Its people are known to be serious, proud, and hard-working. Even as colonials they were known for their excellent education system and their fine craftsmanship; more lately Okura has been known for trade, finance, art, and heavy industry.

Since 4790 Okura has been ruled by the dictatorship of the Peace Party, now under Jishuri Kumari, quite an anomaly in these times and indeed a violation of the Incatena Treaty.

The former twelve nations of Okura:

Name Primary ethnicity Population (millions)
Ikkyū-shima Japanese 90
Gōsei Japanese 70
Xinqeng Chinese 60
Bansa ng Anwang Filipino 50
Shr Chinese 50
Phu Quoc Vietnamese 40
Songdae Korean 30
Muaŋ Sai Thai, Lao 25
Kamandamaung Burmese 20
Burusandaku Malay 20
Kwaikok Zhuang 15
Korut Yakut 9
Pretty Islands Micronesian 6


The next planet in, Orindzai, has been occupied for at least 6000 years by the Dzebyet. The differences between Orindzai and other Dzebyet worlds are not striking to most humans. This one has at least a lot of beings who know Okurinese or human-Dzebyet pidgin, and the β Hydri system is a focus of interspecific trade and study. (The old Dzebyet name for β Hydri was Orinjai; when Okura was colonized the Dzebyet decided it must be renamed Órinokur.)
p Eridani K2V/K3V · 26.3 ly · mag 6.25/6.35 Wiki
p Eridani is a binary system, 26 light years from Earth. (Don't confuse the p with a ρ. That really cheeses the Maraillais off.)


There is one inhabited planet, Maraille. It’s a rather mysterious planet, in that most of it is off limits to most citizens of the Incatena, with the exception of one island, Île de Maraille. Maraille was settled in the 33C by a number of nations, but the dominant culture of Île de Maraille is French. Its population is two billion.

The planet is not interested in normal business or cultural contacts with the rest of the Incatena. Its great resource is education: the Maraillais are the Incatena’s great diplomats, generals, philosophers, excelling precisely in those areas requiring flexibility, subtlety, and human judgment. A disproportionate number of Incatena Agents are from Maraille.

When you ask them why this is they are likely to produce only a dismissive answer, like “Le manque d'armes nucléaires” or “On n’est pas cons.”

It’s widely known that Maraille is a retrohabitat, though its exact nature is obscured; here’s what’s really going on.
ζ Tucanae F9.5V · 28 ly · mag 4.56 Wiki
ζ Tucanae is about 28 light years from Earth.

New Bharat

One of its planets, New Bharat, was settled largely from India in the 48C; it is thus one of the younger members of the Incatena. The capital is Colony Base, and its total population is 3 million.

The planet is a largely the project of the New Bharat Colonisation Corporation (NBCC), itself a co-venture of the government of India, a consortium of Indian companies, and Ormant/Mars, a financial services firm founded by the Sihorian Jules Ormant.

NBCC dominates the economic life of the colony— well over half of the economy is under its direct control. Under Incatena pressure, an “Inter-Colony Association” has been set up as an incipient democratic government, but it has little power. New Bharatis profess not to be worried; for one thing, the economy is growing at 12% a year; for another, they’re an ornery lot who distrust governments and consider that a laser pistol is adequate defense against an out-of-control interstellar megacorporation.
ε Eridani K2V · 10.49 ly · mag 6.19 Wiki
ε Eridani, a cheery 10.5 light years from Sol, is notable for having two asteroid belts.


Qeng was settled in the 29C, largely from China and the Pacific Rim. (The name derives from Mandarin 青 qīng ‘green’.)

The planet as discovered was something as a mystery, as it had an oxygen atmosphere and no life at all; samples from the ice caps showed that this dated back tens of millions of years. It’s usually assumed to be the result of some abandoned alien terraforming project. It certainly facilitated fast growth of the colony, which now numbers six billion.

Qeng is particularly known for creative genomics (i.e. creating strange new animals), gaming, and hedonics (i.e the sex market).
μ Cassiopeiae G5VIp/M5V · 24.6 ly · mag 5.78/11.6 Wiki
μ Cassiopeiae is a binary system, with a large sunlike star and a rather close red dwarf.


Armonia was terraformed, if that’s the word, by a long-gone alien race. One of its major exports is information about the archeological traces of the aliens, the ecology they introduced, and how it has evolved over a period of at least fifty million years.

It was settled in the 34C, largely from Brazil and Angola; its major language is modern Portuguese. It was settled by people who felt that the Armonista movement of late 21C Brazil didn’t go far enough. It is rigorously communitarian in culture, without private ownership of land, corporations, or intellectual property. It has a population of 1.1 billion.

Enterprises and institutions are communal; family- and state-run communes are common variants. Structures vary: some are run entirely democratically; some elect a facilitator but run by consensus; some have a more traditional hierarchy but elect their leaders. Most production is market-based, but there is a strong state sector as well.

There is enough experience with such systems that socionomics has the data to analyze them and tools to make them run efficiently. Armoneiros tend to be proud of their system and promote it to outworlders; they’re considered only slightly less obnoxious than the inhabitants of Homeland and Ngembe.

Armonia is one of the only human planets with no Ogorodé population, as Armoneiros feel that the Ogorodé are exploited.
Sirius A1V · 8.6 ly · mag 1.42 Wiki
Sirius is the brightest star in Earth's sky, and thus has always fascinated humans. Sirius A is accompanied by a large white dwarf (class DA2) which orbits at a distance of between 8 and 32 AU.

Tir Habitat

The system has no habitable planets, but humans were eager to establish a presence here. The solution was a space habitat, Tir, built in the 28C, initially to observe this unusual system. A quickship-support infrastructure was built up to support exploration of farther systems.

The place kept growing; it’s now the fourth-largest habitat in human space, with over 40 million residents, and it’s the only one with its own Incatena membership. In form it’s a cylinder with a radius of 40 km and a length of 150 km, rotated for gravity. Not all of the cylinder’s 47750 km² surface is filled in— there is plenty of room for future growth— but in the 42C remaining gaps were covered by Tajima screens, allowing the interior to be filled with air.

There are a number of other structures in the Sirius system, which are tied politically to Tir, and bring the system population to over 100 million.

Tir is noted for scientific research, neurimplants, advanced Vee visualization, and biocybernetics. Perhaps because it’s so far from any useful planet, Tirians more than anyone else have explored ways to mechanize or virtualize their own bodies. It’s one of the few places in human space where you’re likely to meet someone whose only biological parts are their nervous system.
Procyon F5 IV-V · 11.4 ly · mag 2.65 Wiki
Procyon is one of the brightest stars in Earth’s sky, and like Sirius has a white dwarf companion (class DA), though Procyon’s is smaller.


The system looked unpromising for terrestrial planets, but the lifelessm airless dwarf planet Nánhé, at 2.5 AU from Procyon A, was colonized by the Chinese in the 30C. As with Sirius, quickship infrastructure was installed so the system could serve as a stepping stone further out.

Nánhé applied glazed-boring technology developed on Luna and largely developed inward and downward rather than on the surface. Colonists also genofixed themselves to be smaller; outworlders can’t fit in the extensive lower levels of the planet.
61 Cygni K5V/K7V · 11.36 ly · mag 6.03 Wiki
61 Cygni is barely visible from Earth. It’s a binary system, the two very similar stars orbiting at a distance of 44 to 124 AU— far enough apart that each has its own ring of planets.


Homeland circles 61 Cygni B; when settled it had a primitive ecosystem with simple vegetation. Terraforming has created a breathable oxygen atmosphere and introduced Earth species.

Homeland was colonized by American libertarians in the 28C. These had started several space habitats where utopia could be pursued away from the hated statists, but a space habitat is inherently a poor location for a libertarian state, simply because its life support system is so delicate. You can’t chase the pressure inspector off your land on a space habitat, nor can you fire munitions with the freedom that God intended. For that you need a planet.

Best of all, Homeland had no natives, so it could be settled according to libertarian philosophy... anyone who could afford passage could stake out a homestead out in the wilderness. Many did, and most failed. Those who did the best tended to be those who could build a settlement cooperatively, though the administrative structures were never called governments.

The settlements prospered while there was plenty of empty land and unclaimed resources on the planet, and then in the 34C exploded into a series of wars. Quite a few social structures developed, including corporation-run enclaves, dictatorships, monarchies, and states where four fifths of the population were serfs (“contractees” in local parlance).

In the 37C the Incatena engaged in some covert social restructuring, attempting to bring the increasing chaos and poverty under control. The main agent of change was a new religion, Zo thought, which greatly increased the value placed on cooperation and empathy.

By the 39C these efforts had borne fruit, and two Zoist institutions, the New Montana League and the Oak Corporation, defeated the remaining authoritarian states and established some institutions, modelled on monastic orders, which accomplished the regulatory functions which in other systems were assigned to governments. The two entities collectively hold the planet’s Incatena membership.

Perhaps half the planet’s surface comprises the Badlands, sparsely populated regions with no real law apart from Zoist vigilantes. In the cities, the major powers are corporations, clans, gangs, Zoist churches, and agents of New Montana and Oak.
τ Ceti F8V · 12 ly · mag 5.7 Wiki
The τ Ceti system, beloved of sf fans, has a friendly sunlike start, but it’s a forbidding system, with small, inhospitably hot planets, and in the habitable zone two dead, over-large planets, known as Brutus and Kuppa.


However, Brutus has a large moon, Nymondo, whose size and temperature made it suitable for colonization, starting in the 33C. It also boasted a series of fissures which could be roofed over with Tajima screens, forming ribbons of habitable surface. The population is now over 20 million.

Nymondo is notable for being the only Incatena planet which speaks a conlang, Nyliŋa. The founders felt that a single language would build unity and attract a diverse group of settlers. The procedure has not been repeated, perhaps because it took 250 years for the parameters of the language to be agreed upon.

Rapid transit is installed along the fissures, but intrepid travelers also used volants to take shortcuts across the surface. This evolved into a high-speed sport which is eagerly followed across the Incatena, not least because it’s one of the few sports where a few fatalities can be expected every season, both because the moon has no atmosphere, and because competitors are encouraged to attack each other.

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