Beep... beep... beep...
Captain's Log, Stardate 19344.4
Plortitics is a land divided. Ever since the mysterious Event which raised the land once more from the sea, it has been populated by myriad city-states, in constant competition with each other. It would be nice to imagine that the dawn of the Space Age would allow them to set aside their rivalries and come together at last, but as we swing into orbit over the island, it is clear that this has proven a step too far.
No less than five orbital stations vie for our attention. In the far west, the linked wheels named Kaitlyn and GMA are studded with docks, but their heavy fortifications make me uneasy. On the other hand, they seem in a good state of repair - unlike Tomash Orbital, their neighbour to the east, which spews radiation from what seems to be a cracked reactor housing.
Huinesoron Station may be a better choice: it seems the most friendly, maintaining only a simple meteor shield and many docking bays, and has only residual contamination. But it is a small station, and its position over a mid-slope area of land suggests a certain degree of exile. Granz, riding high over a mountain, is more typical; but is the fallout covering the peak below truly unconnected from the shielded station above?
It may be that we would be wiser to land upon the planet itself, in one of the many mountaintop docks. Scapegrace, positioned practically beneath Kaitlyn, is an option, though its extensive fortifications make me nervous. Doctorlit, to its north-east, seems more open, and sports a great many docking bays, but I have to wonder whether its distant position indicates a certain standoffishness.
The main cluster of ports stands beneath Huinesoron Station, and they are a study in contrasts. Delta Juliette on its snowbound mountain peak may be friendly enough, but Four Moons Watching (a curious name) is sunk deep into the rock of the mountain, and seems prepared to see off an invasion. SunAndMoon, though similar in name, is a polar opposite (and not just for its position on the far side of Delta): entirely unshielded, with its docking bays spaced wide. Then there is Helsinki, nestled on the wooded slopes of the mountains, a hidden fastness close to the Centre Pole.
Ultimately, the mass of radiation covering the mountain makes the decision for me: I must look elsewhere.
A little to the north, a cluster of small ports seems a viable prospect. Virtually unshielded, and with no contamination in sight, the trio of Snowblaze, Hieronymus, and tiny Mikelus are almost welcoming. Except... what would drive these ports, two airborne, one floating on the dark sea, to such an extreme location, on the very edge of Plortitics? I fear there is more to them than meets the eye.
The lone mountain rising in the centre of Plortitics' southern coast has promise. It is true that Cicada, atop the grey peak, is the picture of unfriendliness, with its radioactive haze held off from its single port only by massive shielding. But Iximaz to its west seems welcoming enough, if small; larger Elcalion, to the east, sits silently behind its walls, though it otherwise presents a fairly pleasant aspect.
Not so the settlements to its north. Kerowyn, secure on its ridge, defended by irradiated wastelands and accessible only by a single port, is nevertheless the most open of the three: for tiny SomeRandomPersonAccount and OrangeFox lie beneath the sea, the first having no visible access, the second being utterly engulfed by radiation. It would take a hardy ship indeed to approach these purported ports.
And yet, who can blame them? For in the far east of the isle lies the fastness of the Morningstar, Aurora the heir of the War-Queen Alleb. Sunk deep into the magma that underlies the isle, secure behind shields of adamant and the sickly glow of fractured atoms, who knows what strange ships might rise from its twin docking ports?
Not I, and I choose not to find out. Though we are low on fuel, I order the Helmsman to bring the ship about. We will make for friendlier skies, and put the endless feuding of Plortitics behind us.
With no offence intended to any of you radiation-spewing maniacs. ^_~ The position of each city is based on your Left/Right result (Socialism/Capitalism) and your 'Liberal'/Authoritarian result. The height of the land is based on how Constructivist you are, while the height of your dock is based on how Regulationist you are (the idea being that sticking the ports in orbit is the Health&Safety-approved option, while burying yourself underground is the free market at work). Your port is sized based on how much you support Rehabilitation (since it produces a larger free population), and its number of ports (black circles in most case, any black areas on the orbital stations) comes from your Internationalism score. Finally, you get increasing levels of shields if you're more Revolutionary, and increasing radiation levels if you're less into Ecology.
All of the scales are calibrated based on the PPC's results this year, so don't be confused if you're down as low despite being above the 50% mark: literally the only one where the lowest category starts below 50% is Revolutionary. For Regulationism, you're going to be deep underground/water unless you're at 70% or more!