Wars World Survey: Zeffenian Army Regiment Black Hole - By Abalux

Cultural Basis: Mixed Terran (as for Wars World)
Population (% Military): 5 billion (30%)
Government Type: Military administration
Primary Industries: Robotics, military nanotechnology, electronics
Exports: Remote-link vehicles, firearms, computers
Imports: Raw materials, grain, oil

History

When Sturm captured Sonja Kanbei, she briefly managed to escape her cell. The crown princess of Yellow Comet stumbled upon his base's computer workroom. One terminal displayed an open file. Knowing that this might be her only chance to steal Black Hole documents, Sonja found a strange CD-like object and figured out how to burn the data on to it. She was lucky enough to escape with the information. At home, she ran the data through a self-created translation program.
What Sonja found was shocking. She shared it with Wars World's other nations and they realized the situation's gravity. The citizens of Wars World had wondered what their opponent was. Now they had an answer: Black Hole was as human as them. Sonja's data was a survey of a fellow colony.
About fifty years after Earth launched its STL colony ships, a physicist discovered how to breach hyperspace. The age of faster-than-light (FTL) space travel had begun. Earth's nations fought many environmentally scarring wars over the technology. Eventually, one nation rose out of the chaos and built hyperdrives. It then used ships with these drives to colonize the galaxy. This was a necessity: Earth was too scarred to support more than a few urban complexes.
One of the colonies, Zeffen, was on a cold world with a thin atmosphere. Zeffenian humans altered their genomes to breathe its air. They soon branched into other aspects of genetic engineering. Eventually, they even found the genes that affected CO powers. This discovery led to the rise of the Zeffenian military government.
The scientists of Zeffen soon moved on to robotics and nanotechnology. Its military government allowed them unfettered research. After all, contact with Earth was rare: the colony had to stand on its own two feet. This applied particularly to science. The research culminated in the invention of nanofactories: places that, with a mere set of molecular blueprints, could "grow" nearly any object with nanites. The Zeffenian military celebrated this discovery.
Soon, it realized there was a major problem: the nanofactories required massive amounts of raw materials. Zeffen did not have enough resources to support them. Not wanting to abandon the factories' potential, the Zeffenian government developed a plan. One of the old STL colonies was a mere ten parsecs away. Its citizens would no doubt be primitive and easy to raid. The government sent for, and received approval from, Earth. Then it sent Sturm, CO of its "Black Hole" regiment, to the star system known as "Gamma Phi-872".
Sturm discovered its colony was more advanced than expected: its nations had guns, planes, and even a spacecraft under construction. He pondered what to do from his fleet's flagship. When his troops intercepted a TV documentary on Steinhalt, Sturm got his first idea: get a field commander. He sent probes to excavate the dictator's grave. Then he had one of his staff scientists, Lash, clone Steinhalt and use his latent CO power to bring the clone to life. Lash did one better. In some unholy miracle, Steinhalt came back with all his memories. Sturm made both of them COs; Steinhalt got the code name "Hawke".
Sturm then sent robot doubles of the young Orange Star CO Andy to wreak havoc on Wars World. While he was supervising this operation, Lash, Hawke, and his other COs began building hidden bases and factory lines within the Allied Nations' borders. Sturm?s distraction worked perfectly. The nations of Wars World were genuinely shocked when they discovered the Black Hole facilities. Only their combined determination, and Hawke's unexpected treachery, allowed them to save the planet. All Allied Nations COs expect future attacks from Hawke's new Black Hole.

Geography

The planet of Zeffen is the only remotely habitable planet in its star system. With this in mind, it's barely habitable. Most of its surface is desert. The surface temperatures are cold enough that nearly everyone lives in underground habitats. These habitats are huge and overcrowded. 2.5 billion Zeffenians live on planet; the other 2.5 billion live in orbital habitats throughout the star system. Most Black Hole soldiers come from the latter settlements.
An interesting outgrowth of these living conditions is the prevalence of albinism. Not having to worry about the sun, Zeffenians with the condition are rather common. At least one Black Hole CO, Adder, is an albino. In the last war, he rarely left bases or vehicles. (The common soldiers wear their infamous spacesuits.)

Politics

Zeffen has no politics outside of the military. Even compared to Blue Moon, Zeffenian society is militarized: no one can rise in rank and wealth without joining the army. Everyone competes to join the top regiments and forces.
In Sonja's stolen intel, Sturm described Black Hole as a prestigious regiment. This state meant that Sturm was likely a power player on Zeffen. Sturm's death means that Wars World intelligence operatives aren't sure about the current situation. They suspect that Hawke has made Black Hole independent of Zeffen: a maverick regiment.

Military

Advanced technology means that the Black Hole army uses equipment far beyond Wars World's militaries'. Examination of its soldiers' spacesuits reveals integral climate control, respirators to reduce the pressure of Wars World's air, and visor heads-up displays (HUDs). Their guns use liquid propellant to increase their bullets' striking power. Even scarier, all Black Hole vehicles are remotely piloted. They perform as if there were a pilot inside. Wars World intelligence analysts suspect neural interface technology is involved.
Black Hole technology also involves CO powers. Zeffenian scientists understand their nature better than the people of Wars World. They can use genetic engineering to create and boost them. Sometimes, the scientists create CO powers so potent that the wielder needs life support to survive using them. Many intelligence analysts believe this is why Sturm wore a bulky armor suit. Regardless, all Black Hole COs display uniformly potent abilities.
It is interesting, then, that Black Hole COs do not use the same combat and occupation strategies. They vary wildly based on the CO. For example, Flak focused completely on destruction. His troops smashed many Orange Star cities to bits, causing the people to flee and allowing Flak to plunder. In contrast, Adder's Yellow Comet force focused on spreading fear. Citizens and merchants often would not resist as soldiers took their money and fuel (no small feat in a nation of proud, honorable people).

Current Events

Recently, intelligence satellites detected unusual objects entering Wars World?s orbit. These objects had the same signatures as Sturm's starship fleet. All the Allied Nations COs know about this; they can only assume another Zeffenian force is checking on Black Hole. There hasn?t been an attack so far. Still, the COs are preparing...

Survey Index