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Deneb (AP-01262)

Deneb (Usani:Deneb/1925)
B537ADD-C A Hi In Cx 610Re A2Ia
BAC-3 A00-ANA0-5F Re9
g=0.9179 day=13:12:0.8; year=13,832,232d 23:02.24.52/25,149,091d 02:09:39.20
atmo=0.35, controlled weather
temp=-60 (5/lat -45 to -95)(season +24 to -80, 6 deg lat)
daily temp range 61
Ores, Radioactives, Crystal, Compounds; Metals; Recording, Software, Documents
Reactionary/Regressive; Unagressive/Militant; Discordant/Xenophilic

Deneb has been at the center of the sector transportation routes since the ISS LookSee arrived, six centuries ago. Long renowned for the purity and quantity of its metals, its wealth and its people's naturally outgoing character made it the natural choice as sector capital in 421. Until the Rebellion, Deneb also was the major node of seven of the Megacorporations, with its importance unrivalled by any Imperial world spinward of Vland. Today, the Denebii now boast the second largest naval base in the Regency, and bears the headquarters of the Regency Quarantine Service.

Most of the traffic to Deneb use the system as a shipping nexus, rather than attempt to trade with Deneb itself. Deneb Highport, 12 million strong, is the sole site for many financial services in Deneb sector, ranging from debt servicing in the trillions of credits to a site for economic summits concerning the entire sector. Many, many travellers only see the starport, and never set foot on Deneb itself.

The starport is part of the Regency Extraterritorality Zone, and is outside of Deneb law. Seeing it, with three-quarters of its commercial berths empty, is a silent testimony to the awesome consequences of the Collapse. Within the port, its opulent, space-wasting architecture seems to diminish the small knots of traders and merchants that still circulate in the great throughways and vaulting, gilded halls. In the less urbane neighborhoods, large gaps in the walls and patch-up jobs to the hull silently convey the message of the Vargr occupation.

The locals are all fervent expansionists, and - even after 70 years - have a profound hatred of the Vargr. Vargr with business on Deneb are advised to stay in well-lit areas, away from the underclass alleys and hole-ups. Even in polite company, it is wise to avoid provoking the locals: stay away from conversation regarding the Rebellion, or the Vargr minorities on Deneb itself.

Obtaining permission to land on the world of Deneb is a major trial. Duke Angelo de la Deneb has given a monopoly on off-world transportation to Souijomini Enterprises, a company owned jointly by the Duke and Tukera Lines. Souijomini first screens any traders and their goods, demanding exorbitant fees to 'process' any goods to be sold - or even just transported - to Deneb. The paperwork takes at least a month, and has been known to take five years in certain instances. Any goods higher than TL C is forbidden on Deneb soil, as part of Deneb's irrational 'safety standards'. Also completely forbidden is any form of artwork or gem, non-Deneb foods, clothing made in the Trojan Rift before the Rebellion, and currency made on dates ending with odd numbers (VERY bad joss!). Other articles may or may not be allowed in, depending on the Deneb Registry of Interstellar Trade Regulations, recent local prophecies, and The Deneb Way of Doing Things, as well as the Imperial Trade Code of 1110 (the Regency Code, while acceptable on the Highport, is considered "a pathetic substitute to the Imperial code" by the current Duke.)

After Souijomini is finished, the Deneb Health Service arrives. Their main focus is on the visitors themselves, and their duty is to determine the visitor's 'state of karma, health & joss'. While their karmanic requirements are not unusual - rather more humorous and obscure than anything else - their medical and joss (apparently, a kind of luck) testing veers between the preposterous and the barbaric. No one has actually 'died' because of the drug use demanded as part of these test, but many have lost their sight, been blinded or suffered other lasting ill effects due to these potions and lotions. Perhaps 20% actually pass these tests, and another 40% quit before the 5-day regime is completed.

Assuming the intrepid visitor has endured this testing with success, he now must wait for a Scheduled Shuttle to arrive, usually one to four months, depending on karmanic and psychic conditions. He will find the crew of this shuttle - like all Denebii - very kind and attendant to his welfare, as hospitality it is both "good joss" and commanded (make that COMMANDED) by the Government.

At arrival at the underground port, the visitor will have a stripe of red paint slapped across his forehead, and ten to fifteen ancient man & women will throw balloons of multi-hued liquids at the visitor. These liquids are supposed to help protect the visitor from bad karmanic influences, and provide good health. That 'red stripe' across the forehead leaves a permanent, angry mark, and can only be removed using TL E+ equipment. Also, several "Holy Amulets" are slapped onto the visitor's neck, wrists and ankles. Bulky and with annoying bells, these ill-fitting articles are worn by all Denebii, without exception. Many traders suspect that tracking devises and bugs are embedded into these items, also. Finally, each and every visitor will be provided with a 'host', who provides both excellent advice on local mores and suave, subtle attempts to convert the visitor into a Wondfellow, a believer in the local superstitions which masquerade as religion.

All visitors are restricted to the capital of Somewi F'id. Even here, in this small city of 38 million, several points can be made regarding Denebii culture useful for the casual visitor. First, expect large crowds to follow you wherever you go. This would apply with any visitor, especially a visitor that varies greatly from the Denebii small, lithe physique, with golden red skin tones and bright red eyes. While most refrain from actual physical contact, mass hysterical "touch-feel" attacks occasionally have been known to break out, where entire neighborhoods trample on each other in a mad craze to touch the visitor. Since the visitor has been stripped of even stun sticks and Mace at the groundport, the mood of the crowd should always be carefully watched.

Second, remember that while you the visitor have near total freedom within Somewi F'id, the locals have no freedoms whatsoever. This is not only because of the Orwellian nature of everyday life, but the dictatorial, erratic religion of Deneb. Everyday, the Government downloads information to every Denebii on what they may or may not do, not only for the Public Safety, but to avoid The Collapse. The Collapse, in Denebii theology, is related to the Imperial Collapse but much more entwined with supernatural elements. To keep the Collapse from arriving - referred to as The First Denebii Mission - a chaotic, ever-changing set of superstitious actions must, MUST be done, exactly at the right time, exactly in the right manner. The most common relate to speaking gibberish, inappropriate laughter, always walking X paces at certain sites, etc.

While sometimes Denebii society seems to be on the edge of a total psychotic meltdown, the only time of danger to the traveller is on a "Holy Day", where manias can sweep the entire planet in minutes... at these times, the visitor is advised to hole up in their 'guest rooms', and open the door for No One, for ANY reason. These manias will come in waves across the planet, but would reach their apex at midnight. But, by morning, hardly a trace of the previous madness can be found, although debris and bodies (some alive, some dead) are everywhere.... A Denebii day lasts about 13 hours, for your information.

Enjoy your stay.