Many of the capital-class ships and carriers used by the Gudersnipe Foundation and Gudersnipe School are constructed from start to finish at Utopia Gregaria. The other main shipyards are the Naupactus and Gallihop centers. Smaller support ships and freighters are either built at smaller shipyard or sub-contracted out. Fighters and transports are usually made at planet-side factories.
Utopia itself is a main-sequence star orbited by seven planets and the shipyard itself. Plasma from the star is piped through a 1.8-A.U.-long series of magnetic coils to heat the massive foundries.
- 1 Utopia Minoria
- 2 Utopia Proper and Utopia Polar
- 3 Utopia Gregaria
- 4 Utopia Senioria
- 5 Utopia Guardia
- 6 Utopia Ignoria
The first planet in the Utopia System, Utopia Minoria is a small, rocky planet with almost no atmosphere and an extremly hot surface, known to have a very high iron content. It is scheduled for demolition when needed.
Utopia Proper and Utopia Polar
Two larger, rocky worlds in the star's habitable zone, and the only inhabited planets in the Utopia System. The two worlds share roughly the same orbital path but at different inclinations. Every seven years their orbits bring them close enough to cause tidal surges in large bodies of water. If these worlds had oceans, this would likely result in major damage; however, the handful of lakes large enough to show effect are mostly recreational, and accompanied by few permanent structures.
Originally named Utopia Equator and Utopia Polar, the planets were marked for terraforming in A.Y. 1880; but urgencies of the terraforming fleet delayed the begining of the project until A.Y. 25.
Utopia Proper and Utopia Polar were terraformed in the Second Age when Gudersnipe began transforming the solar system into its chief production center. Both worlds are Generation III, System I, though originaly Generation Is. Because they were converted, initially to Generation II and later to Generation III, some terraforming experts argue that they do not qualify as 'full' third-generation worlds. Proper and Polar were not intended as test platforms, and were among the first colonized worlds following their "successful" terraforming.
Within two hundred years, both planets had populations exceeding 2 billion. As their Generation I ecosystems headed for total collapse, the population of Utopia Equator was moved to Utopia Polar and reterraforming began. As terraforming crews struggled to repair Utopia Equator, Utopia Polar's system continued to degrade. Reterraforming was halted, and the populations redistributed. Instead, Worldcraft attempted a "live" reterraforming process on the two worlds, with the population in place.
The human population equalled 3 billion per planet when Utopia Equator was evacuated a second time, and rapidly reterraformed with the newly designed Generation III techniques. The population of Utopia Polar grew to 7 billion during this time (from the 6 billion combined), and 5 billion were relocated to Utopia Equator, now renamed Utopia Proper.
Live reterraforming continued on Utopia Polar, converting it more slowly from Gen-II to Gen-III, with the whole process completed by the mid-Third Age.
From then on, the populations were allowed to skyrocket, to meet the growing needs of the Utopia Gregaria Shipyards.
Utopia Proper has a surface area of approximately 3,169,445,471 square miles, while Utopia Polar's surface area is 3,171,201,017. Each planet now has a stable population around 10 billion.
The second and third planets of the Utopia system are primarily "bedroom" worlds, meant to provide shelter and housing for the workers on the station. Utopia System is a single-industry star system, with the entire labor force either working for the shipyard, or in some capacity to support the employees of the shipyard.
Both planets sit straight on their axes and offer little geographic diversity. They have mild climates with no seasonal variation. There are a number of artificial rivers, lakes, and streams, maintained primarily for irrigation or recreation. Food is produced hydroponically, with very little traditional farming.
Aside from recreational areas and cities, the planets are covered almost entirely by suburbs.
Gregaria was a very large rocky planet from which the shipyard draws its name. It was the third planet in the system. During the Second Age and before the terraforming process on Utopia Proper, Utopia Gregaria was deliberately torn apart by controlled explosions, to provide shipbuilding materials and the yard itself.
Dozens of moon-sized chunks survived the demolition and fragments of the planet were blown all over the solar system, some eventually forming a ring system around Utopia Senioria.
The station itself employs a total of 6.5 billion people. Only around 500,000 are full-time residents; the rest rotate off the station in a six-month cycle. Workers receive checks bimonthly, though they only work six months of the year. Six months on station, six months off.
On station, work schedules very according to job-type. "Shirt-sleeve" workers, working within the station itself, typically work six 8-hour shifts within a 7-day work week, though overtime is expected. Payment is typically by salary, though they are compensated for overtime either monetarily or by extra days off. EVA-workers, outside the station in stardock, work 12-hour shifts for three days, then recieve two days off; they do not follow a 7-day work-week, but a 5-day schedule. EVA-workers are also better paid, though they do not receive overtime-payment. Because the 12-on, 12-off schedule is strictly enforced, picking up an extra shift or working more than 12 hours is a violation of contract. Though such actions are not punished, they are not rewarded.
At any given time, there will be roughly 3.5 billion men and women working on Utopia Gregaria. 3 billion work the 6-month-on, six-month-off schedule, though they do not rotate all at once. The rotation is staggered in increments that corrsepond with a particular employee's work schedule.
Around 1 billion are EVA, or Extra-Vehicular-Activity-workers, who labor in pressure suits outside the space station. Though the stardock protects them from solar radiation, they still must wear fully-equiped space suits for safety reasons. The suit has a completely independant life-support system, but uses an umbilical from the station for primary life support. The space suit is a "hard-hat" design specifically invented for use at Utopia Gregaria.
EVAs work in teams of two, with a third 'shirt-sleeve' controller on the station to monitor the EVA team's vital signs and a number of other factors. EVA shifts technically only last for 12 hours, but begin with at least 2 hours of shirt-sleeve prep-time.
A controller is always on duty with the EVA-team, though a team can expect to cycle through at least 4 different controllers over the course of their 14-hour workday. EVA workers take electrolyte suppliments before each mission, and recieve nutrients and water through a small pump and nipple mounted inside their helmet. They do not return from the EVA until their shift is up, but take a 10-minute "suit break" every two hours. EVA work is the most physically demanding part of shipbuilding.
A controller will begin his 8-hour shift while his EVA team is still preparing. During this time he will run down the checklist with the EVA team and check maintenance log records on all equipment. Once the EVA begins, the controller may not leave her station for any reason. Halfway through the shift, a second controller takes over, while the first goes for a thirty-minute break. When he returns, he will typically be assigned a different EVA team.
Scheduling for the EVAs and controllers is carefully staggered; no team ever goes out without a controller on duty. Controllers receive only one 30-minute break during their eight-hour shift, making it last actually 8.5 hours.
Other Shirt-Sleeve Workers
A wide variety of other jobs around the station allow workers to function in a shirt-sleeve environment. These employees follow the same 8-hour cycle, but recieve two fifteen-minute and one 30-minute break, making their shifts 9 hours long.
Workers on station live in dormatory-style accomodations; there are no families allowed on the station. Private and semi-private rooms are assigned based on skill-level, seniority, and other factors, though most skilled workers can expect a small private room.
The living quarters of the station contain numerous entertainments to keep the workers occupied during their off-hours. Barring some emergency, no one leaves the station until their six-month rotation.
For the workers in multi-occupant dormitories, small communications rooms are available where they can recieve at least a small amount of privacy for an hour or two a day. Here they can make contact with their families back home.
While not considered a primary re-fit facility, many ships do come to Utopia Gregaria for this purpose. Still others are mothballed there, to be held in reserve.
The formerly fifth, now fourth planet in the system, Senioria is a large gas giant. It has a system of rings formed initially by debris from the destruction of Utopia Gregaria. The ring system later became used as a dumping ground for mining waste and other refuse left over from the shipebuilding process.
Sometime around the early Third Age when production officially began at Utopia Gregaria, the planet itself became a dumping ground for radioactive materials. Contaminated refuse was loaded into cargo containers or derelict ships deliberately crashed into the planet. The region eventually became a dumping zone for ammunition and finally classified as a proving ground in the mid Fourth Age (though it had been routine for some time for ships undergoing space trials to use the ring system and moons of Utopia Scenoria for target practice).
The area is off-limits to all unauthorized personnel, with authorization only granted by the Utopia Gregaria Port Authority.
In the Fourth Age, following the closure of the Utopia Senioria region, a group of environmental activists staged a protest, calling the use of the planet as a dumping ground and the moons as targets for weapons test "irresponsible" and "bad for the environment". As part of the protest, activists visited the restricted zone. There were no survivors.
The region around Utopia Scenioria is considered highly dangerous.
The fifth planet in the Utopia System is an Ice Giant with four moons. Though none are habitable, the second moon is home to a Gudersnipe base.
The two-part facility consists of a series of bunkers below the moon's icy surface, connected to a space station and star docks by an orbital tether. Constructed early in the Golden Age, this is regarded as one of the first orbital tethers built by the Foundation.
The sub-surface base is primarily barracks and living quarters for the soldiers stationed there, though it also contains a large ammunition storage facility as well as hangers to support at least thirty wings of Harpies. The base is built on the rocky moon surface, protected by a thick layer of ice. The orbital tether is anchored deep beneeth the rocky surface and protrudes through the ice to the station above.
The space station contains berths for four capitol ships and is the primary home port for the the solar system's defensive contingent. Utopia Gregaria being on of Gudersnipe's chief strategic assets, its home guard consists of seven complete battle groups, of which three use Utopia Guardia as their home port.
The Sixth planet in the Utopia System is a very low-density gas giant in the outer solar system. It has a larger diameter than the fifth planet, but significantly lower mass. Its orbit is also nearly twice as far away.
Utopia Ignoria's name is derived from its history: though discovered in the initial survey that charted the solar system in the early Golden Age, the planet was never named or officially classified, but simply 'ignored'.
In the Fourth Age, the planet was rediscovered by an astronomy class on Utopia Polar, later allowed a field trip to visit it up close. They dug through records and found that it had always been known, just never acknowledged. The name was chosen, the textbooks were updated, and Utopia Ignoria continued to be a dreary giant ball of gas at the edge of the solar system, only now people cared about it.