((the places discussed in this post span several Dimensions; I’ve already discussed Defiance and Testament in-depth in my posts on Crystal and Esper [respectively]; the rest I’ve lumped together here))
The Gate Dimension’s Colonies
One of the key things that defined a Great Power in the Pre-White Cell Web of Worlds was a presence in space. While this by itself was insufficient to make a nation a Great Power (as Medina, Forthena, Bal, the Merge League, the IJF, the Republic of Man and the Kingdom of Carrion all possessed space fleets at one time or another, but have not ever been considered “Great Powers”), it was a defining characteristic. None of the other Great Powers excelled at flexing this particular muscle the way the Guardians did (although both Tasnica and Esper come close).
While Guardia was not the first to reach space (the Carrionese beat them there), nor the first to establish an off-world colony (again, the Carrionese settled Avalon before Gate was part of the Web), and they also weren’t the first multi-dimensional power (the Tasnicans had annexed Albrook during the Great War), they pioneered the colonization and exploitation of the lifeless celestial bodies (planets, planetoids and asteroids) that fill the space between the main inhabitable worlds of the Web. Their empire of colonies (shared jointly from the beginning with the Republic of Medina) spanned the Core and Fringe, and was the largest and most impressive of these endeavors. While Guardia is often thought of as the master of these colonies (because the GSF uses them as anchorages and provides for their defense), they are actually under the joint custody and administration of both Guardia and Medina. They boast populations of mixed Guardian and Medinan residents, who, operating under the auspices of several joint-administration agreements between the two Gate powers, lend each colony a healthy mixture of traits from both parent nations, liked the children of a mixed-race marriage.
During the GA Civil War, much of the Gatian empire was plundered by White Cell, though with mixed results. Below, you will discover the ultimate fate of these colonies.
-Terminology: "The Crown of the Core"
Together, Gate’s four major Core colonies (Vengeance, Sanctuary, Testament and Defiance) are known as the “Crown of the Core.” They were the first four worlds colonized in the Web, and they are the jewel of the Gatian empire (and a great source of Guardian pride).
•Gate Dimension Colonies•
Gate extensively colonized its own dimension’s space. A few of these colonies (Keystone, Omen and Vengeance) were settled in the initial wave of planet-grabbing; the rest were established following the “divorce” that separated Atreus from its Gatian partners. The Gate Dimension was never really broached by White Cell’s fleet, and so these colonies did not suffer.
•Doan’s World (Gate I)
•Skull’s World (Gate II)
•Keystone and Omen (Gate III’s two moons)
•Vengeance (Gate IV; formerly Atreus)
•Orbital I and Orbital II (Gate IV’s two moons)
•The Gate Belt
•New Truce (Gate V)
•Gate V’s Moons
•New Medina (Gate VI)
•Gate VI’s Moons
•Testament (Esper IV)- Testament was one of the first colonies targetted by White Cell. Its defenses folded and was occupied. Manta was hired to disrupt White Cell’s use of the colony to resupply its fleets, and was successful – to the tune of destroying most of Testament’s mineral processing facilities. After resecuring the facilities following the Civil War, GSF has estimated it may take up to a full decade to get the colony back to full pre-war production output once more.
•Esper IV’s Moons- Suffered similar occupation by White Cell, but they were fortunate enough to escape Manta’s efforts to save them.
•Sanctuary (Mana IV)- This has historically been Gate’s most successful colony, as well as its most controversial. There are three factions at play in the ongoing space drama over the Mana IV colony: the civilian administrators (who are largely Medinan, are interested primarily in self-ingratiation [read:bribes] and have thus allowed Sanctuary to become something of a smuggler’s haven in the Core), the military overseers (GSF, recognize the value of their main anchorage in Manaspace, and are vigilant to keep the colony’s political leaders from ruining things for them too badly), and the planet-bound Tasnican nationalists (who want the Guardians and Medinans gone from their space, and among whom the fourth world of the dimension shall always and forever be known as Heinlein).
White Cell occupied Sanctuary with little resistance, but once they were dug in they found the locals difficult to deal with. A rag-tag resistance (benefitting from membership drawn from Guardians and Medinans of all walks of life) formed and made maintaining control of Sanctuary difficult at best. The resistance caused damage to many vital areas of the domes (not Manta-level damage, but it’s fair to say White Cell was, at least, inconvenienced) during their struggle, but apart from making life kind of bothersome for the White Cell occupation, they failed in their ultimate objective of making the rogue GA units leave their world.
When they finally did depart, White Cell left the remains of a bitter urban guerilla conflict in their wake. As Guardia and Medina were still spending heavily on cleanup and repair efforts back on the homeworld, cash for reconstruction in the colonies was a beaureacratic pipe dream.
This played to the advantage of one of Sanctuary’s more recent residents: Atreus. Prior to the civil war in Guardia (and then the Web-wide civil war within the Grand Army), Atreus had brokered a deal with Medina to occupy one of Sanctuary’s outlying domes. In exchange for certain proposed revisions to that agreement (which, naturally, gave Atreus much more space and a greater stake in colonial administration), Atreus agreed to foot the bill for much of the reconstruction within Sanctuary.
The Tasnican nationalists aren’t necessarily pleased by this development (while Atreus is technically a Tasnican corporation, its origins are Gatian, and its CEO is Pandoran).
•Mana IV’s Moons- These probably also have Taznikanze names, but the Gatians never bothered with them.
•Defiance (Crystal IV)- The most heavily defended of Guardia’s colonies, Defiance managed to fend off White Cell occupation. It is the only space colony that, when attacked by White Cell, managed to hold its ground.
•Crystal IV’s Moons- Though not as well defended as Defiance itself, the lunar stations orbitting this world also remained safely in Gatian hands throughout the war (thanks in no small part to Defiance’s now-infamous defensive weapon, the Fist of the Heavens).
•Merge Dimension Colonies•
While the inhabited worlds of Merge weren’t assaulted the way that Alter-Mana and Alter-Dragon were, Merge’s colonies are another matter entirely. The Mergespace fleet, previously responsible for maintaining a blockade of the dimension (as part of political sanctions against the Merge League), fell back to defend its colonies, and for the early war was engaged in a drawn-out slugfest with part of White Cell’s fleet. After the Mergespace fleet withdrew, White Cell gained possession of the Merge colonies.
•Salvation (Merge III)- One of the outer domes of Salvation was struck by a Guardian fighter craft that had been shot down while attempting to repel a White Cell raid. The craft hit a chemical processing facility that resulted in an explosion which depressurized the dome, killing all of that dome’s residents and fouling the air in all attached domes for months thereafter, forcing residents to wear breathmasks almost all the time. It was one of the worst disasters to befall a space colony in the history of the Web. (cf. QMC)
•Vigilance (Merge III’s moon)- Ironically, the defensive emplacements on Vigilance were unprepared for the raid that caused the partial-destruction of Salvation colony.
•Conviction (Merge IV)- The damage and loss of life at Salvation motivated Conviction’s administrators to offer the White Cell fleet their unconditional surrender. After the civil war was over, all of the administrators involved in the decision to capitulate to White Cell were arrested as traitors and are being held in one of the Guardians’ secret asteroid prisons.
It should be noted that the Gatians share Merge IV with the Tasnican colony of Herbert. When Conviction surrendered, and the GSF abandoned the world, Herbert had no ability to defend against White Cell once they occupied the Gatian domes. The Tasnican colonists on Merge IV are still sore about this, regarding Conviction’s decision as throwing them under the proverbial bus.
•Merge IV’s Moons (Sanctity and Truth)
•The Merge Belt
•Redemption (Merge V)- Unbound pirate and smuggler Jethro Driver had a problem. One of the robotic crewmen on his ship, V2-D2, came into possession of General Velasco’s secret upgrade schematics of the Executor. He knew that this information would be worth so very, very much money to the Guardians and the Grand Army… but he also knew that White Cell would move him to the top of their hit list just for having seen the plans. Jethro went to one of his more reliable contacts: Dillie Bee, the Medinan administrator of Redemption. Dillie Bee promised Jethro he could find safe harbor at Redemption, and that he would help him forward the plans on to the Guardians. However, unfortunately for Jethro, Dillie Bee had just made a deal that would keep White Cell out of Redemption forever. Jethro and his crew were apprehended – except for Princess Petra, V2-D2 and RT-P0, who escaped with the plans and eventually found their way to Celiose – and Jethro himself was frozen in carbonite, because Dillie Bee thought it would be appropriate. Of course, it turned out the deal Dillie Bee had made with White Cell was getting worse all the time: they landed a full occupation force, seized control of the colony, and utilized Redemption’s resources to help fuel their struggle.
•Courage (Merge V’s moon)
•Alter Dimension Colonies•
For as often as the Gate powers talk up their deep connection to the Alter Dimension, GSF withdrew the Alterspace fleet very early in the war. White Cell rolled over the defenses on all of Gate’s colonies, but the resistance put up by the combined Forthena-Unbound fleet eventually ended up forcing White Cell to give up their hold on the colonies.
•Tantalus (Alter II)
Pelops (Alter II’s moon)
•Namanda’s Visage (Alter-Dragon’s [Alter III’s] moon)
•Invocation (Alter-Mana’s [Alter IV’s] moon)
•The Alter Belt
•Tartarus (Alter V)
•Alter V’s moons