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Comm-Link:Galactic Guide - Cathcart System

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Comm-Link-Spider Cathcart ConceptArt Final 021513 thumb.jpg
Galactic Guide: Cathcart System
SeriesGalactic Guide
TypeSpectrum Dispatch
ID12962
Published2013-04-16
SourceGalactic Guide: Cathcart System
In the series
Title Published
Galactic Guide: Anvil Aerospace 2013-04-23
Galactic Guide - Earth & New Jump Point 2013-05-31
Galactic Guide - Stanton System 2013-07-12
Galactic Guide - Hurston Dynamics 2013-07-23
Galactic Guide - Terra 2013-07-26
Galactic Guide: Oberon System 2016-07-23
Galactic Guide: Banshee System 2016-06-22
Galactic Guide: Nemo System 2016-06-15
Galactic Guide: Chronos System 2016-05-05
Galactic Guide: Kayfa 2016-04-06
Galactic Guide: Rhetor System 2015-11-10
Galactic Guide: Croshaw System 2015-10-20
Galactic Guide: Kastak Arms 2015-10-06
Galactic Guide: Ferron System 2015-10-06
Galactic Guide: Osiris System 2015-08-07
Galactic Guide: Castra System 2015-08-05
Galactic Guide: Kruger Intergalactic 2015-07-29
Galactic Guide: ArcCorp 2015-04-29
Galactic Guide: Vega System 2015-04-22
Galactic Guide: Tyrol System 2015-04-15
Galactic Guide: 78th Squadron 2015-04-08
Galactic Guide: Helios System 2015-03-15
Galactic Guide: Accelerated Mass Design 2015-03-08
Galactic Guide: Virgil System 2015-02-19
Galactic Guide: Squad 214, Bravo Flight 2015-02-05
Galactic Guide: Hades System 2015-01-07
Galactic Guide: Nyx 2015-01-01
Galactic Guide: Sakura Sun 2014-12-30
Galactic Guide: Gold Horizon 2014-12-23
Galactic Guide: 36th Fighter Squadron 2014-11-20
Galactic Guide: Nul System 2014-11-19
Galactic Guide: GNP 2014-11-12
Galactic Guide: Taranis 2014-10-29
Galactic Guide: Baker System 2014-10-15
Galactic Guide: The Murray Cup 2014-10-01
Galactic Guide: Consolidated Outland 2014-09-23
Galactic Guide: Bremen 2014-09-16
Galactic Guide: WillsOps Systems 2014-08-05
Galactic Guide: Rihlah System 2014-07-29
Galactic Guide: Stor-All 2014-06-17
Galactic Guide: Corel System 2014-06-10
Galactic Guide: Behring Applied Technology 2014-05-27
Galactic Guide: Original Systems 2014-05-20
Galactic Guide: Pyro 2014-05-06
Galactic Guide: Odin 2014-04-15
Galactic Guide: Tiber 2014-03-04
Galactic Guide: Davien 2014-02-11
Galactic Guide: Aegis Dynamics 2014-01-30
Galactic Guide: Drake Interplanetary 2014-01-08
Galactic Guide: Magnus 2014-01-02
Galactic Guide: MISC 2013-12-19
Galactic Guide: Centauri 2013-12-10
Galactic Guide: Goss 2013-12-02
Galactic Guide: Klaus & Werner 2013-10-28
Galactic Guide: Ellis System 2013-10-07
Galactic Guide: Hangar Manufacturers 2013-09-30
Galactic Guide: Kilian System 2014-12-23
Galactic Guide: ORIGIN 2013-08-02
Galactic Guide: Horus System 2016-02-09
Galactic Guide: Nexus System 2015-12-22
Galactic Guide: Orion System 2013-06-17
Galactic Guide: Oso System 2015-07-08
Galactic Guide: Tayac 2016-02-03
Galactic Guide: Cubby Blast 2015-07-17
Galactic Guide: Covalex Shipping 2015-06-26
Galactic Guide: Cathcart System 2013-04-16
Galactic Guide: Kellog System 2018-01-10
Galactic Guide: Caliban System 2018-04-11
Galactic Guide: Tal System 2018-03-14
Galactic Guide: Leir System 2018-10-17
Galactic Guide: Kiel System 2018-12-12
Galactic Guide - Kabal System 2019-01-09
Galactic Guide: Kallis System 2019-04-03
Galactic Guide: Gliese System 2019-07-03
Galactic Guide: Garron System 2019-06-12
Galactic Guide: Min System 2019-12-11

Cathcart System

Astronomically speaking, Cathcart is basically void: an A-type dwarf star with no true planets and only a loosely defined chain of asteroids and worldlets orbiting far from the green band. In theory, there is no reason anyone should ever have lived here. What is now known as the galaxy’s junkyard came from humble beginnings. The system was first discovered in 2438 by wanted fugitive Adelaide Lorris, who many believe had been using the system as a hideout and only reported it when she saw explorers scanning near the jump point. She named the system after the Marshal who had been chasing her. While the UNE toyed with potential uses for Cathcart, they never actually claimed it. Ideas ranged from deep-space comm research to plans to construct a transportation hub, but ultimately the system became a dumping ground for the military.

The reasoning was simple: without planets or other major bodies, spacecraft could be easily stored without fear of disturbing a local populace or local ecosystems. A pair of pre-fab processing factories were towed in-system and for decades the system began collecting all varieties of obsolete military spacecraft: fighters “parked” in space, end to end for hundreds of kilometers; abandoned destroyers, cruisers, frigates and carriers; all stripped of various needed or classified systems, berthed together as far as the eye could see.

For two hundred years, the fields of garbage grew in Cathcart, out of sight and out of mind from the military command structure.

That’s where Cathcart’s history becomes fuzzy. The system had quickly become a ‘trash pile’ for the military and private industries to dump crippled hulls, toxic materials and all other varieties of odds and ends, but in 2750, a young Naval pilot tasked with depositing a fractured hull came across something unbelievable in the deep sea of garbage.

Spider

Unbeknownst to anyone, Cathcart had a well ensconced population. Individual outlaws and smaller packs had made the surplus military and civilian hulls their homes, retrofitting them with makeshift atmospheric containment systems and cutting out an unlikely living. But the station that came to be known as Spider was something on a scale not seen before. A sprawling world-sized mass of crippled starships, abandoned colonizers and ancient platforms, all held together with tape, metal and prayer. Spider’s origin story is more the realm of myth than recorded history. Clan legends claim its creation was overseen by tens of thousands of pirates and smugglers working alongside one another, lashing together old habitat modules, destroyers, carriers and colony ships to form a living, breathing city over time. Modern anthropologists consider this story unlikely, but whatever the background, Spider is now one of the most fascinating domains in space: by far the largest place in the galaxy where pirates openly congregate.

Nearing the middle of the 30th century, the outlaw population in Cathcart and the existence of Spider had survived the Messers to become a somewhat normalized element in the universe. With their proximity to Nexus system and several other Unclaimed systems, there were rumors that talks had begun to organize an independent Human government, of which Spider would be the prospective capital.

In 2931, that would all change. Dean Kellar’s infamous Run began as a bar fight on Spider and spilled into five systems and embroiled over three dozen participants. It was this raging battle of lawlessness that made the UEE realize that they needed to exert some control in that area.

Shortly after, they officially reclaimed Nexus system and swept out the inhabitants who had been living there. While many of them relocated to Cathcart and Taranis, a large force stayed, resolute to not give up their home so easily. They struck back at the occupying UEE populace in a terrifying way: the Walzer Massacre of 2935.

The UEE’s retaliation was swift. Convinced that supporters of the attack were congregating in Spider, the Navy launched an intensive bombing campaign to try and destroy the insurgents. The massive trash fields prevented the Navy from effectively targeting Spider, but casualties were still significant.

Protocol

The first thing to remember is that Spider is always changing. The battleship fragment you docked with to purchase narcotics a month ago may be an agro-habitat today … or it may have been blown out into space after a pricing dispute with a no-nonsense buyer. Spider is also constantly expanding: junk located in Cathcart and crippled prize ships are added to the maze on a daily basis. Understandably, taking a wrong turn can be extremely hazardous to your health.

Establishing your credentials can be tricky. Without the right codes — available for the right price in surrounding systems — you won’t survive a minute from arrival in-system. While there is no organized government patrolling Cathcart, plenty of low-caliber pirates hang around the jump point waiting to prey on hapless travellers.

Traversing Spider itself can be a confusing blend of protocols and rituals. The station is primarily run by the three outlaw packs: Dace Clan, Fist & Nail and NKZ. While in their respective territories you will be subject to their rules, so don’t disrespect them.

Culture aboard Spider is deceptively pleasant: everyone knows themselves to be in the company of thieves and any business done is no more or less honest than you would find in a public square on Terra. Don’t anger the locals, of course, but that’s good advice on any world. One important note: every segment of Spider has a different decompression alarm … so watch for flashing lights, beeping sirens or anything that might be trying to get your attention … so don’t be separated from your helmet and pressure suit.

Travel Warning

Travelers to Spider can access different docking ports with different passwords. Note that these expire quickly and that using an incorrect password can flag you as hostile!

Heard in the Wind

"Boomer was walking ahead of me heading up from landing to the Dace level. Talking and joking like he did, then suddenly, BAM, section of the wall blew out and sucked him out into space. Saddest thing I ever saw… he owed me eighty creds."
Reg Wallen, excerpt from Void Walkers: Life in the Underworld

"As an architectural accomplishment, there’s nothing more impressive to me than the development of Spider, especially considering that many of the ‘engineers’ (if you can even call them that) had no real formal training when constructing the labyrinthine web of passageways and habitats."
Kelsey Arthur Draft, interview from Cross & Beam