Qerr'Malic

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Qerr'Malic

Throughout the ages, Qerr'Malic was seen as a benevolent figure watching over the Skrell, especially because of its relationship with the tides. In recent years, even when setting foot on it is just a hop and a skip away, the moon has remained a fascination for many. It is the only natural satellite around Qerrbalak with a surface area of about fifty-six million square kilometres -- about twice as large as Luna. Several cities across the moon specifically cater to entertainment, making it quite the tourist hot zone.

History

Qerr'Malic was often the focus of those on the parent body far below, even before the time of the modern Skrell. Its foreboding presence and effects on the tides eventually earned it the name Protector of the Homeworld. In the early days, when Qe'qlak was the predominant religion practised by the Skrell, Qerr'Malic was often revered as a powerful entity created by Nralakk to protect the Homeworld.

During the height of the Cold War in Qerrbalak, in 1980 BCE, the first skrell-made surveillance probe managed to land on the surface of Qerr'Malic. The tolerant moon was soon swarming with synthetic creations as they floated through the atmosphere of the Homeworld. A number of them remain as monuments.

Only centuries later did the Skrell begin efforts to colonize its surface, shortly after a few settlements had been successfully established within the crust of Aliose. Qerr'Malic would be a bit more difficult to colonize compared to Aliose, primarily because it lacked an atmosphere. Almost none of the original settlements that colonized the moon have survived, and the ruins of the first colonies are often displayed as museums for the curious.

It was only a matter of time before Qerr'Malic became the focal point of attention. Most of Qerrbalak's diminishing resources were redirected to prop up skrellian expansion on the jovial giant. It wasn't long after Querr'Malic's development that those occupying its various craters and plateaus found that they were employed in resource harvesting operations. After a short time, these colonies began reinvesting their profits into expansion, ultimately leading to a need for the Consultant Agencies to begin offering services on the moon as well.

Following the introduction of the Consultant Agencies and ongoing development of infrastructure, the various settlements on Qerr'Malic eventually formed the "Qerr'Malic Mining Consortium" -- the ruling body that ruled the celestial body. The establishment of the Homeworld brought a number of changes to the planet while it remained a relatively rudimentary political body. As Skrell across the colonies began expressing their desire for independence, the colonial ties were broken, spawning a conflict that would encompass the whole Commonwealth. Following the replacements of several instigators with loyalists, the Consultant Agencies' services helped rapidly regain control of the moon.

Over time, Qerr'Malic began to shift away from its resource harvesting operations and began franchising its use as a "waypoint" between extraterrestrial colonies and the Homeworld. Gradually, the infrastructure of the city began to capitalize on the touristic opportunities available. Within a decade, Qerr'Malic wasn't known for its mining might, but for its luxurious entertainment facilities and tourist activities. Eventually, many of the old mines developed into stopping places for transportation, creating what is known as the “Second Surface”.

Environment

In an early stage of Qerrbalak's evolution, Qerr'Malic was thought to have originally been two satellites orbiting one another but eventually collided to form what it is today. In addition to the abundance of craters across Qerrbalak, geologists conducting research into the so-called "Collider Theory" have found some small pieces of evidence here and there. Mineral-rich Qerr'Malic supported Skrell in its expansion across Nralakk. However, centuries of occupation have left the moon relying almost solely on the income it receives from its tourism industries rather than its industrial might.

The terrain in Qerr'Malic is bumpy, with deep cracks and craters littering the landscape. Originally its terrain made colonization challenging, however as the Skrell expanded, these crevices were exploited and overhauled into facilities for resource extraction as the Skrell expanded. Once they ran out of mineral resources, these facilities became entrances to the "Second Surface" of the moon. Several Jargon Federation members have expressed an interest in terraforming Qerr'Malic, but it is considered that the resources required to do so are better used in developing infrastructure in Jargon's non-core sectors.

With the introduction of the C'thur, K’ois has become a thriving crop throughout its more remote regions. Located on the moon and operated exclusively by the Vaurcae migrants, these production facilities can supposedly be seen with the naked eye, with bright yellow hues illuminating the regions where they are located.

Life on Qerr'Malic

Qerr'Malic is a bustling, beautifully diverse "planet" filled with surprises for anyone visiting or residing within the craters, crevices, or plateaus that cover the surface or a great distance below. Within these locations lie luxury cities filled with places to shop, dine, and engage in fun activities -- some even have virtual reality centres developed and owned by the C'thur. On the moon, one can typically expect careers in the service industry. Those looking to enter other markets are usually faced with fierce competition as they try to establish themselves. It is not uncommon to see domed craters, hosting millions within the walls and utilizing the “Second Surface” as a method of entrance and exit.

An extensive network of tunnels exists under the surface of the moon due to its heavy exploitation. Through these tunnels, a monorail highway has been developed that ferries goods and passengers between the various cities on the moon. Within the tunnels, some "cities" have even grown, with the majority of their residents being either Dionae or C'thur. Xenocities like these are far poorer than the other settlements on the moon's surface and provide a similar housing environment to shantytowns. The majority of them are not recognized by Qerr'Malic, but there is one growing shantytown that was formerly set up as a stopping station for the monorail and has now being recognized as Settler's Paradise or Suv'Quleq. There are mainly C'thur and Dionae living here; they work in the luxurious cities of Qerr'Malic but are unable to escape the social credit barrier that prevents them from living within said cities.

As a result of the moon's proximity to the Homeworld, it has become somewhat of a way station between Qerrbalak and the greater Orion Spur. Expatriates make up a larger proportion of the population on Qerr'Malic than those who are native to the lunar surface, leading to a unique blend of planetary cultures on the moon. People may be more attached to their own traditions than to others', contributing to a culture where individual opinions are often supported instead of disregarded, something that is rare across the Jargon Federation.

There is widespread speculation that the Jargon Federation is using subversive methods to ensure that those within its entertainment centres around the moon develop a certain euphoric state through psionics and pheromones. Regulars who don't visit the hub for extended periods show withdrawal symptoms, further reinforcing the belief. Additionally, Skrell-C'thur technological co-operations have created a boom in both augmented reality and virtual realities across the moon. These are commonly used to create a more lively atmosphere than would be possible by using false images and sounds. The common anecdote used by C’thur is insinuating the realities used as being graphically bad, even comparing it to the technology used in the 2380s.

Gasriders

An increasing criminal underbelly operates within Toqleq'wesi, which is fueled by the moon's intoxicating gasses (Xu'Xi Gas). When addiction sets in, it doesn't matter what the reasons are for others huffing the gas. In most cases, those addicted to these gasses are forced out of spas offering them. Gas Speakeasies - illegal clubs centred around gas-emitting nodes - are popular with those hoping to stave off withdrawal symptoms. Gasriders are often categorized as the riff-raff of Qerr'Malic and have low social credit scores as a result of falling victim to the gas. The Representative Council of Chairs has shown little desire to place restrictions on the use of these gasses or to punish those who operate without permits despite the growing epidemic of addiction to them.

Gasriders are also not limited to Qerr'Malic. Many Skrell both within Jargon, as well as outside of Jargon, partake in the smuggled Xu'Xi gasses that are natural to Qerr'Malic's core. It would not be uncommon for Skrell with low social credit scores and/or poorer Skrell living in Biesel to partake of the gas. However, the legitimacy of these smuggled gasses are questionable; many of the shipments are speculated to cheap synthetic knock-offs that achieve the same effect at the cost of a nastier hangover. The Gasrider community has a growing presence, despite the local authority's best efforts, in the Starlight Zone in District Eight of Mendell City.

Government

By recognizing Qerr'Malic as its own government, the Jargon Federation acknowledges Qerr'Malic to be a separate entity from Qerrbalak. As opposed to other colonies in the Skrellian Empire, Qerr'Malic has a Representative Council of Chairs rather than a Grand Council. Qerr'Malic's Representative Council is comprised of elected officials representing specific city-states. Jargon Federation politicians have voiced their displeasure with this system, calling for a reformation of the government on Qerr'Malic. Others argue that colonies should determine their own political structures instead of relying on the Grand Council. There is one person leading the Representative Council of Chairs - the First Chair. A representative council elects the First Chair, unlike the other chairs. An internal campaign is usually conducted before the announcement is made. In the same manner, as the Grand Councilor Primary Elections, the First Chair elections occur once per decade. Aleq Val'monn is the presiding First Chair.

Notable Locations

  • In the Second Surface lies Sub'Quleq, or Settler's Paradise. Its population is primarily composed of C'thur or Dionae and has become somewhat of a breeding ground for delinquent behaviour, mostly on the part of Dionae. In Settler's Paradise, Nlomkala are often seen trying to maintain peace between rival "gangs" that have formed, generally fighting among themselves about beliefs and ideologies such as the Eternal. Although the C'thur generally keep to themselves, there have been past detentions due to the illegal cultivation of K'ois outside of designated production zones.
  • Despite Zuvl'Qlip's (the Capital) geographical isolation, it is famous for its Explorers' Museum, a beautiful and monumental construction filled with colonial artefacts, archaeological samples, and xenobotanical collections. Its wide, quiet space and historic significance often attract prominent Federation politicians and administrators, but due to the fragile, irreplaceable nature of the exhibits there, the halls themselves are closed to the public. There is a travel restriction in place and visitors may only enter the city by appointment.
  • Located in the deepest trench of Qerr'Malic, Toqleq'wesi is one of the largest cities on the moon. Initial colony expansion took place around a small crevice before continued exploitation led to unwanted tectonic activity - unearthing a hidden pocket of geothermal activity. Following the escape of the gasses, the crevice quickly broke apart, forming a deep trench. Modern entertainment industries are based around these natural hotspots of gas emissions, which are utilised for recreational purposes due to the fact that inhaled gasses can have varying levels of intoxication on the Skrell.