This is results of the third assignment from the World Building workshop from the Muse Online writers' conference:
Arkm is an Earth-type planet orbiting Cogswell's Star (Type G0--coordinates: 231.4 X, 354.2 Y, 127.9 Z). As Arkm's orbit is to the outer edge of the star's habitable zone, the climate tends toward the cold. Of special note to Spacers and ground forces, Cogswell's Star is rather active in production of charged particles and, thus, frequently interferes with electro-magnetic communications in the RF band.
Cogswell's Star was first surveyed eighty-five years ago by the Bayern survey vessel Alfred L. Wegener. Arkm's existence was noted but as it was on the far side of its orbit was not closely studied. Thirty-three years later, the fact that Arkm was inhabited was discovered by the ore-carrier Tau Ceti Maru when it picked up spark-gap signals while passing near the system.
A full planetary survey was completed by an Imperial Erin Naval Survey party from the destroyer Todd Beamer (a Hero class FRAM I) a few months after Tau Ceti Maru's report (see section 41.3 of Admiralty Court Reward Proceedings). It was found that Arkm has rich deposits of Tantalum in easily mined areas. Arkm was opened to exploitation ten years later with the first Imperial Covenant to Combine Metals, I.C. of Tara. Since then, two other mining concerns have been awarded covenants: Rujio Metals and Smelting, I.C. of Yamato and KwaZulu Mining and Production, I.C. of Bantu.
Because there is no planet-wide government, Arkm is a Class III Imperial Protectorate and is administered through the Imperial Ministry for Colonies headed by Prince Ewald von Bayerlan-Wurzburg (Bayern).
To date, it has been impossible to discover the origin-group of the original settlers of Arkm. The most commonly spoken languages appear to belong to the Urdic family, though shot through with features of the Romance family.
The main religion is a form of goddess worship having no set hierarchical structure. A notable feature is the belief that a sacred flame must be kept burning at all times in villages and towns. (Note to Imperial Forces: The Arkmese believe that when killed in combat, the soul of the fighter becomes a lover of the goddess. A second belief that keys into this is that the soul can ascend only as long as the sacred fire is burning. To make themselves more appealing to the goddess, fighters smear themselves with a strong smelling spice also used in cooking.) There is some mission effort under way by several faiths.
The Imperial Erin destroyer Kevin Barry (a Hero class FRAM II) is presently on station in orbit around Arkm with a Platoon Landing Force of Imperial Marines. Presently dirt-side because of the Nipo rising is one battalion of Bayern Fallschirmjagers, a regiment of High Brazos cavalry (both mounted and vehicular), Imperial Marine and Naval Air Groups at NAS Bad Water, and a company of Imperial Marines as Governor-General's Guard at Quigali.
DVDs for Christmas (Note to FTC: I bought this dang DVD myself!)
The Nutcracker (staring Mikhail Baryshnikov). Kultur. 78 minutes.
On Christmas eve, visions of sugar plum fairies dance in my head (which probably explains why I tend to wake up the next morning feeling a little less than Christmasy until the second glass of Dr. Pepper). I put this down to all the lousy versions I've suffered through in my young, innocent years of The Nutcracker (contrary to Jeff Foxworthy, this is not something you do off the high-dive--I only wish it were).
When CBS first broadcast Baryshnikov's version of The Nutcracker in 1977 (it moved to PBS later), I didn't expect a whole lot. The production knocked my socks off! The guy was one heck of a dancer and actor as was Gelsey Kirkland as Clara. Unlike many, Kirkland's Clara looks like a kid (a rather tall kid admittedly--but a kid). Alexander Minz as her Uncle Drosselmeyer, the inventor/sorcerer, is one spooky dude. And best of all, there ain't a fairy in sight!
Our copy was my daughter's Christmas gift years ago. This the one to have (though Maurice Sendak's 1983 version is interesting).
15 December 2009: Feast of St. Mary Di Rosa of Brescia, Belisarius defeats Vandals at Ticameron 533, U.S. Bill of Rights ratified by Virginia and becomes law 1791, Battle of Nashville 1864, Battle of Mt. Austen - Guadalcanal 1942.