1 - Medron - Happy New Years - Happy New Year, and may it better than the previous one.
I’m not sure how it could be worse, but I know my imagination is not the best imagination in the world. I surely never imagined the America we would live in the last twelve months for instance. Impeachment. Murder hornets. Wild fires. Winnie the flu, and riots and looting too. Government lockdowns. Business shutdowns. Election fraud. More government lockdowns. Satan and 2020 being in a relationship with each other. Trump being the most admired man in America. It’s been a wild year.
It is my supreme hope that 2021 goes better than that. My imagination says for it to do so, certain things must be done. We must make it clear that elections MUST follow election law. Period. End of line. We must make it clear that governors MUST follow State emergency laws. Period. End of line. We must make it clear that politicians bought and paid for by foreign interests will be removed. Russia, China, or fumbuck Egypt, I don’t care. Every politician, every aid that works for them, and every nominee are now a threat to our nation unless we can prove they are not.
That is what we have learned this year. Hopefully we can put those lessons to work in support of our Republic in the next one.
Happy New Year.
May it be better than the previous one.
2 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas Army aerial cavalry regiments have been an integral part of the Army for centuries. They flew ground attack helicopters or transport aircraft during the Second Great Depression, and adopted other aerial attack craft in the decades that followed from the Air Force that slowly disappeared into the ever-devouring maw of the Space Force. They flew all types of atmospheric ground attack and transport craft when the Peloran made Contact, but the technological race that followed made pure airbreathers a relic of the past. By the time The War came upon us all, the Army flew the same Savages and Vigilantes as the other services, though their mission was still purely atmospheric in nature. Their entire reason to exist is to provide scouting, ground support, and transport for their ground pounder brothers and sisters. Their training and their mission reflects this, and many consider them the best pilots for atmospheric operations.
3 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas Army mobile infantry regiments are the backbone of the Texas Army. Wherever the Army goes, it is the mobile infantry’s battle armored troops that hold the ground the rest of the Army uses. They secure our bases. They scout the enemy bases, towns, and cities. They protect friendly tanks, mechs, and aircraft from their counterparts in the enemy ranks. The mobile infantry regiments go everywhere the Army goes, and they are the basic combat unit that everybody sees. They do most of the fighting, and most of the getting shot, and their battle armor is the uniform that most people think of when they picture the Republic of Texas Army. They may not be able to run faster than a speeding grav tank, fly like the aerial cavalry, or lift small buildings higher than a mech, but they hold the lines that must be held when all other combatants are engaged. The mobile infantry is the Republic’s last line of defense, and they have always held.
4 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas Guard is descended from the Texas State Guard that existed before the Second Great Depression. They were similar to the reserves some other States had at the time, entirely under the command of their governor. They were not a National Guard and did not depend on national funding. There were only a few thousand Texas State Guards when the Second Great Depression began, but their purely Texas funding made them capable of surviving when Washington ran out of money to pay the troops. They had very few desertions, and it was not long before their roster swelled to ten times that number after the Texas Air and Army National Guards joined the State Guard. That made them larger than most national armies and air forces of the time, and they played a starring role during the Drug Wars. That cemented their reputation as a solid military organization and paved the way to their future.
5 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas Guard formed during the Convention of States that restructured the national government. It brought together the combined State and National Guards of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and West Louisiana to face the future they would forge together. It was nearly a hundred thousand soldiers strong and included standard infantry, battle armored mobile infantry, hovercraft, small ships, tanks, drones, air transport, and fighter craft. The Guard remained a fundamental and final reserve of every aspect of the Texas military, and they sent a sizeable force to Indonesia to face down the Chinese advance. They also moved on Singapore to deal with the last of the Rogue AIs. Those actions bought them a further increase in reputation, though they most often deployed against natural disasters in the following centuries. Many would wonder if they had lost their edge as humanity went to the stars.
6 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas Guard remained the primary reserve military organization of the Republic of Texas for centuries. They sent Texas Guard detachments to every Texas colony in the stars, and continually upgraded their weapons systems and craft. They usually did this by acquiring the equipment the frontline military was retiring in favor of newer and better equipment. The Guard kept all of the systems it acquired, even going to the expense of crating up and preserving the equipment they retired in favor of new-to-them systems. And when people “retired” from the Guard they were officially placed on the inactive reserve list. This gave the Guard a massive amount of retired equipment and personnel far beyond their official strength should a large enough emergency ever come up. The War was that emergency.
7 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas Guard used many of the same designs as the frontline Texas military when The War came upon us all. Most of the designs were four to five decades old at the time, and had been through numerous upgrades and rebuilds. The frontline services often retired their oldest chassis, and replaced them with newly-built examples of the latest versions. The Guard happily accepted the castoff older models as it greatly improved their logistics. This allowed them to deploy with the main services when The War began, greatly increasing the amount of firepower that Texas could project into the stars. That left the older inactive reserves to take up the Guard’s traditional missions, which is why the Guard used sometimes-centuries-old equipment, and in many cases the original soldiers who used it, to defend Texas and her colonies throughout The War. Though it should be noted that the Peloran refit kits radically changed the capabilities they brought to battle.
8 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas Guard downsized vast majority of its strength after War’s End. Older equipment and soldiers were once again released to retirement, including even their most advanced Pre-War equipment. The frontline militaries were retiring enough equipment to take over entire star clusters, literally, and the Texas Guard acquired everything it could hold and secure. Starfighters. Blue-water and even some black-water ships. Tanks. Mechs. Battle armor. The Guard acquired the very best War Era equipment for a fraction of the cost it took to build in the first place, and continued to use that equipment in the decades that followed. It is easy to find replacement parts or entire chassis for War Era equipment in the various boneyards that litter Alliance space, and every technician alive knows how to maintain it. That gives the Texas Guard an impressive readiness rating. Anyone approaching a Texas colony with ill intent must expect to receive a Texas-sized welcome.
9 - Medron - How the Future Flies - I’ve been writing in the Jack of Harts universe for over a decade now, and it is very close to our universe, with a few steps to the side that make it different. I had this idea of a dark future that collapsed into a Second Great Depression or Second Civil War approximately thirty years from now. What is this dark future I had written?
Massive deficit spending that stressed the economy to the breaking point. The Leader of the House of Representatives performing an Impeachment against the sitting President and Vice President in an election year. Followed by in-your-face election fraud to keep the President from being re-elected. Add yet ANOTHER Chinese pandemic and economic collapse and rioting in the big cities to the mix. That was my thought for what a dark future thirty years from now could look like.
Ahem. How the future flies. I’ve had people asking me what came next. Well… buckle up buttercup…
Really short term, there was rigorous prosecution of the previous President, along with those who enabled and/or supported him. Cleansing them from the networks, getting them fired from their jobs, and generally seeking to drive them from public society. There was the attempted arrest of the previous President and Vice President. That escalated into fighting in the streets as Texas fought Federal agents seeking to bring the previous President in. And the Vice President over in Virginia WAS arrested. Mass protests, looting, burning, and many big cities basically collapsing under their own weight. Numerous State governments had to evacuate their own capital cities, and not all of them were welcomed with open arms by the country bumpkin neighbors they ran to. Things escalated into numerous States effectively going into a soft-secession from the federal government. They were still American. But they didn’t accept orders from the federal government anymore. This by the way, all going on as the federal government defaulted on its debts, had many of its foreign assets confiscated by those nations it owed its debts too, and a massive Second Great Depression was engulfing the world.
Basically… really bad.
I used a Convention of States as my “giant reset” for the Jack universe and chose to take the “mostly good” version of the Convention, versus the “seriously bad” versions that some have worried would happen. Which helped us to generally build a world where we would like to live. Generally free. Generally prosperous. And with the visual of the Republic of Texas flying its flag OVER the American flag. And that being normal to them, not treason. They are Texans. AND they are Americans. Both.
I’ve always said Jack was a world where we got things mostly right. Jack grew up in an idealized Northern Minnesota for instance, where he fished and swam and went to school and did all the things normal small town and country kids get to do. It was heaven as far as he was concerned. All he wanted. But the background of Jack is that we only got there after going far darker than I would like to live through. I do not want to live through the short term of what I wrote. I really hope I don’t get to…
But oh, how the future flies.
10 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Texas Rangers are the premier peacekeeping organization in the Republic of Texas and all of her colonies. They have been in existence since the first Republic of Texas, where they helped lead the fight against the Mexican Empire and served as keepers of the peace. The phrase “One Riot, One Ranger” came from that era, from a possibly-apocryphal incident concerning a riot in progress. The locals thought they needed more men to quell it. The Ranger disagreed and went in to deal with it by himself. He is the example Rangers have held themselves to ever since. The fact that they actually live up to it more often than not has reinforced the mystique of lone Rangers keeping the peace and dispensing justice in the wilderness for centuries.
11 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Texas Rangers have recruited the very best to their ranks over the centuries. Sometimes they have been elite warriors fighting the enemies of Texas. Sometimes they have been law enforcement officers. Sometimes they have been peace officers. At times they have even been disbanded entirely. The Texas Rangers have changed with the times, and the current version of them is a fusion of all the roles they have ever had. Their primary focus in the modern day is to promote the common peace in Texas and her various colonies. They enforce laws if the peace is broken, and are official law enforcement officers of Texas, America, and the Western Alliance under the various reciprocity agreements. And when the chips are down, they don their armor, draw their weapons, and do battle with those who threaten the common peace.
12 - Medron - First Principles - Early last week, when I wrote down some of the future of the Jack of Harts universe, I did not see the social media purge on Friday coming. I did not see the coordinated deplatforming of an entire social media platform coming. I mean, obviously based on what I wrote about the future of Jack, I DID see it coming. I just did not expect to see it within days of writing it. I did not expect to see it actually starting before the post went live, Saturday morning at midnight. So after watching it in real time, and having some people ask me exactly what I want, I'm just going to roll back to what people call our First Principles.
What are my First Principles? Well, I’m a big believer in the basics of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. We the People. Every single one of us individuals. All Men Are Created Equal. That would be the non-gendered version of the word, by the way. Everybody is equal, no matter where we keep our reproductive equipment or the color of our skin. Freedom of speech and actions, short of those that actually harm other people. The old “my freedom stops at your nose” clause. And the right of the people to peaceably assemble to demand redress from the government is sacrosanct.
Note the peaceably assemble part right there. No burning down homes and businesses. Don’t go off half-cocked and break into government buildings because some guy on a bullhorn is exhorting you to break in. Remember the standard common sense rule. The guy who’s suggesting you attack someone or something is the guy who’s trying to get you into trouble. But that’s another subject right there.
Back to my First Principles. Freedom to say and do what you want, as long as you don’t harm other people. Your sex, your race, don't matter. Everybody is created equal. Don't harm other people. Don't break stuff you don’t own. Have fun and live your life as you want to. That’s my First Principle. That’s what I want for everybody.
That’s what I want for the you who is reading this right now.
13 - Medron - First Principles - I addressed my First Principles yesterday. My absolute first one is that I want everybody to be free to say and do what they want, as long as they don’t harm others. My First Principles also apply to the stuff I am against. The really short version is that I’m against forcing people to do anything against their will.
When somebody asks me what I want to do, and I ask in turn “what do YOU want to do,” I really mean it. I want to know what they want to do, because I don’t want to ask them to do something they don’t want to do. And when someone offers to do something, when I say “if you are willing to do it,” I really mean that as well. I take joy from doing things I want to do with other people that want to do that same thing. I don’t want to force people to do something they don’t want to do.
And that is why I oppose political efforts to do precisely that. Yes, that does include efforts by the moral majority to make laws forcing people to do stuff that follows their faith. The old moral majority did that too much when I was young, which is one of the reasons why I have such a healthy distrust of government busybodies. I simply disagree with forcing others to abide by a morality that is not their own. And I disagree with the NEW moral majority seeking to force us to follow THEIR moral guidelines for the same reason. Because I don’t want to force people to do something they don’t want to do.
I want you, the you who is reading this right now, to be free to do what you want to do, not be forced to do what someone else tells you that you should want to do.
14 - Medron - First Principles - I’ve addressed my First Principles the last couple days, in response to others asking what I really believe. Basically, I believe in all of us having the freedom to do what we want, and the freedom not to be forced to do something we don’t want. Fairly basic. As long as we don’t harm other people, of course.
So how does that affect my politics?
Well, for one thing, that rules out the Democrats. They are way to comfortable when it comes to working with socialists for me. National Socialists or Soviet Socialists. Nazi or Communist. Fascist or Marxist. Add in the Maoist revolution that created the Chinese Communist Party we all know and love today, and we have a fun little trifecta of crazy that has killed hundreds of millions of people. Depending on who you count as people, I've seen estimates as high as a BILLION souls who have been wiped out in the last hundred years. And they would have had children had they lived. The world we live in is far different than the world we could have had if socialism had not arisen. And the Democrats are just way too cozy with them for me to trust them with… well… any position. Including dogcatcher.
Then you have the Republicans, and a disturbing number of them ALSO like to tell people what to do. Though they do tend to rank lower on the Socialism meter, so that is a point in their favor. A point against them is that they love to campaign on all the stuff they will do, and then don’t do it when they get in power. They tend to be a bit too cowardly to stick to their guns when it comes time to put up or shut up. Hence my healthy distrust of the Republican party as well.
I’m far more libertarian than anything else, but the Libertarian party is more Democrat-light and they live in fiscal lala land. The Green party and the Sierra Club are just wingnut crazies, which leaves me closest to the classical Tea Party. A strong libertarian streak that brought a lot of Democrats over, while fiscally-concerned enough to bring in an equal number or so of Republicans. Not to mention a bunch of people in the middle who had long since felt betrayed by both parties. There is a reason the Tea Party did rather well for itself in Minnesota, a socially liberal but fiscally conservative State. But the Tea Party never did get past the “promising newcomer” stage into becoming a genuine major party of its own, and most of their people have gone back to their previous parties or lack thereof.
Which leaves me with socialists to the left of me and cowards to the right of me, with both establishments and their media allies doing everything they can to crush the American middle like all the lovely fascist and communist governments of the past have tried before. Sometimes they have succeeded. Sometimes they have not.
It is my supreme hope that they do not succeed this time. Because they violate basically ALL of my First Principles. Freedom to do what we want. And liberty not to be forced to do stuff we don’t want.
15 - Medron - How the Future Flies - Just one more author note before I get back into describing the awesomesauce that is the Republic of Texas. You know it is awesome because it almost lives up to their own image of themselves. And everybody else hates them for that. ;)
What I want to say is that most of the posts I write, I do so between two and four days before they go live. Sometimes I get into a groove and punch out a week or two of updates at once. Sometimes I’m running behind and don’t write it until the night of. But since I work overnights, it is easy to punch out a few hundred characters of fluff for that. Usually though, I’m working on posts two to four days out from the moment I’m writing. Once done, I push it up to the automation, get to work on my next stuff, and the posts go live when the time comes.
One thing has been really mind blowing in the last little while. I write up a projection of something bad that happens in Jack of Harts thirty years from now, and something eerily similar to it starts happening a day or two later, just before the post goes live. Look guys. I know history repeats itself, but I’d really prefer it if we find a few different ways of repeating ourselves here.
We’ve gotten nearly 250 years out of the Declaration of Independence, a good solid trend of improving the conditions of life in our country, and dragging other countries along with us. The average person today lives better than kings did 200 years ago. We have indoor plumbing and antibiotics and roads we can drive from sea to shining sea in a few days. We can feed and fuel the world into a new and better age of mankind.
We are literally growing new organs using our own stem cells right now. Imagine being able to replace our old organs with those when they start wearing out. That’s just ONE medical advance that could change the world. One thing we are working on right now that could radically change the health of millions or billions of people if we spread it out enough.
It would be really nice if we could do what our parents and grand parents did and build a better world for the next generation.
Let’s make the future fly.
16 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Texas Rangers are the premier Republic of Texas peacekeepers, trained to keep the peace as their first objective. Their light brown uniforms appear similar to various law enforcement uniforms used over the centuries, but are manufactured out of weapons-grade armorweave to protect their wearer. The white gloves and cowboy hat are similarly designed to emphasize a non-confrontational role while actually being built around hard armored cores. The blue strips and plates appear decorative, but are actually heavy armor that can expand to enshroud the Ranger from armored boots to hat in seconds. Artificial muscles woven throughout the uniform give the Rangers increased strength and speed, and nanoswarm sensors allow them to see and hear clearly from great distances. The Rangers try not to start fights, but they are fully capable of finishing them if someone else chooses to do so.
17 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Texas Rangers have used a variety of spacecraft over the centuries, often obsolete designs retired by the Texas Navy. That is how they acquired their first Abilene-class frigates and F-2 Star Furies in the decades before The War came upon us all. Both were Pre-Contact designs upgraded with gravtech after the Peloran gave it to us, and both had continued to serve the Navy for decades. But the Rangers found them after their eventual retirement and chose to acquire all the examples that they could. The Rangers have used those two designs ever since, and they have even contracted new production runs from the original manufacturers to expand their fleet. Wherever you see an Abilene or Star Fury now, you can expect to see a Texas Ranger in short order. They do not tend to keep the peace from the shadows after all.
18 - Medron - Please Don’t Do Anything Stupid - TLDR version - Stay home. Be peaceful. Don’t provide them the visual of angry Trump supporters protesting the swearing in of Biden. Just stay home, watch a nice movie with your family, and enjoy your day like any other. Please don’t do anything stupid this week.
Washington DC is locked down like East Berlin this week, with 10,000 (scratch that) 20,000 (scratch that) 25,000 soldiers deployed in it at the time I’m writing this post. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more by Monday. We’ve got fences and walls and concrete barriers and all kinds of similar crazy going up right now. And of course there is all the silencing of moderates and conservatives on the social media platforms. Beyond that, I’m seeing all kinds of crazy ads exhorting Trump supporters to come out and protest all of this. Ads that do not look like the kind of ads I normally see from Trump supporters. Some of them have odd phrases or color pallets that are not common to the Trump side of the spectrum. But I study history, and I recognize some of those common elements.
Now some people may call me paranoid. They may even be right. But I was taught to distrust the government, and to distrust the media, and basically to distrust everybody who demands that I do what they tell me to do. So when I see phrases and color pallets that I recognize comes from people like that, I get profoundly distrustful of the entire situation. There are too many things going on right now when it comes to this week for me to be at all comfortable. In a nutshell, I’m getting bad vibes, and I have never regretted listening to those bad vibes.
So what I say to all of you, if you support Trump, listen to Trump. He told you to be peaceful. He told you not to promote violence. He told you to go home.
I reiterate that suggestion. If you attend any protests this week having to do with the swearing in of Biden, do not listen to any loud voices telling you to attack anything. Walk away if you hear anything like that. Don’t let the media see you near those bad actors. Better yet, don’t go to the protests. Go to work as usual if you are in a State where the governor hasn’t put you in lockdown. Go home and enjoy a good movie with your family. Watch the swearing in if you want to. But don’t go to the Capitol and protest.
I pray to God my bad vibes are wrong, that everything goes peacefully this week. But if something bad happens, don’t be there. Don’t take your spouse, don’t take your children, don’t take your idiot cousin Earl who might listen to a loud voice telling him to go someplace and do something stupid. Stay home.
Let Washington DC go through whatever pomp and circumstance they want to go through, behind their East Berlin walls, their tens of thousands of soldiers, and their battalions of main stream media reporters ready to tell the story of violent Trump insurrectionists trying to overthrow Democracy.
You stay home and watch everything they do. Or watch a movie. Your choice.
All I really want for you, for any of you, is for you to be safe in your home, your possessions, and your freedom to do or not do whatever you want. Please be careful to preserve that this week. Don’t do anything stupid.
19 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Abilene-class cruisers began their lives as pre-gravtech spacecraft, but the Texas Rangers gave the Abilene-class gravtech frigates a new lease on life in the decades leading up to The War and beyond. They are small by modern standards, though generations of improving technologies have both opened up new spaces and then filled them back in as new missions were introduced. The original Abilene carried 150 crew and scientists into the distant void, but the Rangers are no navy to recruit such crews, and so their Abilenes are crewed entirely by cybernetic intelligences. Command for the starship officially rests with the senior Ranger on board, but the cybernetic crews maintain, repair, and run them with minimal outside input. Some are assigned to a common starship pool where any Ranger can take them out on missions. A single Ranger has commanded others for years or decades as they travel from colony to colony in their long mission to protect the common peace.
20 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Abilene-class starships that carry Texas Rangers across the stars are different from those that once sailed the void. The crew quarters that once served 150 tightly-packed crew and scientists have been reduced to a handful of single-occupancy quarters for the cybernetic crew and their assigned Ranger. The remaining space primarily houses holding cells and storage for relief supplies, weapons, armor, and other equipment. An Abilene carries enough supplies for a Ranger to outfit a posse of any conceivable size, or to bring relief to a community leveled by a natural disaster. Rangers are often the first to arrive after such incidents, making a well-provisioned Abilene a welcome sight wherever disasters occur throughout known space.
21 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Texas Ranger Abilene-class starships were fully upgraded to the best of our technology before The War. They received full Peloran tech during that conflict and further modifications have improved their performance since War’s End. They now boast the very best hyperdrive and inertial compensator technologies from both the Peloran and Texas technological trees. Modern engines generate far more thrust than the old, ancient engines of the pre-gravtech era, while maintaining the same silhouette as older Abilenes. They are small ships with big engines that can accelerate far faster than most other ships. And their Peloran hyperdrives can go deeper into hyperspace, where that speed advantage is further reinforced. Unofficial estimates suggest they can travel 150% faster than a front line American Navy squadron. The Texas Rangers do not comment on their actual top speed, maintaining it as an official secret of the Republic of Texas. But they are one of the fastest ships in space.
22 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The F-101 Fury was one of the most advanced fighters of its day. Then the Peloran made Contact and it became obsolete overnight. Texas upgraded it with gravtech, and it became the F-2 Star Fury, the first of America’s newest generation of starfighters. It retired in time, as newer technologies made their way into new starfighter designs. The Texas Rangers eventually found those abandoned fighters and scooped them up for their own use with a refit program that would carry them into the next century. Most of the updates were fairly minor, including newer scanners and improvements to the ring laser surrounding the nose. Others were more fundamental, like the complete replacement of the old missile systems with brand new racks and expanded ammunition bunkerage that allowed for far more versatility. The Rangers gave a new lease on life to an aging design.
23 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - One of the more fundamental changes the Texas Rangers made to the F-2 Star Fury was a reduction in the massive series of fuel tanks that fed the rocket engines of the old F-101 Fury. Pre-War fusion torch drives were far more fuel efficient than those Pre-Contact rockets, so the Rangers could remove multiple tanks while still receiving fighters with longer legs than their older cousins. The Rangers then created a small living and storage space behind the cockpit, allowing the Rangers to step back from the controls and relax during long interplanetary patrols. The storage locker was large enough to store the Ranger’s personal arms and armor, and a separate bay in the Star Fury’s belly housed a small jeep for planetary patrolling. Yes, the Ranger Star Fury could fight well, but the Rangers wanted a patrol craft, and many consider it one of the best patrol craft ever fielded by the Republic of Texas.
24 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The F-101 Fury used an innovative laser system that many thought would revolutionize the weapons industry. Instead of installing multiple laser arrays like other fighters, they deployed a ring of laser emitters around the nose of the craft using a single power source. That gave them a wide firing arc, and the ability to fire multiple low-powered shots at once. This could generate an impressive light show that was effective for point defense purposes, but it was of little use when dealing damage to enemy starfighters. Later designs simply installed multiple laser arrays, but the F-2 Star Fury kept the ring-array lasers through their upgrade plans and into retirement. When the Texas Rangers eventually pulled the Star Furies out of retirement, they installed far more powerful modern generators and a capacitor system capable of powering a focused maximum firepower attack from the entire array at once. Their targets found that quiet impressive, for a few seconds…
25 - Medron - Faith Manages - We lost a beautiful actress in the last week. She played the alien Delenn on Babylon 5, and humanized the alien race that had nearly wiped us out ten years before the show began. And as the series went by, we found out more and more how involved in that conflict Delenn had been. It was one of the central themes of the entire show, and Mira Furlan played the part perfectly. She could be kind and fierce in equal measure, and her own experiences became a significant part of that story.
Mira was an emigrant from Yugoslavia, a nation devastated first by a Communist government, and then by the civil war that followed the fall of that government. She came to America, looking for a better life, and she found it. She built it. And she gave us one of the best characters in science fiction history, in my opinion. A character who saw civil war so closely heartbreakingly, that Mira once walked up to the writer and asked him how long he had lived in Yugoslavia, because of how well he had written what her character was going through.
Delenn’s smile was contagious, her wrath was spine-shaking, her kindness was spellbinding, and her curiosity was poignant. She once said, “We are star stuff. We are the universe made manifest trying to figure itself out.” I think that sums her character up, well.
I mourn the death of the actress who gave that character life. I celebrate that she lived, and we got to see a brighter world because of it.
She is proof that “Faith manages.”
26 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - Like many Republic of Texas designs, the F-101 Fury and its F-2 Star Fury upgrade carried a large number of missile launchers. They made space-superiority fighters, and wanted to unload the maximum amount of anti-fighter ordnance into space as possible. This limited their anti-ship capability, but that is what bombers and attack craft were built for. The Texas Rangers upgraded those launchers to multipurpose arrays that could fire far more diverse munitions and greatly increased their electronic warfare capabilities. Successive upgrades due to technological advancement in the decades since have kept these capabilities at the absolute tip of the technological spear. A Ranger does not need to kill you to win the engagement. They can simply make a fool of you, a fate many have considered worse than death many times over the decades.
27 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Republic of Texas Rangers felt a need to increase the combat capabilities of their F-2 Star Furies when The War came upon us all, so they upgraded their fighters with a pair of external hard points similar to those being added to other Texas starfighters. These could be used to carry heavy anti-ship weapons, though in practice the Rangers most often did so only when taking part in a major fleet engagement. They’ve found far more inventive uses for the hard points over the decades, from expanded fuel tanks to ground attack weapons. Some have even deployed entire ground attack teams or vehicles, while others carried powerful scanners for deep space exploration missions or ECM systems that can fool even enemy capital ships. There is an entire industry devoted to providing every possible wish a Ranger might have when it comes to using those hard points, and many fortunes have been made and lost doing so.
28 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - One lesson the nations of Earth learned quickly during The War was that gravitic warheads carried by anti-fighter missiles were simply insufficient to penetrate starship deflection grids unless deployed in truly massive numbers. But most fighters lacked the ability to power a gravitic cannon until the Peloran opened up their entire bag of technological gifts for us. That is when so many nations added hyperspace drives and gravitic cannons to their starfighters, and the Texas Rangers followed that trend with their own F-2 Star Furies. Keeping the peace was their primary mission, and sometimes breaking enemy skulls from unforeseen attack vectors was the best way to do that. The Rangers did so with a relish that terrified both enemies and friends alike at times. They considered it their job to teach everyone to never mess with Texas after all.
29 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The F-2 Star Furies that the Ranges flew to War’s End were far different than those they first pulled out of mothballs in the Pre-War decades. The footage of Ranger Star Furies exploding out of hyperspace to fire upgraded missile launchers, greatly enhanced ring-array lasers, powerful gravitic cannons, and hard points carrying the most dangerous of heavy weapons was broadcast throughout the Republic of Texas and beyond. The highest rated footage depicted entire Ranger squadrons focusing all of their gravitic and laser fire on a single target as they accelerated towards the enemy at maximum burn. Though highly unrealistic due to Hollywood-style special effects, they became the way an entire generation saw the Texas Rangers. Peacekeepers in time of peace, deadly and relentless warriors in time of War.
30 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The Texas Rangers have continued to fly the F-2 Star Furies in the decades following War’s End. They have maintained a steady upgrade and refit program of course, but improvements have been more a matter of degrees than revolutionary changes. The Rangers continue to explore the actual limits of what the capable design can do, even as some of their fighters pass the two-century mark in absolute age. The children or grandchildren of those who first sat in the cockpits fly many of them, and it has become a tradition for proud Ranger parents to gift their old fighter to their children upon becoming a new Ranger. They are the symbol of the Texas Rangers, and the Rangers take care to drape their symbols in all the legends they can create. The better to terrify those who would threaten the common peace.
31 - Charles - The Republic of Texas - The important thing to remember is that Texas Rangers are a peacekeeping organization. Yes, they can fight, and they can fight well at need be, but their primary mission is to keep the peace by diffusing situations that could threaten the common peace. Their primary area of focus is Texas and her colonies, but they have secondary jurisdictions throughout the Western Alliance. They often work with other Rangers, Knights Errant, Cowboys, or other similar organizations in the Alliance. As the common meme goes, when a Star Fury, a Starfighter, and an Avenger comes into town, there is liable to be some excitement in the near future. If more than one of each shows up, or if other similar organizations join the party, the virtual certainty of excitement increases on a logarithmic scale.