1 - Medron - All Saints’ Day - Today the Catholic Church and many other Western traditions celebrate the Saints who have gone on to Heaven before us. Also called the Feast of All Saints, you would probably not be surprised to learn that there is some feasting involved. So, if you want to eat big today, this is a good excuse. Hehehe. Many nations have their own twists on the holiday, including laying wreaths on tombs, cleaning and repairing family tombs, placing flowers and candles at family tombs, or taking sweet cakes from door to door. It is sometimes observed with the Day of Innocents in Mexico, which remembers the deceased children and infants. In short, it is a good way to get some family time, to remember those who have gone on before, and maybe a good excuse to have some good food. Or maybe some of that candy you may have picked up the night before. Hehehe.
2 - Medron - All Souls’ Day - The Catholic Church celebrates saints on All Saints’ Day and other departed souls on the next day, called All Souls’ Day. Other Christian denominations do not recognize the Catholic Saints, so they tend to celebrate all departed souls on one or both days. In addition to the ceremonies I noted for All Saints’ Day, common ways of observing All Souls’ Day include ringing bells, lighting candles, and cooking and sharing soul cakes. People leave food out for the dead to eat, have pilgrimages to graveyards to visit dead relatives, and decorated the graves. It is more of an observance than a celebration based on what I’ve read. I’ve never celebrated it, and didn’t even knew it existed until I did some in depth research on All Saints’ Day while preparing to write yesterday’s post. I found All Souls’ Day rather interesting and wanted to share it with you as well.
3 - Charles - The New England Federation - New England has always been home to the best of America. We were the heart of the rebellion against England, we fought slavery, segregation, racism, genderism, and every other threat America faced. When other parts of America chose to cast aside their promise, New England remained the shining light on the hill, the beacon of strength and unity to all. And we assembled those who wished to be strong and stable under our banner. We brought together a coalition of the willing, States who valued security over chaos during the depths of the Second Great Depression, and saved the best of America to face a new era. The New England Federation is our legacy and our future. We are the best of America, and we will forever stand as an example of what Americans can strive for as we march towards a better future.
4 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Second Great Depression and the Cybernetic Wars threatened all of America with death and destruction. Much of it fell, but civilization thrived where mankind was better prepared. The foreign cyber threats of the previous fifty years had concerned the Great Families of New England enough that they required all utilities that serviced their homes to install physical air gaps between the servers that operated them and the public networks. This insulated them from the Rogue AI threat that shattered the utilities in areas that were less prepared. The Families were quick to offer their expertise to all who wished the security they offered. All they required of those saved by this generosity was a willingness to work and defend the civilization they protected. Thus was the groundwork of the New England Federation laid.
5 - Charles - The New England Federation - Physical air gaps between utility operating systems and the planetary networks were simply part of the safety systems the Great Families of New England required of utilities that served them. They refused “upgrades” to automated smart systems that would monitor their usage and required real human monitoring of all systems they interacted with. They banned any and all “artificial intelligence” systems, and required physical connections and lockouts as needed. While the middle class was encouraged to automate everything in their homes from toasters to refrigerators, the Great Families maintained the purely human touch in all levels of life. When the Cybernetic Wars and Rogue AIs destroyed far more advanced systems, their homes and the utilities that supported them continued operating at peak efficiency. When all around them crashed and burned, the Great Families remained.
6 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Great Families of New England weathered the Second Great Depression and the Cybernetic Wars well. Some families did collapse, or were absorbed into others, but that simply meant that they were not great. From necessities like food and fuel, to far more optional luxuries, Great Family corporations had stockpiled enough to survive the fall of civilization in style. Those that survived and thrived did so by sharing their expertise and supplies with the towns and businesses around them. They helped keep the systems that maintained their life style operating, provided jobs for those who wanted them, and paid in far more valuable resources than the American dollar that collapsed during the depths of the economic crisis. The Great Families saved civilization in New England, and helped form the New England Federation that maintained it in the decades and centuries to come.
7 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Great Families of New England secured their position as modern day folk heroes when they shepherded New England through the collapse and chaos of the Second Great Depression and the Cybernetic Wars. When cities collapsed and governments failed, they provided for those who lived and worked for them. They held the local governments together, and spread their examples throughout New England. They brought together a coalition of the willing, and promised all who worked to protect civilization safety and security from the death and destruction surrounding them. They organized and protected the parts of New England that followed their example, and helped usher in a new age. They built the New England Federation to govern by their example, and in doing so brought New England into a prosperous and secure future that would dominate America for centuries to come.
8 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Great Families of New England built the New England Federation to fundamentally transform the failed American Experiment into a better society that could bring us into the future. It was a success, though not a total success. They hoped to transform all of America, but large parts of it refused to embrace the future. They followed old ways of thinking and doing and denied themselves the fruits of the greatest society on Earth. The Great Families provided cheap and reliable energy in an era of blackouts. They provided new machines that could fabricate anything in an era of trade disruption. They provided people of all classes everything they needed to live a comfortable life. They provided for the common security and the common good, so all could prosper. They built the New England Federation to provide all of that, and welcomed any who wanted to be part of their new world.
9 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Great Families created their new world order in their holdings on the East Coast of America. The governments of Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts signed up to become Day One Federation Member States, and every State from Maryland to Maine followed their lead within months. The New England Federation was the single most powerful American alliance when Texas called a State Convention to convene on the matter of the failing Federal government. They helped hold the line on many of Texas’ more crazy proposals, and made certain that the Federation’s principles would survive and thrive following the convention. It is because of those early adopters that the New England Federation thrives to this day.
10 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation fundamentally transformed America in the Twenty First Century. It introduced new, local, secure energy production technologies that revolutionized the power production networks and made them less susceptible to foreign attacks. New fabrication technologies reduced their dependence on foreign shipping. And new pushes to refund smart policing and social support networks made life safe again throughout Federation territory. The security and prosperity they provided proved to be a powerful incentive for their neighbors, and States from Ohio to Minnesota sought membership in the years and decades that followed. The Great Families made the New England Federation an example to the world of how a rational and moral American government could provide for the common good, and prospered because of it.
11 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Great Families who built the New England Federation were firm believers in pursuing social justice and righting the wrongs of the past. They wished the Federation to grow into the future without all of the social baggage of racism, genderism, or the other sins of the past that were still practiced outside their borders. They promised the most basic of human rights, a restitution of everything stolen from the people of all classes and backgrounds. They even went into the major population centers that had been devastated by the social unrest of the Second Great Depression, including Chicago and Detroit, and rebuilt them into the major City-States they are now. As always, it was security and prosperity that they offered, and they delivered it everywhere that accepted their vision of the future. To Make America Better.
12 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation provided its people with the best standard of living in the world in a time when other nations were still struggling with the aftermath of the Second Great Depression and the Cybernetic Wars. And then, in one of the defining moments of the century, they reopened Ellis Island as a symbol to the world that America was once again willing and eager to accept migrant workers from all over the world. The tired and the poor, the homeless, the tempest-tossed, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, all were welcome to come to Ellis Island and find a new future in a Better America. The New England Federation promised them jobs, security, and prosperity if they came to America. It was a new era in America, built by the Great Families that fundamentally transformed it into a better place to live and thrive.
13 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation rose out of an era of great strife. This was the plan. Decades of deficit spending on the part of the Federal government had pushed inflation to stress lower class economics. Increasingly stringent lockdowns during the string of Chinese pandemics destroyed small businesses throughout America. Fortified elections protected the Federal government from the fickle whims of the lower classes. Social networks censored political disagreement and silenced those who spoke out. Lower class Americans were constantly stressed and threatened by every day life in America. But benevolent charities created by the Great Families were always ready to help those in need. This was the plan. A better society, led by those ready to meet the future we all faced. The fundamental transformation of America. The great reset. The New England Federation.
14 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation funded and performed much of the early space exploration of our own Solar System, and then the colonization of the stars that followed our development of hyperdrives. Near limitless fusion energy reserves and advanced fabricators allowed them to build anything Earth’s space forces needed, and they harvested the Solar System’s wealth to do exactly that. Their large population was easily able to operate an industrial system that used minimal robotic or AI support, and could also send people to colonize other worlds. And they were happy to give opportunities to those immigrants who came through Ellis Island every day. Most of those opportunities were in the New New York trinary star system, or the many Alliance colonies the Federation supported, but they kept enough immigrants on Earth to maintain a healthy population curve there as well.
15 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation is a secure and safe place to live. Orderly. Calm. Clean. The best medical care on Earth had eliminated most health problems long before the Peloran made Contact. While true immortality was a thing of science fiction, many Federation citizens who saw Contact had also lived through the Second Great Depression and the long War on Terror that preceded it. Most citizens who remained on Earth wished a calm and secure place to live, and the Federation provided that. Those who wanted excitement were encouraged to find it on other worlds. Some returned to Earth with a greater respect and wish for the security of life here, though most remained in the stars. This has kept the Terrestrial population a healthy size while also providing a steady stream of colonists for offworld holdings in need of more… interesting people.
16 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation is truly a place where every need is provided for by the government. Every citizen is granted a basic living stipend that covers housing, food, and leisure activities. Their exact stipend is generated by a social credit system that calculates the citizens’ every daily interaction with other citizens. As the Federation strives for security, productivity, and harmony with all, interactions that encapsulate these ideals are rewarded. Higher social credit scores grant them larger stipends. Lower social credit scores generate tips on how to better interact with fellow citizens, or even invitations to find opportunities on other worlds if behavior does not improve. A low enough score grants them free one-way passage to Rikers Planet in the New New York system. This is one way the New England Federation maintains a secure and safe environment for all citizens.
17 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation has little patience for breakers of the peace. Those caught in Federation territory on expired visas are tagged and ordered to go home as soon as possible. Serially dishonest or disruptive individuals are invited to find their fortunes in the colonies unless they reform themselves. Illegal aliens are returned home and their nations billed for the trip. Outright thieves, killers, or rapists are sent to Rikers Planet in the New New York system. Murderers are recycled into the fabricators so they can provide one final service for humanity. That is extremely rare in Federation territory, since malcontents capable of such actions are generally sorted out and sent to the colonies long before they act on their worst natures. This is one way the Federation provides security and peace for its people.
18 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation legal code makes no differentiation between a member of the Great Families and a citizen of the lower classes. Everyone is equal before the law. Though some are more equal than others. It is extremely rare for a member of the Great Families to be convicted of the worst crimes. Officially this is because Family members value the peace of the Federation every bit as much as other citizens. In practice it is because they plead to breaking the peace long before they commit harder crimes and are exiled from the Solar System. Most Family members go to the Alpha Centauri or New New York trinary star systems. There they tend to join cadet Family branches and continue on about their old ways. That is one of the reasons those colony systems can be a bit more rough and tumble than Terrestrial Federation territory.
19 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation built and maintained the NASA rockets that pressed the frontier of explored space further outward until NASA itself ceased to exist. The Federation Starfleet took over most of NASA’s old mission after that, and became the standard all other exploration programs are measured against. Federation exploration cruisers are the best equipped and prepared exploration ships in known space. Their missile launchers can send out all manners of probes and their laser arrays can test any material to find out what they are looking at. They were never built with heavy gravitic weapons since they were not warships, but their shields and armor are the very best, and their lasers and missiles are perfectly capable of defending them from those with less noble goals. Do not underestimate them.
20 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation Starfleet’s official motto is “Ad Astra.” To the stars. As a largely exploration force, that is a logical motto. Their unofficial motto is slightly more wordy and colorful. “Test that assumption at your convenience.” On the record explanations of the motto say it is pertaining to the scientific tests all ships and scientists perform during the exploration process. Off the record interviews recount the words of an infamous captain during a Pre-War incident with a Shang raider. They claimed they could take anything they wanted, and he invited them to test that assumption at their convenience. They did, and he proved them wrong. That victory earned him a commendation for innovative thinking, a UCMJ charge for sending his ship to dry dock for three months, and a new research grant dedicated to finding out how to safely replicate his stunt.
21 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Federation-class exploration cruiser is the measuring stick all other explorer ships are compared to. It is the pride of the New England Federation Starfleet, and can be found throughout the outer rim of human expansion and exploration. One of the defining features of the class is the detachable survey saucer that can fly down to a planet to perform greater study while the starship core continues exploring the star system. During the infamous “Test that assumption at your convenience” incident, the captain detached the survey saucer to hold the Shang’s attention, launched armed small craft to protect it, and fired a volley of missiles and long-range laser fire. He then performed a dangerous short-range hyperspace transit that brought them out on the other side of the foe for a perfect crossfire scenario. They lost the hyperdrive but won a victory that changed our history.
22 - Charles - The New England Federation - One aspect of the “Test that assumption at your convenience” incident that remained secret for decades was that they salvaged the Shang raider’s primary fabricator in nearly operational condition. While far outside the technical capabilities of the New England Federation to replicate, studying that fabricator jumpstarted Federation fabrication technology through centuries of progress in a decade. The fruits of that study went towards making the Fleet 2300 Project the revolutionary technological and strategic leap forward that it was. The new ships could fly farther, faster, and throw more missiles and energy at the enemy than any previous generation. And it was those ships that anchored our fleets when the Shang attacked us in earnest. We would have lost without them. That technology saved us from becoming a zoo exhibit for Aliens to wave at as they flew past a defeated Earth.
23 - Charles - The New England Federation - The original Shang strikes on Yosemite Yards and Washington D.C. did not unduly anger the Great Families of the New England Federation. The District of Columbia was full of self-delusional fools who thought themselves more powerful than they really were. They were no great loss to America or humanity. And while the western reaches of the Federation’s flyover country were valuable for the food production and vacation destinations, the Great Families did not generally give a care about the people who lived there. They were replaceable. The Great Families still took advantage of the situation though. They loudly denounced the attacks and offered their support in teaching the Aliens a lesson. It was a time to stand united with their fellow Americans, and their other Western Allies. It was time to show them all what the Federation was capable of.
24 - Charles - The New England Federation - New Washington changed everything for the Great Families of the New England Federation. They organized the initial colonization effort, they invested more than any other American State into the colony, and it became the single largest concentration of Great Family assets outside the Solar System. They built and maintained the planetary defense grid, and two entire Federation battle squadrons defended the world the day the Shang attacked. There were no survivors in orbit, and the Shang dropped enough laser and missile fire on the colony to create the first Winter Protocol of The War. Dozens of worlds joined New Washington in their own global Ice Ages over the following decade, but it was New Washington that changed everything. The Shang bombardment breached the Great Family underground bunkers and killed hundreds of their best and brightest. The Great Families did not react well.
25 - Medron - Happy Thanksgiving - We have built a world that has the best of everything. Clean water at the turn of a tap. Bright light at the flip of a switch. Long distance travel at the press of a pedal. Medicines that would be miracles in any other time. My mom has cancer, which is a hard thing, but I’m thankful that we have good doctors and good treatments for both the pain and the cancer itself. She is alive today because of that. We have built a civilization that gives everyone opportunities far and beyond anything our ancestors ever would have believed. I am thankful for this world we have built, and I pray we can continue to improve the opportunities we all have.
26 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Great Families of New England had long considered themselves the princes of the universe. They commanded the fortunes of man, used war and peace to expand their wealth, and looted the fortunes of nations on their time table. They were actually fundamental partners in negotiating the Lunar Treaties that restricted warfare inside the orbit of Luna. And the numerous similar agreements made over other major colony worlds. It did no good to destroy what you fought for control of after all. They saw the Shang as just another opponent in the great game all great powers played. Then the Shang destroyed New Washington and killed far too many members of the Great Families for them to forget. It forced them to reassess how they saw the Shang, and how the Shang saw them. And that reassessment drove the Great Families to change the very nature of their involvement in The War.
27 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Great Families first waged The War like any other war they had waged in their long histories. Wars of conquest and defeat were temporary, while business was forever. It was business through another avenue, with military victories and losses factored into the final deals that would make the better classes of people on each side money no matter what. The realization that the Shang had no intention of making a deal with the better class of Americans was a shock. They would grind the Great Families down with the same heal they used on everyone else. They did not accept that the Great Families were better than others. That was something the Great Families could not abide. Win or lose, profit or loss, they demanded respect. It offended them when the Shang refused to give it. That is the true reason the Great Families put all their support behind The War. The Shang offended them.
28 - Charles - The New England Federation - The New England Federation recalled their entire exploration fleet for refitting after New Washington. They systematically recalled every ship in their boneyards to rebuild them and send them back out as well. They devoted every measure of their vast manufacturing capabilities to the goal of driving the Shang back. If the Shang would not respect the position of the Great Families, the Great Families would not accept their presence on our side of the galaxy. Admiral Aneerin said “The galaxy is not vast enough for their combined egos to coexist.” He was right. The Federation mass-produced cutting edge warship designs from starfighters to battleships to fleet carriers, and helped develop new designs to throw them at our alien foes as well. The Federation devoted decades of effort to that singular goal. To drive the Shang out of our space, no matter the cost.
29 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Great Families pushed through numerous wartime emergency measures to streamline their economy and push their population towards greater productivity. In just one change, the social credit earned by helping build the new Victory Ships or volunteering to fight could be passed on to family. They even sent recruiters to Rikers Planet in the New New York system to look for those willing to improve their social credit by serving against the alien threat. It may have been a hive of scum and villainy, but the Great Families would go to any effort to protect their way of life. They even volunteered many of their best and brightest, in grand public ceremonies of course. These and other measures made the New England Federation’s contribution to The War Effort the single greatest economic and manufacturing drive in the history of Earthborn humanity.
30 - Charles - The New England Federation - The Great Families of the New England Federation left no stone unturned in their fight to drive the Shang out of our part of the galaxy. They devoted the industrial output of entire colony star systems to The War Effort, and the Shang responded by bringing general planetary orbital bombardments to every world they could reach. They even penetrated the defenses of the New New York trinary star system and initiated Winter Protocols on a majority of the most densely industrialized worlds in the New England Federation. Rikers Planet was one of the few worlds in that system to survive unscathed. This was not due to any heavy orbital defenses, but to the utter ruthlessness of the defenders. Never underestimate the tactics a hive of scum and villainy will devote to saving their home. The Shang did so, and they paid the price for their arrogance.