Over The Rainbow
|L5 Station Over The Rainbow|
OTR, as of the end of the Boskone War
|Drive Rating||Station-keeping only|
|Owner||its inhabitants, under "adverse possession" rules|
|Flag of Record||suspected Boskonian|
|Purpose||abandoned industrial platform|
|Other Crew||approximately 560 people (estimated)|
The station (or, rather, partial station) known as Over the Rainbow (or OTR for short) is considered by many to be the "wrong side of the tracks" of the L5 cluster. This annoys many people, but not to the point where they are willing to actually do something about conditions on the station.
Originally designed by Wasatch Mining & Manufacturing, LLC. and called New Ogden Platform #1, they hoped to build competition to John Henry Station in the large space manufacturing industry. They ran out of money when Platform 1 was about 65% completed, and the company itself vanished in 2011.
What existed of the station was auctioned off by Wasatch's creditors to recoup unpaid debts. It was purchased by Butterfly Entertainment, who renamed it Club Space and planned to use the station as a competitor for Stellvia - on paper. In reality, "Butterfly Entertainment" was a front for the Mariposa drug-running cartel, and they used the construction work as cover to move thionite, weapons, and new recruits through the L5 cluster. Many of the employees on the station were honest employees, unaware of its true purpose until somebody in the Mariposa cartel used the station as a forward base for a retaliation attack against Stellvia during the Interdimensional Incursion Incident. That event blew Butterfly Entertainment's cover; some of the directors and employees were arrested, many of those arrested were found guilty and sentenced to long terms at Azkaban, and the station was taken as forfeit by Great Justice.
A plan to turn the station into Post-Boskone housing was advanced, but dropped when Noah Scott proposed purchasing Unreal Estate from over-built areas on Earth and relocating that throughout the Solar System instead. OTR has gone up for auction many times in the last decade, passing from owner to owner, perpetually unfinished, but acquiring a fringe population who have effectively taken adverse possession.
|The "Over The Rainbow Drug Culture Holdover Memorial Art Collection"|
|There is a corridor known as the "Over The Rainbow Drug Culture Holdover Memorial Art Collection". An unknown squatter or squatters managed to paint its entire length with an essentially random collection of pictures ranging from realistic (in both the common and Soviet senses) to abstract to "My god, Lovecraft would adore this!" Even though it is in the middle of Butterfly territory, it has come be considered "neutral territory". Inter-community meetings are sometimes held there, and visiting it is considered justification for entering Butterfly's turf uninvited, even for members of opposed communities. (Such guests are escorted to the corridor, and escorted back out, and are allowed to contemplate the Collection unfettered by guards or minders.)|
The station is divided up into various communities of squatters, each of whom have control of one or more critical systems. The station's first squatters were originally Wasatch Mining & Manufacturing construction workers who didn't want to head back down; these people make up the core of the station's "New Ogden" community. Similarly, the core of the "Butterfly" community are honest construction workers hired by the Mariposa cartel, and so on. The population comes from the poorer parts of Earth, people who just managed to scrape together enough handwavium to build a short-range ship and not much else. Also there's a largeish population of transient refugees fleeing one damn thing or another. Refugees tend to filter through OTR on their way to Mars (or occasionally Luna).
To say there's a command of the station is kind of a joke; the balance of power is maintained by the community leaders, who range from democratic to autocratic and everything in between. But as long as each community has a Sword of Damocles over the others (one can shut down life support, another can kill the greenhouses, a third can put the station into a collision course with Luna, and so on), nobody is willing to upset that balance.
Over The Rainbow is considered a free port - the only visible free port in Cislunar Space. Like the freeports of yore, smuggling is the station's major business. Most of it is narcotics going Earthward, some of it is high-value manufactured goods going spaceward, a bit is goods going in either direction. OTR's bazaar has the best bootlegs. People get transshiped through (and some refugees remain on the station), but most of that business is closer to legit than anything else moving through OTR.
Boskone has a presence here - of course they do - but the station isn't under their control. There are too many factions aboard for them to subvert effectively, and force of arms would bring the Convention down on them like a ton of bricks. Great Justice (and by extension the Convention) watch the movement of good through Over the Rainbow like hawks, and run more than one sting operation through there. Permanently "cleaning up" the station is a low-priority operation: the onboard factions keep the peace between themselves just as well as the "cleaner" stations do, and 99% of the people living on OTR aren't doing anything that would demand their arrest and/or removal from the facility. Also, some of the brighter and more forward-looking faction leaders are corresponding with the more competent of Fenspace's many anarchist groups, hoping to make themselves enough of a faction that the Convention can't have the Space Patrol go in and "sanitize" the place.
There is an undercurrent among the Lagrange unificationists to find OTR a new legal owner and get them to remove the squatters. Jon Helscher and other historical analysts expect this will likely not end well.
The station was designed by Wasatch as a modified ring structure, popular in the early days of the Convention. As the station has passed from owner to owner to neglect from outside, each community aboard OTR has added on to their part of the station, using random debris and whatever new arrivals bring with them from Earth. The original industrial platform is slowly disappearing under a crust of junk.
A sculpture resembling a hand with an upraised middle finger was welded to the hull in a spot that is guaranteed to point in Stellvia's general direction once every rotation. None of Noah Scott's multitudinous enemies has ever come forward to claim responsibility.
- Nobody's entirely sure where the name "Over The Rainbow" came from; it just showed up painted on the outer hull one day and it stuck.
- First of a planned series of orbital factories.
- The station's original owners are believed to have scraped up what was left of the operating capital and vanished into the anonymous masses of Luna or Mars.
- Padraig O'Niell considered buying it once, but decided there's limits to how far even he will go in the name of getting one over Noah Scott. Some of the Elite fen have occasionally talked about trying to raise the money to buy the place for a faction headquarters, because it vaguely - very vaguely - resembles a space station design from Frontier: Elite II. Tom Rutley, the only Elite fan with a handwaved replica craft from the franchise, is on the record as thinking this is a bloody silly idea.
- in the "Golden Age of Piracy" sense, not the more modern "duty-free shopping" sense
- Including Martian iPods pre-loaded with movies and songs from the Whole Fenspace Catalog.