The Derelict is a thriving shadow-port in the Thrashtar System (O-13) and is officially known as Thrashtar by the local residents. This shadow-port is best known for it’s relative closeness to the Gamor Run hyperlane and it’s unusual composition of space ships and asteroids. Originally built from an ark ship, the inhabitants have built a hodgepodge of mining tunnels, old freighters, pressure domes, and landing pads tens of kilometers wide. Over the past several generations the port has developed a significant shipyard and mining operation within the system.
The Derelict was originally an ark ship heading to destination unknown when it had a critical navigational error and plowed into a dense asteroid field far above the elliptical plane. The remnants of this once great ship lay exposed to the inky void for countless years until eventually discovered by a group of pirates. These pirates at first raided the wreckage for any salvageable parts, plating, and mysteries. These pirates eventually decided that they needed a hidden base of operations away from the prying eyes of the authorities, with a dry-dock where they could make extensive repairs.
Using tractor-beams, repaired ion drives, and a lot of hard work and ingenuity not commonly seen in pirates, they eventually moved the silent hulk closer to the red star Thrashtar. Well hidden and nestled next to several large asteroids, the pirates began to rebuild portions of the ark vessel into a space dock. As the years continued, these industrious pirates discovered they could make more credits by repairing and retrofitting the vessels of other pirates, and the shadow-port was born.
More and more asteroids were mined, many moved closer to the Derelict for ease of transportation, and eventually added to the growing clump of rock and metal. Now the entire mass could be best considered a space station, having no atmosphere nor natural gravity. Old mining tunnels now swell with chambers and living quarters. The original ark ship is still the hub of commerce and houses the Grand Bay and the many commercial enterprises that have sprung up around it.
The center-most point of the Derelict is the old ark. This ancient ship forms the nucleus for the entire station. The original port has been rechristened the Grand Bay by a Governor-Captain several generations back to give the entire place a grandiose feel and a seeming of substance. The Grand Bay can only hold a moderate number of light and medium freighters, and other bays, ports, and space docks are available for the overflow. This primary port has the largest remaining portion of the old ark still in one piece, the rest having long since been recycled, stolen, and re-purposed.
The port is surrounded on all four sides by additional living quarters, shops, governmental floors, and transient hospitality. These areas are also built using the original ark and form many of the structural walls and landing areas for the port itself. These locations are joined by a jumble of chaotic passageways, grav-less conduits, and can seem to form a maze to visitors from other worlds. Which is just how the residents like them.
Several main tunnels lead out from the Grand Bay, past the Bedrock, and to the “outer ‘roids” as the residents call them. These large asteroids have been pressed together and fused using advance mining tools and techniques. While it is possible to separate them, it is not likely without a lot of effort and time.
The inner Bedrock areas are the oldest and have a seeming not unlike that of the ark. Twisted tunnels and a jumble of living quarters mark many of the middle-class living areas. The larger and more wealthy families tend to live closer to the surface, owning large plasti-steel domes that protect them but allow gorgeous views of the asteroid field outside and the local red star. Some of these homes have built in airlock systems in case of emergency, but many more have no such safeguards.
The Outer ‘roids are a more spaced out and less cluttered affair. These additional asteroids have been brought by their owners, or land speculators, to join with the larger mass of the Derelict. Many additional asteroids are smaller and only have a few residents, businesses, or ports per area. Additional asteroids are brought in to the mass regularly, with additional tunnels, airlocks, and points of egress.
Laws & Culture
The legal tradition of the shadow-port is derived from ship law and pirate custom. While a true government was fashioned generations ago, the Derelict will likely always have a strong streak of anarchy, libertarianism, and distrust of powerful governments. Strangely enough, they live in a dictatorship organized by the Governor-Captain who has complete authority and final say on any actions carried out aboard his station.
The Governor-Captain is elected by the Council of Eight when the current Governor-Captain dies or wishes to step down and retire. The Council of Eight can also call for a vote of Mutiny and depose a reigning Captain. A failing vote will result in those who voted against the current Governor-Captain to lose their seats on the Council, but are protected by custom from further recriminations.
Directly underneath the Governor-Captain is his Council of Eight. These positions were originally held by the various Sub-Captains and Lieutenants of the pirate fleet. While many families have retained their seat of power, it is held completely at the discretion of the Governor-Captain, and several families have lost this prestige.
Under the Council of Eight, operate the Section Chiefs who head and operate the bureaucracy of the Derelict. It is they who actually make sure the day to day operations get done for the residents and transient guests.
The laws of the Derelict help to protect those who cannot or do not offer consent, but almost everything else is legal. Murder, theft, and kidnapping are illegal aboard the Derelict, but anyone arriving in chains or bonds are considered to be consenting by their laws. Slaves may not be impressed within the Thrashtar System, but contracts of indentured servitude are honored when notarized and witnessed. Fraud is looked upon as consent being given, no matter how foolish the victim.
Duels are not an uncommon sight within the Derelict, and special locations have been put aside for people to work out their grievances without involving the authorities. Improper documentation of consent for a duel can however have grave consequences. Likewise any dueling outside from the prescribed areas can be counted as a crime towards any bystanders who are injured.
There is no separate Judicial system on the Derelict. The office of policeman is most often carried out by the Captain’s Guard. These rough and tumble men and women tend to have a good sense of propriety and some legal training. They are allowed to arrest people on suspicion of criminality, and also allowed to pass sentences on small crimes and misdemeanors. Most such crimes involve a small fine or a short period of imprisonment in a jail. Longer crimes requiring a prison sentence or large fines must be brought before a Section Chief responsible for the geographical area or occupational specialty. High crimes such as treason or murder must be brought to the Governor-Captain for trial.
All children at the age of 16 are required to serve in the Captain’s Fleet. This training is part of their education, and required to become full citizens of the Derelict. After their two year term of duty is completed, they are considered to be Reservists and may be called up at times of danger.
Defenses & Military
The Captain’s Fleet is a small fleet of fighters, modified freighters, and small capitol ships. They are used primarily for show, and to assist imperiled spacers for a modest fee. If the Derelict itself is ever endangered, there are batteries of turbo-lasers reclaimed from an earlier era of the Derelict mounted around the station.
The Derelict also has a standing order to all transient vessels in the system. In time of danger to the system, all vessels are expected to aid the station against any aggressor. Failure to assist will result in the loss of travel permission for the system, impounding of any cargo, and possibly even the seizure of the vessel itself. Crew and passengers on such a cowardly ship are given free transport on an outgoing vessel. Compliance with the defensive action will result in the port repairing any damages sustained during the conflict, and recompense for any missiles used if proof is available.