Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the mandatory orientation session for all personnel heading to Project Gaia, outer rim colony.  It is currently the farthest (and safest) place from home.  At the insistence of our corporate insurers we present the following information for your education and well-being. Background: Project Gaia has been established on planet SC-667, more commonly known as ‘Chandra’s world’  named after the Logic Memory Systems’ chief developer of the HAL-9000 computer system that discovered the existence of the planet at the furthest point of its scanning ability in the early 21st century.   Given the great distance involved and the primitive nature of spacecraft drive technology during the first half of the 21st century,  mankind looked at closer worlds to explore and exploit.  A large number of commercial concerns grew to prominence in the field and  off world training schemes grew in popularity and many individuals and companies grew very rich.  Amidst all this commercial activity,  Chandra’s World was all but forgotten. However, over the following century the corporations suffered many costly  set-backs; some of the most widely publicized being the closing down of  Con-Am mining operations on Io and the asteroid belt, the loss of Hadley’s  Hope and all of the facilities on Archeron, the unfortunate outcome of the  Nexus 6 replicant programme, the inevitable inter-corporate wars and the  final straw - the loss of the experimental space craft Event Horizon. These  adverse factors all ultimately resulted in financiers questioning how viable  interplanetary exploitation had become. Many corporations fell and many others  merged or amalgamated their assets in an  attempt to continue in business.  It was finally agreed by all the world’s individual governments and  global businesses that space exploration would have to become a truly joint operation no longer run  purely on the bottom line of a balance sheet.  No one organisation was to be forced to take full  financial responsibility for a project.  Identifying the need for a refueling station on the outer rim worlds, if long range space exploration was  to continue, Chandra’s World was identified as a possible candidate by the soon to be phased out USAA in 2182 (all responsibilities being taken on by the smaller agency the Interstellar Commerce  Commission set up during the inter-corporate wars of 2038).  A probe utilizing the modified but still  revolutionary Sakharov Drive was launched towards the world and sent back data confirming its  suitability for exploitation, colonization and terraforming.  By 2184 the decision had been made to go.  Project Gaia was green lit.  Formation of the Conglomerate and Colonial Responsibilities: Once the decision to colonise Chandra’s World had been made the newly  expanded ICC had to commission corporations with the necessary assets and expertise to successfully exploit the potential of the future way-station. Weyland Yutani Corp. took the bulk of the ICC contract – undertaking the  bulk haulage of raw materials to and mined materials from Chandra’s World  plus the supply basic foodstuffs to the colony and terra forming equipment.  Hyperdyne Systems still under a commercial cloud due to problems with the  ageing 120 – A/2 synthetic programme was contracted to provide mining  and safety equipment.  There had to be specific and public assurances that  there would be no 120-A/2 synthetic personnel on the base before the  contract was awarded. Con-Amalgamated agreed to supply the necessary trained mining and  geological survey staff.    Given their proven expertise on other mining projects utilising their  company’s equipment, the administration of the overall project was awarded  to two senior Hyperdyne staff: Base Commander Simon Russell and his  second in command Gary Swanston.  There was some initial sales resistance  from the other corporations – especially Weyland Yutani who saw the Gaia   project as their particular ‘baby’ but, after serious arbitration, it was agreed  to give them a chance to prove themselves. Given the initial production figures, minimal base over expenditure and  100% staff satisfaction survey scores it seemed that Russell and Swanston have been the ideal choice to head the project.  The 2184/5 business period reported profits rising steadily and the ICC reporting back to various national governments  that Gaia was not only a goer but a payday for all concerned. Timeline for Project Gaia:  2181 The recently expanded Interstellar Commerce Commission identifies SC-667 or “Chandra’s World” as suitable for exploration,  exploitation and terrafroming.  The world will eventually act as a refuelling and re-supply world for extreme range space exploration.   The data sent back by remote probes in 2182 shows a rich world with a thin but breathable atmosphere. 2183/4 The first small, manned survey mission is sent to Chandra’s world.  The results sent back to Earth are very favourable (but,  surprisingly, heavily classified). They identify the need for lightweight breathing apparatus due to a harmful but unidentified airborne  contaminant but reveal no indigenous life forms.    2185 The first multi-corporate colony, named Project Gaia, begins mining operations on the planet.  Reports about the finding of a  microbiotic life form on the planet are leaked to the world’s press.  The environmental group ‘Galactic Dawn’ push for all operations to  be suspended on the planet whilst full investigations are made to determine if the microbic life is sentient in some way. The  corporations on the planet blame poor decontamination of equipment before planet fall, claiming they have brought the organism with  them onto a new world from another mining project. Galactic Dawn threaten to take radical action if the ICC refuse to take notice.  With record production levels being recorded, the ICC is extremely reluctant to comply and attempts a court injunction against the  dissenting voices. The Galactic Dawn threatens direct action on the colony within the year. The CIA place Galactic Dawn on their  terrorist ‘watch list’, noting their connections to other well financed organisations – some with direct links to the arms trade.  2186 Record production levels continue on the colony, the first two quarters of the financial year show a handsome profit for both the  corporations involved and the ICC.  There are increasing stories and rumours about what’s actually going on at Project Gaia – rumours  of illegal drug use to bring in ‘impossibly high’ mineral yields, deliberate misreporting of production figures, illegal use of synthetic life  forms to keep costs down, secret weapons development and a host of other ‘newsworthy’ items debated in the popular press and  officially countered by the ICC as ‘a series of politically motivated slurs from a certain environmentally orientated organisation.’    Mounting negative public opinion, however, wins out and an independent investigatory task force of corporate, law enforcement and  military experts is assembled to determine the exact nature of what’s happening on SC-667.    A taskforce is put together to thoroughly investigate the public concerns. Federal District Marshals are being sent in to investigate  allegations of illegal drug use.  A representative of the New York Police Departments ‘renegade synthetic unit’ is going to be  investigating the allegations of illegal synthetic use, various corporate representatives (and their licensed security teams) will be there  to ensure the integrity of their assets and personnel on the base. A squad of Colonial Marines are being sent in to protect the team  whilst on the planet. Their presence has been recommended by CIA analysts at Langley in response to threats made by the Galactic  Dawn and their announcement to take direct action on the planet itself – especially given the recruiting they have down amongst  freelance private security companies.  Planet fall is scheduled for late May of 2186.  As all of you here know well.  Distribution of base personnel and duties: Project Gaia currently employs the skills of 220 souls on the surface of the planet (with over 1000 back here on Earth acting as  support).  Of this number up to 60 at any one time can be found at the base HQ – mainly administration, medical and technical  support personnel but, sometimes, off duty freighter pilots and long range prospectors too.  It is at base HQ that you’ll be based  during your stay.  It’s not the most comfortable accommodation in the world but it’s the best Gaia can offer at this moment in time.   You’ll be shipping in some luxury goods with you so the folks down there will love you.  The remaining 160 personnel are split over three sites.  Two ‘strip’ mining camps, which by their nature are relatively mobile and  following where the mother lode takes them and a small fledgling terrafroming facility which, due to the fairly favourable conditions on  the planet hasn’t been as active as expected – helping to keep our day to day operating costs down. Currently we’re mining rainbow coloured diamonds out in the petrified woodlands – you’ll be briefed on that freak of ecology when you  land as it has to be seen to be believed – they’re relatively close to the surface, plentiful and cheap to extract, clean up and ship back  to earth.  Being harder than terrestrial diamonds they have a large number of commercial applications for which the market pays  handsomely, and also look stunning around the right neck - so they’re popular with the fashion world as well. Other mined minerals include gold, silver, titanium and cobalt – extraction is relatively easy and the profits are good.  Given this  favourable situation we can only hope that your visit goes off without incident and that you are able to satisfy our detractors – both  commercial and environmental that we’re not doing anything wrong. I wish you all God Speed – I think it’s fair to say that the future  of continued space exploration resides with you all – so no pressure. Safety briefing:  As mentioned earlier, SC-667 is, on the whole supportive of  human life. It does, however, have a contaminant in the  atmosphere that is harmful to human existence.  Although there  is an atmosphere of sorts, and short-term breathing without a  respirator is possible although not recommended.  Over an  hour’s exposure appears to cause irreversible physical damage  so it is vitally important that you are able to access breathing masks at all times outside of the colony HQ.  There are main two types  you may come across:  1) The short excursion mask – this is a lightweight respirator that allows approx 45 minutes safe exploration  of the planet’s surface.  After that time the mask’s filtration begins to breakdown and, within an hour, they  are worse than useless.  These are available in dispensers within each airlock or work site for frequent  replacement. 2) The industrial  work  mask – this is the heavier mask used by personnel for  longer periods of exposure – these masks (made by a number of corporations) all  allow the wearer 24 hours continuous atmospheric exposure before needing the  pads changing.  A similar system exists in the current Colonial Marine issue  combat respirator. In addition to on-base decontamination booths for all personnel and their clothing, (full instruction on their  use will be given on site) it is believed that we enjoy the best environmental protection of any off-world  facility currently in operation.  Themed games: ‘Project Gaia’  - The Farthest Shore From Home The themed games for Dropzone are set in a near dystopian future – characterized by such films as Blade Runner, Outland, Alien (and it’s sequels), Predator and Moon 44 to name a few.  You, the players, will make up the personnel on an investigatory team looking into supposed production anomalies and various other accusations of misconduct – including the finding of a supposedly new organism on the surface of SC-667, locally known as Chandra’s World.  To cover every eventuality the group is being made up of as wide a team as possible: 1) Colonial Marine Corps: (4 x 4 man fire teams): These ‘tough’ hombres are being sent in as armed support for the party.  An environmental group – the Galactic Dawn – has vowed direct action on the planet if the project isn’t shut down and the status of the organism investigated thoroughly. Multi-cam for ground troops Headwear suitable for the mission – beret, boonie, helmet Any suitable military webbing Olives for aerospace personnel - the team needs one pilot, one crew chief and one ‘door gunner’. Please  note that the numbers are limited for each of these roles in the interests of game balance - contact the organisers to ensure that roles are available before sorting out your costuming 2) Federal District Marshals (2 x Marshals, 1 x Detective): There have been raised eyebrows in the corporate world regarding the impressive yields of mined material being shipped back to earth over the last year and a half – at least 100 times what would be expected on a small ‘shake and bake’ mining colony.  Most of this could be professional jealousy but, given the situation on Con-Am’s Io mining facility, the Marshals are being sent in to investigate any untoward dealing in illegal stimulants. There may be another law enforcement officer with the team – he will be looking into another accusation made against the colony and will make himself known during the course of the mission.   Light blue shirt    Dark blue jacket    Dark blue trousers   Dark blue baseball cap   Gunbelt 3) Corporate personnel:  Three corporations were tasked with bringing Project Gaia to fruition on behalf of the ICC:  Weyland Yutani took the bulk of the ICC contract – undertaking the bulk haulage of raw materials to and mined materials from  Chandra’s World plus the supply basic foodstuffs to the colony and terra forming equipment. Hyperdyne Systems was contracted to provide mining and safety equipment.    Con-Amalgamated agreed to supply the necessary trained mining and geological survey staff.  Needless to say, all these corporations want to ensure that investigations are swift and fair to their interests and have sent a ‘suit’ to  oversee the conduct of their team members.  Given the Galactic Dawn’s direct threat to their facilities they have also been given  dispensation to take up to 6 ‘security advisors’ each along with them Coporate executive (3 x 1 for each corporation):    Business wear if so inclined – however that may prove impractical in the field    Some kind of adventure wear (Carter Burke wears a shirt and a waistcoat for his excursion onto LV-426!)   Gun/utility belt    Pistols or small SMG’s  Corporate security (3 x6 per corporate executive):    Adventure wear – anything colours but black please – a ready identifier for NPC’s !    Any webbing   Rifles, pistols, knives.  NB: NO explosives – they will be held exclusively by the military.  4) Various ancillary personnel (unlimited): These will be people who can be based on the planet of the start of the game – mining personnel, biologists, geologists etc. The only mandatory pieces of equipment for on planet personnel will be: a boiler suit, hard hat ‘respirator’ (dust mask) Sidearm of single shot rifle where applicable.
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