The war for Pontakus IX would shake the Caractacan Brotherhood to its core, and the horrors that happened on that world would have far-reaching consequences in galactic history.
Pontakus IX was a strange world to begin with. Orbiting the A-type star Pontakus at five AU, it had no axial tilt at all, resulting in permanent climate zones. There were those who insisted that life should not have existed on the planet at all, given the radiation levels and the permanent climatic stasis. And yet it did. It wasn’t complex, and it was generally tough and poisonous, but it was life.
The colonists who landed there were desperate. The surviving elites of the Eurasian Cooperation Sphere had fled the Sol system ahead of the vengeance of the Nipponese Resurgence in the east and the Novgorodian Republic in the west. They had seized one of the earliest Bergenholm-equipped ships and fled the system. Only a few of them were military personnel, and fewer still were pilots. They relied on the flight computer for their course, almost to their permanent loss.
By the time they were able to go inert and determine their location, they had fled clear out of the Orion Arm and into the Crux Arm. Frightened and desperate, they sought out the nearest world they could find with an oxygen atmosphere, which happened to be Pontakus IX.
Faced with the harshness of the environment, the fledgling colony nearly died. Most of the Eurasians had been bureaucrats or simply political leaders and their families. They had few useful skills when trying to survive in an environment inimical to human life. The handful of military leaders took over, and through brutal discipline, managed to stabilize the colony and ensure its survival. Continue reading