After the terrifying war with the Overlord of Jupiter, the Solar Patrol was commissioned to police the interplanetary space lanes, protecting traffic from pirates and the insidious Red Hive! In this alternate future-history, computers use punchcards, the swamps of Venus are home to strange natives, and the mighty Telsa coil has made it possible for humanity to explore and colonize the Solar System. Get the templates, equipment, and ships you need as a Patrolman in this pulp-science fiction "world of tomorrow"! Log In. New Account or Log In.
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The year is ! The invention in of the electron drive, incorporating the Tesla coil, launched mankind outward into the Solar System. There, the nations of Earth found new. Earthers accidentally.
Its mission — defend Earth from all enemies! After a long and bloody struggle, Earth forced the Overlord back to Jupiter, where he continues to scheme against the free peoples of the System.
Yet no matter how cunning his plots, the daring men and women of the Solar Patrol will always foil them! The transistor is never invented. No rocket design proves capable of carrying itself. The first primitive general-purpose computers appear to help solve rocketry problems, but they cannot fulfill the requirements of the space program. A small project begins to test the designs, and the engineers perfect the Tesla coil, a simple device capable of drawing almost limitless energy from the ether of space.
The first craft to use the electron drive, a converted fighter jet, is launched from Edwards Air Force base in July of. On January 9, the Soviet Luna 11 likewise lands, a few dozen miles away. Both sides claim large swathes of the Moon for their own. Lunovgrad, a Soviet outpost, is constructed in Copernicus Crater. The discovery of lunar diamonds sets off the Diamond Rush, and the first homemade electron-drive ships begin to launch.
Primitive independent colonies and mining domes dot the lunar surface. Saber rattling on Earth increases dramatically. These represent the second generation of electron-drive ships, with crews of a few dozen. The ships set down on Mars within minutes of each other, after sending back clear photographs of cities, roads, and fields. Shortly after landing, both ships fall silent. This time, gar-bled and confused transmissions come through before the ground ship breaks off contact, letting the orbital craft know that some sort of contact with the natives has been made.
As the orbital fleet ponders what to do and waits for orders from Earth, a small flotilla of strange Martian ships attacks. The resulting battle is a chaotic madhouse, as one of ships in the Earth fleet suddenly turns and opens fire on its comrades.
The remaining ships turn to flee, destroying the Martian vessels in the process. The United Nations is empowered to deal with the threat, and it forms the first true planetary space fleet. The organization charged with manning and operating this fleet is known as the Earth Patrol. From orbit, they attempt to contact the Martian government and demand the return of the crews that landed there or their bodies , as well as apologies and concessions.
The orbital fleet is attacked but survives by maintaining distance. During the confusion of the battle, stealth craft launch toward Mars, bear-ing the first Earth Marines, in the hopes of secretly landing agents who will not be instantly compromised. The inability of Earth forces to land on Mars en masse, and the inability of Martian forces to effectively battle in space leads to a stale-mate, with an uneasy cease-fire negotiated over long-distance radio.
A new headquarters is built in London. A fleet of exploratory ships lands and begins charting the planet. The atmosphere and magnetosphere of Venus makes advanced charting and mapping techniques unusable; Venus must be explored from the ground, relying on the technology of the early 20th century. It remains a planet with many mysteries even a half century later.
In the early s, the peace of Earth was disrupted. The Hive managed to build significant forces before launching their surprise attack on Earth League head-quarters in London. They also struck simultaneously at the Lunar shipyards and at many key weapons depots and naval bases. By the end of the strikes, they revealed their significant fleet and demanded total control of Luna. The resulting war lasted only two months, but it was viciously brutal, with hyperbombs and Tesla implosion fields ravaging cities.
The death toll was in the hundreds of millions. Ultimately, the Hive was defeated. Most of their supporters surrendered; a small fleet, containing their leaders and some troops, disappeared into the trans-Jovian blackness. It is assumed they perished there, unable to reach Saturn and with insufficient supplies to survive a year.
Rumors of a special hyper-Tesla coil or some other device that would let them reach Saturn abound, but no concrete proof has come forth. Early contacts are made with nomadic lizardmen.
The Earth League builds long-range cruisers capable of reaching Jupiter. Patrol boats of the Jovian Overlord meet the Earth League ship Athena and give the crew a grand welcome. It is never recovered, despite the copious aid offered by the Overlord. Caught unaware at first, the Earth League suffers heavy losses. The Earth League forces the Overlord back to Jupiter and seizes the ocean world of Europa, from which it can easily strike at targets anywhere in the Jovian system.
The Overlord issues a call for peace. Weary of war, the Earth League signs a treaty with the Overlord. The treaty calls for the dismantling of the Jovian electron-drive fleet and the secret of the gravitic vector, which allows Earth League ships to maintain artificial gravity on board. Brush wars between the Venusian reptilian and the insectoid sentient races take on a new flavor with the addition of Earth-built weaponry. Smuggling begins to become a serious issue.
The terrorist organization known as the Red Hive launches a series of lightning strikes on key Earth. The ensuing two-month war is the most brutal recorded. Tesla implosion fields and hyperbombs ravage the major cities.
Yeager Dome is breached, killing nearly half a million in seconds. The final victory belongs to the Earth League, how-ever, and the fleet of the Red Hive flee toward the outer system, chased all the way to the Tesla Line by the Solar Patrol. Their escaping fleet vanishes into the darkness beyond the line, and it presumably perishes there when their supplies ran out. Others take up space piracy as well. The Shadow Caves are found on Mercury.
The first ships landed on Mercury in While orbital probes had mapped the arid world decades earlier, it took a while to develop space suits that could endure the extreme heat of the surface.
The first expeditions were scientific, as the tiny rock was an excellent place from which to study solar phenomenon. However, the discovery of the Shadow Caves in gave Mercury a new purpose.
Millions of years of turning from the blazing heat of the day to the endless chill of night has pitted and cracked the ground of Mercury. Below the surface, the ceaseless expansion and. Called the Shadow Caves, they seem to be an endless black expanse of thin, hot air and twisted, flesh-ripping knives of stone. Mercury is rich in radioactive isotopes, especially uranium, with enough fissionables to power the System for as long as anyone can imagine. The extreme harshness of the planet made mining seem nearly impossible, until the Earth League decided that Mercury would be the perfect place to deposit the worst criminals of the System.
While the traditional Earth League approach to crime is reform and recompense, there were always some criminals too hardened, twisted, or brutal to ever be returned to society, as well as some crimes that could never be compensated for. There are not many cruel and twisted enough to be shunted here — the population is rarely over — the mere threat of it keeps at least some on the straight and narrow. The average life expectancy of a prisoner on Mercury is five years.
In early , a fleet of exploratory ships launched from Earth in late reached the clouded world of Venus. Communication from Venus to Earth was impossible, as were surface-to-orbit transmissions. After a few days of debate, it was agreed that a small landing party would penetrate the upper surface and return within a week.
If the ship did not report back as scheduled, exploration would be halted until some means of breaking the static field could be found. They also reported that the haze of the atmosphere was due to large concentrations of atmospheric particles, which not only impaired normal vision but which scrambled infrared and radar as well.
Mapping of the. The largest landmass on Venus is a flat region rising a few hundred feet above the shallow oceans and swamps that dominate the rest of the world. Christened the Great Plateau, it became the site of the first permanent research stations.
Over the years, these stations expanded, traders began to appear, at first just selling goods to the scientists and their families, but soon seeking out native products that might be valuable elsewhere in the System. They found exotic woods, astounding flowers from which unearthly perfumes could be made, amber in shades of azure and crimson.
In , a group of traders seeking plant samples for sale to a pharmaceutical concern made first contact with the Salishal, though they quickly became known as the Venusian Lizardmen.
The Salishal were surprisingly non-hostile, though extremely cautious. Gestures and the like sufficed for the first round of trading: a rustproof machete for a collection of polished and cut red amber. Two months later, the first trained ethnologists and anthropologists made contact with the tribe,. When news of the Salishal reached Earth, considerable political debate ensued. Ultimately, the desire for knowledge and the belief humanity would not repeat past errors won out, and the.
League adopted a policy of controlled settlement of uninhabited areas of Venus and limited commercial trade with the Salishal. Earth would not dump the lizardmen into a culture. The policy remains in effect, and enforcement is a constant struggle. The Salishal do not necessarily want to remain cut off from the magical tools of the Beyond the Clouds People.
Many unscrupulous traders are all too happy to defy the edict on trading directly with the Salishal, who buy up old-style rifles and other goods in exchange for amber, rare plants, and exotic animals. Salishal society varies greatly, from extremely simple nomadic bands wandering the swamps to city-dwellers who have mastered clay baking and simple metallurgy. All Salishal culture is heavily based on bloodline and kinship, which they can easily detect by smell.
GURPS Tales of the Solar Patrol
The technology of Tales of the Solar Patrol is simultaneously far ahead of the real world and far behind. Space travel is commonplace, but telephones still have dials. A handheld atomic gun can tear tank armor to shreds, but a room-sized computer can barely outperform a modern pocket calculator. The tri-vid projector in the living room can still only pick up a dozen or so channels. Quite simply, it is the world of the late s with specific technology replaced but without most of the social changes or spin-off effects that accompany technological innovation.
GURPS Tales of the Solar Patrol – 2. THE WORLD OF THE PATROL
GURPS Tales of the Solar Patrol – 3. TECHNOLOGY