As with many first rim colonies, Taradia boasts a multitude of large-scale mining operations and is one host to one of the largest shipbuilding elements in Sector IV. Taradia is also known to trade and cooperate immensely with other nearby First Rim colonies, including Bartoni, Oompa, Madrigal, Harvest, and Arcadia.
"Since I'm a Slovene, I prefer 'Toradja,' but it's anybody's call, really."
―Anonymous Westphal resident
Throughout the centuries, Taradia has been referred to by a plethora of associated names and likenesses. When the planet was first discovered and confirmed in 2023 by the Planet Hunter orbital telescope as part of the NASA Second Home Program, it was labeled SH 1143809; the numerical code indicated its potential size and distance to the Sol system. Around approximately 2108 (multiple claims have been made), SH 1143809 was re-designated Indus Corus β.
After more than two hundred years, the planet's colonization and growth into a sufficient colony prompted a more diversified name, at which point it was renamed to the Taradian Republic as an homage to the famous twenty-second century environmentalist John J. Taradia; this would be the first time the planet was ever referred to by the name of Taradia.
As the province-based governing system was established in the early twenty-fifth century, many denizens felt that a name change was needed to reflect the passive colonial revolution. Its official name temporarily gave way to the Colonial Emirates of Taradia, although some still argued that this name did not reflect the planet's tight knit diversity. In 2425, a final name change was granted, and the planet was indefinitely deemed the Loyal Federated Commonwealth of Taradia and its Associated Satellite Worlds.
Around approximately 98,800 BCE, the Ecumene, an extremely advanced civilization, established a moderate presence on the planet. Approximately two million volunteer colonists settled the planet, which was then known as (roughly) Darfir 38291. The colony grew into one that was humble, peaceful, and pleasant as more than a billion more civilians emigrated to the world over the next few decades. Approximately one century after Darfir's establishment, much of the planet's surface was converted into a massive military zone that acted as both a major training/testing location but also one of many super-hubs, each of which was responsible for nearly two hundred worlds.
When the Forerunner-Flood War broke out, much of the planet's population fled to the core worlds of the empire, while a few million remained on-site. In 98,115 BCE, the Flood stumbled upon the colony after a random-vector jump by a captured Forerunner vessel. The planet's populace, which was unprepared for the parasite, perished before a quarantine of any type could be imposed. The Flood subsequently destroyed the majority of the Forerunner installations on the planet.
In 2364, plans for colonization were well under way for the young Taradian colony, which at the time was deemed Indus Corus α. The UNSC Maureen's Bullion, a colony ship of the Excalibur Rose-class, was deployed to establish an initial settlement with a population of around one thousand volunteer colonists; it was then to return for further operations. However, the ship's translight engine was damaged upon translating out of Slipstream space and, since it was not able to return, subsequently remained on location as a multirole ship with its supplementary reactors and other systems salvaged for the colony. In the following months, the small colony sought for benefits of the planet and began noting possible locations for future settlement, an action often performed by new colonies in order to ensure a well thought out infrastructure.
Supplemental colony ships similar to this vessel helped to accelerate Taradia's growth.
Once fully established, the new, infant capital named New Bath would attempt to establish a small farming operation to sustain as many colonists as it could, though the poor choice of location for New Bath led to heavy storms that often eroded farming soil, which brought about the need for enclosed greenhouses, such as the well-known Maison de la Taradie. To give colonists a source of income, normally agricultural automatons worked with colonists to begin extracting metal from a nearby mountain range to the east. Though the planet did not contain supreme water purity, a small number of colonists would establish a company later known as Bava-Tellman, Incorporated, which worked to produce various fuels needed to sustain routine activities.
In 2384, the Bohemia, a medium tonnage freighter, suffered a life support failure as it prepared to leave planetary orbit. Fortunately and due to the new colony's growing need for power, the ship was broken and salvaged just outside the capital. The reactors would greatly contribute to the power grid while the mass driver on board would be installed on the surface and would launch sealed nuclear waste into a collision-course with the system's star, Indus Corus. This allowed for other matters to be addressed while the colony waited for one of many massive Griffin transport ships to deliver supplies and additional colonists.
Near the center of the townstead, the anchor-base for the first of the planet's space elevators began construction in the form of planning and gathering of raw materials. This would usher in the modernization of the planet to par with others, though the process would take at the least one year since the elevator was in fact two larger-than normal elevators built into one.
By early 2381, the Griffin-class UNSC Mjolnir arrived and delivered nearly fifteen-thousand colonists and supplies needed for advancement, including numerous prefabricated greenhouses, six of which being as large as six football fields along with numerous prefabricated windmills, a hydrogen-fusion reactor, and an acre's worth of solar panels. Shortly thereafter, another transport arrived with fifteen-thousand more colonists alongside thousands of seeds and materials to begin constructing the elevator's enormous anchor in full force.
The aforementioned benefits gave a boost to the colony's economy, which was aided by a growing mining industry. In November 2483, with the anchor operational, Spanish-based mining super-corporation Anguaro Proprietary set up Taradia's largest mining operation on the area of the local highlands nearest New Bath along with other operations. It also established a smaller operation five-hundred kilometers north along the ridge which would search for reserves of metal there. Anguaro, which maintained eighty-three locations across the Human Sphere, would temporarilyy dominate the planetary economy with its new-found deposits of ore.
One of the original mag-lev trains idling in an urban station.
Between the two operations, three side-by-side mag-lev rails were planned and constructed; the first would be solely for transporting workers until housing at the minor of the two mines was built. The second would only transport supplies and ore to and fro, while a third rail would act temporarily as a relief rail for the other two. Before long, the city of Three Gates would be established around the primary station for the railways, further opening opportunities to strengthen the economy.
By 2387, the colony was well off with nearly seventy-five thousand citizens and a small garrison of 1,100 Army personnel. The economy, though not necessarily booming, was stable and morale was almost painfully content. However, a rebel influence had reached the planet and was spreading amongst the population. Within months, the rebel population was estimated to have reached a peak of one thousand; local government was quickly growing weary of the situation. As a result August of the same year, an additional 3,000 field operators and 100 Eagle VTOLs were assorted into the two cities' militia as per request by local brass to CMA Department of Outer Colony Allocations.
Within days of the arrival of the supplementary detachment, the rightfully suspected separatists attempted a conglomerated strike upon the small colony. Unfortunately for the rebels, the fast-paced warfare of the well-disciplined CMA infantry solidified by close air support overwhelmed insurgents in the initial skirmishes. Two weeks later, a small insurgent force barely one-hundred-strong attempted an assault Three Gates, despite depleted munitions and hopes. This would lead to another one-sided defeat marked the end of the rebellion and brought about an embarrassing surrender.
The period of years spanning from the 2390s through the 2430s was marked by a combination of growth and various issues on the planet. Throughout this period a culture unique to the mixture of peoples on the planet began to develop its own persona. Not only did this boost overall morale, but it was also used in a series of advertisements to draw potential colonists from Earth to choose Taradia as their destination.
Many are led to believe that this adverting campaign proved successful and profitable; a surprising influx of colonists raised overall gross decimal product by thirty percent by 2430. In addition, nearly a dozen new unique population centers were established along and within the vicinity of the coastline, namely within the New Bandar region, which would soon come to be considered a political and economical continent of sorts.
Yet another positive aspect claimed by this era was the birth of the Commonwealth's provincial system, which is still used up until the modern era. The majority of the existing colonies were placed into a single province, known as the North Capital Commonwealth, its name being derived from its location in the northern hemisphere and the fact that it was home to the capital city. The remaining two settlements, located northwest of the aforementioned province, were organized into a second province deemed the High Province of Thüringer, more commonly referred to as Thüringer. These beginnings of a better organized political infrastructure helped to ensure a more stable future for the colony.
The First Manhüven War was a small civil conflict unique to a small handful of planetary systems, namely the Indus Corus system. It was sparked when the Manhüven Socialist Emirates, a "prominent" terrorist cell based out of a neighboring system, simultaneously hijacked thirteen space faring civilian vessels as they were leaving planetary orbits; they would refit these vessels and use their prowess to harass commercial shipping for two years.
All the while, hundreds of rebels and sympathizers amassed in major population centers on Taradia, often inciting minor riots, night looting, and protests in Victory Square, the capital city's central plaza. One of the more infamous firefights to occur on Taradia during the war took place in the northern suburbs of New Celje, the capital city of the Westphal province in 2443. Known colloquially as the Battle of the Woodland, it began in the early dawn when a pair of heavily armed rogue individuals attacked a UNSC recruiting office and subsequently took hostage two non-commissioned officers and three civilians. Within two minutes of the situation's beginning, a makeshift armored personnel carrier arrived and all of the small building's occupants were loaded on and it fled northwest into Harrisford Recreational Reserve.
ODSTs raid a skyscraper during Operation BUTTERFLY.
During their escape, the suspects were met by both police and UNSC pursuers. A pair of Ocelot light recon vehicles pursued into the forest but were subsequently ambushed by rocket launcher-wielding insurgents. One vehicle was hit directly and obliterated while the other was flipped by the blast; its occupants were also taken hostage. Over the course of the next few hours, orbital cameras scanned and eventually located signs of an insurgent stronghold deep in the green threshold.
As the day's sunset eluded to night, assorted assault teams comprising more than three hundred operators moved into position before they stormed the forest, taking many rebel patrols by surprise. Within minutes, they rapidly fought their way to the stronghold and a special forces detail raided the non-permanent complex, securing the hostages and eliminating all local threats. As the hostages were aerially extracted, the greater force combed the reserve for further insurgent presence.
The Second Manhüven War was one that left a noticeably lesser impact on Taradia as when compared to its parent war. Nevertheless, it is still worth noting as a component of Taradian history. Spanning the years of 2456 and 2458, the conflict once again featured the excessively belligerent Manhüven Socialist Emirates, a defunct leftist political party that was corrupted by a pro-secessionist partly leader, and the practices of which eventually led to the party's breakaway as an insurgent faction.
The opening incident of the conflict was the hijacking of the UNSC Komatachka, a large quadruple gun transport bringing in construction crews for an arms manufacturing facility. After retreating under a blanket of improvised radar counter-activity, the United Nations Space Command lost track of the ship (abnormal solar flares were also interfering with scanning systems at the time) as it fled to the system's Kuiper belt, where a tempest of rebel activity often lies in the first rim. Three weeks afterward, a battlegroup of four frigates and a light cruiser arrived in-system; two of the former remained in orbit of Taradia (additionally, there was already one frigate and three "clipped-wing" gunboats) while the remainder deployed scanning apparatuses throughout the system and initiated varying patrol patterns.
After a week of searching, a remote scanning platform confirmed the location of six insurrectionist vessels: one yacht, four freighters, and the rogue transport. The operational force assets regrouped and besieged the Kuiper stronghold, as it came to be known. The yacht and Komatachka were captured with minimal damage while the four freighters and a modest complex on the local terrestrial dwarf Indus Corus g16.
Following this skirmish, no notable battle, per se, occurred; the majority of the fighting was limited to anything ranging from petty crimes to city bombings. The second and final war against the Emirates ended when the UNSC organized an extremely high risk sting operation with the help of willing pro-union mercenaries; the mission resulted in the death of six of the seven major leaders of the MSE and ultimately the rebel movement.
The Inner Colony Wars, while officially in plural form, were actually a single, independent war. Like the Manhüven Wars, it was sparked by the uproars of a disgruntled leftist political party; to the contrary, though, the Inner Colony Wars were much more impacting and fatal than its chronological former.
Shortswords of the 887th Close Support Wing prepare coordinate a bombing raid during Operation RED BOUNTY.
The frays of the First Human Civil War would prove as a major test for the now exalted and hardened Taradian defense organization. More than a incidents involving Insurrectionists would occur in a time frame spanning half a century. These conflicts ranged in size from the bombing of a small bank or military recruiting office to what could be considered full out battles and raging riots. The events that took place on Taradia during the war still paled in comparison to those which were compiled on planets such as Reach or Transcendence, where insurgent activity was far more abundant.
When the First Human Civil War, known at the time as the Insurrection, broke out in the 2480s, many believed that there was little rebel sympathy abound on Taradia; partly due to the colony's generally contagious, far-right political values, they were right for the time being to say the least. For the first fifteen odd years, any worthy conflict or, in other words, anything above petty crimes or small, unsuccessful gunfights involving one or two urban insurgents, was seemingly restricted to the inner colonies and a limited handful of the outer colonies.
It would soon become common knowledge, however, that no colony was immune to the war's psychological onslaught. Consequently, the Taradian defenses would encounter their first notable threat of the war through the Siege of Northfield, an attempted coup of the grasp the UNSC retained over the rural village of Northfield, a humble settlement within the largely undeveloped Westphal province. Not long after dusk, an renegade band composed of approximately one hundred fully armed Insurrectionists and an accommodation of a dozen or more makeshift war vehicles approached the sleepy farm town with the intentions of capturing it or razing it. Before the Northfield's inhabitants were even aware of the approaching detail, though, a CMA-operated scanning satellite spotted the threat and notified friendly forces in the area. To the CMA and UNSC's dismay, they were only able to utilize the local constabulary for the time being.
Once the first shots were fired by the invaders, much of the city's five hundred denizens hid in the local shelter or fled altogether. Unfortunately for them, the police assets were quickly overwhelmed and tortured as a testament to the Insurrection's might; their parade would be thwarted as the Colonial Militant company T-4/Bravo arrived on-scene and promptly engage the outgunned rebels from their attack vehicles, forcing the latter into a failed rout. Of the one hundred twelve insurgents, sixty-seven were killed during the initial crossfire or the chase while the remainder was wounded and/or captured.
As the early 2510s gave in to the 2520s, hot-zones located in Sector IV had begun to die down by a noticeable magnitude; nevertheless, war had not left the region behind to rejoice. One of the major series events occurring within this time frame was the New Bath crisis. In the waning days of November, 2521, hundreds of civilians gathered at Taradian House of Senate, which was, as its name implies, home to Taradia's senate; the vast majority of said protesters were exercising their substantial distaste for lengthened curfews, increasingly common street checkpoints, and so forth.
These angered citizens were swiftly greeted by operators of the local special weapons and tactics unit within minutes of the protest's beginning. However, the mob had grown to as many as two thousand people, many of which were growing increasingly aggressive. The dangerously outnumbered law enforcement officers would proceed to request the aid of reinforcements from the local military; fifteen minutes later, an company of soldiers belonging UNSC Army's38th Rifle Regiment, which was amidst practice operations in the nearby Castle mountains, were brought in via air and ground transports. At this point, not only was the entire city aware, but news and video footage of the fiasco had gone as far as Earth itself, despite an attempted media blackout by local components.
Riot police are battered by a myriad of thrown objects during the New Bath crisis.
At approximately 21:00 local time, 130 minutes into the protest, six civilians within the crowd revealed carbine variants of the Model 17 rifle and began firing on a group of the Army infantrymen. At this point, the scene erupted. While a large portion of the crowd scattered or fled, hundreds began looting local business while more nearly two hundred armed insurgents continued attacking the UN soldiers.
Simultaneously, a makeshift bomb of sorts was detonated on the fifth floor of the Cape Tower, planetary headquarters to mining juggernaut Anguaro Proprietary. The small, yet potent explosion caused the forty-story building to lean and eventually fall upon Victory Square, a ten-acre public park and memorial to the Human-Covenant War which lies between the senate building and the tower, approximately five minutes after the initial detonation. This time frame would allow a number of the building's dwellers to escape although some were trapped by spreading flames.
In the aftermath, what was originally intended to be a peaceful yet bellicose protest was warped into a full blown civil conflict. Despite this tangent defeat, the riot cost the city more than 350,000,000 cR (equivalent to approximately $300 million 2010 USD). One-hundred-twenty-one of the rebel fighters were dead, and additional sixty-nine were wounded and/or captured. On the opposite end, thirty-five of the UN soldiers were killed while an additional sixty-one were injured. Unfortunately, more than two hundred innocent civilians were injured or killed during the crisis, the better part of which may be attributed to the Cape Tower's collapse. In conclusion, the rebellion had gained a strong psychological foothold in the war.
Before long, however, insurgents on the planet revealed that they had further plans for Taradia.
Taradia was not excluded from the list of targets of the Covenant Empire during the First Great War. A total of two noteworthy battles occurred during the war's twenty-eight year span, while a third minor skirmish occurred approximately two astronomical units from the planet.
In 2536, the Covenant would besiege the planet with a modest task force after detecting multiple Forerunner installations, notably remnants of the aforementioned military citadel. The battle resulted in a Pyrrhic yet extremely strategic victory and boost for the United Nations Space Command's war efforts as UN researchers were able to examine and research Forerunner shielding technology.
Five years following the first engagement, the recently reactivated CMA comm station Bethanine intercepted a Covenant transmission hinting at another assault on Taradia in the near future. Without a bit of hesitation, portions of the Seventh Fleet were recalled from garrison in the Inner Colonies back to their home port (of Taradia). Within days of nearly thirty ships of the line arriving in-system, they were met by an opposing squadron comprising a dozen vessels, although the majority of which were painfully stripped-down Jiralhanae and Kig Yar privateer vessels. Subsequently, the defensive grid was able to prevent harm to the planet below despite near-Pyrrhic naval losses.
As the genocide of the war progressed, Taradia remained untouched and by the mid-2540s was unarguably the mightiest colony remaining in the Outer Colonies; as a result, various mining and manufacturing corporations began to invest in the colony as it churned out small arms, light warships, and refined metals for heavier capital vessels. By 2551, it seemed that no matter the fate of the major remaining Inner Colony worlds, Taradia must be able to sustain the Human race in the case that all else was lost. In early July, 2552, Taradia initiated codeword SAMURAI; this protocol called for all exports, tangible or not, to be reduced to a bare minimum.
This, in theory, effectively rendered the colony invisible to the gaze of the metaphorical Covenant eye and reduced the chances of an attack so long as they are preoccupied elsewhere. Most of the remaining known Forerunner artifacts were broken down and stored deep underground in the hopes that they wouldn't be detected as easily even though it was known this would likely not do much without proper jamming equipment. Unfortunately, the protocol was unsuccessful, though in the end, one might be able to argue such a statement if it were to be made. The planet was actually found only by coincidence.
In September, a small Covenant Provisional Supply Squadron, as it was referred to by the UNSC, consisting of but four cargo shippers baring only point defense weaponry and the lead ship a single light plasma cannon, mistakenly spun out of Slipstream space half an astronomical unit from Taradia. The frigate and two corvettes that remained in defense of Taradia were able to dispatch the unprepared and exhausted PSS with ease, although a lucky hit on one of the corvettes inflicted severe damage to its life support, which was promptly repaired, and propulsive systems.
The famed colonial era began with the end of the First Holy Schism and lasting through the late 2570s. It was a time to rejoice, regroup, and improve upon newly founded foundations; as such, it was a crucial, pivotal point for the major colonies that were relatively unaffected by the First Great War such as Taradia, Mars, and Transcendence, among a handful of others. Taradia had been granted a productive boost as refugees fleeing war torn worlds brought its population above three hundred million, a major benchmark for the colony. Accordingly, productivity, especially in terms of agriculture, rose exponentially and Taradia boasted the capability to almost single-handedly support seven neighboring colonies until the core worlds grew stable enough to reach out to pockets of survival such as the aforementioned.
As the decade gave way to the 2560s, Humanity was once again to comfortably stand on its own and thus began to research new advancements in the fields of military, transportation, communications, and agriculture, among numerous others. Major successes such as the advent of both the S2 Energy Shield and M68 Slipspace Drive proved exceedingly vital for the rebuilding UNSC Navy. Additionally, these two innovations, coupled with various others, allowed for a new series of mighty warships to enter the frays of war.
Infamous footage detailing the out- break of Operation KĒTOS aired just before a media blackout was initialized.
Even as the peaceful and productive years of the reconstruction era gave way to the distantly happening Darçyc War, Taradia's the growth and development into a colonial superpower was undaunted by the small civil war that was unfolding sixty light-years away. Its once provisional shipwrights gave way to massive manufacturing operations by Baer Industrial Yards, Reyes-McLees Shipyards, and Taradia Shipyards. Accordingly, Taradia was a strong supporting foothold for the UNSC Navy and the locally based Seventh Fleet. Following the end of the Darçyc, Taradia would continue to grow and support much of Sector Four's various needs, be them tangible or otherwise.
This era of "pax Taradia" was ended by a single yet tenacious stroke of action. Said action also sparked the ferocious and simultaneous revolts that were colloquially known as one major fight for dominance: the Second Human Civil War. The first few months saw little activity in the system at all; to the contrary, during the midyear months of 2585, a band of local miners totaling more than one thousand individuals were broken away from loyalty to the UN as Miners Union "missionaries" closed in on the planet with the intention of gaining a major psychological foothold and what they thought could be a momentum-reversing outcome.
Armed with a plethora of weapons (improvised or otherwise) ranging from from brass knuckles or bare fists to a handful of M17 assault rifles, the mob rendezvoused at an undisclosed location and began riots in New Celje, capital of the Westphal province. Before a major UN presence could be established on-site, the majority of the rioters fled. A growing mass of rowdy secessionists eventually turned into a full fledged rebel force; old transports were converted into clipped-wing gunboats and larger freighters made into miniature frigates armed with retrofitted point defense cannons and rail guns, while as many as three dozen Archer missiles may have been in possession of the improvised rebel fleet.
The ensuing campaign would prove to be crucial in either side's progress in the war; whether or not the Miners Union was victorious (and its local kingpins were well aware a defeat was inevitable on Taradia), they knew they might be able to score a decisive psychological victory if they could successfully and effectively harass and scar the Taradian populace. Fortunately for the Joint Armed Forces Command, the planetside insurgency crumbled before long. Despite hopeful suspicions, though, the miners' routed expeditions would surely not be the final strife to occur locally during the Colonial Rebellion.
In November of the same year, a ground-side mechanized patrol was ambushed and decimated by an unknown number of rebels exceeding at least forty individuals. The outrageous rebuttal by the UNSC would be Operation KĒTOS, an initiative to eliminate the suspected metaphorical stockpiles of rebel assets. The insurgent force, spearheaded by leaders of the reborn United Rebel Front, fought back ferociously and provided one of the greater challenges for the United Nations over the course of the war. Nevertheless, the local Colonial Security Command militias, combined with supplementary UNSC naval and ground forces]], were able to storm the rebel forces and force the United Rebel Front into a treaty, although they would dishonor said agreement in the months following. After KĒTOS, Taradia would reign free of concentrated insurgent activity, although pettier incidents would still be recurring.
As the new decade that was the 2590s began to rise over the horizon, the United Nations entered the brutal fray of the Second Great War, partially due to the pleas of its struggling allies, the Sangheili Empire and Unggoy Federation. During this time, Taradia became a crucial refit planet for fleets departing from the Core colonies towards New and Old Covenant spheres.
During the dawning hours of 2601 a battle group of twenty-four Dauntless-class Cruiser-Carriers and Harbinger-class Destroyers, all under the control of the New Covenant, besieged the system and identified Taradia as the prime target. The one week engagement brought about a costly victory for Taradian defenses as the planet was once again partially glassed, although to a very minor extent. Following a small series of restoration operations, the colony was well-restored and helped contribute to the war effort until victory arrived for the Orion Defense Initiative in the early 2620s.
Taradia is what one might call a gem of the sea. It brushed past the onslaught of the war, and in the months following its become a reconstructive hub of sorts for all of Sector Four, not to mention the millions of immigrated refugees that have bolstered its output/economy in the post war by quite a noticeable amount, and this is something I am quite happy for: prosperity in the wake of destruction. It is certain that Taradia will, along with Mars and Transcendence, dominate the post-war scene for the formidable future. That is, fate will fulfill such a hypothesis as long as the scattered rebellion remnants do not attempt to take root on the planet, though I think we can all entrust local security details to assure that this doesn't happen.
The political system encountered on the Federated Commonwealth, while not precisely unique, was still far from the colonial norm. When the planet was initially settled, all local entities fell under the direct governance of the Colonial Administration Authority. A governor provisoire was appointed by the CAA President every eight years; such position was often filled by ex-UNSC/CMA Generals, Unified Earth Government Senator, or even judicial kingpins of various backgrounds. Meanwhile, positions such as mayors and judges were elected by the adult populace from each respective city.
This particular system, which happened to be quite common for other fledgling colonies at the time, would continue on Taradia for a number of decades. During the decade that was the 2410s, however, a growing planetary population demanded a stronger and more durable political infrastructure. While the current system remained successful in the larger cities such as New Bath and even the distant New Celje (which barely managed a population of forty-five thousand inhabitants), smaller, remote settlements were often subject to marshal law, which often allowed for spiked crime rates as well as stunted economical growth.
After a series of conferences and Senatorial hearings, an entirely redesigned political governing system was initialized. It focused on the province concept as many came to call it. Pioneered by Mars in the early 2100s (though it has since been restructured there), the majority of the closest major cities and accommodating rural towns were grouped into a single province, which was named the North Capital Commonwealth. As population boomed throughout the rest of the twenty-fifth century. More than a dozen provinces would be formed across the super-continent Hestia. Each province is responsible for electing five representatives to the planet's House of Senate; additional seats may be allocated to provinces boasting greater land areas and/or populations.
Furthermore, Taradia has come to develop a strong political tie with nearby colonies and the various central governments that have come and gone. One of its more successful ventures was the Indus Corus Zero Tariff Pact ratified in 2447, ten years after the colonization of Bartoni. The document barred the enactment any sort of embargo or tariff within the planetary system, thus allowing for an ever increasing economical bond between the various colonies of the system.
The metaphorical defensive grid encompassing the Federal Commonwealth of Taradia has proved itself in preserving the colony's standing all too often. It is comprised to two major components: an atmospheric element and an orbital element. Each has unique duties that must be adhered to and respected in order to ensure proper execution of activities.
The emblem of the North Capital Land Operations Command. A simplified version is used as a breast-patch.
The Joint Armed Security Forces are the primary guardians of security and defense for Taradia and its outlying assets. The JASF Security Council, which answers directly to COSCOM in peace time and the UNSC Defense Force, is headquarted in New Bath. Also based there is the colonial honor guard and the local SES detail, the latter known colloquially as the Taradian Black Slacks.
In addition to these unique standing units, the JASF is charged with the upkeep and management of twenty-one localized security detachments (one for each province). These local commands are the primary fighting force of the JASF and will often correlate with one another in order to combat greater threats, as seen notably during the Taradian Miners' Campaign of the Second Human Civil War or Operation KĒTOS, a conflict of the same war which occurred only months after the former.
In addition to the UNCSC|Colonial Security Command's operational presence, the United Nations Space Command also maintains a modest garrison on Taradia. Since the midyears of the First Great War, Taradia has grown into a major first rim hub for the UNSC Army; accordingly, the III Colonial Army has traditionally been stationed on the planet, which constitutes nearly 110 thousand individuals along with their accommodating equipment. This formation further complements the Colonial Army of Taradia, which is comprised of both COSCOM and UNSC personnel. Often attached to local Army formations are a dozen Ranger special-ops regiments; these elite units participate in high-risk operations and are very capable of precision vessel boarding during orbital and suborbital operations.
Furthermore, the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy each maintain active forces on the FCT. The former proudly boasts the Twelfth Air Force, a renowned unit made up of more than 41,000 professionals and respective equipment. The Twelfth works closely with the III Regional Army in routine operations on the surface of Taradia. As for the Marine Corps' activities on the planet, the Thirteenth Fleet Marine Force is traditionally based on the planet. It is considered to be one of the toughest units in all the UNSC Defense Force, and as such, it is heavily relied upon when a major force is threatening Taradia. Also, in addition to the Indus Corus Colonial Fleet, the UNSC maintains a personal defense fleet: the remodeled UNSC Seventh Fleet (alternatively referred to as simply the Seventh General Operations Fleet - Taradia). Often maintaining as many as ninety vessels, around thirty or forty of which may be routinely deployed, comprise this luxurious fleet of war.
At any one time, Taradia is also protected by a handful of Peacekeeper regiments. The Peacekeepers, while also technically members of the Colonial Security Command, are separate from the mainstay planetary defense infrastructure in most cases and as such are somewhat mobile. They are usually temporarily (though sometimes indefinitely) assigned to a planet and perform roles including, but not limited to, light reconnaissance, urban garrison, military police, limited counter-insurgency, and other paramilitary rates.
The local, system-based fleet is a prominent naval element of the United Nations Colonial Security Command, although it also fell under Naval Command jurisdiction; in times of full-fledged war, the latter would likely assume total command of the force. It is charged with the defense of the colonies Taradia, Bartoni, Oompa, and the Kodiak asteroids. Since its formation, the CSF has been comprised of two major formations, the names of which are Fleet patrol element-(FPE) LAQUEARIUS and FPE-VELES.
The former of the two units is charged only with the security of Taradia, while VELES is tasked with upholding the safety and order of the system's minor outlying colonies/operations in addition to the outer reaches of the system. Accommodating the base loadout of combat vessels that each FPE is allocated is a number of orbital and deep space stations of varying roles. These may include defensive installations, remote scanning stations, and communications platforms, among others.
As of 2585, FPE-LAQUEARIUS comprised approximately twenty fully mobile vessels, ranging from speedy patrol boats to warhorse ships-of-the-line. These mobile vessels were supported by a total of seven major military stations, including both weapons and repair platforms. It should also be noted that many of the vessels are staffed partially or entirely by UNSC personnel in order to ensure a better disciplined crew and to compensate for a deficit in willing militant candidates.
The final aspect of ensuring proper security is enforced is civilian and military law enforcement. Like twenty-first century Earth, each major city and most smaller settlements maintain and operate their personal police forces. As one might predict, the size of a city's constabulary varies directly with said city's greatness. Some, like that of the small town of Northfield in the Westphal province, are made up of volunteers while others, such as the New Bath Regional Police Department, are comprised of hundreds of individuals and patrol surrounding suburbs as well.
In addition to civilian firms, common law is also withheld in part by the UN Peacekeepers, the locally based Joint Armed Security Forces, and the UNSC, each in a varying magnitude. Of the three, the UNSC Defense Forces claims the largest portion of Taradia's military police force. This is partly due to the indefinite presence of the III Regional Army; as such, UNSC Army MPs tend to number above two thousand worldwide while another six hundred are Marines with the Thirteenth FMF. Local militants and Peacekeepers combine for another eighteen hundred operators, around half of which actively pursue roles in criminal justice while the remainder maintains security within military complexes.
Taradia is one of the few colonies able to maintain a self-supporting economy, along with Mars, Transcendance, Shei, and a handful of others. Its diverse set of economical sectors, combined with factors such as living costs and employment capabilities, is what truly makes such a feat possible. In November, 2553, the FCT boasted an annual gross decimal product worth nearly fifteen billion credits, ranking it first in all the Human sphere albeit only for a brief period.
The Federal Commonwealth's transportation system has long been considered to be one of the most well-maintained and efficient in all of the colonies (Earth undoubtedly retains the first spot). While the first major venture was a small magnetic levitation railway spanning no more than three hundred miles of track, city and regional planners have come to focus on four major aspects: long distance railways, state-of-the-art continental roads, sufficient air travel, and an unmatched interplanetary/transatmospheric travel network.
As mentioned above, the former of the four began with the creation of the laying down of the first handful of mag-lev railways. By the early 2420s, a massive project was underway to design and build a set of four side-by-side rails spanning from New Bath to Bofors, a small pioneer-style settlement on the coast of the Midland territory that is located on an isthmus on the Hestia super-continent.
This track would be aptly named the Hestia Grand Rails, span six thousand miles, and cost more than a billion credits. Accordingly, the project would take nearly half a century before its completion. The three "civilian" railways ferried hundreds of thousands of passengers to various depots along its length, though by the advent of the First Great War, this number would be a staggering forty million tickets purchased annually; meanwhile, the fourth rail acted as a supply rail, and transported raw materials, mail, and other goods in massive multi-kilometer trains. Monorails have also come to be abundant in urban sprawls, usually thirty to forty feet above street level. This provides an alternative to the often clogged inner city streets.
Another major form of transportation is the planet's luxurious sprawl of roads. Taradia's first such roadway was a short stretch linking the UNSC Anderson-Thompson's fusion reactor to the planet's first greenhouse farm; the twenty mile stretch was the site for many of the first residential and commercial buildings and was made cheaply with a combination of carbon steel rebar, an archaic building material by modern standards, and polycrete. By the turn of the twenty-fifth century, hundreds of miles of roads had been built, although not with polycrete. The surface of said roads was comprised of massive, textured carbon-based polymer panels, supported by a dense, non-cracking rubber cement. This type of road was considered to be much more efficient and was capable of lasting forty to fifty years will little to no maintenance.
This road concept would be relatively unchanged for centuries sans occasional chemical improvements. Nevertheless, efficient travel still required the presence of a sufficient air travel capacity. While exit/reentry travel had efficiently cut down travel times and fuel requirements, in-atmospheric travel was still a must in order to prevent excessive delays. In 2416, the first air travel company, Skyline Premium, opened its doors in New Bath with the help of government aid. Within a decade, it was financially stable and boasted a total of six ZN-102 transports, each capable of carrying one hundred passengers nearly two thousand kilometers. By the turn of the century, its fleet was led by a dozen 5509 transports and fifteen 2290 shuttles in addition to dozens of smaller craft; these were supported by fourteen airports and five spaceports.
The final aspects of the Commonwealth's transportation were the interplanetary and transatmospheric networks. A common staple among major colony worlds is the ability to allow the income and departure of citizens from other planets or even systems with no difficulty, and Taradia surely is not discounted from this class. Since the first spaceport was built during the metaphorical dusk of the 2390s, some, if not all, local inhabitants have been granted access to travel to and from space. However, such a need wasn't truly necessary until proper intrasystem routes and the system's first superior interstellar jump point were established.
Once these aforementioned necessities were established, though, tourism, immigration, and trade subsequently skyrocketed, and as such, Taradia was set on track to develop its gargantuan economy that many have come to know.
Energy production has long been one of the greatest of Taradia's plentiful prides. It features a broad horizon of various sources, ranging from clean-burning fossil fuels to high orbit solar farms.
While others may vary in rank, nuclear power plants are uncontested as the top source of energy for the Federated Commonwealth. By 2553, they provided for a staggering seventy percent of the industry's total output. Of the two types of nuclear reaction, fusion has always been more popular that fission because of its greater energy production capabilities, though the latter can still be encountered in remote areas where the higher maintenance costs of embracing fusion are not necessary. The largest power plant on the colony is the Corbett-Boston Greater Power Plant, located four hundred kilometers southwest of New Bath. It is notable capable of producing nearly 150 TWh annually.
The next greatest source of clean energy for the FCT is hydroelectric power. This is largely due to the enormous Grand Valley Dam, which is located in the Thüringer province. It spans nearly two kilometers across the Endieras River and, at the time of its construction, was the single largest structure in all of the first rim. Finished in 2451, it is consistently capable of outputting a whopping average of one hundred ten TWh in a single military calendar year. Other major damns include the Midland Dam and Fujikawa Dam of the Midland and Greene Valley provinces, respectively.
With the advent of Taradia's monumental transportation network, tourism has notably become one of the most important and diverse industries.
Extravagant tourist hot-spots are typically limited to colonies that boast tropical sprawls and/or a myriad of exotic local fauna and flora. Taradia, however, is quite the opposite: its features are almost painfully Earth-like. This, however, does its own justice in drawing in tourist activity from neighboring systems, as the region looks to Taradia as a retreat. Nicknamed a "cure for colony sickness," Taradia's features have come together to produce one of the largest largest tourism industries in the entire Human sphere, second only to Earth.
Like the colonies located in the Core region, Taradia proudly boasts a contingency of diverse, varying industries. As with other First Rim colonies, though, the Commonwealth credits the greatest portion (though not necessarily the majority) of its gross decimal product to the mining world. Most commonly placed in unclaimed albeit mandated territory, massive open-pit mines as deep as two kilometers dip into mountainsides and/or flat lands.
A rutile open pit mine located in the Alviera Mountains of the New Tiber province.
The largest services involved in the Taradian mining sector are undoubtedly Anguaro Proprietary, Psi Mining Operations, and Vulcan Mineral Corporation; this trio effectively combined for a whopping sixty-two percent of an industry worth tens of billions of UN Credits annually. In order to protect and mandate this juggernaut industry, the Taradian Mining and Mineral Regulatory Association (abbreviated as Taradia-MMRA) was established in 2425; the MMRA works tirelessly to ensure that Taradia's environment is not pushed beyond its limit by the greedy mineral extraction companies.
After mining, the combined space craft, vehicle, and arms manufacturing industries are unarguably the second largest on the colony; it is worth noting that most economists combine the three sectors due to the fact that many companies produce two or more of the aforementioned. Led my giants such as Haywood Aeronautical Dynamics, Jablomi Military Manufacturing, NaTech Heavy Industries, and locally based Robinson Tactical Arms Corporation, among more than a hundred others of varying sizes. SLVA (space/land vehicle and arms) made up approximately sixteen percent of Taradia's total industry in 2521, although this number more than doubled in order to support the war effort in the following decades.
Once the above economic sectors have been discounted, those that remain bear no major gaps in between. Nevertheless, they are still crucial to the planet's prosperity through multiple means. One such example of a notable business is Yanelle Farms, a company that raises and sells wingfish in massive, netted farms that are often encountered along the coastlines of the Westphal province. It is the largest of approximately forty companies that routinely embark in the same industry.
Additionally, Newtown Beverage, based out of the Greene Valley province, produces and distributes soft drinks to Taradia and nearly a dozen surrounding colonies and, as such, it contributes a noteworthy share to the overall GDP. Moreover, local giant Copernicus Bay provides an extensive variety of watercraft for the planet; these range from two seat paddle boats to high power oceanic carriers for the UNSC Army and since the turn of the twenty-fifth century has monopolized its respective industry.
These major states have been the source of as many as one hundred million of the planet's three hundred million occupants in 2553, while a large portion of said three hundred million denizens came as refugees from worlds that were devastated during the Human-Covenant War. Interestingly, nearly fifteen million Reachans had made their way to Taradia once finished with their random-vector jumps as per Emergency Priority Order 098831A-1.
Beyond these inherited cultures, Taradia has begun to develop one of its one. For example, coastal cuisine often involves the use of the native wingfish, a seemingly squid-tuna hybrid, in various dishes; one common dish encountered in luxury restaurants worldwide is le poisson-aile à la crème (French for wingfish in cream), which is a portion of wingfish fillet roasted and served in a seasoned cream made of goat's milk; it is most commonly served with a local wine, while the wealthiest citizens may be served authentic champagne from France itself.
A well-garnished wingfish filet. This particular type of dish originated from the Neki province.
Another major factor of Taradian culture is entertainment. One major form common on the planet is sports; sports such as lacrosse, soccer (as it is generally known in the modern era), rugby, and gridiron football are not uncommon. Interestingly, track and field sports have grown into a popular phenomenon as more events become incorporated.
The colony's largest sports complex is located in New Bath and is able to provide seating for as many as two hundred thousand spectators in certain configurations, although the only time the stadium sold out at such a capacity was the Shock and Awe, a concert-charity planned to help reconstruction efforts in 2554; general admission passes were sold for only 8.5 cR.
Aside from sports entertainment, Taradia was known for its enthusiasm of amusement parks. One such park, known as Wild Wet Adventure, featured a five square kilometer portion that floated on the water and was held in place by massive chains. At its peak, the park drew in just over five million visitors per year between 2577 and 2580, which uncoincidentally occurred in the years following the opening of the previously mentioned floating section.
The Federal Commonwealth of Taradia was also notably home to the 2556 Summer Olympic Games, the first time an outer colony was home to the event. Being the first full fledged Olympiad in more than twenty years was one of its major claims to fame. The other was its popularity; more than ten million people (and six hundred Sangheili political leaders) notably travelled to watch the two month spectacle. This etched the event as the greatest (and largest) in sports, and arguably entertainment, history. Even greater that these hallmarks, however, was the profound morale boost solidified by the Taradia summer games; many looked to the event as the golden gate that promised a better future.
Taradia's geography is shockingly similar to Earth's. Such a statement has been virtually unarguable even since before the minimal terraforming that was performed on the planet's lush surface. The majority of the planet's surface (approximately 53.1%) comprises massive sprawling plains blanketed by both native and non-native tall grasses in addition to patches of exotic forests, canyon-carving rivers, or jagged mountain ridges.
To the contrary, many are quick to boast of the difference between the aforementioned and the geography of the New Bandar Coastal Trade Region. Geographers compare this cultural/political subcontinent to the northwestern states of the Transcoastal American Republic, and this is rightfully so. Imported fir trees flourished as quickly as Humanity did on the planet, growing into massive clusters spanning thousands of acres that originated from but a handful of parent trees. While their presence has somewhat challenged the well being of native flora, the firs fit in surprisingly well while conservationists work to assure that the trees' presence does not grow out of control. Additionally, natural parks such as the Harrisford Recreational Reserve have been established by Taradia's Bureau of Wildlife, Forestry, and Recreation in order to preserve local plant life in the case that invasive species do spread uncontrollably.
Before Human colonization, one might consider the planet's climate to be somewhat cool; with an average temperature of around forty-four degrees Fahrenheit, noticeably lower than the Earth's fifty-nine degrees. While it was still considered more than habitable, it proved to be a painful hindrance to unenclosed agriculture. Accordingly, UNSC terraforming teams were brought in within three years of Taradia's establishment as a colony and immediately began their work on the colony. With the help of massive, state-of-the-art machines, the crews were able to raise the planet's average temperature by eleven degrees via the concentrated release of specialized greenhouse-type gases into the lower atmosphere. As always, the terraforming crews released a myriad of compatible organisms onto the planet. These ranged from elegant butterflies to mighty California redwoods.
The FCT has long been considered one of the most Earth-like planets in terms of biological diversity among its natural inhabitants. The colony world's unique history has gifted it millions of unique species, many of which bear uncanny resemblances to those one might find on Earth. Arguably the greatest supporting example of such a hypothesis is the wingfish. While said organism, like the greater majority of advanced Taradian life, does not feature a cellular makeup but rather a network of interwoven microfibers, it still bears a number of extreme similarities with that of the family Thunnus, more commonly known as the tuna. Similarities include role in the local ecosystem, appearance, and even edibility and desire by Humans.
Another major example of similarity is between the Taradian mop jelly and the Terran Stomolophus meleagris, known otherwise as the cannonball jellyfish. While the visual correlations are not as abundant as the aforementioned comparison, ecologists still manage to point out their extreme similarities in behavior and role in the ecosystem. Additionally, the mop jelly is actually quite sweet testing, more or less mimicking the taste of a cantaloupe, though a number of high power toxins reside within it and must be extracted before it is edible.
A third major similarity is that which has been noted between flora of the Federated Commonwealth and Humanity's homeworld. Many organisms support a striking visual correspondence between the two distant worlds; the most noteworthy of said plant life is that of American prairie grasses and the Venetian grass, named for colonial ecologist Miranda Venice. Both varieties are nearly identical in appearance if viewed from afar, though if one was to examine either specimen closely, it would be worth noting that the Venetian grass is much softer and smoother to the touch, hinting at a more efficient network of water storage and use.