APAGear II Archives Volume 1, Number 1 December, 1998


The City of Three Ravines

Jason English


Founding Date: TN 1787
Method of Government: Representative Democracy
Head of Government: Governor Denise Mothran
Population: 220,000
Principal Industries: Aerospace manufacturing, vehicle production

Coronado sits in an ancient river valley about 250 kilometers from the CNCS border city-state of Red Sands. The center of the community is dominated by the junction of three long-dry river beds, running from the city center to the west, northeast and southeast and giving Coronado the nickname "The City of Three Ravines." The center of Coronado is also dominated by Trinity, a large oasis tower built directly east of the ravines' junction. The city-state's government offices are within Trinity, and most of Coronado's arts and cultural centers are within just a few blocks, making the tower and its surroundings the heart of the city-state. Trinity provides life for Coronado in another important way - an underground river that taps into the MacAllen network was discovered during the tower's construction, and this river provides much of Coronado's drinking water.

The rest of Coronado's geography is shaped by the flow of water. Coronado's South Hills are crisscrossed by smaller valleys through which small brooks still flow and provide water to local residents. The area known as the North Hills is a series of mesas that had been flood plains when the aboveground rivers in the area had been active, and is home to many small farms and ranches. This area is known to many locals as "The Plains of Planes," as the North Hills are also home to Coronado Field, the largest and best equipped Badlands airport outside of Peace River.

Coronado is a unusual community for the Badlands, and indeed for Terra Nova, as its primary industry is aircraft production. It was founded in TN 1787 by John Cabrillo, a Mercantilist shipping company executive who wanted to start his own air freight service. Cabrillo, though, wasn't content to make do with other people's designs. In the mid-1780's, he commissioned a series of geological surveys to find a site for an aircraft factory with large deposits of the metals he needed to build his own planes. A site fulfilling his requirements was found in TN 1786, and the following cycle he established Coronado Aerospace and the city-state of Coronado on the same day.

Aerospace manufacturing still dominates the Coronado economy. Coronado Aerospace and other firms produce parts and subassemblies for Northern Guard aircraft, such as Orca and Goliath transports, while other companies specialize in providing "floaters" and other robust designs to the Badlands market. Since the War of the Alliance, however, Coronado has become an important production center for light armored vehicles. Banzaidyne's variants of the classic Piranha armored car chassis have been strong sellers since the company began producing the vehicle for Coronado's 23rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

(The Coronado Defense Forces' 23rd Armored Cavalry Regiment ("The Hong Kong Crusaders") is an international peacekeeping unit which usually operates in the Badlands. The Crusaders are partially sponsored by the United Mercantile Federation and the Mekong Dominion, who provide volunteer personnel to supplement the ranks of native Coronadans. For more information, please visit http://www.geocities.com/banzaiydyne2/silctr/meet23.html.)

Recent Events

On 11 Summer, the Coronado government received an official request from the leaders of Rahnguard Oasis for assistance in defending the community. As Governor Mothran was away on a wilderness vacation, the decision to respond to the request and to send the Hong Kong Crusaders into action in accordance with their mission as Badlands peacekeepers fell to Lieutenant Governor Thesius Chen. Chen was an effective administrator, but was unwilling to stick his neck out over anything remotely controversial. When asked by Colonel John Sanlander, the 23rd's commanding officer, for permission to deploy an advance force of Crusaders to Rahnguard, Chen deferred on the grounds of "needing to study the situation further." As the calls from Rahnguard became more and more urgent, Chen grew increasingly agitated, and when asked again for permission to deploy by Sanlander, Chen launched into a tirade about, among other things, not wanting to "risk our contracts with the (Northern) Guard over some skirmish which will just blow over anyway," and from that point ignored all calls from Rahnguard, Sanlander, or anyone else that interrupted his "business as usual" frame of mind. Sanlander decided to go over Chen's head, but by the time Governor Mothran was contacted and could give the go order, fighting had already broken out between Northern and Southern forces, and the Crusaders were ordered to cancel their deployment.

As the days and weeks passed after Rahnguard and the planet raced headlong towards war, Chen realized just what his inaction had wrought, and became inconsolable. He came to believe that the war was all his fault because he didn't act, and no talk of the North and South just looking for an excuse could convince him otherwise. He resigned his office on the afternoon of 3 Autumn and committed suicide that night. A note was found by his body that simply reads, "It's all my fault."

The Coronado government was rocked further on 8 Autumn, when a joint delegation arrived from the United Mercantile Federation and the Mekong Dominion and announced that polar sponsorship of the Hong Kong Crusaders was summarily terminated, and Mercantilist and Mekongese service personnel were immediately recalled. When asked for the reason behind the end of polar support, the head Mekongese delegate only said that "this interesting experiment has outlived its usefulness." At the same meeting, the Mekongese delegation also announced the cancellation of a contract that Banzaidyne had secured for a series of tanks that had been ordered by the famed Mekong Peacekeepers.

By 15 Autumn, those personnel still serving in the Peacekeepers and the UMF Army had been rotated back to their homelands. A few officers resigned their native commissions and accepted postings in the Coronado Defense Forces, but the manpower of the Crusaders was still cut by almost 20%. Fast thinking by the command staff of the 23rd allowed them to maintain their effectiveness, as one cavalry unit out of every three was reorganized as a scout unit to use the same number of vehicles with a minimum of personnel. Morale would take much longer to recover, though, as the Crusaders were angry in having been prevented from accomplishing the mission for which they had trained, and felt betrayed by the governments who had asked to perform that mission in the first place.

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APAGear II Archives Volume 1, Number 1 December, 1998