Hammer's Star Long Silence
Even as Borealin replenishment vessels grew fewer in number through the latter half of the 2340s, the drivesat served its purpose. In the [[Hammer’s Star]] system, the inhabitants of Silver Bell were almost self-sufficient. The first crop harvests, facilitated by the Borealins’ success at adapting and engineering well-known flora and fauna for healthy, stable growth on Spes, were an unparalleled success. Trade with nearby star systems, utilizing the colonists’ few driveships, secured what few resources the colony didn’t have.
In 2351, the failure of the drivesat relay in the Tendril system cut the link between the Verge and the Stellar Ring. At first, the colony didn’t feel any measurable result from the loss of communications. The Borealins could still contact the Aegis system, and its colonists reported that everything was fine.
Spes continued to grow and develop, thanks to a continued influx of refugees from other Verge systems and beyond. The leaders of the Silver Bell colony allowed these immigrants to build their own settlements on Spes or to join the established city. In either case, new colonists had to obey Borealin laws. Many of these newcomers sought a place of refuge as the Long Silence brought out the worst features of humanity. Throughout the Verge—especially at the loneliest and farthest corner of the frontier-crime and piracy spread like cancer. Several criminal groups established homes on Arist or the Vicek Belt, and the planetary defenses orbiting Spes repelled attacks on a weekly basis. Under populated Spes presented a ripe target.
Hopes on Spes were further raised with the appearance of a Borealin battle cruiser in 2359. Jangir Batra, captain of the Abstraction, reported that his vessel had been routed during a conflict with the combined forces of the Thuldans and Hatires. Cut off deep within enemy territory, the Abstraction had spent a year navigating the ‘’front" of the war as it made its way to Hammer’s Star. What Captain Batra and his crew refused to speak about was their cowardice. The first few conflicts with Thuldans had gone badly, and rather than watch the He- become the latest victim of the Thuldan war machine, Batra fled from the fight and the Stellar Ring.
To the ignorant citizens of Spes, the Abstraction represented a champion. The single battle cruiser bolstered the planet’s defenses considerably, and its 25-light-year range, previously only matched by bulk freighters, promised an improvement in safe trade with the rest of the Verge.