The largest satellite around moonless Atlas, Nova Station is gigantic. As the largest fixed space station in the Verge, its home to about 5,000 personnel. Most of the station’s citizens are StarMech who’ve come to the Tendril system in the last few years.
The station acts as a communication center for the system and as a relay for drivesat communications. As one of only three drive relays within Verge space, Nova’s drivesats are necessary for any communications to or from the Stellar Bing. TaskCor Communications is the StarMech Corporation that won the contract to administer system and interstellar communications. To date, TaskCor has fulfilled its contract well; no significant breakdowns have occurred. The Concord Communications Commission has an office on the station, overseeing the operation to ensure that messages from the edge of explored space- especially Hammer’s Star-reach the Stellar Ring.
Messages from Nova Station travel a long way before reaching Kendai. The trip is 270 light-years one way, and the average travel time for a message to Kendai is 66 hours. Messages sent farther into the Stellar Ring can take as long as 242 hours to reach Sol or 300 hours to reach Vision, the capital of Insight
A one-minute voice, video, or data burst costs $50 per relay it must pass through en route, and there are six relays from Tendril to Kendai. Called Verge Relays 5, 4, 3, and 1 and the Blue Chamber, these relays are automated systems parked in safe orbits in uninhabited space. Routine maintenance visits from StarMech and Concord technicians keep them running smoothly. The only automated relay that requires no maintenance is the Blue Chamber relay. Once known as Verge Relay 2, it has become home to an Insight-generated artificial intelligence named Kemal. Kemal’s robotic remotes keep the relay running at peak efficiency; as long as the AI keeps communications open, no one minds the loss of a few computer cycles. However, in the event of an emergency, the Concord keeps an inactive backup relay in the area.
Nova Station also serves as the instrument of StarMech military. StarMech military vessels patrol Tendril space side-by- side with local naval craft from Alaundril. For the most part, StarMech permits the local government to govern interactions with traders and economic interests. Alaundril, in turn, doesn’t interfere as StarMech authorities and military forces interact with foreign stellar nations. However, conflicts arise in relationships with other Verge systems, Trade with Tendril is complicated by the competing desires of Alaundril and StarMech officials; both claim to have the authority to determine all trade and policy issues.
The station is divided into three major compartments, each home to separate functions. All StarMech authorities-including Ambassador Chelsea Krest live on the lower levels. Her office is nominally in charge of all StarMech assets in the Tendril system, including the station itself. The StarMech military assets are headquartered on the center decks, near the docking facilities. A modest repair yard has been built at the station, but significant ship repairs require the shipyards on Alaundril. Finally, the highest levels of the station, farthest from Atlas, house the communications equipment and the TaskCor offices. Olivar Jin (Hm/ Insight/DTD -B) is the current operations leader for TaskCor. He and his staff control all drivesat communications into and out of the system.