Coriolis Station (classic)

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Coriolis Station
Size (metres, W×H×L) 1000 x 1000 x 1000
Manoeuvrability Roll: 8.0
Pitch: 8.0
Rotating Yes
Energy recharge rate 100
Armaments None
Defenders GalCop


The back-bone of GalCop, the Coriolis Station was designed at the GASEC laboratories on Vetitice and first entered service around Lave in 2752. GalCop and the Lave Authorities allow practice docking and departure runs to all their space stations here. However this facility is suspended during attack, or when the Coriolis station has no free docking space.

Every world registered with the Galactic Co-operative has several Coriolis space stations in orbit at various altitudes. Coriolis stations are "neutral" territory, controlled equally by GalCop and the Planetary Government.

Station Description

The station spins along a single axis running vertically from the planet below. One side of the station always faces the planet, and it is on this facet that the access tunnel is located.

Coriolis stations have powerful defensive shields (against pirate attack and inept docking) and a large fleet of Viper fighters. The inside of the station is free-space, and on each inner facet of the station there are berthing and refueling facilities for up to 2000 ships, as well as cities, hospitals, farmlands and leisure-scapes.

A Coriolis station is nothing less than a vast city built on six planes and spread, around the wide empty sky of its interior, facing inwards. From South City, the roof on the world is North City. At night, the lights that glow above your head are the lights of streets and buildings.

Alex checked out of the ship's berth and took a sky taxi across the void. The tiny automatic ship slid delicately and smoothly between the incoming and outgoing ships. Alex watched in fascination as the towering buildings of South City dropped away below and the grey sky edged closer. To his left, he could see the pattern of streets and parklands on the inhabited plane known as Commander City. Facing the entrance to the station, on that particular level lived the high ranking officials and various planetary envoys and ambassadors. They enjoyed a landscape which included lakes, rivers and ski-slopes with real snow.
Below him, his ship became a tiny dart-shape on the broad landing pad. Above him, the towering offices and living blocks reached down towards him like geometrical stalactites.
There was an abrupt moment's disorientation and suddenly the roof was the ground and now his ship was a single, winking light in the heavens. The taxi dropped swiftly to street level, between the grey and black monolithic structures. Lights of different colours blinked and shone, and when the atmosphere began, a strange dusty shimmer seemed to envelop the city.
The streets were crowded here and it took Alex only moments to realise that the South City of this particular Coriolis station was the 'down town' area. Illegal trade abounded, in narcotics, robots, slaves, sensuastims, prostitution and frozen organs. Spacers walked slowly, cautiously, most of them still wearing near-full suit, a certain sign that this was the rough quarter. Hookers, of all sexes (the Galaxy counted seventeen at this time) and races, but mostly humanoid, solicited from hovering platforms, ready to escape fast from any over-welcoming, unwelcome client. Advertising hoardings here were almost completely devoted to proclaiming the illicit pleasures which were available in South City. Police cars and remotes roared overhead, as did med-ships. The streets were alive with noise and bustle and filth.
The Magellan building, a dark, squat cube, sat amongst this confusion like a great, brooding monster. It had no visible windows. Lifts rose and fell on its outer walls, slow-moving green lights that gave it an uncanny sense of being alive.
Alex had come without a hand weapon, and now began to regret it. Practically everyone—and everything—he saw carried a gun, in contradiction of orbit-space law. He walked cautiously through the crowds of reptilioids, cloaked amphibioids, armoured insectoids, squat, bristling felines, and the grotesque robo-tanks in which things that looked like giant molluscs, or worms, or branches of heather, moved within the safety of their own environment.
He entered the Magellan building and noticed the stench for the first time, the combined body odours of a thousand alien life-forms; surprisingly some—those who drank raw methane gas— managed to excrete sweat that smelled as sweet as apple blossom. But most did not.
The private trading centre was a vast hall, surrounded by the entrances to offices and warehouses. What was sold in this crowded, noisy place, was anything that was considered too risky, or bizarre, or commonplace to sell on the open market. The trader who loaded up his cargo bay from a private purchase had better check with the planet's export monitoring system before leaving, or his reception, at the other end, might be a little more violent than he'd expected.
Alex scanned the high walls for a hint of McGreavy's warehouse.

(The Dark Wheel, Chapter 6)
The Station docks ran in levels behind the free-space at station-core. Beyond and below the Station egress gaped planetwards, powerful shields operating a safety vortex both for, and against, traffic in the tubes. In a honeycomb of wedges behind the dockside were the cargo warehouses where a specialised transport network supported the auto-trading system. Autoscam modules plied their intermediary trade along these routes. The life-cycle of the Station was a peculiar one. The docks never grew still and the Station authorities were active even when sections of the Station with something approaching a diurnal routine fell quiet as they moved darkside.
(Imprint, Chapter 3)

Dry Dock

During coding of Classic Elite 'dry-dock' code was used to view some of the craft during development (referred to as *VIEW on Ian Bell's web site). A movie for the Coriolis Station generated using *VIEW run under the BBC emulator BeebEm3 is available here.