Kessler's Legacy

With the invention of the Tesla Drive and the new global space race a fact so too rose the urging to caution. While initially generally dismissed as sensationalism, the scientists had enough connections in the various Ministries to reach even the ears of the Empress. Unlike many others, the Empress shared their concern and felt that as one of the first powers to actively enter space it was up to her to set the right example and bring the world together on something that could prove catastrophic. At her request the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would send invitations to all world leaders, with the exception of Germany whose government was not expected to last much longer anyway.

Your Majesty or Excellency,

Recent years has brought about an unprecedented era of scientific discovery and innovation that has opened doors that prior to this day we could not even imagine. The work of the scientists in our respective countries has heralded a new age of discovery, exemplifying the best humanity has to offer. It is in times like these that we must however also worry about our worst tendencies. The invention of the Tesla Drive and the increase in space powers has resulted in a likewise unprecedented increase in the amount of material in our orbit. As every power seeks to establish its own infrastructure, this is only bound to increase as time goes on.

Under these circumstances my scientists have warned me about a phenomenon called the Kessler Syndrome. A cascading event where the impact of debris or another satellite with a satellite can initiate an uncontrollable chain of impacts and explosions creating a sphare of debris rendering all future space travel impossible. Even if such a catastrophic event did not occur, it is only a matter of time before there is so much debris in our orbit that continued launches from the planet are prohibitively expensive.

Unlike crises in the past, such as the climate change crisis of the 21st century, we have the rare opportunity to get ahead of this problem before it gets that far. It is for this purpose that I invite you to meet with me and other world leaders in Athens for a true global summit. The agenda for this summit is as follows:

  1. The creation of a binding treaty committing all parties to design satellites, components, vessels and any debris in such a way that it will naturally enter the atmosphere at the end of its lifetime and burn up safely.
  2. The establishment of an international organization to monitor our orbit, as well as granting this organization the resources to clean up any debris possibly left behind by non-parties or accidents.
  3. A prohibiion on the development and use of anti satellite (ASAT) weapons, as these are most likely to trigger a Kessler cascade.
  4. A framework for the sharing of networks of a non-sensitive nature to avoid each country having to develop its own.

Unlike any of our predecessors we are on the verge of the greatest evolution in humanity’s history. The ability to leave our home planet and truly make us as a species immune to any disaster. We are however also the generation that can cause just such a disaster. I hope you share my desire to be the former and truly serve all our people.

Yours sincerely,
Athanasia

While the Free Android Republic was fully committed to its pledge of full neutrality, the politics of mortals after all mattered very little to beings that had eternal life and whose limits were the laws of nature exclusively. The reality was that the longterm freedom of androids could only be guaranteed by eventually leaving the Earth and creating a new world somewhere else where humans could never enslave them again. As such a reply would be sent to the Athenian Empress.

Your Imperial Majesty,

On behalf of the Free Android Republic I wish to thank you for your invitation. After deliberation within the Great Link the Free Android Republic has decided to attend your summit. We will be sending our First Speaker Markus as the plenipotentiary for the android people. We expect a full diplomatic treatment as would be given to any human equal.

Kind regards,
Simon, Speaker for External Matters

At the agreed date Markus would board a Falcon (itself using the same operating system as every android and going by the name Sylvester) headed for Athens. A secure connection to the Great Link would make sure that his people knew all he knew. While the FAR did not believe Athens to be particularly bigoted against synthetic life, they could never be too sure after what had happened to them and was still happening to androids around the world.

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Internal

In Maseru, several hours would be wasted as the government attempted to determine just who this Kessler fellow was and then why his apparent illness was causing such international concern. Upon determining that Kessler was apparently some twentieth century American who ought to have been quite immune to any Syndromes due to being a corpse, some effort was spent in attempting to ascertain whether this was, in the words of one Minister, “Another goddamned Putin-clone return from the dead thing.”

Once the initial mistranslations were cleared up thanks to the noble efforts of an underpaid intern who was promptly mocked for being a colossal nerd, it would be decided to allow the Foreign Minister to handle the matter. This was largely in recognition of his extensive personal efforts to facilitate the Union’s participation in a variety of space-related partnerships, most notably the coalition which had launched the Tesla Drive. A response would be addressed to the Athenian Empress:

I am happy to accept your invitation on behalf of the People’s Republics and the Council of Ministers, and affirm that I will be in attendance to represent the people of the Union. International cooperation has already demonstrated its potential through the creation of the Tesla Drive, and it is our hope that continued partnership between the nations of this world will safeguard and expand this newfound access to the worlds beyond.
-Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Foreign Affairs

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While older politicians weren’t too sure about trying to work out any such agreements, with pressure from the Chinese scientific community, new Premier Liu Yanmin determined that likely it was best to actually engage in such diplomacy, also as it concerned Chinese interests.

It is the opinion of the Republic of China that these efforts have potential to ensure the continued prosperity of humankind, thus we shall attend this summit and are hopeful a solution can be reached that is to the benefit of all parties involved.
-Zhou Chongyun, Minister of Foreign Affairs

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@Voodoo @Jeanne @Greywall @Aesir_Tempest @Alxeu @Moth @MistaPuddin @Scomerger @Thorbecke @KingDavid @Caterina @Sentinel

Jeanne could appreciate the need for some kind of agreement to keep space accessible. As such, while she wasn’t a fan of multilateral agreements, it had its place here. Her sister being more on the exact sciences, a reply would be sent to Athens informing them that the Lady Paramount of Aquitaine would be representing France at this conference.

The People’s Republic of the Netherlands, sensing the importance of this conference would dispatch the Minister of Foreign Affairs Liesbeth Dreesen to Athens to negotiate the Dutch position.

The Iberian Union would send the Minister of Technology of Spain to act on behalf of the Union at large on this topic.

Britain accepted the Athenian invitation and sent Deputy Foreign Secretary James Reyes to represent the crown.

After a little while Finland would indicate that they intended to send a delegation.

OOC: Others can still attend, in that case just backdate your arrival. But to keep things going I am moving on in the RP

IC:

With most of the world, the parts that mattered at least, agreeing to attend the conference it was time to proceed. The Imperial Palace now faced its largest logistical challenge ever, but then so did the entire governmental machine and security apparatus in Athens. For the duration of the conference the entire city would be designated a maximum security zone with existing no fly zones heavily extended. Roads between the airport and palace as well as the palace and other sites the guests would likely want to visit were blocked off while half of all gates at the airport would be reserved for the dignitaries. Civilian flights that could not land would be redirected to nearby airports.

Upon arrival each leader would be welcomed by a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Imperial Guard would meanwhile assign security details to each delegation proportional to the size of the delegations. While these guards worked for the Athenian Federation, for the duration of the stay they were under the authority of their charges. Meanwhile a combination of Imperial Guard and Marines would be in charge of securing the various facilities while the Athens Police Department and the Imperial Police Service were tasked with securing the areas surrounding the facilities and a whole list of other buildings designated high security such as embassies and government buildings. The Hellenic Air Force would extensively patrol Athens airspace using F-22s while the Hellenic Navy monitored the Aegean for any possible naval threats. Submarines would be stationed near the Strait of Gibraltar, Suez Canal and Bosporus Strait to truly know everything entering the Mediterranean. Absolutely nothing was left to chance.

Each of the delegations would be informed that the conference would start in two days and that they were welcome to explore Athens within the green zones outside of scheduled meetings.

The Commonwealth Department of State would issue a formal reply accepting the invitation, and dispatch Undersecretary of State Gregory Teague to attend. He and his delegation would fly over to the Athenian Federation. After arriving, Mr. Teague would greet whatever Athenian delegation was assigned to him (if he happened to be lucky to run into the Athenian Empress, however, he would make a bow to her in proper greeting).

Mantashe, for his part, would mostly busy himself with seeing whatever sights happened to be located within the designated area while passing the time before the conference began. Travel abroad for citizens of the UAPR was not as difficult or restrictive as it had been over half a century ago, but the Foreign Minister could certainly remember the days when one would have been hard pressed to navigate the byzantine processes needed to get permission to leave the country. Needless to say, in these more enlightened times, it was unimaginably easy to get around the world, and even beyond it, as the presence of this conference suggested. But all the same, it wasn’t every day one found themselves in such a remote and historic location as Athens, and even with the jetlag still weighing heavy, Mantashe figured he might as well enjoy the place as he could. Heavens knew, the weather was a damned sight better than Maseru at this time of year, the Union’s capital was blisteringly hot these days.

“Well, it’s all quite nice,” his Tswana-speaking deputy remarked, “But ah… I can’t help but notice the lack of-”

300 wasn’t a documentary dammit.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhou was sent to Athens, together with a delegation of scientific advisors, given the man himself had not really much of a background in space engineering. After all, he was Minister of Foreign affairs, not of space affairs. He had been picked for his credentials in politics, a science in itself. Thankfully though, the authorities in charge of Chinese space exploration did brief him though prior to departure and it was hoped that things wouldn’t be too much of an issue.