Babylon 5 - The Station
Babylon 5 is an interstellar port of call, a hub of commerce and diplomacy between innumerable species and races. It is, as the numeral 5 indicates, the fifth and last of the Babylon series space station, the first four predecessors either being destroyed, sabotaged or simply disappearing before each could officially reach completion and activation. It is now known, thanks to the undoubted and diligent work of EA investigation teams assigned to the various tragedies, that Babylon 1 through 3 were sabotaged during the structural phase of their construction. It appears that the very existence and even ideals these stations represented were grounds enough for such cowardly actions as were perpetrated. The fourth station was constructed, as a precaution, in a long orbit around Epsilon 3, third planet in orbit around Epsilon Eridani. This time everything went without a hitch, the construction went its assigned course. Unfortunately, on the verge of its official inauguration, Babylon 4 disappeared without a trace. Once more a station was planned, constructed, and finally taken on-line. This station is Babylon 5.
Babylon 5 is a semi-selfcontained space borne complex housing a quarter of a million inhabitants of various species. Its length extends over eight kilometers, encompasses 2.5 million metric tons houses its own fusion power station, and is able to fulfill as diverse functions as political forum or trading port. Babylon 5 was built and is a maintained and run by the Earth Alliance, it's entire staff complement being furnished by military personnel. Babylon 5 supports humanoid and anthropoid biologies as standard, but provides every possible convenience for methane breathers and whatnot. Gravity is furnished by rotating the entire station around its long axis, providing One Standard Gravity (Earth) along its outer sectors. Consequently, the core shuttle and other areas located towards the center of the station have a smaller gravity constant, which provides extended means of cargo handling and facilitates the core shuttle transport mechanism. The cobra bays, located at the circumference of the station diameter also use this rotation to fling the launched fighters into space without the need of any additional launching mechanism. To provide zero-g support in case it is necessary, as is the case of most bulk cargo, a docking spike attached to the non rotating frame, which actually acts as hinge to the rotating torus, is available.
The station is divided into five sections, each subdivided into 36 sectors (10 degrees of cross section). These five sectors are color coded:
Every section carries its own color as primary shading among the walls, with sectors prominently displayed at intersections. In addition there is a semantic designation od living quarters (single dot over a bar), meeting rooms (six dots to either side of a bar) and the core shuttle (3 dots in a line above and through three large circles). If confusion should still arise, please do not hesitate to ask any of the available station personnel.
In addition to the five sectors, Babylon 5 sports a sizable cargo capacity, and last but not
least it's cobra bays, housing four squadrons of Star Fury class space superiority fighters.
Speaking of defense, since 2259 the station boasts an integrated defense grid with a firepower
large enough to take on the largest battle cruiser.
All in all, Babylon 5 is a magnificent achievement, a shining jewel in space, replete with every comfort and service to be found among the civilized species. It has been called, with good reason, the hub of local space, the pin upon which history hinges for the duration of its existence.
This sector extends across the aft three kilometers of the station, housing the 8 Tokamac fusion reactors in the zero-g primary fusion core. For safety reasons, this fusion core is located at the extreme end of the station, separated from the inhabited part by the coolant system and maintenance facilities. At the other end of Yellow Sector one can find the zero-g research torus, providing space and support for delicate research activities which require variation in their local gravity. Various zero-g maintenance facilities and auxiliary power units are also embedded in the conical end of yellow sector, located fore.
Red Sector is located aft of Blue Sector and fore of Green. It houses facilities and supports functionality to support station trade and commerce. It houses the Zocalo, a general marketplace sporting shops and stands of every possible origin and nature. The Zocalo is in fact an entire level girding the station and as such providing a unique such circular public area on the station. If, while wandering around, you find yourself encountering individuals and shops that somehow seem familiar, this is not deja vue, or more precisely, it is exactly that, for you have already visited this location at the outset of your wanderings. In addition Red Sector provides numerous smaller meeting chambers and a multitude of business establishments. At the outside, towards the hull, there is space provided for waste management systems. It is generally accepted that this is where the region known as 'Down Below' starts. It is not recommended for the casual traveler to invade this nest of iniquity and chaos.
Blue Sector is the first and foremost Sector on Babylon 5, sporting the docking bays and along with them customs facilities to process incoming cargo and traffic. Structurally, this is also where the rotating torus is fastened to the outer framework. Blue sector also houses the command facilities of Babylon 5, the central Command and Control Deck, along with am Observation Dome. Immediately behind the command sphere there are the infamous cobra bays, stocked with Starfuries. Not strictly part of Blue sector, but still located in its section of the station, there is the zero-g docking spike protruding into space in front of the station. Also located in Blue sector are the bulk of available medical facilities, also known as MedLab, whereas there are smaller offices and dependencies scattered throughout Green Sector, providing medical support and counsel to the population of Babylon 5.
Gray Sector is a small and comparatively uninteresting sector located fore of Yellow Sector, stretching across a mere three quarters of a kilometer. It houses mainly the industrial production facilities needed for the day to day operation of Babylon 5. It is also the aft bearing point upon which the rotating part of the station hinges. Integrated into the mag-lev bearing assembly is also the driving mechanism which is powerful enough to keep the massive torus rotating at a constant speed. During construction of the station, one of the most fascinating sights was the spinning up of the central habitation torus. The process required almost four days, and was accompanied by the consistent firing of special temporarily installed counterforce rocket propulsion systems. These systems were to prevent the frame from rotating in the opposite direction of the torus, as was their want according to Newton's law of Reaction. If and when the station is decommissioned, it is not planned to slow the torus back to a standstill, nor would this be possible under any circumstance. One of the dangers of having such a massive body rotating at such speeds, is the Rotational energy bound up in it. Should it ever start to jump out of synchronicity with the non rotating frame, or worse still, develop an additional axis of rotation, the station would be torn apart from internal stresses to its framework.
Green Sector is the largest of Sectors on Babylon 5. It stretches across three and a half kilometers and represents the bulk of the rotating torus. It is mostly empty, functioning as biosphere and atmospheric support system, as the inside is coated by the hydroponics facilities, lending a pleasant green mantle to the inner 'surface', and incidentally providing a spectacular view of the lush curving greenery from one of the many gardens and smaller parks spotting the surface. In the center one can see the core shuttle system, ferrying goods and people from one end of Green Sector to the other. Aft of the garden is the Alien Sector, sop named as the Multi-Envrion Facilities are located here, able to provide for any esoteric and exotic environment a visitor could possible want. Fore of the garden section is the 'posh' living section, housing ambassadorial quarters and their supporting bureaucratic facilities. Once more, it is possibly of note to mention that 'below' everything (out towards the hull) extend waste management facilities, providing unintended quarter and space to the 'Down Below' population.
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