Olumbi region, The
The Olumbi region is one of the rimwards parts of the middle NoCoZo, bordering on the Sophic League and located between the Vela Nebula and Pismis 4. Its name comes from Olumbi Developments, a late Consolidation Era colonization corp that implemented a fast wormhole/terraforming/leasing operation similar to Cygexba.

Olumbi Developments may have signed the NoCoZo Agreement, but it did not demand or implement any freedoms for its client systems. Instead its leasing agreements proved very suitable for governments, corps, ideologies or groups that wanted to exploit the peace and trade of the NoCoZo but did not share its overall libertarian ideology. As reports of major sentient rights abuses and tyrannies for lease spread, criticism of Olumbi mounted. Many attempts to expel it from the NoCoZo were undertaken, but none could succeed legally. Its trade suffered as boycotts spread. While its expansion was curtailed, it did not let go of its region and it did not secede from the NoCoZo. It became the unwanted friend, a constant embarrassment to the empire that there was no legal way of getting rid of.

During the Version War the region became nearly totally isolated, and Olumbi could continue its rule unchallenged. It seems that the cluster of linked worlds became a small empire in its own right, ruled by the pragmatic Olumbi Board and with a feudal system of leases and obligations extending to various system and planetary governments. Euterbia Cluster itself was a cruel nanopolice state, where the Olumbi Security Administration had free reign. As contact was re-instituted, the NoCoZo was appalled by the system.

This time many acted. In the aftermath of the Version War there were many unused old warships, and drives to collect money to rent enough to put Olumbi (illegally) in place began in earnest. As Olumbi monitored the raging debates about whether it was acceptable for the NoCoZo as a political entity to put an stop of what was a popularly funded, illegal, but cryptographically untraceable privately run war for freedom, it did not notice where the real attack came from in 6832.

Afterwards it became clear what happened, but during the process reports were extremely confusing and conflicting. Apparently a major insurrection (likely instigated by the NoCoZo) began on Kaumbrey, followed by attacks on Dutilleaux and Nem-Wota. The Security Administration immediately mobilized the enforcement nanosystems and sent out its fleet. The situation became more confused as other military emergencies occurred throughout the empire. Then several of the main stargates shut down, trapping fleets in irrelevant systems. The enforcement nanosystems turned upon the Olumbi government and the net exploded into disinformation. Within a year Olumbi had ceased to exist and most of the feudal states toppled.

In retrospect it was obvious that Cyberian information mercenaries had taken the anti-Olumbi war offer, infiltrating and subverting the old-fashioned infrastructure of the region while the government was convinced a conventional attack was imminent. After gathering their pay - a staggering sum of 43 petacredits - the Cyberian infiltrators vanished into the nets.

Olumbi remains a somewhat unusual region in the NoCoZo. Many worlds, even freed from Olumbi itself, remain far less libertarian than the rest of the empire. Many retain strange laws, ideologies and customs from the millennia of oppression. It is a borderland, where many of the usual paradigms of the NoCoZo break down. It is no accident that both the Vela Immunity and the spread of Jean Te Uahlg Aestheticism are happening along its borders.
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg

Initially published on 17 December 2001.