Titan Penal Colony

Location

Titan, largest moon of the planet Saturn.

Description

Titan is the largest moon orbiting Saturn and is almost 50% larger than Earth's Moon, though still smaller than the Earth. Titan's composition is a mixture of rock and water ice, with an ocean of liquid water below the ice layer. Titan has a dense atmosphere that is many kilometres thick and composed mainly of nitrogen. The surface temperature is 179 degrees Celsius below freezing.

The main point of interest on Titan in the 24th century is the penal colony, where Earth's most dangerous and undesirable criminals are sent.

The colony is a series of man-made habitats, dug partly into the icy surface of the moon. Several hundred prisoners are housed here at any one time. Exile to Titan is usually considered a life sentence, and life on the colony is generally short and brutal.

History

Titan has held a long fascination for humans, due to its size and the possibility that it may possess life-bearing oceans. Several robotic probes were sent to it in the late 20th and earth 21st centuries, and the first manned mission arrived at the end of the 21st century. This mission reported no signs of life on the moon, and due to the great expense and travel times of missions to the outer planets no further missions were sent for over a century.

In the 22nd century, the development of the first practical high-acceleration fusion drive prompted a revival of interest in exploring the outer solar system. A new Titan mission was launched in 2203 and established a permanent habitat on the moon. The habitat was expanded by subsequent missions, and by the middle of the century housed a community of almost fifty people, including three children who had been born on the Titan.

Then, in 2253, an unexplained disaster wiped out every colonist on Titan. Details of the disaster were never publically revealed, but the government immediately banned all further travel to Titan. The moon again lay uninhabited for several decades.

By the 24th century, Earth was facing a growing problem of super-human criminals who were proving difficult to contain in conventional prison facilities. In 2332, the Council of Science approved a plan to transfer the most dangerous criminals to Titan. For the next few years, the prison colony was effectively a labour camp as the early exiles repaired and rebuilt the old habitats, often in brutal conditions with primitive tools. Eventually, they became a self-sustaining and even self-governing colony. Earth continued to ship new criminals to Titan, but effectively washed its hand of everything that happened once they were there. It was a clean, safe, efficient, humane answer to the criminal problem, as far as Earth was concerned. What the exiles thought is not recorded.

Notable Appearances

Strikeforce chapter 2 (mentioned only)