Splendor of Xanadu

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A Nomad station orbiting the planet Dawn. The location of Dire Foes Gamma: Xanadu Rush


Splendor of Xanadu is the name of the Nomad Nation’s orbital in the Helios system, which acts as an embassy to Ariadna. Designed in a Bakunian style, it’s an excellent example of the stations that this Nomad mothership usually builds. With its luxuriant décor inspired by the excess of VaudeVille, the most outrageous and popular module of Bakunin, and with offices and laboratories of Praxis, the spacecraft’s module of radical scientific and technological research, it’s a prime example of the transgressive Nomad attitude.

Originally conceived to be placed in the Yu Jing system, it wasn’t the best option for Ariadna’s technologically and socially underdeveloped society. Any orbital base or delegation of Corregidor, strongly utilitarian and survivalist in nature, would have been more appropriate and a better match for the Ariadnan mindset and spirit. However, it was the only station available at the time contact with this lost colony was reestablished, and it was vital for the Nomad Nation to have a physical delegation in the system before their competition took over this new market represented by a newly discovered star system and a new nation to trade with. The result of this urgency was that Ariadnans have come to regard Nomads as a group of freaks as decadent as they are unpredictable, a perception that has influenced their political and commercial relations ever since. And the fact is that this orbital’s opulent interior décor explains why they are regarded this way.

If the original Xanadu was Kublai Khan’s summer palace, the orbital built by Bakunin’s engineers and designers was not lagging behind. Thus, its chambers reproduce the magnificence of an Oriental palace, always with a pinch of fantasy added by the art directors of the Bakunian holofilm studios. Splendor of Xanadu was meant to be a celebration of Bakunin’s creativity and success in the fields of design and entertainment in the great datasphere called Maya. Hence the prevailing architectural grandeur of this orbital that overwhelms and fascinates its visitors. The true purpose of the ornamentation of this base is to exhibit Bakunin’s magnificence. Therefore, it’s irrelevant whether, in the pursuit of this end, there is a lack of rigor or any stylistic or historical inconsistency, since there is no fear of being pretentious; quite the contrary, that pretentiousness is intended to highlight the importance of Bakunin and thus the Nomad Nation. This station’s unrestrained Orientalism is a pastiche impregnated with the quirky and bizarre style of VaudeVille’s designers, a setting where the taste for whimsical, extravagant, and outlandish elements and the search for visual amazement and wonder reign supreme. Everything in it is an overstatement characterized by excess, and this could guarantee every visitor’s admiration for Bakunin, had the orbital been located in the Yu Jing system or in any other point of the Human Sphere. Unfortunately, such exuberance is excessive for the Ariadnans; it overwhelms their senses and they find it vulgar because of its wastefulness. It’s peculiar that, because of its excessiveness, the orbital Splendor of Xanadu is disliked by urbanites with a refined taste as much as by rougher Ariadnan colonists. For everyone else, this station is a true feast for the senses and a most unforgettable experience.

Excerpt from “Bakunin: The Spirit of Provocation” by Johur Ali al Sefi, for Haas, Al Boushra’s travel channel, only on Maya.[1]