Although travelling outside of the main settled areas of Chakona can be difficult at times, you would have to search hard to find locals as friendly and helpful as those of Chakona.
Compared with other homeworlds in the Federation, Chakona until now
hasn't taken up much room in the major travel catalogues, but this is rapidly
changing as the planet starts to shed its frontier world image. In some
ways, this has been a blessing in disguise for the traveller, so the visitor
to Chakona will see the world in pristine condition, untarnished by runaway
tourist development. With such a variety of natural beauty and hospitality,
there's something for everyone on Chakona.
Important NoteThis guide does not go into specific detail about all of Chakona, as this would make the Guide prohibitively large. More specialized "Lonely Stellar" guides to each of Chakona's continents are available, either from the publisher or from your normal book and information supplier.
|Planetary Cartography||Tourist Offices||Voxxa|
|Geography||Visas and Documentation||Cait|
|Ecology & Environment||Customs||Warning|
|Flora & Fauna||Money|
|Government & Politics||Communications|
|Population & People||Calendar and Time|
|Arts||Chakonan Public Holidays|
|Society & Conduct||Health|
|Religion||Dangers & Annoyances|
|Space to Surface||Referenced Sources|
In 2207, while carrying out routine stellar observations, the Sagan Deep Space Telescope on the edge of the Terran system detected a planetary system around the white dwarf star Aquila RA 19h49m7s D 8°46'. As part of the ongoing exploration and colonisation efforts of the Stellar Federation, the newly-discovered Aquilan system was selected for further investigation by subsequent exploration missions.
The first Federation exploration of what was to later be called the Chakastra system was a flyby mission in 2210 by the Federation robot probe Kupe, launched from the Terran Deep Space Command vessel TDSCV Tasman. During the initial survey of the solar system, the Kupe probe discovered a Type-L planet, with two small moons, that appeared capable of supporting life. This planet was rather impersonally designated as Aquila 19D8A-04, and follow-up Federation missions to the Aquila system were planned.
Further exploration missions by FSS Arahura and TDSCV Heinlein in 2214 and 2218 carried out detailed orbital surveys of Aquila 19D8A-04 as well as many exploratory landings by first robot and then crewed missions. They found a planet with ideal conditions for colonisation - the land masses were mostly in cool to temperate climatic zones, typically covered with rain forests, and natural resources were abundant. With the receipt of the final expedition report, the Federation Colonial Authority, in conjunction with Chakat leaders on Terra, decided in 2219 that the planet Aquila 19D8A-04 would be colonised as a homeworld for the Chakat race. The star Aquila was renamed to Chakastra (Chakat's Star), and the planet Aquila 19D8A-04 was given the name Chakona. The two Chakonan moons were christened Ka'turna and Cha'turna, named in honor of the creators of the Chakat race.
In 2227, the colony ships FSS Mumbai, LaTrobe, Amsterdam and Woomera arrived at Chakona with the first wave of settlers, made up of humans, Chakats, and a few other 'morph species. The colonists intended to build their homes and factories in complete harmony with the environment, and to retain as much of the original beauty of the planet as possible, drawing on the experiences of all the previous colonies and the harsh lessons learnt by the people of Earth. Although humans and alien species were welcome, only 'morphs were actively encouraged to immigrate to this new mother land. The initial colony landing was made on the largest continent, and the first settlement Amistad (Spanish for "Friendship") was established. Within a year, the first native-born Chakona colonists were born, and soon settlements spread out under the initial colonisation plan to other continents and what later became the Skunktaur Archipelago. The Chakonan colony at that time was controlled by the Federation Colonisation Authority, and all Chakona-related government activity was directed from the FCA office on Voxxa, the closest Federation world.
As a result of the Three Firms scandal on Terra in 2223 where the Chakats liberated their genetically-engineered Skunktaur 'cousins' from slavery, after the initial settlement on Chakona the Chakat community leaders on Terra and Chakona extended an invitation to the Skunktaur race to join them. The Skunktaurs accepted, and they settled in a cluster of islands in a moderate climate soon to be known as the Skunktaur Archipelago. This island cluster soon became the planet's productive capital.
As the number of Chakonan immigrants increased, it became clear that there was a need to tightly enforce the landing and quarantine restrictions intended to protect the Chakonan ecosystem from unrestricted settlement and importation. After many heated debates between the Chakonan colonist representatives, the FCA and Terran Deep Space Command, the Chakona Gateway space-station was eventually constructed between 2253 and 2259 as the primary point of access to Chakona, providing a single controlled point of entry and departure to the Chakonan surface for colonists and visitors. Mining facilities, newly opened on the Chakonan moons Ka'turna and Cha'turna, were used to provide materials for the station, with only limited resources required from Chakona itself. The station was officially opened in 2261 by the Stellar Federation President Mahoumet Jackson and the first Chakonan Prime Minister, Chakat Windstorm.
Forty years after the initial colonisation, the Chakonan population reached critical mass for self-government. Self-governing autonomy was ceded to the transitional Chakonan Planetary Council in 2298, and full independence was granted to Chakona from direct Federation control in 2301. Immediately upon gaining independence, Chakona joined the Stellar Federation as a full member, from where it continues to lend a voice of reason and diversity to affairs of the Federation.
|Chakastra||White dwarf star||RA 19h49m7s D 8°46' (Terra)|
|Pelagica||Terrestrial planet, Type S|
|Haribon||Terrestrial planet, Type S|
|Bateleur||Terrestrial planet, Type F||Has four captured asteroids as satellites.|
|Chakona||Terrestrial planet, Type L||Two moons - Ka'turna, Cha'turna. Only settled world in system.|
|Dinornis Belt||Asteroids||Many minor planets, largest 200km diameter|
|Harpagornis||Super gas giant, Type J||Large ring system, twenty-seven moons ranging from asteroid-size to three the size of Ka'turna.|
|Apteryx Belt||Asteroids||Many minor planets, largest 75km diameter|
|Peregrinus||Medium gas giant, Type N|
|Milvus||Medium gas giant, Type N|
|Aquila 19D8A-08||Terrestrial planet, Type S||Not yet officially named|
|Aquila 19D8A-09||Terrestrial planet, Type S||Not yet officially named|
|Aquila 19D8A-10||Terrestrial planet, Type S (retrograde orbit)||Not yet officially named|
Ka'turna, the larger Chakonan moon, is about 90% the mass of Terra's satellite Luna, while the smaller moon, Cha'turna, is about 25% the mass of Luna. Because Cha'turna is in a closer orbit, the two moons are almost the same visual size when observed from the surface of Chakona.
The presence of two significantly sized moons in orbit around Chakona
does present some interesting effects with regard to Chakona's oceans -
specifically, tides. Chakona is unique in being the only world in the Federation
that has six tidal variations per local day, the highest tides being when
Chakastra, Cha'turna and Ka'turna are in alignment once every one hundred
and twenty-seven days.
|Editors Note: A comparison
of standard planetary types between the Chakastran and Terran / Sol systems
is as follows -
Type L = Terra/Earth
Type S = Mercury, Pluto
Type J = Jupiter
Type N = Uranus, Neptune
Type F = Venus, Mars
Like most Type-L worlds, Chakona does have quite cold polar regions, including icecaps. However, there are no continental land masses at either pole, which means that the Chakonan ice-caps are made up of floating polar ice, similar to Terra's Arctic Ocean. Some small islands have been detected under the polar ice, but have not yet been explored in detail.
Because the majority of Chakonan land masses are situated out of the planetary tropical regions, many visitors get the impression that Chakona is cooler than other inhabited Type-L worlds. However, it can get quite hot on the few island that do sit in the equatorial regions, though not as severe as some Terran deserts due to the cooling properties of the surrounding sea.
The overall makeup of the Chakonan ecology is similar in many respects to Terra, with a wide variety of plant and animal life-forms. Insects, fish, invertebrates, birds, reptiles and mammals are all represented in the Chakonan biosphere, as well as many diverse and unique species of plants.
The indigenous plant life on Chakona is mostly made up of rain-forest type vegetation: many deciduous and evergreen trees, orchids, flowers, mosses and grasses. One of the most striking varieties of plant life is the Sunburst plant, similar to a Terran orchid, which has brightly coloured orange, yellow and purple flowers approximately fifteen centimetres across. Unfortunately for collectors, while the plant and associated flower is quite tolerant of different environments and lasts a long time, it is illegal to export any flora or fauna off Chakona without a suitable export permit - which is virtually impossible to obtain for nonscientific purposes.
The native animal life on Chakona is quite varied and often turns up some surprises, especially the fact that some types of Chakonan reptiles bear a strong resemblance to extinct Terran dinosaurs. The most notable of these is the Chakonan Ichthyosaur, an air breathing oceanic reptile in the seas surrounding the Skunktaur Archipelago. When this species was first discovered, it was thought to be a practical joke, especially as the journal date of discovery unfortunately happened to be April 1 on the old Terran calendar. Eventually, the discovery was confirmed with the delivery of a preserved specimen to the Federation Science Institute, and the existence of this and other similar Chakonan reptile species has generated intense interest in the theories of "parallel evolution".
Most of the native Chakonan land mammals are similar to Terran marsupials.
The largest indigenous Chakonan land animal is the Levi'thn, a forest-dwelling
rhino-sized marsupial herbivore. Mild-mannered and easily tamed, it has
been used occasionally for simple hauling work when there has been insufficient
standard equipment available.
The largest predator discovered so far on Chakona is the Chakonan scimitar cat, which is found in the northern areas of the Novaya Belarus sub-continent. Weighing over 100kg, the scimitar cat bears a strong resemblance to the Terran lynx except for having two massive canine teeth that have been measured up to 20cm long. This fearsome predator hunts by stealth in its natural habitat of sub-arctic forests, its oversized and thickly padded feet acting as a very effective sound insulator for stalking prey, and its jaws are so powerful one bite can snap the spine of a creature twice its size.
The highest developed Chakonan life-form so far discovered, in terms of intelligence and sapience, is the Barclay's Wolf, found in the highlands of the Didwana continent. Looking like a cross between the extinct Terran thylacine and a Terran chimpanzee, the Barclay's Wolf has a brain size roughly two-thirds that of a Voxxan, and rudimentary grasping paws enable it to manipulate objects. However, no tools attributed to being created and used by a Barclay's Wolf have yet been discovered.
There are no indigenous sapient races on Chakona.
Chakona is divided into manageable "provinces" which answer only to the planetary government. In turn, the provinces are managed on a local basis by district councils. The "capital" of each province is actually little more than an administrative building located centrally. It doesn't belong to any of the districts, but is supported by them all. Each province has been laid out to maximise its resources without unfairly eclipsing the others. The idea is to provide the highest degree of standard of living with the minimum impact on the environment. Council members are not only the decision makers, but the ones who have the responsibility of seeing that the natural order of things is not unduly disturbed. Each council sends a representative to its "capital" where policy is set for its province, in line with planetary government guidelines.
The seat of planetary government on Chakona is in the planetary capital, Amistad, on Flinders Continent. The planetary government's purpose is naturally to deal with affairs that impact on the whole world. It controls immigration, taxation (can't get away from that!), customs (they're extremely strict on contraband material and organisms) and other such things presently associated with countries. They're also the watchdogs to make sure that the provinces don't start deviating from the original plans for their society without thorough debate from all representatives.
The elected leader of Chakona is the Prime Minister and has always been a chakat. Not that another species couldn't be, but due to the high percentage of that species on the world, and the fact that chakats really care for their world, it has always resulted in one of them being chosen. All other species have an equal voice in the government, but have to conform to the rules laid down by the chakats from the first days. No one is allowed to settle on Chakona unless they fully understand these conditions and agree with them. The chakat clans were determined that their world would remain virtually free of the divisiveness and petty bickering of Earth's nations. They have managed to retain a much looser style of controlling things upon Chakona without slipping into anarchy. Their unofficial motto is "Less Governing And More Doing!"
Politicking is not done very much on Chakona. The members of the local councils are chosen at council gathers. If you're an ordinary citizen, you have the right to be heard at the council. If you choose not to attend, then you are regarded as having abstained from that right and have no cause for complaint if something does not go the way that you would have wished. The Councillors in turn choose a Representative for the Provincial council, and of course, the Representatives choose the Prime Minister and other posts. There are no parties as such, although many will ally with others in a cause. Formal parties are not part of the system because they want to avoid political circuses that waste time and resources.
At all times, it's the will of the people that is most important; not what a political party thinks the people should do. However, the planetary council has the authority to plan new projects and formulate new policies, but these need to be passed down and approved by the lower levels before being ratified. Justices are also appointed at the local level, but skip the intermediate level and go straight to the planetary government level for higher authority. The global council chooses a Chief Justice from those that have shown exceptional capability. As you can tell, the main idea is to minimise the amount of bureaucracy, but don't get the idea that they are lax. Once a policy has been implemented, it is rigidly adhered to.
Chakona is a full equal member of the Stellar Federation. The same meticulous preparation that enabled their world to be quickly established also enabled them to rapidly put Chakona on the map in terms of resources and technology.
Since Chakona is a fully independent member of the Stellar Federation, it has all the rights and obligations of such. This involves providing land and facilities for Star Fleet and the Star Corps, but in turn entitles it to the full protection of the military arm of the Federation. Chakats are prized members of both organizations, although fewer go into the strictly military side of Star Fleet because of their pacifistic nature. The main Stellar Federation base on Chakona is located on the island of Hurthlassa in the Skunktaur Archipelago, and other Federation facilities are located across Flinder's Continent, Vaasa and Bosporus.
(The above is reprinted with minor alterations from "An Introduction to Chakats" by Dr Bernard Doove, published by the Chakonan Information Bureau, 2325 (26th ed.))
The main Chakonan industries that provide off-system income to the planetary economy are in the areas of mining (on the Chakonan moons and the asteroid belt), pharmaceuticals (using identified products from Chakonan plant species), agriculture and tourism. Also, the areas of the Skunktaur Archipelago settled by the chakat-kin Skunktaurs are a main source of very high quality manufactured goods - with the added bonus that the manufacturing methods employed by the chakat-kin Skunktaurs are non-polluting and environmentally friendly.
In recent years, as more of Chakona has been opened up, tourism has increased to where it provides approximately 11% of total off-planet earnings.
The population of Chakona is growing at the rate of 5% per standard year, which is due to native births and continued immigration.
Mention 'education' and 'Chakona' in the same sentence, and most people will think of Dewclaw University, situated five kilometers from Berdoovia on Flinders Continent. This institution is the most famous and prestigious of the universities on Chakona, not only for the calibre of its graduates, but also for the many scientific breakthroughs made under its patronage. As with most universities on Chakona, Dewclaw is funded by a mixture of Chakonan government, Federation, and private sponsorship.
However, this does not mean that Chakona is a cultural wasteland totally void in the artistic side of life, and in recent years there have been some well-acclaimed exhibitions and performances by Chakonan artists, musicians and performers. "Distant Suns" and "Name is Ozymandias", paintings produced by the well-known artist Chakat Sandfur, have gained critical acclaim from the Federation arts community, and the Chakat trio The Nando Singers perform on regular tours of Terra and Voxxa, their songs proving popular in the music charts.
It is a fact of life on Chakona that the majority of settlers and citizens are hermaphrodites - the Chakats themselves and the chakat-kin Skunktaurs. This may come as a shock to off-worlders who are unfamiliar with either of these species, and while Chakats have become resigned to being the subject of some curiosity, it is not polite to dwell too much on this when dealing with Chakonan citizens. Remember, while Chakats and Skunktaurs may be a curiosity to you, you are most likely not the same to them, and it can be quite tiring and insulting for them to be dealt with as if they were freaks of nature.
Because of the affectionate, sensual and friendly nature of the majority
Chakat population on Chakona, many visitors mistakenly get the impression
that it is quite okay to expect to jump into bed with a Chakat at any opportunity.
In fact, while Chakats are generally friendly, well-natured and admittedly
promiscuous, this does not necessarily mean that they engage in sex for
sex's sake with just anybody. Consequently, anyone coming to Chakona expecting
to leap into a planetary-sized brothel will be severely disappointed, not
to mention becoming extremely unpopular.
Do's and Don'ts
Active public proselytizing (attempting to gain converts for one's faith), while not illegal, is strongly discouraged and is generally thought of as being extremely rude. This is not an attempt to stifle religious freedom, but is designed to ensure social harmony, religious battles having been identified as a divisive rather than unifying social factor by Chakonans.
Translation facilities for non-Standard speakers are available in the main centers, and to a limited extent in remote areas. Those visitors not fluent in Standard are strongly recommended to undergo language instruction or invest in personal translator technology between their own language and Standard prior to their planetfall on Chakona.
As the name suggests, the Skunktaur Archipelago is primarily inhabited by, not Chakats, but their chakat-kin cousins the Skunktaurs. Skunktaurs now mostly originate from Chakona, having left Earth behind them. The fourth generation of Skunktaurs is now growing up peacefully in the Archipelago.
The islands themselves have a moderate climate, and a large coral reef stretches the length of the northern border of the Archipelago. This reef, known as the Crimson Reef, is possibly one of the finest natural attractions on Chakona, being a haven for many native marine plants and animals including giant ammonites and the Chakonan squid. Many exciting diving opportunities exist for visitors, and guided tours of the reef and outlying islands can be arranged from Curtisport on the main island of Mephitis. In addition, if you wish you can have one of the many uninhabited islands to yourself for a few days, as a boat can land you and sufficient supplies on any desired approved island for a reasonable cost.
It's not only the varied wildlife and the chance to play "Robinson Crusoe" that makes the Archipelago worth a visit. Many quality goods and local crafts are made there, and in the cities of Curtisport and New Bletchley you can find some quite good bargains in the shops and markets there. Because Skunktaurs pride themselves on their handwork, if you buy a product made on the Archipelago it comes with a lifetime guarantee you'd never need to use anyway. Skunktaurs make sound products.
Also worth a look, and something that is not something you would normally expect to be a visitor attraction, is to have a guided tour of a Skunktaur manufacturing plant. The Archipelago is the planet's productive capital and leading developer of new, safe and environmentally clean methods of production. Yes, this does sound like something only the most introverted person might have an interest in on a holiday, but Skunktaur factories are unique in that every worker uses telekinesis to move, manipulate and assemble parts in construction - eliminating the need for conveyor belts and other means of heavy-transport that harms the ecology. Seeing a group of Skunktaurs move a five-ton component by sheer mental power alone, and guide it into position with millimeter tolerances, is something quite amazing.
Dorado National Park, in the vicinity of Berdoovia on Flinders Continent, is an area of outstanding natural beauty that contains many fine nature walks and trails. This park is named after the leader of the initial planetary survey team that initially mapped that area, and was created in recognition of preserving the area's native ecology and beauty. In size, it is roughly the same as the island of Java in Indonesia on Terra, and consists mostly of densely-forested hills and mountains, with large rivers producing spectacular waterfalls.
Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of Dewclaw University in Berdoovia is the activities relating to the Mileva Memorial Hyperspatial Observatory. The Deep Space Hyperspatial Anomaly Detector associated with the observatory is located in an orbit far beyond the outermost planet of the system, on the fringes of the Oort cloud. (This positioning is to minimize signal contamination from interstellar traffic and communications centered around Chakona; also so that the Array's delicate sensors are not perturbed by the gravitation attraction of planets, asteroids, or other large bodies.) The Array itself is fully automated and has no crew accommodations. The sensor array is the largest of its type ever built: three times the radiated power of the Razagal Observatory on Voxxa and double the resolving power. The Array's power core puts out enough energy to run four Changi-class heavy cruisers.
The control and downlink center for the array is located in the College of Astrophysics complex of Dewclaw University. The control and data-processing centers are open for touring during normal business hours. The scale model of the Array in the reception area is quite impressive, and well worth a look.
Chakonan Tourist Information Centre (Head Office)
2079 Clarke Drive
As well as the government-run information centres, every town of reasonable size has their own information office, staffed by locals. These can be very helpful to travellers, in many cases giving you a better insight into local attractions than some of the more official agencies.
All Chakonan embassies off-planet have a Tourist Information section, which carries out the same functions.
Because of the distance of Chakona from most Stellar Federation worlds, a minimum tourist visa of 60 standard days is required. This will generally cost around FCS1100 per person. Longer tourist visas are available. It is not permitted to work while on Chakona with a tourist visa.
If you are planning to travel to the Skunktaur Archipelago, be aware that the period around the annual Freedom Celebrations (Week 2 Day 7 of the Chakonan year, 15 January by Terran dating) is subject to visitor restrictions for the entire Archipelago. This is due to the large numbers of Skunktaurs returning home for the celebrations, and to permit the maximum number of family members to participate while keeping congestion to a minimum only a restricted number of visitor permits are issued. The rest of Chakona is not subject to these conditions at this time, so if you miss out on getting one of these permits you can still travel elsewhere on Chakona until the festivities are concluded.
If you wish to work on Chakona for the duration of your stay, a special visa process is required, more akin to an immigration process. Don't be put off by this, as generally most applications are accepted due to the worker shortage. This is simply a matter of the Chakonan authorities making sure that potential workers are able to integrate successfully with the unique Chakonan society.
|Stellar Federation Diplomatic Service (all non-listed Federation-affiliated
Level 7, Sanborn Building
2134 Clarke Drive
|Embassy of the Rakshah Alliance
Chakonan Press Club Building
22 Bradbury Street (off Turner Park)
|Terran Embassy (all United Nations members)
Level 5, Sanborn Building
2134 Clarke Drive
Level 3, Grosvenor House
62 Toorak Road
|Consulate of the Holy Christian Kingdom of North America, Terra
146-148 Gaffney Avenue
Level 2, Grosvenor House
62 Toorak Road
If you wish to carry personal recreational drugs to Chakona, here is a word of advice: forget it. The Gateway Customs inspection is very thorough, you will be detected, and "personal use" recreational drugs are as illegal on Chakona as if you were carrying them for sale. If you are lucky, you will merely be marched back onto your transport for immediate deportation by two very angry chakat officers, and be barred from returning to Chakona for five standard years. True drug traffickers can expect life imprisonment.
Personal erotic materials however, in contrast to some worlds, are not generally controlled materials - the only exceptions being involving underage and/or non consenting sentient beings as per the Stellar Federation Charter, to which Chakona is a signatory. Possession of that kind of material may have you finding yourself ejected out of an airlock sans space suit. Definitely something to be avoided.
Chakona has the strictest quarantine and immigration controls in the Federation. They have no intention of repeating past mistakes made elsewhere in the Stellar Federation. However, Chakona is not a closed world, just strongly protected from foreign diseases, pests, drugs and other undesirables.
Due to the delays inherent in interstellar financial transactions, it is a good idea to ensure you have sufficient Federation credits with you for at least half of your intended trip. All major Chakonan cities have interstellar financial offices, mostly run by Thomas Cook, Voxxa Smartcash or StellarEX.
The Chakonan day is about 9% longer than the Terran day. It is divided into twenty "hours" which is further divided into 100 "minutes". The Chakonan year is 385.1004 days long and is divided into 48 eight-day weeks. There are no months. Local dates are expressed as the nth day of week # of year # since first settlement. e.g. 7/36/108.
The leftover day at for each year is called Year's End and is a public holiday. Once every ten years, there's an extra day and holiday added called New Decade.
There is a Year Zero used for historical events. Significant events
taking place in this year include the discovery of the planet, surveying
missions, etcetera. Dates in
this year are measured from Day 1: Discovery. For example -
Chakonan Public Holidays:
Week 1, Day 1 - First Landing. As the name implies, this is a holiday that marks the first landing on Chakona in 2227. Re-enactments of the event are held in the Central Plaza of Amistad every year.
Week 2, Day 7 - Freedom Celebration. This is a celebration and a day of thanksgiving by the Skunktaurs for their liberation from Three Firms slavery in 2223. Although a planet-wide holiday, the celebrations are especially joyful in the Skunktaur Archipelago, particularly in Curtisport and New Bletchley. Street parties and other public events make this a very colourful and exciting holiday.
Week 5, Day 7 - Federation Day. This holiday marks the day in 2301 when Chakona became a full member of the Stellar Federation in its own right, having achieved self-governing independence four years previously in 2298. All Chakonan cities and towns hold public events and ceremonies that mark this day, and in the capital Amistad the Prime Minister makes an annual address to the people.
Week 21, Day 6 - Remembrance Day. This is a day where all Chakonan citizens honour those who have died in the service of Chakona and the Stellar Federation, remembering both casualties during the initial planetary exploration and settlement and those who have been killed in Federation service.
Week 26, Day 7 - Mother's Day. While many worlds have a day to respect motherhood, Chakona is probably the only world where an actual public holiday is declared in honour of them. This is because of the very high esteem that motherhood is held by Chakats. This is an occasion where all Chakonan families of all races celebrate and honour their parents in general, and mothers in particular.
Week 32, Day 4 - Nogudreassun. This holiday is nominally a day to honour the last Voxxan governor-general of Chakona during the initial colonisation years, but since Chakonan independence this holiday is used as another excuse for relaxation and merrymaking.
Week 40, Day 1 - Longtail Day. A "respect for the aged" day, this is similar to Mother's Day, where families honour their senior citizens. The name of the holiday comes from the term used by Chakats for their elders.
Day 385 - Year's End. This day marks the end of the Chakonan calendar, and is celebrated in much the same way as the Terran Christmas, with gift-giving and family gatherings. This celebration is extended by an extra day (day 386) every ten years for New Decade.
While there are some poisonous animals and plants on Chakona, most of these are not present in the main population centers. Because of Chakona's frontier status, the list of harmful plants and animals is continually being updated, so it is wise to refer to the latest guide ("Chakonan Biological Survey Summary Update for Citizens and Visitors", cost FCS 25) before exploring in the forests and jungle areas.
As always, non-biological ailments such as frostbite, exposure, heatstroke and dehydration are applicable. Take appropriate precautions based upon your planned activities.
Crime is not a significant problem on Chakona, the majority of citizens are quite honest, and if something does get lost chances are it will have been handed in to the local police office for claiming by the owner. However, it would be wrong to say there is absolutely no crime, and it is recommended that you take simple security precautions such as securing valuables and keeping a close watch of personal effects such as comm devices, wallets, purses and access cards.
One worrying annoyance that has surfaced on Chakona in the last couple of years has been "Humans First!" radical species-superiority groups. Quite what these groups - whose stated aims are to assert pure-human control over Terra and the Stellar Federation, relegating those who are not human to second-class status - are doing travelling to a world which was purposely set up as a homeworld for non-human races is unclear. However, there have been recorded incidents of violence and intimidation by humans towards alien races such as Voxxans and GE-species such as Chakats, Foxtaurs and Skunktaurs, so it is possible that these groups are simply looking for trouble and stirring up chaos in a target-rich environment. If you see, or are caught up in one of these incidents, advise the Chakonan authorities as soon as possible.
Visiting tourists in the northern Novaya Belarus sub-continent should take care when exploring wilderness areas outside of the main towns and settlements, as some of the wildlife in this region can be extremely dangerous. Of particular concern is the Chakonan scimitar cat, which has been known to prey upon unaccompanied and unprotected cubs and children - and even unwary Chakat, Skunktaur and humanoid adults can fall victim to this native predator. Take heed of any warning signs and local recommended safety areas and protection when travelling.
If by some chance you commit an offence and wind up being detained for trial, finding a lawyer in time of need may be a problem. This is related to the priority for immigrants and native-born citizens for more practical professions needed on a frontier world. Consequently, delays in obtaining legal representation is often due to the simple lack of trained legal workers, not due to any totalitarian aspects of the Chakonan legal system. If in doubt, contact the nearest Embassy or consulate of your home government for assistance.
Star Alliance operates a weekly codeshare service with E'Llana Spacelines from Terra ISS to Chakona Gateway via Voxxa. Economy fares are about FCS190,700 for a share-twin berth, but if you book a side trip to Voxxa as part of your holiday package this can be more economical than paying the fares for each individual leg of your journey. The trip duration is eight standard days to Voxxa, and five more to Chakona.
E'Llana Spacelines runs a three-times-a-week service from Voxxa to Chakona Gateway that takes around five standard days (this is the same service that the Star Alliance service from Terra links with). A share-twin Economy berth fare is about FCS72,250.
MHD Charters operates a weekly service for FCS69,300 (share-twin Economy berth) that takes five standard days. This is one of the budget services that have recently sprung up for the tourist trade, but their booking system at the time of writing has been experiencing problems. As always, it pays to reconfirm your travel 72 hours prior to departure, and have all your customs papers for Chakona up to requirements.
Some travel agents include the departure tax in the cost of your return ticket. If so, it is very important to have the appropriate tag placed in your ticket card, else you will be liable to pay the charge yourself when you depart. Use the "Prepaid Tax" lane in the departure area, and swipe your ticket card in the slot provided.
Return trips from Chakonan cities to Gateway Station are possible, but not recommended for sightseers, as there is very little to do on Gateway itself if you're not heading off anywhere else (like out of the Chakastra system).
The major airlines on Chakona are Air Kington, CFAS (Chakonan Freight Air Systems), Sunburst and Mephit Belle Air (the latter primarily servicing the Skunktaur Archipelago), and all the airlines listed also operate feeder services between minor centers and some of the more important islands. If you're feeling flush and carry a current atmospheric vehicle license (Class D or better), it is possible to charter aircraft from CFAS so you can do your own exploration.
One thing that many visitors will notice is that upon first boarding of a Chakonan bus is there appears to be virtually no seats fitted for passengers! This is not in fact the case, as seats will readily fold out for bipedal passengers as required. This is simply due to the fact that 'taurforms (particularly Chakats and Skunktaurs) are the main customers of the bus services, and fixed conventionally-fitted seats would be highly impractical for these comparatively bulky species. However for bipedal visitors, this arrangement does mean that if the bus is relatively empty your bags and equipment can be carried with you in the bus rather than in the baggage compartment.
A tourist rail pass giving you unlimited use of the Chakonan rail network over ten days is available for around FCS120, but it's only really of value if you're planning on spending that time in Flinders Continent as that is where the majority of the passenger rail network is.
Of course, beaming yourself from one place to another, while convenient, rather defeats the purpose of much sightseeing, and you'll most certainly miss out on a lot of scenery and experiences that you otherwise would have had by travelling more conventionally.
Under the HitchReg system, rest and refreshment stops which provide cheap facilities for truckers, ordinary motorists and backpackers are placed at strategic points across the Chakonan surface transport network, and each stop contains an office where people can register for hitchhiking (or offering rides) to another transport node. The office displays the available rides and destinations for you to choose from, and once you make your selection the office registers your details and the driver's details for security purposes before your departure. Both you and your driver together are required to check in at the other end of your journey, thus ensuring that both parties complete the journey safely and satisfactorily.
All things considered, this is a win-win arrangement for all parties involved. The driver wins as he/she/shi is eligible for discounts or other incentives in return for offering a ride, and the hitchhikers win as the service is efficient, safe and secure. The tourist industry also wins as more visitors are able to see more and afford to stay longer on Chakona under this system. In fact, the Chakonan government has been approached by other governments interested in implementing a similar arrangement on their own worlds.
It is recommended that tourists intending to go on a walking tour utilise the HitchReg system between major centers, as this way if you are overdue to your destination the authorities will have an idea as to where to start searching for you.
Intercontinental ship traffic on the other hand, doesn't really exist on Chakona apart from specialized lifting services, and the largest Chakonan surface ship currently in service displaces a mere 16,000 standard tons (for comparison, the average 20th century Terran container ship displacement was in the order of 35,000 standard tons). This is mostly due to the fact that transportation of bulk cargoes by suborbital freighter or air is quicker and more economical than utilising general-purpose deep-water craft. As a result, travelling by ship to a given island cluster or between continents is not really practical for the casual visitor, and air travel is recommended instead.
All the tour operators on Chakona operate environmentally-friendly vehicles, especially their buses. All tour buses are fitted with air-conditioning, toilet facilities, and are multi-species capable.
Dr. Bernard Doove
Chakat Goldfur d/o Longstripe-Desertsand
Prof. Bob Reijns
Commodore John Plunkett
May and Mary Furr
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