Founded in January of 2258, New Bexar was to be the Republic of Texas first ExtraSolar colony. Utilizing the resources of the Austin Colonization Company, 15,000 colonists were transported to the initial settlement of Travisville. Due to colonization incentives offered by Texas and local growth, by 2300 the population of New Bexar has grown to 1.3 million individuals. Most of the population (640,000) lives in or near Travisville, with another 460,000 living in Crocket City. The remaining population is spread among several island chains and large ranches inland.
LANGUAGE & CULTURE
New Bexar is a strange mixture of cultures and traditions which are lumped together to form a uniquely "Texan" way of life. Large portions of the population are Vietnamese, Hispanic, German, Norwegian, Chinese, as well as Anglo. In fact, while the official language is English, all of these others are also in wide spread use in New Bexar. Most locals use a liberal sprinkling of "foreign" words in their English. Despite this cultural stew on New Bexar, all citizens view themselves as Texans and are fiercely loyal to their colony. Due to the harsh conditions and "frontier" mindset of New Bexar, most cultural holidays are celebrated with an unusual ferocity. The Tet celebration and ensuing "parade" of sea vessels lasts several days as the flotilla makes its way from Crocket City to Travisville and has often been described by tourists as a "floating riot". Alamo day and Settler's Day are two other holidays that receive similar treatment by the population. The Lifers view these occasions as excuse for public displays of drunkeness. The Spanish and old west traditions of rodeo are more than alive and well in New Bexar. Monthly rodeo competitions culminate during the week that Settler's day is celebrated. The monthly champions compete in a weeklong Megarodeo that showcases the most talented and flamboyant of the cowboys.
The standard currency of New Bexar is the Texan Dollar. Local businesses will accept Livres and American dollars as well, but beyond that, most off worlders will have to travel to a local bank for currency conversion.
Due to the nature of the weather on Austins World, there is limited use of passenger aircraft for movement between colonies. Most travel is by ship or other water craft. Huge passenger ferries travel between the cities of Travisville and Crocket city. There are many private vessels within the colony, as well as several water taxi services. Some tourists claim that travelling on board one of the many Vietnamese fishing/harvesting vessels as a working deckhand is an experience that is not to be missed. Interface facilities are located in Travisville and consist of spaceplane service and an orbital catapult.
The weather on New Bexar is extreme. Anything from Category 5 hurricanes to gentle breezes can sweep across the lowlands of the colony. The terraforming push has reduced the great dust storms that once swept across the plains due to intense groundcover programs. Crocket City and Travisville have immense seawalls to protect them from storm surges. Further from the coast, the winds have given rise to large "windmill farms" which generate power for the cattle ranches and other outlying settlements.
The economy of New Bexar revolves around agriculture. The lack of heavy metals has hampered the industrial development of New Bexar, but in the last 20 years there has been push toward developing the asteroid belt as a source of raw materials.
Agriculture itself is a challenge on Austins World, but typical Texan ingenuity has prevailed in the creation of novel ways to circumvent the restrictions of the environment.
Due to the need for Vitamin C, extensive Fruit orchards have been planted around the Travisville. In fact, the original settlement and "old quarter" of the city is surrounded by a patchwork of walled orchards and heavy greenhouses. Even the extensive grain fields outside of the cities are surrounded by walls. The success of these crops is also guaranteed by the use genetically engineered grains with shorter, tougher stems as well as other changes to acclimate crops to the intense environment of New Bexar.
Another major industry that has taken off since the introduction of clover and grasses to the uninhabited regions is cattle ranching.
A survey was initially held to see which breed of cattle would fair best on Austins World and much to the surprise of the cattle industry, the Texas Long Horn was found to be the breed best suited. The high gravity, high winds, dust storms, and other environmental factors did not seem to faze the long horns as it did more hybrid breeds. The long horns were so adaptable, the cattle industry was soon experiencing mild surpluses which has enabled New Bexar to export food to nearby worlds.
The Vietnamese population of New Bexar has developed several unique aquaculture ventures which have grown very successful in the past few years. On several island groups and in coastal areas, the Vietnamese of New Bexar have extensive facilities devoted to seafood "ranching". A variety of Terran animals, shrimp, fish, oysters, and scallops are being "ranched" in high tech ranches. All of these facilities are located either on shore or in enclosed bays. In fact, as the Vietnamese branch out, they are beginning to seek more ways to harvest the native wildlife from Austins Worlds oceans. On many occasions, this has lead to confrontations with the Life Foundation, many of which nearly led to violence.
One of the few industries that has taken off has been the construction of sea craft for all the colonies on Austins world. The largest and most successful of these companies is Crane Ship Works, located in the Crocket City. Crane Ship Works custom builds boats and ships of all sizes, especially a line of ferries that are common on the water lanes of the world.
New Bexar is officially a department of the Republic of Texas. It elects a governor and lieutenant governor every 4 years, as well as a departmental congress and supreme court. New Bexar also elects senators and representatives who travel to Austin (Sol) and represent New Bexar in the National legislature. While the governor of New Bexar is allowed a great deal of independence in the running of the colony, Texas still has final say on any policies concerning New Bexar.
In most instances the colony runs itself with out much interference from Austin. Despite several official fact finding delegations, New Bexar has managed to keep Austin from interfering with its on going relationship with the Life Foundation. The citizens of New Bexar feel that despite the rather nasty attitude of the Life Foundation, it is better for all involved it handles the situation rather than allowing the home government to intervene in a heavy handed manner.
New Bexar is divided into 10 counties, each with its own sheriff and from 15-35 deputy sheriffs. Within the city limits of Travisville and Crocket City, most travelers may encounter city police who handle the task of law enforcement.
The Texas Rangers maintain a field office in Columbia. Stationed here is Company 1A of the Texas Rangers. This Company consists of a Ranger Captain and 6 privates.
Despite a top quality university in the Life Colony, New Bexar hosts a large campus of Texas A&M University in Travisville and Austin College maintains a small campus in Crocket City. The Texas A&M campus has received great acclaim due its pioneering work in creating crops that will thrive in the harsh environment of Austins World. This University is also the major force behind the cattle industry and the every growing groundcover projects on the plains of New Bexar.
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