Can a place without a name be a place?
Perhaps I simply seek what is familiar in the unfathomable but the topography of Intaki Syndicate space reminds me of the landscape of my childhood. To me, the whole region is dominated by the unscalable peaks of The Cord Of The Elements, which shape Syndicate’s habitable space into a looping river valley with its great bend at Poitot and numerous tributaries running down from the primordial heights of The Cord to join the main stream.
One such tributary rises among The Cord’s the most forbidding heights, which separate Syndicate from Solitude, and flows down through the constellations of JQV5-9 and MK7-AO to the great confluence of M2-CF1. This area’s sense of being surrounded by an elemental wilderness with a single route to the wider world reminds me of the mountain valley in which I was raised and has drawn me since I first came across it in YC119.
A custom observed by the Syndicate since its foundation is not to name systems and constellations in order to commemorate the destruction of our original colonies on Poitot III by the Federal Navy. This choice reflects Syndicate’s original tragedy and marks a standing rebuke of the Tovil Trial’s failure to address Duvalier’s crimes against the exiles. However fitting the choice, DED’s impersonal navigational codes fail to do justice to the vibrant communities that have not only survived but flourished in the valleys carved into The Cord. I will, perhaps, describe “JQV5-9 and MK7-AO” in more detail in another post but without a name it seems hard to know where to start.
Place names have a certain power to them, they resonate with history, identity and community. Without names, Syndicate’s communities seem somehow less than others. I am not sure whether our custom should be abandoned in the spirit of looking forward or the Federation’s President should, as her first anniversary in office approaches, make good on her promise not to neglect the periphery and redress that which the Tovil Trials ignored. Perhaps both need to happen together but all that aside, I ask, what is in a name to you?