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Venezia, referred to by the Sangheili as Sqala, is a human Outer Colony world located in the Qab system, formerly governed by the Unified Earth Government and now under the control of centralized insurrectionist militia. Most of the planet is unexplored; New Tyne is essentially the only settlement on the planet, other than scattered farms and factories located ten to fifteen kilometers away from the city. Many small animals lurk around the edges of these settlements. Venezia experiences long, cold, winters, sometimes lasting as long as six Venzian months.
Venezia was squarely on the side of the Insurrection during that conflict that defined the turn of the twenty-sixth century. During the war between humanity and the Covenant, Venezia had gone quiet. Prior to January 2543, the colony cut all ties to the Unified Earth Government. The local Colonial Administration Authority bureau on the world was famously destroyed via explosives by the residents. Even after extinction of the human race was narrowly avoided thanks to the Covenant's undoing, people still remembered what Venezia had done prior to the empire's arrival in human space.
On January 27, 2553, the UNSC Ariadne, a Navy patrol ship, was forced to drop out of slipspace near Venezia secondary to a complication with its fusion drive. The Ariadne's commanding officer requested permission to land nonessential personnel on the planet due to the risk posed to their safety, but was refused by tower control. Peter Moritz, the de facto head of the Venezian militia, ruled that the entire thing could be an elaborate ploy to insert UNSC personnel on the planet. The commanding officer of the patrol ship was told that given the situation, it was too dangerous to allow the ship to land or to have Venezians board it to conduct an evacuation. Another ship, the destroyer UNSC Monte Cassino, responded to the plight of the Ariadne and signaled it would journey to the system to assist. Before it could arrive, however, the Ariadne experienced a reactor meltdown and the resultant explosion caused the deaths of everyone aboard. Monte Cassino was hailed by Venezia upon its arrival and warned that it was encroaching on the sovereign colony's territorial limits. Though the destroyer's executive officer tried to assure the colony they had no intentions to land and were simply going to conduct search-and-rescue in the patrol ship's debris field, he was rebuffed and warned that if the ship did not withdraw it would be fired upon. The XO, Commander Cerny, fired back by saying they would respond in kind if it came to that and at this Tower Control simply stated that they would have always done that anyways. Before long, an ultra-heavy bolt of superheated plasma barely missed the Monte Cassino, having been launched at it from a Type-38 Tyrant anti-aircraft cannon on Venezia's surface. The destroyer retailiated immediately and in just eighty-two seconds the emplacement that had fired at that was confirmed destroyed by a missile.
In March of that year the Office of Naval Intelligence black operations unit, Kilo-Five, was contacted by Mike Spenser, an ONI spy who had embedded himself amidst the population in New Tyne. Kilo-Five had been present in a Sahara-class heavy prowler when the Monte Cassino and Venezia exchanged fire in January but had not revealed itself. Now, Spenser was inviting the team to meet him on the colony and promising that they should find what he had to show them very interesting. The UNSC Port Stanley emerged from slipspace 100,000 kilometers out from the planet and established communication with Spenser, who directed the prowler to a set of coordinates thirty kilometers outside of New Tyne. The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, Vasily Beloi and Malcolm Geffen, were covertly transported to the surface via Pelican where they rendezvoused with Mike and followed him to his new home in the city. There, they learned that one of the Venezians on Spenser's list of potential terrorists was Staffan Sentzke, the father of the team's Spartan-II, Naomi-010. Upon returning to the Port Stanley, the ODSTs shared their revelation and the team left to finish business it had on Sanghelios.
Once the mission on the Sangheili homeworld had concluded, Kilo-Five returned to Venezia on April 5. This time, Vaz and Naomi were the two that met up with Mike. During an undercover effort to sell tagged weapons in order to track the routes they would take, Staffan Sentze and a T'vaoan Kig-Yar named Sav Fel were spotted driving together. This greatly concerned Mike, seeing as he had intelligence placing Fel as the new owner of a CCS-class battlecruiser, Pious Inquisitor. Allowing Sentzke to acquire such an asset was considered unacceptable. Due to this, Kilo-Five's mission became to infiltrate the Venezian militia in order to locate the Pious Inquisitor and deny it to them. Mal and Vaz were successful in passing themselves off as UNSC deserters but after the mysterious disappearance of Fel and a failed attempt to remotely seize control of the ship with assistance from Black-Box, a "smart" AI, Sentzke had them detained and interrogated. Their capture was short-lived, however, and before long the tables had turned and Sentzke was instead a prisoner of Kilo-Five, thanks to a rescue and extraction carried out by his daughter and another ODST, Lian Devereaux. All involved traveled to the Pious Inquisitor, where they came into conflict with a rogue Kig-Yar group led by Chol Von. Ultimately, the ship was destroyed by Von to deny it to the humans. Member of Kilo-Five escaped before it could blow but Staffan, having been separated from them during the fighting, was forced to comandeer a Type-25 Spirit. The explosion should have killed him before he could escape, but a Huragok named Sometimes Sinks had modified the dropship to have its own slipspace drive, so he lived. Out of respect for Naomi, those on Kilo-Five who knew Staffan was still alive chose to keep this information from the rest of ONI.
In early July, members of the Venezian militia traveled to the colony of Gao, which was only nine light years away, to meet with Arlo Casille, the Gao Republic's Minister of Protection. There, they made clear their support for his goal of driving the present UNSC forces off of the planet and the coup he was planning against the republic's president, Tejo Aponte. In addition, they formalized an alliance with the Keepers of the One Freedom, a violent and religious group of both humans and ex-Covenant that had taken Venezia as its home. This alliance did not last long once the chief dokab on Gao, Castor, learned that both Casille and Venezia wanted to take possession of a Forerunner ancilla that had been hidden beneath the planet. Casille was installed as the new president on July 6 but the ancilla was stolen by the UNSC.
On December 12, 2553, Office of Naval Intelligence operative Veta Lopis and her team of Spartan-III Ferrets were present in New Tyne to meet Ross Nyeto as part of Operation: RETRIBUTION. They were posing as criminals who were seeking transport to use in the delivery of ten stolen HAVOK nuclear devices. Unbeknownst to Nyeto or the other patrons present at the Trattoria Georgi, their actual objective was to make enough noise so that the Keepers of the One Freedom would seek them out. To this end, the Spartan-IIs of Blue Team were planning to breach the trattoria and enter into a convincing mock engagement with Veta and the Ferrets. When the time came, Frederic-104 and Kelly-087 crashed a pair of M121 Jackrabbits through the front window. The firefight that broke out between both groups of UNSC operatives, Nyeto's gunrunners, and Georgi Baklanov's guards resulted in the interior of the restaurant being torn apart by gunfire. The violence left all but Lopis, Nyeto, and the Spartans dead, including Georgi Baklanov. Nyeto was taken prisoner by Linda-058.
At some point in the next four years following the assault on the trattoria, Linda returned to Venezia as an escort for a Unified Earth Government diplomatic team as part of BRONZE COBRA. In the process, she eliminated a Kig-Yar raiding party that threatened the diplomats.
By 2556, the salvager, Rion Forge, had established herself as one of the most notable in the business on Venezia. Sav Fel's mate, Nor Fel, had also risen high following his disappearance and the death of Georgi Baklanov. By the start of 2557 her clearing house had put her on the radar of every military group out there.
Government and society
Venezia was formerly governed by the Unified Earth Government until the world cut off communications with the UNSC and became lawless prior to 2543. During the war, some members of the Covenant settled on the planet and made peace with the human colonists. The Venezian Militia was formed to protect the planet's citizens and served as the closest thing Venezia had to a legitimate government. Venezia was lawless, but had basic rules that all of the planet's citizens were expected to follow. As long as an individual followed these rules, they could rely on them for protection from others. Minor disagreements were expected to be settled peacefully between individuals and the rules of the road were still followed. The planet had a small defensive fleet consisting of armored freighters in addition to obsolete frigates and patrol craft. The militia had additionally gathered large amounts of air vehicles of both human and Kig-Yar origin.
The planet is not subject to anarchy, but instead is an organized society of exiles, criminals, insurgents, and pirates. Venezia is considered a desired destination for anyone looking to flee their government's authorities. The majority of the planet is populated by humans and Kig-Yar, with some Unggoy, Jiralhanae, and Sangheili. The four species trade and work together, following the basic "rules of decent society". Although, occasionally some break these rules and try to steal from others. This results in the thief being executed by the Venezian Militia. Some buildings, such as the Grexco tantalum extraction plant, are designed to prevent break-ins.
Venezia has evolved from an anarchic Outer Colony to a major center of interstellar trade and commerce. Its multi-species population has made it a hub for trade with former Covenant worlds. The Via Casilina Trade Route connects Venezia to other planets in the Cordoba, Shaps, Elduros, and Sverdlovsk systems. The premier export on Venezia and the driver of its economic power is tantalum. The mining of this metal was a significant factor for why many came to the colony in the first place and also serves as a rationale in the minds of some residents for why the UNSC is unlikely to ever leave them alone. Tantulum is primarily traded to Kig-Yar for arms and ships. The Grexco corporation operates a large plant for the extraction of the valuable mineral. Other mining operations on the planet are concerned with slate and sandstone, which was used to build New Tyne.
The black market on the planet is flooded with vessels and hardware of every sort. In the months immediately following the end of the Great War, Kig-Yar on Venezia in particular were exchanging arms to Jiralhanae in exchange for ships. Prior to his death on December 12, 2553 at the hands of Blue Team, Georgi Baklanov controlled one half of all black market commerce on the planet between his restaurant, the Trattoria Georgi, and an orbital warehouse complex named Uashon Station. Anyone that wanted to engage in unregulated business knew not to cross him, elsewise they would be looking for a new colony to work out of. His death left a vacuum that was filled by the T'vaoan Kig-Yar, Nor Fel, whose clearing house became a preeminent symbol of power and wealth in New Tyne by 2557. Nothing of the sort had existed in 2553. Venezia had always been porous in terms of trade, but Fel's venture was the first time it had an ordnance supermarket.
One of the first thing any visitor to Venezia has to make sure they do is acquire an acceptable form of currency. The colony isn't exactly connected to the UEG-supported clearing banks, so it prints its own bank notes—old colonial credits with a distinctive smell to them. Tokens and flex cards, considered archaic, are also in use. For really big purchases, such as for artillery or ships, is accomplished through bartering. In 2553, the majority of adults on Venezia farmed and took up odd jobs in exchange for food and favors. Daily transactions for most involved a mix of barter and cash.
Multi-species workshops on the planet have refined the Covenant's fuel rod cannon and produced a new variant, known as the Type-58 fuel rod cannon to the UNSC. This model is significantly more accurate than those used by the former empire. At some point, the Dianthus VISR was discovered by ONI operatives in the arms markets of the planet, but they were unable to discover who had manufactured the VISR sensor elements or how widespread its production was. Businesses in New Tyne include a hospital, a dive bar called Tiny Birds, Stavros' Middle East Asian Cuisine and Bar, hot dog stands, a grocery store, and factories. Outside the city, an abundance of farms dot the landscape.
Venezia is Italian for Venice.
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