The Union Deep Space Research Stations Paragon and Paragon, also called by the shorter names Paragon Station and Quintessence Station (Uajiren: Parovir Ruehaifa, "star Parovir"; and Qarisa Ruehaifa, "star Qarisa"), are a pair of space station constructed and maintained by the Union of Human Worlds. Together they are the first large scale exploration and research endeavors launched as a joint project by the expanded Union following accession of the Dorenian Systems and the Dorebai League. Paragon is located roughly halfway between Menem/Gashifa and the Doreni homeworld, at about 15 ly from each world. This places Paragon much further from any of its parent worlds than Quintessence, which is located roughly halfway between Earth and Menem or about 7 ly from each world.

Despite being named research stations, Paragon and Quintessence provide important bases for further exploration of the galaxy, and as embassies and trading centers for member worlds.

Naming Edit

The question of naming the two stations was a matter of considerable debate, and it was ultimately decided to officially recognize a series of names for each, with each member world (and the League) assigning the stations a designation of its own, and all official literature referring to the stations by all names and, for convenience, a simple numeric code. Beyond these "core names", each world was given freedom to allow additional names in any language as applicable or desirable. The aim was to assign them names that resonated with any culture and that gave the impression that they were to be viewed as the pinnacle of human achievement.

In this spirit, the English-language names for the stations were derived from Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2, the famous "What a piece of work is man" speech. Some criticized the choice, because of the ironic tone in Hamlet's description which dismisses the value of humanity as perhaps the "paragon of animals" but little more than a "quintessence of dust." Others lauded the choice, for precisely this same reason.

The officially recognized Menem designations, in Uajiren, name the stations for that planet's two greatest ancient cities, Parovir and Qarisa, each of which is known for its spectacular technical achievements and lasting legacy.