July 12th 2013
Official UEE records credit Toshi Aaron with discovering the system through the Magnus-Stanton jump in 2851. When UEE pathfinders surveyed the system they made another significant discovery, a large jump point connecting Stanton to Terra. The Empire claimed the system, citing the potential of its wide habitable zone and the importance of its jump points for interstellar trade.
As UEE naval engineers assessed what terraforming would be required to make the planets habitable, bureaucrats met behind closed doors to debate what to do with the system. Options included dedicating it to the military and/or government, or even holding a land claim lottery to populate the three super-Earths. Yet, the problem with all these ideas was funding, as making full use of the system would take substantial credits that the Empire did not have available. As the usage debates continued, temporary measures were taken. Approval was granted to begin minimal terraforming on Stanton I, III, and IV. Meanwhile, the Navy dedicated funds towards the construction of a shipbuilding latticework in Stanton II’s upper atmosphere with the goal to produce capital ships for the protection of the system. All this occurred with little fanfare or any official word to the public.In 2865, the UEE made a shocking announcement that the Stanton system would be sold piecemeal to the highest bidders. Megacorporations had been quietly contacted during the terraforming process and asked to bid for their own planets. Years of confidential negotiations with Hurston Dynamics, ArcCorp, and microTech followed. The original plan left Stanton II as a Navy shipyard until a last minute offer from Crusader Industries was too good to refuse. The winners flushed trillions into UEE coffers for what essentially turned into a down payment on the Synthworld.
The megacorporations moved in slowly but surely, and the system became fully industrialized. The four worlds are now dotted with factories, corporate headquarters, testing ranges, mines, and other company facilities. Most residents of the Stanton system work for these corporations (or anyone leasing their space) and inhabit glorified company towns.
Today, Stanton is a great place to travel if you’re interested in the materials produced by several of the galaxy’s most successful corporations … or if you think you can make a profit shipping these companies the goods they need to keep working.
Stanton I is home to Hurston Dynamics, an aristocratic family-run weapons manufacturer that has bled their world dry. Stanton I’s ecosphere has been largely destroyed, with almost all indigenous life killed by mining and manufacturing processes. Hurston builds several lines of reliable weapons, and pilots looking for specialized guns might do well to visit here. The planet also produces a variety of munitions sold to other companies, and transport assistance work is often available. Hurston is always in need of cheap labor and workers are imported for year-long factory or mining contracts; few choose to re-up. The company strictly regulates what consumer products can be brought in. Haulers caught with unauthorized items risk losing them at customs or even jail.
Stanton II is Crusader, called “Cl” by the natives; it is a low-mass gas giant that has a breathable atmosphere at high altitudes. Taking advantage of this, the planet became home to a military-constructed latticework of habitable floating platforms. The platforms proved to be ideal for Crusader, since normally their large-scale commercial transport ships would otherwise need to be built beyond the atmosphere. Being constructed in open air allows the cost of these ships to be reduced by almost 40% on the back end, which is often passed along to consumers. Once Crusader Industries took over, these platforms were expanded upon to suit their production needs. The company also built quality housing for their employees in habitats woven into the latticework itself. The portion of the world available to visitors is considered by many to be the nicest port in the system. The shipyards themselves are eerily beautiful, with huge transport ships suspended in mid-atmosphere surrounded by a lighted webbing of Crusader facilities.
Stanton IV, home to microTech, is a large and generally cold planet. The temperature is the result of an error during the UEE terraforming process, which lead to unusually dense cloud production. microTech produces mobiGlas here, a now-standard piece of digital assistive technology used by nearly everyone in the Empire. Although mobiGlas has become their ubiquitous product, microTech manufactures a wide variety of electronics, including those found in ship systems. This world is a good place to look for advanced sensor technologies which could provide an edge while dogfighting. Space on the world is leased to smaller companies, including some of microTech’s competitors, which solidified the planet’s reputation as the place for cutting edge tech research and development. Buyouts among successful Stanton IV-based startups are common.
Visitors should note that while the standard United Empire of Earth penal code technically applies in the Stanton System, the UEE does not police the region. Private squadrons and hired mercenaries belonging to the inhabiting supercorporations enforce their own laws here.
“I am sick of people questioning our right to operate this world. What is a corporation but the extension of the people? A government is elected through votes, while we have been elected by your credits.”
- “Colonel” Gavin E. Hurston, quoted in “Purchasing Power.” Terra Gazette 2941.4.21
“It’s a little strange still to be honest. To wake up and watch the sun crest over the horizon, and think, ‘Yup. We own all this.’”
- Jess Alfonz, CEO microTech, 2928