July 26th 2013
Terra, shining jewel of the United Empire of Earth, has made great strides towards becoming the cultural focus of Humanity. While die-hard Earth loyalists would dispute such a claim, there is no doubt that Terra has its finger on the pulse of the Empire. From the increasing influx of megacorp headquarters to the system to the influence of their local music scene on popular culture, Terra is unquestionably the closest thing to a rival Earth has ever produced.
The Terra system, then designated 342A, was first charted in 2508 as part of Project Far Star. When the first scanner data of the system’s third planet revealed a natural superearth located squarely in the star’s green band, colonization was immediately obvious. The planet — quickly nicknamed Terra by the initial discovery team; a name that soon applied to the whole system — captured the imagination of the UNE for its astounding similarity to an untouched Earth. Lush, verdant and brimming with natural resources, settlers and corporations alike were eager to claim their own piece of this pristine world. Adding even more intrigue to Terra, massive stone ruins clearly indicative of intelligent life were discovered shortly after colonizing began on Terra III’s southern continental mass, creating one of the most-debated archaeological mysteries of our time.
It wasn’t long before early inhabitants of the system would discover that Terra was doubly blessed. Not only did it have a world ideally suited for Humans, but the system was abundant with jump points. Thus far, seven jump points have been charted and scientists have high hopes that an eighth may soon be discovered. In four centuries, owing to its jump network and location, Terra III has evolved into a massive hub for commerce, culture, politics and trade.
A harsh, rocky world located incredibly close to its star, Terra Nova. Although rich in certain minerals, attempts to harness resources on Aero have been largely unsuccessful due to its extremely inhospitable surface temperatures and long 95 Standard Earth Day orbital period.
On the other hand, the mining efforts on Pike are a masterpiece of Human engineering. A mineral rich planet, Pike’s surface is dotted with mining outposts and refineries which have been essential to fueling Terra’s expansion.
The capital city of Terra is Prime, a beautiful bayside megacity. A stark contrast to Earth’s metropolises, everything in Prime was planned by the original settlers, leading to a much greater balance between nature and civilization than is found on Humanity’s homeworld. Unlike many cities, Prime’s main spaceport is located away from the city to reduce pollution and air congestion. A monorail runs visitors to and from the city’s two major regions: the sparkling Downtown and the residential area known colloquially as The Block. Built out from the original colonial prefabs, The Blocks is considered by many in Prime to be an eyesore but there has been strong resistance by those who live in the antiquated neighborhood against modernization.
Terra’s second-largest city, Quasi, is located in the colder southern hemisphere and built in the shadow of the massive ruins discovered early in Terra’s settlement. Quasi is considered more of a tourist destination than Prime, although several corporations operate in the region.
New Austin, another initial colonization point, is as close as Terra comes to an industrial city. A business park writ large, New Austin is home to corporations like ORIGIN Jumpworks and the main headquarters for the Sataball Territorial League. The cost of living in New Austin is lower than in Prime, leading to more of a “blue collar” sensibility. The centerpiece of the city is The Old Hall, a former Miner’s Guild meeting area now populated by factory owners, pilots, haulers and shippers.
Often overlooked is the fact that Terra’s sister world, Gen, is also inhabited. This smaller planet, the outermost in the system, was terraformed roughly a century after Terra’s initial settlement. Consisting largely of military bases, Imperial administration and housing, the planet is well-populated, though the inhabitants are almost exclusively government workers. Despite repeated attempts, Gen’s bids for senate representation have been unsuccessful. Opponents cite that any additional bureaucratic oversight could prove to be contradictory to the Empire’s existing interests there, but pro-Terra activists believe that the Senate is reticent to grant any more political influence to the Terra system.
Travelers are encouraged to pay special notice to all traffic regulations pertaining to the three large military and security stations in the system. Ships approaching INS Reilly, IAS Hammett, and ICS Evolen will want to obtain proper clearance or give them a wide berth to avoid any unwanted incidents.
“Our only hope for peace, our only chance to create the future that our children and our children’s children deserve is to seek Terran independance.”
- Governor Assan Kieren, Political Rally Speech, 2638.03.12
“Everyone may talk about the top notch restaurants you can visit in Prime, but for my two credits, there isn’t much on Terra that can come close to the taste of a hot pirozhki bought straight from a street vendor as the sun rises up over New Austin. That, my friend, is a meal you won’t soon forget.”
- Senator Kelos Albervar, Horizons Magazine, July 2942