THE KNOWN UNIVERSE


THE MAP OF THE KNOWN UNIVERSE
(NOTE:  The Map is a modified/updated version of the map im the Leading Edge Games RPG)

     Humanity has reached hundreds of worlds, and has established dozens of Colonies and Outposts. These worlds are scattered across dozens of light-years and cover a wide range of environments, and the human and non-Human inhabitants are just as diverse. Some of the most notable worlds are discussed below. The GM should feel free to add to, amend, or alter the following as desired, and to create new worlds that suit his or her game.  The Star Map shows the locations of the major systems inhabited by Humanity, and indicates the Jump Distances among them.  There are hundreds of worlds in and beyond the ICC not listed.  Those worlds are not named, usually listed with two or three letters followed by three or four numbers.  Most worlds have this listing still, but no longer go by their system classification.  GMs only need to make up new systems.

     Earth

     Home to nearly 10 billion people, Earth is a world in chaos. The Nations have waned in power, but most of their citizens do not really understand the change. The Corporations are the new rulers, but they are concerned with themselves and their Colonies; the administration of Earth's billions means little to them. In the gap between the power of the Nations and the will of the Corporations, society is falling apart. Large areas of Earth have become lawless, as some Nations have lost the ability to control their own citizens. Ethnic, religious, and social minorities have seceded from many of the weaker Nations, and have established their own small states.

    Wealth and social status on Earth range from the most desperate poverty and oppression in history to unprecedented levels of riches and power. Those who rule the Corporations have every possible trapping of wealth, including mansions, resorts, travel, obedient servants, private armies and more. They even have vast numbers of people to feel superior to; the masses of Earth. Beyond the Corporate preserves and the houses of the rich, there are many millions of people who live uneasy middle-class lives in a world with few certainties. And next to their simple communities, surrounding the places where they work, are the dispossessed; billions of people who work at menial jobs or survive on government subsidies, or who prey on others.

    The range of social environments on Earth makes it an ideal place for role-playing adventures. Players can move quickly from contacts with rich corporate personnel into the harsh streets, where poverty, squalor, roving gangs, and sudden violence are common.

     The possible duties for Colonial Marines (or jobs for Mercenaries and other Character groups) are endless. There are areas in civil chaos, where it might be vital to restore order or to evacuate special personnel or equipment, while other areas operate under complete fascism and the Characters would face entirely different challenges. Many ethnic groups and fringe religions have established their own small nations, sometimes with Corporate backing, and the safety of people and facilities in those areas could easily be imperiled. There are even areas where there is no law; where local wars have erased all government and the Nation or Nations who own the land have given up on the attempt to administrate.

     Up to CL4, it is relatively unchanged.  At CL4 the xenomorphic influence is noticed in the religion and drug cultures (See in the appropriate chapter).  At CL5, Earth is turned into a warzone, as sporadic Hives start popping up around the globe in jungles, deserts, and urban centers.  Religious zealots try to keep the hives blossoming by offering subjects for the new birth.  At CL 5.5, Earth is wasteland.  Orona’s bombs will soon take out a large chunk of North America in an effort to destroy the species.  Most of the upper class has evacuated to orbit.  Most of the planet is no man’s land with the rest under marshal law.

     At CL6, all but a dozen or so hives have been eliminated.  Most of North America is a rad zone.  Only a few million people survive sane.  The rest have either been mutilated through war or radiation or have gone crazy from the environment or lack of Royal Jelly.

     Major Worlds

     The Major Worlds hold the future of Humanity. These are planets that are very much like Earth, with breathable atmospheres, decent climate, and great potential for life. There are five Major Worlds at present (Alexandria, Hilo, Micor, New Eden, and Tartarus, Barabazon), and the Corporations that own them are rapidly developing all. Populations range from 2 million to 50 million, but all five worlds have high-tech manufacturing, heavy industry, and are nearly self-sufficient.

     Colonies

     Colonies are established on worlds which are fairly livable, or which have been adapted to human use. A Colony has two important attributes; a Spacecraft Service Base and manufacturing capability. The exact level of technology available varies with each Colony, but all have at least some ability to manufacture their own goods. The population ranges from 30,000 on Starview to 25 million on Aerodyne, and the worlds are self-sufficient in the most vital commodities; food, water, and atmosphere. The most advanced Colonies, like Aerodyne, even have full high-tech manufacturing and heavy industry.

     Colonies are the simplest of Humanity's settlements, and they are placed on worlds that are not desirable for human habitation. While some have Service Bases, none have more than rudimentary manufacturing ability. Terraforming Stations are placed on worlds that have potential but involves decades of expensive work before the world is truly habitable. Mining Worlds are much easier to create, but lack the long-term value of a world that can be made habitable. "Mining" in this sense includes the collection or harvesting of unusual life forms as well as the gathering of minerals and other inorganic substances.

     80% of the larger colonies had been eliminated by CL6.

     Garrison Systems

     These are systems which do not include inhabited planets, but which have been fortified for defensive purposes. The fortifications consist of deep space sensor arrays, to detect the arrival of ships in the system, and a number of System Defense Frigates and other spacecraft. In some Garrison Systems, there are also top-secret military and scientific facilities. Weapons tests, unusual research, and high-security prisons are placed here.

    Jump Systems

     Between the systems listed on the Star Map are numerous Jump Systems. These are the stepping stones, which link the worlds of Humanity, so that even a Spacecraft with a Jump Drive value of 1 can reach any destination.

     Sectors

    Each of the worlds of the ICC is described in general terms in the Sections that follow. They are organized into several different Sectors, which are the areas developed by the major exploration Corporations. Each Sector includes notes about how it was developed, and the worlds are listed in order from Earth outward.

     The GM should flesh out the descriptions of the worlds as necessary, depending on what areas the players are curious about. As always, information can be used or discarded by the GM as desired.


     CSC Sector:

    On the Star Map, this Sector extends up and to the left from Earth. The primary explorers here were the employees of a corporate coalition called Central Space Consortium, or CSC. The jewel of this Sector is Alexandria, an earthlike world that lies at the end of the Sector. Alexandria was one of several worlds that seceded from the ICC several years ago, and this Sector has been in turmoil ever since. Alexandrian forces still hold several systems, but they are slowly being worn down by economic warfare. At the same time, CSC has been severely strained by the necessity to develop new worlds to replace those, which have been (temporarily) lost to the rebels.

     Saint John
     The first Terraforming project of CSC was established here. The site is largely empty, and most of the valuable components have been moved to Starview. The toxic atmosphere and sulfur bogs have defied Terraforming, and after decades of work the project was abandoned in favor of the more pleasant Starview.
     There is still one Atmosphere Processor in operation here, which is being shut down for salvage, and there are also numerous research stations scattered around the world, occupied by scientists and technicians. The purposes of these sites are varied, but most have to do with the origins of life and how it adapts. Biosynthesis and bioengineering specialists from many different Corporations have come to this world to experiment, and have leased the stations. The exact natures of the sites are classified, but it is rumored that a large portion of the funding for CSC's work on Summit, Stoner 1, and Paragon came from leasing the stations on Saint John.

     Volcus:
     One of a group of Colonies developed by CSC after the secession of Alexandria. The Colony resides in a domed community on the major moon in orbit around the planet of Volcus itself, and neither the moon nor the planet is terraformed. Volcus is a world ruled by volcanic forces, with vast magma flows covering much of its surface. It is the tremendous geothermal energy available on the planet, which encouraged the development of the system . CSC has developed (and is still improving) a system which uses the almost unlimited thermal energy of Volcus for power.
    Automated power stations float on the magma and draw energy from the heat surrounding them. This energy is then broadcast to a space station in orbit around the planet, and from there to the Colony on the moon. There are currently 200,000 people on the moon, but the Colony can expand rapidly because of the availability of power. A self-contained ecosystem has been created, with air, water and heat being recycled. CSC hopes to turn this moon into a thriving Colony, as an example of how a hostile system can be overcome.

     Riesling
     This is the site of exploratory mining and drilling operations. The world's composition indicates that it has potential as a source of several rare elements, and science crews are still evaluating it. At present, only remote exploration sites are set up, with teams from CSC and a number of freelance groups licensed to conduct the research.

     Starview
     This is the latest find of CSC, and it already has a sizable population . This world is better in many ways than Alexandria, and once Terraforming is complete it will become the primary world for CSC. This Terraforming effort will take another half century to complete, however, despite the best efforts of CSC's scientists, because the Corporation is overextended. Various factions within CSC have taken hold on each of the other three most important colonies (Stoner 1, Paragon, and Volcus), and CSC does not have the funds to fully develop Starview.
 Starview is a large world, with gravity very close to Earth's. Its surface is desolate and cold, as the atmosphere is nearly opaque due to a vast cloud of small particles. This cloud is suspended in the upper atmosphere, and leaves the world in eternal twilight. Once the cloud has been removed, the world will warm up and should be very comfortable for normal habitation.
    Today, a Colony of 30,000 exists on the world. The atmosphere is breathable with the use of a filter mask, and work is proceeding to create Atmosphere Processors.
 At CL5, it becomes a major warzone.

     Celeste
     This off-world resort funded and manufactured by a variety of corporations became operational at CL3.  Weyland Yutani terraformed the planet, Grant Corp manufactured the resort, and Hyperdyne supplied the personnel, 100% synthetics.  Hyperdyne supplied Celeste’s current models and re-circulated the populace with Ad-Cap “Sex” synths when mass-produced.  The project’s maintenance was handled by Ivy Derringer’s corporation, Skank, which soon, purchased controlling stock of Celeste soon after.
     It’s the former terraformed asteroid Nyn678.  It’s the nearest one to Earth untouched by mining platforms and slagged.  Celeste restores the diminished, stimulates the jaded, and gratifies the insatiable.  It’s the ultimate environment for persons of financial merit who want to experience unprecedented bliss.  Food was unworthy of the name until Celeste cuisine came along.
     Unfortunately, upon CL5, a single xenomorph from Barabazon infected with a class 10 virus broke out among the populace.  The visiting population not killed by the alien soon found themselves under quarantine.  Without any salvation in sight, and considering the visiting populace numbered less than 300 at the time, Grant Corps, Weyland-Yutani, and Hyperdyne mutually considered the risks to great and Celeste and was wipes out by orbital bombardment.  Considering one of the casualties was Ms. Derringer herself, Skank went under quickly after.

     Dust Ball
     This is a small moon that possesses a few mining communities. These operations are centered on the crater left by the impact of an ancient meteor. Unique and valuable minerals were created by the combination of the meteor's and the moon's materials, subjected to the tremendous heat and pressures generated by the impact. Dome operations are scattered around Dust Ball. Some are involved in traditional mining, while others simply sift through tons of sand and pulverized quartz on the surface, in search of the trace minerals. These minerals are used in the creation and quality control of micro-circuitry.

     Keystone
     Keystone was a major basecamp for exploration in the early days of CSC. In spite of this the planet was not terraformed, as there are many unstable asteroids in the system and it is just a matter of time before one of them hits Keystone; there are signs of many devastating strikes in past ages. As exploration proceeded, the population and importance of Keystone dwindled. It is now mostly abandoned, with a current population of 20,000, down from a peak of 500,000. There were a few mining operations at one point, but there was nothing so valuable here that it was worth shipping to other systems. Antioch, a mid-size Corporation with ambition, is studying the possibility of buying the rights to the system and making Keystone safe for habitation. This would involve a major operation to clear the most dangerous debris from the system, and to track the movements of the many asteroids. If successful, however, Antioch would be able to quickly rebuild the existing facilities and could transform Keystone into a wealthy Colony.
     At CL6, Keystone is one of the few colonies untouched.

     Stoner 1
     This planet has recently been terraformed by CSC as a means of recovering from the secession of Alexandria. While most of the planet's atmosphere is still toxic, there is a vast natural cavern within Stoner Mountain that now has its own atmosphere and biosphere.  This cavern is over 10,000 square miles in size, and is protected by the immense rock dome of the mountain and a network of airlocks. Excavation is now going on within the Mountain, to expand the available living space while Terraforming continues above ground. At present, much of CSC's light manufacturing and engineering is done at Stoner 1. There are ample resources on this world, and once it is fully terraformed the above ground mines and other operations will make it a major industrial base.

     Crysalis
     This Colony, based on a large moon, is the site of a standard mining operation. It is a domed complex, without a major Service Base, and the mines recover heavy metals and a rare mineral used in power conversion units. Security forces from CSC protect the operation.
    When Xenomorphs overrun the station at CL5, few reinforcements arrives—the CSC more worried about Starview.  When the CMC arrived finally, there was nothing left.

     Paragon
     This is a fairly recent Colony, and was established by CSC in an attempt to rebuild after Alexandria's rebellion. Paragon has recently completed its program of Terraforming, and the atmosphere is fully breathable. The climate remains harsh, cold, with high winds, and unpredictable weather. The communities of this world have been built underground for protection from these conditions. Another major consideration in the construction of Paragon's cities was security. CSC is not willing to accept another rebellion, and every effort has been made to ensure that management remains firmly in control. The communities are being expanded only slowly, and are kept as self-sufficient as possible. The middle and lower classes here live in a tightly controlled environment, with the most sophisticated police state in the ICC watching their every move. CSC is satisfied with the way the system is working on Paragon, and they are transporting much of their high-tech and high security operations here. This will become the new Corporate Headquarters for CSC, and will also be the site of manufacturing for all critical components.
    At CL 5.5, Paragon has a strict hold on a few Alien hives they cannot see to eliminate.  It wasn’t until CL6 that the CMC arrived to remove them.

     Goliath
     This world is the site of a sizable Terraforming operation, and is also being mined for Iridium and Helium 3. Before the secession of Alexandria, it was being developed normally by CSC; since the secession, CSC has used Goliath as a staging point for its attempts to recapture and blockade the rogue colony.  It becomes a major military strongpoint at CL5
     Goliath now has a major ICC Military Service Base, as well as a ground base which supports a large contingent of Colonial Marines. From these bases, the Colonial Marines and CSC forces patrol three Jumps in each direction, watching for Alexandrian craft and for smugglers and other blockade runners. These patrols fight with Alexandrian forces, which try to drive ICC vessels away when every major smuggling run is being made. These actions are usually short, with the inferior side making a brief show of resistance before withdrawing .
    The atmosphere on Goliath is still too thin to breathe without assistance, but there is enough oxygen for simple re-breathers to operate. The population has grown to nearly 1 million people in the years since the Alexandria's rebellion. About 10,000 of these are Colonial Marines, and there are also a large number of CSC troops. The majority of the population is made up of people working at industries to support the military units.  As a result, by the time of CL5, Goliath was too fortified to be destroyed.  Losses were high, however, as frequent transports carried more infestations.  By CL 5.5, the entire colony sealed itself off.

     The Crestus Garrison Systems
     These systems are named Crestus Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta, in order of their distance from Ventix and Alexandria. The only settlements here are military Service Bases orbiting the major planet of each system. There are no ground colonies or installations, other than tracking and communication facilities.

     Crestus Prime
     Crestus Prime is a Garrison World with a Service Base and a fleet of large cargo transports, used for transporting disabled Frigates from the four Crestus Garrison Worlds nearby. The location of Crestus Prime is known only to top level military personnel of Alexandria, and is only placed in the Navigation Computers of ships assigned specifically to the system. The world itself holds only the Service Base and its supporting community with a total population of 30,000, all of them members of the military.
     Crestus Prime has become the hub of the Alexandria space defense system. From here, the space fleet can reach any of the four Garrison Worlds that protect the approach to Ventix. This constantly threatens any ICC forces trying to clear the Crestus Garrison Worlds, and provides support for Ventix if the ICC ever gets that far. It is unlikely that it will ever come to that, since the ICC has decided to use a blockade to defeat Alexandria. The presence of Crestus Prime was a major factor in that decision.

     Adullam
     Home of the Adullam Research Facility, This planet was the source of many rumors about strange experiments involving biological experimentation by Grant Corp.  At CL4, this experimentation seemed to have moved into the xenomorph field.  Adullam was a groundbreaking laboratory, which many scientific boycott groups openly called having “the proper approach to scientifically studying the Aliens.  Some outposts studied them for military purposes; some studied them in the hopes of eliminating them.  However, Adullam concentrated on the morphology of the creature. Adullam broke the discovery that the Aliens were engineered living batteries, and not the result of natural evolution.
    The objective of the lab was simple:  They approached the aliens as being an alien race’s version of a synthetic, albeit the ultimate violent form of it.  If they could learn the technology, it would open the doors to future generations of synthetics (See the Alien Resurrection Plug-In).  It was theorized that Synths can be engineered with an actual DNA pattern and thus allow themselves to regenerate wounds.  This succeeded in TL5 in a rudimentary form.  However, Adullam still had one last breakthrough left.  They attempted to combine the Alien and Human technologies further and attempted to “grow” a synthetic from scratch (Refer to the Medical section for details).  However, a hostile Corp (unidentified) destroyed the station and most of the technology was lost.  The station wouldn’t be repopulated until later.

     Ventix
     Ventix is a Colony near Alexandria and is controlled by the people of that world. It is a dense and prosperous community, built underground in vast, airtight chambers. Terraforming of Ventix was put on hold by the eruption of the rebellion on Alexandria, and the years of conflict have transformed the city into a military hardsite.
     Considerable heavy equipment was here to support Terraforming, most of it having been moved from Alexandria when the major work on that world was completed. This equipment was used to expand the basecamp into a full Colony designed specifically for use by the Alexandria military forces. It now protects the only route to Alexandria, and is the final line of Alexandria's defenses.
     There are five major Military Bases on Ventix. Each of them has full space repair facilities, and receives parts and other support from Alexandria. A network of tunnels connects them, with high-speed monorails carrying people and cargo. Each Base has a population of about 50,000 people, and they are all self-sufficient
     The atmosphere of Ventix is too thin to breathe without a Life Support system, but there is enough oxygen to keep a Life Support system operating indefinitely; Life Support systems have pumps which can be used to compress the atmosphere in an enclosed space, and make it breathable. The climate is cold and dry, with no vegetation.
     Only personnel with military clearance have access to Ventix.

     Alexandria
     This is the only holdout from the Colonial rebellions. It is isolated from the rest of ICC space by the military colony it controls on Ventix, and by the five Crestus Garrison Worlds. To date, the ICC has not committed enough forces to conquer Alexandria and its Garrison Worlds. Colonial Marine forces on and around the Goliath system quarantine the area, and a policy of sanctions and blockade is being used to bring Alexandria back under ICC control.
    Smuggling to and from Alexandria is a thriving industry on the Garrison Worlds of Crestus Prime and Goliath. Stopping the flows of goods, people, and military equipment occupies a sizable contingent of Colonial Marine and Corporate forces.
     Alexandria itself is a highly developed world that is nearly self-sufficient. Originally owned by CSC, it now has a population of 30 million people, which is rapidly growing, and its industries are on a par with the industrialized nations of the 20th century. There are also a number of high-tech facilities producing items for the fledgling space industry on the planet. The space industry is owned by the planet's central government, a democratic republic, and is nearing self-sufficiency. Only certain critical components for Displacement and Jump Drives must be smuggled in from the ICC.
     Environmentally, Alexandria is nearly an ideal world. It has been terraformed, and the atmosphere is breathable and even pleasant. The climate is generally hot and dry, and there are few large bodies of water, so the major settlements are closer to the poles than to the equator. Water for drinking and agriculture is transported from the polar regions; it is comparatively expensive, but there are no shortages and the population is well supplied.
     The communities on Alexandria are scattered across the northern temperate region. Industries are built at the edges of or outside of the residential areas, and are hardened against possible warfare. Civil defense has been a major concern in the cities as well, and bomb shelters and long-term food stores are common. There is a mandatory four-year military/public service term for all citizens from the ages of 18 to 22. Most fulfill this requirement by working in technical and trade institutions, on community support pro-grams, and in the large  Terraforming and community expansion projects. A select few serve in the military itself, and there is great pride in being chosen to protect Alexandria's independence. Most of the people in the military have made it their career, and there is a high level of respect for them.  Because of their isolation, the Xenomorphic presence was extremely light and any suspicion of infestation was put down with brutal force.  At CL6, when the ICC was in ruins, Alexandria would become a cultural and political center-point and regain most of the control of the C.S.C worlds.  It would become the new Earth for generations.


     BORODINO SECTOR

     Unlike the other Sectors, this chain of worlds has not been developed by any single Corporate entity. A Corporation called Borodino, which went bankrupt generations ago, began it. Since that time, dozens of Corporations have tried their luck in this area, and many fortunes have been made exploring the Borodino Sector. Many more have been lost, however, because while it is the only unclaimed frontier in the ICC where mid-sized Corporations can try to expand, it is also a treacherous and difficult place.
     The two strangest worlds in the ICC lie in the Borodino Sector; Pandora, with its illegal technologies and bizarre life forms, and LV-426, also called Acheron, where Humanity first encountered the Aliens.  By CL 6, most of these worlds were wipes out from Alien infestation.

     Nimbus
     This is a very large world, a gas giant, which has a research space station in orbit around it. Hyperdyne is using it for studies of high pressure and high-energy conditions. Probes enter Nimbus' atmosphere and are subjected to incredible heat and pressure as they decelerate. They then emerge from the atmosphere and are recovered by craft from the research station. The exact nature of the work being done here, and the results found to date, are highly confidential and are well guarded by Hyperdyne.  It wasn’t enough and by CL6, Nimbus was a dead system.

     Aerodyne
    This world was originally called Chalmer 3, but was renamed when Aerodyne Corporation established its headquarters here. It has been terraformed, and is now a cold planet with a thin, breathable atmosphere and vast open steppes, swept by constant winds. There is little open water, but the population of 25 million is self-sufficient and the people lead a fairly comfortable life. The communities are built behind large windbreaks. A wide range of light and heavy industries are present, and Aerodyne produces its own spacecraft in cooperation with Weyland-Yutani.  Aerodyne was destroyed and most of the populace evacuated.  At CL6, it was re-terraformed.
     Recently, Aerodyne and Weyland-Yutani opened the Arcturus Loop, a direct trade link that does not run through Earth. This has enraged Earth-bound Corporations and Nations, which have lost significant influence over trade and commerce as a result of the "11 new trade route. Although the ICC has set up Customs stations, Aerodyne, Weyland-Yutani, and Hyperdyne hold direct control of the Loop, and have not allowed Colonial Marine forces to patrol the area. Customs procedures are being subverted along this new route, and it is believed that corruption at high levels in the ICC and in the three major Corporations has encouraged smuggling activities. Drugs and controlled technologies from Pandora are introduced into the ICC through this route as well.

     Anchorpoint
     One of the largest spaceports built by man, The city sized, totally self-sufficient spherical starport is large enough to contain whole starships in sealed, pressurized environments.  The base is staffed by more than 80 000 people with another 100 000 populate the station at any one time.  These numbers haven’t changed even though the UPP Sector is close by but the presence of military personnel has increased since then.  The mall inside is a cross between a Hyatt atrium and an airport-shopping concourse:  shops, vegetation, fast food outlets, a bar.  Civilians and Military work together to keep the military base / civilian colony / scientific lab together.   At CL4, Aliens infested the Colony.  Most of the populace escaped but the entire base was overrun.  Hundreds of Aliens were discovered onboard when a Nemesis team arrived later.  It was brutal but by CL6, Anchorpoint has inhabited again.

     Emerson:
     Emerson has no known colonies and its mining prospects are extremely minor.  The ICC has determined that it will just be classed as a jump system even though the main world in the system does have a breathable atmosphere.  No ships have reported even stopping by the barren world.  There were plans in the far future to eventually colonize the planet and perhaps turn it into a greenhouse for food purposes unfortunately after the UPP separation, those plans were placed on perpetual hold.  Unknown to all, a small colony from a crashed missionary vessel lives on the surface, separated from human contact for over 100 years.  At CL6, they initiated contact.  The very low industrialized city (barely mid 19th century) was a haven for people trying to escape the madness.

     Charon:
     A massive, water covered planet with a single large island on the Equator.  Some have compared it to a massive cosmic eyeball that stares into one’s soul.  Either way, forest and simple animal life cover the major and only continent.  A probe at CL5 discovered the entire continent infested.  At CL6, it was nuked.

     Gimeno:
     The Gimeno Industrial Settlement is a tiny Earth-like world that is so volcanically active, that it was deemed too unsafe to general colonization.  Therefore, it was transformed into a mining outpost.  The main factory is built on a volcano planetside.  They milk valuable materials right out of the Magma.  Hard work, but lucrative.  Even though the colony is on the edge of known space, months out, many mining personnel look forward to working there because of its warm weather, ocean breeze, and even pretty birds.  At CL5, it was infested and destroyed.

     Chitin
     The surface of this planet is covered with heavy flows of basalt, so it appears to have an armored shell. Beneath this shell, which earned the planet its name, there are a number of soft areas that were excavated to form human communities. There are three of these subterranean vaults, with a total population of 600,000, and they are largely self-sufficient.
     Chitin has the only significant light manufacturing Capability on the long run from Aerodyne to Pandora, and the economy here is expanding rapidly. The Service Base in orbit around the planet is large, efficient, and well stocked with spare parts, and support industries beneath the world's surface are beginning to produce Spacecraft components as well.  This world is dominated by Aerodyne, which is moving much of its older light industry here as it upgrades its home world. Personnel who are unhappy with conditions on Aerodyne are commonly transferred here, where they find a more relaxed atmosphere, greater freedom, and a relative absence of bureaucracy.  But at CL 5.5, they wish they hadn’t.  By the time the CMC arrives, Aliens had infected 45% of the populace.  The rest were either in hiding or fighting for their lives.  Chitin was evacuated, but attempts to eliminate the infestation from orbital bombardments proved unsuccessful.  By CL6, the CMC, parked permanently in orbit, still try to eliminate the aliens.

     Pioneer:
     A small colony delegated with the duty of handling most of the ICC’s nuclear waste.  The Alphatech Sungun orbits the small world.  It rockets barrels of nuclear waste into the massive yellow star.  Most  of the personnel on the station have families planetside.  Alphatech makes a tidy profit by handling most other corporation’s waste.  It is destroyed by Alien infestation at CL4.  The Sungun was never repaired.

    Frontier:
     The orbiting colony outpost is a major dry-dock for spacecraft maintenance.  The world it orbits is a massive terrestrial world covered in a black atmosphere.  The atmosphere is so thick and dark than it stretches from the Stratosphere all the way to the surface.  Even with high-powered lights, most cannot see more than 100 meters in front of them.  The average range of visibility is barely 50 feet.  If someone crashed on the planet, they are not expected to be rescued.  Grant Corps manufactures its Razzia vessel from this location.  The 20 000 personnel on the station operate the massive dry-docks that can accommodate every type of vessel, even some from rival corporate groups when a grant is given to build them.

     Acheron

     A harsh, bitter world in the midst of Terraforming. There are many deposits of heavy metals here, which offer the hope of future prosperity, and when Terraforming is complete it could be a fairly pleasant world. The most interesting aspect of this world is obviously the strange ship that contains the Alien Eggs. At CL 2, with the atmosphere processor destroyed, Acheron became hostile again.

     Thedus
     This is a small, struggling Colony that survives off the traffic from the core of the ICC out to the frontier world of Pandora. It is a domed Colony, as the atmosphere of Thedus is thin and has little oxygen. The world is not self-sufficient; it has a full space Service Base, but all other items are in short supply.
     There are three communities on Thedus, each of which is built around a reactor that also provides power for an Atmosphere Processor. The expansion of the Colony is limited by the shortage of power, and the population subsists on ship service and maintenance, and providing for the crews of vessels that are being worked on. The crime rate on Thedus is very high, and many unwary travelers never leave the planet.  By CL5, with the decrease in traffic, Thedus struggles.  A CL 5.5, without support, it cannot defend itself from the infestation.

         Grandhi
     This is a Service Base, with a small station set up to service ships making the long haul to and from Pandora. It is a full service port, with the repair abilities of a Colony for anything relating to Spacecraft. Other than that, there is only a small community of 15,000 that tends to the needs of crews passing through the system.
     Grandhi is a moon in orbit around a dry and completely barren planet called Sahara, which is more than four times the size of Earth. Grandhi itself has no atmosphere, but supplies of water and oxygen are available through mining and mineral processing. Water, food, and air are all extremely precious on Grandhi, and little is wasted in this domed community.

     Pandora
     This Colony is at the edge of ICC space, and as such operates with little regard for law or accepted behavior. The world has an unpleasant but breathable atmosphere, and gravity near Earth's. Most of the surface is covered with water, and the small land areas are overcrowded with a population of 4 million. Work is in progress to artificially increase the land area by building out into the oceans.
     The biosphere of Pandora is a diverse one, and there are still countless life forms that have never been studied. If this planet were closer to the rest of civilization, it would be covered with research teams from all of the major Corporations. As it is, only unusual people come this far out; the ones who are obsessed with their work, others who are avoiding legal and personal problems, and people who are very adventurous, curious, or unstable.
     The location and the people combine to create a dangerous and exotic world. Several Corporations are conducting exploration into the stars beyond Pandora, but where they are going and what they have found remain mysterious. Experiments that would be halted on a more civilized world are conducted in shadowy laboratories here, including forbidden studies of genetics, biomechanics, and cybernetics. There are rumors of startling breakthroughs in all of these fields.
     Strange drugs are also synthesized from the native lifeforms by researchers, some of whom are true geniuses and others who are simply renegades or madmen. The most popular and useful drugs are exported or smuggled back to the rest of the ICC, but the local inhabitants have access to countless other substances. All manner of claims are made about these drugs; some are powerful stimulants or depressants, others have reputed medical value, still others might be painkillers or hallucinogens. Many of the drugs are addictive; most are dangerous; all are unregulated, and therefore unpredictable. The alleys of Pandora are filled with people who have had their health or their minds broken by these experimental drugs.
     When the aliens arrived via a major cargo transport at CL5, the colony was unprepared.  No amount of military could control the infestation.  By CL6, a fleet of CMC cruisers entered orbit and vaporized the atmosphere.

     Arcturus Loop
     This is a new interstellar link between Aerodyne and Weyland-Yutani, and is being used to bypass Earth and ICC Customs. There is a great deal of illegal traffic in this area, but the efforts of honest ICC Customs officials to clean it up have been unsuccessful. Part of the trouble lies in the relative weakness of the Colonial Marine Corps in the Loop, but much of the blame lies with corruption at high levels of the ICC and the major Corporations involved.

     Arcturus
     This is the only well-developed system on the Loop. It is habitable, although cold and harsh, and has a functioning biosphere of its own. The native lifeforms include a generally humanoid creature which lives in large, complex warrens underground. These creatures usually live in communities of a few dozen, although large warrens of hundreds and even thousands are sometimes found. They are not intelligent, although they use very primitive tools, such as sticks, and work together to gather food and to defend their warrens.
     The population on Arcturus is approximately 25,000, but it is expanding quickly as traffic increases on the Loop and the world is adapted for human use. The leadership on the world is turning a blind eye to smuggling and other questionable activities, and has restricted Colonial Marine presence to battles with native warrens which are considered dangerous to the Colony, or which are obstacles to further expansion.  However, when the alien infestation arrived at CL 5, Arcturus became one of the most heated battlezones of the war as the aliens infected the colony and native population.

     Eyesore
     An old mining site which has been abandoned. The world is habitable by about 400 people, but is ugly, infertile, and generally unpleasant. Only a small community remains on Eyesore, which handles rudimentary repairs and limited services for crews which pass through. There is every chance that Eyesore will grow rapidly in the coming years, due to the traffic on the Loop.


     U.P.P. Sector

         The Union of Progressive People secured a variety of worlds on the edge of known space and this has been a galactic hotspot since.  The Russian / Vietnamese Consortium originally colonized the rim world, Barabazon, but after securing Rodina, an armored strongpoint between them rest of the ICC, the UPP succeeded.  The UPP, since then, appropriated several more colonies and fortified their position all the way up to Anchorpoint, which was then turned into a border station.  Like Alexandria, the UPP has been cut off and no diplomatic relations exists.  In fact, the relations between the UPP and ICC are extremely volatile.  Any non-UPP craft that enters their space is considered a major violation without passing through the Rodina border station and are searched.  Any military craft traversing through without authorization can be considered an act of war.

     Unlike Alexandria, which secured itself as a more peaceful independent colony, the UPP became obsessed with securing more space and its aggressive tendencies has warranted many corporations to refuse trade.  Consumer trade, however, keeps Barabazon and the UPP alive.   Also, unlike Alexandria, the UPP is not a democratic society but rather a fascist dictatorship bent on technological advancement.  This commitment result is a major military force and large budgets put aside for military projects including biological warfare.  Their attempts to harness the Alien organism proved fatal and resulted in the destruction of the Rodina station at CL 4 and the elimination of the rest of the UPP soon after.  By CL 5.5, the CMC regained control.  By CL 6, the UPP was no more.

     Rodina
     The major UPP Military strongpoint between their space and the ICC (primarily Anchorpoint) grew in size over the years.  The massive, doughnut-shaped station is only slightly smaller than Anchorpoint but with most of its space and budget but toward Research and Defense.  Rodina houses over 200 000 troops and another 40 000 technicians and scientists.  It contains one of the largest Biolabs (only slightly smaller than Anchorpoints civilians spacelab.  However, by CL 4, 80% of the station’s resources was transferred to Xenomorphic research.  It wasn’t long before they lost control.  Infestation soon followed.  Rodina was nuked and never rebuilt.  Its absence was felt in CL 6 when CMC forces rode right through to Barabazon.

     Oryza
     A small farming colony recently equipped with automatic defensive weaponry because of the colony’s strategic positioning in the UPP Sector.   It didn’t offer resistance when the UPP fell.  They were attacked by aliens, rumored to be staged by the UPP Rodina station but the infestation was eliminated.

     Casper / Sinat
     The Planet and Station run by Dr. Casper Nordling of Grant Corp was originally a mining station by the UPP with the boring title Sinat 778.  When they were overrun by aliens, instead of the alien by killed, the aliens were eliminated but the queen and structure survived and a laboratory was installed in and around the hive.  The hive was sealed off and donor clones were installed so the aliens could propagate.  This lab was allowed to operate with an all-synthetic crew for extended period because of its objective to create a virus lethal to aliens but not to humans.  However, at CL5.5, the station was destroyed by its native alien populace.  An investigation later proved that Norlding was illegally selling eggs to rival corporations.

     Barabazon
     A center-point for all UPP activity, a major key world, and the one place that most people avoid.  Barabazon has often gone by the tagline, “Commit any seven sins free!”.  West Barabazon is the political and military hub, where the Union of Progressive People plan out its daily activities.  Only the upper crust live in the West.  If you live in the East, you are just the crust.  East Bar is a virtually lawless gorge of drinking and debauchery.  It is also a large trading location, binding competition with the nearby Anchorpoint station for the consumers’ business.  The UPP is more than proud of their massive capital and their popular venues of entertainment.  East Bar has a massive Television industry (mostly Trash).  Rich tourists explore the wonders of West Bar, never knowing how 95% of the population (over 45 million) lives.
     Even after the war, Barabazon flourished, although most of the populace went mad after the government fell.  Riots and crime flooded the streets.  Hundreds of Thousands were killed.  Both East and West Bar burned.  West was complexly destroyed.  Sporadic Alien hives appeared.  It wasn’t until CL6, did matters calm again.  It would still be sometime before it returned to close to its former glory.

     Proteus
     The Alien Homeworld, undiscovered until CL 4.  The Jockey Race terraformed this world to be a complete storehouse of the species.  The Atmosphere is covered by a highly corrosive shell filled with radioactive particles spewed from modified volcanoes in strategic areas.  The surface is somewhat breathable, with a larger amount of Nitrogen than Earth.  But the Ozone layer is filled with these particles, which seem to neutralize nuclear weapons, disrupt condensed energy, and cause havoc to virtually all flight systems.  As a result, no spacecraft can enter the atmosphere without suffering inoperable damage.  No weapons have been found to inflict enough damage to the surface to reduce the billions of aliens on planet.
     It is assumed the Jockey ships were capable of traversing this barrier.  The Snakefighters and Nemesis class ships as well as the Razzia dropship are also protected from these harmful effects but there are too rare to be of any use.  It would take the entire CMC fleet, days to wipe out the globe.  At the end of CL6, they did exactly that.


     HYPERDYNE SECTOR

     This Sector was originally developed by two major Corporations working together; Hyperdyne and Weyland-Yutani. At about the time the ICC was formed, Hyperdyne sabotaged certain critical operations at Weyland-Yutani, and attempted to take full control of the Sector for itself. This was a lucrative path for many years; Hyperdyne even discovered the Earthlike world of Hilo, and now commands tremendous wealth. Weyland-Yutani recovered from Hyperdyne's treachery, however, and now holds a critical position in the Sector. There has been no open warfare between the two Corporations in many years, but there is a certain tension in their dealings with each other.

     This Sector extends down and to the right from Earth on the Star Map.

     Weyland-Yutani
   Weyland-Yutani was one of the preeminent Corporations of the early days of space exploration, and still produces some of the finest high-technology equipment in the ICC. It was once a partner of Hyperdyne, but Hyperdyne betrayed Weyland-Yutani's interests and sabotaged several of its exploration craft. Weyland-Yutani was badly disrupted by this, and lost its opportunity to lead the discovery of new worlds.
     After losing for several decades, Weyland-Yutani gathered its resources to take control of the world of Relitor, which it renamed after itself. This put Weyland-Yutani directly on Hyperdyne's route to Earth and the rest of the ICC, and allowed it to take some measure of revenge in the form of legal harassment and increased tariffs and taxes. To combat these obstacles, Hyperdyne was forced to develop new routes for its commerce. The routes include the Hilo - New Eden link, and the long, desolate trip from New Chicago to Honeycomb. Today, Weyland-Yutani and Hyperdyne are still somewhat hostile to each other, but there has been no traceable violence for many years. They even cooperate on control of the Arcturus Loop.
     At present, the world of Weyland-Yutani has a full range of industry and space manufacturing facilities, and the cooperative ventures between Aerodyne and Weyland-Yutani are the largest manufacturers of commercial spacecraft in the ICC. They also produce the ships for the Colonial Marine Corps, and use this as leverage in their control of the Arcturus Loop.
     Weyland-Yutani’s long standing position on the Alien infestation (research, capture, and control) was always a controversial one.  They resulted in direct fighting between them and the CMC at CL 5.5.  When the Corporate uprisings occurred at the end of CL 6, Weyland Yutani vanished, along with most of the other corporations.

     Noble Ore
     A titanium mining site with five domed communities. There is only a small Service Base here, and no industry at all.  It was never touched during the war.

     New Chicago
     This old mining and survey planet was abandoned after research showed it would not be profitable for long-term mining or Terraforming. It has become a major Service Base for Hyperdyne forces, and many spacecraft in that Corporation's fleet call New Chicago their homeport. These forces protect the New Chicago - Honeycomb route, and attempt to control traffic from Weyland-Yutani to Hilo.
     The civilian population here is 30,000, and the economy is heavily dependent on the Hyperdyne fleet. Laws governing the sale and possession of weapons are largely ignored, and just about any kind of military hardware is available here, for the right price.

     Atlas
     Atlas is a large asteroid with no atmosphere. Temperatures are very low, and the radiation level is dangerously high for unprotected people. The Colony is a small one, composed of three domed and shielded communities with a total population of 12,000. The communities are all on a single plateau, and are connected by a monorail system.
     Dozens of small survey and mining craft operate out of Atlas, working in the system's asteroid fields. These ships are specially shielded against radiation, and the crews work among the asteroids for 90 days before returning to Atlas for detoxification. The reason for all this dangerous and difficult work is the presence of complex radiation-stable hydrocarbons, which are used for medical research and genetic engineering.
     Atlas was infested at CL5 but it was cleared via a Beserker team.  It was then repopulated.

     Cryosphere
       A research station has been established on this planet, which is in a very distant orbit around the system's sun. It is a small station, with only eight people, and most craft simply pass through the system without going anywhere near Cryosphere. While valuable work is being done regarding the formation of solar systems and planets, the eight scientists at the station are extremely eager to talk with anyone who comes to the planet.  They kept very close watch on most ships approaching them.  They avoided infestation.

     Stratus
     Stratus was used as a Garrison System by Hyperdyne before the ICC was created, and there are the remains of a large ground military base and a deep space tracking station to here. Today there is only a way station and a small, poor salvage operation recovering equipment left over from earlier conflicts.

     Hilo
       This was the second ideal world found, and it is under the control of Hyperdyne. Hilo had an ideal climate and ample water when found, but lacked indigenous life. This made it very easy to tailor the world, introducing the proper mix of lifeforms from Earth and other Worlds to create the perfect environment. Hilo is a thriving World, with a full space industry, complete self-sufficiency, and a population of 6 million. There is a great deal of wealth here, and it is protected by the most powerful single Corporate military force in the ICC.   There was a rebellion here at the beginning of the Colonial Wars, but it was quickly crushed by Hyperdyne's military. The population was quietly purged in the years after the rebellion, and new personnel were brought in.  Radical elements which were not found guilty of capital crimes were sent to Shinon, where they are monitored by Hyperdyne forces in what is essentially a penal colony.   On Hilo, there is no trace of dissent. The people are brought up to believe that the ends justify the means, and the rewards for those who succeed at Hyperdyne are immense; wealth, power, and even access to illegal technologies.
     Hyperdyne is the leading producer of Synthetics, and the design studios and most of the factories for this industry are on Hilo . Much of Hyperdyne's wealth comes from its development of biotechnology and Synthetics; other industries have been established primarily to guarantee Hyperdyne's independence.  The economic and political power of Hyperdyne is immense, and its influence in the Colonial Marine Corps is growing rapidly.
     The greatest causality during the war at CL 5.5 was the fall of Hilo.  It was never destroyed but the same events that transpired on Earth quickly repeated themselves on Hilo soon after.  Religious groups rose up, Hives popped up.  Unlike Earth, which was abandoned then surgically nuked, Hilo had no such emergency measures.  The ground war there was brutal and long.  By the end of CL5.5, many hives were still out of control.

     Marduk
       Little is known of this system, except that there is a large space station in orbit around the primary planet and that there are no ground installations. Rumor indicates that Hyperdyne does experimental work on Synthetics here, and that illegal programming packages are sometimes sent from Marduk into the ICC. There is an extremely high level of security here, and even the location of the system is known to few.  The station was reported destroyed at CL5.5

     Byal
      This is another of Hyperdyne's special labs. It is a space station, where work is done on biotechnology integration and modification. Its location is known at the top levels of the ICC, but it is not common knowledge and there is no commercial traffic to Byal.  As a result, no one was aware of its Alien experimentation, and resultant infection.  A Beserker team attempted to clear it out, but Byal was eventually nuked.

     Transept
      This barren world is the base camp for Hyperdyne's space exploration fleet. Hyperdyne  is trying to open a direct route to Pandora, as that is the location of the only other major go research being done in the field of biotechnology. If Hyperdyne is successful and can keep its route a secret, it will be able to subtly control the work done on Pandora and capitalize on any breakthroughs which are made, without ICC opposition.

     Rumford
    Rumford’s desert environment intimidates most colonists interested in a new home but most that live there swear by the surprisingly cool weather.  Rumford’s large expanse of flat terran is more similar to tundras than sandy dunes.  The light cool wind washes over the hundreds of miles of totally flat expanse, offering plenty of room of colonization.  Rumford became one of the largest livestock storehouses ever constructed.  The three million inhabitants, all of which live on the equator are all herders.  Rumford has virtually no mineral deposits and few species of plants have taken hold.
     The jewel on Rumford is high up in the North Pole.   Merely 500 kilometers from the ice flows lie a group of featureless pyramids.  Each one towers more than twice the size of the great pyramid of Giza.  The six pyramids are all without line of sight with each other.  Because of the small value of Rumford and its position, on the edge of the rim, make the desire for archeological surveys slim.  Several small teams have investigated the area but none have returned.  The native colonists don’t venture north, the pyramids being part of a very old omen of death.  Rumford is one of many planets with Egg Silos deposited by the Jockey Race.   Eventually, an archeological team was killed but one impregnated, managed to escape to the colony.  The resultant mayhem eventually led to the colony’s destruction by CL5.  At CL6, the barren world was considered for repopulation.  The Egg Silos remain.

     Cyclone
     A research and manufacturing lab set up by Hyperdyne in an underground installation. It develops weapon technology and security systems, and contains only a few hundred personnel. The location of this think tank is not common knowledge, and the best military and scientific minds of Hyperdyne do their work here.  It was destroyed by Alien infestation at CL 5.5.  A Beserker team cleared out the station and repopulated it by CL6.

     Shinon
     This Colony is the dumping site for people removed from Hilo during the Colonial rebellions. These are people who were considered to be security risks, but who could not be convicted of serious crimes. All sorts have been sent here; petty criminals, relatives of rebels, freethinkers and rabble-rousers, intellectuals, and those who were simply not patriotic enough. The population is 480,000.
     Shinon is almost self-sufficient, with critical supplies being provided by Hyperdyne in exchange for good production from the light industry of the Colony. The citizens are theoretically free, although there is no way for them to leave the system and they are under tight supervision by Hyperdyne law enforcement personnel. Regardless of Hyperdyne's claims, Shinon is essentially a modern penal colony.  It was untouched during the war.

     Bunda Survey
     A swamp world operated by Weyland Yutani.  The world is covered by vegetable and animal life.  Primarily a corporate controlled military outpost.  The large colony on its surface basically is comprised of towers spiraling above the canopy of trees.  It was destroyed by both Xenomorphs and the rumored alien predators.


     New Eden Sector

     This Sector was the first to yield an Earthlike world, the planet of New Eden itself. Exploration was handled by a coalition which renamed itself New Eden/JV after the world which made it rich. This Sector is comparatively stable, compared to the strife of the CSC Sector and the danger and uncertainty of the Borodino Sector.

    The New Eden Sector lies straight down from Earth on the Star Map.

     Grendel
     Grendel is large Colony of over 200,000 people, who live in hundreds of small domed cities. There is substantial light industry, and the world was a major stopping point for travel among Micor, New Eden, Weyland-Yutani, and Hilo. Much of the traffic was lost to the New Chicago - Lobo route, but Grendel still survives.  It survived the war, barely.
     This world was the first to allow Corporations to circumvent Earth's control of shipping routes, and in retaliation the powers of Earth held back support, minimized Colonial Marine presence, and even helped destabilize the government and economy of the world. Over the years, the destabilization and the absence of Colonial Marine patrols led to the development of a powerful organized crime network. This network wields full power on Grendel, and operates outside the ICC's controls and without the consent of the population of Grendel. The center of the trade in illegal drugs and other contraband is found on this world, and bribery, extortion, and payoffs are major parts of getting business done here. The Criminal network is currently building up a large drug trade from Pandora to Micor.
     Micor and the other major Corporations created the New Chicago - Lobo bypass to free themselves from the bribery and corruption of Grendel, and are currently trying to decide how to destroy the organized crime elements. It will probably fall to the Colonial Marines to clean up the place.

     Ajax
     This is a marginally habitable World that could yield great wealth after successful Terraforming. Several years ago, there was an accident at an Atmosphere Processor here; an immense explosion caused a major radiation release, and the mid-sized Colony was almost entirely destroyed. There was tremendous loss of life and wealth, and literally thousands of lawsuits were filed in the weeks after the disaster. Since the end of the relief efforts which evacuated the survivors, the world has been largely uninhabited as efforts are made to resolve this unprecedented legal morass. There is a small permanent station some distance from the site of the old Colony, and the staff's primary duty is to take inspectors, analysts, experts, and lawyers on tours of the devastation, and to track and report data about the world's current condition.

     Polar Star
     This outpost consists of a Research Station on a moon which orbits a gas giant at the edge of the system. There are only 30 permanent residents at the facility. A Service Base with a crew of 1,000 also orbits the planet, and attends to the traffic through the system, but there is little contact between the Service Base and the Research Station. This system has no manufacturing ability.
     The permanent residents are scientists at work on a research project, studying high-pressure molecular synthesis. They are under contract to Micor, but so far they have not attained their goals. Until they succeed, none have anything to look forward to but continued isolation on Polar Star or a one-way trip back to poverty on Earth. Most of the staff have been here for more than ten years; the stress level is high, and the mental health level is low.  When a cargo craft deposited several aliens, they eliminated the threat themselves.  After that, there were fewer complaints.

     Honeycomb
     The atmosphere of this world is toxic and bitterly cold, so this Colony of 250,000 was built underground. Vast caverns lie just under the surface, and several large communities have been set up in them. They are fairly close together, and are linked by an efficient monorail system.
     Honeycomb is rapidly growing, as a result of the traffic link between New Chicago and Lobo. It has become a major Service Base and shipping warehouse, and now features both light and heavy industry . Secure areas of the caverns are leased out to Corporations interested in long-term storage and production, making the planet something like a high-tech space bank. The Colonial Marine Corps does not have the rights to investigate these individual Corporate areas, and since they are all sealed off, it is difficult to gather information about what is going on inside. This much is clear; the rulers of Honeycomb care little for what goes on in each area, and this has led to the growth of some illicit industries. More than one illegal shipment has been traced to Honeycomb, but the trail ends in what has become known as the Labyrinth.
     The caverns of Honeycomb riddle the entire world, and are much larger than the Colony and all the storage areas. Little of the Labyrinth has been explored.  It became the bloodiest location of the war.  Thousands died in the caverns, freeing the world

     Helix
     Helix has a Service Base and is the focus of a fleet of small exploration craft, which are investigating the vast asteroid belts of the Helix system. These craft are owned by several different Corporations and independents, have crews of 3 to 8 people, and go on extended missions of up to 2 years deep into the belts. Thousands of asteroids have been explored and plotted, and many bear rich mining deposits.
     At present, the mining claims on these asteroids are being bid on at Helix, and there will soon be full-scale mining operations throughout the system. Dozens of Corporations are interested in the mining rights in the system, and the Colonial Marines will certainly be called in to monitor disputes. Most of the contracts call for minimum production levels and schedules, or the forfeiture of all rights; ICC officials expect that some smaller firms will be sabotaged, and will be swallowed up by larger competitors.

     Exeter
     This small outpost has two enclosed communities of about 20,000 people each. It is primarily a service port for shipping to and from New Eden. Most of its business has been taken from it by the facilities on Honeycomb, and Exeter is rapidly declining in wealth and importance. Within a few years, only a few small mining operations, which were the original purpose of the Colony, will remain.  One community was destroyed at CL5.5 but the other remains.

     Orbolab
    The large ZCT funded laboratory has been the location of many controversies until its closure at CL6.  The original base coordinator, Dr. Ernst Kleist, ran the base like his own personal dictatorship.  His security force controlled the populace and its sanctioned hive with a stern hand.  Unlike Casper Nordling station, Kleist often invoked stiff (and severe) penalties to anyone who destroyed a specimen.  Kleist valued his experiments more than human lives and the CMC marines sent to the station to act as xenomorphic custodians often returned in body bags.  In essence, Kleist’s obsessive personality shot him in the foot since eventually, the CMC  would come in force to investigate the losses of their men.  Kleist committed himself to trying to control the alien.  He succeeded in many fields, including both suppressor models on the market.
     At CL5, Kleist vanished and his station’s populace was arrested.  The CMC arrived in force, flanked by Grant Corp security, who broke the story.  Orbolab was repopulated later and achieved much success later, even though its sanctioned hive was destroyed when Kleist left.

     Atol
     Atol is a water world with a heavy atmosphere and continuous rain. The water is acidic and contains no life, and the planet has no stable land mass above sea level. There is a large moon, however, which combines with the system's sun to create huge tides that sweep the planet. It is impossible to build communities on the land areas that are exposed, because they are above water for only a few hours at a time. The seas are so violent that no attempt has been made to build floating structures. The atmosphere is breathable with a filter mask, however, and research continues into how to tame this world. A space station orbits Atol, carrying a few dozen permanent staff, and two or three survey teams go down into the atmosphere every month.

     New Eden
     This was the first ideal world discovered by Humanity, and it made the coalition of Corporations, which found it, extremely rich. This coalition solidified into a mega-Corporation in the years, which followed, and now calls itself New Eden/JV. New Eden/ JV has a strange Corporate structure that is like a smaller version of the ICC, with the New Eden/JV entity itself functioning as a sort of umbrella and the various components retaining their own identities and goals. Control of New Eden/JV is determined along democratic lines, with each member Corporation receiving votes based on its wealth and rate of growth.
     When New Eden was discovered, it had an almost ideal climate and environment. Only rudimentary lifeforms existed on the world, but it proved to be an easy Terraforming job. The world is now completely terraformed, and has a population of 200 million.
     The world was colonized very rapidly, and was a spur to the growth of all the involved Corporations and the rest of Humanity as well. The most talented people in the member Corporations were transferred to New Eden, where they were able to work in an unusual environment that rival Corporations consider a drawback; personnel on New Eden can easily change their employment from one member of New Eden/JV to another. This guarantees that everyone is well treated and that real talent is rewarded. Elsewhere in the ICC, it is very difficult to change Corporations, and this has resulted in stagnation as internal politics became more important than good work.
     The good treatment afforded the employees of New Eden/JV has prevented the member Corporations from truly maximizing their short-term profits, but because of their unique business environment and since the wealth produced by New Eden has been so great, they have been somewhat magnanimous. Other Corporations generally elect to increase their profits by giving the employees as little as possible, and point to New Eden/ JV as an example of inefficiency and bad management.  Regardless, New Eden is a prosperous and self-sufficient world, its population has a great deal of freedom, and the member Corporations are all growing quickly and smoothly.
     Like, Earth, New Eden was torn apart during the war.  Most of the Southern Hemisphere was a warzone with several operating hives.  A couple thousand marines, and one cluster nuke later, the threat was gone.  By the end of CL6, New Eden was scarred but livable.

     Cyrus
     Cyrus will eventually be a comfortable world for humans, and it will have a large and productive Colony. At present, the atmosphere is toxic and contains insufficient oxygen, and the world's greatest value is that it is one step on the recently completed New Eden - Hilo route. Cyrus is being terraformed by New Eden/JV, and colonial development will probably begin within the next twenty years.

     Medusa
     Medusa is cold world with an un-breathable atmosphere, but good potential for future development. It lies on the route that links New Eden with Hilo, and is early in a Terraforming program being managed by New Eden/JV.

     Panamar
     This is another Terraforming project for New Eden/JV. A small research and mining station is studying and harvesting a type of thermogenic plankton; this simple lifeform uses thermal energy instead of sunlight to create hydrocarbons. It is already used in Life Support systems, and will probably have many other functions as well.  Panamar is totally destroyed at CL 5.

     Morning Glory
     This is the base camp for New Eden/JV's attempt to link up with Micor through Morning Star. It is a Service Base that is currently the port for deep exploration craft.  It became a hotspot of Alien activity and a popular hit for Alien Predators.

     Cerebus
    The twenty odd dead terrestrial planets orbiting the cold red sun reap little benefits, but clustered together, do provide some financial benefit.  The major location there is the enormous Terminal Station.  The Station’s 400 member staff operate in almost complete luxury.  The station controls the mining ships on the planets and controls most traffic through the system.    It became a staged Alien Lab when a Weyland Yutani Trader dropped a complete hive off at their doorstop.  At CL5.5, a Beserker team nuked the base.


    MICOR SECTOR

     This route runs from Earth to the rich world of Micor, and is below and to the left of Earth on the Star Map. This sector has had a relatively peaceful past. its Colonies were not self sufficient enough to rebel during the Colonial Wars and the Corporations owning the rich world of Micor have been complacent and peaceful. The Corporate conflicts which characterize the Hyperdyne and CSC Sectors seem out of place and the Sector is very prosperous. All this is changing, however, for Micor is supported by a society pushed to the edge of revolt and greedy Corporations from other Sectors have consolidated their positions enough to begin to look for new avenues of expansion. The Micor Sector will certainly appeal to many.

     Astyanax
      This is a small Research Station with only rudimentary spacecraft repair abilities. It is located on a moon in three domed communities, where a decades-long biological experiment is being run. A team of 20 operates and maintains the station.
     The research involves the study of an indigenous life form called Brachous Slugs, and is nearing its completion. Until recently, there was little interest in this outpost, but last year there was a slight security leak. The stock of the owning Corporation, Falcon Industries, suddenly soared in value before being pulled off the market. Falcon Industries then bought up all available stock, and began hiring a military force for the protection of Astyanax.
      Whatever the nature of the breakthrough, something has happened on Astyanax and many Corporations are hoping to muscle in on Falcon's operation, using intimidation, financial trickery or leverage, or brute force. Falcon is obviously unwilling to share this new development; only time will tell who will profit from the situation, and how valuable this breakthrough really is.

     Argos
     Argos is a dry, sand-swept world much like Mars. It has little water and a thin atmosphere, and these commodities are carefully maintained and conserved. Even with these restrictions, Argos is a thriving Colony with a population of 100,000. It is the base for a number of small manufacturing Corporations, and this industry is supplemented by large cargo facilities that handle commodities from Tartarus. The location of Argos is its greatest asset; it receives all the traffic to and from the Tartarus Sector, as well as vessels from Earth, Micor, and Grendel. In all, it is a prosperous, well-run commercial Colony. Beneath the surface, there is also another healthy economy; that of a well-established network of smugglers dealing in all types of contraband.

     West Star
     This is a small Mining operation on the moons of the gas giant which rules this system. The operation uses remote mining robots for the work, and there is a crew of only 60 people here who oversee and maintain the robots. The substance being mined is Helium 3, which is the standard element used in creating the fusion reactions which generate most of the power in the ICC.  When Aliens attacked at CL5, the robots abandoned the colony and its inhabitants to die.

     Feldspar
     Feldspar is a Mining World that has been played out. Recent years have seen it transformed into a cargo storage and inspection point on the Honeycomb - Micor and Micor - Argos routes. Micor is concerned with illegal traffic into its territory (most of it through Grendel), and is using Feldspar as its control point for all commercial traffic. A Customs and security compound has been added onto the old Mining station, and space defenses are also being set up. Hyperdyne is running these, although some people question whether Hyperdyne really wants to halt the illegal activities.

     Lobo
     A large Colony which has expanded recently due to the increasing trade to and from Honeycomb. Terraforming was completed here only 8 years ago, and the population has grown rapidly to its current level of 70,000. Many of the new residents are involved with the advanced planning and transfer of the owning Corporations' assets from other worlds to this budding trade center. The Corporations that own Lobo are organized into a loose consortium called Tradex, which is based on Micor and is superficially similar to New Eden/ JV. Unfortunately, Tradex exerts little real control here.  Tradex vanished after the war when the CMC arrived at Lobo and found half the populace fighting several large hives in the middle of the colony.  The CMC invoked Marshal Law, evacuated the populace, and cleared the hives.  At CL6, Weyland Yutani repopulated the world
     The local police and military forces of Tradex are currently under the control of Colonel fi Castel, and he possesses much more power than is usually given to a Colonial military ill commander. He is an ambitious man who has built up the power of his forces, and has transferred their loyalty away from Tradex and to himself. This force, which is beginning to resemble a personal army, has been implicated in high levels of bribery, corruption, and extortion. Castel has certainly encouraged these crimes, and is believed to be associated with criminal elements and corporate forces that threaten the interests of Tradex.
     Tradex is investigating the situation, and charges of embezzlement and treason will probably be filed in the near future. Due to Casters influence, however, and his links with powerful Corporations, the ICC has declined to assist the Tradex investigation, and may not support any legal action they take. In the meantime, the Corporations licensed to operate on Lobo can do almost anything, as long as Castel gets a cut, and crime and smuggling have become the Colony's two major industries.

     Alamar
     The star in this system is a Red Giant, and Alamar is a Research Space station in orbit around it. There are 80 scientists and technicians here, conducting general research on stellar exploration probes and supporting equipment.

     Summit
     Summit is a Colony in the last stages of Terraforming and is prepared for major expansion. The air is now breathable and the climate mild, so many Corporations are planning to move to this nearly ideal environment. This is the boom world for the next generation, and along with this economic and population boom will come the problems associated with rapid growth.
    The world was developed by the hard work of the original colonists. This was a group of 2,000 people who were members of wealthy families, and who decided to expand their fortunes in the finest traditions of industry; through intelligent planning, sensible risk-taking, and honest labor. They formed their own Corporation and set about developing the world of Summit, which had great potential but had been ignored by its former owners. After decades of Terraforming and preparation, the colonists and their now-grown children are poised to reap the benefits of their labor.
     The only obstacle to the happy fulfillment of this dream is the potential for deceit, treachery, and financial manipulation by the Corporations who are flocking to Summit. How the colonists will face this final crisis, and whether their great accomplishment will be passed on to another generation, is yet to be decided.

     Innominata
     This dead system is the home of one of the most enigmatic spacelabs in the ICC.  The 50 scientists, technicians, and soldiers stationed here are sworn to secrecy as to its objective even though it did apply and was granted to keep several Xenomorphs as specimens.
    Operated by Colonel Doctor Paul Church, Innominata studies the alien but unlike Orbolab or Casper, which studied their hive structure, Church was committed to their elimination by attacking individual aliens rather that the collective force.  However, investigations revealed that the funding and estimated loss of manpower and supplies seems much greater than the original schedule.  It is theorized that corporation grants run into other field relating to the xenomorph’s more mysterious qualities.  These experiments move into new vaccines, youth serums, and cloning techniques.
    The station was never closed down.

     Byron's Hope
     This is the scene of a Canceled Terraforming project by Pindel Corporation. A disaster destroyed the initial Terraforming site, killed the head of Pindel and some of his top advisers, and ended the Corporation's efforts here. Lacking effective leadership, Pindel decided to cut its losses and the new Corporate heads have settled for spending their wealth on Micor. Their quick abandonment of development and business in exchange for a life of ease is seen by many as a sign of decay within the upper classes of the ICC.
     The world holds promise, if it is properly developed. The atmosphere is too thin to breathe and there is no surface water, but these are fairly simple Terraforming problems.  There are rumors that an egg silo is hiding somewhere under its surface.

     Micor
     This is the richest planet in the ICC, in terms of the standard of living of the inhabitants. It is a nearly ideal world that has been fully terraformed, and is possessed of an earthlike ecosystem. Micor has become a home for the rich of the ICC; wealthy stockholders from dozens of Corporations have settled here with their families, and have lives of great ease. Many people who were once powerful in the Nations of Earth are also here, having accepted Corporate bribes in exchange for their country's economic cooperation. It is noteworthy that the people who live on Micor are not those who currently have power. They are people who have traded their power for simple wealth, and who are now reaping the benefits of that decision.
     There is little industry on Micor itself. The industry necessary for the world, as well as the 800,000 people necessary to operate that industry, have been consigned to a large domed colony on Micor's moon. The workers all dream of the ultimate promotion, which is transfer to Micor itself, and work very hard in pursuit of that dream . Micor also has a vast corps of scientists and researchers on this moon and scattered in labs across the ICC. These people are graduates of one of Micor's greatest assets, its chain of universities on Earth.
    These schools represent the highest education possible for Earth's billions, and allow Micor to select and train the most talented people available. On graduation, these students are offered positions with Micor, with the inducement that if they are successful, they will be given wealth and homes on Micor itself, the closest thing to paradise in the ICC. Driven by youthful optimism and courage, many of the best choose to go with Micor. They are then leased out to small Corporations in need of assistance, where they work in the most advanced scientific projects in the ICC. Micor receives a share of the proceeds from these projects, and passes on some of its profits to the scientists responsible. For those who make breakthroughs, the rewards are everything they have been promised. Only a few are successful, however, and the others continue to work desperately, driven by the desire to reach Micor and the knowledge that their only real option is a trip back to the poverty and chaos of Earth.
     Some of the larger Corporations, ones that do not contract with Micor for scientists, are resentful of the wealth Micor is accumulating, and they are tired of competing with the graduates of their think tanks. These Corporations are working to undermine Micor from within, and they are supporting the development of the drug trade to Micor and its moon. They hope that they can disrupt Micor's society, and bring an end to its monopoly on scientific genius. The leaders of Micor are aware of these efforts, and are trying to defend their social structure.  Micor survived the war, barely. It still stands tall.  Their finances struggled but did regain its composure.

     Pestron
     A world in the early stages of colonization. Basic exploration and Terraforming plans have been made, and the first Atmosphere Processors are in place. Construction of the west of the Terraforming equipment and of the future Colony are in full swing.

     Morning Star
     Advanced space exploration base for the establishment of a route from Micor to New Eden. Good progress was being made, but in the last few years funding has been cut and new exploration is on hold. The rulers of Micor have apparently decided that a direct route o New Eden is not in their best interests, and they are dragging their feet. The exploration and maintenance crews of Morning Star have been waiting here for some time, and there is general dissatisfaction.

     Bracken’s World
     An extremely modified planetoid, Bracken’s world is a strange sight.  A concrete lattice covers the entire planet.  On this lattice is a massive kelp bed, which supplies the ICC with a major source of nutrition (mostly seen in emergency rations and air dropped care packages).  Island Atols scattered across the globe maintain the farming community.  No Military is present except for an isolated pad and outpost in the middle of nowhere.


     Tartarus Sector

    This small Sector branches off from the Micor Sector at Argos. That planet is the scene of the greatest emergency in the ICC in recent years, as the indigenous Harvesters have surfaced and are destroying the Colony.
    Most of Tarturus was untouched by the Xenomorphs.

     Scorcher
       A small manufacturing facility on a hot, barren world with no atmosphere. This world is very close to its sun, and the intense heat makes it uniquely uninhabitable. The Colony survives by being buried under the surface, and is protected by domes with multiple barriers that are highly reflective. This keeps the heat to a bearable level. The very harshness of the environment is what lends the world its value; the hard vacuum, the high temperature, and the extremely pure base minerals found readily available here make it easy to produce critical parts for the drive and power systems used in Spacecraft.  This fragile Colony of 5 ,000 is just a moment away from a disaster, because of the brutal conditions. Even if all systems are properly maintained and the residents are very careful, an unusually large solar flare could still be devastating; this possibility hangs over the Colony like the threat of an earthquake, or some other natural disaster.
     Spacecraft coming into the system stay outside Scorcher's orbit, and special shuttles that can handle the extreme heat handle transportation to and from the planet. Because of the special expense of this fleet, few non-essential items are found at this facility. Prices for all items are four times normal, while luxury items and non-essentials cost 20 times the regular price.

     Twilight
      This Colony harnesses the planet's volcanic energy and magma for ore processing and other mining. Volcanic eruptions have polluted the atmosphere beyond the ability of any Atmosphere Processor to cleanse it, and the dim light which reaches the surface gave the Colony its name. The atmosphere is toxic, and the Colony of 15,000 is domed.   Robotic rigs float on the seas of magma and handle the mining chores, and manned vehicles are used to collect the ores.

     Devil's Peak
       Most of this world is covered by ocean, with only a single landmass rising above its surface. This area is at a very high elevation (15,000 feet above sea level), and contains the Colony. Since the atmosphere is moderately toxic, the Colony exists in four domes, and Atmosphere Processors are slowly adjusting the air.
     Until recently, Devil's Peak was a small but prosperous place, with a population of about 10,000 people. Events on the planet Tartarus have changed all this, as refugees from that dangerous world have fled to Devil’s Peak by the thousands. At the moment, the population has reached 40,000, and Biozone Alpha (BZA), which owns Tartarus, has nearly exhausted its resources. There is not enough transportation to take the refugees on to other systems, and to continue evacuating people from Tartarus; to date, BZA has continued evacuating Tartarus, but the situation on Devil's Peak is now unstable.  The refugees have overcrowded the small Colony, and have stretched its food, water, air, and living space to the limit. Refugees are being housed in every available area, and production in the Colony has almost stopped. BZA is trying to pay for the services for the refugees, but it is simply not possible to provide for their needs. Malnutrition and disease are becoming problems, and crime and violence are at very high levels. As the situation deteriorates, BZA is appealing to the ICC for assistance, and relief supplies and transportation might be sent in the near future. Even if there is no aid, Colonial Marines will certainly be sent in to handle the civil unrest, which is building.
     Devil’s Peak was the site of a major conflict during the war.  A massive cargo freighter crashed landed through one of the domes containing many Xenomorph specimens.  A hive soon developed and only the ingenuity of the inhabitants and marine reinforcements kept the fighting to a minimum.  They fought without many reinforcements for years.  When the CMC arrived with a second battalion at the end of CL5.5, most of the colony was destroyed, but humans rose victorious.

     Temple
      This is a science outpost on a planet with a toxic atmosphere and low gravity (1/12 Earth) where two dozen researchers are working on metallurgy. They are being assisted by nearly 50 Synthetics of the latest design, and new techniques are being developed for the use of Synthetics in research. The manufacturer of the Synthetics, Hyperdyne, is a major supporter of the work on Temple, and hopes to demonstrate the effectiveness of advanced Synthetics in the sciences and in the operation of facilities on dangerous worlds. One technology being tested allows a direct transfer of memory from a Synthetic to a Human, and of instructions and guidance from the Human back to the Synthetic. This would allow Human reasoning and instinct to be more closely coupled with the sheer power of a Synthetic's brain.  This station survived mostly intact throughout the war and became a scientific cornerstone for decades to come.

     Ryushi
     Ryushi Texas-style dusty atmosphere spurned a very old-style ranch colony.  For decades, the colony’s inhabitants exported livestock in the thousands via cargo transport every six months.  The ICC considered Ryushi a grand success in self-sufficiency.  The colony lived peacefully for generations with little crime and a very country-style way of life.  Even the inhabitants walked around the unpaved roads in cowboy hats and riding steeds.
    Even during most of the war, the secluded position of Ryushi prevented most infestations from taking hold.  However, Ryushi was not immune to the Alien Predators, who planted alien  eggs in the livestock and released the Xenomorphs among the populace for the hunt.  Most of Ryushi was destroyed.  Some survivors were rescued later but Ryushi wasn’t re-populated for another few years.  But the magic captured earlier was never tapped again.

     Sargon
     A small survey outpost of barely 20 families, Sargon IV was discovered destroyed and an Egg Silo was found under the surface.  It was rumored that Weyland Yutani was aware of the Silo was used it as a way to test a new vaccine that would make subject invisible to aliens.  The fact that the station was destroyed indicates that the vaccine didn’t work.  The Sargon survey teams did successful core several interesting samples from under Sargon.  A mining colony should be in operation soon.

     Traon:
     A massive mining complex run by Grant Corp and center of the Deep 4 observation outpost, Traon has been known to be site of a strange symbiosis between civilian personnel and military forces, whom are often forced to share duties and living quarters.  Most of Deep 4 on the surface is simply landing pads and observation equipment.  The rest is subterranean, as for as 2 kilometers down where the primary mining is conducted.  At CL5.5 A Beserker team successfully cleared out in alien hive and operations continued as normal.

     Fiorina

     The location of the Weyland Yutani operated Maximum Security Double Y Chromosome Work Correctional facility / Toxic Waste Containment center.  Was shut down by CL1 and operated by a minor work force.  Was later shut down for no reason in CL2.

     Tartarus
     This is an extremely fertile world, with thousands of species of plant and animal hybrids that use the sun's energy and the rich carbon dioxide/oxygen atmosphere for growth . Although it holds great promise, it is now the site of a major crisis for the ICC.
     Tartarus was discovered only a generation ago, but it was already habitable and was quickly developed. An unusual feature of Tartarus is its rotation, which is perpendicular to its orbit. It takes 40 years to complete its orbit around the sun, so it has a 20-year day and a 20-year night. The constant sunlight of this extended day produces a vibrant and diverse ecosystem. On the night side there is little life, and the world waits for day to return . There are three major continents on Tartarus, only one of which is currently in daylight and which is colonized. The environment has been ideal; there is an abundance of life with no particularly dangerous creatures, and excellent atmosphere and climate.
     Knowing about Tartarus' peculiar orbit, the settlements were designed with a slow migration in mind. Each continent would be colonized in turn, and as night settled over a part of the colony, it would be shut down and the inhabitants would move ahead to a new site, one, which was entering the daylight.
     This process was just beginning a few years ago, as sites which were within a year of twilight prepared for shutdown and the colonists got ready to transfer to new locations on a continent that was nearing its dawn. Darkness would settle over the rest of the first continent over the course of eight years. The transfer was eagerly anticipated by all the Corporations present, as a test of their abilities and an opportunity to develop new areas. It was at this point that the most dangerous native lifeform made its appearance. Scientists had been looking forward to finding out how the environment handled the transition from day to night, but these ravenous monsters are not what they had in mind.
     The creatures are called Harvesters, and that is exactly what they do. As a continent enters its night, these immense, armored creatures burrow up from tunnels far below the surface to devour all organic materials. This material is shredded and carried back underground, to cysts where the Harvesters live. The Harvesters live off the organics for years, and slowly generate the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn regenerates the surface life when daylight returns. It is a strange ecological cycle, but one which remains in balance. Unfortunately, the Harvesters do not differentiate between their natural food and the Colonists who now live on Tartarus.
    The Harvesters look something like huge armadillo. They are capable of digging and boring through rock and concrete, and their jaws can shred almost anything. They move in packs of several dozen, and these packs often fight each other for control of fertile areas . A pack will coordinate its activities, and organizes for war in the same way that ants do.
     Colonial Marines and other forces have been sent to Tartarus to protect the many settlements scattered across the daylight continent. Missions include evacuating colonists, delaying Harvester attacks, retrieving abandoned equipment from devastated communities, and Harvester hunting and research. The Harvesters are sweeping across the continent, and will be done with their work within three years if Humans do not stop them. Parts of the continent will still be in full daylight at that time, however, and Corporations which own communities in these areas do not want to abandon them until night falls. In these places, plans have been made to defend the communities against Harvester attacks; how well this will work is unknown.
    To assist in these defenses, missions are being sent down into the Harvester tunnels to see if the creatures have a weak point. To date, no one has reached any of the cysts where the Harvesters live and store their food. When they do, another surprise is waiting for them. The Harvesters have a smaller form, which never leaves the cyst, called a Drone, which is used to defend the cyst from underground pests, ranging in size from small insects up to nearly Human size. The Drone is little more than a large pair of powerful jaws, and it is not even a self-supporting life form. Instead, the Drones grow on Harvester variants called Carriers. When they leave their Carrier to fight, they have only a few hours of life left. They attack the invading creatures by biting with their immense jaws, which lock in place. Like a bee, they give their lives defending their lair.

     Deadfall
     Deadfall is a research station studying the mechanics and processes involved in Terraforming. The world is an Earth-sized planet with a good temperature, but little atmosphere or surface water, and minimal volcanic activity. This static situation has made it an ideal laboratory for studies of atmospheric development and volcanic activity.
 To promote volcanic activity, asteroids are being thrown into Deadfall; the impacts of these asteroids trigger shatter parts of the planet's crust, and the resulting movements and volcanoes are studied by a facility with 30 scientists and about 100 people responsible for moving the asteroids. The asteroid movers were formerly asteroid miners, but their contracts were bought up for this unusual activity. Specially designed Tug Spacecraft are being used, as well as nuclear detonations; the work is naturally under tight security, and a detachment of Colonial Marines and 20 special ICC Agents protect these technologies.