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Lome has been a longtime powderkeg world. A handful of states controls the world's rich aluminum and titanium mines, and have used the profits from this bounty to create a comfortable lifestyle for themselves. The other states must subsist on the remittances of contract workers sent to toil in the mines. This arrangement, and the vulnerability of the mining industry to disruption, effectively prevents the poorer states from seizing the mines for themselves. But it has not prevented them from building up sizeable military arsenals as a means of intimidating the wealthier states. Saber rattling is the main form of diplomacy on Lome, and the populations of the various states are accustomed to speaking to each other in a language of threats, insults and accusations. Offworlders are also subject to this kind of abuse, and there exists a long history of violent "incidents", usually brawls, between the locals and visitors.