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Beaxon

by Pete Gray

Starport: Class C (Being upgraded to Class A)
Diameter: 8137 Miles
Atmosphere: Dense
Surface Water: 93 to 100%
Climate: Cold to Normal
Population: 95.89 Billion
Government: Civil Service Bureaucracy
Law Level: 9
Tech Level: 14 (Verging on 15)
Tech Profile: EE-EFFFF-EEEF-FF-F

The second most heavily populated world in the Regency is also one of the most dangerous. Beaxon is the seventh moon of the gas giant Vandergun, and flexing and heating by its gravitational and magnetic fields cause the world to undergo seasonal changes in the shape and level of its geode. Beaxon also possesses a highly elliptical orbit around its mother, and it proximity to it, and periodic swings close to its sister moon L'Epiphanie that create seasonal variations in weather and water currents. All of this creates dramatic changes to the worlds land and water surfaces.

The world ocean is subject to strong ocean currents, most dramatically in the form of high speed (300 mph+) cells of water known as Hellbores, which are created by a combination of thermal and tectonic processes. The unpredictableness, and destructive fury, of this phenomenon is what gives the world its amber zone rating. About every thiry local years or so these currents can combine to create a superstorm of water and air currents referred to as a Devil's Churn of destructive power unmatched by any other known terrestrial meteorlogical process. Strangely enough it was this massive thermal energy that attracted colonists to settle the world, who tapped it with OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) plants to provide power for the world's massive mines and refineries.

The world's cities are mostly deepwater or floating arcologies constructed in the world's horse latitudes or abyssal plains. Currents stagnate or equalise in these regions, permitting construction without fear of tectonic or seismic catastrophe. Most abyssal plains are covered in the metallic nodules that are essential to the local economy anyway, and most settlements are outgrowths of mineral extraction dredge sites. In some areas of the abyssal plains settling of dissolved silica has created vast chert platforms, and underwater mountains and canyons, that form a solid foundation for large scale arcologies and megastructures. Beaxon's cities are built on a massive scale reminiscent of Vincennes or Askigaak, but cover a much larger area, literally ringing the planet along the tropic lines, and suffer from less crowding. Architecture is more inspired by Vincennes, and underwater communities have large void spaces for common areas and public gathering, or at least creating the illusion of open air. Underwater transit lines connect the communities, which are continous except where currents or hellbores crosscut the line of settlement.

Combined with ample local mineral resources, Beaxon has long been a manufacturing powerhouse. Its strategic location along the Rift Highway ensured access to both Imperial and Aslan markets, a good example of a "rimland" astrography. Local industry has always been well developed, with a good mixture of primary extraction firms mixed in with growing high tech industries. Since the closing of the Regency's markets following the collapse, high prices for mined ores has directly benefitted the local economy, permitting heavy investment in several new industries and markets. Most of this money was spent on food imports in the past, though improving technology and recently constructed undersea and orbital arbories have made the world more self sufficient in the last forty years or so.

The local population is an eclectic mix of immigrants. The idealistic secularists of Tobia/Tobia, and the religious communities of nearby Lintl/Vestus were the largest sources of colonists over the world's 800 year history, and the miscegenation has created a vibrant culture that mixes a moderate form of the Totality religion with an emphasis on a philosophy of outward civic responsibility. More recently the world recieved refugees displaced by Aslan advances in Trojan Reach, and about a billion refugees from Trin in the wake of the Rape. Despite this variety, the world's history of mostly seamless assimilation has created a peaceful culture that is one of the most progressive in the Regency today. Long standing tensions left over from the Imperial era or the Civil War period, between various member groups or races, or between humans and Aslan, are noticeably absent here, making the world a multiracial and multispecial haven between the fractured Thinrim and fraying worlds of Zeng Subsector.

Beaxon has long recognised sophont rights, even when its neighbors and the larger Imperial Government seemed to spend more time observing these in speeches and propaganda than in putting them into actual practice. Freedom of speech and religion, and observance of property rights are guaranteed by the local charter, and the local government is a benign civil service system overseen by political parties with a long history of service. In the past the bureaucracy took its role of preserving local freedoms rather too seriously, and before the Collapse it had ballooned into a massive, stagnant welfare state that threatened the world's prosperity with heavy taxes, and displaced private institutions that were better able to serve the public in certain sectors. When the IDP passed over the world, in large part because of its less efficient government, a backlash led to liberal market reforms, enabling the world to accomplish a general technological improvement on its own without Regency money or expertise.

Beaxon's massive accumulation of skilled workers and giant industrial base attracted a good deal of offworld investment. The Regency Navy has constructed a number of private factories that build, in conjunction with Askigaak, the bulk of their TL-15 material. Lintl and Tobia have also entered into long term partnerships with their local cousins, with the view of using local industry and infrastructure to diversify their economies in expectation of a future improvement to TL-16. For both worlds, advancement has been hindered by technical and structural barriers insurmountable by their own resources.


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