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Evaberi

C302869-9

by Pete Grey

Evaberi was one of three worlds settled by Titan and its government during a commercial squabble with Hepring and the adjoining Torinsk cluster in the 800s. Unlike Spokes, Evaberi and Pudimon were intended to be working colonies from the beginning. Surveys showed that the system had rich nickel-iron asteroid belts, and Evaberi was settled to process and protect these resources against outside intrusion.

About 920, however, the economic focus of the system began to shift. Agriculture was becoming too expensive for the homeworld, and the population was growing too fast for food imports to be a viable option. However, Evaberi itself is located within its primary's life zone, and has significant amounts of water in its thick ice caps. Vacuum world agriculture was then a nascent science, and the central Titan government decided to invest money and time into the new technology with the end of converting the world into a breadbasket system. This way it was hoped to reduce pressure on its increasingly overworked farms, and stave off food shortages.

Using a new technique imported from the Third Imperium, Titan and Consulate engineers began "Ballooning" portions of Evaberi's crust through thermal expansion by lasers and low-yield fusion bombs. A "Muck-stack" of imported organic materials and local dirt were then constructed within the large (1-5 km diameter) voids, both to provide a growing medium, moisture retention and provide structural integrity. Sunlight would be shined down a series of mirror-lined tunnels from the surface, and extra water and nutrients would be piped in by a close circuit system. The crops would grow in a sealed atmosphere enriched in CO2, and charged with a low level microwave field to enhance growth.

For all of the investment placed within Evaberi's farms, the return was less than was hoped for. While farming has been competitively priced compared to normal agricultural worlds, the high initial investment and early technical problems drained government support from the project, and it had been abandoned by Titan in 1054. Most of the farms were either left to rot or were dismantled, though a few of the more productive farms were transferred to the colonists. Because they possess the only such farms in the entire Consulate, it has become a competitive boon, as they allow Evaberi to reduce it food imports for only a small sacrifice of skilled labor.

Since the troubles on Titan in the 1150s, Evaberi has been in an economic slump. The economic interuption by the Titan Civil War has limited the local market for ores and metals, and the world had suffered severe unemployment exaceberated by the loss in funding from the homeworld. As a result there has been a revival in interest in the still intact farms abandoned by the Evaberi government. Some of these farms have been repaired, restocked and converted into hothouses for the cultivation of expensive and hard to get commodities for Avalar's growing middle class markets. But rumors also abound that many more have been converted to the growth of contraband medicinals and narcotics, also for export. It is percieved that the colonial government is using the profits from this industry to uplift its flagging mineral extraction sectors, and possibly provide the means for the world to declare independence from its moribund parent.


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