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St. Hilaire was one of the last worlds settled by the old sublight ships that connected the Islands. After the colony was recontacted by the Serendips, it has had a hard time preventing domination by more powerful offworld parties. Despite a diverse and lucrative agricultural economy, despite low temperatures, the need for offworld capitol and export markets drove the world first into Serendip's orbit, and then Esperanza's. Despite this subjugation, Esperanza's low antebellum tech level slowed contact, and its planetary governor enjoyed an unthinkable amount of autonomy; this is even more true today, as it takes a round trip of eight weeks for orders and replies to reach the mother world. Esperanzan sovereignty is now paid mere lip service, and the world's de facto independence has been reinforced by the new Regency naval base.