Finally in this batch of system charts, this is a chart of Casimir System
, one of the most important systems of the United Earth Alliance, as well as one of the oldest. It is also the home system of the main character of the first few books in the Diaspora Series. As with the other systems charts, the background is stock by Smattilla
; everything else is mine. Let me know your thoughts. Background
Casimir System's three inner planets - later christened the Three Fates or the Moirai - were among the first extra-solar planets to be discovered by humanity during the Threshold era immediately before the onset of the Diaspora Humanarum. As one of the closest systems to Old Earth, Casimir, at first known purely by its catalogue name of 82 Eridani, was also one of the first to be visited. The first explorers to chart the system found the Moirai more or less as they expected - less expected were the next two planets out. Unlike the Moirai, both were too small to be detected from Old Earth, but they were among the most Earthlike worlds yet discovered. (Of course, the discovery of giant, verdant Mandalay would soon eclipse them completely)
Among the earliest targets for colonisation, both of Casimir System's Earthlike worlds were settled by the International Consortium in the final years before its monopoly on jump travel expired. After the inital flurry to colonise Malinché
and San Bartolomé
in Tau Ceti, Mandalay in Beta Hydri, Orel in Alpha Centauri and Atlantaea in Beta Canum Venaticorum, the Consortium found itself stretched thin. However, the lure of worlds such as these remained, as did the desire to 'stake out the watering holes' before other powers gained access to jump technology. Instead of commissioning direct enterprises through its fatigued members and its own fragile outsystem holdings, the Consortium farmed out the colonisation of these later worlds to independent enterprises and startups in Sol System, with Consortium backing. Three of these enterprises colonised Casimir System.
The larger, outer world, christened Artemis
by the original surveyors, was colonised initially by an independent group led by two Australian and East Asian enterprises. Situated in the outer portion of the habitable zone, its settlers were able to refine the terraforming techniques pioneered on Mars, Malinché and Atlantaea, and were able to completely terraform the planet in just over a Terran century.
The inner, smaller world was originally dubbed Hephaestus owing to its unusually large iron core, but was swiftly rechristened Aquitaine
by its French-led colonists. It was hot and dry, and the prospect of terraforming it completely daunted its initial French, Japanese and African settlers. Instead, they pioneered a different manner of terraforming more akin to that on Orel and San Bartolomé - instead of making the planet as Earthlike as possible, they did the minimum required to make it permanently habitable. Instead of a global ocean, its icecaps and deep groundwater were released to create scattered seas, the coasts of which swiftly became fertile, even while the rest of the surface remained desert. Unlike Artemis, which was blessed with a brace of large moons, Aquitaine had none, relying instead on its vast magnetic field for protection from the elements. One became a world of wild seas, cool forests and grass oceans, while the other became one of fertile floodplains and rainforests around warm, vibrant landlocked seas separated by endless steppe and deserts ranging from cold and Martian to hot and baking.
Thus, two very different worlds were born. Artemis developed a true pioneer spirit as it became one of the DH's leading garden worlds, while Aquitaine, isolated by its lack of nearby bodies for infrastructure and punishing magnetic field, fractured into a mosaic of societies. While Artemis attracted colonists from across Old Earth, particularly after the Jovian War, Aquitaine attracted fewer, mainly from northern Africa and the Middle East as they fled the Islamic Wars of Unification and the fraught creation of the League of Humanity. A result of this displacement was the relocation of many persecuted societies to Aquitaine, including nomadic and seminomadic groups fleeing climate change and instability on Old Earth to a world where they could start their ways of life anew.
When the Jovian War ended, Artemis passed from Consortium oversight to that of Old Earth's Sector Earth Authority. Aquitaine's milliard Oasis States petitioned for direct Alliance membership, which they achieved, on condition of creating a global polity. Artemis, meanwhile, thinking itself on the cusp of independence, had to adapt to direct rule from Old Earth. In the golden years of the Authority's youth, this was easy, but as the post-unification Troubles began on Old Earth, the Authority became ever more authoritarian. The break finally came in 316 ADH amid the era of the Great Marches against the Reign of Fear after the SEA introduced the draconian Mandate Reform Act. There was no unrest, no civil war - the Commonwealth of Artemis unilaterally declared independence and in the same diplomatic packet, claimed direct membership of the United Earth Alliance. The resulting furore nearly collapsed the Alliance; the Authority was hamstrung from intervening by the distance between them and the pre-existing status of Aquitaine as an Alliance member, while the Alliance Grand Council was keen to send a rebuke to the SEA for its increasingly anti-Alliance values. The result was a bloodless independence, although "rogue" elements within the SEA were thought to lie behind a long-running terrorist campaign by pro-SEA agitators within the newly-independent Commonweath. Following Artemis' secession from the Sector Earth Authority, many other colonies were inspired to follow suit, although in some cases, with tragic consequences.