- See also: Galactic Guide: Stanton
The Stanton System is a corporate business park writ large: a series of four massive super-Earth planets terraformed for their resources.
Stanton is an anomaly. Boasting a wide green zone with four habitable super-Earths, the system is, from a cosmological perspective, unusual. Strictly speaking, star systems as purely habitable as Stanton simply don’t exist. The combination of the proper star type with the evolution of four especially large Human-suitable biospheres requiring limited terraforming is so unlikely as to strongly suggest design.
No one is sure exactly who first settled the Stanton system. All indications are that it was discovered by a free agent trader and that word of the location and its potential riches spread slowly on the electronic grapevine. By the time the UEE noticed the system’s existence, all four planets had populations numbering in the tens of thousands. That notice spelled their doom. A quartet of super-Earths are an extremely rare find and the Empire quickly declared Stanton to be a case of eminent domain, citing a need to protect and extend nearby jump lanes. Without formal colonization papers on file, the existing inhabitants had little choice: prospectors, survivalists and other squatters have little means to protect themselves from the might of a Bengal-class carrier.
The Empire was then stymied. With a down economy in the midst of a hundred-year colonization drought, the UEE had few options for actually exploiting Stanton. UEE naval engineers conducted the small amount of required terraforming, a series of underfunded military outposts were established, and then Stanton sat unwatched for another generation. The decision was ultimately made to sell the system piecemeal to the highest bidders to support construction of the Synthworld. Megacorporations were quietly contacted and asked to bid for their own planets. The winners are believed to have flushed trillions into the UEE economy: MicroTech, Hurston Dynamics, ArcCorp and Crusader Industries. In a remarkable lack of originality, the four worlds are now named MicroTech, Hurston, ArcCorp and Crusader.
The megacorporations moved in slowly but surely, initially refusing to displace the existing inhabitants of the system (technically, they bought the land and not the people or anything already constructed there). Over the years, however, the system has become fully corporatized and the initial settlers have been (often literally) driven underground. The super-Earths are now dotted with factories, corporate headquarters, testing ranges, mining facilities and other company facilities. Only those working for the corporations (or anyone leasing their space) come to live in the Stanton system, inhabiting orderly company towns.
Today, Stanton is a great place to travel if you’re interested in the materials produced by several of the galaxy’s most successful or if you think you can make a profit shipping these companies the goods they need to keep working.
Stanton I: Hurston
Stanton I is home to Hurston Dynamics, an aristocratic family-run weapons manufacturing concern which has bled the world dry. The ecosphere of Stanton I has been largely destroyed, with almost all indigenous life killed by the mining and manufacturing processes here. Hurston builds several lines of reliable weapons, and pilots looking for specialized guns might do well to visit here. The planet also produces a variety of munitions which are sold to other companies, and transport assistance is always well compensated. Workers are imported for year-long factory or mining contracts; few choose to re-up. Stanton I is always in need of cheap labor and is a good source for traders looking to move antimatter precursors.
Stanton II: Crusader
Stanton II is Crusader, called “Cl” by the natives; it is a low-mass gas giant that has an atmosphere which is breathable at high altitudes. Taking advantage of this, the planet became home to a military-constructed latticework of inhabitable floating platforms. The platforms proved to be ideal for Crusader, since normally their large-scale commercial transport ships would otherwise need to be built beyond the atmosphere. Being built in open air allows the cost of these ships to be reduced by almost 40% on the back end, which is often passed along to consumers. Once Crusader Industries took over, these platforms were expanded upon to suit their production needs. The company also built quality housing for their employees in habitats woven into the latticework itself. The portion of the world available to visitors is considered by many to be the nicest port in the system. The shipyards themselves are eerily beautiful, with huge transport ships suspended in mid-atmosphere surrounded by a lighted webbing of Crusader facilities.
Stanton III: ArcCorp
ArcCorp, Stanton III, is the most visually impressive of the worlds today. While the other planets, even polluted Hurston Dynamics, retain some indication of their natural origins, ArcCorp is now an entirely constructed world. All of the terrain has been sculpted, zoned and built upon, leaving nothing for nature. ArcCorp builds fusion engines in bulk, using the underground resources on Stanton III to provide engines for hundreds of thousands of civilian spacecraft every year. Traders porting at ArcCorp are advised that in addition to deals on weapons, they can find just about anything else here. ArcCorp is absolutely indiscriminate about who they lease property to, and hundreds of other smaller companies have made their home near the world’s north polar region. Anthropologists familiar with the Xi’An have posited that ArcCorp is the closest human equivalent to a Xi’An factory world, and many have drawn the conclusion that our civilization will someday evolve along the same lines.
Stanton IV: MicroTech
Stanton IV, home to the MicroTech corporation, is a large and generally cold planet. The temperature is the result of an error during the UEE terraforming process, which led to unusually dense cloud production. MicroTech produces MobiGlas here, a now-standard piece of digital assistive technology used by nearly anyone traveling off-world. Although MobiGlas has become ubiquitous, MicroTech specializes in all forms of electronics, including those found in ship systems. This world is a good place to start looking for advanced sensor technologies which could provide an edge while dogfighting. Space on the world is leased to smaller companies, including some of MicroTech’s competitors … probably because it allows the corporation to keep a close eye on them. Buyouts among successful Stanton IV-based startups are common. Visitors are advised to seek work and cargo news at Wally’s Bar; just don’t ask for Wally.
WARNING: Visitors should note that while the standard United Empire of Earth penal code technically applies in the Stanton System, the UEE does not police the region. Private squadrons and hired mercenaries belonging to the inhabiting corporations enforce their own laws here.
Since Stanton is highly industrialized and home to 4 mega-corporations and many smaller corporations, raw materials and labor are always in demand. As for exports, you can get just about anything here, from the latest MobiGlas device to crates full of weapons.