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Commonly used as the interstellar staging ground Neptune and Uranus are the trade hubs for the Sol system, boasting significantly reduced numbers of moons compared to the inner giant and less interference from the suns own gravity well. Also, as gaseous planets, ships can refuel for the interstellar jump, and small refineries dot the planet’s surface for just this purpose.

Again, these worlds aren’t fascinating, as they are for all intents and purposes truck-stops, mostly used by anyone going interstellar, and at this point they have not become busy enough to really warrant their own eccentricities. A few random statistics would not be particularly impressive without some frame of reference, but the equivalent of a modern container ship jumps interstellar from the Sol system on average every hour, and this is about half of the hourly total for every inhabited world. Not all of these vessels actually stop at the stations (Radiant Three and Four respectively), but a significant amount of traffic docks, and the very beginnings of trader bars are visible, though the concept of dingy bar welded to a old leaky outpost wont come to fruition for about one hundred and fifty years yet.

In addition to the slowly sprawling starbases, Radiant Industries also provides a gravitational satellite web, which plots all the various orbits of the local moons, fluctuations in the magnetic corona and the current stellar alignment. For a price this grid can be tapped and vital data acquired, which can cut the jump processing times by days, proving that even in space you can build a road. This grid, and the fact you can use a gravitational sling shot off the various stellar bodies, is one of the primary reasons people come to the outer planets, as it theoretically is possible to do a system jump to thirty AUs or so, and then realign with thrust for the interstellar leap, this does use significantly more fuel though.

Random Fact: Radiant Four is the first location captured in the ‘independence war’.

Authors Note: I promise these will be big some day. City sized big. But for now they are motorway service stations. It’s a shame really, but that’s what I get for setting the story at the beginnings of human expansion, rather than when the infrastructure is more established.

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