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Fomalhaut was colonised in 2074, and to this day is one of the more unfriendly systems to navigate too. With a large, unpredictable debris ring and a massive gas giant, arriving where you planed is near impossible, and it is one of the few systems that offers detailed navigation data to all passing traffic, just so they can get to the planet without sandblasting their hulls. The inner system is a little friendlier, with a lot of the debris either drawn into the central star or Fomalhaut b[1] (the gas giant). Even so, the area is young and chaotic, with the planet of Fomalhaut frequently being hit by meteors.

The surface of Fomalhaut is described as semi-condensed, not molten per-say, but quite geologically active, and the colony reflects this. Buildings tend to be rather squat, to protect them against earthquakes, and will often have multiple air seals due to the high probability of ruptures[2]. Most residents carry a respirator as a matter of course and the atmosphere is actually a little over two bar, though non corrosive largely consisting of carbon dioxide and various sulphur compounds. Attempts at terraforming are more or less moot at this point, so most efforts are based around bringing down global temperatures through sun shielding methods.

Due to its position it receives a moderate amount of interstellar trade, but no where near enough to make an industry of it, and so most of the economy is based around construction of the colony and manufacturing for internal consumption. Paradoxically the world is rather short of heavy metals as most are locked away in geologically active areas, and quite a lot of material is acquired from orbit and dropped into quarries where it can be later retrieved.

Politically Fomalhaut is often overlooked; not being a major trade port or a site of manufacture; it is fairly under populated and not yet economically sustaining. This puts it down on the list of areas to conquer, but, having a relatively peaceful history[3], the planet has no real defence beyond its incredibly hardened buildings. It is one of the first the begin demanding independence during the Independence Wars, despite the amount of support it was receiving from Earth.

Random Fact: Fomalhaut is one of the few planets to run almost entirely on geothermal energy. Which is much less impressive a claim when you consider sixty percent of the surface is volcanically active.

Authors Note: Not the most exciting planet to talk about, though far too exciting to live on. I don’t think Fomalhaut gets more than a passing mention in the book until the Corporation Wars, where it is host to one of the earlier battles and from then on sports a ship graveyard.

[1] The Fomalhaut system is one of the few to use letters instead of a numerical designation of its planets.

[2] In most places there are three levels of protection. The city dome, which holds the main biosphere and most of the produced oxygen. Then individual buildings, which will generally be self sealing and hold a few hours worth of breathable air. Finally, most well constructed buildings will have a ‘panic room’, officially referred to as shelters. These are specially reinforced areas of the structure designed to have the building fall on them and maintain pressure, and, depending on the building size they will hold between five to five hundred people, keeping them alive for up to a week. The government does subsidise these shelters, but some are far better than others.

[3] Pirates would generally pass over the system in favour of somewhere easier to navigate.


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