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Alpha Centuri is one of the first colonies people think about when people think of the stars, and that’s not surprising as the system boasts the location of the first interstellar jump and the first colony out of the Sol system [2072]. The system of Alpha Centuri, is fairly clean, with only a handful of stellar bodies and fewer still in stable orbits.

Alpha Centuri the planet[1] is fairly peaceful, with a rather stable geology and a surface composition of a friendlier Mars. It is by no means habitable right off the bat, but with a surface temperature of -10 and reasonable polar icecaps terraforming was underway from the very get go and seas of moss already cover some areas of the planet.

The cites follow a dome and bloom method, in which a large central dome was erected initially, and the buildings then constructed within it. The capital has one of the largest domes in existence, having built a second right over the first to give them a greater area to expand into. Because not everyone can fit into the domed cities, there is what is known as a suburban sprawl around the perimeter, which is made up of a massive web of interconnected buildings[2]. With little civic planning these places can be near impossible to navigate unless you have lived there all you’re life, and even then people get lost as random access ways, and even whole buildings, are added and removed.

Alpha Centuri, due to its fairly unique role in the history of space exploration, is one of the few systems to boast a tourist trade, with large areas of the capital and space port given over to impressing the punters. While there is some controversy over the amount of money poured into these projects, when it could be boosting the standard of living world wide, tourism does generate much needed revenue.

During the age of piracy Alpha Centuri was a frequent target, being on a major trade lane to the New Incan territories, and being fairly accessible from all areas of the local cluster. Like Sirius, these raids[3] led to some of the first ground based defences to be built in the Vast Worlds universe and these are used to great effect during the Independence Wars

Politically, Alpha Centuri is a reasonably large player, boasting a high population and a self sustaining economy. While only on a few major trade lanes it manages to focus enough attention onto itself to fuel a small space industry, and this gives it significant pushing power and modest orbital ship yards.

Random Fact: Alpha Centuri the planet was discovered by the first ship to jump into the system, humanity had so far missed all signs of a small rocky body in the system. This did lead to some brief speculation that Earth like planets may be far more common than we thought in space, but most systems were later revealed to be uninhabitable.

Authors Comment: Alpha Centuri has a special place in my heart, as it is the first major battle in the Independence Wars timeline that a main character gets caught up in.

[1] The convention of naming planets after their parent sun began quite early, when people would become easily confused as to their destination if they referred to the planets by any other name.

[2] Given that these include everything from office blocks to megamalls it would probably be inaccurate to call these suburbs, but that’s how they are referred to.

[3] Raiders became increasingly bold throughout the age of piracy, even landing and stealing supplies from isolated settlements.


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