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Merak is a system that mirrors our own in its infancy, all be it with a much brighter sun. Merak the planet orbits at about two AUs out, and is rather a hot world, with vast dust plains covering much of the surface. Meteor strikes are uncommon as most will burn up in the thin atmosphere and the emerging gas giants in the outer system sweep up a lot of the debris.

The AMAn colonisation policy is odd in that there is no central government. Instead, massive numbers of people were moved to the planet, a basic dome erected, and then they were left essentially to their own devices. This lead naturally to more than a few settlements dieing off entirely, but most survived and the successful became very large, very quickly as more immigrants arrived along with refugees from other parts of the planet.

Eventually, this created the political situation that is currently present on the planet, which is actually fairly reminiscent of the ancient Greek city states. Individual metropolises control vast tracts of land and hold dominion over the various satellite towns within their influence. Rather unsurprisingly, Merak is one of the few planets to boast surface based armies, and a significant militarization of space. Most of the these weapons are pointed at other cites as an ultimate deterrent, and so far there has only been a single instance of strategic weapons being used aggressively.

Somehow, the people of Merak are some of the most productive citizens in human space. This has mostly been put down to the very low levels of bureaucracy and short chains of command that are still in place simply because no one’s had time to come up with anything more complicated. Crime is rife, working conditions are dangerous and civil liberties are fairly hit and miss at best, but at least the trains run on time.

Politically, Merak would be a huge power if the individual states would just stop squabbling and actually pull together for once. Sadly the only thing that would cause such unity would be a common enemy.

Random Fact: Merak[1] is the only planet in human space to posses multiple space ports. While none are as large as the single dedicated facility most planets boast, they all at least have at least a runway and a pressurised hangar. The more affluent states will have launch tubes, and the major powers actually have mag-rails, though these are a fairly recent addition.

Authors Note: I really like Merak, but most of my thoughts on it actually came from writing this piece. I have got to get a plot centred there.

[1] And a few of the other AMAn colonies.


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