Lords of Oron Zai
The Oron Zai Expanse - a system rich in resources, with enough asteroids and planetoids to fuel another boom like in Sol or Tau Ceti. Unfortunately, it was not within easy jump range - even the best Far Jump vessels would take centuries to reach Oron Zai. No, this would require a wormhole. The previously-theoretical wormhole generator was developed at great cost, and was constructed in orbit of Barnard's Star in case things went wrong. After an initial probe showed it was possible, a series of AI controlled constructors were sent through. In a few years, the corporations that backed the colonization would send in colonists and recoup their profits.
Then the Zodiac Rebellion happened. The ensuing war put anyone off from expansion, even to a place as useful as Oron Zai. It did not help that many corporations took a massive beating in the resulting economic depression that followed. Zodiac rebels had captured Barnard's Star, and threatened to weaponize the wormhole generator if anyone messed with it. Even with SolForce managing to secure Tau Ceti, ZTA, and Lambda Auriga, alongside a reasonable economic recovery, no one wanted to risk it.
Enter the CEO of Paladin Atomics. Paladin Atomics had survived the war largely intact, due to having heavy planetside industry supplying the major powers with nuclear fuel for their warships. The CEO had a plan to retake Barnard's Star, and all he wanted in exchange was exclusive rights to the Oron Zai Expanse. Most of the corporations needed the cash more than a pie in sky opportunity. So he promptly hired the Lords of Ether mercenary company, long-time business partners of his to board and capture the wormhole generator. The operation was a resounding success, with the wormhole device captured.
The CEO acted swiftly. With an array of design licenses (including some IMDC blueprints of questionable legality) and his personal jumpship, the CEO took the Lords of Ether into the new system without delay. What they found certainly surprised them.
No humans are recorded to have entered Oron Zai prior to this, but the Lords of Ether and their corporate patron are not alone.
Several large corporations sent in plans for fully automated trade stations, which were duly constructed. They seem to be operating normally. Boring, but peaceful and nice to look at.
The automated space craft factories set up to service colonists went haywire some time ago. Now, they send automated ships on pre-programmed delivery routes with no destination, with weapons set to shoot any approaching craft. However, most of these ships only have civilian armament and defenses. They lack the military grade weaponry of the mercenary forces, meaning their ships are often easy prey for LOE warships, who have nick-named them whales. Whaling is quite a valuable source of rare resources, as the automated factories have all but limitless resources for
The central AI for the entire system has been remarkably absent. A high-order AGI, System Control would have been expected to intervene to restore order or even confront any interlopers, but there has been no sight of their warships.
- Space Base Silence
- Avarga Orbit
- Home to the main shipyard and ore processing center of the LOE crew, Space Base Silence was built into a gold-rich asteroid.
- Fort Heinlein
- Dund Surface
- Concrete fort on the supposedly magnesium-rich planet of Dund. The crew found little magnesium, but lots of bugs. The planet's surface proved uniquely hostile for operations.