The Archeron Incident – A Brief History

The planet Archeron was settled during the tale end of the second wave of colonization as the Spacer Worlds held a stranglehold on stargate technology and travel before the days of Guild navigation allowed Earth back to the stars. As such, only megacorporations could afford to subsidize colonization efforts and such efforts must neccessarily be for profit.

Found in what would later be called the Outer Sphere, Archeron was a desolate wasteland with saline oceans covering 80% of the surface and the highlands suffering from high volcanism. Despite the challenges, this mars-sized planet offered an exceptionally high density and gravity field allowing near-Earth surface conditions. It’s wealth lay in the vast number of rare-earth and heavy metal elements both on the planet and in the surrounding stellar debris field. It was a rich prize.

Unaccessable by standard warp, starships were forced to enter the system more than 300 AU’s out and then journey a full month before reaching the system. The system’s stargate, once built, alleviated the problem for a time.

A consortium of several corporations sponsored the colonization expedition, including Lansing. Upon arrival, they found a band of fringers had built a settlement already, a domed structure with hydroponics fields and more. It turned out that they had lived there for nearly fourty years. LansingCorp offered to bring them into the new project with the promise of complete terraforming. They reluctantly agreed and New Seattle was born.

Archeron became very profitable for Lansing which held significant trade and extraterritorial rights. In 2891, reports emerged from Archeron that due to shoddy construction and failed infrastructure the incidence of radiation-induced mutation was 2000% higher than the average for any colony world, the majority of which ranged from debilitating DNA damage to uncontrolled proto-mutates to minor scarring/deformities.

Lansing officials in charge of Archeron attempted to hide this fact from Earthgov and the Archeron public at large. Civil unrest and demands for better treatment, medical and civil, began to mount with various groups competing with each other, LansingCorp and the Provisional Government.

In 2899, a group of vigilantes known as the Crucible, who once fought mutant crime outside the law and had waged a covert fight to change Lansing’s ways and give the government more power, exposed a Lansing project that was experimenting with the mutant population to create supersoldiers. Lansing, instead on ending the project, tried an extensive cover-up, locking down the government and the colony. For the next six years the Crucible, led by their mysterious leader known as Shatter fought a guerrilla war against the Lansing authorities. News of the insurgency leaked out to nearby worlds and Lansing had a harder time covering up the problems.

In 2906, when it looked as if the insurgency would be defeated, Shatter and his aide-de-camp Whisper, pulled off a sudden coup all over the colony. With their control slipping away, rogue Lansing bureaucrats, most notably the Assistant Director launched a nuke on the city, which was intercepted and stopped by a mutant loyal to the Crucible, codenamed Ultra.

With everything collapsing and horrified by what the Assistant Director did , some members of Lansing’s Colonial Administration council and support personnel turned against the Directorate and ordered a withdrawal, abandoning the planet. As a last act of cover-up, they destroyed the stargate after they left.

The whole incident blew up in Lansing’s face. EarthForce starships arrived back at Archeron two months later. The new government, led by Shatter, repatriated the Lansing prisoners in exchange for independence from Lansing’s control, then Shatter took the additional step of declaring independence from the Earth Alliance, threatening any warship returning to Archeron with complete destruction. A dozen military drones sent in over the next year never came back. However, a civilian EarthGov diplomatic courier was allowed to establish contact two years later. Limited trade has resumed, but Archeron has denied the offer of stargate construction.

The fallout on LansingCorp from this caused significant restructuring and public relations issues with the Earth Alliance. Even in 2911, Lansing is recovering from the scandal.

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