It is a booty's dream. Big and outrageous, its bizarre colouring is enough to mark it for destruction. But the people have discovered its incredible value. The conquer-and-dump ethos of the Galactic Empire is on full tilt as they out-spend the galaxy's great powers and sell its treasure for scrap.
In another deep space, another giant planetoid is orbiting its sun, with a huge moon of several thousand miles across floating in its shadow. Huge spinning magnetic blades lashed this moon apart a mere fifteen thousand years ago, crushing its core matter, and leaving a globular corpse, one part of which has been pinned up to the side of its planetary orbit by one end of one of the blades. It was, in fact, a comet: a trillion comets have been cagily and deliberately pulled off it to between the moon and sun, where they drift, unseen and mostly screened out by the planet. In the resulting action, the sun suddenly started to grow bright again, threatening to scald the planet.
At the second planet surface, the colonists and their various governments are meeting one another to discuss joining a large trade empire called the Interplanetary Trust. Most of the executives are too young to even have known the Great War.
But the older ones have stories. They believe that the technology was developed by a secret society of master engineers called the Illuminati - no one ever saw them. They were presumed to be dead, or else hiding, or else hardly caring.
The planet was once a hot, roiling caldron of a star. We call it Sirius, but you'll have to call it something else, because the natives call it Shado, after the goddess of the most-violent motion. It's the home sun of carnivorous, gravity-grubbing monsters called Rus, who outnumber both humans and aliens by far.
The system has only one habitable planet. Mollis Barradellan has a population of only twelve million at most, so it is completely unknown how it functions in the economic realm. This planet's background radiation makes it more useful as a scientific outpost or base of operations than as a home; its breathable atmosphere is monitored closely for polluters. d2c66b5586