At about the same time as the Ackwada system was being colonised by the Rockforth Corporation, a consortium of smaller industrial groups laid claim to the Ackcanphi system. There were five principle shareholders in the venture, Nagoshima, Grendell-Hooper, Shan-Boorman, Memoryvista and G'greenventure. Unlike many joint corporation ventures, after initial establishment of planetary bases the groups did not fall to squabbling over exploitation rights. The five corporations consolidated their positions and grouped together as a single trading entity to deal with outsiders.
The world of Biggs is only about half the mass of Earth, but has a correspondingly smaller radius, so that surface gravity is almost Earth normal. Introduction of terrestrial flora and fauna proceeded in an orderly fashion, thanks largely to the influence of Rebecca Swaan-Schiffman of G'greenventure. The environmental control policies introduced by the Big G corporation (as it became known) have made Biggs an ecological show-case for planetary management. Cynics point out that because of the lack of large predators on the planet, there were no native species needing control, but a quick scan through the colony records quickly dispels that peaceful illusion.
Early in the colony's history, there were a series of dangerous plagues and diseases, which nearly ended the colony. The Shan- Boorman Corporation imported a team of research biochemists to tackle the problem and Grendell-Hooper financed the building of a suite of laboratories. These eventually grew into the Shan-Hooper Institute, one of the most prestigious science academies of the known worlds. The plague was defeated after three years of intense work and now all visitors are routinely inoculated against fast disease and filigree on arrival at any starport. (The two diseases are still endemic to the world of Biggs and quarantine laws are strictly enforced).
The Institute was not disbanded after solving the initial acclimatization diseases, but remained and was expanded to encompass other fields of study. Early in the history of the colony it was visited by Munkhouse Brewer, a famous singer-songwriter of the time and a friend of Siobhan Young the poet. Munkhouse composed a fairly trite popular song declaiming the 'fiery skies and demons' eyes' of Biggs, but managed to convey to Siobhan the haunting beauty of the Ackanphi system.
Young, and her artist companion Taylor Arkwright came to view the marvels first hand, and stayed to capture the sights for themselves. The cycle poem 'Blazed by glory, insipid flesh' created a place for Young amongst the very best and secured her the chair of the newly formed faculty of Arts at Schneider University. Taylor Arkwright shunned all publicity and instead made a new colony on the third planet, funding a small dome base by selling most of his early works. For forty two years he worked in complete obscurity, refusing contact with outsiders, painting and drawing the scenes he beheld.
Arkwright's anonymity came to an end when a persistent young artist, Dieter Blemmring from Achenar, sought him out after seeing 'The third Leaf' in Facece Central Museum. Impressed by Arkwright's early work, Blemmring sought out the master and
persuaded the painter to let him visit Taylor's Claim. Thus began the artists colony on Taylor's Claim, which has become a refuge for painting, sculpting and all forms of representational art. Many of the most famous works in known space are kept in the refuge, and it is the ambition of all Empire artists to view the collection at least once in their lives.
With science and the written arts established in the Ackcanphi system, it was not long before other faculties, for perfoming arts, humanities and philosophy were developed in Biggs. This has developed into a cultural and aesthetic centre for the region. For some reason the local pirate raiders have kept clear of the universities, museums and galleries of Biggs and the planet and its Corporations are rightly proud of the high reputation it holds amongst the cultured people of the Empire.
Entry by David Massey