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Bedaho

Name : Bedaho

Allegiance : Federation

Government : Federal Democracy

Economy : Capitalist

Coordinates : -4,-2

Population : 100,000

Bedaho is famous throughout the known worlds as the home of the goldskins. There are very few worlds which do not leave some marks upon the human population, but few are as obvious as that of Bedaho. While many humans go to some lengths to hide any effects their home planet might produce, the population of Home delight in showing off their differences.

Any form of life which grows on Home is infected by a native life form, at the sub- cellular level. It is entirely benign and some people believe that it confers resistance to some viral infections. The only side effect of infection is to turn the host creature a radiant golden colour. A visit to Home is like taking a trip into King Midas' court, the world glows with gold from one horizon to the other. Every living creature on the planet shimmers with life and glisters in golden hues. The crops are gold, the trees are gold, the animals are gold and the people are golden.

The only other colours are pigments, produced in vast quantities by the local chemical plants and used at every opportunity to break up the landscape. People from Home are probably unique in the known worlds for preferring granite jewellery and jade ornaments to those of gold. There is little demand on Home for the metal gold, except for electronics and robotics, but other precious metals and luxury goods are always welcome. There is a ready market on Home for off-world animal pelts, any shape, pattern or shade makes a welcome change to the locals who regard their planet's life forms as being monotonously dull, despite the richness of the colours involved.

There is a corresponding trade from Home to the rest of the known worlds for goldskin leather. Astrogator Corporation signed an exclusive deal with the planetary government of Home early this century giving it sole rights to commercial use of goldskin leather in its ships and yachts. It is the quality and colour of the leatherwork which marks an Astrogator spacecraft as distinctive, quite apart form the other luxury features which it might enjoy. Several other companies use goldskin fabrics to give themselves an edge in the luxury markets as well. At one stage the uncontrolled slaughter of native and imported animals threatened to turn the colony into an anarchy, but intervention by the Imperial navy restored order. In modern times the culling of local animals is strictly controlled by government, and poaching carries a very heavy sentence and fine.

The exact nature of the organism which causes the goldskin effect is not completely determined yet, though its effects are well understood. A creature born on the planet, or remaining there for a prolonged time (longer than 30 days) will become infected by the organism and then acquires the distinctive pigmentation within a few weeks. The colour is permanent and goldskins who leave the planet remain golden, but the organism is not passed on by any form of contact. Empire technicians trying to get the goldskin effect to appear in laboratory animals have so far failed to duplicate the conditions necessary for the organism to survive.

Entry by David Massey

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