A curious system, thought to have lost its outer planets many millennia ago due to a
close encounter with another star system. The lack of gas giants in the system delayed any
major settlement until 3055, despite the inner planet, Maxwell Rock being quite mineral rich
(named after the ancient explorer Pol Maxwell, now widely known from the popular dream
sequence "Maxwell Returns"). The early miners found the cost of bringing in their own fuel
outweighed the potential gain. It seems hard to believe now, with the Core so thoroughly
populated, that a known 'mineral rich' would be left alone for so long, but in those days
planets were plentiful and people thinly spread. The Core then was much like the Outer Rim
today. It was also before the invention of the shield generator, so scooping fuel from a star was
out of the question.
The Empire began terraforming Cemiess 2 in 3080, partly to satisfy the enormous
demand for outdoor space by its exploding population, and partly as a political snub to the
Federation. The Federation had previously claimed the world, but the decision to start the
terraforming process was still tied up in bureaucracy - the Federal Senate had already
postponed the scheme three times in order to keep within budget on the New Worlds project.
This was largely due to Governor Santorini of Tau Ceti (nicknamed 'Proxmire' by the press from some obscure historical reference) whose cost cutting exercises are now seen as having
been very destructive to Federal progress in the long term. Nevertheless his tax cutting
policies were popular at the time, and he is still the longest serving governor there - 76 years
up to his assassination in 3098.
Emerald was first settled by Imperial colonists in 3101, shortly
followed by a heavily armed group from the Federation led by Admiral O'Brien. He
personally supervised the building of a major fortification in only three days (seen in the gung-
ho propaganda film "O'Brien's War"), but all there died a week later from a mysterious
plague. Both sides fought intermittently over Emerald for the next thirty years ending when
Imperial Clone Troops were sent in, and the Imperial XV Fleet were stationed there. A
diplomatic solution was finally found in 3136 in the Emerald Treaty, which narrowly avoided
an assault by an enormous Federal task force, and brought about the uneasy peace we have
today. It is also why Cemiess is the only Imperial system in which slavery is illegal. This was
to satisfy Federal demands, but there is reputed to be a thriving black market in them.
Entry by David Braben