The hot white star of Liaedin sears the surface of Schneider Colony with a bright
actinic glare. The inhabitants have come to learn that hiding from the light, especially in the
midday hours is vitally necessary to avoid dangerous skin cancers. In local slang, a trip out in
the midday sun is to invoke 'death from above' . The locals have a very sanguine attitude to
life and death, since in the past few hundred years they have been subject to far more 'death
from above' than just the sunlight.
Schneider Colony has had numerous starports established in the past and New Cousens
is only the latest in a long line of local capitals. The remains of some of the others dot the
landscape here and there, scattered amongst radioactive craters and pock-marks form other
debris of the almost continual skirmishing over the planet between the Federation and Empire.
The planet is catalogued in most libraries as being 'disputed' but the true situation is that the population are in an almost continual state of civil war, and neither the Federation nor Empire seem very keen to end the situation.
The burning surface of New Cousens supports a very vigorous form of native life,
which have a very rapid growth cycle. Some plants sprout from nothing to full growth,
reproduce and then decay within a single day, since they are killed by the midday light. Earth
crops have not adapted well to the harsh environment and most colonists survive on
hydroponic crops grown in filtered light in sheltered darkhouses. There are few large animals
native to the world; the largest so far discovered is a burrowing worm 20 metres long which
inhabits the tropical deserts which lie in two bands just South and North of the planetary poles.
The presence of the giant worms in the deserts of Schneider Colony was revealed by
the peculiar metal rich patterns detected in the initial orbital survey of the world, conducted by Theodore Schneider. He believed the intricate patterns to be the work of native intelligences
eager to give messages to visiting astronauts. When it was discovered that they were merely
the waste products of a native worm with less intelligence than an average dog, Schneider
relinquished claim on the world and flew off in search of true extra terrestrial intelligence.
Theodore Schneider left the colony in the hands of two families, the Blossoms and the
Faveols. The Blossom family contracted a group of planetary engineers to pursue the
exploitation of the seas, which are very mineral rich. The Faveols imported Empire technology
and bred a hybrid worm which burrowed deeper into the deserts and actively sought out mineral rich earth. The Faveols leave a trail of enriched ores as they move through the ground,
which can be easily harvested with cheap mechanical devices. The secrets of the sea mines
and the hunting worms have been protected diligently and handed down from one generation
to the next and are undoubtedly the best kept secrets on the planet.
It has become traditional to call for assistance from either the Empire (for the
descendants of the Faveols) or the Federation (for the Blossoms) at the slightest infringement
of the convoluted territorial laws on Schneider's Colony, or if mineral quotas are exceeded by
either family. The Federation and Empire both seem content to continue the dispute, perhaps
viewing it as a good testing ground for new military hardware, without wishing to start
conflict in more prosperous areas.
The Federation maintain a small permanent force at Wilson Base, on Ulrich's Rock,
while the Empire has taken over Moore's World and the small starport of Smith Town.
Visitors to any of these worlds should be aware of the constant tension which prevails and
the delicate politics which prevents full scale war from breaking out here. Be very careful to
ensure that all documents are up to date and accurate before venturing into this system.
Entry by David Massey