The first thing to strike a person casually browsing through a planetary catalogue is the
remarkable similarity between the systems of Sol and Zeesse. This superficial similarity led
to very high hopes amongst the initial settlers, who christened their world 'Paradise'.
This hopeful start was soon dispelled when the colonists arrived at their destination. The first
bases were established on the minor planet Gonzalez's Grave, named after the
unfortunate shuttle pilot whose crash-landing was to be symptomatic of the initial set-backs
the colonists experienced.
The starport of Oliver, on Gonzalez's Grave was built to schedule, and probes to the
third planet were sent out. They reported back a very different picture to that given by the
Earth bureau of colonisation. (Recall that this was in the second wave of emigration, when
Earth was suffering severe population pressures and almost any measure was regarded as fair
to rid the planet of excess). The planet was verdant and few life forms were abundant, but it is
smaller and denser than Earth, giving rise to very high surface gravity.
The initial colonisation of the world was hampered because humans were unable to
work for more than a couple of hours at a time before needing to rest. In these early days of
exploration and exploitation, transport costs for machinery was prohibitive between systems,
so most early colonisation work was performed by human labour. (Some historians suggest
that this is the origin of the Empire's slave culture). Quite apart from the high gravity, the
world was far hotter than the colonists, originally from Lappland and the Siberian pan-
conurbation were accustomed, and many immigrants died of heat exhaustion before a second
wave of colonists introduced a more sensible work regime.
The world was re-christened New America after a botanist showed the similarities
between the climate of the world and of ancient South American forests on Earth. This
provided the first clue to conquering the planets indigenous life forms. At first, and for several generations, the local flora and fauna successfully resisted the attempts of Earth phenotypes to take over. Earth crops could only be grown in restricted areas and local carnivores and raptors made the world a dangerous place to explore.
Qui Luk Soo introduced a number of slightly modified strangler vines from Earth
stocks, and this small start led eventually to the taming of large parts of the jungle planet for
human use. The problem of labour was partly solved by the introduction of genetically
'improved' gorilla stock, which could be trained to perform simple clearing and construction
work. A brief but extremely violent assault on the colony by a war band of eco-revolutionists
destroyed all the facilities for the gorillas, who 'escaped' into the wild. Some were able to find
their way back to the community, but to this day there are some feral gorilla tribes in the
heartland of the jungles. These are the subject of intense study by anthropologists and are
covered by Federal interdict from all further tampering by mankind.
With the passing generations, the human stock of the system have adapted to the strong
gravity of their planet, becoming heavily built and muscular. It is sometimes hard for visitors
to distinguish men and women of the planet, but given their violent tempers and general
impatience, it is important to get it right if you are a tourist. New Americans do not suffer
fools gladly. The jungle of the world is still inhabited by a number of very dangerous native
predators, including the Quivol and Nij-worm, which claim a respectable annual toll of lives.
If your interest in visiting the planet is hunting, do not expect to find native guides cheap to
hire, nor eager to venture into the relatively unexplored Southern continents.
New America is home of the modern Ghurka assault regiment, which saw action in all
the major wars against the Empire. In the past century , the fighting men and women of the
regiment have seen action in several disputed systems and even the Empire clone troops hold
them in high regard. They are normally planet fighters, preferring and training for ground
action rather than space warfare, so they play little part in current naval actions against pirates.
Occasionally they are used as 'shock troops' in recovering Frontier worlds where organised
crime has established too strong a hold and threatens the economic stability of the Federation.
Entry by David Massey