This system consists of ten major bodies only one of which, Achernar 6, has habitated planets in its vicinity. It is one of the only systems with three worlds with a breathable atmosphere, although two are terraformed. The most notable feature of this system is that it is the base of the Empire and Emperor Hesketh Duval whose seat is on the natural world Achernar 6d (known as Capitol to locals). The Emperor is of the Duval dynasty descended from Marlin Duval. She was a wealthy woman, disenchanted with the Earth administration and authorities, who set off with her own colonising fleet to Achernar 6d because it was so far from Earth. Her leadership ended when her brother, Henson oversaw a flying 'accident' in which she perished. The democratic government changed abruptly to one of strict Imperial rule, and from then on the family assumed leadership. Female children in the family are prevented with genetic techniques such is the vehement hatred of Marlin Duval's principles and vision of a world living in peace.
In the past the Federation has tried to get various emperors to agree to joining them but this has been met with derision. The population growth necessitated the terraformation of Achernar 6b and Henson oversaw the eradication of a reputedly sentient race on Achernar 6d and began to influence other systems, enraging the Federation. This led to the first large-scale space war, from which Achernar emerged victorious and, swelled with success the Empire spread to other worlds. Sporadic battles were fought for many years until finally, leaders of the Empire and the Federation signed a treaty pledging to stay on amicable terms. It was not worded so tightly that hostilities could not continue in the outer reaches of territories while leaders displayed solidarity in public.
Tourists, once they have amassed the documents required to visit the Achernar system, flock to see the Emperor's palace on Capitol (6d). The building is a vast structure of a pink glass-like material which shimmers in the sun and glows as it re-emits the energy at night.
Foreign visitors are welcomed by palace staff who use subtle pro-Empire propaganda in an attempt to undermine the Federation. This greeting is not extended outside the palace grounds, where a person with a Federation accent is met with scorn unless money can be made out of them. The accent of the Empire has evolved out of Achernarians trying to mock the standard Federation diction by accentuating certain vowels. To the foreigner their speech sounds rather like a whine.
Such is the capitalist way of life, there are not many items that are illegal to buy or sell, quite why the line is drawn at radioactives and nerve gas is a mystery - perhaps they could pose the most significant threat to the Emperor, should anyone feel ambitious?
Entry by Kathy Dickinson