Name : Ayethti

Allegiance : Independent

Government : Independent Democracy

Economy : Capitalist

Coordinates : -3,-1

Population : 10 Million

Topaz has rich indigenous life, but little has progressed from the seas to the land. For this reason most star catalogues class the world as a water world. It would be more appropriate to describe it as one enormous paddling pool, with an occasional large hill. The world possesses no really deep oceans, instead it has a thin covering of mineral rich water, rarely deeper than 300m. The water is at an almost uniform temperature, making swimming a very pleasant experience, since it is almost impossible for a human to sink in the dense liquid.

Life forms on Ayethti have adapted to the rich mineral broth of the seas and they out- compete introduced life forms from the Federation and even bio-engineered empire technology is no better than the native species. The colonists of this world therefore farm the local fauna and flora, exporting large quantities of protein rich plankton and krill-like animals. Mining of the mineral rich seas is conducted both directly, on land and underwater, and indirectly by harvesting modified animals which filter and concentrate desired salts from the water.

The planet orbits an M red flare star, and most colonists have flare shelters beneath the protective water of Topaz. The starports are all situated on land and have provision for shelter for all visitors. It is mandatory for all visitors to sign flare disclaimers and prove they have adequate insurance cover before they are allowed on the world.

Flares are a spectacular sight and stellar seismologists normally provide good warning of impending events. If you are present on Topaz when a flare is publicised, it is worth delaying your leaving until after the event. A local law on Topaz, followed in Simpsontown and Lomas (but less so at Fortress Sheehan) is that a hotel resident can extend a booking indefinitely during a flare - this is very useful for a visitor since when a flare is declared, hotel charges for new visitors have been known to increase seven fold or more over the resident price.

Topaz may be well known amongst amateur astronomers and star gazers for its flares, but what makes it truly famous was the creation of Quitolline. It is amazing that until the Topaz life forms were studied for pharmaceuticals, over 80% of all space travellers were subjected to hyperspace sickness. This is a tremendously debilitating syndrome which is now almost unrecognised. Only the very few people who suffer from allergic reactions to Quitolline need endure the disorientation of hyper-jump sickness. (And most such people really prefer to remain at home and do their stellar travelling second hand by way of sensa- vid). Quitolline is the most effective anti-h-sickness drug ever discovered and its synthesis from naturally occurring forms on Topaz is a closely guarded secret. It forms one of the major exports for the planet and system.

Entry by David Massey

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