Stevenson is a cold world orbiting an isolated star of this ternary system. It is a
Corporate planet, but runs along the lines of the Empire rather than the Federation, and visitors
and tourists must be sure to have all papers and identification readily to hand if they land at
either Fortress Birmingham or Nakamichi's Camp. Despite the martial sounding name,
Fortress Birmingham has never been the focus of military action and the history of the planet
has been quite peaceful. The civil war which established the planet as an independent,
Corporate run world occurred within a decade of first landing and the governmental structure
has all the merits and deficiencies of a long established bureaucracy.
There was a great movement towards eco-awareness at the time of the colony's
foundation, and pledges to conserve the native forms were forced on the Corporations from
the outset. This proved to the companies' advantage when the native flora and fauna were later
exploited commercially. The low mean temperature of the world has produced some
extremely hardy plants and animals, of great interest to scientists and with huge commercial
spin-offs. There is geological evidence that the planet has had a much warmer climate in the
past, and this may in part explain how the life forms of this world have proved so adaptable to
Few companies or individuals with an interest in terraforming and planetary
modification will be unfamiliar with grana-root. This had become one of the major planet-
breakers for terraforming operations. It can out-compete many simpler plants and directly
consume tailored bacteria (strains IGH\CFi\ag I, IV and V), breaking up earth and soil to
provide fertile land for grain crops. At the same time, the spread of grana-root is controlled by
appilex, a burrowing worm also derived from one of the creatures of Stevenson.
For many, though, the most familiar of the animals of this world will be the verrix,
which is probably to be found on more worlds than any other single species, except mankind
itself. The giant creature, with its enormous musclepower and placid nature, is standard
equipment for many new colony ships. Transported as fertilised ova, it has replaced
mechanical tractors on many emerging worlds, especially those of- the Empire and bio-
engineering oriented Corporations.
Records indicate that the verrix can grow to approximately three times the size of the Earth elephant. It is an omnivore and can adapt to digest most feeds,
though the potato-grape of Anlave is known to be the ideal feed for the animal. Finally, many
colonies have found that the versatile hair and hides of the creatures have reduced the need for
expensive import of materials from off-planet during early years of colonial development.
Verrix for export are genetically pure strains, genetically modified to be sterile after
three generations. This is a Corporation device, to ensure a continuing market for their
animals. The strict quarantine laws and heavy penalties for import or export of any live
animals are designed to maintain the Corporations strangle-hold on the verrix market. Visitors
to the verrix farming regions are welcome. The sight of herds of the enormous creatures
trampling the plains, herded by enhanced polar-bears from Exioce is quite amazing. As one
poetically inclined visitor stated 'the polar bears seem to dance around the verrix as if they
were stoats herding cows on Earth' .
The O'Hanlon orbital station has excellent repair facilities and boasts a number of first
class hotels. The sight from the station of the planet and ternary system are quite spectacular.
Phiagre is an interesting stopover between the Federation and Empire and well worth a visit by
even a casual tourist.
Entry by David Massey