Omalyx V is the fifth planet and the only inhabitable planet in the Omalyx System in Sector 2201. The system is in the Galaxy's Mid-Rim 3,000 light years off the Scutus-Centaurus Arm. While not on the frontier, the Omalyx System is in a sector with low stellar density and thus considered a remote system. Omalyx V was initially explored by humans 2,200 years ago and has had a permanent colony on its surface for 1,100 years.
Physical and Orbital CharacteristicsEdit
Size and DensityEdit
Omalyx V is a small world roughly the size of Mercury; however, the world is exceptionally dense with remarkable concentrations of Strontium ore throughout the planet's deep crust. Excavations have revealed seams of Strontium up to 3 kilometers in width. Special characteristics of the particular isotope of Strontium present on Omalyx V, Strontium-223, make geological scans of the planet's core impossible, but scientists with the Imperial Survey Corps theorize that the planet possesses a Strontium core. The extreme density of the planet results in the planet having exceptionally strong gravity for a world its size, with surface gravity measured at 1.82g.
Omalyx V is a class ten world, meaning humans do not need any technological accomodations to breathe the air, drink the water, and eat foods grown on the planet. However, the concentration of Oxygen in the atmosphere is not as high on the typical class ten world, and off-worlders often find the air harsh and unpleasant tasting.
Orbit and RotationEdit
Omalyx V has does not rotate as it orbits its star. One side remains perpetually facing the star and one side remains perpetually facing away. Geological evidence indicates that the planet at one time rotated, but rotations seem to have ceased 1.2 million years ago. Omalyx V takes 1,171 Earth Days to make a complete revolution.
Omalyx V has one moon, Omalyx V-a, which makes a revolution around the planet once every 52 hours. The light reflecting off the moon while on the far side of the planet provides some illumination to the planet's "cold side" as well as the equatorial meridian, thus providing the basis for the local day/night cycle.
Without a day-night cycle, temperatures are constant on each side of the planet. The side facing the sun (colloquially known as "the hot side") maintains a temperature between 70 and 76 degrees celsius while the side facing away from the sun (colloquially known as "the cold side") maintains a temperature between -40 and -32 degrees celsius. Hot air from the "hot side" interacts with cold air from the "cold side" around the planet's equatorial meridian, creating a temperate zone approximately 550km in width along the meridian. Precepitation along the temperate zone is nearly constant, although the poor soil quality allows for very little in the way of native vegatation.
Omalyx V ColonyEdit
Sector 2201 was initially surveyed 2,233 years ago by the TIS Zheng He, an explorer vessel within the Imperial Survey Corps. During that survey, the fifth planet of the Omalyx System was discovered to be inhabitable and rich in heavy metal ore. No initial attempt was made at the time to settle the world as the location was not strategic and Imperial metallurgists did not have the means to work with the extraordinarily hard ore at the time. Humans would not step foot on the world again for over a thousand years.
The discovery of fission-based smelting processes in the next millennium brought on a wave in shipbuilding theory and created an instiable market for ultra-hard metals. In this inital boom, mining companies across the Imperium began scouring survey logs looking for exploitable sites. An agent in the employ of a startup mining services corporation found the Xheng He's logs of its mission in Sector 2201. The corporation applied for and received permits to establish mines on the planet and undertook the first human settlement of Omalyx V approximately 1,100 years ago.
Early mine operators were delighted to find the that the ore reserves on Omalyx V were richer than even the survey logs believed. Although much investment was needed to set up operations in the harsh climate, ore veins were so prevelent that exposed ore could be found right at the planet's surface. In fact, the planet was mined for 400 years before significant mining operations were established beneath the surface.
At the outset of colonization, hundreds of mining operations were established across the planet and the settlements--although small--were vibrant. Vicious competition over the centuries allowed stronger operators to consolidate control of the mines until roughly 350 years ago when Kavan Paladrios Azmot al Jaya, a distant relative of the reigning Emperor, used political connections within the regulatory agencies to force the remaining operators on Omalyx V to sell their interests on the world to the Imperial Strontium Alloy Corporation (ISAC), a company created by House Jaya to exploit the resources on Omalyx V. For the past 350 years, ISAC has been the sole mine operator on the planet.
Omalyx V has a population of roughly 120 million residents, 80% of whom are registered ISAC employees. Population density is high in the 550km-wide "green stripe" which comprises the planet's prime meridian. There are no official permanent settlements on the "hot" or "cold" sides of the planet, although smugglers and other illicit enterprises establish camps in these areas from time to time.
Omalyx V is classified as an Imperial Direct Rule Colony, meaning the Governor and Colonial Council are directly appointed by the Throne. Since ISAC became the sole mining interest on the world, however, only senior ISAC executives have been appointed to these positions, thus the world is essentially considered the personal property of House Jaya, administered by ISAC. An Imperial Colonial Center is maintained at the Capital Torshann and all the Ministries and Agencies maintain a nominal presence there. However, the colonial administration is thoroughly corrupt and the few bureaucrats who do not take bribes from the various criminal enterprises on the world surely refrain from doing so only because they are so well taken care of by ISAC.
The unique orbital characteristics of Omalyx V presents both challenges and opportunities to the planet's population. The "hot side" of Omalyx V is dotted with sprawling solar power stations which are always exposed to direct sunlight, allowing for the entire planet's power needs to be provided by the highly efficient solar power operation. Massive transmission cables, each several meters in diameter, stretch across the planet's surface, relaying power to both the "green stripe" and the mines on the "cold side."
The mining operations run on a continuous cycle, stopping only for breakdowns. The extreme cold temperature allows the drills, diggers, and other equipment to run at its highest speed without regard to overheating, and in fact, it is essentially necessary to operate the equipment in this manner to prevent it from freezing up.
Off-world transportation is conducted through spaceports which abound throughout the green stripe, most of which are small operations consisting only of a few landing pads, hangars, and warehouses. The bulk of ore exporting is conducting through two spaceports, Ton Ragrandi at the planetary capital Torshann and Ton Jaya at the planet's largest city Mazan City. Both spaceports feature skyhooks and orbital elevators allowing ore to be transported to orbit onto massive superfreighters without the use of auxillary ships or orbital ferries.
Employees of ISAC are paid in ISAC scrip, which serves as legal tender in all of the planetside businesses, and officially, is the currency for planetside commerce on Omalyx V. However, the scrip is nearly worthless and prices for goods using scrip are astronomically high. Some speculate that ISAC intentionally devalues the scrip they issue to ensure miners must purchase goods and services on credit, remaining indebted and obligated to ISAC.
ISAC maintains strict customs enforcement at the major spaceports and any goods sold at a company store must bear an ISAC customs stamp. This policy, combined with the low value of the scrip, have created an environment where black market trading thrives. Smugglers bring goods ranging from foodstuffs and household items to narcotics and weapons to the world and trade for strontium ore, for which both sides of the Civil War pay handsomely. Miners continuously develop new ways to sneak small quantities of ore away from the company with which to purchase things from black marketeers. Aside from ore, commerce on the black market is conducted with either Imperial Standard Credits or Alliance Commissary Vouchers, either of which colonists refer to as "hard currency" or "hard credits." The supply of hard currency on Omalyx V is very low as most of it eventually finds its way to smugglers who spend their profits off-world.