Galactic Guide: Leir System
This Galactic Guide originally appeared in Jump Point 4.10.
Leir is an unclaimed system that some once thought would develop into a major hub for Humanity. Discovered by an ICC scanning team canvassing Banshee in 2677, the pathfinders were thrilled to discover an A-type main sequence star with three mineral-rich and potentially habitable planets. The system’s initial assessment sparked interest in both the public and private sectors. Imperator Illyana Messer VI, still tightening her grip on the reins of power, decided not to commit resources to the system, leaving Leir’s official status in limbo.
Small time miners still went in droves. Many of them didn’t come back. Strange stories circulated and the system soon had a bad reputation both for danger and for its lack of basic services. There was only one settlement with any kind of longevity in the system. Located on the second planet, the settlement of Leir was a nexus of shiftless travelers, greedy miners, fugitive criminals and cold mercs looking to make a cred. Though the settlement was subsequently wiped out by the terraforming process, the name had been so firmly established in the public imagination that it became synonymous with the entire system.
In 2743, Galor Messer IX decided to capitalize on the still unclaimed system and opened the floodgates of commercial progress. He authorized the auctioning of a terraforming permit for Leir II, the system’s clear crown jewel, in an effort to fund his legacy, a complete foundational redesign of UEE government buildings. The winning bid was so high that many assumed it was a mistake. Turns out, it wasn’t.
The aggressive bid was the UEE’s introduction to Hatfield & Harding, a new venture between Clarence Hatfield, an eccentric trillionaire from Lo, and Olive Harding, a selfmade mining baron. The two had big plans for the planet. Now all they needed was someone to carry them out.
THE NEW DOCTOR
Hatfield and Harding scoured the universe and eventually found Dr. Marcus Fayel. A terraforming expert at UPARQ, his peers subsequently described him as brilliant, charismatic and ideal for the position. Dr. Fayel secured the job by the end of his initial interview.
Once operations began, Dr. Fayel established Leir II’s first terraforming colony atop the planet’s largest mineral mother lode. It wasn’t long before a clandestine mining operation was up and running. For years, Dr. Fayel hid the operation from Hatfield and Harding and funneled the profits to himself and a close cadre of associates who oversaw the operation. No one knows exactly when, but the stress of overseeing a massive terraforming project and hiding an illegal mining operation got to Dr. Fayel.
In 2803, the Hatfield and Harding board of directors named Dr. Fayel the company’s “Employee of the Year.” He declined an offer to receive the award in person, and instead sent a vid to the banquet. In it, Dr. Fayel consistently repeated the phrase “purity of purpose” and spoke in grandiose terms about the world “I am creating.”
No one batted an eye, though. According to multiple banquet guests, Dr. Fayel was hard to hear over the roar of company board members, who were more focused on advancing their own inebriation than hearing Dr. Fayel.
On May 3, 2812, the company abruptly lost all communication with their operations on Leir II. A few hours later, a looped message was broadcast from the planet. Dr. Fayel, dressed all in white, stood in the foreground while rows of workers stood in perfect order behind him. He announced that the planet’s “purification” was accomplished, but control of it would remain in his hands. He spoke at length about Humanity’s hubris and declared his intention to separate his believers from the rest of society. Dr. Fayel ended by declaring his intentions were peaceful, but that his followers would defend the planet to their death if anyone attempted to overthrow their authority.
Hatfield and Harding were furious. The company had been hemorrhaging money for decades and were in desperate need of a revenue stream. Quietly, they scrounged together credits and hired mercs to retake the planet. Archival records would later reveal that the company’s executives doubted the workers would stand with Dr. Fayel when push came to shove. They had no idea how wrong they were.
Though no one knows exactly what happened the day the mercs struck, scattered comms between them paint enough of a picture. The invading forces entered atmosphere and landed to find the population center deserted, only to be ambushed after they separated into teams to search for Dr. Fayel. The attack was designed to draw the mercs away from their ships and allow the craft to be taken intact. Some believe those ships constitute the backbone of the fleet that still patrols and protects the planet to this day.
Word of the failed operation spread fast, and Hatfield and Harding were brought before a Senate subcommittee to discuss the events. Investor confidence plummeted along with their stock price. It wasn’t long before the company folded and the fate of Leir II was left in Dr. Fayel’s hands.
Meanwhile, the UEE kept their distance since the system was officially unclaimed. Hatfield and Harding’s attempt to retake the planet only proved that the residents were willing to fight to the death to protect their new home. And after only recently ousting the Messers from power, the UEE had no stomach to use military force to impose their will upon more people.
To this day, many have theorized, but little is truly known, about Dr. Fayel’s tactics to convince the workers to stand by him for this grand experiment. Some believe it was decades of masterful information manipulation and brainwashing. Others have wondered if some unknown event triggered a mass psychosis upon the workers operating in an extremely stressful environment. Records turned over by Hatfield and Harding did show that no workers had requested to leave the planet in the project’s final five years. It is unclear whether everyone truly believed Dr. Fayel or whether dissenting voices were imprisoned or faced a worse fate. Following the merc invasion, Dr. Fayel and his disciplines were effectively cut off from the rest of the universe, earning the name that is still used to describe them — the Outsiders.
So the Leir System has subsequently languished. It doesn’t receive updated infrastructure and still lacks traditional trade routes and opportunities, all of which makes Leir one of the most fascinating systems around.
This small, rocky planet is naturally habitable, but not an ideal place to live due to its lack of infrastructure and amenities. A small mining population does call it home and is happy to trade with haulers.
LEIR II (Mya)
Descendants of the original Outsiders still control Leir II, though they call it Mya. Some of Dr. Fayel’s hardline stances have been softened since his death, but most residents still treat visitors with contempt and most of the planet is deemed ‘off limits’ to visitors. Some are willing to sell items, but all refuse to buy anything.
Some visitors find the lack of commercial hustle and bustle unsettling, while others see it as soothing. Even without the appeal of trade, the planet is worth a visit solely for its stunning mountain ranges. It’s easy to see why so many believed this was a paradise worth protecting from the greater universe.
Purporting to be a “pure” planet, its population centers are unique. Due to the lack of building supplies from the greater universe, many structures use the same type of rocks, or are even cut directly into the mountainsides.
The third planet in the Leir System is a rocky orb teeming with resources. Early scans detected an abundance of graphite and crystals, encouraging many miners to risk landing on the planet despite the deadly storms that plague the surface.
Today, the planet has no permanent settlements since the large indigenous sandworms, known as Valakkar, seem to have a predilection towards destroying them. Some brave miners and outlaws do live in temporary encampments around the planet, but most embrace a nomadic existence and move regularly to stay ahead of the storms and worms.
Though the Outsiders shun external influences, don’t assume they aren’t equipped to protect themselves. A local militia patrols the planet in reliable yet aging ships, and they are not afraid to engage those seen as a threat.
HEARD IN THE WIND
“As I stood, gazing upon what I had perceived to be Humanity’s magnificence, a thought struck me, piercing my skull like a nail of light. It is only through purity of purpose that a planet such as this can be created to not only survive but thrive. I had been led astray. I had believed that I was righteous. I was not. But I will be.”
– Dr. Marcus Fayel, Hatfield and Harding “Employee of the Year” acceptance speech, 2803
“There’s a potential for greatness in this system. The second world, in particular, features stunning landscapes, appears to be overflowing with resources, and is ripe for terraforming. If easy access to the system is ever attained, the UEE needs to ensure everything is done to bring it into the fold.”
– Katherine Oliver, ICC Stellar Surveyor’s initial assessment, 2677