|PHEKDA: TRAVELLER'S INFORMATION|
Phekda is a large, type B main sequence blue star. It is interesting because this kind of star very rarely harbours planets with indigenous life, emitting so much electromagnetic energy that it becomes difficult to even put a starbase on many of the inner planets. However, orbiting Phekda 6, which has a perigee of 45 AU, conditions were suitable for life to evolve on Phekda 6c (now known as New California). Additionally, Phekda 6a, 6b and 6d (now known as Experiment, Nirvana and Topaz respectively) were good candidates for terraformation, and were terraformed around the early 26th century.
From an astrohistorical point of view, Phekda is a well-known and important star, being used by the ancient sailors of Earth in pretechnological times to navigate. Forming part of the Ursa Major constellation (otherwise known as "The Plough" or "The Big Dipper"), Phekda is obvious from the Earth. The name Phekda (often spelled Phecda) derives from the Arabic term Al Falidh, meaning "The Thigh of the Bear". Phekda is also known as Gamma Ursa Majoris, and throughout history has been known as Phad, Phegda, Phekha and Phacd, these names also derived from the Arabic term. Observations of Phekda have been recorded in human history back to the ancient Roman and Greek civilizations, and it is doubtless that this star was observed well before this period.
|HISTORY AND NOTABLE FEATURES|
The history of Phekda is one of tragedy, which is hopefully now in its final chapter. Human settlers first arrived in 2495, and much to their surprise found Phekda 6c teeming with life. It was soon named New California, after the settlers discovered natural beauty of the kind that they couldn't imagine in their wildest dreams. The hot blue sun and atmospheric composition led to striking magenta sunsets over the planet, with Phekda 6 being a prominent and strangely beautiful object in the sky. The brown dwarf substellar object would cast an eerie dull red glow if it was visible during night time. The occasions when Phekda 6 eclipsed Phekda were declared the most striking stellar eclipses visible in the populated galaxy. It wasn't long before humans began moving in mass to the system.
The system had an independent government from day one, and the government soon realised the enormous amount of natural resources that they had found. To cope with expected population increase, terraformation studies on Phekda 6a, 6b and 6d were conducted, and it was found that 6b was an ideal candidate, with a and d being a little on the small side (but sustainable). The terraformation projects began in 2503, and were declared a success when vegetation covered each of the planets by 2505. 6a was named Experiment, due to a new experimental terraformation procedure being used, 6b was named Nirvana, and 6d was named Topaz. People continued to move in and trade was brisk. The future of the system looked as bright as the star itself. By 2580 the population had reached nearly four billion.
Sadly, the prosperity wasn't to last much longer. The rot began to set in when a man named Johan Adams was born. The year was 2595. Coinciding with this were some initial pangs of dissatisfaction amongst workers in the system, who felt they weren't necessarily being treated quite right. And the third link in the chain was growing pressure from the Federation that the system should join the union. And thus the stage was set for the nationalistic fervour that would come, on a scale that hadn't been seen since despotic rulers such as Caligula, Hitler, Milosevic and Hanson had been seen on Earth.
In 2620, Johan Adams became the leader of the Phekda National Front. His popularity increased as hostility towards owners of industry and the Federation's jerrymandering continued. Adams was swept to power five years later, and communist rule began to take over. Initially, the citizens of Phekda were allowed free speech, and it looked like Adams' party might actually succeed as the first communist government that actually worked. It wasn't to last long. Prosperity began to fall and the corporations started leaving. Nationalisation failed, as it always had. The PNF began clamping down on free speech as the citizens and the press began to register their dissatisfaction with the regime.
The totalitarian state remained in place througout the 2620's and into the 2630's. However, the population that had initially supported Adams' efforts were now simmering with resentment and dissatisfaction. They were goaded by traders who regularly brought illegal firearms into the system. Soon a new movement, known as the PLA (Phekda Liberation Army) was formed. Inevitably, in 2633, civil war broke out.
The civil war turned out to be extremely destructive. Most of the system's space stations were destroyed in nuclear attacks and the only trade that remained was the trade in arms. The full horror of planetary nuclear war was realised, and the terraformation of Nirvana was nearly undone. Experiment and Topaz were laid to waste, with only New California escaping the horror by virtue of being a PONB (Planet of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and therefore having a very low population. Humanity is very fortunate in this respect, otherwise one of the jewels of the galaxy may have been destroyed forever. Over one billion civilians were killed, and countless members of the opposing armies were slaughtered. Within a few years, nearly everyone who could had left the system. The only thing that saved the remainder of the population was that the armies started running out of people willing to fight. By 2640, only 4 million people remained in the system - down from a peak of 5 billion. The Phekda Civil War was recorded in history as being the most destructive war in human history, and fortunately, this record has still not been surpassed.
A new government was never fully formed. The remaining four million lived in almost tribal communities. Corporations that had been tapping the natural resources returned, and Experiment and Topaz were re-terraformed. The system had collapsed into a state of stable anarchy, and the corporations had to do their own policing. The last attempt at forming a civilian government was in 3145, and was almost successful, but sadly the system once again lapsed into anarchy only a few years later. This state remained until January 3296, when once again, dissatisfaction with the often corrupt corporate management of the system incited the population to rebel.
The latest rebellion was relatively bloodless, the corporations taken completely by surprise. A new Phekda civilian government has formed, and immediately began the procedure to join the Alliance of Independent Systems. Phekda is currently a provisional member of the AIS, receiving full AIS privileges on the understanding that full entry criteria will be met by 3298. With the rule of law and order restored, and help from other Alliance members, Phekda's future once again looks as bright as its primary star.
The Phekda Government is only scant months old, and only the essential functions are being carried out. Customs and Excise has therefore not been started, so as yet there are no illegal goods in this system.