Stars (binary system):
- Carbuncle (B3 Red Giant);
- Ember (M4 Red Dwarf)
Terran Registry: Stellar Chart #C-16-216-117-21-AB
Affiliation: Free Traders
Planetary System: 3 Planets; 1 Major Moon
Many transient, using Business Mission as a base.
- Human 46%
- Naram 21%
- Baufrin 18%
- KessRith 10%
- Ssora 1%
- Vauvusar 1%
- Others 3%
Mercantile Conglomerate in the form of interlinked corporate investment groups, with subordinate departmental subsections reporting to appropriate presidents and vice-presidents: answerable to a board of directors made up of elected stock holders. (Elections are by corporate vote, with vote value based on percentage of proxy shares in the hands of corporations headquartered on Business Mission.)
Business Mission's entire economy is based on the exchange of commodities. This world, along with Trader's Paradise, serves as an interface between the various factions in Shannedam County. The planet has little intrinsic value, but it is the site of the largest stock exchange, bond, and futures market within several hundred light years. Business Mission also serves as a diplomatic common ground for contact between warring factions. For over 200 years, Naram, Baufrin, KessRith, Human (both Commonwealth and TOG), and just about every other race have been able to conduct negotiations here. Business Mission is also a free port - there is no such thing as contraband on Business Mission, if an operation has a corporate representative on Business Mission (and has paid the incorporation fees). One can import and trade virtually any commodity, regardless of its legality in other areas of the galaxy.
The planet Business Mission is bitterly cold (its atmosphere lies frozen in its deeper valleys). It possesses a crater-pocked topography, riven by ancient canyons and mountain ranges. Located near the space landing facilities, its single major city (Freeport) is subterranean. It consists of a vast warren of caves, tunnels and grottos that have been reinforced and insulated to an unprecedented degree. Almost all cities on the planet are subterranean, with only a handful being domed surface complexes.
The planet appears worthless, which is why it was ignored and undeveloped for centuries. Business Mission was the brainchild of Orcinus McMichael, an outrageously successful investment speculator in the last century of the Human Raj. Impressed by the mercantile freedom of the Merchant Races, he planned to build an independent Planetary Stock Exchange that would not be dependent upon earth-based financial institutions. Pulling together a cartel of non-human, off-earth investors, he secured the entire Carbuncle/Ember system, and established the Business Mission Stock and Commodities Exchange.
With the collapse of humanity after the Snow Plague, Business Mission fell into the KessRith sphere of influence. In general, this meant a certain amount of stagnation on a marketwide level, but the combined economic strength of its other backers, and investments by high-level KessRith government speculators kept the planet viable and independent. Its defenses made it too tough to crack, and its independent status allowed KessRith officials to avoid the KessRith laws against usury in their investments. It was during this period that Baufrin conservatism took over the Exchange and a number of systemwide static defenses were purchased - these defenses being seen as an excellent way to protect investments.
With the return of Commonwealth rule to the Shannedam region, Mankind picked up the reins of the very-long term investments that had been held in trust for them - showing among other things McMichael's wisdom in establishing the exchange. More hidden defenses were built as, over the next 200 years, profits poured into the coffers of the businesses headquartered here.
Nothing seriously rocked the financial boat until the recent TOG incursion into Shannedam County. Business Mission has found itself interfering with the TOG conquest of the planets Caralis and Messana. Smugglers have been operating out of the Business Mission system in support of the Commonwealth Forces. Overtures by TOG to force the Businessmen to stop this flow have fallen on deaf ears. Businessmen are standing on their traditional neutrality and denying the existence of the smugglers (who, by their definition, are legitimate exponents of free enterprise).
The systemwide defense capabilities (many over 200 years old, and all largely speculative for outsiders) do not daunt TOG. It has been suggested, first in 6818, and later in 6825, that a large attack force seize Business Mission to cut off Caralis and Messana. Every request for authorization to attack has been refused by TOG Theater Political Advisor Nascor Deciperatus. He repeatedly cites the value of information gathered by Lictor External Affairs agents on the planet as part of the TOG trade legation. (Information peddling has become the second most lucrative form of trade on Business Mission, since the TOG incursion.)
Business Mission' s current unique situation provides opportunity to many individuals. It has become a major hub in the Renegade Underground as a way-station into the Commonwealth. Likewise, Business Mission is often the launching site of Lictor IS operations into the Commonwealth space.
When Shannedam County falls to TOG, there may be subtle changes in the operating system on-planet, but most investors feel safe. Business will continue as usual, driven, in all likelihood, by renewed TOG investments, especially middlemen moving in to represent a panoply of high-level Imperial investors aching to reap war profits. Run. This moon serves as an orbital transfer-and-control base for incoming traffic. It only has a small manned garrison. There are unsubstantiated reports of a massive complex of planetary defensive mechanisms in place - construction of some sort has taken place over the last 200 years. Business Mission is said to employ mercenary troops to man these defenses - also unconfirmed rumors but as Business Mission handles all its own space traffic information, unreported flights and shipments could be entering the system without anyone being the wiser.