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VENUS

By 2106 the use of artificial black holes as cold sinks permitted the first cities to be constructed on Venus, but the planet remained so hot the red glow of superheated surface rocks were reflected by the sky.

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A few degrees east of the terminator of Venus is a sweet spot well known to TTA task force commanders where blockade runners skipping in from upsystem will often pop up. The more stupid ones, anyway.

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EPSILON ERIDANI

Creon orbits the Jovian planet Telamon in the Epsilon Eridani system. Memories of a botched first contact have led the Vikorians to successfully block TTA entrance to the Integrated Star Systems Alliance.

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DX CANCRI

When the Trax made a surprise attack on the Cetasian stronghold in the disputed DX Cancri system over a hundred TTA advisors either perished outright if they were lucky or were taken captive if they were not.

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ORION

In the stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula complex, deep-space explorers of the Terran Trade Authority encountered a warship identified in Jane’s as a Laodamian Phoenix class frigate, and lived to tell of it.

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LUNA

When the dial read 3psi she removed her helmet, and invited Gene Cernan to do likewise. The spent-gunpowder smell of the lunar regolith assaulted her nose but she was used to it. And after two lunar EVAs so was Cernan.

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JUPITER

At Jupiter the situation is reversed from that of aircraft on Terra: oxygen is carried on board and hydrogen is sucked in from outside to be burned. But should the artificial gravity fail the wingless craft goes down.

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KAPTEYN’S STAR

Kapteyn’s Star. Automated transports sidle up to drink SP-5 like piglets at a sow’s tit while invisible petrochemical workers lead desperate lives in hovels that grow on the side of the refinery like moss on a tree.

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PROCYON

The large, ancient objects discovered on Morta in the Procyon system were abandoned and of unknown utility but they were obviously built to endure. The Terran Trade Authority brought in fusion pods to re-purpose them as drydocks for ship repair and called it a windfall.

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JUPITER

After the catastrophic attack on Jossis, the twenty-three surviving independent floating balloon cities at Jupiter immediately scaled back their hydrogen liquefaction operations to effectively hand the General Materials Corporation a monopoly on propellant.