Hard Burn for a Bullet
Oxbow is an isolated dwarf planet that is part of the “Rim” worlds. Oxbow is still classed as uninhabitable by the alliance and ongoing terraforming operations are rated at 20-50 years from minimum standards. Despite the inhospitable conditions, regular earthquakes, and possibility of volcanic events, it is home to a corporate mining settlement called Shiverton and an orbital space station called The Wheel, both run by Octal Technologies.
“Welcome to Oxbow; hot, dry, dusty and meaner’ than the devil with a hangnail. The rain seldom falls, the crops never grow and the only critters that ever took were the rats. As planets go, she ain’t much, she barely meets the qualifications in fact but no one ever told her that and so she keeps on spinning. Her proximity to her sun and lack of water, surface or otherwise, made her a low priority for terraforming but the possibility of large deposits of bastnasite peaked the interest of some bigwigs in the core. You may be interested to know what bastnasite is but I promise you, five minutes of research will cure that; it ain’t that interesting. These days, Oxbow is home to one small settlement by the name of Shiverton. They have a saying in Shiverton that they got two professions: mining and leaving; if your not doin’ the one, you’re doin’ the other. Life there is hard but the folks that can stand it, stay because, despite what you may think, the corporation that owns the mines, Octal Technologies, actually seems to care about what happens to people (that may be why their stocks have been stagnatin’ for a while now.) The miners get paid better than most; they always bring in a new Doc when the old one turns tail and if someone wants to leave, Old Ocho (a term of endearment for Octal Tech) let’s ’em.
‘Course, that’s only half the story. You see, on a planet where everyone wants to leave, no one comes to visit. That may be why Octal Tech built “The Wheel” there; a space station that they’d tell you is strictly there for refining but the smart money says that’s only half of what’s going on there. Especially now that the big Ba Qiu (BAH-cho; eight-ball) hereself, Octal’s President and founder, is overseeing operations. Not to mention the size-able staff of people too clean for shore leave on an armpit like Oxbow."
Being a corporate controlled world it is somewhat outside alliance scrutiny and they’re always hiring. Shiverton is home to characters with a variety of working class backgrounds while The Wheel houses scientists and corporates; people with education and a background closer to the core. They’re always hiring people for a wide variety of jobs both for the service of the planet and the needs of a questionably motivated tech company. They also have planetary services for which outsiders are brought in (i.e. medical, administrative, entertainment.) Octal has a platoon sized (40-50) group of corporate soldiers with a variety of backgrounds (mostly alliance military;) their barracks are located on the planet, though they rotate one squad at a time stationed on The Wheel. They leave Shiverton alone to govern itself by means of its mayor and sheriff, though the soldiers do make their rounds at the town’s bar and unregistered brothel. Rumor has it that the Companion Guild has sent an envoy to The Wheel to oversee an investigation of Shiverton’s unlawful companionship practices.