Assur is a planet in the system Baal in New Babylon. It is a medium sized, but scarcely colonized planet in need of ongoing terraforming operations and continued subsidies from the central government. The planet is mostly arid and of neglectable importance to the overall region. It is most prominently known as safe hideout for criminals on the run and refugees alike.
Name and etymologyEdit
Like most stellar bodies in its region at the westernmost forefront of human expansion, Assur is keeping with the middle-eastern theme, being named after the city that gave the ancient human civilization of Assyria its name.
Composition and structureEdit
For a life-bearing planet, Assur features only limited amounts of open water, restricted to a number of shallow bodies too small to be called oceans. These lakes are supplied by a number of major rivers that dominate vast stretches of the planet, while most of the total water on Assur is found within the athmosphere.
There have been numerous plans to introduce additional water to the planet, some of which may yet be implemented to boost fertility and hospitality of the planet.
Assurs athmosphere has been terraformed extensively to allow for human habitation, consisting for the largest part of nitrogen and of about 20% oxygen. However, the athmospheric pressure of Assur is considerably lower than on earth. On sea-level, the air-pressure on Assur is equivalent to the pressure in 2000 meters height on earth.
Artificial developement of the athmosphere is still ongoing on Assur, with several athmospheric plants converting raw material shipped from asteroid mining onto planet surface into athmospheric components.
Numerous lifeforms from earth have been released on Assur alongside selected specimens of economical value from other planets in the Aleph Sector. While the overall biosphere has stabilized enough for open settlement to have been viable for decades now, there is no ecological balance within Assurs environment and repeated ecological breakdowns are common at a regional level. As Assur is an overall arid planet, desert regions are plenty and only hardy life survives beyond river valleys and along coastal shores. The lack of a seasonal cycle on Assur has put additional hardships on imported species and the developing nature is only slowly adapting to the conditions on the terraformed planet.
Culture and economyEdit
Overall, Assur is an underdeveloped colony without significant industrial base. An excemption to this is the thriving chemical industry that employs several ten thousand individuals within the few industrial centers and an additional number of workers in outlying mining operations, mainly for silicates and methane gas. The products are mainly low-tech components for analogous spaceship components as well as pre-products to energy-cells.
Defined by vast stretches of undeveloped landscape, Assur is seperated into a few regional hubs whose cities are connected by streets which are serviced by a few local bus companies. The hubs themselves a joined solely through airplane travel which is monopolized by the Lamassu Transport Company.
Orbital traffic is dependant upon shuttle flight, which is monopolized by Lamassu Transport as well. In orbit around Assur, a minor space station, the Assur Planet Spaceport is found, providing docks for interplanetary flights and hosting a limited number of permanent residents.
Assur is well known as criminal hideout for criminals from both the Pax Galactica and the Stellar Republic. The weak presence of police forces on the vast expanses of underdeveloped land on the planet attract many who are in search of a safe refugee from the more efficient law enforcement in neighbouring regions of the galaxy. On Assur itself, many of these fugitives are then employed by human crime syndicates based on Assur or nearby planets of New Babylon. Assur itself is furthermore a major production hub for illegal drugs sold throughout the region.