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Shamash (Xi Bootis A III)
Shamash
Image from Steve Bowers
Shamash before terraforming; this world clearly shows the effects of illumination by its twin suns

Shamash - Data Panel

SystemShamash
StarsXi Bootis A and B
Distance from Sol22 ly
Stellar TypeA: G8 Ve/variable
B: K4 Ve
Separation16 AU minimum, 50 AU maximum
Major Orbital habitat SwarmXil, located at the binary Lagrange points

Xi Bootis
Image from Steve Bowers
Shamash Xi Bootis A III - a business paradise during the First Federation period, later became a major world of Solar Dominion

First reached by the minor megacorp Hearp Rangers (later part of the Taurus Nexus) in 1349. They discovered a terraformable planet in orbit around the A star and hired the cyborg clade Etaoin Roltz to oversee the project. The slow process was expected to take 500 years, which suited the cryonics-obsessed cyborgs well. Meanwhile the system became a major trading point between the local systems of TakiCorb, the Taurus Nexus, the corporations to become the Conver Ambi and several other colony megacorps. An extensive orbital habitat swarm became located at the binary's Lagrange points. This swarm, called Xil, came to be known as the real capital of the Arcturus expansion direction.

The terraforming project progressed slowly, but the Etaoin Roltz came under Solarist influence. When a formal request for status report came in 1239 they declared that they owned the rights to the world (which they named Shamash) as Hearp Rangers had ceased to exist. Taurus Nexus immediately took legal action, but the cyborgs refused to budge and appeared not to care that a massive trade blockade was instituted against Shamash. Taurus instead sent down leased vec security forces, and a planetary war ensued. Quite soon it was clear that the cyborgs despite their technological disadvantage had a tactical advantage of understanding the planet's quirky geography and environment perfectly, and were able to bog down the war into guerrilla action for centuries. As the Greater Solar Dominion also began to break the blockade, the Taurus Nexus gradually was forced to concede the planet to the cyborgs in exchange for a permanent lease on the continent Locos. In 2348 Shamash formally joined the Solar Dominion.

Over the next centuries Shamash grew into a populous and wealthy Dominion World, while Xil continued as a prosperous finance capital. As the Dominion influence grew Xil became the financial capital of the Dominion (a position it held until well in the sixth millennium). When the Taurus Nexus break-up occurred in 3263 Locos was annexed by the Dominion.

Shamash is one of the heart systems of the Solar Dominion, and the devastation brought by the Metasoft raiders during the Version War hurt the Dominion severely. In 4478 Xil was destroyed and much of the information infrastructure of Shamash dereferenced (which likely saved it from a Cyberian attack similar to the Mithras subversion). Over the next 30 years the system struggled to keep the Metasoft autoguerrillas at bay and maintain civil order. The return of the Solarian fleet in 4507 is still celebrated as the Arrival of the Saving Host, although several major battles threatened the system over the following decades.

After the war Shamash and Xil (now a wormhole gate web) was rebuilt to even greater splendour, and has since then remained one of the gems in the Solar Dominion. It is closely linked to Fons Luminis, and often acts as the second capital. It is known as "The Second Sun" (a slightly blasphemous pun based on its two suns and secondary position in the empire).

Beside Shamash and Xil, all major bodies are inhabited. In 4222 a Nimbus colony was set up on Xi Bootis B I, but it persisted only for 400 years before dissipating. The inhabitants are mainly mixed baseline, tweak and cyborgs, ruled by the famous Xil AI. The Etaoin Roltz remain, having become a holy order guarding the sacred sites and ecology of the planet.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg

Initially published on 13 August 2000.

 
 
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