Galactic Guide: Nexus
UDS-2445-3-09, Hathor, the “Crossroads of Crime”; the Nexus System has been called many things during its long history. Nexus is just the latest and most obvious moniker of the bunch. Located at a strategically important junction of jump points, Nexus was a colloquial name for the system first used in the 28th century in reference to its role connecting lawless systems.
When the UEE reclaimed the system in 2931, government officials began an initiative to use the system’s older name, Hathor, as an attempt to erase its associations with pirates. However, the name was too embedded in the Empire’s lexicon to be changed, and the effort was almost universally mocked. Eventually the UEE conceded and officially adopted the system’s name as Nexus.
In fact, its name has always been a strong indication of the current condition of the system. Many believe the history of Nexus can be best understood through the various names it bore over the ages.
Nexus was discovered on March 9, 2445, by Dominic Thapa, a UNE Navy pilot probing the then military classified Cathcart System for new jump points. It was the military that assigned the system its first name — UDS-2445-3-09. Pathfinders entered the system shortly thereafter to find a bluish-white A-type main-sequence star, five planets and a mineral-rich asteroid belt.
The UNE’s first assessment of the system saw potential, but also a problem. The problem was that Nexus could only be accessed through Cathcart, which was a restricted military system at the time. Rather than risk opening Cathcart to civilian traffic, the military initially tried to make use of the system themselves — terraforming Nexus IV and even experimenting with smog-planet terraforming on Nexus II. Unfortunately, around this time the government started facing a significant budget shortfall, and the expensive development of Nexus was quickly placed on the chopping block. The military still did not want to allow access to Cathcart, so a compromise was settled upon. By allowing limited access to a single corporation, strict control could still be maintained, so the UNE sold Nexus’ mining rights to the Hathor Group for a considerable sum, which was immediately used to help fill the budget gap. Some historians believe the decision helped the ruling Universalist party maintain their majority in the close elections of 2468.
The Hathor Group
The Hathor Group purchased all mining rights to the Nexus System in January of 2468. It was an unprecedented deal that centuries later would be the inspiration for the UEE to do something similar in the Stanton System. The subsequent lack of government and public oversight allowed the Hathor Group to run the system as they saw fit. The company’s control was so ubiquitous that astronomical charts from the 26th century referred to it as the Hathor System.
While Hathor was in charge, few laws were enforced. The military presence in neighboring Cathcart had dwindled as that system was converted into a dumping ground, and as long as minerals were mined, and profits made, the Hathor Group didn’t care what their employees and contractors did outside of work. Nexus became known for gambling, rampant violence and innumerable illicit activities. Crime became the system’s only viable economic engine outside of mining.
Illegal activity only intensified with the subsequent discovery of three additional jump points and increased traffic from neighboring unclaimed systems. Gangs began to stalk the flight paths between the jump points and planets, preying on any ship they found. That, combined with the Hathor Group’s stranglehold on the system, dissuaded most people from visiting and most businesses from setting up operations.
Meanwhile, the Hathor Group continued to rip resources out of Nexus III, Nexus IV and the Elcibre Belt until the profit margin began to dip below their ballooning security budget. The Hathor Group officially abandoned the system in 2672, leaving behind an inhospitable wasteland, scarred by centuries of mining and lacking basic civilian infrastructure. It should come as no surprise what happened next.
The Crossroads of Crime
After the Hathor Group left, the strip-mined surface of Lagos (in particular) provided perfect cover for criminal packs to move into the system and establish operations. The system’s population swelled and led some to believe it could challenge Spider as the center of the underworld. It was during this era that the name Nexus was first used to describe its role as a criminal system hub, earning it an additional tag: the “Crossroads of Crime.”
For decades, the UEE allocated minimal resources to curb the system’s illegal activity. Then in 2931, when Dean Kellar’s infamous and eponymous run spilled into the Nexus System, UEE authorities attempted to reassert control. They were shocked to realize that not only did the criminal element refuse to back down, but that they didn’t hesitate to open fire at law enforcement. Once Kellar’s Run finally ended, this defiance spurred the UEE to pass a motion to reclaim Nexus and strategically break up the problem-riddled cluster of lawless systems.
The UEE has since instituted a basic infrastructure in Nexus, including establishing a military and Advocacy presence, but conditions in the system are best described as risky. Shipping lanes are mostly secure and even businesses that avoided the system for centuries have started to establish operations. However, entrepreneurial haulers should take note, although the UEE has made progress in the system, the battle for control of Nexus is still ongoing. While the UEE has managed to uproot the entrenched criminal elements on Nexus III, doing so on Nexus IV (Lago) has not been nearly as easy or (as yet) successful.
This protoplanet so closely circles the system’s star that it has been thoroughly charred. Still, that did not stop the Hathor Group from scanning it for resources. Nothing of value was found at the time, to no one’s surprise.
Nexus II features a dense, nitrogen-rich atmosphere. Initially, the UEE used Nexus II to experiment with the terraforming of smog planets, but all attempts at sustaining a breathable atmosphere failed. Many believe that the cost sunk into the unsuccessful terraforming experiments drove the UEE to “sell” the system to the Hathor Group.
This naturally habitable world was once the central hub for the Hathor Group before outlaws made the abandoned facilities their own. When the UEE resolved to retake the system, Nexus III was their first target. After a protracted battle to control the planet, the UEE military moved in and established a permanent presence.
Today, the planet is classified for military personnel only and no one without the proper clearance should attempt to land.
In the 26th and 27th centuries, the Hathor Group heavily mined this sparse asteroid belt. Recent technological advancements have found previously undiscovered pockets of precious minerals.
Nexus IV (Lago)
The planet’s name, Lago, comes from a famous 26th-century Vid about a fictional outlaw haven. By the 2920s, that vision was turning into a reality. The lack of a UEE presence allowed outlaws to accumulate in numbers not seen outside of Spider.
On paper, the UEE has made great strides in reclaiming the planet. An Advocacy Station, local police force and a small Citizen and civilian population have been established. Military families with service members stationed on Nexus III are offered sweetheart land deals in an effort to infuse the planet with respectable residents.
Yet even with all the positive developments, Lago is not without its issues. Settlements are small, cramped and robustly barricaded against attacks from the criminal gangs who wish to reclaim it for their own. Supplies are often in short supply. This and more makes Lago an appealing place for enterprising haulers, but a less than ideal place to live.
Nexus V (Red God)
A gas giant nicknamed the Red God by locals for its swirling colors of reds and dark browns. Sources claim the name originated with the Sang Gestas, a cryptic outlaw pack on Lago who believe the planet possesses mysterious powers.
While there have been great strides in restoring law and order to Nexus, anyone entering the system should remember the three S’s of safe travel: Stay in designated lanes, Scan your surroundings, and Shields up!
HEARD IN THE WIND
“Today marks a proud moment in history as we embark on this partnership with the government to further develop our ever-ex-panding territory. I know that by working together, Hathor Group and UNE have many great things in store for this system.”
– Jela Martinez, Hathor Group CEO, Statement to the Press, 2468
“That’s kinda the thing isn’t it? Run ’round Nexus long enough, and there’s no telling who you’ll meet. Pretty much a who’s who of the worst of the worst. As I like to say, all roads lead to Nexus, and you’ll probably get robbed on all of them.”
– Telly “Tubs” Garson, Interviewed on Nexus: Crossroads of Crime, 2925