When SICON sent its first survey mission to the Sigma Draconis system in 2088, it was not impressed with what it found. The only planet with the habitable zone of the star was wreathed in a blanket of thick dust and the solar system lacked any appreciable asteroid fields or valuable gasses. However, upon receiving the survey mission’s data, Federation scientists theorised the blanket of dust in the planet’s atmosphere was a temporary situation; all the data suggested the planet had been struck sometime in the last few centuries by an enormous comet or asteroid and that the evidence indicated the dust levels in the atmosphere were beginning to dissipate. The opportunity to study a planet that had been struck by such a cataclysmic event was enthralling to scientists, so much so that the Federation authorised repeated scientific missions to the planet over the next few years, while SICON decided to keep tabs on the planet in case it became viable for colonisation. In a length of time so short it shocked scientists, the dust cloud settled and within 20 years, the planet was declared viable for study and colonisation. The last legitimate governor of the Sigma Draconis system was Antony Mbeki, a native of Faraway who nonetheless takes every available opportunity to spend time on Earth. Following the civil war on Faraway and within the Federation, Governor Kgalema Maleba usurped Antony Mbeki and proclaimed the Draconian Hegemony. After the 6th Fleet re-captured Faraway, it is now being ruled by a seat of 5 councilmen until a governor is put in place.
The most exciting time in the history of Faraway happened before humanity even arrived at the planet. According to the best evidence gathered by Federation scientists, the planet was hit with an asteroid approximately 21 miles wide travelling at 31,000 miles per hour sometime around the year 1650. It impacted on dry land with more force than half SICON’s Fleet could muster, creating such a cataclysm that every form of life on the planet was destroyed. The planet was far from uninhabited when this happened. Not long after commencing its first large-scale investigation on Faraway, the Federation learned that there had been intelligent life on the planet before the apocalypse when the scientists began to discover evidence of cities, concurrent with a civilisation in the early stages of the Industrial Age. Since those first discoveries, a number of well-preserved bodies have been found in the thick, caked volcanic dust everywhere on the surface of the world. The civilisation native to Faraway was reptilian, using a long, snakeline tail for locomotion and equipped with four arms, each with two fingers and an opposable thumb. In honour of the star’s name, and in recognition of the race’s reptilian derivation, they were named the Draconians.
For nearly 20 years after the colony’s founding in 2088, Faraway was in the news constantly, as Federation scientists discovered more and more information about the race that evolved, lived and died there. Slowly, the novelty of it wore off and, though there are still scientific expeditions launched to Faraway, they have grown fewer and fewer over the years and the population of the Federation as a whole has long since ceased to care about the Draconians.
Close to the galactic core and with nothing whatsoever past it to defend, Faraway is rarely visited by the Fleet. When ships do come to Faraway now, it is usually only a cargo ship or two, there to haul away the valuable produce the world generates for distribution to other colonies. The appearance of a warship in Sigma Draconis system is rare indeed and they are usually only there long enough to do a quick and perfunctory security sweep before departing for another six to eight months.
That is swiftly beginning to change. Though it is certainly not the kind of thing that is reported on FedNet, ships belonging to the Black Cross and the Civilian Militia have been seen in the region and SICON suspects they have been using Fleet’s lax patrolling schedule in order to slip in to Faraway and resupply. Consequently, Fleet has been ordered to step up its patrols dramatically.
Famines, or Predruto as called by locals, are sadly a great part of Faraway's history. Former governor Anthony Mbeki is a renowned federophile and spent more time socializing with other political figures on Earth rather than governing. In his short 20 years reign, three famines have struck the entirety of the Sigma Draconis system.
The first famine broke out in 2286. In 2286, the United Citizen's Federation have voted to enact new trade and union laws, called the "Share and Care Act of 2286". Then Governor Anthony Mbeki's government failed to pass this legislation within a deadline. As a result, incoming Federation ships were docked with Faraway but were not cleared to unload their cargo. The shortages lead to a famine among the general civilization. Civil unrest occured, but the government managed to pass the bill within one weeks time.
The second famine, despite local rumors, was caused by a merchant in the Seffild Bazaar district of Sigma City. Following a misinterpreted piece of new legislation, the merchant did not conduct service with civilians. This merchant was so sure of his interpretation of the law that he had told his trade partners and other merchants in Sigma City. The civilians of Sigma City revolted against this, openly threatening the merchants to make business with them or they would break and enter their stores. Days later, the majority of stores in Seffild Bazaar have been burned to the ground. The cause for this is unknown - urban legend has it that the merchant himself burned his stores in order to not be punished via the new law for distributing food to civilians, despite them taking them forcefully. This is when the real famine struck Sigma City - there simlpy were too many people and too few food stores. The overwhelming number of civilians caused shortages and further escalated the civilian unrest. This was later struck down brutally on orders of Governor Anthony Mbeki.
The fourth famine in 20 years occured in the beginning of the Federal Civil War. As the Governor once again used brutal force against the populace, he was overthrown by an Anti-Federal movement led by Kgalema Maleba, who proceeded to declare the Draconian Hegemony and tried to secede from the Federation. This was short lived, though the triumphant 6th Fleet and later Coalition forces would end the famine with additional food supplies being sent to Faraway.
In the beginning, Faraway was a colony of friendly, curious, adventuresome people, who thought of the history of their new world as a great mystery to be explored. As time passed, however, and their world became more and more isolated, so too did the colonists. Today, visitors to Faraway describe the colonists, citizen and civilian alike, as hostile or even xenophobic.
Due to the specifications of their planetary ecology, Farawayans are relatively immune to volcanic ashes, as by now they not only cover the ground, but are also measured in the air. Due to the infestation of the grounds, Farawayans have an exceptional digestion system, having no issue even with Federal Standard MREs - food that pushes other people to their limits. The thin atmosphere and the overall planetary physics cause the Farawayan people to be relatively immune to high temperatures and resistant to heat.
Laws and Government
Local matters on Faraway are decided by a group of five Consuls, who preside from the Federal Building in the planet’s capital city. The city’s official name is Sigma City but it is known locally as Longago, a play by colonists on the name of their world. Law enforcement on Faraway is notoriously lax, another factor in SICON’s suspicion that the colonists are collaborating with groups like the Black Cross and the Civilian Militia.
The history of Faraway has been entirely peaceful, a situation that lends itself well to the kinds of industry the planet supports. Corporate investment in the planet is rather low; instead, the colonists have taken to forming large collectives of farmers and miners, working to maximise output through sharing equipment and supplies.In its earliest days, Faraway supported a booming tourist business, as people from throughout the Federation came to see the ruins left behind by the Draconians. The interest was impressive enough that Sigma City was even able to support a small university, Sigma University. The university remains today but its enrollment has been down consistently for the last five years and it may have to close its doors soon.
The majority of farmers are employed in the sugar fields of Faraway, a huge cash crop that grows well on the otherwise hostile ashlands. Up to 60% of the yields are used for rum production; Faraway is one of the largest producers of rum in the galaxy. A common myth is that Farawayan rum often has up to 80% of alcohol or even more. Farawayans are sturdy people, but such high alcohol percentage is not the case, it is rather a mislabel or a misunderstanding of the label. Unlike other producers of alcoholic beverage, Farawayans simply presuppose that people know that their rum is high-percentage. Therefore, when buying bottles of rum from Faraway, you'll often find the percentage of synthesized sugar/syrup in the rum but not the alcohol percentage itself. So, contrary to popular belief, should you buy a 80% Farawayan Rum bottle, it means only 20% of the ingredients are from the Farawayan farms and 80% are synthesized in factories. This synthesized sugar often explains the notorious aftertaste of 'high percentage' Farawayan rum foreign people have perceived to be from the high alcohol percentage.
Therefore, a low percentage Farawayan Rum is considered more valuable than a high percentage one, as more local sugarcanes have been used in the process, which gives not only a it a more distinct, but also very delightful taste.
Points of Interest
There are a number of points of interest on Faraway for the curious traveller. During Sigma City’s days as a tourism boomtown in the colony’s early years, a large number of hotels and entertainment venues were constructed. Most of these are still in operation today but the tiny trickle of tourism the planet receives now is not nearly enough to keep them at capacity and a thrifty traveller can usually find a good deal anywhere in the city. The ruins of the Draconians are the most popular sightseeing destination on Faraway and there are a number of them open to the public, as well as a museum in Sigma City dedicated to the first intelligent inhabitants of the planet. Lastly, there is the Hole Lake, the wide and abysmally deep body of water filling the crater left by the asteroid that wiped out the Draconians.