Despite its relative proximity to the Sol system, at least as compared to systems like Cincinnati and Shoreridge, the Sirius system was not extensively surveyed, nor its one habitable planet colonised, until about 35 years ago, long after most other Federation colonies were established and thriving. Shoreridge III, by way of example, was colonised more than 50 years ago and orbits a star nearly three times as far from Sol as Sirius is.
Initially, the Federation Colonisation Commission had a difficult time recruiting colonists for Karrus. The plague that had wiped out its former population had become public knowledge by now and, despite assurances from the government and a large number of scientists that it could not affect human beings, there was still unsurprisingly some of nervousness in the population. However, once the Karrus colony had been up and running for a decade, such fears began to ebb, and the many possibilities and opportunities of Karrus soon began to lure colonists in droves.
What makes Karrus so remarkable as a colony is not that it does one thing perfectly well but that the world does many things extremely well. In the course of the colony’s history, it has developed agriculture, mining, heavy industry, enormous corporations and even a thriving tourism industry. All these qualities are a source of tremendous pride to the people of Karrus.
That pride almost became dangerous to the colony some 20 years ago, when the colonists began referring to Karrus as ‘New Earth’. This unfortunate choice of words set off a number of red flags at SICON, as it smacked of separatism. Consequently, the planet came under close scrutiny by Military Intelligence, a scrutiny SICON did not bother to hide. However, the first Military Intelligence investigation (as well as those that followed whenever someone at SICON felt there was need) did not reveal any true separatist or dissident activity on Karrus.
One industry that should thrive on the planet but does not is archaeology. Though several of the ruined cities and towns of the Karnans are available to tourists, the Federation will only rarely issue permission for an archaeological team to investigate any of the other sites. Early in the life of the Karrus colony, there were occasional ‘Karnan sightings’ – people who claimed to have seen one of the original race of the planet. Of course, the Federation said this was impossible, as it had ensured there were no survivors before beginning construction on the colony and FedNet will not broadcast such sensationalism. Eventually, these so-called sightings became more infrequent but they still occur from time to time.
Karrus is home to the largest population of humans anywhere outside the Sol system. The people of Karrus tend to be proud, optimistic and confident, cultural traits that are easily understandable given all the colony has accomplished in its relatively young life. Despite the ruins all over the planet from the ancient civilisation that once lived there, the people of Karrus tend to look toward the future, not the past. Karrus has been the site of one success after another since it was first settled by humanity and the potential of the planet seems unlimited. Ambition is also a defining trait of the Karrus culture. It has what has fueled the rise of what is commonly referred to in economic circles as the ‘Sirius Lion’ – the meteoric rise of Karrus’ financial and political power in the last three centuries.
The people of Karrus are extraordinarily loyal to the Federation, despite any concerns that may have arisen over their christening of the planet as ‘New Earth’. This loyalty, along with the ambition and optimism endemic in Karrus society, spur many of its young people to enlist in Federal Service to earn their franchise as citizens and the colony itself has one of the largest citizen populations of any stellar colony in the Federation.
Laws and Government
The capital of Karrus is a city called New Madrid, the only city of any appreciable size on the planet and home to more than two million people. The mammoth Federal Building in the centre of New Madrid is the seat of all government for the Sirius system, an enormous bureaucracy administering the laws, education, health care and employment needs of this vibrant world.
The laws of Karrus are practically indistinguishable from those of Earth. However, visitors should be aware that the majority of the Karnan ruins are off-limits to anyone not there with express governmental consent. Trespassing may result in a fine to be determined by the judge and a flogging of up to 20 lashes.
The ‘Sirius Lion’ has roared – and the whole Federation has heard it. Though the colony was slow to get started, due to lingering concerns in the population about the plague that destroyed the Karnans, within a decade the colony hit the ground running and has never looked back. The people of Karrus call their planet ‘New Earth’ for a very good reason. It is capable of producing almost anything Earth can and it has the local business acumen and financial power to act on its natural resources. This ensures the colony a steady stream of income from a wide variety of sources, from raw mining materials to manufacturing to tourism. Thus, the colony sends a steady stream of revenue (not to mention concrete goods) back to Earth, thereby earning its high retention rating.
Among the powerful corporations created and headquartered on Karrus are:
- Allied Metallics – a consortium of mining corporations and foundries
- Belor Systems – a computer manufacturer
- Neurofiber – makers of the high-speed data lines used in everything from FedNet consoles to the armoured suits of the Mobile Infantry
- Sirius Label – an agricultural consortium, specialising in growing, harvesting and distributing the edible native fruits and vegetables of Karrus
Points of Interest
Though of course Karrus falls far short of Zegama Beach as a holiday destination, there are a vast number of things to see and do on the planet. New Madrid has some of the finest museums, symphony halls, sports teams and theatres of any stellar colony. Indeed, they are finer that those of many cities on Earth. Outside of New Madrid itself, the planet has towering mountains, wide seas and raging rivers for those with a taste for a little adrenaline with their entertainment. Given the planet’s low gravity as compared to Earth, activities ranging from mountain climbing to hang gliding take on an added level of excitement. Lastly, of course, there are the Karnan ruins to visit. Several of the larger sites are open to the public year-round, offering tours, hiking excursions and even accommodations for a reasonable price.