Shoreridge III has had an uneventful life. Founded in 2163, the colony has changed the planet far more than its people. The highest concentrations of the planet’s population are found in its five cities, formed around the core of the original colonies. Each of these cities still officially bears the rather unimaginative designation it was given at the time of the colony’s founding (S.C. One, S.C. Two, S.C. Three and so on). Naturally, each of the cities has been given different names by the inhabitants of the planet but each of them is known by a different name by the people in the other five cities and still more names from the people living outside the cities, making the entire situation frightfully confusing to an outsider. Upon receiving his post as governor of Shoreridge system, Vice Admiral Markus Brown fielded a question from a savvy FedNet reporter about the different names for cities in this colony and whether he would be pushing for a standardisation of names there. Vice Admiral Brown answered her question by attempting to summarise the way the names work on Shoreridge, an answer so confusing the press conference ground itself to a halt. While the cities are the most concentrated areas of population, the majority of the inhabitants are not urban dwellers. Rather, they are spread across the surface of the planet, mining the planet’s mineral wealth and tending crops and herds the spread across millions of acres of the planet’s surface.
Originally, there were six cities on Shoreridge III but an unexpected and exceptionally violent earthquake four decades ago all but destroyed one of them. More than 2,000 people died in the disaster and the city was never reoccupied afterward. Even after 40 years, the great quake is one of the most common topics of conversation on the planet. Generally, life on Shoreridge III goes on uneventfully, so much so in fact that the rest of the population of the Federation tends to forget the colony even exists. That is exactly the way the colonists want it.
While not technophobic, the people of Shoreridge III resist change. They live a prosaic, bucolic life which they value greatly and do not wish to see altered. New technologies have to be used on their behalf, as generally speaking, the colonists will not embrace anything innovative or different. Unlike the other great agricultural colony of the Federation, Iskander, the colony of Shoreridge III has never experienced any sort of strife among its people. This is likely due in part to the fact that there are only a handful of citizens on this colony; without living with the ‘other half ’ there is little incentive for the kind of dissatisfaction that manifests itself on Iskander.
Just as very few citizens make their home on Shoreridge III, very few citizens come from Shoreridge III. Year after year, the colony has the lowest Federal Service recruitment numbers of any place in Federation space. In fact, it is common for years to go by without a single colonist choosing to enlist. Although enlistment in Federal Service is always voluntary and even discouraged in peacetime, the pitifully small number of recruits coming from Shoreridge has caused some concern in SICON, and Military Intelligence has kept a careful eye on the planet for some time. However, all indications are that while the colonists are loyal civilians of the Federation, they simply want to be left alone. Even with the advent of war against the bugs, the Federal Service Information & Recruitment Centre in Shoreridge Colony 1 (similar centres were opened in the capital city of every stellar colony following the commencement of the war) stands empty except for its bored staff.
Laws and Government
Traditionally, law enforcement has been lax on Shoreridge III. This has stemmed not from one factor but from a confluence of several. Given the extremely low percentage of citizens on the planet, it has always been difficult to recruit police officers. Several governors in the past have made overtures to the Federation about allowing civilians to function as a police force, citing the fact that civilians on Rhohan are allowed to carry weapons as precedent but the answer to such overtures has always been a resounding ‘no!’ Combined with the cultural predilection of Shoreridge III toward avoiding any more interaction than necessary with the government, this has resulted in a much smaller police force for the planet than even its small population would warrant.
That same small population is another reason for the lassitude of law enforcement on Shoreridge III. Considering the vast area of land the planet holds, the majority of its surface is very sparsely populated. These wide, uninhabited spaces make crime very easy to carry out and the planet has long been a particularly favourite rendezvous point for smugglers.
Lastly, the Shoreridge system has been the unfortunate recipient of a number of weak governors over the past three centuries, men and women who look good on paper but have found themselves overwhelmed by the job. In this vacuum of true authority, criminals have been able to thrive. The new governor, Markus Brown, has made a pledge to change all that but as it has been fewer than six months since he took the post, it is impossible to tell yet whether he will succeed. His reputation, however, indicates he will. For the most part, the people of Shoreridge III do not care. So long as the crime does not affect them directly, they do not consider it to be any of their business.
Most of the agricultural and mining areas of Shoreridge III are the property of civilian corporations, administered on the planet by local employees who report back to bosses on Earth who never have and likely never will set foot on this distant world. However, the vast majority of the colonists are not employed by these corporations, with nearly 80% working their own farms or mines. While those who are employed by an Earth corporation generally enjoy a slightly higher standard of living (or at least a more dependable income), they are looked on with pity and some amount of scorn by the remainder of the colonists who feel that labouring for a corporation owned by people who are not of Shoreridge III is a betrayal to the rest of the colonists. This attitude has prevented the corporations from gobbling up the remainder of the useful land on the planet, as all attempts to purchase it from the existing colonists are met with flat refusals. Three corporations have entreated the Federation to declare eminent domain and allow them to purchase the land that way but thus far such entreaties have been refused.
Aside from these two industries, very little happens on Shoreridge III. It has no tourism industry, no manufacturing concerns, no technological facilities. Farming and mining are its bread and butter. Fortunately, it does those two things very well. There are rumours that have surfaced and died out again and again over the course of the colony’s existence that many of the colonists supplement their income by aiding and abetting the smugglers who use this world. Each time these rumours arise, the Federation has thoroughly investigated, an act made more difficult by the closed-mouthed nature of the people of Shoreridge III. However, each investigation has failed to yield enough evidence to charge any colonists with this crime, let alone bring them to trial over it.
Ever since their founding, Shoreridge III has been home to huge cock-farms. While the farms are not huge and usually privately owned, the cocks on the farms are. They are infact so huge that the majority of cockmeat in the Federation originates from Shoreridge III. Over the time, the cocks have become a symbol for the people of Shoreridge III, even naming their jumpball team after them, the Shoreridge III Mightycocks.
Points of Interest
If there were to be a competition for the most boring planet in the Federation, Shoreridge III would likely win. Devoid even of interesting natural features, there is virtually nothing for a visitor to do on this planet. The five cities of Shoreridge III offer docking and cargo storage facilities, as well as some scanty accommodations, but little else.