After its discovery five years ago, XH8-211 – called Starfall by its inhabitants – has retained its initial low appraisal. Besides the ‘squatters’ occupying the planet’s barren surface, the world has been ignored by the GCPS at large, seemingly having no resources or indigenous population worthy of corporate exploitation. Until the world-quakes began.
Without warning, the planet was struck by massive tectonic shifts. Great rifts and chasms were torn into the planet’s surface, some large enough to swallow cities. As they weren’t official GCPS citizens, the inhabitants’ calls for aid fell on deaf ears. The cheap, prefabricated settlements that littered the planet’s surface were all but ruined by the quakes. Only the heavily fortified areas built by smugglers and pirates, using the planet as a staging ground, survived the onslaught. If it weren’t for one of the survivors having a relative in an up-and-coming mining corporation, Starfall would have perished in ignominy with barely a mark on GCPS records.
The tectonic instability revealed the presence of several highly valuable minerals that had lain undetected below the planet’s surface. These would be costly to extract, but any success would yield profits in magnitudes greater than the extraction expense. This information was not yet available to the wider GCPS, conveyed only by a frightened survivor to their distant cousin.