The Minos system was colonized by an industrial consortium in 2053. One of the early core systems of the Earth Federation, it was settled prior to strict environmental controls. As a result, it is a heavily industrialized world, with pollution so thick you can frequently not see the sky, and acid rain is not uncommon.
Minos is slightly larger and warmer than Earth and has oceans that cover two-thirds of its surface. It has four major continents, all of which are at least partially settled, but the two northern ones are the most heavily populated. The planet has an active tectonic system and two large moons (both of which have significant mining operations of their own), which means tidal heating of Minos' core has led to major volcanic chains of mountains where plenty of dense mantle material has been brought up to the crust. Extensive deposits of metal ores and fissionable elements, along with tall mountains and an active water cycle, have created a brew of cheap raw materials and both hydroelectric and fission-based nuclear power in large quantities, all of which made it a ripe target for colonization and industrialization. The same rivers that power the massive hydroelectric dams also provide cheap bulk transportation of raw materials and finished products to the spaceports and cargo-catapault systems which bring them to market on nearby Avalon and other core systems.
The planet was initially settled by a consortium of industrial megacorporations, who financed the initial terraforming of the planet and the construction of most of its cities and infrastructure in exchange for long-term favorable tax, labor, and environmental regulation guarantees. As a result, wages and other costs are comparatively low on Minos, labor unions are nonexistent, and the atmosphere condensers that were used in the initial terraforming are still running at full blast just to barely keep up with removing toxic pollutants from the atmosphere. Still, over three billion people live on Minos, and while wages are rather low, unemployment is also usually surprisingly low. The factories and mines of Minos are always hungry for more cheap labor, so net immigration actually leads to a growing population despite the crowding of its core cities. These cities in turn are mostly named for the megacorporations which paid for their initial construction, and are laid out as company towns largely focused on a narrow range of related products. When a company goes out of business or changing technology renders a product line obsolete, entire cities can be temporarily idled as the factories are sold and retooled for a new line of products.
Among other megacorps, Minos is home to Maax Industries and the Sukhoi Grumman Corporation (which founded Sukhoi CIty) that manufactures aircars, shuttles, and starfighters such as the Earth Fleet's AF-12 Avenger. Other megacorps, such as Olin Industries, Harrington Industries, and the Ferret Works, although not based on Minos, maintain major operations on the planet.
Since its initial settlement, Minos has mostly been spared the fighting that has ravaged many other colony worlds. It spent the entire Third Civil War firmly in the Grand Council Loyalist territory, and was not in the path of the Vin Shriak or Caal invasions. However, during the Ascension War, it saw brief but intense fighting as the Earth Federation "liberated" it from the Holy Terran Empire for several months. Rioting and urban guerrilla combat ensued during the occupation, with intracommunal violence common between rival gangs of Federation and Imperial loyalists. The unrest kept the Federation ground force pinned down in place and unable to withdraw for further advances, stalling the advance and helping shift the momentum of the war back into the Empire's favor. After the death of Joseph Smythe, Federation forces abruptly pulled out completely in a last desperate attempt to shore up defenses around New Madrid, and the system fell back to the Empire by default.
With the dismantling of much of the Jumpgate Network following the Imperial victory in the Ascension War, Minos' export-oriented heavy manufacturing economy has suffered greatly. The fact that the system does still contain functioning jumpgates, and that it is on the main trunk line connecting Avalon and New Paris to New Madrid and both the northern and eastern marches, has kept Minos' economy from collapsing entirely. In fact, it is still one of the better-off systems, but no where near as prosperous as it was in the days of the Federation. Phoenix has overtaken it as the largest industrial system outside of Avalon itself.
Major Cities and Landmarks
- Cobalt Mountains
- Ferret River