Rios is a primarily agricultural world in the Southeast corner of human space. Eight hundred million humans called the planet home as of 2265, 750 million as of 2275. It is currently ruled by House Weldon on behalf of the Holy Terran Empire.
The planet was a former Katarn world first settled by humans in 2208 after the Bugs who had wiped out its original Katarn inhabitants were themselves wiped out in turn by theTech Infantry. The Katarn had terraformed the planet to their liking, and it did not take much effort for humans to tweak the environment to produce large areas of good farming conditions.
Rios remained under the control of the Grand Council in the early stages of the Third Civil War, but the system was invaded by the Jurvain in March of 2243. After the Jurvain battle fleet entered the system and deployed for battle, the entire Jurvain landing force was destroyed behind them when the Ashdown jumpgate they were passing through was destroyed by Captain Erich Von Shrakenberg. However, his jubilation was short-lived, for almost immediately a second fleet jumped in from New Madrid, but this fleet was loyal to the Tech Infantry Rebel faction of "Auntie Sarah" Dunmeyer. As the Jurvain fleet closed in on Von Shrakenberg's cruiser, the EFS Schaumburg, he led them on a high-velocity chase on a slingshot trajectory around the system primary. Several Jurvain ships were damaged or destroyed when they unsuccessfully tried to cut inside the Schaumburg on the turn and entered the stellar corona. The Schaumburg itself was badly scorched, losing half its point defense mounts in the process. Curving back out from the star, the Schaumburg led the Jurvain fleet directly towards the ongoing space battle being fought between the rebel and loyalist fleets, and as they passed the disabled hulk of the Loyalist fighter carrier EFS Varyag, the Schaumburg fired upon the hulk with its Particle Cannons set for gluon streams. These set off a fusion chain reaction in the deuterium and hydrogen fuel tanks aboard the Varyag, turning it into a gigantic explosive mine, and the ensuing explosion wiped out most of the pursuing Jurvain fleet. The few surviving Jurvain ships were easily mopped up by the victorious Rebel task force, which went on to occupy Rios for the following six months.
The Jurvain returned in October, bringing with them a Jumpgate Constructor Ship. The Jurvain battle fleet focused on defending this vessel as it rebuilt the Ashdown-Rios Jumpgate, ignoring the planet while a large fleet of civilian vessels successfully evacuated millions of citizens. The millions more who could not be evacuated conducted a scorched-earth campaign, destroying much of the industrial and transportation infrastructure of the planet to render it less useful to the Jurvain occupiers. The Jurvain did eventually land, and they conducted bloody reprisals against the remaining citizens for their sabotage. A vicious guerilla campaign ensued, as humans hiding in the jungles and the rubble of cities struck back at the Jurvain settlers and repair crews. The difficulties involved in pacifying the system may have played a role in the Jurvain decision to trade the system back to the Federation in exchange for a peace treaty after the Third Civil War ended. That peace treaty proved short-lived, and Rios was the staging ground for Clarke's invasion of the Jurvain a few years later. Clarke poured trillions of credits into rebuilding Rios, and its population had rebounded to pre-war levels by the time the Ascension war came along a decade later. Rios remained loyal to the Earth Federation during the Ascension War, but was peacefully absorbed into the Holy Terran Empire early in 2266 following the collapse of Joseph Smythe's rump Federation.
Rios is a pleasant, Earth-like planet with large seas covering both poles, and a belt of continental land masses girdling its equator. This gives much of the landmass a tropical or semi-tropical climate, and the beaches of Rios made it a popular tourist spot prior to the end of the Jumpgate Network. The capital city of Pleasant Breezes lives up to the name, with reliable onshore winds much of the year bringing a tangy salt air to the town. The second city of Pampas is inland, and has an economy based around the several universities that call the city home and make it a center of research, scholarship, and the party culture. Since the dismantling of the Jumpgate network, the economy of Rios has suffered, but the system's importance and the relative clout of House Weldon ensure that it does get a reasonable priority for convoys of Grav Drive or Tunnel Drive ships, and the populace is far from starving as a result.
Behind the Scenes
No one remembers why we named this system Rios, but later writers carried on with the apparent Latin American flavor of the name when it came to characterizing the planet and naming its cities.