Beyond the Stars
The Erdnomi Sector is one of the newest entities of the Galactic Federation, as even its “oldest” colonies are no more than 500 years old; many more are younger than that. The Erdnomi Sector is considered to be on the “frontier” of the galaxy and due to both the “newness” of the system and a lack of concerted push from the Federation there are still large parts of the sector that remain unexplored save for perhaps a cursory fly-by.
Systems closer to established space tend to be wealthier and more connected to the galaxy at large. These systems serve as the hub through which travel to the sector typically comes. The farther into the system someone travels, the less developed the planets become. At the very edges of the explored part of the sector, colonists reside on worlds still undergoing terraforming. Most of these planets are desperately poor and technologically backwards; those that live there are usually the dregs of the galaxy, criminals, tramps, misfits or those looking to get lost on the fringes of space. Beyond these worlds lies the unknown – systems that have not been explored by the Federation settled by illegal squatters, smugglers and pirate bands or inhabited by species never seen before.
Due to its remote location, corruption here tends to run rampant. Money buys a lot of influence here as being assigned a post in the Erdnomi sector is either a result of being very young (and poorly paid), very imcompetent (and poorly paid) or very disliked by the chain of command (and, thus, poorly paid). Corporations can cut sweetheart deals for the rights to exploit the natural resources of planets as well as the outright leasing of entire planets. Corporate-leased planets are given huge amounts of leeway in what rights citizens have and do not have.
There is, however, opportunity here that cannot be found in the more stratified Galactic Core. There are opportunities to develop shipping companies as large companies find that the profit margins aren’t quite high enough for them to travel. There are opportunities to serve as charter vessels to go between planets. There are opportunities to set up markets and trade routes, to form a mercenary band, to go prospecting and hit the motherlode. Scientific discoveries are there to be made, star systems to be mapped and worlds to be developed and taken from a huddle of pre-fab shelters to complex cities in the span of a generation. In few places in the galaxy can a being find this much freedom—or this much danger. Most people tend to find both, but only some reap the rewards.