Mantebron is a dying system and one of the loneliest outposts in human space. Three billion years ago, it was a G2 star quite like Sol. Currently, however, Mantebron is nearing the end of its main sequence. Within 20,000 to 50,000 years, Mantebron will exhaust its hydrogen fuel and enter its red-giant phase-incinerating the inner planets of its system. A million or so years from now, Mantebron will nova.
Eight planets orbit Mantebron-including the Earthlike desert world of High Mojave. Just as Mantebron has aged, so has High Mojave; over the course of geological time, its seas have vanished, its atmosphere has thinned, its rotation has slowed, and its tectonic activity has faded to a mere fraction of its former level. High Mojave is now more like Mars than Earth; it’s a cold and desiccated planet with an unbreathable atmosphere. However, it’s still close enough to an Earthlike environment to attract a few especially tough settlers.
Mantebron was charted by an Orion survey mission in October 2328 and quickly claimed by the League. While it was clear from the beginning that long-term colonization presented a problem, many people decided that the impending destruction of the system was not a significant deterrent to colonization. After all, since recorded human history only encompasses 6,000 years, who could care about something 20,000 or 30,000 years in the future? High Mojave‘s Class 2 environment and physical remoteness served as more effective barriers to colonization than its fading sun.
The Orions who colonized High Mojave were the toughest and most independent type of settlers. They dispersed themselves across the planet’s arid surface, carving out a few hundred homesteads and farms in the dead plains and seabeds of the dust-wreathed world. The Colonial Charter, signed in 2339, reflected above all else the Orion respect for self-determination, minimalist government, and individual rights. By the outbreak of the Second Galactic War, High Mojave‘s capital and largest town was Olympus, a small trading post and landing field of only 500 residents.
The years of the Long Silence were hard on the Mojavians. Not only were they forgotten by the Orion League, but they were virtually forgotten by their Verge neighbors, too. This isolation was not entirely a bad thing during the height of GW2 and the Long Silence. Unlike more populous or centrally located colonies, Mantebron was largely overlooked by the corsairs who flourished during the absence of the stellar nations. The settlers’ main challenge came from a lack of materials and machinery they needed to survive and prosper in their new home.
When the Monitor arrived in 2497, Mantebron renewed its affiliation with the Orion League. No other stellar nations or Verge systems had serious interests here-until the revelation that the settlers of High Mojave had discovered the ruins of an ancient alien civilization during the Long Silence. Today several nations-including the Hatire Community and the Solar Union- agitate for Mantebron’s independence in the hope that they can claim primacy over the Precursor ruins on the planet.