For more than 100 years, scientists have struggled to alter Marybelle’s planetology. The first stage focused on releasing the hydrogen and oxygen locked within the planetary crust. Stage one ended successfully in 2450 with the planet cloaked in a primitive atmosphere dominated by water vapor. The second stage focused on cooling the planet. This stage has also been successful-the water vapor has condensed in great rains for the last fifty years. Although once a landlocked world, Marybelle now possesses several oceans.
As stage two draws to a close, scientists have begun the third and final stage of terraforming. Dozens of stations located all over the planet transform Marybelle’s atmosphere. Some chemically break down molecules in the air. Others fallow the model of Earth’s own evolution, releasing millions of bacteria and tiny plantlike organisms into Marybelle’s virgin seas. Through photosynthesis, the young plants take in carbon dioxide and water to produce energy; the byproduct of this process, oxygen, is what interests the planetologists. Already, the planet’s oceans brim with photosynthesizing life. Scientists promise that within a decade, no one will require filter masks and e-suits when walking about on the planet’s surface.
Politically, Marybelle’s government is a republic; citizens choose members of their governing council through annual elections. Of course, the terraforming factions wield considerable sway over planetary politics, but their very successes may soon render these scientific conglomerates obsolete. After all, why support a huge team of terraformers when the project is complete?
Since its formation in 2468, the Verge Confederation has used one of Marybelle’s cities as its headquarters. Originally, the Verge Confederation served as a unifying political body for all of the systems of the Verge. It’s said that the Regent of Bluefall once hoped that the Confederation could someday form the basis of a Verge League that functioned much like the Orion League in the Stellar Ring. In the early days of the Long Silence, anything seemed possible.
Circumstances of history have done away with the possibility of a united Verge. Instead, the Confederation lives on as a talent and employment agency for explorers, operatives, and troubleshooters of all types. When someone needs special assistance, they can hire someone in the Confederation to help. Atilis Jil Utir (Fm/Argos/DMW-8) oversees the Confeds (see The Verge: History for more information on the Confederation).
Rumors have recently surfaced among would-be explorers and operatives indicating that a rather large corporation (or a stellar nation) has asked the Verge Confederation to organize a small expeditionary force headed somewhere beyond the Hammer’s Star system. Such an event is obviously unlikely, because the chance of a klick attack (or other such catastrophe) destroying any expedition foolish enough to travel through the Hammer’s Star system is quite high. However, other rumors have ‘identified’ this expedition as an attempt by the Concord Investigative Bureau to unearth information on the klicks-lending credence to the possibility of such an expedition’s existence. So far, no concrete details have become apparent.