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Planet: Aratoht

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"Nothing is Impossible," says the Hegemony propaganda poster that depicts a muscular batarian miner under the Aratoht sky, his rebreather held away from his face as if he's just taken it off. The image sums up millions of man-hours of labor on the batarian planet and represents (or misrepresents) much of its history. Two decades ago, Aratoht, like several planets in the Skyllian Verge, was claimed by both human and batarian governments, but the Alliance backed out after learning about the atmosphere's dangerously low pressure and oxygen levels. Instead, they concentrated their colonial efforts on planets that could support human life without the aid of domed habitats and rebreathers. Human governments saw it as a wise move; batarians saw it as cowardly.

The batarians rose to the colonization challenge, shipping in large numbers of laborers. They took the high financial costs and casualties due to accidents or logistical snafus in stride. Large-scale dumping of cyanobacteria has increased the oxygen in the atmosphere by a fraction of one percent, a modest increase that the Hegemony trumpets as a sign of their eventual victory. Short-term profits on Aratoht are largely made in the minerals sector through mining the extremely metal-rich planetary crust. The dark side to the mining does not appear on the propaganda poster -- the majority of laborers are indentured servants or slaves.

Aratoht is rumored to have military bases on its surface and throughout its solar system, though details are heavily restricted by the Hegemony's Ministry of Information Control. Human merchant ships rarely come to the planet, outcompeted by local companies that benefit from heavy economic protections. The average Aratoht citizen only sees humans on the news, usually featured in stories of trials and executions of accused spies.

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