- Mercury (130,000 pop)
- The Eastern Federation established permanent settlement of Mercury in 2225.
- Mercury quickly became an incredibly valuable source of metals; with the construction of a ground-based railgun in 2261, the Mercury Authority began sending massive amounts of metal to service Eastern Federation needs on Earth, particularly to fuel the insatiable needs of the Eastern Federation's orbital shipyards.
- Labor rebellions in the early years of 2300-2310 resulted in the Mercury Authority significantly clamping down on civil rights on Mercury; influxes of debtors and other prisoners to Mercury to work the mining operations continued, less because the robotic operations really needed that many human workers, but more because it was considered a "humane" way of ridding the Eastern Federation of "reprobate criminal elements".
- Major industry includes:
- Manufacturing involving metals and silicates.
- Illegal drug manufacture and export.
- Labor disputes and periodic unrest are common.
- The Eastern Federation maintains expansive mining operations on Mercury; a significant proportion of the population is dragooned labor of various types, including debtors and prisoners (often, but not always, political).
- Commerce raiding of Venusian Republic interests by paid privateers based off of Mercury is widespread, leading to considerable tension between the two worlds.
- Smuggling between Venus and Mercury is tolerated, although when this becomes two blatant the police forces of one side or the other are occasionally forced to step in.
Politics and Culture:
- The Eastern Federation Mercury Authority is nationally part of the Eastern Federation, but is in fact a wholly-owned corporate interest that is considered to be one of the major powers of the Eastern Federation's political structure.
- Despite the prestige, power, and authority of the Eastern Federation Mercury Authority, its administration is mostly actually handled from Earth, as Mercury itself is considered a hardship post. The highest local authority on Mercury proper actually have relatively little discretion in their own right and for anything of critical importance must receive instructions from Earth.
- Mercury is rife with illegal operations including payoffs to Authority operatives, smuggling operations, gambling, as well as extensive creation, distribution, and export of illegal drugs.
- A number of labor-oriented secret societies also exist, some of which date back to the early days of Mercury's settlement. Many of these secret societies are relatively harmless and tolerated as a safety valve for the population, but a few have been implicated in acts of sabotage and criminal behavior.