By far the most pleasant and agreeable of the habitable Border Ring worlds discovered thus far, Martinelle is also the planet that the average United Worlds citizen is least likely to ever visit. Its summers are quite hot – unbearably so around the equator – and its winters are mild and largely ice-free. Much of the planet can aptly be called paradise. Its flora and fauna are almost infinitely diverse, its ecosystems complex and fragile and the subject of much scientific interest.

However, unless you have three Ph.Ds or a bank balance high enough to buy a small moon, you will never go there. Martinelle is almost entirely private property, parcelled up into large estates owned by the wealthiest Core Worlds citizens – politicians, celebrities, royalty, and business giants. Its cities glitter with precious metals and one-of-a-kind works of art, and there are almost no inter-city roads because everyone has their own luxury shuttles. There is almost no resource or industrial base on the inhabited continents, because nobody wants that in their backyards. There is a large population of indentured workers, predominantly Ghost Children, who work behind the scenes to support the lavish lifestyles of this planet’s masters – these workers are forced to live in underground quarters or are flown in every day from camps in the planet’s less desirable regions, so that they don’t spoil the view.