Silver & Ice - The Stars of Perdition
When seeing Umberton for the first time, most Core Worlders mistake it for Mars. The planets are indeed quite similar, even down to the red iron-rich soil. Umberton was the first Border Ring World that humans discovered which did not have an indigenous population, and naturally they wasted no time setting up shop. The planet’s surface is pockmarked with abandoned mining stations and the ghost towns that once supported them. There is still active mining on the surface, though in the decades since colonization all of the easily accessible deposits have been exhausted, and surface activity has dwindled down to the last few corporations whose profit margins and R&D budgets can support the higher cost of extracting the remaining materials. Somewhat ironically, Umberton’s primary export now is water, in the form of ice extracted from the huge subterranean glaciers that lie beneath both poles. Some factions within the Merchants Guild are arguing that this ice should be used to attempt to terraform Umberton and open it up to large scale settlement and farming, but the majority are content with pirating the planet’s resources for immediate profit.
Umberton was also the first planet where indentured Ghost Children were used as forced labour; this practice still continues today. The planet still shows the scars from various labour uprisings and attempted revolts. There is still a very active Ghost Child underground, working to emancipate the millions of indentured workers and their families who live in servitude beneath Umberton’s surface.