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Terra Augustus by ART5EC Terra Augustus by ART5EC
I made this one as practice for a new idea for making city lights I had, and I think I pulled it off! The technique could still use some refinement, but I think from now on I can actually make inhabited planets look like they're inhabited!

This is Terra Augustus, an independent planet-state that began as one of Earth's colonies during the massive wave of colonization and mass migration known as the Second Great Diaspora. It's a fairly old world dominated by a single super-continent. The inner regions of the planet are quite arid, but around the coasts and in river basins red vegetation grows in abundance. It's near the outer edge of it's star's habitable zone, and is thus quite cold on average. The lack of a moon (it's believed it once had one, but that it was lost into space as it moved away from the planet with each orbit over several billion years) means Terra Augustus does not remain on a stable axis, and thus seasons can be wildly unpredictable. The vegetation has adapted by absorbing ammonium from the soil and using it as a kind of natural anti-freeze, rendering it poisonous to the planet's human populace (native fauna have adapted to filter it out, unfortunately this makes most of them poisonous to ingest as well). To cope with this the colonists have developed a sophisticated urban farming system to sustain their population, and as a result nearly all of the planet's fifteen billion inhabitants live in two megacities on the southern end of the continent, called simply East City and West City respectively. Some smaller settlements exist outside the city, but because the ice cap will often grow to encompass much of the northern region of the continent they are also in the south and are typically only meant as temporary residences for laborers working in the area. The heavily urbanized lifestyle of the Augusts has greatly influenced their culture, and most can't imagine a life outside a major metropolitan area. The original colonists came from New England and the American Southeast, but later waves brought a great number of Chinese, Indonesian, and East African immigrants. The close proximity of these colonists caused a rapid blending of their cultures into a unique August culture, though both East and West City boast their own distinct subcultures and each insists that theirs is not only the better way of life, but the "True August Soul." Noodles are the most popular food on the planet and coffee the most popular beverage, and each city has it's own particular preparations of both. The rivalry is strongest in the presentation of the noodles: East City claims the proper way to serve noodles is in a large, shallow dish with more noodles than broth while West City prefers to serve them in a deeper dish with a large amount of rich, savory broth and fewer noodles. Residents of both cities claim their noodles are superior to the other. The city rivalry extends to just about everything except sports, as sports teams are usually divided between city districts and neighborhoods rather than the cities themselves (it's not much of a tournament if there's only two teams).

The cities are both divided into numerous districts, each one with its own history and subculture. Each district elects three representatives to represent their city in one house of the Diet, while the second house is made up of the planet's citizens themselves using the planet's local internet to directly vote on legislation. The mayor of each city acts as either head of state or head of government, with the role switching between the cities each election cycle. Several large corporations are also given a single representative in the government, most of them being private enterprises that build and maintain infrastructure or supply essential goods such as food and fresh water, though these corporations must pay a steep tax for the privilege. Corporate interests are rife throughout the government, which also has a reputation as corrupt, though nobody can really argue that the government does not consider the needs and wants of the citizens. It was these same megacorporations that gained the planet its independence after the United Earth Federation revoked the colony's charter so it could create an uninhabited buffer zone between the Federation and the Maahesian Empire. Several megacorporations with a great deal of money invested in operations mining the planet's vast uranium and silver deposits offered to purchase the charter on behalf of the citizens, to which Earth reluctantly agreed. Terra Augustus became a tax haven for many corporations for almost three hundred years before they managed to pay off their debt, at which point the corporations had no leverage to prevent the Augusts from repealing such laws.

Today Terra Augustus is the biggest financial center in the known galaxy, with several polities owing a great deal of money to its banks. It's financial success is owed to its use as a neutral port between the UEF, Coalition of Independent Worlds, and Maahesian Empire. Both the Coalition and UEF have engaged in blockades and trade sanctions against Maahes due to their continued acts of aggression against the galactic neighborhood and their conquest and enslavement of technologically primitive species, but because Terra Augustus acts as a neutral port anybody from any of these powers may go there to do business with each other in defiance of the sanctions. This has soured relations with Earth, but because Terra Augustus is a sovereign nation protected by both the Maahesians and Coalition they can do nothing about the situation. The most popular religious beliefs on Terra Augustus are atheism (52.3%), Buddhism (15.8%), Islam (12.4%), and Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity (7.5%). Political parties are banned by the August constitution, but 74% of Augusts consider themselves to be left-wing while only 18% consider themselves to be right-wing. Terra Augustus has a Gross World Product (GWP) of E$337.2 trillion in purchasing power parity (PPP) and around E$108 trillion nominally, ranking 22nd in the known galaxy.
:iconalexanderabelard:
AlexanderAbelard Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Great to see that you're making these regularly again, though I can certainly understand if you were in a rut. A chlorine rich planet is a hard act to follow.
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November 20, 2016
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