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The system of Castra has been vital to the UEE, but not in many of the normal ways. When UPE military pathfinders discovered the system in 2544, they found a pair of planets circling a large blue-white star. It was described as ‘unremarkable’ in its initial assessment.
Regardless, the UPE began to process the second planet to act as a training facility and back-up resource cache for Hadrian system, then the point system along what would become known as the Perry Line that borders the Xi’An Empire. To mirror these military designs for the planet, the system was called Castra, using the ancient Roman name for land designated specifically for military use.
When Castra II was finally terraformed, Ivar Messer had already ascended to the newly created position of Prime Citizen. He wasted no time allocating resources to build up Castra II as a source of reinforcements for the military at Hadrian as well as a staging area for an invasion into Xi’An territory, should the opportunity ever present itself.
When the jump point to Oya system was discovered near the end of the 26th century, Castra ceased being a secondary base; it was now on the front line. Long-range bombers would circle the jump point toward Oya, waiting for a signal to push into Xi’An territory and blast their targets. The Imperator whipped this fear of attack up to cut off civilian traffic into Castra entirely.
When the Messers fell, military tensions turned to diplomatic relations. Oya became part of the Empire when the Perry Line was divided into the Transitional Systems. Very quickly, the military on Castra discovered that they weren’t the front line anymore. In 2789, the military scaled back their presence to reopen the system for civilians, even repurposing most of the military structures for public use.
Built atop Ulysses Peak, Sherman served as the primary launch point for the heavy bombers that would maintain a constant vigil near the jump points into Xi’An territory. A majority of the base has now been demilitarized for civilian use, transforming the Navy’s landing pads and mechanic bays into the primary landing zone for traffic entering and leaving the planet.
Depending on the time of year, you may see what appears to be a landscape of clouds shrouding the surface of the planet. Poking up through that canopy will be Sherman, a virtual island in the sky.
Quick note: you enthusiasts will also probably notice a lot of firepower on your approach: anti-ship batteries as well as a pair of AOV-9 anti-orbital cannons. They may look old, but don’t try to be funny. They still work.
The military sold off the landing zone. It changed hands several times over the years until it became a PARKINGLOT franchise owned by REEZUSTHORN, who also handles the site’s minimal ship repairs.
As one of Sherman’s new primary functions is a quick stopover point for travelers, they cluster a lot of their stores near the Parking Lot, allowing pilots to quickly hit up the local TDD office as well as familiar names like FUELPUMP, HARDPOINTGUYS, APOCALYPSEARMS and ELEMENTAUTHORITY and be on their way. But there’s a lot more to Sherman than that.
Walking among the unmistakable Hennowistic military prefabs of the 27th century, you can’t help but feel a sense of history. Small reminders of the men and women who served here can be found throughout the zone, but none more prominent than in the EDGE OF OBLIVION. The Edge is a small pub filled with actual memorabilia from the era, offering patrons a brief glimpse into the daily lives of the bomber pilots who ran those dangerous missions.
Before you leave, you should go to the OUTLOOK. During the day, if the weather’s right, you will find a tumultuous sea of clouds stretching as far as the eye can see. At night, you can see the glow from distant cities seeping up through the clouds, creating diffused pools of light. It’s one of the most magnificent sights to behold on a planet whose history is steeped in fear and aggression. But don’t just take my word for it; it’s really something you need to observe for yourself.