The Junkyard

Western Annex: Quixote, Ciroda Achepelago

William “Wild Bill” Cecil

Bill Cecil retired from the Galactic Navy in 2185 and sunk his pension into an exploration rig. A newsie reporter once asked why he was setting out for the frontier space instead of settling into retirement. He said, “Son, my future is out there somewhere. I aim to find it.” Find it, he did. With over three hundred and fifty registered systems, William Cecil might be the single most prolific of the planetary prospectors. Stepping off from the southwestern corner of the Core Worlds, Cecil drove westward along the path that would eventually include Chiba, New Caledonia, Diurnia, and Halpern.

In 2189, Cecil followed one of his probes into a system with a K-class star and only one planet, a gas giant. A ring of asteroid debris formed a thin belt between the two. Later astronomers hypothesized that the gas giant was the star’s twin, but never gained enough mass to become a star in its own right. He registered the find with the CPJCT administration. The system and three others forming a ragged line between the southern boundary of Ciroda and the northern edge of Diurnia became known as the Ciroda Achepelago. In 2191, the CPJCT flagged the systems “not suitable for development” and Cecil moved in.

Over the next decade, as the CPJCT pressed development in Ciroda and Diurnia, Cecil’s system became the dumping ground for materials that were not quite right but were too good to toss into the nearest star. He collected ships, containers, and loose pieces of metal. Anything that might have been tossed, William Cecil collected and brought back to Quixote. Eventually the CPJCT started using Quixote as a depot for development because of its location between Ciroda and Diurnia, but bypassed it entirely as it leapfrogged into Halpern.

The CPJCT licensed many of Cecil’s discoveries but few of them netted huge profits. He always claimed to have made more from selling fuel to the CPJCT construction crews than he ever made from license fees.

The Junkyard produces fuel and other volatiles from mining the system’s gas giant which Cecil named Panza for reasons he never shared. The single belt of asteroids proved to be relatively rich in zinc, antimony, and sulfur, among others. These provided Cecil with the raw materials for starting a semiconductor industry beyond the reach of CPJCT. The Junkyard imports some foods, but maintains its own production facilities using hydroponic techniques coupled with aquaculture.