Cradle of Humanity, heart of the Empire, birthplace of mankind…and a difficult place to turn a profit. It’s no secret that Earth is set in its ways. All roads
lead to Earth and the system is designed to support native-born Humans above all others. Tax policies support Earth-based corporations at the extreme disadvantage
of those based on worlds like Terra, while representation in the UEE Senate continues to skew disproportionately in favor of Earth’s populace.
Put simply, Earth is the capital and namesake of the United Empire of Earth and it is the seat of power that governs everything from rising systems like Terra to
distant colony worlds that barely impact the homeworlds’ economies. Home to the Imperator and the UEE Senate, Earth sets the standards for everything that happens
in the Empire, from moderating economic models, to setting social trends, to organizing military campaigns.
While other more strategically located star systems, like Terra, have begun to make claims for higher standing in the Empire, Earth is still the acknowledged center
of the universe. Contrarily, Earth wants for everything. Thousands of years of Human civilization have left many of the planet’s natural resources exhausted and the
system imports trillions upon trillions of tons of food, raw metals, manufactured goods and everything else imaginable. If it were not for the so-called “balance tariffs”
keeping prices uncompetitive, this would be an ideal situation for any erstwhile shipping magnate. As it is, a run to Earth can barely be guaranteed to provide more than a
5% profit … and that’s before you get to the exorbitant docking and refueling fees for space-craft carrying other systems’ registration numbers.
Earth is also safe, to an extreme. The UEE military, Advocacy and various police arms patrol the system ceaselessly and they are notoriously uncompromising when it
comes to punishing wrongdoers in the system. There is no faster way to get an extremely high bounty on your head than to commit a crime, even a minor infraction,
in space near Earth. The military dockyards in Earth orbit are home port to no less than five Bengal-class carriers and at least one is drydocked at any given time.
The planet itself is pockmarked with starports, a natural evolution of nearly a millennium of Human space travel. Three of these have taken the throne as the
significant import/export centers of the world: New York in North America, Moscow in Europe and Beijing in Asia.
New York is the cultural capital of the UEE, an intergalactic tastemaker and a celebrated blending of both old-style architecture and ultra-modern arcology construction.
Most visitors immediately take note of the historical landmarks protected by a thick layer of domed visicrete, allowing such institutions as the Empire State Building
and Central Park to continue to exist amidst a modern landscape of massive super towers. In terms of commodities, selling bulk goods in New York is like trying to get
blood from a stone. Nowhere is more protected by UEE law than this city, and anyone but the most desperate traders are advised not to bother. Even black market goods
are extremely risky, as it is unquestionably the most well-policed area in known space. However, New Yorkers — even those who have never left the planet — still fancy
themselves cosmopolitan men-of-the-galaxy. As such, there is an active market for cultural trinkets from distant stars.
Trendy New York galleries happily display everything from Hadesian ice shoes to damaged Xi’an engine coils … a vivid example of one man’s trash being another’s treasure.
New York is also home to the famed Roberts Space Industries headquarters complex, featuring a showroom and museum. Many visitors make it a point to pay their respects
upon arriving in the port, celebrating RSI’s involvement in introducing mankind to the stars. Possibly New York’s greatest importance is that it truly is the junction
point of the universe in terms of trading. While Earth produces few valuable raw materials in this day and age, almost everything moves through its most significant
port on its way somewhere in the UEE. If you’re on the prowl for a particularly rare upgrade or an extremely special commodity, the shopping district surrounding
New York’s spaceport is the place to seek it.
Moscow is a no-nonsense kind of town with more of an urban blue-collar vibe than New York. Moscow is a major distribution center for manufactured goods, in particular
jump engines and thrusters produced in the factory complexes that span the Urals. Goods are moved into the city for dispersal to the stars through a system of
high-speed transport trains. Down on their luck spacers can always find hard work in the Moscow dockyards, which account for the vast majority of Earth’s export
shipping. Despite this, Moscow is not a manufacturing town and has little need for raw materials (which are sourced elsewhere). The city tends to have a taste for the
opulent, and luxury goods sell as well as anything can on Earth. Traders are advised to ship high-end electronics, artwork, high quality foods and various non-offensive
black market items to Moscow before trying to turn a profit running guns or metals.
The largest starport in Asia, Beijing has retained more of a link to the surrounding environment than the vast cityscapes of Moscow or New York. Though still a bustling
metropolis, Beijing is your best chance for seeing a bit of foliage or natural water. Beijing boasts rail and transit lines stretching to the nearby Bohai sea, a port
region capable of water-docking some larger types of spacecraft. The Aegis China factory produces Idris-class corvettes and puts them through their pre-space trials in
the area. Beijing has a need for raw materials, especially rarer extragalactic varieties. The less likely a material is to be found on Earth, the more valuable it will
be on the commodities market in Beijing: think Vanduul kan ores, thermacrete, isometal and the like. There is a bustling black market in the city, unlike any found in
Earth’s other major ports: if you’re on the hunt for illegal cyborg upgrades, try Beijing first.
Market Deals — Earth
SELL: IRON ORE (Beijing) +1
SELL: IRON ORE (Beijing) +1
SELL: LUXURY GOODS (Moscow) +1
BUY: ENGINES, THRUSTERS (Moscow) +2
BUY: HIGH TECH COMPONENTS (New York) +2