In the outer reaches of the UEE sits the Chronos System, which, since its discovery in 2863, has been shrouded in government secrecy and political controversy. Official government documentation list the Navy’s 18th Battle Fleet, then stationed in the Kellog System, as the first to make the journey into Chronos upon discovery of the jump point during a routine scan patrol. However, it is worth noting that a recent court case, Contraly vs the UEE, lays a counter claim that it was Contraly’s great-grandfather who discovered the system and reported it to the 18th, but was denied proper credit due to complications involving an outstanding warrant for poaching Orms on Xis. Expert historians have chimed in on both sides of the debate, and it as yet remains in the court’s hands to decide.
Either way, at the time of discovery, the system consisted of a G-type main sequence star, two uninhabitable planets huddled near the sun and nothing else. With its remote location and lack of resources and habitable locations, few thought the UEE would have any interest in the system, so observers were shocked when the UEE quickly claimed Chronos to be restricted for government use and development. When military ships started to frequently enter an empty system, curious members of the public questioned what was really going on in Chronos.
For years, theories ranged from the unimaginative (doomsday device) to the inspired (invisible space station). One dedicated conspiracy theorist supposedly even went so far as to stow away on a military vessel bound for the system. When she later claimed that there was nothing hidden there, her inability to uncover anything scandalous infuriated her fellow theorists and only fueled the fire of speculation. The claim was that the only way she would have found absolutely nothing is if there was something to hide and the government had again silenced the truth. Those who believed in the cover-up were even more certain that there had to be a reason the UEE wanted Chronos to themselves.
It wasn’t until 2872 that Imperator Corbyn Salehi stepped forward to formally announce what the government had been working on. Chronos would become the home of Project Archangel, commonly called “Synthworld,” a massive UEE initiative to build a planet. After centuries of rewriting planets with terraforming technology, Humanity now set its sights on creating one.
Many things about the Chronos System made it an ideal location for this ambitious project. The star’s similarity to Sol’s sun made it optimal for human habitation. Its two planets were desolate rocks, meaning that the massive undertaking would not inconvenience any inhabitants, nor would the decades of construction and experiments endanger anyone not associated with the project. The lack of planets outside of Bruder and Schwester allowed the Synthworld to be placed at the ideal orbital distance from the star. It had the added benefit of being a relatively remote system, which minimized the chances of unwanted visitors and prying eyes.
When the project was announced, it symbolized a future where Humanity could create habitable worlds without the risk of harming other species. Haulers made the long trek to take resources into the system even if profits margins were higher elsewhere. Scholars expounded at length what the success of Archangel could mean to the Empire’s future. And civilians in every system excitedly waited for a new world to be born.
Yet as the decades passed, the promise of the Synthworld seemed to wane along with the public’s interest. Despite billions of hours and credits spent, the planet seemed no closer to completion. The project became tainted with corruption scandals and cost overruns, leading some progressive Transitionalist to call it a “financial vampire” that was draining money and resources from more important projects. The Synthworld no longer symbolized the future; it was putting it in jeopardy.
Today, Chronos sees a minimal amount of traffic. Haulers still offload supplies at Archangel Station and some traverse the system along the designated travel lanes to access the Branaugh System. Past that, there are few other reason for people to find themselves in the Chronos System.