The Rhetor system is both one of the oldest and one of the youngest in the UEE. Considered old because of its place in the history of Human expansion, Rhetor was first visited in 2287, making it one of the earliest systems that Humanity discovered. Still, most consider Rhetor youthful because it is the heart of the UEE's public and private university system. Regardless of how it is perceived, Rhetor is an important part of Humanity's past and a key contributor to its future.
Rhetor was discovered by Leona Sono and Neil Nyemeto, two ambitious PhD students from the Martian Institute of Space and Technology (MIST). Sono, an engineering student and an accomplished pilot, wanted to test the accuracy of her ship's atomic navigational clock while traversing the Sol-Croshaw jump point. Nyemeto, a student in astrophysics, accompanied Sono so he could collect data on Croshaw's plasma. While preparing to make the trip back home, one of Nyemeto's research drones returned a strange string of data. The pair investigated the location where the data was recorded, never expecting that the coordinates would led them directly to the Croshaw-Rhetor jump point.
Upon Sono and Nyemeto's arrival at MIST, they shared their discovery with the school's president, Adrianne Zemlock, a former politician who had been highly critical of how Humanity had expanded into the Croshaw System. Zemlock worried that if private companies were given too much involvement in planetary development, then worlds would be built with corporate profits in mind first and Humanity's needs second. As Zemlock famously said, "Humanity has realized that reaching the stars was easy. The hard part is figuring out what to do with them. So I ask you this — what kind of universe should we build?"
With that question in mind, Zemlock, Sono and Nyemeto approached the govenment with news of the jump point. However, they refused to disclose its coordinates without assurances that a quarter of the land on all habitable and terraformed planets in the system would be preserved for educational purposes. Pushback from corporate interests was severe, but the education community rallied to the cause. Zemlock became a fixture on the Spectrum where she passionately defended the need for "responsible expansion." Public pressure to balance private and public interests grew, and the government eventually agreed to their terms. They even decided to name the system Rhetor, the word for a master and teacher of oratory and Zemlock's popular nickname, as a reminder that "words have the power to shape worlds." Once the government surveyed the system they discovered five planets, three of which were terrestrial worlds located in the star's wide habitable zone and worthy of terraforming. Vast deposits of neodymium, erbium, samarium and other rare elements were discovered on Rhetor II (Persei).
The government auctioned off mining rights to the entire planet, then used the profits to pay for the terraforming of Reisse (Rhetor III) and Mentor (Rhetor IV). To stay true to their initial agreement, land was set aside on Persei to establish a state-run university, while offering incentives for corporations to consider the planet for their research institutes and think tanks. Though not quite the educational oasis Zemlock envisioned, Persei has become an incubator for influential ideas and technological advancements. Rhetor's other two habitable planets have grown into bastions of higher education for the UEE. Students and related staff make up the majority of the population on both Reisse and Mentor. As a degree from one of its universities is considered a fast track to a job on Earth or Terra, the application process to attend any school in the system is fiercely competitive.
Many historians have wondered what fate would have befallen Rhetor if Zemlock, Sono and Nyemeto had not insisted on placing education at the forefront. Persei's rare minerals brought prosperity to the system for only a few hundred years, but Rhetor's education infrastructure continues to infuse Humanity with new perspectives, ideas and technologies. For this reason, many consider Rhetor one of the most vital systems in the Empire.
Heard in the Wind
"Education. Honor. Empathy. Those are the core values Reisse's universities claim to instill in their students. Yet, after four years attending URL, these three words best describe my experience: politics, protests and parties. What can I say? It was the best time of my life."
Alex Boboltz, Diary of a Reisse Revolutionary, 2731
Rhetor is a G-type main sequence star.
A small, rocky mesoplanet with no terraforming prospects and an inhospitable climate.
Persei : Rhetor II
Persei is home to one of the most influential think tanks in the UEE: The University of Persei Analytical Research and Quantification (UPARQ). Much of the new technological advancement for the UEE is thought to originate here. Because some of this government work is classified, access to parts of the planet can be heavily restricted.
Reisse : Rhetor III
Reisse is home to a great number of prestigious higher learning institutions that offer a variety of education options to people of all walks of life. Students and employees of these renowned universities and colleges make up a large percentage of the planet's population, which results in Rhetor III often being considered on the forefront of cultural and political movements.
Mentor : Rhetor IV
A terraformed world at the very edge of Rhetor's goldilocks zone, Mentor is known for its highly-rated universities with a populace largely composed of students and academics. The harsh boreal climate of the planet keeps much of its population indoors.
The chromatic atmosphere and swirling storms of Rhetor V make it a popular tourist destination for pilots and students from nearby planets.
Known jump points
|Rhetor - Croshaw||Large||Croshaw system|
|Rhetor - Fora||Medium||Fora system|
|Rhetor - Idris||Large||Idris system|
- Galactic Guide: Rhetor System. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link