Into that Vast Expanse
Marshall’s World is a Pleasure World in the Calixis Sector whose surface is largely covered in water. There are no major landmasses on the planet, but rather several scattered chains of archipelagos and “living reefs” of biomatter that float on the currents.
Aside from the industrial fisheries and underwater mining operations that comprise most of the planet’s industry, most inhabitants of Marshall’s World reside on artificial atolls. The atolls are surrounded by a wide net of tidal barriers to shelter structures from waves and ocean currents.
The foundations of the atolls are synthesized from the ocean by running an electric current through water saturated with bioconcrete polymers, a process that requires as large a feat of patience as it does engineering. Because the construction of a new atoll can take decades to complete, many of the floating structures are rife with overcrowding as they have no outlet for their burgeoning populations. The main “urban” atolls are dense clusters of humanity akin to miniature hive-blocks while the “leisure” atolls, reserved for Marshall elites or offworld guests, appear more like floating parks or palaces.
The city-island of Nuxfor was once known for the prestigious university that lay at the heart of its hexagonal terraced gardens. Professors and scholars were enticed to Nuxfor by its tropical climate and its 360 degree beaches. Cosmopolitan students across the Calixis Sector were attracted to the skilled professors (but mostly to those same beaches).
The University is currently under quarantine due to a recent greenskin outbreak. A small colony of fungus and squigs was discovered in one of the bioconcrete caverns beneath the island’s surface. Quick action was taken to eradicate the visible signs of the infestation, but not before the Imperial Guard caught wind of the situation and required that the entire island be placed under lockdown. Residents, students, and faculty were only allowed to leave after a lengthy decontamination process.
Planetary Governor Bicanthus Sloop was outraged by news of the infestation, especially when he learned of the involvement of Herodion Nicostratus, a young offworlder who was enrolled in the University and naively abetted the infestation. Herodion owes his life to the fact that he was already aboard a transit shuttle into orbit when Sloop became aware of his culpability, as well as to his status as son of another Planetary Governor. Herodion’s father Lucan Nicostratus was able to call in a favor and secure him a position aboard the Collateral Damage to carry him far away from Sloop’s reach.