Now best known as the site of the “broken moon,” Taranis II was (like so many other planets) a victim of the gung ho terraforming craze of the Messer era. A coreless world just inside the system’s green band, Taranis II was initially classified as a poor choice for terraformation and colonization. But with a government more concerned with ‘we can’ than ‘we should,’ Taranis became one of dozens of worlds to be wrecked by a terraforming blunder. In this case, the issue was laid squarely at the foot of CRABSOS Inc., the cheap geo development outfit assigned to process the world. Standard operating procedure at the time for terraforming a coreless planet was to harness the energy in orbiting moons. In the case of Taranis II, substandard parts and near slave labor meant that CRABSOS managed to crack the mantle of Taranis’ small moon, splitting it into a million dangerous chunks. In addition to a deadly debris field that will continue to strike the planet for hundreds of years, the process super ignited the terraforming machinery in orbit. Several of the stacks continue to burn unabated to this day, further rendering the surface of the planet worthless slag.
Beyond Taranis II and its former moon is an extremely dense asteroid belt which must be traversed to pass the system. While it is a hazard to navigation, the First Taranis Belt is not particularly mineral rich and very few mining claims have ever been placed on it. The best of the best smugglers consider it to be a good place to hide, and the occasional top level pirate will set up an ambush point in the belt, but even these types frequently find themselves the victim of rock strikes.