Amon, or Epsilon Eridani III, is the smallest of the terrestrial planets in the Epsilon Eridani system. A barren and frozen world, Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals has made Amon the heart of their research efforts within the Orion Spur; while the planet's two moons, Neith (Epsilon Eridani IIIa) and Sais (Epsilon Eridani IIIb), are held by the Eridani Federal Navy.
With the surface of Amon possessing lifeless and inhospitably cold conditions, the population of the planet resides within expansive biodomes and arcologies that dot the surface of the frozen wastes, as well as subterranean facilities that tunnel and snake through the planet's crust below.
Amon was initially an unattractive prospect for colonisation - outside of the advantageous orbits of Neith and Sais, which made system observation by the military relatively easy. Low mineral wealth, freezing temperatures, and solar radiation all ensured that early settlers of the system were not particularly hasty with setting up a presence on the frozen hell. In fact, its original purpose when colonization began in 2237 was for its few small administrative settlements to serve as a tax haven for the wealthy.
By 2249 however, geologists and researchers that were studying the composition of the planet discovered unusual warm spots deep in the ice crust, leading to confusion among scientific circles who had believed the planet to not be geologically active. Small but eager groups of scientists began traveling to Amon for further study, and not long after, they discovered that the planet possessed a massive subsurface ocean of liquid ammonia, which also contained unique alien bacteria.
By 2255, the influx of researchers led to an increased development budget from the Sol Alliance, which enabled the colony and settlements to grow from more than small administration buildings and scientific outposts to a number of several small cities. When this funding was cut during the Second Great Depression however, Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals stepped in to take over funding of Amon, and they've maintained their grip on the sector ever since - marking it as the only stable sector seat in the Federation's history.
Amon possesses a thin atmosphere that consists primarily of frozen carbon dioxide and ammonia, with temperatures averaging at approximately 98 K (−175°C). Entirely lethal without EVA equipment, the cold and toxic wastes of the planet tend to be calm, though periodic blizzards of dry ice and crystalised ammonia can reach speeds of 104km/h, and these sometimes last for days at a time, often causing disruptions to any outdoor work or maintenance that requires performing.
Amon's overall size is somewhat smaller than Mars - resulting in notably weak and fractional gravity across the entire planet, something that is offset in most large population centres through the use of gravity generator technology. The planet also possesses an incredibly weak magnetic field, offering very little protection from cosmic radiation and the powerful solar winds of Epsilon Eridani's star. However, the arcologies constructed on the surface were designed with this in mind, possessing dense external hull plating and leaded windows to shield citizens from constant exposure.
Amon is also geologically active, with a core composed of radioactive isotopes of aluminium, iron, and manganese radiating heat as they undergo decay. This heat allows a subsurface ocean of ammonia to exist in liquid form - one of the few planetary resources that is readily exploited by its inhabitants for chemistry, agriculture, or export. This ocean also possesses alien life in the form of single-celled nitrifying bacteria, which are believed to be the only existing form of life on the desolate and toxic planet, and they are studied at length by Zeng-Hu xenobiologists. Their ability to break down ammonia into various byproducts is also exploited by Zeng-Hu, whether for nitrites in pharmaceuticals or nitrile for mass-production of sterile medical gloves.
Typical life on Amon varies considerably, depending on one's location of residence. As with Oran and Ahket, the higher up one lives in the facility, the better the conditions tend to be, and this is no different on Amon. The arcologies that make up the surface have comfortable, if decidedly expensive urban conditions, with the majority of the daily hustle and bustle taking place here. Most offices, businesses, laboratories, and the like make up the surface buildings, with residences in these ares tending to be expensive and well-equipped apartments blocks. The vast majority of these cities are equipped with gravity generators, but their range wanes towards the edges of the cities due to their sheer size - which also leads to a somewhat notable population of off-worlder humans living and working on the outer rim of most domes, or in smaller outpost towns that lack generators entirely.
For those that live less wealthy lives, underneath each surface complex exists an undercity of sorts. The conditions here are less ideal than above the surface, due to an entire lack of natural sunlight and a permanently enclosed environment. The bulk of the population tends to live in these areas, often having to commute upstairs to attend work, as the sheer majority of the undercities tend to be used for cheaper and compact housing. They aren't without work, however, and most engineers and construction workers tend to find work in these parts to keep massive power plants and reactors running day and night, while also maintaining an incalculably complex and expansive atmospherics system. The deeper into the icy crust that these cities delve, however, the worse and more dangerous the conditions become.
In the lowest reaches of the undercities, poverty and crime run rampant, and the dreg population make their home down in these perilous reaches. Down so low, there are only two things that receive any form of structural upkeep - the colossal pipe stations that siphon liquid ammonia from below the icy crust, and a rare number of massive elevator shafts that descend from the higher levels. These vertically descending pipes, colloquially referred to as "The Pillars", are surrounded by energy fields to protect them from tampering; though many of the shield generators have also fallen into disrepair and are prone to flickering or power surges - either rendering them practically non-functional, or considerably dangerous to make physical contact with, for between several seconds to several minutes at a time. In the darkened and run-down undercity, they shed a harsh blue glow as they ascend into the higher levels, providing a somewhat eerie scene to those that behold them.
Being in such run-down areas on a planet like Amon comes with several risks - aside from the usual dangers of gang crime, many unmaintained sections of the undercity lack properly functioning heating units, and in some places foundation and walls even crack open and expose walls and small caverns of dry ice. Hypothermia is a considerable risk, as is over-exposure to the toxic elements of the planet's ice crust. This tends to lead to most dregs possessing even more extensive prosthetics than usual, either because of frostbite claiming organic limbs, or because of an intentional attempt to try and mitigate consistent exposure to the cold. Due to this, the Dregs of Amon practically always wear several and somewhat bulky layers of clothing to keep warm, which has a silver lining in the added benefit of disguising their identities to authorities.
It's an open secret on Amon that authorities periodically conduct raids in the deepest reaches of the undercities, where dregs are hunted down through the dark and treacherous depths. Those that are unfortunate enough to be caught are detained and spirited away, never to be seen again by their former communities. Typically, they are released to the custody of Zeng-Hu researchers, who then use them as nameless test subjects until their usefulness is exhausted, after which they are disposed of. While this isn't condoned by Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals and their Skrellian colleagues, the legal status of Dregs within Eridani and the "don't tell" policy among researchers makes combating and punishing the practice difficult - and, at the end of the day, the scientific benefit and productivity outweigh the fear of punishment for most Eridani researchers. The elevator shafts that corporate authorities use to travel to these depths, typically referred to as the "Stairways to Heaven", are massive and made for carrying large quantities of people at a time. Using the elevator requires the transmission of pre-approved access codes through an occupant's retinal overlay implants. Lacking implants and these codes renders the elevator inoperable; an added security measure to prevent dregs from climbing back up, alongside a shielded exclusion zone that spans out several meters from the base of the elevators.
Tajara mercenaries, usually veterans of the Second Revolution, are becoming increasingly common in Amon's private military. Famous for their valuable experience and natural affinity to the cold weather, those Tajara are used by the arcologies' authorities to hunt down the most resilient dregs. These contractors and their families are usually housed in company facilities provided by their employers.
Neith and Sais
The two moons of Amon, Neith and Sais are barren and without atmosphere. Both asteroids that were captured by Amon's gravity, the moons are used by the Eridani Federal Navy as important bases of operations and intelligence. Covered in sprawling military complexes and shipyards, the bulk of the Federal fleet are constructed and dispatched from here due to the much lower costs associated with working in micro-gravity. Due to the lack of atmosphere and magnetic fields, the Federal Navy found the two moons to be convenient places to anchor the advanced sensor arrays that monitor the system's interplanetary traffic. Their orbit of Amon is such that the vast majority of Epsilon Eridani is visible from at least one of the two moons at any given time, and they correspond to detect the faint and ephemeral traces of bluespace travel. Tracking down smugglers and unceremoniously seizing their assets has proven to be a lucrative pastime for the Federal Navy.
The largest arcology and city on Amon, this is the true beating heart of Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals' research division. Research facilities for almost every avenue of medical science can be found here, with Biomechanics and Xenobiology being the largest. Many of the most cutting edge medical discoveries are made within the city's halls, and they make the planet one of the main exporters of medical products and resources; ranging from implants and cybernetics, proto-clones, sterile gloves, hyposprays, scanners, and countless other things.
The city also houses the prestigious Sekhmet College of Biology and Biomechanical Engineering (abb. SCOBABE). A high-tech Zeng-Hu funded medical institute for the education of aspiring new medical students. The facility offers education for practically any career in the medical field, be it general Medicine, Chemistry, Surgery, you name it. Its most popular courses are in the field of Biomechanics, due to the system's demand for such employment; and Xenobiology, due to the planet's abundance of subsurface alien bacteria. Students of this institute have very little trouble finding work on Amon or in Eridani as a whole, while those that tend to go abroad are praised and respected for their utmost professionalism and skills. While rather pricey to attend, even by Suit standards, Zeng-Hu readily offers scholarships and significant discounts to those that agree to undergo contracted employment with them at the conclusion of their studies.