Hesperus II is the second of seven planets in a system of the same name, located between Falleen and Rodia on the other side of the Corellian Trade Spine, and in the same star cluster as Outreach. Formerly tagged as system M-1837 by the Fourth Alderaanian Expedition nearly a millennia ago, the galactic expansion had come and gone, seeing nothing more than another unremarkable system. Having already constructed their new homeworld on another nearby system, MMA explored the other stars in the cluster, eventually choosing Hesperus II as the site for a new, massive manufacturing complex buried deep beneath one of the mountain ranges.
Despite its newfound importance, Hesperus II has been characterized as having about as much physical appeal as an 80-year old lady of easy virtue. Approaching the planet, the visitor immediately notices the innumerable mountain ranges and canyons crisscrossing the four major continents like wrinkles or the grids of some warped game board.
Still relatively geologically active, the planet is a world of mountains, vast mountains, immense, towering mountains. There are four major continents an innumerable smaller island chains and archipelagos, and all are heavily crinkled by young, upthrusting mountains, some volcanic, most by the product of active plate tectonics.
Temperatures are intolerable for unprotected humans near the Hesperan equator, where swamps steam and native life is conditioned to eighty-degree-Celsius-plus temperatures and atmospheric pressures of three bars plus thrives. Most rarely venture in the equatorial region, and then only in specially designed, heavily armed, armored, and refrigerated exploration walkers. The local predators, however, being on a rough evolutionary scale with dinosaurs (except even larger, meaner, and tougher), ensure that at current the success rate of such exploration is less than thirty percent... meaning that the other seventy simply disappeared into the swamps. Such expeditions are dropping in frequency.
North and south of the Equatorials the climate is milder, more suitable for humans, especially at altitudes above three thousand meters, where the air pressure is closer to one standard atmosphere and the average temperature is around thirty degrees Celsius. The uplands varieties of the huge equatorial predators are smaller, but still highly dangerous.
Defiance is the planetary capital and sole population center on Hesperus II; everyone onplanet lives in Defiance. Located at about 50 degrees north latitude and 3500 meters elevation, it is situated on a plateau jutting from the base on the east side of a particularly tall mountain peak. The city appears to be organized rather haphazardly, but is actually a carefully designed defense mechanism to force attackers into bottlenecks or confuse them. The spaceport is located to the western part of the city.
Fifty-meter high, two-meter thick, heavily reinforced, armor-plated ferrocrete walls surround the plateau, with only two gates leading out into the surrounding jungle, partly to keep the aggressive local predators away and partly for defense. Since the city itself already occupies much of the plateau, this would seem to limit its potential growth, but provisions have already been made to expand underground.
The real gem of Hesperus II is the massive industrial and manufacturing complex buried deep underneath the mountain range. Dozens, perhaps hundreds of kilometers of tunnels weave through the rock, linking smelting plants, assembly lines, offices, blast furnaces, storage bunkers, and everything else a modern factory requires. The vast majority of the population of Defiance works the facilities inside the mountain. Capable of manufacturing walkers, starfighters, tanks, personal weapons and armor, the modular components of planetary weaponry and shielding, and even some small freighters, the facility comprises nearly thirty percent of the manufacturing capability of MMA.
Naturally, such a large and valuable complex makes it an inviting target, both for the stockpiles of raw materials and the stores of finished products. As such, the planet is heavily defended. The east face of the mountain is sheer, nearly vertical, making an attack from that direction impossible. In addition to the high walls and confusing streets, turbolaser and ion cannon emplacements surround the walls and are sited both in the city and on the mountain itself. A large complement of troops and walkers are always garrisoned in the city. In addition, no less than eight heavy-duty shield generators protect the city and manufacturing complex. Normally sited individually, the combined, overlapping and reinforcing protection forces any attacker to ground and assault the complex overland, allowing the planet's own defenders, the three Generals Heat, Terrain, and Nature, to bring their own forces to bear.