Once the poisons are gone, the air is thin but breathable in the lowlands that make up two-thirds of the landmass, though most companies maintain at least part of their facilities pressurized to near-Terran levels. Earthwerks Inc, one of Keystone’s largest employers, is the only company to maintain all of its facilities in a Terra-like environment, having relocated its once-scattered sites to the domed city of Darras on the shores of Lake Marenga, the sole major body of water.
To save on life-support costs, most other companies maintain their heavy manufacturing facilities at ambient levels and rely on acclimated staff wearing breathers and environmental suits. The razor-edged rocks that appear everywhere on the planet require that most such suits must be armored, adding to their bulk. Hydroponics facilities provide a limited array of foodstuffs for the population, the native soil being too toxic to grow food suitable for humans, and Keystone is technically self-sufficient with these vegetables and yeast cultures. In practice, however, the planet relies heavily on imports for diversity, particularly animal products that are in short supply locally.
 Once part of a trans-national engineering concern, Earthwerks-FWL survived the threat of nationalization by establishing its League assets as an independent corporation, related to but distinct from its cousins in the other Successor States. The corporation is the largest manufacturer of BattleMechs in the FWL—roughly fifty percent ahead of its closest rivals, Kali Yama and Irian BattleMechs—but it does its highest volume of business in civilian ‘Mechs used for logging, mining and construction.
Earthwerks also produces a broad range of groundcars, trucks and commercial vehicles, including a premium custom-order service (popular with automobile enthusiasts) and a contract building division making purpose-built industrial vehicles. This diversification primarily occurred in response to the Succession Wars that left many of the corporation’s military plants in ruins, but it also provided a steady steam of income not dependent on the FWLM budget — the Act of Parliament act that ensured the independence of Earthwerks - FWL also gave the League military the right of first refusal on the company’s military output.
The Fourth Succession War and the occupation of the corporation’s homeworld of Procyon led Earthwerks-FWL to relocate its administrative elements to its Mount Rochester facility on Keystone, complying with the requirement that League companies maintain their operational headquarters inside FWL borders or face reclassification as a foreign company (with all the accompanying tax and licensing issues). The corporation stands at the heart of the League military’s modernization, working closely with authorities to develop efficient and cost-effective upgrade kits and engineering protocols.
Much of the development work on such processes occurred during the dark days of the Clan invasion when AFFC and DCMS troops were the primary recipients, the lessons learned in such endeavors leading to the final version of many designs used by the FWLM. Earthwerks emphasizes practicality and efficiency over cutting-edge technologies, though its R&D department is second only to Irian Technologies.
The present CEO of Earthwerks-FWL, Juri McMahon, has held the post since 3052. A native of Gallery in the Lyran Alliance, she is the corporation’s first non-League CEO since the onset of the Succession Wars. Her drive and determination have done much to counter innate League prejudice against Lyrans and have brought her into close association with the Captain-General, the first significant rapprochement between the corporation and the Marik family since Kenyon Marik attempted to nationalize Earthwerks’ assets. Rumors on the business grapevine suggest that McMahon’s long-term goal is to reunify the entire Earthwerks corporation under her leadership, a claim seemingly backed up by increased contacts between Keystone and Earthwerks legacy companies in other realms.
One of the smaller manufacturers in the FWL, the Exeter Organization has managed to build a solid reputation with its core product, the Longscan series of communication systems. Contracts with the Word of Blake have prompted substantial investment at its Medway plant on Keystone, whose output has increased fourfold over the past decade. Much of this extra production went toward meeting foreign and domestic demand for Exeter’s systems — Earthwerks-FWL has become a major client in recent years — but Exeter has also scaled up production of its own vehicle, a variant of the Pegasus hovercraft.
Recently, some question has arisen as to Exeter’s independence. Rumors suggest the corporation is an Earthwerks-FWL shell, or that CEO Anup Tind — and by extension the entire company — are in the Blakists’ pocket. The company has made no public statement on the matter, but its lawyers have filed suit against several news agencies in an effort to quell some of the more scurrilous stories. The legal action has merely heightened suspicions about the privately owned company.
- System Name: Keystone
- Coordinates: -126.23, -106.41
- Star Type: F6V
- Position in System: 2
- Time to Jump Point: 13.87 days
- Recharging Station: Nadir
- ComStar Facility Class: B
- Population: 3
- Percentage and Level of Native Life: Plants
System Owner Eras:
System Occupation Dates:
|2569-08-15||Free Worlds League|
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