"Like Mount Everest inside an oven," was how Jon Grissom characterized Aratoht while on an Alliance fact-finding mission to see if the garden world was worth contestation with the batarians. His team ultimately decided that the planet's air pressure and oxygen content were too low for large-scale human habitation, ending a year-long political battle with the batarians and the Citadel Council's Committee on Habitable Worlds. Since then, the Batarian Hegemony has quietly colonized the planet's polar regions, where the heat is manageable due to heavy rainfall.
Information on the colony itself is restricted by the Hegemony's Department of Information Control, but a few facts are known. A large-scale operation to increase the oxygen content of the planet is under way: skilled workers constantly dump cyanobacteria into the oceans and seed the habitable zone with invasive plant species. Slave labor is largely reserved for the planet's extensive mining industry, which takes advantage of the high-density planet's rich lodes of ferrous and heavy metals. Alliance intelligence has also confirmed that the colony is home to several batarian military installations, a threatening sign for a planet this close to Earth's local cluster and the Exodus Relay. Its infrastructure includes many satellites and several space stations.
EDI'S TRAVEL ADVISORY: The Batarian Hegemony considers any presence of Alliance military vessels in batarian space as hostile. The Normandy SR2, while an independent vessel, strongly resembles the Normandy SR1, an Alliance ship. Use of stealth systems is highly recommended.
"Nothing is impossible," says the Hegemony propaganda poster that depicts a muscular batarian miner under an Aratoht sky, his rebreather held away from his face as if he's just taken it off. The image sums up millions of man-hours of labor on the batarian planet and represents (or misrepresents) much of its history. Two decades ago, Aratoht, like several planets in the Skyllian Verge, was claimed by both human and batarian governments, but the Alliance backed out after learning about the atmosphere's dangerously low pressure and oxygen levels. Instead, they concentrated their colonial efforts on planets that could support human life without the aid of domed habitats and rebreathers. Human governments saw it as a wise move; batarians saw it as cowardly.
The batarians rose to the colonization challenge, shipping in large numbers of laborers. They took the high financial costs and casualties due to accidents or logistical snafus in stride. Large-scale dumping of cyanobacteria has increased the oxygen in the atmosphere by a fraction of one percent, a modest increase that the Hegemony trumpets as a sign of their eventual victory. Short-term profits on Aratoht are largely made in the minerals sector through mining the extremely metal-rich planetary crust. The dark side to the mining does not appear on the propaganda poster -- the majority of laborers are indentured servants or slaves.
Aratoht is rumored to have military bases on its surface and throughout its solar system, though details are heavily restricted by the Hegemony's Ministry of Information Control. Human merchant ships rarely come to the planet, outcompeted by local companies that benefit from heavy economic protections. The average Aratoht citizen only sees humans on the news, usually featured in stories of trials and executions of accused spies.
- Assignment: Arrival
Aratoht is an assignment world and cannot be mined.