Planet: Bekenstein

Unknown [Mass Effect]

Mass Effect

"More glittering than diamonds, more expensive than surgery," is how travel agents describe this planet behind closed doors. Given the opportunity to colonize planets after the First Contact War, the Systems Alliance chose Bekenstein to be their trading arm, producing goods to be sold on the nearby Citadel. Cracking the vast galactic marketplace proved difficult -- the first human products sold on novelty alone, then lack of demand hit Bekenstein's economy hard. Only in the second generation of colonists did the planet find a sustainable niche in high-quality entertainment and luxury goods. Once brand awareness sunk in, aliens flocked to Bekenstein's many spaceports. The planet today boasts more millionaires and billionaires per capita than any other human colony.

Though its crime tends to be white-collar and nonviolent, Bekenstein is not without its dark side. Both its suicide rate and inflation are extremely high compared to other worlds. Unemployment is artificially low because few people immigrate to the expensive planet without having a job lined up, and the cost of living is so great that unemployed workers typically leave for kinder planets after just a few months. Those who stay see themselves as tougher, sharper, and more skillful than the rest, as well as capable of getting respect and employment on any lesser planet. As a popular song says, "If you can make it on the Bek, you got 'em by the neck."