Hercules is an earth-like world. The average global temperature is roughly the same as earth's at 13.4 degrees celsius. It has a Nitrogen-Oxygen atmosphere that is at an alpine 0.64 ATM at sea-level. The smaller landmass give the planet a temperate-tropical climate with frequent showers. The day length is 32 hours, longer than on earth but it is adaptable by humans and other earth life. The downside to Hercules is the high gravity. The planet has 1.7 g's of acceleration. While adaptable by most earth species it can cause discomfort to visitors and new arrivals.
The planet was originally colonised by the Chinese expansion project during the 2370's when the various governments around the Sol System established hundreds of new colonies including Terranova and Njord. The Chinese government quickly contracted Terragen as well to develop a full, earth analogous ecosystem on the planet.By the year 2400 with the founding of the URSS Hercules became and independent colony and was no longer classified as an off-world colony of China. The planets ecosystem was fully developed by the year 2470 with many fauna and flora transplanted directly from Earth. The population began rising exponentially and vast swathes of the planet were used for agriculture. Agco Inc. moved their headquarters to the planet in the year 2475. It had a climate perfect for agriculture and was also the largest wheat producer in the early Republic.
During the late 24th century, resentment for Agco began to build. Rumors about bad working and living conditions for the mega-company's employees were floating everywhere. Hercules had its first riots in the year 2497. Rioters insisted that the world's largest employer, Agco paid insufficient wages and exported to much of the planets agricultural yield leaving very little for the Herculeans. The Hercules Government did very little to quell the riots and they grew worse and worse. Agco forced the riots to stop by refusing to sell any food product to Hercules, putting billions in danger of starving. Tensions on Hercules were high and living conditions worsened for the next century and a half. In 2611 a series of Terrorist strikes killed thousands of residents and did substantial damage to Agco's assets. Agco responded by hiring out the security company, Secrimax Co. to guard their assets and investigate all terrorist activities. The population of Hercules began to decline.
War erupted on Hercules in the year 2879. Citizens who had been oppressed and starved their whole lives flocked to join the Army for a free Humanity and combat the mega-tyrants. Despite the war status Agco continued business regardless. Many planets within the URSS depended on the company's agriculture operations for sustenance and the URSS's fleet made defending Hercules a priority. Order was regained on Hercules in 2884. It was one of the RSC's few victories achieved without the use of weapons of mass destruction.
Hercules remained the Republic Empire's breadbasket for the next 30 years. The population continued to decline, but it was still a strong Core World. The planet suffered many attacks and the RSC thwarted countless nuclear strikes, however, Hercules was one of the most securely defended planets in the URSS until the Republic's fall in 2917. In 2918, with the RSC's fleet withdrawn Hercules was left vulnerable to attack. A rebel faction attacked the planet and bombarded the capital city as well as many business headquarters from orbit. The rebel forces detonated a nuclear weapon in the capital city destroying the largest starport as well as the Agco headquarters.
With the planets infrastructure in shambles the planet could no longer provide for many of the republic's worlds. The Federations of United Star Systems had to turn to other, smaller worlds less affected by the war such as Njord to feed the countless planets of the new regime. Hercules was quickly restored by the Confederacy of Humanity and to this day provides crops for much of the Old worlds.
Hercules initially had 100,000 colonists who founded the city of Megara on the southern continent and intended from the beginning to be heavily agricultural. Due to the Chinese relocations however, and various other expansion programs from other nationalities around the Sol system the planet experienced thousands and thousands of immigrants. The inhabitants also followed mostly rural customs and often had families of five or more children. The worlds population nearly doubled every year. By the year 2400, when Hercules finally seceded from the Chinese government, the population was a little over 22 million people.
Throughout the next 250 years Hercules experienced steady growth. By the year 2650 it was tied with a few other heavy manufacturing worlds for most populous world outside the Sol system. It had a world population of over 7 billion.
In the 26th century the planets population reached a sort of natural equilibrium. The populace had ceased most of the more rural customs and generally had families of one or two children. The small amount of landmass that was actually used for urban city housing became scarce and housing prices for immigrants skyrocketed. Immigration came to a standstill as well. In 2950, just a couple decades before the first great war the planet's population was over 10 billion and slowly declining.
Over the next 300 years the planet entered a state of slow decline. By the time the Confederacy was founded Hercules' population was at 7.6 billion. After the fall of the URSS the population again stabilized and reached equilibrium. Today in 200000 CE, they have since recovered greatly, and are a staple world in the Federations of United Star Systems.
The first colonists and immigrants to Hercules were a part of the Chinese expansion project. The majority expansion project's members were mainly Cantonese from the city of Hong Kong and a minority were Mandarin from the city of Shanghai. By the year 2400 nearly 12 million people from Hong Kong had immigrated to Hercules. The worlds inhabitants lived in several urban metropolises.
In 2400, with the colony's new-found freedom the world was split into two main party's. The Cantonese and the Mandarin. Tensions between the two factions were rough, many of the Cantonese people were resentful of the Mandarin and persecuted them. URSS intervened in the year 2429 with several anti-persecution laws and placed the planet under close supervision. In 2433 Hercules was stripped of its independence and became a URSS governancy.
In 2250, with the ecosystem nearing completion a ruralistic movement swept through the population. People left the metropolises by the thousands to build new, rural farms. The land was divided. Cantonese people settled the south continent and several equatorial islands. The city of Hei Mong was founded in the North continent and quickly became the worlds largest space port. The Mandarin people stayed on the isolated smaller South continent near the city of Megara.
In the year 3002, with the recent destruction of the Cantonese capital and the lack of any URSS government forces a civil war sprang up between Mandarin aggressors and the Cantonese. The planet was placed under lock-down in the year 3003 by the young Confederacy. The planet was policed heavily by the Confederacy until the Mandarin-Cantonese peace-treaty of 3005. Under the Confederacy's supervision a democratic government was founded with equal members from both ethnicities. To this day Hercules (called Yin Hung by locals) is a strong agricultural and democratic world led by the Mandarin and Cantonese parties.
Hercules has an axial tilt of 15o and an elliptical orbit. As a result seasons are drastically different between the two Northern continents and the Southern Continent. The Northern Continents have a cooler summer and a warmer winter, overall a Mediterranean climate. The Southern Continent faces much warmer summers and colder winters. Overall the south has a more extreme, sub-arctic climate. The low landmass means that storms are much more frequent. The Northern continents experience frequent monsoons and rain showers during the winter and spring. The Southern continent has faster winds which turn the Monsoons into cold typhoons. Hercules has no large moon to create tides, however, every two years the gas giant Hoi Siu which is 7 Jupiter masses comes within 0.3 au from Hercules. As a result every other spring the Northern continents experience huge tides and much more frequent storms.