The Eclectia System of 94 Ceti A (“The Whale”) is made up of the planet Eclectia (which Avenir orbits) , its moons, Sheba and Quatermain, and a cloud of smaller bodies. Eclectia, discovered 7 August 2000 AD (old style), circles it's primary at a distance of 1.42 AU (Earth) and a period of 535 days (Earth). It masses 1.68 that of Earth.
One of the more striking features of Eclectia is the extremely high speed of its axial precession. While all known planets' axises wobble around slowly describing a circle, the ends of Eclectia's circle so fast as to seem to be attempting to orbit in their own right.
The causes of this are Eclectia's twin satellites, Sheba and Quatermain. At one time, the two bodies composed a single smaller planet that the colonists refer to as Sheba. It is postulated that when Sheba was captured by Eclectia's gravitational field, the smaller planet was torn apart becoming the pair of present satellites and a huge number of fragments. Judging from the still hot cores of the two major bodies and the fact that so many fragments have not been pulled in by the planet and its two fragments, the destruction must have been very recent. A second reason that the pieces have not coalesced has to do with the interaction of the five major gravity fields (94 Ceti A, its partner 94 Ceti B, Eclectia, Sheba, and Quatermain) that war with each other. Finally, there is the problem that Sheba and Quatermain, while generally on the same side of Eclectia at any one time, are in orbits that find them approximately 23 degrees from each other. That the plane of their orbit is tipped 41 degrees to Eclectia's equator induces the wobble in the parent's axis of rotation.
During the preliminary long range survey upon Avenir's entry of the 94 Ceti System, it was believed that Eclectia had only one satellite which was christened “Sheba.” To the embarrassment of the astrophysics team, the mistake was discovered upon closer approach. While there was a call by the team leader for the two bodies to be referred to as “Sheba I and II,” this was shouted down by the rest the team. After several days of discussion, argument, threats, and (allegedly) bribery, the smaller satellite was named “Quatermain.”
Neither satellite retains an atmosphere and the thinking is that if the united Sheba had one to begin with, it must have been quite tenuous. Both bodies are rich in minerals. Sheba seems to have retained the heavier elements such as Cadmium, Gold, Iridium, Molybdenum, Lead, Palladium, Platinum, Silver, Tantalum, Tungsten, and Uranium. Quatermain plays host to lighter elements like Aluminum, Beryllium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Germanium, Iron, Lithium, Magnesium, Manganese, Nickel, Tin, Titanium, Zinc, and Zirconium.
A great number of ore bodies are found among the staggering cloud of fragments moving within the planetary system. These are collected and “herded” by the “cowboys” and are delivered to various sites for smelting.