First Landing is the first settlement on Ilus IV, named after the original landing site of the Barbapiccola. The settlement was founded by settlers of the Barbapiccola after the planet had already been assigned by the United Nations to the Royal Charter Energy corporation. This led to a conflict that was mediated by James Holden.

The original First Landing was completely destroyed by violent storms that were provoked by Protomolecule technology on Ilus being reactivated. In the aftermath of the disaster, the survivors rebuilt the settlement, ultimately leading to the reconciliation of the settlers and Royal Charter Energy.



First Landing was established by a community of Belter refugees that had fled the Ganymede incident aboard the freighter Barbapiccola. Denied access to ports in the Sol system, after the Ring network was opened, out of desperation the refugees agreed to attempt settling one of the 1,373 habitable systems. Exiting Sol gate and traversing the Slow Zone faster than the Outer Planets Alliance could intercept it, the Barbapiccola entered the Ilus system.

First Landing was established on a site where rich veins of lithium ore were close ot the surface to enable future exploitation. The settlement was also in sight of the ruins of a Ring Builder city. The settlers established a number of one-storey buildings and elected Carol Chiwewe as their coordinator.

Conflict with Royal Charter EnergyEdit

Full article: Conflict on Ilus IV
The United Nations had already granted exploitation rights of Ilus, which it referred to as New Terra, to the Royal Charter Energy corporation. Relations between RCE and the colonists were initially friendly, with First Landing assisting in the construction of a landing pad for heavy shuttles from the RCE ship Edward Israel. However, an insurgent group based out of the nearby alien ruins, led by the Ganymede refugee Basia Merton and the ex-OPA operative Coop, planted explosives that destroyed the landing pad, crippled a shuttle as it was attempting to land, and killed RCE colonial governor Trying.

In an attempt to mediate the situation, the UN and OPA jointly agreed to dispatch an envoy, Captain James Holden of the Rocinante. However, the insurgents' hideout was discovered by the RCE biologist Elvi Okoye, which provoked a firefight with the insurgents that killed most of the RCE security team on the surface. As James Holden arrived, RCE chief of security Adolphus Murtry landed with much of the rest of his security team, imposing martial law on First Landing and executing Coop in front of the entire town.

S4 FirstLanding Concept

As Holden attempted to mediate, getting Murtry to agree to a resumption of lithium mining through tight control of mining explosives, the surviving insurgents planned to murder both Holden and Murtry. Aghast at their willingness to accept collateral death among the colonists, Basia Merton gave up the insurgents' location to Holden. However, Holden was pre-empted by Murtry, who had bugged the entire town, and attacked the insurgents in their hideout, burning the building down with them all inside. Murtry then arrested Merton as a terrorist, but agreed to release him to Holden's custody aboard the Rocinante pending trial in the Sol system.

Concurrently, certain inhabitants of First Landing began to suffer from a malady known as Green Blindness, which entailed slow loss of eyesight. Dr Lucia Merton and Elvi Okoye identified the source of the infection as a waterborne parasite acquired from rainfall.

Destruction Edit

Through the actions of the Investigator, which was attempting to discover the fate of the Ring Builders, a number of Protomolecule-based machines awoke on Ilus. Their billion-year stasis caused many to malfunction on reactivation, which led to the meltdown of an alien reactor on the other side of the planet to First Landing, causing an explosion comparable to that of a large meteor strike. This provoked colossal storms and tsunamis, which swept across Ilus' continent and destroyed First Landing. Forewarned by the Rocinante, most of the colonists and RCE personnel survived by taking refuge in the alien ruins.

New First LandingEdit

After the disaster was over with First Landing destroyed the settlers rebuilt. Near the location of the original settlement they built a new one named New First Landing, with six important buildings powered by one remaining generator, and the rest of the settlement by another[1].


  1. The Expanse Novel Cibola Burn - Chapter 56: Holden
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