Conditions on Ersii are brutal. The sun boils the surface with an average
temperature of 109°C, forcing the twenty thousand inhabitants underground.
A tiny briny ocean survives at the north pole, though it is lifeless during
warmer months. Invertebrate lifeforms burrow deep in the mud to ride out the
summers. Winter temperatures cool long enough for a brief period of algal blooms
to resuscitate the food chain. The human inhabitants follow a similar pattern
as even summer nights are excruciating.
So why is it that anyone lives here? The original inhabitants were victims of a colony scam perpetrated two millenia ago by a shadowy organization known as Population Redeployment Inc. on Isbudin (Vland 2013), itself an overpopulated world with an insidious atmosphere. Promised a fresh start on a world where the atmosphere was breathable (in essence true, if it's cooled down to a temperature that won't burn one's lungs), these colonists poured their life savings into what amounted to little more than a large canister fitted with an ablative aerobraking shield and sublight engines. Although jump engines with two parsec performance were available, the colonists were told this was a better way. They were then placed in low berths for the 14 light year trip, which took 300 years. Although the contract was honored and the world was legally deeded to them, it was obvious that they'd been deceived. Unfortunately, the people involved with Population Redeployment had long since vanished. Their identities and assets untraceable.
The Ersiians persevered despite the cruel joke played upon them. They've pursued different technologies (heat pumps, chemical rockets, etc.) to take advantage of what their world offered them. They live modestly and use what little income they acquire through meager trade to purchase that which they can not fabricate locally. As such, no effort has been made to provide starport facilities despite the lack of hydrogen in the system (Only a fool would attempt to skim the ocean for it). They see no need to spend their hard earned capital to accommodate a civilization of hucksters.
A sizable portion of each new generation escapes the claustrophobic subterranean conditions to make lives for themselves elsewhere. Some send money home. However, there is no resentment on the part of those that stay behind.