Friday, November 25, 2016

Chang-Er V

Chang-Er V
Type: Terrestrial (Earth-Like)
Primary Star: K1V (Orange Dwarf)
Gravity: 1.31 g
Diameter: 16,731.42 km
Atmospheric Pressure: .97 atm
Atmospheric Composition: 74.4% Argon, 25.6% Oxygen, trace other gases
Surface Temperature (Mean): 19 C
Day Length: 16 Hours
Orbital Period: 467 Days
Satellites: 5
Gate Access: Martian Gate, Set Gate
Notes: Microbial Life, Advanced Alien Artifact, Transhuman Settlement (Pathfinder Research Park and Direct Action garrison)
Chang-Er V (named after the lead scientist on the Gatecrashing team and both it’s position in its solar system and the number of satellites it has) is a remarkably hospitable terrestrial world, with manageable gravity, temperature and pressure, and a breathable atmosphere. It would be a prime site for Pathfinders exoplanet colonization efforts, except for one thing, The Object. Officially classified as the “Chang-Nausia Object” (after the two Gatecrashers who saw it first) and colloquially known as “The Ball”, “The Eye” and “The Orb”, the Object is a massive artifact of presumed alien design, which appears to be a whitish sphere several hundred kilometers in diameter, which hovers over the surface of Chang-Er V, with no known means of keeping it aloft. In fact, it appears to be held from escaping planetary gravity by a series of “tethers” made from carbon compounds, anchored into the surface, which also appear to generate power for the Object by some unknown means. The surface of the object is impenetrable to all forms of scanning, and in fact, warps or distorts many of the more powerful types of scans that attempt to reach it. As far as can be told, the Object is a gravitational anomaly. Its presence counteracts the tidal effects of Chang-Er V’s five captured planetoid moons, and appears to influence the weather surrounding it, producing much gentler patterns in it’s “gravity shadow”. This gravitational shadow seems to extend to a range roughly triple the diameter of the object, corresponding with a large basin in the surface of Chang-Er V, with it’s lowest point directly under The Object, and surrounded by a nearly circular set of mountains. While inside this “gravity shadow”, the gravitational forces of Chang-Er V appear reduced by roughly 33%, equivalent to ~.8 g. Pathfinder has classified this planet and object heavily, settling a decently sized research base into the shadow basin near (but not directly under) the object, and staffed it and the route to the Gate heavily with Direct Action personnel. The Gate itself is located on a flat plateau at the base of the shadow’s mountain range, opposite the Object, preventing the object from being seen from the Gate.

Shadow Watch
Allegiance: Planetary Consortium (Pathfinder)
Primary Languages: English, Mandarin
Population: 2,000
Shadow Watch (named cleverly for it’s position in the “gravity shadow” of the Chang-Nausia Object and its design as an observational research station) is a sizable open settlement in the Shadow Basin underneath the Object. The entire area is heavily fortified, with a tall exterior wall and heavy, low buildings requiring a lot of surface area, with decent amounts of underground construction. This is not just due to the fact that Shadow Watch is built to study an alien object, but also due to the non-zero possibility the Object may fall and impact the surface. As such, most of the habitation is securely underground, functioning as impact shelters, with the high walls designed to ablate the shockwaves of such an impact. It is mostly a research park, with layers of secure housing underground, and multiple research labs and expansive sensor suites trained at the Object. Due to the secrecy, there is little by way of non-mission related structures. Pathfinder has constructed a massive simulspace server system also, which runs many new complex simulations based on observations of the Object and makes new predictions. In addition to the observational labs dedicated to studying the object in every conceivable way, Pathfinder has also built some experimental physics and exotic materials labs here, presumably to concentrate efforts to reverse engineer data from the object and mimic some of its effects. Shadow Watch gets its power from an automated solar plant up in the mountains, transmitted by carbon nanowire along the supply route, but also has several nuclear generators for emergency power buried deep beneath the facility. A maglev railroad and resupply station has been built from the center of Shadow Watch out to the Gate area, including tunneling through the mountains. At the Gate, along the train line and in Shadow Watch itself are heavy security checkpoints and garrisons run by Direct Action, who has a weighty NDA with Pathfinder about Chang-Er V. Nothing comes or goes from Shadow Watch without being scrutinized a few dozen times over. Direct Action has also built a structure known as “The Battlement”, another, semicircular heavy wall several klicks further in from Shadow Watch, which is lined with an impressive array of CIWS cannons, missile batteries, anti-missile lasers and heavy mass drivers, all of which are pointed in the general direction of the Object or its tethers. Speaking of the tethers, rumor has it that Pathfinder has begun scouting for possible explorers to climb up the tethers and make close contact with the Object itself.

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