Monday, November 7, 2016


Type: Terrestrial (Martian)
Primary Star: G4V
Gravity: .87 g
Diameter: 11348 km
Atmospheric Pressure: 1.03 atm
Atmospheric Composition: 40% Methane, 40% CO2, 16% Hydrogen, trace other elements
Surface Temperature (Mean): -3 C
Day Length: 23.27 hours
Orbital Period: 489 Days
Satellites: 4
Gate Access: Pandora Gate
Notes: Archaeological Traces, Alien Artifact
To some, Indra is one of the most horrific and terrifying Exoplanets ever discovered. While TITAN remnants, environmental disasters, and the fact that it seems like there are no living extraterrestrial civilizations connected to the Gates, are their own kind of fear, Indra offers its own unique brand of cold, calculating terror. At first, it seems like no unusual planet - a young Martian world outside of the habitable zone, which has enough geological activity to continue stimulating a carbon cycle, giving it a relatively thick atmosphere which even retains liquid water around the equator. It's believed that this cycle has continued for such a relative long time is due to tidal activity of Indra's four small moons, but researchers quickly determined it's much more likely to do with the abnormally high number of deep impact craters on Indra's surface. This is when researchers were in for a huge shock. A survey by experts in colonization found that wherever was considered statistically appropriate to place a colony on the surface of Indra, there was a crater. A survey was done of the crater the Indra Gate was found in, revealing traces of alien civilization buried under the impact site. Exploratory missions found similar traces in the nearest craters. Then TAU simulations modeled the events necessary to form such craters, and came up with the most likely conclusion that it was formed by a kinetic bombardment from orbit, such as with a heavy metal rod. These generated destructive forces in excess of "city-buster" strategic nuclear weapons. While it hasn't been completely proven, it's believed that all of Indra's unusual crater sites contain traces of an alien civilization which were bombed from orbit with a kinetic strike weapon. There are no other archaeological traces in the system, and the Gate's position seems to indicate the gate locale was struck also, though the Gate itself was not completely destroyed or was otherwise able to self-repair. The sheer destructive force involved renders most dating moot, though the best guess is from 500,000 to over a few million years ago based on geologic strata. No organic remains have been found at this time, and structural remnants seem very simplistic, lots of worked stone though some worked metals have been recovered. Lots of questions remain, of course, since Indra has no biosphere to speak of it's incredibly unlikely the population was native, but most carbon-based biology wouldn't have got along well on the surface of Indra either. It's possible that relatively fragile environment domes were placed over these simplistic cities and have since been completely eliminated. Certain elements of Titan Autonomous University are eager to begin extensive archaeological surveys and digs of the planet, but Gatekeeper corporation and Titanian Fleet Intelligence are much more conservative. There are very real concerns that any species advanced enough to wipe out all civilization on a planet may have further countermeasures or even detection methods in the system which a large-scale operation could run afoul of. Rumors even abound that telescopes have picked up inert objects in orbit which could be artificial satellites.

Excerpt from an Interview with Calixte Traverse, former TAU researcher and Gatekeeper contractor - Recorded on Phelan's Recourse
"Ah, such is the life of an exile...  Oh, you're wondering why I'm expatriated? Well, it's a funny story, [humorless laugh]. See, the Commonwealth is so transparent that if I or and of the others from the Indra team actually return home, we'll be legally required to disclose lots of information about the planet Intel or Gatekeeper would rather keep quiet. Not to mention that if we 'officially' return, our employers or home institutions have to disclose what we were doing and file our reports - or admit they lost them. And in the Plurality, there's always some nosy prick who asks these sorts of questions, so just keeping quiet would probably run into some legal tangle which would end up with the Commonwealth embarrassing itself. So it's only the remaining team members who didn't elect for psychosurgery and some deeply buried servers in the Orchestra that know. If you asked the right question, you could probably get the report, but that's up to what the AIs think is 'need to know', huh? So, I just stay here in the Recourse where I can get the news, make a couple votes so my rep doesn't tank to bad, and Gatekeeper can get a hold of me for follow-up questions."
[pause, sounds of drinking from a flask]
"Oh, you want to know what we found? So, it's public knowledge Indra was bombed back pre-stone age, yeah? Not that we can actually figure out what age the original colonists were in, but anyway... there's a lot of public debate in RNA and ExploreNet circles as to what form the kinetic bombardment took. The fact that research teams are pretty sure they've eyeballed what are otherwise very stealthy satellites has led to the most prominent theory that some kind of orbital weapon system was activated, like they were a gate-faring colony that went rogue and was razed, or they experienced a Fall-type scenario and their own weapon systems turned against them. This is the safer answer. I can tell you, since there's no official evidence and nobody will believe my drunken ramblings, that this is abjectly false. I know because I was part of a global survey team that went farther than any teams have officially gone. We were scouting other potential anomalies, and to try and confirm the situation at some of the more far-flung craters. So we got deep in the south, where there are some big glaciers and we found a region relatively devoid of natural phenomena. In the middle of this basin or whatever, there's a big shallow scar, like a canyon but with no flowing water or lava or anything to carve it out. Plus it was huge. We follow the thing for like a day, and come to the end, and find out what caused it."
[pause, sound of another drink]
"There's a structure buried in the crust there. Ground penetrating radar says it's roughly analogous in shape to something like one of the Commonwealth's destroyers, only maybe 3 times the size. Best guess is it's like 1.5 million years old, and it sure as hell looks like some kind of spaceship. Only its top most areas were sticking out above the ground, you'd never tell what it is from a distance. We examined as much of its surface as we could, but couldn't get far. It's made of some very advanced composites, it seemed very resilient. Sensors penetrated very poorly and it seemed like it was almost completely undamaged, at least on the top side. So yeah, whoever fucked up Indra real good did it with fucking huge spaceships. The freakiest thing about the Dreadnought - that's what we called it - was that our instruments picked up very faint neutrino emissions and magnetic field disruptions around the object. So I can tell you, that big girl is not dead, she's just sleeping. That's why nobody tried real hard to crack it open, either. If it really is like a destroyer, and it seems like it still has some kind of power supply, there's a worry that there might be some kind of antimatter containment still left - and a rupture would not be very helpful. But somebody will do it. Once it goes public, somebody will knock her open and go inside. Hell, they pay me enough I might try."
[long pause]
"What I always found most curious about her... the Dreadnought I mean... was that to me, the ship always seemed... organic somehow? I mean, that's not my specialty, I'm mostly maths, a little geo. But there was something about it's design, it's shape. How it felt when you touched it. If felt like something alive. That's why I said it seemed like it was sleeping... it's the only analogy I can think to use. I wonder if she dreams?"

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