Sunday, February 12, 2017


Type: Terrestrial
Primary Star: L1V (Brown Dwarf)
Gravity: 1.3 g
Diameter: 16110 km
Atmospheric Pressure: .85 atm
Atmospheric Composition: 62% Nitrogen, 20% Helium, 17% Oxygen, trace other gasses
Surface Temperature (Mean): 18 C
Day Length: 21 hours
Orbital Period: 95 Days
Satellites: 3 moonlets
Gate Access: Portal Gate
Notes: Alien Life (Small Organisms), Dangerous Natural Phenomena (Ionizing Radiation), Alien Sky, Impressive Natural Terrain
Cocytus is an interesting terrestrial planet a "Night-world" on the inner fringe of the habitable zone of a Brown Dwarf formation (Colloquially called "Nightstar", but officially Hades). The star emits almost all of it's light in the infrared range, which means that Cocytus is a very dark and cool planet, though it has "day" if you have Enhanced Vision or similar. Tidal forces and the star are able to keep it heated enough to have habitable temperatures - though the night is very cool, with weak heat retention. This means Cocytus is windy and cold. It is not, however, suited to unassisted transhumans - the atmospheric pressure means that the oxygen balance isn't enough for most morphs, but more importantly is that Cocytus heavily reacts with the magnetic output of it's star and magnetic elements in it's own crust. While the high presence of aurora effects against a permanent "night" sky is very pretty, even synthmorphs cannot survive under the ionizing radiation without additional shielding. But, Cocytus still appears to have a biosphere, possible through something the xenobiologists have been calling "magnetosynthesis". It's plant analogs (Called "Magnemites") form semi-organic spires loaded with magnemite and other ferrous compounds which can grow up to a kilometer in height at their oldest and largest. These utilize the magnetic interference to gain energy which is then converted to chemicals using nutrients drawn up from the ground. Scanning and some sampling have indicated that simple xenofauna forms live deep under the ground, including both microbes of surprising diversity, and the beginnings of simple macro-scale organisms which are analogous to early Earth arthropods and annelids. These live by consuming other organisms, drawing nutrients directly from the ground and grazing or parasitizing on the Magnemites from below (though several colonial symbiote species have been noted on one of the planet's continents). Sampling and deep study is difficult due to the depth of many of these organisms, and their hardy structures - as well as natural conditions, so the complete nature of Cocytus' biosphere is not known. It does seem that complex, limbed organisms favor 8-10 multipurpose limbs, and their main forms of sensation appear to be vibrational, or oriented around magnetic fields, though some may have sensitivity to infrared radiation.
The terrain of Cocytus which is not covered in the Magnemites is rocky, with occasional volcanic activity. Instead of oceans, it has shallow lakes of varying sizes - most of which are fresh though some contain metallic salts. The magnetic fields makes use of instrumentation and certain technology difficult - radios are often unreliable and sensor equipment may be disrupted or unusable. External nanotechnology (like nanoswarms) are almost completely suppressed by it. It has three small moons or capture asteroids (data is difficult with telescope interference and low light levels), which have been tentatively named "Caina", "Antenora" and "Ptolomea". While scientists are eager to study Cocytus and learn more about it's life and possibly what knowledge can be derived from it, setting up on the planet has been incredibly difficult. Primary research base is an expanding set of prefab shelters equipped with radiation shielding at the top, where hardened drones and synthmorphs can be deployed to survey the planet and collect samples which can be studded in shielded labs. This is built over the original Gate location, a broad impact basin in a hard iron-salt flat which is devoid of life.

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