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SpaceHero Fenl's Gren

Page history last edited by Michael 11 years, 7 months ago

back to the SpaceHero Atlas

 

Circling an ordinary yellow star is a pleasantly habitable world, covered almost entirely in ocean. Only a single land mass about a kilometer across extends above the seas; this rocky island is covered in verdant greenery (the plants are not native to the system). No birds, no land animals except a few small pests brought on spacecraft; but the seas teem with aquatic life. On the island are a few ruined buildings, and three (visible) spacecraft. Astrographic sensors will reveal:

 

  • immense radio static coming from the entire planetary surface.
  • interference with FTL commo systems

 

A particularly observant vessel will note that the system contains a halo of 20 million or so objects, orbiting the sun a bit outside of the planet's orbit. If examined, these will be seen as dark spindly objects, in the form of a six-armed cross; each is about a kilometer across, but only weighs about 100 kilograms. A moderate amount of debris, in the form of shiny balls of melted metal and synthetics, floats about the system (remnants of ships destroyed by the solar array).

 

This world was a base of the Fennershi, an ara-human race of which few records remain. Many tens of thousands of years ago, the expanding Empire conquered and destroyed the Fennershi, but some of their ships still roamed the stars as insurgents or pirates. So the Empire seeded several worlds in this region of space as traps to gradually eliminate the problem. Each was different; each was subtle; probably only this one remains in operation.

 

The Warden of Fenl's Gren is an Old Imperial, or perhaps a computer; the latter seems more likely, as it seems unconcerned about the non-plasma-temperature environment. Its orders are to:

 

  • hold all prisoners until the Empire comes for them. The Warden's interpretation:  keep them alive or in stasis, to not allow them to leave the atmosphere of the planet.
  • capture all non-Imperial ships, and take the crews prisoner. The Warden's interpretation:  if a non-Imperial ship enters the atmosphere, disable and capture it.
  • preserve your existence. The Warden's interpretation:  don't let ships leave the system if they might have figured out what's doing on here.

 

The trap caught a few Fennershi ships long ago, and then nothing at all for thousands of years. The Fennershi crews had been placed in stasis by the Warden, and as it gradually (very gradually) became bored, it would awaken a few of them to talk to. Eventually, the Fennershi would become insane, uncommunicative, or too old to be interesting, and would be returned to stasis.

 

A few more recent ships have been trapped here. The three ships are:

 

  • a heavily battle-damaged military (well, pirate) ship, of about 400 tons mass. It comes from the Jacker Stars, and has only been here for six months.
  • a small, apparently undamaged, saucer-shaped vessel, with three spindly landing legs; it only weighs about 10 tons.
  • a rusting and decayed prospecting ship, of a type common in the Sirian Principality fifty years ago.

 

Besides the Warden, eight beings inhabit the island (more may be in stasis, underground):

 

  • Lyodeth, a Fennershi.
  • a trio of aliens, of an unknown race.
  • a trio of space pirates.
  • Joreth Fareglion, a space prospector.

 

The cross-shaped objects in solar orbit are a solar reflector array; the Warden can command them to deploy using some manner of FTL radio. Each cross can unfurl in a couple of minutes into a hexagon of silvery material nearly 1 kilometer across, and align itself as the Warden commands. The Warden's uses the hexagonal reflectors to roughly focus the sun's light on a target. The focus can't get any finer than about 3 kilometers in diameter, but 20 trillion square meters of reflector can put quite a bit of energy on a target.

 

This system hasn't been surveyed (successfully), of course.

 

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