In a universe always in need of habitable planets, Partas II had a good location, good resources, and the people about it had a "need". It just had one problem. It wasn't generally habitable. A century ago, the Great Project was undertaken. A century from now, it will be complete. People will stand unaided upon its surface.
As long as nothing goes wrong.
Partas is a midline sequence star with a three interior rocky planets, two middle range gas giants, and two methane liquid planets in the outer range. It is in a good position to act as a waystop for warp travel. While the creation of an artificial place to stop over is the common solution, Partas has two near candidates for habitability. Thus, a great project was undertaken.
Partas II is a planet being caeliformined. Most lay people would incorrectly list it as being terraformed. Caeliforming is the creation of an Biostandard atmosphere, while terraforming is the attempt to recreate standard biosupporting planet with an ecology.
Partas III, it's sister planet, can't be terraformed either. Not for a lack of technology or resource, but a significant lack of gravity (to hold an bio-atmosphere together). Thus Caeliforming would be pointless there, as it could not hold a proper atmosphere.
Partas is a .87 G-mass planet with a deep CO2 atmosphere on the inside edge of the lifezone. While not sutiable for terraforming due to its composition, a change of atmosphere would make it an "appropriate place". The Great Project (caeliforming the planet) was initiated. The Great Project is being supported by the Thalans (insert local important race) and the Confederation (insert galatic government) teams stationed in blister dome cities on Partas III.
Partas has a high surface temperature and pressure. This is due to the high concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. In removing the gas, the planet will cool and atmospheric pressure will be reduced.
It's interesting to note: Reduced atmospheric pressure will cause an uplifting of the planets surface, forced by internal pressure. High-pressure CO2, trapped below the surface, will explosively release during the early stages of caeliforming.
There is one massive orbital distillery in low orbit of Partas. Icarus class Cloud skimmers (spacecraft) are used to collect atmospheric gas from the upper atmosphere and return it to the orbital distillery. The distillery then seperates the different atmospheric gases by vacuum distillation. The extracted heat supplement the distillery's fusion reactor and/or black (solar) panels. Carbon dioxide and Carbon monoxide are disassociated to carbon powder and O2 gas. Carbon is then transported to an asteroid being made into its new moon for storage, it'll be needed later stages and the additional mass will help build the moon. Nitrogen oxides are dissociated to N2 and O2 gas. Water is a greenhouse gas. At this stage it needs to be removed from the atmosphere. Water is distilled and stored on the moonoid, while some is transported to the blister cities for supply and energy cracking. SO2 is a highly reflective gas, it cools the planet. It's immediately returned to the upper atmosphere. Other return gases include N2, O2, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon. The return gases are thrown back to the planet in a supercooled state, to help the planet cool faster.
In a century or so, the addition of Hydrogen from gas giants Partas V and VI will create a water cycle.
Planetside there are "farms" of tall "U" topped towers. Each farm has six to eighteen 15 story towers spread over 6 sq mi(20 sq km). They come in two types. Dissociators and Dusters. Carbon dissociators separate CO2 at the atomic level, into carbon powder and O2 gas. The carbon powder is then stored in airtight flexible thermoplastic surface domes (as it is adversely reactive to the atmosphere). These Dissociators are constantly breaking down due to clogged and corroded parts. There are always teams flying down to the planet to fix these issues.
Dusters are near-identical to CO2 dissociators except they produce diamonds instead of carbon powder. Diamonds are inert and don't react with the high oxygen atmosphere. There's no need for airtight storage as diamonds can be left scattered across the surface in the open air. The Dusters require sentients to monitor and control them on planet, as they require highly tuned equipment to operate with smaller volumes and at a lower rate of conversion.
The diamonds need to be large as diamond dust is a health hazard for animals (including humans) who will colonize later.
The planet is fairly barren at this point. It is not habitable by any standardform. The winds are extreme as are the carbonated sulfer rains. The temperatures are still extremely hot. The air pressure has reduced some. However, this has caused the "Gouts", expulsions of diffused CO2 in the rocks. These random explosive gysers make working and flying about the planet "interesting". After all, how many planets have you dodging "islands" that are moving through the air?
Why are we here again?
The planet is a source of several X-ites (X-ite, zenosilicates, dylthium crystals, fusion fuel, etc... magic sci-fi items that are realy needed). Several of them are dangerous to handle or mine with the current pressure and atmosphereic conditions. Under conventional conditions they are safe to deal with. Also, it provides a place to live.
Even when there is an atmosphere here, the planet will not properly support a true ecosystem. Ecopoiesis, the creation of a stable, enduring ecosystem, is achieved through a series of successive ecological changes which depends on available resources and the initial environmental conditions. The planetary survey has concluded, that unless a major change in technology or resources occurs, it is unlikely to be achieved, as the composition of the world is wrong. Partas will however be a habitable planet in a universe that always needs more. The resources will be mined out to pay for the creation of the living space.
Partas is the equivalent of living in an area of the world that is only habitable due to technology (like air conditioning) or the importing of food or water (via tubes or canals), only on a stellar scale. Without interstellar transport, even after all this work, this world will slowly become uninhabitable. Still a planetary home, even a limited one, is still prefered over living on a space ship of any kind.
There is a huge storm under the near geosyncranous Refinery Station where the supercooled gases fall into the atmosphere. The temperature differences fuel some strong cyclonic winds. The Eye of Partas is the poetic name for it.
The eye makes gas mining easier, though it makes life on the planet a bit harder.
There is a great deal of traffic in and out of the system. While space is vast, warp lines and "best routes" are not. Something ship related is bound to happen and mess things up.
This generational project is a long term political football for both the Confederation and the Thalans. Funding is expanded and withheld as the political winds change. There are often fact finding missions here. And where there are political people, there are those that oppose them... often violently.
Some say the planet should be left in its pristine state. They occasionally resort to sabotage and violence to "protect the planet".
Various companies in the Confederation and Thalans are making good money working on The Great Project. From food vendors to warp transporter, credits are changing accounts. So of course, with so much at stake, companies have resorted to espionage and other "grey area" action to maintain their corporate positions. It brings new meaning to Franchise Wars.
The Thalans grumblingly accepted the Icarus class skimmers as a condition for Confederation Help. Several of their companies wanted that contract. The TVL has developed a new skimmer that they believe is vastly superior. After a rash of recent accidents, they are lobbying for replacement of the Icarus with their Skralons. Politicians are on board. However, people died in these accidents. Could they be the unthinkable? Could they be Sabotage.
Someone get a tow truck!
A transport has broken down trapping a number of people on a Duster platform. Someone is having medical issues and needs to be rescued despite the risks. Throw in some damage by a Partas Firster, and their platform could be coming down around them.
Who rescues the rescuers?
As per "Someone get a tow truck," the rescue flight came. Then for some reason, can no longer fly. The storm is brewing something fierce.
Related to "Someone get a tow truck," except some rugged ground transports from a nearby Duster Field or Research Station are being pressed into a small "road trip" to rescue these people.
The President's Shuttle crashed...
Search and rescue on an inhospitable planet. Throw in political intrigue, infiltration of spy/ assassin types, and a Partas Firster.....
A bit stir crazy
A mechanoidal lifeform (I.E. Smart Robot) was on limited monitor duty. Because of damage done and a dose of odd radation, he is now doing his best terminator impression against the people of the planet... as he can walk between farms and research stations.
A massive serious of gouts are disrupting a region that includes a farm and a research station. It is time to get down to the planet and get these people. This could lead into Secret Miners and They are what.
Several people are using their time on planet to gather some extremely valuable minerals (one of the reasons the planet is being caeliformined). This illegal mining is both dangerous (as the material can be explosive under current conditions) and illegal (The Thalans insist on the mineral rights, and will get upset and possibly go to war over the illegal mining).
They are what?
The Dusters are producing a great deal of diamond grit. They are the most effective tools the team has. However, there is a small group of scientists who are studying the planet who think they have found "life". Iconia, silicon-based life, to be specific. This protolife is evolving. If they actually become "accepted life" the entire project would be shut down as the "native lifeform act of 2831" would stop the changing of the planet. People have invested their lives into this project. The future of the Thalans depend on it. There is a lot of money changing hands because of it. And the price of continuing would be the simple extinction of some scientists and the loss of their data.
This was supposed to be World and Planet Entry 122, but it got a little out of hand.
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? Responses (5)-5
I like all the interlinked plots.
A little out of hand? :)
Nice job Moon! Though heavy on technospeak, it is suitably odd to use as a star-wars type location.
More Star Trek or Babylon 5, than Star Wars, but okay. After all, the rebellion makes a very different major metaplot/ meta arc, than early B5 or Star Trek in any non war era.
The technobabble is actually fairly real science, adopted from plans for actual caeliforming/ terraforming from NASA and a few scientific sources. I like a foundation of science for my science fiction (and the illusion of it for my science fantasy). A little research and you get enough interesting facts to generate a plethora of details to hang things on.
The Grand Project serves as a great background with plenty of dramatic options. We have two main power groups, with some lesser power groups, all combined with a highline or a dangerous man vs nature subsection. It can be a one stop scenario, a re-occuring location, or a main setting for a campaign depending on your needs.
Fallen Angel, remember to comment please.
Comments are nice, but adding things you can think of using the submission (usually plots, but could be anything), is even better.