Gatecrasher’s Almanac #21

Name: Igenos

Location: 4200 ly antispinward and coreward of Sol

Gravity: Negligible at Gate

Atmosphere: Negligible at Gate

Body Type: Young super-Earth

Igneos is the name given to a planet more-or-less in the habitable zone of the system the Igneos Gate is in, but it remains to be seen whether or not Igneos itself will ever support life. Right now the world is a large core of molten rock, surrounded by a swarm of massive pieces of debris in slowly decaying orbits. Everything points to a recent collision between two planetary bodies, similar to the one that formed Luna in orbit around Earth. As such, data from the system is a hot item for sale to astrophysicists back in the solar system.

Not that collecting the data is easy; the Gate is in a fairly stable but somewhat elliptical orbit around the new planet, and it dips through the storm of debris regularly. So far nothing seems to have impacted it, but left in its current orbit it almost certainly will be – and no one knows how well a Gate will work when floating in an ocean of molten rock. While crews work to get materials through to boost the Gate’s orbit and stabilize it above the debris field, others are hastily gathering as much data as they can.

All things considered, the rest of the star system doesn’t seem anywhere near as active as space around the Gate; all the evidence points to a sedate middle-aged system with a dull orange star about six or seven billion years old and a flock of planets peacefully swinging around it. There aren’t really any perturbations that would suggest two planets sharing a single orbit for any length of time, leaving the more astute researchers to wonder just what happened here.

As it is, if the Gate can be stabilized, several resource prospecting firms are looking for agents to move into the system in hope of stabilizing some of the larger chunks of debris to dredge for valuable materials. Uranium, lithium, and platinum have all been identified in the molten debris in sufficient quantities to make monthly rounds of Gate time financially viable.

Of more interest to sentinels and conspirators of various groups is the strong radio signal in the system, seemingly being broadcast from the molten planet below. Theories have been put forward to try to explain how this could be happening, but no one is really buying any of the ideas – not the least because the signal has a repeating complex pattern to it. Some are whispering that it’s a distress beacon for something that crashed into the planet, while others are worried that it’s some kind of TITAN trap waiting to be sprung. None of them particularly want to think about exactly how powerful the broadcast has to be to penetrate the molten rock engulfing it, or how advanced the system would have to be to shield it from the heat and pressure.

A few argonauts are starting to organize diving probes expeditions, in hopes of getting something to survive for long enough to get some kind of idea what’s down there, transmitting the signal. The system’s sole Firewall sentinel is understandably alarmed and has signaled for help from Sol while trying to sabotage the effort as best they can.

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Gatecrasher’s Almanac #21

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