Gatecrasher’s Almanac #27

Name: Egg

Location: 700 ly antispinward of Sol

Gravity: 0.8G

Atmosphere: Nitrogen-oxygen, heavy volcanic outgassing

Body Type: Tide-locked terrestrial

The planet known as Egg sits in orbit around a rather dull red dwarf star, one of the ones expect to still be burning trillions of years from now. The planet orbits closely enough that it has a year of a mere 5 Earth days, and it has long since become tidally locked so that the sun never moves. The dull radiance of the sun, combined with the heavy volcanic activity of the small but dense planet, has enabled a reasonably dense atmosphere to be retained. There’s a complex hydrological cycle between deep-ocean currents on the night side, kept warm by geothermal activity in the depths, and the substellar point’s heat causing massive storms to sweep out from it.

The close orbit of the world, combined with the tidally locked orbit, has resulted in something of an egg-like shape to the world; the two Pandora Gates on the world sit at these distorted poles. It took explorers some effort to unearth the substellar Gate, which had become half-buried in mud and rampant vegetation over time, while the antistellar Gate sits on an upthrust of rocky land that juts several hundred meters above the frozen crust of the dark-side ocean.

Egg is comprised of two fundamentally alien biospheres; the day-side is built around photosynthesis, with elaborate body plans built to maximize incoming light; everything from the algae-like gunk on the oceans up to the apex predators derives some energy from photosynthesis, and some species seem to convert between a sessile plant-like form and an active animal form depending on the weather. All day-side life has some form of adaptation to the local star’s flares, with some of the more novel being studied for commercial exploitation.

The dark-side life, on the other hand, has developed some pretty effective methods of using volcanic heat and chemosynthetic reactions to drive it; the oceans are the main bastions of dark-side life, and seeking a research post here is quite popular with those seeking to see what similarities it may have to Europan native life. Surface life on the dark side can mostly be found around thermal vents, although some areas have chemosynthetic bacteria and lichen analogues living on the frigid rock above the ice. Many of these concentrate various minerals as a side effect of their diet, making them as popular for commercial study as the radiation-resistance of day-side creatures.

The real wealth of the planet has yet to be discovered, however; on the transition zone between day-side and dark-side, two divergent strain of bacteria have merged, with the hybrid being a restrained self-repairing equivalent of a disassembler nanobot.┬áThe utility of such a bacterial strain is limited largely by the imagination of those who discover it and put it to use; ultraviolet radiation will still sterilize the strain, making it a possibility that a culture of it could be used to cleanse Earth and then sterilized to render the world habitable again – assuming the exsurgent virus didn’t infect and remake it into something much, much worse.

None of the conspiracies in the solar system are particularly interested in Egg thus far, but news about the disassembler bacteria would change that situation rapidly.

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Gatecrasher’s Almanac #27

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