Name: PEC-2103 (Faultline)
Location: 2300 antispinward/rimward of Sol
Atmosphere: Negligible nitrogen-oxygen mix, intermixed with volcanic outgassing
Body Type: Terrestrial
First discovered from the Gate on Jae’s Nightmare, the world known as Faultline is something of an alarming place to visit; much like the former world, it suffered a catastrophic impact that devastated the world. Unlike Jae’s Nightmare, however, the impactor is still visible in the deep heart of the impact zone – a massive fragment of some exotic material, lodged in the crust of the planet like a splinter in a finger.
The impact clearly happened some time ago, as the planet’s tenuous remnant atmosphere is clear and the impact site itself has long since cooled and begun to slowly erode, although the fractures across the rest of the planet still churn with geological activity. Earthquakes are common across the entire world, and orbital surveys have shown hundreds of semi-active volcanoes and lava lakes – the main reason the planet likely has any atmospheric pressure at all in the aftermath of the impact.
The first crews to attempt to examine the impactor discovered the hard way that it has an area of effect where energy begins to quickly drain; the shuttle they were in remains where it crashed only a few dozen kilometers from the base of the fragment, too close for any retrieval attempts to approach. Since then, a limit of roughly two hundred kilometers has been established before technological systems begin to fail; given the condition of Faultline’s atmosphere there’s little chance of a biomorph being able to cross the ruined terrain even with the best biomods.
At present, the effect of the fragment of asyncs is unknown to anyone outside the HADRON COLLECTOR server of Firewall, who have a pair of agents in the Pathfinder team remotely studying it. One agent is an async, the other normal and well-armed in case the async experiences any alarming side effects from exposure. The async’s reports indicate that the shard has some form of psi-level AR interface, showing a great deal of information that zey can’t interpret, as well as a constantly shifting course that zey’re sure is a safe route through the energy draining effect. Zey’re also pretty sure that zey can shut the effect down if zey can just get close enough to access more of the AR systems. The non-async agent is on hand to help zem achieve this goal, and to put zem down if need be. Needless to say, conservative Firewall factions would be aghast at the very idea of interacting with an unknown psi-capable alien artifact.
Curiously, Ozma seems to have absolutely no idea about that planet – or at least no interest in it, with the impactor being inaccessible. Whether or not that might change if the Firewall duo are successful remains to be seen.