Gatecrasher’s Almanac #37

Name: PXC-1097 (Snap)

Location: 15300 ly spinward of Sol

Gravity: 0.11G

Atmosphere: Nil

Body Type: Artificial

“Yeah, we’ll just send a probe over, it’ll be a snap to get data on whoever used to live here. Those ruins are in fantastic condition for a moonbase.” -Chief Analyst Jud Synmeyer, Pathfinder Expeditionary Corps

Snap is the name given to the system the Gate is in, for this entry; the Gate itself was discovered to open into the heart of a derelict space station, hanging in a slow orbit around Snap II, a surprisingly habitable terrestrial world in orbit around an orange-yellow Main Sequence star. The station was completely nonfunctional, with holes punched through it by close to half a million years of space debris and the entire structure sterilized by time and radiation; any habitations on the planet below are even farther gone, long since destroyed by erosion.

Snap I is a Mercurial world, slowly rotating and cooked by stellar radiation, but the first long-range surveys suggest hints of structure here and there that leave those assigned to the system with hope that they’ll find ruins left behind by whatever species lived in the Snap system – with less risk than the lunar ruin on Snap II’s moon.

Said moon is a hazard worthy of Earth itself; active nanotech ate the first probe sent to explore the ruin within minutes of it setting down, and the next two probes, outfitted with increasingly powerful anti-nanotech defenses, only managed to last longer before being overwhelmed. The last probe made it into the ruin itself, enough to show that every surface shows signs of strange geometries and fractal structures similar to those left behind by TITAN activity, but subtly different. After that, the moon was placed under quarantine and the local blue box recycled; entry and exit are on the terms of Pathfinder and whoever else happens to find a way to dial in, not anyone in the Snap system.

There are three more known planets in the system, two gas giants and one ice giant, all with a swarm of moons around them. Plans are underway to send probes to them with basic egocasting and synth-fabrication capability in hopes of enabling direct exploration of any ruins on the moons or in the atmospheres of the planets.

The official timeline suggests that the natives – whatever they were – discovered their Pandora Gate, possibly on their own moon, and built the station to study it and attempt to open it. Then something similar to the TITANs happened, ravaged their system, and was more thorough in exterminating them than the TITANs were. Half a million years later, transhumanity stumbled onto the system. How accurate this is remains unknown, and everyone in-system is quietly hoping it’s truer than the rumor going around that the alien TITANs are still around and are active on one of the planets, unaware of the fresh meat in orbit around Snap II.

Everyone is trying to ignore the possibility of this being a trap or game set up by one of transhumanity’;s TITANs.


Gatecrasher’s Almanac #37

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