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Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:35 am Post subject: Kartogia IX: Haunted or Hoax?
The initial Federation survey reported this planet to be uninhabited and ready for colonization.
Over time, some colonists began to question the survey results. Tales of atypical shapes moving outside the colony domes spread rapidly. Several expeditions were made outside of the colony by curiosity seekers. None of them retuned any evidence of more than questionable value.
Now, some scientists at the planet's Research Institute believe that they may finally be able to prove that we are not the only inhabitants of the planet. During development of the S4 Fighter Combat Drive(FCD), thrust testing was performed outside the pressure domes of the colony. During the test, scientists reported seeing "shapes" moving around the exhaust of the test engine. The cameras ringing the test engine also picked up what looked to be slight vapor in the area of the engine exhaust. But the planet has no atmosphere, and so has no natural freestanding liquids to vaporize.
One of those scientists, Trevor Genson, believes he has discovered a way to detect these phantasms. "The S4 FCD uses a richer ion mixture and more completely atomizes these ions than in previous versions. This results in extra magnetic interference. I think that these creatures must react to the extra magnetism."
If Genson's theory is right, it may also explain why these "ghosts" have been seen around the colony, but not anywhere else on the planet. Kartogia IX has no natural magnetic field, but colony domes use a slight magnetic field to contain the atmosphere within.
Not everyone is convinced that these moving shapes are ghosts. One citizen, who declined to be named, stated that the ghosts were just created by the superstitious and that the scientists were just "trying to justify their funding." Kartogia IX has long had a base for the House Bifrost Army, but following the fall of Mveloem IV to the Phong, the House government has been considering scrapping the Research Institute to expand the base. To some of the population here, scientific interest in these ghosts is little more than an attempt to dissuade the House from its plans.
But to many of the population, worrying about ghosts is a luxury they cannot afford. "Ghosts?" one woman said "There are thirty Phong ships less than 15 sectors away, and you're asking me about ghosts?" Back to top
Zitrod II was colonized to be a mineral production planet. But a year after its colonization, over half of this planet's income is generated not by mineral production, but by tourism.
Zitrod II has an eighty hour rotation. The nighttime temperatures can reach as low as -40C. But the daytime temperatures reach highs averaging 35C. As a result of this large temperature difference, the planet is buffeted by winds averaging 75 km/h. The long day and high daytime temperature melts the surface of the ice completely, creating an ocean that covers nearly half of the planet.
This daytime ocean necessitates that each facility built on the planet includes stilts, driven nearly five hundred meters into the ice, to support the facility when the ice melts. The daily freeze/thaw cycle increases maintenance requirements and complicates logistical planning. Each facility needs its own shuttle pad, snowmobile depot, and boat docks to ensure that the facility can be accessed in all types of weather.
To the surprise of the colony's original planners, the presence of this daytime lake has generated a great deal of tourism. Although there are no fish living in the water, an ever increasing number of people sail the seas of the day side. The more daring tourists use para-gliders to ride the driving winds. The winds are so strong, sometimes sailing ships can't return to their points of origin against the wind. The boaters have to wait for nightfall, and then pry the boat out of the ice and return it via shuttle or snowmobile.
The winds are not only strong, they are steady, enabling local facilities to be powered completely by the wind. This practice has saved many resources that would otherwise have gone into energy production.
Plans to make even greater use of the planet's winds are in progress. A suborbital research station is planned. This station will be positioned just above the planet's troposphere, using the gale force winds to stay aloft and gather atmospheric data. Scientists hope to use this information to gain new understanding about the workings of this unique planet. Back to top
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