Monday, August 4, 2014

Six Degrees of Exploration

This is the first write up for a world I've done that I do not despise. It's a major step in improving my presentations. Whether everyone else despises it remains to be seen. It uses the Six Hook system of 

Jeffro Johnson ( Check his blog out, he does good stuff. Thanks also to Roger Burgess, Ronald Stepp, and David Billinghurst for comments.

Initial Approach and Landing
Tyche is a rogue gas giant located about a light year from Sol. It has one major moon Tyche-A (usually just referred to as Tyche by it’s natives.) Tyche-A orbits at 6 million km outside the jump limit for the gas giant. The system has minimal piracy and is well patrolled. It does have a wealth of space junk (usually) in out of the way orbits from decades of traffic and trade.

Tyche-A is a hub of traffic and the main office of theSpaceport Central Authority: the corporation administering space ports everywhere (except in the Sol System.) Administration is quick and thorough. troublemakers will find themselves their ship blacklisted throughout space and experience red tape, delays, fines, and minor mishaps.

Tyche-A is the first moon colonized by humans using slower than light ships. The initial settlers diverted from Alpha Centauri for ‘easier pickings.’ They were joined by settlers from the Oort Cloud. It became a necessary stop for FTL ships to refuel because of its position and atmosphere. Tycheans are looked down on by Alpha Centaurians for giving up on the primary mission. The dislike is mutual.

Most of the human population lives on floating cities. Ships berthing actually dock and leave their engines on unless being serviced. Couplings provide fuel to the ships and the fee is included in the berthing charges.

Tyche-A orbits beyond the jump limit for its primary. There are other moons but most are covered by miles of ice and lack any valuable minerals. Some have abandoned mine bases or fueling stations. 

Tugs are used to allow ships with less than 2g’s of acceleration to land and leave. These ships are fully berthed and charged double rates. Orbital stations with shuttles are also available for such ships. 

Six Points of Interest
Geology: Tyche-A is a young active world that is warmed by its own internal heat as well as tidal heating of its primary. It has a wealth of heavy metals, fissionables, and crystals for those hardy enough to explore the surface. Quakes and eruptions take their toll on men, androids and machines. 

Atmosphere/Hydrosphere: The atmosphere contains a high percentage of hydrogen (which works its way in anywhere, hence the insidious rating.) Poor maintenance or carelessness can lead to a leak resulting in an explosion. The high pressure requires explorers to breathe an oxygen/helium mixture and take several hours to adapt or depressurize for surface visits. The atmosphere is wracked with storms that make sensor scans and communications difficult with the surface.

Population: Six million humans live on several floating cities that scoop hydrogen to stay in powered flight indefinitely.

Androids enjoy some rights but are not citizens and are 'born' contracted to work for their creator. Many work as miners and purchase their own contracts after several years. Most of the android population live on mining bases or on huge mining crawlers. An android liberation movement has been responsible for several attacks on crawlers owned by humans.

Government is by the technocrats who keep the cities floating and safe. Failure or incompetence in either of these cases can lead to a 'Crat being voted out of office. The government has a strong neutral stance in Earth and Colonial conflicts.

The atmosphere of Tyche-A allows very safe wilderness refueling. Winds and pressure are far less than for a gas giant. Ships have to file flight plans for atmospheric refueling and may have to wait hours or even a few days due to traffic.