Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Twice the Helkaraxe!

Currently, both my Saturday face-to-face group and my Sunday IRC groups are in Helkaraxe! The Sunday group was not unexpected, as it was this group, with their exploration-on-a-shoestring concept that made me realize i needed something like Helkaraxe in the first place! Their ship - a big old former military ship - couldn't generate enough Thrust Units to exit either solar system and enter the other. They had to either get a newer, more powerful ship, or I had to create Helkaraxe. Helkaraxe is a rogue gas giant with eight moons - some of them planet sized, and all ice-covered - outside either system, and the negligible cost to enter and exit makes it a natural place for a gas station or four. By refueling at Helkaraxe, they would have enough Thrust Units to brake into the new, unexplored Numenor system. They chose to keep their big old ship - because potential problems! - and go through Helkaraxe! Yay!

Above is a schematic of their ship, an ancient Bintaur Pregnant Pause vessel. The two arms at the front each carry an arc-segment shaped living quarters, rotating to give spin gravity. The rest of the ship is under microgravity except when under thrust.

Now the Saturday group was a different story! They are not explorers, but technology hunters, and were focusing on the former Eldar world of Varda in the Manwe system. the Eldar left Varda long ago, and in the meantime, it cooled and in undergoing glaciation. The tech hunters - operating under Church licenses - look for Eldar Tech left behind, in pockets of unglaciated land or sea. They had just completed a very profitable job on a pocket kept warm geothermally in the northern areas normally fully glaciated, and were looking for a new place without so much competition. One of them thought if Helkaraxe was known to the Eldar, maybe they built there, and looking through the legendaria decided they very well may have. Unlike Varda, without a sun, the ice on Helkaraxe's moons is stable, at liquid helium temperatures, and does not move, unlike the glaciers of Varda. If they built on the ice, it should still be there!

With that, they formed a new company - or rather, since they are an autonomous branch of Wayland-Yutani, they created a shell business unit, ostensibly a mining and prospecting organization, and purchased the new supplies - equipment to survive in the utter cold and complete dark of Helkaraxe - through it. This was to deceive any other tech hunters who might be watching them after their big success. There is plenty of mining being done in Helkaraxe, wo they would not raise any alarms there. Then they renamed their ship and transferred ownership to the shell company. Next week they will be in Helkaraxe!

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