Aboard Wraith, Leaving Orbit of 3HQC-6 I
The latest leg of Rhavas’ investigation had started out in a straightforward enough fashion. This trip was to what he had come to think of as the “western” shattered planet systems, specifically 35-RK9 and 3HQC-6. He hadn’t really expected to find much there.
ORE had a mining outpost destroyed at 3HQC-6 during the Seyllin Incident, and 35-RK9’s event nearly destroyed another station owned by the Intaki Syndicate. Both entities had a reputation for tidying up their own backyards to keep others from learning their secrets, and Rhavas hadn’t held out hope for finding much real information to add to his datacore.
And in the end, as expected, the planets had told him few tales. But the other things he found were worth bringing back to show the team at Boundless.
Wraith Capsuleer Log Entry 101004, 35-RK9, Syndicate
35-RK9 I is perhaps the most dormant in appearance of all the shattered planets I have seen to date. Its surface is dark and crusted over with a seemingly hardened outer shell. From my readings, it is the coldest of the shattered worlds and its appearance seems to back that up. Despite the appearance of solidity, the test results have shown that it too is effectively hollow on the inside, most of its mass boiled away in the solar event. This cooler appearance may be related to the fact that 35-RK9 I is further from its home star than any of the other shattered worlds.
In the end, though, 35-RK9 wasn’t the interesting thing here. The system is full of rogue drone sites, and I explored two of the larger ones. What I found was, like the drone hive I found back at Saminer, too similar to Sleeper constructs to be coincidental. The largest emplacement, built as usual upon the ruins of a human-built station, was overrun with drones, and had numerous emplacements, including a slightly less-mature version of the Saminer drone bunker. In addition the station housed a brightly sparking power cloud that has a striking similarity to others in Sleeper sites.
As if to answer that thought, the wormhole in 35-RK9 led me to J150036, a system with exactly that sort of complex at its heart. A group of strange orange fires danced in the sky of this wormhole world, but there were no stellar anomalies readily evident other than these lights. It is also worth noting how many of the Sleeper and Talocan sites look like they either were inspired by or are ancestors of Amarrian architecture, with the conical points everywhere. Agar Edonbald brought up a strange point the last time we visited – he said that in the right circumstances, the wormholes could be used for time travel. If that is the case, then are the Sleepers from our past, as we have long suspected? Or could their world somehow be our future?
Wraith Capsuleer Log Entry 101005, 3HQC-6, Outer Ring
In contrast to 35-RK9, 3HQC-6 I is a world as active or more so than Seyllin. The fires of molten surface rock still burn brightly in the blue-hued darkness. It is by far the largest of the shattered worlds, with a radius of over 8200 Km (where the average is around 5500). The planet’s mass is still incredibly small, however, like the rest. in fact, despite having a radius nearly double that of 35-RK9 I, 3HQC-6 I has less mass than its smaller sister. The clouds of gas and dust in this system, perhaps from the event that destroyed the planet, give strange reflections from the usual A0 Blue star.
But here again, I found that the shattered world itself was not the most interesting thing I was to encounter. As I have done in each of the systems, I probed out anomalies, hidden sites and wormholes. I found some Serpentis locations of little consequence, but the real find was a wormhole to system J123432, which is one that is termed a “Red Giant” anomaly. As I noted in the Cataclysmic Variable system J125016, this phenomenon has a remarkable similarity to the Eve Gate as well. For comparison purposes when I return to the Boundless team, I assembled a composite study of the three systems. While not exact matches, it is remarkable how similar these three anomalies appear to one another.
This is the seventh part of a 12-part series. Next – Part 8: The Silence of the Grave