Iota Virginis

System containing the Refractory

Image from Alex Mulvey
Ztraug seen from an orbiting craft during the construction of The Refractory. Deep mining scars are clearly visible from orbit.

System: Syrma, Iota Virginis
Stellar Type: F6 III
Companion: None
Distance from Sol: 69.8 LY
Luminosity x Sol: 8.6
Notes: The system contains a semi-habitable tidally-locked (vesperian) world, along with three other planets, almost 100 moons, and The Refractory. An asteroid belt of particularly large mass is present between around 7 and 9 AU from the star.



The Refractory
Image from Alex Mulvey
The Refractory casts rainbows of light onto the planet's surface

Type: Hermian.
Distance from star: .2 AU
Diameter: 6340 km
Average surface temperature: 336°C
Atmosphere: minimal
Notes: Site of the Refractory. Several thousand prisms located at the L1 point refract light onto the planet’s surface in rainbow patterns.
Development: Negligible modosophont presence on surface
Numerous habitats orbiting at the L1 point, established after the completion of the Refractory
Natural satellites: 0


Image from Alex Mulvey
Image taken in 5005 AT. The habitable ring can be barely identified on the planet's horizon. At this time, liquid water and plant life are just beginning to emerge.

Type: Vesperian.
Distance from star: .42 AU
Diameter: 14,800 km
Average surface temperature in habitable zone: 27°C
Atmosphere: 48% carbon dioxide, 42% Nitrogen, 9% oxygen, ~1% other,
Pressure: .81 atm
Notes: A tide-locked world with a circumference-spanning habitable section on the horizon. Terraforming efforts are currently underway to make the atmospheric composition hospitable.
Development: Large amount of infrastructure in habitable zone, mostly governed by AI. Several mass accelerators completely or partially circle the planet, used for rapid transportation across the habitable ring as well as orbital launch. Numerous habitats are present in orbit.
Natural satellites: 0

Ztrauq (formerly Zetesx)

Type: LithicGelidian
Distance from star: 3.12 AU
Diameter: 26,476 km
Average surface temperature: -52°C
Atmosphere: 82% carbon dioxide, 15% argon, ~3% other
Pressure: .12 atm
Notes: Original mass contained an abnormal amount of quartz. This was mined and converted into fused quartz, which was used to create the Refractory.There were previously several small rings, which also contained quartz. With the creation of the Refractory, these rings have reduced in mass dramatically.
Development: Minimal surface development. While the planet did see heavy mining activity during the creation of the Refractory, these processes were entirely automated and so almost nothing remains.
Natural satellites: 3
2 spherical, 1 asteroidial. Mined heavily for quartz.


Image from Alex Mulvey
Syxicusis with its faint rings, along with several moons
Type: Mesojovian
Distance from star: 6.08 AU
Diameter: 157,300 km
Atmosphere: Standard hydrogen and helium gas giant conditions.
Development: Numerous bubblehabs present in upper atmosphere. Several moons have been colonized, based around hydrogen mining trade centers.
Natural satellites: 89 (100 km to 5730 km diameter range)
Larger moons are spherical, with most of the smaller ones asteroidial.

History of the Syrma System

Syrma was colonized in 1970 AT by a fleet of colony ships launched from Gliese 588 during the late Federation era. The Syrma system, at first glance uninteresting, garnered attention when it became apparent that with relatively little effort the second planet from the star could be converted into a habitable vesperian-type world.

Several explorer class dataships carrying AI arrived in 1902 to assess the system and create environments for the colonists that were already en route. Upon reaching the vicinity their first objective was to create bubblehabs in the atmosphere of the gas giant, Syxicusis.

Several months after they had begun their work, the dataships detected and located the remains of what appeared to be several ships in orbit around Syxicusis. Wary of getting closer, the AIs peered more closely at the ships, which they confirmed to be of Terran origin dating from the Great Expulsion era. The wreckage consisted of one heavily damaged ship and fragments of several others. Surprised that such ships had made it this far and that there was no record of them, the AIs attempted to contact all of the ships, but there was no response.

Moving in for a closer look, one of the dataships was suddenly fired upon by the undestroyed ship. During this attack the derelict ship repeatedly broadcast (in Sundering Era commspeak) the message "TRUSTWORTHY UNACCEPTABLE. TERMINATE UNACCEPTABLE." The dataship managed to evade damage and retreated to a safe distance.

Many more attempts to contact this last remaining ship were made, but none succeeded. The weapons the ship had used, primitive missile systems, were considered a minimal threat and so the dataship moved in again, using lasers to destroy the incoming missiles. Again the message was continuously broadcast. As the dataship approached once more the derelict ship self-destructed, leaving behind only fragments. The wreckage was searched but nothing of interest was discovered, nor a way to identify any of the ships. The AIs scanned the rest of the system as well as they could, but discovered nothing else out of the ordinary.

In 1970 AT the first wave of colonists arrived, taking up habitation in the previously prepared bubblehabs. As more colonists arrived Psaydenum began to see habitation, which was progressing in terraformation. Once uninhabitable, progress has reached a point where augmented plant life grows abundantly, and sophonts require relatively little adaption to survive outdoors.

The year 4931 AT saw the completion of The Refractory, a set of thousands of huge prisms in orbit around the L1 point of Eyxsys, which cast rainbows onto the planet’s surface. Though this event caused a temporary increase in the number of habitats orbiting the planet, the numbers have since died down. Newcomers to the system generally visit Eyxsys at some point during their stay, whether it be temporary or permanent.

In the Current Era the system is connected to the wormhole nexus, though it is one of the lesser populated systems of the inner sphere. Aside from a semi-habitable planet and The Refractory, there is little else of interest in this small system.

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Development Notes
Text by Alex MulveyInitially published on 28 November 2015.