Image from Steve Bowers
|The twin suns of the system, Shamash and Ishtar.|
Shamash - Data Panel
1) Shamash (Xi Boötis A)
2) Ishtar (Xi Boötis B)
- Distance from Fons Luminis: 21.86 ly (J2000)
- Distance from Sol: 22.03 ly (J2000)
- Constellation: Boötes
|Shamash||Names: Shamash, Xi Boötis A, 37 Boötis A, Gliese 566 A (GJ 566 A), HD 131156 A, HIP 72659 A, HR 5544 A|
- Mass: 0.90 x Sol
- Radius: 0.83 x Sol
- Luminosity: 0.589 x Sol (bolometric)
- Temperature: 5,551 Kelvin
- Spectral type: G8 V
- Rotation period: 6.2 days
- Age: 200 million years
|Ishtar||Names: Ishtar, Xi Boötis B, 37 Boötis B, Gliese 566 B (GJ 566 B), HD 131156 B, HIP 72659 B, HR 5544 B|
- Mass: 0.66 x Sol
- Radius: 0.61 x Sol
- Luminosity: 0.120 x Sol (bolometric)
- Temperature: 4,350 Kelvin
- Spectral type: K4 V
- Rotation period: 11.5 days
- Age: 200 million years
|Ishtar binary orbit||Orbital characteristics:|
- Average separation: 33.33 AU
- Orbital period: 153.0 years
- Eccentricity: 0.514
The multidimensional object hung in a virtual world, growing and shrinking along several axes. The object was a representation of likely outcomes for a Solarist ambassadorial team. The target destination was a recently settled system in the Outer Volumes. I selected or removed team members from a pool of sophonts (fellow members of the Zenith Development Circle) who had volunteered to be transmitted to the new polity. The models adjusted to represent the strengths and weakness of each team dynamic.-Excerpt of the memoirs of Balazem Thrice-blooming, resident and later transapient overseer of Wandermist habitat, Xil Swarm, 7442 AT
Of course, the expeditions sent out by the Circle were merely a tiny part of the Dominion's interactions with any system. Yet I enjoyed speaking to each team as they prepared for transmit outwards, and enjoyed their reports years later on what the young societies of the Periphery might teach us.
An alert rose in front of me, indicating that someone has approached me in the ril. Helpfully, a copy of their statement was gathered by the roving synsects linked to my exoself.
"Balazem! May I intrude?" It was a close friend of mine, Felomea. I instructed the synsects to flash a "wait" signal to her, before putting a few final touches on the proposal and passing it over to the rest of the Zenith trustees.
I returned my attention to my physical body, sitting cross-legged on the ground in the habitat's public park. My swarm of prismatic synsects had been dispersed, restocking their energy and material supplies from detritus in the park while monitoring the environment. The synsects returned to me and locked jaws and legs, forming a loose cloak around my shoulders as I got to my feet. A warm rain fell. Through rents in the clouds overhead, I could see the luminaire that lit our ring habitat, bringing us light and warmth collected originally from Xi Bootis.
"Brilliance and Love!" The crustacean form that Felomea preferred during her periodic immersion in sports might have been hard to read for a stranger. As it was, I could tell she was in a good mood.
"Brilliance and Love to you, Felomea!" We embraced briefly, and I stepped back and surveyed the rents in her exoskeleton. They were even now being sealed over by medicytes, ichor solidifying into a protective mesh. "The other team was aggressive?"
"Only because they knew that we had better technique," she said, waving a manipulator claw dismissively. I let out a laugh, then transmitted to her exoself several images of a new mystery-court constructed by recent arrivals from the Makrania Orwoods
"If you're not too tired, why don't we try it together?" I ask. I'd never experienced a mystery-court myself. I had a feeling, however, that Felomea would like puzzling out the true rules of interaction amidst layers of misdirections, temptations, and conversational snares.
She thought for only a second or two before assenting, and we moved towards the slidewalk that would take us out of the park.