Worlds of Interest
Other Names: GJ 1111, LHS 248
DX Cancri is, all in all, an unremarkable star, a red dwarf too dim to support life-bearing planets, and too resource-poor to warrant colonization on a large scale. Nevertheless, it was colonized during the Core Colony effort in the Hegemony Era, which lead to the discovery of the remarkable nature of the planet Pellucidar. DX Cancri itself is somewhat variable, but this does not significantly impact on the solar system itself.
I -- Hime: A Selenian world, heavily
cratered and geologically inert.
Primary Planet Data
Like most Selenian moons, Thuria is the orbiting remains of a massive impact which occurred billions of years ago. It is largely comprised of the low-density crustal material blown off of Pellucidar, as well as the planet or planetoid which impacted it. Today it is a geologically inert world, battered and scared with craters, its face blotched by minor regions of maria. As a world, it is rather unremarkable. And to the inhabitants of Pellucidar, existing in the deep caverns beneath, it is forever hidden, and might as well not exist.
Like most Hephaestian worlds, Pellucidar from orbit is rather unremarkable. A cratered planet, seemingly unchanged since the days of formation, billions of years ago. The surface is marked by extensive areas of maria, the relatively flat stretches of land where great lava flows once sat, formed by massive impacts and other stresses of planetary birth. The interior of the planet is evenly divided between low density crustal rock, and a large and heavy mantle/core. Like all planets of this type, Pellucidar had formed as a larger, slightly more massive world but suffered a gigantic impact, probably with another forming planet, which stripped away most of the lighter materials and left behind a planet with a large and heavy core. Unlike most planets, though, this impact occurred at just the right angle so that much of the material stripped off of Pellucidar ended up as its single Selenian moon, Thuria.
The remarkable aspect of Pellucidar lies beneath the surface, however. At a depth averaging some five kilometers, stretching from pole to pole and around the entire world's girth, there are a system of massive caverns and caves, all self-contained and equipped with connective airlocks of varying sizes, both linking them to each other and to the surface. How and when they were formed remains an enduring mystery. Some believe them to be evidence of the Angelics, that ancient species that honeycombed their own world with labyrinths and passages. But unlike that planet, Absalom, Pellucidar's cavern walls are not covered with hieroglyphics. In fact, aside from the presence of the caverns themselves, and a mysterious system of filament-like structures impregnating the walls of larger caverns (presumably to provide structural integrity), there is no evidence whatsoever of a technological presence. Someone built the caverns of Pellucidar, but no one ever lived there it seems.
Geology: The surface of Pellucidar is rather unremarkable, in as far as natural geology is concerned. The planet is cratered, and covered to a large degree by maria. But few geologic features stand out.
Meteorology: Pellucidar is an airless world, despite its mass, its primordial atmosphere long since escaped to space, its lack of geology not never replenishing what was lost.
Oceanography: It goes without saying that there is no surface water on Pellucidar. But there is water. In the form of ice, it is located in deep crater reserves. Billions of years have seen the surface ices sublimated away by solar radiation, but that within permanent shadow has survived, and even bolstered by impacting comets. There are also subsurface reservoirs of water, primal remains from the time after the moon-forming impact.
Biology: No indigenous life has ever been found on Pellucidar. However, to date less than half of the subsurface caverns have been surveyed, and since all explored caverns had been sealed and equipped with airlock mechanisms, some still hope that, somewhere, there might be a sealed ecosystem. The lack of any kind of energy signatures or thermal variances seem to argue against this, though.
Intelligence: The singular evidence of intelligence on Pellucidar is the caverns. Countless numbers of them are found beneath the surface, their sizes varying wildly from just a few meters to hundreds of square kilometers. Each cavern is separated from the others by airlock mechanisms, and connective tunnels (some of which also lead to the surface). The larger cavern walls are impregnated with a material that is fibrous in form, much like carbon nanotubes, but apparently much stronger and, thus far, impossible to replicate. It is believed that they are meant for structural integrity; without them, some of these tremendous cavern ceilings would surely collapse. It is believed that the caverns were meant to be self-contained environments. Some have what appear to be river beds in them, others have mountain ranges reaching nearly to their ceilings. But none appear to have ever been used. Thus far, each explored cavers has supported only barren rock and vacuum. A prevailing theory to the builders points to the Angelics, but there is little hard evidence for this. Some scientists believe that the caverns were meant to be a refuge for a race that was escaping some disaster on another world, and that these deep caverns would support them. But if so, then why create such fantastic caverns? Indeed, if a race could construct these things, then what possible catastrophe would affect them? The mysteries abound.
Colonial Vessel Data:
Initial Colonial Organization:
Colonial Time Line (local years are presented, with corresponding Earth years in parentheses):