Worlds of Interest
Other Names: Wolf 28, HIP 3829, LHS 7, LTT 10292
Perhaps 10 billion years ago, Van Maanen's Star was very similar to the Sun, perhaps a bit brighter, perhaps a bit warmer. It was among the first of a generation of stars that held the necessary amounts of heavy elements to allow for the formation of planets, and it is likely that it also was among the first to harbor a planet upon which life arose. But time passed, and the star aged. It grew into a red giant, sloughed off much of its mass in a great series of convulsions, producing a planetary nebula, and eventually settled down into the form of a white dwarf. Today that star is still cooling, and shines in the darkness as a mere shade of its former glory.
I -- Absalom: The most massive of the
terrestrial worlds in this system, Absalom is a desiccated, melted ruin,
the inner most survivor of a family of planets ravaged by a long
extinguished red giant.
Primary Planet Data
Geology: There is no currently active geology. The planetary core has largely solidified, bringing a halt to all such processes. There have been major impacts in the time since the planet effectively "died", with the two major examples being Pontius and Judas. These impacts were great enough to cause localized melting of the crust, but the effect lasted a relatively short time. The Tartarus Basin is another major feature, and is believed to be the remains of a major oceanic basin, from before Van Maanen bloated into a red giant. Today it is still several kilometers below the mean "sea level". In its time, it was likely much larger, and indeed, may have been comparable to Earth's Pacific Ocean.
Meteorology: There is no weather on Absalom, thanks to the absence of any kind of atmosphere. The initial atmosphere was eventually stripped from the planet by the fierce stellar winds of the red giant, and a thin atmosphere composed of eruptive volcanic gases replaced it. This volcanism, driven by the then red giant's intense heat, continued for tens of millions of years. But as both the sun and planet spent themselves, the volcanism ceased, and the atmosphere was slowly stripped away by the stellar winds. Today the planet is frozen, although this may be a misnomer, since there is no water left on the planet, to a depth of several kilometers.
Oceanography: No oceans remain on Absalom. Indeed, the only hint of their past presence is Tartarus Basin.
Biology: Absalom is completely lifeless. While it must have had a rich biological history, spanning billions of years, there is no evidence left on the surface. In the great Labyrinths, there are what appear to be many carvings of biological forms, and it is also likely that deeply subducted sedimentary rock may hold fossils. But, to date, there has been no effort made in searching for such things.
Intelligence: The Labyrinths are a blatant monument to a past intelligence on the planet. It cannot be said for certain, of course, as to whether or not the architects of these caverns, the Angelics, were indeed native to Absalom. However, it has remained a safe assumption up until the present day. The Angelics themselves, judging by the most common form of biological drawing on the cavern walls, may have been an invertebrate form of life, encased within a hard shell of some sort. But it is nearly impossible to derive any certain facts from even some of the more detailed drawings, and indeed there remains a great deal of controversy today.