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Apollo

UPP: E-8C5300-8

by Shalom Zaidfeld

History
Extended System
Flora & Fauna
Geology
Mineral Content
Apollo News Network
History of ANN

At a backwater system near the outskirts of the Reformation Coalition, lies a world where seas of hydrofluoric acid wash against the smooth, livid continents. The yellowish-blue sky is icy with hydrofluoric acid mist suspended high in the fluorine based atmosphere. Where life, alien life, has developed totally differently from carbon based life as we know it. Transitory Free Traders call it "Frozen Hades"; other, hardier souls call it home.

This is Apollo, an unforgiving and exotic boneyard world. Repopulated by diverse characters from across the coalition worlds, each with their unique intentions, motives & mystries. Be it a retired CIN reporter looking for some fringe "adventures" by establishing a renegade news service or Tech Scavengers who roam between the death-filled dirtside habitats, acting as grave diggers and auction suppliers, to say nothing of the Hiver consul and his unexplained exertions around the system.

So there it lays, filled with Delphian mysteries as of yet unexplored regions, a blasted grave of humanity awaiting for those who brave souls carry them out there, to this frozen & exotic world, to Apollo.

History

The system was first re-contacted by DLS Apollo in late 1196, on one of her few survey expeditions prior to being dispatched out to the Wilds. DLS Apollo arrived at Macis from Trybec with orders to evaluate its status and complete an initial system survey. As DLS Apollo dispatched its survey teams around the system, the first scans already depicted, in the frigid and silent breath of vacuum, the utter devastation and hellish remains of what once was a developing centre of 800,000 humans involved in academic & Naval research, native ore and petrochemical traffics. The blasted frozen hulls of Macis's orbital stations, slowly drifting across the yellowish unearthly planet in an artificial cloud of debris, greeted the expedition.

From an handful salvaged local news-reports, personal vidcam tapes and the somewhat recovered starport computers, a fragmented portrayal of Macis collapse was pieced together. The orbiting Naval Yard, losing structural integrity as scores of explosions rocked throughout it, was sent accelerating towards the planet's surface. The underground-based communities sustained the same devastation, if not worse than the orbital ones. Power Plants blew up and released havoc on their surroundings, cutting the current to the life supporting machinery. Underground mono-rail trains crashed into stations and tunnel walls, explosions blasted throughout the subterranean complexes letting the deadly insidious atmosphere spread in to them. Many hundreds of thousands died painfully as the first hours and days of the collapse passed. An absolute evaporation of life.

After spending a few months in Macis System, inspecting and searching for survivors amid the breached orbital hulls and dirtside habitats' remains, DLS Apollo returned to Trybec for debriefing. It was clear from Captain Ben Mattious's and survey reports that no survivors have been or could be encountered on Macis, The Dawn league committee overseeing DLS Apollo's mission proclaimed it as a boneyard world and introduced plans to repopulate it.

In early 1200, as the Reformation Coalition was established, Macis was officially reclaimed as an Administrated Territory. It was renamed not only after Apollo, the Greek sun god from old Solomani mythologies but also in memory of DLS Apollo, one of the first 12 heroic vessels of the Dawn league trading expedition.

The McDermont family from Aurora has set up a minimal starport at the site of a pre-war airport. They offer unrefined fuel, berthing sites, and operate a small general store which sells just about everything. They buy relics from the prospectors and resell them to the crew of the Free Trader Anarchist which makes regular stops at the starport.

Apollo News Network

Throughout political turmoil, trading treaties, colonial recruiting and military panic, it is the Coalition Information Network which ties together the various worlds of the Reformation Coalition. CIN's information is acquired and distributed in diverse ways, be it a intrepid field reporter accompanying RCES operations in the Wilds or a slick journalist covering the latest Assembly of Worlds proceedings on Aubaine or even a small news agency on a boneyard world, information is the common trading cargo of the coalition.

In a backwater system within Coalition Space, just off the main jump routes, lays a disorganised frontier world renamed after Apollo, the Greek sun god who replaces Helios in the sky from old Solomani mythologies. A name which was also carried by one of the first 12 heroic vessels of the Dawn league, celebrating the Dawning of a new era, the renewed drive towards the stars.

Devoid of habitable planets, the system is primarily of interest because of the unique inhospitable atmospheric conditions on the main world which provide a vast range of academic research, free-lance prospecting, mining, petrochemical production and numerous other opportunities.

The Apollo News Network is a typical illustration of the renowned drive possessed by the Coalition to reclaim the dead "boneyard" worlds around them. Privately operated by a small group which is made up of individuals with a mixture of skills like reporters, journalists, technicians and other combinations, ANN is held mutually with ambition and determination. ANN reporters are known throughout the system for their infamous abilities to scour around for stories & rumours, snoop at intriguing events and quite often get into rather stressful situations.

ANN History

Established in Late 1200 on Apollo (0436/Aubaine) by a retired CIN veteran reporter Tyro Blake, a Nimbus Palm for Excellence in Journalism winner. Tyro Blake and his wife Zeneb left Trybec in 1198 and headed out as a part of RCSA's Regeneration & Administration of Boneyards Initiative [RABI] to the empty graveyards of Apollo.

Blake, noting the lack of public awareness and inadequate local CIN [Coalition Information Network] services to the RCSA's RABI, he appealed to the local RCSA offices on Trybec to confer him a grant to establish an agency which will gather and distribute local news and information. Soon after, ANN's offices opened to the public, located in Necropolis, Apollo's sole hub of administration and commerce.

He started out with a mere staff of two reporters and a small credit grant which supported a limited local newswire service and hefty dreams. ANN grow during it's first year of operation, expending to a staff of six reporters and in early 1201 was admitted as Apollo's official news and information agency with the CIN centre in Trantown, Aubaine.

Albeit small, ANN's offices are always open to the public and filled with chatter and clatter. The informal and friendly atmosphere is inviting and most travellers who pass through the system are encouraged to drop-by not only for refreshments and rest, but to exchange information and rumours. Supported by a small group of inexperienced graduate students from around the coalition and dynamic old hands, they share the agency's vision of fetching information & news from and to the Coalition's frontier planets. As an inexperienced and remote agency, ANN's ambition is fuelled by vigour drive to cover and serve the entire Apollo system's population by 1204.

Extended System

System Detail
Orbit Name UWP Satellite Orbit Satellite UWP
Primary Latona G2 V
0 Hecatonchires Belt X-000000-0
1 Hephaestus X-350000-0
Hecate 8 X-100000-0
Erebus 53 X-S00000-0
2 Apollo E-8C5300-8
0 Ajax Belt X-000000-0
5 Argus LGG
Admetus 2 X-R00000-0
Lycius I 8 X-S00000-0
Lycius II 9 X-S00000-0
Lycius III 11 X-100000-0
Lycius IV 39 X-200000-0
Lycius V 52 X-100000-0
6 Aesculapius SGG
Pythius I 1 X-S00000-0
Pythius II 7 X-200000-0
Pythius III 51 X-400000-0
Pythius IV 54 X-100000-0
7 Cynthius SGG
Acantha I 10 X-100000-0
Acantha II 17 X-100000-0
Acantha III 32 X-200000-0
8 Aristaeus SGG
Atropos I 5 X-S00000-0
Atropos II 35 X-500000-0
198 A.U. Lyra M8 V

The Apollo binary solar system is thought to have being formed from the subfragmentation of an ancient local protostar that was divided into two major condensations with the rest of the mass being ejected outwards. These condensations, subsequently, evolved into the co-orbiting binary stars, Latona and Lyra. Latona, with Sol-like properties, is the primary star of the system whereas the companion star, Lyra, is a dim red dwarf orbiting Latona at a distance of 198 astronomical units.

Orbiting Latona are Lyra, a single planet, 4 gas giants, 2 planetoid belts and a total of 16 moons.

APOLLO PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Diameter:               12,960 Km.
Density:                Molten Core, 0.92 (5.296 grams/cm3 )
Orbital Distance:       0.2 AU (29.9 million km) 
Gravity:                0.92 g (9.02 m/s2 )
Apolloian Year:         363 Days, 23 Hours, 58 Minutes & 47 sec.
Apolloian Month:        103 Days, 7 Hours, 26 minutes & 24 sec.
Apolloian Day:          21 Hours, 30 Minutes and 4 Seconds. 
Day Time:               10 Hours 45 Minutes and 2 seconds
Night Time:             10 Hours 45 Minutes and 2 seconds
Axial Tilt:             100 11' 2.9" degrees tilt.
Eccentricity:           0.0
Seismic Stress:         2.5
Atmosphere:             Dominant Fluorine Mix
Pressure:               Standard, 0.95 Atm.
Energy Absorption:      0.500
Greenhouse effect:      1.0
Hydrograpics %:         48.25%
Composition:            Liquid Hydrofluoric acid Mixture
 
 
Apollo Temperature Distribution per orbit location between the
two stars:
 
        Closest         Farthest        Mean     
Row     Highest Lowest  Highest Lowest  Highest Lowest  
1       -14.59  -26.52  -58.14  -69.86  -39.65  -51.45 
2       -21.59  -33.52  -65.14  -76.86  -46.65  -58.45 
3       -28.59  -40.52  -72.14  -83.86  -53.65  -65.45 
4       -35.59  -47.52  -79.14  -90.86  -60.65  -72.45 
5       -42.59  -54.52  -86.14  -97.86  -67.65  -79.45 
6       -48.09  -64.02  -91.64  -107.36 -73.15  -88.95 
7       -53.59  -73.52  -97.14  -116.86 -78.65  -98.45 
8       -59.09  -83.02  -102.64 -126.36 -84.15  -107.95 
9       -64.59  -92.52  -108.14 -135.86 -89.65  -117.45 
10      -71.59  -99.52  -115.14 -142.86 -96.65  -124.45 
11      -78.59  -106.52 -122.14 -149.86 -103.65 -131.45 

Atmosphere

When viewed from orbit, Apollo appears to be a featureless globe, masked in a yellowish smog of upper-atmosphere aerosols and Nitrogen fluoride. Apollo's insidious atmosphere is one of the most dangerous in the entire Reformation Coalition worlds. The fluorine compounds effect the normal use of standard equipment. As a rule, most equipment can not be used outside the habitats or can not be used without special modifications. Here are some general points concerning the atmospheric effects on Apollo.

All organic matter (bodies, plants etc.) reacts with fluorine and convert into oxygen, Carbon Tetrafluoride, Hydrofluoric acid and various other compounds in D20 days (Apply DMs for various sizes). Water burns in fluorine and decomposes into oxygen and hydrofluoric acid. The atmosphere renders most personal protective measures ineffective in 2d6 hours time. A rubber gas mask lasts about an hour. Glass frosts first and then disappears, plastics act like rubber, only a little slower. The heavy metals (e.g. iron, nickel, copper) stand up well, forming an insoluble coat of fluoride at first and then doing nothing else.

All air-breathing power plants, intended for outside operations need to be modified to carry their own on-board oxygen supplies. Vehicles, operating on liquid hydrogen fuel can modify their fuel tankage to carry half oxygen, half hydrogen. For additional rules and information see The World Tamers Handbook, P. 16.

Hydrographics: The Apolloian Hydrosphere consists of liquid hydrofluoric acid (HF). It melts at -83 C (-117.40 F) and boils at 19.4 C (66.92 F). In it are dissolved varying quantities of metallic and non-metallic fluorides. Such as Boron Trifluoride, sodium Fluoride, etc.. When the oceans and lakes freeze, they do so from the bottom up, so no layer of ice over free liquid.

Apollo's Chemistry:

(Author note: Just notes from Chem books)

Fluorine, a pale yellow gas, does not occur in the free state. It's chief minerals are fluorite (CaF2), Cryolite (Na3AlF6) and fluoropatute.

Fluorine: Boiling -188 melting -220 density at 20c 1.7g/L

It's chief use is to convert uranium minerals into UF6, a step in the processes of uranium fuel for nuclear power plants. Special fluorating agents to make organofluorine compounds, Teflon.

Fluorine reacts violently at room temp. with almost all other elements. Compounds of fluorine ca be made with all elements except helium, neon and argon.

Water burns in fluorine to give HF and oxygen.

2F2 (g) + 2H2O -> 4HF (g) + O2 (g)

Mixed with hydrocarbons, fluorine cracks all carbon-carbon bonds and strips hydrogens, leaving HF and CF4. You can see why this element must be stored in special metal alloy cylinders, and why more moderate fluorine agents are useful.

Fluorine owes its extreme reactivity in part to an unusually low F-F bond energy. Because the fluorine Atm is so small and the atoms in the F2 molecule are so close together, there is considerably repulsion between the lone pairs of electrons of the two atoms. This tends to push the atoms apart and thereby destabilizes the molecule, so not very much energy needs to break the bond.

Hydrofluoric Acid and Hydrogen Fluoride

Hydrogen fluoride forms explosively when hydrogen and fluorine are mixed.

HF boils at 19.5 near room temp., easily condensed. special vessels lined with wax or polyethylene or cylinders made out of alloy steel or polyethylene. Glass containers cannot be used since HF dissolves this material.

Hydrogen Fluoride dissolves in water to form Hydrofluoric Acid. A weak acid.

Hydrogen fluoride either as a pure compound or in a an aqueous solution must be treated as a very dangerous substance. It can cause excruciating pain. This is probably because HF can migrate into nerve tissue where calcium ions are vitally involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. here calcium ions can win fluoride ions from HF because the highly insoluble CaF2 can form, which can interfere with the work of the nerves.

The oxidiser in the atmosphere is free fluorine (F2) in a rather low concentration, about 4-5 percent. With it appears a mad collection of gases. There are a few inert diluents, such as N2 (Nitrogen), Argon, helium, neon, etc., but the major fraction consists of CF4 (Carbon Tetrafluoride), BF3 (Boron Trifluoride), SiF4 (Silicon Tetrafluoride, PF5 (Phosphorous Pentrafluoride), SF6 (Sulphur Hexafluoride), and probably others. In other words, the, the fluorides of all the non-metals that can form fluorides. The phosphorous Pentrafluoride rains out when the weather gets cold. There is also free oxygen, but no chlorine. That would be in liquid except in very hot weather. It sometimes appears combined with fluorine in CIF3 (Chlorine Trifluoride).

Geology

Above the molten core of the planet, the lithosphere consists exclusively of fluorides of the metals. There are small deposits of such things as Bromine Trifluoride, but these have no great importance. Since fluoride are weak mechanically, the terrain is flat. Nothing though like granite to build mountains out of. Since the fluoride ion is colourless, the colour of the soil depends upon the predominant metal in the region. As most of the light metals also have colourless ion, the coloured rocks are rather rare.

Mineral Content

Large natural crystals of fluorides, such as calcium difluoride, titanium Tetrafluoride, zirconium Tetrafluoride, are extremely useful in optical instruments of various forms. Uranium appears as uranium Hexafluoride, all ready for diffusion process. Compounds of non-metal such as boron are obtainable from the atmosphere in high purity with very little trouble. All metallurgy must be electrical. There are considerable deposits of beryllium and they occur in high concentrations in it's ores.

Flora & Fauna

The plants function by photosynthesis, taking Hydrofluoric acid as water from the soil, and carbon Tetrafluoride as the equivalent of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to produce chain compounds.At the same time liberating free fluorine, back to the atmosphere. This reaction could only take place on a planet receiving lots of ultra-violet radiation because so much energy is needed to break up carbon Tetrafluoride and hydrofluoric acid. the plant catalyst (doubling for the magnesium in chlorophyll) is nickel. The plants are coloured in various ways. They get their colours from the dominate metals in the soil.

Animals depend upon two main reactions for their energy, and for the construction of their harder tissues. the soft tissues are about the same as plant molecules, but the hard tissues are produced by the reaction: resulting in a Teflon boned and shelled organism. It's going to be tough to do much with. Diatoms leave strata of powdered Teflon.

The blood catalyst metal is titanium, which results in colourless arterial blood and violet veinious, as the titanium flips back and forth between tri and tetravalent states.


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