Things to See, Places to [Not] Go (6)

Brak Tífel: A gas giant moon in the Rilni (Magen Exodus) system, Brak Tífel was once a promising terrestrial world in development, until errors in its late-stage ecopoesis led to it becoming a world which was entirely livable, but not particularly desirable: an erratic diurnal temperature cycle that gave it both days too warm for practical habitation and nights too cold likewise, desert terrain broken only by the most resilient and hostile scrubby brush, and so forth.

These errors could, perhaps, have been corrected by further work, save that Brak Tífel had the misfortune to be located near the borders of the Magen Corporate. Seeing an opportunity for profit – and a loophole in the Accord on Colonization which, at that time, established no ecospheric protections for ecopoesed worlds – Brak Tífel was acquired at a bargain price by a Magen corporation, Impalpable Waste Management, JSC.

Since then, daily loads of garbage rain down upon Brak Tífel’s surface: while most polities in the Accord have learned to take care of their planets, there remain a regrettable number that lack suitable recycling technology of their own, are unwilling to suffer the expense of purchasing or operating offworld recycling technology – or have technophobic or regulatory objections to such – and are quite happy for externalities to exist so long as they need not look at them.

Thus, Brak Tífel is today a grotesquely polluted, highly toxic wasteland of space junk, radioactive, biological, nanological, and chemical waste, scrapped machinery, abandoned cargo, ore slag, and anything and everything else that people will pay to have put a long, long way away from anywhere they’d have to care about, whose lye-choked seas and foggy green atmosphere should be taken as a warning – as indeed they are by those commanding the garbage freighters, who prefer to offload their cargoes without the necessity of landing.

The inevitable local population consists mostly of unbonded mercenaries doing hostile-environment training, and squatters with nowhere else to go that even Márch won’t accept. The former have protective equipment and attitude problems; the latter have tumors and previously unheard-of diseases. Neither make for good company unless you’re looking for someone to shoot, and even then, the planets in Chapter Three offer the same with less chance of unwanted teratogeny.

– Worlds Not to Visit: The Galaxy’s Worst Places,
Grotesquerie Press, 7719

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