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

2 thoughts on “Things to See, Places to [Not] Go (6)

  1. Wait, a garbage dump planet? Why? Why in the world would people transport waste /to/ an even semi-habitable world rather than just dumping it in the sun, or on a solar escape trajectory, or something like that?

    • Actually, it’s cheaper than dumping it in the sun. Seriously. Take a look at this delta-v chart of the solar-system:

      It’d take 639.29 km/s of delta-v to get your garbage barge into the sun, but only 8.6 km/s to get it to Neptune intercept, which is a reasonable proxy for getting it to the edge-system stargate. You can do that all four times required for the round trip and still have 605 km/s in the bank, plus you get to keep the barge afterwards..

      This is going with Hohmann transfers, but it’s not like brachys improve the relevant figures. And seriously, who ships garbage brachy anyway?

      (Solar escape trajectories could be cheaper, but have the problem that they create litter, and no-one wants to be asked by the neighbors if that is your teratogenic, radioactive, mutated gray-goo cluttering up their sky. And they aren’t very pleased to see you.

      It’s also harder if at some point in the future you decide you want it back.)

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