Pyrrhic

Belchar’s World, Battle of: The Battle of Belchar’s World – a term referring to Fourth Belchar’s, 6882 – while in most respects another of the minor squabbles endemic to the Shadow Systems, has attained a degree of fame through being taught in the majority of the Worlds’ military academies as an example of the problems that can result from close-orbital combat operations.

The battle was the last gasp of the Vile-Born Imperium’s attempted invasion of the freesoil Belchar’s World (Torgu Wilds). While a technical victory for the organized Vile-Born fleet against the irregular forces of the freesoil world, the majority of the battle took place in mid-to-low planetary orbit, resulting in extensive destruction of not only military craft, but also of civilian stations and other elements of orbital infrastructure – most significantly, the self-destruction of the orbital starport twenty-two minutes after Vile-Born boarding parties forced the docking bays.

Inevitably, the introduction of so much debris into this area caused a full-blown cascade catastrophe, resulting in mutual disengagement. After a number of attempts to penetrate the cascade zone with landing craft, all of which were lost with all hands, the Vile-Born fleet retreated from the system in good order.

(This was not to last: much of the fleet was subsequently destroyed in the Osquina Mutiny, instigated by a coalition of sub-admirals who preferred not to return to Vileheim and suffer the traditional sky-bath prescribed for failed naval officers.)

Lumenna-Súnáris System (11): Raziké

I/10. Raziké

Class: Alessán
Orbit (period): 32.4 au (184.424 T-years/67,362.71 T-days)
Orbit (ecc.): 0.06
Radius: 37,668 miles
Mass: 1.01 x 1027 kg
Density: 1.08 g/cm3
Cloud-top gravity: 1.86 g

Axial tilt: 4.1°
Rotation period: 12.1 T-days

Black-body temperature: 46 K

Satellites: 4 close moonlets (including Hyníne). 2 major moons (doublet). 6 eccentric moons.

Lumenna’s outer ice giant, a brooding dark blue-green, is a backwater in an otherwise busy system. Very few sophs travel as far out into the system as Raziké and its moons, beyond even the three stargates in the Lumenna sub-system (orbiting in a stable rosette at 24 au), trans-solar transit traffic excepted. There’s not much reason to, the options for doing so are limited, and the light-lag is extraordinarily inconvenient.

There are three principal qualities that bring sophs here: cold, ice, and privacy. Combine as you will, and you see a region whose inhabitants – if we discount the Distant Early Warning stations operated by the IN – are a few batch-mode computronium nodes, deep time data vaults, comet herders and ice miners, and the scattered communities and hermitages of those wanting to get a long way away from it all. Total population is below a quarter-million sophs.

I/10/a. Múrazór and I/10/b. Múrnamár

Class: Gelidian
Barycenter orbit (period): 1.356 million miles (10.17 T-days)
Barycenter orbit (ecc.): 0.04
Total Mass: 1.42 x 1022 kg
Density: 1.71 g/cm3

Black-body temperature: 46 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 42 K

Atmospheres: Trace. Primarily carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

Raziké’s major moons are a doublet; a pair of ice bodies orbiting around their common barycenter, which in turn orbits Raziké proper. The statistics given above are for the Múrazór-Múrnamár pair as a whole; the mass of the doublet is split two-thirds/one-third in Múrazór’s favor.

Múrazór houses much of the local population, in the form of an IN base for the outer-system picket, a scientific research station, and the Comet-Herder’s Gather, a meeting place and floating market for the population of the sub-system and nearby Senna’s Belt.

Múrnamár, by contrast, is almost untouched.

Cultural Crossovers #20: Ant-Man and the Wasp

You know the drill.

  • Ah, flashback. And presumably the non-flashback part is taking place pre-Thanos, or we would probably have noticed.
  • A quantum tunnel. Oh, god, that’s a pun, isn’t it? Aargh.
  • Aww. The father-daughter heist is adorable.
  • And doing the right thing continues to suck.
  • The quantum realm is a real trippy place.
  • Antnapping. Nice.
  • We wonder what the mpg are like for tiny cars. Or we would, if we had to fuel ours more often than once a dodecade.
  • …couch ant. Ant couchant. Oookay.
  • Seriously, who’s going to say no to Captain America when he needs their help?
  • We always figured Hank’s new headquarters would be a dollhouse in his spare bedroom, or something.
  • Are those… enlarged batteries?
  • Entanglements. Heh.
  • Best. Garage. Ever.
  • …collapsible building. On wheels. No, that is the best thing ever, and we all want one.
  • Is Earth entirely devoid of honest smugglers and procurers? This is not how gentlesophs do business.
  • Wings and a sting, in fact.
  • Bullet surfing. We love it.
  • That’s a good question.
  • Okay, that’s a neat trick, but it wouldn’t work out well for you either if you phased back in.
  • We’re guessing that’s some sort of chamber that keeps you real. In a more literal sense than usual.
  • Ah, prototypes. Always a pleasure to deploy for early field testing.
  • Evidently interpenetration is real quiet.
  • Man, you just go through life making professional enemies, don’t you?
  • Presumably it’s not just your molecules that are disequilibriated.
  • Of course they did. Probably because they were HYDRA, but not necessarily so.
  • …nothing like a little tin of giant ants.
  • No, that would be a cognitive diuretic.
  • Actually, while that sounds like a cognitive diuretic, it could just be Luis being Luis. Mostly.
  • Baba Yaga!
  • The traditional big-ass switch of science enabling.
  • Quantum possession. Nifty.
  • Well, someone understands the important of building unnecessarily cool-looking displays for their science.
  • …what was that ant wearing in the tub?
  • Everything in that lab must be really well-secured. No loose coffee mugs.
  • Yay, Cassie!
  • Nicely arranged escape. And callback.
  • Okay, now that’s some crazy ant-fu. Wonder which species includes homing device among its talents?
  • It appears Pym effects nest very well. Which raises all sorts of interesting questions about the effects on Hank’s pod every time the van changes size…
  • Best way to throw a car.
  • Adorable tardigrades.
  • So many potential applications, watching this size-shifting fight, not to mention the phasing. The people who’ve been beating their heads against this one since the last movie are feeling all kinds of inspired.
  • Luis is having way too much fun with this.
  • Yeah, we probably wouldn’t believe Giant-Man on a truck-scooter either.
  • Damn seagulls.
  • We do like the field-like way the Quantum Realm is pulsing. It’s doing a very good impression of a simplified visual interpretation of extremely complex phenomena.
  • Of course, the audience think that Janet probably shouldn’t have aged. Time is a macroscopic phenomenon.
  • So much for avoiding notice.
  • Nice touch with the handle still sticking up.
  • See, this is why you wait for the brilliant scientist with extensive personal experience of all things quantum before going about your dumb-assed plan.
  • Here’s to CDs, and their occasional functioning as truth serum.
  • Well it’s about time he got away with one of these things, dammit.
  • Instant beach house. With a really clever foundation, one imagines. And utilities.
  • Seems like every adventure ends with a free cryptid.
  • Oh, gods, that is the worst timing ever. Beat all the odds in the worst way.

The crazy theorists, incidentally, have probably concluded that so-called Pym particles are actually some kind of Sufficiently Advanced attotechnology to pull off all the crazy stuff they do in the conveniently coherent manner that they have.

(So why particles? Well, given how determined Hank is not to let anyone else touch the tech, a bit of misdescription probably doesn’t hurt.)