(Note: this is not canon. But every time someone wants to know when the humans are going to turn up and acquire some suitably starring role in the narrative, it gets a little closer to being canon, y’know?

…assuming I do not just go ahead and canonize the notion that in this universe, Pseudoeldrae archaea was literally the only member of The Genus Otherwise Known As Homo and all greenlife originates from the homeworld of Equus amica. I am, after all, one of those temperamental artistes.)


This is a KALPA NIGHTFALL ALERT, profiled as POSSIBLE LOW ENERGY (GWYATH 7-) SOFT CIV-KILL EVENT. Patterned electromagnetic emissions placing system on evaluation schedule ceased at ~-140 years mission inbound time.

Event coordinates are approximately 230 light-orbits from proposed SPICE WAY site TRANSVEIL, star system designated IGS 170-4138294. System primary is G2V-class dwarf, sustaining a system of eight planets, the four outer being gas or ice giants. Of note, the sixth planet in the system maintains an unusually prominent ring system. Of the four lithic worlds in the system, the fourth is a eutalentic-class with potential and the second and third both sialhain-type glass-garden worlds, dry and wet respectively.

Third planet is classified as ANOMALOUS due to rare double-planet formation; unusually high level of hydrocarbons and C/HC/HCO-breakdown products in atmosphere (determined by remote spectrographic analysis); unusually high level of residual radioactivity; ring of metallic debris in planetary orbit; detection of metallic debris/potential structures on airless secondary body. This planet is designated as most probable source of prior patterned electromagnetic emissions.

No attempts to contact the far horizon probe were made. Contact signals were transmitted on all designated frequences to no response. No biosignatures or technosignatures were detected by passive sensing or active scanning.

Recommendation: promote to EYEBALL and CORTÈGE PILLAGER for further study, routine priority. In absence of remnant biosignatures or technosignatures, no further action required. Mission continues.


Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for ahd ahd says:

    Well, you could decree that. Would rule out a lot of more fun and interesting options, but this fictional universe is your property, you’re allowed to drop as many idiot balls on as many of the participating species as you wish, and superglue them there as hard as you like, no matter what it looks like to people who aren’t the author.

    Personally I was wanting to see a Republic vs Worlds simultaneous first contact with the Terran Sphere, but if I ever felt that strongly about it, I’d just join the fanfictionception that is slowly accreting around the Worlds.

  2. Hey hey, I guess my wild-ass guess that Sol was at Transveil actually paid off, even if in a non-canon snippet!

    Also, what’s a glass-garden world?

    Also also, Earth-Luna is considered a double-planet? What is their dividing line for double-planet vs very large moon? I thought having the barycenter inside the larger body was a pretty good distinguishing feature.

  3. I’m guessing greenhouse. Venus is an extreme case, and the story implies we managed to screw up our climate even further and then destroyed ourselves with nukes.

    With regard to the double-planet thing, the earth-moon barycenter is barely inside the earth, and the sun’s gravity actually exerts more force on the moon than the earth’s. Also:

    We might look upon the Moon, then, as neither a true satellite of the Earth nor a captured one, but as a planet in its own right, moving about the Sun in careful step with the Earth. From within the Earth–Moon system, the simplest way of picturing the situation is to have the Moon revolve about the Earth; but if you were to draw a picture of the orbits of the Earth and Moon about the Sun exactly to scale, you would see that the Moon’s orbit is everywhere concave toward the Sun. It is always “falling toward” the Sun. All the other satellites, without exception, “fall away” from the Sun through part of their orbits, caught as they are by the superior pull of their primary planets – but not the Moon.
    — Isaac Asimov

  4. I was honestly about to delete my comment seeing as I had severely misjudged the tone with which the post was made, but since you replied I guess I’ll leave it on.

    The greenhouse part makes sense and I have no further questions; the double-planet thing…

    I mean with all due respect to Asimov, the orbit-being-concave explanation (and by extension the Sun-gravity vs parent-body-gravity argument) seems a little hollow. The Moon’s orbit has varied in radius considerably since its birth, and there were periods of time when it would have orbited much closer to Earth, and thus experienced a larger pull from Earth than the Sun. I can also probably find a good bunch of moons or moonlets in the frankly titanic Hill Spheres of Jupiter and Saturn where they experience a weaker pull from Jupiter / Saturn than the Sun, but I don’t think we’d consider them in any sense on similar footing as their parent bodies.

    The barycenter being inside the parent body seems like a much simpler and more comprehensive descriptor of double-planet / not double-planet status, and here the Earth-Moon barycenter is firmly inside the Earth (2500km below the surface), not barely as you’ve stated.

  5. Vaguely tongue-in-cheek irritation at people who don’t realize that repeatedly asking the question is unlikely to change the answer, especially when it turns into the second varietal of GRRMINYB?

    Especially since it wouldn’t exactly be “green”, locally.

    In formal terms, yes.

    In less formal terms, though, it just means “HOLY CRAP that is a BIG MOON and that bigness is ANOMALOUS”.

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