Adding this to my Isvoy tales!

Gz'rashar is a planet located in the outerfringes of the Via Sagittaria Galaxy, and inhabited by an exotic species known as the Gz'll (pronounced similarly to "Gizzard").  It orbits an M4 class red dwarf star, and is orbited by 11 moons, 2 of which are of any importance to the Gz'll.  The planet has a pretty high axial tilt, of 74.5 degrees, making it functionally polar-locked; the northern portion of the planet sees almost constant light from its star, where the southern hemisphere mostly sees darkness.


Discovered in 75451, this was the very first planet discovered by the CHS Hawking, as she was heading out of the galaxy bound for as-of-yet uncharted regions of space.  Scientists did not even think there were any stars this far out from the galaxy center, and thus did not even send exploration ships to the rim of the galaxy, even prior to the 9900s.  But when a signal was detected, it was determined by the senior crew aboard the Hawking to investigate.  What they found was a world teeming with exotic Nitrogen-based life.  The exploration team also could not go planetside, as the near -200C temperature was a bit too much for their environmental suits to handle, which were rated only to -180C.  The warp drive-capable Gz'll later saw this however, and offered one of their environmental suits, which resembled a pod on 4 "legs", and proved to be very easy to handle.  Despite the delay on actually getting to go planetside, eventually they did.

The Planet

Once on the surface, they found a plethora of unique-looking flora and fauna; most of the flora had no leaves and instead relied on the feeble light of the host star.  To facilitate this, they had evolved to be a dark purple to absorb as much light as possible.  It was deduced that they use a black version of the chlorophyll.  They are also extremely energy-efficient, and the vascular structures of most plants had evolved to be as streamlined as possible, to move nutrients around the plant as fast as possible.  One of the more important discoveries planetside was that some of the plants emit barely-audible high-pitched noise from their flowers, an adaptation that attracts insects to them in the low-light conditions.  These plants also do not emit ultraviolet light, instead relying solely on the production of sound.  Also there are dense mats of extremely colorful cyanobacteria, and these were found where there is an abundance of moisture.

Map of the Planet.

Fauna also evolved around these lines, with small flying creatures having massive "wings".  Further study discovered that these wings were actually their ears, and their actual limbs were almost non-existant.  The evolution of this species meant that somehow they had to have evolved something to cut out wind noise as well; maybe a brain-based "filter" perhaps?  Some herbivores also had large ears, to pick up the ringing of the flowers that make up their diet.  The largest carnivore found planetside perfectly mimics a spiraling, bare flowering tree, and stays extremely still for weeks at a time.  It only moves when it wants to try a new place to attract its prey.  It will travel miles in search of a suitable plant to sit beside; when the unsuspecting prey mistakes it for the real deal, it gets lunch.

The Gz'll's Technology

A Gz'll Male. Females lack the front horns.

The Gz'll are a quadrupedal insectoid species that are a late Type I on the Kardashev scale.  They are a very old species, which confused scientists aboard the Hawking at first, until they looked into the issue further.  The discrepancy between their civilization level and age suggests something more was at work here.  Over two weeks of study, it was concluded that while the Gz'll did invent their own warp drive, improvements on the design completely ceased when it reached a speed sufficient to get to any planet in their solar system in mere minutes.  The cause of this turned out to be that they did not see the benefits of warp drive beyond their own solar system, as the Gz'll then shifted their technological prowess to gas mining.  Doing so lead to incredible leaps and bounds in the gas mining field planetside, with major gas industries taking up the smallest spaces.  The largest of these was housed in a rather tight space, circa 2000CE.

Map of the main gas mining moon Gz'ira, showing the three major automated mining bases.

The planetside detachment of the Hawking was extremely interested in how this industry worked for the Gz'll, so their alien guide showed them around an establishment translated as "Dimstar Industries".  This outfit mined gas from Gz'ira (7.1), the planet's largest moon.  Even though this moon is completely inhabitable to the Gz'll due to the thin atmosphere and high temperature, they did manage to erect three large gas mining arrays on the moon, which highly compresses the atmospheric gases of the moon into a small sphere approximately 2cm in diameter, but weighing upwards of 100 metric tons.  These spheres are shipped planetside aboard specially-constructed vessels able to withstand the extreme weight of a cargo consisting of up to 500 of these spheres.  Most go to power plants planetside, which produce enough power from these spheres to power the planet for hundreds of centuries.

Gz'j, showing one of the major patches of frozen water ice.

The Gz'll also mine ice from another small non-asteroid moon, known as Gz'j (7.2) in their language.  This moon is rich in water ice, and the ice is cut up in huge cubes measuring 10 meters on a side.  These are loaded onto a refrigerated transport, and are exported to other systems in the vicinity of the Gz'rashar system.  While they do not do the exporting themselves, others come to the system to pick up shipments.

Other Moons

Gz'rashar has 11 natural satellites, but only two of these are of any value to the Gz'll.  They are all captured asteroids and range in size from approximately 200km to 400km in diameter.  The largest asteroid moon even has its own artificial satellite in orbit.  The purpose of this station is to monitor their main mining moons for instability.  Due to the size, it appeared they were only concerned about Gz'j, as Gz'ira replenishes its atmosphere through volcanism, and the aforementioned moon has no such means of replenishment.  Hawking scientists have estimated that this moon will be depleted in another 250 years.  There is evidence however that this moon had replaced another moon that was here, towed from one of the gas giants in the system, most likely the 8th or 9th planet of the system.

The System

The unique positioning of the first and second planets in the system.

Various mining outposts were scattered throughout the system, the most prominent of these gas mining endeavors was found around the 8th planet of the system, a gas giant named G'lisi.  Scientists detected a large floating gas mining rig on the liquid hydrogen sea on the planet, and barges were seen coming to and from a large station set up in low orbit. There is also evidence of an attempted gas mining endeavor on the first planet of the system, but this has failed, apparently due to the extreme heat. They abandoned surface operations on the planet, however they have a refinery on medium orbit to refine gas from the second gas planet, which is close enough to make trips between it and the refinery feasible.

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