Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

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Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

Post  Zaerosz on Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:58 am

Okay so I may not be entirely coherent right now but I'll try and stay as understandable as possible. Excelion is a story I've been working on the last couple days, inspired by Rogue Galaxy, which is a really cool game and you should play it but anyway.

Initial Plot Synopsis
William Quinn meets a girl on the run from several very angry-looking men in security guard uniforms. And by meets, I mean finds unconscious outside his front door after the tracking device strapped to her ankle detonates. The girl later wakes up in a hospital bed, with William and a tall man in a suit standing nearby. She asks them what happened and where she is, but they don't recognize any of the addresses she names. When she mentions New York, however, the man in the suit asks her what year she thinks it is. Confused, she responds that it's 2017, only to be told that it is the year 3299. Furthermore, they're on Mars - nobody has lived on Earth in over seven hundred years.

Condensed Plot
The girl - Amelia Richmond - was kidnapped in 2017 and used to test an experimental suspended animation system. It was half-successful - they suspended her animation, but it took them centuries to fix the mistakes they made.

The year is 3299, and humans have colonized many of the local star systems through a network of locations called Stations. Stations are stone platforms utilizing extraterrestrial technology of unknown origin. Each Station is comprised of a central, circular blue stone platform and at least two pairs of larger circular platforms - one black and one white in each pair. To use the Station, one person (designated the Operator) stands on the central platform. They will see a black screen displaying an overhead projection of the Station. Touching the image of one of the outer platforms will change the view to a starmap displaying relative distances to each location, as well as providing a zoomed-in view of any planetary systems nearby. Touching an image of a terrestrial planet will 'calibrate' the selected platform -this platform can then be used to transport whatever is on that platform near-instantly to the corresponding Station on the destination planet. Every currently known terrestrial planet has its own Station. The exact method of transportation is as yet unknown.

Several planets outside the solar system bear evidence of alien civilization - some even have written text in alien languages. Through the use of Excelion (see below), most of these texts have been translated. They mostly appear to be stories of ancient artifacts from long-dead civilizations. Because of this, some have taken up the duty of verifying these legends - by finding and stealing these treasures for themselves. These are the Seekers. William and his crew are amateur Seekers looking to strike it rich. Their ultimate goal is the Ain Soph Aur - an artifact referenced in legends from almost every civilization found so far, said to be, in differing accounts, the ultimate weapon, the strongest defence, the greatest treasure, the power above all, the eye of God, and countless other titles. What it actually is, nobody knows, but that doesn't stop them looking for it.

Excelion
Excelion is a strange mineral found only in sites of high meteoric activity. It is a metallic substance, stronger than iron, and has a strange and unique quality that cannot be reproduced - it brings out the true potential of those who have it. Excelion implants are some of the most expensive things you can have, but it can be well worth it in the end. The abilities granted by Excelion are referred to as Excel, and they vary from almost mundane to far beyond superhuman. So far, synthetic Excelion has not been successfully created.

G-Control
G-Control units are government-issued devices that alter the gravitational field directly around a person's body - the standard setting is Earth gravity. These are more or less vital equipment for travelers - different planets have different levels of gravity. Custom G-Control units are available (though very expensive) that allow a wide range of gravity settings.

Characters

Amelia Richmond
Age: 19
Excel: Hermes (ankle) - greatly increased running/jumping abilities
Bio: A girl from 2017 who was in suspended animation for 1282 years, she's tagging along with William's group while she tries to adjust to the life of a galactic traveler.

William Quinn
Age: 21
Excel: Prometheus (1st thoracic vertebra) - rapid tissue regeneration
Bio: A wannabe Seeker who's sick of his boring, routine life.

Patrick Miller
Age: 26
Excel: Athena (skull plate) - comprehensive understanding of any language
Bio: A professional historian, long-time friend of William, and absolutely filthy stinking rich. Paid for William's Excelion implant.

Gunn
Age: 45
Excel: Atlas (sternum) - greatly enhanced strength and endurance
Bio: A former pro boxer whose sternum was shattered in his final match - he decided to retire, bought an Excelion implant, and became a miner. Has a custom G-Control unit - current operating level is 17 times Earth gravity.

Planet details in my next post.
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Re: Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

Post  Zaerosz on Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:26 pm

((For reference, a Mars day is only 39 minutes longer than an Earth day, and a Mars year is 687 Earth days, or 668 Mars days. Grav factor refers to the intensity of the gravity - Earth normal is 1.))

The α Centauri system has two inhabitable planets, and a third planet that is currently not suitable for colonization. None of these planets have had any alien civilizations in the past, besides that which built the Stations. However:
  • The uninhabitable planet furthest from the suns (α Centauri d) apparently contains vast amounts of mineral wealth, including a few small Excelion deposits. Efforts are being undertaken to form an atmosphere and increase the temperature of the planet to enable colonization; the average daytime temperature of this planet is -67°C. 1 planetary year = 1174 days, 1 planetary day = 0.85 Mars days, grav factor = 5.7.
  • The outer colonized planet (α Centauri c) apparently had dormant fungal spores that began growing when the atmosphere was created; these fungi are similar to trees, growing up to 50m tall with a 4m thick stalk and a cap with a radius of up to 20m, and can only grow in soil. Furthermore, their stalks are extremely hard and dense, so the inhabitants have taken to using their preserved stalks as building materials. 1 planetary year = 662 days, 1 planetary day = 0.42 Mars days, grav factor = 0.8. 2 moons. Population: 2.9 million.
  • The inner colonized planet (α Centauri b) bears an apparently unique mineral – an ore-bearing stone called einherjarium. The metal it produces is unusually light – its density is 0.24kg/m3 – while still being as strong as stainless steel, if not stronger. It is sometimes used in the construction of luxury spacecraft, but it is mainly used as a component of G-Control devices, as well as being a highly desirable weapon material. 1 planetary year = 471 days, 1 planetary day = 0.67 Mars days, grav factor = 0.94. 1 moon. Population: 3.3 million.


The ε Eri system has two gas giants and one inhabitable planet. The inhabitable planet shows no signs of previous inhabitants, other than the ever-present Stations.
  • The soil of ε Eri d possesses an unusual quality: any Earth-origin plants grown in it will undergo rapid genetic and cellular restructuring, eventually producing an entirely different variety of plant. These restructured plants will grow in ε Eri d soil without any further changes, even from seed, and can be grown on other planets with no ill effects. The restructured plants are usually similar in function to the plant they grew from, though several plants have adopted formerly dormant traits from their origin plants (e.g. ε Eri d potatoes and tomatoes are toxic, stemming from their origin plant's relation to nightshade.) 1 planetary year = 445 days, 1 planetary day = 1.20 Mars days, grav factor = 1.18. 3 moons. Population: 0.82 million.


The Aldebaran system has two inhabitable planets and three planets unsuited for colonization. Aldebaran d bore plant life and an oxygenated atmosphere prior to human arrival, suggesting an alien terraforming attempt. However, no signs of animal or civilized life were found, save for several previously unknown species of bacteria and the Stations. Aldebaran c bore no life and no evidence of civilization. Aldebaran b, e and f have not yet been explored extensively enough to confirm or deny evidence of civilization.
  • Aldebaran b is the closest planet to the sun, and appears to be dotted with lakes of molten metal of various types. None of these metals can be identified as yet; the intense heat of the planet, even during its night, makes exploration intensely difficult. 1 planetary year = 183 days, 1 planetary day = 0.24 Mars days, grav factor = 0.47. No moons, but a ring of debris is present around the equator suggesting any moons it once had were destroyed by collision with extraterrestrial objects.
  • The surface of Aldebaran c is completely barren; sand and rock are the only natural things you will find on the surface. However, below the surface one can find a blue crystalline mineral – permanently cold to the touch, if you trace it back to its source you will find an underground river. The water from these rivers is drinkable, and the rivers themselves appear to be spread all the way across – and through – the planet. The entire core of the planet is solid, cold stone, and the very centre appears to be composed of hyper-pressurized water. The magnetic field of the planet seems to emanate from the surface, rather than the core. 1 planetary year = 438 days, 1 planetary day = 1.52 Mars days, grav factor = 2.04. One moon.
  • Several species of bacteria on Aldebaran d currently unknown to humans have infected several species of plants in remote locations on the far side of the planet from where the human colonies are located; all members of the infected species have become ambulatory and, after several centuries of rapid development, have taken on animalistic appearances. These plants do not appear to have advanced intelligence, and seem to operate on instinct alone. 1 planetary year = 583 days, 1 planetary day = 0.72 Mars days, grav factor = 2.29. Three moons – the smallest moon bears an Excelion deposit, but reaching it will be extremely difficult, given the extreme gravity and the absence of a Station on the moon.
  • Aldebaran e is by far the most bizarre planet encountered by humans thus far. Studies have shown that the planet is essentially comprised of eight 'segments', with divisions between these segments along the xyz axes. Every ten hours, at exactly the same time, one hemisphere comprised of four segments will rotate along one of these axes by 90 degrees – the pattern has been determined to be x-y-z-x-y-z. There has been no observable cause for this; attempts to determine the inner structure of the planet have either produced blank images or have corrupted the machine used to do so. Using the Station on the planet is the only way to set foot on the surface – any objects attempting to pass through the planet's magnetic field (which is another oddity, comprised of three pairs of magnetic poles, each one running along one of the axes of the planet – the vertical axis is perfectly perpendicular to the orbit of the planet, while the horizontal axes are either at a tangent to the planet's orbit or pointed directly at Aldebaran) is destroyed on contact. This is not without its own dangers, however – the central platform of the Station is positioned directly over the division between four segments, and the in/out platforms are on separate segments as well. The Station cannot be used to leave the planet unless the four segments bearing the central platform are together. 1 planetary year = 1 day, 1 planetary day = 100000 hours. No moons. Interestingly, this planet is mentioned by name in a text found on Fomalhaut c in 3271; its name, according to an Excelion translation of this text, is Llyrdis.
  • Aldebaran f appears to be a literal desert planet – test drones retrieved samples of sand which, when analyzed, contained aluminium oxide, silica and beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate minerals. Later test drones sent through the Station returned with low-quality gems, maximum size 6cm3, of ruby, sapphire and beryl. 1 planetary year = 1857 days, 1 planetary day = 3.95 Mars days, grav factor 0.265. No moons, but a thin planetary ring can be observed.


Last edited by Zaerosz on Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:55 am; edited 4 times in total
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Re: Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

Post  Zaerosz on Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:06 am

Anyone have any thoughts at all?
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Re: Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

Post  Slag on Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:15 am

It certainly looks like you've put a lot of thought into it.

About the einherjarium, is it as strong as cast or wrought iron or as common stainless steel? Pure iron, cast or wrought, is actually kinda weak, and most fame for iron's strength comes from steel.
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Re: Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

Post  Zaerosz on Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:25 am

Hmm. I suppose it should probably be steel-strength, or stainless steel.
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Re: Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

Post  Slag on Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:33 am

I just say stainless because that's the steel most people know and understand. There's a whole hell of a lot of grades of steel out there. You could probably find one whose properties matched near to what you want, but that might take a bit of work.

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Re: Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

Post  Zaerosz on Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:41 am

I probably could, but straight einherjarium isn't very commonly used - it's mainly alloyed with other metals or carbon, then used for whatever. It's still marketed as einherjarium, advertised as being 'stronger than steel', but that's all most people know about it. Pure einherjarium is roughly as strong as wrought iron.

The best part about all this is that when people ask questions I hadn't thought to answer I can usually make up a sensible answer in a couple minutes and make it fit. Improvising is fun.
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Re: Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

Post  Slag on Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:44 am

So, it's basically iron that's better than iron at making steel?

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Re: Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

Post  Zaerosz on Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:47 am

Apparently so. However, it's found in extremely limited quantities on only one planet out of all the colonized systems (how many there are, I don't yet know) and it's hella expensive, while iron is more or less the most common metal in the universe.
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Re: Excelion (space treasure hunting aaaaaaaa)

Post  Zaerosz on Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:36 am

Updated with Aldebaran c, d and f, and clarified a couple things.

EDIT: Aldebaran e, i.e. the Plot Device Planet, is up.
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