November 19th 2014
Want to get as close as possible to a UEE battle carrier without joining the Navy or committing terrible acts of piracy? Nul is the place! One of the earliest systems charted by Humans, Nul was discovered in 2290 by NavJumper Antoine Lebec. Folklore claims that the system’s name derives from a misunderstanding. Upon returning from his initial scout of the system, Lebec was asked if he found anything interesting. To which he replied “nul.”
Nul is a classical Cepheid star, a yellow supergiant that swells as much as 10% – 15% its standard size at times. While it is an easy system to transit, the nature of the star makes habitation extremely difficult.
In the centuries since Nul’s discovery, Humans have made three separate pushes to attempt terraforming operations. None have ever exited the study phase as surveyors in each instance reached the same conclusion that despite advances in terraforming technology, the system remained to be untenable for any sort of Human habitation. Most analysts familiar with the system believe that there is no reason to visit its barely inhabited settlements and, given the danger presented by the star itself, no reason to even transit through the system.
The system has taken on a far more nefarious reputation however. Recent Advocacy warnings over the past few years have indicated that abductions have been on the rise in Nul and suggested the potential existence of a slaver pack. Travelers are advised to consider alternate routes before committing to a path through Nul.
The first two planets of the Nul system are entirely uninhabitable for reasons stemming from the star’s nature. Nul I is an orbiting dwarf planet that is slowly being burnt away during the star’s expansion phases.
Nul II is an uninhabited iron planet. While it is unusually large for an inner world, its surface has cracked due to the expansion of the star and the world is now slowly emitting gases chiefly composed of the burnt mantle.
Cole is the third planet in the Nul System, a barely habitable terrestrial world located on the inner edge of the system’s green zone. While geologically similar to Earth, the nature of Nul’s star makes actually attempting life here an unpleasant prospect. An atmosphere composed primarily of ammonia and sulfur, coupled with the fact that liquids can only exist deep below the planet’s surface during the ‘hot season,’ means that environment suits and respirators are necessary at all times here.
The world boasts a single landing zone, Char, developed from an abandoned environmental research facility. Note that Char is not technically aligned with the UEE, and has no rule of law per se.
The fourth planet in the Nul System is, at first glance, a typical gas giant, but be warned: the entire planet is locked in a permanent electrical storm capable of readily disabling any ship that approaches. Nul IV’s closer Lagrange points are littered with the hulls of spacecraft foolish enough to approach in spite of the electrical interference, and of course, the hapless salvage crews that decided those wreckages were a prize worth taking.
Nul’s high point is the fifth planet, Ashana, home to one of the more unique habitats in the universe: a city built out of a wrecked Human battle carrier. In 2571, the UEES Olympus pursued a group of rebels and pirates back to their makeshift base on Ashana. The ship’s commander directed the Olympus to make a run at the base that took it too far into the atmosphere. The drag slowed the Olympus below its sustainable speed at that altitude and it was unable to recover, resulting in its loss with all hands.
The Olympus crashed to the planet’s surface, where it impacted the desert wasteland. The crash quickly attracted scavengers, who began to pick the ship clean, until they realized that it was a more pleasant environment than the windswept caves they had previously called home. When the Navy did not dispatch another force to eliminate the wreckage, squatters moved in and turned the Olympus into a town of the same name.
The carrier’s corridors and bays are now home to everything from a Tevarin marketplace to a warren of hotly contested individual homes for those living on the planet. Today, Olympus is a semi-dictatorship, with a Tevarin named Nescus running the entire show. Black market goods are exchanged here, but only in limited quantities: the carrier’s inhabitants know better than to give the UEE an excuse to bomb the wreckage into oblivion.
While a certain level of criminal activity is expected in all unclaimed systems, Advocacy Crime Stats indicate that Nul is suffering from an increased level of attacks on civilians including abductions and murder.
“Dangerous star, ugly planets, it’s like this whole system was just born hostile.”
- Excerpt from System Assessment by Malcolm Fitch, Surveyor, 2619
“We’re going to have us a little talk about your future. Basically, whether you got one or not.”
- Opening line that reputed slaver Migo “Skiv” Renks would use on his victims before attack.