August 7th 2015
Osiris is an orange-yellow K-type main sequence star orbited by a pair of planets and a dense asteroid belt. When discovered in the late 2700s, a true survey of the system ended up taking a lot longer than anticipated, as the UEE suddenly found itself in the middle of a revolution.
While science teams were en route to the Osiris System to start their detailed scanning and mapping process, footage of the Massacre of Garron II leaked to the populace and ignited public outcry and demonstrations. The Messer regime, already stretched thin, now found that every riot they squashed emboldened and inspired others to take their place.
By the time the dust settled and the government finally got back to studying this system, the survey results of the inner planet yielded fascinating data. Beneath the cloud layer of Osiris I was an extremely active biosphere capable of supporting Human life, playing host to an amazing diversity of species unlike those found anywhere else in the known galaxy.
Following a science team’s discovery of higher primate-equivalents on Osiris I (by now known as Etos), the system became the flashpoint for a new debate over the morality of expansion and something of a cause célèbre for environmentalists and expansionists alike as Osiris System became the first system declared to be a developing system under the Fair Chance Act. Though the thought of terraforming inhabited worlds for Human settlement is considered immoral by proponents of the Fair Chance Act, critics continue to argue that we should try to enrich the lives of species we discover instead of idly watching them potentially suffer from afar.
Ask the average Citizen to describe Osiris I’s fabled biosphere and you will likely hear descriptions of impossibly dense rain forests teeming with every form of life imaginable. The reality is nowhere close. Etos is on the extreme solar side of Osiris’ green belt, and life there has adapted very differently than on Earth. The first thing to understand is that life on Etos does not thrive in the open; there are no teeming forests reaching for the sky or wild, untamed polar steppes. While the atmosphere can support Human life, the proximity to the star means that most evolution has occurred underground.
Etos has an extensive, miles-deep cave system that worms its way into the planet’s mantle. There, a variety of life forms have taken hold, ranging from spiny crustaceans to a divergent set of species that might best be described as a gelatinous disc or as noted in one researcher’s journal, a ’flopping pancake.’ One of the deciding factors behind Etos’ formal protection is Phare’s Ape, a vaguely Human-like primate that biologists believe has the potential to develop higher thinking. With what can only be described as a natural ‘sad face’ and a seemingly gentle nature, Phare’s Ape became the iconic image of the Etosian preservation movement.
The planet is monitored from a safe distance by Observation Station Kobold which is charged with protecting Osiris I under the guidelines of the Fair Chance Act. While it houses a mixture of scientist and military personnel, the most unusual inhabitants are the small collection of Phare’s Apes who make their home aboard the station. Recovered from a smuggler’s hold, the clutch was deemed too injured to be returned to the planet below, and were nursed back to health on Kobold where they live and continue to be studied.
The Osiris belt is one of the densest yet discovered, with frequent asteroid collisions making traversal and mining extremely hazardous. The debris sent hurtling from the belt is a constant concern for those studying Etos, as a massive enough collision could be catastrophic for the life there. Patrols are frequently sent to destroy and divert rogue asteroids before they become an issue.
The gas giant, Osiris II, was what initially drew prospectors to the system: a large Jovian world with naturally pure hydrogen. While technically in a system protected by the Fair Chance Act, Osiris II was made available under license to various companies and refinery concerns to help offset the initial costs of the program. Outposts here have gained the animosity of the military due to their frequent use in various smuggling and poaching schemes.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Looks can be deceiving! While it may appear there’s little UEE oversight, Etos itself is well-guarded. A record number pilots with questionable intentions were caught attempting to access the planet in 2945.
“Osiris offered us a unique opportunity. With all the vicious arguments about settlement and cohabitation, all the pieces were there for us to falter in our resolve, but we didn’t. Humanity chose what was right.”
- Imperator Erin Toi, Excerpt from her memoir On the Path
“The creature caught my eye as the light of the flashlight caused a prismatic burst of colors to ripple across its gelatinous disc shaped body. As I moved in closer to get a better look, it peeled itself from the rock surface and fell to the ground in a manner that can only be described as reminiscent of a flopping pancake.”
- Esther Punari, Etos Field Notes, 2823
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