Cancri 4 is a desert world with frigid polar caps and searing dark sand everywhere else. Its thin atmosphere is a challenge for baseline human bodies, but who has those these days? Rusters feel right at home. The colonists reportedly found a source of water deep underground.
Local wildlife is small and primarily nocturnal. The most common plants near the base are spidery, silver grasses and occasional gray-green shrubs.
The atmosphere is thin, but has breathable levels of oxygen for rusters or simple 02 concentrator masks. The majority of the volume is nitrogen and CO2. Strangely, there are detectable amounts of neon and argon gas. There is enough air mass to support light rotor craft like drones and small flying morphs, but not enough for heavier craft. The sand makes large tires and wide tracks the best option for traveling long distances.
The Pandora Gate on Cancri 4 is located one kilometer south of the base itself. It’s not quite visible from the base, but a short walk gets you there in just a few minutes.
|The Lights are On, But No One’s Home|
Late in AF9, the minicorp PlathCo sent an exploration team to Cancri 4. They established a small settlement and began prospecting for resources.
The transhuman settlement on Cancri 4 has a very boring name. It’s a small and simple cluster of five single-story buildings that provide power and food for up to twenty fleshy people. It has its own local mesh and servers, along with solar panels, wind generators, and a deep aquifer water pump. A few small algae farms produce enough biomass for a set of protein resequencers to assemble nutrition bars for the most commonly used bodies.
Basically, it keeps meatbags alive on Cancri 4. Great! Although it could support 20, only 10 were sent by PlathCo.
The base has an unfinished garage pad along with its buildings. It has a single six-wheeled exploration rover with charging station.
Packed up on Day 2
The barracks building is plain and simple, but has been adorned by the 10 colonists during their stay. It has 20 small rooms in total. Ten were clearly used by the colonists, with the rest used as extra personal storage space.
Packed up on Day 1
The mess hall has a ring of basic hydroponics racks and algae farms surrounding a communal eating space. It’s green, humid, and cozy.
The base’s small HVAC system concentrates oxygen from Cancri 4’s atmosphere and filters contaminants from the internal air of the base.
The fabber building has an unshackled large cornucopia machine, capable of fabricating objects up to 5m^3. It also has a pair of small machines for creating tools and replacement parts. The large building also has a stockpile of materials and a pair of basic synthmorphs on standby in case of an accident.
The research building has samples of Cancri 4’s sand and native life, such as it is. It’s also home to the colony’s tiny server cluster. The servers mainly have logs, maps, and notes about the planet and the colonists’ activities. There is a lightly secured storage block containing backups of the colonists of varying ages.
There are three paintings hanging on the walls, made by the colonists.
The colonists reported the discovery of an aquifer 1.5km north of Colony Base. They quickly established a local water supply.
Upon further investigation, United Division discovered that this was not an aquifer at all, but an intact xeno-made reservoir. It was arficially constructed some time in the past out of a plain metal alloy coated with a strongly hydrophobic nanomaterial. A network of pipes connects to the reservoir from multiple directions, with the bulk of the pipes facing eastward. The connecting point of each pipe is etched with uknown symbols.
The Black Pillar of Doom
Visible from Colony Base, Blackrock Butte rises a sudden 400m from its desert surroundings. It stands about 60km northwest of the base. The butte is capped by a thick layer of basalt, while the rest is made of softer standstone shot through with thin quartz veins standing out against the black surface.
Per Nenette’s expertise, the pillar tastes of stone.
As part of their contract with PlathCo, the colonists surveyed Cancri 4 for deposits of usable minerals. The veins they found are marked on a map stored in the base’s server. They built a small, self-contained extractor at each site in order to gather samples for research and to send back through the gate to PlathCo.
There are 7 locations on the map spread out in a spiral around Colony Base. An encrypted node has the location of one more far to the east, finishing out the circle. The farthest tap is 280km east.
The drill at Site 6 worked through nearly 200m of rock before breaking through the roof of an underground structure. Upon exploration, United Division determined it to be a small xeno-made room.
|Where’s the Drill?|
The location of Site 8 was removed from the base’s logs, but remained in the colonists’ encrypted private data. It lies 270km east of the base. There is apparently no drill or other infrastructure at the site.
|Damaged Xeno Mesh|
The colonists discovered – and then concealed – an intact xeno facility about 320km east of Colony Base. There is apparently nothing living inside.