Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

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kedamono
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Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:43 am

We just finished an episode about FTL:2448 on the podcast and found that the first mention of a non-Brazilian colony was founded on a world orbiting Ross 128, Frenner II. Of course the name begs the question: Where's Frenner I? It's orbiting Procyon A, a binary system, with Procyon B a white dwarf, the remnants of a much larger star that died fairly quickly. With a fairly eccentric orbit, the colony around that star would be living in domes or in orbital stations. No planets could exist within Procyon A's habitable zone.

But that's Frenner I. Frenner II is around a M4 dwarf star, Ross 128. It's medium size and should have at least one world. Let's World Build!

So for a medium size Red Dwarf, it has a total of 12 slots: A: 2, B: 2, C: 4, D: 4.
The Habitable zone for Ross 128 is B01 and B02, so that's where the planet it has to be. But, it should have neighbors. Let's create them.

The chart shows that we get d6-1 number of worlds, so on a d6, we roll a 3, and there are two. Let's see what the first one is:

We know that one is going to be a rocky planet, so it's 50-50 the other is a gas giant. We roll a 10! Gas Giant!

The rules don't let us put a gas giant in slots A and B, but as we all know, that's not true. We've found far too many orbiting really close to their star. So we're going to modify the placement table:

d10: A: 1, B: 2, C: 3-6, D: 7-10

We roll a 5, so it's in zone C. Let's flesh it out first: Diameter, 100,000 miles, or 160,934 km. It's a biggun.
How many moons? We roll a d20-1 and get an 17. 17 moons, we'll use an app to roll them:
4 small moons, 4 medium moons, 5 large moons, and 3 giant moons. Hmm, are any of the Giant moons big enough? Nope, the largest you can create is 3,600 miles in diameter, too small.

That's Ross 128c

Now for Ross 128b

New Value
Old Value

Diameter: Medium, 14,102 km/8,762 mi. Medium, 7,500 miles/12,070 km
Gravity: 1.1g/10.83 m/s2 0.9g
Moons: 3
Moon 1: Medium, 2,000 miles/3,218 km, diversified mix
Moon 2: Large, 3,400 miles/5,471 km, mineralized rock
Moon 3: Small, 60 miles/96 km, mineable chemicals

Atmosphere: Normal pressure
Climate: Now here, it's a bit of an issue, as the habitable zone of a Red Dwarf is such that the planet is tidally locked and it's rotation is the same period as it's revolution about the star. So the climate I'm going to generate is for the Terminator, the zone where the star is low in the sky and fades off into darkness. So, a d6 and we get: 5, minus the modifiers we end up with a Cool Climate, -50° to +50° F (-45.55° to 10°C). The dark side of Ross 128b will be Cold, and the light side Warm.
Breathability: Mostly breathable, rich mix, higher oxygen %. Watch those matches!
Light Intensity: Varies from Dim to Bright.
Bio-Compatibility: Fair Compatibility, 50% of organics are toxic, the other half is nutritious but may taste funny.
Minerals: Wolframite, an iron manganese tungstate mineral, a highly valued as the main source of the metal tungsten.
Gold and silver in mineable concentrations.
Gypsum, which explains why this world is cool, gypsum is a white mineral, in sufficient quantities it can reflect light. It forms from oceans and volcanoes.

Geology: It has several large continents, with active geology, plate tectonics and mountain building. Supports the Carbon cycle.
Life: Lively, lots of life forms in many food chains. A very wide and surprising diversity. Lots of competition for Terran lifeforms.

The last two indicate that there's a lot going on. It also indicates that Ross 128b has a molten core and very likely a magnetic field. That's good, because Ross 128 is a flare star, so it must be a really good magnetic field. Also, the Geology result indicates that the hydrographic percentage is much like Earth's about 70% ocean and 30% land. The oceans help moderate the temperatures and that means life can spread farther on the day side and the night side. And the oceans are liquid at depth, so there's a lot life in them across the world.

A quick couple of rolls on the alien design table, and we have quadrilateral critters with three body segments that are both fused together, but very distinct. It's both horizontal and vertical. OK, so two segments are horizontal, with the third segment between the two and vertical. Each horizontal segment has 2 locomotive limbs and vertical segment has the head on a short neck with a 360° face, four eyes on stalks that point in four different directions. The mouth is at the top of the head and upper segment is flexible.

This is the basic body plan for most "animals" and avian forms. Though the avian forms are much sleeker and aerodynamic.

Insects are also quadrilateral, but have 5 distinct segments, one large central segment, and four smaller segments surrounding it. Each smaller segment has a mouth and eyes.

Overall life on this world is based on a quadrilateral body plan.

To be continued...
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:34 am

So, what's Ross 128b (R128b) like? It's not frozen over, thanks to atmospheric circulation, vulcanism, geothermal heating, ocean currents, and tidal librations caused by it's two large moons. The last one is the one most folks don't think about. Because Moon 1 is medium sized and Moon 2 is large, their orbit about R128b will cause the world to rock back and forth along its equator causing a sunrise and sunset on regular basis. You won't be able to set you clock by these librations, since with two moons the rocking will be somewhat chaotic. But somewhere between 58% to 60% of the surface will get solar exposure. You will get a big sunrise or sunset when the two moons line up along the leading or trailing Terminator edge.

Along the terminator the sun, when you can see it through the clouds, is on the horizon and deep red. As you move to the Noon Pole, the location where the star is directly overhead, the color changes from red to orange and finally to yellow. Even though it's a "Red dwarf", this close to the star it's bright and yellow in color. However, there's no ultraviolet in that light, so no sun tans, even at the Noon Pole. You can still use solar panels, as the light that comes through is strong enough to create a current. There is a higher infrared component to the light, so solar thermal systems would work as well.

Would there be life near the Noon Pole? Depends. It's going to be hot, and if the region is ocean, cloud covered. But the water will be hot and full of chemicals dredged from the ocean floor, as the heat will cause the ocean to flow away from this location. Such conditions would be perfect for some forms of life, similar to the conditions around the undersea smokers. The cloud cover will both reflect light and heat and trap heat at the same time. If the Noon Pole is land, it will be drier than the driest places on Earth. No water, not much life. As the continent moves, the dry spot will move as well, leaving behind an arid desert region that will be slow to repopulate.

As you approach the Terminator, conditions will become cooler and life will be more prevalent, until the band just around the Terminator. There will be more rain, as the clouds move into the cool of the dark side, and this will help life to thrive. Any mountains along or just before the Terminator will create rain shadows and keep life going in the light of the star. Because of the planet's libration, the forests and plants extend into the darkness, getting light at irregular intervals, but long enough for photosynthesis. These plants are homes to nocturnal animals that stalk the night in search of prey. When the sun sets on the terminator, it will be followed by the night hunters.

As we move to Midnight Pole, we see that life quickly reduces, but doesn't quite die out. Life forms such as funguses and other plants still grow in the perpetual darkness. Animals that have either amazing night vision, or have completely given up on sight, and enhanced their other senses, prowl the fungus forests. It gets colder, until we reach the Midnight Pole. There's an icecap here, one that flows and sends it's glaciers out towards the light. The oceans are alive with all sorts of sea creatures some that migrate from the light to the dark following smaller food creatures. Depending on the placement of the continents, life is everywhere on this world. Life will find a way.

New Info
Old info
So I'd put R128b in the B02 slot. The B zone for Ross 128 is 0.08 to 0.12 AUs across. That's about 12 million km to 18 million km from the star, about 6 million km wide.
Ross 128b is located 0.05AU, about 7,479,893.5km/4,647,790.3 mi. R128c, the gas giant is in C02, is close enough to give R128b a tidal nudge every so often. It's out around 0.35 AU, or 52,500,000 km out. The entirety of Ross 128's planetary system is within Venus's orbit.

Edit: Forgot to add the orbital period for Ross 128b and 128c. For 128b, it has a 29.8 Earth Day orbit. 128b's orbital period is 9.9 Earth days. 128c has a 195.1 ED orbit.

So why did someone settle on this world? What was the process for settling in the early years? That's for next time.
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:14 am

So why was Frenner I and Frenner II settled? To answer that, we have to know who or what Frenner is.

Frenner in this case, is Frenner Research and Applied Technologies, Inc. A corporation. Founded by Johan Frenner, FRATI's business was research into various areas: Physics, Medicine, Nanomanufacture, and other technologies. They make their money doing pure science research, patenting what they discover, and sell it to other corporations. They do very well, and are behind many discoveries over the centuries. Of course, it's no longer called FRATI in 2448. After several mergers and buyouts, it's now known as Fraxn-Hawthorne Science Research Corporation, with pretty much the same mission as it's ancestor. This is in thanks to it's two corporate colonies.

Frenner I is the pure science research colony. It's investigating several areas of Physics and Phase Space Mechanics thanks to it's unique environment. But, we will deal with them at a later date.

Frenner II on Ross 128b, is their biological research colony. There are other colonies on Ross 128b, but Frenner II is the largest.

Ross 128 is about 11 LYs away, (10.9 LYs), so in 2050's-60's, travel time to that world with the Herbert/Lashaw Phase 1 drive took about 341 days thereabouts. Knowledge of the two worlds was already known, thanks to the Sagan Planetary Space Telescope. Spectra from Ross 128b showed molecular oxygen, a definite sign of life, but the world would be tidally locked. In 2051, FRATI petitioned ICO for permission to send three ships to that system to explore and determine if the world was compatible with Terran life. Approval was granted, and three Fremont class ships, the Frankenmuth, the Kalamazoo, and the Parma were outfitted as scouting vessels. Two of the ships, The Frankenmuth and the Kalamazoo, had their passenger cabins and cryotubes removed and turned into storage and equipment bays. The Parma removed its cryotubes for various probes. The 11 passenger cabins were for the research team that would use the probes to investigate the two worlds.

The Frankenmuth carried the parts for an automated orbital station for Ross 128b. It also had four automated fuel shuttles that would operate from the surface of the planet to the station. Their purpose was to scoop water and bring it up to the station for cracking into oxygen and hydrogen. The water is first processed to remove any heavy water, and then processed into oxygen, hydrogen, and deuterium. The latter would be used as a fusion fuel for ships.

The Kalamazoo carried an automated space station and specialized scooper shuttles for use at Ross 128c. Gas giants have more 3He than any other body, besides a star, so the plan is to scoop as much atmosphere in hopes to get enough 3He for use as clean fusion fuel.

All ships have Navigation Buoys to place in system to aid navigation and to keep an eye on all bodies moving in system.

The ships left in 2052 and all three successfully arrived a Ross 128. Understand that this is a major achievement. Phase ships are only 2 years old when they made this trip. There were no Phase Engineers, Phase Navigators. They were physicists in related fields, most of whom took a crash course in Phase Theory before actually stepping aboard their ships. If any of these ships were lost, it would be a loss of at least 4 experts in Phase Theory, a major setback. Each of these physicists would come back and expand on what they learned about working and living in phase space and become the foundation for future Phase Engineers and Navigators.

After arriving in Ross 128, their first mission was to secure a propellant source. Thankfully the system is small, so propellant usage was low, but they still needed the reaction mass and fusion fuel for the trip back home. So it was either head to Ross 128b or Ross 128c and setup one of the automated stations. Much to their relief, the glint of water on Ross 128b indicated the simpler of the two stations could be assembled and water hauled up for processing.

The first set of mapping probes were launched and Ross 128b was quickly charted and its environs determined. Probes were sent to the surface and samples returned. At this time, it was determined that a manned landing would be too dangerous for either the Humans or whatever life there was on the planet. First they had to get samples of that life for examination and returning back to Earth. The Parma had an Andromeda Class containment facility where the probes were relieved of their contents and then sent to their fiery death in the atmosphere. When it was determined that this life had a high level of compatibility with Terran life, the decision was to continue with the testing, but no further samples would be taken until if they could determine if any organisms were inimical to Terran life. That would take longer than their time in system.

While the Parma and Frankenmuth orbited Ross 128b, the Kalamazoo went to Ross 128c and began assembling of the gas giant refueling station. This station was based in part on the stations used around Jupiter, Ross 128c was more massive, 1.4 Jupiter masses, and it has a gravity of 3.65g. Jupiter has a gravity of 2.5g, so the shuttles were equipped with larger drives so they could break free of the more massive planet.

Similar to Jupiter, Ross 128c has a large magnetic field and larger radiation belts. The ship found a region within the radiation belts where it could operate with minimum exposure. The Gas Giant station took 3 months to assemble, while the planetary station only took 1 month.

After 6 months of exploration, and multiple probes left in place to continue to gather data, with the two automated stations left in place, gathering propellant, the three ships headed out to return to Earth. All three arrived safely, though the Kalamazoo found itself in the Kuiper Belt, and had an extra 4 days of travel back to Earth in 2054. While they were away, FRATI was already assembling volunteers for a research colony for Ross 128b. They planned to put back the passenger cabins and cryotubes, and use two more Fremont class ships, the Mackinaw, and the Marquette for more colonists and supplies.

But that's for later. To be continued...
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:58 am

During the voyage back home, the native life from Ross 128b was examined in the Andromeda Class containment facility. The ACCF was a 15 meter long by 3 meter wide cylindrical container with a docking port for probes. The return stage of the rover probes landed on the planet would dock with the ACCF, decant the gathered biological samples, and then processed remotely by the researchers on the Parma. No live animals were gathered, but dead ones were. Killed by electrical piercers, they were gathered and then flash frozen in by the rovers designed to gather animal specimens. In the ACCF they were dissected, examined, and analyzed.

The proteins in the animals were fully compatible for Terran life, but other organs and secretions from these animals were deadly neurotoxins and necrotoxins. The plant life that had been gathered again had elements that were compatible with Terran life, tied with more neurotoxins and some nasty cytotoxins. Again, specific portions of the plant were toxic, and other not. No fruiting plants were found, but the compatible portions of the plants gathered could be processed into something nutritious, but more than likely not very flavorful.

Microbial life from Ross 128b followed suit by being both compatible and across the board toxic. The most toxic of all life on the planet, the microbial life has the most potent neurotoxins, hepatotoxins, cytotoxins, and endotoxins encountered. Several found the conditions in a simulated human gut to be perfect, but saliva was universally toxic to these same organisms.

The reverse was also true. While no live animals were available, biological analysis of surviving tissue indicated that Terran biochemistry was similarly compatible and toxic.

The main saving grace was that while life on Ross 128b used a variation of DNA, it used different amino acids for encoding genetic information, preventing the viral forms that had been collected from infecting test cells. This was good news of a sort. While there was some concern with the microbial life forms, proper sanitation and good hygiene would prevent most infections.

This was good news for FRATI and its colonial plans. They wanted to investigate the life forms on Ross 128b for potential new medicines, as some toxins in small amounts can do good work in the body.

The three ships were refitted, while FRATI analyzed the data they had gathered. Possible locations for the research colony were selected and a training program for the colonists was put together. It took a year to do the refit of the ships. Designing the training course for the colonists took a year, and several years to actually train them.

Since the majority of the 2,405 colonists were going to travel in cyrosleep, only those who would be tasked with administrating the colony and research facilities would stay awake and work on the colonial particulars. The colonists were for the most part single men and women, with only 30 families making the trip. Additionally, genetic diversity was also a preference, as this colony was going to be independent for many years, with resupply happening only once every two years. So the goal was to make the colony self sufficient and capable of surviving on its own for long periods of time.

Also, the ships were going to carry redundant supplies. The Kalamazoo and the Marquette were going to carry separate fusion generators, experts in every field were distributed between the ships. Supplies were spread equally amongst the ships, along with the personal cargo of the colonists. If only half the ships made it, they would have enough to survive.

Once the training, refits, and colonial supplies were gathered, the small fleet of ships, in 2059, left Sol and headed to Ross 128.

The Marquette was the first to arrive and dephased at the inner edge of the D Zone, right near Ross 128b. The Frankenmuth and the Mackinaw made normal entries into the system, while the Parma and the Kalamazoo appeared deep in Ross 128's Kuiper belt. The Parma had an extra day to her trip to Ross 128, while the Kalamazoo added another 4 days to her trip.

In the 7 years left alone around both planets of the system both refueling stations had filled their tanks. The R128b station was full of liquid oxygen, hydrogen, and deuterium. This was primarily meant for ship use, both shuttles and spacecraft. The R128c station also had full tanks of liquid hydrogen, deuterium, and, more importantly, more than enough 3He. The 3He was destined for the fusion power plants on the Ross 128b.

The R128b station was expanded with inflatable modules for a station crew, as well as extra solar panels to power them. Several of the existing panels needed repair, due to collisions with orbital debris.

Before waking up the cyrosleep passengers, the four proposed colony sites were given extra scrutiny. More rover probes were landed and the terrain examined and samples returned. The original rover probes were left running just in case there was sentient life on the planet, but while no sign of such, they had gathered 7 years of data on climate, temperature, and life on the world.

Collating all this information, new and old, Site 3 was selected. It was located on the sunny coast of an island continent that straddled the Terminator, designated with the name "Continent 6". Later on, the colonists would call it "Frennerland".

The construction sleepers were woken first, and shuttled down to the planet where they recovered the aerobraked cargo containers from the sea. The initial colony was assembled from inflatable modules, while an automated concrete plant was setup and fed the necessary feedstock. The concrete would then be used by building printers for more permanent structures. It must be noted that the inflatable modules faired better than the concrete buildings, as four of the modules are still around 400 years later, while the only original concrete building still in existence is a small shed used by the colonists to store tools.

Once sufficient living space was available, the agrarian team was decanted and started on terraforming the soil of the settlement. Waste treatment plants fed composting systems, and the resulting "fertilizer" rich in organic materials, along with various fungi, were added to the soil to start the process of terra-fication of Frennerland. As more and more of the settlement came online, more colonists were decanted and shuttled down. By the end of 2061, the last colonists landed on the planet and took up residence. Three of the ships had already left for Earth, while the Marquette and the Parma were going to stay for an additional year investigating a few of asteroids were in system for their suitability for mining, as well as shuttle propellant from R128c. Four of the shuttles were being combined into a single craft to take over this duty, as they were purpose built for this task. When finished, the system ship Lister was put into service and the last of the starships could leave.

Of the five ships that left Ross 128, the Kalamazoo suffered a phase mishap and ended up at Van Maanen 2, a white dwarf 14 LYs from Earth. 20 of the crew died from phase shock, and the remaining 9 were unable to repair the phase drive, and decided to take a chance on the cryosleep tubes to survive. Far from the tiny white dwarf, they put the ship in low power mode, with priority given to the 9 chambers they would use. They used precious power to use the communication laser to send an SOS to Earth. The message was never received. Ironically, it wasn't till 2286 that the ship was found by a research ship from Fraxn-Hawthorne Science Research Corporation. Sadly, the ship's power had run out in 2104. None of the 9 survived.

So what was the first years of the colony like? More on that later...
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Wed May 04, 2016 3:55 am

In this post, I'm going to detail out the first 20 years of the colony. Why 20 years? Typically, this is considered a generation by most folks. People born in the early years will come to age by the end of this time period.

"Frennerland, the land of permanent long afternoons."
-- Kido Takuro, Colonial Meterologist

The colony is officially declared "settled" on November 23, 2060 by it's manager, Anny Preisner. Miss Preisner was chosen by Frenner because of her managerial skills and expertise in agriculture. As the Colony Manager, her job is to make sure that the colony functioned as a well oiled machine and hits the objectives set by FRATI. Her first job was to plant an apple tree sapling in what would become the town square.

And the first two and half years of the colony go well, except for the occasional minor poisoning of a colonist by the local flora or fauna. Nothing serious, just sick for a few days. The colonists dub it "The Ross Runs".

A bright spot is the birth of the first new colonist, Dinah Kemit to Suwandi and Sharaf Kemit in 2061. Then in June 2062, in an ill advised attempt to build taller buildings, a pair of scaffolds are built so that the 3D building printer can ride on tracks two stories above the ground and build 2 more floors on an existing building. The lower floors couldn't support the added weight and the building collapsed, which caused the scaffolding to collapse and brought the printer assembly crashing down. 8 people died in the chaos.

Because human bodies contain far too many necessary chemicals and nutrients, the bodies were rendered and composted, rather than being buried in a graveyard. A memorial garden was started with plaques for the departed cast from titanium.

The next two and half years go without much turmoil, other than the occasional bout of Ross Runs. Then in 2064, a major setback happens: About half of the colony's phosphate stores are lost due to a mistake made in the warehouse stack of containers. A worker grabbed the wrong pallet and dumped it into the clinker furnace of the automated cement plant. The resulting fire in the oxygen rich atmosphere didn't harm the plant, but it did burn up vital phosphates, most of which had been delivered in the last ship visit. Luckily, a potential source of phosphorous was found in 2063 by prospectors in the interior of Frennerland. But the colony wasn't at a point to where they could actually exploit this resource. Of the course the colony was on a strict recycling schedule, but there's always loss. Luckily, the local life forms on this world also used a variant of ATP in their cells, and now the colony had to seriously consider using the local life as a source of nutrients. It didn't help that most of local life forms tasted like something you'd scrap off your boot.

These two disasters were laid squarely at the feet of Colony Manager Preisner. After much arguing back and forth between the pro-Preisner supporters and the larger management change group, Miss Preisner stepped down from the position, quietly grateful that she could just work with crops and not people anymore. She went on to become the top farmer in the colony, managing food supplies in the colony over the next 20 years.

In her place, an elected Colony Council 4 members was formed, each position held for 2 years, with two seats going up for a vote in a year. And the new council was going to have its mettle tested with the advent of the Great Storm that started in 2066.

The weather front that spawned the Great Storm wasn't a mystery, it had been first seen forming in 2063 over the very warm oceans of the Sunlit Sea. What no one had realized was that the conditions had formed such that the spot in the ocean would form a conveyor belt of the worst weather the colony had ever seen. Normally, the weather was always an minor issue, with cloudy days outnumbering sunny ones. This prompted the colony to use the second fusion generator to run "grow lights" in the fields during the gray days. Well, the Mother of All Gray Days was coming.

The Great Storm was the first of many to hit the colony, but as the first, and it was the biggest test of how well the colony could respond to the situation. For the next 9 years, the hot spot slowly moved towards the Noon Pole, feeding warm, wet air in a great curl towards the island continent of Frennerland. It rain continuously for the next 9 years, soaking the land into a thick mud. The farms that had been started were turned into mud patches.

Anny Preisner came into her own during this crisis. She built the first set of terraces lined with fired gypsum tiles and built with drainage and cover in mind. Each level of the terrace was two meters deep, the bottom half lined with large stones, gravel, sand, and finally soil. Over the top of each terrace was a curved gypsum roof, open in the direction of the sun. The cover provided protection from the rain, but when the sun shone, even more light would be reflected on the plants. She pretty much ignored the natural landforms and made her own hills with unblocked views of the sun that was forever above the horizon.

In 2068, with the fourth set of terraces under construction, it was found that the conditions that had been created were ideal for a local fungus to grow and consume the local plants. The fungus was able to process the toxic portions of the Terran plants and use them for it's own defense. Anny, however, was on top of this new threat and with some experimentation, found a way to control the growth of the fungus and in a way, use it as a form of pest control for the terrace farms.

In 2069, two workers died from being struck by lightning while working on the lighting system for the farms. As with the first deaths, the bodies were composted and two more plaques added to the memorial gardens.

In 2071, an unexpected ship arrived at the colony, the newly built ICOS Kansas arrived with a load of 10 specialty colonists: Miners along with their automated machines. FRATI was able to hire these specialists to help set up phosphate mining on Ross 128b. Of course the weather made this a more dangerous operation, and one of the miners died in a sinkhole collapse caused by the incessant rain. To add the misery, the 3D building printer finally suffered a fatal breakdown and instead of repairing it, it was decided more traditional building methods would be used. The printer was scavenged for parts and metal.

2072, the constant rain and all the setbacks suffered during the storm, caused many of the colonists to go a bit crazy. There were protests to do something about the weather, angst about the food supply, and will there be enough phosphates to keep the colony alive so they won't have to eat the crappy local plants and animals for food! Riots broke out and the colonial security had to learn all over again how to do crowd control. The learning process included multiple injuries over the three years of unrest.

Things didn't calm down until the one thing causing the unrest cleared up. In 2074, the leading edge the weather conveyor belt hit land and it lost it's power source, warm water. Within a month, the sun shone and spirits were lifted. On top of that, another unexpected ship arrived with 67 new colonists. Colonists not from FRATI. The Rolfsson Chartered Colony (RCC) was an independent colony given permission to settle on Ross 128b. They landed at Frennerville, the only city on Frennerland and wanted to settle a bit of land 100 km to the south of the main colony. Permission was given, information shared and the addition of another three shuttlecraft was welcomed. The Rolfssonites were planning on setting up a farming and fishing settlement. They were to be the first of some two thousand colonists that would arrive in 2082. Their job was to prepare the new colony site for their arrival and prep the land for their use. The reason for the wait was that the main colony was to bring three sea vessels and to do that, they needed one of the new H. L. Colonizer class colonial freighters to deliver the ships.

RCC moved into their new spot in 2075 and began preparing the site for settlement. They made use of the Preisner Terrace Farm System, and decided that the information on the Great Storm would guide their construction. Their settlement was situated near what had been declared as a dormant volcano. Anyone conversant with the trope, knows what happened next.

In 2076 Mount Gamall Maður Reykingar, "Old Smokey", erupted after six months of rumbling, sending a pyroclastic flow that caught 8 of the Roflssonites working on one of the new terraces. They all died.

The eruption of Old Smokey lasted for three weeks and then it settled down back to quietly smoking. The pyroclastic flows and lahars reshaped the landscape and as a result, forced RCC to move another 5 km north of the site. The already constructed terraces were kept in use with an eye in building new ones closer to the new location. Like at Frennerville, a memorial garden is created, though the bodies were never recovered.

In 2077, the Parma arrives with supplies and news, FRATI had merged with Hawthorne Pharmaceutical to form the new corporation, Hawthorne Science Research Corporation. The CEO of FRATI retired on his buyout and the boards merged. The colonists, all shareholders, were now twice as rich as they were before as their stock doubled in the merger. On board the Parma, was the new representatives of HSCR to confirm that the current colonial council could continue as it had before, but... ISCO decided that the colony needed official oversight. A Colonial Governor was to take charge of the overall settlement of this world and they would be headquartered in Frennerville. She was Zidana Ibn Al-Hassan, a 40 year old politician and former physics research scientist. Her term of office was to be for 8 years, and a new governor would be appointed by ISCO.

To say this didn't sit well with the colonists at Frennerville and Ný Útgerðarbær the RCC site, was an understatement, but the reps from HSCR said that this was the deal to keep the colony going.

Lead by the respected Anny Preisner, the colonist agreed to the deal, with one stipulation, "We get to name the planet. Ross 128b isn't really a good one. Since we've been here now for 17 years, we get the right to name it. We want to call it 'Frenner II'." And so Ross 128b became Frenner II.

2077 ended in a mystery. Four workers at one of the more remote terrace farms disappeared during a rare libration sunset. They were found a week later, torn to pieces with no clue by what. What was common between the corpses was that their brains and kidneys were gone. Governor Al-Hassan ordered armed guards to watch over the workers when they worked the farms.

This policy saved the lives of several people in 2078, when 19 unknown predators struck during another rare libration sunset. The mottled black and gray skinned creatures attacked when the light levels got low enough to cast long shadows. The sun never really set, but it did get very low in the sky. The predators followed the standard body plan, but with a far more flexible neck and mouth lined with many sharp teeth. The guards killed several, and the quick thinking of one of the workers to turn on the grow lights helped drive the rest away. Named "Dawnstalkers" the creatures were the first of the dark side life forms encountered. Bright light would drive them away, so it became common practice to turn on the grow lights whenever people had to work on the farms.

And finally, 2079 ends the first 20 years of the colony with a bang. Frennerland sat on an island continent that rested on a tectonic plate that was slowly moving westward, towards the Noon Pole. Under the Silver Sea was a subduction fault a thousand kilometers long. On June 3rd, at 0239, the Frennerland plate slipped and resulted in a 8.4 magnitude megathrust earthquake. Most of the printed buildings suffered major damage, while the remaining inflatables rode the quake out with no problem. The more traditionally constructed buildings also faired better in both Frennerville and Ný Útgerðarbær. Only three people suffered minor injuries. The 3D printed buildings were determined to be too damaged to be repaired and were demolished. New housing for the displaced families was made available, with many moving in temporarily with friends.

In twenty years the colony has grown from 2,405 people to 3,155 souls. The eldest of the Frenner born, Dinah Kemit, was planning to attend school on Earth and return to help her home grow. There were ups and downs, but so far, the prospects look good, with another 2,000 people due to show up in 2082. But...

That's another story.
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:32 am

Major events of the first 20 years.

The first "governor" of Frenner II, Anny Preisner, turned out to be a bulwark for the morale and safety of the colony. While she wasn't great at running a colony, her farms were second to none. She also started working on breeding local plants to see if she could make them tastier and not have the flavor of moldy, damp cardboard. She was assisted by Cecil Carmine, the colony biologist, who helped edit the native DNA. Still, they both knew it was a long project, so they combined selective breeding with gene editing to see if they could change some of the local plants. One of which was a fruit "tree". It grew large globular fruits that they called "globe fruit." Not very original, but the fruit produced sugars and other carbohydrates, so it would be possible to create an edible version. This was necessary, as the fruit was also had neurotoxins that could paralyze a human, potentially killing them.

Frennerville grew in leap and bounds. The central city is laid out on a grid, with an eye to walkability. Most folks lived in two story to three story apartments, with the odd large house on a block. By the end of the first 20 years, most folks either married or were confirmed bachelors/bachelorettes. Not all marriages were male-female, but no one cared.

After ten years had passed, the first private businesses were founded: Restaurants. While the company store handled most sundries, a small, entrepreneurial group decided that they could do what they could with the local foods along with the terran crops. Protein was the primary goal, as the only source for the colony was mycoprotein from fungal mats. Animals were captured, toxic organs removed, and the meat experimented with. Eventually, an acidic brine was found to change the flavor of the native meats and "pickle" it into something humans could actually enjoy. Cooking it produced the nasty flavors, so pickled and cured meats was the solution. The resulting flavors took some getting used to. They ranged from "pine needles" to a "sharp mineral" flavor. Still, once you got used to Jensen's Pine Sausage, Earth sausage just didn't taste the same.

This wouldn't have been possible if Any Preisner hadn't established a currency during her term of office. ConYen, "Colonial Yen", was worth approximately $0.67 in ISCO Dollars, though by the 2440's it's worth $1.29. The initial bank was based on operating funds assigned to the colony by the Frenner corporation, some 200 million ISCO Dollars. Colonists could voluntarily contribute to the colonies funds from their shares, but most didn't. Monetary policy was such that the ConYen was a fiat currency, theoretically tied to the productivity of the colony. Since Frenner II was a research colony, it was tied to research and discoveries made by the colony. However, as the colony expanded, trade added to the value, as well as productivity in other areas. By 2448, it was a complex calculation based on information, productivity, and trade. In 2448, Frenner II was worth 1.2 trillion ConYen, worth over 1.548 trillion ISCO Dollars.

But that's the future. The next 20 years will show how this foundation for wealth was set...
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:32 am

An addendum. Besides the restaurants, Frennerville saw the founding of not one, not two, but four different "cottage" entertainment businesses. Two game companies making new games taking place on Frenner II, a publishing company, and a independent Worldnet News service and entertainment service. The two game companies made both electronic games as well as more traditional board and RPG games. The first, Nerdstrong, was more egames than anything else, and worked out of a rented shop on Main street. The second, Skyscreamers, named after a local avian life form, initially did egames, but added board and RPG games to their catalog. Both companies worked together in making and selling their electronic games, while Skyscreamers set up a gaming cafe out of a 4 shipping container building, on the north end of Main street.

The publishing company initially was just two people, Elizabeth Coletti and Ulyana Tretyak. The two women formed Heartshow, and wrote several novels set in the colony. The novels were ebooks, as paper was nonexistent on the colony, so they used off the shelf copyware to protect their novels. By 2079, Heartshow had a stable of 20 writers, writing in all the genres. Still, their Slice of Frenner novels were their best sellers not only on the colony, but on other worlds.

Finally, Realfire Entertainment was founded by Ulric Burdons out of his first floor apartment. He saw a niche, and armed with a portable video camera and microphone, became the first independent reporter on Frenner II. He initially ran into some problems, as the colony charter didn't include anything about an independent press, but he was able to successfully argue that since Frenner Research and Applied Technologies, Inc. is an South African company and that articles of confederation that formed ICO included freedom of the press, the colony also had to abide by those laws. He did agree that the company had the right to say "no comment", but that didn't include the lives of colonists or the council. Later, that included the Colonial Governor Zidana Ibn Al-Hassan. But, by the time she arrived, Realfire operated out of its own building, with its own server farm, delivering the latest news from across the entire colony. There's a small three person office in Ný Útgerðarbær, handling what news the pathbreakers were making, and keeping the rest of the colony up to date on their progress.

A boat service was suggested to connect Frennerville with Ný Útgerðarbær, though there was at least one group advocating a rail service. Still, 100km was a long way to go on a world with just two settlements, and the funds just weren't there to do either service. At least by the colonial government.

Two men, Arne Sanddahl and Jorge Mendes decided to connect their two settlements by sea. Arne in his spare time between preparing his settlement for the new colonists, found time to explain to Jorge what he needed to do to make a seaworthy boat out whatever he had. And what Jorge had was shipping containers. Air tight containers. With part time help from other colonists, he fashioned a "boat" out of shipping containers and powered by the old pump from the 3D building printer. Officials from both colonies gave it a going over and even though it was ugly as sin, they approved The Constant Reformation for a test run from Frennerville to Ný Útgerðarbær. The Constant Reformation was loaded up with enough ballast to represent a typical load, and Jorge at the wheel and Arne in the "engine room" set sail in 2077 and had an eventful voyage. The supposedly airtight containers sprung leaks everywhere, but the two men sealed them as fast as they sprung up, the bilge pumps keeping the Reformation afloat. At a top speed of 24kph, they made their way along the coast and arrived at Ný Útgerðarbær little over 4 hours later. They docked and decided to put the Reformation in the dry dock for more work. Soon, with the bugs worked out, The Constant Reformation was running a once a day round trip from Frennerville to Ný Útgerðarbær. It was a horrendous vessel, requiring constant maintenance, and nursing its pump motor constantly. But, she was the first ship of Sanddahl & Mendes Shipyards, and when she was retired 20 years later, she was carefully preserved at the first native made sea going vessel.

Finally, because there were children on Frenner II, there was a school. It was initially a one room school house, but by 2079, it had grown to a four room school. However, there wasn't four professional teachers for the school. So, part time teachers from the research labs, the farms, and other professions would teach at the school. The lone professional teacher, Jochem Vugteveen, found himself becoming a teacher for teachers and the school's principal. He worked with the colony to make a lot of the education material available online, but insisted that one of the purposes of a school was encourage social interaction, and that you can't get that from a computer. So students would only come to class three days a week, but took lessons 5 days a week. The three days were for hands on work and social interaction. Since they were mixed ages, students typically worked at their own speed for the most part. School was "year round" with two breaks every three months. One of the first native born students, Dinah Kemit, specialized in social sciences and governmental operations. She was looking at a position in the Frenner II colonial government. But, because the colony didn't have anything resembling a college or university, she would have to return to Earth to complete her education. She wouldn't be the only one, but one of a dozen students heading back. One of them, Nineke Spaling, who came to the colony at the tender age of 2, wanted to start a university on Frenner II, so that future generations wouldn't have to go all the way to Earth and back to complete their studies. Something Dinah and the rest of the Frenner Twelve agreed with. Lucky for them, their parents could afford to send them back, and the company would cover the cost of transport, as long as the students studied and helped out on the ship on the way to Earth.

By that time, most starships were equipped with Herbert/Lashaw Phase 2 drives, about 10 days per light year. So the trip back to Earth would only take 110 days, a toddle compared to the original 341 days of the first ships. But that's another story...
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby jayphailey » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:44 am

Fascinating stuff, John!

If I'd caught it earlier, I'd have said make Frenner II one of the moons of the Gas Giant to avoid the Tidal locking problem If it's tide locked to the brown dwarf, but has an eccentric orbit, it'll have long day/night cycles.

But that's an idea to put on the shelf for later.

I am really impressed by the detail you're putting into this thing
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:18 pm

jayphailey wrote:Fascinating stuff, John!

If I'd caught it earlier, I'd have said make Frenner II one of the moons of the Gas Giant to avoid the Tidal locking problem If it's tide locked to the brown dwarf, but has an eccentric orbit, it'll have long day/night cycles.

But that's an idea to put on the shelf for later.

I am really impressed by the detail you're putting into this thing


Thanks Jay!

I would have considered making it the moon of a gas giant, except I'm using FTL's system generator. It doesn't let you make moons big enough to be habitable. Minimum size for a rocky planet is 5,500 miles and the largest size for a moon is 3,600 miles. I would have loved to have a Pandora, but it's not in the cards. At least with FTL's planet generation system. And Ross 128 isn't a brown dwarf, it's a red dwarf.

Procyon A & B, which is where Frenner I is, would be the oddball place for a colony. Luckily, Procyon A isn't big enough to become a supernova and the orbits of the two stars are such that Procyon B cannot attract material from A's red giant phase. So in about 0.2 to 1.2 Gigayears, A will enter it's red giant phase and blow off a lot of mass, and settled down into a white dwarf. Therefore Frenner I is a research station and not a colony, like Frenner II.
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby jayphailey » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:01 pm

A hell of a lot of work went into those charts.

But I wonder if it might be time to update them.

The problem is, here in 10 or 15 years, they'd be obsolete again.

And I have no idea how to construct them at all for myself.

Anyway, I guess the next question is - what would PCs see if they visited Frenner II in the "Present"?
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:34 pm

Yup, with the newer planetary discoveries being made, anything we make now will be just as obsolete as what Richard made 40 years ago. Of course, what Richard created was fairly accurate based on what we knew at the time.

As for what Frenner II would look like 388 years later? There would be about 240,000 people living on Frenner II, probably in several settlements. And that's only if no other colony groups show up besides Rolfsson's. I plan to do the first 60 years of the colony, keeping track of things. For one thing, Frennerville is going to be renamed "Preisnerburg" after it's most famous citizen. Understand, what's she's doing on Frenner II will become the blueprint for other colonies on tidally locked planets. Her farms will be everywhere. And in the middle of Preisnerburg, in the town square is a 328 year old Sakura Tree. Named Anny. Guess where they put her composted remains...
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby jayphailey » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:54 am

328 years is a loooonnnggg time
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:41 am

jayphailey wrote:328 years is a loooonnnggg time


There are Sakuras in Japan right now that are over 2,000 years old. So 328 years is a dawdle for one. Especially if there's family there to tend to it and take care of "great to the great grandma Anny."
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby ORTrail » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:32 pm

A crazy amount of detail. This seems like it would be best run as a generational campaign, from the touchdown of the first colonists to the rise of cities around the world. A sort of Pendragon campaign I guess (not that I have run one of those).

Or a campaign based on the terraforming of Mars like the books from Kim Stanley Robinson, but maybe on an extrasolar world. Throw in a few ancient alien artifacts from a previous colonization attempt for good measure. Which raises questions about what actually happened; was it a casualty of war? Natural disaster? Disease? Poisoning of some type? Will the aliens ever come back? An accidentally activated distress beacon by an exploration team?
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Re: Let's Make A World! Fernner II: Ross 128b

Postby kedamono » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:19 am

Well, I'm doing this to create the history of the first Real colony from Earth. And they are operating in a challenging environment, native life both edible and poisonous at the same time. And I'm covering the first three generations of the colony, the first 60 years. That covers three posts and I'm just about halfway done with the 2080 to 2099 post. And so far, it's been a ride!

I'm using the Frontier 2448 rules in the game to generate the events, but I'm doing so batches of 20 years, which is about 120 d100 dice rolls. No worry, I'm using an online dice roller to do this. The event tables aren't that bad and generates a consistent set of events. It's just up to me use them in a logical and consistent way.

If you were running a colony campaign, you only roll for events once ever 2 in game months to see what happens. And it's mostly accidents. Half the time, nothing happens. 25% of the time, someone has an accident. I've worked out how the events of last 322 years will take place, but I need to finish the first 60 first. I guess I'm solo roleplaying the colony!

I have some issues with the tables, as when you roll new colonists, at most you'd just get around 100 people. I might tweak that and maybe have a roll depend on the ship being used. Fremont class ships don't carry that many people, while the Homesteader and the H. L. Colonizer class ships can carry over 4,000 people. Keeping track of where those ships are is hard, as only 36 of the former and 37 of the latter were ever made. I figure that about 1 a year was built in orbit at Earth of both of these. So it took from 2068 to 2104 for the last of the Homesteader class to be built, and from 2070 to 2107 for the H. L. Colonizer class. So by the start of the next 20 years only 12 of the first and 10 of the second have been built. Were are they going? 22 ships capable of carrying over 98,000 colonists are available. So, where did they go? And crewed by people still learning how to use Phase Drives. The first Phase drive outside of Brazil was built in 2051, that's barely 30 years of operational experience. In game terms, about 86 people have finally reached max skill level in Phase Engineering or Phase Navigation. And all of them are of retirement age! :omg:

So you have a phase navigator on one of these Homesteaders who is basically level 5 out of 20, plotting your course. Pray!

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