Monday, October 19, 2015

Strange Stars A-To-Z: "G" Is For Gemba Gigante

Image by NASA/JPL - Caltech/R. Hurt

Gemba Gigante. The half-molten volcanic superearth Planetary Reserve Bank of the Alliance. Gemba's location and the hyperspace node psi-passwords required to access it are the best guarded secrets of the Neshekk banking clans. Gemba's crushing gravity and poisonous atmosphere make it a deadly place to visit. What little we know of the world comes from a handful of renegades from Gnome collectives that secured gem and mineral mining consignment rights to tap the planet's Deep Veins. The rumors of starships with gem-hulls are true. Those hulls were mined on Gemba Gigante.

But the planet's hostile exterior hides even bigger secrets. They're old ones. Long ago, far below Gemba's molten seas and ever-fracturing charred continents, a timelost race built an intricate and slightly out-of-phase three-dimensional megastructure. It contains countless forcewall-protected vaults which slowly shift and rotate about several axes.

Only when the time is right do specific vaults present themselves for access. And of course, accessing these vaults requires still other codes.

With help of a half-mad Deva apostate, the Neshekk broke the source code of the forcewall structure, and began adding further security features, such as collapsing forcewall vaults, and spill channels that allow lava to flow into forcewall corridors. A Smaragadine psientist designed the psi-sniffing drones with which the Neshekk stocked the corridors and vaults. Finally, the Neshekk infected the local Metascape with weaponized AIs derived from complex financial instruments. This provided the final deadly layer of highly unpredictable defense.

But the vaults themselves! What wonders the Neshekk banking clans hold! For example:
  • Vault 7677 contains a vast reserve of magnetic bottles containing anti-matter bullion, the universal reserve currency, 
  • Vault 9947998243 contains approximately 10,000 of the squat moravec clade known as the Quigashe (perhaps a corruption of the Old Earth phrases "Quick cache" or "Quick cash"). The mobile cash machines of the Archaic Oikumene stand in mute rows like soldiers in some ancient sovereign's tomb. These moravecs are 3D printers that defecate cash. It's rumored that one or two of the utmost wealthy Neshekk banking lords use their nizara privacy screen to hide a Quigashe within their retenue. 
  • Vault 42477867 contains 7,641 Minga slaves in suspended animation: a reserve leverage currency that would raise deep ethical concern if its presence was widely known in the Alliance.
  • Vault 744 stores the viral precursors for galis, the conspicuous wealth display skin lesions favored by Ngghrya, Zao pirates, Green Ssraad, and other alien and criminal elements.



Gemba Gigante T+4 E-1 R+4
  • Hidden vaults built by the ancients
  • Half molten superearth
  • Planetary reserve bank of the Alliance

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