SLU Logo

Recent Observations:
The Ice Mines of Miranda

Green Line

Channeler's Note: As Humankind ventures further out into the solar system and beyond, more and more evidence of earlier intelligent activity will come to light. Currently we have only a few small hints of this, but the Entity M. Threek-Oon says that there is much more evidence currently being withheld from the general public view for various personal, political and sociological reasons.

But some is right in front of our eyes, either by accident or design. The Cydonia complex on Mars is of course the most famous. But another series of images returned by robotic eyes also offers clues to the past. On January 24, 1986, the Voyager 2 space probe flew through the Uranus system. By pure chance, Voyager flew past one of the smaller moons, Miranda. It was able to resolve detail as fine as 600 meters. And the detail it resolved has been the topic of debate amongst planetary scientists for almost a decade.

- P. Douglas-Oon

Green Line

MirandaThe question to be asked regarding the observed surface characteristics of the sphere you humans know as Miranda is "How did this orb form with the surface features that it exhibits?" The answer to that question may lie with an ancient tale that explains the bizarre formations on Nĉma-Ees, our name for this ball.

The Coronae, first named "chevron," "ovoids," and "trapezoids" by the human translators of the robot Voyager, details highly unusual terrain. They are circular to rectangular in shape, showing complex patterns calling to mind the swirls and furrowed rows of a gigantic plowed field. This of course, is a good analogy as it turns out.

Not that anything was grown on Nĉma-Ees, per se. But rather extracted from it! This sphere, is composed almost entirely of water ice. And for those Capthraw that choose to inhabit the confines of interplanetary space, water was a very important commodity. Most of these gas giant ice balls were mined extensively by the Dravpheim Syndicate, a lose federation of micro-gravity arcologies scattered through out the solar system. The Syndicate's roots of course were tied to an early pre-shower Thrawn economic concern.

They started out building arcologic communities on the home world, huge self-contained mega-communities that housed millions. They soon went on to perfect their corporate art with the microgravity Dravpheim arcologic worlds of interplanetary space. Their competitors concentrated on the more lucrative surface communities approach popular on the Worlds of Chreaus and Seerae. After all, few wanted to give up gravity forever, which is what you had to do. Since after one generation of living in Microgravity, even the surface of the Chreaus/Moon would be too much to bear. Like the proverbial mammalian beached whale.

For these Capthraw evolved into large massive creatures, that swam through the moist thick air of the Dravpheim Arcologies like gigantic bloated birds. So if the whale lives in water it's entire life, that is the norm, and who would want to ever return to the restrictions of being bound to dry land, or the surface of a large ball. Climate affects society. And the societies of the Dravpheim had some very divergant branches.

But that was before the Great Shower. Once the home world was out of the picture, at least for the time being, the surface dwelling Capthraw throughout the solar system were dramatically affected. They could still identify with their Trawnian cousins, and mourned the loss of the home world.

But the Dravpheims and the Syndicate were left basically unaffected. Aside from the tragic loss of a minor trading partner, life for the most part went on as before. After countless millennia even before the Great Shower, an intricate and unique infrastructure was developed for the Dravpheim. Any and all materials had to be procured from space. Asteroids for carbon and metals; the gas giants for lighter elements and their icy moons for that most precious of treasures, water.

Nĉma-Ees, it was discovered, was a very logical source for water. It's location placed it beyond the orbits of the vast majority of Dravpheim, in relation to the Sun, which they all orbited. Ice was systematically mined off the surface of Nĉma-Ees, and transported into space by way of a continuous linear mass accelerator. The ice chunks were captured in orbit, then combined into large massive icebergs, several kilometers in diameter. These were then accelerated beyond the gravity well of Uranus and simply "dropped" sunward to be intercepted months, or even years later by the waiting Ice Cutters of the Syndicate for distribution.

The Ice Mines continued for many many years before the eventual discovery of direct matter transmutation made mining for specific materials academic. So when the Ice Mines of Nĉma-Ees were finally abandoned, the carved out gouges and surface-wide strip-mines had transformed this remote ice ball into one of those celestial riddles with a built-in answer. All you have to do is go there and see the remains of the Syndicate's mining operation.

Huge underground arcologies had been built to house the generations of workers, who were bred for this purpose. That was the main effect of the Great Shower on the Syndicate. The Syndicate's change was not climatic, but social. They became much more ruthless in their dealings with their flat-lander cousins on the other worlds. They came to see themselves as self-righteous gods. Everything they did was on a giant scale in part to accommodate their physical size, but also to feed their equally gigantic egos.

Surface dwellers came to be held in disgust. They were after all puny, fragile things, good only for grubbing off the vital materials of the countless surface strip mines to keep the Dravpheim supplied. So that is where they obtained their initial breeding stock. For the most part, the workers were kidnapped Seeraens, captured in interplanetary space by the Syndicate Ice Slavers. They were left on Nĉma-Ees when the mines were abandoned.

It was said that many survived to this very day, having outlasted their huge space-bound masters. Supposedly their world is an underground paradise, where the ample water combined with tidal heating caused by the the friction of a ball's interior against the gravitational pull of Uranus, has created and place of wonder, peace and tranquillity. But no one knows for sure, since it was out too far to bother with once ice and any other element could be created instantly from any other element. Even the Syndicate changed over the eons. Not quite as nasty, but still into control. But only out so far. Nĉma-Ees it seemed, was too far. But the once-ruined home world of Thrawn was not.

- M. Threek-Oon

Green Line

Return to the SLU Home World