Casual Play Astrogation

Sigma Rubsam Longus 210j (Xanthi)

Almost the instant your ship slides out of between-space and back into the void, your eyes find themselves on a wild and fiery sun transitioning from yellow to red. Sensors follow your gaze, track to the planets in the system, the nine molten spheres of metal throwing out brilliantly shimmering tails of plasmatic magnesium and lead that rip across space in hot, eccentric arcs, too close to their star to solidify, too far out to dissipate completely. They are beautiful, flicker with static storms that send vibrant lightning arcs through the molten haze trailing in their wake. The tails of the planets scintillate with a thousand shades of chrome rainbow, blinding at times for the intensity of the colors boiling off of them, but stunning, magic to behold.

As beautiful as the plasmatic planets closer into the star are, it is one of the worlds further out which draws your attention, keeps it there, lingering. Like a great dragon just waking up, you feel the eyes of a world at the warm end of the star's habitable zone open as you touch upon the planet's atmosphere with your own careful, tentative scans. Probing waves and gentle queries reach out, peppering your awareness from a thousand sources on that shining green and khaki gem of a world, and every one of them is curious, every one of them seeking to learn.

Contact comes hesitant. A quick pass with a mote-probe turns up a complex array of satellites and cities, a world of wetlands and rain interspersed with desert and open sky. Data offered up in a tight stream from the planet trickles into your conscious mind, and as you sift through it, you realize that the people who settled here came from some other far off system. Reptilian in appearance, they make welcoming gestures with data, with images and streams of art and culture, try to coax an answer from you. Satisfied that you won't be interfering with a species still developing itself, you finally reach out to one of the queries, answer it in kind, welcoming and offering an exchange of ideas, of art and thought. The response from the reptilians is excited, eager, and for the space of a few standard days, you linger in a loose orbit of the world, exchanging the riches of the intergalactic network for complex studies of a thousand distinct groups, sects and belief systems among the colonists. They've been on Sigma Rubsam Longus 210j for almost five thousand years now, have settled it extensively, and developed a rich history and culture distinctly different from those of the world they originally came from. Every bit of their offered data is interesting, and you feel privileged to be the one to make first contact with this species, to pass their wisdom back into the network for other explorers to study, to commune with and to be inspired by. When the time comes to leave, you part from the world almost reluctantly, but there are other worlds, other systems, other cultures to visit and learn from. There is so much still to see, so much still to know, and the memories of the data shared by the reptilians of Sigma Rubsam Longus 210j brings a smile to your lips as you pass back into between-space, make your way to the next point of interest in the wide and endless depths of the cosmos.


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