Saturday, January 5, 2013

005: 312 Kirby

ENTRY 005: 312 Kirby

Some evidence dug up by data archaeologists suggests that astronomers marked out 312 Kirby before the Fall, evidenced by a slight distortion on the edge of Neptune in an ancient video series from a primitive probe, but if so its original designation and supporting documentation have been lost. What is known is that 312 Kirby is a gravitic anomaly that follows an eccentric and highly inclined orbit that takes it below the plane of the ecliptic and away from the majority of planets and planetoids for most of its orbit, spending only 3 of an estimated 1100 days within the vicinity of Neptune. 

Efforts at tracking or analyzing 312 Kirby have been few and laced with difficulty; the object is very small, with estimates suggesting it may be under a meter in its longest dimension, and it has no discernible electromagnetic reflection. Transhumans studying the object rely on an scanning the area that it is estimated to appear in with polarization-sensitive differential radiometers usually reserved for deep space observation, or plotting the minute discrepancies its gravitational pull induces on Neptune and its moons. The current leading theory is that 312 Kirby is a chunk of cold degenerate matter from another system that was weakly captured by the sun’s gravity.

The wild fringe, of course, suspects that 312 Kirby may be something else entirely. Nat Akasdottir, an atmosphere skimmer that operates out of Neptune’s minor moons has noted samples of naturally-occurring deuterium in what she believes is Kirby’s usual path.  These samples have a higher proportion of hydrogen atoms per cubic meter than statistically would be normal for that area of space, and has produced an e-text claiming Kirby is an alien artifact that converts ordinary hydrogen to deuterium. 312 Kirby: A Love Story earned Akasdottir a bit of rep amoung the conspiracy crowds, but she’s lost all credibility in academic circles until she can produce something to substantiate or refute her claims.


  • Dark Gold: The time is approaching for 312 Kirby to approach Neptune again, and this time Nat Akasdottir want to get a close look at it—and possibly even capture it, thanks to a new ship designed by Starware. Now all she need is some fellow investors and a crew to man it—if the player characters have the entrepreneurial spirit, that is. Of course, Firewall will want a look at Kirby too, just in case it does turn out to be an Exsurgent threat—and what better place for a spy than in Akasdottir’s own team?
  • Three Day Space Madness: The Neptunian community of Mahogany have just made an interesting correlation between the timing of 312 Kirby’s passage and rates of mental disturbance among neo-avian biomorphs, causing a minor political uproar. Half the transhumans on the station want the anomalous object destroyed, while the rest dicker about science and environmental concerns. The debate is heating up, supported by pundits from both camps. Infomorphs in the station are curious as to whether it is the approach of 312 Kirby causing this mess, or whether someone else is using that as a cover to sow chaos. They need an outside perspective, someone without a stake in the political outcome—if the player characters are willing to help, their rep will get a major boost.

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