This Galactic Guide originally appeared in Jump Point 5.2
A STAR IS BORN
A whirling mass of potential, the recently discovered Kallis system has excited scientists and researchers the Empire over by offering them a rare opportunity: to witness the formation of a stellar system first hand.
Kallis was first visited in 2921 through its jump point connection with Oso, and initial ICC scans of the system revealed a G-class main sequence star anchoring nine protoplanets in various stages of development. Officially, the system’s discovery is credited to OB Station Chimera, the main research facility in Oso, but many still persist that it should be rightly attributed to former PFC Gabby Rifon.
Part of the Army security force detailed under the Fair Chance Act to protect Oso II from poachers, smugglers, and other trespassers, Rifon served as a long-range scan technician tasked with sweeping the system for errant ships. According to later interviews, Gabby was often “bored as hell” looking for ships hours at a time. Instead she would shrug off her duties and adjust the scan station to search for spatial anomalies. It was during one such unauthorized session that Gabby excitedly noted faint indications of a jump point. Informing her commanding officer of the discovery brought to light the fact that Gabby had been “wasting” hours during her shift. A week before the first ship would traverse the Oso-Kallis jump point, Gabby was dishonorably discharged for improper use of Army resources.
A SECOND CHANCE
Almost immediately, it was clear that Kallis (meaning “beloved” in a Martian dialect) was a system to be cherished. Once again, Humanity was getting a chance to witness the birth of a solar system firsthand, and scientists around the Empire pledged to not let the opportunity be squandered as it had been in Gurzil.
When Gurzil, a system still in its accretion phase, was discovered in 2539, scientific access was cut short due to security concerns. Upon the arrival of Xi’an ships in 2542, Gurzil was drafted into the UPE’s recently created Perry Line and set aside to protect Humanity’s borders. For the next several centuries, the system was off-limits to everyone but military forces.
Upon the dissolution of the Perry Line, the scientific community hoped that Gurzil would fall under the protection of the Fair Chance Act. However, various industries lobbied that centuries of military intervention had already damaged the system past its original scientific value and that it would better serve the credit-strapped Empire harvested of its valuable resources. In the end, the Senate voted against applying the Fair Chance Act to Gurzil and decided to allow both research and restricted mining in the system.
The scientific community was strongly motivated to make Kallis a different story.
A FRONT ROW SEAT
Within a month of the first scan report from Kallis being released, a bill was introduced on the Senate floor to place the system under the protection of the Fair Chance Act and, this time around, thanks to the pristine status of the system as well as a much more favorable Transitionalist-controlled chamber, the vote passed. The system at once became off-limits to commercial development and general traffic. From that point on, Kallis would be a sanctuary for research and discovery.
Under the guidance of a joint Army and Imperial Science and Technology Foundation governing body, the past two decades have already greatly expanded our knowledge and understanding of the universe around us. Undoubtedly, this is just the start of a trend that will continue for decades to come as research continues in Kallis around the clock and new generations of scientists eagerly await their turn to study nature’s mysteries first hand.
A loose fusion of recently merged planetary embryos, this small developing protoplanet has an aggressively eccentric orbit that has many researchers speculating whether it will break apart before it can establish itself.
As the gravity wakes from the nearby forming worlds tug at this dense orbiting collection of planetesimal, frequent collisions can cause chaotic motion and hazardous travel conditions anywhere nearby.
These two rocky terrestrial worlds are currently sharing an orbit, but it is estimated that one of the worlds will eventually pull in enough mass from the surrounding asteroid belts to “win the race” and subsume its sibling.
A swirling mass of asteroids and dust grains, this belt is composed of materials with high melting points. Although there is enough mass here to compose three to five planets, orbital resonance with the surrounding worlds has prevented this from happening yet.
These three terrestrial worlds hold special interest for researchers as they have the greatest chance for the potential to one day support life. Kallis IV in particular has a striking resemblance to what many believe Earth must have looked like in its infancy. With active volcanoes possibly forming an atmosphere, researchers are looking into creating monitoring methods capable of lasting the lifetimes it will take to see it form. While Kallis V may not currently have any potential for developing an atmosphere, the swirl of debris orbiting its rocky surface indicates that it may soon have a series of moons to call its own. The least developed of the three, Kallis VI has a surface entirely composed of molten rock, giving it a planetary glow.
Located near the Kallis-Oso jump point, OB Station Gryphon was sealed late in 2922 and has served as the main operational hub for the entire system ever since. In order to preserve the living experiment that is Kallis and its protoplanets, construction throughout the rest of the system has been extremely limited. While there are small observation posts and scan satellites positioned throughout the system, if you are looking to refuel or restock, Gryphon is your only choice. All deliveries to the system are also routed through the station to ensure that the strict Fair Chance Act protocols are followed.
Despites the system’s focus on serious scholastic pursuits, it has begun to gain notoriety for the unique community that has developed over the years. Between the Army personnel stationed here to guard the system and the young grad students conducting research, the median age of the system’s small population is well under thirty. It is no wonder that the habitation decks can get a bit raucous as researchers (looking to blow off steam after days spent alone in remote obervational outposts) and soldiers (with extra energy after long shifts spent patrolling for trespassers) meet for drinks and heated debates. Toss into the mix a growing number of philosophers and spiritualists who have come seeking deeper truths about the universe’s origins, and you can see why OB Station Gryphon is a destination that’s not quite like anywhere else in the Empire.
Located out beyond Kallis’ frost line, the system’s two giants formed from volatile icy compounds and captured hydrogen and helium. Kallis VII has drawn its fair share of exoclimatologists interested in studying its burgeoning storm systems, while Kallis VIII has proven exciting for those seeking to construct a more complete model regarding dynamics and chemistry in ice giant atmospheres.
A small planetesimal in distant orbit around the sun, Kallis IX has the distinction of being the only celestial body in the system whose surface has been marred by orbital mining lasers, thanks to a joint UEE project with mining conglomerate Shubin Interstellar’s research department seeking to better understand this dwarf planet’s role in the system’s formation.
All ships arriving in-system are expected to first stop at OB Station Gryphon to officially register. Traveling anywhere without having acquired the proper clearance is a sure way to draw the ire of the Army pilots on patrol here.
HEARD IN THE WIND
"I learned a ton during my two years in Kallis. Unfortunately, I forgot most of it thanks to my two years visiting Gryphon."
– Dr. Wahid Allimon, Professor of Geology, University of Rhetor, 2945
"Even though my mom didn’t get the credit she deserved for discovering the system, there is some small consolation in that they named that station after her. Sure, if you ask they’ll say it’s named for one of those lion-bird things, but come on, it’s pretty clear that the scientists in charge were sticking it to those Army guys when they chose the name."
Alice Thomas, daughter of Gabby Rifon, 2943