Friday, May 14, 2021

The Anomalies of Yem'da

Planet Yem'da

The Lonely Planet of Yem'da

Alone in the darkness of space at the edge of the Birthwell's farthest nebula is the dimly-lit planet called Yem'da.  Alarmingly close to a black hole, the world spins in the light of a tiny red dwarf among thousands of smaller planetoids.  Largely unsettled since anyone can remember, there are many good reasons that Yem'da has remained a desolate and unpopulated place.

Yem'da possesses a thick atmosphere, and is actually inhabitable - but a continuous and thick sulfurous compound continually emits from many areas on the surface.  In addition, there is little plant life on the barren surface.  The very minimal oxygen level is maintained by continuous chemical reactions in the high atmosphere, which can damage ships on entry and exit - to say nothing of the dangers in orbit.  The wildlife of Yem'da is equally distempered as the surface itself, mainly consisting of rock-like reptilians and insectoid animals - some examples of which are large and quite dangerous.

The surface of Yem'da is regularly pelted with impacts from the various bits of space debris in the small system.  Much of this debris is collected in the rings, but atmospheric flares of tiny objects entering the atmosphere can be seen in the sky almost constantly.  Despite all these dangers, Yem'da has provided a safe haven to those seeking respite from the Empire.  Yet this remote and desolate world possesses its own secrets...

Taxicor, the Solemn Moon

The rings of Yem'da are filled with micrometeors, and the system itself has moon-size planetoids swirling all around.  No less than sixteen small planetoids and moon-sized asteroids have found themselves seized by Yem'da's gravity, but one moon is large enough to be called a small planet.  This is Taxicor, called the Solemn Moon by the neo-privateers who have long used it as a safe haven and nav-point.

Located just beyond the rings of Yem'da, some of the smaller planetoids in the system actually orbit Taxicor.  The moon maintains a thin, wet atmosphere - though oxygen-breathers are advised to have supplemental survival gear.  All along the surface, liquid water falls in a light drizzle constantly.  Shallow seas appear and shift over the face of the moon, changing with the season.

For half it's rotational cycle, Taxicor is on the far side of Yem'da.  For this time, the seas of Taxicor freeze and the shadow of its parent world bathes the moon in darkness.  It is lit only by the light of the many satellites and the reflecting rings of Yem'da.  When it comes back into the light of the red dwarf, it is warmed enough that the water melts and the small creatures that call Taxicor home rise to the surface.  

Haven of the Neo-Privateers

Orbital points around Yem'da have long been used as rendezvous zones for the neo-privateer guilds.  Shipping contraband is a risky business once you enter a controlled trade zone, no matter whether the authority in that zone calls itself the Galactic Empire or the Galactic Republic.  Yem'da was one of the first (or last) spots around the Birthwell that staging of cargo could be performed with multiple associated ships.  This was most useful for dispersing imports or congregating exports, but also a neutral zone where disputes could be settled and any evidence thrown into the black hole.

As such, Yem'da had relatively more traffic than other entry points to the Birthwell.  However, now it is being threatened by Imperial cordons, and most neo-privateers believe this is because the Rebel Alliance has led the nexu to the portal, so to speak.  There are dozens of hidden caches on both Yem'da and Taxicor...caches that the neo-privateers will not countenance losing.

Rebel Interests

Yem'da is the southern entry point to the Birthwell, and the one furthest from Imperial space.  Along with the northern point at Narrow Gap, this entry point around the black holes at Yem'da represent the only practical way a fleet could navigate the space around the Birthwell. Controlling these nav-points are vital to the efforts being conducted on Teyyaun, and as such the continued operation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic in this part of the galaxy.

Battlegroup Tarquinas must maintain the security of the Yem'da nav-point.  To that end, the Alliance has designated multiple 'safe' points in the darkness around the system for the fleet to use.  The interactions between these fleets and the spacefaring neo-privateers has been mixed.  For every space-casino that floats by, a hostile flotilla of small privateer craft strafes the safe points.  These are dangerous, but considered a bit of an annoyance by those who understand the real enemy is coming to bear...

Imperial Interdictions

Pirate activity has been documented in the sector for some time, and only now are Imperial resources being diverted to address this threat.  Imperial forces are eager to prove themselves, and some command staff have the suspicion that it is rebel activity, not merely pirates.  As of now, there is little intelligence on the matter.


There have recently been probe reports of ship signatures in this normally uninhabited zone.  Reluctant to commit large starships due to the celestial phenomena surrounding the Birthwell, the Imperials are slowly mapping out hyperdrive routes.  There have even been a few interesting navigational plans retrieved from captured pirate ships.  As details like this are collected, it's only a matter of time before the Imperial Security Bureau will begin to see the larger picture.

For now, Yem'da is largely avoided as much as possible.  There is an exclusion zone around the black hole, as well.  Imperial commanders are not yet willing to enter into any fleet action in the zone until enough astronomical data can be collected to justify such movements.  Until then, Yem'da is held in a loose cordon - much to the chagrin of both neo-privateers and the Rebel Alliance.

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