Secure Planet Dossier: Site Anvil

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DAMOCLES
INITIATIVE
Sic itur ad astra
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Secure Planet Dossier
Official Designation: Extrasolar Starship Rendezvous Point
Site Identification Code: DAMOCLES-Site-Anvil
Codeword Clearance: L4/ARTHUR'S ANVIL
Additional Codewords: L4/DAMOCLES
Last Revision: 39.13.28 Anvil1

General Information


Founded: 0.0.0 Anvil; Arondight D+26812 (approx. 2063 CE)

Location: TRAPPIST-1e (Aachen)

Site Function: Starship Staging Point; Species Preservation Colony

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Global map of TRAPPIST-1e (Aachen). Ice sheets not shown.


Site Overview


Site Anvil is the first permanent human outpost beyond the Solar System. Located in the TRAPPIST-1 star system, Site Anvil was established under the auspices of the Damocles Initiative to serve as a staging point for starships, and to ensure the continued survival of the human species following the possible destruction of Earth.

Following the launch of the Joyeuse in 2017 CE, Department of Analytics Director Simon Pietrykau successfully lobbied for the continuation of the Damocles Initiative with an expanded mandate; long-term statistical forecasting by both the Department of Analytics and the GOC's Silicon Nornir indicated that the occurrence of another occult war was a near certainty, which was further supported by anecdotal evidence obtained from alternate timelines and multiverses. In light of this, while efforts to avert the occult war continued, measures were taken to ensure that such a conflict would not spell the extinction of humanity.

In 2022 CE, the Arondight was constructed, after Foundation researchers succeeded in reverse-engineering the method of creating stable electronium developed by Prometheus Labs. With this, it became possible to construct additional black hole starships of the same general design as the Joyeuse. The Arondight was the first of these, and was given the mission of establishing Site Anvil.

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TRAPPIST-1 as seen from orbit around TRAPPIST-1e. TRAPPIST-1d is visible transiting the star.

The TRAPPIST-1 star system had already been selected prior to the launch of the Joyeuse, as one of a number of locations where the Joyeuse could go to receive messages from Earth following the completion of its mission to Alula Borealis.3 Given the large number of potentially habitable planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system, it was an obvious candidate for the first extrasolar colony.

While the primary purpose of Site Anvil is species continuity, it also provides a secure staging point for Damocles Initiative starships. While all Damocles starships are designed to be self-sufficient and crewed with self-sustaining populations, Site Anvil provides a home port to which they can return for supplies and repairs, and at which they can receive messages from Earth without risk to planetary security.


Planetary Data


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The day-side hemisphere of Aachen.

Surface Gravity: 0.9g
Mass: 0.75 MEarth
Radius: 0.9 REarth
Orbital Period: 146 hours
Rotational Period: Tidally locked

The primary installation of Site Anvil is located on TRAPPIST-1e, the fourth world of the system, which has been named Aachen by site personnel. Aachen is a lifeless, Earth-like terrestrial world with a significant volume of water, and is tidally locked to its parent red dwarf, meaning that one side of the planet always faces the star, while the other side always faces away. As a result, there are extreme variations in temperature and climate between the day- and night-sides, which are only slightly mediated by the atmosphere.

Aachen's day-side is dominated by a large ocean of liquid water, sparsely dotted with archipelagos of volcanic islands. Temperatures range from 20 to 50 degrees Celsius, with extremely high humidity; at certain points near the equator, the wet-bulb temperature4 exceeds 35 degrees Celsius. Thick clouds of water vapor cover most of the hemisphere almost perpetually, making photosynthesis difficult.5

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The night-side hemisphere of Aachen.

Temperatures on the night-side of the planet range from -20 to 10 degrees Celsius. The high salinity of the oceans prevents them from freezing over completely, resulting in a semi-liquid slurry of water and ice. The continent of Orlando is located mostly on the night-side, dominating the northern hemisphere, and accounts for the majority of the planet's land mass. Precipitation is uncommon on the night-side, and there is very little glaciation outside of "snow bands" near the terminator lines.

The most habitable zone of Aachen lies along the terminator, the transition zone between day and night sides, where temperatures range from 0 to 30 degrees Celsius. Atmospheric circulation cells generate strong prevailing winds, blowing from day-to-night at high altitudes and from night-to-day at lower altitudes. Precipitation is common and nearly constant on the terminator, as warm, moisture-laden air from the day-side cools and condenses on the night-side.

Aachen has an atmosphere primarily composed of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor, along with small amounts of oxygen and trace amounts of sulfur dioxide and other gases. Although Aachen's surface gravity is only 90% of Earth's, its atmosphere is denser, resulting in a slightly higher mean atmospheric pressure at sea level of 113 kilopascals. Although oxygen is present in small amounts6, it is not enough to support aerobic respiration; respirators are required for oxygen supply, but the planet's surface is otherwise a shirt-sleeve environment.

Efforts are ongoing to increase the planet's atmospheric oxygen content through the introduction of photosynthesizing organisms. Seeding of Aachen's oceans with cyanobacteria is expected to produce breathable concentrations of atmospheric oxygen within the next century. The ultimate long-term goal of Site Anvil's terraforming efforts is the introduction of a self-sufficient marine ecosystem capable of supporting free-ranging large animal life, with the establishment of a simple lichen-based terrestrial ecosystem as a secondary objective.


Facilities


All permanent installations and assets in the TRAPPIST-1 system are under the jurisdiction of Site Anvil. This includes numerous satellites orbiting TRAPPIST-1 and its planets, and research outposts on TRAPPIST-1d and TRAPPIST-1f. However, the majority of facilities are located on or in orbit around Aachen.

Pendragon Base — Main Surface Habitation

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The location of Pendragon Base on Aachen's western hemisphere. Click to enlarge.

Located by the southern shore of Lake Morrígan, on the western terminator near the equator, Pendragon Base is the Site's main housing complex and — following the sinking of Ambrose Center — administrative hub. The majority of the base is several kilometers inland, above the elevation of most tidal hazards, with only the desalination facilities located on the lakeshore proper. The base is powered primarily by geothermal energy, taking advantage of Aachen's high vulcanism and active tectonics.7

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Several of Pendragon Base's hydroponics modules.

Pendragon Base is equipped with extensive living quarters, hydroponic agricultural environments, and industrial manufacturing facilities. While the initial structures of the Base and Ambrose Center were prefabricated modules, most recent additions have been constructed locally using materials sourced from within the TRAPPIST-1 system or via anomalies. Early efforts were focused on establishing basic housing and life-support, but attention has since shifted to expanding local on-planet industrial capabilities, in order to reduce the reliance on anomalous construction and production techniques.

Two runways and an electromagnetic launch rail facilitate the operation of Vanth-class spaceplanes for surface-to-orbit and point-to-point aerial transportation. A powerful laser array supports ablative laser launches to orbit, while also providing additional utility in a potential planetary defense application.

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Surface level habitation modules, containing recreation areas and workspaces.

The base supports a full-time complement of 7428 people, including 2322 children, and has the capacity to house and service as many as 25,000 people without further expansion. While population growth targets are currently being held near to level, generational doubling will be targeted once a stable biosphere has been established, with an end goal of 250,000 persons living on Aachen within 200 years of Site Anvil's founding. The majority of these are expected to live at Pendragon Base, although surveying is underway for possible locations for auxiliary habitation installations.

Merlin Outpost  Secure Containment

In the absence of the Veil, deployment and exploitation of paratech and anomalous phenomena is restricted only by concerns for Site safety and security. Multiple anomalies and parathreats originally held by the Foundation and the GOC were brought to TRAPPIST-1 aboard the Arondight, and have been used to support nearly all Site operations, ranging from construction to defense. Merlin Outpost was established to provide containment for these anomalies as necessary, and to store stable anomalies when not in use. Located on the night-side of Aachen, the Outpost is approximately 50 kilometers due west of Pendragon Base, and may be reached by plane or crawler transport. Work on a dedicated rail link to Pendragon Base is ongoing.

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Merlin Outpost, seen from the south.

Merlin Outpost also houses the small number of autochthonous anomalies discovered in the TRAPPIST-1 system. These anomalies have all been minor, and primarily involve spatial distortions or unusual material properties — to date, there has been no evidence of any pre-existent memetic, cognitive, or metaphysical anomalies.

Vortigern Station  Orbital Transfer Hub

The main hub for intra-system spaceflight activities is Vortigern Station in low-orbit above Aachen. The station can dock and refuel all known and anticipated light spacecraft of the Damocles Initiative. It launches and receives spaceplanes and lightcraft from the surface of Aachen, shuttles from starships and Galfrid Station, and interplanetary expeditions from the research outposts in other parts of the system.8 Personnel and supplies moving to or from a starship pass through quarantine aboard the station, which has its own self-sufficient habitation and life-support loop. Some meteorological observations of Aachen and microgravity studies are performed on Vortigern, but otherwise it has very little in the way of facilities, and exists only to facilitate transfers between different points in the TRAPPIST-1 system.

Galfrid Station — Starship Spacedock

Galfrid Station is a deep space "drydock" orbiting TRAPPIST-1 directly, beyond the orbit of TRAPPIST-1h. It is intended to receive black hole starships, which are usually under constant acceleration and normally incapable of terminating thrust without the loss of their motive singularity.9 To allow starships to actually dock, an electronium hemisphere, similar to the one used in starship singularity drives, is attached by remote space tugs to the bottom of the drive section; this creates a sphere around the black hole, redirecting all of its emissions inwards, and cancelling the thrust from the drive system. Tug vessels can then be used to bring the starship into port. For vessels that cannot or do not need to dock, work can also be done remotely via shuttlecraft, space tugs, and repair drones.

Although it is capable of doing so, it is not envisioned that Galfrid Station will be used to conduct major repairs of starships, as any damage exceeding a starships' own self-repair capabilities is likely to render it unable to return to Site Anvil safely and intact. Instead, Galfrid Station provides a stable staging platform to simplify the maintenance and refitting of starships between deployments, and streamlines the transfer of crew and supplies.

Galfrid Station also hosts the Deep Tight Laser Transmitter, which is the primary communications link with Earth. During the long periods where a starship is not in port, the station is operated by a skeleton crew, whose primary duty is to maintain the transmitter. Useful two-way communication with Earth is not practicable, due to the 40 year one-way time lag imposed by lightspeed. Instead, periodic status updates are sent via burst transmission, to be received by the GOC monitoring facility on Pluto. The first such transmission, sent in 3 Anvil, has not yet reached Earth.

As Site Anvil is expected to operate entirely autonomously, transmissions from Earth are expected to be infrequent, save for the yearly "heartbeat" ping. These transmissions contain no message data, and serve only to confirm the continued existence of Terrestrial civilization. A heartbeat has been received each year since 2 Anvil.


Damocles Starships


At present, two black hole starships are known to operate under the Damocles Initiative, with one more under construction at Site Anvil. Construction of a third starship in the Solar System was anticipated when the Arondight launched, but the current status of this ship remains an open question.

Joyeuse

The original starship of the Damocles Initiative, currently en route to Alula Borealis, and expected to remain in transit for approximately 300 more years. As the only extrasolar asset in existence at the time, the Joyeuse was given unlimited discretion in conducting its operations, save for a strict prohibition on returning to Earth. Because of this, there is no guarantee that the Joyeuse will ever make contact with Site Anvil or another Damocles starship, even assuming it successfully completes its original mission.

However, when it was launched, the Joyeuse was given a list of star systems where it could go to receive information from Earth following the completion of its primary mission. Site Anvil is located in one of these systems, and the remainder are currently being seeded with message drones that will direct the Joyeuse to TRAPPIST-1. Assuming that it chooses to do so, the Joyeuse will arrive sometime within the next 700 to 1000 years.

Arondight

The second starship of the Damocles Initiative, built with the sole purpose of establishing Site Anvil. Following its arrival at TRAPPIST-1, the Arondight remained in-system for the next 30 years, assisting in the establishment of colonial infrastructure. It served as the acting headquarters of Site Anvil during the early stages of colonization, and again briefly after the loss of Ambrose Center.

In its original configuration, the Arondight utilized an unusual twin-singularity drive design, with two separate black holes, each within its own drive hemisphere and with its own remass system. After the establishment of local electronium manufacturing in 27 Anvil, one of these drives was detached and capped with another hemisphere to form the core of Galfrid Station; the remaining half of the Arondight was then retrofitted to function with just a single singularity.

Once the retrofit was completed, the Arondight was redeployed in 32 Anvil with a new mission. It is currently surveying the other star systems on the Joyeuse's fallback list, to assess secondary colonization targets and deploy message drones that will hopefully be found by the Joyeuse. It is expected to return to Site Anvil in 400 to 500 years.

Unnamed Starship

Shortly after the departure of the Arondight, work began on the first locally constructed starship, based on the design of the retrofitted Arondight. Although Site Anvil widely employs paratech, and has access to a number of useful anomalies, construction has progressed slowly; this is largely due to personnel shortages, as most Site staff are tied up in other projects. Critically, the number of thaumaturges and other special asset personnel available for esoteric construction is a major limiting factor.10 As a result, the ship is not expected to be completed until 50 Anvil at the earliest, and possibly as late as 70 Anvil.


Staffing Information and Site Culture


Like the rest of the Damocles Initiative, Site Anvil operates on a bipartite structure, with duties and personnel divided between the Department of Interstellar Containment and the Taskforce for Interstellar Threats. While these divisions reflect the original political and philosophical differences between the Global Occult Coalition and the Foundation, prolonged cooperation and cohabitation in an isolated environment has largely eroded such distinctions. The bipartite structure is still maintained for administrative and social purposes, but personnel may freely move between the two divisions.

Rather than a multi-member control council, command of Site Anvil is vested in a single Director, selected by the senior administrative staff, alternating between members of the Department of Interstellar Containment and the Taskforce for Interstellar Threats. A Vice-Director of opposite affiliation serves as second-in-command.

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Two Site personnel on a geological survey near Lake Morrígan.

To promote social cohesion and minimize infighting, senior administrative personnel receive few additional benefits or privileges compared to lower-ranking personnel. Services and procedures have been designed to be as egalitarian as possible in order to prevent class-based resentment and division among the population.

In the long term, it is anticipated that the languages used at Site Anvil will gradually diverge from those used on Earth and on the culturally-isolated Damocles starships. The Board of Applied Linguistics is devoted to limiting unnecessary lexical shifts and cataloging changes in vocabulary and syntax when they occur, thus creating a codex that may be used in the future to translate from modern Anvil dialects to older languages, and vice versa.

Many inhabitants of Site Anvil observe Heartbeat Day, an annual holiday that commemorates the yearly reception of a heartbeat signal from Earth. To celebrate the continued survival of Terrestrial civilization, observers hold large family gatherings and consume media from Earth, typically documentaries describing Earth's plants, animals, or human cultures.


Wanderers' Library


An unanticipated benefit of Site Anvil has been the opportunity to empirically verify certain theories about the structure of the multiverse. Most notably, a Way connecting to the Wanderers' Library was discovered inside the data archives of Pendragon Base in 5 Anvil, confirming that the Library can form extraterrestrial Ways.

The Wanderers' Library, as observed from Earth, is a multiversal nexus within the local multiverse that appears to be infinite and conceptually constant. It has long been hypothesized that the Library can be accessed across the universe, potentially even by extraterrestrial civilizations. Historical, Earthbound attempts to test this hypothesis have been largely fruitless, as long-distance trips inside the Library tend to encounter intractable endemic hazards and hostile geometries long before they can travel any distance approaching astronomical scales.

Site Anvil, however, is extremely distant from Earth both in terms of physical space and conceptual ties to human civilization. Theoretically, this allows access to portions of the Library that are not shaped by the ideoforms of Earth-based civilizations.

Expeditions into the Wanderers' Library from Aachen have found that the accessible sections are devoid of atmosphere, gravity, and light. The space is dominated by massive corridors lined on all sides with iron objects resembling empty bookshelves. With no gravity or discernible horizon, corridors run in all directions, occasionally branching and intersecting other corridors. Collectively, these aisles form a chaotic, three-dimensional matrix with corridors that frequently run for kilometers before encountering a connecting node.

Intersections of six or more corridors occasionally contain at their center a tungsten cube more than ten meters in length. Tests have found these structures to be hollow and filled entirely with hydrofluoric acid.

While aetheric signature matching has verified that the space is the Wanderers' Library, extensive exploration has not found any sign of life or Librarians. However, one expedition discovered, placed upon a shelf, a fist-sized figurine carved from ivory. The figurine depicts a long-tailed primate similar to a lemur, clutching a square, checkered object resembling a chessboard. The origin of this object has not yet been ascertained.

The internal distance within the Library between the Aachen Way and the nearest Terrestrial Way is unknown, and may be infinite.

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