Afterglow

System Registry - Hard Light

Hard Light

Primary Star: Perdurabo, aka “The Beast”
Major Worlds: None
Main Starport: Brightside Station
Government: None

System Overview
Hard Light is dominated by its primary, a late-stage red giant known locally as “The Beast”. Most of the system interior has already been consumed by the star’s expansion, leaving it with a thick penumbra of rocky debris. There are no habitable worlds in the system. The only registered settlement is the Brightside mining station, with approximately one hundred inhabitants and basic facilities for ship refueling and repair.

Points of Interest
Brightside Station is the only registered settlement within Hard Light. The station is built along the familiar Bannerjee Twelve structural lines and is located in a stable orbital position on the dark side of the planetoid Aegis. Facilities are provided for refueling and minor repairs. Pressure bay capacity is available for most frigate-class ships or smaller, while larger ships can be served through a cargo umbilical. Brightside welcomes all traders, but recommends early notification of arrival by comm laser. The station is heavily armed and prepared to repel pirates and boarders.

Brightside Station’s major industry is the export of novium, a rare particle emitted by late-stage red giants that has numerous uses in the maintenance of pretech manufactory equipment. The novium production is currently under long-term contract, but traders are welcome to make port for refueling, resupply, and relaxation. Work at good pay is available for experienced spacers and technicians.

Visitors may also be interested in exploring the recently discovered “sky tombs” embedded in several large asteroids along the outer rim of the system. These alien excavations appear to have served as burial sites for important members of their species, and some contain valuable works of art or ancient xenotech. Buyers are present aboard the Brightside for quick and profitable disposal of interesting artifacts.

Local Laws
No formal law enforcement exists outside of Brightside Station. Traders should look to their own security.

The wearing of armor or weaponry is forbidden aboard Brightside Station. Station rules are enforced by uniformed security personnel. Visitors are advised to obey their instructions and all posted regulations. We welcome traders in need of a good time and relaxation, but we expect you to behave while you are here. Troublemakers will be ejected from the station. Very bad troublemakers will be ejected from the airlock.

Director Yash Dutta is chief of Brightside Station. Visitors interested in finding work are advised to apply to him at the station offices on middeck.

Travel Warnings!
Radio communication in the system is severely degraded by stellar emissions and is infeasible at ranges of more than twelve meters. Comm lasers or spooled comm hardline are recommended for communication.

Standard ship radiation shielding systems degrade rapidly in Hard Light. Seventy-two hours is the maximum recommended exposure period, after which most crews will begin to experience significant radiation poisoning. Full crew mortality can be anticipated within 24 hours. Sheltering aboard Brightside Station or in the shadow of a major asteroid is recommended to allow the shielding buffer time to regenerate.

Crew are strongly advised not to perform extravehicular activities in open space. Without the shielding provided by a major asteroid, significant radiation poisoning requires only sixty seconds for onset, with death following within twenty minutes. In emergency situations, use of engine room-rated exosuits can delay significant damage for several hours.

Visitors are advised to avoid exploration of the asteroid fields in unarmed starships. Some of the sky tombs have been repurposed as hermit settlements and pirate dens. Enlist a local guide to learn the locations of sky tombs known to be secure for exploration.

System registry information prepared by Livingston Roy, Chief of Security, Brightside Station.

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Hard Light
A Start

Perdurabo. The Beast. There are many names for the wicked, red giant star that sits at the heart of the Hard Light system. Its perpetual, searing light kills anyone that hasn’t shielded themselves from its lethal radiation, and its ever-expanding border slowly eats away at the orbital objects that remain.

Few make their homes in this desolate place, but there is at least one bastion of life among the system’s charred remnants. Hiding in the shadow of a half-melted planetoid, Brightside Station was built to gather the valuable particle, novium, that only late-stage red giants like Perdurabo emit. It’s necessary for the upkeep and maintenance of many pre-Scream manufacturing devices, and until recently it was the only thing making life in this hell worth it.

The unlucky souls who do find themselves on the station are resilient by necessity. Not many are willing to make the trek to such a distant system, much less subject themselves to The Beast’s brutal sleet of radiation. But the Director of Brightside Station, Yash Dutta, has drastically increased the novium quotas, and the long hours have started to take their toll on even these hardy spacers. Unrest is reaching a critical level, and many are discussing a non-negotiable change in leadership.

The discovery of ancient alien tombs among the outer belt has also brought in an influx of explorers. Some residents hope their ticket out of the system can be bought with the bones of the dead aliens, while others have already taken their families to the belt to make a home.

Whatever the reason for finding yourself in Hard Light, there are plenty of opportunities for ambitious individuals.

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