Nova system. N-02 “Pompeii”
Named after the ancient Greek city lost to a volcanic cataclysm, Pompeii fully lives up to its historic namesake. A third of the planet is constantly shaken with tectonic tremors and eruptions. Now and then, surface splits to release streams of lava and enormous clouds of ash into the atmosphere.
The planet could have been considered not worthy of any colonization or even exploration effort, however atmosphere akin to that of Earth, ample sources of potable water and planet-exclusive deposits of mineral called Neonite by Human engineers allowed creation of four major Falcon mining colonies and multiple smaller settlements.
The acid green mineral extracted from multiple open veins that formed after minor volcanic activity, Neonite proved to be vital for Human cause. Due to its unique chemical structure, the mineral found its use in medicine as part of equipment and for various diagnostic procedures. For example when ground into fine powder it could be used in the same manner Earth doctors of the first half of 21st century used Barium and other contrast liquids.
Nenonite could also be used for water, food and air purification, with a teaspoon of the mineral capable of killing harmful bacteria and viruses in a whole gallon of water. In addition to this, the wonder mineral could absorb and then nullify large amount of harmful radiation, and was used many time in removal of radioactive spills and as means for protection of personnel in open space operations.
Pompeii’s native fauna is reminiscent of prehistoric Earth, with majestic winged lizards effortlessly gliding in hot currents rising from the planet’s many natural vents and hunting omnipresent rodents the size of a house cat and raptor-like predators stalking dim-witted hot blood mammals feeding off the cacti growing from dusty surface.
In the regions of the planet where the heat is not as intense and volcanoes are temporarily dormant, landscapes are crossed with deep rivers with warm clean water, with river beds sometimes containing fossilized remains of giant animals and fish, giving the idea that long ago the planet was covered in water.
With proper seismic monitoring and prevention measures which sometimes included relocation of whole settlements, the planet became a comparatively safe place for Humans, and was even considered by Human colonists to be a good place for long-term mining shifts.
The Nova Dancing Stone rifts are rather stable ones, opening regularly in a fixed pattern, with zero to no communication interference while they remain open. This makes Nova the most convenient system from supply management and communications point of view.
Pompeii has not seen a major conflict after colonization by post-civil war Human colonists. Several unsolved disappearances were linked to Brakkan activity whose hunting parties likely used Pompeii’s native predators as initiation prey. Obviously, the Humans that turned out to be the strongest predator on the planet in turn became the prey of choice for young Brakkan hunters.
Recon forces of the Shattered visited the planet several times to harvest Neonite which for them was a perfect long-lasting energy source which could be used in Mirrs with simplest generator retrofitting.
Also, miners from one of the distant Falcon outposts recently starter showing weird behavior after salvaging what was presumed to be a pre-civil war escape pod. Inside, it was completely empty save for a cloud of dust. Soon after, some of the settlers began experiencing nausea, partial amnesia and even night walking. All medical tests returned negative, and the strange symptoms were officially attributed to an unprecedented surge of subterranean seismic activity in the region. The doctors that run the tests believed that the true reason was hangover from the incredibly strong moonshine distilled by settlers from local cacti.