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Rigel or Beta Orionis is a Quadruple star system consisting of the two Primary Star's Rigel A, and the two secondary stars nearly half a light year away Rigel B &C.   Rigel A is a Blue-White giant Type B star circled by a smaller Blue Giant, while Rigel B is a large Type K Orange Star orbited by a smaller Type M red Dwarf Star Rigel C. Revolving around each other in their respective orbits, pending on the time of year and on which of the fourteen native Rigel worlds the light spectacle of the three stars causes amazing spectral displays throughout the varied landscapes of the planets. The Nearby Star Betelgeuse is a Large Type M Red Giant star that is over 5 light-years from Rigel. Aside from the Primary Rigel Stars, Betelgeuse is the brightest Star in the Rigellian night sky.  Rigel A is classified a Type B8 la star. Relatively dim compared to other Blue-White giants, but yet still much brighter then Sol.

 

Rigel incorporates a total of fourteen Planets, more than half of them are inhabitable. This large number of class M worlds is attributed to the Hakiel Radiation belt that encompasses Rigel A, filtering out most of the deadly UV radiation. Rigel A supports twelve Planets, while Rigel B&C support several large  mining, layover/refueling, and construction hubs between two designated worlds.

 

For countless Millennia, Rigel has been used by endless interstellar races for a variety of reasons, due to its relative rich collection of resources in a resource poor section of space. It was also popular due to its unique positioning in the Galactic setting of the Orion Arm, giving any race easy access to either end of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.

Autographically, the Rigel star system resides just on the Core ward side of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, a belt of ionized hydrogen rich with large bright stars. With equal access to both sides of the Arm, the Rigel system resides almost exactly between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Core ward lies the Triangle (a triangular slice of territory, unclaimed by all 3 major powers), and beyond that, the Romulan Star Empire.

In a region locally poor in planets, Rigel has an embarrassment of riches: fourteen planets, more than half of them habitable; twelve orbiting Rigel A, two orbiting Rigel B and C. Archaeological evidence shows that hundreds of space faring races have visited Rigel for tens of thousands of years, and a few have claimed it; it is prime real estate in a commanding location. The Orions originated in the Rigel system, and for more than 5,000 years it has been under their exclusive control. Although Rigel is not the sole reason for their power, it shaped them and helped them to achieve all they have.

 


Rigel I/T’ugn

 


Notes

Rigel A Supports 12 planets, 7 of which are inhabitable. Rigel I is a class D Planetoid that barley classifies as a true planet. It resides on the inner side of the Hakiel Belt and is one of the most inhospitable places in the known galaxy. It is not dissimilar to the Terran Jovian Moon IO, being constantly stretched by Rigel A's massive Gravitational forces. Its surface is the consistency of molten mercury, supporting no life or structures, despite Rigel's long history.

Rigel I is an airless Class J rock with only automated mining equipment. When the Hakiel Radiation Zone (which shields the rest of the system from Rigel's lethal ionizing radiation) occasionally knocks out the cybernetic controls, volunteer engineers clad in heavy radiation armor and heavily shielded ships arrive on Tugn to repair the equipment.

The severe magnetic disturbances in front of the Hakiel Zone can be deadly, and the environment within it is indescribably so. As the planet's mining equipment collects molten metals from the planet's surface, Rigel I is not recommended for emergency stops.

Rigel II/Atugn

 


Notes

Rigel's II is a class K dust ball, barley terraformed enough to support life within it's limited gravity outside of enclosed colony sites. Unlike Rigel's III and IV which are class M words, collectively they are often referred to as the Rigel Colonies when they were settled by early Terran explorers more then almost 300 years ago. Their Native names are Atugn (Rigel II) Volumn (Rigel III) and Valosm (Rigel IV) and Supports a Combined Population of over 16 Billion people, and are Major Federation worlds.

A significantly cooler mining outpost then Rigel I, Rigel II is permanently inhabited and lies just outside a sparse and rocky asteroid belt between it and Rigel I. It is the haunt of asteroid miners and corporate drudges working the pits and shafts on the surface, and its surface is covered in blue-white sands giving it an aqua hue of color from orbit. Centuries of settlement have never removed the frontier atmosphere, the tumbledown, rough-and-ready towns, and the bawdy cabarets and saloons full of down-and-out spacers, burned-out miners, and tanked cargo loaders. Rumors of a major belt strike galvanizes (and panics) the hopefuls who come and go.

Prior to Federation membership, Rigel II was the only planet in the Rigel system where Star Fleet vessels could monitor in system activity without violating Orion neutrality. With the advent of Federation membership and creation of the Starfleet Rigel Shipyards, Rigel II is no longer used for this purpose.

Rigel III/Volumn/Chelar

 

      Atmosphere: Oxygen-rich atmosphere, higher than average pressure and typically humid, with a powerful greenhouse effect. Oxygen levels aren't high enough to require protective gear, but are sufficient to noticeably affect human emotions and fatigue levels.

Hydrosphere: 91.8% surface water, very diffuse. One oceanic band, with the rest being spread among Chelar's many wetlands, rivers, lakes, and small inland seas.

Climate: Warm to hot, extremely humid. Minimal variation in climate zones, minor but noticeable seasonal variation.

Length of Day: 26 standard hours

Mineral Content:

Intelligent Life: Chelarians (6.3 billion), with numerous others representing less than 5% of the total (highest non-Chelarian concentrations are Orion and Kaylar).

Tech Level: Tech level five overall, but with many pockets of more primitive levels. The star ports are closer to tech level six.

Government: Several nations, mostly heavily-bureaucratic republics with a few oligarchies.

Culture: Spiritual, agrarian culture with considerable value placed on intelligence and tenacity.

Affiliation: Independent, with ties to stronger powers in the Rigel system and in open negotiations with the United Federation of Planets.

Resources: Rich botanical resources of every kind.

Places of Note: Löablanëe, the major star port. Rotoächko, a "wild Kaylar" kingdom.

Ship Facilities: Relatively primitive service available in the minor star ports. No shipyards.


Notes

"Chelar," the native term for Rigel III, means "deep place" or "the pit." Chelar is 700 million square miles of wetlands, jungle, and smoking volcanoes. She's as ancient and storied as any rock warmed by Rigel, but her secrets are well hidden. To know Chelar is to be drawn down into the hot muck of the pit, to lose yourself in the deep place.

Rigel III is a heartbreakingly beautiful, carefully groomed paradise. While many Class M worlds have brown deserts, glaring white polar caps, and deep blue seas, Rigel III is a tidy mosaic of literally thousands of habitats, all nestling cozily together on two odd continents.

The surface of Chelar is 92% water, but a casual glance from space wouldn't make it apparent. The planet is blanketed by two enormous continents – Löoqua and Lüebra – separated by a thin strip of briny ocean that runs from pole to pole like a belt. These large continents, however, are themselves barely "land." Here on Chelar, the distinction between land and water is as hazy as the evening sky, and the green masses of foliage rest on a blend of marshy soil and open swamp, riddled with rivers, lakes, and tiny seas. To find genuine "dry land" on Chelar, you need to climb a volcano – and many of those are active.

The planet is also partially privately owned. All its land, seas, airspace, and parking orbits are in the hands of families, corporations, individuals, and governments of other planets, including the local Chelarian Regime. When they became members of the Federation, the Chelarians merely renegotiated the terms of these dealings with the various constituencies. An involved kind of concordat governs who can own what, how it may be purchased or inherited, and what may or may not be done with the property. Enforcement is by mutual consent; discreet but effective.

Aside from its natural beauty, Rigel III has no visible assets for a starfareing culture; no industry, no mining, no large-scale farming, and no habitation of more than 2 billion people offworlders. There are three land-based, semi-public spaceports used by owners and their guests exclusively aside from the modest Cherlarian spaceports. As most owners have private landing and berthing facilities, these ports are more like yacht clubs, places for formal and informal gatherings. Local space control ensures that no unauthorized vessel approaches the planet.

Not every landowner on Rigel III is Orion, Rigellian, or Chelarian, and not all are reclusive. Some have allowed scientific teams from the Federation to excavate for signs of the planets past and its previous masters. Some time in the remote past, the entire planet was re-engineered into a perfect humanoid living environment-right down to the placement of seas and atmospheric circulation patterns. At pole to pole, the seasons are gentle, and there is no harsh weather aside from the normal ecosystem patterns. No obvious signs of terraforming are present-quite a change from Botchok (Rigel VIII), but whoever designed this ecosystem sadly didn’t make it to last. Although the Orions claim credit, evidence suggests that Rigel III was shaped many tens of thousands of years ago, before the Orions ever reached space. If more of the planet was open to scrutiny, scientists might discover why Rigel IV’s moons were planned flat and Rigel III carefully cultivated.

Civilized Chelar is a modern network of plastic cities, polyrail trans-tubes, and glass steel structures gleaming in the foggy sunlight. But all this is imposed on a wilderness that still dominates much of the surface – a world heady with the hot reek of the primordial soup, where dinosaurs chew grass on the shores of sulphurous lakes, giant plants can devour an unwary man, and the evolution from beast to free-willed sentient isn't ancient biology, but a childhood memory.

 

Due to Chelar's thick, cloudy atmosphere (Rigel is often described as soggy-looking by astonished offworlders), a powerful greenhouse effect warms every part of the planet's surface, and blurs the climactic zones into very broad and indistinct bands. Chelar ranges from steam-burn tropical at the equator to a warm-temperate at the poles. The coldest spot on the coldest day on Chelar is barely "cool" to a human, and the humid, oxygen-rich air can render newcomers drunk, giddy, and exhausted all at once. Along with the sultry beauty of the greenery and smoking mountains, this creates a profoundly romantic impression on many visitors.

Owners of the Trade Halls on Rigel IV have estates here, as do a few other well-known groups and individuals. However, most of the residents and owners prefer to keep their holdings secret.

The surface of Chelar is 92% water, but a casual glance from space wouldn't make it apparent. The planet is blanketed by two enormous continents – Löoqua and Lüebra – separated by a thin strip of briny ocean that runs from pole to pole like a belt. These large continents, however, are themselves barely "land." Here on Chelar, the distinction between land and water is as hazy as the evening sky, and the green masses of foliage rest on a blend of marshy soil and open swamp, riddled with rivers, lakes, and tiny seas. To find genuine "dry land" on Chelar, you need to climb a volcano – and many of those are active.

 

Rigel III is a literal "hotbed" of life; every part of the planet is in a constant cycle of birth, growth, and fragrant decay. The rich, the rotting vegetation perpetually feeds Chelar's spongy soil, and provides the planet with an unmistakably fecund perfume.

Locations

 

Löablanëe:

 

Chelar has many hundreds of small cities and thousands of villages, many very isolated. There are only a few large metropolis of any account. Löablanëe, the greatest of these, sits in the exact center of Löoqua, just south of the equator. Its distinctive domes of amber plastic – like all permanent Chelarian structures – are built to resist the corrosion and rot that come quickly, here, to anything made of wood or even brick. Everything in Löablanëe is made of either the amber plastic, or some combination of black volcanic metal and smoky volcanic glass. In the summer, the citizens gather in the walk-tubes and plazas to witness the billions of glittering insects, sparkling in the moonlight, as they try vainly to chew their way in. In the winter, they watch the same insects die, driven by the deadly Öameq clouds erupting from the marshes, dropping into a thick layer of sparkling corpses to enrich the bubbling muck . . . the "Chelarian snowfall," humans call it.

 

Deep within the city, the contrasts are less grotesque, and more political. Löablanëe is a star port, friendly to all kinds of off world traffic. Klingons are as common as humans, here, and both groups are alien minorities to the Orion and Chelarian presence. Even the Kaylars are here in greater numbers, though they aren't nearly as visible in star ports.

 

The natives insist on peace in areas of business, and never hesitate to enforce their will accordingly. Spies meet their contacts at Löablanëe without fear of arrest; murderers and despots can rent a room for the price of a cheap meal. Petty hatreds and desperate needs are observed, exploited, and enjoyed by the Chelarian proprietors. Anything from love to vengeance is legal for sale, here, provided the fun parts of either are kept out of the plazas.

 

Rotoächko:

 

A kingdom of "wild" Kaylar centered near the southern pole of Lüebra, Rotoächko is a tiny pocket of life – but it's the largest non-Chelarian society on Rigel III. The Rotoächko tradition of kidnapping young Rigellian girls to be raised as members of their "celestial court" came to the attention of Starfleet in 2258, when a Lt. V'konn, a Vulcan security officer visiting Chelar with a research team, was mistaken for a Rigellian and taken to the depths of the Toäch harems. She was presumed dead, and it was nearly two years before contrary evidence led to a rescue effort. Far from killed, she had been "promoted" to the status of goddess of a nearby mountain.

 

Lenïa Pools:

 

There are many thousands of these on Chelar – the sacred ponds and springs consecrated for the care of infant Chelarians (though "care" is an overstatement; Chelarian young are left to fend for themselves prior to their Awakening).

 

For years, it had been assumed that nearly any small body of water was suitable for the laying of Chelarian egg-clutches, until a diplomatic snafu in 2254, when the well-meaning crew of the U.S.S. Mercury rushed a pregnant Chelarian diplomat to the wrong kind of pond. Doctor Sawyer's notes (see p.00) presumably included this detail amid the many lost sections of his documentaries.

 

The Tubes:

 

Due to the unpredictably stormy nature of Chelarian weather, ground transport via plastic "polyrail tube" is the preferred mode of everyday planetary transport. Threaded like a corkscrew with a series of shifting rails that both power and guide high-speed gyro cars, the tubes also open into a network of long-range ballistic tunnels for rapid cross-continent travel. In the rail less ballistic tubes, the gyro cars can safely achieve subterranean orbital speeds while sealed away from the encroaching muck.

 

Doctor Sawyer's Chelar:

 

The Federation's introduction to Chelar's secrets was the (fragmented) work of Dr. Lucas Sawyer, who lived in and studied the jungles of Lüebra for 12 years, observing the dinosaurian life-forms there, poking into sunken ruins, and taking part in the cultures of the Abläe Delta region.

 

Inspired by reports from Andorians who'd met Chelarian traders in the early days of the And/or/Rigel corridor, Sawyer moved to Chelar with his wife and colleague, Cynthia, in 2233. Their first year was a trial that nearly killed them, with swarms of insects, the deadly gas-clouds, and the corrosive "hot quicksand" of equatorial Chelar each threatening them in turn. After Cynthia mastered the local Chelarian dialect, matters improved considerably, and the pair set to work cataloguing life forms, legends, traditions, and records of physical anomalies. They were welcomed by the friendly natives into many Chelarian communities, and recorded hundreds of hours of documentary footage. In 2236, while compiling the first batch of research in their home in the small city of Legäo, they had a son, Richard.

 

Quests and Tragedies:

 

Emboldened by his successes, Sawyer took his family back into the deep jungle in 2238. Except for brief visits for mail and supplies, the Sawyers would never again live within the safe confines of civilization.

 

Carving his own path up into the higher plateaus of the rain forest, Sawyer pursued a legend. Tales of hidden ruins, concealed by vines and mud – and of an ancient temple where the Chelarians once received messages from their gods – drove him onward, and along the way he and Cynthia catalogued hundreds more varieties of insects, dinosauroids, and native flora.

 

Working meticulously over a period of seven years, the sawyer expedition covered over 4,000 square kilometers of the upper Abläe river valley and adjacent territories, much of it dangerously hostile jungle. The rest was nearly-impassable wetlands, traversed slowly by Padru – a native form of surface-skimming boat that can collapse into a package carry able by a single man. Federation science teams have recently recreated parts of Sawyer's travels with modern transport gear and the latest in tricorder technology, and they've covered the territory no faster than the Sawyers did with the tools of thirty years ago and a child in tow.

 

They key parts of Sawyer's discoveries remain lost, possibly forever. In early 2245, Sawyer was plucked by a band of Chelarian pilgrims from a plastic raft drifting down the Abläe. Nearly dead from exposure and mad from grief, he was clutching the body of his wife, who had drowned. Sawyer was unable to speak for weeks, until he was handed over to an Earth-colony trading vessel bound for the Alpha Quadrant. Onboard, he babbled about ancient evil surging blackly in the mud, and of a glistening paradise of Chelarian Ebony where the "beautiful ancients" lived. He died in his sleep on Stardate 931.8.

 

Young Richard, and the greater portion of the Sawyers' recorded findings, were never found. The few record tapes recovered along with the Sawyers themselves were a seemingly-random mix of cultural notes, interviews, nature footage and "home movies" of Richard demonstrating his extraordinary skills at swimming and acrobatics. When published in 2246, Sawyer's findings fascinated Federation biologists and anthropologists, encouraging new interest in the already-topical Rigel system. It created as many questions as answers, though, and gave a dangerously fragmented view of the Chelarians that only several years of contact has begun to complete.

 

Sawyer's final words before drifting to sleep, as recorded by Quartermaster David Macintyre of the I.T.V. Laughlin, were "Tomorrow, you must take me back to Richard. He is safe where they cannot steal his soul. Take me there tomorrow; promise me."

 

Recent rumors of a human "god-chief" leading a group of empathic Chelarians on raids of ongoing archaeological efforts have awakened fresh speculation on the final fate of Richard Sawyer, but the truth may never be known.

 

History:

 

The history of Rigel III is the story of the Chelarian nations – a peaceful collection of industrious bureaucracies. While the Chelarians have certainly known war on occasion, the pacifistic nature of the species, reinforced and aided by a globally-unified set of religions, has served to keep wars scarce. For a long time, the Chelarians simply went about their slow and deliberate business, and the rest of the galaxy was beyond their interest.

 

With the multiple expansions of the old Orion empires, matters changed, and the Chelarians sharpened their instincts for self-defense. An army of quietly determined Chelarian warriors proved to be terrifyingly competent in battle, employing a variety of weapons, efficient hand-to-hand (claw-to-beak) styles, and squads of tactically-trained telepaths. Orion rule was a constant on Chelar for centuries at a time, but so was frequent and effective Chelarian rebellion.

 

In the post-imperial years, the Chelarians have turned their fertile muck into a bounty as rich as any dilithium mine, providing foodstuffs, natural bases for pharmaceuticals, and recreational plant compounds for much of the densely-populated Rigel sector.

 

Since Chelar's treasures - the rich, alkaloid soil and an array of enigmatic scientific/historical curiosities – are diffuse and require dedicated work to exploit, Chelar is an untempting target for a pirate or despot. Rather than rob them, the pirates tend to pay them rent! Well aware of the advantages of their position, the Chelarians welcome outlaws with open arms and beckoning trails into the rain forests, where anyone can be hidden for a price.

 

Flora and Fauna:

 

Chelar is a rich, gray-green stew of life and decay, bulging and squirming and wriggling with vigor. Puncture an Aëva-tree's sac, and you'll unleash a thousand white worms. Ekëula lizards and ormo birds will devour the worms. The ormo birds become trapped in the sticky maw/fronds of one of Chelar's hundred species of carnivorous flowers, and so on . . .

 

From the depths of the rivers to the thick layers of clouds brushing damply against the treetops, every corner of Chelar is in motion (with no shortage of noise and smells, either).

 

Öagu (Chelarosaur):

 

 

Form: Large, swift, semi-bipedal dinosaurian predator with black teeth and a heavy tail for balance.

 

The Öagu, native to the equatorial rain forests of Lüebra, is nicknamed the "Chelarosaur" by Federation exobiologists – it's the most well-known of the many dozens of surviving dinosauroids on Chelar.

 

The Öagu's powerful, orange-and-grey body is reminiscent of the extinct Terran Allosaurus, and the visual analogy holds true: the Öagu is 4 metric tons of danger, a fierce predator that devours large animals to sate its appetite. The animal-rich Lüebran jungles offer no shortage of food, but Öagu seem to enjoy variety, anyway, since at least nine Federation citizens have been maimed or devoured by the beasts in the past five years. Six of these have been Tellarite, an alarming proportion that's generated a chill and disquiet in the entire species, forced to consider that there are deadly animals in the galaxy who fancy their flavor. One popular holoplay, a lurid horror story, has already appeared to capitalize on the morbid statistic.

 

Both Rotoächko Kaylar and some secretive "primitive" bands of jungle Chelarians use the Öuni, a smaller, more quadruped ally-inclined cousin of the Öagu, as trained ceremonial mounts. This recalls the days of the Orion empires, when trained Ouni were used as war-mounts and living weapons against the Orion overlords.

 

Megu ("Chelarian Venus"):

 

 

Sometimes, when a vine appears to twitch or slither, it's a trick of the light. Sometimes, it's a deadly serpent. Sometimes, though, worst of all, it's really a vine.

 

The Megu – Chelar's largest and hungriest carnivorous plant – is common on both continents, anywhere that's wet in the broad tropical band that straddles Rigel III like an oily green cummerbund. The largest known Megu (the "Öemu Family," a tourist trap – seldom literally – just outside of Löablanëe) weigh in at over three metric tons per feeding-cluster. A cluster is an acres-wide mass of pulpy root-bulbs, tentacular vines, and sickly-sweet flowers concealing gigantic "Venus flytrap" style maws. Such a plant requires a man-sized victim every two or three days to thrive and expand. Most, of course, feed on several smaller creatures, instead.

 

Fighting a "Chelarian Venus" can be like fighting the jungle itself, with vines appearing from all directions. The sensitive blooms that activate the feeding response are often many meters within the boundaries of the plant's feeding zone, leaving few escape routes for travelers who haven't learned the distinctive sight and scent of the flowers, or how to distinguish either from the visual and olfactory "noise" of the jungle.

 

Many Megu grow near pools of Luglamo (Chelarian "hot quicksand") magnifying the threat. If a Megu doesn't feed on animal flesh, it can survive for several years (shrinking its feeding area slowly) on rich soil and weak photosynthesis.

 

Rigel IV/Valosm

 


Notes

 

Rigel IV is the Capital of the Rigel System in the Federation, and is probably the most important Economic planet in the Federation itself. This was also before the Admission of the other Orion worlds into the Federation years after the Rigel Accords of 2184, which brought the Economically powerful Orion controlled worlds into the Federation fold. Arguabely one of the majestic spectacles of the known Galaxy, Rigel IV's Capital is Galledine, and is remarked as one of the most beautiful cities in the entire Galaxy, containing archeo- structures dating back to before the native Sentients of the system ever evolved. The Native's to Rigel IV are the Valosmi, often referred to as the Alpha Rigellians, and are believed to be the Earliest Sentients to evolve in the Rigel System, measuring 250 million inhabitants. Rather small for a sentient species. However they can be found in every branch of service in the Federation, including Starfleet. They inhabit several Sub-teranian cites on the Northern most continent of Rigel IV, preferring their solitude.

From space, Rigel IV’s moons appear not just dead, but blasted and scoured. There surfaces are almost uniform steel grey, broken occasionally by garish artificial patches of red, yellow, blue, and green. The first Terran traders gave it the popular nickname it still carries: The Parking Lot.

It is an appropriate name. There is no elevation on two of the planets moons more than five meters high, and the surface really consists of paved parking lots and landing areas for the thousands of starships and shuttles that arrive and depart every day. This is the most heavily trafficked world in the Federation before the admission of the Orion worlds; the Rigellian Trade Authority (RTA) states that 5.7 ships, bearing 15.28 million tons of cargo, arrive or depart Rigel IV every minute. Only Ferenginar is busier.

To make it easier to land more ships, someone once planed away all the hills and valleys, and eliminated any trace of life on the surface of these two moons. Everything on the moons-including the Trade Halls directorates, the underground hotels, the massive dock facilities, unbelievable junkyards, and the metal-hard surface itself-is artificial. Even the air is mechanically recirculated and processed. Nevertheless, engine fumes and industrial pollution combine with the ever-blowing dust to make the atmosphere tenuous, making respirators or filter masks necessary on the surface. Underground, the air circulation system is much more effective, and respiration devices may be removed. This is thanks to recent investments in air circulation technology made by both the RTA and the Orion Colonial Council.


Capsule History

No one really knows how long Rigel IV has been a trade center. The RTA authoritatively states that the last piece of bare ground was paved over approximately 100,000 years ago. At that time, atmospheric recirculation was already an old process.

Archaeologists have nightmares about Valosmi records. Races known only as legends or from tool fragments have left calling cards and even hotel receipts there. Some 5,439 wars have are known to have taken place near Rigel IV, counting revolts and mass-mutinies, and now and again a junkyard produces some broken bit of ship hull whose makers are interstellar dust. As they have no retail value, such items are usually smelted down for other uses. How many precious artifacts suffer that fate cannot even be guessed. To avoid that problem in the future, licensed research teams are working to preserve and ship off planet much of the unearthed material.

Incredibly, a few native species of Rigel IV’s life still exists 20, counting insects and the sentient Rigellians, with the rest being found native to other planets of the Rigel system and beyond. The planets dominant race, the Valosmi (sometimes also referred too by uneducated spacers as Rigellians) are furred, bipedal rat-like creatures with snouts, pointed ears, small but perceptive eyes, and long prehensile tails. Valosmi walk upright, but stooped on too-short legs. A buzzing inflection to most vowels and a lack of labial sounds like 'b', 'm', 'v', and 'p' characterizes their speech (both native and off world tongues). In fact, they prefer to stay out of sight. Although their total number is unknown, it is estimated that there are no more than two-hundred and fifty million Valosmi all together.

Archaeologists and anthropologists the universe over would love to answer 'the Rigellian Question'. The Rigellian language has obviously been adapted to its present use from some older tongue. The peculiar speech, gait, and appearance of the Valosmi bespeak a race scarcely removed from the animal. All the evidence suggests that the Rigellians were created from lower stock-by whom and for what purpose remains unknown. More disturbing, the Valosmi do not seem a bioengineered species as much as an artificially accelerated one. For all that is known they may well be (as the popular legend has it), the evolved house pets of whatever race paved Rigel IV.

There is more to the Rigellian Question. The three suns of Rigel are blue-white stars-very young by astronomical standards, being scarcely more than 100,000 standard years old. However, the planets of Rigel are obviously far older. Drillings and core samples on Rigel IV have returned samples some 8.8 billion years old. Either the planets were moved to their present orbits, or else the Rigel suns were synthetically created to replace a dead original star. Or, perhaps there is another, stranger explanation.

The Rigellians (and perhaps to a lesser extent, the Orions) might have the answers, but they are not talking. Although probes of the Rigel suns might reveal more, the Orions for their part, absolutely refuse to allow such nonsense and seem utterly uninterested in the whole matter. Therefore, the most baffling problem of Federation astrophysics-and perhaps the secret of what may be the largest artifact of the Preservers-goes enigmatically unanswered.

None the less, the Valosmi are considered among the other native Rigel species as somewhat ‘exalted’. They are revered icons in the Rigellian religious base, not gods but the religion dictates that they are ‘touched by gods’. The Chelarians have similar longstanding beliefs about them as well. The Orions, shunning most forms of religion, albeit publicly but certainly not culturally, view the Valosmi with as much admiration. They are the ultimate record keepers, possessing a literal ‘vault’ of knowledge and records that Starfleet is still going through to this day. The Valosmi were also the driving force behind the founding of the Rigellian Trade Guild and Rigellian Trade Authority. Rumors persist of ‘secret’ vaults with vast wells of knowledge, but these seems to prove more legend than fact.

The Valosmi were also receptive to the first human colonists to their system almost 300 years ago, descendants of the ‘Eastern Coalition’ on their native Earth, these Asian populations were found on old DY-500 type mass sleeper ships launched from Mars in 2155. They encountered a Rigellian vessel near the Orion arm some 35 years later and taken to Valosm and its inhabitants to be traded as slaves. But the Valosmi recognized a distinction to these wayward travelers, and purchased them from the Rigellian traders. Afterward, the Valosmi and the Colonial leaders in the Tanaka family reached an agreement to allow them to settle on Rigel IV in exchange for tributes and contributions to the betterment of the RTG. The agreement stands strong to this day.


Business

"Doing it Rigel" has come to mean doing something ordinary in the most complicated and unnecessarily convoluted was possible. The phrase has its inspiration from the age-old way traders have had to conduct their business at Rigel IV.

Rigel Space Control first hails an incoming vessel, then asks the historic 60 Questions on ship, cargo, crew, point of origin, and some rather bizarre particulars likely included because of some half-forgotten disaster in the dim past. Once in orbit around Rigel IV, the ship must accept the Inspection Party, in robes and full regalia, who conduct purification rites and do a very thorough and practical examination of everything from ship's papers to crew quarters before issuing (after a quaint ceremony) the Certificate of Performance. Rigel IV is now open to the crew-but woe betide the ship that angers the Inspection Party or fails to adhere to their arcane rigmarole. At best, such as ship and crew will have to undergo an even more complicated and more intrusive purification before being inspected again; at worst, a ship will be ordered out of system immediately, forbidden to trade on Rigel again.

Assuming Inspection is passed, ships or their shuttles are directed to land at the Port of P'nam-perhaps once a real place, but in effect, it means anywhere on Rigel IV that Rigel Space Control directs. More rituals attend the unloading of cargo, granting of liberty to the crew, and even the connection of water and power lines, and vessel resupply-all conducted under the stern gaze of the Sutler and his retinue. Some officials are Orions, but not all are Ruddy. Ship's officers empowered to conduct negotiations do so at one of the massive Trade Halls that dot the surface (they are also occasionally underground), each presided over by a venerable Orion family or group of families. Although there are many traditions here too, the atmosphere is more relaxed and businesslike. If a cargo had made it this far, it may be traded directly for goods of surpassing value at fire sale prices.

The Rigel IV market is nearly exclusively exotics-things not often found on the interstellar trade lanes (although commodities can certainly be found here also). For example, a small, spiny race who keep their world's location secret arrive now and again laden with hundreds of tons of high-quality dilithium crystals. Rigel IV is the place to take cargoes for which no known market may exist. Valuable or common, useless or prized, it makes no difference-there may be someone on Rigel IV who is seeking just such an item or commodity and willing to pay a premium for it. The first Terran ship to the planet brought metals and electronics and made a killing. The second ships from Earth found a second fascinating thing about Rigel IV; the market may suddenly and inexplicably close on a previous sure thing and open up on another. The cargo that earns 50 times its cost one trip may be worthless the next, and something else not even considered valuable may be demanded at ridiculously high prices. Recently, a Vulcan ship could not unload their atomically pure neutronium (usually a good seller), but made a profit when they sold every trace of soft drinks aboard. Rigel IV is a place to get things. Though, not as much of a ‘dumping point’ as Sirk, Rigel IV culminates on this wealth of prestige and have built an immense and beautiful society alongside Orions, Rigellians, Terrans, and other seldom offworlders who settled there in the past before Federation membership.

Even with computerized marketing, arranging trades would be impossible without the experience and knowledge of the Trade Halls and their staffs. For a reasonable fee, a Hall will post a cargo on the planet-wide Net and search-for another reasonable fee-for a cargo to take back. Finding the value in an exotic with an untranslatable name takes a great deal of skill and information. The Trade Halls charge accordingly for how hard they have to look. As they charge only for successful searches, they tend not to give up until the cost of the search threatens to overwhelm the value of the commodity. A number of the more-experienced merchants will use their own contacts on Rigel IV and pay relatively little for that hard-to-find load.

Fluctuations of value and cycles of glut and lack in any trade item are only two of the hazards connected with Rigel IV. Another is cost; the berthing fees and other attendant expenses are two to four times as much as at any Federation world. Because of the many races, goods, worries, and problems, the average length of a ship's stay on Rigel is 12.6 standard hours . In that time, a merchant may be bombarded with more sights, sounds, requests, demands, entreaties, and deals than a ground-pounding merchant might find in a lifetime. The difference between fortune and ruin may be less than five minutes. Timing is critical, and the next stall in an off port bazaar may contain just the right thing that makes the trip. Trade and see-and hope. Old Rigel hands know that intuition is just as reliable as marketing reports.

Rigel business does not stop with the Trade Halls. Like any other world in the Rigel sphere of influence, The lush tropic port cities, mountain side towns, continental forest cities that sprawl into multi-cultural mega polis, the underground cities of Rigel IV teem with all the other sorts of Orion commerce-from the noisy open-stall bazaars to lavish corporate offices. Although rent is not cheap, the cash flow is fantastic. In addition, there are the bars, spacer’s dives, and less-reputable joints where the cargoes that the Trade Halls wouldn't handle get exchanged. Though Rigel IV teems with private police forces, there are not enough to keep some unfortunate trader from winding up knifed in a back alley, although since Federation membership the practices have become rare, headlined events. Most of the real crime takes place out of sight. High prices deep the lowlifes out, but effective criminal elements cope quite handily doing high-risk freight, cash conversions of questionable goods, and some lucrative loan sharking.

For the Federation, Rigel IV trade is a double-edged sword. Perhaps a third of the planet's regular traders are from Federation worlds, and the commerce is vital to the entire Federation. However, too many things are traded that Star Fleet wishes were not, like alien animals and plants, high technology, narcotics, and weaponry. Policing Rigel IV is now the task of the Orion Colonial Council The Valosmi world organization and the Rigellians, with occasional assistance from Star Fleet Intelligence and Klingon Imperial Intelligence.

Rigel V/V'Geln

 

Notes

Called V'Geln by the Orions, Rigel V is the classic Class M world with a diverse ecosystem similar to that of Earth, but differing in temperatures and climates. The equatorial and temperate zones are massive continents covered by vast forests, filled with myriad arrays of life between two small oceans and a plethora of advanced cities and spaceports, as well as small shipyards in orbit. Though, aside from the Desert poles, the planet is governed and owned by the Rigellians, a race of Vulcanoid sentient beings and one of several native species to Rigel. They’re an intently spiritual people, as their religion dominates much of their government and economic practices it could almost be considered a theocracy. Though, the richly complex Rigellian faiths are secular and unorthodox by most approximated standards. The Rigellians were not always so pacifistic. During the Orion dawn, the Rigellians formed a key component in the Greater Orion Imperium, and were considered exceptional strategists and warriors. Some of the cultures more violent tendencies surface in their modern forms of martial sciences, but possibly through the influence of their Orion kin, or to the realization of the decadence suffered by the Orions, the Rigellians focused their efforts in the coming centuries as adept traders, business men, and philosophers, and were one of the cornerstones of the RTG and Rigellian Trade authority along with the Valosmi.

The poles of the planet are similar in terrain to a class G  desert world with dunes, buttes, sand, heat, thin air, and precious little water. Like Rigel VI’s dominant landscape, it has no intrinsic value, though people may visit it with advanced water-reclamation gear. Water and plant life barley exist at the poles, which suggests that the areas was once more habitable than it is now. Nevertheless, the deserts are inhabited by reclusive desert nomads, who live in laboriously constructed habitats in the occasional rock outcroppings and migrate to avoid the seasonal dust storms that sweep the planes twice a year.

How the nomads manage to survive on so little has fascinated scientists for centuries. For all this study, they remain uncontaminated and aloof, contemptuous of outsiders. They live as sparsely as the desert; they have no compunctions about abandoning their weak or unfit, or about disposing of the hapless, helpless traveler who makes the mistake of asking their aid. Those who cannot exist in the desert on their own are worse than a burden; they are unclean and unfit to survive. Their mindsets likely stems from the old warrior ethics of their culture, and they’re the descendants of those who didn’t wish to be enlightened by the planets sweeping renewal of faiths centuries ago.

In appearance, the nomads are very similar to their ‘high’ caste brethren Rigellians. Striking; tall, slender Vulcanoids, usually wearing dust-colored robes with hoods and masks. Their ears and eyebrows are elongated per the Vulcanoid soma type, though neither Vulcan nor Romulan is similar to their language. As they are a cold-bloodedly vicious, primitive, and unforgiving people, only experienced contact teams should attempt to approach them. Some scientists have theorized that the nomads are the descendants of 'weed-outs' from the Preservers, or that they could be a lost Vulcan or Romulan colony's survivors; a living relic of prehistoric times.

Rigel VI/Sirk

 


Notes

Rigel VI is an interesting nothing planet-wise, but more than makes up with its vast importance as an economic hub of the Rigel system and the Orion worlds for a millennia, and possibly longer. A Class K world with no resources, it does have a brilliant ring system as it circles the larger Rigel VII. From a distance, its cratered orange/brown surface and thin yellowish rings are very beautiful in its basic harshness. However, the planet is useless for agriculture, containing little air, no standing bodies of water, and no extractable minerals for mining. At one time, anti-piracy forces were based on its surface, sponsored by the Orion government and a token force to say the least for also being notoriously corrupt.

Although being a planet with no real resources, and possessing an original landscape similar to Sol's Mars, Sirk is also a planet in Trojan orbit with the larger Rigel VII. It's proximity to Orion (Rigel VIII) and the other Orion worlds have made it the ideal spot from which to conduct commerce. It is believed that Sirk was terraformed by the old conquers of Rigel just enough to allow carbon based life to survive. They then began construction of the now historically recognized info structure of the present day Rigellian Trading Guilds. Of the 6 Major Cities on the Planet, and the countless Spaceports littered through its rocky deserts, Sirk is now the most important export and import world in the Rigel system, coordinating most of the Trade Rigel does with the rest of the galaxy. It is said that anything can be found on Sirk if one looks hard enough and digs deep enough. Sirk is also home of the infamous SCUD racing events that were once a controversial issue among many UFP members. The Practice has since been regulated into an official sport, but several old enthusiast insist that the 'challenge' has been lost in the more controlled rings of today. Still, their are known underground rings of SCUD's still active to this day, on world’s farther still from Sirk itself. In its Natural state, Rigel VI is often blistered with sand storms and tornado's they make up its chaotic environment. Pa`dogada city is the Capital of Sirk, with about 250 million inhabitants.

 

Rigel VII/Aulia

 

 

Rigel VII, known as Aulia by the Orions, is a large class M world orbited by a large Luna like Moon and Sirk in its purple sky. Once upon a time it was used a prison or a penal settlement by the original ruler's of Rigel but has long fallen into disuse.  The remnants of the former colony are still very present and has sparked archeological intrigue throughout the Federation. Unfortunately the planet is far from barren and has made such studies extremely dangerous if not impossible at best. One inhabitant in particular is a race of Neandertholoid creatures called the Kaylar. Technologically quite primitive, the Kaylar rate a D-plus on the scale of culture, and it has become general practice to avoid Rigel VII altogether. Early attempts at contact have resulted in violence and armed conflict as the Kaylar prefer Solitude. One of the most famous encounters was the ill-fated away team of Captain Christopher Pike, commander of the original Starship Enterprise while they were on an archeological study of the planet. This generally realized 'ban' on the planet has opened up invites for daring Pirates and other criminal's generally seeking to avoid authorities. Of course they do so at their own risk of death by its brutal inhabitants.

 

Rigel VIII/Botchok

 


Notes

 

Rigel VIII, referred to by the Orion Natives as Botchok is a class M world supporting a local native Population of about 9.5 billion, most of whom are Orion. It is orbited by 2 small moons and a unique multi-tude ring that surrounds the planet which include much smaller asteroid-sized moons. Also possessing a Lavender, indigo sky, the native Orions are perhaps referred to as the dominant race of the Rigel system. Once slaves from their beginning, the Orions overthrew their masters of the last Dynasty to control Rigel before the Orion Dawn and the Federation, the Nine Worlds Alliance in rough Translation. The Orions went onto colonize the other 2 Minor planets of the Rigel Sector and the outermost planets of Rigel. All of whom were dilithium rich, the Orions had a huge resource in forming their economic Imperium and further expanded into the Orion arm. Currently, through countless losses of Colonies, or conquered worlds of whatever reason, their are over 32 Orion Colonies spread out through the Federation, Klingon Empire and the remaining Non-aligned colonies, making the Orions one of the most populated species in the Federation and the known galaxy. Orions are divided into 3 Categories, Ruddy, Green and the few remaining grey Orions.

 

Rigel IX/T'ap

 


Notes

 

Rigel's IX, X, & XI, are various Class K worlds with several colonized inhabitants occupying pressure domes. Settled by Early Orions and utilized by the Former occupants of the system, these worlds were primary refueling and stopover bases for various starbases of these long forgotten races. Various structures can still be found on the surface of the planet, dating back at least 32,000 years.

T’ap, being a relatively small and unremarkable grey, rock faced planet, has a vast resource of Dilithium, like all of the Rigel outer planets.

Rigel X/Onot

 

Rigel XI/Pliu

 


Notes

Rigel XII/Egessemine

 


Notes

 

Rigel XII is a class G desert planet. Its raw deposits of Natural Dilithium have made it invaluable to many forgotten races, the Orions and now the Federation. It is rivaled only by Coridan in it's abundance of Dilithium. Many of the old, Orion Corporation exclusively owned Mining facilities have since been converted into Federation facilities, maintaining a vast underground mining network throughout the planets structure. The Orion Corporations still own and utilize a vast amount of the dilithium for there means even though it now falls under Federation jurisdiction.

 

Rigel BC-I/Avali

 

 

Rigel BC I & II are variable  worlds and served as the jumping off point for the old Orion Navy and Later the Original Pirate Cartels. Naturally inhospitable worlds, the Orions soon terraformed Avali into a class K planet and the various class M moons of Ugoan to suit their needs, setting up large bases and Shipyards to build their ships. Later, At the beginnings of the Reverse, the worlds fell under exclusive control of one cartel or another, selling loyalties as Companies would stocks. Today they are major research and development worlds and house an Experimental Shipyard which has produced notable ships such as the Endeavor class, the Freedom class, the Merced class and the modern day Norway class. Subsequently a keen observer of both Starship engineering and Orion culture can not help but notice the Orion design likeness in the Starfleet vessels.

 

 

Rigel BC-II/Ugoan

 

Ugoan is the only Gas Giant within either Rigel star system, and is a massive one to say the least. Over twice the size of Sol's Jupiter, Ugoan was nicknamed by early Terran explorers as 'The Big Red Machine' partly due to the fact of it's intense spin ratio and the numerous occupied and industrial-exploited moons that are trapped within it's massive gravity well. Almost a system onto itself, Ugoan has 12 inhabited moons, two of which are class M and are populated with space stations and a myriad of other relative facilities. One moon is extremely unique in that it's entire surface area is covered in water. Much of Fah'thom's massive ocean is populated by marine life-forms still uncharted by scientists from across the galaxy that have come to study this unusual marvel.

As the primary launch point for the old Orion Empires, (and possibly even far more ancient civilizations as per evidence between the plethora of moons), Ugoan is the major interstellar 'junkyard' of the galaxy. Either littered with space debris leftover from endeavors long past and those currently present, the Orion colonial council along with Starfleet have begun an effort to clean up much of the space garbage within the micro-system. Starfleet also operates a moderate-sized shipyard facility orbiting and attached to one of the mighty planets many asteroid moons, which have been credited with the development of several new Starship designs and production of much needed vessels during the Dominion War.

Often during the Rigel year on anyone of it's many planets, the dual suns radiate off the dense red clouds that make up the outer layers of the gas giant allowing Ugoan to shine nearly as bright as Rigel C and Betelgeuse in the night sky of the local Rigel worlds. Once theorized to be a potential 5th Rigel star within the system, the mighty crimson giant is an awe inspiring site to even the most seasoned spacer to dawn their eyes upon.