Image from Grant Thomas

Harsh world known for the presence of the clarketech artifact MellaUx 137

This planet has a particulary hellish environment. Although a barren world by many standards, it made its name for harsh living conditions that the original colonists had to put up with, when they first settled on this world. Attempts to terraform it have been unsuccessful. It is also the only world in the Terragen Sphere where the artificial, exotic matter mineral MellaUx 137 can be found. Current theories suggest that this material is a relic of a long vanished ultra-high-tech civilisation: efforts to recreate this material have so far been unsuccessful. MellaUx 137a is both dangerous and unstable; it can be used as a power source or as a very destructive weapon.

The properties of MellaUx 137 were not fully discovered until late in the 44th century, during the last years of the collapse of the Federation. Efforts to reduce the surface temperature of the world to make it more hospitable were unsuccessful, because of an unidentified energy source. It was months before that the cause was discovered, namely the decay of MellaUx 137a; following this discovery the secret of this exotic material was withheld by the colonists for many centuries.

During the collapse of the Federation and the loss of trade routes, Beelzebub, with its dark secrets, became isolated from the galaxy. It was then that the research went underway. When the wormholes reopened and the planet rediscovered, it wasn't long before traders and intelligences began to slip through to the rest of the galaxy about this new mineral that could open up wondrous lines of research. When news reached populated areas, it was like a gold rush, as people scrambled to reach this planet, not expecting to be refused.

Beelzebub graphic
Image from Bernd Helfert

During the Version Wars and the Consolidation Wars, Beelzebub was a prime target for everybody, as many wanted the mineral for themselves, because of the potential tactical advantage the mineral could yield for those who possessed it.

Today is no better off, with several factions fighting over the possession and rights of the mineral. The descendants of the original colonists guard the actual secret, which is hidden deep in their culture and religion. Of course, Beelzebub inhabitants are very uneasy against strangers, and have jealously guarded its secret for the last 400 years.

It has been reported that all outside forces that have tried, and failed, to find out its secret have not lived long on the surface of the planet. Whether it's biological or machine, its seems that nothing except the inhabitants can survive. Whatever is in the atmosphere or in the ground has somehow been integrated into the genetic code of the inhabitants, and all attempts to duplicate it have so far been unsuccessful.

The local traders guild, Bigoloz, has refused to answer any questions or give any information, and attempts to uncover the history of the planet have been stonewalled by Bigoloz.

Beelzebub Surface

Beelzebub surface
Image from Grant Thomas

The planet is hot, dry and the surface is partially molten; a high gravity and thick atmosphere make surface conditions comparable to many hot superterrestrial planets, but Beelzebub is much too far from the local star for this heating to be explained by insolation or tidal heating alone. The exotic mineral found in the crust of this world heats the surface of the planet by spontaneous decay; only on the red hot, solid portions of the surface can mining operations be carried out at all.

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Development Notes
Text by Grant Thomas

Initially published on 09 June 2002.