Perihelion (world)
Image from Steve Bowers
'Trees' and 'browsers' on the airless surface of Perihelion
Star HIP 12552
Type G0
Distance from Sol 294 ly
Constellation Perseus

Mercury type world located in a hinteregions Solar Dominion protectorate. The planet orbits its sun at a distance some two-thirds that of Mercury in the Sol system. Known for hosting a wild mechosystem of Garden World complexity. It is believed that Perihelion started out as a neumann based mining venture employing an experimental software/hardware design. The planet was abandoned during the Version War and its location was lost in the chaos. During the millennia before contact was re-established with the system the non-sentient mining devices and swarms mutated in the high radiation environment of the planet and diversified to fill virtually every possible ecological niche.

Perihelion's mechosystem is based on 'trees' and 'plants' that absorb sunlight and use it to power molecular mining of the soil in order to grow. These plants in turn are fed upon by 'grazers' and 'browsers' that use them as a source of raw materials and energy to power their own growth and replication. These are in turn a source of energy/materials for 'predators'. Due to the high mutation rate and rapid replication time of the local lifeforms a startling number of survival strategies and variants of species can be seen in only a short visit to the world.

To date no sophont-level mechforms have developed on Perihelion but local authorities are watching the planet closely and it is generally felt that it is only a matter of time.

The world has been declared a protected reserve by the local government and a mid-level khaki swarm protects it from unauthorized visitors. Virch tours and 'cybersafaris' to Perihelion's surface remain a popular form of entertainment for sapients all over the Nexus, each of them hoping to be the one to discover the first intelligent Perihelionese.
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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner
Initially published on 16 November 2003.