Conglomerate Science Fiction Game
|Class||Iron Core/Silicate Water World|
|Mean Orbital Distance||0.222 AU|
|Orbital Period||51.2 sdays|
|Mean Diameter||12,634 km|
|Surface Gravity||0.979 gE|
|Surface Atmospheric Pressure||1.269 bars|
|Average Surface Temp||13.2 ºC|
Menentabe is an archaeoformed world near the terminus of the Jonas Reach. Initially reached by fleet elements pursing renegades based at Dark Harbor in –13, Menentabe was ideally positioned as a resupply base for explorers entering the Jericho and Naqual sectors. The planet’s vast oceans harbor numerous fish and other aquatic lifeforms suitable for human consumption. The Kadiso Group began industrial-scale pelagic farming on Menentabe in 30. They soon encountered the giant protosentient cephalopods known as The Kraken. Subsequent hostilities, locally known as The Kraken War, ended with a truce brokered by the Aquans in 113.
Reduced-scale pelagic farming continues to the present day, but the focus of in-system development afterwards shifted to orbital facilities. *Menentabe*’s strategic position made it a gateway for commerce entering The Periphery through the Urban nexus at Junction. Selection of Menentabe to host the 61st Urban Defense Fleet in 199 encouraged further development, much of which took place on the arid satellite of Tukatari. Today, the planet of Menentabe has become something of a backwater, home to only about one percent of the system’s population. It is now primarily a tourist destination famous for its cruises, beach resorts, and biosculpt clinics. Workers on Hub and Highport, as well as military personnel from Tukatari and the distant orbital (not an orbital type station) yards circling the gas giant Neferkari, expect to receive at least once-yearly vacations “wetside.”
Archaeoforming Hypothesis and Planetary Ecology
As was mentioned, Menentabe is thought t be an Archaeoformed world, meaning that its development was engineered by The Precursors. It is thought that Menentabe was an ice world with a high albedo that prevented it from warming to the point that it would become habitable. The Precursors appear to have introduced microorganisms, and later plant and animal life to form Menentabe into a habitable world.
The green areas visible from space were briefly thought to be continents, but they are not. They are so-called “Supermat Colonies”, a loosely-woven fractal mesh consisting of algaes and several types of seaweed only a few tens of centimeters thick. They float on the ocean’s surface and produce oxygen by photosynthesis. The algaes that inhabit the supermat “floating continents” of have DNA that allows them to switch their metabolisms from anaerobic to aerobic functionality … a clearly unnatural and engineered capability. This allowed The Precursors to seed the planet with a single organism that would melt the ice by darkening the surface as it grows, then building the oxygen levels up to the point that oxygen-breathing life could flourish.
Simulations have shown that a world such as Menentabe could be formed from iceball to its current water-world status in a relatively short time. The theory is that temperatures were raised by the intorduction of dark algaes that reduced the albedo of the surface, allowing the planet to warm. The melting of the ice caused shifts in the stresses of the tectonic plates, causing a period of intense vulcanism across the planet. This released both greenhouse CO2 and dark ash, increasing the temperatures even further. Once other oceanic plant life was introduced after the initial melt, simulations predict that the process might have been accelerated to completion in only a thousand years or so.
The Kraken are also clearly a Precursor-introduced species since they couldn’t have evolved here independently in the mere 30,000 years since the disappearance of The Precursors. They do not appear to have had any role in the Archaeoforming of the planet … rather, the prevailing hypothesis is that the planet was Archaeoformed for the purpose of introducing them here.
Satellite System and Major Orbital Stations
The satellite system of Menentabe consists of one major moon named Tukatari and two smaller satellites, Nebit and Nailah. The two smaller satellites orbit each other as a closely-coupled pair, and are collectively known as Daervisha, after the ancient Khemish ecstatic dancers. A large space station named Hub also orbits Menentabe, and another large station, Highport orbits at the L4 point between Menentabe and Tukatari.