Amerish

amerishmap

An agreeable, temperate continent that masks its tumultuous past with a blanket of emerald grass. Jagged mountain peaks  reach skyward, a reminder of the collision between rival tectonic plates that forged the continent millions of years ago. Since then, opportunistic flora and fauna have swept in and, in a textbook display of convergent evolution, created an idyllic pasture that would fit right in on Earth. Auraxium spikes joined the trees in their slow crawl toward the sky when a newly formed core spire impaled the continent’s granitic underbelly.

Ecology

Auraxian flora and fauna have adapted surprisingly well to human terraforming efforts, and Amerish is no exception.

petals

The milky white petals on these flowers provide a landing pad for insects. Pollination is perhaps the most astounding example of convergent evolution to be found on Auraxis. Some scientists would argue it to be more than simple coincidence that, in an entire universe filled with so much potential for radically diverse biology, we found a world that shared so much in common with our home. The rest of the scientists mock them, perhaps for the inability to see the evidence in front of them, or perhaps out of fear of them being right.

bulbplantsamerish

Segmented leaves radiate from the bloated seed pods of this less familiar Amerishi plant, a species completely unlike any on Earth. It is believed to be related to the luminescent bulb plant found on Hossin, though the two have been apart for long enough that they have evolved in quite different directions. Occasionally, the bulb plant’s purple membrane will pull back to spit out a fibrous seed. These airy parachutes are light enough to travel kilometers on the slightest breeze.

butterfly

The lifecycle of this species is much more straightforward than the butterflies of Earth, who first exist as larvae, then chrysalids, then adults. They live out their childhoods on the underbellies of their mothers, receiving nutrients matrotrophically and separating once their wings grow large enough to enable independent flight. Newly separated young can have a wingspan as small as 1.25 centimeters. While nectar provides them with most of their energy, they are also equipped with small mandibles to chew through leaves. 

Here we can see a large group fluttering about in a grove. The cries of other more elusive wildlife can be heard in the background.

Human Settlement

From the start Amerish has been an attractive venue for many colonists.  Abundant minerals and ores promised to fill the wallets of executives from the Lithosphere Corporation, or LithCorp for short, a powerful NC mining company. Interesting new flora and fauna fascinated biologists and ecologists, while geologists were far more interested in the auraxium spire that extends all the way down to the planetary core.

The Auraxian Cryobank

cryobank

Rows of softly humming isolation pods line this stark facility. Inside them rest cells from a wide variety of life forms including every known Auraxian species, various Earthen life, and even chemosynthetic bacteria from Jupiter’s moon of Europa. In the event that this war ends like the Great War almost did, this place contains all the necessary components for beginning anew. Generally, the factions have respected this purpose. Let’s pray that a stray bullet doesn’t obliterate that hope one of the many times this base changes hands.

Deepcore Geolab

geolabcrystal

Auraxium crystals towering over the courtyard tint this facility a regal shade of violet. Its buildings, constructed in 2649, still remember the bitter taste of hydrogen sulfide in the early Auraxian atmosphere. Scientists continued to make use of the facility to map the innards of Auraxis–a world given its name by this facility’s chief scientist Isaac Waites in 2651–until 2740, the beginning of the cold war between the NC and TR. After that it was turned into a mine to supply auraxium crystal to nearby R&D labs.

The Scarfield Reliquary

scarfieldauraxium

On August 29, 2727 an incandescent scar lit up Amerish’s sky; a meteor from the Auraxium Belt pulled in by Doramir’s gravity well. Normally the gas giant would tank any asteroid looking to slam into something, but Auraxis’ orbit happened to put it on a perfect collision course. The meteoroid hit the atmosphere, splitting into three chunks just before remodeling an unsuspecting mountainside.

Radiometric dating of both  Indar’s J908 and Scarfield meteorites indicates that they were formed 5.3 billion years ago, matching up with older samples from Doramir’s satellites. Oxygen isotope ratios are virtually identical between meteoric and terrestrial samples. This evidence supported a theory that Auraxis, its moon, and Tauaxis as well as much of the Auraxium Belt were once a single super planet before a cataclysmic event tore it apart. Ejecta that failed to coalesce into a larger body around Doramir formed the Auraxium Belt. Deep drilling operations in search of further evidence had commenced on Auraxis as well as lunar and Tauaxian colonies but were abandoned in the chaos following the New Conglomerate’s withdrawal from the Terran Republic in 2740.

The Auger

auger

The Auger is a highly advanced deep drilling station completed in 2739 with the purpose of obtaining crystal samples from Auraxis’ core. Its advantageous location in the center of an auraxium spire allows it to bypass Auraxis’ mantle entirely. It was one of the first machines to make use of auraxium, shoring up the sides of its borehole by countering the immense pressure of the planetary interior with nanite facilitated anti gravity fields that also served to deliver samples to the surface.

Unfortunately, The Auger only made it a few kilometers into the crust before the New

Conglomerate declared independence in 2740. Engineers and scientists fed up with TR rule left for the greener pastures provided by the NC while loyalists remaining on the project were pulled and transferred to military R&D in anticipation of war. The Auger still sits there abandoned, its drill pipe retracted, its borehole all but filled in.

Subterranean Nanite Analysis

subteraneanplace

Don’t be fooled by this facility’s guise of a simple ecological research station. Deep beneath the surface hides a Republican R&D lab equipped to study nanites, microscopic machines found in and around Vanu artifacts. It was here that researchers reverse-engineered Vanu nanites and invented many nanite based devices that are now commonplace including gravity lifts, thrust pads, shields, and cloaking devices. Most importantly, it was the birthplace of rebirthing.

Tumas Skylance Battery

skylance

These massive anti-dropship plasma guns stand watch over Amerish’s largest central valley. The Terran Republic commissioned the Skylance during the cold war in preparation for full-scale combat with the NC. Though extraordinarily powerful, they were severely limited by their massive power requirement. When the VS assaulted Subterranean Nanite Analysis, the designers of the Skylance joined them and continued their work, eventually producing the sleek, handheld plasma weaponry prevalent in the VS military today.

LithCorp Central

lithcorp

It’s on the balcony of this lofty facility that executives of the Lithosphere Corporation once stood, swirling glasses of expensive alcohol and admiring the lush groves of the continent that they planned to mine for every scrap of ore. A number of ventilation fans protruding from the mountainside betray the presence of offices and well-furnished living quarters built in the tunnels of an old mine. Wisely, the facility was evacuated shortly before the NC’s declaration of independence in 2740 and LithCorp’s offices were relocated to the rapidly growing underground cities. TR soldiers sent to pry open the sealed blast doors to the underground complex were greeted by barren hallways and empty desks.