Journey's End is most notable for its namesake; a blue supergiant star. The extreme luminosity produced by it creates a photoevaporation effect that effectively pushes all debris and dust outward for thousands of AUs. The only two exceptions are a red dwarf star and a small planet. Both were nearby stellar bodies dragged into orbit by the supergiant's powerful gravitational pull.
The red dwarf, Poor Bastard, is currently in close orbit around the Journey's End. The supergiants power stellar winds are blowing away the atmosphere of the dwarf star at a high rate, creating a comet-like trail of dust and gas.
Nearly two thousand AU from the supergiant is a formerly rogue planet called Beanfield. While its nitrogen atmosphere is deadly to both humanoid and machine alike (due to toxicity and corrosion, respectively), it is a virtual heaven for plant life.
Though this system was abandoned during The Freespacer Genocide, the system has sense come under Nepleslian control and has been lightly repopulated by Freespacer Refugees returning from exile.
Journey's End is a Class O star; a very bright blue supergiant. These have a radius and temperate roughly a dozen times greater than standard terrestrial suns, masses a hundred times greater, and a luminosity up to millions of times greater. This extreme luminosity makes it of great value to Freespacer solar sail vessels, who utilize a combination of indirect gravitational slingshoting and solar energy to launch their ships out of the system at a significant fraction of the speed of light.
Journey's End is a unique anomaly among the Free State, one that everyone seems to have an opinion on. Some consider it a godsend; allowing ships to travel with a tiny fraction of the time usually needed and therefore making impossible journeys possible. Also, that it supports the planet Beanfield, which is an important source of nutrients for spacefarers. Others consider it a curse, since returning to Journey's End is significantly harder than leaving it. Hence the name Journey's End; once launched from the system, most Freespacers will not live long enough to return to the system ever again.
Poor Bastard is a M3V Red Dwarf star only about .3 solar masses in size. This star inadvertently blundered into the territory of its larger counterpart, and is now locked in a deadly orbit with it. The output from blue supergiant is currently in the process of tearing away the upper layers of Poor Bastard. This creases a large comet-like trail and stream of hydrogen gases that, due to the orbit of the smaller star, creates a spiral-like effect of dust around the system.
Surrounding Journey's End is a trail of gas and dust that is hundreds of AUs long, and continues to spiral outwards with each orbit of Poor Bastard. This gas is most valued for its hydrogen content; in an inhospitable region mined of much of its accessible water supplies, Poor Bastard acts a final defense against the possibility of drought.
Carrier-sized industrial ships (“Waterworkers”) maintain a synchronous orbit quite a distance away from the main star, following keeping pace the tail of gases produced by the evaporation of the dwarf star. These Waterworkers harvest the gas that utilize gas crackers to break down molecular hydrogen and ozone, which can then be used to create water.
Waterworkers currently in operations:
|“The Beanfield Creeper is an absolutely tenacious plant. While seemingly harmless, the reproduce so aggressively they can overgrow a field within a matter of days, disable harvest trawlers, and even tie down rocket ships.”
“Yet, I can't help but hold an utmost and deep respect for them. Any form of life that can evolve and survive on a rogue planet is certainly a force to be reckoned with. It seems sort of fitting…that such a plant should come under the care of its distant kin; we who, too, are children of the stars.”
– The Art of Never Again, Chapter 308: Playing the Wild Rover
System: Journey's End
Stellar Radius: 1700 AU (Decaying)
Surface Gravity: 0.55 G
Length of Day: 172 years
Length of Year: 7009 years
Beanfield receives its name from its nitrogen-rich atmosphere. While lethal to most terrestrial humanoids, it is home to an abundant amount of plant life. These plants readily thrive on the thermal energy produced by geothermal vents, and breathe nitrate and thrive in ultraviolet radiation in place of visible sunlight.
The most common of which is the Beanfield Creeper; a type of aggressively growing creeper that has a notorious reputation for destroying other crops, and occasionally disabling mechanical equipment with its tendrils. The Beanfield Creeper produces a large seed, or “bean,” the organonitrate content of which poisonous to most terrestrial humanoids. However, among Freespacers it has great nutritional value for the symbiotic plant cells of their body or as a primary fertilizer for shipboard crop growing.
Beanfield was believed to originally be a rogue planet that was recently entrapped by the gravity of Journey's Ends several decades prior to discovery. It was originally a nitrogen-oxygen planet believed to be capable of sustaining life, but that the intense UV radiation from the star quickly converted any atmospheric oxygen into ozone, thereby making the atmosphere unbreathable – at least to humanoids.