Kimanjano is the innermost of six planets circling the K4 main sequence star DM 36 2493. Kimanjano’s unique organic chemicals account for 27 percent of the total plastic and polycarbon product sales in the French Arm. The biomedical applications of these materials have been firmly ensconced in modern medicinal manufacture and account for some 12 percent of the total raw materials used to produce pharmaceuticals in this area of the Arm. Kimanjano is a successful, thriving environment, full of opportunity for commercial gain. Its political and corporate scene is complex and ever changing. It provides an abundance of opportunity for businessmen and free traders alike.
- Name: Kimanjano
- Distance from Primary: 0.67 au
- Size: 12,040 km
- Core Type: Rocky
- World Type: Pre-Garden
- Gravity: 0.94
- Escape Velocity: 10.5 km/s
- Atmospheric Pressure: 0.89 ATM
- Average Temperature: 35 deg C
- Water Presence: 87%
- Atmospheric Composition: N2 68%, O2 23%, CH4 9%
- Satellites: (Name, Size, Core Type, Orbit Radii, Density, Bases)
- Dedre: 1,260 km, Rocky, 40, 0.7, none
- Fromme (France); Date Established: 2231; Population: 6,417,000; Capital: Fromme; Bases: Scientific; Facilities: Orbital Terminal, Orbital Defenses, Solar Power Satellites, Heavy Industry, Orbital Factory, Scramjets, Mining, Farming
- Okavango (Azania); Date Established: 2280; Population: 628,000; Capital: Okavango; Bases: Scientific; Facilities: Orbital Terminal, Rocket Planes, Farming, Heavy Industry, Fusion Plant
Kimanjano’s orbit has an eccentricity of 0.031, making it the most circular of the system’s orbits, and is inclined 0.26 degrees to the ecliptic. Its orbital radius is well within its star’s life zone, though slightly farther out than optimum. The planet itself has a axial tilt of 21 degrees, making seasonal variation generally less severe than on Earth. Its day is 35 hours, 17 minutes long. The core is molten, leading to a tectonically active world with 18 known tectonic plates, numerous active volcanoes and several unstable fault lines, some discovered only after initial colony site selection had been completed. The atmosphere is largely inert gases with a breathable percentage of oxygen and an abundance of methane, especially at lower altitudes. The hydrosphere covers about 87 percent of the globe, much of it in shallow, soupy seas containing high percentages of organic compounds. These compounds are responsible for the breathable oxygen in residence.
Kimanjano is accompanied by a single large moon, roughly 1,263 kilometers in diameter and having a mean orbital period of 23 days. The molten core provides a significant Van Allen radiation belt which surrounds the world. Although modern starships can easily endure passage through such fields, they are of sufficient intensity that certain convenient orbits, especially geocentric ones, are prohibited for permanently manned facilities. As a result, meteorological and communications satellites are automated, like the two Colonial Solar Power Grids. These facilities are visited periodically for maintenance purposes
The DM 36 2493 system was initially surveyed by the French Exploration Cruiser Regulas. As was customary for such surveys, the Regulas first stopped in the Oort cloud to gather samples of the original solar nebula which formed this system. It was at this time that the first evidence was discovered of DM 36 2493’s superflare. Many of the larger masses visited displayed definite signs of surface melting and refreezing. Such surface faults and stratifications are normally observed in periodic comets but not on masses stably orbiting six billion kilometers from their primary. These observations gave rise to speculation about a long-term companion star, but gravitational analysis of the system negated such a possibility. The cometary material also showed definite signs of carbon compounds and plentiful hydrogen. Both were good signs for the possibility of life in the inner solar system. Regulas proceeded inward, its telescopic arrays scanning each world on its flight path.
At periastron survey probes were dispatched into parabolic transfer orbits to Tamburg and Setanne. The telescopes and spectrometers were then trained on DM 36 2493 in order to determine any irregularities. An unstable star would have immediately disqualified the system from colonization.
The Regulas used the gravity of DM 36 2493 to set course for the first planet and shortly established polar orbit around that world. The planet was brown and blue beneath its veneer of white water vapor clouds. Absorption spectra taken during the first orbit indicated the presence of ozone in the upper atmosphere. Radio occultation experiments proved the presence of molecular oxygen in the atmosphere. All signs pointed toward some form of life on the planet, dubbed Kimanjano. As soon as the obligatory mapping orbits were complete, the captain ordered surface and atmospheric probes to be launched.
The initial probes were dispatched to the shallow seas and lowlands. Atmospheric probes floated above the highlands, sniffing the upper atmosphere. All probes reported that no life of any kind existed on Kimanjano I, much to the surprise of the survey crew. The presence of molecular oxygen had been, up to this time, a certain sign of metabolic activity. A landing boat was dropped to investigate the seemingly contradictory information. The enigma of Kimanjano’s free oxygen was resolved rather quickly. The planet’s oceans were teeming with complex amino acids. Chain molecules resembling RNA and other sophisticated organic compounds were in abundance. Some of the most prevalent of these compounds broke down ocean water, liberating oxygen in the process of various reactions. Still others utilized the oxygen and hydrogen from these reactions in yet other reactions. Some oxygen remained in the atmosphere, however, having bubbled into the open air.
The oceans were fatally poisonous to humans. The air of the lowlands reeked of methane, but the uplands were livable, if a bit cool. The survey team’s report was favorable for further investigation. Kimanjano held unique opportunities to observe complex organic chemistry in action. The planet was a prebiotic treasure house-a unique discovery. So despite the poisons, less than two years later a scientific outpost was grounded in the lowlands of one of the equatorial continents, funded and staffed by the lnstitut des Etudes Exobiologiques (IEE).
The IEE, which at the time was enjoying considerable political and economic favor, had established a large research base staffed with experts on organic chemistry and evolutionary biology. Their hope was to chronicle the basic developments that led to life. This hope was quickly submerged among a variety of perplexing and contradictory discoveries.
The most disturbing of these revelations was the Phreds. These were masses of gelatinous material which oozed onto the surface from the shallow seas and travelled at random along the coastal rocks. These blobs, some of which measured as much as two meters in diameter, gained minerals needed to sustain themselves among the rocks of the coast. They were not, in the strictest sense, alive, though definitions were beginning to cloud. The Phreds (named by a junior research assistant) did not exhibit differentiation within their structure or many other aspects of “life,” though they did replicate through division. They were only the first of many such borderline cases.
The self-replicating blobs were not the only surprises. Early on, several new compounds had been discovered, some which could not be reproduced in the laboratory. A few of these held promise as key ingredients in medicinal products. Combinations and processes that had been only theorized before were showing up in mass quantities beneath the researchers’ microscopes. There seemed an endless list of basic discoveries to be made upon this world. Part of the job of the research team was to thoroughly ap the planet for resources. This was not normally part of the IEE’s duties, but as the agency in charge of the world, it fell to them nonetheless. Detailed orbital surveys were conducted in the winter of 2227 which would affect the planet’s development for years to come.
These scans clearly showed the presence of tantalum deposits in the uplands of the equatorial continent occupied by the IEE outpost, but these reports to the public were suppressed to protect the world from commercialization. Under the watchful gaze of the new Colonial Governess, mining operations began in 2231. The original colony site at Fromme was selected for accessibility to the tantalum deposits, little thought given to the IEE outpost almost 2,000 kilometers away. Several politicians had made their reputations on their quick establishment of this mining colony. Other considerations were secondary to its ability to quickly produce the tantalum France so desperately needed to maintain its interstellar fleets.
The IEE base had to eventually relocate closer to the colony. The move necessitated an 18-week cessation in the IEE programs. In the interim, which also saw the installation of a new project director, plans were laid for the second phase of research, one which would emphasize the practical benefits of Kimanjano’s unique chemical properties. The new director was very much not in political favor in France, and he was determined to save the reputation of the IEE singlehandedly if need be. What he actually did saved much more than that.
The first five years of tantalum extraction went more-or-less uneventfully. Periodic reports indicating the vein was not as significant as previously believed were viewed with extreme disfavor by the Governess, who held them to be a minority opinion. When the quotas began to fall below expected levels, she ordered her staff to investigate. Efforts were made to discover other tantalum deposits on-world, but to no avail. Other far less valuable minerals were targeted for mining, but estimates indicated that these operations would not be financially viable.
By this time, the IEE had determined that certain properties of the polycarbon soup that was a majority of the shallow seas of the planet was ideal for the manufacture of plastics and resins. Combined with the medical applications of certain compounds, this process was determined to be sufficiently profitable to maintain the colony work force at a somewhat reduced level of expansion. With the tantalum mine slowly weakening in production, the colony began adapting equipment to the task of collecting and refining the organic soup. Initially, the only materials available were from the sections of the mine works that were shut down. These components were adapted into platforms which could be constructed on the seabeds, and eventually became the mainstay of the extraction effort.
The first successful drugs distilled from Kimanjano’s organics began appearing two years later. By this time it was becoming obvious that Beta Canum would one day be the Arm’s breadbasket, and Kimanjano would be on the route in and out. Commercial concerns began to invest in Kimanjano hoping to take advantage of the burgeoning trade situation. Still others, intent on exploitation of the biochemical bonanza the planet offered, soon followed suit.
Sixty years after the initial French colonization, long after the planet was established as a production and trade center, Azania decided to establish a colony there It seemed a perfect opportunity to settle on a world guaranteed to show profit. Their effort has been eased greatly by the presence of the prosperous French colony, allowing them to gradually build their facilities while purchasing needed supplies from outside. They have imitated the French economic markets without French protest. There is, after all, enough for everyone.
Of prime importance to both colonies is orbital starship facility. The primary structure is once again an artifact of early French colonial policy which dictated the presence of orbital support stations for any colony. The original core is a flattened sphere which spins on its short axis, providing a .5 G centripedal force at its rim. Shuttle and starship handling bays are attached to the rotation axis. The station is oriented with the axis always pointing toward the center of Kimanjano. Planetward docking bays service shuttles, while spaceward facilities service the starships. Each of these long, faceted cylinders have been extended several times to keep up with the increased demands for access to Kimanjano and its resources. An independent yard for overhauling starships has been constructed a few kilometers away from the main station, and satellite terminals, linked by orbital ferries, are being considered for the near future.
The French Foreign Legion maintains a small defense cadre on the station for the purposes of customs inspection and maintenance of biological quarantine procedures They also operate remote fighter installations at undisclosed locations elsewhere in the system. The crews for those duty stations rotate through the orbital port on a regular basis. The Orbital Station is a prosperous free port, offering goods from the entire French Arm at duty-free rates. This incentive serves to lure most starship crews in, even if they had only intended to use Kimanjano as a convenient stutterwarp discharge point. Numerous freight companies have located their main colonial offices at the port or on the the world beneath.
Transportation between the colonies is handled mainly by air, though hovercraft have started running recently, and a maglev train track is currently under construction.
Crop production is one area in which the two colonies are identical. Both use processes developed on the space colonies orbiting Earth for extreme high-yield, low maintenance agriculture. The strains of wheat and rice have been tailored to Kimanjano’s mild environment, as have the fruits and vegetables. They are tended largely by agribots which are supervised by specialists. Animal husbandry is handled similarly. The French have been totally independent of the need to import food for some time, while the Azanians are still buying some items from the French. They estimate another five years before they attain total independence, though some observers say they simply are not interested enough in agriculture to ever be totally self-sustaining.
Kimanjano I has a population of over 6,417,000 French citizens, located either at the main colony site or at the new city of LaTrove, 60 kilometers to the east. The Azanian population measures about 628,000 people. In addition to these there is a iransient population of 40,000 to 60,000 at the various research and mercantile facilities. Thirty percent of the French colony’s troops are natives. This percentage is fixed, it but can vary a total of plus or minus 5 percent.
Fromme, the French Colony
Today, the French government on Kimanjano is close to total autonomy. It still regards itself as French but is acutely aware of the mistakes possible when governing from light-years away. The government is pragmatic in its obedience to Earth’s sometimes unrealistic demands. Fortunately, the prosperity of the colony is sufficient for France to allow a certain degree of freedom. Politics are underplayed, no one wishing to be accused of making similar mistakes as those who initially founded the colony. The IEE, now know as [[L’Institut des Etudes Xenologiques]], still has large research facilities on world, now much more conveniently located. Research on complex organic chemistry continues in many untouched sections of the planet.
The two colonies on Kimanjano reflect the eras in which they were founded. The French colony, established in 2231, was typical of designs of the period. The principal colony facilities, such as the medical center, logistical support, water purification and electrical power production, were located in a semi-submerged dome. Livestock pens, colonist dwellings, and equipment storage were ringed around the dome. The entire complex was then surrounded by defenses, which have since been dismantled.
Today the French site looks quite different Manufacturing and administrative complexes have circled the original site to the west, while new residential districts, research and service-based industries have grown up to the east and into the hills in the southeast. The spaceport occupies the northern quadrant. There is still an overall feeling of the original order and logic of design present, however.
The French have installed a sophisticated computer controlled mass transit system. Small vehicles travel on superconducting guideways, stopping at stations depending upon passenger destination. This network serves the main colony as well as the industrial park, spaceport, and the French Foreign Legion outpost.
Okavango, the Azanian Colony
The Azanian site is a study in inspired anarchy. Very much the latecomers, the Azanians only settled in 2280. Their colony consists of standardized, commercially purchased modular units. These have been set down with apparently no order, scattered over a 20-square-mile region roughly surrounding a small bay. Central power is provided by a rectenna to the north of the colony and beamed in at low frequency. There is a landing strip just beside the bay.
The Azanian presence is mainly felt in the oceans, where their floating processors are busy collecting and refining the rich organic soup that comprises much of the planet’s water. In contrast to the randomness of their colony, these facilities are compact and efficient, utilizing fission plants that allow them to stay out on their missions for a year or more before servicing. They are supplied by large Heliostats which call periodically, transferring their processed distillates to the main spaceport. In this way the Azanians have avoided many of the problems encountered by the reliance on fixed platforms and undersea pipelines used by the French.
The Azanians seem to prefer small V/TOL aircraft and hover vehicles for getting around. Large cargo operations are handled by Mega-Lifter Blimps. There is also a much greater reliance on foot power in the Azanian colony.