Ouranos Prime

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What follows is the material written for the initial incarnation of the setting, modified somewhat to reflect the changes. Thus the seemingly disproportionate amount of detail.

Built out of the husk of sizable Kuiper object, Ouranos Prime was the largest exalith mankind created within the Solar System. Originally existing outside the will of the Solar Consortium, it was a massive spacedock servicing deuterium transport between Uranus and the inner portions of the star system. Before the Purge, several thousand ships were docked there at any given point in time. The base currently rests at Uranus' L1 Lagrange point, seventy million kilometers inside of the giant's orbit.

Ouranos Prime looks much like a mock version of Earth and Mars with their Clarke rings. The center is a 1,200 kilometer diameter sphere, housing the tachyon transmitter and the largest artificial fusion power planet in the Solar System. As with the rings, seven sixty-kilometer diameter spokes stretch out another 2,600 kilometers to reach the outer ring, itself adding another 20 kilometers to the radius, and is roughly 250 kilometers wide. The entire system rotates about once every hour, giving those on the ring comfortable Earthlike gravity. The speed of rotation also allowed Ouranos Prime to launch ships to any destination in the Solar System at about 5.5 kilometers a second, giving them a bit of a head start.

At nearly six and a half thousand kilometers in diameter, even though the view is edge-on, a good hobby telescope was capable of noting the station's presence from Earth or Mars, sometimes appearing as a white light on Uranus' surface. It was a visible reminder, if a small one, that not everyone agreed with the whims of the Consortium.

From Ouranos Prime, Uranus appears as a bland cyan disc, with about 1/4th the diameter of the Full Moon as seen from Earth. Uranus may be a gas giant, but it is still nearly half an astronomical unit away. It is quite dim compared to the Full Moon as seen from Earth, having only an apparent magnitude of around -1, shedding little appreciable light onto the station.

Ouranos Prime rotates counterclockwise when viewed from "North" of the Solar System. Thus, facing South and looking up, Uranus and the Sun appear to move from left to right, and pretty fast. Even at this distance, the Sun is extremely bright - nearly four hundred times dimmer than as seen from Earth, but still over twelve hundred times brighter than the Full Moon as seen from Earth.

The core of Ouranos Prime deviates some from an exact sphere. The equator is a rough heptagon, the seven corners stretching smoothly into the seven giant spokes that reach rimward. Between the pylons are a series of several thousand linked gates, forming a 20 kilometer tall 'grill' around the equator of the sphere. The grill is filled with contained plasma, but otherwise opens straight into the massive artificial megafusor in the core, providing day, night, and general earthlike warmth to the ring, appearing much like sunlight.

The core then blends into an unmarred white sphere, until about forty kilometers from the pole, where it looks more conical, and various towers, lights, and other features mar its surface, including a pair of towers that stretch eighty kilometers away from the core on each pole.

The spokes, or pylons, themselves have a somewhat twisted appearance, making a half a revolution before expanding and joining the main ring. The ends of the spokes widen to the point where they cover the entire width of the ring - 250 kilometers. They spread out horizontally as well, making a four-pointed star pattern where they intersect, giving the ring a visible equator and separating it into a total of fourteen sections. In addition to attaching the core to the station, the spokes also serve to moderate the weather on the surface level.

A wall some thirty kilometers high reaches over either side of the ring, helping to trap the open atmosphere inside, with screens doing the rest of that work. The outside of this wall, and the outside of the ring, is lined with thousands of long, glowing screen and shield 'generators', docks, and other features.

The 'upper' level on the inside of the ring is a nascent biosphere, called the Surface Level or Biosphere Level. It has lakes, clouds, forests, plains, animals and other wildlife. While there are fourteen separate sections, the massive gates between these generally remain open. Only in the event of an attack would these gates close.

Eight rings of ninety-meter wide mirrors circumnavigate this upper level. In peacetime, they are tilted down into the next layer, which distributes the 'natural' light of the plasma throughout the upper levels of the station. This only lights parts of the top few levels, but suffices for most people who want something close to a real sun. In the event of an attack, the mirrors will raise and be sealed, guarding the occupants from whatever attacks that might strike the interior of the ring.

The first 'subsurface' level is five hundred meters deep, contains more mirrors, channels to redirect and recycle rain and other sources of water, and many other biosphere-supporting structures. Some of the lakes have transparent bottoms - which also seal in conflict - and massive pumps help work artificial rivers. It is sometimes called the Support Level. It is not a singular entity - there many buildings and other structures in both the Support and Surface levels.

Beneath the Surface Level, stretching down for a bit over four kilometers are the Quarters, or Residential Levels. Halacia assigns every sentient a home, and while each resident has some liberty over the interior design, they are all unfortunately rather similar. The Residential levels also house the commercial sectors, which dot the region in vast numbers.

Like the arcologies on Earth and Mars, the residential section is not even filled to a fraction of capacity. This also leads to a few squatters, gangs, and other malcontents running around thinking they own a place. These groups rarely last for long, however.

Beneath the residential district is a vast, hostile region known as the Labyrinth. Ten kilometers deep, these thousand or so levels are connect the Factory to the Residential Levels without using the trams. It is essentially a biosphere support region - built to do all the little things countless lifeforms perform on Earth (see bioforming).

The bottom of Ouranos Prime - the outermost region of the ring, is a five-kilometer thick region of docks, factories, and powerful magnetic field generators to support the vast screens, shields, and deflectors the station possesses. Despite its seemingly immense size, the industrial capacity of Ouranos Prime is still dwarfed by the Martian and Terran industrial sectors.

A series of several thousand trams and elevators run around, across, over, and through the station. While dense in the Residential and Docks areas, they are sparse in the Surface, Support, and Factory regions, and nearly absent from the Labyrinth. Still, it is possible to get nearly anywhere one wishes to go within a few minutes.

The sectors are labeled by Greek letters - Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Eta, Zeta. The spinward, or leading, pylon is considered a part of the sector, so, Alpha Pylon, Beta Pylon, and so on. The equator on the ring is sometimes called the Spine. Zeta Spine, etc. The Spine divides the station into "North" and "South", according to the rotation of the station - South Gamma Labyrinth, North Beta Surface, and so on.

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