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  • 12.04.2016 - The Banshee, prelude

    With the eyes closed, it felt almost like home - the gentle warmth of sunshine on the skin, the light seeping through the eyelids. The colour was off a bit, the warmth was spread across too much skin.

    He opened the eyes, and a white hot metal ball hung in front of his face. Bright enough to leave spots in the eyes, yet cold enough to see the bands of clouds if you squirm a little.

    He reached for it, the outstretched palm just big enough to cover the whole thing, the liquid metal sticking in-between the fingers of the closed fist. Somehow the brown dwarf always felt like it was within arm's reach, even when it really was almost a million kilometers away, behind the rad-hard glass of the improvised habitat.

    This 10 million years old failure of a star was screaming like an infant banshee. It's scream was radiation - unseen, unheard and deadly in minutes on the surface of the moon.

    Or should it be called a planet? Radiation notwithstanding, the Banshee wasn't really a star - at 8 times the mass of Jupiter it was too small to sustain nuclear fusion, and it's heat was just the remnants of it's birth.

    Somehow it ended up the larges body within several lightyears. The expedition was supposed to determine which theory was right - was it formed from too small a cloud of gas, or was it a planet, ejected from a nearby star? Most peculiarly, why was there one cold moon around it, when the rest of them were still glowing from the heat of their creation?

    A moon. Technically wrong, but he didn't feel it right to call the rock below a planet.


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