The Neighbor

The Arcolates require specific materials, long since depleted from our system, so we stop at Opat 121 A and B, a binary star system with a white dwarf circling a blue-hot B2 main sequence giant. The gravitational pull of the dwarf companion pulls at the parent stars' equator, giving it a visibly oblate shape.

The Fleet of the Ancients hangs off an airless planetoid, as it approaches perihelion in it's long parabolic orbit. We are mining for rare earths, and Elements 114+.

The white dwarf is glowing brightly in the upper bands of the spectrum with strong output in the X-ray and gamma-ray bands. Our mining operation must be performed by robots, since our tractor-beam is severely disrupted by the radiation. Nevertheless, we expect to fill our resource-bins in the next 72 hours. Then we proceed to our largest exo-research base, Electro-Magnetic Anomaly Research Station #14, about 5 1/2 parsecs from here. There we will refresh a very critical resource if we're to make our lengthy journey worthwhile

While we are here we will examine the relationship between Opat 121 A and B to determine the cause of the white dwarf's irregular X-ray outbursts. Arcolate Ac'lark wants to pass through the tenuous, but extremely hot plasma band between A and B. While the Arcolate is capable of shielding out the radiation, the gravity-band fields may be damaged. We feel that although risky, the information we could gather would have great value, so we approve the passage when we leave.

Next Week: Electro-Magnetic Anomaly Research Station 14



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