Lave's Moon

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Lave's 'Moon' (from Lave.oxp)

Lave's moon is small and gray, approximately 1000 km in diameter, and lacks a breathable atmosphere.

  • Version 1: It is the home of Her Imperial Majesty.
  • Version 2: It is not really a moon, but rather an asteroid that is kept in orbit for fuel collecting purposes.


  • Version 1: Presumably just a moon
  • Version 2: Nobody is sure where the "moon" came from (but see Lore below!). It has been put in orbit around Lave, and needs almost constant readjustment. The rock has several anomalies, most of which have not been explained.


  • Version 1: Home of Her Imperial Majesty
  • Version 2: The moon's primary purpose is to produce Quirium fuel, using similar technology to the Fuel Scoops. On every pass near the sun, it collects solar wind and converts it to usable fuel for standard Witchspace engines: The moon is covered in unmanned hydrogen processing plants, sucking in plasma from the sun on each orbit pass and refining it into Quirium, He could see the jutting intakes of the processing plants. Billions of tonnes of hydrogen and Quirium down there. (Status Quo, Chapters 7 & 8).


  • Version 1, Lave's moon is the home of the Her Imperial Majesty: "The Empress looks down from her palace on Basta, the swift-running moon, ruling all, and interfering with no-one. Her loyal Tyrant presides over the self-electing Assembly, an easygoing, casual government which is content to devolve most decisions to the individual town Clatches scattered across the planet. Officially, Lave is a Dictatorship; officially, the Empress is all-powerful; officially, in her absence, the Tyrant wields her authority without check" (Lave (Rough Guide)).
  • Version 2: The moon features prominently in this guise in Drew Wagar's Status Quo novella. But it seems never to be named.
The ‘moon’; another complete misnomer. It wasn’t really a moon at all, but an oversized Oort cloud fragment that had looped into the Lave system a decade before following some gravitation perturbation out in deep space. Lave and a group of similar systems had been in a gas-poor area of space when the planets formed, thus there were no gas giants: only a single rocky planet with a few asteroids and comets loitering in the darkness. A fleet of tugs had been mobilised to push the ‘moon’ into an elliptical orbit which took it out into deep space every three months. It had been a neat idea, using it as a hydrogen processing plant, but unfortunately the ‘moon’ turned out to be unstable, its orbit requiring constant monitoring. Within another decade or so it would have to be let loose once again before gravitational tides ripped it to shreds, going back to the frozen wastes whence it came.
(Status Quo §11)

And now for something a little different

Captain Hesperus: "Could LittleBear explain the circumstances that lead to him landing an Ancient Earthian Lancaster Bomber on Lave's major moon and how he came to have a payload of Erxesoanian famous Sebese juice in the bomb bay?"

LittleBear: Ah yes, I still shudder when I recall the bizarre and inexplicable series of coincidences that led me to perform this remarkable feat. I have never spoken of it before for fear of prosecution by the GalCop Chrono-Guard for wilful contamination of the time-line. Fortunately, the statutory time limit for the initiation of criminal proceedings against my good self expired last week, and so only now can the tale be told in full.

It was early in my career and I was still a Mostly Harmless noobie, commanding The Rising Star, a lightly equipped Cobra Mk III trade ship. The ink on my pilot's licence was still barley dry and for the last two standard months I’d been quietly trading between Lave and Lestesi, running Liquor and Furs to Lestesi and Computers and Machinery back to Lave. The Rising Star was still only lightly equipped, just a Beam Laser, Fuel Injectors and an Escape Pod. I’d just docked at Lestesi High carrying a cargo of Laveian Mind Silk, when I was approached by shady-looking edible arts graduate who wished to unload his cargo of Erxesoanian famous Sebese juice.

At first I was sceptical of the wisdom of such a purchase. I was planning to haul a couple of tons of Computers and Machinery back to Lave and taking Liquors and Wines back there seemed to be like taking coals to Newcastle as the ancient proverb has it.

I was reliably informed however that the Festival of Waalas was due to commence next week. As all Commanders will be aware, the drinking of “Bouncing Bomb” cocktails is a key part of the celebrations and it so happens that, for reasons lost in history, Sebese juice is a key ingredient in this tradition drink. It seemed a good bet therefore that the price would rise by the time I arrived at Lave. I still had 24 Credits in the bank after purchasing my cargo, so I decided to take a risk and purchase a ton of this strange beverage from the arts graduate, along with 5 tons of un-programmed mechanical beings.

With a mere 0.64₢ to my name I set my destination to Lave and approached the Faraway Jump Point. Now many of you will have heard the stories of misjumps leaving a Commander stranded between the stars and prey to Thargoid raiding parties. But I expect most of you will have dismissed the stories of a misjump hurling the unfortunate pilot, not merely off course but through time, as a tale of Grandmother Spacewarp.

Well I can assure you that such events do sometimes happen. Just as the witch jump rings cleared, I heard with horror the trans-Atlantic tones of my on-board AI speak the dreaded words “Warning Witch Space Malfunction”. An Iron Ass might have stood a chance against a group of Thargoids, but the Rising Star was clearly going to be deader than corduroy trousers. I placed my paws over my eyes, whispered a prayer to Giles the Creator that he would gather my soul to His arms and waited for death.

After a full minute of nothing happening, I plucked up the courage to remove my paws and take stock of the situation. Rather than the green stars of witchspace, I beheld the almost equally alarming sight of a small blue-green planet looming large in the forward visi-screen. I had already entered the atmosphere and the rising hull temperature had melted the ships guidance systems. There was nothing I could do. I was going in, the nose of my craft pointing towards a small island on the planet’s northern hemisphere. I braced myself for impact and hoped fervently that the duralumin skin of my Cobra would be sufficiently sturdy to save my own.

My ship struck the surface of the planet at an alarming high speed, but I was saved from destruction by the intervention of a small cottage that served to reduce my velocity somewhat. The Cobra was a wreak, by I was alive. The cottage however was totalled.

I called up my Ship Status Screen on what was left of the main viewer, desperate to discover where I was. The read out showed all my equipment save my witch fuel injectors had been destroyed, although my cargo remained intact. Remarkably the hyperdrive still functioned and 5 ly of fuel remained. Unfortunately the structural integrity generator was severally damaged and incapable of projecting a field sufficient to cover my Cobra. I activated the distress beacon and awaited rescue.

To pass the time, I called up the short-range chart in order to discover where I was. I now received my third unpleasant shock of the day. The screen was completely blank. GalCop did not exist according to the computer and no worlds were colonised. The Computer showed my current location as some 22 light years from my staring position on a planet in orbit around a star the computer called ‘Sol’. The entry in the Encyclopaedia of Worlds described it as “Harmless”.

I had studied ancient history at the Lave academy and realised that I had crashed on the original home of mankind, normally unreachable with a standard hyperspace drive. But what had happened to GalCop? Why were no other planets colonised? With a groan I saw the alarming truth. My Chronometer showed the year as 1941. Somehow the witchspace malfunction had not only hurled me off course, I had also travelled back over 1,000 years in time. Could my destruction of the small cottage have altered the course of history in some way? I was determined to find out.

I realised at once that my appearance as a small bearoid would cause the inhabitants some alarm and probably contaminate the time-line further. Fortunately I was able to cannibalise the HoloFac Communication system to project the holo-image of a human over my furry form and set off to investigate the remains of the cottage.

My Cobra had ploughed straight through the cottage reducing the body of its single human inhabitant to a long streak of thrumpberry jam. As luck would have it however, he had been cleanly decapitated in the accident and his head remained relatively undamaged. I repaired back to my Cobra carrying his head, hoping to extract some information from his brain. Wiring the human’s brain into the main computer I download his memories and personality.

It appeared that at this stage in history Earth was engaged in some type of deadly civil war. The human was an inventor who had been working on some type of new weapon called a “Bouncing Bomb”. It was intended by his faction that the Bomb would be fitted to some type of primitive aircraft know locally as a Lancaster Bomber.

Scanning through his memories I learned that his design called for the bomb to bounce several times before striking its target. I could not begin to understand why this was important, but I determined to construct such a device in order to repair the damage my arrival had done to the time-line.

As luck would have it, one of the physical properties of Sebese juice is that when rotated at a certain speed, its density changes to become much lighter than air. A couple of bottles of juice stowed in the outer casing of the bomb would have the desired effect. I was still left with the difficulty of replacing the inventor I had inadvertently killed. My cargo of un-programmed artificial beings had survived the crash intact. It was the work of a few moments to download the contents of the inventor’s brain to the artificial being and set up a portable holo-emitter to generate the image of the dead inventor around my robotic replacement. I sent off my facsimile with a couple of bottles of Sebese juice and instructions to construct the device, whilst I awaited results.

Well, it was a long wait, but sure enough the device worked and the time line was resorted. I saw with relief on my long-range chart all the systems of the GalCop Collective popping back into existence just as they had been. One problem solved, one more to go. I was still stranded light years from home and 1,000 years in the past.

The hyperdrive was intact and I had sufficient fuel for a jump. The fiendishly complex hyper-mathematical calculations that had caused the misjump were still stored in The Rising Star’s Navigation Computer. Simply by reversing the polarity of the main drive I could reproduce in reverse the conditions which had lead to the miss-jump and return to Lave in my own time. Although I could make the jump home, my Cobra would never fly again. I needed a new craft to achieve orbit and escape the mass-locking effect of the Earth’s gravitational field.

My inverter simulant was being congratulated by the flight crews that had returned safely from the bombing raid. Using a sub-ether relay I instructed my simulant to fly one of the Lancaster Bombers from the air-base to the crash site of the Rising Star. My fur stood on end when I saw the rickety state of this vessel. It seemed to be constructed mainly of wood and canvas. However, this primitive design had the advantage of being incredibly light.

I realised that a few bottles of Sebese juice rotating at exactly the right frequency would become sufficiently non-dense to raise the whole contraption like a hot-air balloon into orbit. Due to its light weight, my damaged structural integrity field generator would be able to project a field around the Lancaster enabling me to fly safely through the vacuum of space. I cannibalised my wichdrive injectors to make primitive thrusters, installed the hyper-drive and fitted a Bouncing Bomb filled with Sebese juice to the Lancaster’s bomb bay.

My plan worked perfectly, the rotating bottles of Sebese juice lifted my craft slowly but surely into orbit. A quick dab of the injectors was sufficient to clear the planet’s gravitational field and I engaged the Hyper Drive. Once again, the luck of the Anti-Giles was with me and I emerged at Lave in my own time. I had just enough fuel left in my primitive thrusters to set a course for Lave’s Main Station. Admittedly it would take me several weeks to arrive, but I was on course and on my way home. Lave’s moon loomed large through the cock-pit glass and I started to look forward to reaching civilisation again.

Suddenly as I approached Lave’s Moon, the altimeter on the primitive craft started to drop. I was puzzled and alarmed, my velocity should have been sufficient to escape the gravitation pull of the moon take me safely to the planet. But I had forgotten one thing. In reversing the polarity of the hyperdrive, the spacewarp field generated had reversed the properties of the Sebese juice in the bomb bay. Rather than being non-dense it was now exceedingly dense, drawing my craft towards the surface of the moon. Desperately I tried to jettison bottles, but it was too late, for the second time in my career I was going to have to make a forced landing.

Taking the controls of the Ancient Earthian Lancaster Bomber with its payload of Erxesoanian famous Sebese juice in the bomb bay I landed on Lave’s major moon. Once safely down I activated the distress beacon from my Escape Pod and awaited rescue. A few days later a GalCop Viper took me safely to Lave’s Station. On arrival I filled an insurance claim with Obnoxi-Corp for the loss of the Rising Star. There was some legal wrangling as to whether my claim for loss of a starship in an alternate past was valid, Obnoxi's lawyers submitting that as the loss took place before I had taken out the insurance contract I was not covered. But that is a tale for another time….

Commander Munchausen thread - and see the questions and answers afterwards (rotation, living in a Lancaster and barometric altimeters).

Unfinished oxps

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