The Diamond plot

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 30, 2015 - 5:16am
Inspired by the real world exo planet that is high in cabin and most of its in the form of solid diamond. One freighter load of diamond brought back would crash the diamond market. The De Beers consortium of the Frontier would want to prevent that and if the freighter doesn't make it back then....
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
November 30, 2015 - 5:55am
diamond planet

Yes, it could be a threat or a very searched for resource... diamonds come in gem grade & commercial grade. Any company that could find such a world would be in an extreme position of power.  

Besides difficulties in mining maybe others have a desire for the world... maybe Mechons need diamonds for some reason? Maybe an alien race considers it a sacred place, maybe they are intelligent rock-crystal based life forms? Maybe it is a Tomb World (an alien race deposits it's dead on). Maybe anyone who can secure this world becomes a fabled ruler of some space empire long dead... or maybe it is used as a giant computer or even an ancient weapon.

So recreating the guessed at system:

Binary system. The odd gravitational conditions created by having two stars in close proximity can create orbits that bend and look like a figure-eight, or some much more random Spirograph pattern that never repeats. Pulsar PSR J2222-0137 was found some 900 light years from Earth. 

This second body is invisible because it’s so dim, emitting or reflecting little enough light that astronomers can’t resolve its properties directly — the coolest, dimmest, most unique white dwarf star ever discovered. Based on its effects on the system, this star must be roughly equal to our own Sun in mass. Given that it seems to have cooled to just 3,000 degrees Celsius — thousands of times cooler than our Sun — it is also likely no larger than the Earth itself.

That as this star cooled it would have slowly solidified into a hardened carbon matrix — diamond. There will undoubtably be portions of the heavenly body that are clear and classically diamond-like, but its low luminescence and the unusual way it was made make it likely that the planet won’t be a sparkling space-gem. In reality it likely has more in common with the tip of a saw blade than the setting of an engagement ring, but an Earth-sized hunk of the hardest known natural material.

Notably, this star has still not been directly observed. Though the gravitational and other data about the system make its existence a virtual certainty. 

Okay so what sort of space hazards would UPF or anyone else have to over come to have a space station there, travel reliably to & from the system & from orbit to planet, and what would planetary conditions be like?


 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
November 30, 2015 - 7:02am
Are we talking about a planet or a white dwarf?  They are very different beasts.  By definition, all white dwarfs are carbon rich (it's the endpoint of fusion for that size star) and have a mass between 0.6 and 1.4 times that of the Sun squeezed into an object the size of the Earth.  That's what a white dwarf is.  If the mass exceeds 1.4 solar masses it becomes a neutron star.

Assuming you're talking about a white dwarf, a 1 solar mass object the size of the Earth has a surface gravity of about 333,000 g.  Since the surface gravity is just proportional to the mass divided by the radius squared and the radius is the same as the Earth, the gravity just goes up as the ratio of the masses which is about 333,000.  Oh, and the escape velocity, even if you could land and take off is in excess of 1%c.

So with Frontier technology, you may claim the object, but you'll never be landing or mining it.
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 30, 2015 - 11:07am
I was thinking in terms of the exo planet they discovered that is believed to be something like 60% diamond. I like the "elephant grave yard" / tomb planet of aliens coming here to die or Bury the dead. So the diamond Frontier consortium fights to keep this planet secret, fights to prevent any returning to the frontier with news of the planet. Or perhaps pirates looking for a hidey hole discovered it and have been bringing back quantities of diamonds that are beginning to destabilize the diamond market. The consortium hires a team to track these diamonds to their source. (Enter the PCs). After the PCs discover the planet, return, and report in the consortium decides to cover it up and opts to eliminate all witnesses, with a hit ordered on the PCs and a large priveteer being outfitted to go wipe out the pirate outpost and presumably the slaves doing the mining the PCs will find themselves in a pickle. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 30, 2015 - 11:45am
In fact the elephant grave yard angle allows inclusion of an alien warrior that has come here to die but is upset over the desecration of the grave yard. His days are literally numbered and he's taken some aggressive steps against it and he could become temporary but powerful ally for the PCs . 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
November 30, 2015 - 2:18pm
I think we are talking about both maybe? I found stuff on the diamond PSR & a diamond planet 55 Cancri e? 

My understanding is though that in RL it is a PSR in a binary system in RL assuming the educated guesses are right.

"containing a partially recycled millisecond pulsar and a companion of unknown nature. Whilst the low eccentricity of the system favors a white dwarf companion, an unusual double neutron star system is also a possibility, and optical observations will be able to distinguish between these possibilities."

The system the planet is in:

"If we make the assumption that the star and its surrounding planets are all born from the same primordial disk of material, then it makes sense that the entire planetary system would be carbon rich," said Madhusudhan, whose study will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters."


"Unlike our solar system, which is dominated by oxygen and silicates, this planetary system is filled with carbon,"

However a PSR giant diamond as an ancient malfunctioning weapon could be a real problem. Not sure how to use the idea yet. & I like the idea of complicating a diamond planet find with lots of other issues like tombs, pirates, corporate hit squads and angry aliens maybe even some crazy cult that has decided diamond world means something...

diamond world system

Dr. Who had a Diamond Planet, complete with flowing rivers & falls of diamonds.

D Who diamond world And it has been suggested in Jupiter & Saturn it rains diamonds, diamond storms would require some specia; tech to deal with I would think. 
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

iggy's picture
iggy
November 30, 2015 - 8:26pm
But none of these diamond worlds are at 1g and 1 atmosphere and between 0C and 45C.  They are all too extreme to visit.  I'm not sure that any environment suits would work. 
-iggy

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 30, 2015 - 9:42pm
TerlObar wrote:

So with Frontier technology, you may claim the object, but you'll never be landing or mining it.

Just chip away at it from a distance then. Foot in mouth

 
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
November 30, 2015 - 10:42pm
Well, this thread is bound to make some lady wet herself! Wink


Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
December 1, 2015 - 8:21pm
Even if reality would make this impossible, since we are talking sci-fi it still might be possible for a fun story line... it could be a forbidden world. That no way it exists place. If a tomb world, a whole tomb protecting, defending, worshipping and making culture could exist there.  The caretaker race might not even be the race allowed to burry their dead there... The space version of the Valley of the Kings. So imagine a race of beings who mummify their dead in a layer of diamonds (possible other gems too), placed in diamond tombs... not sure what these aliens would look like. 

That old James Bond theme song "Diamonds Are Forever" keeps coming to mind.

Maybe the Bling World was artificially created?  

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
December 2, 2015 - 12:00am
Tchklinxa wrote:
Maybe the Bling World was artificially created?  

No idea, but it's definitely supported by a lot of artificial people.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
December 2, 2015 - 5:37am
Laughing
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
December 2, 2015 - 9:11am
By the way... Am I the only one who sees a diamond-sized planet to be the most useless chunk of rock in the galaxy? The only reason diamonds are so valuable on Earth is that diamond companies tend to hoard their stock while creating an artificial demand with the "Diamonds are forever" ad. But the truth is that carbon is a highly common mineral within the universe, and a civilization advanced enough to build faster-than-light spaceships would be able to manufacture diamond rocks and carbon nanotubes as easily as a hick casting figurines out of lead. The only rational argument to have carbon and diamond ore so valuable, is that the Frontier use so much of it in manufacturing — from common household items, to the hulls of spaceships and stations — that there is more need than what they can pull out of quarries.

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
December 2, 2015 - 11:14am
Well you have a point. That is why the idea of the tombs or weapon appeals to me, Tombs made of diamond would probably be pretty tough & pretty, a super weapon threatening the frontier would be problematic.

In general it is just one of those fun ideas. But seeing as it is suggested diamonds are more common in other environs in space that does postulate what value would they really have? Plus you could manufacture them. Though natural ones always cost more.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
December 2, 2015 - 4:18pm
Malcadon wrote:
But the truth is that carbon is a highly common mineral within the universe, and a civilization advanced enough to build faster-than-light spaceships would be able to manufacture diamond rocks and carbon nanotubes as easily as a hick casting figurines out of lead.

Superman never had a problem turning a chunk of coal into a diamond. Not only has it been characterized numeous times in the comic books, we also saw it on screen via the Richard Donner Superman and the TV series Smallville as well. Simple concept: carbon + high pressure = invaluable trinket.

Now if only we could corrupt a Kryptonian...
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

iggy's picture
iggy
December 2, 2015 - 6:33pm
deBeers serializes diamonds now because the man made diamonds con no longer be distinguished from the natural diamonds.  In SF the value of diamonds is going to be much more common.
-iggy

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
December 2, 2015 - 10:17pm
They still can be distinguished, but only by very specific tests and tells that only the pro's really understand.

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
December 3, 2015 - 5:46am
Of course is gems like diamonds had other uses besides bling then there would be a market.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
December 3, 2015 - 3:43pm
Gems stones do have some other uses. One that would be interesting to exploit for SF is their use in lasers. Since lasers are much more common in the SF world and since you might need some pretty big ones for battleship laser batteries you could have some fun adventuring for them.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
December 3, 2015 - 7:09pm
Weapons, computing components, could be used in power plants or power distribution?


 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
December 4, 2015 - 12:23am
The Eorna mastered crystal technology. Imagine augmenting that with precious stones...
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
December 4, 2015 - 5:41am
A diamond planet as an Eorna super computer?
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 10, 2015 - 3:56am
Crystal tech, of eorna origin was the basis of mechanon sapience. Planet is forbidden and claimed by the mechanism. And yes its a computer singularity being developed by the mechanism. If you thought the mechanon uprising was bad .....
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
December 10, 2015 - 10:29am
Shades of the Overlord from a D&D supplement... supercomputer built be a dead race is reactivated by archaeologist of another less advanced race, and then the extermination/assimilation of all bioforms begins, and robot armies/navies controlled by it (no free will for them either)... could be a threat to even mechanons.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

iggy's picture
iggy
December 10, 2015 - 6:55pm
I think therefore I AM!  The concept of others could be an issue.  The machine could think that it is the only true sapient because only it exists in the "true" form.  All others must be very complex non-thinking automotons.

However, this starts to feel a bit borg-ish or V'ger like.

This should be a threat that is overcome in a few adventures not a new never ending plot line.

I can imagine the Sathar would love to co-opt this entity and corrupt it for their own means.
-iggy

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
December 11, 2015 - 5:43am
But such an entity (the dead race that made it was wiped out by it); bioforms are only useful to it as cannon foder; would pose a huge threat to the Sathar as well. 
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 11, 2015 - 5:59am
iggy wrote:
I think therefore I AM!  The concept of others could be an issue.  The machine could think that it is the only true sapient because only it exists in the "true" form.  All others must be very complex non-thinking automotons.

However, this starts to feel a bit borg-ish or V'ger like.

This should be a threat that is overcome in a few adventures not a new never ending plot line.

I can imagine the Sathar would love to co-opt this entity and corrupt it for their own means.
I love the line, "I think there for I AM. The concept of others is an issue." I would love to Referee a game where an AI says that to the PCs then proceeds to examine that issue in unpleasant ways (for the PCs and NPC)  like vivisecting a vrusk into all his component parts to understand vrusk and so on. The AI cannot conceive others because it dose not think their thoughts but when it encounters a tubed sathar brain it plugs in and ther efor the sathar now AM. Yes a story arc with a beginning, middle and end is best with this Iggy.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 11, 2015 - 6:00am
Mechanon should be forced to become allies to PCs in the end game of this s but PCs must negotiate for it.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
iggy
December 12, 2015 - 3:34pm
Yes this would pull quite a mind loop on the players.  It causes the players to grapple with an entity that only conceives that it IS and how do you lead it to understand that others think too?  I like the angle of the entity disecting all the parties NPC allies.  I also like the angle of this leading to a mechanon aliance when the mechanons realize that not all non-bilological life like them are good.  It will cause them to grapel with a malevolent non-biological that thinks nothing of them too.
-iggy