|Army size (BEs)||15|
|World Trade Number||4.5|
|Trade Volume (MCr/year)||8,960|
|Building Capacity (Tons)||30,000|
|Port passengers (annual)||5,600|
Giku system has a population between 10 and 100 million sophonts. Government control of this world is by an external military force. It is a member of Third Imperium in the Kuriishe Subsector of Dagudashaag Sector and in the Domain of Vland. Giku, as a member world of the Third Imperium, holds the estate of an Imperial knight, a member of the Imperial Nobility charged with overseeing the world. This world contains an Imperial Scout Base, capable of handling Scout Service starships and personnel. During the Long Night this world was named Muukhaa.
Astrography and planetology
Giku is a world of meteorological extremes. The planet is an anomaly, occupying a highly eccentric orbit well inside of the system’s three distant and stable gas giants. Current theories suggest that Giku’s orbit was established over two billion years ago as the result of collisions with large (and now lost) members of the system asteroid belt. Today, Giku’s orbit is inclined 52 degrees from the stellar ecliptic, and the perihelion distance of 21 million km contrasts strongly with an aphelion distance of just over 31 million kilometers. This equates to a doubling (and halving) of peak solar output within half of a local year. The planet rotates on its axis in less than eight hours, and coupled with a year of only 39 standard days; tidal forces and vulcanism are both common and violent.
The hydrographics percentage refers to the wintertime (aphelion) condition, in which nearly all the atmosphere freezes out as a deep layer of dirty ice over almost two-thirds of the planetary surface. This relatively stable winter season lasts for 26 standard days, and is the only recommended period for surface turn-around operations and to travel safely to and from orbit. Travel during the brief 13-day summer is strongly discouraged and local orbital beacons transmit standard “red” travel code warnings throughout this period.
While permanent human settlement on Giku has lasted for over one hundred years, and the dramatic seasonal weather process is not a surprise, the severity of local situations depends on many factors that are still unpredictable at this time. Broadly speaking, as Giku passes its midwinter point and starts its fall towards the sun, the incident solar radiation rises.
By about day 13, a massive change occurs. As the warming atmosphere gently increases in pressure, ice at the solar dawn terminator reaches a point were it sublimes straight into water vapour, and warm, wet, winds ﬂow away from the higher pressure sun side backwards and polewards into the night part of Giku.
These winds (known as harmatan) whip up vast amounts of warm dust that are then dumped onto the still cool dark ice-fields, thus helping to accelerate the process. Large antcyclonic systems and associated tornadoes, made all the fiercer by the rapid planetary rotation rate, create a total global dust storm by the end of standard day 15. Winds of over five hundred kilometres per hour are not uncommon.
Finally, as rising vapour levels, warming air and plentiful airborne particulates are established, a period of torrential muddy rainstorms ensue. By day 18, this second stage ceases as surface temperatures rise to boil oﬀ standing water from muddy pools and shallow lakes. For two days around perihelion, some level of dynamic atmospheric stability occurs at the planetary surface - mainly since rains evaporate before they reach the ground in temperatures well in excess of 70 Celsius.
After perihelion, winds again rise to whip up huge quantities of fine dust, and this secondary global sandstorm only comes to an end when, around day 24, the vapour part of the atmosphere again sublimes out randomly over the planet.
The surface of Giku is, as can be imagined, violently broken up and rearranged by these processes.
The damage caused by the freeze thawing of rocks throughout the cycle is enormous. Fine, dust-like sands lying ﬂatly on the surface are the commonest surface feature, and ergs (dune seas) only occur in a few places as the fading atmosphere leaves them standing.
Not surprisingly the primary starport and associated monitoring stations are orbital - all planetside accommodations (supporting half the total population of 32 million people) have to be deep underground, carved out of bedrock. During the summer, life on the surface can only take place in few specialist test rigs. Great care must be taken during the surface summer: visitors often hear tales of vacc-suited personnel being reduced to their bones by airborne sands in minutes. These stories are based in fact.
Giku Monostellar System Star Name Hierarchy Color Classification Remarks Giku Primary Red M1 V
History and background
Giku has become an important testing ground for the Scout Service in this sector. Almost every piece of equipment used by the Service has been tested here, and almost every Scout in this sector will have vivid memories of field operations here.
References and contributors
- Leighton Piper. "Library Data: Kuriishe." Signal-GK 13 (1997): 10-11. via HIWG
- Marc Miller. First Survey (Imperium Games, 1996), 85.
- Jae Campbell. Encyclopaedia Dagudashaag (Signal-GK, 2017), 127-128.
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science