Mykhatsi, database number RS 8411-3-8-8557278-417 1 (0.973) is a Frozen Titan in the Small Magellanic Cloud, orbiting a DZ1-class White Dwarf. It is a T-class planet a little smaller than Earth at 0.83 of Earth's diameter, and a mass of just 0.30 of Earth's mass. It has a semimajor axis of 0.667 AU from the central white dwarf, and an orbital period of 271.7 days. It's day is a little longer than Earths, at 1.127 days. The low mass gives it a gravity of 0.436 of Earth's gravity. The atmosphere is fairly thick at 2.4 times Earth's atmosphere, however it is absolutely frigid on the surface (by Human standards) at -190C*. The effect of the atmosphere doesn't help much, only adding about 26C*. Exotic life flourishes on Mykhatsi, which seems to have developed life "backwards", I.E. AFTER the central star shed it's outer coating. It has 7 moons, 6 of those captured asteroids. The 1 "proper" moon is called "O'orod" by the native Plu'ani. Mykhatsi was discovered in 9962.
There is evidence that the planet had an atmosphere far too thick and blisteringly hot before the central star died, and life could not form on such a planet. When the star died, it must have stripped away much of the atmosphere on the planet, turned it into a T-class from a D-class, and became perfect for exotic life forms to flourish.
Mykhatsi was discovered during a swing-through of the Small Magellanic Cloud, when distinct transmissions were heard coming from a white dwarf. Investigating, the crew of the Isvoy found an advanced civilization. After initial reconaissance, it was determined that these methane-based beings, which call themselves the "Plu'ani" met the criteria for contact as outlined in the Contact Directive. Indeed, their technology was far beyond humanity's Wormhole Drive.
Life on Mykhatsi
The Plu'ani seemed to be friendly and invited the crew for a little planetside vacation. Due to the extreme cold, they had to don space suits to go planetside, but what they found was mesmerizing. They later said that Mykhatsi was one of the most beautiful worlds the Isvoy had ever encountered, with daytime having sapphire blue skies. The Plu'ani themselves, due to the low gravity, resembled humans, but were far thinner, and three times taller than an average human. Their skin is yellow and shiny, which acts like a sort of sunscreen for them, and they have no hair whatsoever. They also have no mouth, do not need food, and communicate telepathically. Since the Plu'ani have no mouths, the crew of the Isvoy wondered how they can eat, until they saw one of their "restaurants". It seems that any food is completely mashed up into a disgusting paste, and then the Plu'ani bathe in the resulting slop, absorbing nutrients from the "food". The universal translator implants the crew brought with them had no trouble interpreting the native language, and they learned a great deal about this
world. The Plu'ani have no government (suggesting they had evolved past the need for a government structure), and live in "Mergh'a", their term for a city. Their "Mergh'a" are large shiny domes, 2KM in diameter, and each can house about 600,000 Plu'ani. The Plu'ani guide said that there was around 680 such establishments on the planet, and they do not have names, just "Moghra'", I.E. numbers. Their guide also said that for methane based creatures like them, Mykhatsi is quite warm, and is a tropical paradise. He further stated that they visited Earth back in 2034, but did not make contact due to their Contact Directive equivalent.
The Plu'ani have previously unknown forms of entertainment, consisting of very advanced forms of virtual reality, holo imaging technology, and what humans would call a modern "desktop computer" had as much power as the ship computer aboard Isvoy. These are usually used by Plu'ani young. Jobs are pre-selected by Plu'ani elders when the young Plu'ani come of age, usually when they turn 40 local years old. No schools exist; the Plu'ani have an impressive mental capacity, and new skills are "uploaded" via special programs displayed in what look like "theaters". These "movies" would seem only "snow" to non-Plu'ani, but the snow has a specific binary pattern to it which flashes past at an impressive rate, and the Plu'ani brain interprets the binary to brand new skills. A couple hours is all it takes for a Plu'ani to learn starship engineering, for example.
Plu'ani infants are paired for life from the moment they are born. Mates are chosen at random, and the two infants then grow up together, learning from "snow programs". They learn all the basics about life once they hit 14 local years old, when they are considered adults. It is around that time the Plu'ani start to think about a family. Plu'ani sex is very different from Human sex. Females try to first entice the male to come near her, then she grabs the male, and tickles the back of his "head" with a finger. This tells the Plu'ani brain to start creating a sperm/egg pouch. She continues until the male ejects the small egg-like sac from his groin area. This is around 3 inches in circumference, and the male will only have one of these in his lifetime. Mate selection is crucial and is performed by senior members of the Plu'ani race because of this. She then accepts this, as it is given as a gift, and tucks it into her groin in a pouch. Despite the millions of sperm and eggs, only two Plu'ani can be born at once, and a Plu'ani couple will only ever have two offspring. Very rarely, only one will be born. These are called "Muh", and are considered invalids, since they have twice as much of a Plu'ani's chromosomes. They are destroyed immediately. Tickling a male at that spot after he has had the egg-sac has no effect other than an annoyed Plu'ani, as after the sac is laid, that area gets extremely sensitive and is painful for the rest of it's life.
The Plu'ani do have culture, since their rise as the dominant species on this planet. In fact, before they developed writing, their language solely consisted of song. One of their ancient hymns that have survived to the present day is called the "Hymn of the Elders", and is sung by a small group of Adult and Young Plu'ani. It celebrates their legacy, and where they came from. It cannot be "heard" in the traditional sense, because no sound waves are emitted by the Plu'ani. However, since they are telepathic, one can hear this hymn - it sounds like it's coming from everywhere at once. Isvoy scientists think that their telepathy directly stimulates the hearing center of the brain. This hymn may be "heard" here, recorded using a sophisticated neural converter.
For more on this interesting species, see Plu'ani.
Flora and Fauna
Mykhatsi is full of exotic methane-based creatures amd plants. They have all adapted to take advantage of the blue light of the white dwarf. Firstly, the plant life appears pale yellow to red, to absorb as much light as possible from the relatively weak star. Forests exist, and the planetside crew found that they look much like fantasy forests written about by ancient Earth authors, right down to the insects. One insect they studied had 3 pairs of wings, was around 5 inches long, and gave off light at both ends of its thin body. It's fang-like mouthparts seemed to be specially adapted to feeding off of some of the tougher plantlife. Tree analogues were not covered with leaves as Earth trees are, but had 3 or 4 colossal leaves at the ends of splits in the spiraling trunk. The thicker forests blot out all of the light from the star, making bioluminescent insects and plants the only form of light in those places.
One of the brightest forms of bioluminescence comes from a mushroom-like plant that grows up to a meter high, and gives off a bright green light. The mushroom stalk splits into two caps, and it is the gills of these caps that give off the light. Some plants are even highly-specialized to live off of the light generated by the "mushrooms", but generally these are small and scraggly - tufts of grass-like plants or very delicate flowering plants, usually. Some of these have leaves only at most a few hundred femtometers thick at most, such as the "Mushroom Veils" that were found draping from some of the caps. They seemed to be parasitic, living off of the water the "mushroom" took up.
Land animals were plentiful, and included something resembling an Earth bear, but with 6 legs, no hair, and shiny red skin. It seemed to be a carnivore, as it was eating another unidentified animal. Avian life included small, flying dart-like creatures the Plu'ani call "De'kra", translated as "Sky Arrows". These are at most 6 inches long, and 3 to 4 inches wide, and closely resemble small kites with their dorsal fin underneath that they use like a vertical stablizer.
Marine life included a choice Plu'ani delicacy; a large fish-like creature up to 2 meters long, called "Lekira Keth'a". It has two very long pectoral fins that are sometimes used as weapons. Like all Plu'ani food, it is mashed into a paste before the Plu'ani basically roll around in it, but some was offered to the Human crew in a form they might be able to enjoy. They accepted, but only had a little. The taste was unpalatable to humans, described as "raw sewage mixed with moldy bread". Another fish-like creature was offered as well; This one resembled a pinecone with fins jutting out everywhere, and tasted marginally better.
Technology of the Plu'ani
The Plu'ani are classified as a mid Type IV on the Kardashev Scale, just one rung higher than humanity when it was visited. The crew was a bit puzzled at the lack of spacecraft flying around, given the obvious technological advances of the Plu'ani. They saw spaceships flying around in the cities, but none outside. Until they saw one of their space vessels vanish, that is. The Plu'ani guide said that while their space ships DO use "very primitive" propulsion - warp drives for them are extremely primitive - to get from galaxy to galaxy or to someplace very far away, they use something called a "Teleportation Drive". The guide explained that the Wormhole Drive the Isvoy uses is primitive, as it takes a dozen or more seconds to reach a destination, while the "Teleportation Drive" can reach a destination instantly, although it is still limited by the amount of fuel it uses. A full fuel rod is enough to visit the furthest galaxy in the Virgo Supercluster and back, with a small bit left over. Plu'ani ships resemble shiny and massive teardrop-shapes, as that is the shape with the least air resistance on their world. They cannot use the teleportation drive anywhere within 2AU of their planet, as that would disrupt their world, or immediately destroy it, depending on how close the ship was. Instead, they use warp drive to get beyond their solar system, then fire up the Teleportation Drive.
Plu'ani ships are equally as impressive, and the vacationing crew got a first look at the heart of the "TeleDrive". Firstly, it is hooked up to a computer about the same size as computer desktops on Earth in the 2030s. How they got shipboard computers so small seemed like an amazing feat for the vacationing crew, but then they remembered how much more advanced the Plu'ani are. The engine core of a Plu'ani ship appeared to be an empty round room around 20 meters in diameter, but the Plu'ani guide explained that they actually make a miniature artificial star within the room, and that provides the power the ship needs. The fuel rod to power both the TeleDrive and the artificial star was made out of an unidentifiable material that looked crystalline in nature. Radioactivity testing was negative, but the Isvoy crew was told that one gram of this material was enough to power the Isvoy for 2 months.
Furthermore, the Guide has connections to their Grand Leader, and now that they know that Humanity is among the stars, they will submit an inquiry to the Confederacy of Humanity to be included within the greater universal community.
Moons of Mykhatsi
It was learned during this planetside excursion that the 2 of the 6 captured asteroids in orbit around Mykhatsi have since been converted into Plu'ani stations. Among the largest of these is "Station 1"(1.D2), a hunk of hollowed-out rock 34.1km in diameter. The surface of the station is largely untouched and looks like a plain asteroid, but inside are living quarters, ship repair stations, restaurant-equivalents, greenhouses growing Mykhatsi foodstuffs, and etcetera. It also orbits just outside of the ring system. "Station 2"(1.D1) is even closer in, but seems to have suffered a heavy impact soon after
colonization and has been since abandoned, and was relocated to an asteroid further away. The new station is called "Station 2.1"(1.D6) since it consists of the personnel that was stationed on Station 2. The vantage point from "S2.1" is positioned just perfectly to observe Mykhatsi and its rings.
The only real moon of Mykhatsi is called "O'orod"(1.1); it is a frozen ice world just 0.097 of Earth's diameter, and it has no atmosphere. It completes an orbit once every 22 hours, 13 minutes and is tidally locked. It is likely composed of water
ice that is completely frozen solid. A Plu'ani base was detected on the moon, but no further information was gathered, as it seemed this was a protection services base.
Conclusion, and Departure.
The Plu'ani seemed to enjoy the Humans stay on their planet, and offered the only moon (3.1) around the 3rd planet of their system, for humans to live. It is warmed by an unknown process, has an oxygen atmosphere, and the temperature is within the range of human habitation at 70 degrees Centigrade. However, it was far too dark at 3.013 AU from the central star, and it was feared that darkness-induced dementia might set in among the colonists. It was however strikingly similar to Earth, as far as size, and orbital period around the parent planet. No life was detected on the moon.
The Isvoy departed the system just 2 local days after the Human new year, in 9963, 3 months after arriving. The new year was celebrated by both Human and Plu'ani, who, in a coincidence were celebrating "Mykhazi'an", which was a celebration of all cultures they have met on their journeys. At the celebration, both the captain of the Isvoy and the Plu'ani's oldest Elder exchanged tokens of appreciaton, and both made speeches to their respective species. The Isvoy was escorted by three Plu'ani battleships under warp drive up to 1 light year from the system. The trip took a day and a half, and all ships gave a salute with their weaponry before they parted for good. The crew of the Isvoy, their journey continuing, is sure to never forget the hospitality of the species they just met.
Return to Mykhatsi
"We tried genetic engineering to save what was left of us, but we are so old, our DNA has begun unraveling at the atomic level. We keep it intact due to our machines...but without them we would be gone in a matter of days." -Plu'ani Elder
In the 177000s, during a return refueling stop to Earth spacedock, the captain of the CHS Hawking decided to follow up on discoveries made by her predecessor, the Isvoy. One of these discoveries was here, and the captain of the Hawking was eager to see the technological progress since they were discovered. When they arrived, everything looked normal from orbit, however the planetside crew found no trace of the Plu'ani, which was odd, because this planet had no history of war. An extensive search finally found some members of the race, but it seemed these few hundred was all that was left of this species - hundreds instead of billions.
An inquiry provided some answers - sometime in the 122000s, the Plu'ani had developed what they call a "Void Drive", which was a propulsion system meant to travel the emptiness BETWEEN universes. Their top scientists tried to perfect it, and had done all they could without testing it first, and this untested version was announced to the whole of the race. It was said to be the great equalizer - finally they could explore beyond what was possible before. By this point they were an Early Type-VI on the Kardashev scale, so mistakes with traveling into the unknown were to be expected. They severely underestimated this.
They built 2 massive spherical ships, with this Void Drive as the propulsion method. Ever being explorers, the vast majority of the Plu'ani wanted to go on this great adventure beyond what was known to them at the time. They even condensed "beyond what is known" down to a new letter for their language. As soon as everyone was aboard the two ships, the Void Drive was activated, and they SHOULD have just apparently winked out of existence. What ended up happenning was far more cataclysmic.
Orbiting Earth telescopes spotted the first sign of the devastation as it happened. What appeared to be 2 extremely bright supernovae appeared within the vicinity of the planet - which at first were assumed to be from background stars - until a more powerful telescope was used. This extra telescope revealed what had happened. Two large ships within the vicinity of Mykhatsi exploded devastatingly. Fortunately they were some light years from the planet. The telescope also detected no sign of anything amiss when it swept past that area a few hours prior, leading the commander of the telescope to conclude that some new technology was being tested that malfunctioned in the worst way possible. This information would be archived, and answers would not be forthcoming until the visit by the Hawking. The artificial nebula created by this event, and visible as of 200000 is known as The Void Fallacy.
The few hundred remaining on the planet were all elders, the last of their race. They could not rebuild the race as they were far too old, but they have fashioned machines that would let them live far beyond the normal lifespan of a Plu'ani, which would make them several thousands of Earth years old by now. It seemes that some of the race viewed the addition of the extra letter to their alphabet as an omen, as it looked like a planet, with two dots. The elders say these two dots likely signified explosions, and an oft-overlooked passage in their most sacred text states "The end will come when two stars appear side by side". so it appears these few hundred were indeed the last of their race.
The elders were wistful:
"Our machines can only last so long, despite technological advances...even your new ship is doomed to failure at some point. Machinery ages, so do all races. But our hope is that we live long enough to pass down this info as to what happened to us, to others. We are far too old to continue the legacy of the Plu'ani..."At this point, one of the machines keeping an elder alive failed, and despite attempts by the planetside crew to repair it, the Elder it was linked to slowly started disintegrating into a pool of yellow goo.
"Thus begins the end of our mighty race. We once had sway over our entire solar system and beyond, but now we are the last of a race that had made a grave error. Go, and remember us fondly."