One of Pelietta's vast salt flats
|Orbital distance||1.12 AU|
|Day length||28.2 hours|
|Year length||384.6 days|
|Composition||68% nitrogen, 27% oxygen, 3% carbon dioxide, 1% water vapor, 1% other|
|Surface pressure||1 atm|
|Exports||Salt, iron, petroleum|
Pelietta is the third planet in the Szon system. It is within Szon's inner habitable zone which cause temperatures to be relatively high in comparison to Ucharpli. Pelietta is a post-garden world. After a major natural disaster thousands of years ago, the planet's biosphere collapsed and became a desert. Today, it supports life clinging to the edge.
At least 21,000 years ago, Pelietta had a breathable atmosphere, but a dangerous accumulation of carbon dioxide makes it inhospitable to most multicellular, respirating life. It is believed that several million years from now, Pelietta will become a pressure cooker planet.
Because all surface water on the planet has evaporated save for small hotsprings, the air has a constant 100% humidity which is considered inhospitable to Vaikan standards. However, in the past, it would have supported a more diverse ecosytem. Today, only rudimentary life forms exist on the surface.
In the past, Pelietta had global cloud cover. Today, clouds are a rare sight which usually disappear within hours after formation. Despite this, wind storms are a regular occurrence which are responsible for creating vast deserts in the inner regions of the planet's landmasses.
In the past, Pelietta was covered in at least 75% ocean, but these oceans have long since evaporated leaving behind vast plains of salt flats and towering limestone formations. The land is barren, consisting of rocky outcroppings, mountains, valleys and deserts. The destruction of its biosphere has also left behind rich amounts of coal, petroleum and natural gas buried within the planet's crust.
The planet has two large ice caps both containing frozen water. Tissue samples of Pelietta's previous life were discovered locked away inside which allowed for the Vaikan to run genetic experiments to recreate some of Pelietta's original life forms.
Today, Pelietta's equator is harsh and lifeless. However, closer to the poles, rudimentary life persists. There are several natural, boiling hotsprings containing a diverse amount of microbes. Around these pools are patches of lichen and mosses. Roaming the deserts are arthropod analogues with tough, chitinous carapaces. Nature reservations have been built around the few areas where life exists.
Points of interest
One of the most famous geographic landmarks is Pelietta Ravine, a geographic feature that is believed to have been created by a large antimatter bomb or stream likely to be of Genodraco origin that was dropped onto a KMF settlement. Surrounding the edges of this ravine are outcroppings of red oxidized soil and rocks. The fact that they stand out among a grey and brown landscape proves that in the past, artificial metallic structures had existed nearby further proving the theory.
Later research concluded that whatever made the ravine likely was not using its maximum power. More than likely, it was a mere warning shot to create psychological terror for the KMF.
Another famous landmark was formed from a terraforming experiment within an enclosed environment. Using DNA samples extracted from all over the planet, scientists were able to recreate what Pelietta may have looked like at least 100,000 years ago. The terraformed region now known as Pelietta Park was opened up to the public to become one of the planet's major tourist attractions.
Despite having been a better candidate for colonization than Ackarra, Pelietta is actually the second major Vaikan extraplanetary colony. It remained off limits for civilian establishments due to the planet's historical and scientific value until enough of the KMF ruins was uncovered. After that, it has become a major tourist location.
Pelietta was also an early prospect for terraformation, but efforts to do so have been abandoned in favor of extrasolar colonies. However, the enclosed areas have been terraformed some degree to create Pelietta Zoo.
Cities on Pelietta are located close to the poles. These settlements channel water through aqueducts that connect to the ice caps. Agriculture is surprisingly possible allowing it to become self sufficient very quickly after its founding. Scattered throughout the rest of the planet are oil rigs and coal mines, where mining mechs extract these valuable minerals for export. These settlements have a telekinetic field surrounding it that filters out the excess carbon dioxide in the air.
The planet is rich with fossil fuels formed from the planet's series of mass extinctions. Fossil fuels are a secondary energy source for the Karalian Empire, and are instead sold to other empires.
Pelietta is also a major source of sodium chloride, or salt, which consists of the leftovers of the planet's ancient oceans. There at least 18 million cubic miles of salt on the planet and less than 3% has been mined out even after 7,000 years. Because of this, salt has become one of the cheapest, yet most popular commodities that gets traded among the Karalian Empire.
Most documented history relies on carbon dating as well as ancient ruins found on the planet. Pelietta was once colonized by the KMF, a powerful extraterrestrial race once having an empire that spanned the whole galaxy. The planet was a scientific outpost used to study both the life on Pelietta and Ucharpli. A grand city was built in the northern hemisphere, believed to host a population of 2 billion people.
However, the colony did not last forever, and they were soon wiped out by the Si'Gean. Pelietta's biosphere would collapse soon after, and the majority of flora and fauna went along with them.
Many millenia later at the beginning of the Fourth Era, the Vaikan developed space travel. Pelietta was planned as the first manned mission, but Ackarra's closer transit to Ucharpli made it an easier target to reach. As a result, Pelietta's expedition was delayed.
When ruins on the planet were discovered, the Vaikan first believed that it was the KMF's home planet, but later found out that it was merely a colony which proved that this race was far more advanced than they originally thought. Little of these ruins were left as the majority of structures had long since eroded away, but shortly after the end of the Second Sinister War, an abandoned research facility was discovered with several ships in its hangar.
Although the databanks inside the facility were corrupted, the technology of the ships was salvaged to enhance and improve the Higgsium Drive jumping DFM technology forward by several centuries. The Vaikan were able to leave the Heart and Soul Nebulas and travel towards the Galactic Core and spread their empire out extending their influence.
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