Bliazheprvlaf (0435), like Plafrezhdish (0138), has a large star
(luminosity class F size II) visible from Zhdant and named by the
Zhodani in pre-space flight times.
The primary has no habitable planets, due to the position of the
companion star. The companion has some planets of its own, one of
which is marginally habitable and has plant life. The atmosphere is
tainted with a hallucinogenic gas mix and a number of harmful pollens
The large primary is of interest to Zhodani astronomers. They have
impressive unmanned sensor arrays close to the star and two small
manned habitats several AU out from it. Most astronomers live in the
main base, which orbits the habitable planet. From here, they monitor
their sensors remotely. They use the mainworld only for water,
gathered by ocean dipping, since the vegetation is unsuitable for
The Talpaku suspect that the Zhodani have an ulterior motive and it is
rumoured that they will pay a substantial reward for evidence of this.
They claim that some of the sensors probe Talpaku space, using their
technological advantage. Resupply ships skirt Talpaku space, which
also worries the Talpaku.
(1) There is an Ancients site on the mainworld. It will be discovered
at some point, not necessarily by the Zhodani. Explorers will have to
deal with the tainted atmosphere; the hallucinatory gas causes
megalomania and the spores and pollen will take root in unprotected
flesh (among other severe side effects).
(2) Basic life support (food, air and so on) is obtained from the
neighbouring friendly system, Fliblshichtia.
(3) Since the base is outside the Consulate and the research does not
involve people, possession of psionic talent gives little advantage
and the scientists then work together as equals. The Consulate has
some difficulty when non-psionic scientists return home. Officers of
the Tavrchedl' on station curb the worst of this behaviour, but this
still leaves many problems. Further, these officers consider these
appointments to be boring beyond belief and as a punishment for poor
performance. They often overdo or underdo their duties, each of which
results in problems.
(4) The station has a bad reputation for political unrest. Although
this rumour, like all rumours, overstates the truth, it is true that
just being posted here seems to cause well adjusted scientists to
start thinking about things they never thought of before.
(5) In 870, there was a period of internal dissent over certain
alternative theories of the evolution of large stars. The single
Tavrchedl' officer of the time (named Tsadl Mapliezhqaf) lost control
of the situation, due to his secret drinking problem and his total
inability to understand the issues being argued (he thought stars were
big bright things in the sky). There was a revolt against the base
leadership, the leadership overreacted and some scientists (some
psionic) decided to defect to the Meichntid Ibl. They were captured
when they tried to leave the station in a courier.
In order to protect his career, Tsadl struck an agreement with the
rebels, allowing them to settle on Fliblshichtia, as long as they
promised to stay. The cover up was eventually discovered, when Tsadl
was recalled for "re-education" and the rebels formally exiled.
(6) The fate of Tsadl is lost in the mists of time and has become the
subject of speculation, stories and drinking songs. Some say he
escaped from the Thought Police and settled on Fliblshichtia; others
say he has returned to haunt the base bar and can be heard only by the
truly intoxicated. There is even a popular drink from Fliblshichtia
that bears his name.