Bondle

Surface gravity 13.0 – 4.3 m/s², 1.3 – 0.44 g
Day length 14.9 ks, 4.13 hours, 0.172 Earth days
Year length 21.4 Ms, 0.677 Earth years
Solar binary period 40.4 ks, 0.47 Earth days
Seasonal change Minor
Atmosphere 381 kPa, 25 kPa partial pressure O2, 1 kPa partial pressure CO2
Minor effects of CO2 toxicity
Minor effects of nitrogen narcosis
Fires do not burn
Climate Warm
Notable features Double world, orbits binary star, ruins of an extinct technological culture.
Population 45 million, primarily Gummis with small enclaves of Human, Tweechi, and Pirang
Wormhole terminus Nuiivaupb
Prominent businesses Wormhole generation, glide fields, computers, life support, agricultural equipment, Gummi agriculture, antiquities

A gravity map of Bondle (bottom) and Pbliiuwho (top), with local gravity measured in m/s² at selected points (indicated with + signs). The spin axis is perpendicular to the page.

Natural Features

The most notable feature for visitors to Bondle is that it is a double planet. Its twin world, Pbliiuwho, is nearly as large as Bondle, and the two worlds are so close to each other that both are distorted into egg shapes. Pbliiuwho looms huge in the sky in the nearside hemisphere. The high rate of spin and odd mass distribution make the surface gravity vary considerably from place to place, highest just nearsideword of the equator near the spin poles and lowest just under Pbliiuwho.

The second most notable feature are the binary suns, slightly more yellowish than Earth's sun, and also nearly touching.

The third feature most non-Gummis notice is the high level of carbon dioxide in the air. Although not acutely toxic, after several hours it tends to cause headches, difficulty thinking straight, confusion, irritation, drowsiness, and difficulty sleeping. Over time, most species can acclimate to the increased CO2 levels, and many who commonly visit Bondle get gene surgery to allow them to tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide. Gummis were native to a high CO2 world, and have no difficulty with the atmosphere. Short-term visitors often just wear breathe masks and scrubbers. The effects of CO2 poisoning disappear within hours of breathing air with lower levels of carbon dioxide.

The effects of CO2 poisoning can be partially masked by another hazard of Bondle's atmosphere – nitrogen narcosis. The high atmospheric pressure produces impaired reasoning, difficulty completing unpracticed tasks, and mild euphoria. Some people experience delayed responses to stimuli, impaired recall, idea fixation, difficulty in visual focusing, anxiety, overconfidence, or (for Humans and Pannovas) inappropriate laughter. The impairment is cumulative with that for CO2 poisoning, but the narcotic effect means that the subject may not as easily recognize this. The effects are also cumulative with other mind-altering substances; alcohol and cannabis in otherwise safe amounts on other worlds can lead to serious affliction. Laers, Tweechi, and Gummis are highly resistant to nitrogen narcosis and are not affected by this aspect of Bondle's atmosphere. Some individuals of other sapient species are more resistant to nitrogen narcosis than others, and not all other species experience symptoms, or even the same symptoms. Narcosis has an onset of within minutes of exposure to higher pressure, and vanishes within minutes once the elevated pressure is relieved. Again, gene surgery or medication regimens are available that allow unimpaired operation in Bondle's high pressure atmosphere, and using an SCBA kit with heliox or trimix breathe gas relieves all symptoms of Bondle's atmosphere. Bondle-specific SCBA setups can continually recycle the helium in the breathe gas and extract the necessary oxygen from the ambient atmosphere, allowing indefinite use of the SCBA as long as electrical power is available.

Bondle is an environment similar to Gummiland, and life from the Gummi homeworld has established itself. Bondle has the largest land reefs in the Verge, forests of screw-feather trees, plains of lip-bulbs, and other Gummiland ecosystems. Native life can also be found in areas colonized by Gummi flora and fauna, with the native purple fuzz bushes and fuzz mats crowding and jostling with the red, orange, and yellow of Gummi vegetation. There are relatively few large native life forms, the result of a mass extinction event some 300 teraseconds (ten million years) ago.

The remains of an extinct people are found throughout Bondle (and its neighboring planet of Pbliiuwho). They had a vibrant technological culture, building grand cities, extensive road networks, and apparently an advanced (though not interstellar) technology. The 300 teraseconds (ten million years) since their extinction has erased most of the obvious signs of their presence, but those with an experienced eye can still pick out the concrete of old foundations, stacks of rocks that were once fences or walls, corroded lumps of rust that remain of old tools, pits of old quarries, and linear features that are what remain of roads after thousands of millennia of weather and biological action have had their way.

History

Bondle was colonized shortly after Grummer. It was selected based on the spectral output of its stars, which were similar to that of Gummiland's star, and because the spectra of the planet showed an atmosphere similar to Gummiland. When the probe wormhole landed, it indeed proved to be near ideal for Gummi settlement. Bondle quickly attracted many adventurous Gummis from NGC 3109 and nearby galaxies, eager to explore this new frontier and meet whatever strange people might call it home.

The mission to San Agustín was launched from Bondle, leading to first contact with the Human species. Contact with the Humans led to increased business, industry, and wealth as trade flowed through Bondle between Earth and its colonies, and Gummiland and its colonies. It also led to an even greater level of immigration, as more Gummis came who wanted to meet this new people. As the most Gummi-habitable world in Gummi space within the Milky Way, and conveniently close to the Humans, Bondle naturally attracted most of the new settlers.

Government

As a Gummi-majority world, Bondle doesn't have what Humans would recognize as a government. rather, it has a network of coordination committees that offer recommendations that carry significant weight but come with no enforcement options.

People

Bondle is the Gummi version of paradise, and naturally has a high population of Gummis. The mildly toxic effects of the atmosphere keep most other sapient species from becoming long-term residents. Gene-tweaked individuals, or those who naturally can adapt to or withstand the high pressure and elevated carbon dioxide levels, are welcomed to Bondle with enthusiasm. Consequently, there are small but slowly growing communities of Humans, Tweechis, and Pirangs living on Bondle. The Tweechis in particular enjoy the dense atmosphere and, in places, lower gravity, because it makes takeoff easier.

Despite having one of the highest populations in the Verge, there has not been enough time for the Gummis to spread across and civilize all of Bondle. There are a handful of metropolitan areas, surrounded by cropland and rangeland, beyond which is wilderness. The conditions on Bondle are favorable to Gummi agriculture, and Bondle produces most of the traditional Gummi food in the Verge.

Places

Nuiivaupb

Nuiivaupb is the largest city on Bondle, and the one most travellers experience because it hosts Bondle's wormhole station. The organic, half-melted looking Gummi architecture has produced built-up areas of reef-like dwellings and businesses, often building up into spires and towers of glittering nacre, and sprouting with the vigorous growth of urban screw-feather trees and polyp bushes. Winding pathways lead here and there, often enclosed as they are overgrown by Gummi buildings. Because Gummis can stick to surfaces, these paths can often swoop up at odd angles, presenting vertical sections or progressing under and overhang, and can be difficult for Humans, Mants, Pirangs, and Laers to navigate (Tweechi can, of course, fly; and Pannovas are sufficiently accomplished climbers that they can usually get by). Many of the paths have dedicated hover pod lanes. Wider thoroughfares criss-cross the city to allow vehicular traffic, mostly for deliveries. Parks, often connected by greenways or canals, dot the city, and often serve as the locus for civic events, gatherings, fairs, exhibitions, and artistic and musical displays.

The Nuiivaupb wormhole station maintains regions of reduced pressure and carbon dioxide concentration for the benefit of travelers who are unable to tolerate Bondle's environment.

Eewheeohm Advanced Learning Center

One of the primary centers of higher education in the Verge, Eewheeohm occupies a large campus outside of Nuiivaupb. It is a peaceful expanse of parks and lip-bulb lawns, dotted by open air amphitheaters for lecture halls and the mounded lumps and spires of Gummi buildings where the teachers have their offices and the researchers their laboratories. Eewheeohm boasts the Verge's greatest authorities on extinct civilizations, not only Bondle's own indigenous vanished culture but also the Antecessors.

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