SE Background Notes
After low concentrations of bio-chemicals were found in the Venturi System in the atmosphere of Venturi V, a gas giant, a hypercorp decided to send a survey crew. The survey found two new compounds: Metrati and Cysdin, which are catalysts usable in making pharmaceuticals, plastics, and biomaterials. Both are very hard to synthesize, so finding a natural supply was invaluable.
However extracting these materials has some issues, the biggest being low concentrations in the swirling mass of chemicals that make up the gas giant. The solution devised was a two-stage operation. The upper-stage is a converted Titanic Class Gas-mining Platform, named moneyspider, that handles purification of the extracted material. The Lower-stage is a custom floating deep atmosphere platform called Jetsom that performs extraction.
The second issue is the need for secrecy. These materials are a gold mine for the hypercorp and if anyone else found out they would lose their cozy market. So instead they keep it a secret and the project is officially registered as a continuing survey of the system.
Jetsom floats like a hot-air balloon in the atmosphere of Venturi V. Because of this it does not have a fixed position, but instead is blown about by the gas giant’s winds. It has a distillation tower which extracts atmosphere with concentrations of Metrati and Cysdin. It’s manned by two crews of four who work 38 day tours, before an equal amount of rest on the moneyspider. These crews are aided by a number of robots.
Venturi V’s stormy atmosphere makes normal communications intermittent. Automated shuttles are the other means of communication between locations.
Moneyspider was set in the far upper atmosphere of Venturi V, in a fairly low orbit typical to their type. They follow a 38 day elliptical cycle in their orbit around Venturi V. It also has docking facilities for small starships and the automated shuttle-craft which ferry personnel, supplies, and unrefined chemicals to and from Jetsom. The automated shuttles can only make the trip to and from Jetsom during the nearest point of it’s 38-day cycle. Magnetic storms in Venturi V’s atmosphere occasionally make the shuttle-trips hazardous.
The few starships which come through are typically tramp freighters that are only passing through. Those that do stop typically only dock or leave at the high point of of the 38 day cycle.