Speaking of metal, I am reminded of the concept of metalicity: the ratio of hydrogen+helium vs everything heavier in a given star system. Generally, star systems with lots of metals happen in denser, older parts of galaxies, since most metals are created in the death throes of higher order stars. High metalicity tends to have more potential for interesting weird things, like life. We live in a relatively metal-rich neighborhood of our galactic arm of the Milky Way.
So this evening, I was playing some Elite Dangerous. Currently, my big beefy ship (she’s a real pleasure barge, a few hundred meters long and bristling with weapons and a full complement of exploration gear) is way down, almost 3000 light years below the galactic plane, due “south” of the center of the galaxy. The Milky Way looks a lot like a dinner plate- wide, but thin when viewed edge on. I’m a few widths of the plate down. It’s very dark down here, with very few stars, and almost no metal. It should be a barren, cold, lifeless part of the galaxy.
Imagine my surprise when I tore out of witchspace into an undiscovered system and was greeted by a beautiful blue pearl, floating serenely with the whole span of the Milky Way above me, like a bead of water curled up in the center of an all-encompassing dandelion.
Far below the galactic plane, where nothing shines, one world gleams with the promise of life and rest. At the edge of the abyss, an unlikely Earth-Like waits for other wayward travelers who venture far from the Neutron Highways of the galaxy.
I named it Deena’s Respite, in honor of a potent woman who won victory over one of her long standing trials this morning.