Planet Name Class Diametre (km) Position Moons Gravity Day (hrs.) Atmosphere Climate Industry
Rigel XII G 20,500 XII 0 1.1G 22.0 Thin Desert Dilithium Mining
Rigel XII is the twelfth planet of the Rigel star system. Conditions on the planet are harsh, and habitation is only possible in sealed pressure domes. Grit and dust are everywhere, and sandstorms a frequent occurrence. These storms are especially bad during a magnetic storm. Water is scarce, and plant life is twisted and sere. In the mid-23rd century, Rigel XII was the site of a lithium mining operation run by Ben Childress with two partners. In 2266, con artist Harcourt Mudd, using the illegal Venus drug, attempted to sell Eve McHuron, Ruth Bonaventure and Magda Kovacs to the miners.

Rigel XII was settled by Human and Andorian prospectors in the 2190s, who established a few scattered mining colonies. The largest was Childress Camp, which had a lithium cracking plant.

By 2237, Rigel XII was home to the Rigel XII Mining Complex. Wendell Herzog, a geophysicist, worked here and was experimenting with antimatter when he discovered the capacity of dilithium crystals to channel and focus the energy output from matter/antimatter reactions. This doubled efficiency, allowing for greater warp speeds and more powerful weapons. At around this time, Orions discovered the world's extensive dilithium deposits at the Rigel XII Mining Complex. Orions then mined and sold dilithium to both the Federation and the Klingon Empire as power rectifiers for warp drives, revolutionizing interstellar travel and military-grade weapons technology.

As an ensign, Montgomery Scott worked on a ship that ferried dilithium miners and mining equipment, including a Mole, to the newly established mining colony on Rigel XII. Later, during the Four Years War between the two powers, circa 2251, a Klingon taskforce destroyed an Orion merchant ship transporting dilithium to the Federation, in what became known as the Laxala Incident. The Orions' Botchok Planetary Congress (BPC) and the Orion Frontier Merchants Association responded by threatening to destroy all dilithium on Rigel XII if either side interfered with their neutral trade. Both sides complied with this resolution.

By 2266, Rigel XII was the site of a lithium mining camp operated by Ben Childress, Herm Gosset and Benton.. It was isolated but potentially very wealthy. In 2266, the USS Enterprise went there to obtain replacement lithium crystals, where passenger Harry Mudd tried to sell Eve McHuron, Ruth Bonaventure and Magda Kovacs to the miners as wives. Captain James T. Kirk prevented Mudd from defrauding the miners.

By 2269, a chemist named John Orland was running a youth rally on Rigel 12. As good-natured revenge for not letting the child of his brother-in-law, a UFP diplomat, win a race, Orland was pressured into helping run The Great Starship Race.

The BPC later forbade any Starfleet vessel from approaching the world, claiming that it was vital for the defense of the Rigel system (or rather, of Orion neutrality). Despite this, at this time the world had a population of only six Humans, who occupied a single dilithium mining camp, the only settlement on the world. Their exact purpose there was undisclosed, as was the full list of everything that they were mining, making the planet a subject of interest and speculation. At this time, it had a technological/sociopolitical index of 999994-98 and a planetary trade profile of EABFBEF/D(X).

Starfleet was frequently drawn into the Rigel system, the Human colony on Rigel XII being one particular reason. Once dilithium extraction equipment was delivered in 2287, Childress Camp developed into a key refining plant for the entire sector, and a vital resupply station for Starfleet. The 800-year-long winter ended in the late 23rd century as well; the warming temperature and increasing Starfleet presence lead to a growing population, and it became a dull but extremely important economic hub.

In 2350, Austin Chang was born in Taynor-Ban-Fal on Rigel XII. By 2365, Federation settlement on Rigel XII was still a small mining colony. There was also a huge and fully automated subterranean dilithium refining facility, which was in continuous operation to supply the Federation's dilithium needs. During the Dominion War (2373-2375), the population swelled to the hundreds of thousands. Fleets of supply ships left Rigel XII to deliver dilithium to the armadas of the Federation and its wartime allies, though these were targets for Orion pirates and Jem'Hadar raiders.

Over the course of its history, Rigel XII had populations of 100 Humans and Andorians, dropping to only 3 and then 6 Humans, and finally rose to hundreds of thousands. Most settlements were in the form of mining camps, the most prominent of which was Childress Camp.

Alvarez Camp (abandoned)
Ames Camp
Childress Camp
Grouush Camp
Highguard Camp
Navarek Camp
Urich Camp

Rigel XII is a Federation member. However, at times, the world was shared by or supplied Orion mining interests.

Rigel XII's orbit was wide and eccentric, ranging between 290 and 300 AU from Beta Rigel, with a year that lasted 2200 standard Earth years, with "winter" taking up to 800 years. It lay so far from its sun that it should have been completely uninhabitable, but it was apparently warmed by internal heat, such that the surface temperature never fell below -50 Celsius. Temperatures climbed almost to 0C at midsummer, while winter temperatures were lower than those of Antarctica or Siberia. The mean annual temperature of Antarctica's interior is -57C. Siberia's mean annual temperature is 0.5C, with a winter average of -15C.

The world's atmosphere is thin, with a desert climate and geography. It has a fairly fast rotation, and this combined with the smooth geography leads to frequent windstorms. In a "cryclone", wind speeds reach 100 kilometers per hour, and temperatures plummet to -60C. It suffers constant wind, sandstorms, magnetic storms and ever-present dust. Water and vegetation are scarce. However, water ice covers 20% of the surface.

It has a total surface area of 642,424,260 square kilometers. About 46% of its makeup is normal metals, 29% is radioactive elements, 30% is industrial crystals, 17% is gemstones and 8% is special minerals.

Rigel XII is unique for the composition of its crust, which is made almost entirely of lithium compounds and crystals, as well as plentiful quantities of dilithium, especially beneath the north pole's frozen sea. Few other worlds in the known galaxy had naturally occurring lithium crystals that could be mined at a purity suitable for use in warp drives. However, expensive and bulky equipment was required to extract the dilithium. These two valuable resources were the prime reason for occupying the planet, and made it vital to the Federation.

The world has few native life-forms. These usually hibernate for centuries, or reproduce by spores or cysts that can endure the glaciers and freezing temperatures.

Ice Seas
Darkice Sea
Ice Lake
Sea of Blue Ice

Alvarez Mountains

This page and all contents ©2012 Owen E. Oulton