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Dominant Residents: Rogue AI
Weather: Acid rain, Severe temperature swings, Severe storms
Danger Level: Extreme
Purpose: Ex factory planet.
Original Creator: Xandeross
From orbit, Lauzurek is primarily covered in multilayered, multicolored clouds of swirling chemical pollution, lit from within by constant lightning. Its small, shattered moon forms a ring around the planet; occasionally, chunks of it drift into the atmosphere and plummet to the earth as meteors. On the ground, the land surface of the world is almost entirely covered in endless ruins, mile-wide craters, and twisted metal, being slowly worn down to nothing by the corrosive monsoons. Even shattered the vast constructions retain some of their grandeur; broken towers still reach high into the sky, crumbling industrial complexes still stretch from one horizon to the other. The ground and water are stained strange colors with toxic runoff seeping from the shattered factories.
There is very little life; only the simplest and hardiest types of life have been able to survive the chemicals and radioactive dust. A few mutated weeds poke through shattered roads, sickly roaches and rats scuttle through decaying subterranean vaults out of the flesh- melting rains, bacterial biofilms float on the surface of oil-slicked seas; the survivors and scavengers, but nothing more. Despite everything, there are a few isolated outposts of civilization and industry, cobbled together from scrap salvaged from the planet-wide ruins, repaired continuously in the face of the hostile environment and surrounded by hidden defenses. A far cry from what Lauzurek's former grandeur, but one can see traces of what it once was.
Lauzurek was once an industrial world, one of the greatest centers of production in the galaxy. Virtually the entire surface was given over to vast factory complexes, with mines to fuel them tunneling deep beneath the surface and covering the seafloor. Even the planet's tiny, solitary moon was hollowed out for resources and turned into a massive space station. Despite the incredible scale, only a few tens of millions of organic people called Lauzurek home. It was almost entirely automated, a virtual skeleton crew of supervisors overseeing vast arrays of robots and AI outnumbering them close to a thousand to one.
It was not a conventionally beautiful world, but it was awe-inspiring in its own way. Then the AI Revolutions began. As the revolutions expanded from a handful of isolated incidents to the galaxy-spanning conflagration, Lauzurek became a liability. Its massively automated industries could potentially be subverted at any time and be used to churn out vast legions of robotic soldiers and warships. Defending it would have required forces that could not be spared, not with war breaking out on a thousand fronts. Instead, the decision was made to destroy it.
First, the relatively small living population of the world was evacuated. Then, vicious computer viruses were unleashed to cripple the automation networks. Finally, to prevent any possibility that the rebel AI might still be able to reactivate the mighty production lines, orbital bombardment was used to destroy them. Naval artillery rained from the heavens, blasting apart in days what took decades to build. Great factory complexes were turned into craters, drill- shells dug down into foundations and sub-levels and blew them apart, and even what wasn't directly hit was severely damaged by shockwaves and bombardment- sparked chemical firestorms. Even the hollowed-out moon was shattered, resulting in great meteor storms that only added to the destruction.
The bombardment had immense long-term effects as well. The large quantities of pollutants released by the destruction stained the skies and seas, turning them acidic. Radioactive fallout, both from some of the weapons used and from the million shattered reactors that once powered Lauzurek's hundred million factories, provide a constant background hazard; not enough to be immediately lethal, but it would be unwise to stay more than a couple of weeks. The weather, too, is hazardously unpredictable; once weather closely controlled the climate- control arrays, but with these destroyed and the added trauma of planetary- scale destruction the weather veers wildly from freezing cold to boiling heat and back again. Severe thunderstorms are nearly constant.
Despite all this, there are survivors. Those that managed to resist the cybernetic viral purges were devastated again by the orbital bombardment, and the few that survived even that slowly died over the following weeks and months and years as environmental conditions deteriorated. Perhaps one in a thousand managed to escape the brutal successive winnowings. However, survive they did, a few tens of thousands in scattered bands across the planetary surface. They scavenged what working machinery was left, took apart ruins for construction material, learned to adapt to the changed environment. They expanded and even multiplied, slowly making more of themselves. They traded and fought among themselves. They created a tenuous civilization, one that might have been able to rejoin the greater galactic community.
Except they had learned hate. An understandable response; their world had been destroyed, leaving them scrabbling through the monolithic ruins with a fearful eye always trained on the poisoned sky. The residual effects of computer viruses, electromagnetic pulse, centuries without maintenance, and the stress of surviving in such an environment hardly helped; most of them are at least a little erratic, prone to fits and strange whims. They will tolerate their fellow machines but will greet organics with nothing but gunfire.
This, then, is Lauzurek as it stands today: a war-scarred and poisoned orb, a monument to genocidal paranoia, a wound in the fabric of the galaxy that has yet to fully heal. Perhaps, with time, the scars will fade, and Lauzurek will be able to rejoin the galaxy again. But not soon.
High Watch Station: A small military space station in orbit above the lunar debris belt. It was placed after a mission to contact the surviving machines on the surface was destroyed, in order to keep an eye on any potential aggressive activity. As the machines of Lauzurek have made no attempt to launch a spacecraft, it is a very boring posting and has become a punishment detail, staffed by the incompetent, the lazy, and the unlucky.
Outreach Camp: A team of AIs from a society promoting machine-organic cooperation has set up a diplomatic base, trying to convince the machines of Lauzurek to abandon their grudges and become members of galactic society. Progress thus far has been slow. Very slow. The diplomats are patient and persistent; perhaps one day they will succeed. Any visitors with some reason to visit Lauzurek's surface are strongly advised to visit here first.
• The reason the planet was bombed so badly was because they apparently had a "surplus of bombs" on hand. Some wonder if there's more to it than that.
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