This thread is for the in-character portion of this project. Caldari/Gallente roleplayers are welcome to help worldbuild this scarred planet; others are asked to please limit themselves to listening quietly. The coordinating portion of this project may be found here; participants may use that area to brainstorm and bounce ideas around without Aria's OOC knowledge.
Ché flicked a few switches at the command of the pilot to his left, who is piloting this space plane down to Caldari Prime, which is growing increasingly larger in the forward viewscreen. It is less white than one might expect. Ché had explained a number of factors played a part in this: natural evaporation does not play a major part in the water cycle, some vegetation had adapted to grow in snow and on ice, the effect industries and cities and human activities on the surrounding landscape, and in recent years, the planet was close to the periapsis of its fifteen standard year orbit while Luminaire's star is at the high output portion of its solar cycle.
The scar of the planet, the Shiigeru crash site, is clearly visible now. Ché glances to his left, at Aria, who is sitting between him and the pilot, and he notices her looking at it. Ché looks at it for a moment as well before raising his arm to point at it and some other recognizable features.
"Ok so...Shiigeru crash site...that's the southern edge of the Kaalakiota mountain range. The equator runs approximately like this...and that big body of water near it is the landlocked sea Arcurii. North of that is lake Saaika, aaand between the two, roughly at the same latitude as the southern edge of the Kaalakiota Peaks, that grey spot that's a different grey than the other grey spots...the one the ship is sorta pointing to, that is Arcurio."
Ché smiles and glances at Aria for a moment. He's not certain if he was telling her anything she already knew, but he felt like breaking the silence, so he did not care that much.
The decent through the thin atmosphere is quick, and soon the space plane starts leveling off about one kilometer above the plateau of basalt and granite, just underneath a thick layer of hazy cloud cover. The sun is still low in the sky, it appears not much brighter than a moon through the clouds. They pass some of the twelve graviton reactors and pulse generators that make up most of the power network, dark industrial monoliths, definitely of Caldari making, each standing in a small white cloud of vapor, towering over the surrounding tundra at the base of a hill, series of pipes zigzagging between them and into the distance toward. The surrounding buildings are dark as well, few lights can be seen. One of the buildings appears different, a large tube-shaped building, it appears to extend into the hill. The dark grey material is different from the other buildings, but hard to make out in this light. It has no windows apart from a single level, close to the ground.
As the spaceplane turns, Ché points at a greenish patch between the white and brown landscape, which is seemingly the only "green" in the immediate vicinity that appears to have reached the size of a big bush.
"See that?" he says. "Those are Pit-ki-aikanen trees. What you see is only their tops sticking above the snow level. They appear short, but they can actually be over ten meters tall. As they rely on packed snow for support, they grow tallest where there's a lot of snow. If the snow melts, then the thin trunks lie down on the ground, spreading away from the center horizontally, claiming more surface area for the old and new trees to grow when the snow falls again."
The space plane ends the turn, now flying parallel to a series of dark pipes going into the distance, slightly zigzagging over the tundra, a patchwork of snow, granite, evergreen trees and smaller vegetation. Not a lot of signs of animal life can be seen from this height, although an occasional bird can be spotted in the sky.
The underside of the thinning cloud layer rises quite a bit, the light from the sun becoming brighter as the skyline of Arcurio starts to come into view. Ché looks at it, a slight smile forming.
"Behold..." he nods towards the skyline, some buildings appearing over a kilometer in height "...that skyline of highly developed glass and steel...or one similar to it...was the first thing many Gallente saw of the Caldari. I was not alive when we first saw it, but I can imagine that those living in those days...when we saw that...we were sure that we would make new friends."
His smile turns a bit wry before turning his attention to some of the instruments in front of him. The space plane continues swiftly, increasing height while flying over a series of enormous windbreakers housing turbines before reaching the outskirts of the city, that covers over 5800 km2. From above, the city looks remarkably Caldari in style and efficiency for the first city that was exposed to Gallente culture. Its 128 wards, arranged in 32 groups of four according to tradition, can be distinguished. Heated silicate-glass snow canopies protect vast areas of the city's lower levels and non-heated transportation infrastructure. The reconstructed Qaiian Tower, the headquarters of the Nugoeihuvi corporation, dominates the skyline, around 2 kilometers in height.
Ché turns to Aria: "Do you wanna do a circle over the city before we set this lovely down?"