Zel Secundus is a scorchingly hot world, dry and desiccated and scoured constantly by powerful storms of sand and grit. The atmosphere is poisonous and corrosive, and any man caught outside without proper protective gear will either have the flesh rasped from his bones by the wind or his lungs filled with toxic gases.
Geologically unstable, Zel Secundus is beset by constant tremors and quakes, and volcanic eruptions are an almost daily event. Scattered across the surface of the planet are clusters of smoking vents and steaming fumaroles, usually surrounded by bubbling pools of magma or highly toxic lakes of super–hot water full of dissolved salts, heavy metals, and other chemicals.
The only places man has a chance of dwelling for any length of time on this planet are the poles, which are cool enough, and stable enough, for permanent settlements assuming constant cleaning of seals around doors and windows (as sulphuric rains eat them away) and regeneration of air filters (easily clogged by thick masses of toxin–laden dust).
The various chemicals are what give Zel Secundus its meagre value. The boiling caldera produce great masses of sulphur, sulphuric compounds, and liquefied silicates that are mined using immense armoured crust–scrapers. The machines strip off the upper surface of Zel Secundus and break it down into holding tanks for shipment off–world for processing.
- Black Industries' Calixis Sector (archival)