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LIU Atlas - Barathrum
There are billions of stars, millions of planets, but there is only one man, Terrance McDoogal. Welcome to LIU Atlas.
About this creation
LIU Atlas - Barathrum


The Ludgonian Industrial Union's galaxy contains billions of stars and billions of planets. Unfortunately, most residents of the LIU could only name a handful of these worlds. In order to improve astronomy grades across the LIU, TV2 has started a new program called LIU Atlas. Follow our host, Terrance McDoogal, as he takes you on a tour across the LIU and some of its more obscure worlds.

Note: This episode is presented in full screen. The corresponding dialogue is underneath each photo.


Doog: “Welcome to another episode of LIU Atlas. I’m your host, Terrance “Doog” McDoogal. Today we’re visiting the gas giant Barathrum. Barathrum is in a class of gas giants called ice giants. Barathrum is made up of only thirty percent hydrogen, with volatiles like water, methane, and ammonia making the up the majority of its atmosphere. A cyclone, larger than most terrestrial planets, spins around the planet’s equator. This cyclone has been stable since its discovery almost five centuries ago. Oh yeah, one more thing. The cyclone is inhabited. Yeah, you heard that right.”




Doog: “An arcology floats deep down within the abyss of the cyclone. As we learned on Adiutrix, arcologies are self-sufficient, requiring no outside assistance. The arcology makes it own food, air, and energy. The arcology stays afloat using advanced repulsor technology that rides the planet’s strong magnetic field lines.”




Doog: “The upper half of the arcology looks to be a large biosphere. This is a popular feature with arcologies as it helps process water and oxygen. Ah, the Barath, the race that calls this cyclone home, have given us docking rights. It’s time to head inside.”




Punag: “Timbaya Doog. I am Punag-Uyon, the democratically elected leader of this facility.”
Doog: “Nice to meet you, Poontang. Wow, you’re a tall species.”
Punag: “That’s Punag, Punag-Uyon. But, yes, thank you. We are indeed tall compared to your standards. Our original homeworld had weaker gravity, and it allowed us to evolve the physical characteristic.”
Doog: “So this isn’t your original homeworld?”
Punag: “No, we’ve relocated here from the solar system’s second planet.”
Doog: “You entire race relocated?”
Punag: “Yes.”
Doog: “Why?”




Punag: “The various Barathian tribes of the old world fought several brutal wars over the planet’s limited resources. We nearly destroyed ourselves. We came to realize that no matter how much we invested into diplomacy, we were doomed to fight endlessly as long as a disparity of resources existed. We made a decision to invest in this arcology and relocate here, where resources are nearly endless. With everyone getting an equal share of resources here, the fighting ended, and we began the era of peace.”
Doog: “So you got yourself a little utopia here? Nice.”
Punag: “Nearly. We were on the verge of a perfect society until we were discovered by the LIU. Equality, especially financially, does not fit well in the LIU economic model. We’ve had to make adjustments to avoid the LIU’s wrath.”
Doog: “Like what?”




Punag: “The original ideas behind this arcology were automation and efficiency. We would never take more than we needed from the planet. The systems were all meant to be fully recyclable. Computers would control most of these systems so the residents would never have to work. They would be free to study, interact, and find inner-peace. More importantly, the removal of jobs ended any sense of a class system. Everyone was equal. Unfortunately, the power demands of the industries forced upon us have forced us to shut down the automation computers. We have work again.”
Doog: “I feel you on that. Jobs suck.“
Punag: “Yes. And some more than others. Working the food fields is a particularly hard endeavor. No one wants to have this job, but we have to make someone do it.”
Doog: “Yeah, agriculture really sucks. I wouldn’t want do it. So, what’s been forced upon you?”
Punag: “Follow me.”




Punag: “The arcology was originally designed to have a near-closed water system. Water would be recycled using the biosphere. We would only need to take a small amount of water from the planet to occasionally refresh the system. This water was obtained from the abundant ices in the atmosphere.”
Doog: “And now the LIU wants you to produce more water?”
Punag: “Yes, water is in high demand, especially on desert planets. With a water retrieval system already installed, the LIU believed it should be put to use. So, instead of extracting water every few months, we are continuously extracting it.”




Doog: “I guess that’s not ideal, but I’ve seen the LIU make people do far worse. I think you‘re getting off easy.”
Punag: “Not that easy. Water extraction takes lots of power. There is more than water ice in this atmosphere. We have to separate the water ice from the ammonia and methane ices.”
Doog: “So this is the power draw that forced you to shut down your automation systems?”
Punag: “Partially. Come on, I’ll show you.”




Punag: “This is the arcology’s power station. All of our power is derived from the four wind turbines on the exterior of the arcology.”
Doog: “Yeah, I saw those during my approach.”
Punag: “Yes. The turbines are turned by the strong winds of the cyclone. These winds, in excess of 1,300mph, provide all the power this arcology needs. Well, at least they used to.”




Punag: “Using mapping scans of the cyclone, we position the arcology in the most ideal winds, near the cyclone‘s eye wall. This used to provide all the power we ever needed, but recently we’ve become an energy importer. Now we have to purchase power from other worlds.”
Doog: “If you’re already importing power, why don’t you import enough to get the automation systems online? At least that would eliminate one problem.”
Punag: “And it would put us ever more in debt to the LIU. No thanks. We’re barely able to keep up as it is.”




Doog: “When we were in the water room earlier, you said it was only partially responsible for the power shortages. What other industries are responsible?”
Punag: “The main culprit is our new mining industry.”
Doog: “What do you mine?”
Punag: “Metallic hydrogen from deep in the planet’s core.”
Doog: “Metallic? How does hydrogen become metallic?”
Punag: “If you look at the periodic table, hydrogen is at the top of the alkali metal column. As we all know, hydrogen is far from a metal under ordinary conditions, but at hundreds of gigapascals of pressure, hydrogen does in fact become a metal. These pressures are hard to recreate artificially, but are easily achieved in the core of large gas planets.”
Doog: “And you go down there and mine it?”
Punag: “Well, not all the way down there. We’d be crushed hundreds of miles before we reached the core. We have devised another way. Come on, we’re almost there.”




Punag: “To mine the hydrogen, we’ve constructed an additional arcology even deeper in the atmosphere. To get there, we’ll need to utilize our teleportation system.”
Doog: “Beam me up…er, down.”




Punag: “My race developed teleportation technology many years ago, but we never utilized it as it consumes enormous amounts of power. We’ve been forced to use it again. Keep still. The process is beginning.”




Doog: “Whoa, this feels weird!”




Punag: “The sub-arcology rests in a layer of supercritical fluids at extreme temperatures. An advanced shielding system prevents the arcology from being crushed and irradiated. A failure of this system would result in instantaneous death.”
Doog: “Comforting…”
Punag: “Not really. This is the deepest anyone has gone in a gas giant. The only reason we can even get this deep is because of the cyclone. The cyclone is a massive low pressure system. It alleviates some of the pressure.”




Punag: “We’re here.”
Doog: “Uhh, Poontang, I think we’ve had a malfunction.”
Punag: “Ah, yes we have. It appears you lost your pants. No worries. This is a common occurrence. Teleporting through the sub-arcology’s shields is difficult. Sometimes items get held up for a bit. I’m sure they’ll show up eventually.”




Doog: “No worries! No %&*@ing worries! Are you kidding me! Ahhhh!”
Punag: “Relax Doog. They’re just pants. Just be thankful you still have your underwear.”
Doog: “I don’t care about my pants! Where is my MICROPHONE!!?!”




Doog: “Oh no. Oh no. I hope he’s OK. I hope he’s OK.”
Punag: “Are you having a nervous breakdown?”
Doog: “I’m going to have to start killing people until he shows up. Yes. Yes. That sounds good. Who’s first?”
Punag: “That’s not necessary. The detectors found it. It will be here in a few seconds. Just relax.”
Doog: “Ok. Whew.”
Punag: “You know we have a pretty good psychiatrist onboard. It might be a good idea to have a chat with him before you leave.”
Doog: “I might take you up on that.”




Punag: “You know, we could have waited for your pants too.”
Doog: “Nah, I like to air it out on occasion. Besides, I got my microphone back, that’s all that matters. So, what’s this?”




Punag: “This is the deep core teleportation device. It is much more powerful than the personal teleporters. Since we can’t personally go to the core, we teleport metallic hydrogen into the arcology. Look, she’s beginning a teleportation now.”




Punag: “This requires extreme amounts of energy, but it is the only way to extract metallic hydrogen from a gas giant.”
Doog: “It remains a metal even after you taken it out of the high pressures?”
Punag: “Yes. It is metastable, meaning it keeps its form until disturbed.”
Doog: “What is it used for?”
Punag: “Metallic hydrogen is a superconductor even at room temperatures. It rivals Muspellian Steel in that regard. It is also an extremely efficient fuel. By converting the metal back to its original form, it releases tons of energy. Clean energy.”
Doog: “Fun stuff. Anything else?”
Punag: “No. I think we covered it all.”


Doog: “Well folks, Barathrum is an interesting place. The technologically advanced Barath species relocated their entire civilization to an arcology inside the planet’s massive cyclone. They once approached a perfect utopian society, but were forced into the LIU’s economic empire. Now, they produce water and metallic hydrogen. Well, see ya!”

Note:

Doctor: “So, what would you like to discuss first, your microphone attachment or the fact you have no pants on?”
Doog: “Neither.”
Doctor: ‘Excuse me?”
Doog: “I’m not here to talk. I just really needed a nap. The beds on the Magellan leave a lot to be desired.”
Doctor: “Maybe we should…”
Doog: “Shhh! I’m trying to take a nap over here. And don’t think about touching my mic while I sleep.”
Doctor: “Metallic hydrogen is metastable, you…not so much.”




Comments

 I like it 
  February 25, 2014
Love it, LIU really messed up the perfect living conditions of that punag race. I like the Idea of hydrogen as a metal, everything seems so plausible when you tell it :P
 I like it 
  February 24, 2014
Nice episode, as always.
 I like it 
  February 23, 2014
So just how expensive was it to shoot this episode on Kamino? ~Chris.
 I like it 
  February 19, 2014
Fantastic, both in regards to the build quality and the story. I have never heard of metallic hydrogen before, and the whole concept of it being a room temperature superconductor sounds fascinating. Good stuff!
 I like it 
  February 17, 2014
You have a keen sense of irony melding Kaminoans with Clone Troopers here, nice touch.
 I like it 
  February 17, 2014
Super episode. You've achieved a nice balance between hard science and science fiction in your writing. Great job.
 I like it 
  February 17, 2014
I'd harbor a bit of resentment too...
 I like it 
  February 17, 2014
That geodesic dome is the business, fantastic technique. And a richly plotted and characterized episode to boot. The disappearing pants is a nice nod to the Lego movie, which also muses on the effects of rampant commercialization... although I think the LIU is in some ways more believable, and therefore scarier!
 I like it 
  February 17, 2014
Great build and story! That dome is an impressive design, looks really awesome! I´ve almost seen Doom, err ... Doog, going berserk. Ha! There would have been a massacre, if he hadn´t gotten his microphone back, that´s for sure. Awesome episode! ~Cheers, Marc
 I like it 
  February 16, 2014
The LIU's tentacles spread their corrupting influence everywhere (the secret of building paper spaceships is NOT for sale!). I like how Doog isn't so cynical as to not feel sad at the LIU's intervention in the Barathian's idyll. Doog's attachment to his microphone makes him quite vulnerable and human too. For all his faults and flaws we like Doog (loving him might be going a bit too far!) Will there ever be an episode from Doog's childhood, explaining the whole microphone thing? I must say that I was distracted from the story at first by the brilliant icosidodechedral dome on top of the arcology. A great look and super technique.
 I like it 
  February 16, 2014
Poontang and a pantless Doog...classic!~H
 I like it 
  February 16, 2014
Haha! Excellent episode, as always! And I like how you are hinting at that other series...
 I like it 
  February 16, 2014
Great storyline, great technology, great science, great sets, great episode
 I like it 
  February 16, 2014
A great one! Nice sets, fun banter, and a pantless Doog! You will always get my attention with any kind of polyhedron, whole or hemi! Loved the chem PT Group reference too. So... next time... math groups, rings, etc? I'm in love! :)
  February 15, 2014
Once again, truly amazing.
 I like it 
  February 15, 2014
This was a fun one! Great tech action, and of course, the psych consult. Classic Atlas!
 I like it 
  February 15, 2014
wow, can hydrogen really transform into metal? it seems lately you really push the envelope on science, some of the concepts you use in your serie are fascinating, I m glad to see some liu activity, it used to be the main event, and you treat it with such sarcasm, it s a delight, I d like to see some Doug character development though, he s a lot more serious than the good old days, maybe he could run into his ex or something, xd, I really liked this one!
 I like it 
  February 15, 2014
As usual, hilarious! The geodesic dome is very-well-built. I sense somebody went to The Lego Movie?
 I like it 
  February 15, 2014
Always makes me smile!
 I like it 
  February 15, 2014
As always, an instant classic. The humor, as always, is straight and point-blank. (where it needs to be) P.S. "Honey, where are my pants?"
 I like it 
  February 15, 2014
What, no potty humor? The planet name sounds a lot like "bathroom"... Anyway, another funny episode. But why don't they use a little of the metallic hydrogen to make energy?
 I like it 
  February 15, 2014
Nice as always. You're very creative.
 
By Ludgonious .
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop LIU Atlas - Barathrum


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