Stars Without Number
Orbital Refueling Station Gargarin
Constructed, staffed, and run by the planetary government on Gateway, Gargarin orbits the barbaric world of Sepulchre. It’s an open, but little known fact, that the station siphons its hydrogen rich fuel mixture from the atmosphere of its planetary anchor. Although the process leaves most of Sepulchre’s oxygen around the planet, the siphoning is contributing to the ever thinner air on the former prison world. Gargarin stores its fuel reserves in a Gravity Based Self Containing Bubble (GBSCB, or gib-scib), which requires precise gas ratios to maintain.
Sitting at the edge of traveled space, the refueling station is officially to be the jump off point for an as yet hypothetical aid mission to the surface of Sepulchre. It receives considerable traffic, even though no official craft have attempted to land on Sepulchre in hundreds of years. Speculation as to the station’s true purpose includes the following theories, some better received than others.
1) It’s the jumping off point for a planned invasion of Zadak space, which would use a long lost drill route.
2) It’s there to keep an eye on the brigands and petty kings living on, and flying into, Sepulchre.
3) It’s a hologram, existing solely as a diversion and/or reminder of Gateway’s power, to keep Sepulchre’s inhabitants frightened and in line.
4) Gateway’s government is honest about its intentions to launch an aid mission, but partisan politics and bureaucratic gridlock have stalled the program.
5) It’s pre-tech and crewed by ancient aliens who secretly run all of Hydra Sector from behind Gargarin’s closed bay doors.