Origins and History Edit
Discovered by Master System probes due to its massive quantities of murylium, it was heavily mined for its ore. Afterward the honeycombed asteroid was abandoned, but the Presidium took it over as a personal reserve under their authority alone and not Master System’s. This was allowed only because Master System deemed that such privileged Humans needed an outlet from authority and that it was better to have it remain in a self contained place where it could be easily watched or destroyed rather than a more secret or inconvenient place.
It was here that Chief Doctor Isaac Clayben and his private computer and transmuter were used to conduct illegal experiments without the knowledge of Master System. To facilitate his experiments he required murylium, so to that end he developed a formula for making transmuters more efficient, and he began a brisk trade with the Free Booters. In exchange for murylium, he gave them Melchior prisoners modified to be mindless slaves, a commodity that Savaphoong in particular acquired large quantities of.
Preparing against the eventuality that Master System would destroy Melchior, Isaac Clayben commissioned the creation of five unique Melchior Class ships in addition to the freighters they already owned, the Star of Islam and the Star Islander. The first ship made, originally called the Star but later renamed the Lightning, was a yacht-like Interstellar getaway ship with advanced custom armaments, defenses, research computers, and with speed in mind as its primary function. The four other Melchior Class ships were manned fighters which could attach to the hull of the Star or the Star of Islam, and then be deployed as defensive or offensive ships.
Ten years before the events of Lords of the Middle Dark, Isaac Clayben created Vulture in the hopes of breeding an army to defeat Master System. Vulture was unstable however, and saw no difference between humans and machines, hating them all. He killed half the station before he could be incapacitated, and then was kept stabilized as a running experiment by Clayben. Later, at the behest of China Administrator Song, China Nightingale was created in a laboratory using artificial sperm and eggs to breed a race of superior humans.
Melchior is an asteroid about thirty kilometers across that floats around the sun out in the asteroid belt. There’s nothing on top but some beacons and a single dock, but the asteroid is a hollowed out rock full of chambers, tunnels, rooms, even something of a town. It’s a lot of things; it’s a place for scientific research, it’s occasionally a meeting place for important administrators who want to be away from all the monitoring, but mostly it’s a prison run by scientists who don’t have to obey the rules because they’re cooped up there, too.
There are three parts of Melchior. First the prison itself, where all who are sent there are kept, is a community in and of itself, but it is ugly and unpleasant. No one has ever escaped from it. Secondly, there is the research complex in the center. All staff there are also there for life, and many of their experiments are on the prisoners themselves. The third area is the staff complex itself. All supplies and new people enter through it, and there is some interaction with the outside world through the small spaceport that connects there, as well as security personnel who may be rotated and the independent Free Booters who sneak in to do business, such as trading modified mindless slaves for murylium. Presidium members and staff also sometimes meet here, and the full Presidium always does at some point or another every one to three years.
There are many unused side and maintenance halls throughout the entire asteroid, creating a nearly unnavigable labyrinth with air locks at every intersection. It was through these tunnels that the Pirates of the Thunder escaped, but instead of using the monitored air locks, they simply burnt their way from the tunnels into open space, and from there marched along the asteroid to the Star Islander.(ref?)
In the series Edit
Lords of the Middle Dark Edit
- Main article: Lords of the Middle Dark
The original Pirates of the Thunder were all housed or imprisoned on Melchior at one point, and it is where they all met up. Chu Li attempted to come here as a patient, but was imprisoned by the chief Doctor Isaac Clayben instead, and then was transformed into a baby factory renamed China Nightingale. Needing escape, Raven and Warlock took themselves, Hawks, Cloud Dancer, Silent Woman, Reba Koll, China Nightingale, Chow Mai, and Chow Dai away from Melchior to the Star Islander, on which they made their escape to the Mothball Fleet.(needs verification)
Pirates of the Thunder Edit
- Main article: Pirates of the Thunder
It is learned Melchior has been taken over by Vals. It may be presumed that Melchior has been permanently decommissioned by Master System and is no longer active.(ref?)