Outside of trade lanes, Hawking occupies a distant space within Venus’s orbit.
With thanks to BoingGoat!
Not on Wayfinder’s list of “twenty romantic destinations near Venus,” Hawking is an ASR installation created to monitor long-term wear on spaceship components. Unless you’re trying to get every card for your “Space Stations of Sol” deck, Wayfinder recommends checking SolNet for video feeds of an “L” joint being rotated, and looping them forever. The experience is cheaper and more exciting, and really, if you’ve seen one derelict “Cloister” station, you’ve seen them all…which might as well be MarsCo’s design philosophy.
Hawking is an automated station, protected by a minimal weapon package deal and an IRPF contract. Visitors to the station run the risk of contaminating the ongoing experiments, and those that attempt to dock run the risk of an IRPF escort home. As Hawking has no shopping district, restaurants, local customs, or breathable atmosphere, this one’s on our “pass” file.
Need to Know (before you go)
Station-spotters who have to visit every station may be able to buy a few minutes of station time by faking an emergency docking for fuel or repairs. We don’t recommend this, because automatic weapon systems are unforgiving, but if you must…
There is no better defense system than being profoundly uninteresting and out of the way. Hawking Station’s exterior is about as dusty and unimaginative as it can be, the complete opposite of its interior world.
Hawking is a Cogsune-run lab, using its seclusion to research science at the borders of what vectors understand: exotic new power sources, strange particle interactions, and, of course, the deconstruction of Transcendent Technology. Visitors to the station may be able to infiltrate the layers of security built into place, but even if they do, the Cogsunes long ago mastered buying off curious explorers with crumbs from their table.
♃ Leaks: The Hawking research group is not above playing dirty to get information they need. Investigations of data theft might lead back to the tiny, “unmanned” station. Any character who investigates the deeply weird, or on the trail of a researcher/scientist who vanished somewhere near Venus, could end up on the wrong side of the Cogsune.