Rigel XII, also known as Egessemine, was the twelfth planet of the Rigel system in the Beta Quadrant. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, Decipher module: Worlds) It was located in the Levintine Expanse. (TOS novelization: Starfleet Academy) It was a harsh, frozen desert world, home to rugged miners and a vital supply of lithium and dilithium to the wider galaxy.
- Despite the general confusion and contradiction surrounding the Rigel system, the different versions of Rigel XII actually agree fairly well. Thus they are merged below, with notes for the specific contradictions.
Rigel XII was settled by Human and Andorian prospectors in the 2190s, who established a few scattered mining colonies. The largest was Childress Camp, which had a lithium cracking plant. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
By 2176 SFC (circa 2237), Rigel XII was home to the Rigel XII Mining Complex. Wendell Herzog, a geophysicist, worked here and was experimenting with antimatter when he discovered the capacity of dilithium crystals to channel and focus the energy output from matter/antimatter reactions. This doubled efficiency, allowing for greater warp speeds and more powerful weapons. (ST reference: Spaceflight Chronology, TOS novel: The Final Reflection) At around this time, in reference stardate 1/7603, Orions discovered the world's extensive dilithium deposits at the Rigel XII Mining Complex. Orions then mined and sold dilithium to both the Federation and the Klingon Empire as power rectifiers for warp drives, revolutionizing interstellar travel and military-grade weapons technology. (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Federation)
As an ensign (c. 2240s), Montgomery Scott worked on a ship that ferried dilithium miners and mining equipment, including a Mole, to the newly established mining colony on Rigel XII. (SCE eBook: Foundations, Book One)
Later, during the Four Years War between the two powers, on stardate 1/9504 (circa 2251), a Klingon taskforce destroyed an Orion merchant ship transporting dilithium to the Federation, in what became known as the Laxala Incident. The Orions' Botchok Planetary Congress (BPC) and the Orion Frontier Merchants Association responded by threatening to destroy all dilithium on Rigel XII if either side interfered with their neutral trade. Both sides complied with this resolution. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)By 2266, Rigel XII was the site of a lithium mining camp operated by Ben Childress, Herm Gosset and Benton. (TOS episode: "Mudd's Women")
This camp was isolated but potentially very wealthy (Decipher RPG module: Worlds). In 2266, the USS Enterprise went there to obtain replacement lithium crystals, where passenger Harry Mudd tried to sell Eve McHuron, Ruth Bonaventure and Magda Kovacs to the miners as wives. Captain James T. Kirk prevented Mudd from defrauding the miners. (TOS episode: "Mudd's Women")
- Though Childress Camp was founded in the 2190s in Worlds, Ben Childress was living there in 2266, around 70 years later. Short of great longevity, a simple explanation may be that he is a descendent of the original Childress, or that the camp was later named for him.
By 2269, a chemist named John Orland was running a youth rally on Rigel 12. As good-natured revenge for not letting the child of his brother-in-law, a UFP diplomat, win a race, Orland was pressured into helping run The Great Starship Race. (TOS novel: The Great Starship Race)
- Given the habitation of Rigel XII at the time, and the nature of the Great Starship Race, this rally is likely to be in space around the planet.
The BPC later forbade any Starfleet vessel from approaching the world, claiming that it was vital for the defense of the Rigel system (or rather, of Orion neutrality). Despite this, at this time the world had a population of only six Humans, who occupied a single dilithium mining camp, the only settlement on the world. Their exact purpose there was undisclosed, as was the full list of everything that they were mining, making the planet a subject of interest and speculation. At this time, it had a technological/sociopolitical index of 999994-98 and a planetary trade profile of EABFBEF/D(X). (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
- These six humans are likely the same six seen in Mudd's Women. They appear to have upgraded to include dilithium mining on behalf of the Orions; however, dilithium extraction equipment does not arrive until 2287. This may be better equipment, or the Orion arrangement does not occur until 2287. This is likely to be before or after the childhood of the apparently alien Jana Akton, below.
Starfleet was frequently drawn into the Rigel system, the Human colony on Rigel XII being one particular reason. Once dilithium extraction equipment was delivered in 2287, Childress Camp developed into a key refining plant for the entire sector, and a vital resupply station for Starfleet. The 800-year-long winter ended in the late 23rd century as well; the warming temperature and increasing Starfleet presence lead to a growing population, and it became a dull but extremely important economic hub. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
By 2365, Federation settlement on Rigel XII was still a small mining colony. There was also a huge and fully automated subterranean dilithium refining facility, which was in continuous operation to supply the Federation's dilithium needs. (ST reference: The Worlds of the Federation)
During the Dominion War (2373–2375), the population swelled to the hundreds of thousands. Fleets of supply ships left Rigel XII to deliver dilithium to the armadas of the Federation and its wartime allies, though these were targets for Orion pirates and Jem'Hadar raiders. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
Over the course of its history, Rigel XII had populations of 100 Humans and Andorians, dropping to only 3 and then 6 Humans, and finally rose to hundreds of thousands. Most settlements were in the form of mining camps, the most prominent of which was Childress Camp. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
- Alvarez Camp (abandoned) • Ames Camp • Childress Camp • Grouush Camp • Highguard Camp • Navarek Camp • Taynor-Ban-Fal • Urich Camp
- In Worlds, Rigel XII is neither listed as joining the Federation nor remaining independent or neutral, implying it was always a Federation member.
- The sources differ on the statistics of Rigel XII, and have planetary classifications. The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge says it is Class G, and potentially Class E, with a gravity of 1.1 g and a 22-hour day; the variation may be due to BPC classification. Worlds says it is Class H with a gravity of 0.8 g and a 20-hour day. Star Charts also says Class H. ST references: Star Trek Maps, The Worlds of the Federation say Class G.
- Meanwhile, Orions says the world has 100% land mass — i.e., no seas — while Worlds gives it a 20% frozen hydrosphere, referring to the ice seas. As these seas are frozen, not liquid water, these two descriptions do not necessarily contradict.
- The end of winter in the late 23rd century may explain some of these differences.
Rigel XII's orbit was wide and eccentric, ranging between 290 and 300 AU from Rigel A, with a year that lasted 2200 standard Earth years, with "winter" taking up to 800 years. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds) It lay so far from its sun that it should have been completely uninhabitable, but it was apparently warmed by internal heat, such that the surface temperature never fell below −50° Celsius (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge). Temperatures climbed almost to 0°C at midsummer, while winter temperatures were less than those of Antarctica or Siberia (Decipher RPG module: Worlds).
- The mean annual temperature of Antarctica's interior is −57°C. Siberia's mean annual temperature is 0.5°C, with a winter average of −15°C.
The world's atmosphere was thin (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, Decipher RPG module: Worlds), with a desert climate and geography. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, ST reference: Star Charts) It had a fairly fast rotation, and this combined with the smooth geography led to frequent windstorms. In a "cryclone", wind speeds reached 100 kilometers per hour, and temperatures plummeted to −60°C. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds) It suffered constant wind, sandstorms, magnetic storms and ever-present dust. Water and vegetation were scarce. (TOS episode: "Mudd's Women") However, water ice covered 20% of the surface. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
It had a total surface area of 642,424,260 square kilometers. About 46% of its makeup was normal metals, 29% was radioactive elements, 30% was industrial crystals, 17% was gemstones and 8% was special minerals. It may have actually been Class E, for its exploitable mineral resources. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
Rigel XII was unique for the composition of its crust, which was made almost entirely of lithium compounds and crystals, as well as plentiful quantities of dilithium, especially beneath the north pole's frozen sea. Few other worlds in the known galaxy had naturally occurring lithium crystals that could be mined at a purity suitable for use in warp drives. However, expensive and bulky equipment was required to extract the dilithium. These two valuable resources were the prime reason for occupying the planet (Decipher RPG module: Worlds), and made it vital to the Federation (ST reference: Star Charts).