Stars Edge Redux
The Vulcanoids are a population of asteroids that lie between Mercury and the Sun. Based on the predictions of early 21st-century science, the number of Vulcanoids is unexpectedly small.
Discovered in the early 21st century and subject to a flyby by a Japanese solar research mission in the 2020s, V/2011-Caldwell was nothing but a line on astronomers’ catalogs, notable only for the virtual lack of cratering on the one side that was photographed. Then, a few years after the dust settled from the Genetic Wars, a small team of prospectors from Venus discovered a alien artifact. Now controlled by TerraGenesis, Caldwell was used primarily for research for several years.
Caldwell is a remarkably smooth, spindle-shaped asteroid about four kilometers long and half a kilometer in diameter at its widest point. Called the Vulcanoid Ark, the alien artifact is situated at the bottom of a deep crag near one of the asteroid’s narrow poles.