So, Loki was built by the Old Ones Version 2 as living space for vanilla Old Ones, a storage space for much of the exotic matter they had and a means of making portals to planets that had the potential for life so that those planets could be glassed, terraformed and inhabited.
However, the Old Ones kinda rekked themselves in the Old One Civil War and rekked Loki in the process. Loki became an utterly barren world with tonnes of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the air due to the elements needs for that being spadunked into the air by rocks getting vapourised when the planet was glassed.
The funny thing about Loki was that it terraformed worlds by using itself as a template. Noticing that it had become a barren wasteland (or, more accurately, the computers within it noticed), it was like "uhhh this can't be right gimme a sec" and tried to find the origin world of the Old Ones, which it couldn't for a long time because that origin world had been turned into a big blob of lava.
Eventually, however, it found Earth and, assuming that the Old Ones had been successful in destroying all life that wasn't native to their world and that this therefore had to be a world they had terraformed (it wasn't. Earth was a pure, free-range, organic life-infested wet rock). Thanks to this, it used Earth as a template to terraform itself while keeping a portal open to the planet, allowing life to come forth and colonize Loki. Loki then used Earth as a template to terraform planets that could be terraformed while keeping portals open to these planets, allowing life that could trace its evolutionary ancestry back to Earth to spread onto these worlds.
Once a world was terraformed the portal would close, although planets would receive regular "checkups" and Earth would regularly be checked so that Loki could be certain it was doing things right, resulting in many species that have gone through the portals and further influencing the evolution of life. This allowed what was essentially terrestrial life to spread across most of the Orion Arm (the limit of Loki's range) and led to the rise of the majority of intelligent races in the galaxy.
First thing's first: it's a blob of Exotic Matter
, coated by lots of empty space, coated by a regular matter crust and that regular matter is where stuff lives.
Different thicknesses of regular matter in different parts of the planet lead to different levels of gravity ranging from 5% to 1000%, although the planet is slowly evening out over time. Back in the Old One days these were to accommodate for the fact that Old Ones are biologically immortal and never stop growing and so need lower gravity environments to stay alive with time.
Things can get extremely bonkers due to the size of the planet, varying gravities, the damaged terraforming tech and so on, especially when accounting for the variety of life.
Flora & Fauna
The planet is kinda massive and varied in environments at the same time as both depositing and receiving life from other planets so things are ridiculously varied, ranging from wolves and bears that are almost identical to the things we see on youtube to the things that would eat Godzilla as a snacc. Mushroom forests where the mushrooms are miles tall and super-volcanic locations where plants feed off of geothermal energy rather than sunlight are just 2 examples of how wacky things can get.
Interestingly, there are technologically un-advanced humans present, most of them being homo sapiens but with a large presence of many other species of humans like neanderthals and homo erectus. There's also a TONNE of interbreeding and even some species of humans that have formed specifically on Loki. In other words: people are hella varied here, but almost none have anything remotely close to advanced technology. There used to be other intelligent species but the CHG yeeted them all so they couldn't spread across the galaxy and become more of a threat.
Funnily enough, there's also life on the inside of Loki. Most of these life forms either have no eyes or crazy eyes (either investing none of them evolution points into sight due to the lack of payoff in the darkness or investing tonnes of them evolution points into it for the small payoff that becomes a massive payoff because nobody else doing it means that you can detect others when they can't detect you). To someone on the surface, they're walking upside-down but the weirdness that is Lokian gravity due to the exotic matter core and regular matter crust means that it's better to compare them to being on the opposite side of a celestial body... which also adds some weirdness of explanation to the mix.
Its core is made of exotic matter. The CHG stares hungrily at that core and even has a plan to replace that core with gravity nets to pump out the same level of negative gravity. Oh and of course there's oil, ores of all sorts of metals, plants and animals which are worth several year's wages each and the like. But it's not really being exploited because the CHG has decided not to touch it until they know everything about it and would prefer not to destroy it in the process of using it, especially since it terraforms worlds for them and they could send colonists through portals to massively expand the reach of the CHG and humanity as a whole (including getting a puppet-state empire BEHIND the LIR, which is perfect for sandwiching the CHG's most powerful enemy). There are, however, concerns regarding that "extract the exotic matter" point since it may mess with the planet's automatic systems.
's most important feature is its use by the CHG in terraforming when paired with The Infinity Base
and scavenged Old Ones Version 2 Time Compression/Bending
. Simply put, the CHG just needs to use the Infinity base to build a really crappy, uninhabitable, low-effort planet (the only requirement here is that it has the right mass), use (Sling) Gravity Slings
and Gravity Nets to put it into the habitable zone of a star in CHG territory - with systems close to Earth being favoured for security and economic reasons - and place within the Old One timezone gear. A faster-than-light signal is sent by the timezone gear to the planet which responds by opening up a portal to the planet through which terraforming gear is sent.
Once the place is terraformed, life from a part of Loki with near-identical gravity (which is insanely diverse due to the sheer size of the planet) or life inserted by the CHG crosses over and colonizes the planet to make it that bit more livable for humans and better for long-term scenarios such as the collapse of civilization being followed by humanity building up from the ashes - as well as it being a huge flex on literally everyone that isn't the part of the CHG government that handles this since they're the only ones who even know about the Infinity Base or Loki, let alone how anything works, making the CHG seem way more gangsta than it is - and it's already legitimately very gangsta - which helps keep surrounding empires that are often actually stronger than the CHG from being ballzy enough to attack it. As the place is terraformed and filled with life, the CHG has a cover over the planet to prevent anyone seeing what's going on which they pretend is a terraforming device, but really just covers up what's happening and keeps the planet at an optimal temperature. Often evolution will occur due to the thing of time being sped up and the animals coming into new environments but this is fairly limited as the time-frames aren't that massive at around ~50,000 years each.
Yeah it's pretty gosh diggitty darn useful.