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    A short series of concepts prepared for an e-zine about digital art.
Approaching TX-4

First of the concepts depicting galactic discovery and its exploration. A planet has been found literally pierced with a crystal-like construct of an alien origins. For the last few years expeditions were sent to TX-4 in order to establish a research facility and uncover its secrets. The base is still under construction. Once a year, a new transport of technical gear, vehicles and provisions arrives.

Once through the planet's atmosphere, a crystal-like structure is clearly visible. Although the majority of the planet is not of volcanic nature, the insertion of the structure must have caused eruptions and surface movements, hence the strange looking mountains and rock formations surrounding the artifact. At its base, some kind of radiation has been traced and holographic-like shapes happen to appear from time to time.
Docking procedure

The research base looks like a cross between mining facility and oil rig. The mountain it rests upon is riddled with man-made corridors, through which the samples and machinery are moved. Flying drones inspect any suspicious surface activity and check the integrity of the whole structure. Due to the unknown nature of the artifact and the planet's original climate, the staff rarely goes outside. Docking station, among other things, is entirely automatized.
Armored carrier

Heavy carrier is used for moving larger pieces of machinery, staff, orb samples, etc. A single carrier can transport up to 20 people. Due to the size of a unit, the hangar area is equipped with robotic arms that are used to replace vehicle's energy reactors, recharge oxygen supplies and carry out various maintenance tasks. As a precaution, each carrier has two heavy ray guns and ion missile launchers for offensive actions, though so far such means were not necessary.

For reconnaissance purposes, quick transport and perimeter checks, the facility is equipped with several buggy-like vehicles. They are adjusted to a harsh off-road environment of TX-4. A buggy takes a driver, a navigator and has enough space for some basic gear. Just like the heavy carrier, each unit is equipped with a single missile launcher. Missiles are often signal flares or scanning devices that can be fired in order to gather data from an unknown area before the buggy gets there.