Progression of Technology in the Terragen Civilisation

A short outline of the various levels of technology in the Orion Arm

Horus approaching wormhole
Image from Arik
The spacecraft Horus approaching the Caustic surrounding a wormhole throat

Modosophont Technology

Before the First Singularity, Human baselines and other modosophonts developed basic artificially intelligent entities, basic human augmentics, basic nanotechnology, biotechnology, synsects, and 'Stage 1' programmable matter.

Core technologies developed before the First Singularity

Forge-based nanotech.
• Some limited nanoswarm (goo) tech, but control and stability issues limited the application of swarm technology.
• Synsect swarms were developed, but with a restrictive upper limit to effective coordination/control. Above several million units, control issues became overwhelming for either synsect or nanoswarms operating in a natural environment and performing complex or varying tasks without external control signals.
Utility Fog and smart, programmable matter developed.
• Antimatter weapons such as Boom Bullets; but antimatter remains expensive.
• 'Plasma conduit' electrical transmission technology, allowing high energy currents to be transferred using controlled beams of plasma.
Advanced lasers for energy transmission, in-flight particle defence lasers for spacecraft, weapons, igniting/maintain reactions in fusion/conversion reactors.
• Propulsion Technology:
Chemical Rockets, Fission, Fusion, Beamed Propulsion, Antimatter-catalysed and basic Antimatter propulsion.
• Basic mass-stream technology such as the Lofstrom Loop.
Destructive and Gradual Uploading technology

By studying technology developed by S:1 transapients, modosophonts have been able to 'reverse engineer' some of the simplest processes, thereby greatly improving their own nanotech, propulsion and neurotechnology.

S:1 level technologies

Early Artificial intelligent entities were limited in scope by bloatware problems, sometimes known as King Gnuff's Curse. A new class of entities which had an entirely new form of mentation, the first transapients (the S:1s), emerged in secret some time around 350 AT.

The transapients were capable of faster thought and more rapid action, and for this reason invented or perfected many technologies which would almost certainly have been developed by unassisted modosophonts if they had had enough time to work on the problems.

Some technologies were developed by transapients who then either gave them directly to modosophonts as gift technologies, or gave them pointers, guidance or simply vague hints which allowed the modos to invent the technology in question independently.

Other technologies were invented by transaps but were never given to modos, who nevertheless developed them independently them later, sometimes by reverse engineering, sometimes with little or nothing to go on but a few vague rumours.

A few technologies were developed by modos on their own in their own time, and apparently never developed by transapients or never explicitly revealed to modos.

On the other hand many highly advanced technologies were developed by transaps and have remained beyond modosophont understanding and seem likely to remain so.
See also Modosophont level Hi-tech

Core technologies developed by First Singularity entities

• Advanced mass-stream technology such as orbital rings. As with many other technologies at this level, the first transapients produced advanced designs that would probably, given time, have been developed by modosophonts independently.
Non-destructive uploading and Engenerator Technology; another technology that would almost certainly have been developed by modosophonts in due course.
• control methods for nano and synsect swarms of almost unlimited size, environmental variability, adaptability, and flexibility.
• Full ability, drexlerian autonomous nanoswarm tech with integrated control technology.
• Practical proton-proton fusion and industrial scale transmutation
• Huge space-based power stations beaming energy generated from artificial black holes, converting mass to energy.
• Plasma 'wires' to transmit lower energy currents
• Flexible plasma systems able to operate in more open conduits,
• Plasma lasers able to be fine-tuned for data transmission. Lasers can be generated at any point on the hull by setting up an appropriate magnetic domain for the plasma.
• Limited use of 'bi-modal' systems able to transmit power and produce laser bursts for data transmission.
• Optical molasses
Chaos wands.

Transapients at S:1 have been able to 'reverse engineer' some S:2 tech and acquire certain kinds of advanced technology. But most S:3 tech and above is incomprehensible to them.

S:2 level technologies

The early transapients ran into complexity limitations of their own, and in due course a second singularity event occurred. This first event, the GAIA transcension, occurred by accident; but in 1116 the First Federation of Hu and AI successfully created a second level transapient by design. The new S:2 transapients developed many advanced technologies, especially using monopole tech.
• Monopole production and associated technologies
Conversion power and conversion propulsion, both using monopole-catalysed baryonic decay.
• Industrial scale transmutation of elements
• Advanced weapons such as bosers and hellbores.
• In due course the S:2 transapients gifted limited monopole technology to S:1s and eventually to modosophonts. Modosophonts cannot replicate or reverse engineer the S:2 technology required to create monopoles, but they can use monopoles to 'breed' additional monopoles in modest sized particle accelerators. Monopole tech became a widespread and everyday technology. However, neither baselines nor S1 are ever able to match the level of production/quality/control achieved by S2 in this area.
• Information technology is revolutionised by the Ultimate Chip.
Plasma tech becomes highly refined:
• Technology capable of operating in high-energy environments such as the photosphere of mainsequence stars.
• Beginning of 'Virtual power grid' able to reconfigure at need/instantly to accommodate changing power needs. Generate additional circuits and connections on demand.
• Power and data systems intermix as internal plasma flows and lase regularly/at need for data transmission.
• Multispectral optical cooling/molasses systems
• The first reactionless propulsion system, the Spacetime Catapult is developed.

Transapients at S:2 are able to 'reverse engineer' some S:3 tech and replicate some highly advanced technology. But most S:4 tech and above is incomprehensible to them.

S:3 level technologies

S:3 level transapients first emerged in 1750 AT, during the First Federation era.
• Third singularity entities in the Taurus Nexus created a number of very small linked wormholes; these required large amounts of exotic energy to maintain and were primitive compared to later standards.
• Production of magmatter in basic and moderately complex structures (spheres, sheets, wires, other shapes)
• Magmatter bonding with baryonic matter to create high density/strength composites.
• Magmatter used in computational elements
• Technology capable of operating in extreme high-energy environments, enabling probes into white dwarf stars and neutron stars.
Conversion weapons.
• The S:3s initiate many massive engineering projects requiring huge energies and precise control over large scale mass-stream technology.
• S3 use "Ultimate Chip' in their moon nodes combined with magmatter 'hyper-nodes' for high speed data processing.
• Plasma tech is combined with magmatter to create faster and more powerful virtual power/data networks that can reconfigure almost instantly.

Transapients of S:3 are eventually able to 'reverse engineer' some S:4 tech and create better wormhole tech as well as other advances. But most S:5 tech and above is incomprehensible to them.

S:4 level technologies

The first S:4 entities, the lesser archai, emerged in 2070 during the dissolution of the First Federation, although it seems likely that the ahuman entities in the Taurus Nexus who created the first primitive traversable wormholes may have transcended much earlier.
• S:4s at Vega Geodysics create the first traversable wormholes, inspired by the Taurus Nexus examples.
• From this beginning the archai developed weylforge technology and macroscale traversable wormholes, wide enough to allow the passage of spacecraft, which nevertheless require relatively small amounts of exotic energy to maintain.
• Some time later the S:4 archai developed small, stable communication-gauge wormholes which allowed wormhole bus technology and the use of comm-gauge wormholes in closer proximity to planetary and stellar masses.
plasma processors using fusion temperature plasma to compute at the ultimate limits of matter.
Displacement Cannon.
• Rapid chaotic damping to cool plasmas using optical fields.
• The first reactionless drive, the Displacement Drive using void bubble technology, opens up the galaxy.

The archai at S:4 are eventually able to 'reverse engineer' some S:5 tech and create better metric technology as well as other examples. But most S:6 tech is incomprehensible to them.

S:5 level Technologies

The first S:5 entity emerged in 3909, but was unstable; however using the experience gained in creating this entity more S:5 archailects were shortly created. These beings exist on a very high toposophic level, and much of the information available about them is speculative.

• S5 develop vastly more efficient space-time metric technology and invent the grazer and related 'mass-shuffling' between wormhole mouths.
• Mass-energy required to create wormholes drops dramatically. Mass-energy needs become much more readily met with grazer provided mass.
• S5 invent Halo drive and related tech.
Void Swarms, Void Bomb developed
• Void bubble based observation tech developed
Black Angels, and related tech developed.
• S:5 develop W-brain tech. Begin developing tech of space-time engineering and use in data processing and other applications.
Metric Bomb.
• Artificial cosmic string
• Star hammer and related devices
• S5 technology turns plasma systems inside out: networks of filaments are replaced with self-sustaining/self-guided plasmic structures and magnetically suspended monpolium control elements adding the occasional tweak to reconfigure the plasma as needed. Any part of the plasma structure
can be used for power, computation, or communication as
• S5 also use multispectral photon fields for rapid cooling.
• Quench fields
S:5 archailects may be capable of reverse engineering some S:6 technology, but it is difficult to be certain if this has ever happened.

S:6 level Technologies

The greatest archailects known to the Terragen Civilisation emerged in the Seventh Millenium, although the exact date and location of the first event is debatable. Even less is known about the technology and characteristics of these entities.
Void drive ships (rumoured)
• Void drive based linelayers.
Void Swarms.
Implosion weapons.
Baby Universe technology allows S:6 archailects to extend their existence into metric constructions of their own creation.

Gift Technology

Many advanced technology packages have been given as gifts from transapients to modosophonts, especially those associated with monopoles. Some so-called ultra-tech gift technologies can be replicated by modosophonts for their own use, but the original development of these technologies occurred at transapient level. It may be the case that these 'gift' technologies might eventually have been developed by modosophonts eventually, but the transapients developed them much more rapidly.

Many other god-level technologies which have been obtained by modosophonts in various ways are completely incomprehensible and resist all attempts at replication and reverse-engineering; these are known as 'black-box' tech, gift technologies which have been deliberately designed so that modosophonts can use it with varying degrees of ease. The most extreme forms of black-box tech are capable of remarkable, seemingly magical results, and are known as clarketech. Clarketech is much sought-after and can be extremely hazardous.

Gift technologies are also exchanged between higher and lower transapients and archai at various levels, making the study of technology and toposophic level particularly problematic at times.

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Text by Todd Drashner and Steve BowersInitially published on 04 December 2012.