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New Brooklyn

Independent Hi-transapient system in the Inner Sphere

Bronx
Image from Steve Bowers
Bronx, hydrojovian world in the New Brooklyn system, before the construction of the static orbital rings

New Brooklyn is a well-developed, long-settled, independent system in the Inner Sphere. It has an unusually high, but hardly record-setting, population of higher transapients considering that it has not converted to a Dyson swarm or other large quantities of computronium, and also considering that it is superficially dominated by modosophonts.

The modosophont population has an ultratech society interwoven with the more advanced technology of the transapients and archailects. The government is a republic, a representative cyberdemocracy. The economy is post-scarcity, but designed with resource utilization rates that are meant to discourage wasteful use of New Brooklyn's mass. If the system has any distinctive cultural characteristics, it could be called rather staid - core cultural features have not changed in millennia. The system seems quite stable and remarkably resistant to foreign memes, something engineered by local archailects.

STELLOGRAPHY

New Brooklyn (the polity) solely occupies an Inner Sphere binary system consisting of a widely separated pair of stars: New Brooklyn (a K5V) and its companion Little Brooklyn (a M3V). (Some thousands of years from now, its worldship fleets should begin settling new star systems.) The two stars are separated by 0.1 light-years and are barely gravitationally bound. New Brooklyn (the star) has 7 planets, 5 of them Jovians, and a Kuiper belt. Little Brooklyn has 4 planets, 1 superterrestrial and 3 Jovians. The dynamic interactions of the two stars have long since disrupted any Oort cloud, while the migrations of their gas giants have largely eliminated debris belts.

New Brooklyn - Data Panel

StarNew Brooklyn, 51LY from Earth (HD 4067)
ClassK5V: 4192K, 0.58 Solar masses, 0.65 Solar radii
CompanionLittle Brooklyn (M3V, semi-major axis 0.1LY. 3368K, 0.3
Solar masses, 0.28 Solar radii)
New BrooklynPlanets:

Batts : Herminian, 0.15AU, 0.6 terrestrial masses
Bronx: HydroJovian SubJovian, 0.62AU, 0.2 jovian masses
Staten: EuJovian, 2AU, 0.35 jovian masses
Queens: EuJovian, 4.5AU, 0.8 jovian masses
Hattan: EuJovian, 8.9AU, 1.2 jovian masses
Jersey: CryoJovian, 16.3AU, 2.5 jovian masses
Times: LithicGelidian, 30AU, 0.66 terrestrial masses
Hudson: Kuiper Belt, 30 - 50AU
Little BrooklynPlanets

Flatbush: SuperHerminian, 0.12AU, 3.6 terrestrial masses
Midwood: EuJovian SubJovian, 0.25AU, 0.08 jovian masses
Dyker: EuJovian, .53AU, 0.5 jovian masses
Hamilton: EuJovian, 2.5AU, 0.8 jovian masses
AI EthosWidely varied; archailects mostly introspective and non-aligned
PolityNew Brooklyn (Republic)
Colonized1300AT
PopulationNieuw Amsterdam - 20,000,000,000
Staten - 1,000,000,000
Several hundred million elsewhere
40+ S4 archailects
Emigration20 million annually, immigration 1 million
TravelThree beamrider links around New Brooklyn, five or more beamrider links on Little Brooklyn,
Stargates:
Crosstown - to Little Brooklyn (1000m)
Archer - to Penglai (1000m)
Astoria - to Uoagranyu (1000m)
Brighton - to Tau Ceti/Nova Terra (1000m)
Grand Central - to Vega (1000m)
Lenox - to Danzig (1000m)
Pelham - to New Earth (1000m)

Spaceports: Numerous major installations
Hazard Rating2, safe but non-angelnetted
Batts
Image from Steve Bowers
Batts, a world in the New Brooklyn System

New Brooklyn System

New Brooklyn: This star is visibly unusual in the modern era. Though its spectrum is typical of a K5V star, its granulation has an unnaturally ordered and reticulated appearance, a possible side effect of the vast volume of plasma computronium filling the star - or some aesthetic choice by the archailects occupying that computronium. The archailects seem to spend most of eir time lost in thought and study. Eir interactions with the polity have been development of the system's space-time industry, such as its voidforges and weylforges, and casting eir single votes in district elections via avatars. The star New Brooklyn is surrounded by some close-orbiting amat factories, but only a small fraction of its surface is occluded.

Batts: The innermost planet is Batts (a contraction of the original name, Battery Park). It is a ferrinian, Herminian world, receiving somewhat more illumination than Sol's Mercury and with a dayside that is distinctly hotter. However, Batts is also tidally locked with the star, so has permanent day and night sides. A number of retro-abo and lo tek groups inhabit cavern habitats around the terminator, enjoying the challenge of trying to live in the hostile environment with the lowest possible technology. The dayside is predictably covered in solar power units, amat factories, power transmitters, and mines, while the night side has mines and industrial facilities.

Bronx: A warm SubJovian on the outer edge of the habitable zone. Bronx is surrounded by the first complete static orbital ring created in Terragen space, Nieuw Amsterdam. The upper and lower habitats of the ring hold most of the system's modosophont population, some 20 billion individuals, in continuous, medium-density urban environments. Interestingly, the habitat is not angelnetted but rather patrolled by police. Universal communications and near-universal surveillance makes crime rare and unsolved crimes rarer, but the instant protection of Sephriotic angelnets is absent. This is a choice by the locals, who appear to have some worry about blighted angelnets.

The planet's colorful clouds are populated by a few million modosophonts living on nimble bubblehabs that can maneuver around storms in the warm gas giant's atmosphere. As with most gas giants in the system, Bronx has some of its mass - about 1% - converted to computronium. This hosts the backups for Nieuw Amsterdam and most of the popular modosophont virch worlds.

Solar L4 Point: At Bronx's L4 point with the star New Brooklyn is Fata Morgana II, a small McKendree Cylinder pair that serves as an Athenaeid clan home and tourist spot for the rest of the system. The Veneva clan is a quiet investor in many of the system's industries, but meddles little in their management or local politics.

Staten: Staten is notable for its thin ring of Dyson trees and Wagon Wheel trees, housing about a billion modosophont inhabitants, and some of the largest mines outside of Batts among its metallic chondrite moons. About 2% of the planet's mass has been converted to computronium that is used by transapients and, like Bronx, to back up the modosophonts in orbit.


Interior of Fata Morgana II Cylinder
Image from Steve Bowers
Inside Fata Morgana II
Queens: This under-utilized gas giant has less than 1% of its mass converted to computronium. It is one of the most public "mass reserves" of New Brooklyn and hosts substantial, idled industrial capacity ranging from inactive stellification engines to gas scoops and a deep well industrial zone. These facilities have only been activated in emergency periods, such as war. There is a small population of near-hermits living in small bubblehabs in the upper atmosphere who understand that they might have to evacuate when Queen's industrial capacity is activated.

Hattan: Hattan is a cooler, less active gas giant than Queens, and similarly developed as an industrial and mass reserve. However, the shipyards and industrial facilities among its numerous moons are the heart of peacetime ship construction. Every New Brooklyn worldship fleet is built here, as are commercial and military orders. Along with a higher industrial population in orbit, the calm, smooth atmosphere of Hattan has a higher population of bubblehabs including the popular tourist destination, the baroque masterpiece "Ascendant" and its 2 million inhabitants. However, the periodic outbreaks of transapient mega-engineering, planetary scale industrial production, and waste heat from mammoth computronium clusters makes inhabiting the atmosphere risky.

Jersey: Unlike the other gas giants, this world has been transformed into a J-brain, though it does not host an S4 entity anymore. The archailect "Jersey" seeded the New Brooklyn S-brain with eir core personality and then shut emself down. Now the planet Jersey seems to have the system's largest community of high transapients and their shared virch worlds. The gas giant has been completely transformed in appearance. Instead of a quiet, banded outer-system gas giant, its atmosphere roils with the heat of computation in its core and its diameter has swelled due to thermal expansion. The most common clouds are now water vapor rather than methane, giving the world a white coloring. Its flock of icy moons host inscrutable structures that transmit dense, multi-spectral beams (radio to x-ray) into the clouds below. Popular modosophont theories hold that the moons are power plants, secondary computing centers, or raw material reserves. One of the major moons, free of such inscrutable structures, has a NBN fleet base. This modosophont- and transapient defense facility disappoints archailect watchers seeking exotic godtech defenses.

Times: Originally "Times Square," this is an ice world with about the same diameter as Earth and two thirds of its mass. The most public feature on Times is a small resort that creates artificial liquid nitrogen lakes for exotic sports. It is also known to have artificial water oceans under its hard-frozen crust, a byproduct of some large computational centers' waste heat. These oceans have been populated with a Europan-style ecology.

Hudson: Named after a river, this Kuiper belt has survived the events that cost the system its Oort cloud and asteroid belts through quirks of luck. It is a relatively dense belt compared to Sol's, with about 5 times the dwarf planets and 8 times the mass in the same area. It has numerous small settlements totaling a few million nebs and tweaks, plus various automated defense posts.

Little Brooklyn System

Little Brooklyn: This M3V red dwarf star is now visible only as hints of orange-white light through the surrounding Dyson swarm. The versatile Dyson swarm encircles it at 0.05AU, leaving its 4 surviving planets swathed in cryogenic near-darkness. A fourth gas giant once orbited between Dyker and Hamilton, but this world was consumed to produce Little Brooklyn's wormholes, Dyson swarm, and mega-industrial facilities.

FlatBush: A dry, airless, superterrestrial that provides most of the higher atomic number elements used by local industries, overshadowing the output of the deep well industrial zones that are slowly converting gas giant hydrogen and helium into heavier elements. The several S2 entities that own FlatBush's industry have turned the liquid metal cooling fountains for the planet's enormous conversion reactors into works of art. Sodium and potassium form dancing fountains as large as cities, geometrically patterned rivers and canals, and waterfalls, all the while radiating countless gigawatts of waste heat into the vacuum. Mass streams from launchers around the planet also create cleverly-curving patterns across the star system as FlatBush's mass is delivered to customers.

Midwood, Dyker, and Hamilton: Like the gas giants orbiting New Brooklyn, these have masses of computronium in their metallic hydrogen mantles that are less than a J-brain but at least equal to an M-brain. Midwood, with the lowest escape velocity, has a pair of deep well industrial zones orbiting it.

Transportation

The New Brooklyn polity has positioned itself as an important data & transportation hub in the Inner Sphere, though there are certainly much larger wormhole nexi elsewhere. However, with six 1-kilometer wormholes around Little Brooklyn, each connecting to important Inner Sphere systems (and a seventh connecting Little Brooklyn to New Brooklyn) it is an important wormhole nexus. New Brooklyn, meanwhile, only has the single wormhole to Little Brooklyn as a matter of discouraging invasions.

Little Brooklyn sports 5 permanent beamrider links to neighboring systems, including New Brooklyn. The arrays of beam generators can be adjusted to supply supplemental boosts or braking to relativistic ships. Alternately, additional beams can be generated for semi-permanent links to other systems. New Brooklyn proper has 3 conventional moon-mounted beam generators providing links to other systems (including Little Brooklyn, offering two-way beamrider transport between the paired stars.)

HISTORY: FLIGHT

While the wealthy and well-defended Northeastern megapolis of North America had weathered the Technocalypse fairly well, the Great Expulsion was targeted at just such environment-threatening, resource-consuming, land-covering sprawls. One large group in that region took GAIA's offer of assistance and pooled their considerable industrial clout to build a fast, solid ship, the F.H.L. Guardia, which departed Earth orbit in 626AT. Their destination, dubbed New Brooklyn, was selected because of its then-large distance from Sol, dim K-class primary, and lack of terrestrial planets. It was hoped that no competition would reach New Brooklyn before the expedition, and that it would be uninteresting to other sophonts.

The Guardia was able to achieve 0.08c. This high speed for the era was partly enabled by a light passenger section: the passengers had elected to use uploading. The decision to upload was all the more dramatic because only destructive uploading was available at the time. As such, one of the key criteria for the Guardia's passengers was a willingness to upload and shed their original bodies, on the promise that cutting-edge artificial bodies could be produced for them at the destination. In addition to fuel, a few transapients bought passage with the requisite technology for the artificial bodies.

Another feature that gave the Guardia its relatively high speed for the era was the use of four stages: the first and fourth were high-thrust, low-impulse systems used for star system escape and capture including impressive Oberth maneuvers skimming Sol and New Brooklyn, while the second and third stages were low thrust, high impulse fusion torches that supplied the cruise acceleration and braking. The spent second and third stages also served as passive dust shields and active debris defense platforms for the payload. During its six centuries of cruise, vecs maintained the ship while the passengers spent the journey as stored uploads to minimize the ship's mass.

HISTORY: ARRIVAL

The Guardia arrived at New Brooklyn in 1300AT and initially found no signs of other visitors. It had been known prior to launch that there were no planets or moons suited for terraforming with the technology of the time, and payload restrictions meant that the colonists only brought supplies adequate to start industrial operations, not to immediately build large, baseline-friendly space habitats. Accordingly, the Guardia settled into orbit over "Bronx," a warm gas giant somewhat smaller than Saturn and rich in helium-3, where the colonists began mining the Bronxian moons for materials and constructing gas mining skyhooks to extract helium-3 from the planet's atmosphere. Pressure to "unpack" the colonists led to a thrifty use of the gas mining skyhooks: they would also host habitats, exploiting the gravity of the upper and lower ends of each skyhook to produce baseline-friendly environments.

Unlike many troubled Great Expulsion refugees, especially the Backyarders, the Guardia's colonists had a relatively smooth early history, though it was not without bumps. After arrival, large computronium clusters were some of the first constructs where the new arrivals could be "unpacked" and operate in virch environments. The colonists represented a plentiful, intelligent workforce that could accelerate the colony's start-up and were pressed into service. While all of them had consented to this work during the Great Expulsion and cramped conditions in Earth orbit, the 1.5 million colonists were not handpicked pioneers but rather almost "average Joes" with only modest selection filters and thus were prone to causing headaches for New Brooklyn's administration when starting the unaccustomed training and labor. Many colonists disliked the mandatory schooling in useful colonial trades and the unified virch world (meant to prevent social fragmentation) where they waited for the system's industry to produce a sufficient number of artificial bodies and habitats to house them. The unified virch world closely duplicated rel physics and the planned, cramped early habitats and was stifling for a loud minority who were used to the diverse pre-Expulsion virtualities of Earth. This minority objected to the plan to release uploads into artificial bodies en masse, which necessitated both a longer period of industrial development and a longer period in the educational virch. They preferred the more gradual construction of new bodies and habitats in small groups. The administration and modest majority, probably swayed by the few transapients who had bought their way onto the FHL Guardia by securing its fuel supplies, favored "toughing it out" in the bland virch as the larger industrial capacity necessary for the en masse release would also speed future developments. It was a "compound interest" function: more industry earlier would move the exponential development curve for the system forward compared to diverting early industry to habitats.

For decades the standard response to unruly behavior was to "ice" the most troublesome individuals - pausing and storing their uploaded selves - pending development to a state where a large, non-contributing population could be supported. This "icing" continued even after the population moved to the early, non-biological artificial bodies. However, "icing" became the normal response to the first hint of civil disobedience, a practice that led to a short series of authoritarian governors whose names are simultaneously loved and reviled today. While upwards of ten percent of the population were eventually "iced," on the other hand, there were no civil wars, no severe resource shortages, no cannibalism, no conflicts with other colonial missions, and no battles with rampaging hyperturings. The flight of the Guardia had a few worrisome system failures and colonization started in cramped habitats with strictly allocated resources, but the system experienced none of the drama of the Dark Ages of the Sol System or the failures of so many early interstellar colonies.

The colonists later found they were not the first visitors to the system. In 1307 AT, detailed exploration of the system turned up evidence of what was first thought to be alien visitation on Times Square (today known as "Times"), an icy, outer planet. This proved to be the decayed remains of a repair station built by a terrestrial hyperturing in 993 AT. The hyperturing had been another Great Expulsion refugee, one with a faster ship, and had paused at New Brooklyn to refuel and refurbish its debris shield.

HISTORY: DEVELOPMENT AND BIRTH OF NIEUW AMSTERDAM

During the first 50 years, New Brooklyn had essentially been following a pre-flight construction plan to build up industry, which would in turn afford a good standard of living for the colonists and their descendants. True Von Neumanns were not used, based on the lessons of Alpha Centauri and the Technocalypse, but the colonists made good use of centralized robofactories and bots to exponentially grow their industrial base. Careful planning and libraries of industrial templates gave the colony good technological breadth and depth while turing-grade AIs filled in gaps in the colonists' skill set. The years in the post-arrival educational virch world converted scions of the pre-Expulsion Terran leisure economy into industrious workers.

Bronx Skyhooks
Image from Steve Bowers
The first stages in the construction of the static orbital rings around Bronx; eventually these structures would form two continuous rings, one far above stationary orbital height, and one far below, linked by tethers.
By 1450 AT, the gas mining skyhooks around Bronx had habitats large enough to hold most of colonists. After a series of hotly-contested elections that civilly overthrew the authoritarian political machine that had dominated the republic for decades, the "iced" colonists were "thawed" and given artificial bodies in the habitats. The "thawing" process actually happened over a period of 20 years so the surge of malcontents and unproductive citizens could be absorbed without social disruption.

With the changing of the guard also came the long-planned privatization of the economy, turning over shares of industry and habitats to the colonists. One of the immediate effects of the deregulation and privatization was a helium-3 market bubble that led to a proliferation of gas mining skyhooks around Bronx. The speculative market bubble forever shaped New Brooklyn, but not through its direct economic effects (It did, however, essentially destroy the pre-flight system of colonial investment shares leaving most original colonists on a fairly equal socioeconomic footing). Instead, the predictable bursting of the helium-3 bubble left many of the skyhooks available for fire sale prices just as the population was surging with the thawing of colonists. The skyhooks were resold and redeveloped as habitats. The economy recovered as construction and furnishing of the habitats provided a demand for more resources and labor. With so much industrial inertia behind skyhook habitats, the majority of the colony decided to continue living in them, instead of shifting to more conventional rotating habitats.

Over the following centuries, these various skyhook habitats gradually expanded into lengthy orbital-arc cities because it was always less expensive to extend existing skyhook platforms than to start anew. Finally, the several Bronxian orbital cities joined into the first complete static orbital ring in Terragen space in 2753AT. The complete urban structure was named Nieuw Amsterdam. At that time, the slow-growing baseline and neb population of New Brooklyn had reached 3 billion.

HISTORY: FEDERATION, RECONTACT, AND BIRTH OF THE TAURUS NEXUS

During the early development of New Brooklyn a long-running debate among the colonists was whether or not to contact the Solar system or other star systems. The astronomical community had been monitoring the Heavens for signs of life continuously, and even the Guardia had monitored Solar system signals during its six-century flight. Only a little bit of the electromagnetic storm from Sol could be interpreted due to obsolete communication protocols, and even less from the various interstellar colonies could be understood. However, it was clear that there was some central government at Sol and that it had become an interstellar government. The unique communication protocols of individual megacorps, while rarely interpreted, could be identified at multiple star systems too, and large telescopes could track the impressive drive flares of megacorp interstellar vessels.

A number of factors settled the matter. First, the majority was worried about technological obsolescence and the vulnerability that entailed. After all, New Brooklyn was making no effort to hide so its high-energy civilization would be detected. Second, the spread of the Federation and its megacorps was worrisome, mostly because they were unknown factors. ("Good? Bad? They're the guys with the giant starships." --A. Williams, political commentator.) Third, several administrative hyperturings seemed inclined to open contact, which predictably shifted the debate.

Like its settlement, New Brooklyn's connection to the First Federation was relatively painless, though not entirely angst-free. Laser and radio communications brought first contact, which took decades to play out due to the 50 light-year distance from Sol and the most developed colonies even with the transmission of AI and upload ambassadors. The acquisition of modern communication protocols c1470AT gave a much better understanding of the electromagnetic noise in Terragen space, though it also brought viruses and other problems like ransomware that paralyzed some communication hubs. The first relativistic megacorp contact ships and trade beacons arrived in 1511AT to find a reasonably developed and well-industrialized system that could meet with the megacorps on somewhat equal terms.

New Brooklyn did not join the Federation or accept a buyout by a megacorp, local transapients apparently being uninterested in such direct foreign influence, but the polity did undertake a few important projects to better mesh with interstellar civilization. First, it constructed a number of beamrider links to nearby stars in the 1500 to 1700AT period, giving relatively low-cost links to those systems. Second, it created large, star-skimming amat farms. Between amat and Bronx's helium-3 it was able to refuel the largest megacorp ships while its shipyards could efficiently refurbish depleted debris shields. This had the effect of turning New Brooklyn into something of a regional transport hub and shaped Terragen expansion in the area for a few centuries. It was an important staging point for the development of the Taurus Nexus when its hyperfast AI civilization collapsed or left in the 1900s.

(In hindsight, it is thought that the unidentified hyperturing who passed through New Brooklyn in the late 900s might have grown into Xi Geminorum AI - 1, who created the Taurus Nexus in the 1500s.)

The late 1500s to early 2000s formed New Brooklyn's self-styled "Age of Expansion," which is rather grandiose considering the limited nature of the colonization. Also grandiose was the alternate Brooklynese term for the era, "The Age of Empire," which is a misleading name for an interstellar association that was even less centralized than the Eridanus League. New Brooklyn launched interstellar colonization missions to three nearby red dwarfs (0.1, 1.7, and 2.3LY away), the closest of which was a companion of New Brooklyn. Its population also "boomed," using the term loosely. For these several centuries, the population growth rate was over 1% before settling to near-replacement levels.

HISTORY: AGE OF 'EMPIRE'

New Brooklyn's so-called empire was formally, "The Free Association of New Brooklyn Colonies." Wags dubbed it an "empire," which stuck even though it was no such thing. Tongue-in-cheek historians called it "The Empire State," which didn't catch on. It lasted a millennium. Like many interstellar "empires" of the era, the Association was loosely governed. Its colonies had local legislatures and executives while sending diplomatic representatives to New Brooklyn. Unlike the Eridanus League and First Federation, the Free Association never enforced itself on its own members with system control ships or other military forces, though it built some for defensive purposes. As a result, two of its colonies would eventually bloodlessly secede to join the Taurus Nexus; Elysimus in 2507 and Boulder in 2617AT, respectively. The third colony, Little Brooklyn, had significant financial incentives to remain part of the Association as the two systems were involved in the funding and construction of a half-dozen small wormholes. After the secessions and establishment of the wormholes, the Association was ended and Little Brooklyn directly joined the republic.

The "empire's" most significant decision of the era was to establish close ties with the Taurus Nexus, becoming a close partner, if not a full member of, the Nexus. This brought significant wealth, though the Association had to dance a fine line to avoid annexation. This alliance backfired in 3412 when, the First Consolidation War came to New Brooklyn. The worst damage was around Little Brooklyn, where anti-Coronese rebels destroyed two wormholes. The other wormholes were protectively shuttered. The wormhole implosions wrought havoc through the Little Brooklyn system, destroying the beamrider facilities and most habitats. At 0.1 light-year's distance, New Brooklyn also had to weather stiff radiation from the wormhole collapse.

The republic defensively mobilized for war but, after a few years, took the opportunity to instead reclaim its long-seceded colonies. In 3420AT, New Brooklyn launched a portion of its fleets to the former colonies. The invasions were a high point in the polity's jingoism and purely opportunistic. The Taurus Nexus was being repeatedly defeated and portions of the Elysimus and Boulder populations were looking for new options that didn't involve the Solar Dominion, Conver Ambi, or Metasoft. Elysimus was recovered with few civilian losses in 3423AT with the defeat of a Conver Ambi fleet, but NoCoZo and Solar Dominion forces soundly defeated New Brooklyn at Boulder.

The end of the Age of Empire is either marked as being in 3423 or 3533. 3423AT is marked as the end by some historians because the last territorial expansion of New Brooklyn occurred in that year. Others mark 3533AT as the end, which is when long-running campaigns of civil disobedience and social engineering led to Elysimus's independence and prompt union with the NoCoZo. The loss of Elysimus was inconvenient because a significant fraction of New Brooklyn's population excess had been moving to Elysimus - the younger, more rambunctious portion of the population.

HISTORY: TRANSAPIENT EXPANSION

New Brooklyn had some biased laws on its books constraining vec numbers but this did not hinder AI ascension. Indeed, the republic was dependent on transapient AI management (though not de jure governance) for its economy and governance before contact with the First Federation.

By the birth of the Taurus Nexus, a number of S2 entities had evolved from local hyperturings and were duplicating themselves among the moonlets and asteroids ("asteroid brains") of New Brooklyn's gas giants to form introverted but not solipsist transapient communities. While largely concerned with their own affairs, the S2 clusters did not ignore external events. For example, they apparently effortlessly prevented annexation efforts by the modosophont-dominated Taurus Nexus.

In 2461, one of these AI clusters completed the conversion of a small moon into an M-brain as a "supercomputing center" to resolve some space-time computational problems beyond the grasp of the individual S2 asteroid brains. Later, the close cooperation of S2 minds inside this M-brain would develop into an S3 entity that in turn would evolve to be the Jersey J-brain. Because the "unchecked" use of von Neumann bots to convert a moon into computronium alarmed some of the modosophont population, it would be nearly 1000 years before another M-brain was built. Instead, the next few computronium clusters on the scale of an M-brain were created in the 2500s, by converting relatively small amounts of gas giant metallic hydrogen into computronium. This more discrete transformation, marked only by atmosphere-roiling waste heat and neutrinos from the gas giants, seemed less bothersome to those modosophonts inclined to be alarmed by such things, than visible swarms of von Neumann bots. By the time Jersey had enough mass converted to computronium to be a J-brain, spectacular displays of mega-engineering had ceased to be a concern to the republic's modosophonts.

By 3100AT, the conversion of metallic hydrogen had reached the point in Jersey that the computronium created was equivalent to an S4 J-brain though it was first occupied by S3 entities. The lesser archailect that later developed in the planet from a union of those S3s was predictably named "Jersey" by New Brooklyn's modosophonts. Jersey appeared more interested in space-time mechanics than dominating the system. E was instrumental in providing New Brooklyn with domestically-built S4 wormholes and displacement drives during the Age of Expansion, at least giving them to the transapients of the system.

"Jersey" converted the stars New Brooklyn and Little Brooklyn into S-brains in the mid-5000s and then seeded the newly-created Godstars with a template of eir personality. Subsequently, the template multiplied into dozens of Fourth Singularity archailects, an expansion that halted abruptly in 6100AT and left substantial amounts of unoccupied processing space within both stars. New Brooklyn could host about 600 archailects, while Little Brooklyn could host about 300. The population "explosion" halted at 40, however. Meanwhile, Jersey deactivated eirself and turned eir remnant J-brain over to a community of transapients. The J-brain today hosts a community of S1 and S2 minds with vast resources reserved for transapient virch worlds.

Overall, the development of New Brooklyn's transapients and archailects occurred at a measured pace. They did not overrun the system and turn it into a Dyson swarm of computronium. Nor did they form another Sephriotic empire in the Inner Sphere. They were (and still are) mostly inward-looking entities that form several communities of different toposophics and have their own information economies that mean little to the modosophonts of the system. These great minds also appear to cooperate with the New Brooklyn government, which apparently provides an agreeable mechanism for resource allocation among so many powerful intellects.

HISTORY: TURBULENCE, GROWTH, AND STABILITY

The peace following the First Consolidation War was profitable for New Brooklyn. It quickly generated beamrider links to reconnect to isolated Nexus worlds. Its businesses moved into the shattered economies where the only direction to go was up. Its most profitable dealings with ex-Nexus worlds were those claimed by the NoCoZo and Terran Federation worlds. In subsequent centuries and millennia, the republic continued its roles as a quiet, independent banker and shipbuilder. It also took heed the lessons of the First Consolidation War to maintain its neutrality and improve its defenses. For example, it was an early adopter of anti-relativisitic kinetic kill systems built around networks of comm gauge wormholes.

With its policies of neutrality, New Brooklyn largely escaped the Second Consolidation War and Version War. It shut its wormholes for centuries during these conflicts at great expense to its economy. In both wars, it was subject to invasions to secure its wormholes and beamrider stations, though in both cases the invading fleets were defeated and their polities convinced that opening a new front with a neutral party was excessively expensive. Its anti-RKKS systems were tested twice in the Version War and succeeded both times.

The New Brooklyn Navy proved itself capable, adaptable, and fairly close to the cutting edge in sub-archailect military technology. In later millennia, the NBN contributed forces to interstellar alliances against the Laughter Hegemony, Oracle Machines, Hyperutilization Supremacy, and lesser threats. Its fleets didn't always win and its total firepower was a tiny fraction of that available to the allied Sephriotic Empires, but its autowars and heavier warships were not dismissed casually. The New Brooklyn Marines served in lower toposophic conflicts and had a reputation for aiding New Brooklynite civilians in dangerous situations abroad, especially in any system that hosted a New Brooklyn diplomatic mission. In addition, the archailects of the republic presumably provide higher toposophic defenses than the public face presented by the NBN and NBM. These defenses remain unidentified to modosophonts.

The Version War did inspire some New Brooklynites to begin building 0.7c colony fleets, usually consisting of 5 to 6 worldships, in 5031AT. The displacement-drive vessels were launched into deep space, the first fleet targeting the giant globular cluster Omega Centauri over 15,000 light-years away. Subsequent fleets of worldships were launched at five-century intervals, creating a negligible drain on the economy and a cause for semimillennial celebrations. Each worldship is fitted with a wormhole link back to Little Brooklyn, deemed a worthwhile risk because the fleets are aimed at what is thought to be uninhabited sectors of space. The impetus for these colonization missions was the trends in war. At the time, it seemed as if Terragen civilization was tearing itself apart and it would only be a matter of time before entire swaths of the galaxy were sterilized by super-weapons. This didn't prove correct but production of worldships continues to this day as a precaution, targeting ever-more-distant destinations.The worldships tend to draw the younger, more disruptive part of the New Brooklyn population.

NEW BROOKLYN IN THE CURRENT ERA

GOVERNMENT

The government of New Brooklyn is a representative cyberdemocracy, a republic. The civilization is structured as a unitary republic where districts are geographic (exceptions made for virch environments) and sized equally by population, which results in some interplanetary districts being physically very large. Nominally, all citizens of any toposophic have one vote, equal civil rights, and equal responsibility before the law, and representatives in the Senate are assigned on a per capita basis to their districts, which makes the modosophonts feel good about their egalitarian, multi-toposophic culture where they hold the majority of votes. Citizenship is not automatic, but includes regulations to prevent mass-production of virtual, vec, or vatgrown voters and other voting abuses. The Senate is bicameral with a House of Representatives based on legislative district population (and thus fairly equally-represented currently) while the Chamber of Governors has one governor per district, who also serves as the head of local executive departments. As a cyberdemocracy, the House of Representatives scarcely acts without polling and consulting its districts, while the Chamber of Governors provides a nominally impartial review of the Representatives' work. The executive, a Presidency, incorporates both the roles of head of state and head of government, and there is a separate and impartial judicial branch.

While the de jure situation appears to favor the numerous modosophonts, critics argue that the de facto truth is that transapients dominate through cultural and economic factors. For example, high transapients (S2) fill the Senate because they can memetically engineer the modosophonts' voting behaviors. Further, the civil service is meritocratic, which favors higher toposophics (those interested in participating). The archailects of the system do not appear to participate directly in the political process at the current time other than voting regularly in elections, though in millennia past they helped maintain the government in the face of socioeconomic stressors. Otherwise, they appear to obey the laws as well as any other citizen, though there is the question of what police could do if they misbehaved. The archailects are also owners of some of the largest and more important pieces of infrastructure, such as the system's wormholes, and thus have significant clout if they choose to exercise it.

The ancient policing system of New Brooklyn is cause for foreign comment, though it differs little from law enforcement used in developed, non-angelnetted cultures. While based on the most modern theories of law enforcement, it avoids angelnetting because of local concerns about blighted angelnets. Accordingly, modosophont and transapient officers use the universal surveillance of the system to identify and discourage most crime. New Brooklyn is generally a very law-abiding society but, because of the absence of angelnetting, it is possible for spur-of-the-moment violence to occur. The rare, unsolved crimes are usually sensational even decades later.

CULTURE

As of the Current Era, New Brooklyn is a curiosity of the Inner Sphere. The system is far from technologically backward, but seems to be a population of Dotties (though few Dotties actually live in the system) that adhere to old languages, mannerisms, and ontologies.

New Brooklyn's modosophont population lives in a utopian society. Their preferences in fashions, sports, virch games, philosophies, hobbies, and recreational pharmaceuticals changes with each generation. As the long-lived bionts in the society have willosoph modifications, individuals often cycle through careers and relationships century by century. A fraction of the population is happy to live on a basic stipend of energy and mass made available through their home nanofabs, while the remainder performs some work to gain access to greater resources. With a modern, ultra-tech industrial base and plenty of ais and bots, most "careers" involve the leisure economy and "working" in games, or producing art, or otherwise finding some niche service industry task to perform for 10 to 20 hours per week before going back to one's own entertainments. For a more detailed look, see Occupations Avocations and Work.

The government is managing New Brooklyn's resources with an eye toward the far future, hoping to preserve mass and energy reserves for tens of billions of years. For the citizens, this means monetized energy and mass credits for autofabs are issued sparingly, creating artificial scarcity in resources. That applies to everyday life - the government has no compunction about releasing whatever energy and mass is required in an emergency. Citizens may lead very pampered lives by the standards of, say, 1st Century AT humans, but acquiring energy- or mass-intensive belongings (e.g., a private spacecraft) is more difficult than in other utopian, post-scarcity societies. The situation is similar to that of the Negentropy Alliance and its Genius Loci autofabs, though the method of acquiring luxuries is different - money instead of morality. The parallel currency of social merit points is another means of getting resource stipends increased. The potential resources are, of course, vast for those who do become wealthy by popularity, investment, creativity, or just hard work.

There are interesting constancies in New Brooklyn's culture. Despite the millennia of exposure to entertainment, fads, and memes from the Known Net, modosophonts resolutely stick to an archaic language, Brooklynese, a proto-Anglish that is almost Interplanetary Age English only modified with some Coronese loan-words and grammar during the height of the Taurus Nexus. The basic system of government hasn't altered since the charter was written in Earth orbit during the construction of the FHL Guardia 10,000 years ago. Amendments have been added to address unforeseen developments (e.g., archailects), but the basic function has not changed, even when New Brooklyn has seen better systems and watched its own government stumble. And as a representative cyberdemocracy, citizens provide feedback to their Senators when requested. Participation has never dropped below 80%, which is unusual - cyberdemocracies tend to see participation numbers fluctuate to a larger degree over long periods of time. Further, debating public policy and issues in public gatherings, be that neighborhood bars, nano bath houses, or larger virch forums is a pastime that has remained popular despite many other entertainment fads that come and go. And even after thousands of years when they could have built more expansive megastructures, New Brooklynites seem happy in their ancient, physically densely populated living conditions - urban environments - where they can socialize with a large number of familiar neighbors and have a vast range of activities in easy reach. Further, New Brooklyn non-vec modosophonts tend to retain their forms. While they may upgrade underlying technology and are certainly familiar with much more capable forms (e.g., nanoborgs), they seem wedded to homorph bodyplans with capabilities in the range of nebs.

These "core value constancies" have been engineered by New Brooklyn's transapients to produce a society unlikely to suddenly change and rapidly consume New Brooklyn's resources, as ultratech and transapient societies are known to sometimes do either from internal or external motivations. It isn't enough for the government alone to regulate access to resources for the far future, since the government may be changed by the citizenry. The citizens themselves must be resistant to change, at least of core parts of their mindspace. Obviously, an overly-rigid mentality is prone to breaking from some stresses, so individuals need the freedom to have different careers and pursue different interests. There are just a few core values of New Brooklyn modosophonts that remain consistently stable even while superficial details do change.

Attempting to maintain such core values is necessarily imperfect in a society where so many intelligent participants have so much freedom. Accordingly, New Brooklyn has a noticeable rate of emigration, over 20 million a year. This is balanced with local reproduction rather than immigration. New Brooklyn society has spent over 9000 years helping those uninterested in living under its rules leave, sometimes dramatically. The secession of New Brooklyn's colonies, which had been settled by footloose and wanderlusting New Brooklyn citizens; the reconquest of Elysimus; and then its subsequent re-secession after again receiving so many younger, energetic members of New Brooklyn society are considered part of a grand scheme to politely, mostly non-violently excise unwanted memetic-demographic groups. After the First Consolidation War, less dramatic techniques - e.g., foreign work-study programs - aided the emigration of less staid citizens.

Interestingly, some of this constancy seems to extend to transapient levels. Transcension is not rare, and there are a very large number of Fourth Singularity entities in the system. But constancy is especially important at higher toposophics because even merely S1 and S2 transapients can completely transform star systems in short periods of time, and New Brooklyn is intent on managing its resources more carefully than that. This leads an apparent dearth of S3 entities in New Brooklyn compared to S2 and S4 populations. S3 entities require large bodies - like Moon Brains - and so over-active transapients with system-overturning plans are encouraged to depart before they become that sessile. The few that remain slide toward S4 and join their fellows in the S-brains.

The "one citizen, one vote" rule (and probably other, more subtle memes) has produced an attitude among modosophonts that archailects are not Gods but rather simply really impressive powers to be respected. This is hardly a unique view in Terragen space but it is indicative of some of the memetic defenses of the system. Common Solar Dominion memetics, for example, simply roll off many New Brooklynites like madverts off a spamshield.

INDUSTRY & TECHNOLOGY

New Brooklyn is a modern Inner Sphere system with a post-scarcity, transapient-dominated economy and one or more almost-independent economies among the higher transapients and archailects. It is able to produce most of the advanced goods required for its domestic needs, from magmatter to computronium. Few analysts expect the system to produce a breakthrough technology. Rather, it eventually acquires new technologies some years, decades, or centuries after they're released and incorporates them into its industrial operations. It builds reliable goods, not cutting-edge goods, and the great majority of its products are ultratech to S2 technologies.

New Brooklyn does produce a number of more advanced products. Its shipyards turn out small numbers of displacement drive vehicles using a local void mote forge located around Little Brooklyn. Modosophonts have a chance to acquire these reactionless drives directly, although the annual auctions tend to result in prices comparable to a billion annual basic New Brooklyn stipends. And though it does offer advanced drives, other ship systems tend to be of less advanced construction. The New Brooklyn Navy, for example, has not exhibited weaponry and materials more advanced than the S2 level, typical of a modosophont/low-transapient military.

Its numerous S4 archailects seem to have a domestic ability to produce S5 wormholes, suggesting some transvant capabilities in space-time engineering. There are two weylforges in Little Brooklyn, one for producing traversable wormholes and a much larger unit for commgauge wormholes. There is a caveat to this wormhole construction capacity: Little Brooklyn is energy-starved being an M3V, and stingy with its non-stellar mass. The two black holes resulting from the wormholes destroyed in the First Consolidation War now serve in a void forge, producing a slow stream of void motes (about one per day) for displacement drives.

While able to produce halo drives and other S5 space-time technologies, the slow production of void motes means that displacement drives with S5 void motes are much easier to build than a halo drive with thousands or millions of void motes.

Little Brooklyn is swathed in a Dyson Swarm that serves a multitude of purposes. It may operate as an optical phased array to deliver a majority of the star's entire output to one location (e.g., the weylforges, relativistic solar sailing vessels, or the boostbeams that propel grape ships between wormholes). Star lifting mechanisms lurk in the swarm, teasing the solar wind into steady, predictable flows, and also serving to tame the star's magnetic fields and flares. The star's output is sometimes augmented by stellification engines in its photosphere, but it is primarily managed as a long-lived resource intended for hundreds of billions of years of life.

A fair amount of the Dyson swarm's power is, ironically, returned to pinpoint locations on Little Brooklyn where beamrider emitters are located. The robust, magmatter-enhanced emitters rest buoyantly in the star's very dense upper layers, which are compressed by the 100G surface gravity. This was done because, reportedly, engineers were tired of "wasting mass and energy" to hold the beamrider emitters steady against their own thrust. Little Brooklyn is a small star, but it is more than massive enough to absorb the reaction forces of the emitters. There are five permanent beamrider links, but the evenly distributed array of emitters allows generation of beams almost as needed (a phased mass array, as it were). This "Brooklyn Bearrider Array" is another one of the rare innovations to emerge from New Brooklyn.

DIPLOMACY

Like a number of other long-settled Inner Sphere systems, New Brooklyn is unaligned with a Sephriotic empire. It trades with most polities, serves as a neutral banking location, exports ships, including reactionless drive vessels much-sought by modosophonts, and is a modest transportation hub. It does not take its neutrality as far as Eden and has been known to contribute military force to alliances against some interstellar threats.

Though New Brooklyn evinces precepts similar to Negentropy and has good diplomatic ties with the Alliance, it has shown no interest in joining. Likewise, its 'stodginess' supports good ties with the Terran Federation, but the Federation's obsession with ceremony and pomp seems to discourage closer union. The system's position as a transport hub makes it a natural friend to Metasoft, the NoCoZo, and the Deeper Covenant

The large population of transapients living in virches allows diplomatic ties with the Diamond Network and Solipsist Panvirtuality, though the large biont population of New Brooklyn and an "obsession with rel" prevents any tight alliances. However, these ties have allowed the system to act as intermediary for other biont nations with no regular diplomatic ties to the ai nations.

Finally, there is a pervasive, low key antagonism toward GAIA. As commonly taught in modosophont history books, New Brooklyn was not settled by refugees of the Technocalypse. After all, the New York area survived the Swarms. Rather, the system was settled by refugees from GAIA and eir Great Expulsion. The place names of the system reinforce and remind citizens of their lost heritage and "travesties" committed by "mad GAIA." There is no official support for this antagonism by the government, which maintains excellent ties with the Solar Organization and aids the many tourists heading to Earth through Little Brooklyn's wormholes. Most of the population doesn't care strongly because the matter was mooted 10,000 years ago, but almost every anthropoist attempt to "liberate" Earth will include a handful of New Brooklyn's most extreme anti-GAIA modosophonts.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Mike MillerInitially published on 14 April 2015.

 
 
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