Failed early Terragen colony, now occupied by feral bots
Image from Rhea47
|The gas giant Scrap. Home to an ecosystem of hostile subturing robots.| HD 205739, sometimes simply known as The Remnant, is a small system in the constellation Piscis Austrinus that is home to the ruins of a long-lost Terragen colony, as well as a primitive ecosystem of space-capable bots. This system was rediscovered by the Formac Acquisitor ship Inevitably Successful Under all Circumstances in 3383 a.t, and it has since been placed under Fomalhaut stewardship. Entrance is tightly controlled: Only approved researchers may enter the system and are not allowed to interfere with the bots that now call this system 'home'.
The Remnant - Data Panel
|System||HD 205739 ('The Remnant')|
|Stellar Class||F7 V|
|Luminosity||2.3 x Sol|
|Distance from Sol||355 ly|
|Classification||Formac Artifact System: Protectorate.|
|Colonized||Formerly: Undocumented Terragen colony (2650-3150? a.t)|
|Scrap||Type Warm mesoJovian |
Semimajor Axis 0.35 AU
Diameter 18390 km
|Jadsei||Type Arean |
Semimajor Axis 1.8 AU
Diameter 7382 km
|Notable sites||Cluster:E298 - A feral bot infested bubble habitat on Scrap.|
The Red Ruby - A spherical micro-grav space station, home to Stut and its servants.
|A failed early Terragen colony, now home to a feral mechosystem of sub-turing bots|
The debris of numerous space stations and habitats litter the space while the only terrestrial planet, Jadsei, hosts several badly damaged para-terraformed sites and a scattering of smaller ruined dome cities and settlements. The gas giant Scrap has a number of heavily-modified bubble habitats that are now infected with Jovian-capable Von Neumann machines.
Forensic examination confirms that the original settlers were mainly near-baseline humans; however the exact clade, origin, and their meta-ethics have been lost due to either extensive physical damage or data corruption of all examined memory substrates.
One of the most notable structures in orbit is a former habitat that researchers call The Red Ruby. It appears to have been a micrograv habitat about 5380 km is diameter colored a bright cherry red. Solar panels break up the outline of an otherwise nearly perfect spherical shell, which has a spherical tolerance of less than 5 mm. Swarms of bots of various types surround the Ruby like a cloud of flies. Many of these bots have the form of various Platonic, Archimedean, or Catalan solids, although more complex shapes are also present, and the different types seem to have different capabilities and roles. The Ruby is home to the only 'native' sophont, a superturing AI which calls itself Stut. The AI Stut is most likely the cause of the disaster which destroyed the inhabitants of the The Remnant, as it openly admits to cleansing all biont life from the system because it felt that they were, 'unclean and chaotic'. Stut displayed no remorse for this in any of its communications with researchers, and is quite proud of The Red Ruby which it obsessively maintains with its swarm of caretaker bots.
The internal structure of The Red Ruby appears to have been investigated on a limited number of occasions by Formac transapients who were able to easily subvert some of Stut's systems in order to study both the AI and The Ruby. The Ruby is a hive of nanotech infrastructure arranged like a honeycomb. The layout is highly ordered, and just like the mobile drone swarms visible on the outside most objects are in the form of various geometric solids. The complex is powered by fusion reactors supplemented by the solar collectors on the exterior. Nodes of diamondoid sub-processors can be found radially from the center of The Ruby on all six axes. However most of Stut's processing substrate is located in the core. According to Stut, The Red Ruby was once a large orbital habitat of some kind, the exact type and other details will most likely never been known due to Stut's unwillingness to elaborate on the subject. The fact that The Red Ruby is located 1.523 AU from the system's primary (which so happens to be the optimal distance for an Earth-equivalent stellar flux level) seems to support this theory.
Another group of Neumann machines is also present in system primarily on the gas giant now known as Scrap. These bots are known simply as the Scrappers. The scrappers are built on numerous floating hive structures that used to be bubble habitats for the colonists of The Remnant.
|The Red Ruby surrounded by a swarm of its drones.|
The bot hives of scrap often aggregate together in order to combine their power and resource processing infrastructure. The largest of these clusters is classified as Cluster:E298 by Formac curators. It is a conglomerate of at least 84 former bubble habitats that is roughly 87 km in diameter. It has some of the largest fusion reactor complexes in Scrap and uses them to transmute heavier elements from hydrogen gas. Occasionally the complex will launch swarms of proto-autowars into space using magnetic accelerators and fusion rockets. These autowars will occasionally scavenge heavy elements from nearby orbital ruins. The scrap autowars are attracted to The Red Ruby in particular and often try to dismantle it, however to date they have always failed as Stut repulses the Scrappers with its own bot swarm.
Stut does not seem to take any aggressive action against the Scrapper swarm besides defending The Ruby. It has been theorized that this is due to an old command protocol designed to prevent the various Neumann machines from harvesting each other. Stut's programming appears to be highly calcified, and it lacks the self-improvement capabilities of other more advanced systems. It is highly possible the rapidly reproducing Scrappers may eventually evolve to become sophont themselves. And most outside observers think this process is what the Formac Curators are in fact studying.
In 9785 a.t autowar activity increased exponentially across the system, and the Scrapper autowars started to attack The Red Ruby in greater numbers. In 9805 a.t Formac authorities declared the system totally off limits to even to transient research staff and guests. Rumors abound that a sophont intelligence may have developed on Scrap, however the current S:2 Curator, Inevitably Successful Under all Circumstances, has been silent on the matter.
Text by Rhea 47
Initially published on 16 November 2017.