Important Deeper Covenant world

Image from Steve Bowers
A gas-giant world with megascale dynamically supported towers.

Primary world within the Realm, part of the Deeper Covenant, 759 ly from Sol. Hightower is in close proximity to the Deep Gate Wormhole linking The Realm to Dam Tellion and the Wormhole Nexus.

The planet itself is a gas-giant (EuJovian type) world, similar in many respects to Jupiter in the Sol system. When the system was first discovered by the Deeper Covenant in 4715 AT it was orbited by 18 moons of various sizes, ranging from some 2000km in diameter down to captured asteroids a few kilometers across. However, this is no longer the case.

Although the Hightower system was initially colonized and developed in a fairly standard manner in its first two centuries of habitation, the direction of development was radically changed with the arrival of the vec Harmony on Waters. An accomplished poet and architect Harmony was inspired both by Deeper philosophies and the possibilities e saw in the Hightower system. After some 20 years of lobbying the local cyberocracy e was successful in inspiring the construction that makes the planet famous to this day.

Within the Hightower planetary system, the various moons and asteroids that once surrounded the planet have been completely disassembled and remade into the active megastructure known as the Hightowers.

There are a total of six Hightower structures extending from the upper reaches of the planets equatorial atmosphere. Each Hightower is a cylindrical structure 1000km in diameter and 100,000 km high/long. Within each structure is a complex of chambers, habitats and biomes extending from near the base of each tower, where high gravity conditions prevail, all the way to the 'top' where gravity is a fraction of a standard G. Most sections of the towers are pressurized, while some are in vacuum. The base of each tower contains conversion power plants and manufacturing systems as well as docking stations for the automated alchemic systems deployed in the atmosphere and providing each tower with heavy elements and volatiles.

Surrounding the planet Hightower and supporting each of its namesake megastructures is a series of high energy orbital mass-beams. Over a thousand orbital beams extend across the equatorial plane of the planet and suspend the towers above the clouds below. A network of high-speed trams rides up and down each tower and along the connecting mass beams between them to provide transportation to any point in the complex in less than a day. Orbiting beyond the ends of the Hightowers are spacecraft docks and shuttle systems for relaying travelers between the tower complex, the wormhole gateway, the Starlight Express mass-beam system connecting the planet to the rest of the Realm, and the larger interstellar Beamrider Network (15 beam-lines), beyond.

Total aioid and upload population is about 100 billion.

Total corporeal population is about 300 billion. Population breakdown: 20% nearbaseline, 40% vec, 20% vacuum-adapt, 15% Sapient-chimp, 5% other

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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner
Initially published on 18 February 2003.