Wildsap Reserves
Although Wildsap (pron. wild-sape) Reserve is the technical term, "Wildhu Reserve" is also widely used by humans to cover the various types of reserves (even those where there are few or no humans). However, the Ken Ferjik classification is as follows:

Wildsap - generic or inter-category preserve
Wildhu - mostly or majority human
Wildprolve - provolves
Wildvec - vecs
Wildvir - virtual or cybercosm
Wildai - virtual or cybercosm or interface with r/l - turing ai
Wildborg - bio- and cyborgs
Wildxeno - xenosapients

The majority of wildsap reserves are low resource star-systems or regions of space; either they are not worth settling in the first place, or else repopulated cinderworlds, blight regions, or mild hazard no-go zones that are not worth reclaiming. They are inevitably settled by relativist sapients, and sometimes the colonies manage to survive and even thrive against all odds. Occasionally a passing ISO might encourage the colonies by clearing out remaining blights or swarms; otherwise the locals have to make do the best they can. The so-called "safe" reserves are considered sephirotic preservation regions and protected by metaempire agreed treaties.

There are however also many examples where good regions have been set aside by the local transapients as parks and societiums for memetic purposes (to prove that it's not just the low resource base that keeps reserves in a state of relative poverty), or just for inscrutable reasons of eir own.

The Negentropy Alliance for example will often establish a wildsap preserve in a choice group of stars as a sign of magnanimity. Later they might return when the region falls apart through poor local management or, (more often) are simply asked to come back and restore control. For this reason many paranoid groups are distrustful of Negentropist reserves, although there is not the slightest evidence that these fail more frequently than those established or allowed by other sephirotics; in fact the reverse is often the case.

The earliest recognised wildsap reserve was the inner sphere red dwarf Newhope, formerly 1011000110's Star (originally Hip 99265), which was colonised by hu supremacists in the first half of the fourth millennium (and belongs to the Wildhu subcategory). Others include several nearby low resource or abandoned stars, and the surrounding volumes of space, often up to several dozen cubic LY. More important is the "Anthroparchy", an irregular region (or rather, cluster of regions) of some 80 LY at its greatest length, including several hundred low resource stars in the Negentropist Middle Reaches (near the MPA and Utopia Sphere borders), which were considered not worth developing for the most part. A few middle resource systems were added as a sign of grace on the part of the sephirotics, and to fill out the volume.

In addition to these relatively safe regions, well within or on the borders of sephirotic space, are others in the outer volumes, including no go zones and blighted regions that have been abandoned by or have never been colonized by transapients. Often it is hard or impossible to say where these wildsap regions end and the wilds as such begin, if indeed there is a distinction in these cases. Endlessly romanticized by anti-ai and anti-sephirotic sapients, and given colourful names like "The Very Wild Periphery" "New Topias", "NoAiZo", and "Damnation Volume" these regions experience a decent population influx, but few settlements or colonies last longer than half a millennium, and often it is a lot less.

The reasons for the short lifespan of these wildsap polities are various. Often, plundering transapients and ahuman ai find such colonies useful to harvest. Even in safer regions, the polities themselves may be unstable and easily subverted, although the population remains unharmed. Not infrequently the flood of idealistic immigrants overloads local resources and holding capacity, resulting in socio-economic breakdown or harsh isolationist policies and xenophobic attitudes. In some cases the locals migrate outwards, attracted by opportunities for better worlds, or new sephirotic dyson swarms. Sometimes the regions themselves simply decide they'd like to rejoin "civilized" society again.

As well as dangers from intruding transapients, reserves with relatively primitive technology and/or simple or conservative meme-sets are vulnerable to enthusiasts, missionaries, subversives, and fanatics who wish to introduce more advanced (and potentially destabilising) technology and complex or subversive belief systems, or just generally create havoc. For this reason, a number of wildhu polities and regions employ special or secret police or other authorities, whose task it is to preserve cultural integrity within a reserve. In "Safe Reserves" in the sephirotic volumes (but much more rarely further out) this role might also handled or supervised by caretaker seraiphs or other transapient units.

Population movement is always a large factor in wildsap reserves. Although the original colonists, or their children, may return to Sephirotic space at a rate that exceeds immigration to these same colonies, it is more often the case that there are huge numbers of new recruits, making up the tiny percentage of Sephirotic citizens who are idealistic, adventurous, eccentric, or simply crazy enough to want to try "life on the Res". This tends to be a problem, due to sheer weight of numbers. Even the tiny fraction out of the trillions of potential immigrants would be a flood of newcomers. Not infrequently, in many of the more disreputable reserves, the local industries include taking from these new immigrants whatever knowledge and goods they brought and frightening them into going home. Otherwise the reservations will tend to fill up, even though they don't actually seem attractive to most visitors or immigrants.

Among the Sephirotic citizens are quite a few sophonts who spent a few years, decades or centuries "on the Res" but returned (something that might be mentioned at parties as an ice-breaker since it sounds romantic), as well as a much smaller group who were actually born there but often try to hide the fact, so that they won't be considered freaks or mental or memetic defectives. Most Sephirotics provide a free ticket out of the res, and a relocation allowance, for anybody who can contact the local consulate, embassy, or representative.

It is widely believed that the sephirotic transapients encourage the establishment of wildsap reserves and the popularity of wildsap romanticism, both as a sort of "safety valve" for the human need for exploration and frontier struggle, and as a didactic teaching device on how unpleasant any alternative to sephiroticism can be. Proof of success of the latter aim is shown by the fact that most hu adventurers to the wildsap regions return as stronger than ever exponents of the benefits of sephirotic civilization.

The quality of life on these reservations tends to be uneven, but in most cases it is not actually the unpleasantness that strikes people. The dominant impression taken away by travellers is the evident cultural impoverishment and lack of opportunities. Of course the number of emigrants tends to rise in the lead up to an ascension or transcension crisis, war, or other local disruption, and become a relative flood of refugees during a war.
Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 19 January 2005.