A paraterraformed world in the Copernicus solar system

Danzig Shore
The gas giant Harriot as seen from its moon, Danzig

In 497 AT (2466 c.e.) the autonomous probe Philip K. Dick was sent to Copernicus, a G8 class star 41 ly from Earth, and established a magnetic energy collector/autofactory on Rhine, a moon of the jovian world Lippershey. A Kontore League colony ship, the Hanse, was launched towards this star by the First Federation in 1001 AT. The Hanse arrived in 1421 AT.

The first planet from the star, Janssen, is a hot neptunian world; it currently has a ring of photovoltaic power stations in polar orbit and accompanying computronium nodes. The second planet from the star, Galileo, at 0.11 AU is slightly smaller than Jupiter. Another subjovian world known as Brahe orbited at 0.24 AU. None of these planets have moons because of the small size of their Hill sphere region.

Harriot and Danzig

Harriot and Danzig
Image from Steve Bowers
Harriot, the fourth planet, was a watery gas giant world at 0.71 AU, with several moons including Danzig, which was paraterraformed in the late First Federation era. Danzig has a radius of 2090km and orbits Harriot at a distance of 979,850km and is tidally locked to its primary; this means the day-length on this world is 15.9 standard days long. Other moons of Harriot include Hamburg 1348km and Riga 1770km. Riga eventually joined the Solar Dominion.

A 135,000 km jovian world, Lippershey, orbits at 5.5 AU, providing protection from cometary impact,.with three moons Mazda, Bergen and Rhine. When the colonists arrived, the autofac built by the Dick was still active on Rhine, and in 4790 it made contact with and joined Metasoft.

Bergen became the centre of the Federal States, which was the ascendant culture in this system for many centuries. On Mazda the rival polity of Amity was established, and proved to have more staying power than the Federal States.

The Rezarki

In 2058 the Conver Ambi arrived and set up an embassy/colony on Danzig, in the continent of Wendlant. In due course the Conver Ambi became the dominant force in this system, subsuming the Danziger culture almost completely. Over the next few centuries a hybrid hylocyborg culture known as the Rezarki emerged. The Rezarki were gestated in artificial wombs, but at birth they were essentially mildly tweaked humans, with improved tolerance to various environmental factors. As they grew older, the Rezarki progressively replaced their body parts, including the neurons of their central nervous system, with functionally equivalent parts.

After the breakup of the Conver Ambi, the Solar Dominion moved into the system, although the Rezarki retained their independence. As medical biotech improved in the Integration period, the Rezarki found that their biological parts were increasingly durable and long-lived, so did not need replacing so often. But these biological parts came to be regarded as intrinsically desirable, and were exchanged as gifts and heirlooms. The Resarki began to distribute their body parts between numerous individuals, each with different fractions of the original body. Individuals would swap body parts, neurons and memories at will, allowing them to blur the distinctions between their identities. Despite this each individual was separate, and did not form into group minds in this period.

The Metasoft outpost on Galileo retreated to Copernicus B, a red dwarf at 1200 AU. This was the base for long distance relativistic attacks on Shamash during the Version War.

The Rezarki culture became increasingly involved with environmental bio-engineering, and re-engineered the worldhouse roof on Danzig into a single, self-sustaining photosynthetic organism during the ComEmp era. After this they began to establish Dyson trees throughout the Copernicus system, and worked with the citizens of Amity on Mazda to create a large Worldtree encompassing the entire moon and extending a thousand kilometres into space. At this time the Amity population were becoming increasingly attracted by the spiritual ethos of the Sophic League, and joined them in 6887.

Around 7000 the Resarki established fresh links with the Metasoft culture in the Rheticus system, which had been re-established during the ComEmp era wand was now a close ally of the Solar Dominion. Under the influence of the Rheticus vecs, many of the Resarki incorporated increasing amounts of drytech into their bodies, and developed into a new hybrid culture with little or no biological content. This new culture, the Autanoi, mostly inhabit microgravity habitats near Janssen and Galileo.

A significant fraction of the Resarki chose a different paths, many returning to live on Danzig and to tend the many elaborate and disparate biomes established on that world, or in the numerous Worldtrees and bubblehabs in the rest of the system. These populations developed new cultures generally based around biological augmentation rather than cyborgisation, although the dividing line between these two technologies was becoming increasingly blurred.

Danzig in the Current Era

Danzig is now an independent Inner Sphere world, affiliated to the Terragen Federation, but with close ties to the Sophic League, Metasoft and the Solar Dominion.

The seas and forests of Danzig are populated by a diverse population of highly modified humans, many of whom regularly change their bodyplan thanks to advanced biomedical engineering or engeneration technology. This ever-morphing population is often known by the affectionate nick-name Ziggers, and representatives can also be found in the many dyson trees and bubblehabs of this system, where they mingle freely with other factions such as Autanoi and the Sophic Amity.

All factions in the Copernicus system regularly compete in the Danzig Hyperolympics, where any bio- and/or hylo- augmentation is both permitted and recommended. This competition draws spectators from the entire system and further afield, especially since the competition was opened to competitors using Ultimate Muscles. A great sporting complex, the size of a major city, is a permanent feature on Danzig and a popular tourist attraction.

In the past millennium a swarm of O'Neill habitats and other rotating structures has been constructed at the L4/L5 points of Harriot. Many of the inhabitants of these structures are incarnates, former virtual sophonts who have adopted physical bodies of various sorts. A significant fraction of these incarnate entities are former inhabitants of adventure virch scenarios, individuals which often require a long and intensive program of psychological adjustment before they can adapt to a real-life environment. Many Ziggers also dwell in these habitats, often active in the rehabilitation process themselves. A steady stream of Ziggers, Autanoi and other clades are attracted to the virtual lifestyle, and submit themselves for uploading into the local cybercosms (which are mostly situated near Janssen in the current era).

The WorldTree on Mazda is home to Sophic spiritual counsellors from many faiths and creeds, who are often called upon to give advice to these former virtual entities and are also available to provide similar assistance for any inhabitant of the Copernicus system.
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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 04 July 2008.

Edited in December 2015 in line with new IAU nomenclature
Revised 2021