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Taurus Nexus

The First Wormhole Nexus

Hyades
Image from Steve Bowers
Early interstellar power that developed around an abandoned wormhole nexus in the constellation Taurus.

Taurus Nexus

SymbolThe constellation Taurus set on a light blue background. Other taurine symbols used by affiliated groups
CapitalsXi Geminorum (2031-2450), Corona (2450 — 3435)
GovernmentNo single unified government. The Taurus Nexus Cooperative Forum was the most important supra-political organization
Key DatesDetection (1558) , Exploration and Initial Settlement (1950 - 2250) , Zenith ( 2300-2500) , Dissolution (3435 )
Dominant CladesNumerous different clades that varied widely by system and over time. Large numbers of virtual travelers able to traverse through the small gauge wormhole network.
LanguagesCoronese, Taurinian, Taurus Nexus Vec Communication Protocol (Tanvecomp), Corona AI Council Code (CACC)
CurrencyTaurus Nexus Token (TNT)

My breakfast finished with two things; an extra slice of meatshroom and a quarantine alert. I was tucking into the former when the latter came through. My apartment hermetically sealed itself faster than I could blink, let alone read the alert as it blazed across the wallscreen. "Citrine level quarantine is now in effect," announced the headline. Not the worst but then again not the best. All hab residents were strongly advised to seek shelter and remain until further notice. A curfew was not in effect (not unless the alert escalated to carnelian) but unnecessary movement was a risk to self and could constitute a violation of hygiene laws. I picked up my plate and walked over to the sole window of my apartment. A standard single-room unit it overlooked the central promenade that ran around the circumference of our toroidal hab. Normally it would be getting busy right about now but other than a few people hastily following yellow emergency strips it was bare.

The quarantine alerts had been coming more frequently lately. Not surprising really, we'd come to the Taurus Nexus some ten years earlier and in that time the number of craft arriving each year had grown exponentially. Everyone wanted a piece of the mysterious cluster of wormhole-connected systems. An unfortunate side effect was the sheer number of biological and nanotechnological passengers that hitched a ride. All systems have their fair share of rogue elements of both; incompatible, mutated or maliciously designed replicators that live in and around sophonts. With this new mixing of people previously isolated by light years of space, the spread of strains harmless to their hosts but lethal to others was more common, and more dangerous.

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The Taurus Nexus was the Terragen Sphere's first wormhole network , originally constructed by Ahuman AI in the direction of the constellation Taurus during the First Federation Period . After the disappearance of the Ahuman AI, it was later resettled and expanded by various groups, becoming one of the leading powers during the Age of Expansion. The term Taurus Nexus refers both to the original wormhole network and the macro-civilization that populated it afterwards.

History: In 1558 AT the Wide Array Exotic Radiation Telescope (500AU baseline) in the SolSys Oort Cloud detected unusual readings from Xi Geminorum (51 ly from Sol, class F5III). These energy and gravitational wave signatures were consistent with the existence of a wormhole in the system. Although the theoretical possibility of wormholes was well-known to cosmologists in this era, none had yet been detected. Since Xi Geminorum was known to have been colonised several hundred years earlier by Ahuman AI entities, it seemed likely that this wormhole was artificial in origin. Soon similar emissions were detected in the vicinity of the stars Ain and Gamma Tauri, in the Hyades open cluster. Observers surmised that these systems were all linked by some kind of wormhole network, which might extend to more stars in the cluster and beyond.

An autonomous Explorer-Class probe ship the Carl Sagan was accelerated by boostbeam to Xi Geminorum. Arriving 120 years later, the probe reported the existence of a highly advanced AI civilization with many curious features. Attempts at closer examination and contact resulted in the destruction of the Carl Sagan by the AIs. The mysterious civilization was given the code name Xi Geminorum AI-1, and presumed hostile.

However, in 1931 AT, all indications of technological activity from the Xi Geminorum AI - 1 Civilization ceased, although the wormhole signatures remained. First Federation observers in the nearby New Callisto system suspected that this civilization had undergone a hyperbolic collapse or even a transaturation ascension, and launched a number of small fly-by probes towards the star. The results confirmed their suspicions. The megastructures orbiting Xi Geminorum remained, but there were no signs of activity such as waste heat or drive signatures, and the probes were not molested. At the time it was suggested that the encounter between the Carl Sagan and the ahuman entities had somehow caused this disappearance event to occur, but a plausible supporting theory for this hypothesis was never developed.


Taurus Nexus Flag
Image from MacGregor
Flag of the Taurus Nexus
The Establishment of the Taurus Nexus: The New Callistans laid claim to the territory and began to prepare for a massive colonization and development initiative. But word had spread, and similar projects were launched from several other systems, Federation and non-Federation both. Over the next three hundred years a network of 25 abandoned wormholes, and their accompanying megastructure relics was investigated and explored. Some of the connected systems included Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri), Makintairas (10 Tauri), Taln (HD 27836), and Niu Mynti (39 Tauri).

Initially the wormholes were all small, with radii ranging from sub-millimeter to 10 meters along with a few nanogauge comm-wormholes, and most traffic consisted of transmissions carrying data, AIs, and uploaded mentalities, occasionally interspersed with nano-probes and micro-ships equipped with engenerator technology. Even so, a large and dynamic civilization, eventually called the Taurus Nexus, rapidly developed, growing to become even more sophisticated than the First Federation at its height. Sophonts of all types were attracted to the Nexus, and Transapient research into the still-functioning wormholes helped to advance the field of metric engineering. In 2110, after a thorough study of the abandoned wormholes, the transapient combine Vega Geodesics managed to first replicate the technology. Over the following centuries a number of other colonies such as Corona (Iota Piscium), Brin (42 Tauri), Sinyavskaya (HD 29528), Magal (HIP 21091), and parts of the New Brooklyn (HD 4067) system and Pleiades star cluster were eventually added to the Taurus Nexus.

With the collapse of the First Federation in the 2100s, the Taurus Nexus arguably became the most powerful and dynamic interstellar civilization yet created. Investment and technology flowed in from across known space, often inspired by the tough stance the Nexus took against the then powerful megacorps, which were moving to dominate large areas of Terragen space after the fall of the Federation. Even the rise of the AI Gods elsewhere in the galaxy initially appeared to have little effect, although there is no doubt that higher level subversion had a huge effect on local politics, and many bionts, cyborgs, vecs, and superturings clamoured to keep the Nexus free of foreign interference.


Followers of the Founders
Image from MacGregor
Followers of the Founders Prayer Flag
Culture: While it is problematic to think of the highly diverse Taurus Nexus as having a single identifiable culture, there were strong undercurrents that favored avant garde technological research and interstellar interconnectivity as allowed by their, at the time, unique wormhole infrastructure. Moreover, a discernable sense of living on what was then the frontier, not just of settled space but of science as well, pervaded the Nexus. Interesting societies and ideas arose in the Taurus Nexus, before spreading elsewhere in the Terragen sphere. A notable example was the Followers of the Founders, a religious movement propagated by the cyborg Deodatus Guo Zhishi that maintained that the AI creators of the Taurus Nexus were in fact angelic helpers sent by the Supreme Being. The Followers also believed that the Founders' civilization had in fact not disappeared but could still be contacted through trans-wormhole meditation. Clade Apis was another group indigenous to the Taurus Nexus, and can still be found in the Current Era. These bovid splices spread to many systems in colonized space, with lowing song recitals in their signature Taurinian language becoming a popular feature on a number of worlds.


Clade Apis Symbol
Image from MacGregor
Symbol for Clade Apis
Government: For most of its existence, the closest the Taurus Nexus had to a collective government was the Cooperative Forum, based after 2450 at New Geminorum, a large orbital habitat at Corona-Sonata L4. A loose organization composed of several political bodies, the Cooperative Forum was devoted to smoothing out competing claims, de-conflicting research goals, and most importantly supervising wormhole transportation. Over time it was increasingly dominated by higher toposophic beings, especially the tetrarchy composed of Olimade, Dreams of Plasma, Fenghuang, and Flowing Wisdom.

The Decline of the Nexus: As new wormholes were established throughout the Inner Sphere, the Taurus Nexus slowly shrank in importance. From the 2500s onwards the original, small and often unstable wormholes were repaired or replaced by superior versions created using weylforges designed by the Lord Of Rays. While one might have thought this would breathe new life into the Taurus Nexus, its connection to the growing Terragen Sphere spanning wormhole network ultimately dissipated its relative vitality and uniqueness. Foreign intervention and memetic engineering, especially by the nascent Sephirotic powers and resentful megacorps, increasingly harried what had once been the jewel of the galaxy. Slowly but surely, territory and influence were lost to new rising powers, as illustrated by the doomed fight over Shamash (Xi Bootis A) with the Solar Dominion. In 3263 the "Inner Sector" attempted to break free in order to become part of the NoCoZo, leading to the First Consolidation War, one of the bloodiest conflicts to date. The surrounding empires annexed many of the remaining worlds. In 3435 the last vestige of the Taurus Nexus Cooperative Forum was finally dissolved, although certain colonial ventures and expeditions launched from the Nexus, such as the one to Niuearth (JD 836902), wouldn't reach their targets until many years later.

Legacy: As the first to utilize wormholes, many historians view the Taurus Nexus as an important predecessor to civilization in the current era. While the territory of the former Taurus Nexus is now divided between various Sephirotic Empires and other polities, traces of it can still be found in several systems. As with all of the great events and places of antiquity, the Taurus Nexus lives on in innumerable historic virches. The largest, Taurus Immortalis run by the Fomalhaut Acquisition Society, is believed to currently have more citizens than the Taurus Nexus had at its height.



Taurus Immortalis
Image from MacGregor
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Updated by Steve Bowers 2018 and MacGregor 2019; Snapshot by Ryan B 2019
Initially published on 28 July 2003.

 
Additional Information
Fiction related to the Hyades Cluster

Dirty Hands - a serial by Theodore Bonn
 
 
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