Capital world of the NoCoZo

Image from Steve Bowers
The icy world of Merrion holds many parraterraformed, insulated habitable zones, and is encircled by numerous inhabited orbital bands

The ancient Capital of the NoCoZo, Merrion is a glacial world in a remote orbit around Alpha Mensae. Over time it has become covered by habitat domes, each housing its own unique ecology from different worlds or gengineered from scratch. In immense megastructures the major businesses and groups have their local offices, and across the net the Board constantly debates (most Board members are AIs). On the inner worlds a vec culture has developed, the Merrion Dormbots, which are responsible for the upkeep and security of the system. During the Version War most installations were hard hit, but since then much has been rebuilt even grander than before.

Merrion- Alpha Mensae - Data Panel

Major population centers: Planets: Merrion Alpha Mensae XII
(Capital) Low gravity Lithic-Gelidian type world (surface gravity 0.5 g.), orbiting 16.3 AU from the sun. Largely covered with habitat domes and megabuildings. The entire planet is an integrated urban center. Major government, finance and political center. Seat of the NoCoZo Board and the Merrion Stock Market.

Munasaki Alpha Mensae I Mercurian type planet, orbiting 0.5 AU from the star. The most populous dormbot world, largely covered by cityshells. Maintenance services, local administration, security, vec design.

Sherb Alpha Mensae II Mercurian type planet, orbiting 0.8 AU from the star. Computronium and power production.

Louzoun Alpha Mensae III Selenian type planet, orbiting 1.2 AU from the star. Starship design and construction. Main urban area: Big Hole.

Orbital bands and other objects:
Adam Smith (Alpha Mensae XII a) A ten thousand kilometer Mckendree Cylinder located in Merrion orbit. Political interaction, finance, media, entertainment, transports to and from Merrion surface/megastructures. Seat of the Marketeer Fleet, most embassies and parts of the Board.

Inghdallh Cluster Alpha Mensae XII t1 Merrion forward trojan point. Mainly a think-tank or ultra long-range corporation district. Forecasting, policy analysis, education, relativist finance.

Crossroad Central Outer System
Several widely spaced wormholes connect Crossroad Central with the rest of the NoCoZo. Transport, trade, tourism.
Population:Total 8.12 billion sentients
Merrion 2.13 billion
Adam Smith 1.61 billion
Inghdallhl 0.02 billion
Alidon 0.76 billion
Crossroad Central 0.11 billion
Munasaki 1.62 billion
Sherb 0.50 billion
Louzon 0.24 billion
Other 0.95 billion
Main languages:Merrionese (Anglish language) is the local language. Douh, New Anglish, Niu Cygnese and other trade languages are widely used
Main species/clades: vec total 27%
dormbots 21 %
others 6 %
superior 19%
cyborg 19%
ai 18%
animant 9%
alien 2%
baseline <0.01%
other 4%
Main Industries:Interstellar governance services, finance, marketing, media, transport, education, policy analysis, entertainment multiplexing.

First visited by a SecureSpace exploration probe in 1284 and a manned exploration mission in 1395. Merrion became NoCoZo seat in 2215 after the Treaty Revision summit. It was selected more or less randomly, as a practical meeting point reasonably far away from the solar system and with good refueling potential. Over time it acquired infrastructure, political and economic importance and developed into the per capita richest Inner System world.

Merrion consists largely of a mixture of water ice and rock, although most of the surface has by now become covered by habitat domes, each housing its own unique ecology from different worlds or gengineered from scratch. Between the domes a large number of starscrapers and megabuildings including four beanstalks extend upwards and downwards (due to the geology Merrion was plagued by ice-quakes preventing most megarchitecture up until the Second Federation Era where the current tectonics control system was implemented). Transports occur through surface or secant magrail. Most of the megastructures are physical offices or social spaces for the corps and organizations involved in NoCoZo finance-politics.

Dow Jones City, Merrion

City wide shot 2 ::
Image from Juan Ochoa

The largest city on Merrion, Dow Jones City is a remarkable place to visit. The low gravity allows the elaborate fancloth yachts to fly with ease beneath the high bluesky domes.

The Board meeting is constantly in session online (activity centered on Merrion; due to delays participants tend to reside either on or around the planet). Parts of the Board stream-of-discussion are publicly available and commented on political tracking channels. Similarly the stock market is most intense around the planet.

The rest of the system is partially settled, with most activity going on around the gas giant Mustafa and in various orbital habitats. A thriving asteroid mining industry extends throughout the system. On the inner worlds the Merrion Dormbots have built their own culture. The Dormbots developed through the gradual merger of local maintenance and security corporations and the development of a self-owning vec class during the 4000's. They have their own Merrionese culture, mainly centered on the innermost worlds but selling services both systemwide and across the NoCoZo.

The Version War led to the destruction of many of the structures of the system; practically all orbital installations are post-War or later.

While actual coercion attempts remain extremely rare, visitors should note that the outer system is a Tier III polity, which makes subscription to a PPL (Privately Produced Law) firm or having an integrated insurance-arbitration contract strongly recommended.

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Initially published on 14 November 2000.