Merrion (Alpha Mensae) System, The

Honorary capital system of the NoCoZo

Image from Steve Bowers

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 - Data Panel

SystemNames: Merrion
Components: 2
1) M'riong (Alpha Mensae A)
2) Mer'eppo (Alpha Mensae B)
- Distance from Zeta Reticuli: 13.42 ly (J2000)
- Distance from Sol: 33.31 ly (J2000)
- Constellation: Mensa
Star ANames: M'riong, Alpha Mensae A, Gliese 231 A (GJ 231 A), HD 43834 A, HIP 29271 A, HR 2261 A
Physical characteristics:
- Mass: 0.961 x Sol
- Radius: 0.960 x Sol
- Luminosity: 0.799 x Sol (bolometric)
- Temperature: 5,569 Kelvin
- Spectral type: G7V
- Rotation period: 30.0 days
- Age: 6.1 billion years
Star BNames: Mer'eppo, Alpha Mensae B, Gliese 231 B (GJ 231 B), HD 43834 B, HIP 29271 B, HR 2261 B
Physical characteristics:
- Mass: 0.217 x Sol
- Radius: 0.239 x Sol
- Luminosity: 0.005015 x Sol (bolometric)
- Temperature: 3,142 Kelvin
- Spectral type: M4.5V
- Age: 6.1 billion years
eppo binary orbitOrbital characteristics:
- Average separation: 33.601 AU
- Orbital period: 179.5 years
Population:Total 81.2 tillion sophonts
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 Solsys and with good refueling potential. Over time it acquired infrastructure, political and economic importance and developed into a populous Inner Sphere system.

The largest worlds in the Merrion system are no more massive than Mercury; the gravitational influence of the other stars meant most dust never had the chance to coalesce into larger worlds, and instead form asteroid belts, from which the inhabitants of this system used to construct their habitats. A thriving asteroid mining industry extends throughout the system as a result. After the Version War, which saw heavy bombardment of the planetary objects and the destruction of the various worldhouses and dome habitats, a very orbital habitat-focused culture has developed - one that continues to strongly influence the system in the Current Era.

As an archetypal NoCoZo system, the Merrion system's culture is extremely faddish, and structures tend to appear and disappear over a comparatively brief period of time compared to elsewhere in the Sephirotics. Some of the famous habitat clusters in the Merrion system in the Current Era are such as the Inghdallh Cluster and the Tangadakel Cluster, neither of them older than 300 years.

Dow Jones Habitat, Merrion

City wide shot 2 ::
Image from Juan Ochoa
One of the largest rotating habitats in Merrion, Dow Jones Habitat, is a remarkable place to visit. The low gravity allows the elaborate fancloth yachts to fly with ease.

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, partially updated by The Astronomer in 2021
Initially published on 14 November 2000.

Additional Information
Information of the two stars from