Tar Vara Habitats

Habitats created as examples of Perfect Art as landscape design

McKendree Cylinder
Image from Arik

Tar Vara Habitats data panel

Location:Tar Vara Prime, Medius System, Mutual Progress Alliance
Number of Habitats:592

Few places are as friendly to the baseline and nearbaseline human as the Tar Vara Habitats. They were created by the AI Goddess (she is one of the relatively rare transapients who presents as being of a particular gender) Donovea. Donovea sees herself as one of the guardians of the spirit of humanity, and she constructed the Tar Vara Habitats with that in mind.

In Tar Vara one may find white sand beaches, mountain jungles, alpine meadows, ice capped mountains, and blue oceans. The views from various points in the habitat are breathtaking. Throughout human history, the desire to find paradise has been a strong meme. Those humans who live in or visit Tar Vara claim that it is one of the more successful attempts to give Paradise physical form. As a transapient's application of Clade Patternism it is one of the Terragen Sphere's better examples of Perfect Art. The Tar Vara habitat has been copied many times since its construction.

The interior of the habitats are much like a pristine wilderness. The few urbanised areas are delightful cities, with buildings in a variety of historical styles. Many of these cities are hard to spot, as they blend into the local vegetation and landscape. Gardening for both recreation and novelty food production are common pastimes. There is more to the Tar Vara style habitats than the interior surface. Below the interior are multiple layers of communities, each with its own style and flavour. In a way Tar Vara is a wilderness, a small town, and a large city rolled into one.

The habitat cluster orbits the local star (Hip 93229, known as Erg, in Corona Australis) at a distance of 7 AU. In this cluster one hundred McKendree cylinders and nearly five hundred smaller habs are strung out in an arc. Most of the biont population of the Medius system inhabit this cluster.

The habitats are each made up of two cylinders side by side. The interior is solid with windows only in the endcaps of each cylinder. The cylinders range in size from 25-500 kilometres in diameter and 125-8000 kilometres in length. The habitat shell is made out of 10 metre thick buckytube. Half of the interior is covered in 1 kilometre deep oceans and the other half is made up of artificial landforms. The landforms are sculpted into mountains, rolling hills, forested plains, and coastal beaches.

Beneath the habitat floor are 20 to 50 layers, depending on the height of the overlying terrain. Each layer is about 50 metres in height, and is divided into small communities or city districts each around one square kilometre in area and containing of one hundred to one thousand individuals. These communities are designed to provide plenty of space and privacy for each person. Few buildings in the underground layers are higher than 25 meters; this allows long views from the layer support columns. As in the surface cities, rooftop gardens are quite common.

Transportation is incorporated into the floor of each layer and the diamondoid support columns. The columns and roof are designed to glow, providing lighting for each layer, and climate controls provide mist and artificial rain for the plants. Often during the early part of the day cycle, mist can be seen to roll across each layer.

You can still find areas of Tar Vara that are used for old style dirt farming. Many types of naturally grown or harvested foods can be found among the restaurants of the Tar Vara communities. Fruit trees can be found scattered everywhere.

Each cylinder of the Tar Vara habitat and its cousins has enough living space for 250-500 million humans in luxurious accommodations. The population may be dense but the feel is relaxed. The star around which Tar Vara orbits has one of the highest human population densities in the Terragen Sphere.

The ubiquitous Donovea avatars, each one nearly indistinguishable from a baseline human, are a signature feature of the Tar Vara habitat. Donovea has a very personal and intimate relationship with her people; one may find her avatars engaged in ordinary activities such as eating lunch in a restaurant and talking with the patrons. Visitors are typically greeted personally by one of the Donovea avatars. She is revered by many, and often called "mother" by the permanent residents.

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Development Notes
Text by James Ramsey; some modifications by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 15 October 2002.