Alpha was one of humankind’s first extasolar colonies. It was one of the Inner Colonies, a Major World of the Galactic Commonwealth, and the Capital World of the Libra Sector.
Geography and ClimateEdit
Alpha was located on the fifth planet of an F-Type Star. Aside from microorganisms and a few species of moss-like flora that grew in pools around the edges of its equatorial sea, it was a bleak, forbidding world. Its atmosphere was thin. Its sky was black and stars shone even in daytime.
The planet had a long rotation cycle of 52 Solar hours. Daytime temperatures reached in excess of 55 degrees centigrade, while nights were subzero. Its gravity was somewhat higher than Earth’s.
In some ways, it was an ideal colony site. The sterile landscape meant that there were few pathogens to worry about. While oxygen was thin in the atmosphere, it was abundant in the crust, and the planet possessed large seas filled with sterile water that was almost perfectly safe after processing. Prior experience building colonies on Earth’s moon were directly applicable to the experience of colonizing Alpha.
History and CivilizationEdit
Alpha was explored in the late 22nd century by an unmanned probe and was not initially considered a ripe candidate for human colonization. But to an enigmatic man named Mario Watanabe, it inspired a vision. Watanabe was one of Old Earth’s wealthiest men. He had a vision of building a colony where humans and their artificially intelligence machines collaborated to build an advanced society unlike any ever seen in the universe. In his vision, robots and artificial intelligence were the partners that would enable humans to achieve any dream they could imagine.
Since absolutely no one was clamoring for the rights to colonize the world that would become known as Alpha, he was able to claim it easily.
Before the first human colonists arrived, he sent ships filled with machines to build a city there, under the direction of a Master SAI (Super Artificial Intelligence) known as Alpha 1. As the city was constructed over a period of ten years, Watanabe carefully selected his initial group of 20,000 colonists; seeking individuals of intelligence, vision, and compassion combined with the rigor and toughness necessary to survive in the Spartan environment of Alpha City. A pair of colony ships arrived in the Solar Year 2257, carrying the initial colonists. They were all settled in Alpha City.
The building machines were tasked to build additional cities. Five more waves of colonists followed before the end of the 23rd Century, raising the population to 100,000 human colonists.
The cities of Alpha were marvels; towers of crystal and metal rose thousands of meters in height above its surface, vast underground gardens lit by reflected sunlight provided breathable atmosphere and food crops, MagLev trains and transport pods provided a speedy transportation network, and over time the streets and corridors of its massive cities became filled with more artificial than human life forms, walking, working, and often levitating side by side.
In deep and secret labs under the cities, work continued in pursuit of Watanabe’s dream of creating a human-machine hybrid; a trans-evolutionary creature with a machine’s longevity and processing ability coupled with the human capacity to dream and envision. Meanwhile, humans on the surface were encouraged to reproduce under conditions of strict genetic scrutiny designed to improve the species through selective breeding. Factories were built to produce humanoid robots. Carefully screened colonists continued to settle on the planet drawn by both Watanabe’s vision and the promise of a world with more technological advantage than even Earth itself. By the end of the 25th Solar Century, Some 10,000,000 humans, and an equal number of humanoid robots, inhabited that planet.
Its advanced technology made Alpha an essential base for exploration of the Libra Sector, and much of the planet’s early trade was based on supplying and equipping expeditions and colonization to the outer colonies of the Libra Sector. Space City was constructed on a large island in the planet’s Eastern sea, so that trade could continue while the planet’s chosen inhabitants would remain isolated from off-worlders.
In the 28th Century, when the other major colonies were beginning to revolt against rule from Earth, Alpha stood outside the conflict. Culturally, it already viewed itself as an independent world, and routinely disregarded edicts and regulations from Earth. It also exercised a light hand over colonies in the Libra Sector, focusing more on developing its vision of an ideal man-machine hybrid utopia.
Another colony in the Libra Sector, Carthage, saw this as a weakness and an opportunity. Beginning in the late 28th Century, Carthage began involving itself in the internal conflicts of other colonies in the sector, with the intent of bringing forces to power that would be loyal to it, and help Carthage achieve hegemony in the sector and supplant Alpha as the capital world. The Galactic Federation intervened and thwarted this scheme with little assistance or interest from Alpha.
In the 30th Century, feeling the threat from the expansionist Terran Imperium, Alpha constructed a planetary defense network consisting of automated missiles and ion cannons capable of protecting the entire surface of the planet. A force of Terran Imperium ships sent to recon the planet in advance of an attack was destroyed utterly, which persuaded the Imperium Fleet to spare Alpha any attacks until after the other colonies had been subdued.
In the 32nd Century, Alpha was heavily involved in several of the Machine Rebellions that took place in the Ophichus sector, which was adjacent to the Libra Sector. Artificially intelligent rogue war machines were attacking human ships and colonies, and there was no option but to destroy them. Alpha’s advanced starships were well-suited to this task.
Alpha colony did not directly participate in the Third or Fourth Crusade, but supplied advanced intelligence systems to the warships of the Libran Fleet, which was built and operated mainly by Libran’s other large colonies, such as Carthage, Daedalus, and Skyrise.
In the Fifth Crusade, the Strange succeeded in infiltrating Alpha colony in the form of androids designed to mimic the planet’s large population of artificial life forms. Alpha’s sapient machine Government identified the Strange Androids and had them run down, captured, and reprogrammed. This was accomplished by a specially designated cyborg task force named, in a nod to Old Earth mythology, as Blade Runners. At the request of other colony worlds, Alpha lent Blade Runners out to other worlds to deal with their own Strange Infestation. Alpha colony’s construction of giant robots to eradicate Strange Infestations was also instrumental in the defeat of The Strange.
The experience in the War of the Strange left Alpha determined to protect itself from involvement in Galactic Conflict, and as a result, the world became more insular and cut-off from the rest of the Galaxy. As a result, Alpha stood outside the conflicts of the Sixth Crusade. In the Seventh Crusade of the 37th Solar Century, Alpha attempted to end the conflict by deploying ‘Peacemakers’ – artificially intelligent beings who were capable of shutting down the weapons systems on any ship they were deployed on. The Alpha Governing Council proposed that putting these devices on all ships throughout the galaxy would end war permanently. This suggestion was refused by the Galactic Commonwealth. Nevertheless, Peacemakers were deployed and paralyzed many starships on both sides. Alpha was widely resented across the Commonwealth for this unilateral action, and cut off the planet from its defensive operations. In retaliation, Adversary forces attacked the planet with powerful electromagnetic pulse and gamma ray burst weapons that devastated its cybernetic infrastructure.
In the Eight Crusade of the 39th Century, Alpha was still rebuilding from those attacks and vulnerable. The planet fell under rule of an external power for the first time in its history. Duke Metalos was able to introduce a virus into the planet’s cyber-network that shut down all the planet’s remaining defenses. He parked his planet-destroying megaship in orbit and gave the inhabitants the choice of surrender or destruction. They agreed to ‘accommodate’ rather than surrender to the Duke. His rule over the planet was lightly felt, as he demanded nothing more than obedience, the construction of a mountaintop citadel-fortress, and a steady supply of android-replicants of nubile young females and males to satisfy his deviant appetites. His Master and Patron, the Overlord Nebuchadnezzar, demanded that Alpha supply him with an army of a billion war machines to carry out his war against humankind. The Alphans built the war-machines but also built in a defect; the machines were hardwired to shut down and destroy their central processing units upon hearing the code phrase “Please don’t shoot me.” This led to their operational failure when deployed in battle. According to legend, the war machines were intelligent enough to recognize the defect and those that survived Nebuchadnezzar’s battles became devout Pacifists and fled to a silicon waste-world in a remote part of the Centaurus Quadrant where they could live at peace. Nebuchadnezzar was outraged by Metalos’s incompetence and sent a force to destroy him; but the sympathetic denizens of Alpha provided him with their fastest escape ship and allowed him to flee. Meanwhile, the planet’s defenses, rebuilt under Metalos, were more than adequate to the task of holding off Nebuchadnezzar.
When other worlds in the Libra Sector fell under control of the Overlords Nebuchadnezzar and Cain, Alpha was left out of the conflict, protected by its Integrated Planetary Defense System.
At the start of the 41st Century, Alpha’s entire population became a unified trans-human consciousness.
A Starlock was built near Alpha in the 45th Century and was christened Chrysanthemum.
Alpha was bypassed during the Tarmigan Assault of the 52nd Solar Century, owing to the lack of a human presence.