St. Fionan is a planet in the Vulpecula Sector, noted for its
population of clones and for the terra-forming disaster that devastated its biosphere. It is the second planet (of four) orbiting the M-Class red dwarf star 64 817 Vulpecula.
The survey ship Hudson mapped the Fionán system in the Solar Year 4882. Its crew found the planet only marginally habitable. Surface water was abundant, although very warm. The atmosphere was made up primary of oxygen and argon, but was exceptionally dense and hot. The planet was rich in chemical and minera
l resources, and had a high potential for colonization if the atmosphere could be reduced.
Construction of atmospheric processors began in SY 5040. The first colonists arrived in SY 5103.
Circa SY 5400, one of the atmospheric processor began to malfunction due to a defective power core. It lost containment, and the entire processing complex melted down and exploded in a massive cascade failure. The explosion released massive amounts of radioactive gas into the atmosphere. The meltdown cracke open the plant’s crust. This resulted in an explosion on a super-volcanic level that spread radioactive contamination all over the planet and dramatically altered the planetary climate.
Human survivors were faced with two existential crises; a contaminated biosphere and sterility brought on by radioactive contamination. They solved the first problem by building a containment dome over their largest settlement. And they solved the second problem by cloning. Eventually, the population was relocated to new domed settlements, sealed from the environment, were built in the vicinity of Salvation Bay, which was sheltered from the devastated environment.
St. Fionan was rediscovered by the Explorer Ship City of Discovery in SY 7198. The Pathfinder Ship Lexington Keeler followed up
with a port-call on St. Fionán in SY 7264. The crew, under pressure from Commonwealth Ambassador Lear, donated genetic materials to the colony. In return, the colony accepted the offer of membership in the New Commonwealth.
New atmospheric processing systems, based on technology used on Rainier III and Loki, promises to speed up the remediation process. New processors are under construction in the high northern and southern latitudes that will use the planet’s jet stream to rapidly process atmosphere and release clean air into the environment.
All Governmental power on St. Fionan is exercised by and through the all-powerful Central Authority; a non-elected body that exercises absolute control over making and executing laws, law enforcement, and resource allocation.
St. Fionan is a member of the New Commonwealth of the Galaxy.
14 Million humans inhabit St. Fionan, and another 25,000 inhabit Fionan Cam. Almost all of the population of St. Fionan live in the 17 dome
d cities built in a cluster around Salvation Bay, an inlet of the river-sea of Ossary. Salvation Bay, sheltered by the Salix mountain range from the worst of the atmospheric contamination and climate disruption that resulted from the Terra-Forming disaster. Almost all of the people who live on St. Fionan are clones.
Fionan Cam is a large moon that shares the orbit of St. Fionan. It’s a crack world where the crust of the planet is fractured in a large valley th
at stretches across the southern hemisphere. Only in the crack is life supportable, because all of the water and most of the atmosphere is held there. The rest of the moon is desert . The surface outside the crack freezes at night, and during the day, soft metals melt in it. Some of St. Fionán’s inhabitants fled there after the Catastrophe.
Generations of exposure to radioa
ctive contamination combined with complications of the cloning processes have rendered most of the population of St. Fionan sterile, only 3% of the male population produces viable sperm, and only 4% of the female population produces viable eggs. There are four primary Cloning Centers on St. Fionan, located in Dome 1, Dome 2, Dome 4, and Dome 10. There is a Genetic Research Center located in Dome 3 dedicated to studying and improving the cloning process on which survival of the colony depends.
Clones are grown from fertilized embryos harvested from female donors and implanted with genetic materials acquired from cell donors. There are two major types of cloning. Single Genomic Reproduction creates clones from a single donor, creating a precise genetic replica of that donor; which ensures the continuation of successful cloning lines. Poly-Genomic cloning combines DNA from two or more cell donors to create composite individuals; which is done to create genetic diversity within the colony.
Clones are grown in controlled laboratory conditions. Defective embryos are destroyed before they become viable. Other embryos are evaluated for assignment to social functions so that they can be nurtured to fulfill assigned roles in Fionan society. For example, embryos showing tendency toward superior strength, resistance to contamination, and motor skills will be nurtured toward filling roles as workman who build and maintain the domes; while those with artistic traits will be nurtured toward entertainment and the arts.
When fetal development is complete, clones are transferred from gestation chambers into incubators. Clones are typically raised through childhoods in pods of 100 divided into units of 10 raised by a quad (two males and two females) in a facsimile of a family. Each unit is raised to adulthood by the same quad, and consists of ten children with uniform age differences: For example, a pod may consist of two 10-year-olds, two 12-year-olds, two 8-year-olds, two 6-year-olds, and two 4-year-olds. The quad-led unit is built up two at a time over a period of years to give the quad leaders a chance to adjust.
The Authority has sought to expand the genetic base of the population, and actively seeks to acquire genetic samples from willing donors of other worlds. Because of their robust physical characteristics, donors from the planets of Sapphire and Republic are especially sought. However, the Sapphire-Republic Genome has proven resistant to standard cloning and produces a much lower number of viable embryos compared with other; although successful clones have a rate higher rate of fertility, 24% of males and 34% of females grown from the S-R Genome produce sperm and eggs.