Danyello M'lund Cluster, The

NGC 6882

NGC 6882
Image from Steve Bowers
An ancient, widely separated cluster of stars 1100 ly from Sol near the Dumbbell Nebula in Vulpecula

The Danyello M'lund Cluster was colonized in the 3100's by a coalition of trading cartels, outer volume terraformer guilds, refugee management associations and holoterbics. It was a leased sector of Cygexpa, including five terraformable worlds. The coalition government prospered, and the Cluster became a technologically advanced and peaceful part of the Cygexpa sphere.

In 4504 the main wormhole links between the Cluster Alam and the Cygexpa network backbone, as well as much of the capital system, were unexpectedly destroyed by Metasoft long-range disrupter fleets. The Cluster was isolated and vulnerable, unable to build a workable defense fleet in the short time that would be needed to survive the likely follow-up attack. As a part of the defense measures a civil defense plan was activated, wherein a sizable part of the surviving population were uploaded into backup solid state systems in safe locations. The expected follow-up attack never came, having been stopped at the Battle of Polaris, but the isolated Cluster continued preparing for the worst.

As the situation began to look less tense the defensive uploading of the population could be slowed. However, a sizable fraction of the economy was now run through virtual corporations hiring virtual people running at high speed and able to copy themselves as needed. This competitive advantage put physical citizens and companies at a disadvantage, leading to strong economic incentives for further uploading. Over the next decades the majority of the cluster population moved to virtuality, leaving only 20% embodied (mainly orthodox holoterbics, soulists and arcadists). While tourism and occasional downloads into physicality continued, the vast majority remained virtual.

The war industry and backup storage proved fortunate as the Daveth Tweaks attacked. The Cluster managed to hold them off, and was instrumental in forging the Dawn Mutual Protection Treaty Organisation pact. After the war the Cluster rejoined the Cygexpa sphere with a renewed wormhole lease. Since then it has grown into a prosperous volume of the mid-zone, with strong trade ties to Mutual Progress Association, Keter Dominion, Formaulhaut Acquisition Society, and Solar Dominion systems. In 5640 it became a formal part of the NoCoZo.

Over the millennia there has been a noticeable trend in that many inhabitants, institutions and corporations retreat into virtuality, their only token physicalism being the care about the network infrastructure. The gap left behind is usually filled with immigrants or physicalist dissidents, creating a continuity of the Cluster and its economics while the population constantly changes.

The main planets are mainly kept as parks, largely converted to an idealized pristine near-terrestrial ecology. In some reservations the orthodox physicals live. Most of the population exists within nanocluster cities, today mainly housed within the shells of pre-Introdus buildings or underground. Backup storage is kept in the outer system. At any time a few million tourists exist physically, mainly using rental bodies.

The great Cygexpa sell-off allowed the Cluster to officially move to what was for some time the implicit allegiance to the NoCoZo, Formaulhaut Acquisition Society, and Cyberian Foundation. The old ties to the golden dolphins of Syrtis and the vecs of the Augusta systems remain, giving it a noticeable pull in regional politics.
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg

Initially published on 09 October 2001.

This article needs to be related to Cygexpa