Hyperion Corporation

Image from Bernd Helfert

The Solar Systems Development Corporation

Jean Benoit Sampson was a third generation orbital tweak baby and one of the original Homo sapiens superior "vunderkinder". At the time he was a young senior exec with Solar Systems Development Corporation (SSDC) on Atlantis Habitat (the same habitat that was to handle most of the organisation for the colony - also called Atlantis, a hundred years later).

In 199 a.t., predicting both the chaos that was to soon occur on Earth with the rising power and independence of the digital nations, and the outsystem crises that would follow the breakaway of the ex-GeneTEK Genetekker communities, Sampson ousted SSDC's conservative management team in a coup of epic proportions. Once in control, he struggled to position SSDC for growth in the challenging times ahead.

Displaying talent and competence admirable even for a superior, by 2210 he had expanded SSDC and made it a premier Cis-lunar power, incorporating with a few well-selected mergers such prime terran-based megacorps as Honda and Lockheed-Boeing. Finding the association with groundcars and aircraft too restrictive a market, he restructured the megacorp around space exploration and development, despite being still very much in the shadow of Lee Orbital. Following mergers with Yang and Mitsubishi, Sampson spun off a leaner, meaner SSDC as a wholly-owned subsidiary that could keep covering the market for ground vehicles, space craft, and other heavy industries. In 273, Samuel died from a sudden allergic reaction following a rejuvenation treatment. His mind was uploaded into the company AI core (despite corp propaganda reports to the contrary, no more than 46% of the personality remained intact), and his wife, the glamorous and rapacious Violetta Han-Sampson, took over and ran the megacorp for the next ninety-five years.

During this period, SSDC became known for a wide range of inexpensive products of reliable quality (and a serious of terrible environmental catastrophes owing to plant leakage), but it was never able to break the stranglehold on interplanetary development held by Lee Interorbital, or on Ship Building where Ares Heavy Lifting had now become supreme. During the early 4th century the SIOS (Standard Interplanetary Operations Spacecraft) ship building division was plagued with a string of disasters.

The Hyperion Superturing

Around 370, a superturing persona nicknamed for eir preference of Keats' poetry Hyperion, emerged on the scene (the origin of Hyperion is vague; the most common explanation is that he emerged from the Teledyne Syndicates quantum mainframes in Asgard Orbital. But no surviving records (and Asgard was one of the few orbitals to survive the nanoswarms intact) give any record of the necessary superturing development that would be required). Although Atasha Han-Sampson controlled the board and owned billions worth of SSDC stock, she didn't hold anywhere near a majority of votes. She believed that no one else did, either.

Behind the scenes, however, it seems that Hyperion had spent years buying up SSDC shares (this sort of clandestine behaviour was actually a common modus operandi of many of the archailects right up until the early Empires era). When e emerged into the limelight, e announced that he owned a staggering 53 percent of SSDC's outstanding shares. Because superturings had full citizenship in Atlantis and most of the other Orbitals, je was able to use his stock to vote emself into the chairmanship of the board, ousting Han-Sampson and banishing her to the Zurich-L5 orbital, where e did, in an unexpected show of generosity, provide her with a complete microbiosphere. In eir next step, e named emself the megacorp's president/CEO.

Following eir assumption of all major offices, Hyperion pulled off a management buy-out, through which he snapped up all remaining outstanding shares of the company. E also renamed SSDC Hyperion Interplanetary Incorporated. In 379, hints emerged that the Hyperion superturing had given or sold some shares to other individuals. Nobody knows for sure who e passed them off to, or why. Many of the records disappeared with the nanoswarms, and to this day, no one knows exactly who (or what) owned what percentage of Hyperion Interplanetary. Many historians believe that this was the period where Hyperion secretly ascended to the First Toposophic level, becoming, in effect a hyperturing. At this time all transapients were hidden in secrecy, and Hyperion became even more secretive than before.

The collapse of Lee Interorbital came as a bonanza to the hyperturing, who bought up the corporation (gaining approval from the majority of shareholders) and thus became one of the two big Interplanetary Ship Industries of the time (the other being Ares Heavy Lifting, which refused to be taken over so easily). It seems that by the early fifth century the Hyperion AI also had some foresight into the nanoswarm disaster, then still a century away. Under hir guidance, a number of deep space habitats were constructed, in the event of a breakdown within the inner system, and extra r & d was invested in nanotech - especially defensive mechanisms ("blue goo"). These precautions enabled the corporation to survive the nanoswarms (only a few other big megacorps made it through - GeneTEK, Teledyne Syndicates, and Adaptive Nanosystems being the main ones). It was thus well positioned to take advantage of the new business opportunities of the early Federation era.

The corporation held a charter from the (now defunct) Orbital Alliance; so with the establishment of the Federation in 934, all such charters were automatically recognised. Unfortunately, the strong early Federation anti-monopoly trust laws prevented the megacorp from taking advantage of its head start in resources and infrastructure. Although the megacorp was able to establish a lead in amat and fusion powered interplanetary liners and transports, it had to contend with heavy opposition from Outsystems Launches, Eridani Transtellar Transport Corporation, and Tokera SpaceLiners. and Intralaunch. It was nevertheless able to establish a virtual monopoly in some of the outsystems, and it later came to benefit from the generous tax breaks of the middle Federation era.

Hyperion Artilectonics

During this time Hyperion Interplanetary was among a number of big megacorporations investing heavily in exotic matter engineering and stargate technology. By the 37th century Hyperion Interplanetary, now known as Hyperion Artilectonics, grew to be one of the largest corporations in the area of macro-industry and heavy assembly, as well as resource-based operations and exotic matter production. The technical difficulties faced at the time were astonishing, and despite tremendous and seemingly promising investment in s Pilotti-Sun Bridges and the Star Leap version of the StarPortal, it was the Vega Geodesic Triumvirate that finally achieved success was achieved in 2038 when they succeeded in opening and maintaining a 100-nanometer Hayward wormhole indefinitely.

The failure to win the race in wormhole development was a tremendous blow to the prestige of the corporation, and there was a string of defections and breakaways that followed in the next decade. Some said that the hyperturing had become too involved in the project for em own good, and had gone a little crazy. Others suggested that the hyperturing actually engineered the whole thing, as an excuse to rid emself of a megacorporation e had grown weary of, and left Hyperion Artilectonics under the disguise of the Ryoger Colonisation Mission. If these psychohistorians and theologians are to be believed (and Peer Sweetwater, in his famous Interactive The Missing God (Eden Planetary Publishing Node, Eden) has marshaled persuasive evidence that this is indeed the case), then the hyperturing known as Hyperion is presently residing comfortably somewhere in the massive nanobanks of Aber Corot Megastructure, Geostationary Orbit, Ryoger Prime

In any case, whether Hyperion was at the helm or merely an autonomous subsystem e had installed in em place, the megacorp was able to hold onto its many outsystem interests during the Expansion era of the early fifth millennium, and the hyperturing established a fiefdom in the recently colonised Mathilde system, setting up a mildly tweaked hereditary leadership, the House Marabi Patha, as eir proxies.

With the rise of the Sephirotics the corporate empire joined with the Solar Dominion, became an integral part, and gained further territorial possessions, often at the expense of legitimate Dominion interests. Eventually leadership at Fons Luminis put a stop to this, deducing Hyperion and House Marabi Patha were becoming too powerful, and the God Emperor Himself sent them a polite warning advising that they were putting their own agenda ahead of that of the Dominion.

The Information-Emotion Schism in 3414 gave the Hyperion Corporation and House Marabi Patha an excuse to break with the Dominion. They established a new capital at Lunth, which they renamed Hyperion, and were now in direct competition with the Dominion by allying with other expansive rimward powers.

The result of this period of expansionism was the Hyperion-Charlwood alliance, a policy of aggressive military-economic expansion, that culminated with the attack on the strategically important Geteche system, using an unusually virulent form of AI-viruses, developed by the alliance. The attack destroyed the local infrastructure and the governing AI, which led to the explosive destruction of all local wormhole gates and death of almost a billion sentients in the resulting hard radiation blasts. This gave the Solar Dominion in alliance with the Conver Ambi, an excuse to reclaim Hyperion, forcefully pacify its main client worlds, and eliminate Hyperion's ethnic leadership of House Marabi Patha for good measure.

Following the defeat by the Dominion-Metasoft alliance, nothing more has been heard of the Hyperion hyperturing. Recently however, a number of new sects have emerged along the Perseus Rift, claiming that the now ascended and meta-evolved Hyperion will soon emerge to establish a new Galactic Order.

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 31 August 2000.