Theta Vinculum
Red giant in the Serpens sector. Center of the foghood civilisation known as The Clouds. These entities, which consist of intelligent utility fog, have an expanding "empire" in the region, with mainly good relations to other species.

The Clouds themselves are shapeless, although they can assume almost any conceivable shape. Knowledge and information is distributed into a cloud of nanomachines, which can form useful structures. There are no individuals, just temporarily isolated parts. When they fuse, information diffuses into the overall knowledge. There are conflicting stories regarding their relationship with the inner sphere U-fog civilisation on Nimbus, but the consensus opinion (which is also supported by the information they have made available) is that they achieved foghood independently of the Nimbus civilisation. The real mystery thus remains who their originators were - who may have been biont, virtual, aioid or even xenosophonts.

There are also worries that the Clouds are going to absorb many promising systems, their long-range motivations remain highly unclear and this may be a deliberate strategy.

Their main systems are a 10 lightyear cluster centered on the red giant Theta Vinculum.

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Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 09 January 2002.