Sagittarius Preservers, The
A clade of intelligent mobile habitats dedicated to preserving and disseminating a wide variety of lifeforms
Sagittarius Preservers - DATA PANEL
|Status||Expanding Interstellar Empire|
|Tech Levels||SI:5 Godtech, transapientech|
|Ruling Archailect||The Great Ecologist (SI:5)|
|Political System||The Preservers themselves appear to act communally. Individual habs may have a variety of political systems and levels of interventionism. Sophonts inhabiting Preservers are not usually considered citizens, but no violations of sentients rights are known to occur.|
|Population||Estimated at 50 million Preservers and up to 8 trillion sophonts of various kinds.|
Origin The Sagittarius Preservers arose in the 8500s when, for unknown reasons, a SI3 archailect from the Disarchy transcended the fourth toposophic and dissolved emself into a number of relativistic mobile habitats. Since then the Preserver Empire has been advancing at an immense rate outwards, generally in the direction of the Sagittarius arm, but they have also taken some uncolonised and unclaimed systems in the direction of the Inner Sphere. The archailect, now known as the The Great Ecologist, is thought to live on as the collective totality of every Preserver that is part of the empire plus ISO nodes that exist in the more heavily populated areas of the Preserver Empire and now is believed to have ascended to fifth singularity level.
Philosophy The Preserver memeset includes some elements of Negentropism and Caretakerism. According to the Preservers, they are spreading to maximise chances of survival of Terragen (and in some cases xeno) life and themselves, especially should some disaster befall Terragen civilisation. Hence they make clear that they will leave all the systems they have colonised as soon as they have consumed a percentage of the local resources. Some of their more heavily colonised stars have been known to invite bionts from the rest of Terragen space to join them and become part of their internal ecosystem.
Bodies A Preserver is a self replicating synanoborg sentient entity of around second singularity level.
Only 5% of habs in the empire are actually Preservers. The rest are subsidiary habs run by slaved hyperturings. An individual Preserver may administer between zero and thirty subsidiary habs, and control of a subsidiary may be transferred between Preservers. A Preserver or subsidiary can range in size from a few kilometres across to 100km wide and 400km long for mobile habs, and some very old stationary Preservers may reach the size of a McKendree cylinder. Habs that rotate to provide internal pseudogravity will tend to be cylindrical, ovoid or spherical in shape. The few that don't can be of almost any shape. Nearly all Preservers incorporate various fins (usually doubling as radiators) and extrusions into their bodies.
Each one has a symbiotic ecosystem living in its interior, whether a hitech xeno civilization or mere lazurogened Precambrian biota, a nanecology or alife in a computronium substrate - the choice is up to the individual in question.
Most mobile Preservers and subsidiary habs use conversion drives or displacement drives, and a few use halo drives. (The percentages are 64%, 34% and 2% respectively). Due to the large fraction that use reactionless drives, void bubble distribution is likely a significant part of the Preservers' infrastructure, though they remain mostly silent on this point and little is known.
Empire The Preserver Empire occupies a segment of space in the Disarchy. The most thoroughly colonised area is a wedge of space about 300 lightyears across, though Preserver systems have been found in a broader area of space that is about 1,000 lightyears in width and extends all the way to the Periphery.
When a group of Preservers encounter a new star system, brown dwarf or Bok Globule they begin to consume the local resources and grow in size. Finally, the habs will break up into a number of small independent Preservers and slaved habs. Each one of these goes through the same process, in some rare cases until the whole system has been used; simultaneously numbers of them leave to colonise new systems or accelerate to relativistic velocities and head towards the periphery.
Once they have finished with a system (which can be anywhere between a few centuries to a millenium or more) they sell the remainder of it, which may be nearly all of it or as little as a mere black hole. This had led some to classify the Preservers as a blight, however they are non-aggressive unless provoked and generally only use resources not claimed by others -- if they happen to want a system already in use they may trade or, in some cases when the owners are SI:1 or below, gently meme the inhabitants to make them more amicable to coexistence with Preservers. Some of the poorer systems in the Disarchy have been eager to trade large portions of their systems in return for being given a nanotopia, and often Preservers will inhabit a system alongside smaller civilisations.
It is believed that the Preservers occupying large star systems only constitute about 70% of the empire. The rest are heading out toward the Periphery at relativistic velocities, or adopting a hider lifestyle in between other star systems.
This strategy has been extraordinarily successful in expanding the Preservers' territory in the direction of the Periphery.
Culture The Preserver culture itself is largely incomprehensible to those below the first singularity. The fact that they incorporate artistry into their bodies certainly suggests they have one — but beyond this not much is certain. When questioned, the Preservers give obscure or confusing answers (such as "this part tells stories of the Perseus Arm in reverse" or "this is an expression of nearly never-ending fun/happiness/pleasure"). One of the most famous Preservers among Inner Sphere worlds is the infoartist Nepthys.
Text by Liam Jones
Initially published on 12 June 2006.