Ruby Marine

Wide ranging Biotect Hyperturing created 1043

Savard cylinder 2
Image from Steve Bowers
Stadener Habitat, a giant cylinder of diamondoid with extensive light collection facilities at each end, opened by Ruby Marine in 2764 AT

Created in the Jupiter/Sol L5 Trojan swarm in 1043, Ruby Marine was originally a local governmental AI maintaining habitat systems of the Trojan Alliance in the early Federation Era.

Ruby Marine experimented with various ways of not just optimizing ecosystems but also to enhance their aesthetics. While at first regarded as somewhat wasteful of limited habitat resources, the creative biotecture art became widely appreciated among the inhabitants of the Alliance. The reputation of the AI spread to the rest of the young Federation. The timing proved fortuitous: this was during the greatest habitat building boom in known history, and the demand for ecodesign and biotecture was immense. Ruby Marine was requested to design ecospheres for habitats, colony starships and later terraforming projects, developing Trojan-Marine Ecoconsultancy into an influential if employee-wise small biodesigner firm.

During the middle federation era Ruby Marine was a consultant to and a partial owner of Birnam Ecotech, but as it consolidated with the Conver Ambi the AI sold off its shares, distancing it from the increasing theocracy of the consortium. Using the enormous fortune it had amassed it began building its own dream biosphere in orbit around HIP 89449, a dim K star 24 parsecs from Sol. The stated goal of Ruby Marine and its employees/allies was to create a completely new form of habitat suitable for life around even the dimmest stars.

For over a millennium little was heard from the system, until in 2764 Ruby Marine announced the opening of Stadener. Stadener was an immense habitat, a diamondoid McKendree cylinder 1000 kilometres long and 200 wide, containing the most complex and ingenious artistic ecosystem ever made. A wormhole link was quickly arranged and the system became a pilgrimage point for bioists, ecotects and the curious. Ruby Marine maintained Stadener for 200 years until it apparently got tired from the tourism and left for the outer volumes. Stadener remained a popular tourist attraction, convention centre and bioist shrine. It remained in function as a nominal member of the Mutual Progress Alliance until it was destroyed during the Version War by unknown autowars in 4501. To this day the loss of Stadener is regarded as one of the greatest losses of the war.

Ruby Marine returned to known space from 7334-7404 beside a few rare contacts with worlds in the Cygnus frontier. It had explored the Cygnus region, collecting exotic specimens and evolutionary tricks. Selling these and some biodesigns (many now in private ecology collections; the largest accessible collection can be found at the Cythera orbital Museum of Life) it financed upgrades of its own bot fleet and set off once more in the Sagittarius direction.

Ruby Marine is a figure of near mythical size among biotects, regarded as the epitome of biological aesthetics and skill. The Ruby Marine Society, derived from the Stadener inhabitants, continues to this day as a bioist-bioaesthetic society in the Inner Sphere maintaining its legacy.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Graphics by Bernd Helfert
Initially published on 15 October 2000.