Triangulum Transmission, The

Triangulum Galaxy
Image from Steve Bowers
The Triangulum Galaxy

High energy coherent optical transmission emanating from the Triangulum galaxy some 2.3 million ly from the Milky Way. First detected by the Argus Array in 5845. After approximately 34 years of effort, the Transmission was translated and found to contain some 2E17 bits of information pertaining to the culture, races and history of the Triangulum civilization. Perhaps even more importantly, it contained a warning of the future arrival of the object that has come to be known as Leviathan.

History and Culture of the Triangulum Civilization

Triangulum civilization has existed for approximately 15,000 years and expanded across an area some 25,000 light years in diameter. In its development the civilization shares a number of similarities to that of Terragens, including tweaked and gengineered sub-species, ai intelligences and transcendent hyperturings and superminds. However, it is in its glaring differences that Triangulum civilization is most fascinating.

Perhaps the most obvious difference between Triangulum culture and our own is the absence of the numerous AI-Gods that rule our civilization. Rather there is but a single Archailect, The Source, which rules the entire culture. While day-to-day decisions are made by the soophonts themselves, The Source provides ultimate, overall control. Further the Source is not transcended from a seed turingrade ai mind as the majority of the AI-Gods are, but rather arose when the founding race of the Triangulum culture, a herd species with a strong communal instinct, developed neural-cybernetic interface technology and used it to merge with both its technology and itself into a single bio-cybernetic hive mind which eventually achieved Godhood. Finally, while there are transcendent minds within Triangulum, the Source oversees the development of all first toposophic and above mentalities and, using a combination of memetic and technic manipulation, causes all minds above the level of fifth toposophic to merge with itself. This means that virtually all high toposophic-level devices such as wormholes, weylforges and deep-well industrial zones are direct extensions of The Source itself.

Over the next several millennia the Source expanded into space and explored a significant portion of its galaxy, in the process discovering four additional sapient species. Using its superior mental and technological abilities The Source guided each species to a spacefaring culture and ensured early contact among them by creating an extensive network of wormhole gates interlinking each species home system and all areas of its domain.

Races in Triangulum

Besides The Source's ancestral species, which has virtually vanished from the galaxy in its original form, there are four other races who actually make up the baseline equivalent and higher minds of Triangulum civilization. These races are the Ri, the Sh'si, the Quoroosh, and the Eh'ern.

The Ri (Ree): Each Ri individual mind is housed within a hive community of approximately a million units ranging in size from a tenth of a meter to over a hundred meters in length. Units are specialized according to their function such as workers, gardeners, breeders, warriors, etc. Early Ri used chemical, sonic and visual signalling to communicate with other units, however modern Ri employ electronic and photonic links, allowing them to spread their minds across continental distances. The Ri integrate all of their technology into the bodies of their hive-units and modify themselves to exist in virtually all available environments before expanding into a new area. Finally, the Ri are unique among Triangulum sentients in that (due to the dispersed nature of their minds)they completely lack emotion of any kind.

The Sh'si (Sh s eye): The Sh'si are a quadrupedal species approximately 3m in height at the shoulder. Although their preferred method of locomotion is on all fours, their front legs end in strong four fingered manipulators with thick pads on the knuckle and palm enabling them to double as feet. The Sh'si are also covered in a symbiotic bacterial growth which uses photosynthesis to convert sunlight into nutrients vital to Sh'si health. The Sh'si homeworld orbits a star which radiates a large portion of its energy at ultraviolet energies. As such the entire Sh'si ecosystem is adapted to high levels of ultraviolet.

The Quoroosh: The Quoroosh are an aquatic species evolved on the Earth size water covered moon of a Superjovian/brown dwarf world orbiting a G type star. Approximately 1/3 of the energy the planet receives is as heat from its massive primary. The Quoroosh possess a tough shell for protection and use a combination of muscular siphons and fins to swim around their world. Due to the difficulty of developing metals technology in an underwater environment the Quoroosh master genetic science early in their history and later employed underwater volcanic vents and genetically engineered bioelectric organisms to develop a metal using technic civilization.

The Eh'ern: Physically the Eh'ern resemble a giant, two meter long egg covered in brown and green fur with four muscular tentacles, a parrot-like beak on the small end surrounded by three eyes, and clusters of small manipulator tentacles on either side of the beak. They are an arboreal species from a world similar to the planet Trees and have evolved to an existence entirely in the tree-tops.

Along with the Ri, the Eh'ern already possessed a spacefaring civilization and were exploring their system's cometary cloud by the time they were contacted by The Source. Although most of their technology has developed in fairly conventional ways, the Eh'ern are recognized within Triangulum civilization for their unique approach to spacecraft and space habitat design. Using gengineering they have developed a space adapted form of the trees of their world, similar to the orwood but much larger (average 1000 kilometers diameter). They live within these throughout the systems they inhabit. Further, they may fit the tree habitats with Source built reactionless drives and convert them into interstellar spacecraft. Using these treeships, Eh'ern communities will take up a nomadic existence, moving from star to star as the mood strikes them.

The Leviathan

Perhaps the mostly startling revelation to come out of the Triangulum Transmission was that of the Leviathan.

Hidden by their galaxy from Terragens sensors, the Triangulum civilization has discovered a massive object approaching the Local Group of galaxies. First discovered when it was still a over a million light-years from the edge of their galaxy, the object is approaching at nearly half the speed of light. It is approximately 10 light-years across. It has a mass of 100 billion suns. And it is clearly and unmistakably artificial.

Although the Triangulum civilization's experts cannot be completely sure, they postulate that the unknown creators of the Leviathan have imploded their entire galaxy down to a fraction of its former size before converting it into a single artificial structure or complex of structures and launching it across intergalactic space. Their observations have revealed very little more about the object except that parts of it seem to be radiating energy consistent with the infrared emissions of G,K, and M class stars enclosed in Dyson shrouds.

The best minds of our civilization have examined the Triangulum data and can find no error. The Leviathan object appears to be what they claim it to be. There is no indication whether its intentions are benign or hostile as it approaches our local cluster of galaxies. The Triangulum are beaming their transmission and its data to all of the galaxies within the Local Group so that all may be aware of this visitor from beyond. Unless, for reasons of their own, the Triangulum are falsifying the data they are sending, the Leviathan or its emissaries may one day appear in our skies.

Finally, it should be noted that the Triangulum signal required over two million years to reach us at the speed of light. At the velocity it was approaching, the Leviathan will have arrived at the Triangulum galaxy by now. And as we look out across the void toward their home, we can only wonder what the Triangulum civilization, or its successors, is experiencing now.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner

Initially published on 04 August 2002.