Eurekan Cybercracy (the Meme-pirates)

Interplanetary Age anarchic collective who used memetic persuasion to win over crews and capture their cargo.

eurekan cybercracy
Image from Steve Bowers
The asteroid Eureka was surrounded by a swarm of inflatable mirrors which collected sunlight for power and agriculture, and provided cover for illegal activities.

The Martian Trojan Asteroids

NameEureka diameter 5 km
1998 VF31 diameter 3km
1998 QH56 diameter 1 km
1998 SD4 diameter 1km
2001 DH47 diameter 1km
2001 FG24 diameter 0.5km
2001 FR127 diameter 1km
2020 WE66 diameter 0.5 km
Eight asteroids and many smaller bodies congregate at or near the L5 Mars-Sun Lagrange point; these so called Trojan point objects were quite widely separated until Exoself Osnago, an independent grouping of enhanced microgravity-tolerant cybercrats arrived in 250 AT and gathered them together using solar sails. These objects were of mixed composition, and contained nickel, iron, silicates and magnesium, together with a limited amount of subsurface ice; once melted with solar furnaces the Trojans were reshaped into seven cylindrical rotating habitats, each with a small biosphere inside surrounded by living accommodation.

The Osnago cybercrats initially had a technocratic society, which was advanced for its time, each member progressing from an unaugmented state in infancy towards greater and greater enhancement and privilege.

However the restrictions placed upon this society by the limited space, energy and consumables severely restricted the freedom of expression of the individual, and any dissenting views were thoroughly discussed by the technarchs before being accepted or rejected; once this debate had come to a conclusion no further dissent would be tolerated.

Most of the enhanced mental capacity of the technarch elite was located in a computational substrate called the Exoself; each elite individual had a symbiotic virtual Exoself, which could be copied and linked to other exoselves as necessary and according to that individual's privileges. This general arrangement was common amongst the various developing clades of su-humans in the Solar System at that time; it resembled the aggressive form of group-mind culture known as Augmentation Activism, although AA culture did not share the distinctive cybercratic hierarchy.

Such a society could have remained stable for a long time, as the enhanced technarchs could efficiently control the lower levels of the habitat societies and keep them content; the trojan asteroids they inhabited had good reserves of most elements but were deficient in hydrogen and carbon. For this reason the Eurekan Cybercracy was also engaged in trade and negotiations with the Main Asteroid belt, and was actively engaged in trying to divert several Mars crossing objects, some of which held quantities of these valued resources.

The Cybercracy outpost on Mars-crossing object 2145 RT333 travelled deep into the Belt, and traded with the local and varied community; water and carbon for smart neural implant tech. Coming into contact with the cosmopolitan, often lawless colonies and small companies scratching living in the belt for the first time, the Cybercrat in command Dido Ferretti became fascinated with their diversity and lack of moral scruples. Drawing on her observations, she developed a political theory of morality which became known as Neorealist Contingency.

The paramount feature of this seemingly amoral and self-oriented philosophy was the importance of the demands of the present moment over future uncertainties; only an accelerated intellect could hope to constantly recalculate the contingent effects of any set of actions fast enough to avoid disaster, while simultaneously avoiding the dead weight of prudence.

A similar anarchic tendency had been developing in several short-term markets on Hothouse Earth; it was possible to steer a meteoric path between disaster and success by considering short term goals only. Ferretti summed the strategy up with her slogan "Here and now, here and now!"

Among the outcasts of the Inner Belt Ferretti gathered a considerable political following, and she proceeded to distribute the cybercratic enhancements of her caste until she had a diverse group of enhanced exGenetekkers, Taikonauts and Cosmonauts, Heteromorphs, Space adapted people and feral vecs. When 2145 RT333 finally entered the L5 Lagrange point with all its valuable volatiles with it came with an enthusiastic group of diverse su-cyborgs dedicated to the overthrow of the rigid Cybercracy, which finally collapsed in 290.

Dido Ferretti extended the Exoself enhancement to all adult Eurekans, while discouraging group mind activity; she also encouraged the immigration of displaced and disowned peoples of all types, extending the Exoself enhancement to all but the most disturbed. Under the tenets of Neorealist Contingency those individuals chosen for enhancement were able to conduct themselves in any way that they chose; inconveniencing other sovereign individuals could lead to conflict, either rapidly fatal or just as quickly resolved and forgotten.

At this time vast quantities of valuable volatiles were being transported from the outer System to Mars, the Moon and Mercury; these icy materials were conveyed in insulated polymer balloons, with semi-sentient bot crews to maintain the ship and the inactive drive systems until arrival at their destination. After the Eurekan Revolution a number of these bots were approached by Neorealist enhancers, and persuaded to join the Trojan society and to become fully sentient and conscious in exchange for releasing their cargo.

To counteract these hijackings the iceships were (at first) protected by automatic weapons, which the Eurekans often were able to hack or disable. The cargo ships were then given crews of fully sentient vecs or aioids, or sometimes armed Space-adapted humans; but very often the outcome was the same - offered the chance of an upgrade to cybernetic augmentation, the crews often voluntarily joined the Eurekan Contingency and contributed their volatiles to the rapidly growing habitats.

The Orbital League of independent habitats, Luna and the Martian Republic were unanimous in condemning these acts of memetic subversion; however many Earth nations and commercial interests, secure on their volatile rich world, found the cavalier philosophy of the Neorealists refreshing; the Eurekans became fictionalised media heroes, in virch and sim scenarios they became the Meme-Pirates of the Belt, reckless cyborgs, su-vecs and tweaks stealing their water from unfeeling vested interests.

Deep in their thick swarm of sunlight gathering mirrors, the Martian Trojan asteroids of the L5 point were hidden even from the powerful telescopes of Mars, Luna and the Belt; stealthy and mysterious launches of meme-pirate ships often resulted in a defection by a trader ship with its valuable cargo.

At first they had several successes, especially among the psychologically susceptible. But, after some decades of embarrassing hijacks, the bigger freighter operators began to ensure that their crews had memetic defences of their own (usually subliminal conditioning, tied in with appropriate bionano wetware).

Vecs and AI were easily programmed or self programmed to resist, and many SAH (Space People/Space Adapted Humans) had their own tribal and clade loyalties, although several malcontents gladly accepted subversion.

Legal representation and threats were met with repudiation, as the Neorealist philosophy allowed any individual to act without censure in all matters, replacing the rule of law with the immediacy of action. Several police actions were directed against the Martian Trojan asteroids over the next forty years, crewed by specially "bigoted" sentients with full memetic conditioning and hate programming.

However most attempts of this kind to impose legal constraints by outside forces were ignored with contempt; the guilty parties often disappeared, or if cornered, fought fiercely. Without a legal framework themselves the Eurekans refused to acknowledge the rule of law unless outgunned; it was not always cost effective for police actions to continue with such little result.

If the former owners and employers of the defecting ships and crew had a grievance they would often have to settle it with the individuals concerned.

After forty years of this parasitical lifestyle the Eurekan habitats had gathered enough water to live comfortably for many centuries; but the constant turmoil of neorealist culture led to many factional arguments, and several bands of cyberpirates broke away to live eccentric lives on eccentrically orbiting asteroids.

An interplanetary committee of Superturings and Superbrights finally sent a powerfully-armed ship to the mirror-swarm habitats to offer amnesty, and attempt to persuade Ferretti, the closest thing they had to a leader, to accommodate the rule of law and common sense with a view to joining the Orbital alliance; with her help the AI Hyperion emself managed to convince a majority of the individualistic cyborgs to desist from piracy, for the most part.

However those Eurekan adventurers who had migrated into the Belt or had colonised various Mars crossing objects continued to haunt the ecliptic searching for suitable prey; encouraged by the media industry of Earth they perpetuated the romantic myths of lawless fortune-hunters.

Finally when the Technocalypse occured the Eurekans were among the first victims (they had made many enemies); Dido Ferretti herself, now an ancient cyborg relic, was among the casualties.

During the dark ages the survivors became desperate and blood-thirsty brigands, jolly meme-pirates no more, but deadly and implacable parasites of legitimate trade.

Related Articles
  • Mars
  • Meme
  • Meme Bug - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A sentient modified to memetically infect higher toposophics. May be malicious or harmless. Meme Bugs are usually subsapient, but there are also sapient and even transapient variants. Their whole purpose is tied up with carrying the meme and infecting the target. Some types of Madverts are Meme Bugs that have been reversed engineered and given a different payload.
  • Meme Mule - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A type of memenger, a sophont modified to transport memes from one place to another, but who is not aware of the purpose of the memes e carries. Often the memes are of a higher toposophic level than the mule emself. While having a strong sense of duty and service to the transapient or archailect on whose behalf they are transporting the memes, Meme Mules are not themselves affected by the memes they carry. They may unload the memes via docking stations (DNI upload), or even through their unconscious actions may trigger the desired responses in the target society or environment.
  • Meme-Allergy - Text by Glenn Grant
    A form of intolerance; a condition which causes a person to react in an unusually extreme manner when exposed to a specific semiotic stimulus, or meme-allergen. Exo-toxic meme-complexes typically confer dangerous meme-allergies on their hosts. Often, the actual meme-allergens need not be present, but merely perceived to be present, to trigger a reaction. Common meme-allergies include homophobia, paranoid anti-Communism, and porno phobia. Common forms of meme-allergic reaction are censorship, vandalism, belligerent verbal abuse, and physical violence.
  • Meme-complex, Memeplex - Text by Glenn Grant
    Also sometimes called a memeticity. A set of mutually-assisting memes which have co-evolved a symbiotic relationship. Religious and political dogmas, social movements, artistic styles, traditions and customs, chain letters, paradigms, languages, and so on are meme-complexes. Types of co-memes commonly found in a scheme are called the: bait; hook; threat; and vaccine. A successful scheme commonly has certain attributes: wide scope (a paradigm that explains much); opportunity for the carriers to participate and contribute; conviction of its self-evident truth (carries Authority); offers order and a sense of place, helping to stave off the dread of meaninglessness.
  • Memegeneer
  • Memenger - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    (Pronounced Me men jer.) A meme messenger; a sophont that acts like messenger RNA in transmitting memetic instructions from one society, polity, habitat, or civilization to another, as part of the message transmission within the ecology of an archailect. Usually the message is transmitted once, there is no replication or virus like behavior (unlike infectors. Depending on the target population, a memenger may be biont, cyborg, artificial (vec, aioid, ai, etc), or virtual. Among the many types are Meme Mule, Memoid, and non-replicating Meme Bug.
  • Memetic Demons
  • Memetic Engineering, Memgineering
  • Memetic Infector - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A sapient being used to infect societies or communities with a partiucular memeset. Memetic infectors resemble ordinary sophonts, but may differ psychologically, often having fanatical or one-sided enthusiasm for the meme-plex they are carrying. Infectors may be replicators (viruses) or non-replicators (memengers).
  • Memetic War - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A war of ideology and persuasion rather than weaponry or military might. Most transapients and archai uses memetics when dealing with lower toposophics and subsingulitaritans, few resort to anything as crude as actual hardware or software weaponry. Examples of memetic warriors might be PR agents, priest, poets, empaths.
  • Memeticity - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A coherent aggregation of component memes that itself constitutes a larger meme. Philosophies, ideologies, worldviews, and religions are all memeticities. An alternative and somewhat more common term for memeticity is memeplex.
  • Memicry - Text by Glenn Grant
    An infection strategy in which a meme attempts to imitate the semiotics of another successful meme. Such as: pseudo-science, pseudo-rebelliousness, subversion by forgery, etc.
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 05 November 2003.