Ebony Xerocracy, The

Ex-hider polity with a long-lived high-tech society

Ebony Xerocracy
Image from Steve Bowers
The Brown dwarf Polly Ethelene, seen before the first large-scale megastructures were constructed

The Ebony Xerocracy

DEFINITION: Ex-hider polity
SYMBOLA black and silver stellated dodecahedron
FOUNDEDUnknown, earliest records dated at 8510
TECH LEVELUltratech
ORIGINTerragen
AIAI OVERSEERS : The Coven (merged intellects of several S2 powers, hundreds of hyperturings and every sophont when connected to the local net).

AI'S ETHOS : Interventionist
Territory and PopulationCURRENT TERRITORY : Brown dwarf system Polly Ethylene

CAPITAL: Origin X1
POPULATIONUnlisted

POPULATION BREAKDOWN:

Bionts : 0.43 of total
Artificial : 0.36
Cyborg - Syborg : 0.2
Other : 0.01
(Figures do not include virtuals or AIs)
Government and AdministrationGOVERNMENT TYPE : Loose AI mediated xerocracy
ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONSNone
NATIONAL HOLIDAYS:Civilisation day (commemorating the Xerocracy's return to the Civilised Galaxy)
Hara celebrations (origin unknown)
individual clades celebrate their own holidays
CONSTITUTIONRevised Darkness Accords
LEGAL SYSTEMLargely libertarian, conflicts prevented or resolved by unobtrusive angelnetting in most areas
Economics and InfrastructureECONOMIC SYSTEM : Free market with gift economy elements

CURRENCY : Potential Debit Units

MAJOR INDUSTRIES : Tourism

DATA NET : Ubiquitous in most areas

MILITARY EXPENDITURE : Minimal
TravelIN-SYSTEM TRAVEL : Cycler network plus Conversion Drive ships

STARGATE Plexi : None

BEAMRIDER NETWORK : One beamline owned and operated by the Deeper Covenant

OTHER STARPORTS : Several large lasers for accelerating and decelerating craft with light sails
Much of the Ebony Xerocracy's early history is unknown due to destruction of historical records by paranoid sophonts. Although it may have existed for millennia, moving in the void of interstellar space, avoiding beamlines and wormhole plexi alike, the first actual records begin in 8510, when the Xerocracy settled a lone brown dwarf, Polly Ethylene, in the periphery and began low profile megastructure construction. It was at this time that some of the more extreme paranoia began to let up. The reason for this, whether it was orchestrated by an archai or simply a spontaneous change, is unknown.

Between 8745 and 8924, a series of memetic changes shook the Xerocracy. Subversive ideas of joining galactic civilization or at least communicating with outsiders replaced the old xenophobia and paranoia. Ultimately, in 8824, the decision was made to contact the outside and set up a laser link to propel a light sail craft to the nearest inhabited system, and the first sail craft set out in 8875.

Over time, the Xerocracy slowly integrated itself with the Sephirotics. Hyperturings and powers came in from other systems, and some of the original sophonts ascended to form Po (Affectionately termed the Homegrown by Xerocracy natives). In 9200, several S:2 powers created a moon brain where they could merge their intellects temporarily. Over time, the ability to link with the moon brain was extended to S:1 and S:0 sophonts. Thus, the Coven emerged as the guiding transapient of the polity. This is generally taken as the point where the last of the true hider memes of the Xerocracy disappeared.

Today, the Xerocracy is a primarily a tourism based polity, giving an example of how hiders live. Many sophonts come to experience the "true" hider life whilst always having the option of going home, and at times it can seem almost all the polity is based around exhibiting the hider lifestyle to outsiders, although most members of the population are simply living their lives as they have always done.

The Polly Ethylene system has several large megastructures made from material starlifted from the brown dwarf using mass beam technology. It is not known whether this technology was created by the Xerocracy itself or obtained from the Deeper Covenant. The brown dwarf itself is home to a number of vast hydrogen balloons, heated to remain aloft and housing sentients in air-filled bubbles on their surfaces. Placed in various orbits are several Ederspheres and large orwood forests served by an "interplanetary" cycler system. All of these structures are, to a large degree, silent in the EM spectrum, still using hider technology; the only overtly noticeable megastructure in the system is the Coven's moon node.

As a political entity, the Xerocracy functions via the Coven. Its goals are broadly defined by its members spreading and copying their opinions and convincing others through the local net rather than any formal organization. Naturally, the higher toposophic entities have more powerful and respected opinions than modosophonts and therefore a corresponding greater amount of power. Local issues are of course the domain of local decision making and left alone by those not affected. The economy is a combination free market, gift economy and distribution using the same decision making process as the political system."

(Notes: "Xerocracy" means rule by "photocopying" and not rule by dryness; The term "xerocracy" was chosen over "xeroxocracy" because the latter looks and sounds so ungainly)
 
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Development Notes
Text by Liam Jones
Image by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 11 September 2008.