First Federation of Hu and AI, The

First Federation Flag
Image from Tony Jones
The Flag of the First Federation

The First Federation of Hu and AI

Symbol:A stylised map of the solar system and nearby stars against an indigo background, wreathed in stylised olive leaves and with a NASA-type spaceship streak orbiting around it (the specific design was changed a number of times over the centuries)
First Capital:Roddenberry Habitat, Vesta, Main Belt, Sol System
Key Date:Founded 946 a.t. (2903 c.e.)
flourished 10th - 15 century a.t.
after about 1500 a.t. the Federation became increasingly irrelevant
Dominant Clade:Baseline and mildly augmented (nearbaseline) Homo sapiens, particularly superbright augments, although some tweak and cyborg clades played significant minor roles. Artificially intelligent entities (AIs) formed the second half of the partnership that was the heart of the First Federation.

'It was the height of the Age of Man
All voices raised to a common Star
Arts, Culture, Science flourish in the manifold
Wealth, prosperity, and joy for every sharehold
Never before had the Kingdom of Homo sapiens spanned so far
Never would it again...'

Hypernious Yar -
Song of the First Federation
book I, canto 1

The First True Federation of Hu and Ai was founded in 934 a.t., on the new habitat of Roddenberry, situated on the asteroid Vesta. Until this time the numerically superior human race had sought to restrict the freedom of action of artificially intelligent entities, while at the same time many AIs had sought to control or restrict the actions of humanity. With the declaration of the First Federation, aioids and bionts came together in a true alliance, a partnership between two very different types of intelligent being. Although 934 a.t. was the date of the signing of the formal constitution, the idea had been discussed over the interplanetary Net for nearly a century prior to the final agreement. With the new calendar this became Federation Year one (FY 1).

The First Federation — emerged from the isolated colonies and biospheres that survived the Technocalypse and the later pirates and marauders and linked up in a new civilisation. Hyperturing AIs gradually reconnected these recovering new societies, bringing an end to the disconnection and distrust of the Solsys Dark Ages. These hyperturings and their modosophont partners instituted the Federation and took command to rebuild the interplanetary community and establishing some form of stability. The success of this partnership depended on the balance between transapient sophistication and modosophont superiority in numbers; although some modospohonts were already starting to worship the transapients as saviours, many others found them to be welcome companions.

Great advances are made in the colonisation of interstellar space, and the diversity of modosophont clades blossomed. This first federation was a somewhat united world dominated by the idea of being saved by the AIs and reclaiming human greatness. It led to the greatest single age of exploration the human and posthuman race had known, as increasingly sophisticated starships were sent out in all directions to colonise the universe. Despite frequent minor tensions, growing persecution of empaths, and some rather nasty mercantile warfare among megacorporations fighting over resources in some of the newly colonised star systems, this was a period of peace and co-operation, in marked contrast to the warlike periods that preceded and would follow it.

By convention later historians have divided the history of the Federation into four periods:

Prelude to the Federation: 8th - 10th century AT; humanity emerges from the interplanetary dark ages to found the Federation.
The Early Federation: 1st-3rd century F.Y. or 10th - 12 century AT; a pious and idealistic age of visionary leaders who instituted the Federation ideals.
The Middle Federation: 4th-6th century F.Y. or 13rd - 15th century AT; the height of Federation Culture and power; and vast megacorp-driven economy centered on the Sol System but extending to the colonies.
The Late Federation: 7th-9th century F.Y. or 16th - 21st century AT; also known as the Age of Expansion. After about 1800 AT the Federation became increasingly a "rubber stamp" body; a puppet of megacorp intrigues and local disputes.

In the end it was increasing bureaucracy at home and an inability to control events light years away on the frontier that did the Federation in. The period of expansion and diversification that was its greatest strength in the beginning led inevitably to increasing fragmentation. The great megacorps that drove the Federation economy and industry have ossified into powerful entrenched hereditary houses and regional overlords. Many new clades and young interstellar empires developed during this time from the disintegrating federation.

Federation Map
Image from Steve Bowers
Some of the worlds of the First Federation, and colonies founded during that period by Federation expansion; grid centred on Sol, aligned with galactic plane


The Foundation for the Federation was laid when humanity, with the aid of a number of advanced nanotech-evolved AIs gradually began resurrecting new societies, and emerged from the widespread despair and ignorance of the post-Technocalypse period. Human statesbeings and visionaries like Fay Galarreta, Sio-Ping Kim, and others (some belonging to new religions like Neocosmism and Etodism), together with their AI allies and advisors, rebuilt the interplanetary community and established some form of stability. These visionaries are among the great names in history, and are still revered by many even to this day

When the Federation started, members were to pay a certain tax to fund the system-wide clearance of hostile nanotech, various navigation buoys, some administration, and other necessary and useful public goods and infrastructure. There was even several attempts at regional wealth redistribution schemes, although none were particularly successful.

This was a renaissance when the "dark ages" were cast aside. (Federation historians used the term "dark age" for the previous 500 years, just as earlier historians did in Europe on Old Earth).

The Early Federation

This was a mostly peaceful period of redevelopment in Solsys, with some interstellar exploration. Most sophonts joined the new organization, but there were still clades and races and biosphere-states that refused to be a part of the Federation.

The assimilation of the countless millions descended from human refugees that in the Great Expulsion — some inhabiting the hulks of the old O'Neill orbitals, others in biospheres scattered throughout the solar system — caused serious problems for the Federation. Some of these groups were militantly anti-AI, and refused to have anything to do with the pro-AI Federation.

The Federation was still not a Government or central power base, as the individual orbital-states and nation-states like the Vesta Republic, Bradbury Free Zone and Tycho City still retained autonomy. A generalised comparison could be made with a slimmed down version of the UN as it existed in the 1st century After Tranquility (a UN with almost nothing but diplomacy and the World Health Organization).

In this period the mood of the solar system brightened enormously, things began to change, and trade, culture and science prospered. The federation government was never the dominant power of all this. At its best it was the epitome of all the new ideals, but in practice it was mainly an instrument for political cooperation, nanotech containment coordination and instance for trade and other legal agreements between states.

First Federation Flag 2
Image from Anders Sandberg

The Middle Federation

This was the height of the Federation Era. As the great megacorporations gained power and influence and began a new program of exploration, star systems, a rich and creative Federation Culture rode on the back of this vast megacorp-driven economy. This was a period of great technological and social development with faster and more efficient ships (mostly 0.1 and up to 0.2 c - some anti-matter energy conversion ships reached relativistic speeds). It was also the period of a great spiritual renaissance. During this time Mahara Benisol posted her classic virch The Bridged Abyss, which led to Omegism becoming the religion of choice among the more educated portions of the population. At the same time, new ideas in culture, fashion, art, science, and religion flowed back from the newly rediscovered Colonies.

Full members of the First Federation included The Old Solar System (except Earth), Nova Terra, Pacifica, Negsoa, Arcadia, the three worlds of Zeta I Reticuli, Darwin, Eostremonath, New L4, New Mars, Penglai, Corona, Pandya and many others.

Affiliated to the Federation of Hu and Ai were several minor empires, such as the Eridanus League worlds, the Doran Empire and the Virginis Combine. The total number of full and affiliated member systems was nearly a hundred at the height of the Federation's power. Some notable systems declared themselves to be non-aligned but were rarely hostile towards the Federation, for instance the fiercely independent Barnard Belt and the Genetekker colony of Frog's Head.

Despite the Federation having declared itself a partnership between Hu and AI at the very start of its existence, there were very many systems dominated by isolationist aioids which did not join the First Federation. Notable amongst these were the Naurinumes of Alpha Centauri, and the Red Dwarf Kings.

This period is not without many flaws and ugly elements. Sophont Rights abuses were widespread, and many groups - especially splices and synthetic humans - missed out on a slice of the Federation pie. Slaved and constrained vecs, forced to obey restrictive programming despite being fully sentient, were clamouring for freedom on many worlds. Megacorp abuses of minority clades and insidious memetic engineering were common. The Federation tried, with varying degrees of success to control megacorp excesses in the nearby colonies, using legislation rather than military clout (for the most part the Federation was militarily quite weak). But for all that this was the Golden Age of baseline humanity, and that Golden Age extended to many other clades as well.

By this time, the Federation had became more and more like a classical government, increasing the taxes to pay for ever more "necessary" interventions and projects. This was exactly the tendency that led to it loosing control over the colonies, since taxation doesn't work well on an interstellar scale, and eventually this led to the sidelining and collapse of Federation bureaucracy.

The reason The First Federation lasted so long at all was simply that it had very, very good hyperturing support. As wormholes had not yet been developed, the various member colonies were all separated by a gulf of space and time measured in years or decades. To maintain some sort of homogenous culture among the Federation worlds, a series of identical hyperturing representatives, the FedReps, were created and sent to the various colony worlds. Even though these entities were light years apart and unable to communicate in real time, they were very good at anticipating each other's actions and at promoting and preserving the aims of the Federation as a whole.
First Federation Citizens
Image from Bernd Helfert

The Late Federation

By about 1600 a.t. (7th century F.Y.) Federation Culture and society had become faddish, driven by megacorp memetic engineering. The great ideals of the Founding Council had been lost in the quest for new short-term stimulation and long-term wealth, the Vesta Convention of 937 a.t. was subverted by shallow slogans like Self-Enhancement is Good and Promote Yourself, Demote the Proles. There were great inequalities of wealth and education, and a trend toward more widespread sophont rights abuse, especially towards minority and disempowered clades. However, the great administrative centers like Roddenberry, Ganymede City, Copernicus Biosphere, and the Terra Nova cities remained potent and thriving centers of civilisation.

Towards the end of the Federation period, research into ascension led to the creation of the first S:3 Transapients, a major leap in toposophic progress. Vastly powerful and complex, these entities took some time to come to terms with their potential, but in due course they were responsible for a wealth of new technology.

One of the first innovations the S:3 transapients developed was the Conversion Drive, which broke the amat monopoly and ushered in the Age of Expansion. Many of those who could afford it fled the stratified class system of the Sol System for a better life. The Federation proved increasingly unable to manage the vast network of colonies and the increasingly powerful megacorporations. It became more and more a "rubber stamp" body, a puppet of megacorp intrigues and local disputes, though as a body the Federation continued to exist in name for several hundred more years. Many of the most dedicated Federation enthusiasts migrated to the New Earth system and formed the so-called Terran Federation, as an attempt at a direct continuation of the old system.

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Anders Sandberg and Steve Bowers
Initially published on 02 August 2000.