Silence and Anomie

Silence (formerly Fortuna) and Anomie (formerly Hope)

Silence and Anomie
Image from Steve Bowers
The gas giant Silence is orbited by the terraformed moon Anomie

Heaven holds a sense of wonder, and I wanted to believe that
I'd get caught up when the rage in me subsides...

Silence, Delerium, 1999 (c.e.)

Silence and Anomie - Data Panel

System:Gamma Cephei
Primary:Gamma Cephei, Er Rai, HD 222404
Class:K1e IV
Luminosity:8.6x Sol
Companion:M class red dwarf distance 21AU
Region:Inner Sphere
Planet:Silence (formerly Fortuna)
Mass:550x Earth
Orbit:2.1 AU
Year:2.5 Standard years
Atmosphere:H2, He, CO2, H2O, CH4, NH4, various organic compounds
Moons :Anomie (formerly Hope) 10,600 km, terraformed xeric
Reason 5000 km cybernetic node world
Alliysan 3000 km cybernetic node world
45 smaller moons converted to water bubble worlds or cybernodes
TravelStargates: WH to Chi Draconis then to Penglai
WH to Mu Cassiopiae then to Xil
Allegiancecurrently Sophic League and Communion of Worlds

Fortuna and Hope

The Truth-Santaya Networks colony ship from Ganymede with two thousand colonists in nanostasis arrived at Gamma Cephei in 1420 a.t.. Their arrival was greeted by a single AI entity which called itself 1200TR; this so-called diamond belt entity had been living in the system for five hundred years, having escaped from the Old Solar System during the Nanoswarms. Having fled the destructive power of the aggressive khaki goo, 1200TR was not antagonistic to humanity (unlike most similar entities); e greeted the colonists as friends and companions, assisting them to set up terraforming operations on Hope, a dry moon of Fortuna, the largest planet.

The culture of Hope developed into a fast moving cybertopia, with every human augmented to a greater or lesser extent; powerful processing substrates were set up on Reason and most of the other moons of Fortuna, and became home to billions of virtual posthumans, all of which remained integrated with the cyberculture of Hope.

Vast thermal conversion units were floated in the huge watery gas giant of Fortuna, also supporting a virtual cyberculture, the Fortuna Grid. Fortuna is a large, warm, wet Jovian world, with a high water and CO2 content and many rapidly cycling organic compounds in the upper atmosphere; however the atmosphere is too energetic for cellular life to have developed.

The culture of Fortuna developed for hundreds of years towards fabulism and an open minded approach to phenomenology; the stories and rumours and gossip that flashed between the worlds of Gamma Cephei became ever more convoluted and unlikely, but none were discounted. It became a matter of pride to be able to defend any rational or rational position in an argument, and to be entirely arbitrary in ones beliefs; meanwhile the everyday running of the Gamma Cephei system was entrusted to a clade of pragmatic aioids, many descended from and connected to the original 1200TR entity.

By 2240, when the Gamma Cephei system was connected to the Wormhole Nexus, the Fortuna Net was one of the most active in the Inner Sphere. Thousands of Cyberian virtual personalities migrated to addresses in the Fortuna system, relishing the anarchic atmosphere and freedom of thought; most were cynical about the irrational belief systems that were springing up and replicating in this fertile ground, but nevertheless were amused enough to add some bizarre twists of their own. Soon Fortunan meme complexes were sneaking out and infecting the newly forged Known Net of the Inner Sphere planets; stories about secret contact with extragalactic or extradimensional aliens, time travel, communication with the Dead and with the Creator of the Universe abounded and sent less sophisticated societies into turmoil. By 4240 Fortuna was a byword for unreliable or baroque information to be used for its entertainment value only.

The augmented humans of the partially terraformed planet Hope and the virtual personalities of Reason and the Fortuna Power Grid were not content with being humoured, however; many changed strategy and began a campaign of Hypertrolling, stirring hatreds between the members of the shaky Second Federation between tweak and nearbaseline, terraformers and extremophiles, bioid against aioid. Some of the divisions that led to the Version war may have started as ingenious hypertroll attacks.

By 4655 the Inner sphere was ablaze with malicious factions and chauvinism, finally attracting the attention of several Archailect Avatars; The God Emperor of the Solar Dominion forbade any further discourse with Fortuna whatsoever, while Zoe of Hibbert wrote a sentient address to the people of Fortuna which argued for sense and moderation in endless and persuasive iterations until many of that world saw the light. But many others returned to the information hyperhighway with increased malicious vigour, until finally a mysterious variation of the Babel plague virus attacked both human and electronic inhabitants of that system, generally attacking the Broca's area of the brain or its electronic equivalent; soon the language of the peoples of Gamma Cephei was completely without grammatical construction, losing all finer nuances of meaning and any possible offensive content. By the time the Cygexpa WarFleet arrived to claim the world as a protectorate during the Version war the world was a gibbering shambles, and the Fleet stood off without making physical contact for fear of infection.

Silence and Anomie

Today the world of Fortuna has become a communication free zone; all trace of the Babel virus is eradicated, but a wordless, language- free, aphasic existence has become the rule for all inhabitants. All communication with the outside world is handled by the venerable 1200TR; spared by the plague, E is now the only speaking inhabitant of the system. Penitents from the Sophic League and Utopia Sphere come to join in this solitary lifestyle, and many burnt out high toposophic entities come here too, to flee the madhouse universe of endless communication found throughout the Civilised Galaxy. The gas giant itself has been renamed Silence, and the terraformed moon Hope named Anomie; the names themselves are only used by outsiders, as no words will ever be spoken there.
Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers

Initially published on 18 October 2008.