Ecotopia
Ecotopia: the labworlds
Image from Steve Bowers
The Ecotopia Labworlds form a ring of different types of world where new species and ecologies can be tested

Ecotopia - The Capital World of the Zoeific Biopolity
Data Panel

SystemEcotopia
Primary:Gliese 722 (HD 172051)
Stellar Class:G5V
Luminosity:0.67 x Sol
Distance from Sol:42.35 ly
Constellation:Sagittarius
Classification:Inner Sphere Imperial Capital
Planets:all original planetary material since converted to dyson swarm and other objects, including artificial planets of various kinds
DysonologyThe Shell: Surrounding the central star of Ecotopia, and intercepting some 85% of its entire output is a 'Dyson bubble' of actively controlled thin film solar collectors suspended above the star by light pressure. The collector array hovers some 30 million kilometers (well beyond the extent of even the largest flares) above the surface of Gliese 722 and beams the collected energy to locations throughout the Ecotopia system. Open gaps within the Shell along its equator and at 45-degree angles above and below the equatorial plane allow sunlight to escape and provide illumination to the areas known as the Lab and the Wald.

Energy from the Shell is used for a variety of purposes including general population support, environmental restructuring of Lab components, exotic matter production, god-tech manufacturing processes, and providing energy to a dozen Jovian-class processor nodes (known as Zoe's Pearls) orbiting in the outer system.

The Forge: Hovering just above the furnace of Gliese 722 on a network of mass-beam supports is the large matter extraction and processing complex known as the Forge. The Forge uses a combination of cycling mass-beams, magnetic pressure, and artificial nucleosynthesis to extract matter from the surface of the star and transmute it into useful materials. When first constructed, the Forge was a much larger structure that, in combination with the mass of several large gas giants that were originally in the system, provided the material for the various megastructures that would come to define the Ecotopia complex.

The Lab: Orbiting within the equatorial plane of the star, and extending across its entire life-zone is the region known as The Lab. The Lab consists of some 3 million habitats ranging from several kilometers to several thousand kilometers across, over 38,000 Lunar- class bodies, and some 321 terrestrial-class planets. Each component of the Lab is supported by a computronium node ranging from one meter to ten km in diameter, depending on component size. These nodes are used to oversee and control environmental conditions on/within each component as well as modelling possible environments, terraforming techniques, and lifeforms that may be introduced into the component at a future time. Furthermore, many of the terrestrial-class components feature a cyber-augmented BGC layer beneath their surfaces, which works in coordination with the orbiting node to regulate conditions 'on the ground' through a combination of methods ranging from orbital mirrors to specialized nanobot swarms.

The combined total of all the computronium nodes in the Lab and its associated clusters acts as a direct extension of the mind of the Blue-Green Goddess who oversees the entire system.

The Wald: (pronounced Vald) Orbiting at 45-degree angles from the equatorial plane of the Ecotopia system and passing through the plane of the Lab (and each other) via a combination of carefully placed orbits and even more carefully controlled orbital maneuvering are the massive, dual bands of orbital forest and habitat known as the Wald. Each band consists primarily of dense concentrations of orwood free-space trees supporting an ecology many times larger than the entire habitable volume of thousands of planets. Interspersed among the clusters of orwood forest are habitats, freespheres, computronium banks, spaceports, and various small to medium scale manufacturing centers.

Some species of orwoods produce a bluesky style membrane to contain an atmosphere. However, the original orwood design, and the one that is still most commonly used, has the orwood developing a series of large, natural hollow spaces within its trunks and major branches. These spaces contain atmosphere, water, and symbiotic organisms and biospheres designed for human accommodation. And biological airlocks for travel into and out of the interior of the tree itself. Most orwood species also incorporate an external, vacuum living ecology as well as the interior biosystem. In areas with large vac-adapt populations a species of tree may be used that emphasizes this type of ecology instead of an interior one.

The majority of Ecotopia's population lives within the Wald, with only small colonies (generally 10-150 million sophonts) making their homes on those worlds of the Lab that are in final testing mode as habitable biospheres.
Important Local Artificial IntelligenceAI Overseer:= The Blue-Green Goddess
AI's Ethos: Strongly Bioist, terraformist, favours building habitable megastructures to maximise opportunities for life, interventionist (often aggressively so) but will be careful not to attack a stronger/higher toposophic foe, also experiential, joy and immersion in diversity of life, will intervene against ahuman ai, by methods including conversion and relativistic weaponry, if any Biopolity habitats or colonies are threatened.

AI's Current allegiance: Imperial Capital of the Zoeific Biopolity
PolityName: The Zoeific Biopolity
Terraforming and The Lab:Each component of the Lab is essentially a world sized 'test tube' used to develop, test, and eventually record successful terraforming designs for use elsewhere.

Using energy from the Shell, the surface (and in the case of the shellworld and habitat components, the interior) of each world within the Lab is first sculpted into a desired configuration and then terraformed into a complete, self-sustaining ecosystem. Ecosystem design may range from Venusian/To'ul'hian to Martian in general outline. In some cases, existing life-forms are introduced, in others neogenic forms are created and a hybrid, or even completely original, ecosystem is produced.

Once a given world within the Lab is fully terraformed and ready for occupation, a small 'Tester' population is introduced (usually 10-150 million sophonts) and inhabits the world for a period of time deemed sufficient to ensure that all of its various systems are operating properly. After the world has been thoroughly tested and deemed completely functional, nanotechnic disassembler/recorders are released into the world's ecosystem and reduce its mass back into its component molecules while creating a complete recording of the biosphere for storage within the mind of the Lifegiver. The entire process of ecosystem design, terraforming, testing, and eventual recording and storage is controlled by the orbiting computronium node (and by the on-planet BGC layer, if such exists).

There are no single, permanently named worlds within the Lab. Rather, the various bodies making up the structure are assigned alphanumeric designators to aid in cataloging and experiment tracking. However, by tradition each body, regardless of type or class, is assigned a temporary name as part of being 'launched' into its Testing mode, which may last a thousand years or more.
Psyche, Art, Culture, Government and AdministrationMetapsychology, Art, Culture, Society, Ideology, Language: See main entry on Zoeific Biopolity

Government, Legal system, Constitution: See main entry on Zoeific Biopolity
Economics and Local InfrastructureMajor Industries: biosphere templates, biotech, wetware, genome licensing, bio-nano-interfaces, Crude Organobiota, Ecological and phylogenetic databases, terraforming technology, orwood cultivation, bioborg technology, neogenic production, evolution-immersives, bio-hedonics, pharmacopoeia, distributed biocomputronium processing, etc.

Angelnetting: Angelnetting is employed to various degrees throughout the Wald, depending on the desires of the inhabitants of a given district or region. Within the Lab, partial netting may be employed as part of the terraforming process or to provide sensor inputs for ecological monitoring. Beyond sensor applications however, angelnetting on a world being Tested within the Lab is either restricted to major habitation centers or virtually non-existent. However, implanted Backup technology is used extensively on virtually all Ecotopia worlds.

Major Orbitals: The two orbital bands that make up the Wald are each over 100,000km across and some 950 million km long. The majority of each band consists of large orwood clusters supporting over a dozen free space ecologies broken up into distinct habitats that are being allowed to gradually intermix in an evolutionary progression. Scattered throughout the orbital forests are more conventional habitat clusters of various designs and styles depending on the nature and desires of the local population. However the majority of the sophonts within the Ecotopia system make their home within the hollow interiors of the orwoods and their various associated organisms.

Beyond the Wald, a number of large habitat clusters, some incorporating planetary bodies, have been set up in the deep inner and outer parts of the system. These 'extremophile clusters' are used to develop various lifeforms and ecosystems (some of them more cybernetic then biological) designed to exist and thrive in environments ranging from the heat of Perihelion to the cryogenic cold of Muuhhome. While these more recent habitat clusters are only a fraction of the size of the Wald (the largest is only 100,000km across), it is generally considered only a matter of time until they to grow to encircle the sun of Ecotopia and the terms 'Inner Wald', 'Outer Wald', and 'Middle Wald' will need to be added to the local vocabulary. Beyond this future goal, some visionary advocates are already talking about the growth of the local biosystems beyond their current orbital paths to eventually create the 'Green Matrioshka.'
PopulationTotal system population of the Ecotopia Dyson complex is currently some 3 trillion sophonts ranging across a broad range of clades, types, and species.
TravelStargates:
Olive Branch - to Sacredtree
Migrations Way - to Haeckel Dyson
River of Life - to Oceans Unlimited Dyson
The Pipeline - to Zoei Megacity
Go With the Flow - to Relay 002

Spaceports: Over a thousand spaceports are scattered throughout the Ecotopia system, serving both interstellar and intra-system travellers. However, these ports support only a portion of the total transport activity around Ecotopia. Much of the traffic within the system consists of large mobile orwood trees or other space going lifeforms which have either been fitted with low thrust drives or employ combinations of light-pressure and natural ion or plasma propulsion to gently direct themselves from place to place. Given the chance, most system inhabitants will employ one of these slower, but much more relaxed, modes of transport, often taking weeks or months to travel even short distances while staying in constant contact via the local system net. For those times when haste really is necessary, a sophisticated system of Displacement drive shuttles allows rapid transport to any point in the system at a rate limited only by the amount of acceleration the passengers can withstand.

Hazard Rating: 0.0 - 0.5 depending on where in the system a visitor is at any given moment. Some of the ecosystems within the Lab or its inner and outer system counterparts can be quite sophisticated in the ingenuity of their local food chains. Caution and a native guide and/or bot support are recommended for any visits outside of the primary population centers are strongly recommended.

Visa Restrictions: Open Access
 
Related Articles
 
Appears in Topics
 
Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner

Initially published on 01 September 2004.