The Macoss Habitat/Ship starts its long journey to Epsilon Eridani
Macoss Habitat (or ship) was an Interplanetary Age habitat with a culture heavily influenced by anime.
The erosion of civil liberties during the era of initial corporate control of assembler nanotechnology during the late Interplanetary Age of 380-410, and the Nanarchy of 410-530 caused massive degrees of cladization within the various states, resulting, in the formation of so-called Freedom Ship Biospheres. The larger of these biospheres, often Vivarium Habitats 30km in size, contained a cosmopolitan mix of cyborgs, tweaks, baselines and aioids all with strong libertarian views, within Sol's Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt.
There were also a number of smaller, less celebrated cultures, some only recently discovered thanks to the Database Archaeologists of the Alexandria Institute. Examples include the First Church of Shatnerology, whose initiates had to dilapidate their craniums and wear an artificial covering called a toupee, a direct affront to the GeneTEK corporation which had long offered a genetic patch for baldness, and the True Cult of Scientology, whose leaders practised Memeborging even more extreme than that of the corporate states, Among these were the members of the Otaku Clade of New Suzuki Orbital.
The Otaku were the result of the fusion of various Fan Organizations formed by the memes inherent within a subgenre of entertainment vids and virches known as anime, originally produced by Japan, an island state that also was the home of many of the original Megacorps in the Earth's Pacific Ocean, starting in the 10's BT (1960's c.e.) but later mimicked over civilized space. Heinlein City on Mars was a particularly notable example; at one point during 322 AT (2291 c.e.) over seventy shows were created there, some using the original methods of animation such as hand drawing and human writers.
AI Memetic Engineers saw to it that these shows would not only attract a large following amongst the gammas with the large quantities of sex and violence within the formulaic stories, but also with the techliterate alphas as a form of wish fulfilment with its ultra high tech toys including FTL Starships and transformable Giant Robots.
Until 415 AT these shows were considered harmless pacifiers and commercial opportunities. However with the increasing restrictions on freedom, the prevalent memes of freedom, individualism and ultratech "being good" were seen as being at odds with the powers that be, and so suddenly over a span of a few weeks the shows were either cancelled or neutered. The changes did not go unnoticed. The largest protest in Tycho City (Luna) turned to violence that included the beating to death of an eight year old boy, Manuel O'Kelly, by five peace enforcement officers employed by CisLuna Webcasting. That event became the most downloaded vidfile from the internet, beating Briitine Amberina home video by 23.6%, netting a 7% share increase for the rival mediacorp Playstation-Inscapes, whose cameras recorded the event. The death was recorded as justifiable homicide, as Manuel was carrying a toy gun copied from one of the shows, that the officers stated that they thought was a real gun (later used as a marketing line?). The peace officers were later promoted for their dedication for enforcing the law regardless of the transgressor. Emotional reactions ranged from "so what, the kid got what he deserved", "it was a genuine mistake and peace officers have to defend themselves", to genuine revulsion.
One of those who felt revulsion, but also sensing an opportunity, was Isamu Bojosi, Superior corporate raider, anime fan, the 78th richest sapient in the solar system and Megalomaniac. Like many Superiors and AIs he recognised that the situation on earth was rapidly becoming untenable, but was unwilling to give up his social position by joining one of the colony of freedom ships. Instead he decided to set up his own fiefdom on an abandoned (due to economic downturn in He3 market) Vivarium colony at Jupiter's L4 point. In December of 435 the habitat was renamed Macoss and was opened for colonisation by the various fan groups, selection was biased toward alphas with high technical skills, but a considerable number of gammas were also selected, including the family of Manuel O'Kelly (who received a 2.1% stock dividend in an out of court settlement). The stated aim of the colony is to use nanotechnology to create the technology and society of anime, the actual purpose is to provide a giant playground for Isamu Bojosi.
By 467 the colonisation was complete, and the 250,000 inhabitants underwent a variety of cosmetic and genetic modifications to give the appearance of various characters, such as larger eyes and metallic hair. Additional modifications carried out on gammas were memetic, in effect turning them into memeoids worshipping Bojosi as a messiah. Bojosi's money more than enough to divert various government regulatory authorities, and keep any civilian agency such as Mothers Against Memetic Programming from finding out.
The remaining 25,000 alphas were all specialists in nanotechnology, genetic engineering, materials science, propulsion systems, robotic and cybernetic systems, space sciences, memetic programming, AI psychology and the infant field of space/time engineering. Amongst this group were several first toposophic AIs who were amused by the project.
Scientific Research on Macoss
During the 470's Macoss made a large number of contributions to various fields but especially fluidic structures, the greatest achievement being the STMX-1, a fission powered starfighter, that over the course of six hours could morph into an underpowered space combat mech. Somewhat more practical creations included a adamant power armour optimised for urban operations and viable nanostorage of bionts.
In addition to the research, Macoss was rapidly becoming a resort for the more decadent alphas, mecha fights (ETC +++) being more satisfying IRL rather than virches, and was rapidly getting the reputation of a modern Babylon where highly illegal Nano's were freely available and any vice could be satisfied. Vast numbers of replicants were constructed only to be slaughtered in simulated battles.
The Juno base attack by the Orbital Alliance in 488 and the Minsk 7 trial in 491 was a wakeup call to Bojosi, realising that his wealth would be insufficient to protect his domain from the paramilitary Molecular Law Directorate and that dirtside troubles would almost certainty spread out to the habitats.
Obtaining exploitation permits on the planets in the Epsilon Eridani System (HD22049) 10.5Ly from Earth, over the next fifteen years the habitat was converted into a AMAT-Fusion colony ship (the Macoss) with a cruising speed of 0.1 c. During the final 2 years prior to launch, a number of terraforming and ecodesign specialists were mindnapped (with reasonable authenticity, in view of the limited upload technology of the time) from the Mars project as spectroscope analysis confirmed that there was a near-earth type planet in the system viable for terraforming. A number of missions were already en-route to this system, so they would not be alone when they got there.
The Macoss's launch was in 508 just after the nanoswarm disaster, confirming Bojosi's fears of societal and technological collapse, the kludged together blue goo standards he and his experts decided would do more to hasten the impending cataclysm.
The colonists were placed into cryostasis for the 122 year journey, the ship maintained by AIs, vecs and robots. The ship arrived in 630 AT, and after some initial difficulties the Macossian colonists became an important factor in the history of that system.