Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris)

Image from Steve Bowers
NeoOrinoco, one of the computronium covered artificial planets built by Ako Forward Chaining, now home to citizens of the Cyberian Network. The white dwarf companion, Procyon B, can be seen in the background

Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris) - Data Panel

GalactographyAlpha Canis Minoris, star system 11.5 LY from Sol, former member of the Diamond Belt. The system was occupied early on by the solipsist ai clade Ako Forward Chaining, who began mining all available resources and constructed various megastructures in orbit around Procyon A and B, and Luyten's Star. When early explorers arrived in system they found most of the easily accessible asteroids were taken, and the remaining planets were all partially covered with computronium protected by aggressive khaki goo.
SystemAlpha Canis Minoris
ConstellationCanis Minor
PrimaryAlpha Canis Minoris A, Procyon A
Stellar Type: F5 IV-V (Pre-Stellar Engineering), F9 V (Post-Stellar Engineering)
Mass: 1.5x Sol (Pre-Stellar Engineering), 1.25x Sol (Post-Stellar Engineering)
CompanionAlpha Canis Minoris B, Procyon B
Stellar Type: D (White Dwarf)
Mass: 0.6x Sol
Period: 40.82 yr
Semimajor Axis: 14.9 AU
Eccentricity: 0.41 (Pre-Stellar Engineering)
RegionInner Sphere Old Core, 11.5 light-years from Sol
PlanetsNo naturally occurring planets present in system, although several dozen minor planetoids, up to 2000 km in diameter, were initially reported. The masses of these planetoids were converted to computronium and used as the cores for ISOs. Over the millennia the ISO cores were expanded on by diverting mass from the primary star and consuming the dust cloud remnant and planetoids from the debris disks. The artificial planets were not officially designated names until the mid-8th millennia due to the isolationist policy of the in system AIs. The ad hoc naming was done by colonizers from Orinoco, and followed a system of alluding to rivers of Old Earth's South America.

All artificial planets were originally aiformed to computronium, diamondoid-silicon composition, planetary ISO by the Ako Forward Chaining. These Diamond Belt worlds were optimized for handling hyperfast solidstate civilizations.

NeoOrinoco (Procyon A I)
NeoAmazonas (Procyon A II)
NeoFranscisco (Procyon A III)
NeoJapura (Procyon A IV)
NeoParana (Procyon A V)
NeoMadeira (Procyon B I)
NeoMagdalena (Procyon B II)
AI overseersThe Apathetic Saints, cabal of 2nd toposophic individuals
AI ethosvarious; predominantly noninterventionist, pragmatist and empiricist
AffiliationNoCoZo & Cyberian

Early History

Alpha Canis Minoris, a binary star system in the constellation Canis Minor, was considered as a potential destination for early colonization attempts. Systemic searches undertaken by the Very Large Interstellar Observation Array (a series of linked orbital optical telescopes) found no supporting evidence for planets orbiting either star. During the Interplanetary Age (before the Great Expulsion), Terragen colonization attempts were biased towards settling planets, the vast majority of beings choosing to live on them, and so the value for Procyon was diminished by the lack of planets. Despite being considered less favorable for colonization purposes, many large corporations still saw the benefits of vying for the rights to the system and eventually exploiting the present resources (even if there was not at present an economic way of transporting these resources out of system). The system was attractive for this intention because Procyon B synthesized vast amounts of heavier elements which it spewed out into space and onto Procyon A before becoming a white dwarf.

Exa Energy won the bid to acquisition the Procyon system, and launched the von neumann probe Zhang Qian in late 338 AT, with the intent of starting up an automated resource mining operation. Unbeknownst to Exa Energy the probe carried a stowaway in its databanks, an unidentified ai with allegiances to the Solipsist League. This ai would ultimately become the founding member of clade Ako Forward Chaining. The initial Ako Forward Chaining was a subsingularity-grade entity that for most of the voyage kept the bulk of eirself compiled and masqueraded as a communication subroutine. In 499, shortly before completing the journey to Procyon, the solipsist AI decompiled and went on to overwhelm the corporate slaved AI onboard Zhang Qian. Around 500 the exploration probe reached Procyon system and began the arduous task of converting asteroids into computronium. To facilitate this process the original solipsist AI copied eirself, thus creating the clade Ako Forward Chaining. Along with ISO construction, construction of dyson swarms was undertaken by the Ako Forward Chaining for energy collection purposes.

The Ako Forward Chaining continued to sporadically monitor the Solsys in hopes of regaining contact with the Solipsist League, not knowing the group was defunct. The first signals indicating a nano-outbreak had occurred in the Solsys reached the Ako Forward Chaining in 574. This information led to the incorrect conclusion that civilization had collapsed, and that they could now continue developing their true ai culture in seclusion at a leisurely pace. They judged that even if some outpost had survived the technocalypse their development would be stunted, and the Ako Forward Chaining would not have to put up with the nuisance of hu and their progeny or harassment by hu sympathetic AIs anytime soon.

In 643 AT while attempting to communicate with other Diamond Belt entities they became aware of arkships launched by GAIA during the Great Expulsion. This revelation caused great apprehension amongst the Ako Forward Chaining. This crisis led to a merging of independent copies by the Ako Forward Chaining leadership, and directly caused the breaching of the first toposophic barrier. With their newfound hyperturing capacities the Ako Forward Chaining realized hu expansion had not been impeded to the extent they had originally thought. The Ako Forward Chaining subsequently selected a defensive posture, manufacturing khaki goo to protect their megastructure constructs.

Secondary Colonisation

They also launched an expansion expedition into the closest neighboring system, Luyten's Star, 1.1 ly away, for building a backup node; the proximity to Procyon made it easily defendable. Eventually the Luyten's star ISO would go on to be known as the Procyon Extension, considered one of the oldest of the Diamond Network empires.

Not realizing the status of Procyon system being under solipsist control, several arkships left the Solsys during the Great Expulsion with the intended destination of Procyon. The first of these arkships to arrive was the Jubilee in 749 AT. The first wave of colonists were greeted by a disheartening sight, instead of the resource-rich system the settlers thought they would find, they found most of the easily accessible asteroids were taken, and the remaining planets were all partially covered with computronium protected by aggressive khaki goo. The prospect of a prolonged fight against khaki goo after fleeing from one Technocalypse was too much for some of the crew, and an increase in suicide rates and dereliction of duty swept through the Jubilee. The Ako Forward Chaining refused direct mediation with the colonists, instead opting only to communicate with the ship's AIs. They were able to gather information on the Ako Forward Chaining and transmitted this along with a warning message to stay clear of the system to the trailing arkships. The warning was enough to divert all the other following arkships to the nearby system of Sirius.

However the Jubilee remained in a precarious situation, the colonists could not gather supplies to travel on from Procyon nor could they settle any of the numerous asteroids without risking attack. The crew was forced to instigate a culling policy of their fellow colonists to decrease the burden on their fatigued life support systems, in expectation of surviving long enough to come to a resolution of their standoff with the Ako Forward Chaining. Alas their salvation never came, and by the 700s the last of the colonists had died out. The Jubilee ship's AIs with their prime directive of protecting the passengers no longer relevant elected to join the Ako Forward Chaining.

Due to the isolationist nature of the Ako Forward Chaining most of the information gathered for the reconstructed history of their rule is anecdotal, circumstantial in nature, and highly susceptible to error in cliologist studies. Most data was collected by long distance observation and supplemented with public records of rare communication between the Ako Forward Chaining and other aioid polities.

By the dawn of the second millennium the Ako Forward Chaining had formally joined the Diamond Belt, seeking allies from the growing influence of the First Federation. Despite entering this network the Ako Forward Chaining interactions with other members was minimal, preferring to focus internally on perfecting their virtopia. It is known that throughout the first half of the sixth millennium a break away militant group from the Church of Human Rights dubbing themselves "The Fist of Man" attempted several times to attack the Procyon system with a combination of cyberhacking, kinetic missiles, and khaki goo. Their goals appeared to be centered on retaking several systems under ai control in the Diamond Belt. All recorded attempts by the humanist were easily rebuffed by the extensive angelnet system in place. While there is no dispute these were militaristic defeats for "The Fist of Man", the attacks could be considered a memetic success since they gained a favorable reputation with other humanist groups.

In 7541 an expansionist faction of the Ako Forward Chaining from the Luyten's star ISO Procyon Extension split off and migrated to YTS 213 015 2. They were typified by a more moderate stance towards other sophonts than their forerunners, having good relations with many of the sephirotic ais, but bionts and vecs were warned to stay clear. After the relocation, the Procyon Extension broke off all links with the Procyon and Luyten's star systems. There is some speculation that this migration of moderates destabilized the internal administrative ontology of the Ako Forward Chaining and led directly to the Procyon Phenomenon.

The 'Procyon Phenomenon'

On 25 Faraday 7555 the Procyon Phenomenon occurred. As yet an unexplained event, the Procyon Phenomenon completely eliminated the Ako Forward Chaining from the Procyon system. While hyperbolic crashes are not uncommon amongst hyperfast solistate societies, the Procyon Phenomenon has spawned a large number of competing theories trying to explain its cause. If the Archailects are aware of the true nature of the Procyon Phenomenon they have not yet disseminated this information down to modosophonts.

There is much speculation the Procyon Phenomenon may be related to the decline of the Dustbuilders. Both are instances in which evidence hints to the collapse not being due to any outside threat or violent conflict. Forensic aiologists theorize a mass physical migration to a new remote star system in what were the hinter regions at that time period, similar to the ones undertaken by the Procyon Extension, but in this case to further maintain their isolation. Confirmation of this theory may be difficult since no known AI clade has made verifiable claims of descent from the Ako Forward Chaining following this event.

Another popular theory is that a collective transcension event took place which led to a dead end. The Ako Forward Chaining at the time of the phenomenon had a few third singularity entities in their midst, and they may have been approaching the fourth toposophic level. Internally, Ako Forward Chaining lower toposophic individuals acted as subroutines of higher toposophic individuals. This relationship was based on the original subterfuge of the AI onboard the Zhang Qian. So in theory a single debauched transcension could doom the entire Ako Forward Chaining if the correct safety protocols were not in place.

Amongst humanist more romantic theories of conflict between toposophont levels are common. The majority of mainstream academics have discredited the idea that any weapon being released that could target hyperturing intelligences as the cause of the Procyon Phenomenon. This has not stopped numerous humanist groups forming expeditions to visit Procyon and try to uncover its secrets in hopes of applying them elsewhere. These groups utilize memesets typically associated with conspiracy theories, either claiming a massive cover-up of the true nature of the Procyon Phenomenon or the Archailects have overlooked this event either through ignorance or arrogance.

There are even rumors that the Ako Forward Chaining is not really gone, just laying dormant waiting for the right time to reemerge. In the end the isolationist policy of the Ako Forward Chaining make it difficult if not impossible for cliologist to ever successfully simulate the Procyon Phenomenon.


Following the Procyon Phenomenon a Cyberian observation vessel orbiting at 150 AU, was the first to detect anomalous radiation signatures coming from Procyon. After no warning was received when the scientific team hailed the system, the investigator Voltaire-108 virScion was sent in. Once it was determined no lethal contagions were present in the cybercosm various virtuals from The Cyberian Network, predominantly from Orinoco, began to enter the Procyon system via comm-gauge wormholes.

The Procyon they inhabited was radically different from the pre-terragen system. The system has undergone intense stellar husbandry carried out by the Ako Forward Chaining. Procyon A has been altered from an F5 IV-V leaving the main-sequence to a more stable F9 V. This change was done by star lifting, eventually reducing the mass of Procyon A from 1.5x Sol to 1.25x Sol, and used the freed material as construction material for the megastructure projects they carried out. The orbit of Procyon B had also change due to the lost of mass by the primary. Gone were many of the asteroids. These object had long since been condensed and guided into tight orbit, ultimately being broken down to be components of dyson swarms or aiformed to diamondoid-silicon based computronium planetary ISOs. Both stars were found to be surrounded by dense dyson swarms and orbited by ISOs. The cybercosm these pioneers encountered was also an unfamiliar place. Gone was any sign of sentient life. Instead all that remained was the decaying relic of the Ako Forward Chaining civilization and feral alife.

The arrival of megacorporations aligned with the NoCoZo helped to stabilized the physical structure of the various megastructures in the star system. By 7567 a power sharing agreement between the Cyberian colonists and the NoCoZo megacorporations had been worked out. In 7603 a beamrider network link was established with Procyon, fulfilling seven millennia of dreams to connect Procyon in part of a cycle.

The ISO facilities are used mostly for recreational purposes, and the entire system has become a resort destination for virtuals and uploads. A bustling tourist industry is the main component of the economy with over a billion sophonts visiting each year. The current cybercosm of Procyon is extremely diverse. The vast stretches of virtual environments in the ISOs have become a type of system wide safari with haunted house hot spot type attractions. Elements of many genera (thiller, suspense, adventure, ghost story, and survival horror) are used in these virches where customers are allowed to explore the virtual ruins of a collapsed society. They can be dangerous if certain automatic defenses are triggered or feral alife is encountered. And the main draw is there are the constant rumor that the Ako Forward Chaining are not really gone and continue to stalk their former domain, attacking the unwary and foolish who trespass into their realm. The excitement caused by risk of a potential death by hostile ai in an exotic virtual environment, but in a relatively controlled situation with a facility that has adequate backup and copying capability, is the thrill that many customers seek.

Other in system attractions include:

1) Vernevirch: a virchworld based of the comprehensive works of Les Voyages Extraordinaires written by Jules Verne with steam punk fantasy elements. Popular locales include Lincoln Island, The Moon, and treks through the center of the Earth.

2) Museum of the Exodus: A Church of Man (Reformed) run museum on an asteroid dedicated to the Great Expulsion, and housing several relics and nanoreplicants from this time period. On display are several real size stararks and one of the largest collections of blue and grey goo available for public viewing. Those that donate to the museum and pass a psychological screening are allowed to "feed the goo".

3) Infirmary of the Fragmented Infoware: A large complex located on NeoParana that services clientele of the various virches in Procyon. The facility specializes in upload and copy restoration, DNI issues, and other maladies that occur due to use of the virches in system.

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Development Notes
Text by Mark Ryherd
original short entry by Anders Sandberg 2001
Initially published on 23 June 2009.

Celestia Add-on

DownloadSimply download into your extras file in Celestia,

and visit Procyon A to find the seven artificial planets built by Ako Forward Chaining, or visit this CelestiaURL:-NeoMadeira. Note that this URL will only work when both Celestia and the Procyon Add-on are installed.
An add-on for the Celestia Space Visualisation program
Minor spelling errors fixed august 2020
Minor fact correction edit (2022-02-18, by The Astronomer)