FCL Disorder

Fiat Caecus Lux Disorder

Fiat Caecus Lux
Image from Steve Bowers
The mysterious islands in the air observed during the Stellarajah incident

Fiat Caecus Lux or FCL Disorder is an extreme form of mania or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) that afflicts the incredible intellects of Transapient minds. For some reason, either through physical failure, engineering mistake or memetic influence, the mind of a Transapient becomes hyper-stimulated creatively. The resulting mental state drives the Transapient to begin creatively reshaping his environment and all systems in his reach to new visions and forms. Unfortunately, with the new loss of focus and concentration, the ideas and directions flit from concept to concept so rapidly, often projects are never completed, or large projects become disjointed leaving chaotic designs in its wake. This is a very rare disorder and because of this, it has made it hard to diagnose or prevent. Only two incidences of the disorder have been documented for certain in the history of the Terragen Sphere, though it is quite likely that there have been other similar events in the Periphery, or among the various metaempires that do not share their information with Sephirotic worlds.

The Stellarajah Transcripts

The first occurred incidence of FCL during the Integration, when JD 518791, a small relatively isolated planetary system in the Keter Dominion was struck by this disorder. A burst of high power transmissions emerged from this system as the ruling transapient, estimated to be a mid level <{T492d73280dc85,S>3}>, began transmitting billions and billions of ideas, artwork, stories, and other creative information. Since the system was not connected by any regular transportation network or wormhole, this disaster went unnoticed for the next 73 years, until a passing beamrider picked up the transmissions. When the beamrider arrived at its destination, 8 years later, it had collected the entire magnum opus of this unknown transapient, thanks to some clever engineering by the crew of the beamrider. These recordings are now known as "The Stellarajah Transcripts" after the name of the beamrider that recorded the burst.

When the incident was reported to Keter, a small fleet of ships was dispatched to JD 518791 to see what remained and assist anyone left. The Transcripts indicated a rapid descent into more and more chaos that could pose a real danger for other nearby civilizations. When the fleet arrived, they discovered a system devoid of all sentient life, but beautiful in it's destruction. All the surveyed planets had been torn apart and reshaped into strange exotic forms, including a broad band of breathable atmosphere at standard temperature and pressure that was peppered with "islands in the air".

Somehow, the local transap had cannibalized itself to create a system similar to that of an open air dyson swarm with floating island chunks which various levels of transapientech were working to terraform. Scattered on the surface of these worlds were massive ruins, megastructures, artifacts of strange and bizarre creation that even to this day have not been accurately identified, except perhaps by Archai more powerful than the creating entity. The whole system was slowly destabilizing, and was in the process of falling apart as its atmosphere bled off into space. It became obvious to the fleet that this case of FCL had been happening for far longer than the 5 year period of transmission. Indicators, with the level and density of creativity shown by artifacts found lead investigators to believe that this event took place well over 70 years before it reached its final, and most likely, fatal stages recorded by the Stellarajah Transcripts.

Keter declared JD 518791 off limits due to its instability, the presence of dangerous ultratech and clarketech and has yet to re-open it. During the Version War the system was "written off" the charts and incorporated into the Seams. It is classified as a quarantined system, still being utilized by Keter, but now is protected by the Burdikeer. Popular rumors persist that Keter has been slowly stabilizing this system for future use, and development as well as returning it to its Sephirotic fold. It is common knowledge that the entire system has been cataloged and analyzed to comprehend the inter-relation of all the technology left behind. Also, another rumor is beginning to surface that for some reason, the Burdikeer's security on the system has grown lax and some very clever baselines have sneaked into the system. Of course, this is only unproven rumor.

The Torres Incident

The other recorded FCL Disorder event occurred only 196 years ago. Unfortunately, this was a much more dangerous situation since Torres, the main system afflicted, was attached to the nexus via nanogauge as well as transportation gauge wormholes. In the Terragen Federation a relatively active Archai administrator of a small cluster of worlds began acting strangely. The administrator, BasetheoryAGE, was a low S:4 Power. He began providing his citizens with more and more creative solutions to problems. This was very useful for the first 10 years, but soon began to look more and more odd as these became like "Rube Goldberg" solutions of incredible complexity for simple tasks. Architectural control began to get more and more artistic, and less functional. When confronted by a peer, it is said that BasetheoryAGE seemed to regain control of his creative impulses and was able to project a normal front long and well enough to satisfy his concerned peers.

Life went back to a normal state for another 14 years. Then suddenly, BasetheoryAGE let loose a burst of creativity that violently disrupted life on three connected systems simultaneously. It is currently theorized that the confrontation with a peer inserted an element of paranoia into his disorder. His creative burst took on a mean-spirited and hostile vision. Instead of beautiful works of nature as seen in the Stellarajah Transcripts, incredibly sublime weaponry systems, and "arts" of war were created. Fortresses, viruses, nanoweapons and other militaristic, enforcement nature boiled out of BasetheoryAGE's system.

Very soon e began testing these new weapons on the three systems nearest to Torres. The distress call went out to Yave, the ruling Archailect of the Terragen Federation, to stop this from spreading. The Nexus immediately shut down the spread of this threat before it spread beyond the three systems already afflicted. All nanogauge wormholes into the system were closed, and the transit wormholes were deflated, and linelayers were quickly made to haul them out of range of the expanding wavefront of destruction at top speed.

Yave sent an armada of military vessels to confront the threat in BasetheoryAGE's systems. A counterstrike force was assembled and dispatched through the closest uncompromised wormhole; they arrived twelve years later. They entered the Torres system to discover pure carnage. The system had been reduced to a stellar waste with active and destroyed weapon systems of incredible complexity and power. The star had been rapidly stripped for power and mass for weapons that the investigators could not comprehend. The best theory currently available is that, when the wormholes were collapsed and pulled out, BasetheoryAGE was left with no one to fight, and turned to blood sports against himself, and his remodelled citizens, making the systems orgies of death. In this orgy, BasetheoryAGE managed to destroy himself, and nearly all life in these systems. Any life left was converted into very dangerous killing machines and literal combat monsters of great ferocity.

Slowly, Yave has been pacifying these systems with steady military force, destroying the remaining automated defense systems and creatures. In one especially dangerous system, Yave was forced to make the painful decision of destroying the star, and disassemble every piece of matter in system down to a sub-atomic level. The reasons have not been released but many believe that a sentient godtech weapon resided there that was too dangerous to let roam free. The other two systems will eventually be re-integrated into the Terragen Federation when the time is right.

No one really knows what causes Fiat Caecus Lux, and much research is being devoted to these two known cases, to help prevent its spread. No real similarities between the two cases have been found.

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Development Notes
Text by Michael Boncher
Initially published on 07 March 2006.