Seat of Judgement, The

Seat of Judgement
Image from Anders Sandberg

The Seat of Judgement - Data Panel

System:The Seat of Judgement
StarCD -32 9603, 1 Centauri A+B (close orbiting binary pair)
Stellar type(combined) F3 IV-V
Distance from Sol62.8 light years
AffiliationNegentropy Alliance - Capital World

The Seat of Judgement is one of the least imposing capital systems of known space, containing only one barely habitable planet and less than a million permanent inhabitants. Exactly why it was selected in 2465AT as the apex of the legal pyramid of Negentropy remains unknown.

Seat of Judgement is a desert world with very little free water. The planet orbits both elements of 1 Centaurus A+B, a close binary star, at a distance of 3.1 AU. The atmosphere has enough oxygen to be breathable thanks to the slow photosynthesis of engineered algae inside the local rocks, but is thin and cold in the night. During the long day temperatures climb towards 50 degrees, often causing dust storms and fierce winds.

There exists a few scattered settlements (mostly monastic orders and legal philosophy schools), but the central object is the Seat itself. The Seat is a tower rising 52 kilometres high, far above the mountain mesas and deserts surrounding it. Its five sides are patterned in abstract designs in red, black and silver stone. Inside are austere chambers where various high legal procedures are carried out, mainly by the High Barrister Vecs, legal constructs directly linked to the AI of the building itself. The principal avatar of the Judge resides within this complex, but is seldom encountered.

The rest of the system is a thoroughfare for Negentropic transports through the stargate plexus surrounding Mercy, one of the gas giants. It is known there are major AI installations surrounding Strictness, the other gas giant, with its numerous computronium megastructures, but nobody is permitted close to them. There are also a partial Dyson sphere surrounding the sun, apparently storing energy for future use or to power local computronium, but leaving an opening to provide energy to Seat of Judgement.

A combined operation by NoCoZo, MPA and Metasoft forces attacked the system during the later years of the Version War. Unexpectedly they met only token resistance and the original tower on the planet was totally destroyed (the crater is now a sanctuary for the Crater Legalites); closer investigations revealed that the archailect was not present in the system at all when the attack came. Whether it is present today is uncertain.

Seat of Judgement does not welcome pilgrims, it is a place for legal-theological business, not abasement. The locals are used to being in the direct presence of Law personified and scoff at visitors feeling oppressed by the system; they usually suggest that it is the rest of the universe that is oppressive, controlled as it is by the forces of dread entropy. The Seat of Judgement is the spiritual bastion against entropy and the only truly safe place in existence.

"But a single wormhole link from the bustle of densely populated systems Greylag, Daffy or Gegton, filled with bureaucrats, diplomats, artists, scientists and citizens and mighty cities and megastructures, the Capital of the Negentropy Alliance marks a strange and foreboding contrast. An austere and desolate desert world, the only non-natural artifact on the Seat of Judgement is a single ultratech tower.

Here you will find a potent image of the workings of this great Alliance. The apparently still and silent tower is actually sending and receiving a constant flood of messages, orders, demands, analysis and news, but it is not directly apparent.

If you go to the Seat of Judgement, you go there to be judged. It is not intended as a pleasant place, for truth can be sharp and cold. Keeping it empty and austere is a deliberate style statement, of Negentropic minimalism, telling everyone: we don't need the grandeur or bustle, we have Truth instead. The Negentropy Alliance is so powerful that it can keep its capital small and simple."
     — Travellers Guide to the Negentropy Alliance, Lonely Galaxy Guides, Corona

The Seat of Judgement is only one of the Five Capitals of the Alliance
The other capitals are Gegton X, Daffy, Ken Ferjik and Greylag.

Negentropy data image
Image from Anders Sandberg

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Initially published on 02 October 2000.