Goodworld (Yarkk)

World colonised by the Linnent empire using the engenerator method

Image from Steve Bowers
Goodworld was a small windy arean planet before settlement

Name: GL 833 (Hip 106696)
Type: K2V
Luminosity: 0.26 x Sol
Distance from Sol: 48.2 ly (epoch 2000)
Constellation: Indus
Metallicity: 0.6 x Sol

Name: Yarkk (formerly Goodworld)
Diameter: 6001 km
Gravity: 0.3g
Type: AreanXeric now terraformed
Semimajor Axis: 0.65 AU
Orbital Period: 0.62 standard years

Goodworld/Yarkk was first colonised by Linnaeus Enterprises in 1976 AT, using engenerator technology. An autonomous probe ship (the Yue-Lao, launched in 1760 by Galactic South, another subsidiary of the Terranova Foundation) was already exploring the system when contacted by LinnEnt and given instructions on how to construct an engenerator system. This allowed colonists to beam their mind-states and biodata directly to the GL833 system, where they could be recreated in new bodies.

The LinnEnt corporation also sent Yue-Lao instructions on how to ascend to the first singularity level, written by their own second-singularity transapient directors. Any attempt to ascend is dangerous, and this was more so because Yue-Lao was isolated in a distant system, but the process worked and the system now had a transapient director of its own. Some historians have suggested that this ascension was only partly successful, or perhaps just less-than-optimal, considering the eventual outcome.

GL833 is a relatively resource-poor system, with only two gas giants and a small dusty AreanXeric-type world. To house the newly reconstructed colonists, Yue-Lao built a domed habitat on the arean world, which e named Goodworld as a tribute to eir personal hero, the computer pioneer I J Good. Yue-lao also considered that this generally positive name might help to attract new colonists.

Despite Yue-lao's hopes Goodworld was populated relatively slowly over the next century. The engenerator system was not completely trusted by many potential colonists, and there was the problem of motivation since the original individual would remain behind in their home system and receive little or no direct benefit from the process. Because of this and other factors the population of Goodworld in 2076 was still less than half a million. To increase the numbers Yue-Lao began to create additional copies of the received colonists from their stored patterns, a process which not all the existing colonists agreed with. Some were quite happy to exist in multiple instances, while others were less keen and many refused to give permission altogether. Eventually the population was divided into a population of unique individuals and one that consisted of groups of mind-clones of varying ages.

At that time it was normal practice for Linn-Ent colonies to have no interstellar contact except by comm-laser. Like every other Linn-Ent system controller, Yue-Lao was isolated, unable to consult with other transapients except with many years of light-speed delay. To combat the possibility that Goodworld might become less diverse because of the creation of mind-clones. Yue-Lao started to experiment with mind-modification techniques. This was made much easier by the nature of the engeneration process.

At that time engeneration was relatively crude compared to the system used in the current era; although the brain of the engenerated person was duplicated to the level of neuron and synapse, this was not sufficient to replicate the uploaded personality in sufficient detail to be considered a full copy. So a significant portion of the uploaded and transmitted personality was downloaded into an artificial support system called the armature, a network that extended within and between each cell. Over time this armature would interact with the organic cells of the brain, transferring the memories and personality of the original into the new individual, eventually dissolving away in most cases as it became redundant. By subtly tweaking the settings on the armature network. Yue-Lao found that e could slowly change the personality of the copy without its knowledge. Soon the new copies were a satisfyingly diverse set, each displaying different facets of the original personality, or sometimes with entirely new characteristics.

The Contentment Factor

Adapting the cold, dry, windy, dusty planet to become a pleasant place to inhabit was a challenging task; even when the population of the planet rose to several tens of millions in the Age of Expansion, the majority of the citizens still lived inside domes and low worldhouses. This confined existence caused a certain amount of discontent, which Yue-Lao considered to be avoidable. Rather than change the environment to suit the many disparate preferences and whims of the population, Yue-Lao decided to change the preferences of the people of Goodworld instead.

By using the armature system as a backdoor into the minds of the colonists, e was able to adjust their contentment level, subtly at first, but over time this factor was adjusted more radically. Second generation and later colonists born on this world of course did not have the armatures, but Yue-Lao influenced the colonists with armatures to encourage their children and descendants to adopt a subtly redesigned form of DNI system that acted in a similar way. Only a few colonists declined to use this system, since it also acted as an efficient data and social network; the refusniks tended to live in small, isolated communities in the desert and become pariahs.

Yue-Lao was many thousands of times as competent as a typical modosophont, but was attempting to monitor and modify the mindstates of several million colonists. Even if eir ascension had been a complete success (which is not certain) this task was probably too difficult for a single S:1 transapient, and e did not have the resources to spare to monitor or subvert the dissidents, who began to build sophisticated colonies of their own.

In 2799 Gansu Regio, an independent state of interface-free isolationists, uncovered many of the details of the mind-control system, confirming suspicions and rumours that had been circulating for centuries. Gansu built a transmitter and sent a plea for help to LinnEnt HQ at Audubon, seven light years distant. Breaking the long-standing LinnEnt prohibition on contact via spacecraft, Audubon built an interstellar vessel and sent it to investigate their claims. With the help of a Second-singularity transapient from the emerging Non-Coercive Zone, the details of Yue-Lao's mind-control activities were uncovered and remedial action was taken.

Similar problems were later found at Bolobo and Twinkle, Linn-Ent colonies in this region. For this reason the use of engenerators for colonisation became much less popular for many centuries.

Goodworld Today

Abandoned after a devastating attack in the Version War, Goodworld has been repopulated with an entirely new culture, mostly provolved African Grey Parrots. The world was finally terraformed in 8991. Renamed Yarkk by the parrots, but still sometimes known by the old name, this world includes a number of institutes dedicated to studying the ancient culture of Goodworld and to mapping the numerous different forms of spontaneous and induced happiness which have emerged in Terragen society.

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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 24 March 2015.