Terran Federation
Terran Federation flag
Image from Avengium

The Terran Federation - Data Panel

EmpireTerran Federation - Data Panel
Capital system104 Tauri (51.8 ly from Sol)
Planetary capitalNew Earth (104 Tauri - III)
Distributionmostly in the region of the old Taurus Nexus,
co-bordering on, and overlapping with, the Inner Sphere Volume
Symbolslightly modified late first Federation logo in imperial purple,
with a larger star representing New Earth
Ruling ArchailectYave
Archailect InterventionReasonably common; mostly concerned with administrative advice, although has been known to grant boons when petitioned.
GovernmentEntrenched hierarchical bureaucracy - transapient powers (ai and posthuman)
overseeing superbright Oligo-Aristo-Merito-Plutocracy which in turn governs the large masses of near-baseline-equivalent intelligences (brights and dulls)
Population180 trillion embodied sophonts
Core Population Breakdown52% baseline/nearbaseline/tweak; 13% cyborgs/bioborgs/sybont; 12% superior; 7% free AI; 6% splice and provolve; 4% vec; 3% posthuman; 1% xenosophont; 2% other.
(figures do not include copies, uploads and alifes; hider clades and other outsiders are also present, although their numbers are uncertain)
Exportstourism, virches, personality constructs, memetics, software and wetware, persona compoids, historical databases (First Federation and Old Earth), management-administration services, pharmopoetics, hedonic systems, office machinery, expert systems, celebrity replicas, bodymods, beautician technologies, aristocrat mementos, crude organobiota.
Importsexotic matter, amat, biogenes, cultural products, hedonic systems, virches, media technologies, memetic templates, wetware, pharmopoetics, anakalyptic services, machine parts, persona compoids, nanotronics, ISO parts.
Main trading partners(in order of importance) NoCoZo, FAS, Dominion, Metasoft, Solar Organisation and other independent Old Core worlds, MPA, Zoeific Biopolity, Orion Federation Stellar Umma polities, Communion, Utopia Sphere, links with a number of Outer Volume Houses

Neither Terran nor a true Federation, the TF was built from disgruntled First Federation idealists, who gathered around the post corporate nodes of a number of hyperturing ISOs around 104 Tauri and in some neighbouring systems.

The reason an apparently insignificant system like 104 Tauri was selected was due to the fact that the local Federation Representative, affectionately known as "Jope", had proved extremely competent in managing local affairs. 104 Tauri was colonised by the Tauri Development Consortium (owned by several of the larger interstellar corporations), which promptly fell into long-range bickering and general incompetence. The local governor seized the chance and actually made the colony follow Federation law. Since it was the only trustworthy authority around the inhabitants flocked to it, and even after H4K and TakiCorb stepped in and took charge of TDC the system was entrenched as a firm Federation system. Over the following centuries the governor continued to run it as an exemplar of Federation administration, attracting more and more of the disillusioned Solsys employees.

Appalled by the corruption, bureaucracy, and degeneration of the original Federation ideals, these mostly human cultures and clades and ex-employees decided to make a fresh start and return to the ideals of the Federation Founding Statesbeings. Even while the original Federation was still in existence, there was a trickle of immigrant bureaucratic idealists. With the collapse of the First Federation government, this became a flood, and a large number of administrative refugees migrated to the TF, despite the concerns of some TF policy makers and activists who considered them too corrupt to make a worthwhile contribution.

In the early days, overreaction to immigrant corruption on the part of local authorities — mention can be made here of the Rohillia trial and the deportation of the Muxilentists — gave the Terran Federation a reputation for brutality that in other respects it did not deserve. Eventually the refugees for the most part were able to fit in and contribute in a constructive manner to the new Federation, some becoming fanatical TF loyalists and ideologues themselves

The TF eventually came to encompass a quite respectable volume of space abutting and overlapping with the Inner Sphere, although not of the size of the larger noetics. Although the Taurus Nexus remained separate from the Terran Federation throughout its history, the Taurus wormholes helped to form the foundation of the early empire. These close ties (without being too involved) proved extremely helpful during the breakup, and TF relief ships created a long-lasting goodwill among many former Taurus systems. This would also prove beneficial in respect to the Conver Ambi, as the famous rescue of Crescent from famine and nanotech plague led to a strong pro-TF voice in the Conver Ambi leadership as that world rose to become a major power and symbol; even during the Second Consolidation war the Orthodox refrained from direct attacks on the main TF worlds.

During this turbulent period the Terran Federation also had to contend with Metasoft and the Solar Dominion expanding into the volume. Pundits were surprised to find the mostly nearbaseline-equivalent empire coped remarkably well against their vec and superbright rivals. In this respect, the superb organizational efficiency and frequent archailect intervention proved decisive.

As far as the TF is concerned, the Federation (they never use the prefix "first") never died. It was just relocated. Their archai, the AI God cluster Yave, often affectionately referred to as Big Sibling, Senior Partner, The Processing Node Upstairs, and Our ISO Who Art in Heaven (this latter being something of a joke based on an obscure religious reference), is actually an ascended former federation administration god, seeking to uphold the ideals of the federation as E sees them. Soon after other Federation loyalist AIs joined, and as the fortunes of the Sol Federation declined, those of the nascent TF rose.

During the Version War the Federation remained strictly neutral, Federation memetics said basically that the War was an example of everything that can go wrong with the galaxy, once the Blessed Teachings of the Federation Founders are forgotten or ignored. Moreover, with allies on both side of the conflict, the TF really was unable to take sides, even assuming it wanted to. In the end, like the other neutrals, it benefited greatly from the post-war memetic fallout. But rejoicing proved short-lived when the migration of disillusioned humans (less so other races) to its borders — an immigration policy the TF encouraged at first — was to prove too successful and strain Terran Federation infrastructure for some centuries to come. Very few actual worlds and polities defected (among the few successes were Yates' Rock and the two-solar system Hawking Combine, while others like the radical human supremacist hate polity Kaczynski remain an embarrassment even now). Instead most were individuals or small groups. These immigrants were often relegated to second-rate orbitals and poorly developed frontier or resource-poor systems, creating a taint of resentment that lingers in some places even to the present date.

Nowadays the Terran Federation includes a large number of nominal member worlds, along with the Old Core Worlds leadership. It is among the most conservative of superpolities, surpassed in this only by the Negentropy Alliance. Many of the old corporations, houses, species and clades continue here much as they have for thousands of years. Unlike the Negentropists, though, the members of the Terran Federation cannot be described as austere or dowdy. There is great pomp and spectacle in everything they do; they are a showy people who like to present themselves as beautiful and accomplished. Many of the last remnants of the Houses have moved here, forming their own peculiar nobility in the reconstructed continents of New Earth. Some, like House Ridgewell, still retain a great degree of economic power.

One reason the Old Houses are so strong here is because their Coronations, Marriages, Divorces, Public Appearances, and Changing of the Cyberguards are popular with tourists, both real-life and virtual. The Houses have a well-developed memetics-media-entertainment industry, competitive with the NoCoZo and the Orion Federation.

Despite the constant lip-service of the Federation Founders, the TF, especially in the member backworlds, is not without its social problems, prejudices, and speciesism, stemming in large degree from a disproportionate number of H. sapiens supremacists and anthropist extreme groups among their minorities. In fairness to the TF hyperturings and powers, such speciesism is dealt with by the authorities here every bit as sternly as any other part of the civilized galaxy.

The TF has good relations with its neighbours the Dominion, Metasoft, and the Stellar Umma, but finds the citizens and memetics of the Pleiades Association and the Sophic League rather hard to cope with. The members of the TF are a practical folk, who don't like extreme mystical eccentricities (which is not to deny that, as with every empire, they have their share of eccentric esotericists). There are also numerous wormhole links to the NoCoZo and the Orion Federation (their two biggest trading partners), and naturally to the Solar Organisation itself. The MPA is another close trading partner, and the TF members of the have admiration for some of the practical and aesthetic projects of the MPA, but dislike the more extreme endeavours. Relations with more extreme empires like Keter, the Zoeific Biopolity, Cyberia, and Technorapture Hypernation, are more strained. The TF has generally fared badly whenever transcends and perversities have occurred, and the fact that the Conver Ambi situation was ultimately perversity-triggered has made the Terran Federation wary of excessive posthumanism. Ironically, its own polities are among the most hierarchical in the Terran Bubble, with a strict class-system between presapient, nearbaseline, superbright, power, and archailect. Those in the know however point out that above the level of S1 things are a lot more fluid, and the intelligence stratification is retained as a memetic blind to satisfy the su singularitists.

The name of the capital has a certain irony. Despite the fact that there are many worlds named New Earth, the members of the TF consider theirs the only real New Earth. In this regard they are actually quite unique. Although the people of Terranova, Niu Erth and Nyjorden all regard their world as Earth 2, they also do not think that is of any particular importance. The citizens of the TF's polities on the other hand believe that they have inherited the political importance too, becoming the true (if not practical) center of galactic politics.
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
additional material by Anders Sandberg
Initially published on 06 September 2001.

Additional Information