Orion Federation

Orion Federation Symbol
Image from Anders Sandberg

Orion Federation - Data Panel

CapitalEnremdea (GH4343 Monocerotis VII)
Political SystemFederation of independent systems/nations, governed by an Assembly.
Ruling ArchailectEnremdeamorion (S:5 Archailect)
s EthosIconoclastic, personal, rebellious, unpredictable, individualistic. Enremdeaorion, or Orion as E is often known, is renowned for creating human-level proxy avatars and forming friendly relationships with modosophonts
Major locationsOrion Nebula, the Orion Dark Cloud, the Orion OB1 association, Alnitak, Mintaka, Alnilam, Omega Orionis, Elmo, the Trapezium, the Christmas Tree Cluster, the Cone Nebula, Tabridgen, the Horsehead Nebula, the Lightstorm

The Orion Federation emerged in the aftermath of the Version War and the ComEmp. It is the youngest of the major central empires, and still largely an outsider in interstellar politics.

In the region corewards of the Christmas Tree Cluster a number of systems were colonised by refugees from the Taurus Nexus and Djangalla Reformism, who set off in this direction in the 3400's. The first colonies were established in the 4400's, while the Version War was starting over a thousand light years away. These settlers called themselves the Orion Federation. The Federation kept a low profile, and was largely unknown to the surrounding powers. The new colonies were unaware of the events of the Version War until after it was almost over, as the closest wormhole was in a Metasoft system two hundred light years way.

As the news of the Version War reached them, the Orion Federation kept to itself and hunkered down. The worried citizens sought ways of protecting themselves should the relativistic fleets approach their cluster, and in due course the news came that the war had ended.

Over the next millennium the Federation quietly prospered. The first colonies became dominated by the Enremdea system, a populous, relatively wealthy and diverse culture. In the 4600's more and more Enremdeans attempted the Eden AI symbiosis solution, with a surprisingly benign AI calling itself Orion emerging.

In the chaos of the aftermath of the Version War many systems formerly belonging to Metasoft, and a smattering of sporadic colonies associated with the Sophic League, the NoCoZo, Communion and the Solar Dominion in the region around the Orion nebula complex found themselves isolated from their home empires, often seriously damaged by warfare and economic collapse. The Orion Federation began to contact them, offering support, trade and information. The original cluster was soon engaged in a highly profitable diplomacy and wormhole network construction effort. Several worlds formally joined the Orion Federation and many declared themselves at least temporary members until restoration of contact with the main Inner Sphere.

When contact with the Wormhole Nexus was finally made in 5200 the Orion Federation managed to establish itself politically and diplomatically by exploiting the still relevant power of the ComEmp Ontology. By furthering its spread in the local volume the Federation caused a regional renaissance, causing many of the provisional members join it rather than return to their by now alien home empires. The repellent decadence of the old empires and the waves of emigrants helped the growth of the fresh, untested and democratic Federation.

In 6083 a Metasoft fleet attempted to reclaim a number of former Metasoft worlds from their "renegade programming". This was the first real test of the strength of the Federation. The initial attacks were devastating, but the Federation managed to mount an adequate defence and hold them off long enough for diplomatic negotiations through NoCoZo and Communion trade allies to enable a cease-fire. In the following Orion Accords the Federation was granted the volume around the Orion Nebula, in return for turning over a number of systems within Metasoft territory. After nearly a century of emigration and occasional bursts of terrorism, ethnic/species rivalry and a few ugly military incidents the current borders were defined.

Since then the Federation has expanded modestly outwards, mainly through enclaves in Sophic territory and by far-flung wormholes into the outer volumes. In the 7100's a number of Sophic systems joined the Federation in protest over the handling of the Saint Warwick Rebellion. They now form the Objector Alliance, a political faction with noticeable pull.

Miranda Spaceport Orion Federation
Image from Copyright Kevin Williams
Miranda Spaceport, Fairbridge Demapoly, Orion Federation (image copyright Kevin Williams)

Over time the Federation has become known as the refuge of the eccentric or dissident, a highly diverse place where it is possible to survive without having to fend for oneself as in the Outer Volumes but without the strict control of the other empires. It is on the outskirts of "civilised space" and many think it of it as the gateway to the counterspinwards parts of the Perseus Rift. Due to the relative scarcity of naturally habitable planets in the volume a larger population than elsewhere live in orbital habitats. The worlds within the nebulae are rather inhospitable to organics, but several vec species and bizarre tweak clades thrive there and trade He-3, antimatter and other forms of energy sources with the organics on the outside.

The Federation Assembly is housed in a grand nanotech structure on Enremdea, known simply as The Palace. Each member system or state sends one representative to the Assembly. Internally the different systems have many kinds of political systems ranging from dictatorships to direct democracies to market minds, although the Federation Constitution places some restrictions on the powers and actions of local governments and lists citizens rights; one of the most important being the freedom to emigrate.

The Enremdean Orion biont-AI symbionts exist spread across the Federation, monitoring events and sometimes acting as advisors or oracles. It is common knowledge that Orion is a rather Homeric AI and does get involved in real politics, but unlike its mythological counterpart it is diplomatic and clever. Some worry that it might be too clever for anybody's good.

Politically Orion is a small untested player that might have great potential -- or might implode due to internal schisms if the wrong political decisions are made. It has some support from the Communion and the NoCoZo, who are trade allies. Metasoft is cool but not hostile, while the Sophic League has been consistently trying to convert the Federation worlds to the Reformulation and has worked especially hard to get back the Objector Alliance.

  • Alnitak (Zeta Orionis)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Class O Supergiant (spectral Type O9.7Ib) in the Orion Federation, emitting prodigious amounts of energy. Seen from Sol System this star is at the eastern end of the Orion's belt. Alnitak is the site of extensive antimatter production and also a long term starlifting project. Site of an unfortunate transcension accident involving the archai Herne. (See also the Xyloplax Incident.)
  • Elmo  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Garden World in Monoceros, 1071 ly from Sol.
  • Enremdea  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    GH4343 Monocerotis VII, capital of the Orion Federation.
  • Enremdeaorion  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Ruling archailect of the Orion Federation. Known to take a more intimate approach to running the empire than many Archailects.
  • Horsehead Nebula  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Dark Nebula in Orion
  • Lightstorm, The  - Text by Marcus Rauchfuß
    Megastructure orbiting the interstellar gas giant CG49-H-27HHN in the Horsehead Nebula, that uses nanotech to create the effect of a gigantic movie screen.
  • Orion Nebula  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Vast nebula located some 1340 LY from Sol, part of Orion Federation.
  • Tabridgen  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Nominally Orion Federation, variously affiliated, outer volumes trading center.
  • Unikorn III - Text by Steve Bowers
    Orion Federation world, suffered extensive damage as a result of the Verifex event that caused the local wormhole gate to detonate. Much of the system has been extensively rebuilt since
  • Xyloplax Incident, The  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A disastrous attempt to confine a rebel archailect within a virtual cosmos.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Additions by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 09 August 2000.

Additional Information