|Location||Third planet of brightest star in the Alpha Centauri System|
|Coordinates|| X: -4918754|
|Climate||stable, frigid, anaerobic|
|Population|| ~ 350 000 000 000 Centaurans|
~ 150 other
|Government and Economy|
|Government||Centauran Freehold (consensus-based dictatorship)|
|Gross World Product (GWP)||N/A|
Centauri, a planet found in the Alpha Centauri System, is the chilly (-120°F, -84°C) homeworld of the Centauran species. Its temperature and anaerobic atmosphere make it uninhabitable to water-based life forms. The surface of Centauri is covered in city-sculptures such as the capital Shalyaris, which houses the international spaceport and the main office of the CRI. Foreigners are officially welcomed, but the complete lack of privacy afforded them tends to discourage emigration and tourism.
The atmosphere conists of primarily carbon dioxide and nitrogen, with ammonia and trace gases. Although Centauri lacks the temperature-moderating influence of oceans, sunlight falling on the planet is typically insufficient to drive major weather systems. Thin ammonia clouds can precipitate a light dusting of snow, while carbon dioxide frost may sublime in low-lying areas. Small pools of liquid ammonia with dissolved minerals can also form where temperatures are high.
Centauri has three largely separate types of ecology: natural, agricultural, and urban. Wholly natural environments are found only in the several hundred nature reserves in carefully-chosen locations around the planet. Most are surrounding mountains and sites that might otherwise be more difficult to develop. These nature reserves are filled with a profusion of colorful vegetation and small wildlife and contained by a light mesh fences of sufficient height to retain flying creatures. Agriculture is not as important to the photosynthetic Centaurans as it might be to other species, but it does have vital roles to play. Centauran mineral suppliments, nitrogen gas, decorative objects, and certain types of nanotube stock are examples of products more efficiently grown than manufactured. Along with agriculture, urban environments account for most life on Centauri. City parks and decorative gardens in the eaves of dwellings are home to a few hardy and low-maintenance or beautiful and well-loved species. The most numerous species of large animal life, by far, is the Centaurans themselves, whose population is in the hundreds of billions.
Millenia of construction and re-construction have left the surface of the Centauri smoother than one might expect for a planet with such weak forces of erosion. Landforms consist of mainly low hills and shallow basins, though a few mountain ranges do exist. Outside of small wildlife refuges, the planetary crust has been thoroughly reshaped by habitation and industry. Available mineral resources, with the exceptions of iron, nickel, and heavy metals, have been evenly redistributed into architecture and living things.
Excepting large wildlife refuges and urban parks, the surface of Centauri is fully developed. The outer few hundred feet of the crust might be described as a foam, so thickly is it laced with residences, industries (including agriculture), and observatories. The lines and arcs of mass-transit systems and shipping lanes streak the surface in an orderly fashion. Vertically, population is concentrated at the city-sculptures of the surface; horizontally, the population density is nearly the same in all locations. What little geothermal and tectonic activity existed has been brought entirely under Centauran control by massive artificial constructs underground. Melted craters left by the Kretonian bombardment have been built over, but not yet entirely eliminated.
The CRI is established in Shalyaris in the year 11832 BCE. In 11339 BCE, after millenia of making do with the resources of the homeworld, the first automated cargo hauler returns refined metal from Slow. In contravention of inter-province agreements, adherents of a philosophy known as Naturalism abandon mass-produced technology and settle in wildlife refuges in 8248 BCE.
Conflict and modern governmentEdit
A paper published in 8107 BCE triggers the consolidation of provinces under fifteen regional governments, resulting in a strong dichotomy between population control methods. Both groups advocate euthanasia of some undesirables, but Harvesters advocate retention of talent and resources by euthanasia of young and suicide of less-useful elderly, while Collectors advocate retention of genetic diversity and knowledge by encouraging communities to permit suicide only to a more random selection of individuals and forbidding other euthanasia. In 7409 BCE, Collector governments end a period of cold war and proliferation by launching a rapid coordinated assault of propaganda, re-education, and telepathic attack in which they successfully subdue their opposition. With new lawmakers and educators in place, the prohibition against infanticide and purely age-related suicide is adopted quickly. Acceptance of government-requested suicide is attained more slowly; the citizens, over the decades, come to identify more strongly with the leaders whose funerals the Rites of Cycling commemorate. Organization of a planetary government is completed in 7003BCE when a council of electors, chosen from universities by the regional governors, selects the new heads of government: Solon (Chief Executive) Shodkenhintekgu and Xeter (Assistant Chief Executive) Rintanvaryimeh.
In 6522 BCE the last few instances of Naturalist philosophy are eliminated, but at the cost of several lives that could have been productive members of society. The resulting debates and literature begin to firmly cement the value of pacifism in Centauran belief, even as the existence of any group to fight against passes into history. The first crew to travel outside of Centauri orbit arrive at Proxima Centauri and begin to study its activity during a major eruption in 5493 BCE. The flares prove more dangerous for the scientists than predicted. Despite the fact that they return with only minor radiation damage, public opinion remains set against the value of using crewed exploratory ships.
Centauran-Castori first contactEdit
Centauran astronomers detect the earliest radio transmissions from Akripa and confirm in 4135 BCE that the signals are indeed from an alien intelligence. Centaurans appointed by the newly-formed Council of Interstellar Relations arrive in the Akripa system in 4067 BCE, where they begin orbital observation in preparation for the landing of a diplomatic package in 4059 BCE and establishing long-distance communication. On the appointed day in 4057 BCE, researchers and diplomats land just outside of a major city and are greeted by a cautious but welcoming group of Akripa's diplomats. As the trade between worlds develops, Centauri is only very slightly affected, but the change in its comfortable rate of technological and philosophical advancement leads to growing unease with the relationship. A brief civil war in one of the Akripan nations, apparently aggravated by the introduction of Centauran technologies, proves to be the last straw; Centaurans begin to flee the system in 4026 BCE, leaving only orbital recording instruments.
Beginning in 3975 BCE, Interstellar Relations agrees to a rigid policy of severely restricted communication and trade, banning all other contact with the Akripans until they achieved reliable interstellar flight on their own. Those already in the Centauri system are politely but quickly deported. In addition, plans are laid to insure that Centauri will never again interfere with extraterrestrial intelligences without utilizing the greatest caution. These include measures to disguise the artificial nature of communications within the Centauri system and with scientific probes.
Human-Centauri first contactEdit
The reception in 1899 CE of signals from humanity's experiments with radio mark the beginning of a wait for first contact. The Human-Zangali War comes and goes, and Earth sends out its first explorers to another star. They are greeted in the Centauri system, and in 2152 CE propose an alliance with the Solar Consortium.
In 2591 CE, a full thirty-eight years after the Vanguard military is established, Stellar Consortium diplomats come to the agreement that, in the event of armed conflict, Centauri will provide logistics and intelligence support but no more. 2626 CE sees the construction of vessels equipped with the OtherSpace Drive, primarily designed for astronomy and for exchanges with the Consortium. Sublight propulsion and well-known designs for lightspeed drives remain the preferred choices for travel. Eight years later, a crewed FTL science mission mission is launched. An OS Drive ship with a small crew led by Aslataratyxltarl takes an exploratory mission on a spiraling path, visiting a number of star systems that include the planets of G'ahnlo, Castor, Demaria, Mars, and Sivad.
A small group including two Centaurans is captured by the Ri'Kammi and informed that their peoples will willingly fight an unspecified enemy or be possessed by the Hivers and serve the same end. Given with the option of allying with Okaskatitch and the B'hiri, Dahanovoheanipeymeq participates in the effort to rid the galaxy of the Ri'Kammi in 2650 CE. The tragic violation of pacifism ends with virtual Ri'Kammi genocide. As a gesture of consolation, B'hiri provide the Centaurans with the means to produce their own OtherSpace drives, on the condition that the Centaurans can provide the means of production to no other race. The new OS Drives function as expected, but are incorrectly believed to have no Ri'Kammi operator. Centauri develops in 2650 CE the Facet class scout, optimized for speed and sensor strength. (Foreign designs based on Facet II models are still a respected choice for non-combat reconnaissance.)
The Brighter Horizons scandal in 2651 CE, in which Consortium President Eduard Ocartus II and General Volstov of the Vanguard military, temporarily leads Centauri to both withdraw from the Consortium and withdraw access to replacement parts for OtherSpace drives. As the issue is resolved, the Centauri government returns to the organization. Representative Dahanovoheanipeymeq is elected president, though the pacifist leader fails to prevent the Consortium from ousting Sivadian leader Laurence Montevedo through an assault termed Operation Freedom's Flame.
The Centauri government looks into the proposal of Oswald Cottington when he suggests in 2651 CE that a colony vessel, Sanctuary, can be used to escape from the fleet of Kretonians intent on revenge and conquest. Circumventing the random lottery that Cottington puts in place to choose residents for his vessel, the Centauri government carefully distributes the winning tickets of its citizens. Several thousand Centaurans move into a habitat in the Winter Dome of Sanctuary and construct New Shalyaris as a representation of home as the vessel begins its accidental journey into Hiverspace.
Sanctuary notwithstanding, the primary strategy of Centauri remains peaceful support to its allies while waiting to see how the Kretonians proceed. The Kretonians proceed on their course of conquest, cutting off Centauri from the remains of the Consortium while focusing their efforts on worlds with armed forces and more hospitable climates.
As a Kretonian fleet masses in the Centauri system, the government continues to offer no active resistance and even makes diplomatic overtures to the occupiers, though these are fatally rebuffed. In 2652 CE, the Kretonians prepare for landing with an intense orbital bombardment, the scars of which are still present underneath some metropolitan areas. Centauri, in exchange for the lives of is citizens, agrees to give up its government to the Kretonians and to not attempt psionic pressuring of the occupiers. The occupiers quickly discover that when they limit their fear tactics, Centaurans become more amenable to pragmatic reasoning and servitude than some other of the conquered peoples.
In 2702 CE, Kretonians bring to Quaquan a force of carefully controlled Centauran slaves for the purpose of hunting and killing Mystics. Heavy resistance and guerilla tactics on the part of Qua results in the death of many Mystics and Centaurans, but also of Kretonians. The campaign is judged unproductive and abandoned before the Mystics can be eradicated.
Centauri begins a strong and concerted, but relatively nonviolent, attack against the Kretonians only as it becomes clear in 2806 CE that the Nall-led rebellion will defeat the Kretonians. Rebels visiting the Centauri dissuade the residents with threats of violence from keeping the few remaining Kretonian soldiers for study.
Isolation and Ri'Kammi occupationEdit
The planetary government is re-established simultaneously with plans to exclude all potential threats from the star system. In 2815 CE, it begins constructing massive arrays of defensive weaponry, particularly around Centauri, and outbound communication is cut off entirely. Centaurans declare their territory off limits to all outsiders in 2820 CE by explaining that any object foreign to the system will not leave it intact. The subsequent vaporization of several vessels serves as a dramatic proof.
A Centauran sent to Sagittarius to investigate that planet in 2845 CE becomes possessed by a Ri'Kammi tendril, and then serves as a conduit for other Ri'Kammi to possess certain influential Centaurans upon its return. They control primarily scientists at the CRI and military leaders in the Crystal Path, manipulating them into creating a fleet of warships. When Sanctuary returns to Normalspace in 3000 CE, its Centauran residents are rejected by the homeworld. The battleship Mindshard and twelve destroyer-class escorts of Centauri's Crystal Path attack Sanctuary and are defeated by a multinational defensive fleet that includes the surprise addition of a Nall destroyer.
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