Cerdian Generation Fleet

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The Cerdian Generation Fleet (translated, Third Generation Fleet)was the name of a group of self-sustaining deep-space sapient starships developed by the Transition Protectorate. During the Protectorate’s thousand-year dalliance with cybernetic technology, members of the Protectorate frequently restructured themselves into spacecraft to traverse the vacuum, but would return to terrestrial form upon arriving at a new world. The Cerdian Generation Fleet was the third attempt by the Protectorate to create a community that permanently lived in the expanse of space.

Creation

The first two attempts at creating a space-borne communities suffered from the LC CNO-4b’s inability to detect radiation until it has a deleterious effect on their biology. The first community perished in the radiation belts surrounding their home planet. The second succumbed to the ionizing radiation from the wake of a solar flare in their home system. Without a means of detecting this radiation, space was simply too dangerous an environment for the Protectorate to occupy permanently.

A few hundred years into the Protectorate’s experimentations with technological devices, they discovered that some of their devices reacted to ionizing radiation. By wiring these devices cybernetically to their bodies, they were able to perceive the dangerous radiation that deemed the first two voidborne communities. A number of a volunteers decided to make a third attempt to live their lives in deep space, adopting the radiation-detecting technology into their own bodies.

Each member of the Cerdian Generation Fleet was equipped with a number of cybernetic implants that detected ionizing radiation. A low levels, it was a barely noticeable itch to the individual, but as it grew, it became harder to ignore, and eventually very painful.

Early Experiences

The Cerdian Generation Fleet experienced considerable success it its first few centuries of operation. The average member of the Fleet lived eighty years, and would produce two to four children in their lifespan, and within 200 years the six original “ships” had spawned a fleet over 100,000 strong. For a brief period, the Cerdian Generation Fleet represented the largest single-polity spaceforce in the Bottlenose Nebula.

Members of the Generation fleet were responsible for much of the Transisition Protectorate’s exploration of local space, including location 3 Zuuvok Goliath sites, and first discovering the world of Byssil, which would play a critical role in the eventual collapse of the Protectorate.

The Starlifters

Approximately 200 years after the formation of the Cerdian Generation Fleet, they came across a subluminal species in the Cipher Volume. Little is known about this species, as the Transition Protectorate was the only civilization to contact them. From what little is known, they seemed to be an protoinfomorphic civilization that was primarily stellar-based; that is, they reproduced by removing material directly from the coronas of stars and built new members of their civilization from that matter. For this reason, this civilization is referred to in the literature as The Starlifters.

The Transition Protectorate’s shaky relationship with technology had no point of reference for protoinfomorphic lifeforms, but the Protectorate’s members interpreted them as just another piece of technology. They apparently kidnapped a large number of the Starlifters and experimented on them, as they had with all other technology they discovered. To the great misfortune of the Protectorate, they succeeded in advancing at least one of the Starlifters to a fully self-realized Infomorphic Lifeform.

Abuse of the Infomorph

The infomorphic lifeform that the Cerdian Fleet created was still viewed by its creators as just another piece of technology, and was not afforded any of rights normally afforded to an infomorph. It was experimented on, denied sensory data, had individual components backed up and reset, and otherwise was abused in ways that would be considered high crimes in most interstellar nations.

Individual members of the fleet added copies of the infomorph to themselves as cybernetic implants. Not understanding the technology, they simply duplicated the entire lifeform into every device, resulting in infomorphic clones trapped in individual sensors, or similarly tiny accommodations.

The AI was eventually returned to the Transition Protectorate homeworlds, where it initiated a centuries-long revolution in artificial intelligence and infomorphic technology that would twist and ultimately destroy the the Protectorate. Unfortunately, all subsequent AI’s were copies of the the twisted and deranged infomorphs the Cerdian Generation Fleet had brought back.

Fate of the Fleet

Possibly due to the influence of the infomorph, records of the Cerdian Fleet start to get more fragmentary after the Protectorate starts its infomorphic boom. The last records make it clear, though, that the remaining members of the fleet suffered greatly once the infomorph was widely deployed in their cybernetic devices. Fleet members would suddenly be racked with extreme pain, sometimes driving them to seek self-destruction. It seems either they never made the connection that the infomorph was the likely cause of these problems, or they didn’t have a way to purge it from the implants that kept them alive.

Regardless of the details, the last reference we have to the Cerdian Fleet is from 216 years after they located the Starlifters. At the time, only a few dozen members of the fleet remained in three pods, and they were unable to communicate over interstellar distances. The eventual fate of the these three pods remains unknown.