Station Zero

Type: Sequence-built Banks Orbital
Location: Zero System (15,000 lightyears away from the Earth)
Population : 180 million (estimated).
Dimensions: One million kilometres in diameter.
Age: 2 million years (estimated).
Environment: Varied, mostly temperate.
Allegiance: Station Zero Civilisation.

1 - Temporal Enclave

The origins of the megastructure known as Station Zero are rather vague but the consensus is that it has been built by the Sequence when their slower-than-light interstellar empire was at the height of its power. Despite having a habitable surface several times that of the Earth, the orbital bears very few Sequence ruins, as if the ancient civilisation had disappeared before the completion of the ringworld's infrastructure. About a thousand years ago a small Algorab Fleet translated in orbit of Station Zero after collective misjump had brought the eleven exploration ships ten centuries in the past. Most of the crew died when reintegrating realspace but about seven hundred people managed to reach the surface of the orbital. These survivors formed the core of a local human civilisation that knew from the get-go that it could not expect any rescue from the Earth.

2 - Station Zero Civilisation

When Station Zero was discovered during the Laniakea Expedition the local human population was totalling almost two hundred million inhabitants and had reached a technological level comparable to fossil-fuels less 1980s. This civilisation only occupies a small part of the orbital, estimated at 5% of its total surface. In fact, it is believed that the civilisation of Station Zero developed space technology not to reach for the stars but to travel within their immense ringworld by way of suborbital flights.

The human civilisation of Station Zero developed from the ground up as most of its technology and pre-existing traditions were lost with the original ships. Ancient tales of space travel and advanced techniques became myths and religions in this new society that held the rare Sequence ruins of the orbital in a mixture of respect and fear, reflecting the ideology of Algorab. A few individuals did retain fragments of past knowledge, however. Some of them retained the use of their monads and managed to pass on some of their genetic memories to their descendants, creating a dynasty of seers known as Augurs, capable of getting glimpses and images from the past through their residual monads. A few engineers kept the only working geometry drive of Zero Fleet and their descendent slowly turned the artefact into an object of worship and later of study.

3 - Contact Protocol

Despite Elodie Garro's best intentions, Laniakea's close inspection of the orbital did not go unnoticed. The Station Zero civilisation - or at least its nation-states with space launch capacities - are fully aware of the presence of Zero Fleet's ruins and did notice that a ship of similar design spent some time in the orbital's space. What they do not know is how much debate they are causing in human space at large. The Starmoth Initiative has taken the decision not to interfere with the civilisation of Station Zero, partially because it doesn't want to create social and cultural upheaval and partially because it has another, more pressing problem to solve in this system: Zero Fleet's reality-defying temporal jump. This opinion is not shared by everyone, far from this, and especially by Algorab which considers the Station Zero societies to be "their" people and intends to take as much information about the Sequence from them as they can.

As it stands the Starmoth Initiative firmly holds the system and prohibits any large-scale interference. Though Station Zero humans are aware of their off-world origins, only a select few (mostly academics and politicians) know the true extent of humankind's interstellar presence and Zero Fleet's fate. Both Algorab and Starmoth keep communications to a minimum but maintain a few isolated research stations in unsettled parts of the orbital. 

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