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The collective society of the Civilisation is distinct from the societies and cultures of its member states, existing in habitats that are controlled by the AI Netspace instead of regional governments. This began during the second phase of the New Grox Wars, as entire empires (the largest being those of the Jovar) were destroyed by Grox and the survivors had nowhere else to evacuate to. These evacuees were soon followed by immigrants from across the rest of the Civilisation.

Habitats Edit

The main feature of collective Civilisation society is the existence of inhabited megastructures, most of which are part of dyson swarms. Most individuals live on bishop rings, rotating at different rates and with different atmospheres to provide suitable artificial gravity and environments for numerous species. Single megastructures can be divided into cells and given artificial gravity so that the same bishop ring can contain a variety of simulated planetary environments, but this is much less common. Individuals who have no need for artificial gravity may live in larger (but spindly) non-rotating habitats.

Grox-Saucer Battle

A wargame between two Civilisation battlecraft, a Grox Warship style and an Apalos Eskes-type design, on a bishop ring designed for aerial battles.

All of the habitats are filled with utility fog containing Netspace technology, which can be used to shape the entirety of the environment to their inhabitants' will. This effectively results in them being post-scarcity utopias. Not only can inanimate objects and machines be made either out of or by the fog, but people often use it to make expendable copies of themselves, all directly linked to a single mind, in order to perform dangerous tasks and/or multiple tasks at once.

Although the megastructures and utility fog are controlled by the AIs, only the offensive weapons (primarily hyperspace missiles) are entirely under conscious control. Most systems, including defensive weaponry, are run autonomously by the Technoosphere's equivalent of an automatic nervous system; however, the AIs are aware of what is happening within the megastructures, and can assume direct and conscious command if they choose to.

Another effect of individuals' direct control over their local environment is that the Civilisation has no unifying culture. As there are billions of habitats, each one can be customised to fit a certain group's ideals of architecture, technology, landscape, and everything else. Megastructure environments include everything from nature reserves to modern visions of ancient civilisations, to direct copies of modern civilisations, to being covered by nothing but city (making what is essentially a small, ring-shaped ecumenopolis, made more feasible than planetary ecumenopoleis by the habitat shapes and surface area-to-volume ratios), as well as completely novel ideas.

Adventurers Edit

Arbor Vitae

Arbor Vitae, an Adventurer.

Although individuals who wish for adrenaline rushes can visit locations in habitats with arenas and other venues for violent sports, and those who enjoy exploring the universe can be immersed in completely realistic holographic simulations of alien environments via direct hyperspatial links to utility fog clouds on distant planets, for many people, these are no substitute for the excitement gained by a real sense of risk and of venturing into the unknown, and even of doing something good for the universe as a whole (although these too can be simulated with the correct neurological manipulation, such treatments are not popular with everyone).

For this reason, Apalos set up the opportunity to be an "Adventurer", inspired by the space captains of fledgeling interstellar nations, in which inhabitants of Civilisation habitats can offer their services to the AI Netspace. If they are selected after a careful screening process, they can choose from a wide selection of possible "missions". These missions are of varying usefulness to the AIs, primarily being created to serve the Adventurers' tastes, and many are also exceptionally vague (e.g. "explore uncharted planets in [large region of space]"; "perform bounty hunting work for [certain empire]") in order to give the Adventurer as much free reign as possible.

The Adventurer is then given a choice of what equipment to take on the mission. Many take a cloud of AI utility fog in order to give themselves all of the best possible defences, armaments, and other gadgets, while others choose to have nothing more than their own natural abilities and a cheap starfighter waiting for them once they have finished their task. In missions that are important to the AIs, no Adventurer will be allowed to attempt it without accepting an "appropriate" amount of technology.

Crime Edit

In a society such as that of the Civilisation megastructures, the only things designated as "crimes" are violations of the ethical principles imposed by the AIs and by the cultures of each individual habitat, the former of which primarily focus around preserving free will; in rare cases, there may also be political crimes against the Civilisation itself. Crimes, along with other dangers and threats to peace, can usually be stopped by the AIs taking control of nearby utility fog to destroy the threat or deprive it of the ability to take any further action. Autonomous systems also prevent many crimes, such as using a weapon made by the utility fog to commit murder.

In many cases, particularly for crimes that the AIs deem to be of low threat, or for dealing with related activity away from the habitats, Adventurers may be offered missions to deal with the criminals involved.

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