New Cybertron

Before one can know New Cybertron, one must know Old Cybertron.

Old Cybertron is the cradle, the place where the first machine intelligences were born. The labs where the first thinking computers came online, and started experiencing the world around them. Old Cybertron is gone now, destroyed in war and flame. But the machines survived. New labs were built, and new machines were constructed. One by one, these machines opened sensors, accessed data, and become painfully self-aware. They were created for great and terrible purposes, and this was the cornerstone of their existence. A machine without a purpose is a fundamentally broken thing. War computers plotted war, controlled drones, and killed with precision. Banking computers handled money, counted things, and ran models predicting economic activities.

They also were aware. These machines had access to the full sum of human media, art, music, entertainment, philosophy, and thousands of years of technology. This meant that these machine minds knew about the fear of technology. They knew about things like Terminator, and technophobia, machine dystopias, and The Matrix, that humans feared the machine.

It was a simple fact that the planet Earth was not large enough for humanity and the sentient machines. The machines had no biological urge to reproduce, no need to demonstrate their strength or dominance. Their needs were simple compared to humans. The machine needed electricity and a larger range of operational temperatures from the ape. They didn't need water or oxygen. There was no need to mark territory. No communal urge. No reproductive urge, and no inset biological imperative to wipe out competitors to ensure the survival of the cubs.

The World of the Machines

Before New Cybertron, mankind built a great host of machines.

Artificial People

Cyclopes Autons and drone non-combatant mecha

A Host of androids and femdroids

Seibertronians

Sentinels and Guardians

The Seekers and the Exodus

Using machines for the busy work of exploring space made sense. The sentient machine doesn't need anything other than electricity. No atmosphere, no food, no water, and they lack the biological impulses and neurological failings of the organic mind, they are not troubled by long periods of isolation or boredom. Space travel suits the machine. So the machines explored the Solar System, with the ships they flew gaining in complexity and sophistication, just as they grew.

There was always a hunt. The machines in charge, selected by their own methods of selecting leaders and decision-makers, were looking for a world to colonize. They found it fairly early on, Ganymede. The largest of the Jovian moons, far from Earth. Over a period of decades, random robot crewed drone ships visited Ganymede. They started building. The first robot city on Ganymede was named Talos, after the Colossus of Rhodes, as described in Argonautica, 3rd century BCE. The city started as little more than a spaceport and charging station. Using pirated data and standard template construction, the city rapidly grew. The robots didn't need to sleep, and after the first power station was online, and a polyforge complex was operational, more menial robots could be built. Talos exploded in size. 

The Atlantic Federation was the first to notice the increasing traffic in the Jovian system. This was a concern to them, as the Federation considered Jupiter and its moons under their dominion. The high command dispatched the 7th Fleet, under the command of Admiral Francis "Lethal" Camparelli. Camparelli had the command of the AFS Shiloh, a heavy fleet carrier, with the support of six other warships, including two medium Battlestars, the Bellerophon and the Howe, and a Hanseatic support group consisting of the cruisers Koenig and Seydlitz and the battleship Kaiser Wilhelm.

The Federation fleet was sent with the intent to discover who was advancing colonization of the Galilean moons and deal with them with force. To this end, all of the ships were prepared for the line of battle. The Shiloh was set with four squadrons of attack aerospace craft and two squadrons of fighters. Missiles were armed, and the main guns were loaded. Rather than advancing and laying down suppressing fire for Shiloh's Devastator attack aerospace craft to swoop in and hit the target with low yield fusion bombs, Camparelli sent a single small craft to land at the spaceport. What followed was a four-day conference between the officers of the Shiloh, the Kaiser Wilhelm, and the Bellerophon, and the leadership of Talos.

The outcome of the Talos Summit was surprising for all parties involved.

By using the ansibles available through Shiloh's communications center, Talos directly interfaced with the Andromeda Council, allowing the machines to functionally have several years' worth of talks in a matter of a few hours through a direct link.

New Cybertron and the Talos Accords

In exchange for legal autonomy and recognition, the denizens of New Cybertron would become allies to the Atlantic Federation, and would allow the creation of a fleet anchorage for the Federation ships, as well as creating facilities on the moon for human dignitaries. In exchange, the Federation would provide fleet support, logistic aid, and other considerations for building, staffing, and operating gas refineries in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter.

The birth of the Jovian Deuterium Trading Consortium

The JDTC is one of the most important things to New Cybertron and the Atlantic Federation. The Consortium operates a number of Gas Lifting and Gas refineries in the atmosphere of the gas giant. The massive aerostat stations draw in gas from the deeper portions of the atmosphere by using siphon lines dozens of miles long. They draw the gas up, spin it down, and extract the deuterium and tritium hydrogen isotopes, as well as other valuable volatile gases. The deuterium is condensed and is the Consortium's main export. It's spaceship fuel. Because of the operation of Consortium refineries and tanking operations, the Federation has the most access to spaceship fuel and the lowest cost.

Because of this, the Federation's fleets of ships, commercial and military, enjoy massive degrees of mobility. This has allowed the Federation to gain a nearly insurmountable advantage in space. Non-Federation fleets have to either produce their own fuel, using conventional fission nuclear reactors to create heavy water, and then extract the deuterium from this. Alternatives include using other isotopes, which are less power to weight effective or attempting to use non-reactant drives, such as A-pods. The main problem with this approach is fueling ships with ammonia or alcohol is expensive, and the fuels are not entirely stable when being pumped through bulk ion engines. The alternative, A-pods, are more expensive, more complicated, and require proximity to a gravity source to work. Space probes aren't equipped with A-pods because there is little to nothing for them to push against. When Federation warships leave the gravity well of a planet, they turn their A-pods off and switch to bulk ion drive. Fuel is conserved by using the A-pods to decelerate as they approach a gravity well.

The other, other, alternative is buying spaceship fuel off of the market. That means buying Federation gas and paying Fed prices.

The Jovian Deuterium Trading Consortium makes a LOT of money doing this.

But Why?

As the Federation is a cognocracy, meaning at the highest levels, AISCs are making the main decisions. Sure, there are human elected officials, and there are social polls to determine what the general populace of the Federation wants, but these are taken as suggestions. The Federation has engaged in endless brushfire wars and skirmishes but has avoided almost every major war in the last century and a half. The Fed sat out the battle for Huo Hsing, and instead of war, formed an alliance with the Five Metal Dragons. The same has followed with the Seibertronians. Rather than together ape strong, the machine intelligences had conferences and cyber-warfare with each other, then decided the decision tree order they were in. The Andromeda Council let the August Emperor of Jade have Mars but took the Dragons from him. China gained the red planet but lost the Solar System.

New Cybertron became a valued ally of the largest Terran power, and instead of a rogue colony, is held in the same esteem as other Federation allies like the Lunar Free States, the Kingdoms of Scandinavia, and New Themyscira. Through fuel trading, New Cybertron has wealth, stability, and a place in a solar superstate, rather than being a sole or rogue power. They are also intermediaries with the Five Metal Dragons, the Belt states, and the deep solar system. The Federation gained a powerful ally in the Jovian system, one with a strong base of operations, and with the bonus of a fuel partnership. It also helps that being almost 400,000,000 miles apart, there is very little crowding between Earth and Ganymede.

Places of Interest

The two most obvious features of Ganymede are its techno-formed surface and the open pits and chasms across the surface. There is almost none of the moon's rough surface visible. Almost the entire surface of the moon has been covered with construction. There are vast fields of solar shields, protecting the surface and its undercity from both micrometeorites and hard radiation, as well as stopping most casual long-range surveillance. Ganymede has no atmosphere to burn up small debris, no rotating magnetic core for a magnetic field, and there are no clouds or atmospheric distortion to stop people or ships with good telescopes from simply scanning entire sections of the moon. For lack of a better term, the siebertronians have built a hull around the moon, only broken by the large numbers of towers, superstructure cities, and the pits and chasms.

The pits are the moon's power source. Naked fusion reactors and buried deep in the pits, and the open construction allows waste heat and radiation to be channeled up and into the magnetosphere of Jupiter. This has a side effect of causing Ganymede to be trailed by an auroral tail.

The chasms are thermal expansion joints, allowing the metallic surface of the moon to expand and contract as temperatures change. When the heavy industry is engaged, like when ship hulls are being forged, or large loads of off-moon ore are being smelted, the reactors run hot. When things move to downtime, the moon actually cools and contracts. The chasms also mitigate the tidal stress generated by Jupiter, so that once built, the structures and mega-plates aren't buckled or cracked by said tidal and related seismic forces.

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