|Alpha Centauri Quadrinary Star System|
|Alpha Centauri Binary||20||0|
|Primary Hyperspace Routes|
|Bei He er||45||54|
|New Washington||Habitable||Normal Grav||0.78995||AU from Star||1||Moon||Habitability Index||4||Mineral Index||90|
|New Earth||Habitable||Normal Grav||1.02995||AU from Star||1||Moon||Habitability Index||8||Mineral Index||91|
|New Antarctica||Habitable||Low Grav||1.50995||AU from Star||1||Moon||Habitability Index||3||Mineral Index||86|
|Planet||Gas Giant||Normal Grav||2.58995||AU from Star||4||Moons||Mineral Index||44|
|Planet||Gas Giant||Normal Grav||4.02995||AU from Star||7||Moons||Mineral Index||64|
|Planet||Gas Giant||Heavy Grav||5.94995||AU from Star||6||Moons||Mineral Index||93|
|Xin Shi||Tide-Locked Habitable||Normal Grav||0.43479||AU from Star||2||Moons||Habitability Index||7||Mineral Index||53|
|Novaya Rodina||Habitable||Normal Grav||0.67479||AU from Star||Habitability Index||4||Mineral Index||30|
|Planet||Far Rocky||Low Grav||1.15479||AU from Star||Mineral Index||5|
|Planet||Gas Giant||Normal Grav||1.87479||AU from Star||4||Moons||Mineral Index||98|
|Planet||Gas Giant||Normal Grav||3.31479||AU from Star||3||Moons||Mineral Index||11|
|Planet||Asteroid Belt||6.19479||AU from Star||Mineral Index||63|
|52||Percent Surface Water|
|-21||Degrees Celsius Average Temperature||- After the Shang bombarded it|
|Climate Type||Very Cold|
|1.06||Air Pressure at Sea Level||Standard|
|Society - Republic|
|Habitability - Average|
|Wealth - Abundant|
|Population - 40,000,000|
|Per-capita income - $360,000|
|Total Economy - $14,400,000,000,000|
|80||Percent Surface Water|
|29||Degrees Celsius Average Temperature|
|1.31||Air Pressure at Sea Level||Dense|
|Habitability - Paradise|
|Population - 600,000,000|
|Per-capita income - $600,000|
|Total Economy - $360,000,000,000,000|
|57||Percent Surface Water|
|-19||Degrees Celsius Average Temperature|
|Climate Type||Very Cold|
|0.62||Air Pressure at Sea Level||Thin|
|86||Mineral Index||Very Rich|
|Society||- Republic - Cybercracy|
|Habitability - Average|
|Population - 1,300,000|
|Per-capita income - $340,000|
|Total Economy - $442,000,000,000|
|69||Percent Surface Water|
|24||Degrees Celsius Average Temperature|
|1.08||Air Pressure at Sea Level||Standard|
|Society||- Technocracy - Socialist|
|Habitability - Promised Land|
|Population - 60,000,000|
|Per-capita income - $270,000|
|Total Economy - $16,200,000,000,000|
|59||Percent Surface Water|
|22||Degrees Celsius Average Temperature|
|1.15||Air Pressure at Sea Level||Standard|
|30||Mineral Index||Very Poor|
|Society||- Technocracy - Oligarchy|
|Habitability - Average|
|Population - 50,000,000|
|Per-capita income - $180,000|
|Total Economy - $9,000,000,000,000|
Alpha Centauri Fluff
My first trip to Alpha Centauri was an interesting experience. I have memories of it from the family members who’ve been there before, but it was the first time I actually saw the place. We spent a few weeks there, rebuilding our ships and fighters, so I had a lot of time to visit the planet. It’s a mix of every culture in the Western Alliance, and you get to see the best of them all there. It would be a good place to live, if I wanted to settle down.
We spent the first decade of our exploration to the stars moving around the Alpha Centauri double star system. Between the Alliance, the Russians, and the Chinese, we started five major colonies on four habitable worlds, in addition to over a dozen scientific outposts. Alpha Centauri became our gateway to the stars, a trial run for the technologies that would take us further than most of us ever dreamed.
Alpha Centauri was our first gateway to the stars. A year away via hyperspace, we had to plan very carefully before sending scouts or colony expeditions. If anything broke, they had to be able to do without or fix it on site. Our governments planned scientific and military outposts, where our best and our finest would prove that our nations were strongest. What we got were frontier towns that had more in common with each other than those back home realized.
Alpha Centauri has five habitable worlds, and by 2120 we had outposts or full colonies on every single one. We targeted New Earth, the most Earthlike of them, with two major colonies from China and the Western Alliance, and numerous smaller countries supported the colony missions in exchange for their own small holdings. Some failed, but most thrived by cooperating with their neighbors, no matter what country they came from. Our governments didn’t plan that.
For two centuries, the Western Alliance and the Chinese vied for control of New Earth through their surrogates in Landing City and Xin Xiang. They fought not with bullets but with land grabs, resource hoarding, and old-fashioned economic warfare. Both cities understood that war would be devastating, and signed the Centauri Treaty. When The War came, they held to the treaty, undoubtedly sparing every city on New Earth a truly brutal War.
The world we named New Antarctica was the coldest nominally-habitable world in the Alpha Centauri binary system when we discovered them. We never placed anything more than scientific outposts in the early decades of our space exploration as interstellar colony expeditions were too expensive to waste on a dirty little iceball like that after all. So even though politicians declared it as a fifth habitable world, the rest of humanity ignored it for decades.
Everybody knows that Alpha Centauri A has three habitable worlds, assuming variable values for habitability. But each of them has a moon that we’ve placed small colonies on, and there are four gas giants in the system with a total of twenty more major moons. As we know from the Terran system that leaves a lot of real estate to place small colonies on, and we’ve been there for nearly three centuries. And we’ve used it.
The moons of Alpha Centauri are some of the oldest colonies of mankind. Every major nation has placed their stamp on those moons, and most minor ones. Most of the colonies are domed of course. That goes with the territory after all. But there are some really big domes scattered around, and some towers that humble any Earth-built tower ever imagined. I’m talking kilometers in height. They are a sight to behold.
The original lunar colonies of Alpha Centauri were low to effectively zero gravity affairs. Some moons were little more than an anchor for an attached colony. Others dug massive underground warrens and filled them with air. Low gravity was the common factor. The acceptance of Peloran gravtech changed everything. Inexpensive gravtiles have made it easy to bring standard gravity to most extreme environments, dramatically increasing our colonization options.
The Alpha Centauri B system contains three terrestrial worlds, two of them easily habitable, two gas giants, an asteroid belt, and nine major moons. The asteroid belt, the remains of what might have been a planet were it not for the tidal forces of Cen A, grants easy access to raw materials. This, amongst many other factors, makes the star system the greatest center of production and mining short of the Terran system herself.
The Russians and Chinese colonized the planets and moons of Alpha Centauri B. Between the two polities, they basically control the entire system. Only a handful of colonies are from nations not affiliated with those two powerhouses, and none of them have official ties with the Western Alliance. Unofficial ties are a completely different matter of course. Even Russian and Chinese colonists love Alliance trade goods after all, especially the proscribed stuff.
The Chinese colonized Xin Shi in 2115. It is the closest planet to Alpha Centauri B, tide-locked with one side perpetually facing her sun. That side is far too hot for us to live normally, and even Africans prefer to avoid it. The far (dark) side of the planet is too cold for anyone but a Tibetan. Most people live within one hundred kilometers of the edge of the world, the ring where sunlight and starlight meet. They call it the Great Wall of Xin Shi.
The richest citizens of Xin Shi can do anything they want, whenever they want to. At any time of day, they can sunbathe on the sunny side, and then cross the line to see a fireworks display in nighttime. They can ski on bright warm waters, or down dark frozen mountains. It’s amazing the choices they have on that world. All because it is tide-locked to Alpha Centauri B, one face always to the sun and one always away. It is the jewel of the Chinese Empire.
Sometimes I’m surprised that humans live on Novaya Rodina at all. Historically, it all makes sense of course. It is the fourth of five habitable worlds, assuming flexible definitions of the term, in the Alpha Centauri Trinary star system, so of course we went there. And the Russians do have a rather flexible definition of the term habitable compared to the rest of us. They actually claim to like the world. Of course, they also claim to like Siberia.
When the big three alliances went to the stars, so did Constantinople. One of the little secrets that nobody talked about at the time was that Constantinople actually helped fund the early colony expeditions to Alpha Centauri, and most of the big ones that came later. In exchange, they secured rights to trading stations with very minor service fees. Even now, they’re very minor, but they have stations everywhere. Added all up, they make serious money.
The oldest Pre-Contact trade routes were the richest. Most of them started or went through Alpha Centauri due to how its three stars twisted hyperspace. Alpha Centauri hyperspace runs were the fastest way to get anywhere and Alpha Centauri was home to the first Extra-Solar orbital elevators and the largest warehouse complexes we had yet built. Alpha Centauri was the one place other than Earth every company that styled itself an interstellar player simply had to be at. That is why Alpha Centauri became such a large target during The War. Everyone wanted it.
Humanity lost more ships at Alpha Centauri then in any other system during The War. The warehouses, the elevators, the hyperspace runs, everything about it made Alpha Centauri more valuable than any system short of Terra itself. And some people considered it more important than that. The riches that flowed through it, the starships that could use it, and defenses that held it all made Alpha Centauri an amazing target for the Shang and the Chinese. They wanted to drive us out. We wanted the same thing. None of us got everything we wanted in that deal, and we lost far too many ships before the end came. But trade must continue, and so it did, and so it has.
The new Voyager Program sent AI-controlled probes into deep space on decades-long trips to star systems within twenty lightyears of our own. The nano probes traveled at 20% the speed of light in a swarm of thousands in search of habitable worlds that no long-range telescope could confirm. The first swarm reached Proxima Centauri in 2086 and the rest of the Alpha Centauri system in 2087. They beamed their findings back to Earth and continued to explore the area until humanity arrived two decades later. Yes. AIs were the first explorers of Alpha Centauri.
The original AIs maintain that they actually have the oldest colony in the Alpha Centauri star system. Their thousands of nano probes traveled through the system sailing the ocean of sunslight with their light sails. They explored and studied. They even mined the asteroids and built permanent bases where they could gather and discuss their findings. They built new probes and landed on the planets, and by the time the Chinese arrived they had a network on every major rock in the system. The AIs were first to colonize Alpha Centauri. The Chinese disagree of course.
Hyperphysicists sometimes call Alpha Centauri a quadrinary star system. There is the primary Binary System composed of Cen A and Cen B that most people think of as Alpha Cenaturi. Then there is Cen C, often times called Proxima Centauri due to its proximity to Earth. And there is Sol. Earth’s own sun. Earth, Proxima Centauri, and the Alpha Centauri Binary System are linked through hyperspace in ways that few other stars are. That is why starships can travel from Earth to Alpha Centauri so much faster than from Earth to any other star. But the link to all of those other stars flows through Alpha Centauri. That is what makes it our gateway to the stars.
We bypassed Proxima Centauri on our way to the Alpha Centauri Binary System. Proxima is a red dwarf star, and even the worst planets in the Binary System were far more easily habitable. Most of biological humanity does not even think about Proxima anymore. It is simply one of the countless number of stars where no one lives. It is a different story for cybernetic humanity. Proxima was the first star our earliest AI probe swarms explored, our first foothold in the stars. The AIs and their cybernetic descendents have never left. They built Proxima into their first Memory World, the location of their first independent storage facility for all the knowledge of their race. Proxima is a far more important system than most people realize, and that is why it is so heavily defended.