Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

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Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is a turn-based strategy computer game, where the player controls one of several human factions on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri. It is similar to the Civilization series of games. However, being a science fiction game set over 100 years in the future from the time of its design, the designers had wide latitude to develop a backstory to go along with the game, which they enriched with quotes and fictional works by the game's seven playable leaders, as well as their followers and several real-world thinkers and writers.

An expansion to the game was later released. Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire doubled the number of playable factions, and incorporated new technologies and secret projects into the game. The expansion has become considerably rare even compared to the original.

University of Planet[edit]

  • The substructure of the universe regresses infinitely towards smaller and smaller components. Behind atoms we find electrons, and behind electrons, quarks. Each layer unraveled reveals new secrets, but also new mysteries.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted the Fruit"
  • This unusual specimen is not so much a classic particle as a connector--a kind of string attaching two particles. As distance increases the connective power becomes attenuated, but if it is cut the power vanishes: forever.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted the Fruit"
  • In one moment, Earth; in the next, Heaven.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted the Fruit"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Space Elevator"
  • There are two kinds of scientific progress: the methodical experimentation and categorization which gradually extend the boundaries of knowledge, and the revolutionary leap of genius which redefines and transcends those boundaries. Acknowledging our debt to the former, we yearn, nonetheless, for the latter.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "Address to the Faculty"
  • Man's unfailing capacity to believe what he prefers to be true rather than what the evidence shows to be likely and possible has always astounded me. We long for a caring Universe which will save us from our childish mistakes, and in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary we will pin all our hopes on the slimmest of doubts. God has not been proven not to exist, therefore he must exist.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov

(Heard after researching Intellectual Integrity)

  • Begin with a function of arbitrary complexity. Feed it values, "sense data". Then, take your result, square it, and feed it back into your original function, adding a new set of sense data. Continue to feed your results back into the original function ad infinitum. What do you have? The fundamental principle of human consciousness.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "The Feedback Principle"
  • The first living thing to go through the device was a small white rat. I still have him, in fact. As you can see, the damage was not so great as they say.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "See How They Run"
  • The popular stereotype of the researcher is that of a skeptic and a pessimist. Nothing could be further from the truth! Scientists must be optimists at heart, in order to block out the incessant chorus of those who say "It cannot be done."
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, University Commencement
  • The Academician's private residences shall remain off-limits to the Genetic Inspectors. We possess no retroviral capability, we are not researching retroviral engineering, and we shall not allow this Council to violate faction privileges in the name of this ridiculous witch hunt!"
    • Fedor Petrov, Vice Provost for University Affairs

(Heard after researching Retroviral Engineering)

  • What actually transpires beneath the veil of an event horizon? Decent people shouldn't think too much about that."
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted The Fruit"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Singularity Inductor"
  • The genetic code does not, and cannot, specify the nature and position of every capillary in the body or every neuron in the brain. What it can do is describe the underlying fractal pattern which creates them.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "Nonlinear Genetics"
  • Remember, genes are NOT blueprints. This means you can't, for example, insert "the genes for an elephant's trunk" into a giraffe and get a giraffe with a trunk. There are no genes for trunks. What you CAN do with genes is chemistry, since DNA codes for chemicals. For instance, we can in theory splice the native plants' talent for nitrogen fixation into a terran plant.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "Nonlinear Genetics"
  • To map the very stuff of life; to look into the genetic mirror and watch a million generations march past. That, friends, is both our curse and our proudest achievement. For it is in reaching to our beginnings that we begin to learn who we truly are.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "Address to the Faculty"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Human Genome Project"
  • A brave little theory, and actually quite coherent for a system of five or seven dimensions -- if only we lived in one.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "Now We Are Alone"

(Heard after researching "Superstring Theory")

  • We have reached an informational threshold which can only be crossed by harnessing the speed of light directly. The quickest computations require the fasted possible particles moving along the shortest paths. Since the capability now exists to take our information directly from photons traveling molecular paths, the final act of the information revolution will soon be upon us.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted the Fruit"

(Heard after researching "Optical Computers")

  • Time travel in the classic sense has no place in rational theory, but temporal distortion does exist on the quantum level, and more importantly it can be controlled.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted the Fruit"
  • Time dilates as the speed of light approaches. To the extent that light consists of particles, it is in its own way, timeless. Through simple perturbations of the temporal manifold, we can refract or repel photons most efficiently.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "Now We Are Alone"
  • Imagine the entire contents of the planetary datalinks, the sum total of human knowledge, blasted into the Planetmind's fragile neural network with the full force of every reactor on the planet. That is our last-ditch attempt to win humanity a reprieve from extinction at the hands of an awakened alien god.
    • Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "Planet Speaks"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Voice of Planet"
    • Allows all players to begin the race to a Transcendence victory

Lord's Believers[edit]

  • Some would ask, how could a perfect God create a universe filled with so much that is evil. They have missed a greater conundrum: why would a perfect God create a universe at all?
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "But for the Grace of God"
  • The righteous need not cower before the drumbeat of human progress. Though the song of yesterday fades into the challenge of tomorrow, God still watches and judges us. Evil lurks in the datalinks as it lurked in the streets of yesteryear. But it was never the streets that were evil.
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "A Blessed Struggle"
  • At atrociously high energy states, the properties of matter change subtly and new miracles become possible. The Plasma Accretion process is now dangerous and difficult to control, but its products will soon become commonplace in our society.
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "The Lord Works"
  • As distances vanish and the people can flow freely from place to place, society will cross a psychological specific heat boundary and enter a new state. No longer a solid or liquid, we have become as a vapor and will expand to fill all available space. And like a gas, we shall not be easily contained.
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "But for the Grace of God"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Planetary Transit System"
  • Beware, you who seek first and final principles, for you are trampling the garden of an angry God and he awaits you just beyond the last theorem.
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "But for the Grace of God"
  • The Morgans fear what may not be purchased, for a trader cannot comprehend a thing that is priceless.
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "The Collected Sermons"
  • And so we return again to the holy void. Some say this is simply our destiny, but I would have you remember always that the void EXISTS, just as surely as you or I. Is nothingness any less a miracle than substance?
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "We must Dissent"
  • Men in their arrogance claim to understand the nature of creation, and devise elaborate theories to describe its behavior. But always they discover in the end that God was quite a bit more clever than they thought.
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "We must Dissent"
  • Will we next create false gods to rule over us? How proud we have become, and how blind.
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "We must Dissent"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "Self-Aware Colony"
  • And what of the immortal soul in such transactions? Can this machine transmit and reattach it as well? Or is it lost forever, leaving a soulless body to wander the world in despair?
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "We must Dissent"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "Bulk Matter Transmitter"
  • Already we have turned all of our critical industries, all of our material resources, over to these...things...these lumps of silver and paste we call nanorobots. And now we propose to teach them intelligence? What, pray tell, will we do when these little homunculi awaken one day announce that they have no further need for us?
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "We must Dissent"
  • Go through, my children! The time of miracles is upon us. Let us cast off sin and walk together to the Garden of the Lord. With God's mercy we shall meet again on the other side.
    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "Last Testament"

Spartan Federation[edit]

  • Superior training and superior weaponry have, when taken together, a geometric effect on overall military strength. Well-trained, well-equipped troops can stand up to many more times their lesser brethren than linear arithmetic would seem to indicate.
    • Spartan Battle Manual
  • Information, the first principle of warfare, must form the foundation of all your efforts. Know, of course, thine enemy. But in knowing him do not forget above all to know thyself. The commander who embraces this totality of battle shall win even with inferior force.
    • Spartan Battle Manual
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Command Nexus"
  • Against such abominations, we organize our defenses on the principle that one strong and able mind can shield the many.
    • Spartan Battle Manual
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Neural Amplifier"
  • The klaxon began to wail, but we felt the reassuring tingle of the Tachyon Field crackling to life around us, encasing the entire base in its impenetrable glow.
    • Spartan Kel, "The Fall of Sparta"
  • I don't know but I've been told, Deirdre's got a Network Node. Likes to press the on-off switch, Dig that crazy Gaian witch!
    • Spartan Barracks March
  • Man has killed man from the beginning of time, and each new frontier has brought new ways and new places to die. Why should the future be different?
    • Col. Corazon Santiago "Planet: A Survivalist's Guide"
  • Proper care and education for our children remains a cornerstone of our entire colonization effort. Children not only shape our future; they determine in many ways our present. Men and women work harder knowing their children are safe and close at hand, and never forget that, with children present, parents will defend their home to the death!
    • Col. Corazon Santiago, "Planet: A Survivalist's Guide"

(Accompanies the construction of Children's Creche)

  • I have often been asked: if we have traveled between the stars, why can we not launch the simplest of orbital probes? These fools fail to understand the difficulty of finding the appropriate materials on this Planet, of developing adequate power supplies, and creating the infrastructure necessary to support such an effort. In short, we have struggled under the limitations of a colonial society on a virgin planet. Until now.
    • Col. Corazon Santiago, "Planet: A Survivalist's Guide"
  • It is altogether fitting that we who have sailed the deeps of space now return again to the sea. This is in many ways a water planet, and it can be ruled from the waves. With sea power, rugged terrain can be bypassed and enemy strongholds isolated. Once naval superiority is achieved, Planet is ours for the taking.
    • Col. Corazon Santiago, "Planet: A Survivalist's Guide"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Maritime Control Center"
  • Industrial Grade Nano-Paste, one of Planet's most valuable commodities, can also be one of its most dangerous. Simply pour out several canisters, slide in a programming transponder, and step well away while the stuff cooks. In under an hour the nano will use available materials to assemble a small factory, a hovertank, or enough rifles to equip a regiment.
    • Col. Corazon Santiago, "Planet: A Survivalist's Guide"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Nano Factory"
  • A ship at sea is its own world. To be the captain of a ship is to be the unquestionable ruler of that world and requires all of the leadership skills of a prince or minister.
    • Col. Corazon Santiago, "Leadership and the Sea"
  • Our scientists now use fractal theory to "teach" the molecules to assume, or resume, a particular form. Substances of amazing strength become simple once the formulae are properly computed.
    • Col. Corazon Santiago, "The Council of War"
  • We shall take only the greatest minds, the finest soldiers, the most faithful servants. We shall multiply them a thousandfold and release them to usher in a new era of glory.
    • Col. Corazon Santiago, "The Council of War"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "Cloning Vats"
  • Until now the battle had been proceeding smoothly. The enemy was outflanked and had been driven from the reactor housing, but against the reactor itself the matter cannons were strangely ineffective. Rounds simply... stopped. In mid-air.
    • Col. Corazon Santiago, "A Tactical History of Sparta"
  • Air power rests at the apex of the first triad of victory, for it combines Mobility, Flexibility, and Initiative.
    • Spartan Battle Manual

(Heard after researching "Doctrine: Air Power")

  • Mary had a little lamb, Little lamb little lamb, Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow.
    • Assassins' Redoubt Final Transmission
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Dream Twister"
  • A handsome young cyborg named Ace, wooed women at every base, but once ladies glanced at his special enhancement, they vanished with nary a trace.
    • Barracks Graffiti, Sparta Command
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Cyborg Factory"
  • He held his arm too stiffly, and so was thrown back repeatedly, until at last I seized his forearm and snapped it back against itself. His training suffered while the arm healed, of course, but I felt this was a lesson he must learn early, and well.
    • Spartan Kel, "Honing the Ki"

(Heard after researching "Doctrine: Flexibility")

Peacekeeping Forces[edit]

  • Our ancestors harnessed the power of a sun, and so again shall we.
    • Comissioner Pravin Lal, "The Science of Our Fathers"
  • I loved my chosen. How then to face the day when she left me? So I took from her body a single cell, perhaps to love her again.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "Time of Bereavement"
  • I think, and my thoughts cross the barrier into the synapses of the machine - just as the good doctor intended. But what I cannot shake, and what hints at things to come, is that thoughts cross back. In my dreams the sensibility of the machine invades the periphery of my consciousness. Dark. Rigid. Cold. Alien. Evolution is at work here, but just what is evolving remains to be seen.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "Man and Machine"
  • Until quite recently spider silk had the highest tensile strength known to man. And the name silksteel pays homage to the arachnid for good reason.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Scientific Survey"
  • As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Declaration of Rights"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Planetary Datalinks"
  • In the years since our arrival, we have foolishly disrupted so many of Planet's ecosystems that entire species may vanish without our ever having understood, or even known them. We must halt this plunder, and halt it immediately, for our own survival as a species depends on our ability to strike a balance on this world.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "Mind Worm, Mind Worm"
  • The Mind Worms are the natural defenses of the living Planet--the white blood cells, if you will. In a world in which unassimilated thought represents danger, the Mind Worm seeks out concentrations of sentient mental energy and destroys them, ruthlessly and efficiently.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "Mind Worm, Mind Worm"
  • I hold a scrap of paper in the darkness and light it. I watch it burn bright and curl, disappearing into nothingness, and the heat burns my fingers. Where has it gone? What has it become? I cannot shake the feeling that I have witnessed a form of transcendence.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "The Convergence"
  • The entire character of a base and its inhabitants can be absorbed in a quick trip to the Rec Commons. The sweaty arenas of Fort Legion, the glittering gambling halls of Morgan Bank, the sunny lovers' trysts in Gaia's High Garden, or the somber reading rooms of U.N. Headquarters. Even the feeding bay at the Hive gives stark insight into the sleeping demons of Yang's communal utopia.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "A Social History of Planet"
  • Scientific theories are judged by the coherence they lend to our natural experience and the simplicity with which they do so. The grand principle of the heavens balances on the razor's edge of truth.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "A History of Science"
  • Once a man has changed the relationship between himself and his environment, he cannot return to the blissful ignorance he left. Motion, of necessity, involves a change in perspective.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "A Social History of Planet"
  • The Warrior's bland acronym, MMI, obscures the true horror of this monstrosity. Its inventors promise a new era of genius, but meanwhile unscrupulous power brokers use its forcible installation to violate the sanctity of unwilling human minds. They are creating their own private army of demons.
    • Commissioner Pravin Lal, "Report on Human Rights"

Human Hive[edit]

  • Einstein would turn over in his grave. Not only does God play dice, the dice are loaded.
    • Chairman Sheng-ji Yang
  • We hold life to be sacred, but we also know the foundation of life consists in a stream of codes not so different from the successive frames of a watchvid. Why then cannot we cut one code short here, and start another there? Is life so fragile that it can withstand no tampering? Does the sacred brook no improvement?
    • Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Dynamics of Mind"
  • I maintain nonetheless that yin-yang dualism can be overcome. With sufficient enlightenment we can give substance to any distinction: mind without body, north without south, pleasure without pain. Remember, enlightenment is a function of willpower, not of physical strength.
    • Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Essays on Mind and Matter"
  • Technological advance is an inherently iterative process. One does not simply take sand from the beach and produce a Dataprobe. We use crude tools to fashion better tools, and then our better tools to fashion more precise tools, and so on. Each minor refinement is a step in the process, and all of the steps must be taken.
    • Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Looking God in the Eye"
  • Why do you insist that the human genetic code is "sacred" or "taboo"? It is a chemical process and nothing more. For that matter -we- are chemical processes and nothing more. If you deny yourself a useful tool simply because it reminds you uncomfortably of your mortality, you have uselessly and pointlessly crippled yourself.
    • Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Looking God in the Eye"
  • If our society seems more nihilistic than that of previous eras, perhaps this is simply a sign of our maturity as a sentient species. As our collective consciousness expands beyond a crucial point, we are at last ready to accept life's fundamental truth: that life's only purpose is life itself.
    • Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Looking God in the Eye"
  • What do I care for your suffering? Pain, even agony, is no more than information before the senses, data fed to the computer of the mind. The lesson is simple: you have received the information, now act on it. Take control of the input and you shall become master of the output.
    • Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Essays on Mind and Matter"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Virtual World
  • Learn to overcome the crass demands of flesh and bone, for they warp the matrix through which we perceive the world. Extend your awareness outward, beyond the self of body, to embrace the self of group and the self of humanity. The goals of the group and the greater race are transcendent, and to embrace them is to achieve enlightenment.
    • Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Essays on Mind and Matter"
  • It is every citizen's final duty to go into the tanks and become one with all the people.
    • Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Ethics for Tomorrow"
  • My gift to industry is the genetically engineered worker, or Genejack. Specially designed for labor, the Genejack's muscles and nerves are ideal for his task, and the cerebral cortex has been atrophied so that he can desire nothing except to perform his duties. Tyranny, you say? How can you tyrannize someone who cannot feel pain?
    • Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, "Essays on Mind and Matter"

Morgan Industries[edit]

  • Our first challenge is to create an entire economic infrastructure, from top to bottom, out of whole cloth. No gradual evolution from previous economic systems is possible, because there is no previous economic system. Each interdependent piece must be materialized simultaneously and in perfect working order; otherwise the system will crash out before it ever gets off the ground.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"
  • Human behavior is economic behavior. The particulars may vary but competition for limited resources remains a constant. Need as well as greed has followed us to the stars and the rewards of wealth still await those wise enough to recognize this deep thrumming of our common pulse.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Merchant Exchange"
  • Energy is the currency of the future.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"
  • We estimate the during the next mission century most of Planet's industries will be moved off-planet to Nessus Prime and other orbital facilities. Many of our industries will benefit greatly from the low gravity environments available in space, particularly those involving genetically engineered microbes.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Living Refinery"
  • What goes up…better doggone well stay up.
    • Morgan Gravitonics, Company Slogan
  • Richard Baxton piloted his Recon Rover into a fungal vortex and held off four waves of mind worms, saving an entire colony. We immediately purchased his identity manifests and repackaged him into the Recon Rover Rick character with a multi-tiered media campaign: televids, touchbooks, holos, psi-tours-- the works. People need heroes. They don't need to know how he died clawing his eyes out, screaming for mercy. The real story would just hurt sales, and dampen the spirits of our customers.
    • Morgan Stellartots Keynote Speech, "Mythology for Profit"
  • Important, yes. Critical, absolutely! I would go so far as to say that super conducting fiber alone makes our present economy possible.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, MorganLink 3DVision Live Interview
  • Yes, yes, we've all heard the philosophers babble about "oneness" being "beautiful" and "holy". But let me tell you that this kind of oneness certainly isn't pretty and if you're not careful it will scare the bejeezus out of you.
    • Anonymous Lab Technician, MorganLink 3DVision Live Interview
  • 'Abort, Retry, Fail?' was the phrase some wormdog scrawled next to the door of the Edit Universe project room. And when the new dataspinners started working, fabricating their worlds on the huge organic comp systems, we'd remind them: if you see this message, always choose 'Retry.'
    • Bad'l Ron, Wakener, Morgan Polysoft
  • Optical computers, genetic catalogs, nanorepair modules--forget all of that. It's when you see a megaton of steel suspended over your head by a thread the thickness of a human hair that you really find God in technology.
    • Anonymous Metagenics Dockworker, MorganLink 3DVision Live Interview
  • Organic Superlube? Oh, it's great stuff, great stuff. You really have to keep an eye on it, though - it'll try and slide away from you the first chance it gets.
    • T. M. Morgan-Reilly, Morgan Metagenics
  • As I stepped onto the Magtube, a thought struck me: can there be friction where there is no substance? And can substance be tricked into hiding from itself?
    • Dr. Gail Nimbala, Morgan Industries Researcher
  • You ivory tower intellectuals must not lose touch with the world of industrial growth and hard currency. It is all very well and good to pursue these high-minded scientific theories, but research grants are expensive. You must justify your existence by providing not only knowledge but concrete and profitable applications as well.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan "The Ethics of Greed"
  • Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say! Let us take what is ours, chew and eat our fill.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan "The Ethics of Greed"
  • And when at last it is time for the transition from megacorporation to planetary government, from entrepreneur to emperor, it is then that the true genius of our strategy shall become apparent, for energy is the lifeblood of this society and when the chips are down he who controls the energy supply controls Planet. In former times the energy monopoly was called "The Power Company"; we intend to give this name an entirely new meaning.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan "The Centauri Monopoly"
  • Of course we'll bundle our MorganNet software with the new network nodes! Our customers expect no less of us. We have never sought to become a monopoly. Our products are simply so good that no one feels the need to compete with us. --Where do you want your Node today?
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Network Backbone"
  • I plan to live forever, of course, but barring that I'd settle for a couple thousand years. Even five hundred would be pretty nice.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, Morganlink 3D-Vision Interview
    • Accompies the Secret Project "The Longevity Vaccine"
  • Fossils fuels in the last century reached their extreme prices because of their inherent utility: they pack a great deal of potential energy into an extremely efficient package. If we can but sidestep the 100 million year production process, we can corner this market once again.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, Strategy Session
  • Objects once measured in meters have become so small that they cannot be seen by the naked eye, with revolutionary applications across the board. Gentlemen, forget what your courtesans have told you: size does matter!
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, Morgan Industries Annual Report
  • In the borehole pressure mines 100km beneath Planetsurface, at the Mohorovicic Discontinuity where crust gives way to mantle, temperatures often reach levels well in excess of 1000 degrees Celsius. Exploitation of Planet's resources under such brutal conditions has require quantum advances in robotic and teleoperational technology.
    • Morgan Industries, Ltd., "Annual Report"
  • We are no longer particularly in the business of writing software to perform specific tasks. We now teach the software how to learn, and in the primary bonding process it molds itself around the task to be performed. The feedback loop never really ends, so a tenth year polysentience can be a priceless jewel or a psychotic wreck, but it is the primary bonding process--the childhood, if you will--that has the most far-reaching repercussions.
    • Bad'l Ron, Wakener, Morgan Polysoft
  • Life is merely an orderly decay of energy states, and survival requires the continual discovery of new energy to pump into the system. He who controls the sources of energy controls the means of survival.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"
  • Look at any photograph or work of art. If you could duplicate exactly the first tiny dot of color, and then the next and the next, you would end with a perfect copy of the whole, indistinguishable from the original in every way, including the so-called "moral value" of the art itself. Nothing can transcend its smallest elements.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Ethics of Greed"
  • Planet's Primary, Alpha Centauri A, blasts unimaginable quantities of energy into space each instant, and virtually every joule of it is wasted entirely. Incomprehensible riches can be ours if we can but stretch our arms wide enough to dip from this eternal river of wealth.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"
  • Some civilian workers got in among the research patients today and became so hysterical I felt compelled to have them nerve stapled. The consequence, of course, will be another public relations nightmare, but I was severely shaken by the extent of their revulsion towards a project so vital to our survival.
    • CEO Nwabudike Morgan, The Personal Diaries

Gaia's Stepdaughters[edit]

  • Having now established a secure perimeter, we've made ourselves relatively safe from enemy incursions. But against the seemingly random attacks by Planet's native life, only our array warning sensors can help us, for the mind worms infiltrate through every crevice and chew through anything softer than plasma-steel.
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "The Early Years"
  • Observe the Razorbeak as it tends so carefully to the fungal blooms; just the right bit from the yellow, then a swatch from the pink. Follow the Glow Mites as they gather and organize the fallen spores. What higher order guides their work? Mark my words: someone or something is managing the ecology of this planet.
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "Planet Dreams"
  • The fungus has been Planet's dominant lifeform since about the time of the Lower Paleozoic on Earth. But when, once every hundred million years or so, the neural net at last achieves the critical mass necessary to become sentient, the final metamorphosis kills of most of the other life on the planet. It is possible that we humans can help to break this tragic cycle.
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "Planet Dreams"
  • The prevalence of anoxic environments rich in organic material, combined with the presence of nitrated compounds has led to an astonishing variety of underground organisms which live in the absence of oxygen and "breathe" nitrate. Likewise, the scarcity of carbon in the environment has forced plants to economize on its use. Thus, all our efforts to return carbon to the biosphere will encourage the native life to proliferate. Conversely, the huge quantities of nitrate in the soil will be heaven to human farmers.
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "The Early Years"
  • I believe Planet will talk to us if we are willing to listen. These fungal stalks behave as multistate relays: taken together, the neural net connectivity must be staggering. Can a planet be said to have achieved sentience?
    • Lady Deidre Skye, Arguments in Council
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Xenoempathy Dome"
  • From the delicate strands, between minds we weave out mesh: a blanket to warm the soul.
    • Lady Deidre Skye, "The Collected Poems"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Telepathic Matrix"
  • You are the children of a dead planet, EarthDeirdre, and this death we do not comprehend. We shall take you in, but may we ask this question--will we too catch the planetdeath disease?
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "Conversations With Planet"
  • Eternity lies ahead of us, and behind. Have you drunk your fill?
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "Conversations With Planet", Epilogue
  • No longer mere earthbeings and planetbeings are we, but bright children of the stars! And together we shall dance in and out of ten billion years, celebrating the gift of consciousness until the stars themselves grow cold and weary, and our thoughts turn again to the beginning.
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "Conversations With Planet", Epilogue
    • This accompanies the Secret Project "Ascent to Transcendance" which also leads to a Transcendence Victory by which the player is first to join their consciousness with that of the sentient Planet's
  • You waited so long to heed us, EarthDeirdre,
    Almost we pruned you, as we may yet prune your branches.
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "Conversations With Planet"
  • We welcome you, EarthDeirdreand earthwheat and earthtree as honored guests, for you add great power to our ancient song--planetfungus and planetworm and planetmind sing and play here, and you are welcome among us.
    • Lady Deidre Skye, "Conversation with Planet"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Pholus Mutagen"
  • Planet's atmosphere, though a gasping death to humans and most animals, is paradise for Earth plants. The high nitrate content of the soil and the rich yellow sunlight bring an abundant harvest wherever adjustments can be made for the unusual soil conditions.
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "A Comparative Biology of Planet"
  • The Isle of the Deep is really not a single creature but a colony of thousands of individual tubules, an aquatic vector of the Mind Worm which terrorizes Planet's continents. Over its lifetime certain tubules secrete a tough, gluelike substance which hardens to form the characteristic shell that floats the colony and creates the appearance of a rogue island.
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "A Comparative Biology of Planet"
  • As the writhing, teeming mass of mindworms swarmed over the outer perimeter, we saw the defenders recoil in horror. "Stay calm! Use your flame guns!" shouted the commander, but to no avail. It is well know that the Mind Worm Boil uses psychic terror to paralyze its prey, and then carefully implants ravenous larvae into the brains of its still-conscious victims. Even with the best weapons, only the most disciplined troops can resist this horrific attack.
    • Lady Deidre Skye, "Our Secret War"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Citizen's Defense Force"
  • Symbols are the key to telepathy. The mind wraps its secrets in symbols; when we discover the symbols that shape our enemies thought, we can penetrate the vault of his mind.
    • Lady Deidre Skye, "Our Secret War"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Empath Guild"
  • I shall not confront Planet as an enemy, but shall accept its mysteries as gifts to be cherished. Nor shall I crudely seek to peel the layers away like the skin from an onion. Instead I shall gather them together as the tree gathers the breeze. The wind shall blow and I shall bend. The sky shall open and I shall drink my fill.
    • Gaian Acolytes Prayer
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Weather Paradigm"
  • In the great commons at Gaia's Landing we have a tall and particularly beautiful stand of white pine, planted at the time of the first colonies. It represents our promise to the people, and to Planet itself, never to repeat the tragedy of Earth.
    • Lady Deirdre Skye, "Planet Dreams"

The Cybernetic Consciousness[edit]

  • Those who join us need only give up only half of their humanity- the illogical, ill-tempered, and disordered half, commonly thought of as 'right-brain' functioning. In exchange, the 'left-brain' capacities are increased to undreamed potentials. The tendency of Biologicals to cling instead to their individual personalities can only be attributed to archaic evolutionary tendencies.
    • Prime Function Aki Zeta-5, "Convergence"
  • And I stood before him, and I sang unto her, and it appeared to listen. His very countenance rippled like the sea, and the sound of my own voice came back to me, distorted. For a moment I thought she was mocking me, or it was nonsapient and mimicking me. Then I understood: the sounds were not important; it was how I affected his sounds and how she affected mine that transmitted the message.
    • Prime Function Aki Zeta-5, "One Future"
  • The Progenitor race appears to sense, and possibly even manipulate, local fields an untrained human cannot percieve without mechanical aid, including at the very least electricity and magnetism. This sensitivity creates entirely new worlds of artistic endeavors for the race- or it may be developed into a powerful combat awareness that can foil any attempt at surprise.
    • Prime Function Aki Zeta-5, "Alien Analysis"
  • And here we tinker with metal, to try to give it a kind of life, and suffer those who would scoff at our efforts. But who's to say that, if intelligence had evolved in some other form in past millennia, the ancestors of these beings would not now scoff at the idea of intelligence residing within meat?
    • Prime Function Aki Zeta-5, "The Fallacies of Self-Awareness"

Nautilus Pirates[edit]

  • The sea... vast, mysterious... and full of wealth! And the nations of Planet send their trade across it without a thought. Well, the sea doesn't care about them, so it lets them pass. But we can give the sea a little hand in teaching the landlubbers a lesson in humility.
    • Captain Ulrik Svensgaard, "The Ripple and the Wave"
  • Of all the employments, working in the the brood pit was at once the most horrific and the most desirable. Horrific for what we saw occur day after day, and because of the very nature of the sessile native lifeforms. Desirable, because having being chosen to work in the pit, you were highly unlikely to be one of its victims.
    • Captain Ulrik Svensgaard "The Shadow Resonance"
  • Each individual pipe contains a hot slurry of minerals drawn from Planet's crust and makes a sound like rain falling on a tin roof. When they converge on the trunkline the sound is a terrifying thunder, a thunder of untold wealth, and power.
    • Captain Ulrik Svensgaard, "Tending the Sea"
  • The boundary between cold water and warm, the Thermocline, has been important to undersea warfare for hundreds of years of man's history. Now we have found away to harness that power for constructive purposes. Once what cloaked us can now feed us. Once what shielded us from death, now brings us life.
    • Captain Ulrik Svensgaard, "The Ripple and the Wave"

The Free Drones[edit]

  • Now it's day and night the irons clang, and like poor galley slaves
    We toil and toil, and when we die, must fill dishonored graves
    But some dark night, when everything is silent in the town
    I'll shoot those tyrants one and all, I'll gun the flogger down
    I'll give the land a little shock, remember what I say,
    And they'll yet regret they've sent Jim Jones in chains to Botany Bay.
    • "Jim Jones", Traditional
    • Used as flavor text for the Free Drones
  • To understand a thing is to know the manner by which it might be destroyed. A fundamental understanding of the basic building-blocks of the Universe is essential, then, to the total destruction of everything.
    • Foreman Domai, "One Tool, One Thought"
  • In one dimension I find existence, in two I find life, but in three, I find freedom.
    • Foreman Domai, Cadet Induction Ceremony, Mission Year 2216
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "Cloudbase Academy"
  • The managers always talked about the view from 30,000 feet. The problem with 30,000 feet though, was at that height, all of the people look like ants.
    • Foreman Domai, "Genejack and the Beanstalk"

The Data Angels[edit]

  • What's more important, the data or the jazz? Sure, sure, 'Information should be free' and all that- but anyone can set information free. The jazz is in how you do it, what you do it to, and in almost getting caught without getting caught. The data is 1's and 0's. Life is the jazz.
    • Datajack Sinder Roze, "Infobop"
  • War is war; destruction is destruction. You think this is obvious. But war is not destruction, it is victory. To achieve victory, simply appear to give your opponent what he wants and he will go away, or join you in your quest for additional power.
    • Datajack Sinder Roze, "Information Burns"
  • By creating a planetary network, mankind on Planet now has the ability to share information at light-speed. But by creating a single such network, each faction has brought themselves closer to discovery as well. At the speed of light, we will catch your information, tag it like an animal in the wild, and release it unharmed-if such should serve our purposes.
    • Datajack Sinder Roze, "The Alpha Codex"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Nethack Terminus"

The Cult of Planet[edit]

  • Mankind has been blind for thousands of years- for all of its history. We have come to a place whose wonders are a hundred-fold more amazing than anything on Earth. Around us is clear evidence of the will of a higher power. I bring the Vision to the blind eyes of men. I bring the Word to the deaf ears of men. I will make them see it. I will make them hear it.
    • Prophet Cha Dawn, "Planet Rising"
  • The ancient Chinese had a name for it: Feng Shui. We call it energy flow. It is the same thing, the same thought: energy is everywhere, but only a fraction of it is tapped by humans for their purposes. Now the Progenitors have taught us that we can tap not only our own latent abilities, but the latent abilities of the Universe itself.
    • Prophet Cha Dawn, "Planet Rising"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project "The Planetary Energy Grid"
  • I saw the alien phalanx coming toward us, and I calmed my mind as Kri'lan had taught me. And what I saw next to the phalanx was a shadow regiment, half-formed from the resonance around them. I cursed the aliens... with power like that, each one could fight as many, and I thanked Planet for sending us the betrayer.
    • Prophet Cha Dawn, "The Betrayer and I"
  • Kri'lan taught me of the resonance and how to feel it. After much training, I could see -- the very surface under our feet, Planet itself -- is a living, fluctuating nexus of energy, violent, beautiful and quite unstable. And I could also feel its cousins -- distant mirrors on the other side of the space-time continuum -- the far-flung Manifolds.
    • Prophet Cha Dawn, "The Betrayer and I"

Manifold Caretakers[edit]

  • Tau Ceti flowering: Horrors visited upon neighboring systems must never be repeated. Therefore: if it means the end of our evolution as a species, so be it..
    • Caretaker Lular H'minee, "Sacrifice : Life"
  • Humans : there is no space inside rocket. Progenitor : space exists around all things with mass. Space : "here". Inside rocket : "there". Secret : bring here to there.
    • Caretaker Lular H'minee, "Secret : Space"
  • Manifold harmonic fields : within, the true nature of the universe becomes apparent. Layers : within layers. Worlds : within worlds. Inside : the heart of everything opens, and everything opens to it.
    • Caretaker Lular H'minee, "Resonance : Power"
    • Accompanies the Secret Project, "The Manifold Harmonics"

Manifold Usurpers[edit]

  • Risks of Flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure?
    • Usurper Judaa Marr, "Courage : To Question"
  • Humans : correct in making leap from wealth as currency to wealth as energy. But logic failure : wealth ultimately is extension of desires, fluctuating with emotions and state of mind. Desires : when all are supported in purely adaptable system, true wealth is achieved.
    • Usurper Judaa Marr, "Human : Nature"

Other[edit]

  • Preliminary analysis indicates that our rivals have developed a safe and reliable method to simulate conditions existing on the interior of a stellar mass. The fabrication and transmutation of materials possible in such an environment guarantees significant industrial and military applications.
    • Probe Team Operations Directorate, Top Secret Report
  • We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?
    • Project PYRRHO, Specimen 46, Vat 7. Activity recorded M.Y. 2302.22467. (TERMINATION OF SPECIMEN ADVISED)
  • I swear sometimes they're watching me.
    • Bozon Pete, Shift Foreman, Metagenics Biomachinery Division
  • I sit in my cubicle, here on the motherworld. When I die, they will put my body in a box and dispose of it in the cold ground. And in all the million ages to come, I will never breathe, or laugh, or twitch again. So won't you run and play with me here among the teeming mass of humanity? The universe has spared us this moment.
    • Anonymous, Datalinks
    • played when the player first constructs the hab dome building.
  • Please don't go. The Drones need you. They look up to you.
    • Played when the user chooses to quit.

External links[edit]