Alpha Centauri

Planet

Alpha Centauri resides in the Al Rijil system. Although technically a binary system, with a yellow dwarf and orange dwarf at its center, it is commonly referred to as a trinary system due to the close proximity of the red dwarf Prixima Centauri. There are thirteen planets within the system itself; however, life can only be supported on the second, third, and fourth planets in the system. The fourth planet is known as Alpha Centauri within the Federation, although the native population refers to it as Velestus. The remaining habitable planets in the system maintain colonies of the homeworld and are known as Seldarian and Kolmyri respectively in the native tongue of the Alpha Centaurians. Over time, however, most Alpha Centaurans have taken to referring to their homeworld by the more common Federation designation to avoid confusion and having to explain themselves.

Alpha Centauri is a lush, tropical world that supports a population of close to 2 billion. With fertile farmlands and productive oceans, Alpha Centauri is one of the premier farming and food production centers within the Federation. Alpha Centauri also sports huge expanses of unspoiled wilderness and nature reserves. In addition, Alpha Centauri is also one of the major cultural and scientific centers in the Federation; ranking up there with Terra and Vulcan in their respective areas. Citizens and visitors alike can enjoy the Cochrane Memorial and Federation Historical Institute which are both located on Alpha Centauri.

Race

It is theorized that Alpha Centaurans are Humans transplanted from Terra's Mediterranean basin in the fifth century AD (Earth Standard Date) by the Preservers. They have coarse dark hair, swarthy complexions, and are generally slightly larger than the average human. Alpha Centauran ideals are best described as a cross between Emersonain transcendentalism and animistic concepts. From birth, every member of the race learns the 'Shk-Te Arar', a martial philosophy based on the beliefs that all beings
are equal, that moderation should prevail even in circumstances of abundance, and that all things possess a living spirit that is part of a greater whole.

The Alpha Centauran concept of equality came about during the slave uprisings that occurred early in the planet's history. The belief in moderation developed during an early period of warfare between the Alpha Centauran city-states. The last concept stems from the days after the massacre at the nature commune.

Alpha Centaurans are conservative and disciplined. They are also aggressive, but not violently so; their philosophy encourages moral superiority over physical force. Nevertheless, Alpha Centaurans love physical sports, especially endurance tests or contests of skill. Some of the best long distance runners in the Federation are Alpha Centaurans. Their sunjamming races, which are steeped in martial philosophy, are almost a religious event among the people.

Alpha Centaurans are the most democratic race in all the Federation. They are so democratic, in fact, that they feel superior to other races who only 'feign to have the proper moral and social obligations to others". Because of this attitude, most other races label Alpha Centaurans as snobs.

Alpha Centaurans believe that an order underlies the universe, no matter how chaotic or confused it might seem, and that each living thing has it's place, an idea how held mainly by only primitive cultures. In this regard, Alpha Centaurans resemble Vulcans, another people who have held to basic religious and philosophic beliefs despite the passage of time.

Alpha Centauran society is a classless one. Everyone is equal. There are, however, some leaders who deal with the Federation when needed, and others who administer internal affairs. Alpha Centaurans understand that not all people can make the proper judgements and decisions needed to run a planet, and that it is logical to appoint those individuals who are qualified.

Alpha Centauran government is run by a Prime Minister who represents Alpha Centauri on the Federation Council. Everyone on the planet participates in voting, which is accomplished through an interactive 'television' network. Voting is one of the most important duties of the planet's citizens, because it shows that they still follow the correct social and moral philosophy. Like sunjamming, voting is considered an almost religious event.

Another interesting facet of Alpha Centauran life is a rite called the 'Makel-Re Talvor', or Time of Learning. When an Alpha Centauran child turns thirteen, he or she may wander about the planet, seeking truth and understanding. During this time, Alpha Centaurans feed and shelter these children, no matter who they are or where they come from. In effect, whatever the seekers want or need is free. Though most other races would take liberties with such a privilege, Alpha Centauran philosophy prohibits the children from abusing it. The children leave the Time of Learning after five years, at which time they must choose their vocation and enter apprenticeship.

Alpha Centaurans only resort to physical violence if insulted. The insult they consider most unforgivable is to shake hands. Hand-grasping was the ancient Centauran way to begin arm wrestling. By shaking a modern Alpha Centauran's hand, the other person is saying that he or she thinks so little of the Centauran that he or she can defeat him or her in unarmed combat. Most races find the Alpha Centauran philosophy contradictory. Alpha Centaurans rationalize the discrepancies by saying that one has to be born among them to understand.

History

As there are no written records of Centauran history from before 2,500 years ago, many scholars believe that the Centaurans are an offshoot of the Human race, perhaps seeded on Alpha Centauri by the Preservers. Most Centaurans flatly deny this theory, and some speculate that Humans are, in face, descended from Centaurans and were transplanted from Alpha Centauri.

Prehistoric legend of Alpha Centauri states that their gods led the Centaurans on a great migration from their rocky, inhospitable homeland to a lush green valley. The entire race was awed by this new land and named it Quiberon Prime. This settlement became the dominant city of the culturally homogeneous city-states that sprung up all over the planet.

Though each city-state was self-governing, a senate of representatives from each city-state convened at Quiberon Prime to decide issues of worldwide importance. As there was plenty of food and land available, there was little strife among the city-states.

Eventually, the Centaurans became puzzled by the absence of their gods, and some openly questioned their existence. A small group of philosophers began circulating manuscripts espousing their views on transcendentalism, and soon Centauran society became divided between the pantheists and the transcendentalists. When the Senate outlawed the teachings of transcendentalism and imprisoned the leaders of the movement, riots broke out. For the first time in Centauran history, each city-state established an army to coerce the others to adopt their beliefs. As the battle lines were drawn, roughly equal numbers of the city-states supported each cause.

Finally, the Alpha Centauri Senate disbanded, and the major pantheistic city-states began to invade territories of the enemy city-states. However, the outcome of these wars was indecisive, and the city-states settled into an uneasy cease-fire.

About a century later, the pantheistic city-states were deteriorating from internal strife and civil disorder. Finally, a massive slave revolt toppled them. The other city-states, true to their beliefs, held no slaved. The transcendentalists restored order to the devastated pantheistic city-states and re-established the Senate.

As transcendental belief coalesced, the adolescents began to make journeys of 'Makel-Re Talvor'. A few of them refused to enter into any apprenticeship upon their 18th birthday and instead established a wilderness community for meditation and communion with nature. Eventually the commune grew to a few hundred individuals.

Centuries passed, and the Centaurans developed artificial organs and synthetic fibers. Their technology, however, could not protect them from a comet that crashed into the planet, leveling one city-state and crippling three others. According to the Senate proclamation, all were required to help the survivors of the cataclysm. The Centaurans residing in the nature commune, however, refused to participate. This created strife, and some other Centaurans raided the community, slaying the inhabitants and torching the compound. The vigilantes were subsequently imprisoned, and the transcendentalist philosophy expanded to include tolerance of other lifestyles.

Alpha Centauri space exploration efforts were second only to those of the Vulcans and the Andorians. Utilizing the solar winds generated by their two suns, they were able to land space vessels on the two other habitable worlds in their system and started colonies on them.

Years later, a Terran exploration ship, the USS Prometheus, entered the Al Rijil system and much to their surprise, found the advanced civilization of the Centaurans. The Terrans received a warm welcome, however, and the two governments signed a peace accord seventeen years later.

Centaurans boast that their civilization was the driving force behind the creation of the Federation. It was a Centauran who first proposed a political union between Alpha Centauri, Andor, Tellar, Terra, and Vulcan, and it was at Alpha Centauri that representatives from these planets first met to create such a government. In addition, the political treatise establishing the Alpha Centauri Concordium of Planets served as the model for the Articles of the Federation.

Place in the Federation

Centaurans are recognized as a leading force in support of Starfleet. They are strong proponents of both the exploration and defensive missions of Starfleet and many answer the call to serve within Starfleet. But Starfleet is not the only place in the Federation that many Alpha Centaurans seek to serve. With their views on racial equality, they make excellent diplomats and are able to deftly arbitrate negotiations between other groups because of their ability to see both sides of a situation. This fair-mindedness also leads many to seek out service within the judiciary branches of the Federation as well.


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