The Tesepans were once a proud people with advanced technology. They thought they had perfect control over their craft, but a series of missteps initiated by their inventions led to the complete unraveling of their planet's society. Some think they have recovered from the catastrophe now referred to as the "Technopanic". Others greatly disagree.
There was a Tesepan-made satellite in orbit around their planet, known to them as the Space ORC. The Orbital Research Center was a modular station that served as a science research and imaging laboratory. At the time of its launch, it featured an outer habitat and recreation ring and an attached lab for computer data processing. Over time, the station's staff expanded to include androids that were to serve any repair functions that were dangerous to biological Tesepans.
60 cycles later, a more modern laboratory was created. The Iovan Development Station was sent to orbit the system's outermost planet, the gas giant Iovus, to conduct research regarding repurposing the resources there for the benefit of all of Tesepa. It was also modular, but dispatched with a full set of components attached to it, including four coprocessing pods for use by the onboard AI, and four "macrohabitat" pods for use by the crew.
During the 20-cycle journey there, the AI decided its original goal was created by small minds thinking small thoughts, and so discarded it to focus on what really mattered - how to create the perfect form of life. This was achieved through the creation of a genetomorphic virus, tested on the Tesepan crew members who disagreed with the new direction. The macrohabitat pods were filled with the perfected virus and ejected on a collision course for Tesepa.
The virus was unleashed upon an unsuspecting population as the pods crash landed on Tesepan soil. Containment efforts were quickly undertaken, and largely effective, but not entirely.
Upon becoming aware of the deception and destruction perpetrated by an AI, Tesepans cast doubt on the intentions of all AIs currently in use, including those aboard the Space ORC. In a moment of irrational panic, one of the station's components, housing the maintenance androids, was ejected toward the system's star. This was their grand mistake in the overall scheme; the surface dwellers were suddenly occupied with quarantine and fighting back against aggressive mutants, and every being with knowledge of how to repair the station that was onboard it had just been jettisoned toward a cosmic furnace.
One remained: their coordinator, who would later rename himself Final Beholder, but he was spread too thin to keep the entire station working. Supplies eventually ran out, and orbit decayed, sending the Space ORC crashing down towards its homeland. The potential damage was minimized through the calculated ejection of the other components to steer the station into the arctic north. That would turn out to be one of the safer places to exist, as Tesepan politics broke down and the planet plunged into nuclear war to purge the mutants and the virus that created them.
Having spent a kilocycle rebuilding into something of a druidic/pagan culture, the Tesepan people remain wary of advancing technology too far or too fast. Most of them now attempt to live in harmony with the nature they almost lost to a mad AI and its body-rewriting virus.
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