The Hegemony of Man is the government that rules most of the worlds humanity has settled on. The Government includes Senators from the various worlds, a CEO who is elected from the Senate, and a representative from the TechnoCore. It is basically a dictatorship run by a group of elected officials. No world is permitted to leave the Hegemony and many worlds were inadvertently forced into the Hegemony, so that other Web worlds could take advantage of their resources and exploit their planets. The water planet of Maui Covenant is an example of this. The population did not want to be part of the Hegemony, but whoever resisted were slaughtered by the military forces of the Hegemony and the planet ecology was fundamentally destroyed, so that the Hegemony worlds could exploit the planet's resources. There are factions inside the TechnoCore that want to see The Hegemony disappear.The galaxy-spanning republic of Dan Simmons's Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion. Founded shortly after the Hegira of humankind from the dying Earth, the Hegemony unifies hundreds of inhabited planets -- from Tau Ceti Center to Renaissance Vector to Maui-Covenant -- into one nation, under one law and power. Successor to the Hegemony is the Pax.
The legislative authority of the Hegemony vests in two houses: the Senate and the All Thing. Senators are delegates of individual planetary governments. The dissonant All Thing, in contrast, is composed of interest groups and factions brought together through the datasphere communications network.
The executive power of the Hegemony vests in the CEO, who manages both the civil authority and the military. The power of the CEO is not clearly limited, but s/he is subject to instantaneous vote of confidence by the All Thing. The CEO is commander-in-chief of FORCE, the Hegemony combined armed. At the time of Hyperion, the CEO is Meina Gladstone, a former senator.
The territory of the Hegemony, known as the Web of Worlds, is bound together by the farcaster network, a system of instantaneous transportation. Thus, no planetary senator is ever far from his home constituency -- nor is FORCE far from any potential danger zone.
There have been but few cases of serious internal unrest within the Hegemony in its centuries-long history. By far the worst was the rebellion of General, which sought to overthrow the Hegemony and replace it with a dictatorship. Other matters of unrest have included ecological and cultural protection, as on Maui-Covenant and Qom-Riyadh.
In the eyes of the Hegemony government and its people alike, the chief enemies of peace in the Web are the Ousters, interstellar barbarians who raid civilized worlds -- and the chief allies of the Hegemony are the mysterious AI entities of the TechnoCore.
The Hegemony is ruled by a bicameral legislator consisting of the All Thing and the Senate, and a Officer who fills the executive role. It is not known if the Hegemony government has a judicial branch. The government of the Hegemony is advised by the TechnoCore through the AI advisory council, which typically makes predictions for the Hegemony government.
All Thing - a real-time participatory democracy, much like a web forum, which is enabled by the TechnoCore's datasphere, and reminiscent of the medieval Icelandic Althing.
Hegemony of Man. The headquarters are located on Tau Ceti Center. The famous FORCE academy is situated on the Olympos Mons on Mars, named Olympos Command School. FORCE has different branches, named according where they fight: FORCE:space, FORCE:marine, FORCE:navy, FORCE:groundis the name of all the armed forces of the
FORCE played an important role defending Hegemony of Man against Ousters, being New Bressia the most important and bloody battle between them.
Datumplane - Communication Infrastructure of the Web. It transcends vast light years but only because it is a network of communication based on cislunar spheres that must be set up first in order to permit humans to access the TechnoCore. If a human from The Hegemony is outside of this web network, then they will not be able to access information from it or communicate with any other person inside the Web.
The Web - The planets that are connected by Farcasters. A Farcaster portal can only be built if the planet has a cislunar sphere orbiting it or if there is a ship in orbit that can generate a portal for humans or things to travel through.
Hawking Drive: The Hawking Drive was given to humanity before the Big Mistake, allowing the faster than light travel which led to the Hegira. It was named after Stephen Hawking; whereas the hawking mat was named after the species of bird found on old Earth. Aenea later revealed that the TechnoCore created FTL drive by utilising the Void Which Binds.
Fatline: '. The protocol and the equipment is created by the, but the also were able to produce their own equipment based on the same principles, they called it the "Void Which Binds" The Fatline technology may very well be based off of the principle of tachyons or other such faster than light particles.is an instantaneous communication technology. Fatline is capable of transmitting holographic images as well as 2D videos over interstellar distances in an instant. Fatline is the basic means of communication in the
Gideon Drive: A Core-provided starship drive that allows near-instantaneous travel between any two points in human-occupied space. The drive's use kills any human on board a Gideon-propelled starship; thus, the technology is only of use with remote probes or when used in conjunction with the Pax's resurrection technology.
Resurrection Creche: The resurrection creche can regenerate someone carrying a cruciform from their remains (though not always); this is integrated into the Pax Christian church original concept of resurrection. Usually it requires a clergy man to oversee (apparently, only a small percentage know the secrets involved), but Gideon Drive Pax spaceships, whose near-instantaneous travel killed its passengers, were equipped with automatically working devices.
Treeship: Living trees (related to Dyson trees) that are propelled by ergs (spider-like solid-state alien being that emits force fields) through space. The ergs also generate the containment fieldsaround the enormous tree that keep its atmosphere intact. There are only a small number of Treeships in existence - in Hyperion, the Consul remarks that the Yggdrasill is one of only five.
Ergs are quasi-telepathic sentient (but not sapient) silicon-based life forms discovered around planet Aldebaran which generate and control extreme force-fields. In the same series, Ergs are used to propel Templar Treeships. The ergs also generate the containment fields (force fields) around the tree that keep its atmosphere intact. It is implied by the author that the Templars have devised some way of communicating with the ergs. One of the characters of the novel - Templar Het Masteen takes along an erg secured in a Mobius Cube to the Shrike pilgrimage. Masteen intended to use the erg to pilot Shrikes Tree of Pain, using the erg as a containment for the Tree. As Masteen failed to do this, the Erg was then use by the Keats second retrieval persona to tamper with the Shrike itself, in an effort to save the baby Rachel was then carrying.
Lasers: Commonly referred to as Hellwhips, these range in power from small pistols to large vehicle based weapons. Lasers are not commonly used on ships, which can mount more powerful particle beam weapons.
Plasma bombs and grenades: A type of weapon available to military forces (and civilians, through the black market). Plasma weapons are described as being very powerful and destructive, as well as producing large amounts of radiation. During the Ouster invasion of Hyperion, plasma bombs are used and are seen as brilliant semispherical explosions of light. In the riots on Hyperion, shortly before the arrival of the Consul and the other pilgrims, several plasma grenades were used on the Shrike church, reducing the massive stone-and-steel structure to a mass of smoldering rubble and slag.
CPBs: Ship based particle beam weaponry. These range in power from small beams with a radius of only a few meters, as seen in Endymion, to weapons capable of leveling cities, as used by the TechnoCore in The Fall of Hyperion, and are the main armament of Torch Ships.
Hawking Missiles: Missiles equipped with their own Hawking Drive, allowing them to travel faster than light and giving them a much greater range than conventional weaponry. Only seen in Endymion and The Rise of Endymion.
Bhees: Beams of High Energy Electrons, these are beams of focused and accelerated electrons with considerable penetrating power.
Deathwands: Weapons given to humanity by the AI TechnoCore. These are the ultimate "clean" weapon: capable of killing people while leaving property intact. Deathwands burn out all the synapses in a human brain, causing almost instantaneous death; thus they would kill humans but not damage physical property (compare neutron bomb). These weapons were normally handheld, though with a wide dispersal beam. Just before the Fall of the Hegemony (in The Fall of Hyperion), the TechnoCore introduced a large scale deathwand variant which it claimed would kill the entire population of a planet, as well as any other world in a 1.5 light year radius of its point of detonation. Its introduction was apparently pushed by the Volatile and Ultimate factions of the TechnoCore; this origin as well as other indirect evidence suggests the possibility that TechnoCore was lying about the lethal radius, and that the radius was either indefinite (as the Hegemony's scientists had concluded and is supported by Aenea's contention in the Endymion duology that a deathwand operated by means of disturbances in the Void-Which-Binds) or vastly greater than that of the Hegemony's spatial expanse. Another possibility is that they lied about the number of the deathwand bombs built, and actually had enough to wipe out every system individually.
Flechette guns and rifles: Weapons which shoot thousands of small steel darts. These weapons have a wide dispersal and are capable of ripping practically anything in their path to shreds.
Stunners: Small weapons which are used to subdue rather than injure (point blank headshots, however, are lethal). Neural stunners cause paralysis by affecting the nervous system. A person hit by a stun beam is incapable of even blinking.
A farcaster is an instantaneous transportation device in the fictional Hyperion universe. Farcasters allow two points separated by a vast distance to be brought together at a Farcaster Portal. The Farcaster network connects hundreds of planets of the Hegemony of Man into their WorldWeb. The Farcaster network allowed transport between connected worlds without any time discrepancy, unlike Hawking drive (FTL - faster than light) transport provided by spaceships of the Hegemony era. The Farcaster was developed by the Artificial Intelligences(AIs) of the TechnoCore and given to humanity sometime after the Hegira. It was the destruction of the Farcaster network at the order of Hegemony CEO Meina Gladstone in 2852 which precipitated the Fall. The roughly 250 worlds which are connected by Farcaster are known collectively as the WorldWeb. Each world had thousands if not millions of Farcaster connections with every other planet in the Web; all connected through singularity spheres located in orbit of the world they serviced. At the height of the Hegemony it was common for the extremely wealthy to construct houses on multiple worlds, with separate rooms connected by Farcaster. It was also common for planets to rely so heavily on the Farcasters and the ease of trade allowed through them that they produced little or no natural foodstuffs of their own. In this sense the Farcaster can be likened to the blood vessels of the human body, essential for life. Planets colonized by the Hegemony, but not inducted into the Farcaster network, are not considered members of the Worldweb. Trade and Hegemony support are available to planets outside of the Worldweb, but interstellar travel between worlds can take months of ship time, equivalent to years or decades of observer time. As such, being connected to the WorldWeb was a major goal for many planetary governments. Before planetside Farcaster portals can be installed (often in large 'concourses', but also on a private scale, in some cases used as 'doors' between rooms in expensive, multi-planetary homes), an orbiting singularity sphere the size of a small moon must be constructed. This process in itself can take years; getting to the point of singularity sphere construction can take even longer. Whereas planetside Farcaster portals can transport people, goods, or even personal aircraft and luxury vehicles, orbiting farcasters can be constructed capable of admitting cargo and military ships to a planetary system.
The Big Mistake of '38 was caused by an artificially created black hole being accidentally dropped into the Earth's core. This led to the apparent destruction of Earth and the Hegira. During this time the Farcaster was developed by the AI TechnoCore and given to mankind. Farcasters use singularities (artificially created black holes) to generate warps in spacetime. All knowledge of the Farcasters and how they worked was based on information given by the TechnoCore and was later proven by Aenea to be false for the most part. When a world was ready to be admitted into the WorldWeb the military body FORCE began construction of a singularity sphere in orbit of the planet being joined to the Web. Construction of the large sphere could take decades, in part because construction materials had to be transported via FTL Hawking drive spaceships, which accrued time debts in their travels. Once a singularity sphere was finished, however, millions of Farcaster Portals could be opened on the planet below, connected to all other planets in the WorldWeb. Portals varied in size from small doorways to river-spanning arches to vast orbital rings, allowing torchships to travel by Farcaster. Each trip through a Farcaster was instantaneous; the traveller felt a slight tingle as they passed through the portal before immediately arriving at his or her destination but no other indication of traversing large interstellar distances.
In 2852 the AI TechnoCore's treachery was uncovered: they had been using the Farcasters as part of a giant computer; connecting each human who passed through a portal to their neural net to increase its processing power as needed. The Hegemony CEO Meina Gladstone was also told that the TechnoCore resided within the WorldWeb itself; the dimensionless space between Farcaster Portals. When it was revealed that the supposed invasion by the Ousters was actually being perpetrated by the TechnoCore, CEO Gladstone decided to destroy every singularity sphere in the WorldWeb - supposedly severing the TechnoCore's link to humanity. The TechnoCore were also revealed to be plotting to kill humanity with the use of a large Deathwand device and the destruction of the Farcasters was timed to allow for the destruction of this weapon as it passed through a Farcaster Portal to Hyperion. Because of the necessity of destroying the Deathwand weapon the Farcaster network was destroyed without much advance notice. Thousands of people were killed while stepping through a Farcaster portal which suddenly closed mid-step, slicing them in half; hundreds more were lost to the gap between Farcasters. Parents working on different planets from their children suddenly found themselves separated by light years instead of a single step through a Farcaster portal. Riots swiftly followed the destruction of the WorldWeb but it was the long term effects of this action which devastated the Hegemony of Man. Worlds were so dependent on the Farcasters for importing foodstuffs that many planets began to starve; essential medicines might only be available on a single world, which was suddenly years away. Some planetary systems suffered more than others: while Renaissance Minor was mostly agricultural land and capable of supporting Renaissance Vector, worlds like Heaven's Gate and Sol Draconi had their populations decimated and their terraforming efforts reversed over the next few hundred years, making the worlds uninhabitable again.
Over 270 years after the destruction of the WorldWeb and the Fall the young woman Aenea, child of a human woman and AI cybrid began to reveal the truth of the TechnoCore's motivations and involvement with humanity through the Pax Church. She also revealed the truth about the Farcasters. The TechnoCore built the Farcaster network and Fatline transmitters using the same principle: The Void Which Binds. While the TechnoCore saw this as a Planck-dimension of huge energy with fantastic potential Aenea revealed the Void Which Binds to be an essential part of the universe; literally the domain of love as a force. In investigating the Void Which Binds the TechnoCore also found lifeforms there of such advancement that the AI's were frightened. Experiments carried out on the Void led to the development of the Fatline and the Farcaster network, both of which allowed travel through the Void but were destructive to it also. The AI TechnoCore had deliberately dropped a black hole into Earth's core in their attempt to destroy humanity but when they came across the entities in the Void Which Binds they stopped this plan. Instead the Earth was moved to another Galaxy by the lifeforms residing in the Void. The TechnoCore's terror at this power led them to give the Farcasters to humanity. As always the TechnoCore had an ulterior motive. When an individual walked through a Farcaster portal they passed through the Void Which Binds, a timeless place where the TechnoCore could 'plug in' the persons brain into their vast neural net, focused on the problem of creating their UI (Ultimate Intelligence) — a being capable of dealing with the so-called 'Lions and Tigers and Bears' that resided within the Void. When Meina Gladstone ordered the destruction of the Farcaster network the TechnoCore's insidious plans were only halted temporarily. They struck an alliance with the Roman Catholic Church, giving their cruciform symbiotes to the body that would become the Pax and allowing immortality to anyone who accepted to Pax. Aenea carried a virus in her body which, when she infected someone, would destroy the cruciform (which was revealed by Aenea to be another misuse of the Void Which Binds).
The containment field is a common technology with many uses varying from military defense shield to civilian safety restraint. The containment field is apparently a type of controlled force field of varying capability; the apparent strength of a containment field is denoted by its class — a class onecontainment field at lower settings could be used to keep children safely in their seats in a vehicle, or keep insects from bothering tourists on a nature path; a class three containment field could be utilized as a sort of windshield during atmospheric travel, or simulate artificial gravity; higher classes of containment fields (up to ten, or even higher) could be set to reflect all incoming radiation and matter and serve as extremely powerful defensive shields for military craft, repelling laser/energy weapons, nuclear explosions, conventional weapons, etc. Even lower-class containment fields like those utilized by the Consul's civilian starship are capable of deflecting some degree of energy weapon attack; the ship's AI claims it is well equipped to comfortably hover in the upper levels of a red giant star. In interstellar travel, containment fields shield the passengers within ships from the enormous g-forces involved in acceleration to near-light speeds, and also protect them during interstellar transit at relativistic velocities via Hawking drive as well as simulating ship gravity (generally significantly less than Earth standard gravity, but sufficient to keep obects in place and define a clear sense of down). It's stated by a character in one of the novels that, during acceleration/deceleration periods in a spacecraft, should the containment fields fail even for a microsecond, all the passengers within the spacecraft would be compressed into jelly. Containment fields can be artificially generated; however, aboard Templar treeships, semi-sentient creatures called ergs can naturally generate their own containment fields, and are used to maintain atmospheric pressure within the treeship, generate a one-sixth G gravitational force orienting the passengers to 'down' as the base of the treeship, and protect the passengers from stellar radiation and solid space debris.