Unity Protocol

“We … have … room … for you.”
Unit AX-4571-Central 'Cent Seven-One'

The Unity Protocol is the name of the sprawling artificial intelligence network responsible for maintaining the cities on the moons orbiting Traveller.

'Unit' is the name colloquially given to the many robots live in the System and manage it, and the many species that live within the banner are usually referred to as the 'United' - even if its not the case in action.

The general appearance of the Unity Protocol is very muted in normal colours, using grey, white, and occasional licks of blue. Their logo consists of a picture of Traveller and its many moons on blue.

The 'Units' which people are likely to meet face to face appear to be robotic humanoids, with a human-like face made from a jelly solution and opaque eyes. They do not intend to unnerve people with their appearance, and they are known to adjust facial and bodily proportions to match the alien inhabitants of given districts.

Non-humanoid Units have also been observed, ranging from light space craft for planetary and system defence to construction drones to build the cities, and smaller units intended to work in hazardous conditions or crawlspaces. Combat-ready Units may not adhere to strictly humanoid appearances, trading in familiarity for combat effectiveness.

For more on the Units which isn't covered here, as well as information for Rogue Units, consult Units.

Life within the borders of the Protocol is generally considered quite peaceful, and laid back with living space provided by the cities built by the Protocol. This peace is afforded by the Units and members of the United Defence Directive. In day to day life, the average citizen are likely to see more than ten different species in passing, and directly interact with at least four. This leads to an overwhelmingly diverse and cosmopolitan environment, which can overwhelm new arrivals.

Large species groups which live within the Protocol are given assistance to elect a local council to represent the species' interests to the Units. Councils may meet with other councils to discuss topics such as trade, transportation, infrastructure, diplomacy, and justice. Once every six months, a Moot is held by the Units to bring all of the councils together to voice their concerns on certain issues or make announcements to other councils. The Protocol makes its own announcements during these Moots too.

Generally, ghetto or self-segregation behaviour of species groups is discouraged, given the relative affluence and wealth of Protocol territory. This well-intentioned move sometimes opens up conflicts and rifts between races who may be bitter enemies in other places around the galaxy. The certainty of punishment keeps the worst violence from breaking out in public, merely simmering down to teeth-clenched coexistence.

As a citizen or ward of the Unity Protocol the following obligations and rights apply, as dictated and administered by Units:

  • Property damage to exclusively Unit-owned construction will be met with fines proportional to damage incurred, or community service and labour.
  • Property damage to co-owned/developed construction with local governmental groups is a matter for the owner-operator's systems of justice to enact, in addition to any Unit.
  • Justice is administered by an impartial Unit, designed to evaluate the factual elements of a case bought to their attention.
  • A citizen's thoughts and private matters will not be intruded upon within Protocol territory or abroad.
  • A citizen is entitled to safe haven within Traveller from external aggression.
  • Common sense laws apply regarding theft, murder, trespassing, and the rest.
  • Citizens are provided with the following:
    • Living space within the colony of their choice, or to a colony which suits their biological needs.
    • Access to community-grown food and water, or other sustenance.
    • Assistance to seek work.
  • In return:
    • Citizens must comply with orders made by the Units to move themselves. Assistance with moving belongings will be provided for free.
    • Citizens are obliged to donate their resources, knowledge, labour, and technology to the Unity Protocol for the betterment of their peers.
    • Citizens may be called upon to defend Traveller and their livelihood in the advent of a large-scale attack.

Travellers are bound to less restrictions, and less protections.

All businesses within the Unity Protocol may accept local currencies if permitted by the owners, or use UniCur (UC, ¤). Local currencies may be exchanged for UC. UC100 is roughly equivalent to AC1.00. Coins are made from precious-metal alloys, and one side always displays the diamond symbol of the Unity Protocol while the other is stamped with a decorative designed. Rods are made of similar alloys, and range in length from an inch and a half to two and a half inches while value and other information is inscribed on the rod itself.

The currency denominations for UniCur are as follows:

Type Value Description
Coin ¤10 A copper-alloy coin.
¤25 A silver-alloy coin.
¤50 An electrum coin.
¤100 A gold-alloy coin with a silver outer band.
¤200 A silver-alloy coin with a golden outer band.
Rod ¤500 A 1.5“ rod made of steel, capped with alloy.
¤1000 A 1.75” rod made of copper, capped with steel.
¤2000 A 2“ rod made of silver, capped with copper.
¤5000 A 2” rod made of gold, capped with silver.
¤10000 A 2.25“ rod made of platinum, capped with gold.
¤25000 A 2.5” rod made of diamond, capped with shimmering bismuth-like ends.

Note: The shapes of individual coins and rods may vary somewhat, in addition, but these are the widely accepted standards for physical currency. Banknotes and electronic commerce through personal devices is available too.

Note: It is acceptable to underline and/or superscript the last two digits of UniCur, to denote the smaller values in a larger amount of money. ¤505050 may be written as ¤505050, ¤505050 or ¤505050.

Note: The ¤ symbol may also be replaced with “UC”.

The most curious component of the Unity Protocol is its relationships with other races who enter its system. Units appear to be happy to accommodate new races, so long as they're well behaved.

The general process has been documented by foreigners as thus:

  1. Meet and Greet
  2. Discern Language (throughout proceedings)
  3. Discern Physical Traits/dietary habits
  4. Discern Mental Traits/special abilities
  5. Discern ideal living space/find similar species
    • If no similar species can be found, Units let the person decide.

Spacefaring species who have heard of the Unity Protocol but stay away from it cite the shadowiness of their apparent motives, keeping interactions with Units and other Unit-controlled infrastructure to a minimum and trading directly with traders who work in independently owned space stations within Traveller's space. Doing so elicits no strong feelings from the Units, so long as trade is fair.

Due to how the Unity Protocol is laid out and fundamentally designed for maximum efficiency around Traveller, they are constrained to operating within 1 AU of Traveller. Any Unit who passes beyond the system goes into a shutdown mode, disconnected from the central servers. This is believed to be a failsafe by proximity to prevent their spread across the galaxy, or a security feature to prevent tampering.

Another popular theory is that the servers remember all the information an individual Unit will need to know, and a severed connection means the Unit must now rely on any data stored internally. Reports of 'Rogue Units' wandering outside of Traveller, presumably disconnected from the central network relying on an internal storage. The Protocol offers their most handsome rewards to those who bring Rogue Units in.

Let it never be said that for the Units' open handedness with their land, resources, and living space, that they are pushovers. They take direct egress to people destroying their property (and individual Units are considered property) and will punish the wrongdoers to the fullest extent, by force if necessary.

For crimes perpetrated by people towards others with minimal Protocol property damage, the Units may assist with the local investigation by providing footage and metrics where possible to see that the crime is resolved in the perpetrator's local court of arbitration. It is impossible to bribe or fast-talk Units, and they see it as a grave insult to look the other way. Some people reckon that Units are naive to the realities of the rest of the galaxy, and that its only a matter of time until someone finds something they want.

Generally, outrageous actions by individuals can draw the Units' ire towards their whole species if incidents persist, leading to punishments ranging from indiscernible passive-aggressive behaviour and daily inconvenience, to full-scale neighbourhood eviction and resource deprivation.

For threats beyond the system which require further pursuit, the Protocol enlists the help of United People to enlist in the United Defence Directive. They reward those who bring their quarries to justice with some respect and the hunter's native currency in hand, intimately aware of their own limitation in going between systems.

“I remember first arriving here from parts unknown a few years ago, and I felt like I was being waited upon hand and foot by these strange robots. I was even more surprised to see more of my own living here, as they recognised my language immediately and gave me directions to where more of my people lived. I wasn't sure whether to be complimented or … somewhat unnerved.”
Jeanou Threadcutter, Elfinkind Markswoman
“We act on our maker-given Protocol to offer safe haven for you and your kind, and all other polite kinds; Whether you're here for a day, or for the rest of your life. All we ask in return is to let us decide how you will live with us, and to defend our interests when called upon. We enjoy the company of 'Others', like you.”
Any given Unit when asked thoroughly 'why?'
“The Units? Them? I had better luck figuring out brick walls. Surely there's no dark secret boiling beneath the surface of this, but you know what - maybe someone a long time ago succeeded in making somewhere in the galaxy relatively peaceful. The only problem is occasionally everyone OTHER than the Units still have scores to settle. Not that I mind - keeps me and the team employed here and abroad.”
Captain Luca Pavone, ex-UDD and EAD, now Captain of Phoenix Team
“I'm not going to touch them Unie scum, dey keep repellin' our raidin' parties an' 'avin' the guts to enlist the other peoples t' defend 'em when they can't. Might be worth destabilising the joint anotha way…“
Kobyn Katzbalger McExploitationfilmchopper-Smith, A Pirate Captain of the Mayhem Fleet
  • society/unity_protocol.txt
  • Last modified: 2016/12/12 04:26
  • by luca