First colony outside the Sol system, where the first alien life was discovered. Unfortunately the last remnants are now in zoo enclosures for tourists. Crops cover most of the surface.
— In-Game Description
Tau Ceti is an independent system in the Core Systems within the Inner Orion Spur. It was founded as humanity's first extrasolar colony in 2151, and achieved self-sufficiency in 2159. It was the first system other than Sol to sign the Federal Accord of 2242, and is regarded as one of the five founding members of the Federation. The system is also the headquarters of the Tau Ceti Journal, a business-focused newsfeed.
Settlement and War with Earth
The 22nd century saw early pioneering projects began to take shape. The discovery of a workable hyperspace theory and the design of the first unreliable, inefficient and slow 'faster than light' drive (compared to those we are used to in 3300) opened the possibility of exploration and settlement. A new frontier of science and engineering opened, confirmed by the first detailed messages and system scans to be received back to Earth from an interstellar probe sent to the Tau Ceti system years earlier. This led to a corporate race-for-the-stars as massive commercial colony projects were founded, funded, built and launched, together with hundreds of automated probes sent to all nearby systems.
Tau Ceti was the first colony established outside of Sol. Tau Ceti 3 (now called Taylor Colony) had long been determined viable for habitation with life already present (due to free oxygen detected in the atmosphere via absorption spectra) - though observation and probe data confirmed this. By 2159, the settlement was largely self-sufficient and able to elect a civilian administrator.
The issue of what to do about alien life became a question of real significance the day humans first set foot on Tau Ceti 3. The early colony found itself battling to survive and adapt in a challenging environment. The priority of preserving the indigenous life was secondary to preserving the lives of the colonists themselves, and indigenous life was suffering due to being out-competed by imported but feral Earth life forms (both intentionally (pets, crops) and accidentally (diseases etc.) imported). This hardy 'survival' attitude did not abate as things grew easier and the colonists, led by John Taylor, saw the environment as something to master. When automated agricultural systems came online, hunting, which had been a necessity, became a trade. Taylor was elected civilian administrator in 2161 and immediately pushed for the colony to become fully independent from Earth. In response and at the behest of the mission's corporate backers, Earth sent a delegation to Tau Ceti 3 to scrutinise its practices. What they found was widespread active destruction of the planet's native ecosystem. The Authority for Ecological Control issued guidelines for habitat conservation and recommended a second mission be sent in twelve months to judge if any improvements had been made. When this arrived in 2163 and found the situation had grown worse, trade sanctions were recommended and imposed. This further strengthened the hand of Taylor who in 2165 proposed a referendum on independence, which was narrowly defeated in the colonial forum.
Further ecological transgression by Tau Ceti colonists was uncovered in 2228 when an undercover documentary found its way back to Earth. In it, Tau Ceti colonists were seen flouting Earth decrees and guidelines on a variety of matters, most notably native ecological preservation and the exploitation of natural resources. Mindful of the failures on Mars and the continual inflammatory role played by John Taylor, now well into his eighties, Earth sent a military task force to the system with orders to revoke its colonial charter.
In early 2240, hours before the Earth fleet arrived in Tau Ceti, the main settlement changed its name to Taylor Colony and voted for independence from Earth. Without the starships to give battle, the colonists targeted the Earth fleet dropships as they attempted to land. Neither side could gain an advantage and so diplomacy resumed. With some bitterness on both sides, a negotiated settlement was reached and in 2242, the Federation Accord was announced. This was effectively an extension of the constitution of the Federation, which briefly changed its name again to "The Federation of Star Systems" - but this did not stick and the term 'Federation' returned.
The Federation Accord granted independent rights and membership to each system that signed it, provided they met certain development goals. Initially each of the signatories (including Earth) did not meet the goals, as the core principle of the agreement made at Tau Ceti was to eliminate the political games that had been played in the previous century.
The Assassination of Governor Santorini
In 3098 Governor Raul Santorini of Tau Ceti, was assassinated. Popular Federal press sources pinned the blame on the Empire, citing several quotes from 'Proxmire' Santorini's speeches that would have made him an Imperial target.
Unusually, the Emperor elected to make a personal rebuttal of the accusation, but three years later, Imperial colonists escorted by Imperial warships, settled on Emerald in the Cemiess system. The Federation responded by sending Admiral O'Brien with a heavily armed battle group, who also dropped a military force onto the planet. Over the next thirty years, both sides would battle to gain control of the planet and the system.
- Tau Ceti (Class G star)
- Crimson Legal & Co (Corporate, Federation)
- Independents of Tau Ceti (Democracy, Federation)
- Liberty Party of Tau Ceti (Dictatorship, Independent)
- South Haven (Democracy, Federation)
- Sublime Order of van Maanen's Star (Theocracy, Independent)
- Tau Ceti Crimson Boys (Anarchy, Independent)
- Tau Ceti Crimson Legal Solutions (Corporate, Federation)
- YZ Ceti Blue Galactic & Co (Corporate, Federation)
- Data taken from Tourist Spot 0166, Tau Ceti system
- Data taken from Tourist Spot 0167, Tau Ceti system
- Data taken from Tourist Spot 0169, Tau Ceti System
- Data taken from Tourist Spot 0173, Tau Ceti system
- Data taken from Tourist Spot 0174, Tau Ceti system
- Tourist Spot 0195 O'Brien's War
- Data taken from Tourist Spot 0148, Tau Ceti system