The Alexandria Archive

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A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.

—Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Places in Fenspace
238 Hypatia
Planetary characteristics
Orbitsemi-major axis 2.909 AU, eccentricity .087
Diameter148.49 km
Year1811.91 days
Day8.8745 hours
Political AffiliationFenspace Convention
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238 Hypatia is a C-type asteroid in the Main Belt, discovered by Viktor Knorre on 1 July 1884.

It is home to The Alexandria Archive, a project to archive all that is known to humanity.

The Alexandria Archive began as a project that Fate was interested in: archiving as much of human culture - particularly Fen culture - as possible. By the summer of 2014, it contained as many different items of music, movies and books that she could find, either through her own endeavors or with help of various friends. However, members of the Yggdrasil crew grew interested in the project as well, and the scope began to grow exponentially. The stated goal would probably be unattainable if not for honey-waved data storage and the extensive use of holotechnology that the Jason has started to employ.

The goal? A simple one - archiving the Earth and the Solar System.

Fate, Sherlock, James Burke, Master Li and Queen Iris are the primary movers behind the project, though the other AI members of the Lightning and the Yggdrasil contribute, as do Chris Marsden, Noah Scott (through his donation of a copy of the Whole Fenspace Catalog and seedbank stock from Wonderland Farm), and Buckaroo and the other members of the Hacker Underspace (running interference between the Archive and every intelligence agency 'Daneside[1]).

They plan to take over the asteroid 238 Hypatia and set it up as the central data core of the Archive.

Data Collection

No sense thinking small, after all. Let's get everything.

The Jason

The Archive plans to send out drones - holographically cloaked as necessary - and record data on everything they can find. Literature. Art. Cities - with holotech, anything should be able to be reproduced at least as an image on demand. Want to see what Times Square looks like? The archive would have the data necessary to reproduce it holographically. The same with the Pyramids, or Disney World. As for music and other media, sufficiently detailed scans should let people reproduce even master tapes and such at a usable level. Plans include sending cloaked probes into major music vaults of the various studios, libraries and museums. A complete scan of the Smithsonian and all of its vaults / back rooms / storage facilities is a high priority.

The Jason has asked for detailed medical tricorder scans of the environment as well; if possible, he would like a record of the genomes of the Earth. If you record things in enough detail - even if it's not possible right this moment, species could be recreated if they go extinct.

Some space in the Alexandria Archive will be set aside for seed and cell banks as well, although most of the genome storage will be in the form of sensor data.


History is full of people who out of fear or ignorance or the lust for power have destroyed treasures of immeasurable value which truly belong to all of us. We must not let it happen again.

—Carl Sagan, Cosmos

An unidentified Bolitho approaching one of the Archive's landing pads

Hypatia is hardly going to be unprotected. Even if a hostile force could get past the Roughriders providing physical security, they'd have to deal with Patience and Fortitude. Based off the lions at the New York Public Library, Patience and Fortitude are large marble robots made out of a handwaved flexible marble. Not sapient, but definitely sentient, they can be told by the librarians to recognize people as friendlies/authorized, neutrals, non-friendlies, and hostiles. You don't want to be in the last two categories, since that puts you under the heading of "cat toy."

Then there are the bookwyrms. Digital versions guard the library online, while there are two that guard the physical realm. One of those is purely physical - a robot made by the Agatha aboard Yggdrasil - while the other is a solid hologram. Both of them can breathe fire, thanks to purely mundane flamethrowers encased in the bodies.

They prevent unauthorized access into the Library, rather than staying in the library proper. The physical Archive has a few large areas before one reaches the areas with data storage, when one first lands and heads into the interior. The lions and the bookwyrms are the protectors there.

Inside the Archive proper stands The Library Defense Force, combat-trained Fen with or without biomods, supported by the AI team of Librarians who usually provide service to the legitimate patrons:

  • Adele, who's a crack shot.
  • A hologram named Readman. Yomiko Readman. She's based on the anime character and influenced at least somewhat by her Undocumented Features version and her namesake at PS 238.
  • The Librarian (from Unseen University). Calling him a monkey is unwise; orangutans are apes. Intruders are considered to have called him a monkey in advance. Be warned.
  • Rupert Giles and Jenny Calendar. Rupert tends to things in the physical realm, while Jenny protects the digital. Yes, they are dating.
  • Lucien, the librarian for Dream's library, in the Sandman comics.
  • Lirael, from the Garth Nix book of the same name.
  • The Library Exploration Club, based on the girls from Negima. Because of the lack of telepathic abilities in Fenspace, Nodoka is restricted to a logistical and tactical-control role in combat, but forcefields simulate Yue and Haruna's pactio abilities quite well.

Finally, there is the Head Librarian, an AI housed in the central computer of the archive. While most of the AIs in Fenspace are built upon PCs, the Alexandria main computer involves both a handwaved mainframe and axillary units built on technopagan designs created by the Jason. Her chosen avatar is female and a redhead. Her close friends call her Babs, but online, she's mostly known as Oracle. Only three other people are able to match or defeat Oracle in cyberspace one-on-one: Lebia Maverick, Trigon, and Buckaroo.

Get past them and into the data-depository mainframe, and people trying to remove data would have to get through encryption designed by the Hacker Underspace.

Anyone who manages to get past all of the Archive's defenses discovers that successful attacks have consequences... The original plan was for having all of one's data revealed to all the other security agencies on Earth, the Great Justice General Council, and Section 9. However, after Chris Marsden and Noah Scott personally and privately explained to The Jason[2] exactly what sort of counterintelligence operation would be staged by the 'Danelaw against the Archive if that was to happen, and how fine a powder the remains of the Archive would be left in at the end of that operation, the contingency plans were rather quickly updated. The details of the new plans are classified.


Needless to say, this is a long-term project. To get even a fairly comprehensive sample together will take decades at a minimum. Still, the AIs can afford to take the long view.


  1. The intelligence agencies who know about the true extent of the Archive alternately scream for the blood of all involved and drool at the thought of getting their hands on a copy. Especially since some of the Archive's probes were dropped near places like Langley and Fort Meade.
  2. consuming a six-pack of beer in the process