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Genome colony

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Genome Colony

The biosphere of the genome colony on Moab IV in 2368.

Genome colony was a self-contained colony of Humans. It was founded around 2168 on the planet Moab IV. The planet itself was entirely uninhabitable and only the biosphere constructed for the colony allowed for Human settlement. Within the biosphere, which had been built to withstand the harsh environment and resist earthquakes up to 8.7 on the Richter scale, the environment was lush and beautiful as well as meticulously maintained. In the 24th century, the colony had several thousand colonists.

The original colonists on Moab IV dreamed of establishing a paradise, one in which no member would feel unfulfilled and future generations would be free from disease and infirmity. To this end, the colony on Moab IV was socially- and gentically-engineered. Each member of society was bred to fill a specific role in the community, and was trained from birth for that role. This had the additional effect of making the society highly integrated and interdependent. Although there was enough genetic diversity to deal with unexpected illness or death on an individual scale, a mass population shift could have had a serious impact on the genetic and social integrity of the society. The colony was also a closed environment. Since its inception, no one had been allowed to enter or leave the society.

An extreme test of the colony's social cohesion occurred in 2368 when a stellar core fragment from a collapsed neutron star passed through the sector where Moab IV is located. The passing fragment, which had density of over ten million tons per cubic centimeter, posed a serious threat to the colony. Its mass would create large earthquakes, far beyond what the colony was designed to withstand.

The USS Enterprise-D, which had been observing the fragment's passing, offered assistance to the colony. But because of the colony's isolationist history and its delicate social balance, the assistance offered by the Enterprise was only reluctantly accepted by the colony's leader, Aaron Conor, and only because the alternative would be the physical destruction of the colony. Despite the clear need for the Federation's help, the colony's advocate, Martin Benbeck, whose job it was to interpret the wishes of the founders of the experimental society, strongly objected to any outside influence.

His fears proved well-founded. The core fragment was eventually diverted, and physical harm to the colony prevented, but the damage to the society was perhaps more devastating. Twenty-three members of the colony left Moab IV aboard Enterprise after being exposed to the world beyond their biosphere, over the pleas of Conor and Benbeck. This included Hannah Bates, the colony's top scientist. Conor expected that the damage done to the delicate fabric of the society would take generations to repair, and ruefully stated that the emigrants would be welcomed back if they eventually chose to return. (TNG: "The Masterpiece Society")

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