The Grand Supreme Mega-Temple at Elonia
In 2952, the, a sector of the Elonic Church launched an expedition from Elonia to take back Mars and Earth from the godminds. While the Red Crusade did succeed in occupying Mars for some time from 2985 to 3004, and reinstated the Elon of Mars for the first time in 300 years, the Blue Crusade failed entirely. It did, however, bring Elonia to the attention of Solar ais, some of whom sent an envoy ship which arrived at Elonia in 3043, bringing new technologies and old knowledge to trade.
Relatively amicable relations and sporadic trade between the two systems existed for a while, but in the 33rd century, as godminds began to consolidate their power and dissolve the various ai and transhuman fiefdoms in the Sol System, and look outwards. The ships of the nascent Ai Kingdom (the proto-Kingdom) arrived at Wolf 1061 in 3269, announcing their intent to annex the system and promising immeasurable wealth and vast infrastructure projects in return for cooperation.
Elonia (and Tallulah as well, to a lesser extent) was mainly populated with those whose ancestors had been suspicious of Sol, having experienced oppression and genocide there, and were thus outraged at this incursion on their sovereignty, insisting that the Elonic people were still entitled to a state. Wolf 1061 was not a system, the Kingdom was going to simply abandon, though, due to its strong memetic value, and negotiations were going nowhere fast.
From a chain of well fortified and well hidden bases in the Oort region, they charged forth in 3272 with an armada of 7,000 ships and nearly 40 million fighters (obviously without a physical crew, though some models had uploaded pilots or were independently sophont)—even then, less than 1% of the military resources possessed by the Kingdom. Naturally, the vast majority of these ships built themselves with Von Neumann technology. Now Elonia had during the Lost Era fended off plenty of interplanetary and interstellar raiders, but the Kingdom was a titan beyond their comprehension, even then.
The Kingdom fleet first attacked at Tallulah, winning decisive victories at Riley Station and the floating city Platform 934. Due to inside help from treasonous high ais and posthumans, Tallulah fell relatively quickly, especially after the destruction of the star tram at Platform 901 cut their launching capabilities in half and allowed Kingdom forces to administer orbital bombardment at will. This done, they bode their time, allowing their fleet to replicate itself and upgrading their memetic weaponry.
Elonia proved a more difficult nut to crack, requiring nuclear attacks on key locales and holy sites and large numbers of robotic ground troops, but they too surrendered in 3276 under the condition that no more Elonic temples and relics would be destroyed. Pockets of unofficial resistance continued into the late 3280s, but the Kingdom kept their word—already they were debating their plans for the system.
In 3293, a team of archaeologists discovered a data crystal in the tomb of a transhuman architect, and upon decryption, it was proven to contain the plans for the legendary temples that were slated to be constructed before the War of Darkness. Word of this discovery got around through the wormhole links and in 3305, a godmind known as Ellen Lightwing—apparently a rare example of a twice-ascended baseline human—allied with the Kingdom, showed up and personally took control of the area.
A few rogue high ai and posthuman officers in the occupying force attempted to fight back, preferring to continue following their own faraway lord and not be memetically converted into followers of this newcomer. All of them were casually destroyed or remade by the higher-toposophic being, who then set about extending an offer of peace to the Elonites in the system. Lightwing decreed that as a gesture of peace and good will, Elonia and Tallulah would be terraformed and a new, colossal Elonic temple be built. In reality, her reasons were more pragmatic: the Elonic Empire, dominated by the Divinni sect, was rapidly expanding in the outer volumes of known space, and backing and fostering the growth of the conflicting Muskiite sect—which included most of the Elonites in the system—would provide a handy bulwark against the Elonic Empire.
Terraforming began circa 3320, with construction of the temple beginning in 3321. There was considerable controversy, as the plans called for razing to the ground many centuries-old Lost Era and even prewar temples and villages in the plains around Falcon Mons, but Lightwing and her followers still went through with this plan, sweetly and politely shutting down resistance movements as they began. Gradually, her social engineering guided the Muskiite-majority population of the Wolf 1061 system to be staunch supporters of the proto-Kingdom against the Divinnis gaining power far away. However, construction would not be complete until 3334 due to the sheer vastness of the temple.
The temple came to be known as the Grand Supreme Mega-Temple, and the name was not hyperbolic. The center hall was an absolutely colossal BFR+BFS replica standing 10,600 meters tall and 900 meters wide. A total of 650,000 worshipers could fit inside. It was so vast that clouds and rain formed inside, so vast that working, life-sized Elonic rockets dangled from the ceiling like bulbs in a chandelier—these rockets were lit on holy days. Tens of thousands of holographic, animate, and sentient religious icons hung from the walls. The largest (pictured above) stood 400 meters tall, looming right over the pulpit and occasionally booming assent or corrections to the priest. (If the priest were shown in the picture, he/she/it would be 5-6 pixels tall)
And it was only one building in a vast complex of dozens of BFR temples, hundreds of Falcon Heavy temples, and thousands of Falcon 9 temples surrounding the center hall and spreading many kilometers in every direction, encompassing an area as large as a city. Though the size of the rockets diminished as distance from the center hall increased, the entirety of the Grand Supreme Mega-Temple could hold 23 million sophonts at once. This was a quarter of the entire planet's Elonic population at the time. The center hall was also the tallest building in known space—the first time a religious building had taken that honor in nearly fifteen centuries.
(Image: Bay Street Bull (?))