Cygnus Alpha was a Federation penal colony for criminals of all kinds. Its exact location was never given but its name suggests it was somewhere in the Cygnus constellation. The London took eight months to reach Cygnus Alpha from Earth.
Climate and FeaturesEdit
Cygnus Alpha appeared to be a barren and desolate planet, never seen in daylight (suggestively, the constellation Cygnus contains several stars outside the main sequence). There did not appear to be any advanced life-forms native to the planet.
There appeared to be either bacteria or viruses native to Cygnus Alpha as all human visitors experienced temporary sickness shortly after arrival (referred to by Vargas as the Curse of Cygnus). The sickness was short-lived with no apparent lasting effects.
The Federation did not have a permanent outpost on Cygnus, only the landing pad which prison ships put down out. The crews of prison ships never set foot on the planet, staying only long enough to disembark their prisoners.
According to Vargas, the colony on Cygnus Alpha had been in existence for five generations. The initial group of prisoners had built a society from nothing but it was destroyed when the next wave of convicts were deposited there. Vargas' great-great-grandfather hit upon the idea of founding a new religion to control the inhabitants of the planet, and this was successful. Vargas himself was ruler and High Priest of Cygnus Alpha. The Curse of Cygnus was incorporated into the religion as an additional means of control.
The population of Cygnus Alpha remained small throughout this time: Vargas said he had never had more than 500 followers. The male population appeared to vastly outnumber the female, which may have been a factor in this.
When the London deposited Vila, Gan, and numerous other prisoners there it had been followed by the Liberator. Blake viewed Cygnus Alpha as a potential recruiting ground but had not reckoned on Vargas' control of the planet. Vargas captured Blake and demanded he be given control of the ship so he might take his religion to other worlds. However Blake was able to teleport Vargas into space. How the inhabitants of Cygnus Alpha responded to this loss is unknown.