Written by CyberCat
The colony worlds were humankind's first foray into cyberspace. They are extremely specialized systems, programmed specifically for humans to colonize--hence the name. Because they were designed to support human life, their environments closely resemble conditions found on Earth. Thus, they have weather like Earth does, and organic life which is similar to that found on Earth. The climate and plant life varies from world to world, depending on certain variables programmed into each world. (There's been a bit of debate over whether the inhabitants of the colony worlds are truly organic life, or just computer programs that closely simulate organic life.)
The important difference is that the colony worlds are tied in to the Net, so that you can get to any system in cyberspace from any point whithin a colony world. To move between Earth and the colony worlds, however, you must use one of the Gateways, which are enormous portals set up in certain points on the globe. Each Gateway leads to a different world, and the only way to get from Earth to the Net or vice-versa is to pass through a colony world. Thus, the colony worlds serve not only as places to live but also as the linkway between Earth and cyberspace.
There are a total of 50 colony worlds, 47 of which are open to the public [see Omega class]. Each colony world's name consists of its class (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Omega, depending on the world's environment), and a Roman numeral, based on the order in which the worlds were assigned to their respective classes. Of course, the native Anthro races have given them quite different names, but most humans still use their "official" names.
Alpha Class Beta Class Gamma Class Delta Class