In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC), the Self-Aware Colony is a Secret Project. It may be built at a cost of 450 minerals, on discovery of Self-Aware Machines (D11). The Self-Aware Colony cuts per-turn base facility maintenance cost by half. It also applies the effects of an additional police unit at each base if your social engineering profile permits use of police.

How useful is this? Even assuming you've built the Projects that provide free base facilities (e.g. Citizen's Defense Force, Singularity Inductor, etc.), and avoided overbuilding with unnecessary facilities, your well-developed bases may cost as much as 30 currency units each per turn; on average it's probably around 15 currency units per base per turn. If you only have 40 of these average bases when you build the Self-Aware Colony, it pays for itself in just two turns.

As noted for the Network Backbone, an extra police unit is worth about 5 currency per base; you would need 120 bases to recoup the production cost in police effects alone. Although it does pay for itself quite quickly in maintenance cost savings, the Self-Aware Colony isn't as stellar a deal as other Projects in the ballpark, such as the Space Elevator or Telepathic Matrix.

Secret Project animation narrative:
   "Will we next create false gods to rule over us? How proud we have become, and how blind."
   -- Sister Miriam Godwinson,
   "We Must Dissent"

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