Author Archives: Bash Quandry

About Bash Quandry

Hyper-famous space station builder of many years and author of the SAGA Universe core story-line. He now serves as Continuity Adviser and SAGA Historian.

Cathedra City

Cathedra City was founded in 2280 on the Lumus home world of Solum. Built on an artificial island located in the middle of the vast Besar Basah sea, the city serves as a political neutral zone. Initially used for cross faction negotiations between Lumus, Brotherhood, and other minor groups, it was later used to receive Alien delegations.

Cathedra on its surface is a beautiful and polished monument to human social and political enlightenment. The city is filled with high-end merchant shops, entertainment, culture, and luxury living. All surrounding the Umoja Tower standing in the center. However Cathedra is also known for having a not so wholesome underground. This is not to say that anything unlawful is going on – at least not officially – it’s simply understood that not all negotiations are settled at a council table.

The city’s location was chosen because of its remoteness. The Besar Basah sea is a massive inland sea covering roughly 2.5 million kilometers surrounded by the brutal terrain of the Shattered Mountains and Amadoda forest filled with trees towering more that 160 meters tall and 25 meters at the base. The size and location of the sea makes it relatively calm year round.

Chapter 9: The Cysti

Introductions

A line of Ferrum soldiers flanked one side of the alien shuttle craft’s door, a line of Arma on the other. They stood at ceremony attention but there weapons were armed. Ferrum Director Emil Stanic, the station commander, and the Scientia Research Head, Mattias Eriksson, stood at the head of the lines. Everyone waiting for the shuttle door to open. Stanic could hear Eriksson’s heart pounding and thought what bad form it would be to have him drop dead of a heart attack in front of their alien guests. But then he realized that his heart was galloping too.

The last several days were spent broadcasting back to the alien craft information we hoped would translate our wish to meet on peaceful terms. Now there was an alien shuttle docked in the hangar of the Planck Space Station. Half the station’s crew was present, every one of them wearing the same look of excited terror.

Inside that ship was the absolute unknown. This moment had lived in our imaginations for centuries but the reality of it defied all reference. The combined intellectual and scientific speculation of human history. All the fantasy of science fiction that embodied our broadest hopes and our darkest fears. None of it held any weight in the reality of this moment. Every person standing there then was struck by the same two realizations; that we were scientifically, psychologically, and emotionally unprepared for what was in that ship; and, despite that we’d known the fact of it for a long time, when that door opened we were no longer alone, no longer the center of the universe. Stanic thought that it was perhaps the first time in history humankind had been truly humbled. Then the shuttle doors open.

A being steps out. Thin, well over two and a half meters tall with grey blue skin and dressed in a long red robe adorned in intricate patterns. It had a long neck and a smallish head crowned with horn-like projections that swept along the cranium merging in the back. It’s face is almost featureless and dominated by huge eyes with golden ringed irises. It had no identifiable nose and a very small mouth.

The alien paused at the opening studying the hangar full of humans before stepping out and gesturing for the other two in the ship to follow. For a several minutes they all, aliens and humans, stood and looked each other over. Stanic suddenly realized that they probably had no clue who to approach and stepped forward. The lead alien acknowledges this and stepped towards Stanic as well. Stanic felt an odd wave of calm wash over him as the alien approached. He glanced back at Ericsson and gestured for him to keep pace. Ericsson moved with a conscious effort to keep his legs under him, eyes fixed on the aliens. The alien bowed and presented its open palms. Stanic instinctively responded by mimicking the gesture. Then the creature put its hand on its shoulder and spoke, it’s voice was calm and even. “I am Kora of the Cysti. Are you able to understand me?”

Stanic reached behind his ear and touched his Wernicke device attached there. A few days before their visit the aliens had transmitted detailed data on some technology. The Scientia brains determined it was some sort of language processor and began programming ANTS production code to manufacture device. It acted to intercept speech and translate it before passing it on to the brain. It seemed to work, although with a slight delay.

Ericsson excitedly responds to Kora’s inquiry, “Yes, we can understand you. Incredible. Can you understand us?” Kora nods in acknowledgment. Stanic takes another step forward and makes introductions, “I am Director Stanic, I command this outpost, and this is Doctor Eriksson he leads our scientific endeavours here. We are humans” Kora bows with open hands again and replies, “We are joyous to meet you.”

Politics

Over the next few days we exchange general information with the Cysti. Biological, cultural, and scientific basics needed to form a foundation of understanding. The Cysti already knew a great deal about our technology given they had been studying us since encountering our first probes into Vigilem.

From them we learned Vigilem was home to several native races as well as many that claimed territory in the region. They explained that while we were free to explore and establish colonies and outposts, we needed to be aware that we do not have the freedoms we had in Draco-Tao. Vigilem has a complex and shifting interspecies political system, of which the Cysti acted as arbitrators. A political system we were not required to participate in, however one of which had rules we must abide if we were going to be in Vigilem.

Whether or not humanity would join some intergalactic federation was a matter beyond Stanic’s authority. A matter the be discussed in further meetings between the Cysti, Imperium Leadership, and Brotherhood Command in the coming weeks.

One thing was clear. We definitely weren’t the center of the Universe anymore.

Chapter 10: Coming Soon

Chapter 8: First Contact

Business As Usual

Following the conclusion of the Clan War in 2270 it was back to business as usual in Draco-Tao. The Lumus enthusiastically continued their colonization, and the Brotherhood set to the task of bolstering defense. Towards the end of 2285, 30% of Draco-Tao was effectively mapped, a sizeable feat. In general colonization and populations were steadily on the rise.

In late 2286 a Lumus long distance freighter is attacked and its cargo of decommissioned LEAP gates stolen. LEAP technology cannot be transported via LEAP because of the residual Nueon charge left over after extended use, so gates and reactors were some of a few things that still had to be transported by ship. The theft of the gates was followed a few weeks later by another highjacking, this time of a transport carrying food stores. Over the next year hijackings increased to the point that the trade guilds began demanding military escorts. Based on descriptions of the hostile ships involved it appeared that the Pirate Clans were making a resurgence.

It was unfeasible of course to task military resources to protect every shipment through the galaxy, and with the Illuminated adhering fixedly to their noninterference policies, tracking down the Pirate activity proved difficult. Clan attacks steadily increased as did their boldness. Armed engagements were inevitable.

In July of 2295 Clan insurgents occupy the Three Graces colony. The 15 day occupation of the large densely populated capital city of Tethys proved difficult for Arma forces not used to ground assaults or the Clans guerrilla tactics. Before the city could be secured more than 25 thousand colonists died in the conflict.

Five years later in 2299 Clan forces seize control of the Arma military shipyard in the remote Plath system. The Plath shipyard was built in the middle of an asteroid field, and the entire system itself was littered with asteroid debris. The asteroids provided an abundance of raw materials that made Plath a highly productive shipyard as well as making it impossible to LEAP into, or even navigate larger ships through. For this reason the facility was very lightly guarded making it easy for the Pirates to gain control. It’s also why the conflict to drive them out dragged on for over a year resulting in the Clans acquiring hundreds of Arma ships. Ships that allowed them to grab more power.

The mining outpost orbiting the gas giant Thelon was the primary source for Pewon 121, an extremely rare noble gas used for Plasma weapons. Normally only available and refined in small amounts, Thelon’s lower atmosphere contained huge quantities of it. The Clans knew Thelon was critical and either wanted to take it, or destroy it. The five year long war for control of the region ended in 2313 when Ferrum forces located and destroyed the Clan shipyards hidden in the Cascades nebula deep in uncharted Draco space. The loss of the shipyards seriously crippled the Clan’s cause, but did not stop them. They were in Draco-Tao to stay this time.

Vigilem Expansion

Despite conflicts with the Pirate Clans Lumus expansion in Draco-Tao moved along at a healthy pace, the population soon approaching 250 billion. This didn’t mean that the Lumus weren’t still looking for other intelligent life in the Universe. On May 12th 2358 a long distance research probe returns flyby data on a planet located in the NGC-1291 galaxy more than 10 million light years from Draco-Tao. Images of the planet showed the ruins of a vast ancient alien city. Many Scientia researchers had been focused on the area as a likely location for alien life due to the prevalence of structured radio signals coming from the galaxy. With this new evidence the Lumus Imperium sanctioned extended exploration of Vigilem.

This new expansion was met with the usual opposition and conservative calls for caution from the Brotherhood. Ultimately they knew there was no stopping the insatiable curiosity of the Lumus and committed a Ferrum fleet and 13,000 Ferrum soldiers to the expedition. The initial push into Vigilem included 150 thousand people that would be tasked with finding a new home world and begin laying the infrastructure required for a permanent colony and eventual expansion point.

With 180 years of colonization under humanities belt a prime planet was located in no time. The new world was lush with an ecosystem that fell in the desired Humable range, meaning diverse enough to withstand the introduction of a new species, and balanced in such a way that humans were the top predator. This new world was called Pilam and was the 5th planet in the binary star system Leto.

First Contact

October 5th 2361 3:34 AM – Ferrum fighters scramble to intercept a vessel approaching Pilam. Every station in orbit around the planet is on full alert and anyone not frantically rushing to their duty station, is either staring slack jawed out of a view port or at a monitor. The ship doesn’t seem to be in any hurry, approaching the planet at a leisurely and steady pace with no deviation in its course even as Ferrum Grendel fighters flank it. Scientia scientists aboard the Planck Space Station bicker over procedure while barking conflicting orders at the communications crew.

For nearly 200 years since the discovery of the Hollow Moon in the Milky Way galaxy mankind has known they were not alone and sought out intelligent life. The entire motivation and purpose of journeying to Vigilem was to realize this desire, and for all the speculation and planning and dreaming, now with intelligent life on our doorstep no one could agree on how to say Hi. The chaos is finally broken by a comms officer by the name of Kalie Usagi, unable to get anyone’s attention puts the broadcast she is monitoring on the stations open channel and everyone falls silent as they hear the first words ever spoken by a non-human. “Open hands to be received in kind.”

We’d made first contact.

Chapter 9: The Cysti

Colonization Loss

An expected degree of loss to both the ecosystem of a newly colonized world and to the colonists within the first few decades. Through experience and practice we’ve learned how to effectively determine what our impact on a planet will be and how suitable the ecology of the planet will be for us. With the most modern methods of colonization loss ratios have been greatly reduced.

Humable Range

The Humable Range is a scale applied to habitable planets. It takes into account various aspects of the planets ecology and the fragility of its ecosystem to determine the colonization risk.

Despite out best attempts, human introduction into an environment is always destructive to some degree. It is expected that during the first five decades of colonization of a new world that a number of native species will be lost. As well a number of humans. This is called Colonization Loss and is simply an accepted part of the process, but every attempt is made to keep it to a minimum. Younger ecosystems may be unable to adapt to a new outside species and would eventually collapse over decades. as well many worlds may be chemically and environmentally perfect for humans but their ecology might not be. In order for humans to thrive we must be at the top of the food chain. Planets with high ratios of large predators among the wildlife aren’t suitable for colonization. Ultimately we’d end up killing off the top level predators that were a threat to us and thus irreparably upsetting the ecosystem.

When a new world is found probes take samples and thousands of factors are considered. The outcome of these tests determine a planets Humable range. It’s a very narrow window. Planets in the range of 1 to 3 are too delicate for successful colonization, with planets at the low end being even too sensitive to risk any human contact. Planets that fall in a Humable range of 7 to 10 are far to volatile or ecologically hostile for humans to survive. A perfect planet will be a 5, with room on either side. A 5 will be a planet with an established and robust ecosystem that can handle some loss due to the introduction of a new species. Also one where the plant life is mostly non-predatory, meaning everything that grows isn’t poisonous. Most importantly a planet where the top level predators are not big enough to eat people like snack poppers.

Master Code Theory

Humans had known for centuries that all known life shared DNA, informing the belief that everything evolved from a common ancestor during the billions of years of evolution of life on Earth. But the question was our DNA exclusive to Earth? Was there other life in the universe that shared the same code? It wasn’t until the mid 2100s, during mankind’s first ventures beyond their solar system, that we found the answer.

Early expeditions beyond the reach of our sun were understandably focused on planets we projected were hospitable to life. We quickly discovered that vital planets in our own galaxy were no where as rare as we speculated. Microbial life, simple organisms, and plant life abounded in nearly every solar system we probed. The discovery of complex organisms was not as common, but still not rare. much of this new life was strange and some shockingly familiar. By 2150 it was clear that our DNA was not an isolated occurrence and far far older than we would have ever imagined.

In 2180 our migration into Draco-Tao – 60 billion light years from Earth – provided further confirmation of this. The plants and wildlife on Solum, and other planets we studied and colonized later, all evolved from a common base code. The same confirmation as we expanded into the Vigilem galaxy in 2280. DNA as we knew it was indeed pervasive throughout the universe.

It is important to note that “common” does not mean “same”. Obviously the genetic variation across worlds and organisms is significant. A common source of DNA explains why so many aliens exhibit familiar characteristics, and the prevalence of so many humanoid aliens. However, even an alien races such as the Aran, that are nearly physically identical to humans, are as genetically removed from us as a plant.

However, as it is with science, answers are questions waiting to be asked. And the new burning question was, what was the source?

 

Illumination Matrix

The Illumination Matrix is a vastly complex neural construct that serves as the nexus for all Illuminated beings. in 2229 The Matrix was moved from Solum to an undisclosed planet after the Imperium High Council ruled that the Illuminated were no longer humans. The location is currently unknown.

Clan Wars

Period between 2250 and 2270 of conflicts where the Brotherhood, Lumus, and Nomad faction respond to the violent encroachment of Pirate Clans into Drago-Tao from the Milky Way.

Gaian War

A conflict between the Earth-is-home extremist organization – eventually to become the Gaian Nation – and the rest of humanity. The conflicts started as protests to humanity’s continued exploration and expansion into space during much of the 2100’s. Discord escalated in 2163 with the discovery of the Hollow Moon and evidence of advanced alien intelligence in the Milky Way galaxy. The Gaian war from 2168 to 2178 resulted in the overthrowing of the UGC and the Gaian Nation coming to power.

Chapter 7: The Pirate Clans

The Pirate Clans

By 2168 the violent war on Earth had pushed millions of people into the Milky Way Galaxy hoping to find peace in the outer colonies. However, after the conclusion of the Gaian war in 2178 the outer colonies were more or less on their own. Cut off from Gaian controlled Earth and abandoned by those that had escaped to some distant unknown galaxy during the Exodus. With no central authority, corruption ran wild and one by one star systems came under the control of several criminal organizations known as the Pirate Clans.

By 2183 most of the Milky Way was ruled over by nine major Clans constantly vying for territory and resources with each other. Under their reign it cannot be denied that humanity survived and even flourished, however the evolution of civilization took a very different path than it did in Draco-Tao. Violence, inequality, enslavement, exploitation; these things were not just commonplace, they were an integral part of the political and financial systems of the Clans.

Nomad Rebellion

In 2245, unable to withstand the will of the Imperium on their own, and with the Brotherhood refusing involvement, the Nomadic groups called out to their brothers in the Milky Way. The Clans seeing the opportunity for expansion and profit answered the call, and under the guise of assisting the rebellion they began moving into Draco-Tao. The Brotherhood immediately saw the threat and attempted to intervene but it was too late. The Clans flooded in from the Milky Way and seized control of Nomad territories. By 2250 they were firmly established and began moving into Lumus regions.

The Clan’s quickly became a real threat to the Imperium way of life. They were particularly adept at finding and attacking newly established colonies, seriously undermining Lumus expansion efforts and expanding their own territory at an alarming rate. In the beginning the Clans, having spent decades at war with one another, and controlling massive armies and fleets of combat ready ships, more than outmatched the Lumus and Brotherhood forces. The Lumus in particular suffered heavy losses early on, lacking any real military force of their own. The Brotherhood fared better but were far too few in number to push back the Clans.

It was clear that the factions of Draco-Tao could not persist in their current fractured state. An alliance was struck between the Brotherhood, Lumus, and the few surviving remnants of the Nomads. The Brotherhood began recruiting and training soldiers from the Civis population that would become the Arma – the new official Lumus military. The bulk of Lumus industry was shifted to the rapid manufacturing of military technologies and with the vast resources of the Lumus, and the military will and strategy of the Brotherhood, the Clans began to lose ground.

The Clan Wars

The Clans did not yield easily. As each independent Clan began to lose territory they too unified – something never achieved before in their history. For a brief period both sides were fairly evenly matched. Eventually however, as the Arma ranks steadily grew, the Clans’ forces and victories rapidly dwindled. Their response was a marked increase in violent and bloody campaigns against innocent targets.

A Clan favorite tactic was to coordinate attacks on multiple Lumus colonies in order to divide Arma and Ferrum forces. They would then use the distraction to hit the real target such as weapons manufacturing facilities. The Brotherhood quickly developed new tactics using superior LEAP technology making these diversionary ploys less and less effective. As defeat loomed the Clans’ objectives shifted from holding territory to inflicting as much damage on the enemy as possible.

On August 15th 2270, in a bold show of power, the combined forces of the Clans attacked the Lumus home world of Solum. The attack was quick, expertly coordinated, and deadly. Ferrum and Arma defense forces were overrun, and before reinforcements arrived two Clan ships made it through the defenses into Solum orbit. Before being destroyed they launched their payloads of nukes towards the planet. Most of the bombs were intercepted by planetary defenses, but three found their targets detonating over the major city of Cybrene killing more than 390 thousand people.

The Lumus took the losses hard calling for immediate retaliation. and the use of a powerful weapon developed by the Brotherhood only a few years prior. The Brotherhood agreed that the use of the Singularity Bomb was justified. A message had to be sent before Clan reinforcements could be called in from the Milky Way. There was only one problem, since their retreat after the attack on Solum no one had been able to track the Clans’ location.

Enter the Illuminated.

Since their separation the Illuminated had been watching the events of humanity unfold – hidden and adhering to a strict policy of noninterference. But with many of their own families having been killed in the attack on Solum, it was too much to bear in silence. They revealed themselves and offered their assistance. The Lumus and Brotherhood accepted without hesitation.

Heavy Hitter

On August 20th 2270, Operation Heavy Hitter is put into play. The newly allied Illuminated, using their abilities to access subspectrum communications paths, locate the Clan lair on a planet in one of Draco-Tao’s uncharted regions. A Mark1 Singularity Bomb is LEAPed into the Clan occupied system. Speeding towards the planet the bomb detonates precisely on target, an area between the planet and one of its moons.

The bombs mass collapses into a micro singularity. The effect is brief but powerful. In the span of a few seconds the sudden intense pocket of gravity pulls at the moon, fracturing and shearing off enormous chunks of its surface and pulling them towards the singularity. On the planet’s surface the gravity variance is enough to influence tectonic shifts causing planet-wide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. As well, the Clan ships and stations around the planet are flung out of orbit, some shooting off in wild vectors and others ripped apart skipping across the planets atmosphere. Then the singularity dissipates and the dislodged lunar chunks slam back into the moon with incredible force sending a shower of debris towards the planet.

The moon’s orbit had been so destabilized that it was torn apart. For days it disintegrated bombarding the planet with more debris and causing even more devastating tectonic events. A single bomb had triggered an extinction level event. The message was sent. Draco-Tao was not defenseless. The remaining Clan forces surrendered, or were tracked down with the help of the Illuminated, and sent honor-bare back to the Milky Way.

The Clan War was one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history, consuming more than four billion lives. However it brought the factions of Draco-Tao together. Not as one, or without discord, but with a sense of critical cooperation. The Lumus remained over-zealous of their expansion efforts, but now at least adopted standard security policies. The Brotherhood took the lessons of the war and improved its tactical training. As well they began their own expansion efforts, establishing militarily strategic colonies, and even pushing into uncharted regions ahead of the Lumus to ensure security. Even the relationship between humanity and the Illuminated had been reestablished, if even in just a limited capacity.

It may not have been a perfect unity, but it was a vital unity for the adventure to come.

Chapter 8: First Contact

Chapter 5: Exodus

Inhuman

For Gaian Military High Commander, Lea Wurfel, the war was not over. In her view there were billions of threats to Gaian security living throughout the galaxy. Every colony on every planet was an enemy of Gaia, and the most immediate threat was Pangaea. The massive orbiting complex was home to nearly a billion people, many that had never set foot on Earth. Wurfel, like most conservative Gaians, believed that people not born on the planet lacked a connection to the Earth Mother, and therefore held no loyalty to Gaia. In fact anyone not born on Earth wasn’t seen as a true human, and had no rights under Gaian law. As such, there was little opposition when Wurfel order the extermination of Pangaea on April 20th 2179.

For ten days Pangaean security forces resisted occupation but, severely outgunned, Pangaea eventually fell. What was once arguably the greatest engineering marvel in human history, and often touted as the closest to utopia man would ever achieve, was turned into a concentration camp overnight. Wurfel and her troops showed no mercy. For weeks Gaian soldiers tortured and executed Pangaean citizens by the thousands.

The death squads would disable life support and watch people suffocate and freeze to death. When they became bored of that, they would pack people by the hundreds into large cargo containers and launch them out of airlocks to burn up in the atmosphere. It seemed to have become a game for them as they worked their way through the massive space station. News of the atrocities on Pangaea spread quickly throughout the outer planetary colonies but most were unable or unwilling to intervene. There was hope however.

Leap Of Faith

A decade prior the “Leap Of Faith” mission was to be the furthest LEAP ever attempted. The mission was intended to explore a solar system in the NGC-1300, or Draco-Tao galaxy. Discovered four years prior by a LEAP probe, the system contained two habitable stellar bodies named Solum and Solide. The first was one of the most earth-like planets ever discovered with conditions and resources as close to perfect for colonization as anyone could ask. The second was a moon, not as earth-like, but rich with valuable minerals and ores critical in technology manufacturing.

Initially the Faith mission was to be just another scientific conquest, but as the Gaian War unfolded, EDI Director Grey Hevey saw it as plan B. He knew that without UGC support human colonization of the Milky Way was unregulated, and with the harsh living conditions and no central authority, corruption would quickly take root. Piracy had already become commonplace and seeing the situation only becoming increasingly unstable Hevey decided that establishing a foothold in the distant galaxy was the best strategic move.

The Leap of Faith mission was kept under the strictest secrecy, known only to a few top level EDI and WSO officials. On March 7th 2169, a massive 240 meter tall space station named Isis Tempus, along with a small fleet of support stations and ships, LEAPed out of orbit around an isolated planet in the Milky Way. Twenty two seconds later it reappeared in the Draco-Tao galaxy located in the Eridanus Cluster, approximately 61 million light years from Earth.

Liberation

In the end none of the outer colonies had the resources to do anything about the atrocities on Pangaea. But, unbeknownst to most of humanity, over the previous several years the manufacturing facility on Solide had been busily turning out the most advanced military craft ever produced. The Grendel HF-A05 was the first of its kind. A fighter craft capable of both atmo and space combat.

With the fall of the UGC, Grey Hevey moved to rally former EDI personnel under a new flag – The Brotherhoof Of Sol. While nowhere near the scale of the former EDI, Hevey still inspired tremendous loyalty, and thousands pledged themselves to the newly formed Brotherhoodl. However, even with the new ship there was no hope of taking on the full force of the Gaian military on the ground. So Hevey aimed for the moon.

On May 28th 2179, Grey Hevey, aboard a Shinigami class space station positioned just outside the range of the Earth Detection Network, gives the order to launch operation “Hell Hammer” and fifty Grendel fighters pour through three specially modified LEAP gates.

The first squadron emerged from LEAP at top speed, skimming 30 meters above the lunar surface. The ships plow through the Gaian rail gun placements outside the Luna Chorda Moon base before the defense system can even come online.

The second squadron LEAP to secure the Pangaea space complex while the third and fourth squadrons head for the planet surface. In the night sky above the new Gaian capitol, people look up at what they believe to be shooting stars. By the time they hear the the growl of Grendels engines, fire is already raining from the sky as plasma cannons hammer the city.

By morning, as Hevey and a fleet of Shinigami LEAP into orbit, the Brotherhood have secured Pangaea, the Gaian capital, and most critically, Luna Chorda. The Gaian airforce respond by are no match for the maneuverability or power of the Brotherhood fighter craft.

Hevey makes a simple demand. The safe release of anyone that wished to leave Earth or he would destroy Luna Chorda. Not knowing the extent of Brotherhood forces, Gaian Military Commander, Lea Wurfel begrudgingly agrees to Hevey’s terms and sanctions, not only the release of the Pangean prisoners of war, but also the free passage of anyone else that wished to leave Earth.

Exodus

Over a period of four months the combined fleets of the former EDI and WSO ferry some 2.5 billion people from Earth and Pangaea to their new home on Solum. On September 13th 2179, the last of the refugees LEAP away from Earth.

Chapter 6: Factions

Imperium Political Families

The Imperium itself is comprised of political groups called Families. Each Family is made up of representatives from various planets and colonies with members all vying for power and influence over the Imperium council. Anyone can choose to join a Family and work their way up the ranks in hopes of reaching the Imperium council. Representatives remain in power for as long as their Family continues to support them.

The Scientia are the only group that bypass the Family structure having their own elected group that represent them in the Imperium directly.

Rock Jockey

Rock Jockey or Asteroid Jokey are names referring to asteroid miners. First used in the early 2100’s, a time when Rock Jockies and the Asteroid mining life style was highly glamorized. More recently, the term is simply common slang and doesn’t have any particularly idealic or negetive connotation.

Chapter 6: Factions

Second Renaissance

A decade following the exodus from Earth nearly three billion humans called the planet Solum home and civilization flourished. The plentiful resources of both Solum and the moon of Solide allowed infrastructure to be established quickly and settlements become cities seemingly overnight.

By 2200 civilization on Solum was well established and focuses had shifted from survival to the opportunities and freedom ahead. The new landscape inspired many, scientifically and artistically. An entire uncharted world fueled scientific exploration resulting in discoveries driving new technological advancements. As well a varied array of art and architecture arose during what would be known as the Second Renaissance.

The Second Renaissance also saw new philosophical and sociological transformations. Unlike any other time in human history, there was no need for carefully crafted diplomacy, or the establishment of arbitrary borders, to ensure peace between peoples of differing social philosophies. Humanity was not bound to a single planet anymore and as people remade society parts of civilization began to break off into distinct factions.

This is not to say there wasn’t a government or order, but the authorities that arose from this period, and that would persist, were very different from any other time in human history.

The Lumus

After the exodus from Earth in 2181 a temporary government was formed to help organize the more than two billion displaced peoples. The new governing body, known as the Imperium, was extremely effective and popular. It was not merely a government, but a subculture unto itself. Over time the people of Solum came to identify themselves collectively as the Lumus, and by 2210 the Imperium was recognized as the established authority.

With the majority of the population having come from Pangaea it’s not surprising that the cooperative values and traditions of their former society remained. Lumus culture emphasized the importance of community. It also prioritized intellectual advancement. A segment of Lumus society identified as the Scientia became responsible for the scientific and intellectual development of society as a whole.

Anyone that didn’t align specifically with either the Imperium or Scientia were know as Civis, a class not below the others, but without a specific charge. The Civis made up the bulk of Lumus society and as such the bulk of Lumus agriculture and industry.

Each segment of Lumus culture played its role in achieving the single overriding principle of Lumus philosophy; that it is the destiny of mankind to spread throughout the universe. A drive that often put the Lumus at odds with the Brotherhood.

Brotherhood

The Brotherhood of Sol were the self-sworn protectors of humanity and were much respected and honored for their role in the liberation and exodus. However it was clear from the beginning that Brotherhood society was separate from all others. While they were a constant presence, they didn’t call Solum home, instead claiming the moon of Solide as their homeworld. It was not however until after Grey Hevey’s death in 2191 that the Brotherhood began to see itself as a defined culture and in 2199 they officially declared themselves independent of the Lumus and Imperium.

The relationship between the Brotherhood and the Imperium was, to say the least, strained. The Brotherhood frequently disputed Imperium policies, in particular those pertaining to Lumus expansion and exploration into the new galaxy. It wasn’t that the Brotherhood opposed expansion, it was more of an ongoing struggle to rein in the, often reckless, Lumus enthusiasm for discovery. The Brotherhood was not even a tenth the population of the Lumus so their aggressive expansions challenged the Brotherhood’s resources and ability to protect them as they ventured off into Draco-Tao.

Nomads

The Brotherhood were not the only ones at odds with Lumus policies. As humanity expanded throughout the Draco-Tao galaxy there were inevitably those who did not wish to fall under the rule of either the Imperium or Brotherhood. These outliers were known collectively as Nomads. Over time, as tends to happen with isolated cultures, Nomads became unfairly stigmatized.

It was no secret that much of the conflict between the Nomads and Lumus stemmed from territorial disputes. In their vie for independence the Nomads pushed into Draco-Tao early on. As the Lumus began their expansions they often encroached on regions establish by Nomad pioneers and attempted to enforce governance over Nomad colonies. Sometimes they simply moved into regions and took over. This forced the Nomads further out into more remote, less desirable regions.

The confrontations between the Nomad groups and Lumus, combined with the Brotherhood’s refusal to get involved, would ultimately lead to the Nomad rebellion.

The Illuminated

One of the most important and controversial technologies to come out of the period of the Second Renaissance was indisputably the Process of Illumination. Not only was it the catalyst for many social and political debates over the true nature of humanity, it spawned a new culture unto itself.

Developed in 2160 by Pratt Groom, a leading Neurobiologist, alongside artificial Intelligence expert, Professor Emory Toffton. The Process of Illumination was a complete mapping and deconstruction of the conscious and unconscious mind of an individual. Every aspect of the person is transferred into a data construct specifically designed as an exact parallel of the subjects neuro pathways. Every memory, every emotion, every sight and sensation is reconstructed in an artificial duplicate of the persons mind.

Groom and Toffton had set out to capture the very essence of a person. They wanted the ability to escape flesh and bone and achieve immortality. From the beginning the technology raised many moral and philosophical questions pertaining to the consequences of immortality and even what it is to be classified as human. This did not deter 97 year old Groom in the least. On April 10th 2212, Groom is the first to undergo the process. A complete success, Groom awoke inside the Illumination Matrix after the 7 day long process and what he described as, “the worst nap I’ve ever taken”.

By 2221 nearly 300 people were part of the program. Illumination attracted some of the greatest minds in Lumus society; scientists, artists and teachers, all approaching the end of their lives. But the draw was far more than the prospect of immortality. With access to massive data stores and shared mind spaces, the Illuminated could explore ideas and thought without limit. As well, they had the ability to stream themselves over subspectrum communications, essentially giving them the ability to travel millions of light years to remote outposts with just a thought.

Controversy surrounding Illumination continued to rage on. There was much debate over whether or not the minds in the Illumination program were still considered people and thus the extent of their rights in Lumus society. By 2228 more than two thousand people had taken part in the Illumination process and with their growing population came increased prejudiced and persecution. Despite their continued and significant contributions to science and research they were treated with detachment at best. The worst persecution came from those that felt the Illumination process was an affront to God. They saw the Illuminated as having their souls ripped from their bodies and being denied the afterlife. These groups often took extreme actions in their attempts to shut down the Illumination program, both legally and illegally.

The situation came to a head on July 4th 2228 when the Imperium ruled that the Illuminated were digital facsimiles of deceased individuals, and not a people. The ruling effectively stripped the Illuminated of all rights in Lumus society. Considered little more than software, the Imperium began to approve petitions from the families of many Illuminated for the immediate termination of their loved ones from the program. However in anticipation of such a ruling, and in fear of their continued existence, the entire Illumination Matrix Facility had secretly been relocated to an undisclosed planet out of reach from the rest of humanity.
In February of 2229, with all physical ties to Solum severed, the Illuminated declare their independence from Lumus society, and to some degree, humanity. They then for the most part disappeared, with only a few choosing to continue their interactions with humanity.

Fractured

The Second Renaissance was a time of great strides forward for the new order of humanity, as well as its fracturing. The latter of which would open Draco-Tao up to an old, and a new threat.

Chapter 7: The Pirate Clans

Massive Burst Ultra Shortwave

On June 8th 2042, Brinkley Lazarus, world renowned expert on frequency modulation and head of the EDIs Communications R&D facility makes a critical breakthrough. Brinkley and his team create an ingenious signal compression/amplification system. The Massive Burst Ultra Shortwave (MBUS) transceiver makes it possible to send large data streams reliably over vast distances with minimal time lag, and more importantly, with relatively low power consumption.

Chapter 4: The Second Fall

A Hollow Moon

On August 12th 2163, the crew of the Letwene Arbor Class Space Station, led by Commander Darren Hessler, intercept an aberrant radio signal coming from a moon orbiting planet PL9987 located in the Centaurus Arm of the Milky Way. The signal is persistent and highly structured suggesting an intelligent source, and as per protocol, the Letwene reroutes to investigate. What Hesslers crew finds is truly amazing and within weeks of its discovery teams of scientists swarm the location.

The whole of the moon’s interior was host to a vast alien machine. This machine, powered by the moons own molten core, had devoured the moons resources from the inside out leaving behind a vast network of tunnels and massive chambers. There was much speculation over the purpose of the machine and the complex left behind. Of particular interest was what had been housed in a network of chambers filled with rows and rows of identical cells, theorized to have been some form of stasis or incubation system. The hollow moon housed an estimated 30 million pods and the mysterious race that was presumed to have once occupied them were dubbed the “Sleepers”.

As news of the Hollow Moon and the Sleepers began to saturate global media, conflicts with Children of Gaia groups steadily increase, and public fears begins to spin out of control. The new fear over a potential alien threat bolsters support for “Earth is home” extremist groups, and even many hardcore WSO supporters begin to shift alliances in the reality and uncertainty of the recent discovery.

At the same time, in the wake of the Gaian terrorist violence, millions flee to the refuge of Pangaea. But as the enormous space complex quickly reaches capacity, and the stations steady expansion is all but halted by disrupted supply lines, more and more people are turned away. This further strengthened the Gaian movement by reinforcing propaganda that Pangaeans did not care about the problems of the planet side population. While profoundly untrue, more people began to see Pangaea as an elitist culture living in luxury as everyone else suffered. In reality, by 2164 the Pangaea population was over 900 million, and over crowding had began to take it’s toll on the communities of the once Utopian society.

As the Gaian ranks continued to grow, so did their resolution and violence. The complexity and number of casualties of their terror efforts was increasing. In September of 2165 Gaian agents infiltrate the food courts of a popular mall in Dubai resulting in the poisoning deaths of over a hundred thousand people. Humanity had not seen this level of unrest in over a century and UGC Security forces were unprepared and struggled to maintain order. The EDI was more adept at handling extreme situations but their resources were stretched thin with most of their forces off-world.

The Gaian War

The Children of Gaia were no longer a series of “Earth is home” factions operating independently of one another. The group had become a unified and highly organized separatist movement under the leadership of Yonas Girmay.

Girmay was a dynamic leader and a brilliant strategist. Under his flag the Gaian movement grew at an exponential rate. He turned the random terrorist attacks of hundreds of factions into a calculated global campaign of psychological warfare. Girmay and, his right hand and leader of the Gaian military, Lea Wurfel, successfully captured and held enormous regions unofficially defining territorial boundaries between the UGC and the Gaians.

On May 11th 2166, the Unified Global Committee, in an effort to stave off war, offer to grant the Children of Gaia sovereignty. A temporary ceasefire was proposed to allow for the safe passage of UGC citizens out of Gaian controlled territories. Girmay responded,

“We have taken the first step to liberation, but our journey is far from over. We are Gaian and we will not rest until our world is purged of those not of Gaia. We have been offered our own territory up as a gift, as if we had not already taken it for ourselves. But we will not be petty in the face of this disrespect. We shall honor this cease fire. For the next 48 hours no Gaian shall raise a gun to our enemy. However, a reward will be given for the head of every fleeing rat cut down by a Gaian blade. We will see to it that the UGC receives every one of the citizens from our lands. Let them sort out the pieces.”

As thousands are brutally slaughtered in the streets the Unified Global Committee officially declared a state of war for the first time since its establishment in 2039. UGC Security Forces move into Gaian controlled territory, thus beginning the first battle of the Gaian war.

Tides Of War

Since the beginning of the Gaian war advantage shifted regularly between the two sides, with the UGC steadily losing ground in each exchange. However, despite consistent victories, public opinion of the war was shifting inside the newly formed Gaian Nation. In particular opinions regarding the tactics endorsed by the Gaian leader, Yonas Girmay, and his military head, Lea Wurfel. More and more their methods were viewed as unacceptably brutal.

On December 25th 2173 Girmay is killed during a conflict between Gaian and UGC naval forces in the Baltic Sea. Immediately following the news, Lea Wurfel steps up to take the role of Gaian leader, but the Gaian Council quickly dash her aspirations and instead appoints Brodie Mustar as the new Leader of the Gaian Nation. Mustar was a well known figure and represented the Gaian public’s growing distaste for war. However, over the next two years under Mustar’s new policies the Gaian Nation was diminished both in territory, and in political might.

The UGC still held the Luna Chorda Moon Base and thus the whole of Earth’s Helidyte supply. Previously, under Girmay, all the Helidyte that fueled the Gaian Nation was captured from strategic conquests of UGC reserves. Now with Mustar’s lack of military progress left them buying Helidyte from unscrupulous off-world resource traders, and as the Gaian treasury was exhausted, so became the Helidyte. For the first time the UGC saw a clear path to victory as Gaian financial and energy reserves dried up.

By late 2175 the Gaian Nation was critically weakened. With the Gaian military severely crippled, its war machines sitting with their reactors cold, the UGC issued an ultimatum. The Gaian Nation could surrender and enter negotiations to retain their sovereignty, or the UGC could end the war with a final military action. Seeing no other options Mustar conceded. On November 8th 2175 Mustar prepared to announce surrender, but as he begins his speech Gaian military forces, led by Lea Wurfel, storm the building. Without pause Mustar’s entire political committee is executed where they sit. Then the world watches as Wurfel cuts down a pleading Mustar during the live broadcast. Her face streaked with blood, Wurfel stares into the cameras saying only one thing,

“As I breath Gaia shall not fall.”

With Wurfel in command the Gaian military returns to guerrilla warfare and violent acts of terror. While initially seen as futile attempts at holding onto the already dead cause, it soon becomes clear they are merely diversions. On July 6th 2176, Wurfel, and several heavily armed squads of a Gaian special forces landing party, attacks and captures the Luna Chorda Moon base. Space travel was a punishable offense by Gaian law and in the entirety of the war no Gaian forces had ever left the planet, so the lunar complex had been left almost completely unprotected. Suddenly the Gaian Nation held all the power and the tides of war had shifted once again.

The War Ends

Several attempts to retake the Luna Chorda facility were made by UGC and EDI forces, but none were successful at breaching Gaian defenses. Over the next year a series of strategic attacks on UGC facilities further tightened the Gaian stranglehold on UGC resources.

Cut off, the UGC leadership finds it difficult to reduce energy consumption across its territories and quickly burns through its Helidyte reserves. Like the Gaian Nation two years prior, UGC cities begin to go dark and the UGC Security Forces are severely weakened. As more and more territory falls to the Gaian military and their brutal methods, UGC leaders reach out to the Gaian High Command. Wurfel however is not interested in their surrender.

On December 14th 2178 the Gaian military takes the UGC capitol city, executing every member of the UGC leadership and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of citizens. Over the next few weeks Gaian forces, as part of Wurfel’s Operation Locust, systematically eliminate all remaining resistance. The Gaian war was over.

Chapter 5: Exodus

Chapter 3: Into The Stars

The Signal

On October 25th 2142 at 4:12 AM GMT, a crew of University students studying old MBUS communication systems on a decommissioned Pike G2 outpost, intercept a strange radio signal. They relay the signal back to their University lab on Earth and 45 minutes later an emergency meeting of the UGC is called.

The signal was human in origin but had come from far beyond man’s current reach into the galaxy. As it was now generally agreed that the Shinigami had used some form of LEAP technology to escape destruction over 110 years prior, there was little debate over the source of the broadcast. To make matters more tense the news of the signal had been made public despite UGC efforts to suppress the information. Amid general fear there was also outrage as questions as to why the signal had not been detected by the SkyEye probe network began to be raised. An investigation soon uncovered a financial conspiracy spanning three decades.

Records seized from SkyEye vaults made it clear that the contract with the UGC to replace the EDI network was an elaborate scam. A scam resulting in the company holding contracts for 89% of all consumer and commercial communications worth tens of trillions of dollars. Given the nature of the fraud had undermined global security the UGC deemed it an act of treason and ordered the arrest of the SkyEye board of directors.

As the events surrounding the SkyEye fraud unfolded there was a collective realization that nobody had been listening to the skies for the last 30 years. World media was dominated by speculations of who, or what, else may have heard the Shinigami broadcast. More importantly; did they have a thirty year head start? People were beginning to panic and demanding action by the UGC. On November 1st 2142, the UGC unanimously voted to reinstate the Earth Defense Initiative. Grey Hevey, son of Garmin Hevey, former head of the EDI at the time of its dissolution, was to be appointed the new acting Operations Director. Hevey agreed to take his father’s former position on the condition that the EDI be reinstated under the terms of its original contract with unlimited access to resources.

The Sword You Fear

If in fact the Shinigami signal was a call for help and a potentially dangerous alien threat was impending, Earth needed a plan. On November 10th 2142, Grey Hevey addressed the UGC in a globally broadcast open meeting revealing that he planned to build a new Shinigami Space Station.

“We are strongest when we face our fears. The tragic events of 2029 have too long been in our nightmares. The Shinigami is a terrible weapon, but it is a weapon we should wield, not cower before. What once nearly wiped us from existence may very well someday be our salvation. God forbid we ever have to use such a weapon, but if it comes down to it, we will not hesitate to make it the thing of our enemies nightmares. The sword you fear is the sword you don’t wield. We will fear no more.”

The UGC backed the EDI plan alongside overwhelming public support. Still not everyone was onboard. Many in the WSO felt that we were assuming the worse and that at least more research into the matter was needed. On January 10th 2149 the new Shinigami 102D Space Station was launched. The 102D not only bore the name and retained much of the original design characteristics of its infamous predecessor, it also housed a variation of the biometric weapon that wiped out two thirds of civilization. It was also the first space station to be equipped with Generation 3 LEAP drive technology.

Over the next few years the divide between the EDI and WSO continued to widen. On May 14th 2149 Tyla Keller, head of the WSO, release details of the organizations plans to move up its schedule for long term deep space exploration. The WSO’s mission objectives included establishing a number of permanent outposts and research colonies, and actively searching for habitable worlds. All of which were expected. However in an interview when asked if the WSO was concerned about encountering an alien race, Keller responded,

“Concerned? We’re anticipating it! We’re actively seeking out contact with another intelligent civilization. We’ve known that we’re not alone for a long time. Don’t you think it’s time to meet our neighbors?”

Pushback

Keller’s statement shocked the world sparking public protests, political scorn, and even death threats from various “Earth is home” groups. However for as many that were outraged there were just as many that supported the WSO initiative and millions flocked to join the organizations efforts. More than a year after missions began, public opinion continued to be split on the WSO’s controversial objectives to contact an alien civilization. Opposition groups had begun to take an ever more aggressive stance on the matter with each mission launch.

The Christo mission marked a major milestone for the WSO and humanity. It was not only to be the furthest from earth humanity had roamed, but if successful, the Christo crew would be the first humans to walk on a planet outside our solar system. The fifteen person crew was tasked with investigating a number of worlds thought to be suitable for potential human colonization.

On August 25th 2150 the Christo Space Station departs from Pangaea’s Branson docking port. Billions watch from home, and over 120 thousand people gathered in the nearby Pangaean Grand Park to witness the historic event. At 2 PM, as port tugs pull the station to a safe LEAP distance, the world watches in horror as it explodes 400 meters from the Pangaea complex.

Docking barriers absorb much of the initial blast but debris from the explosion rips through the nearby park dome. In a matter of seconds thousands of people are ejected into space before the Pangaean emergency systems can seal off the section. Moments after the explosion an extremist faction of the “Earth is home” group, Children of Gaia, claimed responsibility.

“We can no longer stand by and watch heathens turn their back on their true home, endeavoring to open us to untold dangers simply to satisfy their selfish curiosity. We must take it upon ourselves to defend our Earth Mother.”

Ten minutes after the terrorist’s statement, eight more explosions shook Pangaea as bombs detonated in the WSO headquarters, a major research facility, and the homes of five top level WSO officials. Eight thousand men, women, and children died in the terror attacks that day, and more than three thousand were critically injured.

The Children of Gaia terror campaign did not stop after the Christo disaster. As security on Pangaea tightened, the Gaian terrorists shifted their efforts to targets on the ground. After a series of devastating attacks on a number of transit stations kill hundreds, stories began to emerge that Pangaeans were getting special protection. As public animosity grew so did support for the Gaian movement. This was only exacerbated by the increasingly heavy handed tactics of UGC and EDI security forces in their efforts to weed out members of the Gaian terror cells, often violating the rights of innocent citizens in the process.

Limitless

2153, Generation 4 LEAP marks the most significant advance in the technology since its invention. Using new improvements to particle sinks and reactor technology the new LEAP system, branded “Limitless”, promised to eliminate limits on LEAP travel. The drive had been tested up to 5 million light years, but unlike previous LEAP systems, that had maximum power capacities, Gen 4 did not. This meant that as reactor technology advanced, or as new power sources were discovered, LEAP ranges would potentially be limitless.

Thousands of expeditions launched every year carrying a new breed of explorers into the heavens, fulfilling the long romanticized dreams of their ancestors. The vast galaxy, of which we previously only occupied a tiny corner, truly became our home. Once escaping the interference of the Sun we quickly discovered that planets like Earth, and indeed life, were not such isolated occurrences as we once believed. Within the first year of interstellar exploration fifteen habitable worlds were discovered. Many of these new worlds were teeming with plant, microbial, and even animal life. Life that was shockingly similar to that found on Earth.

On August 25th 2154, planet PL-091 became the first interstellar world claimed by humans with the establishment of the WSO Nova Research Colony. By January of 2159 twenty planets and moons were home to more than 150,000 humans. However, all this did not help consolidate an increasingly divided public. While WSO supporters were aglow with excitement over opening new territory. The opposition saw a greater threat than ever before.

Chapter 4: The Second Fall

Chapter 2: A World Unified

A New World Government

A decade after the Shinigami Disaster civilization was well on its way to recovery. From tragedy arose brotherhood and the remaining world governments came together under a single flag of humanity. On December 23rd 2039, Dean Karls is elected as the first Head Chairperson of the Unified Global Committee and for the first time in human history there is a single unified governing body. The UGC immediately sets to work, establishing two other organizations.

The Earth Defense Initiative (EDI) is established on February 4th 2041 with the sole task of defending the planet and its population from any and all extraterrestrial threats. General Kenneth Brightman is appointed as Operations Director. The organization is given access to unlimited resources, and a deadline of two years to develop an early warning system composed of a series of listening posts positioned throughout the solar system.

On March 16th 2042, the World Sciences Organization (WSO) was formed. Under UGC policy all technological advancements must be made public with full disclosure. The policy was designed to prevent another Blaisdale/Shinigami type incident, however the EDI required for certain technologies to be classified in the interest of global security. It was agreed that certain technologies would be granted a level of secrecy however the newly formed WSO would be in charge of disseminating variations of beneficial technologies to public and private firms, maintaining the confidentiality of the technology without stifling advancement.

The formation, and initial policies, of this new unified global government was in no small part motivated by the discovery of the true origins of all of the former Blaisdale Corporation’s technological advances.

We Are Not Alone

In July 1988 the Soviet Union, along with other nations, launched a number of missions to Mars. It was reported that due to loss of communication with the Soviet Mars orbital probes, Phobos 1 & 2, the landers attached to these satellites were never deployed. This was a lie. The landers were in fact deployed to a region of interest at the planets southern pole. On August 13th 2004 a Russian top secret manned mission lands unceremoniously on the surface of the red planet with a crew of three unnamed Cosmonaut scientists. Their mission; to study the crash site of a large alien space craft.

Over the next several years the Soviet scientists cataloged, analyzed, and reported on their findings of the alien technology. Information that Blaisdale, and the company’s five founding members, obtained from the Soviet government during the global economic collapse of 2011. Blaisdale then proceeded to reverse engineer the technology and began releasing “innovations” to the public.

Of the projects derived from this alien tech was something codenamed Distant Horizon, an apparent means of long distance space travel that possibly explained the Shinigamis 101-D’s sudden disappearance years prior. The news that we were not alone in the universe, coupled with the possibility that the murderous Space Station may still be lurking, was cause for great concern.

Huge Leaps Forward

In 2048, after suffering from numerous setbacks and a year behind schedule, the EDI finally begin deploying their early warning system. There were more setbacks to come however with the continued failure to produce a more viable propulsion system, a major hurdle to the effective expansion of the detection network. The project limped along under great scrutiny until 2060 when Dr. Abla Zwarhi, a prisoner serving two life sentences for ethics violations in a WSO Science Work Camp, makes a breakthrough.

Zwarhi had spent the first twelve years of her sentence working on a new power source based on Tristan Benoble’s Quantum Static Theory. On March 23rd 2059, she confirms Benoble’s work and creates the first Quantum Static Reactor. A year later Pinot Garrett, building on Zwarhi’s work, designs a version of the reactor that is safe and magnitudes more powerful. The Generation 1 QS Reactor was the solution to the EDI’s propulsion woes. By 2065 the detection network was growing rapidly, however so were public concerns over the exorbitant costs associated with the EDI program. The Shinigami disaster was not so far from everyone’s minds to question the need for the network, but there was growing debate as to whether EDI should continue to have a blank check given its continued lackluster performance.

Then on September 7th 2072 the nature of human space exploration is changed forever. At a research facility in Cern, an egg is successfully transported from a test chamber into the wall of an adjacent lab thirty meters away. The project is called Linear Exchange of Absolute Position, aka LEAP, and is the result of more than 70 years of work done by John Hawking to prove his Interuniverse Resonance theory.

The first LEAP gate is put into service on September 13th 2074 and successfully transports a shuttle and its crew from Earth’s orbit to just inside the Mars orbital plane. The 78 million kilometer journey took a mere .3 seconds. Within a year the EDI was positioning LEAP gates throughout the solar system dramatically cutting the long term costs of maintaining the detection network and allowing for expansion far beyond its current range. A new era of space travel had begun.

Just a few years later on June 24th 2083, Terrance Wilcox, a physicist working out of a makeshift lab in a rented warehouse, successfully measures a theoretical light spectrum existing far below all known wavelengths. A subject of interest for scientists for nearly a decade, sub-spectrum wavelengths travel outside normal space, 200 times faster than upper spectrum light, passing through all known matter. Many scientists theorized that sub-spectrum light played some role in our perception of time itself.

Eugene Mills, a 28 year old engineer working for a small technology firm in former Canada, wasn’t interested in time. Mills saw sub-spectrum’s potential in communications and in April of 2088 created the Sub-Light Data Burst (SLDB) communications array. The immediate advantage of the SLDB system was speed of communication over long distances. Eugene also devised a method for secure communications by spreading data across multiple wavelengths making the signal nearly impossible to intercept. SLDB quickly replaced current MBUS technology for deep space communication.

This wasn’t necessarily a good thing for the EDI. The increased speed and range of SLDB made nearly 70% of the EDI network redundant, and again made them the target of public scrutiny over cost. To make matters worse, the company SkyEye introduced a new deep space probe of their own, boasting that they could achieve 50 times the coverage of the EDI network, and do so at one third the the current operating budget. In July of 2094 the first SkyEye probe cluster is deployed and the UGC cuts the EDI’s budget by two thirds. By 2107 SkyEye had become one of the most profitable and powerful companies in history, and on September 21st 2112, the UGC officially dissolved the Earth Defense Initiative, handing over complete responsibility for defense monitoring to SkyEye.

The Orbital Boom

Not all technical innovation was in government and defense however. As per UGC policies the general public enjoyed the benefits as well. In 2097 eccentric quintillionaire Hjörtur Gudmunsson announces his retirement from earth and moves onto his very own private space station. Gudmunsson’s succession from the planet made world headlines and sparked public interest in the idea of living in orbit. Within a few years more than 30 companies were in a mad race to build consumer space stations. By 2104 the Orbital Boom was in full swing with the world’s wealthiest scrambling to live among the stars.

Between 2107 and 2112 roughly 250,000 people were living at least part time in orbit, either in private space stations or small colonies. By 2120 that number had doubled. Then in September of 2120 the construction of a massive space complex named Pangaea began. Pangaea would be an ever expanding complex housing not only living facilities, but all the needs of a flourishing society. The goal was complete self-sufficiency from the planet.

By 2129 LEAP had travel made moving around the solar system almost as convenient as taking a weekend drive. Both Venus and Saturn had become popular vacation destinations with luxurious space station resorts. Mars was home to the Besbool Research Colony on its surface, and the Martian Academy of Astronomy in its orbit. The draw of orbital life was more than just the thrill of living in space. It also proved to be very beneficial to humanity in terms of health benefits and technological advancements. By 2142 the Pangaea Orbital Complex officially reached a population of 100 million.

But all wasn’t a model of Utopian happiness. While many cities around the world thrived in the new orbital economy others had been all but abandoned and fallen into disrepair. Entire towns were closed down and in some areas the lack of municipal resources had allowed crime to run rampant. Some researchers were also beginning to think that the massive Pangaea complex itself was causing planetside environmental changes. The so-called “Shadow of Pangaea” was suspected of blocking sunlight, causing lower crop yields and vitamin deficiencies in people and livestock.

Fueled by negative press and speculations, “Earth is home” groups gained more and more influence. Originally started by a handful of people that simply chose to adopt a more off-the-land lifestyle, some factions harbored more extreme views and actively protested people leaving for Pangaea. The picketing and graffiti of shuttle stations, and incidents of “mud slinging”, where mud was literally thrown on departing passengers, had become commonplace. Many sociologists were concerned that the division between the population on the ground and in space would continue to grow. But whatever the consequences, it was clear the migration had just begun.

Chapter 3: Into The Stars

Chapter 1: The First Fall

The Rise

The Blaisdale Corporation, a privately funded technology firm founded by Marya Blaisdale, was relatively unknown until the winter of 2012 when it unveiled its new prototype computer processor at the ComDex technology expo in Las Vegas Nevada. The processor named CORE was so advanced that it was at first thought to be a publicity stunt. It was no stunt but it did garner the company overnight global recognition as well as the open wallets of thousands of eager investors.

Blaisdale would make headlines again in the summer of 2014 with the introduction of Proteus, a new propulsion system using low power controlled magnetic resonance to seemingly defy gravity. The technology would eventually revolutionize industry and mass transit around the world. A year later on August 20th 2015 the Blaisdale Corporation quite literally gives the world the Exponential Energy Matrix.

Marya Blaisdale proclaimed in her whirlwind media tour promoting XEM that the first step to global equality and an end to corruption was free access to energy. XEM was a clean, sustainable, high output reactor, that would do just that – give energy to all. Within only a few years XEM technology was bringing power to the most remote corners of the world.

The Blaisdale Corporation continued to produce a steady stream of advanced products, working their way into every aspect of industry and daily life. The company quickly becomes a controlling force in communications, transportation, agriculture and even global defense.

On January 1st 2021 the first Shinigami 101-A Space Station is brought online. The Shinigami is publicized as a communications control center and research facility. Five years later the Shinigami 101-B goes live, further extending the reach of the Blaisdale Corporation’s control over thousands of global systems.

Growing groups of opponents begin to attack the company in the media, claiming that Blaisdale was seeking to control and undermine every aspect of society. The company’s CEO, Marya Blaisdale, denounces the claims and challenged naysayers to provide proof of their accusations. In the end the glowing record, and overwhelming benefit the company’s innovations brought, diminished the validity of any proposed conspiracies.

In March of 2028 the third, and publicly final, stage of the Shinigami project is completed with the launch of the 101-C. Days later the disappearance of a prominent critic of Blaisdale prompts a Federal probe into the company. Initially simply protocol, the investigation shockingly brings to light a number of clandestine, and potentially criminal, ventures being undertaken by the company. Amid public outrage the Blaisdale Corporation is ordered to turn over the operation of their communications networks, including Shinigami Space Stations, to government control pending legal proceedings.

On March 10th 2029, two days before the government turnover deadline, a small group of Blaisdale scientists, working in secret, flip the switch on the fourth undisclosed stage of the Shinigami project. At 6:16 GMT the Shinigami 101-D goes online and 14 minutes later the world goes dark.

The Fall

Hundreds of cities around the world are plunged into chaos and panic as XEM power stations, communications, and broadcasting systems suddenly stop working. Every system controlled by the Blaisdale networks is simultaneously shut down. One hour later a single message is broadcast. A demand for global unification under the guidance of the Blaisdale Corporation. Marya Blaisdale is taken into custody where she is compelled to reveal that the Shinigami 101-D was developed as a global security platform designed to eliminate the need for conventional militaries and police forces. A project that was meant to bring peace to the world, enforced by the Eye Of God.

The Eye Of God was a secret project known only to Blaisdale and her most trusted scientists. The system monitored the biometric and brainwave patterns of every human on earth through the very Blaisdale technologies on which they had become dependent. It could detect aberrant thought patterns, such as those associated with extreme violent intent, and could then target a specific individual’s bio-electrical signal and, using a tuned electromagnetic beam, disrupt all brain function in the target instantaneously killing them.

The world governments, faced with billions of panicked people and an ultimatum to bow before a master of unknown intent, decide to take military action. A series of coordinated strikes were initiated the Shinigami 101-A and 101-C Space Stations were destroyed. A second attack targeting the remaining two stations is launched. Missiles from the United States destroy the 101-B, however missiles launched from Japan on the 101-D have less effect, inexplicably veering off course before impacting the target. Moments later thousands of people in Tokyo begin dropping dead of no apparent cause. The Eye Of God weapon was real.

Every military resource available on the planet was tasked to taking out the 101-D Space Station. After two days of failed missile strikes the disaster came abruptly to its own end when the space station simply vanished. In the aftermath a terrible quiet lingered in the cities and villages of the world as tens of millions of dead lay in streets, shops, shelters and homes. More than 75% of the world’s population was lost, and the survivors left to put the world back together.

Chapter 2: A World Unified

LEAP Navigator

Introduction

LEAP Navigator is one of the most tested and critical professions in the three galaxies. With LEAP being the most frequently used method of travel and the overwhelming number variables to track for a successful LEAP, a LEAP Navigator has no margin of error. Any miscalculation, any overlooked variable or the slightest lapse in judgment can cost the lives of potentially hundreds of people.

To illustrate the importance of this role, the Navigator is the only member of a military crew – aside from the Medical Lead – that can override the decisions of a Commander.
Every year hundreds of thousands of candidates enter various academies to become LEAP Navigators. Only about 10% will ever achieve basic certification. Less than half of those will be accepted into advanced programs, and less than 1% of Navigators will ever earn Fleet status.

A good Navigator will need exceptional analytic abilities in order to make split second decisions. You will need an advanced aptitude for maths to be able to make LEAP vector and field attenuation calculation adjustments if the navigational systems were to go offline. Most importantly, you must be willing to take responsibility for the lives of your crew and demonstrate the character required for your crew to place their trust in your abilities.

Navigator Ranking

Certified LEAP Navigator

A certified LEAP Navigator is qualified ONLY to monitor and control LEAP gate traffic. Those that don’t move on to advanced programs will mostly end up as a LTC Agent (LEAP Traffic Command) directing incoming LEAP traffic or debris tracking.

Navigator Third Class

Upon graduation of an advancement program a Navigator 3rd Class is qualified to perform Charted LEAPs. While eligible for a crew posting, postings for N3s are limited. Most end up navigating haulers and mining vessels, solo or with minimal crews, in order to gain LEAP experience.

Navigator Second Class

A Navigator 3rd Class has a minimum of 500 successful Roaming LEAPs logged. An N2 is cleared to perform both Charted and Uncharted LEAPs. A few might be recruited to low profile crews in the Imperium or Scientia, however most will end up in Public Transit running short hops between planets or crewing luxury vessels for the wealthy.

Navigator First Class

A Navigator 1st Class has a minimum of 1200 successful Roaming LEAPs logged. With full LEAP clearance N1s are the most likely to be recruited into high profile crews. Some will be recruited into Civis colonization fleets. The best will find their way onto exploration crews destined to chart new regions. The best of the best will be recruited into military service by the Imperium Arma.

Fleet Navigator

A Fleet Navigator is part of the fleet’s Flagship crew and in charge of coordinating LEAP activity across the entire fleet. There is no minimum LEAP quota to earn a Fleet Navigator position, however most have years of experience and thousands of successful LEAPs logged. With potentially thousands of lives depending on them, only the elite with perfect records ever earn this rank.

LEAP Navigation

  1. The Navigator feeds destination data into the navigational systems and calculates LEAP field size and density.
  2. All vessels move into LEAP formation and all ships, with the exception of those clearing the LEAP zone, come to a complete stop. The precise destination vectors for all ships must be plotted so for safety all vessels must stop.
  3. The LEAP drive is engaged and Nueon Particle Sinks begin to charge. The length of this process depends on the power input, LEAP drive capacity, and target size and density of the LEAP field. As the particle sinks charge the Navigator plots Gap Vectors and constantly monitors local and destination conditions.
  4. Once the Nueon sinks have reached the target charge the Navigator orders a final check that all vessels are in LEAP formation and at full stop and initiates the LEAP field.
  5. Stabilized Nueon particles expand out from the sinks and form the initial LEAP field. As the LEAP field reaches Point of Commitment the Navigator makes final local and destination assessments and plots final vector data.
  6. LEAP is initiated.

The preceding is the standard steps in a typical LEAP. The main variation in the process is in acquisition of the destination data.\

Charted LEAP

A Charted LEAP is one in that the destination is known and monitored by a manned LEAP Command center or previously established remote probes. This includes both gated and roaming LEAPs.

Uncharted LEAP

Uncharted LEAPs into previously uncharted regions. Before the LEAP can be plotted LEAP probes are launched to the proposed destination the gather data. Probes are typically launched beginning 60 hours prior. The Navigator interprets each probes incoming data and determines where to send each subsequent probe in order to get the most comprehensive data on the potential destination.

Blind LEAP

A blind LEAP is a last resort protocol only. The navigator engages the LEAP drive and charges a field sufficient for escape at a minimum distance. Space is vast but not as empty as commonly thought. The odds of LEAPing into a planet, a sun, or more likely a nebula, are higher than one might consider.

Extra-Universe Sensory Distortion – LEAP Effect

Extra-Universe Sensory Distortion, more commonly refereed to as LEAP Effect, is the perception of blurred and streaming light patterns that occurs briefly during long distance LEAPs. The effect is caused by the inability of our brain to process the visual input of the intermediate zone occupied during LEAP before we re-emerge. It is theorized that for an few seconds we are in another universe with a completely different electromagnetic spectrum.

Heaven System

Located on the fringes of Draco Tao, Heaven is a binary system consisting of a primary yellow dwarf star called Heaven and a companion brown dwarf called Hades. The system is located in a vast star nursery called the Hellhound Nebula and in some ways is still in the middle of forming, it still had vast visible rings on dust and materials orbiting around Heaven beyond the orbit of Hades, infact the only safe area to LEAP is in area immediately surrounding Hades which contain the system only formed worlds the Planet Sentina and it moon Braveheart.

While young and volatile the system is a treasure trove of riches and is a magnet for traders, fortune hunters, and adventurers from three galaxies. Sentina with it moon Braveheart while technically in orbit around Hades is virtually locked in position by the conflicting gravity wells of both stars, (it would take 100,000 years for Sentina to orbit Hades at it present speed) These Conflicting Gravity fields has created an area of stable, debri free space that permits LEAPs to take place,, making Sentina the center of activity for mining activities but also a Lumus Stronghold, the vast asteroid belt make approaching the system with almost any other FLT almost impossible and even at sublight speeds a extremely dangerous Voyage.

The Planet Sentina itself is totally lifeless other than what its inhabitant has placed mostly in underground and domed communities with it Capital Congress being the largest and most visible city mostly because of it vast Dome, Most of it’s population called Sentinas live in orbit or on the Mining collectives scattered around the system. Most Mining Collectives are only accessible by the use of LEAP gates that have been set up, the location of the Collective made safe with great effort.

Sentinans

Sentinans (Also Sentinians)

There's an old saying in the Lumus culture: "When you look into the eyes of a Sentinan" you see the soul of the universe." There are but few human settlers that have traveled farther or have seen more than this vibrant and colorful group. Descendants from the first explorers who did LEAPs of faith to discover Draco-Tao and found the systems and worlds that are now the foundation of the Lumus culture. While it was the brotherhood soldiers that freed the rest of humanity from the Gaians it was those who would become Sentina Navigators and their ships that carried Humanity into its new future.

They could have been on the vanguard of the new culture, but to the surprise of many they departed and settled on the fringes of the galaxy preferring the freedom of open space to the conformity, in their opinion,  that the Imperium would bring, They would go on and form what would be known as the Nomad Colonies.

What happened to the colonies is well known and a tragedy, but the few that survived and escaped settled around the remote mining colonies in the Heaven system, on the planet Sentina and later its moon Braveheart. They quickly realized that the fear of conformity was unfounded. The Imperium embraced their lost kin recognizing their bravery and talent as navigators, giving them a larger autonomy than any others have. They are the Imperium's lifeforce: Sentinan freighters and miners.

Families like Cepheus and Brandi are leaders in the economy and even the Brotherhood recognizes their prowess employing many on their ships as Navigator. Indeed in the Lumus Arma  there are far more Sentinans enlisted that their small population would suggest.

Today they still do what they do best; Extracting and transporting goods and supplies, and of course their real passion: exploring. Whether in far off Vigilem or returning to their ancient home in the Milky Way. Sentinans are the ones looking over that edge and daring to take the step into the unknown.

Sentinans are relatively easy to spot, by the various tattoos that cover their body and their dress is practical and functional, yet stylish. Their world revolves around their families, even in the Lumus Arma it not uncommon for one ship to contain an entire Family. Sentina has a official Population of 30 million although most of those live in on stations orbiting the planet or on their ships originating from the planet.

Propulsion Systems Overview

Magnetoplasma Rocket

Peak Velocity – 1% Light speed
2048 – One of the earliest forms of advanced propulsion developed for deep space travel was the Magnetoplasma Rocket was an electromagnetic thruster using radio waves to ionize and heat a propellant, and magnetic fields to accelerate the resulting plasma to generate thrust. This form of propulsion never achieved more than 80% efficiency and was soon replaced by other ion thruster technologies.

Nobel Ion Thrusters

Peak Velocity – 1.3% Light speed
2060 – The first major breakthrough came with Nobel Ion Thrusters. Extremely efficient and reliable electromagnetic ion thrusters use the Lorentz force to accelerate ions through an electrostatic grid, the potential difference of the electric field converts to the ion’s kinetic energy. The major drawback of early Ion engines was a lack of initial thrust. This was overcome in various ways depending on whether or not the craft was manned.

Dense Particle Thrusters

Peak Velocity – 2.1% Light speed
2072 – The Dense Particle Thruster operated on much the same principal of the Ion Engine using heavier elements for a greater kinetic potential. A huge step forward in propulsion technology coming just before the onset of LEAP travel. Series 1 & 2 DPT were instrumental in establishing the first LEAP gate networks.

Photon Induction Drive

Peak Velocity – 1.83% Light speed
2130 – Often referred to as a Solar Tube, the Photon Induction Drive uses the bombardment of solar energy through a catalyst medium to generate thrust. Cheap, robust, and reliable PIDs were mostly used on large mining ships because of their size.

Amplified Momentum Engine

2232 – Building on BHEAMR technology the Amplified Momentum Engine does not itself provide thrust, rather it offsets the mass of the vessel greatly amplifying applied thrust. The first AME was created by an independent asteroid miner as a makeshift replacement for his harvesters broken Photon Induction Drive. It proved so effective that he submitted the specs to the Lumus Scientia. The system was refined and is now integrated into almost all spacecraft in some form, be it low thrust for OTOL (Omni Directional Take Off & Landing) or main propulsion.

Variable Dense Particle Thruster

Peak Velocity – 5% Lightspeed
2235 – The VDPT was a major rethinking of the DPT technology integrating AME system to make engines far more energy efficient at lower thrust rates. So efficient that there was no longer a need most ships to carry propellant as they could extract it from the surrounding space via charged intake collectors.

Ion Wave Engine

Peak Velocity – 11% Lightspeed
2299 – The Ion Wave Engine was the first technology traded with the Cirecidus Domini. Using a serial arrays the IWE provided a significant boost in both thrust and peak velocity over human Ion propulsion.

System Still Currently Used

DPT is the mainstay of military and utility vessels also coupled with with AME integration. IWE systems, being fairly new, are most widely implemented in Scientia long-range research vessels. It has also begun to find its way into specialized cargo haulers.

While the mentioned above are the most widely used systems, there is still a good number of applications using PID, in particular in asteroid mining and with research vessels in regions of heavy ionic interference. Standard Ion Thrusters are also still quite common, although mostly scaled down and used primarily for Civis class vessels such as shuttle craft.

Medical ANTS

Nano machines have been used for medical purposes since the early 2100’s. The technology underwent a huge advance in 2143 with the development of the Autonomous Nanomachine Task System (ANTS) and by 2160 the implantation of Medical ANTS in all citizens became standard practice. While earlier M-ANT systems could perform health monitoring and minor tasks, such as delivery of targeted medicines, later versions effectively worked to extend human life.

Medical Nano-machines are powered by the bodies internal electrical impulses, and in a passive state they monitor health and perform various cellular maintenance tasks. This not only reduced normal cellular aging in humans but vastly extended lifespans. M-ANTS can also be powered externally using field generators (Medical ANTS don’t use the same Nueon technologies as as ANT Systems). With this additional power they enter an active mode and repair and treat more significant damage. In extreme cases where damage is too severe to repair, due to limitations in programming or resources, M-ANTS can even stave off death by clustering around the heart and brain, artificially stimulating them for up to 60 hours. In that time the patient can be taken to a medical facility and treated with more powerful systems.

M-ANTS technology has made premature death rare and the average human life span is on average 190 years, with those having access to high-end medical facilities able to live well past 2 centuries.

After 200 years M-ANTS begin to show their limitations and are increasingly unable to maintain cellular health in a passive state and the body begins to show signs of normal aging. Aging continues until cellular degradation can no longer be managed resulting in a rapid decline in health and death. Maximum human age depends on access to medical facilities, genetics, and individual health factors, but it is not uncommon to live until 270. The oldest known person died at 310 in 2401.

Other limitations of the M-ANT Systems are severe head traumas and neurological conditions affecting the central nervous system or synaptic functions. As expected, proper nutrition and avoidance of physically hazardous conditions also play a factor in effective M-ANTS operation.

Sensor Technologies – Human

The following is a general reference for common human sensor technologies.

Visual/Transponder

Short range using various forms of visual technologies and transponder registrations to identify vessels. While limited to a fairly short range they’re fast and their accuracy is nearly 100%.

Effective Range: ~.5ly

EM Signature

Short to Mid range, detecting and analyzing  the distinct EM signatures of different power systems and engine types. While having fairly substantial ranges and a high degree of accuracy they are only effective on stations and outposts in order to filter EM signatures against background noise.

Effective Range: ~250ly

Gravimetric Distortion

Long range analyzing shape and mass of ships over long range by measuring the gravimetric distortion caused by the vessel. These sensor types are highly reliable as they are not affected by common interference such as EM and Nebula static. They are also difficult to fool as it is nearly impossible to mask gravity displacement. The drawback is that they can only reliably detect ships or fleets large enough to cause gravity fluctuations.

Effective Range: ~1000ly

Probe Nets

Networks of probes that use combinations of various sensor types to cover large areas of space far outside stationed sensor arrays. The main drawback is that they are prone to disruptions from common cosmic hazards such as micro meteor impacts and thus require regular maintenance.

Biometric

Internal systems used to detect living beings inside facilities through a variety methods. Usually using registered unique bio-electric or neural signatures but pheromone and air displacement sensors are also used for tracking, in particular with alien visitors.

MR3 Torpedo

The Mass Reaction Torpedo (MR3) is specifically designed for rapid nanofacturing with no guidance system or complex electronics, it’s simply propulsion and payload. Propulsion is achieved using a basic catalyzed ion thruster. The MR3 payload is tactical, designed to create a thermal cascade reaction in the targets hull weakening the structure at a molecular level over a larger area. The resulting damage is intended to overtax the enemies repair systems/crews until eventually damage exceeds the systems capacity.

Universal Standard Date

The Universal Standard Date is based on the orbital cycle of a trinary star system in the Draco Tao galaxy. The movements of these stars – Chronos Alpha, Chronos Beta, and Chronos Gamma – was found to be almost exactly equivalent to the day & month cycle on Earth with Beta’s orbit around Alpha taking 24 hours, and Gamma’s orbit taking 729.91 hours (30 days), and alignment of all three stars occurring every 8765.80 hours (365.3 days).

It was decided that the Chronos star system would serve as a standard reference point for a universal date and the standard was officially adopted during the Second Renaissance. As with many things coming from that period, the USD date format was crafted with an artistic flourish. The standard acknowledges that we are in the second (2) age of mankind, it also considers year zero to be when the Blaisedale Corporation introduced the first alien technology more than 400 years prior setting mankind on its current path. Thus the date format of Gamma.Beta.Age+Year (28.02.2414).

Universal Nutrition

In early 2300 synthetic and lab cultured foods fell out of favor throughout the expanse of human civilizations in the Eridanus cluster. The Lumus Imperium sanctioned a guild to consolidate and coordinate the mass production, processing, and distribution of food resources. Operating under the name Universal Nutrition (UNINU) this organization oversaw and enforced the standards set forth by the Imperium for mass food production.

The UNINU Meal Pac quickly became a standard in most colonies and outposts that could not directly harvest and process their own food supplies. The UNINU Meal Pac was not only nutrient rich and could be stored indefinitely, they were also very considered quite delicious.

The standard UNINU vendor is stocked with flash frozen prepared meal pacs. Each meal is thawed/cooked inside a vacuum chamber using a microwave burst. The vacuum chamber lowers the critical boiling point of the water in the food so that the meal is ready in under a minute. Everything is bio-derived and edible, including the tray.

The Toran

Overview

The Toran are a humanoid race. In fact their biology holds the key as to why there are so many humanoid species in the Universe. Genetic markers in the Toran genes can be traced back to more than 10 billion years. Making them the oldest known race in the Universe.

Biology

Toran physiology is very similar to humans. Notable differences are a larger heart. They are completely hairless, their bodies have no hair follicles at all. Their ears are very small and vestigial, they hear via a specialized structure situated behind the jaw bone. Their eyes can see in the ultraviolet and x ray spectrum in low light conditions. This ability seems to shut off above a certain ambient light level. There are also a few neurological differences with the Toran having .02 more neural capacity than the average human.

Culture

The original Toran homeworld was destroyed billions of years ago and their current homeworld of Torenus is located so far towards the outer reaches of the universe that no one has ever seen it including most Torans. They live in a small communities throughout several galaxies and are rare but far from hidden.

At the core of Toran culture is the Toa. This is the foundation of their spiritual and social belief structures. The Toran believe that the Universe itself is a living sentient entity. They also claim to be able to communicate directly with this Universe deity and thus know its secrets.

Through their understanding of the Universe and their place in it the Toran culture has long since eliminated the need for, and use of, social identifiers. Torans do not use names or titles of any kind among themselves. They have a mild telepathic ability that allows them to convey their "essence" to each other. This makes each Toran is truly a unique individual in that they are literally identified by the culmination of their life experiences. They find us and other cultures confusing because we define ourselves by context of our roles in society rather than defining ourselves as ourselves. We are social copies of each other in comparison.

The Toa

While the Toa is not considered a religion, particularly to the Toran, it has spawned trillions of followers throughout the universe across hundreds of thousands of races and species. These followers have modified the Toa belief system to their various cultures with the end goal of achieving the ability to also communicate with the Universe.

One of the major tenets of the Tao is also the basis to the belief that the Toran can see "through time". They do in fact have incredible perceptive and predictive abilities. These abilities are attributed to practice of Non-linear Perception. The Tao teaches that time has no beginning and no end, it happening always and through meditation and practice it is possible to see all past and future as if present.

The Tao also Describes the Universe as a sentient entity that did not create all life and matter as much as it "observed" it into existence.

"All was alone until it opened it's eyes and became aware of everything"

Politics

There are intellectual and spiritual representatives called The Light. but the Toran are really not involved in political matters beyond local issues that may affect their communities.

Helidyte

History

First discovered in an impact crater on Mars in 2101, Helidyte is a mineral compound that when exposed to Nitrogen decomposes releasing high levels of Helium. With both XEM and QS reactor technologies requiring vast amounts of Helium the mineral held great potential as a fuel source. Unfortunately all that existed was a 12 gram sample.

With the Helium shortage on Earth a mining expedition was started aimed at the red planet to see if they could find more Helidyte. The operation however never made it to Mars as large deposits of Helidyte were identified in the Kuiper Asteroid Belt in 2118. This discovery led to the establishment of the Titus Mining Colony and the Luna Chorda refining complex on the moon in 2122.

Helium extraction from Helidyte was a boon to Earths tech industry leading to significant advancements Quantum Static power generation which in turn led to advances in other high energy technologies such as LEAP.

After the Exodus 2179 humanity is slip between two galaxies. In Draco Tao on humanities new home world of Solum there was no longer a Helium shortage however Helidyte remained a critical element in energy generation until 2230. It was simply more efficient transport and refine Helidyte than to handle Helium itself. After 2230 many colonies moved to solar power or localized Helium extraction but Helidyte was still needed for ships and space stations. In the Milky Way Helidyte is still a high value commodity in the outer colonies but is no longer used on Earth.

Chemistry

Helidyte is a gray brittle shale-like mineral. Raw Helidyte breaks down rapidly when exposed to Nitrogen producing Helium 4 and Beryllium nitride as a byproduct.

The Torician

The Toricians are much like the ancient samurai of the earth. They are a warrior race that only respects strength, honor, and loyalty. Their warriors fearless and ruthless but never reckless, planning battles to perfection.

The Toricians are dark grayed skinned and short in stature, averaging 4-5 feet tall. They’re muscular with almost reptilian eyes and claw-like fingers.

Honor is their greatest of law. To lie, deceive, or cheat, even to ones enemy is considered unforgivable and punishable by self-imposed disembowelment. If they refused to kill themselves then their entire family is executed publicly.

Nueon Particles

Originally discovered in 2018 a Nueon is an exotic particle fairly abundant in the universe. It exists naturally in a state of flux, passing in and out of our universeuniverse at random. The Nueon has two unique properties. The first is that its atomic resonance frequency can be coaxed into quantum stability under the right conditions.

In 2060 it was found that a specific range of energy — known as Nueon radiation — acts on Nueon particles to quantum lock then to our universe. The locked particles then attract and locks other Nueon particles accumulating into an expanding field of quantum stable particles.

The second unique property of the Nueon is that it that when artificially stabilized they displace zero-point energy. A generated Nueon field creates an area of low energy density allowing matter within field to lose resonate cohesion. This property of Nueon particles is fundamental to LEAP technology.

Ius: Brotherhood Code of Honor

I am absent of mind, I make chain of command my mind

I am absent of faith, I make my strength my faith

I am absent of enemies, I make weakness my enemy

I am absent of a people, I make humanity my people

I am absent of rank, I make my conduct my rank

I am absent of words, I make my honor my words

I am absent of weapon, I make vigilance my weapon

I am absent of armor, I make superior strategy my armor

I am absent of tactic, I make adaptability my tactic

I am absent of skill, I make instinct my skill

I am absent of body, I make endurance my body

I am absent of eyes, I make righteousness my eyes

I am absent of ears, I make knowledge my ears

I am absent of self, I make respect for life taken in battle my self

I am absent of home, I make the Universe my home

I am absent of fear, I make dishonor my fear

Final Fire

Final Fire

The Final Fire test will define each cadet and failure is death. It takes place over 12 days and test five critical aspects of a warrior.

Basic Survival

Cadets are dropped in a remote location - could be anywhere - in a standard field uniform. They have no tools, no food, no shelter. They are given a set of geographical coordinates to a stash of supplies and they must navigate by stars not knowing what planet they may be on.

Judgment

Once they locate the supplies they also find their mission packet that has the location of the extraction zone. In order reach the EZ they will ultimately find themselves faced with a number of judgment situations that will test their combat assessment and loyalty to the Ius.

Combat Skill

On the journey to completing Final Fire they will be faced with unpredictable environmental hazards and they must survive their own Brothers. A squad of seasoned Ferrum soldiers are also on the planet with the purpose and finding and capturing the Cadet.

Resilience

Being chased by Ferrum soldiers does not allow the Cadet any rest time unless they are masters of evasion. The may not sleep or eat for days. The best course of action is offensive, take out as many threats as possible to give yourself room to breath. If they are captured they will be tortured until they escape or die.

Honor

At some various points during the Final Fire the cadet will be presented with tests of honor. Chased, tortured, and in mortal danger how the Cadet conducts themselves in battle is carefully observed. A Ferrum soldier can never act out of rage or desperation. They must never be brutal when mercy is possible. They must never allow others to suffer in their name.

Pass

After you pass they are assigned a post based on their specialty and needs of the Brotherhood. Sometimes special permission is awarded to high ranking parents who want their children under their command or in a certain post. Either way once these newly promoted Breakers arrive at their post they are assigned a Fender as a mentor.

Being Of Sol

Before you can look where you are going you must remember where you came from. This will serve to educate you on your life as Sol from the time you were born to this very moment.

Your story so far...

Even before birth you were examined for weakness and deficiencies. If any were found Doctors would attempt altering them in the womb. If they were unsuccessful, or if the deficiency was not repairable, your life would have been terminated.

Upon your birth you began you training as a soldier and Sol citizen. You spent the first year of your life in an acclimation nursery where your body is exposed to a wide variety of conditions to make you stronger and more resilient. You are walking by 8 months and forming basic sentences by 11 months.

After a years time you were sent to a Preparatory Academy where you will learn military discipline and primary education. For 10 hours a day you engage in games and tasks designed to hone your physical and mental skills. Also during this time you meet your parents - assuming they were available or alive. They tell you of your lineage and begin teaching you Sol values.

At 3 years you become a Primary Cadet. Your physical training increases and you begin to study the Ius and attend classes for math, language, and basic sciences.

At age 5 you graduate to Grade Cadet. You begin learning advanced education, military history, hand to hand and melee combat, basic firearms, and military strategy & tactics. You also begin to train in varying environments from zero-G, ice, desert, jungle, etc. You engage in live war games. Your training is no longer simply conditioning, death is a very real consequence to failure. You learn that death is always waiting for you, you become familiar with it.

The Ius is branded into your mind with every lesson. You are taught to win or lose honorably. You are taught that there is no surrender, and retreat is always tactical, never out of cowardice or desperation. Each day a different cadet is selected to command their unit. You learn to lead and to follow and to understand the weight of both.

At age 10 you graduate to Senior Cadet and the next five years are in preparation for the Final Fire. At this stage of training you are exposed to a wide variety of aptitude tests to best determine your contribution to Sol society. You learn that, regardless of your specialty, your primary purpose is service to Sol society and humanity. And this done through mastery of self above all. But you still quietly hope to be worthy of Ferrum service.

At age 15 you enter Final Fire.

General Concepts

Common information and understanding about being Brotherhood.

General

  • #1 you live, breath, bleed, and die by the Ius - the Brotherhood code of honor.
  • As a culture you are Brotherhood of Sol, or commonly referred to as Sol. In a political or military context you are typically referred to as Brotherhood, however the actual ruling body is called Command, and the actual military is called The Ferrum.
  • There are no frivolous things in Sol culture. Food is nutrition. Uniform is fashion. There is no entertainment industry, no political parties, no special interest groups. They do however respect and encourage artistic expression; in particular painting and poetry - obviously most of which is about battles.

Personal

  • There is no legal, government, or religious involvement in personal relationships in either Lumus or Sol society. There is no marriage or official documentation of couplings. That is not to say they do not commit to monogamous relationships, there is simply no need for government involvement in personal matters.
  • Although Sol society is a military society, Brotherhood don't sit around polishing their boots and taking apart their guns. They develop unique personalities through their experiences and are prone to dark humor.
  • Family is important in Sol society but it is not defined strictly by blood. Although you are taught to respect and honor your bloodline and heritage, blood does not equate to family. Your family are those that teach, train, and raise you to be strong. You love them, wish to honor them and make them proud. They are your emotional and mental anchor. This is understandable being that you are raised in the Academy. But the tradition of the Academy began from a desire by the founders to eliminate false respect and loyalty by birthright in Sol society. Sol are taught that these are things that should be earned and maintained by each individual.
  • It is a common view outside of Sol society that Brotherhood are cold and emotionless. And indeed your common Ferrum officer will not reveal emotion in public, as you are taught that "emotion is a weapon you hand your enemy with which to kill you." This does not mean there is no love in Sol culture. In fact love is the core of the Brotherhood of Sol. They exist out of love of humanity. It is also a common mantra that "you cannot fight for what is not held in your heart."
  • Members of Sol Society can be involved with members of any other human faction if they so chose but anyone not born in the Sol society will ALWAYS be looked at as an outsider. This does not mean you must be born into Sol society to be Sol. Final Fire defines you as Sol. However there has only been one instance of an outsider surviving the test in a century.

Honor

  • There is no law enforcement on the Brotherhood home world of Solide. The concepts of honor and dedication to the Ius are so powerful that crime is non-existent. This does not mean there is not corruption in Sol government or society. There simply is not everyday crime.
  • Another misconception of the Brotherhood is that they live to die in the glory of battle. In fact they value life greatly and consider a greater victory to be one that fewer lives on either side of the battle were lost. Every death is personal and how you take a life play into your honor. "I am absent of self, I make respect for life taken in battle my self" That said, there will never be a hesitation if lives must be taken.

Social

  • While combat is a way of life, it is not the only path to victory. Sol exercise and train the mind as much as their body. Not only in military strategy and tactics but in history, philosophy, literature, science, mathematics and logic. All are ready for battle, but not all with serve in battle. There is equal honor in science, engineering, and medicine.
  • This does not mean every career in Sol society is respected equally. You may fall into service as a cook or maintenance person or mindless labor. These are not respected roles and are usually given to Cadets as part of their training, or those who have been injured to such a degree they cannot do anything else. However, while your brothers my not respect you, you are only without honor if you do not respect yourself and don’t perform your role to the peak of your ability. As stated in the Ius "I am absent of rank, I make my conduct my rank"
  • Both genders are equal in Sol Society. There is only one exception in law or social status. Females, upon receiving a rank of Rook, must take 1 to 5 years domestic leave to have children.
  • Every Sol female must bare at least one child, but the number is not limited. If the woman does not have a desired partner or she is homosexual, she will be artificially inseminated based on genetic compatibility. All Sol males and female have their genetic material archived. However this is not a common process. Sol youth are notorious for varied and passionate relationships.

Pilam

Humanities home world in the Vigilem galaxy, Pilam is located in the Arius system. The planet is lush and rich in resources and currently home to 2 billion humans. After its establishment in 2280 the Scientia population of Pilam and Vigilem stole influence over the new galaxy away Imperium leaders in Draco Tao.

Pilam is not only the seat of Scientia power, it was also the location of the first ever human/alien peace summit when in 2299 the Cirecidus and Cysti appeared in orbit around the planet.

Vigilem

NGC_1291_GALEX

Vigilem (NGC-1291) is located in the Eridanus constellation 10 million light years from Draco Tao and 33 million light years from the Milky Way. The first human colonist set out for Vigilem in 2278 chasing down ancient alien ruins, and hopes of actual alien contact.  It is essentially humanities new frontier.

After establishing a new home world on the planet Pilam in the Arius system, humanity set to the task of colonizing a new galaxy and searching for neighbors. In 2287 they find what they are looking for however the first encounter with a intelligent species is not what they had hoped.

Conflicts with the Cirecidus species lasted for several years and took a heavy toll forcing the Brotherhood into a terrible decision. 2298, in an attempt to end the conflicts with the aliens, a singularity bomb is detonated in the Breaker Nebula, believed to be the alien hive. Like a similar operation against the Pirate Clans in 2270, the effect of the weapon is devastating, obliterating more than a million kilometers of the nebula.

The conflict did indeed end. At least until 2299 when the aliens return, this time in orbit around Pilam. However instead of destruction, the Cirecidus brought opportunity and another benevolent race called the Cysti. By the rise of year 2300 humanity had come to realize just how not alone in the universe they really were.

 

Solide

Solide is a moon orbiting the 4th planet in the Sol system of Draco Tao. It was founded as a secret outpost during the Gaian war on Earth and was the staging ground for the Pangaean liberation and birth place of the Brotherhood of Sol.

The moon is rich in ores and natural resources used for the production of military technologies. The entire western hemisphere of Solide is essentially a massive weapons manufacturing facility producing guns, armor, and vessels.

It is also the seat of power for the Brotherhood Command and the central weapons manufacturing and shipyard for the Brotherhood Ferrum.

BHEAMR

BHEAMR stands for Broadcast High Energy Amplified Momentum Ray. It is a particle beam technology used extensively for many applications. It is typically mounded on some vehicle or vessel such as the Gremlin Wrecker ships.

Surrounding an object with a projected beam of high energy particles the object can be manipulated and moved by imparting the particles combined momentum to overcome objects potential energy.

BHEAMR is not effective on organic materials, and while it can be used to move most solid non-organic materials, it is most effective on specific allows. As such most shipping and cargo containers are manufactured with these alloys.

Didymus

Located in the Vigilem galaxy the planet Didymus is home to the Pelarian species. A peaceful humanoid race, they are technologically advanced, having space travel and some knowledge of the existence of other alien species.

In 2250 Didymus was caught in the path of a freak meteor storm resulting in multiple large surface impacts. Luckily no major population centers suffered a direct hit however there are concerns about the dust and debris launched into the upper atmosphere from the impacts.

Dust and fallout from meteor impacts have a larger environmental effects than the Pelarian scientific community had first speculated. Sharp declines in crop yields are cause for concern, as well as a rise in respiratory and immune health issues globally, have scientist scrambling for answers. Eventually Pelarian scientist determine that the climatic changes, and recent significant increases in seismic activity, are due to changes in the planet core causing polar magnetic fluctuations. 

In 2342 Scientist researching the causes of the drastic environmental changes on Didymus make a startling discovery. The planets core is indeed being changed but the cause is no longer a matter of academic speculation. The discovery of a vast network of machined tunnel reveals an alien technology buried deep below the planet surface. This alien hardware is using the planets core to power some massive machine that is devouring the planets raw resources from the inside out. It is believed that the meteors that had bombarded the planet years prior were actually the seeds for whatever this thing was.

After the discovery of a massive alien machine devouring the heart of their planet, several attempts are made by the Pelarian militaries to stop the alien technology and eventually the mysterious invaders respond. Hordes of mechanical creatures erupt enmass from the impact craters formed almost a century prior. The mechanized plague spreads across the planet devouring resources and slaughtering the Pelarian population.

In a mere matter of months the surface of Didymus is stripped clean of resources and life. The Pelarian population is decimated by this nightmarish alien threat and those that escaped into orbit, and to their moon, are last of their race.

The 13th Legion

Overview

The 13th Legion is an elite mercenary force formed during the Clan Wars in 2250's to carry out covert operations. Under direct control of Brotherhood Command they were involved in many behind-the-scenes assassinations, espionage efforts, and responsible for capturing many high priority targets. Though officially disbanded after the Clan Treaties were established in 2270, a number of units are still active.

Currently, under the command of Director 1st Class Aywin more than 450 soldiers, scientists, medical professionals, and dedicated crew are base off LEAP capable space station, Carthage and the Tremal class warship Hannibal. Thier loyalties always first to their Director and second to each other.

History

In 2330 a growing concern with security was developing in the face of increasing contact with many new alien races. In the Scientia's exuberance to embrace and study the cultures of the universe more than a few conflicts resulted. One particular conflict with a race called the Torician escalated into a small war that threatened to destabilize an entire sector of Draco Tao.

2342, in the mission that would be known as the Duvei incident, 100 soldiers were sent to support the evacuation of a Lumus Scientia outpost on the planet of Duvei located in a disputed territory. As they were being overrun by Torician forces the 13th held their position until all retreating personnel were safely away and then continued to hold the enemy while the planet was bombarded by Brotherhood cruisers from orbit. Those 13th members sacrificed themselves saving thousands of lives and handing Torician their largest defeat to date.

After the Duvei incident the unit was placed back into service and relied on heavily by Brotherhood Command to manage the ongoing Torician conflict. The unit adopted the motto "iusti gladius, clypeus honos" to honor those lost at Duvei and  

Torician Conflicts

The war with the Torician began simply with a territorial dispute that was quickly escalated by the cultural stubbornness of both the Toricians and Brotherhood. Politically their differences could have been resolved easily however the two groups, with the identities defined by battle and honor, where beyond a political compromise.

The Brotherhood and the 13th could not back down for honor and the fear that any yield given would be seen as weakness to other potential alien threats, opening humanity up to more danger. The Toricians, battle in their blood, desired the perfect battle with the perfect enemy and had found that in the 13th. Honor for honor, sword-for-sword.

   

   

Sentina Trade Pact

Sentina Trade Pact is a set of agreed upon rules of conduct between various parties trading within the three galaxies – Draco Tao, Vigilem, and Milky Way. These are guidelines meant to promote healthy trade practices. Laws dictating trade restrictions are set and enforced by individual governing bodies. This pact does not override or provide protection from any local authority beyond that described below.

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Dreams Of Heaven

Hosted By: Katey Haystack & Denim Robonaught

Role Play: Dreams Of Heaven

Colonization

2238. At the beginning of the Lumus push to expand into Draco Tao the Imperium Council decided that a golden colony was needed. A model for all coming colonies to aspire. The planet Sentina and its moon, Braveheart, would become this monument to human expansion.

Sentina was rich in resources and several mining outposts were established to support colonization. The environment however, while have an unparalleled ethereal beauty, was harsh and toxic. A grand dome was designed and built. At the time the Sentina Dome was the largest single habit structure ever constructed, spanning 80 kilometers.

After a decade Sentina had become a thriving colony with vast transport lines to export raw materials and resources. It was also a prime transportation hub, given that its thin atmosphere allowed for ultra-low orbit LEAP, and the home to the system’s government.

While Sentina had to be tamed tamed for humanity, it's moon Braveheart and a nearby planetoid, designated Hope, were perfect environments for colonization. Braveheart became a near utopian paradise with endless beaches, natural beauty and luxurious living conditions. Hope became the pet project of renowned architect, Jadelyn Rensyn. Rensyn created a city reminiscent of a late 20th century Earth, the ancient home of humanity being a childhood obsession of hers.

These worlds were a shining example of what humanity was capable of achieving and became referred to collectively as "The Dreams of Heaven". They became the home of many prominent figures in Lumus society including the Roberts, Brandi and Cepheus families.

Split Council

By late 2250 much of the galaxy was focused on the controversial conflicts between the Imperium and the Nomad groups, and later the arrival of the Pirate Clans from the Milky Way. Sentina was home to a number of Nomads and political lines began to divide the Sentina Council.

On one side were those that empathized with the plight of the Nomads, wanting to take in refugees and survivors from the Clan invasions, while on the other side there were those who felt that the Nomads had written their own faith in defiance of Imperium rule, and wanted to drive them out of Heaven in order to stay clear of potential conflicts.

As power shifted back and forth in Council so did the status of the Nomad population. At the worst of times their public rights were restricted and at the best of times they were only mildly discriminated against, but seeing as how Nomad civilization outside Heaven was being decimated by the Clans, matters for them could have been worse.

Foothold Disaster

2261. A squadron of Pirate Clan ships LEAP into Hope's orbit. The attack was clearly planned when security forces and heads of Council were attending annual ceremonies on the home planet of Solum. Clan forces overrun the planetoid gaining a foothold in the Heaven system.

As Heaven security forces return they go head to head with the occupying Clan and for as hard fought the battle may have been, they were simply no match for the Clan brutality. In the battle the Roberts family flagship, Sanctity was severely damaged in the crossfire killing almost everyone on board. Only the family patriarch, David Roberts, and a few crewmembers survived.

Also killed in the conflict is the Sentina Council President, putting the still grieving Roberts in charge of the Sentina Council along with the daunting task of brokering some kind peace with the invading Pirate Clan. If any good came from this tragedy it was that it reunified the population of Heaven. The Lumus and Nomad could put their differences aside for a common enemy.

As it turns out, the occupation of Hope by the Pirate Clan may have been more of a blessing than anything else for Heaven. The occupying Clan was very powerful and their presence kept the more opportunistic Clans at bay during most of the Clan wars.

War Ends

David Roberts peacekeeping skills and the standing harmony among the Lumus and Nomads on Sentina had maintained Heaven’s peace amid the turmoil in the rest of the galaxy. With the end of the clan wars in 2270 Heaven was no longer dominated by the clan, but neither was it the resource rich paradise it once were. The Clan occupation have all but depleted the mines.

When part of the Armistice agreement granted the Pirate Clans that remained in Draco Tao a swath of the galaxy, Heaven found itself sitting on the very edge of official Clan space. Given the systems proximity to Clan territory, the substantial Imperium or Brotherhood presence in the area put a strain on Clan/Lumus relations.

With limited post-war resources, any harmony in Heaven was credited to the diplomatic prowess of David Roberts. Known as the Father of Peace he was President of the Sentina Council for many years before stepping down into a permanent role of Peace Ambassador. In 2338 Roberts passes away at 105 leaving his daughter and long time attaché, Sentina, to take over his role.

Sentina Illuminated

Sentina Roberts more than fills her caters’ shoes. Over the span of her career she makes significant contributions, to maintaining peace on many planets throughout Draco-Tao. She plays a major role in the post war recovery of her home system of Heaven, not to mention her groundbreaking insights into colonization psychology revolutionizing the field. Tragically however her health continued to fail due to a rare incurable genetic disorder. in 2386 at age 74 Ambassador Sentina Roberts is accepted in the Illumination program leaving her son, Gaillen Roberts, to take over her position. Sentina has no intent to retire however. After she is Illuminated she transmits herself back to Sentina and becomes Gaillen's most trusted advisor.

There is much speculation surrounding Sentina's return to Heaven. The Illuminated having a hard policy of noninterference, Sentina was threading a very fine line with her involvement in political matters. Still.. her role through Gaillen was important to the continued rebuilding of Heaven.

Power Grab

In post war Heaven there were three families that struggled to control the remaining resources trade. Cepheus, Brandi and Telli. The Cepheus family own the Argos Mining Corporate, the largest company on Sentina. For years the Cepheus family maintained its influence in the system by controlling the flow of raw resources. In 2375 Cepheus manages to take over the Telli operation giving them even more power. However, Cepheus mining operations are completely dependant on water supplies transported from Braveheart.

Denim Brandi, wife of prominent resource broker Meghan Brandi responds to the Cepheus power grab by buying up sector 5 on Braveheart in 2382 putting her family in a position to control the system’s water supply lines. But not all of the Brandis support Denim's move. Nieve Brandi, Denim's sister, was not interested in natural resources, she was all about political power and active advocate for Nomad command equality.

The Cepheus family had ties to Imperium political Families and seeing an opportunity, Nieve arranged secret sit down with Cepheus who agreed to bring to exchange the use of their name for her backing. She then used her Council influence to secure government defense contracts and award them to Cepheus, resulting in the construction of several planetary defense stations. Now with Cepheus's business in service to the Council a portion of their water needs is subsidized.

Cyborg Decadency

Cybernetics have been around for a few hundred years, providing humans with implants and prosthetics for a variety of enhancements such as increased  speed, strength and replacing failing biological organs with their mechanical counterparts for even longer lifespans.

Although originally intended for military activities and medical purposes only, over the years open resources and black market sales made more people obsessed with being the perfect human, making cyborgs of themselves more than anything else.

Regular people were appalled at what these constructs had become and started treating these "cyborgs" as lesser humans, showing their dismay and outrage, often using them as menial or hazard laborers, and in some cases slavery.

In an attempt to counter her sister's actvities, Denim partners with her brother Cybernet, and in 2387 she invests in his struggling venture Cy'net. A seemingly foolhardy move at first.

Androids

2388 Cy'net shocks the cybernetics industry when they unveil their first completed android cyberform. No one can understand how the failing venture could suddenly turn over innovation that was leaps and bounds beyond all current development. That is until it was revealed that the androids were designed as physical avatars for the Illuminated.

The first unit was designated for his wife, who had become illuminated a few years before and was feeling restricted as Illuminated, she very much enjoyed the benefits intellectually but missed having a physical body and being able to interact with her family. She was not alone; There were a number of Illuminated with the same desires. With the support of this group of illuminated and their living families, they force the hand of the Roberts governing family, upsetting the water subsidies to Cepheus rebalancing control in the Heaven system.

A Way Back

By this time Nieve Brandi or the Cepheus family was gone. Using her political contacts garnered over the years Nieve pushes a proposal of own design through the Imperium political gauntlet. After months of being debated by the Families it is finally passed by the Imperium Council June 1, 2402.

More than 230 years after the Exodus, the children of Draco Tao return to the galaxy of their ancestors. Seeing an opportunity in the relative peace established with the Pirate Clans in Draco Tao and Vigilem, the Imperium dispatch ambassadors to the Milky Way in hopes of establishing trade routes. It is a delicate and potentially volatile endeavor, and a lot is riding on the shoulders of the woman in charge - and the one who drafted the proposal for this mission - Head Trade Ambassador, Nieve Brandi.

As negotiations continue, Nieve reestablishes a working relation with the Brandi and Cepheus families, together with some of the great thinkers of the Lumus scientia and scientists from the milky way in an effort to bridge the two galaxies.

Intergalactic Traders’ Guild

By 2409, after visiting hundreds of worlds and long negotiations between licensed and unlicensed trade worlds, the Intergalactic Traders’ Guild or ITG for short, is established. An opportune if not somewhat rocky alliance between trading worlds of the Milky Way, Draco Tao and Viligilem galaxies. Though there  will always be those that try to use it for illegal ventures and others who outright refuse to be any part of it.

Dark Matter bridge

In 2404 a 1600 meter high transceiver array with a five mile radius was assembled on Hope and the planetoid evacuated as a precautionary measure. On April 12th 2414 the project receives a final go. Activating the transceivers on both sides at a prearranged USD, it takes thirtysix hours of volatile burning before the bridge is completed. From people's perspective planetside, the sky was on fire and the following night never went dark.

It takes another five days for the corridor to stabilise, in which time an unknown electrical charge lashed out from it destroying the transceiver assembly on Hope, killing 92 scientists working at the site. Over the course of two days after the bridge stabilised Hope's atmosphere becomes toxic, and Hope is made a quarantine zone deemed off limits.

With the bridge now in place, and despite losing a perfectly good planet, the bridge did away with excessive power consumption and long recharge times connected with LEAP. Large ships and stations were able to LEAP after passing to the other side, and smaller vessels were able to move between galaxies without the need of the huge LEAP drives or a series of LEAP gates.

Barros Disease

The degenerative condition, one time only common among asteroid minors, began affecting hundred of colonies. The condition is caused by certain types of solar radiation affecting cellular replication in humans. Depending on the level of radiation exposure the disease can present itself in a few months or many years. Which is why asteroid minors, being more directly exposed, were the first to be affected.

Barros affects the production of the neurotransmitter Acetoxy-tri-methyle-thana-minimum. What makes Barros so difficult to treat is that this neurotransmitter has never been successfully produced in the lab. It is one of the 30 organic compounds defined as “life active”, meaning they require some yet to be defined process of living organisms to form properly. All synthetic alternatives used in an attempt to treat Barros resulted in accelerated mutations.

The symptoms begin with subtle nervous ticks then slowly progresses into frequent mild seizures. In the beginning these symptoms were misdiagnosed and treated individually masking the early advancement of Barros. Later symptoms include memory loss, disorientation, delirium, and violent outburst. Then there is a period of regression where the sufferers appear to have recovered. This can last anywhere from 2 days to several months before the final stages present themselves. Final stages are violent psychotic episodes were sufferers attempt to harm others and themselves before severe multi-zone brain hemorrhaging and death.