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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.