The Stars Beyond

Humanity and the Alien
If you're not with us ...

The Alien Within

Human controlled space is filled predominately with what we would consider standard humans. Also present are transhuman sub-species, genetically manufactured for specific environments (e.g., “dwarves” on a high gravity world, or “merefolk” on a water world). These (sub)human offshoots would probably suffer some discrimination when not in their “natural” environments, but in most cases they would be considered fully legally human. A notable exception would be a Corporation which specializes in manufacturing transhuman species would definitely consider them property. It would also not be unheard of to find the occasional uplifted species from old earth (e.g., monkeys, dogs, cats, dolphins, etc.) raised to sentience by technology and/or genetics.

The Alien Without

Any non human, non earth decent species would be rare ( but definitely not unheard of) in human ruled space. these aliens would be mostly subservient to humanity. the degree of which would be dependent upon the type of government they were under. An federation-like alliance of worlds (like The Coalition) would treat them with a near equality, while a Corporation with tendencies to strip mine star systems of all their resources (like the Halite Corp) would enslave any aliens they came across.

The Alien Beyond

Outside of humanities sphere of influence there will be definitely be aliens to be discovered and communicated with. Some will be planet bound and primitive, others will be technologically superior and star-spanning. The rest will fall somewhere between the extremes. New and as of yet undiscovered aliens would definitely be grist for the storymill for adventuring explorer player characters.

The Alien Unknown

Just being poetic. Unless there is some truth to that old spacers tale.

The fall of Nations and the rise of Corporate Empires
In space no one can hear your politics
The Exodus

When humanity began its departure from Terra, after the discovery of Fold Space, the Nations of Terra tried desperately to maintain control of their colonies upon the far flung planets settled by their populations. Of course they also tried to hinder the efforts of their rival nations. All the while becoming more and more beholden to the already powerful corporate interests, who played all sides of against the middle.

The Breaking

Eventually, as all things do when stretched beyond their breaking point, civilization broke. The Nations of Terra, in perpetual cold war with each other lost control of their galactic holdings. Some planets left in rebellion, some were lost to conquerors from other rebellious systems, some were just forgotten in the chaos of the times. Most historic records of this mad and bloody time are lost to the blackness of the void of war. And when the Terran Beacon was destroyed, even the birthplace of humanity was lost to those who survived this dark time. Much knowledge and technology was lost to humanity during the upheaval of this period.

The Long Dark

It took several generations for humanity as a whole to recover from the breaking. Some enclaves survived this time nearly unscathed. Some were blasted back to the stone age. Some are still lost to us even now.

The Restructuring

Various multi-national corporations of Old Terra were quick to exploit the pioneering spirit of the Exodus. Using their great skill at making money, they expanded into galactic corporations. In the process acquiring even more wealth. An insane amount of wealth. The smallest galactic corporation had significantly more wealth than the whole of Terra before the exodus. this allowed most of the galactic corporations to safely weather the wild and bloody time of The Breaking. Some even managed greater profits and acquisitions.

Our Story Begins

As we look upon the galaxy now, we find the various galactic corporations in near total control of the galaxy. Ruling from their luxurious and powerful Corporate Moons. Their greatest threat, unsurprisingly, are the other galactic corporations as they vie with each other for greater and greater monopolies. There are, of course, many great star empires spanning several star systems, but they owe much of their strength and positions to the corporations they do business with. Also of note are the independent planets and systems that, through wealth of resources, or strength of arms, have maintained their freedom from the machinations of the corporations. And everyone is always hoping to stumble upon one of the lost colonies, for their value could be beyond calculation.

Interplanetary Travel
how we got here from there

We were not meant to travel far from our birth place on Terra, but we as a race have often flaunted the will of gods. It was thus when we first sailed our leaky canoes into the oceans to find new specks of land, it was so when we first cast ourselves out of the embrace of our mother earth, and it is still true as we fling our progeny out into the darkness of the void to find and claim new worlds as our own.

For too long interstellar travel was beyond the grasp of a single lifetime. generation ships maintained too high a cost in materials, and no guarantee of social stability in the passage of ages before arriving at the destination. cryogenics and suspended animation proved to be beyond our limited talents of the age. It seemed certain that we would self terminate our existence as a species upon our birth planet, and probably leave it a smoldering ash as well. And then a miraculous discovery changed our future and the destiny of the universe as well. One Dr. Anton Marigold, a self styled quantum mechanic, created a device that would surround an object in an energy field, and shift it into a different plane of existence. Known now as Fold Space because of the way an object contained in a shift field seems to fold in upon itself when it transitions into this other dimension from normal, true space.

Fold Space, as best as any scientist can explain, is a dimension that exists just below our own. Its properties are poorly understood at best. But the property that is key to our interstellar expansion is that distance in Fold Space is exponentially faster than travel in our normal universe. A spaceship (sometimes called a Foldship to differentiate it from non-folding spaceships) traveling through Fold Space for a full day (24 hours) would find itself approximately one light year from where it entered Fold Space when it transitioned back into true space.

This discovery by Dr. Anton Marigold lead to the mass exodus of humanity from Terra, and it’s inevitable spread to the far flung reaches of our galaxy. The Marigold Device, contained inside the Transition Drive, allows spaceships to enter Fold Space and traverse unfathomable light years in mere weeks and months instead of multiple lifetimes.


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