codex

timeline

2146 :: interstellar travel


the first FTL hyperdrive was developed, allowing exploration in other star systems and beyond.

2165 :: colony ships launched


The first colony ships were launched from Earth, equipped with terraforming machines, expected to arrive on previously scouted worlds outside of the Sol system within 100 years.

2248 :: FIRST EXOPLANET COLONIZED


babylon, a natural garden planet, is the first successful colony established in the penglai system, becoming the new cradle of humanity. Over half of the human population departs earth.

2427 :: alliance established


To counter an increasingly violent frontier mentality due to competition over resources, the INTERSTELLAR PLANETARY ALLIANCE was formed to establish fair trade lines and protect civilians.

2494 - 2503 :: independence war


Planets and colonies on the outer stretches resist the unfair laws of the IPA, forming the Citizens for Planetary Independence. All out civil war divides humanity, until the independents are defeated.

2582 :: terminus station built


the winlock family completes construction on a massive refueling station and spaceport orbiting the gas planet MALM-349G, declared neutral ground.

2646 :: gateway opens / rebellion


an ancient alien device awakens in an asteroid near terminus, revealed to be a gateway to other star systems. after the alliance attempted to stake claims on gateway travel, the galactic liberation front challenged their authority, sparking the expansion war.

2649 :: aliens arrive / armistice


for the first time, something comes out of the gateway. fearing invasion, a ceasefire is called and humanity bands together to face the aliens. diplomatic relations begin between races.

2657 :: PRESENT DAY


as aliens are integrated into society, unresolved tensions between human factions vying for power begin to grow once more.
EXOSOLAR BEGINS IN 2655

IN GAME EVENTS

factions

the interplanetary alliance


The Interplanetary Alliance (IPA or Alliance) was established in order to prevent a frontier mentality from developing as new worlds were colonized in the Penglai system. While each individual planet has its own local administration, the IPA sets the standards and practices for legislation and regulation across human-controlled space, and is a democratic federation that strives for equality. Made up of elected officials from each human-occupied planet with active membership, the Alliance Senate convenes every two months on the capital planet Babylon.

Although the system was created with the best interests of humanity in mind, it, like any government, has its flaws and darker history. Not every colony wanted to participate and actively fought the Alliance, viewing them to be corrupt corporate authoritarians, resulting in the Independence War of the previous century. Despite their resistance, the Alliance became the dominant central power, though a few outlier worlds and colonies remain independent of their rule.

The official and predominant language is English or Common, though multiculturalism in a post-Earth society has preserved a multitude of other languages and dialects. Some planets have even developed their own sort of creole. After leaving Earth, nationality and ethnicity became negligible in the face of extinction. Though some old world cultural traditions remains intact, most boundaries based on biological qualities (such as gender, racial and sexual discrimination) have dissolved. Divisions now tend to lie more along the lines of class and planetary allegiance, with each world having its own unique characteristics, politics, and values, though all citizens of the Alliance are viewed as equals under the law - though some individuals may benefit from wealth and connections.

Alliance defense force


The military and defense force for all human colonized planets under IPA authority, ADF training takes place on the capital of Babylon, but its services are spread across all of Penglai. They are divided into three major sections:

The military is made up of the Alliance Army and Airforce—used primarily for planetside ground and air assaults—and the Navy—who operate primarily in space rather than on water. The ADF Naval Fleet is responsible for keeping all interplanetary travel safe; its ships conduct regular patrols to combat piracy. Working closely with the Navy, the Marine Corps are the special ops infantry deployed to defend Alliance vessels, installations and settlements. Minimum enlistment age is 18; ADF ranks mirror the structure of the US armed forces.

Peacekeepers are the military police force. They are used to solve crimes, bring justice upon fugitives, and protect any and all citizens from violations of the law that occur across multiple planets and in space. They are authorized to use deadly force if and when necessary. Most Peacekeepers receive posts on a single planet, though some may travel to conduct criminal investigations or perform escort duties on a federal level. However, they are occasionally hampered by issues of jurisdiction if operating outside IPA space. Their function is similar to FBI Agents or US Marshals service.

Infiltrators, as they are colloquially known, belong to the Alliance Intelligence Agency. They perform reconnaissance and intel gathering and analysis duties to root out any hidden threats to the Alliance. All AIA agents are highly skilled technicians, though field operatives receive training in espionage and combat. It is something of a known secret that Infiltrators have been used to quietly eliminate targets in lieu of conducting full scale military operations. They maintain offices on Babylon and Scheria.

galactic liberation front


The most notorious rebellion faction in human-settled space, the GLF has been framed by the media as extremist terrorists, anarchists, and separatists. However, this is only a partially true representation of their faction. While some of the most vocal members appear to have taken a violent approach to the conflict, there are also many peaceful protesters who simply wish to end the Alliance's corruption and return power to the people, rather than the pockets of the corporate elite. Regardless of their differing methods, GLF’s ultimate goal is to drastically change the structure of human government and establish greater social and economic equality. Unfortunately, it's this internal discord and disorganization that has kept them from effectively countering the far more structured regime. They are rumored to have their headquarters on wartorn and crime-ridden Nibiru.

Technology

Faster-Than-Light (FTL) Travel


While humanity developed its own powerful engines to take them to the edge of the Solar System, their current mode of interstellar transport incorporates technology from another galaxy and species altogether. Discovered embedded in an asteroid in the 22nd century, human scavengers removed the wreckage from the icy rock, and engineers proceeded to derive the plans for a faster-than-light propulsion system from these parts. FTL, or warp drives, are now commonly installed on private vessels and are standard equipment on all ADF Fleet ships, allowing for quick military response times and the ability to explore far regions. Interplanetary travel takes a matter of days rather than years. Ongoing research continues to push the limits of this travel; scientists hope to one day progress from accelerated speed to instantaneous jump drives.

Robotics & Artificial Intelligence


Androids and service robots have been commonplace in daily life since the 23rd Century, though their numbers declined during the great migration due to transport limitations. Most robots are primitive in design and function, performing menial labor or tasks that would otherwise be dangerous for humans, such as manufacturing or maintenance. Private ownership is typically limited to the wealthy, who can afford the costs of upkeep and licensing fees. Robots can range in size and appearance, from small household cleaners, to flying surveillance drones, to welding bots in shipyards, to large heavy weapons combat mechs, to incredibly human-like companion androids. The latter is the most restricted, due to ethical and practical concerns in regarding potential sentience and civil rights. However, it's a known secret that some are put to use in the red light district on Antillia.

While advanced programming and personality imprinting is permissable, any research project that falls under "Artificial Intelligence" is highly restricted in the Alliance. Only a few corporations have been authorized to conduct research in the field. Independent developers must be very cautious, and very clever, to avoid detection, as all assets will be locked down and seized. Unauthorized A.I. creation is a felony crime. Unlike humans, a synthetic consciousness can exist in multiple places at once and conduct multiple tasks simultaneously without any difficulty, and can be downloaded into physical bodies or projected as holographs.

Medicine

advancements


As of the 27th century, the average natural human lifespan has been extended to a minimum of 120 YEARS OF AGE. Physical maturation occurs at the same rate, though the social bracket for middle age and senior status has been shifted slightly upwards to compensate.

Among the many advancements made over the last few centuries, MEDI-GEL has been essential in preserving lives during emergencies. The topically applied ointment seals and sterilizes open wounds, acts as a superficial analgesic, and stimulates immediate tissue regrowth. Although it is not a remedy for deep tissue injury, medigel can sustain the injured until proper medical treatment is available. Surgery and physical therapy are still necessary to the recovery process.

While many of Earth's deadliest diseases have been cured or reversed, the solution to the common cold remains elusive. Worse yet, exposure to new environments and foreign organisms has led to the discovery of new virus strains, as well as congenital disorders. Although Alliance biochemists are quick to develop remedies, inoculation and vaccinations are not always widely available to colonies further out in the system or beyond the gate, and unrestricted space travel makes outbreaks difficult to contain.

Despite the ethical controversy surrounding eugenics, it is perfectly legal, albeit expensive, to conceive genetically modified children. These 'selected' individuals are not uncommon among upper class citizens, putting them in the position of being doubly privileged, though genetic segregation and discrimination is strictly prohibited by law, and human cloning is still considered a violation of medical ethics.

cybernetic augmentations


While medical facilities are capable of rapidly growing replacement organs and other tissues, it is still incredibly common to replace entire body parts with artificial devices. CYBERNETIC PROSTHESES are more realistic than ever, with all the advantages of being inorganic. Constructed from ultralight alloys, they are more durable and powerful than bone and muscle tissue. Sensors embedded into the synthetic tissue sheath are hardwired into to the brain's somatosensory nervous system, allowing for precise motor control and simulated tactile perception.

Most cybernetics are installed on amputees for whom the procedure is vital to their health or lifestyle, but some transhumanist individuals choose to alter or enhance themselves with body mods, ranging from the cosmetic to functional.

Although cybernetic enhancements are not restricted, they don't come cheap. Extensive surgical procedures make installation and maintenance costly. Urgent or emergency cases will often receive financial subsidizing, but elective alterations must be paid for in full by the recipient. Upgrades are also excluded from standard health care, which is how manufacturers make their profit. This exclusivity has generated a demand for parts and programming on the black market, though it is risky to seek outside servicing.

neurogenics

definition + origin


NEUROGENIC - noun - a human born with a rare genetic mutation that grants them extensive psychokinetic, telepathic, and other preternatural abilities. The most common manifestation is the ability to manipulate and control the physics of an object and their surroundings through thought (AKA telekinesis), allowing the individual to manipulate objects, as well as create barriers around themselves. Others can read minds, detect emotions, enhance their senses, and have precognitive visions. Usage of these powers puts a physical strain on the human body, ranging from mild fatigue to debilitating migraines, seizures, or even fatality. However, these limitations can be gradually extended through rigorous training and experience. (Compare to: Force users in Star Wars, biotics in Mass Effect. Questions about specific abilities should be sent to our dropbox.)

First seen in the population of second generation settlers, this mutation was attributed to exposure to elements native to the Penglai system that were improperly terraformed. Documentation of this early research has been made classified by the Alliance; allegations of abuse in experimentation were made, but swiftly denied by project leaders. Anyone who displays the genetic markers for the trait at birth must be placed on the official registry. Ostensibly, this is for the protection of the neurogenic individual, so they cannot accidentally hurt themselves or others. Ultimately, it is measure of public safety to keep track of any potentially dangerous individuals. However, not all who display the marker are guaranteed to manifest the full powers of a neuro (and some may never have any abilities) - though all those who develop abilities have the gene from birth.

Having two parents with the N-gene increases the risk of offspring inheriting the trait, but sometimes the mutation appears at random in an individual. Scientists have been able to replicate the mutation and successfully inserted it into the genetic code of “bred” individuals, turning natural evolution into a trait that can be bought, though they were once considered less potent than those who naturally evolved. Neurogenics are still highly uncommon, with a 1 in 1000 chance of possessing the marker and slimmer rate of developing any abilities, though they do not face as much social stigma as they once did and it is illegal to discriminate.

Alliance Academy for Neurogenic Advancement


Established in 2489 AD on Babylon, the Academy is a training program for any citizens born in the Alliance who display neurogenic abilities. Children as young as 5, some even from infancy, are enrolled at the school, though students of any age are welcome. In most cases, this is voluntary and considered in the child's best interests, and students are allowed to visit their families once they've been deemed "safe" enough to engage with the public. However, some have been forcibly removed from their homes and have limited contact.

Sequestered from the rest of the population, students receive a full standard education, but their primary focus is mastering their abilities. After years of research, the Academy founders concluded that control is tied to the user's emotional state, and students are taught to suppress their emotions, show disciplined restraint, and achieve mental clarity. As a result, the Academy is fairly austere and removed from distraction. Meditation and martial arts are considered appropriate outlets to channel focus. On average, students complete their training by their early 20s, but must pass a rigorous set of final exams and be approved by the board. Most instructors are former trainees, and develop close mentorships with their students. The current Academy Director is Warwic Strand, appointed in 2651.

Post-graduation, many students enlist in the military as members of a special forces unit and undergo officer training. Neurogenics are considered invaluable to the ADF, giving them an upper hand against rebel factions. It is possible to flunk out of the Academy, though the Alliance tries to keep close tabs on anyone who does not complete their training. Graduates of the Academy are not required to disclose their status to others if they so choose, and may make use of their abilities, as long as they aren't abusing them.

The Disciples of Enyo


While the Alliance is thorough about identifying and recruiting neurogenics, some still manage to slip through the cracks and avoid notice. Many individuals attempt to lead normal, quiet lives despite their difference - but others see themselves as superior, evolved beings, who are destined to control the fate of humanity and shouldn't be forced to live under invasive government oversight.

Rumors abound of a cult called the Disciples of Enyo, founded by a family of "purebred" neurogenics who believe in accepting their 'gifts' and propagating the gene to future generations. To expand their pool and strengthen their numbers, the Disciples attempt to recruit anyone who has the neurogene, especially those they perceive to be susceptible to their beliefs, and might benefit their cause. They shamelessly use their abilities to manipulate other people and their surroundings, and train as rigorously as the Academy, whom they consider to be rivals.

They are said to have a large enclave based on Nibiru with extensive ties to the GLF, though others may be playing both sides of the conflict by getting close to Alliance officials and taking advantage of their influence and resources.