The Fluff page is for IC additions to the world (which includes the backstory). Fluff is also used partially for game design decisions and is therefore relatively important. Due to this now being the de facto fluff, only specific users are allowed to edit any fluff pages. Please post any proposed fluff here: http://baystation12.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=767
It has been roughly 50 years since the beginning of the Orange Rush. NanoTrasen, BioTech Solutions, Einstein Engines Incorporated, and many other leading research corporations continue their struggle to research as many uses and profit as much from Plasma as possible. And now, where Humanity thought they had been alone, other races are appearing - some friendly like the Tajaran, others dangerous. It is a brave new world.
Space travel is common place. Rich civilians, colonial militaries and huge corporations all incorporate large fleets of various ships. Large freighter ships transport cargo from planet, to station to colony. Warships defend planets and trade lanes from harm. Pirates are uncommon but present (many of these join the Syndicate) and often use cheap, abandoned or stolen ships and equipment to raid transports. Space combat is usually composed of energy weapons due to the fact that projectiles would never cease travelling while energy projectiles faze out after a certain distance.
Law varies from region to region, planet to planet and station to station, as do punishments.
Credits are the currency of the universe. They are represented in a figure with either Cr or cR at the end. For example: 11,500Cr. Credits are entirely electrical and each person receives a payment into their personal accounts at the end of a working month.
Many planets have been colonized during humanity's rapid growth. Hospitable worlds are largely inhabited, while less liveable worlds are used as waste dumping grounds and industrial planets.
There is no such thing as a "radar" in space. The device used is called the Gravidar, or Gravdar. It is a 3 Dimensional, "minimap" if you will, view of a sector. All ships and stations are equipped with one. They show the locations of other ships, debris, stations and other things.
Most ships and stations have shields to protect them from hostile fire and collisions. Some shields are stronger than others. To measure this we use kJ, MJ and GJ.
Kilojoules are an individual shield unit. For example 10kJ. Megajoules are to the thousandth shield unit. So a shield with 200 MJ has 200,000kJ. Gigajoules are to the millionth shield unit. So 1GJ is 1,000,000kJ, or 1,000 MJ.
All rounds begin at 12:00pm station-time. This is the beginning of the shift and it is generally accepted that everyone who spawns at the beginning of the round knows each other from previous shifts aboard the station.
All employees live on the station. While personal dorms are not set it is usually accepted that whoever binds their ID to the personal locker owns the dorm it is in.
Meal times are not usually set and the chef feeds people as they come.
The ship is divided into five 'wings'. The port wing; containing arrivals, primary tool storage, the locker room and disposals. The starboard wing; containing the escape dock, Medbay, R&D, the chapel, botany, the cafeteria and others. The aft wing; containing engineering, robotics and atmospherics. The fore wing; containing security, the armoury and the courtroom. Finally the central wing; containing the bridge, custodial closet, crew dorms, mining dock, cargo bay and EVA.
The directional terminology used is developed from nautical and architectural terms. North, east, south and west are also applied colloquially.
In regards to other peoples' characters, your character has no pre-existing relationship with anyone without the other player's consent. If you do have the other players consent then you do not know their character from a previous round. Due to things like the station blowing up and people dying, inconsistencies can occur.
NanoTrasen is one of the largest corporations in the galaxy. They own a large fleet of ships, multiple stations and posses businesses and factories on many colonies. They are primarily based in deep space, due to the lack of enforced government law, which allows them to perform otherwise illicit research without fear of reprimand. Their quick and brutal actions in the Orange Rush have given NanoTrasen somewhat of a head start in plasma research than their competitors, making them the target of much jealousy and - more importantly - enemies like the Syndicate.
The Syndicate is a semi-secret conglomeration of groups opposed to the NanoTrasen corporation. Most NanoTrasen employees have heard of the syndicate and security personnel are familiar with them. The syndicate is made up of rival corporations, criminals and pirates, opposing politicians and many others.
Space Wizard Federation
The Space Wizards Federation is known to few people. NanoTrasen officials and ship captains may know of them. They are neutral to NanoTrasen from a political view point but will happily infiltrate their stations and ships if something is needed from them.
Little is known about the SWF but they are all eccentric Humans with a knack for 'magic'. In the future magic is a loose term. It could donate to genetic mutations or highly advanced science. Either way the SWF will periodically send out agents to find and reclaim mystical artefacts and magical objects. From enchanted crowbars to ancient alien technology the SWF won't let lesser men posses any of it. The SWF is extremely dangerous and those who know of the Federation know not to mess with a wizard.
The Order of Nar'Sie
The Order of Nar'Sie an obscure and hidden order. Little is known about them, and few know of their existance. Only those with extensive theological learning have any inkling as to their religion or methods.
Their magic is based around blood runes, sacrifices and their ghostly constructs. They work to further the goals of Nar'Sie, and work to bring Him into our world.
There are many governments ruling humanity, the larger ones including the Federation of Sirius, the Milky Way Federation, and New Terra. At the beginning of the Space Age, humanity was a united nation called the Union of Humanity - however, this dissolved fairly quickly into the many nations of today.
NanoTrasen's main competitors include BioTech Solutions, Einstein Engines Inc, and many others. These corporations are just as large, powerful, technologically advanced and greedy as NanoTrasen, and equally paranoid. Like NanoTrasen, they are primarily based in deep space due to the lack of stable law and order, giving them free reign to do as they wish and remain on good terms with most governments. They are highly jealous of NanoTrasen's success in plasma research and continuously strive to one-up NT.
Humans come from a wide array of planets and colonies. Almost any entity in the Sol system has had someone at least try to set up a building on it, as has much of the outer lying systems.
Planetary Capital - Lowell City. Originally humanity's first industrial and mining colony, Mars has been supplying the fleets of humanity with finished products for years and become the new seat of human government, with Sol Central Government and New Terra governmental offices making their homes and hubs. Home to the illustrious Martian Institute of Technology, it is the industrial capital of Sol. While certainly not matching the sheer human biomass of earth, Mars is home to innumerable amounts of people- The average joe probably hails from a middle class martian family at some point or another.
Planetary Capital - N/A. The ancestral home of the Human race, Earth has become a large poisonous ball of pollution and industrialism. Long, brutal wars have scarred it's surface and overpopulation has caused irreversible effects in the planet's atmosphere. Earth may have long since lost it's former splendor, but it remains a bustling hub of lower class humanity as borders and governments fall and restructure.
Earth's moon. Originally bought out in the mid 2100s by corporate moguls as terraforming became a possibility. When tensions rose to all time highs amongst terran countries, the wealthiest bought out governmental charters to vast swaths of Luna, originally for personal use. As time went on, many of the wealthier denizens of earth left the chaos not for the budding industrialism of Mars, but for the elegant, planned regions of the moon. In the modern day, the moon is a relatively contolled wealth-meritocracy, with the big 'Ivy League' schools currently on Luna. Most residents are either wealthy, related to the wealthy, academics/students, or part of the lower class that engages in the day to day tasks of keeping Luna running- The majority of the 'poor' on Luna are about the wealth of the lower-middle class elsewhere. With access contolled heavily by visas and with a reputation to maintain for a sanctuary for the wealthy in the heart of human space, criminals, the unwanted, and rabble rousers have a habit of 'disappearing'. It isn't uncommon for martian politician to have a 'summer estate' or 'extended family' on Luna.
Outer Sol System
Jupiter's moons were oftentimes considered heavily for colonization and speculation, for the most part it's refurbishing has fallen by the wayside as opposed to looking for garden worlds outside of the solar system and smaller mining installations when Mars and Luna showed humanity how much work had to go into full terraforming. Much of the outer solar ended up heavily chartered out by different scientific groups and corporations, some more stable than others, leading to distinct and 'odd' cultures forming in those regions. Most of the moons are dwarf planets are still heavily undeveloped and unpopulated, many bases and colonies ignoring each other in preference of either isolationism or relying on external trade/corporate and academic imports. They are not often traditional settling areas, generally being chosen for being within the protection of Sol's heart from piracy and outlying phenomena while escaping the crowds of the inner solar system for operations.
Planetary Capital - Labourtown. A mining colony with a handful of NanoTrasen research facilities. Violent civil war in 2548 was forced to end 4 years later by NanoTrasen in order to protect its facilities.
A young, yellow G-class star system containing several colonized planets. It is considered to be on the edge of human-occupied space and is home to the NSS Exodus.
It is a well established fact that we are not alone in the universe. Multiple alien species have been discovered by the human race. Some are friendly and well understood, while some are rarely seen and never caught, presumed dangerous and usually avoided. Due to the significant scientific breakthroughs with alien research most NanoTrasen crews have at least one Xenobiologist.
The Tajaran (ᴛᴀʜ-jaw-run, singular ᴛᴀʜ-jaw-rah) are a humanoid race possessing cat-like features. Hailing from Ahdomai, the smaller of two twin planets, they possess insulative fur and felinoid stability to better survive in their harsh native environment.
The Unathi (ᴇᴡ-nahth-ee) are a race of tall, reptilian humanoids that possess both crocodile-like and serpent-like features. Their scales are hard and plate-like, save for the softer ones that line the inside of their legs, armpits, and groin. Originating from the planet of Moghes, the Unathi live in an extremely sexist society, with women being considered property.
The Skrell (skrel) are a species of amphibious humanoids, distinguished by their green-blue gelatinous appearance and head tentacles. Skrell come from the world of Jargon 4 (as they call it, Qerrbalak), a humid planet with plenty of swamps and jungles. Currently more technologically advanced than humanity, they emphasise the study of the mind above all else.
A mysterious life form similar to Earth fungi, but much more destructive. The term 'Blob' is an informal one, as no one knows much about them. They are gelatinous, translucent green organisms that have immensely powerful enzymes capable of dissolving steel and almost everything else, and can somehow survive in the vacuum of space.
Blobs begin their life as tiny spores floating through space. When they land on a suitable surface - for example, a station - they will grow, consuming the material. Many blobs can grow to be kilometers across. When they are large enough they will eject more spores to continue the process. Blobs are complex organisms and are composed of several different 'organs' - Blob Cores appear to act as the energy sources for growth, for example, and other nodes can discharge small 'mini-blobs' that patrol the organism and attack any intruders.
Their composition and origin is unknown, but classified as a biohazard under NanoTrasen classification. If any NanoTrasen vessels happen to come into contact with it, research on its structure, and prevention of damage, is utmost priority.
Space-dwelling, four-eyed, gigantic pink carp. Supposedly a genetically engineered weapon designed by either NanoTrasen or the Syndicate, the experiment failed and the carp were ejected into space. However, the carp proliferated and have become renowned pests, stalking space facilities and attacking those unwary enough to venture outside.
Xenomorphs are not an intelligent civilization, but predatory creatures with no higher goals than the propagation of their species and the destruction of life that could pose a threat. Like wasps or termites, Aliens are eusocial, with a single fertile queen breeding a caste of warriors. The Aliens' biological life cycle, in which their offspring are violently implanted inside living hosts before erupting from their chests, is in many ways their signature aspect
Over the years religion has come and gone. Some faiths have faded out entirely on one colony but remain strong on another. Due to this many religions have been founded. Some worship gods, others, technology. Atheism is perfectly acceptable and common. However, not all faiths are permitted by NanoTrasen. As time has progressed, so has the religious community. Many of the “Old Religions” of Earth have long since died out, or merged into others. As of today, 2558, there are a total of seven options generally listed on most surveys.
- Atheism/Agnosticism - This is the current largest of the “beliefs.” About half of the current human population sticks to the idea that there is no higher power or anything of that sort, at least on surveys.
- Deism - The belief that through observation and reason, there is infact a “Creator,” but with how vast “Creation” itself -is-, he does not do anything towards it, and lets everything work on the natural laws of creation, so on and so forth. It became a very popular belief in the mid-21st Century, and has continued to grow since then.
- Buddhism - One of the few “Old Religions” to have not only survived, but thrived. Buddhism is not as well spread as the other three, but is still one of the larger religions among humanity today. It still follows the same principles as always, its' teachings of moderation having a universal appeal still unmatched.
- Unitarianism - Unitarianism is the general demographic under which followers of the Abrahamic religions are grouped. Officially, Unitarianism was created out of the merging between the Christian belief and the Islamic belief - It was officially formed some time in the mid-22nd Century. It is the belief that God is the all-father, Jesus is his son, and Muhammad is their prophet. There are still radical groups of the original religions, but they are too tiny to actually be noticed outside of Earth. Practicioners of individual Abrahamic faiths are generally plopped under this statistic as well, much to chagrin. Most of their numbers come from the inner Sol system- The farther out from earth, the more these religions have died down.
- Shinto - Another of the “Old Religions” to have survived to the 26th Century. Shinto is fairly popular in the more oriental colonies among the stars due to financial backers. It also has a fairly large presence on the Moon due to Japanese/American moguls owning a majority of it.
- Taoism/Confucianism - The final of the “Old Religions” to still be popular among the stars. The chinese indigenous religions tend to be the least considered of the big religions, though certainly a big factor - After escaping Earth post the political turmoil, many chinese emigrators from Earth tended to take to buddhism, but it remains a very strong faith out in many previously chinese mining colonies in the various asteroid belts.
Colonial Religious Systems
Colonial Religious Systems (or CRSs for short) are religions and/or belief systems created in the colonial systems. Usually they don’t go much farther than their home colony, system, or small sector of space that contains 1-3 systems. CRS range from a large number of beliefs, ranging from the old religions of say, Hinduism, or the belief in a great “Dragon Mother” being the creator of the universe, and make up a relatively large percentage of marked religious practices. Transhumanism is popular in the odder scientific colonies around the jovian and saturnine satellities -an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition. Nonetheless, due to causing quite a few issues moral issues(Such as the returning concepts of genetic fitness and so forth often ascribed to these groups), public practice off of these environments is generally politely discouraged, filed under CRS.
When Plasma was new, it was hailed as the new Oil, relatively easy to extract, required almost no refining, and burnt like a Roman candle out of hell. Everyone wanted it, only one corporation could supply it fast enough, and eventually outbid all competition. Enter NanoTrasen. With plasma monopoly established, prices shot up and profits soared, despite increasing reports of its excessive toxicity and difficulty to contain the substance. The arcologies of Earth /needed/ energy. Any energy, to stem the inevitable collapse of society just a little longer, Plasma was a godsend. And NanoTrasen its prophet.
Most accidents of containment breaches or uncontrollable plasma fires were swept under the rug, much like how a addict will forgive his dealer for his character flaws. Falling apart even as he craves his next fix.
Super Matter is extracted from the cores of super plasma giants, at great expenditure of effort and material, by robotic armored probes, shielded and designed to withstand the intense pressure that solidifies Plasma into a stable almost inert but highly volatile form.
The super matter has a similar density to Neutronium and expels a massive amount of energy and gaseous plasma when properly processed. - Being super-dense, Zero Point Lasers are used to shave off plasma molecules from the crystal lattice matrix. These lasers can not interact with less dense matter in a significant fashion, such as organic tissues and are thus perfectly harmless. The Super Matter however is not.
Extensive and costly experimentation have determined that while stable at the near vacuous existence of hard vacuum or one standard earth atmosphere, super-matter begins to come unravelled when reaching pressure levels similar to its origins, - thus attributing to its expenditure in harvesting it. Heat further weakens the crystal matrix structure.
Should the matter come unravelled, it will do so extremely rapidly and explosively, ripping not only through the hardest alloys like wet tissues, but the very fabric of time itself, thus giving rise to the curious phenomena where one can in fact survive a Super Matter detonation by simply outrunning the explosive wave as it tears steel bulkhead to shreds. Slowly. It is still recommended to evacuate the site of such a explosion without delay.
Super Matter is currently only used in the NSV Luna for fuel and propulsion purposes. And is estimated to outlast the ships service period by a factor of 15. With proper care and maintenance. And barring any accidents.
With the advancement of science, new ways of cheating death became available. No longer potential victims of fate or luck had to hold on to life to be saved but now could be called back even after death. While many religions found some of those ways unethical, economical profits and mankind's natural fear of death helped them become regularly and openly practised especially in environments where there was shortage of properly trained personnel, such as space colonies, stations or high-class star ships.
Most controversial of them all, an idea stemming from the almost ancient past became improved upon to the extent allowing total recreation of organism from just a couple of samples, including general knowledge and skills of the subject at the moment of sample-harvesting. Additionally, newer models of DNA-restructurizing equipment became connected to some of ship's components providing general outline of the events happening in the timespan between a person's DNA backup and their original death, allowing for, for example, technical personnel to quickly return to work.
At the same time though, cloning is being looked down upon by some as there is no way for practitioners of most religions or otherwise spiritual people to make sure whether it's really the person - including the soul - who gets another chance to live or just a copy, completely different human being with memories, raising, experiences and skills stolen from the individual who already passed permanently (or, depending on belief, is on his way to be reborn traditional way).
Common name given to the process of transplanting subject's brain into machine body. If done properly, patient becomes half-machine and so, such procedure is being undertaken only in case of emergency and/or with both patient's and his commanding officer's permission. Reason for that lies in trauma caused by existence in the shell so different from regular human body. Because mechanical bodies are created with practicality and efficiency in mind, they lack substitutes of many organs or glands and so, have limited possibilities of feeling - both by senses and feeling of emotions. Additionally, to prevent situations where traumatized - or even brought to the brink of insanity - cyborg would start wreaking havoc, all standard models have coded blockades in the form of Laws (typically hard coded into artificial intelligence personalities). Aside from that, cyborgs created for specific tasks in the same facilities usually share their own communication channels and are permanently connected and commanded by main computer and it's AI, although they still possess some degree of autonomous behaviour in case of lack of any watcher (even if it's greatly limited as by default those machines often are to be just extension of an AI construct). It should be noted that to cut on costs of deploying specialized cyborg models, general frame is first constructed and then outfitted for it's job. This way, no new cyborg model series has to be created for every work necessary.
Becoming a cyborg is usually undertaken by desperate people, strongly driven by their devotion to their work and corporation, or simply those who take the perspective of losing a large part of their own humanity lightly.
In early 2500, after several catastrophic losses of life caused by malfunctioning prototype gravity plates1, NanoTrasen stood at a minor crisis. Their entire fleet of ships and stations had been laid out with the decks parallel to the thrust provided, thus preventing the use of inertial gravity. With grav-plating proving unviable, and crews proving unwilling to work in zero-gravity2, a new solution had to be found. NanoTrasen approached this with a characteristically... Lateral.. Solution3.
NanoTrasen's fledgling Cloning Laboratory located the corpse of infamous 20th century reality bender MC Escher, and ordered him to find a solution. Applying his particular brand of insane genius, he was able to utilise inertial gravity in spite of the obvious physical difficulties. Despite some early psychological issues4, which resulted in the thruster units being sealed away from the crew to hide the issue, this solution worked wonderfully. Mr Escher - or a clone of him - is now happily working in the Blue Space Research Division, where he is very happy5.
1: See Incident Report 75-AXB-12H-FINEPASTE
2: Logged crew remarks include: "Oh Christ, the lab monkey's been sick again..." "GAAAH! Why do they not teach the difference between mass and weight at crate handling school?" and "Dear Christ pouring sulphuric acid in zero-g hurts!" The only positive evaluation was received from the Security division, who reported that with proper bracing it was now possible to knock a suspect the length of a primary hallway with a good baton swipe.
3: Cross-reference: Singularity Drive (destroyed); Crew Morale Program (abandoned following Clown Riots); Employment Pre-Screening Checks (still outsourced to Lucky 8 Ball).
4: Audio log: "CAPTAIN! Oh god!" "Remain calm, crewman, there's nothing to worry about.." "Captain, you just walked out of a light switch, and are now standing on the wall." "This closet is full of stars! Who BUILT this thing!"5: Employee Happiness Measurement Accounting techniques not available at your pay grade - nevertheless, all employees are happy.
Since ancient times people believed in forces and phenomena not tied to the material plan of existence and different orders, cults or research institutes were exploring notions and possibilities connected to such beliefs. Over years many occult paths leading supposedly to the ascension or command over mystical forces unknown to grey masses were developed but only one, grounded the most in scientific background surfaced and had drawn interest of corporation executives. Psionics, allowing access to the great power through rigorous training - usually backed up (and in even more extreme cases, substituted with) high-level grade implants connected to the brain and nervous system - offered greatness to those who were determined, possessing proper mindset giving them necessary potential, bold and rich enough to try to claim it. While as a serious area of research with importance big enough to grant industrial uses, psionic is young and so - very crude, recent developments in high energy systems and DNA restructurization (mostly discovered by NanoTrasen mega-corporation) are like a promise for it's bright future.
Space Sleeping Disorder
Space Sleeping Disorder (SSD) is a common condition affecting about 50-60% of humanity. It is caused by the combination of a lack of day/night cycle on board spacecraft, the presence of the inky black void in all directions, and long hours. In these conditions, in some individuals, adenosine production is stunted, and the human body "forgets" to become tired and want to sleep. When SSD occurs, the person afflicted, after working for long periods, suddenly has the overwhelming desire to sleep. This is caused by the body realizing that it needs sleep and producing vast amounts of adenosine. Once they fall asleep, the sleep is intensely deep, and they cannot be roused. The person wakes up normally about 8-12 hours later.
A variant of SSD is known as Rapid Onset Space Sleeping Disorder (or ROSSD). This occurs frequently in those working on extremely long shifts with a lack of stimulation. In ROSSD, the body, instead of creating an intense sensation of tiredness, instantly falls into deep REM sleep. This usually happens during periods of no stress or stimulation, but occurrences of this during more "exciting" times have been reported. Due to its resemblance to the popular conception of narcolepsy, ROSSD is occasionally mislabelled as "space narcolepsy". A somewhat uncommon term for people who have this occur is that they have been "rossed". Some sufferers have mistakenly been declared "braindead", however, ROSSD causes no damage to the brain or body on its own, barring any external trauma from the sudden loss of control or the body hitting the ground. Once asleep, there is no fundamental difference between ROSSD-caused sleep and SSD-caused sleep.