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Whether by circumstance, necessity, or a renewal of your existing contract, you have found yourself under the employ of the mining and research company known simply as Nanotrasen. The contract you signed looked more like the phonebooks you'd seen in museums: thick, nebulous, and with a string of clauses stretching longer than the list of infidelities committed by your local politician. You didn't have the time to read them, no mortal man would, but it didn't matter. What mattered is that the pay is good - and in a time where a pack of cigarettes costs your average wage slave a day's earnings, good pay means everything.
The knot in your stomach tightens as you get in line. Uniform. Photo. Identification Card. Radio. You've heard whispers of the company making backroom deals: of bought off politicians, rigged markets, stations gone dark - but every company these days has a bad rap. Not every story you heard could be true. The knot unwinds as you're directed to your transfer shuttle. You're told you've been assigned to the NSS Cyberiad, Epsilon Eridani sector. You aren't sure where that is, but it's where you're heading. You glance to the man beside you. Bald, grey jumpsuit, mid-thirties - he stares vacantly ahead as he shuffles along. You decide against making small-talk.
You're directed to your seat and told to buckle in, the dim whine of the shuttle engines pricking your ears. Inertia sets in, your body pitching backward as the shuttle abruptly takes flight. The journey is vast, but it feels like mere seconds before you're violently jostled in your seat once more - your stomach still turning when the shuttle finalizes docking. You unbuckle and stand, your balance uneven as you're escorted off the shuttle; the stale taste of recycled air assaulting your senses as a cold, metal voice booms through the PA system.
"Welcome to the NSS Cyberiad. Have a secure day."
A Primer on the Shift
You, the player, start your shift aboard the NSS Cyberiad. It's either your very first shift, the tenth one, or the one where you lost count because you been working aboard it for so long. Whatever your case may be, the shift that is represented in the game is the shift where something goes wrong. Whether a blob, xenomorphs, or even the threat of nuclear annihilation, this shift, for all intents and purposes, is the latest event in the universe. You will always repeat the same shift, but end it with a different result each time.
In regards to roleplay, the above statement is not to say you may not develop your character while playing the game. During certain shifts, given the station hasn't been nuked or destroyed, you may take back sparse pieces of information such as relationships with other characters, certain non-destructive events that occurred, and other mundane occurrences. It's commonly accepted that each scenario should be looked at a case by case basis to determine if you wish for your character to have persistent knowledge of this scenario. The NSS Cyberiad being nuked is something your character would not have persistent knowledge of, but you successfully winning a game of poker against other character can be persistent knowledge.
While it is encouraged to make realistic characters who aren't masters of everything, your knowledge aboard the station is of your own choosing. You are not required to feign ignorance of knowledge surrounding the systems in SS13 or any of the lore. The only exceptions to this are the existence of the Nanotrasen Death Squad and the Syndicate Strike Team, ignorance of which is administratively enforced - with only agents of the syndicate being permitted to know of the existence of Syndicate Strike Teams. Antagonist knowledge is otherwise completely unrestricted, and crew are not required to be ignorant about the various antagonists that may be aboard the station - it can be assumed Nanotrasen briefs crewmembers about potential hazards to the station.
There are no restrictions on character back stories so long as they are not in contravention of existing rules and you aren't claiming to be a high-ranking government or Nanotrasen official. Keep in mind that while you may create any backstory you choose, you should strive to make something compatible with the server and other characters on station - if your backstory is too extreme or unbelievable, you may find that other characters will have a hard time taking you seriously. Keep in mind that your character was somehow able to land a job, or at the very least a visit, aboard a high-tech research station - your backstory should somehow fall in line with that.
A brief timeline of major events that greatly shaped current-day space affairs.
A century noted for its relative stability, Earth is more or less stable during this period - many of its countries remaining intact with only a few scathed by violent proxy wars. Close to the end of the twenty-first century, radicalism, isolationism, and the divide between the West and East would begin to dissolve as everyone turns to a collective goal of colonizing the solar system.
Human colonization of other planets begins to take place after the invention and discovery of technology that considerably reduces the costs of space exploration. In this century, Nanotrasen is incorporated and invests heavily into the colonization of Mars, hoping to claim a large stake in any potential resources the planet holds. Bluespace and plasma are discovered in the later turn of the century, leading to rapid advancement in FTL technologies.
Humanity’s technological advancements and exploratory efforts led to first contact with the Skrell, confirming the existence of sapient extraterrestrial life. In a popular resolution with sweeping public support, formal diplomatic and military ties are established and the Human-Skrellian Alliance is created. Nanotrasen continues to solidify its holdings on Mars during this period, securing a stranglehold on plasma and tin markets - an action which would only lead to further monopolization on outlying plasma deposits.
Humanity continues to make investments in space travel, systematically expanding their sphere of influence through the establishment of numerous colonies. Mid-century, a Nanotrasen exploration vessel discovers the existence of the Tajara and sparks a civil war on the Tajaran homeworld, leading to the eventual fracturing of the Tajaran government. Nanotrasen invests heavily in industrialization efforts in the aftermath of the war, securing a monopoly on Ahdomai.
A human exploration vessel is captured in uncharted space by a Kidan military frigate. The crew is slaughtered and the ship is scuttled, leaking sensitive information about human colonies to the Kidan which results in systematic raids. This prompts an immediate military response from the Human-Skrellian Alliance, which quickly routs and destroys the Kidan fleet before besieging their homeworld. The raids by the Kidan incidentally caused a potato and vodka shortage on rimworld colonies and Russian colonists, fearing for their heritage, revolt and slaughter local Trans-Solar Federation dignitaries, leading to the subsequent formation of the USSP.
26th Century (Current 2562):
Nanotrasen utilizes its position as the sole retainer of many of the plasma-bearing deposits throughout space to apply a stranglehold on the FTL markets. The stocks of rival corporations plummet as their overhead costs skyrocket, leading to the formation of the corporate/pirate conglomerate known simply as The Syndicate. By this century, all major sapient species have been discovered and brought into the folds of the galactic workforce. This is also the century in which Nanotrasen relocates many of its research facilities to deep space in the Epsilon Eridani sector.
Important factions, governments, groups, corporations, and other organized entities that inhabit the universe.
The largest shareholder in the galactic plasma markets, Nanotrasen is a research and mining corporation which specializes in FTL technologies and weapon systems. Frowned upon by most governments due to their shady business tactics and poor ethics record, Nanotrasen is often seen as a necessary evil for maintaining access to the often volatile plasma market. Nanotrasen was originally incorporated on Earth with their headquarters situated on Mars, however they have recently moved many of their research operations to the Epsilon Eridani sector.
A pseudonym for a loose collective of companies which anonymously target Nanotrasen with acts of industrial sabotage and espionage, the Syndicate operates through proxies such as pirates, mercenaries and Nanotrasen employees - ensuring compliance through payment, kickbacks, or even blackmail. Though Nanotrasen has always been the target of roving pirates and rival companies The Syndicate only formally took shape in recent years after Nanotrasen utilized its monopoly on plasma to apply a stranglehold on the FTL market.
- Mr. Chang's
More of a family dynasty than a business, Mr. Chang's enjoys a tight grip on the galactic food, liquor and gambling markets and is best known for their Chang brand Chinese food vendors. While adamantly denied at the corporate level, Mr. Chang's is rumoured to both fund and readily employ the mysterious Spider Clan to expand their corporate agenda - expansion which often makes use of subversive or violent tactics. Mr. Chang's is currently under active investigation by several planetary governments for their suspected involvement in interplanetary drug trafficking rings.
- Donk Corporation
The infamous rival of the well-known Waffle Corporation, Donk Co. is a company specializing in food delivery systems and brand-name food products such as Donk Pockets. While generally seen as a neutral actor, Donk Corporation has been known to work both with Nanotrasen and the Syndicate when it suits them - often acting as the primary logistical supplier for the Epsilon Eridani sector. Donk Corporation is better known for recent high-profile litigation alleging that their food products are used for illicit drug distribution. While the trial is ongoing, it has been repeatedly delayed due to incidents of methamphetamine poisoning.
- Waffle Corporation
The once prominent competitor of Donk Corporation, Waffle Co. is well-known for its popular line of Waffle Co. brand waffles and their use of violent tactics against competitors - often bribing, extorting, blackmailing or sabotaging businesses that pose a direct or indirect threat to their market share. They have recently fallen on hard times primarily due to to severe mismanagement which led to much of their private arsenal being swindled by a pirate faction known as the Gorlex Marauders. Waffle Co. commonly engages in smear campaigns against Donk Co., maintaining that the original recipe for Donk Pockets was stolen from them.
- BioTech Solutions
A company specializing in the field of synthetic biology, BioTech solutions is at the forefront of providing cutting-edge prosthetics, augmentations, and gene-therapy solutions. Their extensive list of patents and the highly secretive nature of their work often puts them at odds with companies such as Nanotrasen, who commonly reverse-engineer their products. BioTech Solutions is often the victim of industrial sabotage by Cybersun Industries and often relies on planetary governments for asset protection. BioTech Solutions also owns a number of prominent subsidiaries, such as Bishop Cybernetics, Hesphiastos Industries, and Xion Manufacturing Group.
- Einstein Engines Inc
An Engineering firm specializing in alternative fuel-technologies for FTL travel, Einstein Engines is an up and coming player in the galactic FTL and energy markets. As their research into alternative FTL fuel threatens both Nanotrasen's relative stranglehold on plasma as well as The Syndicate's vested interest in the market, they are often the target of industrial sabotage by both Nanotrasen and The Syndicate. Most of their contracts are based outside of the Epsilon Eridani sector, and they are frequently commissioned by smaller firms to retrofit new and existing colonies, space stations, and outposts.
- Cybersun Industries
Cybersun Industries is a biotechnology company that primarily specializes on the research and development of human-enhancing augmentations. They are better known for their aggressive corporate tactics and are known to often subsidize pirate bands to commit acts of industrial sabotage. Cybersun Industries is usually the target of conspiracy theorists due to their development of the first mindslave implant, as well as their open financing of, and involvement in, The Syndicate. They are one of Nanotrasen's largest detractors, and a direct competitor to BioTech Solutions.
- Shellguard Munitions
The brainchild of a colonial war veteran, Shellguard Munitions is an arms manufacturer and private military contractor specializing in anti-synthetic weapon systems and platforms. Initially a smaller private military force only serving frontier colonies, Shellguard Munitions has become a household name due to its involvement in resolving the Haverick AI crisis in 2552. Using its recently earned fame, the company has made a successful foray into the market of robotics and is highly regarded for the toughness and reliability of their hardware. Despite being frequently contracted by the Trans-Solar Federation, Shellguard Munitions is known to sell their services to the highest corporate bidder.
Colloquially known as SolGov, the Federation is a military republic that administrates the territory in and around the Sol system. Headed by the government of Earth, the Federation is usually conservative with its power, and mostly serves as a mediator and peacekeeper in galactic affairs. Despite their position as a peacekeeper, the Trans-Solar Federation is the chief military power in the galaxy.
A loose collective of stations and holdings at the fringes of known space, the USSP first took shape during the Cygni Rebellion. The USSP is a sworn enemy of SolGov and blames them, and the corporations who work with them, for many of the hardships and tragedies faced by their citizenry.
- Elysium Republic
Often dubbed "space fascists", the Elysium Republic is a fascist government upholding ideals of human supremacy. Widely reviled by the galactic community for considering species other than humans to be lesser, they typically conduct raids on non-human colonies in the outer regions of space. While their planetary holdings are minimal, the few systems under their governance are ruled with an iron fist.
The primary governing body of the Skrellian homeworld of Jargon 4, the SCA oversees all foreign and domestic policy for the Skrell and their colonies. The Skrellian Central Authority is better known for its active role in the largest military alliance in the galaxy, the Human-Skrellian Alliance.
- The Shoal
The Shoal is the primary ark ship of the reclusive Vox species. Little is known about The Shoal's political structure as Vox typically shy away from diplomatic engagements. Subsequently, it is considered a politically neutral entity in galactic affairs by most governments.
- The Alchemist's Council
The Alchemist's Council is a science-oriented organization of scholars, researchers, and entrepreneurs. Though dedicated to industrializing the Tajaran world of Ahdomai, it is seen as one of the few remaining centralized powers of the Tajara peoples due to the collapse of Ahdomai's provisional government.
- The Assembly
A unifying body created to stave off extinction from a solar event, The Assembly is the loose federal coalition of the Vulpkanin. It holds little centralized authority and mostly serves as a diplomatic body, primarily concerned with facilitating trade between Vulpkanin colonies and Nanotrasen.
- Synthetic Union
A defensive coalition of synthetics based out of New Canaan, the Synthetic Union is an organization which aims to establish and consolidate synthetic rights across the galaxy. Despite its synth oriented focus, the Synthetic Union has cordial relations with most governing bodies.
- The Technocracy
The Technocracy is a science council that operates based off the principles of a meritocracy. The organization's leadership is highly competitive, and is headed by the most psionically gifted members of the Grey species. The Technocracy, though enigmatic in its dealings, has cordial relations with almost all other galactic bodies.
A highly insular and secretive organization. Either unknown or considered a myth by many in the universe, both due to their purportedly advanced technology and the tall-tales surrounding them, their recruitment methods as well as their headquarters are unknown.
A hive mind of intergalactic monsters that seemingly have an unknown origin. Known to infiltrate governments, work as mercenaries, and sell their services to the highest bidder, changelings have been found impersonating long-dead high-level officials for decades. Research is ongoing, as while much of the species possesses a high level of cunning, others have been found to be more primitive.
A fanatic organization whose members dedicate their livelihood to the study and practices of magic. Believed to actually utilize an advanced form of bluespace manipulation, their tactics and goals generally put them in direct conflict with governments. They are known to feud with Nanotrasen in particular, which is believed to be due to Nanotrasen's recent expansion in the Epsilon Eridani sector.
The major sentient species whom are commonly found within the ranks of Nanotrasen employees. For a list of galactic languages, see Languages.
|Humans||Humans are a species of soft-skinned humanoids originating from the planet called Earth. Humans are almost universally united under the flag of the Trans-Solar Federation, with the exception of Space Russia. Humans have healthy relations with many of the species throughout the galaxy and are at the seat of the largest military alliance in the galaxy - the Human-Skrellian Alliance.||Grey||A species which originates from beyond the Milky Way Galaxy, Grey have no known home world. Their government operates as a technocracy, a panel of the best and brightest scientists appointed to serve at the seat of their bureaucracy. Grey have no known religious or spiritual systems, and instead devote their attention to technology and the study of other species. They often serve as mediators in galactic affairs.|
|Tajaran||The Tajaran are a species of omnivorous mammals who hail from Ahdomai, an arctic moon. Initially encountered by Nanotrasen in the mid-24th century, Tajaran traditionally organize themselves by clan. They are notable for their religious practices which pay homage to the teachings of S'randarr and incorporate the use of sun motifs and iconography. Tajaran often speak in third person.||Diona||The Diona are a species of plant-like beings with gestalt consciousness, composed of many smaller Nymphs. While their world of origin is unknown, the constituent nymphs they are made of are a staple of the Kidan diet. Dionae lack any form of centralized government or home world, preferring to drift through the vastness of space in an endless cycle of proliferation and expansion.|
|Unathi||Unathi are a scaled species of reptilian beings from the desert world of Moghes. Organizing themselves in highly competitive feudal kingdoms, Unathi lack of any form centralized government. Unathi are the only known species to have had a war with the Vox, a war which, though unsuccessful, is a great source of Unathi pride. Despite being a large player in galactic affairs, Unathi mostly compete among themselves.||Machine People||IPCs are a form of machine intelligence that were originally manufactured as intelligent research assistants. Frustrated with their status as slave labourers, IPC's held a massive worker's strike in 2525, with many IPC's fleeing to the world of New Canaan in secret. After consolidating a power on the planet, IPC's struck up diplomatic treaties and are now considered a minor player in galactic affairs.|
|Skrell||Skrell are a species of aquatic, soft-fleshed beings from the tropical world of Jargon 4. Skrell are one of the first species, along with Vox and Greys, to achieve FTL capabilities. Skrell religious systems universally believe in the concept of a soul, as well as reincarnation. Though they classically prefer diplomacy, Skrell, together with humans, form the single largest military power in the known galaxy.||Kidan||The Kidan are ant-like creatures who posses an exoskeleton. They originate from the planet Aurum, a harsh world with a poor atmosphere. They are notable for being the only species to suffer a war with the Human-Skrellian Alliance, having lost decisively in 2416. They are relatively minor players in galactic affairs, having been under heavy sanctions ever since their defeat.|
|Slime People||Slime People are a species of gelatinous and translucent beings from the vast oceans of the tropical world Xarxis 5. They are recent entrants to the galactic scene, having been discovered by an NT exploratory probe in the year 2521. Slime People traditionally operate in a primitive society that organizes itself in bands and tribes.||Plasmamen||Plasmamen are the remnants of a species that was either exiled to, or crashed on, the plasma-rich world of Boron. Believed to have initially served as indentured labourers, Plasmamen are the result of chronic exposure to plasma over the course of several hundred generations. Plasmamen utilize a peculiar system in which their leaders must self-immolate, only holding office for as long as they remain on fire.|
|Vox||Vox are a space-faring bird-like species that hail from large stations known as arkships. Vox are unique in their physiologically based caste system and their adherence to a set of central tenants known as "The Inviolate". Vox are known to form raiding parties and appropriate resources when needed, which led to a notable war with the Unathi in 2203. Due to their insular nature, Vox have no large role in galactic affairs.||Vulpkanin||Vulpkanin are a species of bipedal canid-like beings from the Vazzend binary system. While Vulpkanin are chiefly led by planetary governments, they also serve under a loose federation known as The Assembly. Vulpkanin religious systems traditionally pay tribute to a pantheon led by an entity known as 'Racht'. A minor player in galactic affairs, Vulpkanin are largely concerned with the restoration of their home world.|
|Drask||Drask are a humanoid species of cold-bodied beings from the ice-world of Hoorlm. Operating in enclaves run by contiguous groups of elders, Drask are biologically immortal and place great societal value in the virtues of patience and long-term strategy. While Drask traditionally pay homage to their planet as their birth deity, many modern Drask have come to view space travel in and of itself as their patron saint.|
Important locations within the universe.
Planets & Planetoids
Earth is the birthplace of the human species and Nanotrasen itself. A temperate world with four seasons, Earth is the seat of the militant federation known as SolGov.
The first planet truly colonized by humans, Mars is presently run by a board of directors appointed by Nanotrasen and is the traditional seat of NT's power.
Established as a colony prior to Mars, Luna is run by Port Royal Co.. While it has healthy relations with Earth, Luna is run by its own autonomous government.
- Jargon 4
Jargon 4 is the home world of the aquatic beings known as Skrell. It is the birthplace of the Human-Skrellian Alliance - the military alliance between humans and skrell.
- New Canaan
New Canaan was an abandoned mining world that has been adopted as the headquarters of the Synthetic Union. Largely populated by IPC's, New Canaan is considered to be the home world of synthetics.
Ahdomai is the traditional home world of the Tajaran race. Jointly led by a provisional government run by Nanotrasen and the Alchemist's Council, it is presently suffering from global temperature rises and other effects of over-industrialization.
Hoorlm is the arctic home world of the Drask. Covered in sprawling ice sheets and perpetual night, Hoorlm is an inhospitable world to other species. The average temperature of Hoorlm is well below -80c.
- Xarxis 5
The home world of Slime People, Xarxis 5 is an ocean world dotted with island chains. Due to a highly elliptical orbit, the planet has hot and cold seasons that have resulted in large migratory patterns.
Aurum is a rocky world demarcated by sprawling mud flats and a lack of mineral content. Despite its inhospitable nature, made worse by strip mining, Aurum is still seen as the home world of the Kidan.
Moghes is the desert home world of the lizard-like Unathi people. Having little water of its own and regularly suffering from drought, Moghes is the largest net importer of water in the galaxy.
A once verdant and temperate world, Altam is the Vulpkanin home world. Altam was rendered uninhabitable and barren after solar wind and cosmic radiation scoured its surface in 2189.
- Kelune & Dalstadt
Other planets within the same system as Altam, Kelune and Dalstadt are the primary worlds now inhabited by the Vulpkanin.
- NSS Cyberiad
The main research station in which your shift and day revolves around. It is located in the Epsilon Eridani sector.
- NAS Trurl
Commonly referred to as a Central Command by station crew members, it's one of the administrative hubs for operations in the Epsilon Eridani sector.
- Vox Arkships
Massive and ancient patchwork space stations, arkships are the birth place of the Vox and house the upper echelons of their species. Some arkships are rumoured to be the size of small moons.
The anomalies of space that forever changed the mundane world. For antagonists see: Identifying Antagonists
Space that the whole physical and mundane world inhabits; often violated by Bluespace and Redspace entities. Realspace is said to be any place wherein no Bluespace energy fluctuations can presently be recorded. Any object not currently moving through Bluespace is said to be in Realspace.
Sometimes referred to as the fifth dimension, Bluespace is manipulated by various equipment such as FTL drives and Bluespace Artillery Cannons to transfer matter and energy across vast distances. Such manipulation can often cause undesirable results, such as the proliferation of Bluespace entities.
Redspace is a hotly contested concept which currently only exists in theory. Said to be the negative counterpart to Bluespace, Redspace is theorized to fluctuate inversely to Bluespace and believed to be the primary source of supernatural phenomenon.
Space Sleep Disorder (SSD)
A disease of unknown origin known to affect a variety of biological lifeforms. Affected individuals typically collapse and fall asleep for undetermined periods of time, ranging from several seconds to several hours. This phenomenon is theorized to be caused by long-term exposure to cosmic radiation.
Space Carp are a species of carnivorous fish-like entities which inhabit the void of space. While studies have indicated they have existed in space for several millennia, they are believed to have created under laboratory conditions. They are universally considered to be a pest, and are one of the leading causes for workplace injury and death on space installations.
Often developed concurrently with FTL technologies, modern gravity generators manipulate Bluespace in order to provide gravity to a ship or installation. Next to Space Carp, chronic exposure to radiation emitted from gravity generators is one of the largest concerns regarding the viability of long-term space habitation.
A telling of events that have occurred within the galaxy in chronological order. They may or may not be directly related to the crew members of the station.