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 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 time to scrutinize them, let alone read them, 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 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: murmurs of bought off politicians, rigged markets, stations gone dark--but hell, every company these days has a bad rap. Not every story is true and you can't trust the gossip rags anyways. The knot unwinds as you're directed to your designated transfer shuttle. You're told you've been assigned to the NSS Cyberiad--Epsilon Eridani sector. You aren't sure where that is, sounds like a long ways from home, but it's where you're heading. You glance to the man beside you. Bald, grey jumpsuit, mid-thirties. He stares vacantly ahead while 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 back as the shuttle abruptly lurches forward and takes flight. The journey is vast, but it feels like mere seconds before you're violently jostled in your seat--your stomach still turning by the docking procedures are finalized. You unbuckle and stand, your balance uneven as you're escorted off the shuttle; the stale taste of recycled air assaults 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 the 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 as a case by case basis to determine whether or not your character should retain those memories. The NSS Cyberiad being nuked is something your character would not have persistent knowledge of, but you successfully winning a game of poker against someone else is.
While it is encouraged to make realistic characters who aren't masters of everything, your proficiency aboard the station is your own choice. You are not required to feign ignorance of knowledge surrounding the systems in SS13 or any of the lore. The only exceptions are the existence of the Nanotrasen Death Squad and the Syndicate Strike Team, ignorance of which is administratively enforced; only agents of the syndicate are permitted to know of Syndicate Strike Teams. Antagonist knowledge is otherwise completely unrestricted and ignorance about the various antagonists aboard the station is not required; it can be safely assumed that Nanotrasen briefs crewmembers about potential hazards to the station.
There are no restrictions on character back stories. However, they must not be in contravention of server rules nor can you claim 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, and administrators, 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 dramatically shaped current-day space affairs.
A century noted for its relative stability. Earth is more or less stable during this period and many of its countries remain intact with only a few scathed from violent proxy wars. Close to the end of the twenty-first century, radicalism, isolationism, and the divide between the West and East slowly begin to dissolve as everyone turns toward collectively colonizing the solar system.
Colonization of other planets begins to take place after investments in nuclear propulsion considerably reduce the costs of space exploration. In this century, Nanotrasen is incorporated and--hoping to claim a large stake in planetary resources--invests heavily into the colonization of Mars. A plasma vein on Mars is discovered which leads to the creation of the first FTL drive. Bluespace phenomenon is recorded only a few years after this discovery.
Technological advancements and exploratory efforts lead to a first contact event with the Skrell and confirm the existence of extraterrestrial life. In a popular resolution with sweeping public support, diplomatic and military ties are established and the Human-Skrellian Alliance is founded. Nanotrasen continues to solidify its holdings on Mars during this period, securing a stranglehold on plasma and tin markets--this advantageous position is used to further monopolize outlying plasma deposits.
Humanity continues to make investments in space travel and systematically expands their sphere of influence through establishing several colonies. Mid-century, a Nanotrasen exploration vessel discovers the existence of the Tajara. The result is a bloody civil war which culminates in the fracturing of the Tajaran government and homeworld. Nanotrasen invests heavily in industrialization efforts in the aftermath of this war, thereby 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. Sensitive information about human colonies is leaked to the Kidan resulting in systematic raids against outlying colonies. This incursion prompts an immediate military response from the Human-Skrellian Alliance and a devastating defeat for the Kidan fleet in the Battle of Argos. The Kidan are driven back into a defensive war which results in the orbital bombardment of their homeworld. Stiff measures supporting the war effort leads to a potato famine and Russian colonists, fearing for their heritage, revolt and slaughter local Trans-Solar Federation dignitaries. The colony of Cygni claims independence soon after and forms the USSP.
26th Century (Current 2562):
Nanotrasen utilizes its position as the majority retainer of plasma-bearing deposits throughout space and applies a stranglehold on the FTL markets. The stocks of rival corporations plummet as their overhead costs skyrocket, an event which leads to the formation of the corporate/pirate conglomerate known as The Syndicate. By this century, all major sapient species have been discovered and brought into the folds of the galactic workforce. Shortly after the rise of The Syndicate, 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 volatile plasma market. Though Nanotrasen was originally incorporated on Earth with their headquarters situated on Mars, they have relocated 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 to arbitrarily raise the price of plasma.
- 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 better known for its 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. specializes in food delivery systems and brand-name food products such as Donk Pockets. While generally a neutral actor, Donk Corporation is 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 has suffered recent setbacks over high-profile litigation alleging that their food products are used for illicit drug distribution. The trial has been repeatedly delayed due to incidents of methamphetamine poisoning.
- Waffle Corporation
The once prominent competitor of Donk Corporation, Waffle Co. is the creator of the popular line of Waffle Co. brand waffles. The corporation is known to employ violent tactics against competitors often bribing, extorting, blackmailing or sabotaging businesses that pose a threat to their market share. Waffle Co. has recently fallen on hard times due to their private arsenal being swindled by a pirate faction known as the Gorlex Marauders. Waffle Co. actively engages in vicious 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 puts them at odds with other companies. BioTech Solutions is often the victim of industrial sabotage by Cybersun Industries and relies on planetary governments for asset protection. Notably, BioTech Solutions 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 stranglehold as well as The Syndicate's vested interest in the plasma market, they are a common target for industrial sabotage by Nanotrasen and The Syndicate. Most of their recent contracts have been based outside of the Epsilon Eridani sector in an attempt to avoid attracting unwanted attention. 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 specializes in researching and developing human-enhancing augmentations. Known for their aggressive corporate tactics, Cybersun Industries actively employs pirate bands to commit acts of industrial sabotage. Cybersun Industries is the popular 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 private military force serving frontier colonies, Shellguard Munitions became a household name due to its involvement in resolving the Haverick AI crisis of 2552. Levying 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 typically sells their services to the highest corporate bidder.
Colloquially known as SolGov, the Trans-SolarFederation 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 serves as a mediator and peacekeeper in galactic affairs. Despite their neutrality, 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 the TSF and blames them, and the corporations who work with them, for the hardships and tragedies faced by their citizenry.
- Elysium Republic
Often dubbed "space fascists", the Elysium Republic is a fascist government which upholds ideals of human supremacy. Widely reviled by the galactic community for their views, they typically conduct raids on non-human colonies in the outer regions of space. Though their planetary holdings are minimal, the few systems under their governance are ruled with an iron fist.
- Skrellian Central Authority
The primary governing body of the Skrellian homeworld of Jargon 4, the Skrellian Central Authority oversees foreign and domestic policy for the Skrellian people. The SCA plays an active role in the largest military pact 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. It is subsequently 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. Dedicated to industrializing the Tajaran homeworld, Ahdomai, it is one of the few remaining centralized powers of the Tajara peoples after the collapse of their provisional government.
- The Assembly
A unifying body created to stave off extinction from a solar event, The Assembly is a loose federal coalition of Vulpkanin. Primarily concerned with facilitating trade between Vulpkanin colonies and Nanotrasen, it holds little centralized authority and largely serves as a diplomatic body.
- 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. Considered a myth by many in the universe, due both to their advanced technology and the tall-tales surrounding them, the Spider Clan's recruitment methods as well as their headquarters are unknown. They are rumoured to work with Mr. Chang's.
A hive mind of intergalactic aberrations of 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. While much of the species possesses a high level of cunning, others have been found to be more primitive--research is ongoing.
A fanatic organization whose members dedicate their livelihood to the study and practice of magic. Believed to utilize an advanced form of bluespace manipulation, their tactics and goals put them in direct conflict with most factions. They are known to feud with Nanotrasen in particular over their recent expansion into 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 soft-skinned mammals originating from the planet Earth. They are largely united under the flag of the Trans-Solar Federation with the exception of Space Russia. Humans have positive relations with many species in 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, the Grey have no known home world. Their technocratic government consists of an appointed panel of scientists who dictate policies and priorities. Preferring to devote their attention to technology and the study of other species, Grey have no known religious or spiritual systems and often serve as mediators in galactic affairs.|
|Tajaran||A species of omnivorous mammals, the Tajaran hail from the arctic moon of Ahdomai. They were first encountered by Nanotrasen in the mid-24th century, an event which fractured their traditional clan system. The teachings of S'randarr and solar iconography dominates their religious practices. Tajaran often speak in third person due to the lack of first-person references in their native tongue.||Diona||The Diona are plant-like creatures made up of a collection of smaller Nymphs. 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. Much to the chagrin of their kind, the Nymphs that constitute their form are considered a delicacy by the Kidan.|
|Unathi||Unathi are a scaled species of reptilian beings from the desert world of Moghes. Organizing themselves in highly competitive feudal kingdoms, Unathi lack any sort of wide-scale unification. Unathi are the only known species to have warred with the Vox, a conflict which, though unsuccessful, is a great source of Unathi pride. Despite having a sizeable military force, Unathi mostly compete among themselves.||Machine People||IPCs are machine intelligences which were originally manufactured to serve as research assisstants. Frustrated with their status as slave labourers, many IPC's fled to the world of New Canaan while others held a massive worker's strike in 2525. After establishing a colony on New Canaan, IPCs struck up several diplomatic treaties and are now considered a minor player in galactic affairs.|
|Skrell||Skrell are aquatic, fleshy beings from the tropical world of Jargon 4. As one of the first species to achieve FTL capabilities, modern Skrell enjoy a relatively opulent lifestyle. Reincarnation is central tenet of the Skrellian religion, a fact that has spurred on a burgeoning industry of 'new-life' gurus. While classically preferring diplomacy, the Skrell participate in the largest military power in the galaxy--the Human-Skrellian Alliance.||Kidan||The Kidan are ant-like beings possessing a hardened exoskeleton. They originate from the planet Aurum--a harsh world with a poor atmosphere. They are the only species to suffer a war with the Human-Skrellian Alliance, having lost decisively after the Battle of Argos in 2416. They are relatively minor players in galactic affairs and presently suffer heavy sanctions from the HSA.|
|Slime People||Slime People are gelatinous and translucent beings from the vast oceans of 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 roaming bands and tribes that migrate according to orbital patterns and tides. As their homeworld is largely undeveloped, Slime People play no role in galactic affairs.||Plasmamen||Plasmamen are the remnants of a species that was either exiled to, or crashed upon, the plasma-rich world of Boron. Believed to have initially served as indentured labourers, Plasmamen are the result of chronic plasma exposure over the course of several hundred generations. Their political leaders must ritually self-immolate and are only allowed to hold office for as long as they remain on fire.|
|Vox||Vox are a space-faring avian-like species hailing from large stations known as arkships. Vox are unique in their physiologically based caste system and their adherence to a set of tenets called "The Inviolate". Vox commonly form raiding parties and appropriate resources when needed--a tradition which lead to war with the Unathi in 2203. Due to their insular nature, Vox have no large role in galactic affairs.||Vulpkanin||Vulpkanin are 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. Their 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 cold-bodied humanoids 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 the Trans-Solar Federation.|
||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 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 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 for synthetic life-forms.|
||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.|
||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.|
||Mauna-b is a relatively small exoplanet with a close orbit to its sun within the Mauna system. Much of the planet is a sprawling and desolate tundra, with scorching deserts on its southern and northern poles. However, the equator of Mauna-b contains a long, temperate strip of land with relatively stable temperatures and seasons. Mauna-b is the current seat of The Technocracy, a meritocratic enclave run by the Grey.|
||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.