Expansion Era

Humanity takes its place in the galaxy, settling worlds and striking deals.

At the end of fifteen years of alien occupation, Earth is in poor shape, with two-thirds of the population killed, mostly at the hands of each other. A fleet of alien ships from two distinct alien civilizations arrived from the wormhole around Saturn in 2065, but instead of reinforcing the alien occupiers, they were here to put a stop to what was happening on Earth. The fleets annihilated each other in orbit, leaving behind technology which Humanity was able to harness to bring itself to the stars. While the courts helped the dust settle on Earth, separating collaborators from the heroes, an expedition was sent out in 2071 to establish proper first contact with the larger galaxy. Contact is established in the Sirius system, and an agreement is reached with the Bactarans–they would mine the solar system's asteroid belt, in exchange for space travel technology and materials. Through the Bactarans, Humanity is also introduced to the Vorans, an advanced and peaceful insectoid race.

Earth Public

Expansion Era

During this era, Humanity is trying to rebuild after the devastating losses of the occupation. The population was reduced by two-thirds, and the various plagues hit the children especially hard–the generation born between 2055 and 2065 comes to be known as the "missing generation", and the baby boom following the occupation seems to exist largely so families can replace the children they have lost.
Though the Bactarans are gone, the world is still filled with their collaborators. The Provisional Central Earth Government (PCEG), established immediately following the occupation to coordinate reconstruction, sets up courts to try and punish collaborators–these courts become judge, jury, and executioner, and after a few initial successes, quickly garner a harsh reputation. This system does not last long, and the courts are abolished in 2070 along with the formation of the UEN.
The UEN Charter establishes a republic of nations, and coordinates the efforts of reconstruction across the world. Many people take to space, but those that remain are often faced with challenges of the feudal-esque Survivalists who wish to remain independent from the UEN. Most of these Survivalist enclaves dry up over the next generation.

Culture

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Martian

Expansion Era

Contact is reestablished with the Mars colony in 2065, shortly after the Occupation ended. While the crops allowed the colony to survive without resupply missions from Earth, a number of health and maintenance issues had begun to crop up over time as some of the more esoteric supplies for the colony ran out, and approximately 40% of the colonists were either dead or had terminal health problems. An emergency resupply mission to alleviate these issues is launched in 2067, and with the fusion ion drive in the 2070's, regular travel between Earth and Mars (and later, between Mars and the belt) becomes possible-over the next decade, the colony expands and their tech levels are brought up to match modern humanity.
The surviving Martians, by necessity (and even a single generation of natural selection), are a hardy and crafty bunch. This becomes a point of pride in the budding Martian culture, and by the end of this era many families are sending their children to Mars to learn how to survive in space.

Culture

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Bactaran Republic

Expansion Era

Bactaran culture is built largely around feudal houses–large family groups who each wield political and military power. The Republic accepts a representative from every house–over 200 in all, including one from the House of Moti–and each is given a number of votes relative to their power. All houses abide by the results of these votes. The most powerful Bactaran house is the Punohmah house, which possesses the ancient Junardm manufacturing device, granting it control over the interstellar fleet as well as the most important interstellar trades.
Contrary to the impressions most Humans have of them, Bactarans are not a barbaric warrior race–the Moti subspecies (which is also considered a house as described on page XX) could fairly be described that way, but not the species at large, most of which are members of the Bactaran Republic. If they have any particular species trait, it’s that of being a social wedge (see the Bactaran species description on page XX for more details).

Culture

6

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Voran (queens)

Expansion Era

Vorans are the most technologically advanced of the three major species in most respects. Biologically, their makeup is similar to insects or arachnids, and this shapes the way their society is structured. Queens act as organizers, leaders, and matriarchs, essentially a ruling class.

Culture

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8

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Voran Libertine

Expansion Era

A minority of Vorans are believers in a new attitude, particularly towards females and sex, as well as a higher degree of independence from the hive structure. Voran Libertines believe that the social dynamics caused by the ability of females to metamorphose into Queens are harmful, and seek to rearrange Voran society in such a way that the three sexes are seen more equally. This philosophy was largely untenable in premodern times, largely due to a veritable army of dependent drones surrounding and supporting every Queen; however, with the advent of synthetic Voran Milk, drones were able to become independent of their Queens, and as a result the social standing of Queens weakened slightly.
Despite this, Queens still retain most of the social power in Voran civilization owing largely to their reproductive capacity. Very few Queens are respectful of Libertines, and as a result, they tends to be stricken with poverty, unable to find work and strike deals that other Vorans can. Libertines tend to be much more eager to interact with Humans and Bactarans, who do not hold such animosity, and many of the Vorans emigrating to the Solar System are of this culture.

Culture

6

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Stellar Pioneer

Expansion Era

Those who take to the stars are a special breed. The first of them are explorers, followed by diplomats and the military, and then businessmen. They use any technology they can get their hands on, often jerry-rigging it to fit with their own tech.
The UEN Charter establishes a republic of nations: Each nation has one voting representative in the UEN Congress, but that representative's voting power is scaled by three factors: The population of the nation, the power of its armed forces, and the number of people it has sent to colonize other worlds (the charter does not specify that these people must perpetually remain citizens). Population can only be increased so fast and military might is expensive, so many nations support vast numbers of settlers who take to the stars.
Of particular note during this time are space stations built in orbit of Ceres and Hyperion during the late 2070's (both of which exist largely to facilitate the Bactaran mining operations in the asteroid belt)—with Ceres being particularly notable for being the only location of the era where Humans and Bactarans interact as civilians on a regular basis.

Culture

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Outer Belt Pirate

Expansion Era

As soon as the Humans and Bactarans establish trade routes through the solar system, others start taking advantage of these trade routes. Stealth is extraordinarily difficult to accomplish in the wide-open vacuum of space, so pirates use cover. They hide in the asteroid belt, and Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, by parking in deep crevasses and tunnels in the rock, but their favorite hiding place is Saturn's rings, where the tiny moonlets make perfect cover. Authorities simply don't have the capacity to search billions of tiny moonlets, and the difficult navigation means they don't even try. As an added bonus, the rings are also quite close to the main shipping lanes which travel through Hyperion Station and the Sirius warp bridge.
The Outer Belt Pirates are typically among the best pilots in the system, daring enough to live in a dangerous region like the rings, and obsessed with wealth.

Culture

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Bactaran Argosy

Expansion Era

There are three major Bactaran militaries relevant to space combat. The largest belongs to the unified Bactaran Republic, which represents all Houses and is primarily meant to serve the interests of the Bactarans as a whole. In addition, the Houses of Punomah and Barohti have their own fleets, which generally protect their own interests.
The Argosy has access to better weapons and propulsion technology than the civilization at large.

Culture

6

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Voran (drones)

Expansion Era

Though they have the same technology available, the culture of drones among Vorans is unique. Their positions as maintenance of the Queens puts certain requirements on them in terms of skills; specifically, drones are expected to learn skills to serve their Queen.

Culture

7

7

4

8

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8

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Venusian

Expansion Era

Venus, beginning in the mid-2080's, is settled by two groups, Australian and Chinese. Austrailians invented a chemical process to turn its atmosphere into floating platforms, and Chinese scientists launched the skysteading probes using this chemical process to make the planet habitable. Both invested heavily in settling the so called "skysteads".
Most Venusians make a habit of carrying a small CO~2~ alarm/filter device, which alerts the carrier when CO~2~ levels rise above about 3%, and can be used to breathe safely until levels return to normal. In 2098, an economical cybernetic version of the filter is invented, allowing humans to walk outside and breathe comfortably on Venus (and any other CO~2~ environment). This implant is ubiquitous among Venusians within five years.

Culture

6

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Redland Colonists

Expansion Era

Following their evacuation from Earth, the Redland colonists have settled on a harsh world. At first, survival is the biggest challenge, but as Wellrose's genetic modifications to crops take root, life settles into a rhythm. When the population booms, the small time police are quickly overwhelmed by the rise of organized crime, and the crime syndicates soon define life on Redland.

Culture

4

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7

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House of Moti

Expansion Era

After their history of violence, the House of Korzof-Moti house is not well-regarded on Bactara. During Korzof’s rule (approximately concurrent with the early 20th century), the Korzof-Moti were his primary army–an army of Bactarans selectively bred to increase physical prowess and fighting instincts, but as an unintended side effect, gained short tempers and other psychological issues. At the time, Korzof maintained control by destroying the lands of the people he controlled, ultimately leading to a massive dust storm that killed hundreds of millions. For generations, the Korzof-Moti are shunned by most Bactaran nations, which is tame compared to what Humans want to do to them following the occupation perpertrated by members of the House of Korzof-Moti.
Around the 2080's the house leadership decides to remove "Korzof" from their house name, becoming just the House of Moti as they were before Korzof's reign. Many Moti migrate from their ruined homeland to become mercenaries–the only work that the rest of the world will hire them for. The occupation of Earth–even though most of the Moti were not involved–only worsened their reputation.
As a result of this reputation, the House of Moti is a house riddled with famine and poverty. Those that live in the Moti's home nation on Bactara cannot possibly grow enough food there to feed themselves. When the Republic signs a deal with the Humans to mine the Solar asteroid belt, the Moti jump at the chance to get employed as the miners, and there is a mass (though not complete) exodus of Moti from Bactara. By the time the Orion War begins, nearly half of all Moti live and work on Earth's doorstep–and when they learn the origin of these workers, Earth is less than pleased with this development.

Culture

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Voran (M/F)

Expansion Era

After drones, which rarely leave their hive, males and females make up most of Voran Society–so they are the face of Vorans to other species. Females tend to be the more ambitious between the two, as a certain amount of influence is required to earn the ability to mature into a long-lived Queen rather than dying of old age.

Culture

7

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