Over two-hundred years have passed since human-kind was united by the conquests of the Unifying States. United under one banner, the Servocratic Union of Man was born to govern humanity. Servocracy, built around a form of democracy where citizenship is earned through service to the state, was the cornerstone of the new government. Upon doing so, the so called ‘Age of Unity’ began; the year zero After Unity. As humanity built atop the ruins of the disastrous wars, it began looking skyward. Civilization began colonizing the solar-system, and with the monumental development of the Transient-Light engine, the galaxy itself. Several colonies had soon been established. Over a hundred and fifty years since SUM had been established, humanity was flourishing; it was a time of peace, and mutual prosperity.
Inter-solar travel however, was slow, and even the closest colony was a full weeks travel from Earth, and each new colony was an even greater distance away. As a result, most colonies had to become increasingly self-sufficient as supervision and support from SUM became more difficult to provide. Though many, mostly the ones closest to Earth, of the colonies managed, dissent brewed on the distant colonies. Taking advantage of the anger towards SUM, and the lack of strong authority, various armed rebel groups took poise, and revolted against SUM in open rebellion across this period.
SUM’s reaction, was disbelief. They hadn’t fought in outright combat for almost 200 years, and they had neither the resources nor experience to do so. Using crisis response police, they engaged the first of the Rebels. Though the first of their engagements were grievous, they persisted, learning from their experience, and they grew more capable. However, a police force cannot fight a war, and in spite of the resources being poured into it, they could not produce adequate results. A new branch was born; the SUM armed forces, constituted of those directly involved in fighting the war against the various insurrections, and became the second government branch from which citizenship could be earned. Freed from the restrictions previously thrust upon them, a new and invigorate effort to stomp down on the wave of rebellion was led by the newly christened SUM military. In a few short years, almost all of the rebel groups had been quashed or sent deep +underground.
To the colonies that had fallen, even in part to the rebels, a new onset of harsher restrictions and stricter monitoring were placed upon them in the hopes of preventing future uprisings. The colonist, most of whom had opposed the rebels and were in support of SUM’s effort to vanquish, were angered by what they felt were undeserved punishments. Thus, the attitude amongst the colonist changed little from how it had been before the rebellions, but now it was the result of what they saw as too much attention, as opposed to too little.
Not all colonies suffered however, one notable example being the planet Pershing. Founded originally as a research bed for terraforming techniques, it was small and did not experience the upheavals that many other distant colonies did during the Rebel conflicts. That is not to say it was without importance. Shortly after coming into the system when it was first colonized, a strange radio message could be heard playing. Eventually, a team was set off to find the origin of the signal. When they were finally able to pinpoint its origin on the planet, they immediately set off and began excavating the ground from which it came from. It was there that they discovered something. It was an object, not natural, and certainly not human. What follows cannot be verified. As excavation continued at a break neck pace to unearth the object, it quickly became clear that it was much larger than they originally suspected. At one point, researchers discovered an entrance into it, a Sergei Williams, to enter into it. No one knows for certain what happened, but he emerged a different person.
The planet stopped sending messenger ships, those that went to Pershing to study the alien object did not return, and those who went Pershing to discover what had happened did not return. Soon however, something emerged from Pershing, something massive. It was the alien artifact, a ship, a ship the size of a city. Bursting into the nearest system, it quickly destroyed the local naval forces docked there, and conquered the colony. This scene repeated itself another four times, until a small distress probe managed to reach Earth. SUM’s response was delayed, but swift. All the naval ships available were deployed to Erridius Delta, the only foreseeable target they could still possibly defend.
Not a day after doing so, did the Leviathan ship emerge into Erridius Delta’s outer gravity well. Immediately, the ships began to target the vessel from almost half-way across the system, it made no attempt to avoid the fire, and weapons appear to have impacted. In spite of this, it grew ever closer never flinching or showing any signs of danger, and the cannon fire seemed to impact a full kilometer away from the vessel. Eventually, it was only some million kilometers away from the fleet, but they continued to fire. Suddenly, multiple beams of iridescent light spewed from the gigantic vessel onto them, quickly turning them into slag.
Evasive maneuvers were fruitless, the beams could not be shaken, all that was left to do was to continue pouring fire upon the ship, and hope it would not target you next. Group by group, the ships were destroyed, and not so much as a single cannon blast seemed to actually contact the gigantic vessel. Suddenly, the vessel stopped firing, and in one swift motion, retreated towards the end of the systems gravity-well, immediately making jump out of the system. No one knew as to why. In the wake of the battle, sixth-sevenths of the battlegroup, and almost half the tonnage of the entire SUM navy, was wiped out. Amid the wreckage, a weak distress beacon beckoned. Hoping to retrieve survivors, a shuttle went out in search of it, finding a mere probe. In the probes databanks, was a single audio file under the name ‘Engenders of Arcadia’. Opening the file, a man spoke in an authoritarian tone,
“I will build onto a better world, for I am Able.”
Decades have passed since then; SUM and the Engenders of Arcadia remain interlocked in conflict. In the wake of this war, the colonies continue, in spite of neglect. The so called ‘new frontiers’ often have little in the way of strong authority, and more often than not on these wild planets, the only law is that which you can make with your .41 Arbitrate. Enter Verdun, SUM world and 6th most distant colonized planet from Earth. It’s no exception to the laws of the frontier, and so is a planet fraught with danger and peril, but also with unparalleled opportunity. So freelancer, what will you do?