After some deliberation, we have decided to make up our own background for the science fiction project. We both don’t like the whole dark-and-gritty thing that seems to be so en vogue at the moment (even Star Trek movies have to have darksomething in the title), so we went for a more light-hearted approach. Partially, we were inspired by Firefly, especially concerning the whole frontier thing. We did, however, add lots of aliens, as we think that science fiction without aliens is only half the fun!
So, here is our background narrative:
In the year 2098, an alien probe arrived in the solar system. After being recovered by a Pan-African space mission, it was revealed to be a von Neumann-machine containing the blueprints for a FTL propulsion system. FTL ships were built by various governments and expeditions were sent out.
Humans quickly met other species who had also received the gift of such a probe. A rather long period of more or less successive communication efforts, interrupted by wars, followed. In the year 2312, the Interplanetary Union was formed. Uniting the various governments (some, but not all of them species-centered), it has so far been quite successful in preventing any further open warfare. There are, of course, lots of small conflicts all over the IPU, many of them fought by mercenaries in the service of big corporations.
In the year 2358, a wormhole opened in an uninhabitated system. The wormhole led to an extremly far away globular cluster, named Palomar Globular Cluster 4 by human scientists. ‘Palomar Breach’, as the wormhole soon came to be called, was opened for colonization by IPU resolution B58/6EQUJ5, the idea of the IPU being to channel all the unruly elements to Pal4.
Since then, numerous vessels have passed through Palomar Breach, some of them small fleets, others single ships trying to make their fortune. Of course several corporations have sent surveying fleets to get at the newly discovered resources, but also political outcasts, religious fanatics and crime syndicates took a chance at carving out their own territory.
One of those settlers is a group of Quar, political exiles from their home world. Fighting to create a government based on the principle of equality, they invited other species to join them. They have created a political coalition of different colony settlements under the name of Archipelago. Their fighting arm is the Quar Excursion Force, which is supported by interspecies units organised in the Allied Alien Auxiliaries.
Another faction is the TCO, an alliance of terraforming specialists whose unorthodox methods have met with disapprobation in the IPU. Their main pursuit is to alter the environments of worlds and to conduct large-scale agricultural experiments. However, there is a rumour that they have a hidden agenda: Some say they believe that the wormhole was created artificially by the same species that had sent out the von Neumann probes and that they are looking for remains of this civilisation. Of course, serious scientists dismiss this as children’s stories…
The QEF consists of Zombiesmith Quar, while the AAA guys are all Khurasan Interstellar Foreign Legion. The Fyrd Light Support Walker (of course the Pedestrians only use walkers!) is a slightly modified Clockwork Goblin Mechpanzer.
The TCO are all Khurasan, namely Sharkmen, Desert Nomads and Brunt. Their Fast Attack Vehicle is a Hotwheels toy to which I have added a gun and some small details. I still have to paint up some weapon teams and Medevac Vehicles (yes, there’s healthcare in the not so dark & gritty future!) and then the campaign is ready to go.