AGE OF INFINITY (Space Opera) With alien technology (traded for, stolen and commandeered) and ways around the impossibilities of human science, humanity reaches out to distant worlds; as diplomats, pioneers, conquerors and colonists. Any city large enough to fund such a commission is elevated to an off-world site; many become stations, others battleships, while a chosen few become flagships for the new alliance. This Age never officially ends; humanity expands ever outwards, colonising new worlds, making war and peace with ever more exotic and alien societies.
1) Council of Worlds: The omnipresent, all-encompassing political group that governs space travel and interplanetary relations. While the council is officially made up of representatives across all planets within its territory, humans and Ascendants are far more present than other races due to colonial expansion. Although largely superfluous on a global scale, the Council are the law when it comes to interstellar travel. Access to their technology is only allowed to Council members, and anyone else is obviously a pirate and deserves punishment…
2) Voidskippers: The loose affiliation of pirates, mercenaries and outlaws the Council are so fearful of. Having no permanent base, Voidskippers have stolen Council technology, and are running a losing battle to retain their independence from Council rule. Often appearing near worlds ‘contacted’ by Council forces, the Voidskippers offer aid to the besieged planet, often granting refuge in payment for resources. Because of the slow-moving nature of the Council, Voidskippers can evacuate entire planets before major forces can be deployed. This isn’t a winning strategy, as V.S. ships malfunction constantly, but it’s the best strategy the Skippers can think of…
3) Interstellar Travel: A few travel methods are available through Council channels, or on the black market. Alcubierre Engines create a bubble in space-time to travel faster than light; this unfortunately creates a relativistic wave-front that can destroy small planets when the bubble collapses. Alcubierre drives are only fitted to larger ships with responsible crews to limit this danger. Ouselous and C-Drives are safer but rely on rare elements for fuel, so travel smaller distances. Smaller ships, like landing craft or attack ships, travel by anti-gravity generators; these can’t travel faster than light, and so are severely limited.
4) OCS Shemeld: An Official Council Ship, named after the ancient city that first manufactured it. The Shemeld is a Flagship (5km long, 3 C-Drive Engines, crew of 500) and one of the oldest designations, has been captained by numerous people, fought in several battles and explored vast expanses of untamed space. As a Council ship, its home to every race, though humans make up the largest part of the serving crew; the Shemeld has become a symbol of human endeavour, perseverance and discovery.
5) VSS Nomad: A Void-Skipper Ship, and their only ship large enough to warrant a unique designation. A commandeered Council Carrier Ship (40-50km long, Alcubierre Drive, crew of 40-50k plus full military contingent), Nomad is a safe refuge for anyone fleeing the Council; though its vast size prevents it from launching an offensive attack (In general, Carrier ships only travel between systems, park up in stellar orbit, then smaller ships do the hard work), in defence it’s nigh-impregnable. How exactly the Voidskippers obtained it is a source of speculation on both sides.
6) Ascendants: Not so much a species as a state of existence, Ascendants are aliens who’ve grown beyond genetics and evolution. Far from benevolent space-prophets, Ascendants think and act on a galactic scale; just as civilised society is incomprehensible to the common monkey, the will of Ascendants seems madness to lesser beings. Humans began to ascend in the Age of Infinity; whether this is a good thing for either race remains to be seen.
7) Anhelitus: A gas giant in the Teumassian system, and one of the top 500 beauty spots in the
universe. Its cities are lightweight plastic structures, held in negative gravity above the planet’s powerful air currents. The planet’s infrastructure was originally a gas-harvesting facility, extracting rare gases needed for the Oeselous Star Drive system. As the gases became depleted, efforts were made to stabilise Anhelitus and it became declared a Natural Preserve by the Council of Worlds. The rich and famous now flock here to witness the twin sunsets; this pilgrimage has increased demand for the Oeselous Star Drive system.
8) A ship floats dead in space. The crew’s belongings are left lying around, as if they’d stepped out a minute ago, but the food has rotted to dust, the power cells are completely drained, and the ship’s log is decades old. What happened?