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Mankind’s venture into space was slow at first. Each planet was a monumental effort of time and resources. Over the course of 350 years, Man’s reach extended to just over 500 light years in several directions from Earth. The Terran Alliance consisted of Earth and 36 other planets. To go from the farthest point to the farthest point took 5 years.

Everything changed when scouts found the Dyson Sphere. It took almost a year to get inside, and even then it wasn’t by design. A new technician on the project was inspecting one of the “airlocks”. He had been warned he would be scanned. He was not warned that the door would open afterwards because it had never happened before. He became instantly immortalized as the scan became know after him as “The Halifax Test”. An Alliance wide scramble to find more people who could “pass” the Halifax test went on for the next two years. This process sped up once they identified one of the genetic markers in common. It wasn’t the only criterion, but it was definitive: Nobody without it got in, and even if you did have it the chances were 1 in 5.

Just 2 years, 8 months and 3 days after Jason Halifax entered the sphere (and the only person to do so. He was strongly reprimanded for entering without permission. Jason’s response is still quoted today: “Isn’t that what you were paying me for?!?”) the first exploration party scanned into Eden though one of the massive doors that could accommodate a small fleet of ships. Ask anyone what their first impression of Eden was, and unless they are very used to the question, the typical response is 15 seconds of silence as they relive the experience.

Inside the perimeter they found another sphere around the sun, this one had a chessboard pattern to it. The dark areas collected energy, the light areas allowed sunlight through and those areas became “daytime”. The entire structure rotated so that each area of the on the inside surface had a 30.5 hour day cycle. The two areas at the “north” and “south” pole were always dark, and the corresponding surface areas contained the “Ship Locks” and massive complexes responsible for air, water, power distribution, climate control, AI creation, and factories that created automatons that tended to the needs of the massive structure.

The Magellan was directed to land by an escort of drones, and very modern landing lights and facilities. It seems that Eden had been studying Humans just as long, if not longer, than Humans had been studying it. The AI who interacted with Humans most often was called Maestro. While Maestro and all the other AI’s were very helpful in every way, there was one question that was never answered: Who built you? Any question that pertained to the race refereed to as “The Builders” was ignored by the less intelligent AI’s, or politely refused by the smarter ones.

Once entry was obtained, Mankind underwent a period of rapid technological advancement that rivaled the industrial age. Our understanding of every science outstripped our ability to implement it before it became obsolete. For every new understanding, there was another shortly following it. FTL, Medicine, Genetics, Electronics, planetary management…the list goes on, all leaped forward at a soul shattering pace. Humanity exploded out into the Galaxy settling on 215 new worlds in a mere 75 years. In less than one lifetime, He had increased the number of settled planets almost 7 fold.

As these planets didn’t require as much to colonize, the inhabitants do not feel obligated to the Terran Alliance. They are demanding to be left alone, independent of the Alliance and have equal access to Eden. They do not understand the investment the Alliance made to make it even possible for them to be where they are.

The Alliance has new ships, new weapons and new soldiers. You are the culmination of what we have learned in the last 70 years. The colonists have numbers and ideals and a river of blood has flowed on both sides. That is why you are here, training to bring our lost colonies back into the fold of the Terran Alliance. With your training, and the new armor we have developed, you can bring an end to this conflict!

(read the Wiki page next for character background, game system, and some random thoughts on the type of campaign I run)

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Shattered Galaxy (LFU) Siberakh Siberakh