DT Studio Presents A Darkthought RP Starfall The Zodiac Incident The Story So Far Spoiler Excerpts from the Archives on Sakhir IV The 22nd Century-World War III Spoiler The 22nd Century of Earth was one marked with horrible plagues, deadly diseases, and rampant use of nuclear weapons. Citizens the world over who had become dissatisfied with the growing power and corruption of national governments began to protest en mass. Civil unrest mounted as these governments refused to give in to the demands of their citizens and eventually responded to these protests by slowly stripping the population of its rights, enacting curfews, declaring martial law, and even rounding up protesters in large internment camps. At the same time on a national level, relationships between the largest nations of the world had been deteriorating steadily for quite some time. The strain became too much and it was only a matter of a few years before war broke out. Information regarded exactly who dropped the first bomb has been lost over the centuries, though evidence seemed to indicate that it may have been the act of a group of military dissidents in the Western Union, a dictatorship comprised of what had been Canada, the United States, and parts of Mexico. Whatever may have been the case, the world was soon ignited in the fires of nuclear war and the world entered a Second Dark Age. 23rd Century-The Rebirth and the Founding of the Empire Spoiler In the aftermath of the nuclear fallout that wracked the world, humanity was left devastated. The world had, for the most part, been reduced to wandering tribes and gangs. Food and clean water was scarce. However, out of the ashes of the old world, a new human consciousness emerged. People began to see what humanity had done to the world around them and slowly came together. A collective of scientists, doctors, and philosophers who had survived the seeming apocalypse banded together and began to reconstruct the world. The first of what would become many new cities was dubbed New Caracol, as it emerged amongst the ancient ruins of the Maya in South America, large portions of which were untouched by the previous century's wars. The scientists who led the city provided people with safe food and free, clean water. Methods were developed for efficiently scrubbing the land of the deadly fallout. New, alternative fuel powered machines were constructed to work with the environment rather than against it. Slowly, as the 23rd century drew to a close, global communication was reestablished using what remained of the old world satellite network. New Caracol connected with similar sites in Egypt, India, Antarctica, and a union of numerous small islands in the Pacific. Together they formed the foundation of what would become the greatest Empire in human history. 24th-25th centuries-The United Earth Empire Spoiler As the environmental damage was slowly dealt with, population on Earth began to grow as well with the help of eugenics projects and a stabilizing birth rate. Eventually, the people of earth began to look to the stars once more. Over the next two hundred years, there was an explosion in space exploration and colonization. Deep space travel was revolutionized with the invention of the Resonance Drive. This FTL could change the vibrational frequency of matter, effectively making matter weightless and without density for a short time. In such a state, matter could travel extreme distances in a very small amount of time. Huge colony ships filled with a mix of natural born humans and clones were sent to far flung worlds. By the time the 25th century was drawing to a close, the new United Worlds Empire spanned nearly a hundred populated worlds and several more with small outposts. The massive influx of resources made the Empire rich. Poverty, hunger, and disease had been virtually eliminated. Up until this point, humanity had considered itself alone in the galaxy, but several ruins of unknown origin were discovered on a number of the colonized planets. These ruins ranged from small, singular compartments deep underground to sprawling cities. Though no physical remains were ever found of the creatures that may have lived in them, evidence of their advanced understanding could be found in their technology. Though much of their technology has yet to be understood, some has served to greatly advance technologies pertaining to weaponry and personal protection as well as energy manipulation. These creatures have come to known as Archons and were thought to have lived in a time that predates human history. The 26th Century-The Day of Dark Skies Spoiler Many had speculated on what the nature of first contact with an intelligent alien species would be like, though few had anticipated what happened. One moment everything was fine, and the next entire colonies were going dark. Communication attempts failed, reconnaissance satellites were off line, manned incursions simply disappeared. It was as if the worlds had been swallowed up. Panic began to grip the populace as the pattern of disappearing planets began to wind its way steadily towards Earth. The Net became littered with videos of huge structures lowering themselves down out of the skies of planets that had gone dark only moments after the videos were uploaded. Humanity had no choice but to admit that it was under attack by an unknown enemy of unknown strength, and humanity was ill equipped to handle such a threat. The last few centuries of peace had left the U.W.E. with an anemic, poorly structured military. Despite attempts to organize a resistance of some sort, the nameless enemy simply swept across the galaxy, taking every human world it came across. When the assailants finally reached Earth, communications between the worlds had been cut off in an attempt preserve the safety of worlds that might not have been discovered by the enemy yet. The scientists and leaders who remained on Earth purged the next of all information regarding the location of other human worlds. The day Earth fell came to be known as the Day of Dark Skies. Present Times- The Directorate of Thirteen Worlds Spoiler Though a few more worlds fell to the nameless threat, the pattern of aggression suddenly came to a halt. With the structure of the government shattered and humanity in a disarrayed state, things began to deteriorate once more. Outposts and whole regions of space became home to roving bands of space pirates and scavengers. A military alliance of necessity between a handful of human worlds gave birth to the Directorate of Thirteen. Though not all human worlds belong to the Thirteen, the organization does its best to protect all human interests. It has been eighty years since the enemy has been seen and the Thirteen have taken great strides in building a strong military using old cloning technology and robotics to produce a highly advanced and specialized force. Things are far from perfect, however, as the old issues of hunger and poverty have resurfaced. There are also those who see the Thirteen as bearing too much resemblance to the old world dictatorships that brought about the nuclear holocaust. Whatever may be true, none can deny that the Thirteen are all that stand between humanity and its destruction. Places You Should Know Spoiler Zodiac Station The massive collection of space platforms known as Zodiac Station was built during the age of exploration above the icy and harsh yet resource rich planet of Thakaj. The platform was the first of its kind. Large enough to support several thousands of people, the station was practically an orbital city. It was abandoned, however, during the events of Starfall when the nameless enemy first started taking human planets. In the time since, the Thirteen have had most of the station retrofitted to serve as a military outpost, scientific research station, and a vantage for harvesting the resource rich planet below. It has also become a place of refuge for thousands of people who were displaced by the attacks on humanity. Several corporations from inside and outside worlds controlled by the Thirteen have also taken up residence on various platforms. The station is divided up into four platform groupings, called Quarters, of three octagonal platforms a piece, each named for one of the ancient zodiac signs. The Platforms Quarter I- Aries, Taurus, Gemini Spoiler Also known as the Military Quarter, this Quarter is home to both soldiers and scientists backed by the Thirteen. Access to this Quarter is restricted to military and science personnel, along with a few corporate liaisons and civilian contractors. Aries Platform is the seat of the Under-Director, Military Command, Station Police Force, and the Intelligence Offices. This Quarter contains the bulk of the station's ship docking bays, many of which are still used by the Thirteen for the same purpose. One of the notable features of the platform is the Directorate Command Center, an old U.W.E. star ship docking hangar. Taurus Platform is home to the bulk of those who serve in the military. The bulk of these consists Space Marines, a hardened and highly trained group that utilizes the latest in laser and plasma weaponry and even Heavy Assault Augmented Armor, simply referred to as H3A. This platform consists primarily of training grounds and barracks. Gemini Platform is reserved for science facilities and the scientists that abide in them as well as military hospitals. Little is known exactly what goes on in this highly secured area. Though they are often overcrowded, the populace has come to appreciate the work done in this platform's hospitals. This is also where the a small number of the Directorate's feared and respected Psyon Division makes its home. Quarter II- Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces Spoiler Also known as the Corporate Quarter, the Thirteen rented this Quarter out to a number of mega-corporations based off station in order to generate much needed revenue to support the rest of the station. Here the many corporate workers make their homes in tall buildings constructed by the various corporations. Capricorn Platform is unarguably the nicest area of the station. Here reside the numerous corporate directors and CEOs, occasionally with their families. The platform is also where these corporations have placed their offices and factories. The area is closely tied in with the military of Quarter I as well as the miners and farmers of Quarter 3. Jain Corp has also chosen to construct a lavish headquarters on the station. Aquarius Platform consists of the tall, cramped buildings in which the numerous corporate workers make their homes. Many of these people have come from off station for work. While this platform is not as nice and lavish as Capricorn, it is still a more comfortable life than anywhere else on the station. Pisces Platform is home to the second largest collection of docks on the station. It is here that supplies and parts are flown in off station from numerous worlds throughout human controlled space. Those corporations that deal in shipbuilding also use this platform for their operations, constructing the massive ships that comprise the Directorate Navy. Quarter III- Cancer, Leo, Virgo Spoiler Both the Leo and Virgo Platforms of this Quarter are used for the stations farms and food production facilities. These two platforms are responsible for providing food and water to the entire station while the Cancer Platform is used as an offloading and refinement center for resources harvested from the planet below. Leo and Virgo Platforms are home to a large number of farmers. Both areas are filled with water filtration stations and large biodomes where plants are grown are artificial meats are produced. Cancer Platform, behind Quarters I and II has the next largest amount of docks. The area is dominated by large refinement facilities and offloading platforms for minerals and other resources harvested from the world below. Many people who work as miners and harvesters are from off station, though a fair number are also Zodiac natives or refugees. Quarter IV- Libra, Scorpio, Saggitarius Spoiler All three of these areas are home to the numerous first, second, and third generation refugees who have come to call the Zodiac home. Due to overcrowding, the area is rife with crime and sickness. Most of the homes are little more than shanties pieced together from whatever refuse could be salvaged by those who live in them. The area is frequented by off station smugglers who seek to peddle their illegal goods to the citizens of the Quarter. However, not all citizens are dishonest people. Many try to make a legitimate living by working on the farms or joining the mining crews of Quarter III. People You Should Know Spoiler Director Adrian Dominic Though he is not likely to ever personally visit Zodiac Station, Dominic is a name that is known both in and outside Directorate space. He has had to make several hard calls during his tenure as Director, but his frequent public addresses and transparent approach to government has made him widely adored. His reputation as former Grand Admiral of the Directorate forces have helped his character stand the test of time against accusations of corruption. Master Gunnery Sergeant “Old Breed” Callum Mason In short, Mason is a living legend in the Directorate. He is the most decorated marine in the history of the Thirteen. The Gunny made a name for himself during the Azraq Conflict when a number of pirate clan banded together to and blockaded the planet of Azraq II, cutting the planet off from vital resource shipments. Mason led a small task force into an enemy capital ship and eliminated the pirate leader and all his lieutenants without losing a single man. There are several such stories of Mason's heroism. Over time, he has become a symbol of the Directorate Space Marines. Under-director Janick Tombs Tombs has had to endure a lot of difficulty during her tenure as Under-director due to her being so young. Being only in her late twenties, many feel that she lacks the adequate experience to effectively execute her duties. Despite this, Janick has developed a reputation among her peers for performing well under pressure. Though the details of her assignment to the far removed Zodiac station are highly classified, the citizens of Zodiac Station have come to trust her. She strives to offer what little aid she can to the commoners and under her leadership, the crime rate has begun to steadily drop. Astin Jain Astin Jain is arguably the richest man in the galaxy with a net worth well into the trillions. He inherited the Jain Corporation when he was only twenty years old, and in ten years the company has increased profits nearly three hundred percent. He sees Zodiac station as a mere investment and a chance to capitalize on the resources of the planet below. Jain is not a citizen of the Thirteen and has little use for their rules and trade regulations. For him, profit is the only law. Dr. Shiro Kakio Shiro made a name for himself as a pioneer in the field of genetics,cellular science, and neuro-engineering. His vaccines are responsible for eliminating a number of sicknesses from the population and his work alone has extended the human life span nearly twenty years. He is well loved by the population of Zodiac station for personally funding the operation of several free hospitals on the Gemini Platform. Characters Spoiler The Galaxy is a big place with endless opportunities for a person such as yourself. Do you come from one of the core worlds of the Thirteen? Perhaps you are part of one of the refugee families that live aboard the Zodiac station. You might even be a member of the prestigious Directorate Space Marine Corps or a deadly and mysterious Psyon. If you can think it, you can probably do it. Its up to you. Jobs If your character has a profession it may come from the following list. If you would like to have another profession just run it by me and it will probably be fine. Basically anything you would think a person would do in space is probably okay. Each profession comes with its own perks which are probably pretty self evident. Hackers are good with computers, soldiers and bounty hunters are skilled in combat, etc. Jobs Common on Zodiac Station Space Marine, Miner, Farmer, Corporate Employee, Smuggler, Police Officer, Maintenance Worker, Shipbuilder, Dock Worker, Scientist, Pilot, etc. Psyons Spoiler During the late 25th Century, citizens of various colonies began to exhibit signs of heightened psychic ability. However, the U.W.E. dissolved before further research could be done on the subject. In the years since the enemy has gone silent, however, the Thirteen have poured an incredible amount of resources into the location, testing, acquisition, and training of such individuals to be part of their elite Psyon Unit. Prospective candidates for the Psyon Unit are usually drafted by the Directorate Military at a very young age. They are tested and given a Psyon Rating of one, two, or three. Psyons with a rating of three are considered weak. They may have minor psychic abilities such as being able to move small objects or hear the thoughts of those near to them while Psyons with a rating of one are immensely powerful psychics that can perform mystifying feats of psychic power including the levitation of large objects, the deflection of projectile and laser weapons, and the ability to bend light around themselves to become invisible. Psyons with a rating of one are incredibly rare and only a handful are documented with the Directorate. Psyons with a rating of two are far more common however, and can perform moderate feats of psychic power. Psyons who make it past the initial testing phase are subjected to extreme physical and mental conditioning. All are extremely competent marksmen and close combat fighters. Psyons are trained in the arts of stealth of infiltration. As the Psyon reaches physical maturity, the heightened activity in their brain waves often produces physical anomalies such as odd colored eyes or hair. All Psyons share what the rest of the military less than affectionately refers to as the Psyche Stare. Psyons have an odd manner about them and a tendency to stare for long periods without blinking. This is unnerving to many and only serves to add to the mystery of the Psyons. Wilders Spoiler While the Thirteen have invested tremendous time and resources into finding all prospective Psyons, some people are inevitably out of their reach. Whether hidden from the military draft by loved ones or simply on a world beyond the reach of Directorate Space, Wilders are those untrained that have slipped through the cracks. Where Psyons spend years training and learning to master their psychic abilities, Wilders tend to operate more on emotion without ever learning to truly control their abilities. Many are prone to random mood swings or emotional outbursts that can be the catalyst for devastating displays of power. For this reason, many Wilders end up killing themselves or those around them by the time they reach adolescence. Those few who do manage to survive, however, can become immensely power and dangerous. Due to the emotion based nature of the Wilders' power, each Wilder will often have a focus. i.e. a specific way of manifesting their psychic powers. Some might have power over flame or air currents, others may be able to manipulate light or gravity. Though not as diverse as a Psyon, the specialized and emotional nature can make the skilled Wilder into a force of nature. Note On Playing as a Psyon or Wilder I am intentionally leaving the use of psychic powers purely at the discretion of the player. I trust everyone to be reasonable. Everything has limitations and too much exertion of psychic power is probably bad for your brain. Just try and rationalize it for yourselves. If at any point anyone has questions about or is unsure of whether or not their Psyon or Wilder can do something, please ask. I'll be more than happy to help you guys out. Character Sheet Spoiler Name: Age: Weight: Height: Eye Color: Hair Color/Style: Home World: (Feel free to make one up) Personality: Attire: Weapons:(If any) Profession: Psyon RatingIf applicable, see Psyon section for information on ratings) Wilder Focus:(If applicable, see Wilder section for information on Focuses) Background: Game Rules Spoiler 1. Please obey all forum rules. 2. No flaming or general hate stuffs 3. Do not be disrespectful 4. Do not control another person's character without permission 5. Check the discussion thread if you have any concerns or questions. Chances are if you do so does someone else. 6. GM word is final. 7. Its a game. Have Fun. Character deaths will be posted in RED Mission Posts will be made in BLUE The story will be advanced via a series of Mission Posts. These will often include goals that the players must attempt to accomplish before the next Mission Post will be put up. Sometimes goals will be specific to individual players. Characters may sometimes be killed off. If this happens its purely for the sake of the narrative and not because I hate you. That being said, maybe no one will die. A lot of that is up to the players and will be discussed in PM prior to it happening.