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The Signal Era

2062. Signal emergence

A powerful electromagnetic wave covers the solar system. All radios on Earth register the signal — a digital stream that came with the wave. Because of its activity malfunctions occur in networking and communication tech. Soon, scientists say that the signal has an artificial, extraterrestrial origin. Despite all efforts, it can not be decrypted for many years. The world's leading laboratories can not even establish any patterns in the signals. Major corporations manufacturing electronics supply their equipment with expensive ‘jammers’.

After ten years signal becomes a part of everyday life for many. Of course, it leaves a powerful imprint on the world culture. It’s a theme for documentaries and even feature films. Sometimes self-proclaimed visionaries claim they decoded the signal. As a rule, they are ignored.

In society there are new philosophical and religious movements. The beginnings of a new faith are gradually formed — faith in the signal. Its supporters believe in the need to reach the Divide - the peak of human advancement. In many ways, this is the reason for the start of a new era of space exploration.

End of the XXI century — XXII century. Exploration of the solar system. XXVI century. Fall of the Frontier

There comes a time of technological stagnation. Except for minor pushes, progress is almost standing still. None of the modern technology can overcome significant cosmic distances and break out of the solar system. To solve this problem, humanity begins construction of the so-called ‘Frontier’ on Earth’s orbit — a giant booster complex used to enable travel to distant worlds.

During the test run it fails, which turns into a disaster. The complex is destroyed, severely affecting the Earth's surface. This event is followed by a social and economic crisis. There is a split in society. Faith in the signal starts to turn extremist. Its followers accuse ‘unbelievers’ of sabotaging the Frontier, and those accuse ‘fanatics’ of everything. A troubled era starts, and Earth becomes the epicenter of multiple conflicts.

XXVII century. Religious war

Control of the government of the Earth over the colonies is slowly weakening. The struggle against separatism turns into a series of civil wars. Riots occur on Earth. The backbone of the rebels is formed by the so-called ‘Divide’ fanatics. This extremist organization soon became the main group of believers in the signal. It’s headed by a self-proclaimed leader — Bartle. Little is known about his personality. It is alleged that he is a scientist who has managed to decipher the signal and heard the words ‘Find us’. Official media reject this version and Bartle is called an ‘ordinary terrorist’.

In any case, Bartle has a remarkable mind and incomparable gift of persuasion. He manages to competently organize and direct the rebels, turning them from a chaotic swarm into a united powerful force. In several years, Frontier gains a multibillion army of followers.

The threat posed by fanatics becomes obvious. Sides are joining forces to form the Direktorium. The new special structure is endowed with special powers to combat the Divide throughout the solar system.

An exhausting war begins. The Direktorium manages to win at a significant cost. Bartle is in hiding. The Government divides the citizens on religious grounds and repressions begin. However, eradicating faith from people's minds is impossible. Year 2780 sees the adoption of the ‘Divide Decree’. Bartle followers are exiled to the depths of space. Imprisoned fanatics build giant ships. Many Divide followers surrender to authorities and voluntarily agree to participate in the project. Soon, the Divide's huge fleet leaves the solar system and its radio comms go silent.

XXXI — XXXII centuries. The Direktorium prospers

The Direktorium eventually turns into a new world government; the civilization that adopted the same name is thriving. Technology progress is moving in stages at increased pace. New terraforming tech proves effective — the solar system is densely populated. They are also able to neutralize the ill effects of the Frontier disaster.

The few remaining Divide followers in the solar system continue to conduct terrorist activities and are suppressed. After a series of high-profile murders committed by a group of fanatics, they receive a nickname ‘Revenants’ from the media. The caught killers are so densely packed with cyber-implants that they are like zombies. Soon the Revenants form some sort of a secret organization, the Order. They decide to spread the word of Bartle, while hiding in the shadows. The conspirators find their nickname to be fitting. Revenants are spirits of vengeance, the ghosts of the destroyed and decapitated Divide, which aims to repay its killer — the Direktorium.

In 3046, the signal disappears suddenly.

There is a breakthrough in travel technology. Mankind builds the first experimental warp devices, although they are extremely cumbersome. The Frontier project is reanimated. The new plan is considered to be less adventurous than the former: It was decided to build several smaller complexes that provide travel between the planets of the solar system, instead of a single massive base.

XXXIII — beginning of the XXXV century. Start of space expansion

Warp systems are becoming more efficient. Mankind goes to the stars, actively settling nearby systems.

Detection of primitive forms of life on other planets leads to rapid development of biology and, as a consequence, medicine (particularly implantology and neurochemistry). Mass production of plants capable of creating completely identical clones begins.

Galactic War

XXXV century. Return of the Jericho

Fringe worlds are attacked by unknown ships. After a while it becomes clear that the attackers are the descendants of the long-exiled Divide supporters (according to the official propaganda — "The Gone"), who now call themselves "Jericho".

They never negotiate, and captured Jericho are surprisingly resilient during questioning. The only discovery is that they are still led by Bartle. The region of the galaxy they overrun is now called the "Bartle Sector", and this war goes down in history as The First War for the Bartle Sector (3479-3611).

XXXVI century. The formation of the Empire

The Jericho, cast out into space long ago, are now greatly advanced in terms of technology and found their place in the struggle for survival. The inner Direktorium enemy is also reawakening — the Revenant Order. They begin providing valuable intelligence to Jericho. The Direktorium loses one world after another as the Jericho advance. The army grows discontent and many agree that Jericho can be pushed back, but the government is too slow. In 3570, the so-called purity Revolt happens under the flags of the 4th Separate Brigade. A group of military conspirators overrules Direktorium power and forms the EMG (emergency military government). One of the generals is appointed Commander in Chief. In the face of a dangerous enemy, Direktorium members have to resign in order to avoid a civil war. EMG mobilizes all available forces — military factories and shipyards are nationalized, taxes are raised, death penalty for desertion or even retreat is introduced. Media tacitly accept a centralized program of propaganda. The response to the brutality of the Jericho is returned brutality. With huge losses the war is eventually turned around. The Jericho are finally dealt a blow, and they are forced to retreat.

The commander revokes the state of emergency and immediately announces the formation of an Empire. He himself, renouncing his own name, becomes the Emperor.

Despite the victory over Jericho, the Empire does not follow up it's success. The reason, ironically enough, is excessive bureaucratization.

XXXVII — XL centuries. Rise of the free worlds against the Empire

Empire policies breed strong discontent among the population of some of the worlds.

A new wave of civil disobedience exponentially rises after the execution of several former executives of the Direktorium. According to the media — a plot against the Emperor is being developed. Inner worlds garrisoned by the military loyalists rise in rebellion. There is a mass desertion — whole military units, along with their ships, are taking the side of the rebels.

The Empire tries to firmly put down the rebellion, but does not achieve immediate success.

By order of the Emperor the Solar System is blocked by special military units, that later form the Wardens. The objectives of the Wardens are to protect the solar system and the Emperor himself.

Gradually, the rebels unite a number of star systems. They are joined by some of the outlying worlds that do not want to be resource fringes of the Empire. Part of the rich worlds of the inner ring, trying to relieve the heavy tax burden and gain administrative autonomy, also support the rebellion against the Empire — openly and in secret.

In XL century, an alliance is formed, which calls itself the Federation of Free Worlds. The group's most influential merchants, aristocrats, and politicians form the Federal Council.

The military power of the Empire is much greater than the rebel fleets, and this forces the rebels to resort to guerrilla war. In turn, the emissaries of the Federation develop active propaganda in the population centers of Imperial worlds. This often turns out to be successful and leads to strikes, riots, and uprisings.

Year 3979: Realizing the direct threat of the rebellion, the Empire comes to an agreement with the Federation on the recognition of its legitimate formation. The Federation as a major power is formed.

XLII century. Third War for Bartle Sector

Empire once again turns its gaze on Bartle Sector and initiates a large-scale military campaign against the Jericho. This is known as the Third War for Bartle Sector.

The campaign is not as successful as intended: The Jericho are back on their feet after the panicked retreat five centuries ago. Their closed caste of technological scientists, unburdened by the usual morality, are able to create stunning models of weapons. There are reports on the participation of Revenants in the process. In direct fights the Jericho ships are superior to Imperial models. Only sheer numbers and better tactics allowed the Empire to hold their positions. Jericho, traveling on the giant wandering bases (which they inherited from their ancestors, banished from the Earth centuries ago), appear in different systems of the Empire, causing sudden and serious blows.

Empire leaves Bartle Sector and focuses on the protection of their own territories.

XLIV century. The collapse of Jericho

Constant Jericho raids, attacking all systems without discrimination, forces the Federation and the Empire to reluctantly combine in order to retaliate and cause an unexpected blow to the heart of the Jericho civilization. A specially formed unit consisting of handpicked Imperial and Federal pilots, including the founders of the Federation's most elite squadron: the Vanguard, perform a near-flawless combined-forces operation aimed at eliminating Bartle himself.

Taking advantage of the attack, the Revenants (who have become a Jericho Family group), betray the other Jericho Families. The reasons for this action are unknown and the consequences is catastrophic.

These events result in the death of the Oracles (ruling on behalf of Bartle) and the destruction of the internal Jericho communications network. Their social structure is literally torn to pieces — many drifting cities that used to be havens for huge family clans cease to operate under a single command and are fragmented. Scattered Jericho armies are spontaneously formed attacking the Empire and the Federation with little effect, and more and more voices are calling for peace among Jericho society.

Federation diplomats, acting methodically and purposefully, convince the senior Jericho families to deter others in attacks on other worlds. In effect, the Federation becomes a trading intermediary between the Empire and Jericho.

XLIV — XLVI centuries. A fragile peace

The Jericho Family Council is formed. Occasional raids of Jericho renegades are condemned at an official level. Provocative underground activities of the Federation on some Empire planets continue. The Empire, in turn, spreads influence to new undeveloped systems while maintaining a high level of internal control.

An unstable peace ensues, with the Empire weary from the constant fighting, the Federation attempting to stabilize itself, and the Jericho trying to recover from its internal failure.

SEASON 0 - ‘CONTACT’, Year 4610

First contact

During an anti-pirate operation in a remote sector, a small detachment of the Federation's Vanguard detected powerful energy signatures coming from sector #1337. The Vanguard intercepts the message: ‘Bartle Orders not to meddle. We found them, but staying inside is too dangerous.’ It soon becomes clear that the sector is a battleground for the Empire’s Reconnaissance fleet, a Jericho Family fleet, and a third unknown party. The battle ends with the defeat and retreat of both the Empire and Jericho. Soon the Empire issues a special decree blocking access to the sector.

Federation intelligence, meanwhile, decides to use information gathered by Vanguard to destabilize the Empire and presents it to the general public.

Adventurers immediately flood the restricted sector. The few of them who are able to come back alive talk about giant structures, animated crystals and incredible treasures of an ancient civilization.

The energy signature that was recorded by Vanguard has not disappeared, but instead began to gain strength. Soon, the Signal comes back! It’s significantly altered, distorted and weakened, but is the same Signal as long ago. The general public forms a mind image of the Precursors — an ancient civilization that lived before humanity. Sector 1337 is named the ‘Precursor Sector’.

Start of Iridium Fever

After the incident in the Precursor Sector, ore deposits of Iridium are discovered about the galaxy. This abnormal material actively responds to the returned signal. Quite quickly it becomes clear that this is the key to a new technological era. The main use of Iridium is fuel in ship reactors and high power artillery systems. Unfortunately, ore processing technology is very complex and costly.

The relationship between all sides of the conflict, due to this discovery, is heating up again and results in a series of local conflicts. But a full-scale war status is never reached. Naturally, none of the three factions are ready to share their valuable ore deposits, and secret raids begin, aimed at stealing the other factions Iridium. Stocks are extremely limited and with the pace of production, there’s barely enough resources for the needs of fleets and industries. However, pure Iridium can always be found in Precursor artifacts...

"Iridium Fever" gives impetus to the development of technologies that expand the boundaries and help study remote sectors. Some corporations purchase not-too-promising mines and with their unique know-how start actively producing Iridium.

Fringe sectors, previously considered useless, get a sudden new development boost with the discovery of Iridium. During this period, there is a large number of small colonies and Iridium mining stations. Soon there is an outbreak of an unknown virus but authorities are able to hush up the incident.

One of the most important discoveries of this time is a new scanning system. While studying a Precursor artifact one of the Federation corporations finds the secret of a location with the anomalous emission. The head of the project claims that the artifact was specifically created by the Precursors to find the signal. The technology is copied and reproduced, and while this discovery causes heated debate in the scientific and theological communities, specialized navigational beacons appear on the black market. With their help, Precursor ruins are discovered at different points of the galaxy. Mercenaries and free captains, under the auspices of corporations, begins the hunt for artifacts. Most often, they are simply melted into Iridium and this practice becomes very common, though perceived by the general public as a waste.

The death of the Liu family, Jericho

After an exploratory mission, an epidemic breaks out on the family vessel of the Liu family of Jericho. An unknown virus is spreading with great speed. Soon the entire ship is taken under military quarantine. Nothing helps fight the disease. More than half of the ship’s population is infected by the third day. A few reports are leaked, speaking of terrible things: madness, mutations and even cannibalism. To prevent the spread of the virus, Family Council decides to destroy the ship, along with all the people onboard. Most of the Jericho are sure that the now called "Liu-virus" is closely related to the Precursors.

SEASON 1 - ‘INVASION’, Year 4614

(The release of the game)

Portal Storm

Since 4610, the returned Signal intensifies. Gradually, this activity begins to significantly interfere with most technological systems. Warp jumps over long distances have always been a risky business, but now even travel to neighboring systems has become tricky. Over the next few years, scientists manage to make Signal ‘jammers’ using old Earth blueprints, reducing the risk of travel. However, even with the jammers, some ships enter the warp gate but never appear on the other side. Where they appear instead is not yet clear. Rumor has it that someone has managed to come back from one of these unknown destinations.

The first attacked sectors

Due to the portal storm, many trade and military routes are interrupted... some having to be re-plotted ‘the old fashioned way’ — from system to system. Pirates are getting more active everywhere, as well as the Cartel black market dealers. A group called "Cybers" appear in Jericho sectors. The dregs of Jericho society, they have fallen into dependence on cyber implants and now rebel against the Jericho. Where they get their warships are still unknown.

Local outbreaks of the Liu virus are detected across the galaxy. Some planets are put under quarantine. At the same time, the so-called biomorphs start their attacks. At the very beginning they are mistaken for Aliens. But then it becomes clear that they are reshaped human ships, mutated under the influence of the Liu virus. They appear on the battlefield suddenly, without warning, and act like wild animals, hunting everything else in small swarms. Any attempt to contact or interact with them are futile. Among scientists there are theories about their mode of communication. Many are inclined to believe that biomorphs have something akin to a swarm intelligence, like bees back on Earth.

The way biomorphs travel is still not understood. It is not clear how they manage to open portals in space without warp gates. Sometimes they attack Iridium mines or caravans. And sometimes they appear in sectors seemingly without purpose. Their apparently random behavior has one constant: they attack everything.

The appearance of Crystallids. Warden laboratory destruction

Soon, Alien "Crystallids" join Biomorph attacks. They are called this way because of visual similarity of their ships with Iridium crystals. After the first clashes, an elite Warden squad manages to capture one of the ships. To everyone's surprise, it turns out that it has no crew.

The captured ship is delivered to a secret laboratory for research. A few days later, it activates and establishes some sort of contact with the scientists. It becomes clear that Crystallids are rock-like ships that somehow became sentient. Crystallids manage to connect to the internal network of the lab, and then establish connection with several military factories of the Empire. Only with the help of a miracle, and self-destruction of the laboratories is the link interrupted.

Due to their similarities, many believe that Crystallids are biomorphs, but instead of being infected human ships, they are infected crystals and rocks. No one knows how or why the Liu Virus causes inanimate objects to "morph" into sentient Aliens, nor do they understand why they are so aggressive.

Trilateral memorandum on Quarantine Zones

More than a dozen systems show traces of the Precursors. The Liu virus rages across the galaxy, and thus frequent Alien attacks becomes a normal danger to spacefarers. Practice and experience shows that the Aliens are extremely territorial, but will reduce their activity if ‘left alone’ and kept at a distance. More and more worlds are quarantined by one faction or another.

Following the tragic events of the previous years, diplomats of the three sides of conflict gather to discuss important issues of the Aliens. During the lengthy negotiations, they agree to sign an agreement on quarantine zones. According to the document, quarantined systems are completely blocked for flights. Each faction agrees not violate quarantines set by the other factions.

Not much else is achieved — the factions still do not trust each other and are not quite ready to unite, even in the face of a common enemy.

In spite of the agreement on the Memorandum, everyone is still interested in getting valuable resources, artifacts, and data. Soon the factions allow mercenaries into the quarantine zones. Starship captains hunt for Aliens and Precursor artifacts.

The war with Aliens and a major technological leap

The study of Crystallids and Biomorphs, now collectively called biomorphs, yields its first results. New technologies appear, mainly in the military department. The greatest success in the study of Aliens is achieved by the Jericho.

Empire, after the tragedy in the Warden laboratory, imposes a new moratorium on the use of Alien technologies. Policies regarding the Precursor artifacts are clear: destroy and melt into Iridium. Empire focuses on its own tech progress. Science budgets are inflated to astronomical values. But soon they prove their worth — New Imperial human technologies are in no way inferior to Alien weapons.

The Federation, as usual, tries to balance between the two extremes, using the technology of both parties and also pushing its own agenda.

Despite the fragile peace between the sides of conflict, a hidden arms race begins. Frequent minor military skirmishes occur across the galaxy.

The Aliens also increase their activity for unknown reasons. More and more, they venture outside the quarantine areas. There are suddenly new types of Crystallids — larger and more dangerous than the previous ones. There is a theory that Aliens are attracted by Iridium, and therefore any sufficiently large storage of this ore, whether on a transport or in a research laboratory, may be under threat. There are few who doubt that humanity is on the brink of the largest war in history.

Rumors persist about the return of Revenants. Many claim that they have come out from the shadows and are, in fact, the "Cybers" that attack occasionally throughout the galaxy.

SEASON 2 - ‘WAR’, Year 4616

The beginning of a full-scale invasion

Alien attacks suddenly start in all worlds. Crystallid offensive fleets lead the charge. The first blow that landed on the outskirts was only a combat reconnaissance... Soon after, attacks begin in the inner worlds as well. Some systems were destroyed, others are still fiercely fighting. Civilians flee the attacked worlds in horror, telling of anomalies and huge alien ships with their deadly weapons.

Cybers begin activating beacons, attracting Aliens in various sectors. In addition, they open portals into Alien worlds. There is no doubt that the Cybers fight on the Alien's side.

Meanwhile, from the inner worlds there are reports of increasing Revenant (now known as the Cybers) activity. There are rumours of appearances of Bake-kujira - ‘Ghost Whale’ — the Cyber flagship. An incredibly huge ship that appears out of nowhere and attacks allegedly random targets, then disappears.

Cybers openly attack a number of planets. They organize terrorist acts, and their appearance often leads to Liu virus outbreaks. When the epidemic becomes uncontrollable, Biomorphs form a swarm around the planet. Sometimes, the planets themselves literally morph themselves, and become sentient... leaving their orbits. The nature of this phenomenon is not yet known, but scientists call these animated planets ‘Bions’.

Because of these attacks and disasters, the fleets have to be spread out, which greatly reduces their effectiveness. The portal storm has dissipated, but it’s still difficult to shift significant forces over long distances. Some systems are completely cut off from the rest of the world. Communication systems are also disrupted, and few people know what is happening across the galaxy.

Factions start using the services of corporations and mercenaries (players) to defend their territories from Aliens. States remove the moratorium on the construction and operation of large warships by individuals, and thus the first corporate Dreadnoughts appear.

Jericho isolation and Mendes family demarche

This sudden war caught Jericho off guard. Its massive fleet was ready to directly attack the Aliens, but the aliens struck first, and isolated attacks inflicted significant damage to infrastructure and logistics. Iridium mines and several key shipyards were lost.

The Family Council decides to go into the defense. Because of this they agree to cut almost all contact with the outside world. Only small fleets and mercenaries continue to patrol the borders.

Fearing betrayal by the Federation, the Family Council transmits all trade contracts to private corporations.

Weeks later, a scandal shakes the highest circles of Jericho. Details are unknown to the general public, but one thing is clear — the Mendes family is in the center of the scandal. The same day, the Mendes family leave the Jericho territories with their fleet.

Mendes openly declare that they are no longer carrying out any of the arrangements of those signed with the Council, including peace treaties and the quarantine memorandum. They say their duty is to destroy the Revenants (Cybers). According to them, the cult perverted Bartle’s doctrine and is a threat to all humanity.

Pretty soon Mendes takes upon itself the infrastructure that Jericho left after isolation. The headquarters of the Mendes family - Mendes Station IX - is ready to work with mercenaries once again. The role of the mercenaries increase significantly — the Mendes family trusts them with the most important and dangerous missions.

As the Mendes family fleet is neutral in relation to the Empire and the Federation, the other two factions decide to leave Mendes alone.

The rise of corporations in Federation Senate

After the signing of the trilateral Quarantine memorandum, the Federation starts using corporate mercenaries for operations in the attacked sectors. This greatly strengthened the position of the latter, but not so much as to disturb anyone in the Senate. Jericho isolation upset this balance, however, and hundreds of key contracts were lost. Corporations were thought of as ‘agents’ of the state. Now serious power is concentrated in their hands, and the situation is getting worse due to the fact that the Armada is busy fighting off the Aliens, and cannot ensure the safety of trade routes. This problem also extends to corporations. Soon, their lobby in the Senate reaches an unprecedented scale, and more new laws give corporations almost unlimited freedom. Federation property goes into their possession... sometimes even captures of piracy are legitimized.

The Empire and Jericho Mendes family become wary of the illegal activities often pursued by the Federation.

Fall of Guardian-21

The Empire station 'Guardian-17' received a distress message from 'Guardian-21'. "Twenty-First" ensured the security of an important Imperial Iridium mine on the border of the Crystallid quarantine zone. A message was brought by a Dreadnought that ensured the safe departure of the last batch of Iridium. According to the captain, chaos reigns in the sector. It all started with a Crystallid attack. This has happened before... each time the defenders managed to repel the attack, but this time the enemy fleet was much stronger than usual. At the same time, a distress signal came from the mines. The planet's surface was set in motion, and very soon it became a Bion.

Crystallids immediately approached the Bion and dealt a powerful blow with all their weapons. They literally opened up the surface of the planet. Kilometers of Iridium-rich rocks revealed the outlines of an ancient titanic structure. Whatever was hidden in the core of Bion, clearly had an artificial origin.

When the Dreadnought started the jump, the last thing its sensors detected was that that Guardian-21 had all the energy transferred to the shield and went on the defensive. It may be possible that there are still survivors there.

Naturally, the Empire immediately assigned the sector to the quarantine zone. However, many corporations are interested in what happened in this sector.


Dogs of War

All three factions give increased freedom to the mercenaries, granting them independence to enter and exit quarantine zones. Mercenaries gain access to a wider selection of better quality ships, and with the aliens continuing to attack, the front-line fleets are busy, and mercenaries are evermore important for special tasks and missions. Since the times of Direktorium they have been doing much of the dirty work. Authorities have never seen them as a serious force and often tried to keep them on a leash. Yet their services are always in demand. Now, when the world is facing Destroyers, the Empire, the Federation, and Jericho gave their most loyal mercenaries access to secret tech, to make sure they can deal with the Aliens. Mercenaries just got their hands on some of the most advanced ships humanity has ever built.

More study has been done on 'Biomorphs'. This was much facilitated by an incident when the dreadnaught 'Northstar' encountered a Bion, and began exploring and charting it. The 'Northstar' was presumably attacked and crashed afterwards. Mercenaries have been sent in, and more research is being done as more artifacts are found.

The massive corporation "Ellydium", long being a conglomeration of mercenaries and scientists neutral to the three empires, begins working on several projects involving the aliens. Mercenaries are hired from all three factions to aid in gathering resources and testing.

Age of Destroyers

Breakthroughs in Starship technology occurs and a new type of ship is made available to Mercenaries and Corporations: Destroyers.

Scientific discoveries are also made relating to alien technology, and the corporation "Ellydium" continues to work on combining human weapons with that of the Biomorphs. Encountering some success, other ship components are used as well. Mercenaries are extensively used to gather resources, test new systems, and collect data, and they are the first to try the new technology. To this purpose the Ellydium corporation, after fierce fighting, makes a foothold in an alien sector, and an outpost named "Ellydium Theta" is built.

Evolution, the rise of Ellydium

After the Success of the tests involving human-grown alien ship parts, entire ships designed for humans but built out of semi-living alien crystals are planned.

The Empire, suspicious of this startling unconventional technology, seeks to continue the old agenda: convert alien parts into Iridium. The Federation attempts to monopolize the growth of these "alien ships" for commercial use and the Jericho are suspicious of the new tech... seeing these hybrid vessels as a potential threat.

With the other three factions attempting to limit the usage of the new tech, the corporation "Ellydium" makes their move: They convert "Ellydium Theta" into a fully functional station, calling the UMC to populate the new base.

The corporation "Ellydium" appears as a fourth faction, neutral to the other three empires but comprised mainly of mercenaries and scientists. Their aim is to expand understanding of the aliens and to make use of alien technology without the political interference the other empires impose.

A Galaxy in Ruins

The Alien invasion ended in collapse of humanity. Despite all the efforts of the various factions and the heroic accomplishments of the United Mercenary Centre pilots, the catastrophe could not be avoided. Even in the face of powerful enemies, humanity did not join forces and fell, engulfed in strife.

The Empire was destroyed after the solar system was captured by biomorphs. Former humans infected with the mysterious Liu-virus who became a single organism with their ships. Their horde simply crushed the strength of Wardens. The fate of the Emperor is unknown, but it is said that some of the Wardens managed to evacuate with him to a secret refuge system. However, if the Emperor is alive, why are there no orders from him? Armies of the Empire, once an invincible military machine, are fragmented. Desertion and betrayal are everywhere. only a few remain faithful to the old Empire.

The Federation managed to survive, despite all the attacks of Crystallids. Having lost relatively few worlds, Armada managed to protect the domestic sectors of the Federation. However, taking advantage of the military situation and the general chaos, corporations took over. Formally, the Alliance Council still rules. But only formally. The semblance of order is beneficial to everyone, because an alarmed consumer does not work well and does not buy well.

Jericho suffered the least damage in the war with aliens. Fervent faith and the latest technology protected the Gone from trouble. But one day they simply vanished. No one knows what happened and why, but Jericho disappeared. It seems that all that is left of Jericho is the Mendes Family and only a few representatives of other families.

But Jericho is not just the people. The remaining stations, ships and even cities of Jericho are governed by perfect artificial intelligence systems.

The most striking example are the Sentinels, — the automatic systems remaining from the Jericho faction of Technologists. Their goals are not clear. But they engage in contact and in rare cases share technology.

Years have passed since the latest large-scale alien attack. There are separate skirmishes with Crystallids and biomorphs here and there. The two alien races even attack each other. But for the most part they concentrated their forces in their worlds. As if waiting for something. It's like a calm before the storm.

Pirates, marauders and deserters are now a much bigger threat. There is no centralized power and no one to uphold the law. And even those who are trying to establish order in the sectors, are faced with the fact that they are not alone, and everyone has their own order.

The old political structure fell. The world will never be the same.

Only a new Star Conflict lies ahead.