The Inner Sphere Worlds

Outside of the 10 billion of the Sol System, billions more colonists of humanity live in the Inner Sphere, those worlds within 10 parsecs of Earth. Below is a summary of some of those worlds. The Inner Sphere is divided into eight sectors, each with a set of Stargate Transfer Points in the center of each.

COREWARD
Aurora Sector
Aurora (4) – Spacer World. Leader manufacturer of androids as well as agricultural products. De facto leader of the Coalition of Free Worlds.
Asperta (3) – Earth Alliance. Successful trading world.
Thalassa (8) – Independent world in free association with the Earth Alliance. One of the few successful pre-warp colonies. Ocean world.
Florina (10) – Earth Alliance. Secondary colony of Sark. Known for its cloth industry, its silk in particular.

Bellepheron Sector
Haven (8) – Earth Alliance. Highly successful colony. It is quasi-independent from the EA due to it’s age and the part it plays in Human Sphere trade. Offers the prime stargate to the Spacer worlds, Tannhauser Gate.
Solaria (10) – Spacer World. Agricultural world and isolationist to non-Spacers.
Baronn (11) – Earth Alliance. Former corporate colony/mining world.

SPINWARD
Centaurus Sector
Alpha Centauri (1) – Earth Alliance. Vacation and trading world.
Bonde (6) – Earth Alliance. Agricultural world.

Demeter Sector
Cil (11) – Spacer World. Trading world and one of the gateways to the Spinward Marches.

RIMWARD
Euphrates Sector
Cinna (6) – Earth Alliance. Terraformed ocean world. Good vacation spot.

Ficus Sector
Daribow (6) – Earth Alliance. Mining world undergoing terraforming. Has a strong militia.

EDGEWARD
Gilgamesh Sector
Disus (12) Spacer World. Very free-spirited world dedicated to hedonism as a political and social philosophy. Easy to do, due to the vast numbers of androids doing all the work.

Hellespont Sector
Euterpe (10) – Spacer World. It is a popular tourist destination for the Spacers, because of its exceptionally large rainforests.
Melpomenia (9) – Spacer world. Seat of the Coalition’s government offices (Aurora is the current holder of the rotating presidency). Industrial centers with vast agricultural fields.

The Archeron Incident – A Brief History

The planet Archeron was settled during the tale end of the second wave of colonization as the Spacer Worlds held a stranglehold on stargate technology and travel before the days of Guild navigation allowed Earth back to the stars. As such, only megacorporations could afford to subsidize colonization efforts and such efforts must neccessarily be for profit. Continue reading “The Archeron Incident – A Brief History”

Terminus

Formal Name: Terminus
Government Name: United Earth Alliance Penal Colony Administration – Terminus
Population: Unknown, possibly less than 1000 prisoners known to have been sent there.  150 have been reformed as of 2911 with only a small number of recidivists.
Stargate Travel Time from Sol: Terminus is kept off the charts.  Travel time is top secret.

Terminus was activated nearly 15 years ago to hold one prisoner, the Alpha-10 class mutant Shard.  Once a hero to the galaxy, Shard went mad with power and tried to impose his rule on the Human Sphere, almost starting a war with the Confederation in the process.  Terminus’s location is kept secret and those who are sent there are secured as neccessary.
Continue reading “Terminus”

Aurora

Formal Name: Tau Ceti Prime (Aurora)
Government Name: Auroran Sodality (Member of the Coalition of Free Worlds)
Population: 200,000,000 (plus 5,000,000,000 robots)
Stargate Travel Time from Sol: 3.7 Days

The first world permanently settled by humanity outside of Sol, originally named ‘New Earth’; it is located 12 light years from Earth in the Tau Ceti system.
Continue reading “Aurora”

Venus

Formal Name: Sol II

Government Name: Venusian Colonies

Population: 30 Million

Brief Description:

Venus is an experiment in full terraforming. Fully 500 years into it’s transformation, it has an estimated 2500 years to go until it achieve an Earth-like enviroment. 300 years ago after hundreds of years of algae seeding, sulfer stripping and cometary bombardment, an area of the atmosphere 50 km above the surface became as Earthlike as anywhere in the solar system.

Huge floating factories, later becoming cities were built to travel the planet, refining the atmosphere, and exporting the skimmed raw materials and sending them offworld. Sulfer dumping on Io, CO2 to Mars, and more.

The slightly higher pressure and atmospheric thickness, with little assistance allows humans a certain bouancy in the atmosphere, that with the right equipment allow flight. Genetically modified plantlife has been created to take adavantage of this, with vast skyforests and algae fields floating. in a 10 km ‘life zone’ starting 40 km from the high pressure furnace below. Visitors are advised to take axillary air tanks and wear protective clothing when exposed to the outside air as acid rain and sudden oxygen poor zones are still a common problem for non-genetically modified species.

While the local Arboreal Clouds and Floating Cities stay well within the habitat zone, warning is given to any visitors to avoid traveling deeper into the atmosphere. To do so is to invite death, either from sulferic acid clouds, intense crushing pressure, infernal heat or more likely a combination off all of them. The artificial heaven carefully created by humanity over a thousand years is balanced by the perpetual hell below.

The Gateway Stations

When Stargate technology became commonplace, the main Earth stargate, Stargate One wasn’t able to handle the traffic.  So it was decided to build stargates at all five Earth-Sun LaGrange points and reserve Stargate One for emergencies and government traffic.  All of these LaGrange Points by this time had satellites, research stations and in two cases, orbital colonies; but despite some resistance the new gates were built.  The Gateway Project opened up the inner solar system to a much larger amount of traffic and are the main transfer points for commercial traffic.  Numbered G-1 thru G-5 they today include extensive nearby habitats, commercial and shipping facilities and two or more gates each.

G-1 and G-2 are by far the most important.  Close to the Earth-Luna system they are called the Columbus and Gagarin Gates respectively and mostly handle in-system traffic.  Travel time sublight to and from Earth from here is measured in minutes, though due to speed and traffic control restrictions it can usually take around an hour.  G-3 is opposite to Earth and mainly serves as a transfer point between the outer planets, though it does handle outsystem traffic for Mars and Venus.  Due to its lesser stability, it doesn’t support extensive space stations.  It is called the Shen Ku Gate.  G-4 and G-5 are the major transfer points for ships departing to or arriving from outsystem and then Earth, Mars, or Venus.  The Io Transfer Point at Jupiter mostly handles outsytem trafffic for the outer planets.  G-4 is called the Shackelton Gate, and G-5 the Tycho Gate.  Sublight travel from here is usually a casual two-hour flight.

Mars

Formal Name: Sol IV

Government Name: Martian Colonies

Population: 600 Million

Brief Description: Mars of 2911 is the second largest world in EarthGov and is the first and most successful off-world colony away from Earth-Luna.  After nearly 900 years of exploration, 800 of colonization and 600 of terraforming it hasn’t become a paradise, but it is self-sustaining.  Mars is a net exporter of raw materials, foodstuffs, and manufactured goods.  It also has the unfortunate distinction of being a haven for corporate raiders, bounty hunters, mutants, and crime syndicates.  While not completely independent (The Terran Fleet protects the whole Sol System), it is far less regulated than much of Earth, and safer than many other colonies.

People: Martians are quite proud of their accomplishments.   They are taming a near inhospitable desert, creating an atmosphere, have brought limited plant life and even crashed dozens of comets to bring a semblance of water to this place.  The Martians are probably the most welcoming people in the galaxy, anything goes in some of the cities.  Even the most civilized domed cities have a residual frontier edge to them.  Martians have a wild mix of cultures that is symptomatic of a huge melting pot with each domed city being a focus of one or another but not anything exclusive.  Most have over time become accustomed to or been genetically tweaked to live in lower gravity and don’t fare well off world.  With the advent of gravity plating a century ago, more and more long-term visitors have begun appearing, annoying the locals a bit.

Terraforming: The Martian atmosphere is now up to a third of Earth’s in pressure, just enough for liquid water but not anywhere in pressure, quality, or radiation absorption.  It is quite a miracle and beyond scientists most wishful thinking.  Most Martians are for continued work on the atmosphere and environment but some prefer the Red Mars of their ancestors the deserts of which may go away in a few hundred more years.

Earth

Formal Name: Sol III

Government Name: United Nations of Earth Government

Population: 6.9 Billion

Brief Description: Earth of 2911 has been through wars, ecological disaster, controlled by its own colonies, robot rebellions, genetic strife and more. Today in many ways Earth is in the best shape it has been in over 200 years. Stringent regulations prevent overpopulation and ecological problems, but these same measures have divided the population into subtle divisions of have and have-nots not seen since hundreds of years earlier. One would think that EarthGov is obviously most powerful here, but local powers, the old nation-states, still hold significant powers over their cultures and populations. EarthGov controls supernational law enforcement and the military and plays a delicate balance between the local regions, old colonies, Spacer worlds and new colonies.

People: Earthers, Terrans, Downsiders. Whatever you call them, the majority of humanity are the descendants of the species Homo Sapiens that never left home. It is by far the most diverse population in the Human Sphere. Despite periodic attempts to improve the species, this diversity still stands as unique. Notable subgroups include ‘Turners – the descendants of people born and raised off-world, most notably former Spacer Loyalists. Those who over two centuries ago were kicked out of the Inner Sphere rebel worlds that eventually became the League of Independant Worlds – the Spacers as Earthers derogatorily call them. Mutants are a tiny minority. Some are evolutionary, others dead ends, still others results of one-time accidents. An even smaller number has shown uncanny abilities from something as amazing as energy projection to simply creating a nice ambient temperature. Most mutants unfortunately don’t have positive side effects to their afflictions and despite Earthgov’s best efforts suffer in underworld of the metrozones.

Telepaths: Of all the mutations, telepathy is the best understood and most studied. While rare, it is genetic, passed on in families, trainable, and highly regulated. Other related telepathic abilities such as psionic empathy (rare), ESP (very rare), and telekinesis (very, very rare) are also regulated. EarthGov created a semi-independent agency two hundred years ago called the Esper Guild or simply the Guild as a regulatory arm to police and license telepaths. Unlike other mutant abilities, technology has limited use in defending against telepathy, which is the reason why telepaths are licensed and powered mutants are not (for now-though there is little push for it). The Guild was neutral in the Spacer Revolts so, unlike many other agencies, it still has a limited presence there – the Guild-trained Directors (Astrogators) being the prime reason. A previous organization, the Psionic Agency was considered somewhat more draconian and Machiavellian. Centuries ago a Psionic Conflict happened wherein rogue members of the Agency tried to take over Earth. After their defeat by the hero Wave the Earth government reformed the Agency into the Guild, purging the power focus and creating more of an association. Even with civilian control, some people still suspect telepaths of underhandedness.

Robots: What are called ‘bots, droids, robots, etc are a growing workhorse of the economy. Since the migration of a vast majority of the human population to the metrozones in the last centuries, farm and mineral labor had become an even-increasing problem. Humanoid robots (‘Droids) had been in use since the end of the 21st Century, but after the AI Revolt of the 2400’s, the EcoWars, and the Great Exodus of humans to the colonies, their use other than as a curiosity nearly ceased other than in dangerous fields of endeavor such as asteroid mining (which even became a human occupation later on). After the second wave of colonists departed for the Outer Sphere after the Spacer Revolt, robots came to be seen as essential for agriculture and mining industries where human labor was lacking. With the exception of the Spacer Worlds, anti-droid prejudice is at an all-time high (A notable and none-too-surprising exception is NeoTokyo). However the need for robots is growing and some menial job categories in the metrozones are beginning to employ them in larger and larger numbers and some are now even becoming household servants. Off Earth, robots are rare, expensive, and disliked. Non-humanoid robots or ‘Bots are neither loved nor hated. They are ubiquitous. When people complain about robots they are usually talking about androids. All androids in Earth controlled space must be obviously artificial, not possess True-AI, and be completely Asimoved and licensed. Ingenious people have found ways to follow the rules but still offer top-level human shaped droids, including the famous Auradine’s Blue series and the metallic Ibri Panion series.

10 Largest Cities: The majority of the worlds population live in hundreds of centralized metrozones. 97% at last count. A few ‘cultural preserves’ exist on all continents preserving traditional cultures from as early at the 19th century. These are the exception. Very small towns have mostly ceased to exist with most (not all) agriculture run on huge robot farms. Robot labor is a growing concern as it is beginning to expand into the metros.

NeoTokyo-49 Million; NeoYork-45 Million; CentraMex-44 Million; Mumbai-38 Million; SaoPaulo-35 Million; Delhiplex-28 Million; MetroShanghai-27 Million; NeoKolkata-22 Million; Dhaka-20 Million; BuenosAires-18 Million.

A view of one of NeoYork's city centers (Newark Sector) looking west.
A view of one of NeoYork's city centers (Newark Sector) looking west.

Current Situation: As the hub of the Human Sphere, Earth is the prime economic engine and largest consumer. However, stringent environmental, population control, cultural control and other regulations have made life there a bit dull for some tastes. The cities and well-managed (usually), but poverty, discrimination and crime still find a way to spoil the Utopian promises of the future. The cultural shock of losing the most economically important colonies so long ago has never quite been fully recovered from, despite the newer colonization efforts on less potential worlds and some trade with the alien species. With so many players, Earthgov, Nation-States, Old Colonies, Spacers, New Colonies, Megacorps and more, the potential for corruption, even in an ideal situation is very high. While violent crime is (mostly) unknown in most cities, anti-robot riots, petty theft, and corruption is slowly on the rise. Most situations are dealt with by the Directorate of Public Safety (Earthgov Security) or local police quite effectively, but a recent increase of crime – including mutant-powered crime – has been threatening to spill over to Earth proper.

The Human Spheres

The year is 2911. Humanity has expanded as far a hundred light years from its cradle on Earth in multiple waves of exploration, colonization and terraforming. In the last hundred years, weak signals from other civilizations other than humanity have allowed the first tentative contacts with even more remote civilizations. In this time some humans have exhibited strange abilities akin to the legends of the past. With humanity spread far and wide and communications and government limited to local space, opportunities for freebooters, pirates and criminals of all kinds have been growing. Those with these mutant abilities have been part of the background of many of these activities, but not all. Some choose to side with law, order and what is right…

The Human Spheres

The human colonies and home world are divided into four discrete types. The first are the Core Worlds, these include Earth, Luna and the orbital colonies, Mars, Asteroids and the Venusian atmospheric colonies. These worlds are nominally controlled by Earthgov. With the exception of Venus, all these were first colonized in the 22nd through 24th centuries by humans selected by various space agencies, the best of their people. Eventually after the EcoWars of the late 22nd century, vast numbers of refugees left Earth for these and the Outer Colonies, giving all worlds of the Sol System (other than Venus for the most part) a mix of cultures.

The next set of colonies started only as research stations out in the Jovan and Saturnian moon systems. With the development first of high-speed V-Drives in the 23rd century and later the first stargates in the 24th century allowing for lightspeed travel. These Outer Colonies are descended mostly from refugees of the EcoWars and the subsequent large scale migrations of people who refused the birth control and genetic profiling programs of the late 24th and 25th centuries on Earth.

Inner Sphere: The next set of colonies were founded over two hundred years from the first explorations of nearby desolate star systems by Stardrive equipped exploration ships. Limited to lightspeed at first these ships explored several worlds over many decades. The best of these worlds became the first outsystem, or Spacer worlds. Colonized by the best and the brightest, by the late 26th century they refused any more immigrants and Earth colonists were forced to use more fringe worlds. After the rebellions of the 27th century, the majority of the Spacer worlds declared independence and decisively defeated EarthGov attempts to reassert control. Only Aurora the first of these worlds, maintained significant links with Earth, and those were tenuous at best. Others are beginning to do so as well. Note: not all Inner Sphere worlds are Spacer worlds. A few didn’t rebel such as Centauri and others were colonized later on less-attractive worlds.

Outer Sphere: The final set of colonies are more recent. During and somewhat after the Spacer rebellions some freelance colonies and corporate colonies kept up attempts at colonization. But for most of the 27th and 28th century Spacer rules, regulations and fleets kept Earth colonies limited mostly to the Inner Sphere. However, in the mid 28th Century, a resurgent EarthGov, pushed by population pressure made peace with the Spacer worlds and colonization began anew. These colonies, the Outer Sphere, soon outnumbered the old colonies, but being so far away from Earth they to this day constantly struggle with supplies, corruption, and simple survival.  It was these worlds that first encountered the signals that led to alien first contact in the first years of the 29th Century.