This contains a fluff backstory which is to be taken about as seriously as the clown crying griff.
On July 6th, 1948 Earth gets its first contact with an alien civilization in the last few thousand years. It's cleverly leaked, downplayed, shuffled and muddied by government forces from across the planet until the time when the public is ready for admission of the event, almost a full century after the incident first began to encroach on public imagination. Five hundred years before Space Station 13 is built -- July 6th, 2050 -- the United Earth government provides complete and frank proof of extraterrestrial life in the universe. They also provide proof that, as far as a human mind can understand one so completely foreign to its way of thinking, this life is hostile. Mankind is no longer alone. Mankind is no longer supreme.
The Chinese-dominated United Earth forces focus the many resources of the polluted and dying Earth to flee into the cold void. The larger Dwarf Planets are colonized and generational colony ships are launched into deep space. Research is done into fringe physics, most of the secrets of the Universe being turned towards terraforming or "defense" from xenos species. Compared to most sentients human beings breed like rats and the plague of new life they bring with them everywhere they go tends to blight out that which was. In this new infinite sea religion does all but disappear and the vast distances humanity spreads sees a return to defacto autonomous feudalism. For the next two hundred years the forces of Earth spread like wildfire across the Milky Way, stretching farther down Her spiraling arms with each generation of both humanity and technology.
The Void Wars and the Great Schism
A few generations of humanity war between themselves for dominance and other alien species for survival. Most xenos encountered during this time are wiped out entirely, genocide and planet cracking having become a staple of human warfare. There comes a time when even nostalgia has been lost for Earth and the yellow sun she circles and any resemblance to a united species is gone. When there is so little little external threat anymore humanity faces its wrath inwards again. Records from this time are sporadic and first-hand accounts muddied by rumor and propaganda but it is clear that this is no golden age of peace.
The reasons why are lost to time, but it was not a xenos threat that shook humanity down. It was that which shook humanity since time immemorial -- war. The vast wormhole highways that kept humanity in contact with itself were bombed on both ends. Humanity was lost in the void and ravaged by hellfire and slaughter from all sides; from all fronts; from all faces. For many decades technology and history are lost and bastardized in a vast anarchy. Different sects of humanity, separated by unfathomable gulfs of empty space, take different approaches to restoring order. In this time several xenos species encroach on space previously held by humanity, even those systems closest to Sol. Far from this center, in the fringes of inhabited space, it is not traditional government but megacorporations that rule. Far too vast for oversight they are interplanetary nations onto themselves, ones without borders and without scruples. For two hundred years they have fought for space dollars and intellectual properties, content to let those old portals to humanity far gone lay derelict in the vacuum.
This is one of those regions of space turned towards the almighty space dollar. The year is 2550. Piracy and despotism is technically lower than in most areas of war-torn human-occupied space, though the people still feel by and large oppressed and unsafe.
Nanotrasen Systems, or simply Nanotrasen, is the largest manufacturer and employer in known space, though not by much. Their business practices and fabulous wealth have garnered both power and ire from interest groups and other corporations. Their company laws are the standard by benefit of inter-corporate agreements and simple mathematics of weight. In 2541 stocks began to fall and Nanotrasen began to fear their days of dominance were nearing their end. Research teams scrambled while the supercorp invested in their military forces, sending waves of panic through both market and populace. In 2543 a Nanotrasen mining company, Silar Group, made a discovery in a sunless system -- massive gas giants of a strange purple vapor with untold properties. Rapid research revealed it to be a powerful energy source, and Nanotrasen was revitalized through secret projects surrounding the substance. Plasma, as it came to be called because of its ease of gaining incredible heat, was only found in large amounts in this one region of space and around dead or missing star systems. Nanotrasen became the largest seller and researcher and still holds this position in the current year of 2550 through a system of jealous guarding and corporate espionage of secrets.
The home office of Nanotrasen's day to day affairs, CentCom is a secure and centralized space station at a classified location. Everything about them is thorough and professional, and to date there have been no successful attacks or infiltrations reported to the company newsletter. It comes fully stocked and self-sufficient at all times and is a safe haven for all employees of Nanotrasen's many holdings. As powerful as it may seem, it still lacks some of the more experimental technologies found on some of their more remote research stations, such as an advanced neural programming lab or a cloning bay to replace lost employees.
A vast criminal enterprise of revolutionaries, pirates, and corporate-sponsored no-goods, the Syndicate is a force much feared in the region and has proved time and again too wily and resilient to be taken down. They seem unusually focused on Nanotrasen and their plasma production at a level which no one in living memory can recall seeing before. Their reasons why are shrouded in mystery and enigma, but chances are good it's all about money and spite -- and with access to new and rare technologies that even the supercorp cannot obtain, Nanotrasen has lost many an enterprise to Syndicate machinations.
Although not technically part of the criminal syndicate, they fulfill a similar role. They are a parasitic and criminal enterprise of self-serving mutants that have achieved an intrinsic natural control over many universal physical processes. Or they are a violent and expansive group of high-tech criminal masterminds with a flair for theatrics. Or they're performing actual magic, but that's just plain ridiculous. Only the lowest of planet-side rubes would believe in real wizards. For one reason or another these humans of incredible and unknowable power have decided to band together and use their gifts for evil. They steal, they kill, they obliterate and break out of jail. There is never a moment when a space wizard is not being sought out by supercorporate security forces to either be imprisoned or used to their own ends. Nanotrasen, however, is one of the few powers that refuse to interact with the space wizard federation, and their constant rocking of the boat and denouncement has become a dagger in the side of these magical miscreants. Central Command has taken to warning all stations daily of wizard attacks from anyone who is even remotely close to their systems.
The Cult of the Elder Gods is highly untrusted but otherwise elusive religious organization bent on the revival of the so-called "Elder Gods" into the mortal realm. Despite their obviously dangerous practices, no confirmed reports of violence by members of the Cult have been reported, only rumor and unproven claims. Their nature is unknown, but recent discoveries have hinted to the possibility of being able to de-convert members of this cult through what has been dubbed "religious warfare".
Hidden deep inside Nanotrasen space is a mysterious station known simply as 'The Derelict': another plasma research station of unknown design and builder. The station was allegedly built by the third uprising of the Soviet Union, however, rumor has it that it is a former Nanotrasen station and in fact the predecessor to the current research station. Any dark secrets that it holds are a complete mystery.
Deep in space in distant orbit of a nearby gas giant that exhibits strange properties, Space Station 13 was built. Only the most professional of experts and personnel have been staffed here and its secrecy of construction and location guarantee it to be a safe and productive experience.
Reasons for Existence
- Plasma research, especially exothermic potential: dedicated science teams on hand for this purpose at all times. It is implied that Space Station 12 had even more. Since Space Station 13's construction, tighter regulations on research limits have been drafted in this field, bringing up a lot of questions from high-ranked employees.
- Genetic research: Nanotrasen has a lot invested into military and security groups. Those modifications which could give their forces a leg up in both being hired and maintaining control would prove extremely valuable.
- Blue Space research: teleportation technology has been rediscovered from before the Schism. Wormhole travel, the industry standard, is dangerous and prone to incorrect destinations. Existence of a parallel universe of proportionate size and filled with blue radiation has been recently uncovered, and both the properties of this mysterious area and the hazards of the technology used to access it need to be found out. For this reason, teleportation rigs have been provided and miniaturized versions of these devices have been placed in secure areas.
- Artificial Intelligence field testing: a new generation of thinking machine has been developed. Rumor has it that it's based on theoretical human brain designs, though darker rumors say that actual brains taken from unwilling 'volunteers' are used in either the production or maintenance of these new systems. The newest version of one of several available models has been graciously provided by CentCom and entrusted with the electronic systems on board the station. No errors are expected and psychorobotic specialists have been provided for station convenience among the engineering staff.
- Secondary directives: while a particular use has yet to be determined for the new station at this time, you can expect to see the station become used as a mining outpost, refueling station, supply depot, prison work release program, or some other application before activation is complete.
- Self-sufficient environment!
- Fully stocked medical bay!
- Advanced immortality measures!
- A courteous and helpful security staff!
- The latest and safest energy systems!
- Behold the wonders of scientific advancement!
- Olympic sized pool and lavish corporate housing!†