“We’re the ones left over, Wanderers like me. Nobody wanted us way back when Earth was crumbling to bits, and frankly, none of ‘em wants much to do with us nowadays either. As far as I’m concerned, that’s full-on copacetic. I don’t trust ‘em any more than a whistle on a ship. That’s how you end up dead.
Me? Eh, I’m just a guy. A fleck in the starry seas, same as you and everyone else. But I settled down with a lady a few years back, Jessa’s her name; so that’s been a nice change of pace. We even got assigned to a bigger cabin here on C3, seeing as Jessa’s in the family way. We get by.
Been a mercenary most of my life. All kinds of mercenary though, so it’s not like I’m always staring the inky blackness in the face, if you catch what I mean. Sometimes I’m escorting an unlucky leashup or an important somebody or other; I just go where the credits are flowing. Of course, protecting some richwad’s trade goods is always a lucrative stint, ‘cause its got to be done. Those bastards in the rest of the Coalition will steal our merch faster than a beamer, if you don’t already have one trained on ‘em, that is.
This whole Coalition nonsense seems like some lonely imbie’s plan to buy himself a group of friends. Captain Osmium says it’ll be good for us, but so far I’ve only seen us Wanderer’s doing all the heavy lifting, and for what? We’ve been roaming the stars forever, so we can go wherever we want. It’s those other colonies that have planets ‘at need protection. That lot of pretentious twits up in government formed the Coalition and signed that pact, not me.
The Captain told us that she threw our lot in with the Coalition forces “as a defensive measure against an imminent alien incursion.” Dogpiss. Way I see it, those Alnitaki folks are about as alien as can be, so why are they on our side? They say there are documents and DNA and whatnot to prove that they came from Earth too, but I’ve never seen the proof, have you? But hey, a man with certain talents like myself stands to profit during a war, so if I can build up a little nest egg off of this mess, I’ll hold my tongue.”
-Harlin Pewter, mercenary aboard the Wanderer civilian vessel C3-Xoraxis
The sapiens are natives of the planet Earth of the Sol System within the Milky Way Galaxy. As Earth began dying, the sapiens scattered throughout the stars of the Milky Way Galaxy. The disparate human settlements gradually forgot one another as they turned inwards to the challenges of establishing new civilizations. The Third Supereon saw each group adapt to their new environs, both physically and culturally, widening the ever-growing chasm between the colonies as the stars themselves spread farther apart.
The impending collision of Andromeda ushered in an era of reunification and resulted in the formation of the Sapien Coalition of the Milky Way. Working together, they began preparations to colonize new sectors amidst the shifting galaxies. The Coalition launched a volley of exploratory missions to find suitable systems to call their home, but they discovered a far more immediate threat: an entirely alien species.
Strategically, the Coalition is a methodical faction. They can be highly adaptive, manipulative and colonial; winning over neighboring sectors through political intrigue or through subversion via military efforts or even media-driven coups. The Coalition will often choose the path of militarization, raising vast invading armies and calling down planetary bombardments from dreadnaughts. However, the Coalition still keeps an artistic, poetic side, in which they focus on sharing their culture, knowledge and the arts with others. Other parts of the Coalition focus their efforts on research and technology, striving to learn more about the universe around them and how to use it to their advantage.
The Coalition is a loose alliance of long-separated, distantly related sapiens that have each taken different paths, both culturally and evolutionarily. Each major sapien branch reflects the current technology and ideology present on Earth when they left the planet on their mission of colonization.
The progeny of the first successful colonial mission, the Praecians settled on a planet with an Earth-like environment in the Praecipua System. Major strides in nanotechnologies allowed them to both survive long enough to reach the distant star system, and to rapidly build a settlement upon arrival. Their background in democracy and capitalism has shaped the Praecian ideals of today, notably as a people who seek to better themselves, even at the cost of others. This is seen in their lust for expansion, trade, and the overexploitation of resources including the depletion of their own once resource-rich planet.
Following the catastrophic failure of a previous colonial mission, progress was made in the fields of cryogenics and bioprosthetics, enabling the Celanese to begin their over 400 year journey to the Celaeno System. The best and the brightest scientists and engineers constructed the first Celanese settlement, and technocratic ideals quickly took over. Their ideals fostered a constant pressure for technological progress, and the Celanese eventually advanced bioprosthetics to full cyborgization, allowing individuals to live indefinitely in mechanized bodies (barring irrecoverable injury). Focusing on research and development, it was the Celanese who created the warp drive, thereby enabling the disparate sapien colonies to reconnect and to form the Coalition.
Back on Earth, resource scarcity reached dangerous levels, igniting a World War that devastated every population. The Gomeish colonial mission was launched as a desperate and final act of cooperation between the intensely suspicious and divided countries on Earth. Unfortunately, when they arrived in the Gomeisa System, none of the planets were the Garden of Eden that they had been promised. Out of resources and fuel, they had no choice but to settle there. Rotation around two suns made darkness a fleeting event. Nighttime was never long enough to cool the high temperatures. The harsh environment revived old hatred among the colonists, fomenting the rise of dictatorships and a culture valuing individual strength and prowess in warfare above all else. Bioprosthetics, implants, and robotics are heavily used by the Gomeish to both strengthen themselves and to mend injuries.
Realizing that survival was only possible with an end to war, the decimated populations on Earth cooperated with one another, erasing what few political borders remained. The Alnitaki colonial mission was sent on the 1200 year journey to the Alnitak System, to start anew. Everything related to war was taboo: anger, greed, jealousy. Anyone openly showing these emotions were permanently exiled from the beautiful Alnitaki cities. To fix this issue more permanently, genetic engineering became the way of life, with the entire population working together to ensure that they became the most perfect form of sapiens possible. Art and academia rose as the most respected professions, while honesty, kindness, and beauty became virtues expected of all citizens. Even so far as to genetically engineer translucency into their own skin and muscles as both a symbol and a constant reminder of the importance of openness.
The brief unification enjoyed on Earth quickly crumbled beneath the dire ecological situation. Those that were able to formed small tribal groups, scavenging what resources they could to build or steal colonial spacecrafts with the fleeting hope of escaping the barren Earth and rejoining the established sapien colonies. Countless of these groups failed, either immediately with failed launches, or drifting through the inky blackness with the last of their resources depleted. Those who survived gathered what they could by landing on planets or asteroids briefly to mine for resources, but never settling down. Instead, they further outfitted and renovated their ships to continue their journey. When the Wanderers eventually reached the other sapien colonies, the people they found were so alien looking that they refused to call it their home. They had been among the stars for so long, that the Void had become their home. The Wanderers formed tribes of various sizes, sometimes joining fleets of other Wanderer ships to strengthen the whole. And so they remain, wandering among the stars, trading goods and information between the Coalition planets in order to survive.