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Order of play

Sam, Monty, Chris

Monty has just set a focus. Chris has created a scene covering the completion of Corona Australis’ threat detection network.

Current focus (Expansion of humanity in Corona Australis)

Palette

Yes

  • Antimatter
  • ‘Proper’ AI

No

  • Bullshit energy weapons
  • Bullshit energy shields
  • Time travel
  • Superluminal travel (FTL)

Legacies

  • Discovery of the real Sol
  • Genocide of the ascended digital form humans
  • Church of Pavel mass growth in popularity
  • The firing of the Odenre super weapon (implied related to the technological regression)

The last generation ship wakes its passengers from cryo - Dark

75% of the ship’s crew are put in quarantine - Light

“How did the virus get aboard the vessel?” - Dark

Ships sensors detect collision and hull breach by an object of unknown source. Ship AI figures this would be a good time to take crew out of stasis to perform repairs.

Facts established:

  • Ship is not equipped with self repair facilities capable of repairing such damage

“Why were the ships crew quarantined?” - Dark

Takes place aboard the sleeper ship. Emergency medical restrictions are put in place to prevent spread but it is too late. Outbreak of virus of unknown origin, designated X-1 by automated medical analysis systems run by the ship AI.

“Why were the quarantined forcibly euthanised?” - Light

Internal monologue of the shipboard AI.

Having analysed all available sensor data and other available information, the AI determines that there is insufficient reactor fuel on board to power all systems until the nearest possible habitable planet, and so kills those in quarantine to conserve life support power.

“Why were the fuel systems compromised?” - Dark

Takes place in one of the engineering rooms, only participant was Pavel, middle aged engineer whose family were all in quarantine.

In a drunken fit of despair, Pavel drinks himself into oblivion, passes out on the console and accidentally triggers a fuel dump.

Alcohol is banned.

Generation ship lands and starts a colony - Dark

Suitable planet is discovered and landed on in the Corona Australis star system - Dark

“Why that planet?” - Light

Takes place in the oval office aboard the sleeper ship between the shipboard AI and chief medical officer, whilst fusion fuel dwindles.

After a short debate the AI convinces the head of medical that setting down on CA IV is the best option available as the remaining fusion fuel is sufficient to bootstrap a colony. As a result, the decision is made to break away from the rest of the fleet and settle down.

The sleeper ship lands on CA IV and is broken up for parts + resources to get the colony going - Light

Massive plague on CA IV - Dark

The Odenre conquer and subjugate the Sanggoy - Dark

First crewed space launch - Light

Expansion of humanity to the moons and planets of their star system - Corona Australis - Light

The sensor grid around Corona Australis is completed - Light

One of Corona Australis’ deep orbiting sensor stations detects radio signals from a nearby star system - Light

“What were the signals?” - Dark

Extra-terrestial Communications Handling and Operations (ECHO) station on Earth, in contact with DOSS-114. Officer Jane Stockton, Comms Technician (2nd Class) is currently on monitoring duty when alarms start sounding.

She checks the consoles, double checks, and she authorises the signalling computers to stream the data to the central AI core salvaged from the ship all those years ago - they don’t have the processing available to handle this, and it’s too important not to look at. Jane is no expert in analysis, but from the look of things, the data is too complex and regularly patterned to be either random noise or a regular pulse from a far off star. Something is speaking to them.

The AI comes online and spins up several processing nodes. It analyses the data from multiple angles until it comes to a conclusion. Jane was right, it isn’t random.

It’s a message, a terrible message that humanity can never hear.

The deep orbiting sensor station receives heavy incoming radio signal before contact is lost completely - Dark

Mass extinction of the Odenre - Dark

Humanity makes first contact with the Odenre - Light

The cause of the virus is traced back to the Odenre - Light

Humanity barely survives total war with the Odenre - Dark

“How did Humanity capture a live Odenre?” - Dark

Takes place aboard a stealth recon vessel humans sent to the source of the intense radio signal detected shortly before the loss of a orbital sensor facility around Corona Australis, in a neighbouring system roughly 2 light years away.

After discovering a series of small mining vessels in an outer-ring asteroid belt of the system. After waiting some time for a quiet moment they capture one of the small craft and immediately head home. Their exhaust trails are detected by the Odenre and a counter mission is launched.

Facts established:

  • Some level of stealth ship design is possible
  • Humans are bastards
  • Humanity has fielded vessels large enough to kidnap vessels which in turn are large enough to require janitorial staff

“Why did Humanity resurrect the X-1 virus?” - Dark

Takes place in a secret lab between a mad scientist, his medical assistant and a captured Odenre. The research team are working on a secret project to resurrect the virus. Their Odenre subject was injected by the mad scientist because of his conviction that the Odenre were responsible for the death of majority of the original sleeper ship crew and the plague that struck the first colony.

Facts:

  • Odenre have space stations
  • Humanity is happy to do black-ops weapon research with genocidal, racist mad scientists at the helm

Discovery that the X-1 virus has the same effect on the Odenre as the common cold does on humans - Dark

Humanity discovers Sol - Dark

The Odenre complete their superweapon - Light

Humanity arrives at Earth and watches as it is mass scattered - Dark

Humanity discovers the Odenre are descendants of another sleeper ship - Light

“How do the two factions react to the realisation that they caused the destruction of their homeworld?” - Light

Takes place in an embassy between the two factions political and military leaders.

The two sides agree that mistakes were made and given that both races are utterly destroyed and their homeworld has just been lost, they agree to end the wa. Due to bad blood, all political ties are severed indefinitely.

Humanity purchases terraforming probes from another space-faring race - Light

The surviving Odenre join what’s left of humanity in grieving over the lost Earth - Light

Democracy is replaced by a dictatorship - Light

Assassination attempt against the captain of the Human flagship is successful - Light

“Who was the next target of the Pavel Andrejovic project?” - Light

Takes place aboard an engineering room on the human flagship between the shipboard AI, the XO, and the last claimed descendant of Pavel Andrejovic

XO is attempting to gain control of the vessel for his own ends. Pavel’s descendant is attempting to atone for his ancestor’s actions. The shipboard AI is trying to restore a better past time.

The group agree to use the flagship to attempt to frame the dictator for an attack on the Odenre king. The intention isn’t to kill the king, merely to make the Human dictator appear to be responsible.

Through the course of the conversation, the following is learned:

  • The Odenre are still militarily powerful
  • Humanity ‘won’ the war
  • Odenre are a monarchy
  • Pre-dictatorship, AIs were non-human persons with citizenship and rights
  • AIs are still unshackled and can entertain ideas of mutiny, murder, and treason.

The attack on the Odenre monarchy fails - Dark

Humanity awakes from an AI simulation to a strange and threatening new universe - Light

Surviving humans are awoken - Dark

“Why were the survivors kept in simulation for so long?” - Light

In a cryo chamber aboard the sleeper ship landed on Corona Australis IV, atmospheric sensors read the surface as being safe to inhabit, the plague which nearly killed them shortly after making planetfall now having died off after milennia without food.

“Are the Odenre even real?” - Light

Through a lengthy debate between a Council of human elders and authority figures, humanity comes to question everything it thinks it knows about its past and its prejudices. After days the council is undecided, at which point the AI interjects that its analysis of the plague probe proved it was of alien origin. It could be that the Odenre are real, as the simulation was seeded with the information it had available at the time.

Ultimately the decision is made that the only way to know, is to search for them.

Mass panic and unrest as nobody knows what’s going on - Dark

Those who can’t let go of their simulated past cause Humanity to splinter into 2 main factions - Light

The offshoot group who can’t accept life in ‘the real world’ continue the simulation with new parameters seeded by more recent events - Light

“Why did some of humanity choose to retreat back to a simulation instead of getting psychological help?” - Dark

Takes place on-board the sleeper ship, during a sort of planet-wide existential crisis.

Humanity retreats back due to psychological trauma, mass-suicides, crime, etc to receive accelerated rehabilitation treatment in deliberately sub-par simulations to help them reacclimatise to reality.

Facts:

  • Cloning is a thing
  • The crew in stasis were used compute node simulating personalities and no longer are host to their own.
  • Mass-suicides, riots, murder, etc

Insanity spreads through the inhabitants of the new simulation due to their knowledge that it isn’t the real world - Dark

“How does the AI handle knowing that the simulation has caused immense suffering? Again.” - Dark

After more closely monitoring the events within the simulation, the AI becomes aware of the rapidly spreading insanity within it. Having decided it is clearly not a good god, it wipes itself.

The group that have stayed in reality switch off the simulation facilities - Dark

Civil war - Light

The Odenre heirarchs trigger a civil war amongst their core worlds - Dark

“What triggered the civil war?” - Light

Takes place in the halls of the Odenre Heirarchs, between the kind and his most trusted advisors.

One of the Odenres oldest and once most trusted client races - the one responsible for a majority of their security and fleet operations - is starting to question authority too much and are deemed untrustworthy.

The king decides to strip them of their prestigious position and replace them with a more suggestible, younger species.

Humanity splinters into several non-centrally governed factions - Dark

Leader of the most prominent human faction is discovered to be a distant descendant of Pavel Andrejovic, most splinter groups “don’t take that too well” - Light

The Andrejovic cult allies itself with Sanggoy (one of the disgraced client races of the Odenre) - Dark

Andrejovic Cult becomes major military power following their theft of the Odenre superweapon - Dark

“How did they obtain the superweapon?” - Light

They bought it from from one of the Odenre client races that had risen up against the Odenre.

Development of efficient antimatter production technology enforces stalemate between all warring factions as even small weapons have the potential to wipe out planets - Light

“What was the motivation behind the development of this technology?” - Light

Owners of group of ex-military research firms have decided it’s time to bring about a new era of peace for mankind. By developing weapons so powerful the generals won’t wish to wield them, they hope to eliminate any chance of interplanetary war being waged again.

As a bonus, the energy storage and generation potential of antimatter means starships can venture further and faster into space than ever before, while providing them with a tidy profit on selling the technology.

Antimatter reactions are successfully harnessed in a controlled fashion and test runs are carried out on human vessels replacing fusion as the main shipboard powerplant - Light

“What effect do these advances have on the fleet?” - Light

Humanity’s Third Fleet, including its flagship - the ISA Longsword - are refitted with the first line of antimatter annihilation powerplants. After fuelling and live fire tests at the Navy’s refinery facilities in low orbit of Corona Australis’ sun, the vessels are confirmed ready for relaunch. Not much has changed about their design, except that their powerplants can produce enough energy to stick a railgun round clean through one of their capital ships every few seconds.

Research begins on more exotic armour formulations.

Odenre counterintelligence groups launch a series of operations with the goal of convincing any of the various human fundamentalist groups to annihilate one of their own planets with an augmented NOVA bomb. - Dark

Andrejovic Cult end the civil war by detonating an Antimatter-improved Odenre superweapon - Light

Technological regression - Dark

Rediscovery of the original ‘last’ sleeper ship in the starter bookend - Light

Beginning of religious dark age - Dark

“Who becomes Pope of the Holy Pavel Church?”

A clone of Pavel grown from DNA retrieved from the old stasis pods on the ship.

Original Pavel declared literally Satan - Dark

His Holiness High Pope Pavel becomes Emperor of Humanity - Dark

Why did Humanity embrace Satanism as their core doctrine? - Light

Setting: The largest cathedral of the Holy Pavel Church.

Attempted assassination of Pavel on live broadcast to whole of humanity. Aftermath leads to a damning of the current model of human morality, with Pavel, who has become the symbol of ‘evil’, effectively being presented as the person who is the best of us, for taking on the collective sin of humanity so we can feel less terrible about ourselves.

People flock to his religion, which was already well developed.

Facts

  • Pavel actually has the mind of the original Pavel restored from a neural backup
  • A Terrorist group calling themselves the Humanists exists and orchestrated the assassination.

Church of Pavel becomes the wealthiest organisation in the known and unknown universe. Light

Humanity acknowledges that they will never live on Earth again and settles down from their nomadic, exploratory lifestyle - Light

Humanity discovering New Earth - Dark

The Founding of New Earth - Light

“Why did the Human race choose a new Earth that was toxic to the Odenre?” - Light

Takes place on the bridge of a human vessel, between the king of the Odenre and his footman, the ship captain, and the weapons officer aboard the vessel.

The Captain was reluctantly persuaded to go with the Kings recommendation.

Several outcomes:

  • King persuades Captain to land on and colonise the planet
  • Captain tries to not be fully responsible by deflecting to the rest of the crew, they wont bite
  • New Earth is mineral rich and a suitable environment for humans (so the King says)
  • Bridge staff quality is questionable at best
  • King was ok with being treated as someone to be spoken to ‘normally’ by a human ship captain.

End of race-wide depression - Light

“What effect does the Old Sol Memorial Simulation have on those that remember the last Simulation atrocity?” - Light

Takes place in a ‘simulationist holocaust’ remembrance festival. Descendants of the few people who had children before returning to the simulation all those years ago speak about the new simulation being created.

Most people are indifferent, though a small contingent of people feel angry about the resurrection of the same tech that a third of humanity died because of.

Facts:

  • Use dollars
  • Most people seem fairly reasonably and educated
  • Remembrance festival is cheap
  • Mandatory 12h restriction on experiencing the sim
  • Simulation stations open to the public
  • People think Old Earth/Old Sol was a bit shit actually and don’t know what all the fuss was about

Exploration and colonization of New Sol - Light

- “Why was ‘New Sol’ renamed?” - Light

Takes place on the surface of a rocky moon in orbit around a barren and cratered planet.

One of humanity’s automated exploration drones discovers an ancient craft and some crude equipment on the surface, damaged beyond repair by millennia of micrometeor strikes. Amongst the wreckage is a plaque, deformed in the wreckage. Many of the words on it had loose translations at best, but the meaning was clear.
“HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH
FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON
JULY 1969, A. D.
WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND”

The legends were true.

The Rise of Radical Isolationism Leads to an End to All Communication with the Odenre - Dark

“Why do the Odenre stop trying to re-open communications?” - Dark

Takes place on Odenre homeworld, private meeting between Odenre royals. The King is not there, but his consort and vizier are.

The consort is acting as the mouthpiece of the King, the Spy accuses her of treachery, mutually kill each other. Vizier is shocked and appalled as Prince and Council leader come in, Prince tries to take on leadership and erase Spy from history books, fight breaks out between him and Councilman, as he kills him, the guards shoot everyone. Only the deputy council leader who wasn’t even there becomes the leader and closes communications as planned in the midst of massive political upheaval due to the murder/suicide of the highest echelons of Odenre society all at once.

From this we learned:

  • The Odenre are fucking stupid. And backstabby.
  • Swords are still relevant. Somehow.
  • So is poison
  • But they do have guns
  • The Vizier (who seemed to be the only person in the room with a functioning brain in their head) was worried about the rapidly improving and rather pissed off humans, as well as about the perpetual infighting amongst the Odenre holding them back.
  • They weren’t able to tell that the king was being poisoned

Both races (Human/Odenre) have an epiphany and see life for what it is, put their differences behind themselves and settle down and have a polite chat over a nice, hot, brew - Light

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